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Canadian woman gets one-cent ‘release pay’ check years after soldier son’s suicide

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Canada’s Defence Minister apologized Tuesday after the mother of a soldier who committed suicide in 2011 received a one cent cheque for “release pay” — three years after her son’s death.

Minister Rob Nicholson blamed an “insensitive bureaucratic screw up” for the “absolutely ridiculous” decision to send the payment to the family of 22-year-old Justin Stark.

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“I will take steps immediately to ensure that something like this should never happen again,” Nicholson said.

Stark took his own life in 2011 after returning to Canada following a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan.

“After all this mother has gone through, this is inexcusable,” opposition lawmaker Wayne Marston said in the Canadian parliament.

The controversy comes after recent criticism of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government over the assistance and support offered to Canadian soldiers and their families.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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Pope Francis struck with unknown illness one day after expressing solidarity with coronavirus sufferers

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Just one day after expressing solidarity and support for coronavirus sufferers, Pope Francis has come down with a virus himself, forcing him to cancel a planned mass in Rome, the New York Post reports.

The unknown illness struck the Pope while the coronavirus spreads across Italy. According to CNN, Italian authorities have cordoned off areas where more than 50,000 people live in an attempt to prevent further outbreaks. Around 400 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Italy, and 12 have died.

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Church is denying First Communion to our son because he has autism, family says

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What was supposed to be a blessed time for the family of eight-year-old Anthony LaCugna has turned into upset after they were told their son, who has autism, could not participate in his First Holy Communion in the coming months, his parents told NJ Advance Media Thursday.Anthony, who is non-verbal, was denied the sacrament by Rev. John Bambrick at the Saint Aloysius Parish in Jackson, said his mother Nicole LaCugna.The church told the parents on Tuesday that their son could not receive the First Community because his disability prevents him from determining right from wrong, Nicole LaCugna sa... (more…)

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2020 Election

‘Rich people have profited enough’: New poll shows two-thirds of Americans support wealth tax to combat inequality

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Support for a wealth tax to combat persistent inequality in the U.S. is growing, according to a new poll released Wednesday by TheHill/HarrisX which found that just over two-thirds of Americans favor a tax on the wealthiest households.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents—including majorities of Democrats and Independents—said there should be a wealth tax on billionaires, as Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have proposed.

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