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Faster airport security? New automated checkpoints may have you sailing through

Over the next several years, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) will convert all security checkpoints to the ‘CATSA Plus’ system that involves fewer visible officers and more computers to expedite travellers through pre-boarding security, without compromising on safety. Passengers might save the most time at the conveyor belts while guiding their carry-on luggage toward the X-ray.

“With the old system, only one person at a time was able to take a bin and put his or her belongings in it,” CATSA spokesperson Matieu Larocque said at a media tour at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

Faster Airport Security? New Automated Checkpoints May Have You Sailing Through

CATSA spokesperson Mathieu Larocque says passengers still need to do their research and understand items that aren’t permitted on planes so they don’t clog the line getting avoidable bag checks. (Christopher Langenzarde/CBC)

“With this new system up to four passengers can do that at the same time,” he said. And, Larocque added, passengers with less in their bag or those with more travel experience can jump ahead of those who are slower. “If you require a little more time you can take your time and passengers who are faster can bypass you,” Larocque said.

All the rollers are motorized

Faster Airport Security? New Automated Checkpoints May Have You Sailing Through

If a carry-on item is flagged, automated rollers will divert the bin to a separate conveyor belt for examination. (CATSA/Youtube)

To pick up the pace even more, the conveyor belts have automatic rollers that take the bins with your carry-on luggage down the line. The bins are smart, too. Each one has a serial number on the side and if its contents are flagged, the rollers will divert it to a separate lane for examination by a CATSA officer.

Screening officers will look at X-rays in remote screening rooms away from the people traffic at the checkpoint. (CATSA/Youtube)

Security high as former fugitive Steven Skinner in court on murder charge

As guards escorted former fugitive Steven Skinner from the parking lot into Dartmouth provincial court Monday morning, the mother of Stacey Adams, the man he is accused of killing six years ago, began to yell at him.

“I want him to see me,” said Gloria Adams. “I want him to look at the woman who raised that young man.”

Stacey Adams had just turned 20 when he was shot and killed in the driveway of a home in Lake Echo, N.S., on April 10, 2011. Skinner is charged with second-degree murder in his death and police believe he fled the country soon after the homicide. Monday was Skinner’s first court appearance on the charge after he was finally returned to Nova Scotia from Venezuala. Skinner had been on the run for five years when he was arrested on Margarita Island, Venezuela, in May 2016[1]. He has been in custody ever since and Canadian officials went through a lengthy extradition process.

“I don’t know what his life story is, but I know what my son’s life story is,” said Gloria Adams. “All I want now is for him to be held accountable.

“Let’s get this over with so I can get back my life, because he can’t give me back my son.”

Security High As Former Fugitive Steven Skinner In Court On Murder Charge

Stacey Adams had just turned 20 when he was shot to death in Lake Echo, N.S. (Facebook)

In the courtroom, Gloria Adams sat on a bench in the public gallery as close as she could to Skinner, who was just five metres away during his court appearance. He remains in custody and is scheduled to return to court July 5. About two dozen supporters of Gloria Adams’s family were behind her, many of them wearing shirts with her son’s name on them. While she is glad to finally see Skinner in court, she said the last six years have been the worst of her life.

“I went into a rage that as a human being and as a mother I never thought was capable of having,” said Adams.

Security tight

An extradition decision from a court in Venezuala described how Skinner, a former mixed-martial-arts fighter, allegedly tried to bribe his way out of a Venezuelan prison while he was being held following his arrest[2]. Skinner is named in the decision as a member of an illegal drug organization that police dubbed the Belanger Group. Police allege it was headed by Ryan Belanger, the owner of the house where Adams was killed, and allege the group trafficked drugs in Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia, according to the ruling. The group allegedly imported cocaine from Mexico, according to the extradition ruling, and Skinner’s contacts included associates of the Hells Angels.

Dozens of police officers and sheriffs were on hand for Skinner’s arrival at the Dartmouth courthouse. Six sheriffs and four Halifax Regional Police officers were in the courtroom for his brief appearance.

In addition to the second-degree murder charge, Skinner is facing several charges in connection with an incident in Lower Sackville on July 22, 2009, including aggravated assault, forcible confinement, assault with a weapon, uttering threats and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

References

  1. ^ arrested on Margarita Island, Venezuela, in May 2016 (www.cbc.ca)
  2. ^ allegedly tried to bribe his way out of a Venezuelan prison while he was being held following his arrest (www.cbc.ca)

Boston hosts more than 50 tall ships

By Philip Marcelo, The Associated Press

BOSTON A majestic maritime gathering is bringing more than 50 grand sailing vessels from 14 countries into Boston Harbor.

Tall ships from Europe, South America and the U.S. are converging on the city as part of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, a trans-Atlantic race spanning the United Kingdom, Bermuda and other locations. Boston is the only U.S. port on the route. Organizers of Sail Boston promise Saturday’s dramatic arrival will be a can’t-miss spectacle. The city has hosted a number of tall ships in recent years, but hasn’t seen a Grand Parade of Sail since 2000. Officials in Massachusetts said law enforcement will be on high alert. The event has been given a special federal security designation typically reserved for national spectacles, like the Super Bowl, because of its size and complexity, but not for any specific threat.

With the U.S. Coast Guard’s Eagle leading the way, the estimated 56 ships will parade in flotillas past Castle Island and the historic fort that guards the harbor’s approach as they make their way up the main channel. They’ll then dock at various piers in Boston and remain open for public boarding until they depart for Quebec City, Canada, on June 22. Here’s a look at some of the stunning sailing vessels on display:

Alexander von Humboldt II : Hailing from Bremerhaven, Germany, this 213-foot-long (64-meter-long) square rig ship offers civilian sailing training. It was built in 2011 as the replacement for a ship originally built in 1906.

Eagle : Originally built in 1936, the U.S. took this 295-foot-long (89-meter-long) tall ship as reparation from Germany following World War II. It’s now owned by the Coast Guard and used for cadet and officer candidate training from its homeport in New London, Connecticut. Esmeralda : This 371-foot-long (113-meter-long) ship was built in 1953 and serves as a training vessel for the Chilean Navy. Based in Valparaiso, it was also notoriously used to detain and torture dissidents during dictator Augusto Pinochet’s regime in the 1970s. Europa : The oldest of the ships sailing into Boston, this 184-foot-long (56-meter-long) ship was originally built in 1911 to serve as a light ship on the Elbe River in Germany. It’s since been overhauled and now serves as a civilian training vessel and calls Scheveningen in the Netherlands its homeport.

Oliver Hazard Perry : The newest of the ships sailing into Boston, this 200-foot (60-meter) full-rigged ship was built last year and hails from Newport, Rhode Island. The civilian training and educational vessel is named after a native Rhode Islander and famous naval commander during the War of 1812. Picton Castle : Registered in the Cook Islands, it provides civilian sailing training and delivers supplies to the South Pacific’s far flung islands. The ship is also based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, measures 179 feet (54 meters) long and was built in 1928. Uni n: Considered the largest sailing vessel of its kind in Latin America, this 379-foot (115-meter) vessel is also the largest among the ships coming to Boston. It serves as a training ship for the Peruvian Navy and was built in 2015.

Follow Philip Marcelo at twitter.com/philmarcelo.

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