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Family testifies about pain of searching 24 years for missing Aboriginal woman


first_imgMEMBERTOU, N.S. – The 78-year-old Mi’kmaq elder cradles the grainy photo of his lost daughter laminated on his smart phone — a reminder of his hope to find her one day.It’s black and white, but Virginia Sue Pictou’s brown eyes sparkle, and her father Robert James Pictou has added the lines, “Forever in my heart.” He keeps a full-sized version propped up at breakfast each morning.The Nova Scotia-born Pictou was brought to a medical centre in Bangor, Maine, by police after being beaten on April 24, 1993.But as doctors briefly turned their attention to a shooting victim in the trauma unit, she quietly left, never to be seen again, family members say.“To me, as a father, every time the subject comes up, it’s just like it happened yesterday. It’s all there,” the father said during an interview while attending the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls in Cape Breton.“How is she going to rest in peace, could somebody explain that to me?”The family testified at the hearings at Membertou First Nation on Wednesday morning, repeating their account of how they suspect Virginia died violently, and talking of their hope state police will one day locate her remains and make arrests.Virginia had seven small children at her home in Easton, Maine, two of whom perished in a 1990 fire.Francis Pictou, 52, testified Wednesday he’s convinced Virginia left the hospital to return home to be with her five remaining children because she didn’t wish to leave them with her violent husband.Agnes Gould, the oldest sister, testified that Virginia repeatedly experienced domestic violence and had frequently come to her seeking shelter.Robert John Pictou, a 54-year-brother, told the commission he’d read a police record describing her beating by her husband and brother-in-law on a main street of Bangor on the day she went to the hospital.Like other families who’ve spoken before the inquiry during its cross-country hearings, the siblings say they’re determined to continue their search for information on her case.“We followed every lead we could. We searched fields. We searched swamps. We talked to family. We did investigations, we hired private investigators. It’s gone nowhere,” said Robert John Pictou.Searches undertaken by Aboriginal families that go on for decades — sometimes across borders — have been a frequent theme at the inquiry as it has crossed the country.On Wednesday, the inquiry’s commissioners said 900 people have registered to tell their story, and signalled they will be asking Ottawa for an extension and more money to hear the cases.Gould said she’d like others to hear and be inspired by their resolution during the 24-year quest.“As we always say, our case is one in a thousand,” she said during the inquiry.As the family spoke, the commissioners released an interim report that called for the provinces, territories and federal government to create a national police task force to handle requests from families and survivors to reopen cases and review investigations.Commissioner Michele Audette said she has repeatedly heard of cases where police forces are failing to adequately respond to cases that have involved missing or murdered aboriginal women.A spokesman for the Maine State Police didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment in the Pictou case.However, Robert John Pictou said that the investigation is one among 50 on a cold-case list, and added that a victim’s advocate from Maine is in contact with the family.The brother said having a joint national task force in Canada would be welcomed by his family, as it might be able to work with American agencies in cases of Aboriginal victims.“As it stands right now, we have zero information on our missing sister. That unfortunately is not unusual,” he said.The history of murdered and missing Mi’kmaq women in the United States goes back for generations, as Mi’kmaq and Maliseet band members cross for work, marriage and family ties.One of the cases that led to the push for the national inquiry was the 1974 death of Aboriginal activist Anna Mae Aquash, a Mi’kmaq from Nova Scotia.She was killed during a period of protests by the American Indian Movement and prosecutors allege she was murdered on orders from AIM, because the group believed she was an FBI informant.Her family struggled for years to have investigations re-opened, and to have her body repatriated and buried in her home community.Francis Pictou said for siblings and parents, the lost women are never forgotten and simply recovering their body and bringing it home would be a source of closure.“We know in our hearts, we know she’s gone,” he told the inquiry.“Even if it feels like an endless lead, go after it,” he said. “You might regret it later that you didn’t go after that one possibility.”Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on Twitter.last_img read more


TCI and Caribbean on alert Irma now Category 3 Hurricane


first_img Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp TCI: Hard-working DDME lauded as Hurricane Preparedness Month officially opened TCI: More active Hurricane Season predicted and DDME gives thorough update on its readiness Related Items:#Irma, #magneticmedianews, DDME Turks and Caicos is first to add Disaster Management to the Tourism portfolio Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, August 31, 2017 – Providenciales – The nation is put on alert now that Tropical Storm Irma has rapidly become a hurricane, a Category three hurricane which is barreling towards the islands of the Caribbean and while her trajectory over the next week includes many islands… experts are advising all to be prepared.Based on a National Hurricane Center model, the storm will strike the Lesser Antilles by Monday but it is what #Irma does after that which becomes most import for the Turks and Caicos Islands.   We have learned that the #DDME this morning held a contingency meeting to discuss preparation and readiness in the advent of this major hurricane making a hit on these islands.Category three Hurricane Irma has maximum sustained winds near 115 mph with higher gusts.    Fluctuations in strength, both up and down, are possible, but Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane for several days and at this time there are no watches or warnings for any land masses right now.Hurricane Irma is moving WNW at 12mph.  Add to this a new tropical wave today rolled off the African coast, it is with a low chance for development in the next five days.#MagneticMediaNewslast_img read more


Game of Thrones fans are dying for a season 8 trailer


first_img 20 Photos Some people are still trying to predict when the trailer will arrive, despite our previous failures for the Super Bowl and Oscars. Film and TV editor Emmy Griffiths crunched the numbers and thinks we’ll get the trailer before the end of this week. “I have no means been obsessively checking old correlations between GoT trailers and premiere dates to reach this conclusion,” she jokes. Game of Thrones HBO 0 Cookies are coming. pic.twitter.com/aTPjU4l4gS— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 23, 2019 Enlarge ImageCan we get a trailer already? Helen Sloane/HBO We could hear it, like dragon wings pounding the air. It was time. First we hoped the Super Bowl would bring the trailer. Then Oscars night came and went. Now it’s Feb. 26 and there’s still no real trailer for the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Fans of ice and fire aren’t taking this well.Game of Thrones returns for season 8 on April 14, which is why fans are getting antsy. It’s so close. One Twitter use compared the number of trailers we get for Marvel products with those we get for Game of Thrones. There’s a bit of a disparity.  The official Game of Thrones account responded with “House Oreo.” Now that sounds like a house worth belonging to.HBO could get away with never releasing a trailer for the final season. Nobody is going to boycott the show because they didn’t get enough advance footage of angry dragons, frozen dead people and sword fights. So pour yourself a Bud Light and twist open an Oreo while you wait. HBO must be sending the trailer out by raven and it got lost somewhere over Westeros.  Twitter user Gotmemesworld meme-ified our plight by highlighting the meager teases we’ve gotten so far. It also reminds us of the collective sigh of exacerbation we all spewed when HBO and Bud Light dropped a weird Super Bowl commercial featuring a beer knight and no real season 8 information. We want real trailer 😭😭😭#hbo #gameofthrones #got #gotmemesworld #memes pic.twitter.com/FMya175vtE— Gotmemesworld (@gotmemesworld) February 24, 2019 Share your voice 20 things we’re dying to see in the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ marvel: releases 2937456 trailers and teasers to promote its moviesgame of thrones: *crickets*— ‘ (@hoziiers) February 26, 2019 The marketing tie-ins have been swarming us like the White Walkers’ army of the dead. Besides Bud Light, we just learned cookie-maker Oreo will offer up some Game of Thrones-themed sweets. Oreo tweeted, “Cookies are coming.” #GameOfThrones⁠ ⁠ Twitter is literally going nuts over 3 seconds of new Arya content IMAGINE IF YOU DROPPED THE WHOLE TRAILER @HBO HURRY UP ALREADY pic.twitter.com/VZcDmwc7UZ— Preme (@SupremeBanners) February 24, 2019 i reckon we’ll be getting the new game of thrones season 8 trailer before the end of the week. i have no means been obsessively checking old correlations between got trailers and premiere dates to reach this conclusion dw pic.twitter.com/nQTsZzPRKD— Emmy Griffiths (@emmyfg) February 25, 2019 HBO dropped a few brief glimpses at season 8 in a teaser for multiple shows on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough. “Twitter is literally going nuts over 3 seconds of new Arya content. Imagine if you dropped the whole trailer, HBO,” one fan tweeted, saying what’s on all of our minds. Tags TV and Movies Post a commentlast_img read more