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12 B.C. residents among 63 Canadians killed in Tehran plane crash

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At least 12 B.C. residents were among 63 Canadians killed when a Boeing 737 plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Tehran Wednesday.

At least 12 B.C. residents were among 63 Canadians killed when a Boeing 737 plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Tehran Wednesday.

The Boeing Co. 737-800 jetliner bound for Ukraine that crashed after takeoff in Iran, was most likely brought down by an engine fire, according to a Reuters story.

Many of the passengers were due to take a connecting flight from Kyiv onwards to Toronto.

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On Wednesday afternoon, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that connecting flight landed in Toronto with 138 empty seats, indicating that in addition to the 63 Canadians who had died, a further 70-plus non-citizens were bound for Canada as their final destination.

Ukraine International Airlines said all 167 passengers and nine crew members onboard the plane died in the crash. Names of the passengers who were onboard Flight PS752 have been released by the airline.

Here are some of the B.C. residents among those on Flight PS752.


Delaram Dadashnejad

Langara College student Delaram Dadashnejad, 26, was identified as one of the victims by Iran‘s ISNA news agency after the student’s B.C. identity card was found among the wreckage.

Langara president Dr. Lane Trotter said Dadashnejad was an international student taking university transfer classes, and was flying home to Vancouver after a visit with family in Tehran.

“On behalf of the Langara College community, I would like to offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Delaram Dadashnejad,” Trotter said in a statement.

“The loss of one of our students is one that impacts our entire community. Our Counselling and International Education team will be providing support for our students, while staff and faculty have access to our Employee and Family Assistance Program.

“We are heartbroken over the fatal tragedy that took place; our thoughts and prayers are with those in mourning from this incident.”


B.C. student Delaram Dadashnejad has been named as one of the victims in Wednesday’s plane crash in Tehran.

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Mother Ayeshe Pourghaderi and daughter Fatemeh Pasavand

Arash Azrahimi, who owns Rosewood Photography in North Vancouver, said some of the victims were his clients, including a mother, Ayeshe Pourghaderi, 36, and her daughter Fatemeh Pasavand, 17, who lived in North Vancouver.

They are survived by husband/father Amir Pasavand, who owns Amir Bakery on Lonsdale Avenue.

A vigil was planned at the bakery on Wednesday evening.


From left to right Ayeshe Pourghaderi, Amir Pasavand and their daughter Fatemeh Pasavand.

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Dr. Firouzeh Madani and Dr. Naser Pourshabanoshibi

Also from North Vancouver and killed in the crash were Dr. Firouzeh Madani and Dr. Naser Pourshabanoshibi.

Madani immigrated to Canada from Iran in September 2013 with her husband and daughter.

In an archived blog post on the New To BC website, Madani was interviewed about her experience working to transfer her medical skills and qualifications to Canada.

“For my husband and I, the biggest challenge faced was finding a job, but the other issue we faced was the fact that our daughter was starting high school in a foreign country,” she said.

In 2015, Madani had taken one of the required three exams that would allow her to begin practicing medicine in Canada. The blog post also spoke about Madani’s support from MOSAIC and Back in Motion – Skills Connect in order to secure work after immigrating. Madani had also spent time working with the North Vancouver City Library as a library champion.

Majid Mahichi, who runs Persian television studio Parvaz TV, is a childhood friend of Pourshabanoshibi who reconnected with him after the latter immigrated in 2013.

“He was one of the top students in town,” said Mahichi. “They decided to upgrade their education in Canada so they moved to a better life here.”

Mahichi said Pourshabanoshibi was kind and highly focused on education.

“Always thinking about a good future, you know? That’s why he moved to Canada, to have a better life,” he told Postmedia.

They are survived by their daughter Kimia Pourshaban Oshibi.


Dr. Naser Pourshabanoshibi and Dr. Firouzeh Madani were aboard Flight PS752 when it crashed shortly after takeoff in Tehran.

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Couple Mohammad Hossein (Daniel) Saket and Fatemeh (Faye) Kazerani

North Vancouver couple Mohammad Hossein (Daniel) Saket and Fatemeh Kazerani also died, according to relative Farzad Taheri. Taheri said Saket, born in 1986, was an engineer and Kazerani, born in 1987, was a dental hygienist.

A photo of the couple, along with a notebook where people could write their memories and condolences, sat on the counter of a North Vancouver development on which Saket had worked. Saket’s employer, Denna Homes, planned to hold a memorial on Saturday.


Vancouver couple Mohammad Hossein (Daniel) Saket and Fatemeh Kazerani were killed in a plane crash Wednesday in Tehran.


Coquitlam family Ardalan Ebnoddin Hamidi, Kamyar Ebnoddin Hamidi, and Niloofar Razzaghi

Three members of a Port Coquitlam family have also been identified as victims – husband and wife Ardalan Ebnoddin-Hamidi and Niloofar Razzaghi, and their teenaged son Kamyar Ebnoddin-Hamidi.

Shahram Hamraz of Coquitlam knew the family through the Tri-City Iranian Cultural Society, an organization where Ardalan, the husband and father, served as a board member.

Hamraz described the family as “very positive in the community.”

“They were so active in our community… and it’s a small community,” Hamraz said. “So it is a loss, really.”


Ardalan Evnoddin-Hamidi, 48, Niloofar Razzaghi, 45, and, Hamyar Ebnoddin Hamidi, 15, of Coquitlam were among the passengers killed when Ukrainian airliner crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran on Wednesday.

Niloofar Razzaghi Facebook photo


Brother and sister Zeynab Asadi Lari and Mohammad Asadi Lari

Brother and sister Zeynab Asadi Lari and Mohammad Asadi Lari, both former UBC students, also died in the crash.

According to social media posts, the brother and sister have recently been living in the Toronto area.

UBC president and vice-chancellor Santa Ono said Zeynab enrolled at UBC in 2016 in the Bachelor of Science program, with a biology major, while Mohammad graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in cellular, anatomical and physiological sciences with honours standing.

Mohammad was also co-founder of the STEM fellowship, a youth-run Canadian non-profit organization that uses mentors to give students skills in data science and scholarly writing.

“On behalf of the UBC community, I wish to express my deepest condolences to their family, friends and loved ones,” Ono said in a statement. “This is a challenging time for UBC’s Iranian students, faculty and staff and we understand developments internationally and domestically in Iran are a cause of deep concern for them.”


Former UBC student Zeynab Asadi Lari was among the victims of the plane crash Wednesday in Tehran. She was studying in Vancouver.


Former UBC student Mohammad Asadi Lari was among the passengers killed when Ukrainian airliner crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran on Wednesday.

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What people are saying

B.C. Premier John Horgan said the province joins with nations around the world in “mourning this tragic loss of life.”

President of Langara College Lane Trotter offered condolences to the family of Dadashnejad on behalf of the community at Langara.

Trotter said Delaram was an international student taking university transfer classes, and was flying home to Vancouver after a visit with family in Tehran.

“The loss of one of our students is one that impacts our entire community. Our Counselling and International Education team will be providing support for our students, while staff and faculty have access to our Employee and Family Assistance Program,” Trotter said, in a statement.

“We are heartbroken over the fatal tragedy that took place; our thoughts and prayers are with those in mourning from this incident.”

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson said he was “deeply saddened by the news” and offered condolences to the families.

“My thoughts and condolences are with the loved ones of everyone who was on board Flight 752. We do know some of those lost were from British Columbia’s Persian community, and we are offering our support to the entire community during this terrible time,” he said, in a statement Wednesday.

“On behalf of the entire BC Liberal Caucus, I want to extend my deepest and most sincere sympathies to the friends and loved ones of all the passengers and flight crew.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “shocked and saddened” and said the Canadian government will work closely with its international partners to ensure that this crash is thoroughly investigated.

— With files from Reuters

 

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Overcoming scandal and PTSD, Japan’s Princess Mako finally marries college sweetheart

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Japan‘s Princess Mako, the emperor’s niece, has married her commoner college sweetheart on Tuesday and left the royal family after a years-long engagement beset by scrutiny that has left the princess with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Mako and fiance Kei Komuro, both 30, announced their engagement four years ago, a move initially cheered by the country. But things soon turned sour as tabloids reported on a money scandal involving Komuro’s mother, prompting the press to turn on him. The marriage was postponed, and he left Japan for law studies in New York in 2018 only to return in September.

Their marriage consisted of an official from the Imperial Household Agency (IHA), which runs the family’s lives, submitting paperwork to a local office in the morning, foregoing the numerous rituals and ceremonies usual to royal weddings, including a reception.

Mako also refused to receive a one-off payment of about $1.3 million typically made to royal women who marry commoners and become ordinary citizens, in line with Japanese law.

Television footage showed Mako, wearing a pastel dress and pearls, saying goodbye to her parents and 26-year-old sister, Kako, at the entrance to their home. Though all wore masks in line with Japan’s coronavirus protocol, her mother could be seen blinking rapidly, as if to fight off tears.

Though Mako bowed formally to her parents, her sister grabbed her shoulders and the two shared a long embrace.

In the afternoon, Mako and her new husband will hold a news conference, which will also depart from custom. While royals typically answer pre-submitted questions at such events, the couple will make a brief statement and hand out written replies to the questions instead.

“Some of the questions took mistaken information as fact and upset the princess,” said officials at the IHA, according to NHK public television.

Komuro, dressed in a crisp dark suit and tie, bowed briefly to camera crews gathered outside his home as he left in the morning but said nothing. His casual demeanour on returning to Japan, including long hair tied back in a ponytail, had sent tabloids into a frenzy.

MONEY SCANDAL

Just months after the two announced their engagement at a news conference where their smiles won the hearts of the nation, tabloids reported a financial dispute between Komuro’s mother and her former fiance, with the man claiming mother and son had not repaid a debt of about $35,000.

The scandal spread to mainstream media after the IHA failed to provide a clear explanation. In 2021, Komuro issued a 24-page statement on the matter and also said he would pay a settlement.

Public opinion polls show the Japanese are divided about the marriage, and there has been at least one protest.

Analysts say the problem is that the imperial family is so idealised that not the slightest hint of trouble with things such as money or politics should touch them.

The fact that Mako’s father and younger brother, Hisahito, are both in the line of succession after Emperor Naruhito, whose daughter is ineligible to inherit, makes the scandal particularly damaging, said Hideya Kawanishi, an associate professor of history at Nagoya University.

“Though it’s true they’ll both be private citizens, Mako’s younger brother will one day become emperor, so some people thought anybody with the problems he (Komuro) had shouldn’t be marrying her,” Kawanishi added.

The two will live in New York, though Mako will remain on her own in Tokyo for some time after the wedding to prepare for the move, including applying for the first passport of her life.

(Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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EU countries splinter ahead of crisis talks on energy price spike

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Divisions have deepened among European Union countries ahead of an emergency meeting of ministers on Tuesday on their response to a spike in energy prices, with some countries seeking a regulatory overhaul and others firmly opposed.

European gas prices have hit record highs in autumn and remained at lofty levels, prompting most EU countries to respond with emergency measures like price caps and subsidies to help trim consumer energy bills.

Countries are struggling to agree, however, on a longer term plan to cushion against fossil-fuel price swings, which Spain, France, the Czech Republic and Greece say warrant a bigger shake-up of the way EU energy markets work.

Ministers from those countries will make the case on Tuesday for proposals that include decoupling European electricity and gas prices, joint gas buying among countries to create emergency reserves, and, in the case of a few countries including Poland, delaying planned policies to address climate change.

In an indication of differences likely to emerge at the meeting, nine countries including Germany – Europe’s biggest economy and market for electricity – on Monday said they would not support EU electricity market reforms.

“This will not be a remedy to mitigate the current rising energy prices linked to fossil fuels markets,” the countries said in a joint statement.

The European Commission has asked regulators to analyse the design of Europe’s electricity market, but said there was no evidence that a different market structure would have fared better during the recent price jump.

“Any interventions on the market and the decoupling of [gas and power] pricing are off the table,” one EU diplomat said, adding there was “no appetite” among most countries for those measures.

Other proposals – such as countries forming joint gas reserves – would also not offer a quick fix and could take months to negotiate. A European Commission proposal to upgrade EU gas market regulation to make it greener, due in December, is seen as the earliest that such proposals would arrive.

With less than a week until the international COP26 climate change summit, the energy price spike has also stoked tensions between countries over the EU’s green policies, setting up a clash as they prepare to negotiate new proposals including higher tax rates for polluting fuels.

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban has dismissed such plans as “utopian fantasy”, a stance at odds with other EU countries who say the price jump should trigger a faster switch to low-emission, locally produced renewable energy, to help reduce exposure to imported fossil fuel prices.

 

(Reporting by Kate Abnett; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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Bad weather off Canadian coast preventing efforts to board container ship after fire

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Bad weather off Canada‘s Pacific Coast on Monday prevented a salvage crew from boarding a cargo ship where several containers of chemicals burned over the weekend, the coast guard said.

Sixteen crew members were evacuated from the MV Zim Kingston on Saturday. Five remained onboard to fight the fire, which was largely under control by late Sunday.

The company has appointed a salvage crew “but due to the current weather, (they) have been unable to board the container ship”, the coast guard said on Twitter.

“The containers continue to smolder and boundary cooling – spraying water on the hull and on containers near the fire – continues,” it added.

The ship is anchored several kilometers (miles) off the southern coast of Vancouver Island, in the province of British Columbia. There is no impact to human health, the coast guard said.

Danaos Shipping Co, the company that manages the ship, said on Sunday that no injuries had been reported on board.

 

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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