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RCMP now considering foul play in case of missing Surrey men

Ryan Provencher, 38, and Richard Scurr, 37, were last seen on July 17

CBC News · Posted: Aug 02, 2019

Richard Scurr, left, and Ryan Provencher, right, were last seen in the 16400 block of 23A Avenue in Surrey at 12:30 p.m. PT on July 17, 2019. (Submitted by Amber Provencher)

RCMP have searched a rural property belonging to one of two Surrey men who went missing last month and say foul play is now considered a factor in their disappearance.

Ryan Provencher, 38, and Richard Scurr, 37, were last seen getting into a white 2019 Jeep Cherokee in the 16400 block of 23A Avenue in Surrey at 12:30 p.m. PT on July 17.

The Jeep was found July 21 parked in a wooded area near Logan Lake, B.C., about 300 kilometres northeast of Surrey and 100 kilometres east of Spences Bridge.

Surrey RCMP said Friday in a news release that they searched a rural property near Spences Bridge at the site of a business associated with Provencher.

Police believe the two men were travelling to the property before they disappeared. Police searched the property for evidence to help in their investigation, but it was not clear if anything was found.

Because of the length of time Provencher and Scurr have been missing, RCMP said foul play could be a factor in their disappearance.

‘Everybody’s devastated’

Provencher’s sister, Amber Provencher, said she remains in contact with RCMP every day.

“They haven’t found anything,” she said.

“All I know is that they were planning on going up towards Spences Bridge and we’ve not heard from them since. And that was two weeks ago.”

Provencher said her family is now trying to cope with not knowing what happened. 

“Everybody’s devastated. And he has a daughter, she’s a year and a half. We’re hoping to find some answers, that’s for sure.”

Anyone with information about the disappearance of these men is asked to contact Surrey RCMP.CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices|About CBC NewsReport Typo or Error|Send Feedback

Google ordered to halt human review of voice AI recordings over privacy risks

Natasha Lomas@riptari 

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A German privacy watchdog has ordered Google  to cease manual reviews of audio snippets generated by its voice AI. 

This follows a leak last month of scores of audio snippets from the Google Assistant service. A contractor working as a Dutch language reviewer handed more than 1,000 recordings to the Belgian news site VRT which was then able to identify some of the people in the clips. It reported being able to hear people’s addresses, discussion of medical conditions, and recordings of a woman in distress.

The Hamburg data protection authority told Google of its intention to use Article 66 powers of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to begin an “urgency procedure” under Article 66 of GDPR last month.

Article 66 allows a DPA to order data processing to stop if it believes there is “an urgent need to act in order to protect the rights and freedoms of data subjects”.

This appears to be the first use of the power since GDPR came into force across the bloc in May last year.

Google says it responded to the DPA on July 26 to say it had already ceased the practice — taking the decision to manually suspend audio reviews of Google Assistant across the whole of Europe, and doing so on July 10, after learning of the data leak.

Last month it also informed its lead privacy regulator in Europe, the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), of the breach — which also told us it is now “examining” the issue that’s been highlighted by Hamburg’s order.

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In February 2013, China surpassed the United States to become the world’s largest smartphone market. More than half a decade on, it still proves an elusive target for international sellers. A glance at reports from the past several quarters reveals the top spots dominated by homegrown names: Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi.

Combined, the big four made up roughly 84% of the nearly 100 million smartphones shipped last quarter, per new numbers from Canalys. Even international giants like Apple and Samsung have trouble cracking double-digit market share. Of the two, Apple  has generally done better, with around 6% of the market — around six times Samsung’s share.

But Apple’s struggles have been very visible nonetheless, as the company has invested a good deal of its own future success into the China market. At the beginning of the year, the company took the rare action of lowering its guidance for Q1, citing China as the primary driver.

“While we anticipated some challenges in key emerging markets, we did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China,” Tim Cook  said in a letter to shareholders at the time. “In fact, most of our revenue shortfall to our guidance, and over 100 percent of our year-over-year worldwide revenue decline, occurred in Greater China across iPhone, Mac and iPad.”

When it came time to report, things were disappointing, as expected. The company’s revenue in the area dropped nearly $5 billion, year over year. On the tail of two rough quarters, things picked up a bit for Apple in the country. This week, Tim Cook noted “great improvement” in Greater China.

Relatives, friends ask for prayers, not judgment, at funeral for family members found killed in Markham home

Sahar Fatima

By Sahar FatimaStaff ReporterFri., Aug. 2, 2019

Friends and relatives of the Markham family found killed in their home last week wept and clung to each other at their funeral on Friday, asking the community for prayers, rather than judgment.

“Please don’t say any bad comments,” said a tearful Sabrin Sultana, a longtime family friend, after four coffins holding the bodies of Firoza Begum, 70, Momotaz Begum, 50, Moniruz Zaman, 59, and Malesa Zaman, 21, were carried out following Friday prayers at the Islamic Foundation of Toronto in Scarborough.

“Everyone who sees the news, please pray for them,” Nigar Sultana, who has known the family since 1995, said, barely able to get her words out between sobs.

Menhaz Zaman, 23, was charged with four counts of first-degree murder on Monday after the bodies were found at a house on Castlemore Ave. Sunday afternoon.

Friends have said the victims are the suspect’s grandmother, mother, father and sister.

At the mosque, the family’s emotion was palpable. One relative sat in a chair beside one of the coffins before prayers, sobbing loudly as two other women hugged her. Family members and friends comforted Shamsu Zzaman, the brother of Moniruz Zaman, who tried to stay calm and collected through tears.


Three dead after violent night in the GTA

By The Canadian PressSat., Aug. 3, 2019timer1 min. read

BRAMPTON, Ont. — It was a violent night across the Greater Toronto Area, with three people dead in separate homicides north, east and west of the city.


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