RCMP have confirmed the presence of lethal W-18 in drugs seized in Surrey.

ChangSha Night Net

W-18 is a powerful opioid 100 times stronger than fentanyl. It was previously discovered in Vancouver last April and also found in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

According to a release, Surrey RCMP seized pebble heroin in December 2016. The drugs were sent to Health Canada for analysis and recently came back positive for W-18.

In a similar case, West Shore RCMP on Vancouver seized what they believed to be cocaine in May 2016. The white powder substance was sent for analysis and tested positive for an analog of fentanyl – a new strain of the deadly opioid not seen in the region before.

At the time of the seizure, West Shore RCMP reported three overdoses in their jurisdiction.

“These lab results are once again prompting us to warn illicit drug users that it doesn’t matter where you buy your drugs, or who you get them from,” said BC RCMP’s Investigative Services and Organized Crime assistant commissioner Jim Gresham. “The danger is the same if you’re in the big city or in a small community. I cannot stress that enough – there is no safe haven.”

“You must be aware that at any time dangerous and potentially lethal drugs may be present in what you’re consuming. Unfortunately, there is no way for you to know what is really being sold to you. Please take steps to avoid making a potentially lethal decision,” he added.

The RCMP says it is currently investigating several cases of illicit drug trafficking and continues to receive more notices from B.C. communities regarding the presence of fentanyl in drugs.

Where does W-18 come from?

The drug comes from a “W-series” of opioid compounds first discovered at the University of Alberta in 1982, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. There are 32 compounds, W-1 to W-32, with W-18 being the most toxic.

W-18 is not currently regulated under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act and can be manufactured and bought freely, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

With files from Paula Baker

For sports fans, the next 18 months will be extra special as Regina will be hosting five major sporting events and at least one high-profile concert.

In 2017

Aug. 27: Guns N’ Roses Concert at new Mosaic Stadium

Sept. 5-10: Grand Slam of Curling’s season-opening Tour Challenge at the Co-operators Centre.

Oct. 26-29: Skate Canada International at the Brandt Centre

In 2018

Mar. 8-11: Canadian University Women’s Basketball Championship at University of Regina

ChangSha Night Net

Mar. 17-27: Memorial Cup at the Brandt Centre

The Brandt Centre will still need to undergo upgrades to get it ready for the centennial Memorial Cup.

“We do know that there will be a requirement for more seats and we’ve accommodated that in the past for other events,” Regina Exhibition Association communications manager Paula Kohl said.

The whole property is really built around attracting those events, so we’re ready, bring it on.”

As the Brandt Centre prepares for upgrades, so too is Regina’s airport.

YQR airport boasted record-breaking passenger numbers last year, and that trend is expected to continue.

“We hit an all-time record of over 1.26 million passengers,” Regina Airport Authority president and CEO Richmond Graham said.

Graham said he expects to see passenger traffic double within the next decade and said the airport is ready to welcome the influx of visitors coming into the city.

“The mornings are very busy and the gate space are sometimes limited. But we do have expansion plans that we are working on,” Graham said.

“We see expansion to meet that requirement and we need to build into the future.”

Longtime volunteer Bernadette McIntyre said people have already started asking about volunteer opportunities.

“Right after we announced the Brier, we were getting calls. People were saying you know when it’s time to sign me up, let me know,” McIntyre said.

Despite a couple of events coinciding, McIntyre said she doesn’t believe there will be a shortage of volunteers nor volunteer fatique.

“We do have a little bit of overlap with the Brier and the CIS Women’s Basketball Championship but I think we got enough volunteers to make both those events huge successes,” she said.

McIntyre estimates there will be 600-700 volunteers for the Tim Horton’s Brier.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out that those teams with new stadiums at some point will get a Grey Cup to show support for them,” Mayor Michael Fougere said Thursday.

“I am wanting a Grey Cup, I’ll say that much. Whether it happens is another issue. I’m pushing for that,” he said.

“Stay tuned.”

Follow @ChristaDao

Dwayne Schnell was released on $3,000 no-cash bail Friday. The 37-year-old is facing a number of child pornography charges after an investigation by the Alberta Law Enforcement Teams (ALERT) Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) team.

Friday’s decision was a joint release between defence and the Crown.

Schnell will be residing in Calgary with his parents. He can not leave the province of Alberta. He has to report to a bail supervisor and can not work or volunteer in any position of trust or authority with children under 16.

ChangSha Night Net


    Lethbridge teacher facing child pornography charges: ALERT

  • Lethbridge teacher facing child pornography charges: ALERT

    READ MORE: Lethbridge teacher facing child pornography charges: ALERT

    Police said the investigation first began in January 2017 when ICE was given a tip from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about a user who was uploading child sexual exploitation materials. The ICE team did not know the user was a teacher until recently.

    ALERT said the ICE team arrested Dwayne Schnell on Wednesday. He is charged with possession, accessing and distributing child pornography. A number of computers and electronic devices were seized from his home in Lethbridge and will be examined.

    Part of his release conditions are:

    He cannot have any device capable of accessing the Internet, like a computer or cellphone and can only go online at a public library.A peace officer or probation officer can conduct a warrant-less search of his residence at any time to make sure he is not using a computer or the Internet.He cannot have any contact with any children under 16 years of age, accept for his own two children (with his wife or parents present).He can’t have any type of recording devices like a camera or video recorder.He must not attend any area where children under 16 could be present like parks, schools, swinging pools, playgrounds or a daycare.

    Schnell has hired defence lawyer Greg White.

    He will be back in court for his next appearance March 24.

The Saskatoon-Meewasin byelection is shaping up to be a close race.

A new poll from Mainstreet/Postmedia has the Saskatchewan Party and the NDP in a dead heat.

If the election was held today, 39 per cent would vote for Brent Penner, the Saskatchewan Party candidate, while 37 per cent would vote for the NDP鈥檚 Ryan Meili.

The Green Party鈥檚 Shawn Seyto is at five per cent and Saskatchewan Liberal Leader Darrin Lamoureux at three per cent. Another 15 per cent were undecided.

Voters in the riding head to the polls on March 2.

ChangSha Night Net


  • Saskatchewan NDP posed to take Saskatoon-Meewasin: Mainstreet poll

    READ MORE:聽Five candidates running in Saskatoon-Meewasin byelection

    David Valentin, the executive vice-president of Mainstreet Research, said it has been quite the turnaround for the Saskatchewan Party.

    鈥淚n our last poll, we pointed out the low results for the Saskatchewan Party were underpinned by low support among younger voters who were registering high undecided rates,鈥?Valentin said in a statement.

    鈥淚t looks like those voters have made up their minds and decided to stick with the government they know.鈥?/p>

    READ MORE:聽Saskatoon-Meewasin residents reminded to be on voting list for byelection

    However, Valentin cautioned that byelections are unpredictable due to low voter turnout.

    鈥淣o result here on election day would surprise me at this point,鈥?he said.

    鈥淕iven the margin of error and by election turnout we will truly all have to wait until election night to see what happens.鈥?/p>

    The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll of 430 voters in the riding on Feb. 23, 2017 has a margin of error of +/- 4.71 per cent 19 times out of 20.

Hundreds of attendees of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland Friday waved flags in support of U.S. President Donald Trump with a familiar red, white & blue appearance.

While they are the colours of the American flag, in this case CPAC attendees were actually waving Russian flags with Trump’s name on them.

READ MORE: Nordstrom says Trump’s tweet hardly touched company’s sales

CPAC organizers were quick to spot the faux pas and attendants were sent around to collect the flags to spare further embarrassment.

ChangSha Night Net

Jason Charter and Ryan Clayton, of the group Americans Take Action, were the brains behind the operation. They purchased tickets to the conference ahead of Trump’s speech and handed out approximately 1,000 flags.

“Most people didn’t realize it was a Russian flag, or they didn’t care,” Charter told Atlantic Magazine.

The pair say that rather than being a “false-flag” operation, it was a “true-flag operation.”

READ MORE: Analysis: Donald Trump’s phoney war on ‘fake news’

“It shows how Trump and Russia are connected, they are like peas in a pod,” Clayton told Atlantic Magazine.

Trump’s campaign staff were reportedly in constant contact with Russian operatives leading up the election while it is also believed the Russian government attempted to sway the election results.

The president has also expressed his admiration for Russian president Vladmir Putin on several occasions.

Organizers were quick to eject Clayton, but Charter managed to evade staff for a time.

One person in attendance told the Los Angeles Times they were shoved into his hand out of context so he didn’t clue in to what was happening.

“He was dressed like any one of us,” Tyler Dever, 20, a student at the University of South Florida in Tampa, who was wearing a suit, told the Los Angeles Times. “He passed them to me and was like, ‘Pass them down, pass them down.’ ”

He said he was surprised Charter and Clayton were able to get past security and felt like it was an attempt to victimize him.

“Someone tried to victimize me,” Dever said. “You have Secret Service out here, and I’d expect it to be fully screened. … Thank God someone noticed.”

Iranian Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Asghar Farhadi has taken a strong stance against the United States “climate of fanaticism and nationalism.”

Farhadi, who is nominated for best foreign language film for The Salesman, has previously said he will be boycotting Sunday’s Oscars because of U.S. President Donald Trump‘s travel ban.

ChangSha Night Net

(The ban, which has since been rejected by a judge, affected travellers and refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations, including Iran.)

Instead, he’s sending two Iranian-American NASA scientists — Firouz Naderi and Anousheh Ansari in his place, his publicist told Variety Friday.

READ MORE: Oscar nominee Asghar Farhadi to miss Academy Awards due to Trump immigration order

WATCH: Around a thousand people rallied in Beverley Hills outside the headquarters of Hollywood power broker United Talent Agency. They rallied against President Trump’s proposed travel restrictions on seven muslim-majority countries. 

Farhadi —; speaking via video conference from Tehran —; made some strong comments during a protest hosted by United Talent Agency Friday afternoon. The UTA usually hosts an annual Oscar party, but scrapped it in favour hosting the protest as well as making a donation of US$250,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“It is comforting to know that at a time when some politicians are trying to promote hate by creating divisions between cultures, religions and nationalities, the cinema community has joined the people in a common show of unity to announce its opposition,” Farhadi said. “I hope this unity will continue and spread to fight other injustices.”

WATCH: Press secretary Sean Spicer says Hollywood is ‘rather far to the left’ ahead of Oscars

Farhadi also condemned the new U.S. president’s policies and said they are “trying to promote hate.”

He was speaking on behalf of all the nominees for best foreign language film, who released a joint statement during the rally.

READ MORE: Oscars Swag bag will offer Quebec based Bangarang products

The statement comes as news broke of a cinematographer from Syria who was denied entry to the U.S.

According to internal Trump administration correspondence seen by The Associated Press, the Department of Homeland Security decided at the last minute to block Khaled Khateeb from travelling to Los Angeles for the Oscars.

Khateeb is a 21-year-old Syrian who worked on a harrowing film about his nation’s civil war, The White Helmets, which was nominated for best documentary short.

READ MORE: Syrian who worked on Oscar-nominated film barred from entering US

Celebrities Jodie Foster, Michael J. Fox and Keegan-Michael Key were also among the speakers at Friday’s rally.

Read the full statement from the foreign language filmmakers below:

On behalf of all nominees, we would like to express our unanimous and emphatic disapproval of the climate of fanaticism and nationalism we see today in the U.S. and in so many other countries, in parts of the population and, most unfortunately of all, among leading politicians.

The fear generated by dividing us into genders, colors, religions and sexualities as a means to justify violence destroys the things that we depend on – not only as artists but as humans: the diversity of cultures, the chance to be enriched by something seemingly “foreign” and the belief that human encounters can change us for the better. These divisive walls prevent people from experiencing something simple but fundamental: from discovering that we are all not so different.

So we’ve asked ourselves: What can cinema do? Although we don’t want to overestimate the power of movies, we do believe that no other medium can offer such deep insight into other people’s circumstances and transform feelings of unfamiliarity into curiosity, empathy and compassion – even for those we have been told are our enemies.

Regardless of who wins the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday, we refuse to think in terms of borders. We believe there is no best country, best gender, best religion or best color. We want this award to stand as a symbol of the unity between nations and the freedom of the arts.

Human rights are not something you have to apply for. They simply exist – for everybody. For this reason, we dedicate this award to all the people, artists, journalists and activists who are working to foster unity and understanding, and who uphold freedom of expression and human dignity – values whose protection is now more important than ever. By dedicating the Oscar to them, we wish to express to them our deep respect and solidarity.

Martin Zandvliet – Land of mine ( Denmark ) Hannes Holm – A Man called Ove ( Sweden ) Asghar Farhadi – The Salesman ( Iran ) Maren Ade – Toni Erdmann ( Germany ) Martin Butler, Bentley Dean – Tanna ( Australia )

With files from Reuters.

WINNIPEG —; At least four more people have crossed the border from the US in to Emerson, Manitoba.

Saturday morning Global News captured footage of at least four asylum seekers being met by RCMP Officers on Highway 75 on the Emerson, Manitoba side of the border.

The town Reeve, Greg Janzen, confirms the asylum seekers crossed over.

ChangSha Night Net

Seven asylum seekers, including a young child made the same treacherous trek on Wednesday. The total number of refugee claimants on record at Welcome Place sits at 139, not including the at least four more people that arrived Saturday.

READ MORE: 7 more asylum seekers cross border into Manitoba Wednesday

For the first time since the influx of asylum seekers started making their way across the US-Canada border in to Emerson, Federal Members of Parliament came to the small town to speak to locals and officials.

However, Greg Janzen, the Reeve of Emerson-Franklin said he was unaware of the federal visit until Global News informed him.

As a result of not being notified about the visit, Janzen said he would not be coming back to town for a visit he wasn’t invited to.

Janzen along with people living in the community said they would have preferred some notification that federal officials were coming to visit their town, instead of just showing up without any warning to them.

MaryAnne Mihychuk is the MP for Kildonan-St.Paul and Robert Falcon-Ouellette is the MP for Winnipeg Centre. Both MP’s went to Emerson Saturday to get a feel for how the town is doing and said it wasn’t an official visit and that’s why they hadn’t informed anyone other than the media.

“I’m not a formal representative of the Liberal party. I’m a Manitoban who happens to be a member of parliament coming out to talk to regular folks to see how things are going,” Mihychuk said.

She couldn’t address any possible funding announcements from Ottawa, but did say the Federal Government is aware of the situation in Emerson and is doing what it can to help the people of the town as they welcome more asylum seekers.

A subway closure could have an impact on Toronto commuters this weekend.

Subway service will be shut down Saturday and Sunday between Downsview and St. George stations on Line 1.

The shutdown is due to signal updates, according to the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) website.

In order to help speed up transit and vehicle traffic during this time, the TTC has put parking restrictions on Lawrence Avenue between Allen Road and Yonge Street, and on Bathurst Street between Bloor Street and Barton Avenue.

ChangSha Night Net

Shuttle buses will operate between Downsview and Lawrence West stations during the shutdown. The TTC is urging customers to continue to use “existing east-west bus and streetcar routes to the Yonge portion of Line 1 or north-south bus routes to Line 2,” as additional service will be provided there during the suspension.

READ MORE: Woman sits on TTC passenger’s feet as part of etiquette lesson

Transit users looking to travel northbound on Line 2 should transfer at Yonge-Bloor station as there are no shuttle buses at St. George Station.

Regular service is expected to resume Monday morning.

It’s too early to say what caused Air Canada flight 623’s runway excursion at Pearson International Airport Saturday, according to investigators with the Transportation Safety Board (TSB).

Greater Toronto Airport Authorities’ officials said AC Flight 623 from Halifax, which was carrying 118 passengers and six crew members, was “involved in an incident while landing” shortly after midnight but no injuries were reported.

In a press conference Saturday night, Ewan Tasker, regional manager of air investigations for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, stated that two investigators were dispatched to determine what happened and why.

ChangSha Night Net

“During the landing sequence, the aircraft travelled through the grass on the western side of the runway, eventually coming to a stop on the runway centre line,” Tasker said. “The airline was met by emergency services and passengers were deplaned on the runway and transported to the terminal by buses.”

Tasker went on to say that the apparent damage to the aircraft was minor but further investigation will be needed.

The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and the flight data recorder (FDR) were taken from the plane and sent to the TSB lab in Ottawa for further analysis.

WATCH: The Transportation Safety Board describes an incident where Air Canada Flight 623 came off the runway on landing at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

TSB describes runway excursion involving Air Canada Flight 623


TSB describes runway excursion involving Air Canada Flight 623


‘It’s a fair bit different’: TSB on Air France accident at Pearson


TSB investigating witness report of damaged tire on Air Canada Flight


TSB discusses rain, wind and runway conditions during Air Canada Flight 623 runway excursion

The next steps for the TSB will be to “interview the flight crew, cabin crew, air traffic control and other witnesses,” according to Tasker. Investigators will then gather more background information surrounding the flight, including such things as the weather at the time of the incident.

Tasker said investigators have to examine all of the information further to draw specific conclusions and that right now “it is too early to call what caused the accident.”

One wheel of the plane was visibly damaged, and passengers on the Airbus A320 told Global News that they think the plane’s wheels went off the runway.

READ MORE: Class-action lawsuit in Air Canada Halifax crash landing going forward

“We were coming in, and we were coming in pretty quickly it seemed,” passenger Faye, who did not want to give her last name, said. “There was a lot of noise and a lot of bumping and we hit very very hard, very rapidly.”

Another passenger also said the landing was frightening.

“It was very rough and very scary,” Diane Power said. “Then there was mud flying up on the windows and we could hear the tires pop —; we could hear something wrong underneath.”

The GTAA said paramedics and firefighters were sent to the scene, but passengers said they weren’t told what happened or checked for injuries.

“The only instruction we got was ‘stay seated, stay seated.’” Faye said.

Isabelle Arthur, spokesperson for Air Canada, told Global News by email that the crew confirmed that pilots made announcements about the incident but did not specify what was said.

“We understand that some customers were unsettled by events and were eager to get on with their travel plans,” Arthur said. “We apologize for the inconvenience. It is always important for us to keep our customers informed.

“We will certainly follow up with customers to address any concerns they may have.”

WATCH: Passengers of Air Canada Fight 623 said the plane slid off the runway after landing. No injuries were reported.

*with files from the Canadian Press 

OTTAWA – Cynicism snaked through the corridors of Parliament Hill this week, lurking behind two competing claims of tolerance.

A Conservative motion to condemn all forms of racism was soundly defeated on Tuesday, brought down amidst accusations the Tories were stealthily stoking anti-Muslim sentiment.

The Liberals — themselves accused of playing dangerous wedge politics — prefer their own version, one that specifically mentions Islamophobia, but the Conservatives won’t vote for it, saying it threatens free speech.

Finger-pointing rhetoric aside, Canadians living along the border with the United States are seeing their tolerance tested.

READ MORE: What Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump spoke about during Thursday’s phone call

ChangSha Night Net

Dozens of asylum-seekers fleeing Donald Trump’s immigration crackdowns in the United States are still walking across the border in Quebec and Manitoba, straining social services in some towns and prompting a demand for some kind of action from Ottawa.

The federal government is sending in extra resources and still contemplating other options, but it did take some concrete measures this week on another group of migrants: Yazidis.

Along with interesting developments in corporate profits and on how to treat ISIL, here’s how federal politics touched us materially this week:


Unlike the bickering over anti-racism motions, the Liberals’ plan to quietly bring in 1,200 of the most vulnerable refugees in the world by the end of the year was also driven by the Conservatives, who have been advocating help for Yazidis since before the last election.

READ MORE: Canada to receive 1,200 Yazidi refugees in 2017

Don’t expect the prime minister to be greeting them at the airport with the press gallery in tow. The refugees, who dwell mainly in northern Iraq, have often been subjected to rape, violence and other unspeakable atrocities that have been recognized as genocidal. So federal officials want to make sure they are brought to Canada gently.

The contingent of 1,200 won’t be limited to women and girls, even though concern about their plight was an inspiration for the move. Nor will the effort be specifically limited to Yazidis, since Ottawa does not want to target refugees by ethnicity. Rather, the policy is aimed at the most desperate refugees fleeing the region.

Taking on ISIL

It looks like some of Canada’s senior military stationed in the Middle East didn’t get the memo to tread softly when it comes to taking on the Trump administration.

Trump wants to intensify the efforts to defeat the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, vowing as recently as Friday to “obliterate” them.

But the top Canadian generals on the ground, who are also deeply involved in the international coalition to defeat ISIL, say it’s better to move cautiously. Otherwise, the coalition risks exacerbating the root causes that helped ISIL’s rise in the first place.

Is anyone listening?

Pocketing profits

This week Statistics Canada added up all the money Canadian corporations made in 2016, and while the picture for oil and gas is not pretty, operating profits overall were up 13.2 per cent compared to a year earlier.

That’s good news for the Canadian economy — if the companies reinvest their profits in labour, research and innovation, new equipment and expanding their business interests.

But that’s a big “if.” Corporate Canada has an shaky record on reinvestment to begin with. And now companies are raising the alarm about Trump.

On Friday, auto parts giant Magna International Inc. pointed to American protectionism and talk of a U.S.-imposed border tax as key risks to its outlook — all while raising dividends to disburse its profits to shareholders.

That kind of corporate action is a challenge for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who used a high-profile speech in Germany a week ago to pointedly tell business leaders they need to take some responsibility in keeping the more destructive forces of populism at bay.

But corporations will not invest unless they have confidence in their opportunities and, for now, there is much chaos in calculating the Canada-U.S. business opportunities.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau is expected to bring up the border tax and protectionism this week with his new U.S. counterpart, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Will he deliver the confidence-inducing messages that corporate Canada is looking for?

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Malaysia said Saturday that it would issue an arrest warrant for a North Korean diplomat if he refuses to co-operate with the investigation into the deadly attack on North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un’s exiled half brother.

The investigation has unleashed a serious diplomatic fight between Malaysia and North Korea, a prime suspect in the Feb. 13 killing of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur’s airport. Friday’s revelation by Malaysian police that the banned chemical weapon VX nerve agent was used to kill Kim raised the stakes significantly in a case that has broad geopolitical implications.

WATCH: Malaysian police named on Wednesday a senior official in the North Korean embassy and another linked to its state airline, wanted for questioning over the murder last week of Kim Jong Nam, the North Korean leader’s estranged half-brother.

ChangSha Night Net

Experts say the nerve agent used in the attack was almost certainly produced in a sophisticated state weapons laboratory and is banned under an international treaty. But North Korea never signed that treaty, and has spent decades developing a complex chemical weapons program.

Kim was not an obvious political threat to his estranged half brother, Kim Jong Un. But he may have been seen as a potential rival in North Korea’s dynastic dictatorship, even though he had lived in exile for years. North Korea has denied any role in the attack.

Malaysia said earlier in the week that Hyon Kwang Song, a second secretary at the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, was wanted for questioning. But authorities at the time acknowledged that he has diplomatic immunity and that they couldn’t compel him to appear.

Death of Kim Jong Un’s half-brother sparks row between Malaysia, North Korea


Death of Kim Jong Un’s half-brother sparks row between Malaysia, North Korea


Officials searching for North Korean suspects who fled after Kim Jong Nam’s alleged assassination


UN condemns North Korean missile launch


Donald Trump calls North Korea a ‘big, big problem’

On Saturday, Malaysia’s tone changed.

Abdul Samah Mat, the police chief leading the investigation, said authorities would give the diplomat “reasonable” time to come forward. If he doesn’t, police will issue a notice compelling him to do so.

“And if he failed to turn up … then we will go to the next step by getting a warrant of arrest from the court,” Abdul Samah told reporters.

Lawyer Sankara Nair, however, noted that diplomats have immunity privileges even in criminal cases.

READ MORE: What is VX nerve agent, the deadly chemical used to kill Kim Jong Nam?

“If he is a Korean diplomat with a diplomatic passport, then he has immunity no matter a criminal case or otherwise,” he said. “Police can apply for a warrant, but it can easily be set aside by the embassy.”

Malaysia hasn’t directly accused the North Korean government of being behind the attack, but officials have said four North Korean men provided two women with poison to carry it out.

The four men fled Malaysia shortly after the killing, while the women – one from Indonesia and the other Vietnamese – were arrested.

WATCH: Malaysia says Kim Jong Nam killed by banned chemical weapon

On Saturday, the Indonesian suspect, Siti Aisyah, met with her country’s deputy ambassador to Malaysia, saying she had been paid the equivalent of $90 for what she believed was a harmless prank.

Aisyah, 25, said she had been introduced to people who looked like Japanese or Koreans who asked her to play a prank for a reality show, Deputy Ambassador Andriano Erwin said.

READ MORE: Suspect in killing of Kim Jong Nam said she thought she was part of ‘Just For Laughs’ style prank

Asked about whether she knew what was on her hands at the time of the attack, Erwin said: “She didn’t tell us about that. She only said that it’s a kind of oil, baby oil, something like that.”

An odourless chemical with the consistency of motor oil, VX is an extremely powerful poison, with an amount no larger than a few grains of salt enough to kill. It can be inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through the skin. Then, in anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours, it can cause a range of symptoms, from blurred vision to a headache. Enough exposure leads to convulsions, paralysis, respiratory failure and death.

The killing of Kim Jong Nam took place amid crowds of travellers at Kuala Lumpur’s airport and appeared to be a well-planned hit. Kim died on the way to a hospital, within hours of the attack.

In grainy surveillance footage, the women appear to smear something onto Kim’s face before walking away in separate directions. Malaysian police said the attackers had been trained to go immediately to the bathroom and clean their hands.

Aisyah has said previously that she was duped into the attack, but Malaysian police say the suspects knew what they were doing. Experts say the women must have taken precautions so the nerve agent wouldn’t kill them.

An antidote, atropine, can be injected after exposure and is carried by medics in war zones where weapons of mass destruction are suspected.

READ MORE: Malaysian investigation into assassination of Kim Jong Nam names 4 suspects from North Korea

Tens of thousands of passengers have passed through Kuala Lumpur’s airport since the apparent assassination was carried out. No areas were cordoned off and protective measures were not taken, though officials announced Friday that the facility would be decontaminated.

Aisyah said Saturday that she did not want her parents to see her in custody.

“She doesn’t want her family (to) get sad to see her condition,” Erwin said. “She only delivered a message through us to her father and mother not to be worried and take care of their health.”

Also Saturday, police confirmed that a raid earlier in the week on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur was part of the investigation. Abdul Samah, the police official, did not specify what authorities found there, but said the items were being tested for traces of any chemicals.

MONTREAL – Along with luxury vacations, diamond bracelets and personal training sessions, celebrities who receive unofficial gift bags at the Oscars this year will also get a modest offering from Quebec.

The famously over-the-top swag bags, whose value usually runs in the six figures, is distributed annually by a Los Angeles-based marketing company to the nominees in the best actor, actress, supporting actor and actress and best director categories.

ChangSha Night Net

READ MORE: Oscars 2017: LAPD’s three-tiered security designed for ‘multiple scenarios’

This year, the bag will contain a “Positive Cube” — a small wooden box produced by Quebec-based company Bangarang. The boxes contain 199 cards, each bearing a positive or inspirational saying.

Marie-Eve D’Amico, one-half of the young couple behind the product, is crossing her fingers that a big star such as Meryl Streep or Denis Villeneuve will take a shine to it.

READ MORE: Edmonton area cookie maker hopes for sweet success in Hollywood

“With the mission we have of spreading the positive and supporting worthy causes, I think that touches people, so we’ll see,” she said in a phone interview.

D’Amico said she paid a fee, which she declined to reveal, to be included in the bag for both the Grammy Awards and the Oscars.

WATCH: Preview: Oscars Weekend Eve

It’s a marketing move she says is already paying off — even without a star endorsement.

“It’s a lot of visibility,” she said. “We’ve already had a lot of sales in the United States since the announcement that we were in the Grammy bag,” she said.

Although the company that produces the gift bags says it isn’t officially affiliated with the Oscars, being associated with a celebrity event can be an effective marketing tool, another Quebec entrepreneur says.

READ MORE: Oscars 2017 predictions: Picks for this year’s Academy Award winners

2017 will mark the fifth year Rouge Maple has been contributing organic syrup and other maple products to the celebrity gift bags.

Co-founder Julie DeBlois says the event’s visibility has boosted exposure and allowed the company to associate itself with a glamorous event.

“It’s a golden opportunity if you fit with the brand,” she said. “They want something refined, high-end — a niche product.”

WATCH ABOVE: ‘Farm Wife Style’ jewellery was included in swag bags during the Grammy and Academy Awards last year. Julia Wong filed this report in 2016.

But one Alberta jewelry maker says even small-town entrepreneurs can benefit from Oscar exposure.

Kim Ducherer says her “Farm Wife Style” line of affordable handmade jewelry is still selling well after going in the bags last year.

READ MORE: Jewellery from Edmonton-area woman goes to Hollywood for Grammys, Academy Awards

“It was definitely worth it,” said Ducherer, who lives on a farm outside Leduc, Alta.

“When you’re in a small Canadian community, doing that will give you a lot of local exposure.”

WATCH: Canadians, diversity well represented with 2017 Oscar nominations 

Garth Brooks will forever be remembered for his nine sold-out concerts in Edmonton after a banner in his honour was raised to the rafters at Rogers Place on Friday night.

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    “We raised banners for Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Stanley Cup. But tonight, we want to raise a banner for Garth,” said Bob Nicholson, CEO of the Oilers Entertainment Group.

    “Garth, what you’ve done for this city, you’ve still got a few nights to go but they love you here, I tell ya. It’s unbelievable and we want Garth and his whole team to come back,” Nicholson said.

    He also presented Brooks’ wife, Trisha Yearwood, with a large bouquet of flowers. Yearwood is on tour with Brooks.

    After the banner was raised, country music fans in the stadium began chanting, “Let’s go Oilers.”

    READ MORE: What you need to know before going to see Garth Brooks in Edmonton

    The presentation was followed by a congratulatory video presentation from the Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky.

    “That is sweet,” Brooks said.

    “Oh my gosh, Edmonton. Thank you. That was all about you guys. Everything cool happened here,” Yearwood said.

    READ MORE: Edmonton goes nuts for country star Garth Brooks

    The night was particularly special because it marked the five millionth ticket sold on Brooks’ three-year tour. It only took 60 cities for him to sell five million tickets.

    During the 1996-1998 Garth Brooks world tour, it took 100 cities to get to the five millionth ticket.

    “Just want to say thank you,” Brooks said in a video posted on 桑拿会所 before Friday night’s show.

    “I’m getting ready to go out that door and hug the neck of the five millionth ticket owner. I can’t believe this. I just want to say thank you… Thank you for getting us where we’re at. This is something we’d do for all five million if we could. So thank you for the celebration and thank you for getting us here. I never thought we’d be here again. And then the coolest thing is, every day after this we’re rewriting history. I love this. Thank you for my life. God bless you guys.”

    A representative from Ticketmaster came out on stage during the concert to present the country music superstar with a large framed picture with the number 5,000,000 on it.

    “It’s really sweet. Thank you very much. That is awesome. I don’t know how it gets better than that,” Brooks said as he held up two framed photos, one from this tour and a framed picture from the tour in the 90s.

    Brooks will play a total of nine sold out concerts in Edmonton, bringing tens of thousands of people to the city. Last Friday, ahead of Brooks’ first show in Edmonton, Mayor Don Iveson declared it Garth Brooks Day in Edmonton.

    Watch below: Sea of Garth Brooks fans fill downtown Edmonton between concerts on Sunday, Feb. 19

    Follow @CaleyRamsay