Canadian foreign affairs confirm the death of a Canadian man kidnapped in Burkina Faso, Victoria police seek witnesses of an assault Sunday and a Swedish panel of food experts say a major overhaul to the world’s diet is urgently needed. Those stories and more on Morning CHEK.

Canadian man kidnapped in Burkina Faso found dead, foreign affairs confirm: Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has confirmed the death of a Halifax native in Burkina Faso. Kirk Woodman was kidnapped earlier this week from a mining camp and his body was found with bullet wounds late yesterday. He was vice-president of exploration for Vancouver-based Progress Mineral Mining. No group has taken responsibility for the kidnapping. West Africa’s Sahel region has seen a number of abductions of foreigners in recent years by extremists linked to al-Qaida or the Islamic State organization.

Witnesses sought by police following downtown Victoria assault Sunday: Victoria police are asking witnesses to give them a call to help identify a suspect in an assault Sunday. The downtown incident has left 65-year-old Jim Marshall, who has Multiple Sclerosis and has been in a wheelchair for 25-years, with a broken femur. The encounter happened when Marshall was trying to get onto a bus on Yates and Douglas. Police say the male suspect took exception to being clipped by Marshall’s wheelchair. Marshall says he was then thrown to the ground by the unknown man.

China is rebuffing the latest tongue-lashing from Canada: A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman says Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland may have spoken without thinking. China is rejecting Freeland’s comment that the arbitrary detentions of Canadians represent a way of behaving that threatens all countries. The spokesperson claims people from China could be at risk following Canada’s detention of telecom executive Meng Wanzhou for quote — “no reason.”

No damage following earthquake 180 kilometres west of Port Hardy:  A magnitude 4.0 earthquake was recorded Wednesday night about 180 kilometres west of Port Hardy around 7:20 p.m. It was at a depth of 10 kilometres. There are no reports of any damage and there was no tsunami warning.

Open house to discuss Victoria’s 2019 budget: An open house Wednesday night at Victoria City Hall to allow the public to weigh in on the 2019 budget. The police budget, bike lanes on Douglas, salaries and benefits, and many other matters were brought up. the draft aims for a $244 million budget, with an overall tax increase of 4.3 per cent.

Swedish panel recommends major overhaul to the world’s diet: A panel of nutrition, agriculture and environmental experts looking at how eating habits affect the environment is recommending a plant-based diet. EAT, a Stockholm-based non-profit agency recommends eating one serving of red meat and fewer than four eggs per week and one serving a day of dairy foods or less. Its experts say a “Great Food Transformation” is urgently needed by 2050.

Cedar Hill middle school parents and students upset over french immersion closure: Some parents and students at Cedar Hill Middle School gathered Wednesday night over concerns and frustration with the sudden closure of its lateFrenchh immersion program as of next September. A school board official told them there is a lack of interest in the program, but the parents say there would enough interest in the program if it is reinstated.

ENTERTAINMENT
Betty White turns 97 Thursday
: Beloved actor Betty White is 97 years young today! Her career spans eight decades and White holds the Guinness World Record for the longest TV career for a female entertainer. White has won five Primetime Emmy Awards and one Grammy Award.

Steve Carrell involved in new Netflix ‘Space Force’: President Trump’s space force may not appear to be up and running as of yet. But Netflix is hoping its Space Force will arrive first. Steve Carrell and the developer of the U.S. version of “The Office” are teaming up with Netflix to quote — “Tell the story of the men and women who have to figure it out”.

SPORTS
Canucks drop thriller to Oilers in a shootout: 
An entertaining showdown in Vancouver between the Canucks and Edmonton Oilers Wednesday night. The game needed extra time, and both teams had great chances, but couldn’t beat the Canucks’ Jacob Markstrom or the Oilers’ Mikko Koskinen. Alex Chiasson would win it in the shootout for the Oilers in a 3-2 decision. Vancouver hosts Buffalo Friday.

Roanic and Shapovalov move on, Bouchard and Andreescu out at the Australian Open: Canada’s Milos Raonic survived a four-hour marathon against Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka to advance to the Australian Open’s third round. Denis Shapovalov defeated Japan’s Taro Daniel. On the women’s side, Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard was defeated by American Serena Williams and Bianca Andreescu was ousted by Anastasija Sevastova.

CHEK News