Canada briefs – December 31

Young adults used to spending holidays happily recconecting with old friends have found themselves gathering instead to mourn one.

Friends mourn man killed in accident

OTTAWA — Young adults used to spending holidays happily recconecting with old friends have found themselves gathering instead to mourn one.

Under a warm winter sky, a funeral was held for 24-year-old Alex Zolpis who died in an Ottawa parking lot on Christmas Eve.

But the hour-long Catholic ceremony wasn’t attended by the family of the man charged in connection with his death.

The son of former Newfoundland premier Brian Tobin faces two impaired driving charges for the accident in a downtown parking lot.

In a statement, the Tobin family says it decided to stay away due to intense media interest and the Zolpis family’s desire for privacy.

Zolpis was remembered as a fun-loving man who was quick with a joke and always had a smile on his face.


Eighty-seven journalists killed in 2010

TORONTO — A Canadian group says 87 journalists were killed worldwide in 2010 — with Pakistan, Mexico and Honduras being the most dangerous places to work.

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression came up with the number of 87 in its year-end tally, while other media advocacy groups came up with different totals.

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said 57 journalists were killed worldwide in 2010, while the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has posted a tally of 44 on its website.

A spokeswoman for the Canadian group says the discrepancy is because the groups used different methodology to decide which deaths to include in their counts.

Julie Payne says Canadian Journalists for Free Expression tried to be more inclusive and counted some deaths that may not have been officially confirmed as a journalist being specifically targeted.

All three groups agreed that Pakistan was the most dangerous place to work.

The Canadian group said this year’s total is a decrease from the 101 journalists killed in 2009.

But it points out that figure included the massacre of 32 journalists in the Philippines — the most journalists ever killed in one day.