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Flooding, highway closures as heavy rain pounds Prairies

Watch above: Cars submerged after extensive flooding in Regina

MELVILLE, Sask. – Highways closed and communities declared states of emergency on Sunday after a deluge of rain drenched southeast Saskatchewan and parts of Manitoba.

Melville, about 140 kilometres northeast of Regina, declared a state of local emergency after rain overwhelmed the city’s storm and domestic sewer systems, as well as its lift stations.

Watch below: Melville hit hard by flooding

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  • Heavy rainfall causes flash flooding for communities in southeast Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan government said the Town of Carnduff, the Rural Municipality of Mount Pleasant and the Village of Maryfield have also declared local emergencies.

The government warned that about a dozen other communities were in the process of doing the same as heavy rain continued.

MORE: Heavy rainfall causes flash flooding for communities in southeast Saskatchewan

Moosomin mayor Larry Tomlinson said close to a third of his town was suffering flood damage and that the rain was still falling Sunday afternoon.

“Part of our town looks like lakes,” said Tomlinson. “We’ll just try to keep up to it. It’s all we can do.”

Watch below: Flooding in southeast Saskatchewan

RCMP said many highways were closed and that secondary roads were also impassable. One bridge on Highway 55 in Saskatchewan had washed out. And Highway 1 was closed near Wolseley because it was under more than a metre of water, police said.

As the sky continued to let loose, patients in a health centre in Gainsborough in the R.M. of Mount Pleasant were moved out. Later Sunday, firefighters went door-to-door advising everyone to leave.

“Right now the last road out of Gainsborough has about four inches of water over it and the village is flooding itself,” said Kris Carley, the emergency measures co-ordinator for the rural municipality.

The village’s mayor said residents were going to evacuation centres in nearby Carnduff or had gone to stay with relatives.

“There’s probably 50 houses full of water,” Vic Huish said, noting businesses were flooded, too.

“It’s going to be a disaster.”

Watch below: Highway 1 under water after extensive flooding

John Fahlman with the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency said the storm came from the northern U.S. and hit the region near the Saskatchewan-Manitoba boundary the hardest. Some areas, he said, received almost 230 millimetres over the weekend.

Tomlinson, meanwhile, noted that strong winds were also knocking out power to parts of Moosomin. That meant homeowners with electric pumps were left helpless until power could be restored, he said.

“We’ve got some basements that have as much as three feet of water in them,” he said. “It’s not great.”

Watch below: Officials update the flood situation in Regina

City officials in Regina reported the storm water drainage system was operating at full capacity. The city’s fire department also tweeted that the sewage system was at capacity and that residents should avoid baths, showers, and even flushing toilets.

The University of Regina responded by shutting off water to all buildings except its residences, and said it was evacuating most of the campus.

MORE: Watch radar timelapse of deluge over southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba 

Environment Canada rainfall totals from Friday to 10:04 a.m. MondayMoosomin200 mm (unofficial)Redvers175 mm (unofficial)Broadview~150 mmMelville128 mmYorkton120 mmRegina97 mmIndian Head87 mmHudson Bay77 mmNipawin60 mmMelfort60 mmWynyard49 mmEstevan43 mmWeyburn41 mm

In Manitoba, Brandon declared a state of local emergency due to overland flooding and flights at its airport were disrupted when the facility’s main access road was flooded.

Allison Collins, a spokeswoman for the city, said WestJet cancelled its flights to and from Calgary on Sunday and that the airline would evaluate whether flights would resume on Monday.

The Trans-Canada Highway west of Brandon was covered by 30 centimetres of water and police said late Sunday that it could close if the level continued to rise.

Rain in Manitoba also flooded the RCMP detachment in Selkirk on Saturday causing it to lose telephone service.

MORE: Deluge prompts Manitoba municipalities to declare states of emergency

Environment Canada forecasts on Sunday called for rain to continue in the region through the day, the night and into Monday.

Saskatchewan officials said the province is deploying teams to the affected areas and is collecting flood control equipment in Regina, which they say will help it cut response times for areas needing help.

“We’re focused on supporting municipalities as they support their citizens,” said Duane McKay, commissioner of emergency management and public safety.

With files from Global News

A bit of perspective from NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman on board the International Space Station. “Storm begins to swirl near Winnipeg, Canada.”

Reid Wiseman/NASA

An aerial shot from near Melville where water can be seen rushing over and around a dam.

Government of Saskatchewan/Supplied

Outside Melville

Carmen Bochek

Flooding at the Albert St. underpass at Saskatchewan drive forced some drivers to abandon their vehicles.

Matt Myers/Global News

Flooding at the Albert St. underpass at Saskatchewan drive forced some drivers to abandon their vehicles.

Matt Myers/Global News

Regina’s Lakeview neighbourhood was just one of several areas hit by flash flooding on Sunday.

Matt Myers/Global News

A flooded backyard in Regina’s Lakeview neighbourhood.

Matt Myers/Global News

Regina’s Lakeview neighbourhood was just one of several areas hit by flash flooding on Sunday.

Matt Myers/Global News

Yorkton, Sk. This is on the East end of the city, going down Dracup Ave.

Karen Sheichuk/Supplied

Parking lot at Mosaic Stadium.

Adrian Raaber/Global News

Near Weyburn

Carrie Guenette/Supplied

#8 Highway north of Moosomin washed out.

Kristy Stewart/Supplied

Brittany Kreklewich snapped this shot while travelling through the Melville/Yorkton/Ituna area on Sunday.

Brittany Kreklewich/Supplied

Washed out road near Melville, SK on Sunday.

Steve Silva / Global News

The basement of Melville’s city hall.

Steve Silva/Global News

Whitewood

Crystal Schaan/Supplied

A mass of earthworms flushed out by heavy rain in Regina.

Kent Morrison/Global News

Brittany Kreklewich snapped this shot while travelling through the Yorkton/Melville/Ituna area on Sunday.

Brittany Kreklewich/Supplied

Water up to the roof of a car stranded on Albert St. near stadium

Kent Morrison/Global News

Brittany Kreklewich snapped this shot while travelling through the Yorkton/Melville/Ituna area on Sunday.

Brittany Kreklewich/Supplied

Brittany Kreklewich snapped this shot while travelling through the Yorkton/Melville/Ituna area on Sunday.

Brittany Kreklewich/Supplied

Brittany Kreklewich snapped this shot in Regina on Sunday.

Brittany Kreklewich/Supplied

Rocanville

Kyla Chantel Broom

Horrible rain outside of Chamberlain. Strong wind speeds.

Melissa Nakhavoly/Global News

Taylor Field at Mosaic Stadium

Adrian Raaber/Global News

Regina

Nikki Peever/Supplied

The dog park at Sandra Schmirler Way and 13th Ave. in Regina.

Mike McKinnon/Global News

Highway 1 near Wolseley was closed Sunday after being flooded by approximately six feet of water.

Raquel Fletcher/Global News

An aerial shot of flood waters near Melville.

Government of Saskatchewan / Supplied

Road closed signs are a common sight in southeastern Saskatchewan, where flood waters have blocked or washed away many highways.

Mike McKinnon/Global News

Flood water caused delays on Highway 1 near Balgonie.

Mike McKinnon/Global News

A flooded property in Hubbard, SK, northwest of Melville.

Mike McKinnon/Global News

An aerial shot from near Melville where water can be seen rushing over a berm.

Government of Saskatchewan/Supplied

Volunteers work to stack sandbags in Melville, SK.

Mike McKinnon/Global News

Sandbags are piled around a power station near Melville.

Mike McKinnon/Global News

Sandbags are piled in front of the Melville & District Health Centre.

Mike McKinnon/Global News

Red Cross volunteers in Regina load a truck full of supplies for flood relief in southeast Saskatchewan.

Canadian Red Cross/Supplied

Sandbags are piled in from of St. Paul Lutheran Home in Melville.

Mike McKinnon/Global News

UPDATE: Man charged following altercation near Whyte Avenue – Edmonton

EDMONTON – Police have charged a 26-year-old man with assault with a weapon in connection with a stabbing near Whyte Avenue early Sunday morning.

Levi Robert Gunnarson was charged with assault with a weapon, possession of a weapon, and two counts of breach conditions of recognizance.

Around 3:10 a.m. Sunday, police responded to reports of an altercation between four men in the area of 81 Ave. and 104 St.

It was reported that a 31-year-old male had been struck with an unknown object, and a 22-year-old man stabbed.

Both men were taken to hospital, where the 22-year-old was in serious but non-life-threatening condition.

One man was apprehended nearby; he and a number of witnesses were interviewed by investigators.

Police continue to investigate the circumstances that led up to the altercation, but believe alcohol may have been a contributing factor. They add that the incident does not appear to be random.

On Monday, detectives said they believe there may be one more adult male involved in the altercation.

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  • Painful day in court for family of man fatally stabbed on Whyte Ave. 7 years ago

Suspects sought after 10 people shot in crossfire on Bourbon Street in New Orleans – National

WATCH ABOVE: Aftermath footage of shooting in New Orleans’ French Quarter.

NEW ORLEANS – One person remained in critical condition Monday after a weekend gunfight on Bourbon Street, the historic thoroughfare of nightspots that is a major destination for visitors in tourist-loving New Orleans.

Police said ten people were hit when shots rang out at about 2:45 a.m. Sunday. Five remained hospitalized at LSU Hospital. In addition to the critical patient, four were stable.

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Police initially said nine people were shot but updated the number Monday afternoon, reporting that they are now counting a man who had walked into a police station in a district neighbouring the French Quarter Sunday afternoon, almost 12 hours after the shootings. The man said he had been shot on Bourbon Street that morning. He had a minor chest wound and refused medical attention.

Victims’ identities and hometowns have not been made public but police said some were not from New Orleans.

Images captured from a surveillance camera above a bar showed people running down the street in the chaos of the shooting. Police placed several views of the shootout online asking for the public’s help in identifying the two shooters.

The violence happened as New Orleans prepares for a major summer tourist event: The annual Essence Festival opens Thursday and runs through the Fourth of July weekend.

“This Essence Festival, we’re using an overtime package of about $300,000 to make sure there’s more police officers here in the French Quarter area,” police chief Ronal Serpas said Sunday. “There will be plenty of police officers visible during Essence and July Fourth.”

What sparked the shooting remained unclear. “What happened was two young men got angry at each other and shot at each other,” Serpas said.

The scene on Bourbon Street on Monday was business as usual, with music blaring from bars as tourists strolled, drinks in hand.

Associated Press reporter Kevin McGill contributed to this story.

©2014The Canadian Press

NHL $69-million salary cap may spark money-saving trades

PHILADELPHIA – Trade talk mostly fizzled at the NHL draft.

“It just seemed to me there were a lot of phone calls, a lot of talking, people interested, but nothing really happened,” Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray said.

Aside from Ryan Kesler getting dealt before proceedings got underway and then James Neal a few hours later, the weekend passed without much major action.

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One small trade — the Calgary Flames getting Brandon Bollig from the Chicago Blackhawks for a third-round pick — looked like a preview of many more to come as cap-strapped teams try to get under the US$69 million ceiling set for next season.

“It’s a puzzle to put together and try to make all the numbers work,” Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said Saturday.

“That’s clearly the biggest factor you’re faced with when you have salary cap being what it is. You’re going to have some tough decisions. We’re not the only team that’s in that position. There will be other teams that face the same things.”

Without naming names, Bowman was describing the plight of the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers, along with his Blackhawks, who almost certainly have to make sacrifices just to be cap-compliant.

In the Bruins’ case, it might mean saying goodbye to Jarome Iginla, a 61-point player and a major piece of their Presidents’ Trophy-winning season.

“If we can’t sign Jarome, we’re going to find a good player at that position,” Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said Friday night. “We feel all our young guys and our current players are going to get better.”

It’s unclear what else the Bruins might have to do with forwards Reilly Smith, Jordan Caron and Justin Florek and defenceman Torrey Krug and Matt Bartkowski needing new deals as restricted free agents.

According to CapGeek, Boston has just over $1.6 million to spend.

The Flyers, technically over the cap by a couple hundred thousand dollars, have some room with defenceman Chris Pronger bound for long-term injured reserve.

But they’re still reportedly shopping Vincent Lecavalier to rid themselves of at least part of his $4.5 million cap hit for the next four seasons.

Chicago managed to part with Bollig’s $1.25-million cap hit but might have to clear more salary to fill out the roster.

Enter the likes of the Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres, teams with salary-cap space to take on salary. Oilers GM Craig MacTavish knows players won’t be given away, but talent should be available.

“We’re in a pretty enviable position to be able to take on some of those contracts,” MacTavish said Friday night. “Those are really the style of deals that we’ve looked to make over the last little while where we give up a few assets, take the contract and the cap space, so we’ll be trying to do some of that.”

That was part of what went into the Flames trading for Bollig, who just signed a contract extension in March.

When the cap was set at $69 million, it was at least $1 million, if not more, less than GMs were hoping for.

“We’ve been looking at situations with the cap where people that may have difficulty or be in a situation where they had to move money,” Flames GM Brad Treliving said.

Sabres GM Tim Murray implied that he’d be willing to accept expensive contracts, but only if he gets an asset like a draft pick in return.

“I tried to make a big trade today, a unique trade,” Murray said Saturday.

“I said, ‘We got to do like the NBA.’ So I went to a team and said, ‘You trade me your first pick from yesterday.’ He didn’t want to be the first guy to do that. So I’m not sure I did, either. But I thought it was a good idea.”

There could be a market for those NBA-style deals if GMs determine the cap space gained is worth it.

More likely, teams up against the $69 million limit will be getting partial value on current players to clear room to manoeuvre when unrestricted free agency opens Tuesday.

Plenty of money will get handed out then, and the teams that don’t have the space to do it will be forced to rely on younger players to fill the void.

Bowman, who has gone through this during two Stanley Cup runs, called it just the continuation of the development cycle.

“It’s a constant process of finding guys who will be able to fill those roles,” he said.

“It’s a never-ending game. That’s the state of the game today. But you have to find players, whether they’re free agents or like today draft picks and work with making it to the point where they can be NHL contributors.”

UPDATE: Squamish Service Road reopened

VANCOUVER, B.C. — A section of the Squamish River Forest Service Road that was washed out over the weekend has now re-opened.

The washout left hundreds of people stuck on the other side, according to a spokesperson from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

The washout was caused by heavy rain at the 23-kilometre marker of the road, where it crosses Mud Creek.  The Ministry was notified of the incident at 8 a.m. Sunday, and they expect it occurred late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

Hundreds of people were camping in the area. Ministry staff, local RCMP, Squamish Search and Rescue and Squamish First Nations were on site, offering the campers their assistance.

Three women interviewed by Global News were able to crawl through the muddy terrain, and out to the other side of the road. They described seeing, “canyons of mud.”

Ministry officials said that was the only way people could leave the site, before the road re-opened this afternoon.  They were urging people to stay put, due to the possibility of another slide.

Washouts occur frequently in this area.

– With Files from Julia Foy.

Aerial view of the road closure, Global News.

Washout in Squamish, Tabitha Saltys

Washout in Squamish, Tabitha Saltys

Washout in Squamish, Tabitha Saltys

Washout in Squamish, Tabitha Saltys

Washout in Squamish, Canadian Outback Rafting

Washout in Squamish, Canadian Outback Rafting

Washout in Squamish, Canadian Outback Rafting


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Heavy rainfall causes flash flooding for communities in southeast Saskatchewan

REGINA – Heavy rainfall is causing flooding problems for many communities in the southeast part of the province.

In Regina, the storm water drainage and domestic sewer systems were operating at capacity Sunday night, and officials recommended residents delay showers, baths, and even flushing until capacity could be reduced.

Emergency Management Staff at the Ministry of Government Relations said they are in contact with municipal officials to determine the scope of the flooding and the need for additional support.

The Mayor of Melville, Walter Streelaski, said that the city had issued a local state of emergency due to excessive flooding, Sunday morning.

Streelaski said a command centre is set up at City Hall and that fire trucks are being used to pump out the water, but they are unable to keep up with the amount.

Residents are urged to drastically minimize their water use, as the city’s sanitary system is overflowing with the amount of rain it’s received in the last 24 hours.

A bit of perspective from NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman on board the International Space Station. “Storm begins to swirl near Winnipeg, Canada.”

Reid Wiseman/NASA

Outside Melville

Carmen Bochek

Yorkton, Sk. This is on the East end of the city, going down Dracup Ave.

Karen Sheichuk/Supplied

Parking lot at Mosaic Stadium.

Adrian Raaber/Global News

Near Weyburn

Carrie Guenette/Supplied

#8 Highway north of Moosomin washed out.

Kristy Stewart/Supplied

Brittany Kreklewich snapped this shot while travelling through the Melville/Yorkton/Ituna area on Sunday.

Brittany Kreklewich/Supplied

Whitewood

Crystal Schaan/Supplied

A mass of earthworms flushed out by heavy rain in Regina.

Kent Morrison/Global News

Brittany Kreklewich snapped this shot while travelling through the Yorkton/Melville/Ituna area on Sunday.

Brittany Kreklewich/Supplied

Water up to the roof of a car stranded on Albert St. near stadium

Kent Morrison/Global News

Brittany Kreklewich snapped this shot while travelling through the Yorkton/Melville/Ituna area on Sunday.

Brittany Kreklewich/Supplied

Brittany Kreklewich snapped this shot while travelling through the Yorkton/Melville/Ituna area on Sunday.

Brittany Kreklewich/Supplied

Brittany Kreklewich snapped this shot in Regina on Sunday.

Brittany Kreklewich/Supplied

Rocanville

Kyla Chantel Broom

Horrible rain outside of Chamberlain. Strong wind speeds.

Melissa Nakhavoly/Global News

Taylor Field at Mosaic Stadium

Adrian Raaber/Global News

Regina

Nikki Peever/Supplied


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Melville is among many communities in the southern part of the province dealing with flash flooding.

The Town of Carnduff, the Rural Municipality of Mount Pleasant, and the Village of Maryfield have declared a local emergency due to heavy rain fall in the South East of the province.

Officials are urging residents to avoid travel if possible and to watch out for barricaded streets.

A number of highways across the province have also been shutdown, including High 8 from Moosomin to Spyhill.

SaskPower says roughly 8,000 people in southeast Saskatchewan are experiencing power outages due to flooding and winds. Crews are working to address the issues.

Meanwhile, SaskEnergy is warning residents to turn off gas if they are experiencing basement flooding.

Drivers are asked to avoid that part of the highway as severe flooding is crossing the road, and surrounding secondary gravel roads as well.

The overflow of water is also causing debris to collect on the roads.

Intense wind, rain hammering southern Manitoba – Winnipeg

WINNIPEG-Through most of southern Manitoba intense wind is wreaking havoc. Winds up to 80 kilometres per hour are ripping trees out of the ground, causing siding to peel off houses and causing power outages through most of Manitoba.

Here’s how high the wind gusts were throughout Manitoba Sunday:

Brandon         96 km/hGimli           83 km/hOak Point       83 km/hWinnipeg        81 km/hDeerwood        81 km/hPilot Mound     74 km/h

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Heavy rainfall warnings are also continuing in southern Manitoba Sunday. The western half of the province including Dauphin, Swan River, Brandon, Virden and Killarney are under a rainfall warning. Environment Canada says, “Precipitation associated with this weather system is now situated over southwestern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan and will slowly move northeastward into the western Manitoba parklands. Moderate to heavy rainfall will continue today on the backside of this system. An additional 30 to 50 mm of rain is expected over the next 24 hours with localized storm totals of 125 to 150 mm possible in areas close to the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border. Weather conditions will begin to improve later Monday.”

Saturday, the area was hit with heavy rainfall. Here’s total rainfall amounts from Friday to Sunday at 1:00 p.m. from Environment Canada:

Virden          137 mmPierson         124 mmBrandon arpt    117 mmDeloraine       116 mmMoosehorn       112 mmNeepawa          98 mmReston           97 mmForrest          92 mmHamiota          91 mmDauphin          88 mmBirtle           86 mmEriksdale        86 mmMelita           84 mmBoissevain       78 mm

The intense amount of rain is raising flood fears. The community of Cromer, Manitoba, southwest of Virden has been evacuated. Reston is asking for help with sandbagging efforts.

Activists push for guaranteed minimum income

MONTREAL – A group of academics and activists is trying to drum up interest in an ambitious plan to provide every Canadian with a guaranteed minimum level of income — whether or not they have a job.

Rob Rainer, a campaign director for the Basic Income Canada Network, envisions a country where everyone is assured a minimum of $20,000 annually to make ends meet.

“For many of us, we think the goal is no one should be living in poverty,” Rainer said at a conference on the issue over the weekend at McGill University.

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“That’s essentially what we’re striving to achieve.”

More than 100 speakers and participants were on hand for the conference, which focused on the merits of a guaranteed minimum income that would either replace or exist alongside existing social programs.

The idea is hardly new — the Canadian and Manitoba government conducted an experiment with the issue in the 1970s — but it has enjoyed a resurgence lately.

Switzerland is expected to hold a non-binding referendum this fall on whether to guarantee every citizen an annual income of Cdn $35,900.

And in the United States, the idea has supporters on both sides of the political spectrum.

Proponents on the left argue it represents an opportunity for greater redistribution of wealth, while those on the right see it as a chance to cut back on bureaucracy and return control to people’s lives.

The two sides disagree, however, on whether there would be accompanying tax hikes and whether other social programs would remain place.

Almaz Zelleke, a professor at New York University, said guaranteed income has rarely had this much attention in the United States since President Richard Nixon tried to introduce such a program for families in the 1960s. That effort was ultimately thwarted by Congress.

At the conference, Zelleke gave a presentation laying out how a guaranteed income could be offset by taxes and work from a practical, fiscal standpoint. But even she admitted it would be a challenge to get such a plan on the agenda in Washington, D.C.

“To be very honest, it’s not on the agenda of any mainstream political party in the United States,” she said in an interview, but added a recent surge in media attention has, helpfully, “generated discussion among people who understand that there are problems with the welfare state.”

In Canada, the town of Dauphin, Man., was famously the subject of a government pilot project where residents were provided with a guaranteed minimum income from 1974-1978.

The goal of the program, which cost $17 million, was to find out whether providing extra money directly to residents below a certain household income level would make for effective social policy.

The community’s overall health improved and hospital rates declined during the period, according to a 2010 study by Evelyn Forget, a professor at the University of Manitoba.

Former Conservative senator Hugh Segal, who officially resigned from his post this month, argued for years in favour of the idea, saying it would provide more effective services at a reduced cost.

Quebec’s new minister of employment and social solidarity was also once a prominent advocate.

Francois Blais, a former political science professor, published a book in 2002 called “Ending Poverty: A Basic Income for All Canadians,” though Philippe Couillard’s Liberal government has made no commitments on the issue.

At the federal level, Rainer conceded it’s far from the agenda of the current Conservative government, but said there’s a “little bit of traction” among opposition parties.

Liberal Party delegates passed two resolutions related to guaranteed minimum income at a meeting in Montreal this year — a move Rainer called “pretty significant.”

The Green Party also endorses the notion in its party platform.

“The idea is not new, it’s not really radical,” Rainer said, pointing out that seniors and families with children receive a form of guaranteed income from the government.

“Where it does become more radical is when you get into the area of the working age population, and the idea that people should receive some income whether they are in the labour market or not. That’s a fairly radical idea in our culture, because most of us were brought up to believe that in order to survive you have to work.”

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Israel targets Hamas sites amid suggestion of reoccupying Gaza Strip – National

WATCH: Several rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel on June 28. One hit a paint factory in Israel’s southern city of Sderot, burning it to the ground. Footage believed to be from the scene shows a large fireball.

JERUSALEM – Israel carried out airstrikes on militant targets in the Gaza Strip early Sunday after a rocket attack, the military said, as the country’s foreign minister suggested it consider reoccupying the Hamas-ruled territory to stop the increasing rocket fire.

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There has been an increase in rockets launched from the Hamas-ruled territory toward Israel this month, as the army has carried out a wide-ranging operation against Hamas in the West Bank while searching for three Israeli teens who Israel says were abducted by the Palestinian militant group.

The military said it targeted 12 locations in Gaza on Sunday, including concealed rocket launchers, weapons manufacturing sites and what it called “terror activity” sites. The airstrikes were in retaliation for six rockets from Gaza that struck Israel the previous evening. Two of the rockets hit a factory in the town of Sderot, setting it ablaze.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said limited operations against militants in Gaza only strengthen Hamas.

“The alternative is clear,” Lieberman said on Army Radio. “Either with each round we attack terror infrastructure and they shoot, or we go to full occupation.”

Israel unilaterally pulled out of the Gaza Strip in 2005, but continues to control access to the territory by air, land and sea. Israeli leaders have said the pullout cleared the way for Hamas to seize control of the territory two years later and turn it into a base for rocket attacks on Israel, but there has been little support for reoccupying the territory.

On Friday, an Israeli airstrike killed two Palestinian militants in Gaza who were members of the Tawhid Brigades, an ultraconservative Islamic militant group unaffiliated with Hamas, according to Palestinian security officials and militants from the group. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters and the militants because they operate underground.

WATCH: Security footage captures fatal Israeli air strike

The security officials had initially said the two fighters were members of a militant group allied with Hamas that often fires rockets at Israel.

Since the beginning of June, over 60 rockets have been launched from Gaza toward Israel — more than four times the amount in May — and 28 of the rockets hit Israeli territory, the military said. The crude, makeshift devices rarely wound anyone, but they have caused damage and sown panic in communities along the frontier.

Also on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he has asked Israeli authorities to consider outlawing a Muslim group in Israel, following calls in support of abducting Israeli soldiers at a demonstration in an Arab-Israeli town.

“In many cases, those behind such calls and demonstrations are from the northern branch of the Islamic Movement,” Netanyahu said. “It constantly preaches against the state of Israel and its people publicly identify with terrorist organizations such as Hamas.”

Israel has arrested the movement’s leader, Raed Salah, on a number of occasions, banning him from Jerusalem and accusing him of incitement. Salah has called for a third intifada, or Palestinian uprising, against Israel.

In 2003, Israel jailed Salah, an Israeli citizen, for more than two years, saying his organization funneled money to Hamas, which at the time was frequently carrying out deadly suicide bombings in Israel.

Associated Press writer Mohammed Daraghmeh in Ramallah, West Bank contributed to this report.

©2014The Associated Press

A look at the 5 highs and lows from the fall session of Parliament

OTTAWA – A number of major themes echoed through the turbulent fall session of Parliament that comes to an end this week. Here is a quick look at some of them:

Politics: With the next scheduled federal election less than a year away, the Conservatives were working to hold their majority, while the New Democrats pondered byelection omens and the Liberals piled their political eggs in Justin Trudeau’s basket.

There were six byelections held in June and November, and the Conservatives held onto four seats — despite the oft-repeated maxim that byelections tend to go against a party in power. The Liberals held one and picked up another. The NDP, however, saw popular support plummet. The party finished second in Trinity-Spadina, which they had won with 54.5 per cent of the vote in 2011. In Whitby-Oshawa, the party fell to 8.1 per cent of the vote from 22.3.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper answers a question during question period in the House of Commons, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014 in Ottawa.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

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Finance: Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government touted the imminent return to a budget surplus, while rolling out a series of targeted goodies, including a new child benefit, tax breaks and income-splitting for families, EI premium cuts for small business and new infrastructure spending pledges. Plunging oil prices are a growing cloud on the government horizon, however.

The NDP and Tom Mulcair pledged to bring in a multibillion-dollar program of $15-a-day child care. That came just before Quebec announced changes to its own cherished $7-a-day program, saying it would jack up prices in a sliding scale.

READ MORE: Unreal exchange in House of Commons over Canada’s involvement in Iraq

Trudeau condemned income-splitting, but was short on details of his own plans. He did say he wants to stress infrastructure and help for the middle class as the basis of his fiscal policies. He suggested Harper’s tax breaks are wrong and that he might reverse some.

A woman leaves the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after paying her respects at the National War Memorial, where Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, was killed by a gunman, in Ottawa on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Terror: Terrorism re-emerged as a political issue in the fall with the brutal rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria and disturbing attacks at home. The Conservatives dispatched six CF-18 fighter-bombers to participate in air strikes against ISIL. This came over the objections of the NDP and Liberals, who both argued for more humanitarian aid and against military action. Trudeau scorned Harper’s use of jets as a macho gesture.

Attacks in Quebec and Ottawa which left two soldiers dead and saw a shootout in the Centre Block of Parliament sparked a debate over what constitutes terrorism. Were the attacks the work of deranged individuals, as the opposition argued, or terrorist-inspired assaults which should be warnings for the future, as the government claimed?

Federal Liberal MPs Massimo Pacetti and Scott Andrews are shown in recent file photos.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Scandals: Anonymous accusations of misconduct, which led Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to suspend two of his MPs, sparked an onerous discussion of harassment on Parliament Hill and how to deal with it. The debate sits stalled, with no clear way forward and two political careers in limbo.

The government’s handling of veterans benefits had the opposition demanding that Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino resign or be fired. Each government effort to extricate itself from the political mire just seemed to dig it in deeper.

An April trial date was set for disgraced Sen. Mike Duffy on charges of fraud, breach of trust and bribery. That will resurrect the whole Senate expense scandal just five months before the scheduled election.

Minister Stephen Harper walks past Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit Thursday Sept.5, 2013 in St.Petersburg, Russia.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Foreign Affairs: Although Harper has long been accused of ignoring foreign policy and scorning the United Nations, the autumn saw his stock rise internationally. Amid Russian aggression against Ukraine, Harper travelled to Kyiv to show his support and won international notice for a public rebuke of Russia’s Vladimir Putin at a summit in Australia.

He and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird worked behind the scenes as Michaelle Jean was selected to lead the Francophonie. The government also contributed money, vaccines, equipment and people to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The opposition nagged about some details, but generally left the government’s foreign efforts alone.

©2014The Canadian Press