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Robin Hood flour recall due to E. coli expanded across Canada

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Apr 5th, 2017

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall for the Robin Hood brand of all-purpose flour due to possible E. coli contamination. HANDOUT/CFIA

A recall of Robin Hood brand flour announced last month by federal health officials has now been expanded to all of Canada.A recall of Robin Hood brand flour announced last month by federal health officials has now been expanded to all of Canada.

The initial recall of 10-kilogram bags of flour was addressed to consumers in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

The affected flour carries a best-before date of April 17, 2018 (and a UPC code of 0 59000 01652 8).

The Public Health Agency of Canada said in late March that there were 25 cases of E. coli infection in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador. No deaths have been reported but at least a half-dozen people required hospital care.

The agency said everyone who had fallen ill had either recovered or was recovering and that most of those who became ill were men with an average age of 24.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says customers who have the affected flour should toss it out or return it for a refund.

The agency says food contaminated with E. coli may not look or smell spoiled, but can still make you sick. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, mild to severe abdominal cramps and watery to bloody diarrhea.

Canadian babies cry more than other babies and we think we know why

Jill Buchner | posted Wednesday, Apr 5th, 2017

Ever felt like your baby cries more than anyone else’s in the world? Well, if you’re Canadian, your suspicions might be true. A new meta-analysis from The Journal of Pediatrics has found that Canadian babies cry more than infants from just about every other country.

Psychologists in the UK set out to find how much babies really cry and, in doing so, ended up finding some major differences in infants across the globe. When they reviewed crying rates of about 8,700 babies, they found that, for the first six weeks of life, the average time for a baby to fuss or cry each day is 117 to 133 minutes; by the time a little one reaches 10 to 12 weeks, that number tends to drop to about 68 minutes. But, if you’re a parent in Canada, you can expect to hear about 150 daily minutes of crying at three to four weeks of life. The only babies with more powerful lungs live in the Netherlands, where parents hear a half-minute more fussing a day. German parents, on the other hand, are blessed with an average of just 80 noisy minutes.

Colic, which is generally diagnosed when an infant cries for three or more hours a day for at least three days a week, was also significantly higher for Canadian babies. While lucky parents in Denmark and Germany had colic rates around six percent at three to four weeks of age, we suffer from a whopping 34 percent colic rate at the same stage of life.

Though the study authors say they can “only speculate” on the reasons why there are country differences, the Canadian parenting experts at Today’s Parent hazarded a few guesses.

Here’s why we think Canadian babies cry so much:

  • They keep getting “Please play again” on their Rrroll Up the Rim to Win cup.
  • They just looked outside and saw we still have snow in April. April!
  • They realized they’ll never have enough money to buy a house in any of our major cities.
  • They just Googled the American-Canadian exchange rate.
  • They’re still upset that Drake was snubbed at the Junos.
  • They tried to make a recipe but realized one of the ingredients was only available at Trader Joe’s.
  • They heard YouTube TV isn’t available in Canada.

Have any other ideas why Canadian babies cry more? Let us know.

Toronto area home prices soar in March, average price jumps 33.2%

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Apr 5th, 2017

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A “sold over asking” sign sits in front of a detached house with an artificial grass front lawn in Toronto . THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Rachel Verbin.
 
The Toronto area saw real estate prices soar again last month, with the average jumping 33.2 per cent from the same time last year.

The Toronto Real Estate Board says the average price in the area rose to $916,567 – up from $688,011 in March 2016.

Compared with February, the average price was up 4.6 per cent from $875,983.

At the high end of the range, the average price for detached houses in the Greater Toronto Area was $1.2 million in March – up 33.4 per cent from last year but about the same as in February.

The of number of transactions was up from last year, with residential sales volume rising 17.7 per cent to 12,077 units.

Condominium apartments and detached houses had the biggest increases in sales volume.

The MLS home price index, which adjusts for the various types of properties sold, was up 28.6 per cent from a year ago.

Bail hearing for Hamilton man accused in Yahoo email hack

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Apr 5th, 2017

karim-baratov
Karim Baratov with two of his lawyers Deepak Paradkar and Amedeo Di Carlo on March 17, 2017. CITYNEWS/Marianne Boucher

A Canadian man accused in a massive hack of Yahoo emails is expected to appear in a Hamilton court Wednesday for a bail hearing.

Karim Baratov was arrested last month under the Extradition Act.

U.S. authorities say Baratov and three others – two of them allegedly officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service – were indicted for computer hacking, economic espionage and other crimes.

Law enforcement officials allege in documents filed with an Ontario court that Baratov poses an “extremely high flight risk” in part due to his alleged ties to Russian intelligence agents.

U.S. authorities describe the 22-year-old Hamilton resident as an alleged “hacker-for-hire” and allege he has the money to leave Canada and the ability to destroy evidence while on the run.

Baratov’s lawyer calls the allegations against his client unfounded, saying he’ll seek to have Baratov released and plans to fight an extradition order.

6 unique summer camps for kids

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Apr 5th, 2017

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  1. Rooks to Cooks

Where: Midtown Toronto

Age: 5 to 11

Description: Get kids packing their own lunch and even preparing dinner. Depending on the class, kids can focus on kitchen skills (chopping, cooking techniques) or baking. They bring home some of the food they cook, and you get to be a guest at their pop-up restaurant during the week.

Price: $320-400

2. Girls Rock Camp Toronto

Girls 8-16 can learn their choice of instrument over a week-long period at the Sony Centre. Mentoring female rockers will help the girls play in a band, write songs and perform live on stage. The camp aims to help boost self-esteem and self-empowerment. The camps are four-days long and $300.

3. Opera Camp

Located at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, kids will write and compose their own operas, which includes choosing a role, rehearsing and creating costumes, props and a set for their production that they will perform for their loved ones on the last day. There are separate camps for grades 1-3, 4-8 and 9-12. Prices range from $310-$360.

4. News Academy

The News Academy at Ryerson teaches kids ages 14-17 how to shoot and edit their own video news stories. Kids will work in supervised groups and tackle news stories in downtown Toronto. They also will gain access to the television studio where they will record a professional newscast. Prices range from $355-$375.

5. Toronto Brigantine

A sailing program for kids 13-18. A more advanced program, teens can learn to sail large brigantine ships across Lake Ontario while being a part of a seamen crew.  Prices range from $120- $225 a week, and the camp is for ages 5-12.

6. SPFX Makeup Summer Camp

The College of Makeup Art and Design offers a special effects makeup summer camp for ages 13-18. Kids can learn how to create ugly bruises, scars, burns and zombie makeup. The week-long workshop costs $500 and includes a makeup kit.

Syria chemical attack death toll now at 72; new airstrikes hit

SARAH EL DEEB, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Wednesday, Apr 5th, 2017

The death toll from a suspected chemical attack on a northern Syrian town rose to 72 on Wednesday while activists and rescue workers kept finding more terrified survivors hiding in shelters near the site of the harrowing assault, one of the deadliest in years.

According to a Syrian opposition group, renewed airstrikes hit the town of Khan Sheikhoun, a day after the attack the Trump administration has blamed on the government of President Bashar Assad, saying that his patrons, Russia and Iran, bore “great moral responsibility” for the deaths.

Also Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council was to hold an emergency meeting in response to the strike and in Brussels, officials from 70 nations gathered for a major donors’ conference on the future of Syria and the region.

The attack on Khan Sheikhoun killed dozens of people on Tuesday, leaving residents gasping for breath and convulsing in the streets and overcrowded hospitals. Videos from the scene showed volunteer medics using fire hoses to wash the chemicals from victims’ bodies. Haunting images of lifeless children piled in heaps reflected the magnitude of the attack, which was reminiscent of a 2013 chemical assault that left hundreds dead and was the worst in the country’s ruinous six-year civil war.

Syrian doctors said a combination of toxic gases are suspected to have been released during the airstrikes, causing the high death toll and severe symptoms.

President Donald Trump denounced the attack as a “heinous” act that “cannot be ignored by the civilized world.” German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel called on Russia to endorse a planned Security Council resolution condemning the attack.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said “all the evidence” he had seen so far in the latest chemical weapons attack in Syria “suggests this was the Assad regime … (that) did it in the full knowledge that they were using illegal weapons in a barbaric attack on their own people.”

Syria’s government denied it carried out any chemical attack. But early on Wednesday, Russia, a major ally of the Syrian government, alleged a Syrian airstrike hit a rebel arsenal, releasing the toxic agents.

Wednesday’s renewed airstrikes hit not far from the location of the suspected chemical attack, said Ahmed al-Sheikho, of the Idlib Civil Defence team. He said the strikes did not cause any casualties because the area had been evacuated following Tuesday’s attack.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 20 children and 17 women were among the 72 killed. Abu Hamdu, a senior member of the Syrian Civil Defence in Khan Sheikoun said his group has recorded 70 deaths.

He said his team of rescuers was still finding survivors, including two women and a boy hiding in an underground shelter beneath their home.

Police appeal for information in 1983 murder of 9-year-old girl

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Apr 5th, 2017

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More than 30 years after her death, Toronto police continue to search for the person responsible for the murder of nine-year-old Sharin Morningstar Keenan.

Dennis Melvin Howe, who would now be 76, is still wanted on a charge of first-degree murder in her death back in 1983.

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Police said Keenan was playing in Jean Sibelius Square on Brunswick Avenue near Bathurst Street shortly before 4 p.m. on Jan. 23, 1983, when she was abducted.

On Feb. 1, her body was found in the refrigerator of a rooming house on Brunswick where Howe rented a room. She was sexually assaulted and strangled.

At the time of her disappearance, police said Keenan was seen speaking to a man at the park. She never returned home.

Police are appealing to relatives who may have information on Howe’s whereabouts to contact them.

“Dead or alive, we’re looking for Dennis Melvin Howe. We have his DNA. Someone knows where he is. We want to hear from you,” Det.-Sgt. Stacy Gallant said in a release.

On Wednesday, police released a video for information leading to an arrest in the case. Police also released composite images of what Howe may look like today.

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Kendall Jenner’s protest Pepsi spot prompts online backlash

The Associated Press | posted Wednesday, Apr 5th, 2017

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Model and Kardashian clan member Kendall Jenner’s turn as a Pepsi-wielding protester has some on social media decrying the imagery as appropriation of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The “Live for Now Moments” video released Tuesday has Jenner in a platinum wig on a photo shoot when protesters amble by. She rips off her wig, smears away her lipstick and joins them, eventually handing an officer on the demonstration line a can of Pepsi. He gulps some down, and then grins as Jenner dances off with her new friends.

Reaction on social media ranged from some saying the imagery was tone-deaf, to it evoking a widely circulated photo of Black Lives Matter protester Leshia Evans last year in Louisiana. Evans was detained when she approached police at a demonstration in Baton Rouge.

In a statement late Tuesday night, Pepsi defended the ad.

“This is a global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think that’s an important message to convey,” the statement said.

Watch the ad below, and check out some of the online comments.

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