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TODAY -- Pictured: Roger Moore appears on NBC News' "Today" show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)

Sir Roger Moore, star of 7 James Bond films, dies at 89

ROBERT BARR AND JILL LAWLESS, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Roger Moore, the suavely insouciant star of seven James Bond films, has died in Switzerland. He was 89.

The British actor died Tuesday after a short battle with cancer, according to a family statement posted on Moore’s official Twitter account.

“We know our own love and admiration will be magnified many times over, across the world, by people who knew him for his films, his television shows and his passionate work for UNICEF, which he considered to be his greatest achievement,” the statement said.

Moore’s relaxed style and sense of whimsy, which relied heavily on the arched eyebrow, seemed a commentary on the essential ridiculousness of the Bond films, in which the handsome British secret agent was as adept at mixing martinis, bedding beautiful women and ordering gourmet meals as he was at disposing of super-villains trying to take over the world.

“To me, the Bond situations are so ridiculous, so outrageous,” he once said. “I mean, this man is supposed to be a spy and yet, everybody knows he’s a spy. Every bartender in the world offers him martinis that are shaken, not stirred. What kind of serious spy is recognized everywhere he goes? It’s outrageous. So you have to treat the humour outrageously as well.”

While he never eclipsed Sean Connery in the public’s eye as the definitive James Bond, Moore did play the role of secret agent 007 in just as many films as Connery did, and he managed to do so while “finding a joke in every situation,” according to film critic Rex Reed.

The actor, who came to the role in 1973 after Connery tired of it, had already enjoyed a long career in films and television, albeit with mixed success.

He was remembered warmly by fans of the popular U.S. 1950s-60s TV series “Maverick” as Beauregarde Maverick, the English cousin of the Wild West’s Maverick brothers, Bret and Bart. He also starred in the 1959 U.S. series “The Alaskans.”

In England, he had a long-running TV hit with “The Saint,” playing Simon Templar, the enigmatic action hero who helps put wealthy crooks in jail while absconding with their fortunes. By the time the series, which also aired in the United States, ended in 1969, his partnership with its producers had made him a wealthy man.

Such success followed a Time magazine review of one of his earliest films, 1956’s “Diane,” in which his performance opposite Lana Turner was dismissed as that of “a lump of English roast beef.”

In the 1970s, film critic Vincent Canby would dismiss Moore’s acting abilities as having “reduced all human emotions to a series of variations on one gesture, the raising of the right eyebrow.”

Born in London, the only child of a policeman, Moore had studied painting before enrolling in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He played a few small roles in theatre and films before his mandatory army duty, then moved to Hollywood in the 1950s. He appeared opposite Elizabeth Taylor in 1954’s “The Last Time I Saw Paris” and with Eleanor Parker in “Interrupted Melody” the following year.

In 1970, he became managing director for European production for Faberge’s Brut Productions. With the company, he co-starred with Tony Curtis in
The Persuaders!” for British television and was involved in producing “A Touch of Class,” which won a best-actress Oscar for Glenda Jackson.

Three years later, he made his first Bond film, “Live and Let Die.”

He would make six more, “The Man With the Golden Gun,” “The Spy Who Loved Me,” “Octopussy,” “Moonraker,” “For Your Eyes Only” and “A View to a Kill” over the next 12 years. And while the Bond of the Ian Fleming novels that the films were based on was generally described as being in his 30s, Moore would stay with the role until he was 57.

He continued to work regularly in films after handing over Bond to Timothy Dalton, but never with the same success. His post-Bond films included such forgettable efforts as “The Quest” with Jean-Claude Van Damme and “Spice World” with the Spice Girls.

In 1991, Moore became a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, having been introduced to the role by the late actress Audrey Hepburn. As Hepburn had, he threw much of his energy into the task.

“I felt small, insignificant and rather ashamed that I had travelled so much making films and ignored what was going on around me,” he said in describing how the work had affected him.

In 1996, when his UNICEF job took him to the World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, he disclosed that he too had been a victim.

“I was molested when I was a child – not seriously – but I didn’t tell my mother until I was 16, because I felt that it was something to be ashamed of,” he told The Associated Press.

He gave no details, but said it was important to encourage young victims not to feel guilty.

“They’re being exploited. We have to tell them that,” Moore said.

Moore received the Dag Hammarskjold Inspiration Award for his work with UNICEF and was named a commander in France’s National Order of Arts and Letters in 2008, an award he said was worth “more than an Oscar.” That same year he published an autobiography, “My Word Is My Bond,” which included details about his work on the Bond films, his friendship with Hepburn, his encounters with Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and other stars, and his health struggles –_ including a bout with prostate cancer, which he beat.

Moore was divorced three times, from skater Doorn Van Steyn in 1953, English singer Dorothy Squires in 1969 and Italian actress Luisa Mattioli, the mother of his children Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian, in 2000.

He married a fourth time, in 2002, to Swedish socialite Kristina Tholstrup.

Attend a Small Business Centre event near you

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

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Rogers and store managers will host customer events which allow small businesses the opportunity to meet and network with other small business owners, learn from local guest speakers and have access to Small Business Specialists with insights to drive their business and technology solutions forward.

Disclaimer: Rogers Communications is the parent company of this station and this website.

Attend a Small Business Centre event near you. For more information and to register, visit: rogers.com/businesscentres

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Sea lion drags girl into water in Richmond, B.C.

GEMMA KARSTENS-SMITH, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

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Sea lion drags girl into water (YouTube)

The man who shot heart stopping video of a sea lion snatching a little girl off a Vancouver-area wharf says at first he froze.

“I was just in shock. I didn’t know what to do at first,” Michael Fujiwara said a day after he shot the video on Saturday that shows the sea lion lunge up, grab the little girl’s white dress and pull her down into the water at the Steveston Wharf in Richmond, B.C.

The terrifying video that Fujiwara posted online shows a man immediately leaping into the water, scooping up the child and hauling her to safety.

Fujiwara, 23, said he believes the man is the girl’s grandfather, and he grabbed both of their hands to help pull them back up to the dock.

“I was just panicking, actually. I’ve never seen anything like that before. I just didn’t know how to react,” said Fujiwara who was having coffee at the wharf when he decided to pull his phone out to take some video of the sea lion swimming by the wharf moments before it snatched the girl.

“Everyone just thought it was super friendly and all, but seconds later the girl decided to sit on the side of the dock and that’s when the sea lion decided to jump out and drag her into the water,” Fujiwara said.

The family was visibly shaken by the incident, Fujiwara added, and immediately left the area.

Fujiwara posted the video online Saturday and by Sunday afternoon, the video had been viewed more than 2.6 million times on YouTube, and shared more than 700 times on Twitter.

Bob Baziuk, general manager of the Steveston Harbour Authority, said watching the video made his stomach turn.

“It’s an unfortunate incident, first and foremost. I hope the little girl’s okay,” he said. “But we’ve been trying to get that message out for years and years _ don’t feed the animals. You’re just asking for trouble when you do that.”

California sea lions often visit the area on their migratory cycle, hoping for handouts from fisherman, but signs are posted warning people not to feed any of the animals, Baziuk said.

“It’s kind of staggering and it’s a really unfortunate incident. But it happened and now that video is the poster child for why you don’t (feed the sea lions),” he said.

Danielle Hyson, a senior marine mammal trainer at the Vancouver Aquarium, said there has been an uptick in people feeding wildlife around the Vancouver area, from bears to birds. That behaviour leads to an increased number of dangerous close encounters.

“The more and more we feed wild animals, the more and more we’re putting our selves at risk for those situations,” she said.

Hyson said Fujiwara’s video appears to show the sea lion getting increasingly frustrated as the feeding stops.

“You saw him kind of initially lunge out of the water and give a little huff. That’s what we would call an aggressive precursor,” she explained. “So he’s letting the people know that he’s starting to get frustrated. And in that situation, the people should have backed off right away.”

Frustration can lead to aggression, Hyson added, noting that male California sea lions are powerful animals that can weigh more than 200 kilograms.

Despite their power, the marine mammals have big eyes and whiskers that can tug on human heart strings.

“They look cute and I know people have a natural fascination with them. They look like they’re water dogs but they absolutely are not,” Hyson said.

The trainer said she’s also concerned about the little girl’s health after watching the video. If the child suffered any sort of puncture or broken skin, she could be at risk of an infection that doctors could find difficult to treat.

“Seals and sea lions can carry some pretty nasty bacteria in their mouth,” Hyson said.

The Vancouver Aquarium is encouraging the family to get in touch for more information on how to handle a possible infection.

Drake beats Adele’s 2012 record, takes home 13 Billboard Music awards

MESFIN FEKADU, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Mandatory Credit: Photo by John Salangsang/BFA/REX/Shutterstock (8827062x)
Drake
Billboard Music Awards, Press Room, Las Vegas, USA - 21 May 2017

Hello! Drake has surpassed Adele’s record at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, picking up 13 awards.

Adele set a record at the show in 2012 with 12 wins. The rapper, who walked into the show Sunday with 22 nominations, won top artist, top male artist and top Billboard 200 album (“Views”), among others, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

“I got my whole family up here,” said Drake, who stood onstage with nearly two dozen people, including his father, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj.

Drake was presented the top artist award by Prince Jackson, the late Michael Jackson’s eldest son. Drake beat out Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Adele, Ariana Grande, the Weeknd, twenty one pilots, Shawn Mendes and the Chainsmokers for the top prize. Of those nominees, only Drake and the Chainsmokers attended the Billboard Awards.

But other big names showed up.

Cher, who received the Icon award, sang her dance anthem “Believe” in a glittery number that included pasties and blonde hair with pink tips. She later changed to a huge, curly black ‘do – and wore a black sheer bodysuit and leather jacket for “If I Could Turn Back Time.” Her performance had the audience on its feet, singing and dancing.

“I wanted to do what I do since I was 4 years old and I’ve been doing it for 53 years,” said Cher, who turned 71 on Saturday. “And I can do a five-minute plank. Just saying.”

“I think luck has so much to do with my success with a little bit of something thrown in,” she added.

Korean boy band BTS, who won top social artist, earned one of the night’s loudest ovations. Another highlight was Celine Dion.

In a beautiful, Met Gala-ready white gown, she belted out “My Heart Will Go On,” the Oscar-winning song from “Titanic. The film is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. John Legend and Florida Georgia Line also had a shining moment when they sang a duet version of the country duo’s soft hit, “H.O.L.Y.”

Dan Reynolds of the rock band Imagine Dragons led a moment of silence for Chris Cornell, who died Thursday. He called the Soundgarden and Audioslave singer “a true innovator,” “a musical architect,” “a prolific songwriter” and “a legendary performer” – as a large photo of Cornell singing with his eyes closed was displayed behind him.

“We send our respects as well as our love to Chris’ family at this time,” Reynolds said.

Miley Cyrus sang her breezy new single, “Malibu,” delivering a sound and muted style that marked a departure from the hits that made her a pop star years ago. She was teary eyed at the end of the performance.

“And for the first time in years with pants on,” Noah Cyrus, standing next to father Billy Ray Cyrus, introduced her older sister, who was wearing white shorts and a cowboy hat.

Minaj kicked off the show with an explosive nine-minute performance of her hit songs alongside her mentor Lil Wayne and frequent collaborator David Guetta. She recently broke Aretha Franklin’s record for most songs placed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart by a female artist.

Co-host Vanessa Hudgens impersonated Minaj’s rap style at the top of the show, and it was the first of the many good moments for the actress and singer Sunday night. Hudgens, who hosted with Ludacris, also sang Dion’s “I’m Your Lady” and wowed with her fashion choices. Even Drake noticed her, saying she looked “incredible.”

Beyonce and twenty one pilots each won five awards, while the Chainsmokers – who tied Drake with 22 nominations – won four awards, including top Hot 100 song for “Closer” with Halsey.

“This feels good but it feels so wrong because I love Drake so much,” said Halsey (Drake’s “One Dance” was also nominated for top Hot 100 song).

The Chainsmokers performed “Young” with Andrew Taggart on vocals and Alex Pall behind the board (they were also backed by a drummer), and Drake performed from the Fountains of Bellagio. Ed Sheeran sang “Castle on the Hill” from Santiago, Chile, while Bruno Mars performed his silky new single, “Versace on the Floor,” from Amsterdam.

Other performers include Lorde, Sam Hunt, Halsey, Camila Cabello and Julia Michaels.

At the show, Diddy honoured his former friend and artist Notorious B.I.G, who would have turned 45 on Sunday. Diddy also introduced CJ Wallace, B.I.G’s son, who spoke about his father’s legacy. Then Diddy showed the trailer of the documentary, “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story,” which will be available on Apple Music on June 25.

Former One Direction singer Zayn was named best new artist, while Justin Timberlake’s Oscar-nominated “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” won top radio song and top selling song.

Blake Shelton won top country artist and showed love for his beau and fellow singer Gwen Stefani.

“I felt like the luckiest guy in the room ’cause Gwen was here with me anyway,” he said.

Melania provides internet fodder with Trump hand swat

NEWS STAFF | posted Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

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Social media sees all – the good, the bad and even the subtlest of snubs.

When U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived in Israel on Monday, cameras were poised to capture the occasion. But they caught a little bit more than just the pomp and circumstance.

Trump is seen reaching back to take Melania’s hand and she seems to slap it away.

Social media had a field day with the clip with many sending kudos to the First Lady for the swat seen around the world.

TV host James Corden called her a “boss”:

And others cheered her on:

 

Man shot dead, woman found dead, near Gerrard and Logan

NEWS STAFF | posted Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

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Toronto police are investigating after a man was fatally shot and a woman was found dead near Gerrard and Logan on May 22, 2017. CITYNEWS/Bertram Dandy

Toronto police are investigating after a man was fatally shot and a woman was found dead in the city’s east end.

Emergency crews were called to Gerrard Street and Logan Avenue around 11:50 p.m. on Monday.

A man, believed to be in his 20s, was found shot. He was rushed to hospital, where he later died.

During the investigation, police went to a home on Cavell Avenue, where they found the body of a woman.

The cause of her death has not been released.

More to come

Apparent suicide bomber at Ariana Grande concert kills 22

GREGORY KATZ AND JILL LAWLESS, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Armed police gather at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Police says there are "a number of fatalities" after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

An apparent suicide bomber attacked an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, as it ended Monday night, killing 22 people among a panicked crowd of young concertgoers, some still wearing the star’s trademark kitten ears as they fled.

Teenage screams filled the arena just after the explosion, which also killed the attacker and injured dozens.

The attack sparked a nightlong search for loved ones – parents for the children they had accompanied or agreed to pick up, and friends for each other after groups were scattered by the blast. Twitter and Facebook were filled with appeals for the missing.

Public transport shut down, and taxis offered to give stranded people free rides home, while residents opened their homes to provide lodging.

The concert was attended by thousands of young music fans in northern England. The 23-year-old Grande, who was not injured, tweeted hours later: “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”

After Manchester, Grande was to perform at venues in Europe, including Belgium, Poland, Germany, Switzerland and France, with concerts in Latin America and Asia to follow. She has reportedly suspended her tour.

Forensic investigations are trying to determine if the attacker had accomplices, said Chief Const. Ian Hopkins. He provided no information about the person who set off the bomb. Hopkins said police are treating the blast as an act of terrorism “until we know otherwise.” The local ambulance service says 59 people were taken to hospitals.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, who chaired a meeting of the government’s COBRA emergency committee on Tuesday, said the attack was an act of “appalling, sickening cowardice.”

May called the attack among the worst Britain has experienced. She said police and security staff believe they know identity of the attacker but won’t reveal it at this time.

Campaigning for Britain’s June 8 election has also been suspended.

The explosion struck around 10:30 p.m. Monday night as Grande was ending the concert, part of her Dangerous Woman Tour. Police cars, bomb-disposal units and 60 ambulances raced to the scene as the scale of the carnage became clear. More than 400 officers were deployed.

Manchester Arena said on its website that the blast struck outside the venue as people were leaving. Some eyewitnesses said it happened in the foyer.

“A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena,” said 22-year-old concertgoer Majid Khan. “It was one bang and essentially everyone from the other side of the arena where the bang was heard from suddenly came running towards us as they were trying to exit.”

Home Secretary Amber Rudd decried “a barbaric attack, deliberately targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society – young people and children out at a pop concert.”

The city’s regional government and its mayor, Andy Burnham, were among scores of Twitter users who circulated the “MissinginManchester” hashtag, used by people looking for family members and friends.

Among the names being circulated was Olivia Campbell. Her mother, Charlotte Campbell, said the 15-year-old attended the concert with her best friend from school. He is hospitalized but Olivia is missing, the mother told ITV television’s Good Morning Britain breakfast show.

“I’ve called the hospitals. I’ve called all the places, the hotels where people said that children have been taken and I’ve called the police.”

She said she last heard from her daughter just before the concert.

“If anyone sees Olivia, lend her your phone, she knows my number.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Supporters of ISIL, which holds territory in Iraq’s Mosul and around its de facto capital in the Syrian city of Raqqa, celebrated the blast online. One wrote: “May they taste what the weak people in Mosul and (Raqqa) experience from their being bombed and burned,” according to the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group.

If the explosion is confirmed as a terrorist attack it would be the deadliest in Britain since four suicide bombers killed 52 London commuters on three subway trains and a bus in July 2005.

Video from inside the arena showed people screaming as they made their way out amid a sea of pink balloons.

Pop concerts and nightclubs have been a terrorism target before. Most of the 89 dead in the November 2015 attacks in Paris were at the Bataclan concert hall, which gunman struck during a performance by Eagles of Death Metal.

In Turkey, 39 people died when a gunman attacked New Year’s revelers at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul.

Manchester, 260 kilometres northwest of London, was hit by a huge Irish Republican Army bomb in 1996 that levelled a swath of the city centre. More than 200 people were injured, though no one was killed.

The Associated Press’ Leanne Italie, Mesfin Fekadu, Lori Hinnant and John Leiceister contributed to this story.

Iconic Honest Ed’s sign to be removed on Tuesday

CityNews | posted Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

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Toronto’s elongated goodbye to Honest Ed’s will reach an emotional conclusion on Tuesday, May 23rd, when the iconic sign is taken down.

A crane will begin removing the sign at around 11 a.m.

It will then be transported to storage for refurbishment. A portion of 23,000-bulb sign will then find a new home at the exterior of the Ed Mirvish Theatre near Yonge and Dundas streets.

Honest Ed’s has a storied history in Toronto. Ed Mirvish first opened the store at the corner of Bloor and Bathurst streets in 1948.

Over the years it became a colourful and beloved part of Toronto’s landscape, with Christmas turkey giveaways, quirky commercials and hand-painted signs touting the best deals in town.

Mirvish died at the age of 92 in July 2007, and his son, David Mirvish, took over the operation before its eventual sale and closure on Dec. 31, 2016.

“I’m sure (my father) would be delighted to see two of his great passions – Honest Ed’s, which in many ways was a theatrical setting for a grand parade of humanity, and the theatre world, which he loved – finally be joined together,” David Mirvish said in a release.

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