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Markham man accused of defrauding women in online romance scam

NEWS STAFF | posted Friday, Aug 4th, 2017

Randolph Aquino allegedly defrauded three women in a romance scam, Aug. 3, 2017. TORONTO POLICE SERVICE/Handout
Toronto police are trying to track down a Markham man suspected of defrauding three women of more than $1,000,000 in a romance scam.

It’s alleged Randolph Aquino contacted women on dating websites that included Match.com, Ourtime.com and Chemistry.com.

The victims were misled into believing they were involved in a relationship with a wealthy person who was in trouble in a foreign country and needed cash.

They wired the money into a business account with the name “Tresa Group Ltd.”

Investigators believe Aquino may have fled to the Philippines.

He is described as 46 years old, clean-shaven, five-foot-seven,180 pounds with short hair. He dresses well and describes himself as a professional in the financial services industry.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 416-808-7300.

Toronto police create dedicated bike lane enforcement unit

NEWS STAFF | posted Friday, Aug 4th, 2017

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The Toronto Police Service is cracking down on drivers who park in bike lanes.

The Parking Enforcement Unit has announced it will be permanently assigning three officers to oversee the city’s bicycle lane network.

The three officers will work Monday to Friday and will be using social media to assist them in finding and ticketing anyone parking in the bike lanes.

Regular duty parking enforcement officers will also continue to patrol the bicycle lanes for infractions.

Last year, Toronto police wrote 7,285 bike lane tickets. During the first seven months of 2017, police issued almost 5,000 tickets.

Ontario women get free access to abortion pill as of Aug. 10

THE CANADIAN PRESS AND NEWS STAFF | posted Friday, Aug 4th, 2017

This Sept. 22, 2010 photo shows bottles of the abortion-inducing drug RU-486 in Des Moines, Iowa, which Planned Parenthood of the Heartland clinic doctors can remotely prescribe using a telemedicine terminal. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
The abortion-inducing drug RU-486 is shown in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 22, 2010. (AP photo/Charlie Neibergall) 

Women in Ontario will be able to get an abortion pill for free with a prescription as of Aug. 10.

Mifegymiso, an alternative to surgical abortion, is a combination of the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol.

It can be used to terminate pregnancies at an early stage, up to seven weeks from the start of a woman’s last menstrual period.

The window can be up to nine weeks. The drug can be used for a pregnancy with a “gestational age up to 49 days as measured from the first day of the Last Menstrual Period (LMP) in a presumed 28-day cycle,” according to a Government of Canada website.

The Ontario government says it will be available next Thursday at participating pharmacies for women with a valid health card and prescription.

“The commitment to publicly funding Mifegymiso means women across Ontario will have fair and equal access to safe abortion without payment, judgment or exception,” Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister of the Status of Women, said in a statement on Thursday.

Dr. Eric Hoskins, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, said Queen’s Park is “safeguarding women’s right to choose … making it easier to access health care where and when they need it.”

However, one pro-life group says it’s that ‘when-and-where’ – as well as the entire issue of abortion – that has them concerned.

“We have great concerns about the abortion pill. It’s a type of procedure which interferes with the natural process of motherhood,” Diane Watts, a researcher at REAL Women, told CityNews on Thursday.

“There may be complications. To assume that if you’re in the country, away from a medical doctor or from a hospital, everything’s going to go extremely well is a bit of a stretch,” Watts said, adding that women could be “left on their own to deal with this situation, which could take days, which could be painful, which could be traumatic.”

Health Canada’s website says that there are already procedures in place for physician oversight.

The pill can only be dispensed by a physician. While the patient does not have to take the pill in front of their doctor, “anyone using the drug is required to attend appointments at a medical clinic at certain stages in treatment.” There can be complications, the government warns, and it is estimated that up to one in 20 women who use this drug will require a follow-up surgical procedure because their pregnancy is not successfully terminated.

New Brunswick and Alberta also cover Mifegymiso, and the Quebec government has said it hopes to do so.

Related links:

The abortion pill vs the morning-after pill: What’s the difference?

Health Canada fact sheet on Mifegymiso

What’s the difference between the morning-after pill and the abortion pill? (Planned Parenthood)


Related stories:

Counter-protesters target controversial anti-abortion demonstrators at Ryerson

Alberta latest province to cover the cost of abortion pill Mifegymiso

Ontario making abortion pill Mifegymiso free for all who need it

Leaside day camp operator charged in child porn investigation

NEWS STAFF | posted Friday, Aug 4th, 2017

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Christopher MacDonald, who owns and operates AFTERFOUR day camp in Leaside, is facing numerous charges related to an online child porn investigation (Linkedin)
A 32-year-old day camp operator is facing numerous charges in a child pornography investigation.

Police say they searched a home in the Bayview and Moore Avenue area on Thursday following an online investigation into the trading of child sexual abuse material between April 2017 and May 2017.

Christopher MacDonald has been charged with two counts of accessing child pornography, two counts of possessing child pornography and one count each of making child pornography available and making child pornography.

CityNews has learned that MacDonald has owned and operated AFTERFOUR, a day camp in Leaside for children between the ages of 6 and 14 for the last four years. However, police say they have no information at this time that any of the children he works with at the camp are involved in this case.

A statement posted on the camp’s website attributed to Attila “Gabriel” Branyiczky says he intends to keep the camp open and running and any requests for refunds will be dealt with.

Toronto home sales drop 40% compared with a year ago

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Aug 3rd, 2017

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A ‘For Sale’ sign sits in front of a house in Toronto on April 20, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

The Toronto Real Estate Board says property sales tanked 40.4 per cent last month compared with July 2016.

The drop was led by the detached home market both in City of Toronto and the surrounding areas.

The board says the Multiple Listing Service composite benchmark price was up 18 per cent on a year-over-year basis. However, the benchmark was down 4.6 per cent compared with June.

The latest data follows moves by the Ontario government earlier this year to rein in the real estate market.

Home prices have been on a decline since April, when the province introduced more than a dozen changes – including a 15 per cent tax on foreigners purchasing property – aimed at cooling the Greater Toronto Area’s real estate market.

The board says foreign buyers represent a small part of the real estate market and the decline has more to do with potential homebuyers waiting to see how market conditions evolve.

Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse out of world championships with injury

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Aug 3rd, 2017

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Canada’s Andre De Grasse celebrates bronze in the men’s 100-metre final during the athletics competition at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 14, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse will miss the upcoming world championships due to a torn right hamstring.

De Grasse suffered the injury on Monday during a training session at Mile End Stadium in London. An initial ultrasound revealed a hamstring strain and a further evaluation in Munich revealed a more severe diagnosis and competition in London to be ruled out.

De Grasse said that the 100-metre race in London was the focus of his entire year.

“Injuries are a part of the sport, and the timing of this one is especially unfortunate,” De Grasse said in a statement on his Facebook page. “While I’m in the best shape of my life and extremely disappointed that I will not have the chance to compete for my country in London, I can’t forget or be ungrateful for the successes that I’ve been blessed with up to this point in my career.”

De Grasse adds: “I’ll be back stronger and faster than ever.”

The 22-year-old from Markham, Ont., was due to race against Usain Bolt in the 100 metre final at London Olympic Stadium. Bolt, an 11-time world champion, plans to retire after the worlds. De Grasse was supposed to open the worlds with the 100 heats on Friday before the final on Saturday.

The injury is a big blow to the Canadian team which was relying on De Grasse for medals at the worlds. He was a medal threat in both the 100 and 200 metres and also served as the anchor on Canada’s 4×100 relay team.

“I really feel for Andre, I know he really wanted to make a mark here at the world championships,” Athletics Canada head coach Glenroy Gilbert said in a statement. “Injuries are part of the sport, obviously, the timing is terrible.

“As a team the focus doesn’t change, we need to be ready to compete starting Friday. We’ve been talking about the depth of the program, now is a chance for some of our other stars to shine, and have some of our up and coming athletes step up.”

De Grasse has had a strong season in the Diamond League and was atop the standings in both the 100 and 200 events.

De Grasse won bronze in the 100, silver in the 200 and bronze in the 4×100-metres relay at last summer’s Rio Olympics. He won bronze at the 2015 worlds in the 100 metres while also capturing a bronze with the 4×100-metres relay team.

Skin burns force Health Canada to recall 16 models of iPhone glitter gel cases

NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Aug 3rd, 2017

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Several models of iPhone liquid gel glitter cases which have been recalled by Health Canada.
Health Canada has joined in a worldwide recall of several styles of Liquid Glitter iPhone Cases after reports the cases leaked and caused skin burns.

MixBin Electronics makes the cases for the popular iPhone 6, 6s and 7 models which were manufactured in China and imported into the United States.

MixBin says the liquid and glitter can leak out of the case if it breaks or cracks and can cause irritation, blisters or burns if it comes into contact with the skin.

Health Canada says so far there have been no reports of injuries or incidents reported in Canada. Four reports of chemical burns, itching, redness, and blisters due to leaks have been reported in England while another 19 reports of leakage causing skin irritation were received from consumers in the U.S.

Approximately 11,400 of the 267,000 units worldwide were sold in Canada at Victoria’s Secret stores, online and airport duty-free shops from October 2015 to June 2017.

16 models of these iPhone cases sold in Canada have been recalled by Health Canada

August long weekend need to know: Caribbean Carnival style; what’s open/closed

SAMANTHA KNIGHT AND PATRICIA D'CUNHA | posted Thursday, Aug 3rd, 2017

A masquerader performs on Lakeshore Boulevard during the Grand Parade at the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival in Toronto on Saturday, August 4, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu
A masquerader performs on Lakeshore Boulevard during the Grand Parade at the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival in Toronto on Aug. 4, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu
Good news: The August long weekend is upon us. Bad news: It is the second-last long weekend of the summer. But let’s not dwell on the negative. Instead, put all your energy into planning your much-needed three-day weekend. That’s three days of fun in the sun.

The highlight of the weekend is the Toronto Caribbean Carnival parade, which dances its way along a stretch of Lake Shore Boulevard on Saturday. Road closures will be in effect.

Civic Day goes by different names in other provinces and even in different cities in Ontario. In Toronto, the day is known as Simcoe Day. Since Monday is a civic holiday, most stores and malls will be open. Below is a list of what’s open and closed.

If you plan on exploring the city this long weekend, the TTC is extending its weekend day pass, allowing individuals or groups to have unlimited travel for $12.50. The pass can be purchased between this Saturday and Simcoe Day on Monday. Children under 12 ride for free. Another bit of good news: no subway closures this weekend.


Events

Caribbean Carnival Grand Parade
As the Caribbean Carnival prepares to come to an end this weekend, the party is ramping up for the annual Grand Parade on Saturday. The parade is the largest event of the Caribbean Carnival, bringing out thousands of masqueraders in colourful, striking costumes, along with steel pan bands. Those taking part will start at Exhibition Place and travel east along a 3.5-kilometre stretch of Lake Shore before returning back to Exhibition Place. Festivities run from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Caribbean Carnival in Toronto.

Paraders march down Lakeshore Boulevard at the Caribbean Carnival in Toronto on Aug. 3, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu

 

Rogers Cup
The world’s best in women’s tennis will be taking over the Aviva Centre at York University for the Rogers Cup. The tournament runs from Aug. 5 to 13 and features Canadian Genie Bouchard, Serena and Venus Williams, Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep and many more. Qualifying rounds kick off on Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. and the first round of play gets underway Monday morning at 10 a.m. During the first two days of Rogers Cup, families can also take part in the free community weekend, which offers various activities and entertainment.

American Serena Williams celebrates a point during the final of the Rogers Cup against Romanian Sorana Cirstea at Rexall Centre in Toronto on Aug. 11, 2013. AFP/Getty Images/Geoff Robins

 

 

Veld Music Festival
Electronic music fans will be flocking to Downsview Park for the 6th annual Veld Music Festivalthis weekend. The two-day event features over 30 dance music and hip-hop acts, with headliners Future, Major Lazer, Tiësto, Zedd, Migos and Tory Lanez. Ink Entertainment announced new safety measures for this year’s festival, including a designated space for women who may feel unsafe, a strong medical presence, man-made shade areas and accessible washrooms. Naloxone, which acts as an antidote to the opioid fentanyl, will also be permitted. Saturday’s show gets underway at noon and the show on Sunday is set for 1 p.m.

Toronto Food Truck Festival
Woodbine Park will be bursting with flavour this Civic holiday long weekend. The annual Toronto Food Truck Festival is taking over the park from Thursday to Monday. It features some must-eats, including 32 Below, the Apple Fritter Factory, Canadian Corn Roasters, Eva’s Original Chimneys, Smoke’s Poutinerie and Hogtown Smoke. There will also be local talent Friday through Monday and live-eating challenges. Admission is free.

People hanging out at the Toronto Food Truck Festival. Photo credit: torontofoodtruckfestival.com

 

Art & Music Ontario Festival
Celebrate creativity this long weekend at the Art & Music Ontario festival. The four-day event showcases the province’s artsy side with activities, entertainment, food and beverages. Programming includes Martk’d, which uses art and sneakers as an engagement tool to connect with contemporary culture, a pop-up art competition, and a DIY art and music zone. Some of the musical artists on hand will be Lowell and The Johnnys. The free festival runs Thursday through Monday on the West Island of Ontario Place.

What’s open and closed

Open

  • TTC will run on holiday service.
  • GO will run on a Saturday schedule.
  • Tourist attractions: Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada’s Wonderland, Casa Loma, CN Tower, Hockey Hall of Fame, Ontario Science Centre, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Zoo
  • Major malls: Bramalea City Centre (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Dufferin Mall (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Eaton Centre (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Fairview Mall (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Pacific Mall (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.), Toronto Premium Outlets (10 a.m. to 9 p.m.), Square One (10 a.m. to 9 p.m.), Promenade (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Upper Canada Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Vaughan Mills Mall (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Hillcrest Mall (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Scarborough Town Centre (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Sherway Gardens (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), and Yorkdale Shopping Centre (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Select Beer Store locations will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here for a list.
  • Several LCBO stores will be open. Click here to search your store.
  • Select grocery stores, call ahead for your local store hours
  • City-run facilities like outdoor pools, splash pads, golf courses, historic museums, High Park Zoo, and the Toronto Island Park. Click here for more information.
  • Garbage collection: Curbside pickup is not provided on any Monday, but other solid waste collection will be afffected. Click here for details.

 

Closed

  • Government offices, municipal buildings and banks
  • All Toronto Public Library branches are closed on Sunday and Monday
  • No mail delivery in several provinces including Ontario

Road closures

Caribbean Carnival Grand Parade: Lake Shore Boulevard West from Strachan Avenue to Colborne Lodge Drive will be closed from 12:01 a.m. on Saturday to 6 a.m. on Sunday. The on-ramp to the eastbound Gardiner Expressway from Lake Shore will also be closed.

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