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FILE - In this June 16, 2006 file photo, Tom Petty performs at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. Petty has died at age 66. Spokeswoman Carla Sacks says Petty died Monday night, Oct. 2, 2017, at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles after he suffered cardiac arrest. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

Tom Petty, down-to-earth rock superstar, dies at 66

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Oct 3rd, 2017

Tom Petty, an old-fashioned rock superstar and everyman who drew upon the Byrds, the Beatles and other bands he worshipped as a boy and produced new classics such as “Free Fallin,” “Refugee” and “American Girl,” has died. He was 66.

Petty died Monday night at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles a day after he suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu, California, spokeswoman Carla Sacks said.

Petty and his longtime band the Heartbreakers had recently completed a 40th anniversary tour, one he hinted would be their last.

“I’m thinking it may be the last trip around the country,” Petty told Rolling Stone last year. “We’re all on the backside of our 60s. I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can. I don’t want to spend my life on the road. This tour will take me away for four months. With a little kid, that’s a lot of time.”

Usually backed by the Heartbreakers, Petty broke through in the 1970s and went on to sell more than 80 million records. The Gainesville, Florida, native with the shaggy blond hair and gaunt features was loved for his melodic hard rock, nasally vocals and down-to-earth style. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which inducted Petty and the Heartbreakers in 2002, praised them as “durable, resourceful, hard-working, likeable and unpretentious.”

“I’m shocked and saddened by the news of Tom’s passing, he’s such a huge part of our musical history, there’ll never be another like him.” Eric Clapton wrote in a statement.

Petty’s albums included “Damn the Torpedoes,” “Hard Promises” and “Full Moon Fever,” although his first No. 1 did not come until 2014 and “Hypnotic Eye.” As a songwriter, he focused often on daily struggles and the will to overcome them, most memorably on “Refugee,” “Even the Losers” and “I Won’t Back Down.”

“It’s sort of the classic theme of a lot of the work I’ve done,” he told The Associated Press in 1989. “I think faith is very important just to get through life. I think it’s really important that you believe in yourself, first of all. It’s a very hard to thing to come by. But when you get it, it’s invaluable.”

Petty didn’t just sing about not backing down, he lived it. In 1979, he was enraged when his record label was sold and his contract transferred. Stating that he would not be “bought and sold like a piece of meat,” he self-financed what became “Damn the Torpedoes” and declared bankruptcy rather than allowing his label, MCA, to release it. He eventually reached a new deal with MCA, for better terms. In the early 1980s, he was again at war with MCA, this time over the label’s plans to charge extra money, a dollar higher than the standard $8.98, for his album “Hard Promises.” He again prevailed.

Petty was both a musician and obsessive fan, one who met his childhood heroes and lived out the fantasies of countless young rock lovers. He befriended Byrds leader Roger McGuinn and became close to George Harrison, who performed on “I Won’t Back Down” and joined Petty, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne in the impromptu super group the Traveling Wilburys. Petty inducted Harrison into the Rock Hall in 2004; two years earlier Dylan’s son Jakob inducted Petty. In the 1980s, Petty and the Heartbreakers supported Bob Dylan on a nationwide tour.

He would speak of being consumed by rock music since childhood, to the point where his father, whom Petty would later say beat him savagely, thought he was “mental.” Awed by the chiming guitars of the Byrds, the melodic genius of the Beatles and the snarling lyrics of Dylan, he was amazed to find that other kids were feeling the same way.

“You’d go and see some other kid whose hair was long, this was around ’65, and go, ‘Wow, there’s one like me,’” he told The Associated Press in 1989. “You’d go over and talk and he’d say, ‘I’ve got a drum set.’ ‘You do? Great!’ That was my whole life.”

By his early 20s, Petty had formed the group Mudcrutch with fellow Gainesville natives and future Heartbreakers (guitarist) Mike Campbell and (keyboardist) Benmont Tench. They soon broke up, but reunited in Los Angeles as the Heartbreakers, joined by bassist Ron Blair and drummer Stan Lynch. Their eponymous debut album came out in 1976 and they soon built a wide following, fitting easily into the New Wave sounds of the time.

The world changed more than Petty did over the past few decades. In 2014, around the time he received an ASCAP Founders Award, he told The Associated Press that he thought of himself as “kind of a music historian.”

“I’m always interested in the older music, and I’m still always discovering things that I didn’t know about,” he said. “To be honest, I really probably spend more time listening to the old stuff than I do the new stuff.”
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Associated Press Writer Andrew Dalton and AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen contributed to this report.

 

Fourth Canadian killed in Las Vegas shooting

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Oct 3rd, 2017

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A fourth Canadian victim has been identified in the mass shooting on the Las Vegas strip on Monday.

She has been identified by her family and her employer as Tara Roe of Okotoks, Alberta. Roe was an Educational Assistant.

Earlier Tuesday a third Canadian victim was identified by friends as Calla Medig, from Jasper, Alta.

She was killed when a gunman opened fire on thousands of concertgoers from his nearby hotel window.

On Tuesday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley extended her condolences to the friends and family of Medig.

Jasper Legion Branch 31 said in a Facebook post that it lowered its flag in Medig’s memory.

Notley has also extended her condolences to the family of Jessica Klymchuk, who was from the small Alberta community of Valleyview.

Klymchuk was a single mother of four who was visiting Vegas with her fiancé.

Jordan McIldoon, 23, of Vancouver was also killed during the attack.

“It’s a terrible thing, terrible for everyone,” McIldoon’s grandfather said during a phone interview with CityNews Vancouver.

The death toll in the Las Vegas massacre now stands at 59 people, with over 500 others injured, making it the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The gunman was identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nev. He had checked into the hotel room on Thursday, authorities said. Police said he was a retiree with no criminal record in the Nevada county where he lived.

SWAT teams using explosives stormed the gunman’s hotel room in the sleek, gold-colored glass skyscraper and found he had killed himself, authorities said.

Assistant Clark County Sheriff Todd Fasulo says officers found 23 firearms in the Mandalay Bay hotel room of the shooter and 19 firearms at his home.

Tens of thousands of concertgoers screamed and ran for their lives as shots rang out on the outdoor festival.

Other Canadians recalled the terrifying scene.

Jesse Harrison, of Toronto, and his wife were standing near the stage when the barrage of shots rang out.

“It sounded like fireworks, just lots of popping… and then the music stopped and then more popping and then everybody hit the ground,” he explained during a Skype interview with CityNews.

“We didn’t know where it was coming from so we jumped under our seats. It felt like it was right on top of us.”

Harrison said they eventually decided to make a run for it.

“It would stop for a few seconds and then people would start running and stampeding and started up again and everyone hit the ground again. It felt like it kept going for minutes.”

He said in all the confusion they lost each other in the crowd but met up at a hotel where they were put in lockdown.

With files from The Associated Press and The Canadian Press

O.J. Simpson a free man after 9 years in jail for armed robbery

CityNews | posted Monday, Oct 2nd, 2017

Former football legend O.J. Simpson signs documents at the Lovelock Correctional Center, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Lovelock, Nev. Simpson was released from the Lovelock Correctional Center in northern Nevada early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. (Brooke Keast/Nevada Department of Corrections via AP)

Former football legend O.J. Simpson became a free man Sunday after serving nine years for a botched hotel room heist in Las Vegas that brought the conviction and prison time he avoided in the killings of his ex-wife and her friend after his 1995 acquittal in the “trial of the century” in Los Angeles.

Simpson was released at 12:08 a.m. PDT from Lovelock Correctional Center in northern Nevada, state prisons spokeswoman Brooke Keast told The Associated Press. She said she did not know the driver who met Simpson upon his release and didn’t know where Simpson was immediately headed in his first hours of freedom.

“I don’t have any information on where he’s going,” said Keast, who watched as Simpson signed documents and was let go.

Her department released video on social media of Simpson being told to “come on out” by a prison staffer, exiting through an open door. He could be seen responding “OK” as he left, wearing a ball cap, denim jacket, jeans and white tennis shoes.

Tom Scotto, a close Simpson friend who lives in Naples, Florida, said by text message that he was with Simpson following his release. Scotto didn’t respond to questions about where they were going or whether Simpson’s sister, Shirley Baker of Sacramento, California, or his daughter, Arnelle Simpson of Fresno, California, were with him.

The three had attended Simpson’s parole hearing in July at the same prison where Simpson spent his prison term and was released just minutes into the first day a parole board set for his possible release.

Simpson has said he wanted to move back to Florida, where he lived before his armed robbery conviction in Las Vegas in a September 2007 confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers.

But Florida prison officials said documents weren’t filed, and the state attorney general says she doesn’t want Simpson to live in the state.

Neither Simpson’s attorney, Malcolm LaVergne in Las Vegas, nor state Parole and Probation Capt. Shawn Arruti, who has been handling Simpson’s case, immediately responded to messages.

Keast said the dead-of-night release from the prison about 90 miles (145 kilometres) east of Reno, Nevada, was conducted to avoid media attention.

“We needed to do this to ensure public safety and to avoid any possible incident,” Keast added, speaking by telephone. She spoke from Lovelock, where she said she witnessed Simpson signing documents to be released.

The 70-year-old Simpson gains his freedom after being granted parole at a hearing in July. Unlike the last time he went free, 22 years ago, he will face restrictions – up to five years of parole supervision – and he’s unlikely to escape public scrutiny as the man who morphed from charismatic football hero, movie star and TV personality into suspected killer and convicted armed robber.

Simpson was looking forward to reuniting with his family, eating a steak and some seafood and moving back to Florida, LaVergne said recently.

Simpson also plans to get an iPhone and get reacquainted with technology that was in its infancy when he was sent to prison in 2008, his attorney said.

The Florida Department of Corrections, however, said officials had not received a transfer request or required documents, and the attorney general said the state didn’t want him.

“The spectre of his residing in comfort in Florida should not be an option,” Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a statement on Friday. “Our state should not become a country club for this convicted criminal.”

Simpson lost his home near Miami to foreclosure in 2012. But two of his children, Justin and Sydney, also live in Florida.

He could live at least temporarily in Las Vegas, where a friend let Simpson use his home for five weeks during his robbery trial.

His five years of parole supervision could be reduced with credits for good behaviour.

It’s a new chapter for the one-time pop culture phenomenon whose fame was once again on display when the major TV networks carried his parole hearing live.

He told officials that leading a group of men into a 2007 armed confrontation was an error in judgment he would not repeat.

He told the parole board that he led a “conflict-free life,” an assertion that angered many who believe he got away with killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman in Los Angeles in 1994.

Simpson was once an electrifying running back dubbed “Juice” who won the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s best college football player for USC in 1968 and became one of the NFL’s all-time greats with the Buffalo Bills.

Handsome and charming, he also provided commentary on “Monday Night Football,” became the face of Hertz rental-car commercials and built a movie career with roles in the “Naked Gun” comedies and other films.

Simpson fell from grace when he was arrested in the slayings, after a famous “slow-speed” Ford Bronco chase on California freeways. His subsequent trial became a live-TV sensation that fascinated viewers with its testimony about a bloody glove that didn’t fit and unleashed furious debate over race, police and celebrity justice.

A jury swiftly acquitted him, but two years later, Simpson was found liable in civil court for the killings and ordered to pay $33.5 million to survivors, including his children and Goldman’s family.

He is still on the hook for the judgment, which now amounts to about $65 million, according to a Goldman family lawyer.

On Sept. 16, 2007, he led five men he barely knew to the Palace Station casino in Las Vegas in an effort to retrieve items that Simpson insisted were stolen after his acquittal in the 1994 slayings. Two of the men with Simpson in Las Vegas carried handguns, although Simpson still insists he never knew anyone was armed. He says he only wanted to retrieve personal items, mementoes and family photos.

He went to prison in 2008, receiving a stiff sentence that his lawyers said was unfair.

If the nation’s Simpson obsession waned for a while, it resurged last year with the Emmy-winning FX miniseries, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” and the Oscar-winning documentary “O.J.: Made in America.”

IS claims fatal stabbings of 2 women at French train station

CityNews | posted Monday, Oct 2nd, 2017

A passenger waits Marseille 's main train station as French police officers patrol, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 in Marseille, southern France. French police warn people to avoid Marseille's main train station amid reports of knife attack. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

A man with a knife stabbed two women to death Sunday at the main train station in the southern French city of Marseille as he reportedly shouted “Allahu akbar!” – an attack the Islamic State group claimed was the work of one its “soldiers.”

French soldiers shot the man to death after the attacks and authorities were working to determine if he had links to Islamic extremism.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, who went to Marseille to meet with local authorities and troops on the scene, said police have video that shows the man attacking a woman and running away, then coming back and attacking a second woman.

The video shows the man running toward soldiers who were rushing to Marseille’s Saint Charles train station. The soldiers fatally shot him and both women died of their injuries, Collomb said.

Some witnesses reported hearing the assailant shout “Allahu akbar!” Arabic for “God is great,” Collomb said.

The Paris prosecutor’s office, which oversees all terror cases in France, said it had opened a counterterrorism investigation into the Marseille attack.

The IS-linked Aamaq news agency said in a statement Sunday night that the assailant was acting in response to IS calls to target countries in the U.S.-led coalition fighting IS extremists in Syria and Iraq.

The statement did not provide details or evidence of a direct link to the attacker. France has been part of the anti-IS coalition since 2014 and has been repeatedly targeted by IS attacks.

Police sources told The Associated Press that one of the victims was stabbed and one had her throat slit. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

Collomb declined to provide any details about the suspect or identify the victims.

Earlier this month, four American college students were attacked with acid at the same Marseille train station. French authorities said the female assailant who doused the four Boston College students was suffering from a mental illness.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he was “deeply outraged” by Sunday’s “barbarous” knife attack. In a tweet, Macron paid tribute to the French soldiers who responded “with cool heads and efficiency.”

The French government this month decided to maintain the military force of 7,000 soldiers that was created to protect sensitive sites after the deadly extremist attacks of 2015.

The Saint Charles train station was evacuated and closed for several hours after the attack, and Marseille police warned people to avoid the area.

The train station was partially reopened in the late afternoon.
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Sylvie Corbet reported from Paris. Associated Press writer Philippe Sotto contributed to this report from Paris.

Officer released from hospital, terrorism charges pending in Edmonton attack

CityNews | posted Monday, Oct 2nd, 2017

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The police officer as well as two of the four pedestrians injured in the violent attacks in Edmonton on Saturday night have been released from hospital, according to tweets by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

The tweets identified the injured officer as Const. Mike Chernyk.

Police say terrorism charges are pending against a suspect arrested after the attacks that saw the police officer stabbed and several pedestrians run down by a truck.

Edmonton police Chief Rod Knecht did not release the 30-year-old suspect’s name, but said that five charges of attempted murder are also expected to be filed.

RCMP assistant commissioner Marlin Degrand says the suspect has been on the radar of authorities since 2015 when a complaint was filed suggesting he may have been radicalized.

Degrand says the suspect is a Somali national who was in the process of making a refugee claim in Canada.

The chaos began outside the Edmonton Eskimos football game Saturday night when police say a car rammed a traffic barricade and an officer was stabbed.

A few hours later, police chased a U-Haul cube van through the city and four pedestrians were injured.

It ended when the van rolled near a downtown hotel and the suspect was arrested.

Earlier on Sunday, police said they think the suspect acted alone. But police chief Rod Knecht stressed that the investigation is in its early stages and authorities haven’t ruled out others might have been involved.

An Islamic State militants flag was seized as evidence, he said.

The injured police officer was taken to hospital and treated for non life-threatening injuries. Four people were injured by the van, but the extent of their injuries was not immediately known.

 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday that he was deeply concerned and outraged at what he called a “terrorist attack.”

“Our thoughts are with those injured, their family and friends, and all those affected by this senseless act of violence,” Trudeau said in a statement, in which he also thanked first responders and law enforcement.

“While the investigation continues, early reports indicate that this is another example of the hate that we must remain ever vigilant against.

“We cannot – and will not – let violent extremism take root in our communities. We know that Canada’s strength comes from our diversity, and we will not be cowed by those who seek to divide us or promote fear.”

Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says at this time, the National Terrorism Threat Level for Canada remains at ‘medium’ where it has stood since the fall of 2014.

Edmonton’s mayor Don Iveson said the violent attacks were the work of a “lone wolf.”

“To the best of our knowledge, this was a lone wolf attack,” he said as he urged calm. “It is vital now that we not succumb to hatred, that we not be intimidated by violence and that we respond with the loving strength of this whole community … We will not be divided.

“Terrorism is about creating panic and about sowing divide and about disrupting people’s lives. We can succumb to that or we can rise above it.”

It all began Saturday night outside the Edmonton Eskimos CFL football game at Commonwealth Stadium where it was military appreciation night.

Canada’s chief of defence staff, Gen. Jonathan Vance, conducted the pregame coin flip and two CF-18 fighter jets did a fly-past before kickoff. More than 800 Boy Scouts were expected at the game and many were planning to camp out on the field afterward.

While the Eskimos were battling the Winnipeg Blue Bombers inside the stadium, outside a white Chevy Malibu approached a traffic control post at a high speed.

Edmonton police released grainy footage of a car ramming a crowd control barricade with a uniformed officer standing beside it. The footage shows the officer being tossed about five metres into the air as the car slams into the front of a parked police cruiser.

The video shows two people walking by with their dogs rushing towards the officer on the ground but they run off when the driver gets out of the car, runs over and appears to starts stabbing the officer.

The police officer appears to wrestle with the driver on the ground and, at one point, it appears the officer is on top of the driver. Footage shows them both getting to their feet and the driver runs across the street while the officer slowly follows behind him into traffic.

Police launched a manhunt for the suspect.

Knecht said an Islamic State flag was found in the front seat of the car and was seized as evidence.

A few hours later, while fans filed out of the game and were re-routed around the crime scene, a U-Haul cube van was stopped at a checkstop north of downtown.

When the driver was asked for his licence, Knecht said the name on the identification was close to that of the registered owner of white Malibu.

When confronted, Knecht said the U-Haul sped off toward downtown with police cars in pursuit.

The van intentionally swerved at pedestrians in crosswalks, Knecht said.

“It is believed at this time that these two incidents are related,” Knecht said. “These incidents are being investigated as acts of terrorism.”

The name of the suspect was not released. Knecht said he was known to police, but there was no warning for the attack.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley called the attacks horrific.

Screenshot-2017-10-1-Rachel-Notley-on-Twitter-Our-thoughts-are-with-edmontonpolice-member-injured-on-duty-tonight-hoping-fo...

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer also reacted on Twitter.

Screenshot-2017-10-1-Andrew-Scheer-on-Twitter-We-must-be-unequivocal-terrorist-ideologies-have-no-place-in-Canada-Canadians...

Austin Elgie, manager of The Pint bar just west of the downtown core, saw the van zoom by with police giving chase.

The van “peeled” into an alley where people were smoking, he said.

“There were like 10 cop cars following him … It was crazy. It just came around the corner, ripping. I thought at first he was pulling over for the cops coming by, but he was clearly the one they were chasing.”

Elgie said the van hit a man who was a bar customer.

“I have a registered nurse on my bar team and I grabbed her and had her look after the guy until the ambulance came.

“He was breathing and we got him in the ambulance and he was still breathing.”

The chase came to an end outside the Matrix Hotel, only a few blocks from the bar, when the van rolled on its side.

Natalie Pon tweeted that she was at a wedding at the hotel when the crash happened.

“They’re keeping us away from windrows/the lobby,” she said.

Pon posted pictures of the U-Haul on its side with a large hole in the windshield.

Witnesses told local media they saw the suspect being pulled from the vehicle through the broken windshield and then placed in handcuffs.

 

Embattled NDP taps Jagmeet Singh to succeed Tom Mulcair, lead federal party

CityNews | posted Monday, Oct 2nd, 2017

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The Jagmeet Singh juggernaut began barrelling towards Parliament Hill on Sunday as the 38-year-old turbaned Sikh bounded past his three more experienced rivals and claimed a historic first-ballot triumph in the race to become leader of the federal New Democrats.

Singh, a charismatic, fashion-forward member of the Ontario legislature, became the first visible minority to claim the leadership of a federal party, romping to victory with a convincing 35,266 votes – 53.8 of the eligible ballots, well past the margin required to end the race early.

Northern Ontario MP Charlie Angus, who was widely seen as Singh’s closest challenger, came in second with a disappointing 12,705 votes, followed by Manitoba MP Niki Ashton with 11,374 and Quebec MP Guy Caron with 6,164.

As Singh’s victory and its margin became apparent inside the Toronto hotel meeting room, supporters leaped to their feet and hoisted their champion in the air before gathering behind him on the stage, many of them with tears in their eyes.

“Canadians must stand united to champion the politics of courage over the politics of fear, the politics of love to fight the growing politics of division,” Singh said, with supporters, friends, family members and fellow candidates crowded in around him.

“Canadians deserve the kind of government that only New Democrats can deliver … that gets the job done, that keeps its promises. That’s why today I’m officially launching my campaign to be the next prime minister of Canada.”

Singh told the story – a staple of his campaign – about his family’s struggle to get by during a period when his father was unable to work. He described it as a “glimpse” of the sort of challenges countless Canadians endure every single day, people whose priorities have been abandoned by government.

“It’s unacceptable that our government tells people to just get used to unstable work,” said Singh, referring to Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s infamous comments about what he considers the realities of the modern economy.

“Maybe if you look at employment as a hobby, you can get used to unstable work. But if your work means the difference between putting food on the table or a roof over the heads of your family, then job insecurity is unacceptable.”

Singh sang the praises of his predecessor Tom Mulcair as well as his rival candidates, whom he celebrated for helping to generate a renewed sense of excitement and vitality around the party over the course of the campaign.

With its long-haul leadership race now over, the party – which has just 44 of the 338 seats in the House of Commons – is now free to focus on presenting a unified front to battle Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in the 2019 federal election.

Insiders and political observers alike say it’s high time the NDP regrouped, put the disappointment of the 2015 election result in the past and start laying the foundation for a strong showing in two years.

More than 124,000 card-carrying members were eligible to take part in the vote, which was conducted online and by mail by way of a ranked ballot – voters were able to rank the candidates in order of preference.

Kathleen Monk, an NDP stalwart who worked as director of strategic communications to former leader Jack Layton, said a new leader will now allow the party to begin growing again after two years in the political wilderness.

Mulcair, who took over the party after Layton’s death in 2012, carried on his shoulders the party’s long-standing dream of forming a federal government for the first time.

Those hopes were dashed during the 2015 election campaign when the party’s support collapsed in the face of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal juggernaut – an electoral disaster many blamed on Mulcair himself.

Even after party members voted resoundingly to turf their leader during a spring convention in Edmonton, Mulcair chose to remain on an interim basis until a successor could be named.

Following that convention, the party opted to take the long road towards choosing a new leader, culminating in Sunday’s first round of voting results.

“The reason I was able, with eyes wide open, to stay on after Edmonton is my profound belief that the NDP offers the only real hope for a progressive government in Canada,” Mulcair said in an interview.

The two front-runners brought diametrically opposed perspectives to the race: Angus the elder statesman, with years of House of Commons experience and name recognition among party members, versus Singh the outsider, a member of the Ontario legislature with a youthful, more suburban following.

Former NDP national director Karl Belanger admitted it is “long overdue” for the NDP to get on with building towards 2019.

“Hopefully that is what is going to happen,” he said. “I think there’s lots of people who are still reeling and debating the reasons behind the defeat in 2015.”

It’s also high time the party got serious about fundraising: Elections Canada returns show the NDP has some $5.5 million worth of debt on its balance sheet.

But perhaps most importantly, Job 1 for Singh will be to “knit together the teams that may have supported different candidates,” said Peggy Nash, a well-regarded former NDP MP and leadership candidate who ran unsuccessfully against Mulcair.

“Get out there and build the party and restore our voice as the legitimate voice of progressive Canadians.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his congratulations, saying he looks forward to working together with Singh.

 

Sniper in highrise hotel kills more than 50 in Las Vegas

SALLY HO THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Monday, Oct 2nd, 2017

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A gunman perched on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel-casino unleashed a hail of bullets on an outdoor country music festival below, killing at least 58 people as tens of thousands of concertgoers screamed and ran for their lives, officials said Monday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

There are reports that two Canadians have been killed in the shooting. According to the CBC, the parents of a 23-year-old man from British Columbia said he was at the concert with a girlfriend when he was shot and killed. CTV reports an Alberta woman was also killed.

At least 515 others were injured in the Sunday night attack, authorities said.

SWAT teams using explosives stormed the gunman’s hotel room in the sleek, gold-colored glass skyscraper and found he had killed himself, authorities said. He had as many as 10 guns with him, including rifles, they said.

There was no word on a motive for the attack. But a law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the still-unfolding investigation, said there was no immediate indication it was connected to international terrorism.

In the Mideast, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack and said the gunman was “a soldier” who had converted to Islam months ago. But it provided no evidence.

Country music star Jason Aldean was performing Sunday night at the end of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival in front of a crowd of more than 22,000 when the gunman opened fire from inside the 44-floor Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across the street.

Monique Dumas from British Columbia said she was at the concert, six rows from the front of the stage when she thought she heard a bottle breaking, and then a burst of popping sounds that may have been fireworks. She said as she made her way out, it was “organized chaos” as everyone fled. “It took four to five minutes and all that time there was gunfire.”

The gunman was identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nev. He had checked into the hotel room on Thursday, authorities said. Police said he was a retiree with no criminal record in the Nevada county where he lived.

Paddock’s brother, Eric Paddock, who lives in Florida, told the Orlando Sentinel: “We are completely dumbfounded. We can’t understand what happened.”

In an address to the country, President Donald Trump called the attack “an act of pure evil” and added: “In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one. And it always has.” He ordered flags flown at half-staff.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said authorities believe it was a “lone wolf” attack. And the U.S. Homeland Security Department said there was no “specific credible threat” involving other public venues in the U.S.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered the support of the FBI and other federal agencies but noted that the investigation is being led by the sheriff in Las Vegas. That was seen as another possible sign the shooting was not believed to be an act of international terrorism.

Las Vegas authorities put out a call for blood donations and set up a hotline to report missing people and speed the identification of the dead and wounded. They also opened a “family reunification center” for people to find loved ones.

Aldean was in the middle of a song when the shots came rapidly: pop-pop-pop-pop. Video showed Aldean stopping and the crowd getting quiet as if it were unsure of what had happened.

The gunman paused and then fired another volley, the muzzle flashes visible from the casino, as victims fell to the ground while others fled in panic. Some hid behind concession stands, while others crawled under parked cars.

Kodiak Yazzie, 36, said the music stopped temporarily when the first shots began and then started up again before the second round of pops sent the performers ducking for cover and fleeing the stage.

“It was the craziest stuff I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” Yazzie said. “You could hear that the noise was coming from west of us, from Mandalay Bay. You could see a flash, flash, flash, flash.”

Monique Dumas, of British Columbia, said she was at the concert, six rows from the stage, when she thought she heard a bottle breaking, then a burst of pops that sounded liked fireworks.

Couples held hands as they ran through the dirt lot. Faces were etched with shock and confusion, and people wept and screamed. Some were bloodied, and some were carried out by fellow concertgoers. Dozens of ambulances took away the wounded, while some people loaded victims into their cars and drove them to the hospital.

Police shut down busy Las Vegas Boulevard, and federal and state authorities converged on the scene. Interstate 15 was briefly closed, and flights at McCarran International Airport were suspended.

Hospital emergency rooms were jammed with the wounded. Rep. Ruben Kihuen, a Democrat whose congressional district includes a portion of Las Vegas, visited a hospital were some of the victims were taken and said: “Literally, every single bed was being used, every single hallway was being used. Every single person there was trying to save a life.”

The dead included at least three off-duty police officers from various departments who were attending the concert, authorities said. Two on-duty officers were wounded, one critically, police said.

“It’s a devastating time,” the sheriff said.

Nearly every inch of the Las Vegas Strip is under video surveillance, much of it set up by the casinos to monitor their properties. That could yield a wealth of material for investigators as they try to piece together the attack.

Hours after the shooting, Aldean posted on Instagram that he and his crew were safe and that the shooting was “beyond horrific.”

“It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night,” the country star said.

Before Sunday, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history took place in June 2016, when a gunman who professed support for Muslim extremist groups opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., killing 49 people.

Sunday’s shooting came more than four months after a suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, that killed 22 people. Almost 90 people were killed by gunmen inspired by Islamic State at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris during a performance by Eagles of Death Metal in 2015.

Person of interest questioned in threat against Leslieville school

NEWS STAFF | posted Friday, Sep 29th, 2017

A police cruiser outside Duke of Connaught Junior and Senior Public School in Toronto on Sept. 28, 2017. The school was placed under a hold-and-secure after receiving a threat. CITYNEWS
A police cruiser outside Duke of Connaught Junior and Senior Public School in Toronto on Sept. 28, 2017. The school was placed under a hold-and-secure after receiving a threat. CITYNEWS
 A person has been arrested after a possible threat put a Leslieville school under hold-and-secure for a second day in a row.

Police said the person of interest has been arrested on domestic charges and they are being questioned in relation to the threat.

No further details have been released.

Students at Duke of Connaught Junior and Senior Public School, near Queen Street East and Greenwood Avenue, weren’t able to leave the building for lunch, recess and other activities on Thursday.

“Police found nothing of concern after a search of the school was conducted just before the lunch period started,” the school said in a letter to parents.

At the end of the day, students left by the main doors. Some evening classes were cancelled and a Terry Fox run was postponed.

The move was a precaution to ensure students’ safety, police said. Officers will be at the school from about 7:30 a.m. and remain throughout the day.

They didn’t reveal what the threat was or how it was received.

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