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epa06182569 (FILE) - Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (2-R) walk with their children Prince George (2-L) and Princess Charlotte during a farewell ceremony at the airport after visiting the Airbus Factory in Hamburg, Germany, 21 July 2017 (reissude 04 September 2017). The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting third child, according to a statement of the Kensington Palace on 04 September 2017.  EPA/CARSTEN KOALL

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting third child: Kensington Palace

DANICA KIRKA, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Monday, Sep 4th, 2017

Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, are expecting their third child, Kensington Palace said Monday.

Kensington Palace made the pregnancy announcement as they said that the former Kate Middleton was not feeling well enough to attend an engagement later in the day. As with her other two pregnancies, the duchess is suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, or acute morning sickness. Kate is being cared for at her Kensington Palace home in London.

“The queen and members of both families are delighted with the news,” the palace said in a statement.

William and Kate, both 35, already have two children: Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2.

The announcement came at a time when the royal couple is due to mark a milestone in the life of their young family: They are set to send George to school for the first time on Thursday.

Their choice of Thomas’s Battersea in south London indicated that the Cambridges were settling into their Kensington Palace apartment, having moved recently from their Norfolk home Anmer Hall.

No details were immediately available about when the third baby is due, but betting agencies were quick to start offering odds on possible names for the soon-to-be-born child in the House of Windsor.

Paddy Power offered 8-to-1 odds on Alice. Also popular was Diana, after Prince William’s mother, particularly given the timing of the announcement.

Together with Prince Harry, William and Kate have taken a leading role in marking the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death. Last week the royals toured the garden of their Kensington Palace home to remember the princes’ mother and celebrate her contributions to their family and to the monarchy.

“Given the recent anniversary, there’ll be plenty of interest in the name Diana if the baby is a girl,” the agency said.

The royals have said from the time of their engagement that they wanted to have a family _ the only question was how many children they wished for. Royal watchers recorded every aside for clues as to what the plans might be.

When asked on a royal tour in Singapore in 2012 about how many children he wanted, William said he was “thinking about having two.”

More recently, during a royal tour of Poland, Kate joked about a third child when given a cuddly toy designed to soothe tiny babies.

Kate thanked the well-wisher for the present and turned to William. “We will just have to have more babies,” she said laughing.

Kate is the eldest of three siblings, and reportedly had a very happy childhood. William has a younger brother, Prince Harry.

The royal couple can also be seen as following in the footsteps of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, who have four children.

Man arrested after OPP officer injured during Mississauga traffic stop

CityNews | posted Monday, Sep 4th, 2017


One man is in custody after an Ontario Provincial Police officer escaped serious injury after a traffic stop gone horribly wrong on Monday morning.

Peel Region Police say OPP Const. Patrick Chatelain was conducting a routine traffic stop at around 9 a.m. on Highway 403 near the eastbound off-ramp to Hurontario Street.

According to police, the vehicle then accelerated away, dragging the officer for approximately 200 metres as it fled the scene northbound on Hurontario Street.

Police later recovered the abandoned vehicle a few kilometres away.

A few hours later, Peel police said one man had been arrested and was in custody and that charges were pending.

Police told CityNews its uncertain if the man arrested was indeed the driver of the car. They continue to search for as many as three other persons who may have also been in the car at the time of the incident.

The officer was transported to Sunnybrook Hospital with what was initially reported to be serious injuries.

OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt updated the officer’s condition late Monday, saying his injuries were considered minor and that Chatelain, a former Peel Paramedic and reservist with the armed forces, had been released from hospital and was expected to make a full recovery.

Toronto group heading to Houston to rescue dogs from overwhelmed shelters

LIAM CASEY, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Sep 1st, 2017


Next week, a small team of Canadian volunteers will get into two vans, drive for two days to flood-ravaged Houston, pick up a group of rescue dogs from overwhelmed shelters, and head home.

Nicole Simone, who runs Redemption Dogs, an animal advocacy group based in Toronto, said four volunteers will leave the city next Wednesday to help an animal shelter in Houston that has seen an influx of canines after Hurricane Harvey hit the city.

The shelter needs to free up space and find homes for its animals because it keeps rescuing more and more dogs, she said.

“A lot of the rescues lost their property,” Simone said. “They’re all flooded out. They’re all overwhelmed.”

Simone has a friend who runs Hot Mess Pooches, a shelter in Houston, and has been following the organization’s efforts over the past few days. The shelter had to rescue 40 dogs on Wednesday alone, she said.

“It is really upsetting, so we thought we could help out, even in a small way,” Simone said.

Simone spoke to a friend in Toronto, who said he was willing to drive down to Houston, and then found two others who wanted to head down to the U.S. with her. She has also started an online fundraiser to help support the group’s efforts.

The Canadian volunteers will only be rescuing dogs that do not have owners, said Simone, who already has a handful of rescue organizations in Ontario lined up to take the dogs in and find foster homes for them until they are adopted.

Hurricane Harvey hit southern Texas last week and left large swaths covered in water. At least 31 people have died and emergency officials expect that number to climb in the coming days.

More than 1,000 homes in the state have been destroyed, close to 50,000 were damaged and over 32,000 people were in shelters. About 24,000 National Guard troops have been called in to help.

The situation is also dire for animals.

Rescue organizations from across the United States have mobilized to help deal with the fallout from the hurricane. Countless animals have escaped, have been abandoned or are strays that have been caught up in the flood.

The Humane Society of the United States is co-ordinating a massive effort to ship dogs out on planes to various parts of the country.

In many cases, people are bringing their furry friends with them as they evacuate. On Wednesday, more than 500 people took shelter at a bowling alley in nearby Beaumont, Texas, along with dozens of dogs, cats, a lizard and a monkey.

With files from the Associated Press

Rock balancer says goodbye to the CNE after 18 years

AUDRA BROWN | posted Friday, Sep 1st, 2017


As the saying goes, it’s all about having balance in life. Daryl Maddeaux has made it his life’s work, literally, to keep it that way.

The artist, who was discovered on a beach balancing rocks, shot to fame nearly 45 years ago.

His work has dazzled thousands of people every year at the Canadian National Exhibition. But after 18 seasons, Maddeaux will balance his last stone on the Labour Day long weekend.

The 65-year-old said he is retiring to spend more time with his family and grandchildren.

Maddeaux told CityNews after being on the road for 200 days a year, he is looking forward to what’s ahead.

But what is his secret for how he balances those rocks? Maddeaux said every stone has three points of contact to make them perfectly balanced.

Gas prices rise 5 cents at midnight, another 9-cent hike by Saturday

NEWS STAFF | posted Friday, Sep 1st, 2017


Drivers faced a staggering price hike at the gas pumps on Friday, but it is only expected to get worse over the long weekend.

Gas prices went up five cents at most GTA stations at midnight, to an average price of 123.9 cents/litre.

But the sticker shock won’t end there.

Roger McKnight, the chief petroleum analyst with En-Pro International Inc., said if the current trend continues, he foresees an increase of nine cents by Saturday, which would put the price at 132.9 cents/litre.

The last time gas prices touched this level was three years ago.

The hikes being attributed to the effects of Hurricane Harvey.

The storm has knocked out significant oil drilling and refining capacity in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, and on Wednesday, the largest U.S. oil refinery shut down. The operator of a major pipeline carrying fuel to the East Coast said it was running at a reduced rate.

Colonial Pipeline says it plans to shut down a key line on Thursday. The company didn’t say how long it expects the closure to last, saying it will know more when workers can evaluate its facilities.

McKnight points out that the Colonial pipeline is responsible for sending refined products from the Gulf area north to Eastern Canada.

Related stories:

Two explosions rock flooded Houston-area chemical plant

Gasoline future prices jump in Harvey’s wake due to refinery disruptions

With files from The Associated Press

Floral tributes laid at Kensington Palace for Diana anniversary

DANICA KIRKA, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Thursday, Aug 31st, 2017

Diana's 20th Death Anniversary
Media and crowds of Diana well-wishers gather outside Kensington Palace gates in London, England, on Aug. 31, 2017, to pay tribute on the 20th anniversary of her death. Photo: Amer Ghazzal/Barcroft Media/Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Dozens of floral tributes, photos and personal messages have been laid at the gates of London’s Kensington Palace on Thursday as Britain remembered Princess Diana on the 20th anniversary of her death in a Paris car crash.

Royal fans gathered at the palace, Diana’s former home, to mark two decades since the princess’ death triggered a flood of grief across Britain and beyond. Her admirers began paying tribute to Diana before dawn, placing candles shaped in the letter “D” at the palace gates.

“We had never met her and been nowhere near her, but I think she touched so many people because of who she was, the way she conducted herself in the context of where she was living and who she became,” said Mara Klemich, 55, a royal well-wisher from Sydney, Australia.

Princes William and Harry honoured their mother Wednesday at Kensington Palace, visiting a garden where she would stroll by and ask the gardeners about their ever-changing displays.

The princes and the Duchess of Cambridge met with well-wishers afterward, but aren’t expected to take part in any engagements Thursday.

The weeks leading up to the anniversary have been met with reflection in Britain as the public remembers “the people’s princess” and considers her contributions to the country.

The 36-year-old princess died in the early hours of Aug. 31, 1997. Her Mercedes, pursued by paparazzi, crashed into a concrete pillar in the Alma Tunnel in Paris while travelling at more than 100 km/h.

Diana, her boyfriend Dodi Fayed and their driver Henri Paul were all killed. Her bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, was injured but survived.

In Paris, royal watchers also gathered at the Alma Tunnel to remember her life.

“It’s been 20 years now but there are people you don’t forget, and she is one of them,” said Sylviane Rives of Paris, who works nearby. “That is what I wrote on a little card for her.”

Many took to social media to express their grief and to recall her kindness.

The co-designer of Diana’s wedding dress, Elizabeth Emanuel, tweeted a picture of the princess shortly after her arrival at St. Paul’s Cathedral for her 1981 wedding.

“Thinking of the wonderful times we spent with Diana and the great joy she brought into our lives and all those who knew her,” Emanuel tweeted.

Rosa Monckton, a friend of Diana’s, told the Times of London that she “busted the myth of being a fairytale princess” and that Diana’s many troubles helped people relate to her.

“I think that given the life she had, when you think what she had to overcome, and all of this in the public eye, I think she was a truly extraordinary woman,” she said. “Very damaged, very flawed, as we all are, but underneath it all this incredible resilience.”

Associated Press writers Kevin Scott and Oleg Cetinic contributed to this story.

Eligible Ontario homeowners to get smart thermostats under new program

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Aug 31st, 2017

A smart thermostat on display at a Green Ontario Fund news conference at Artscape Wychwood Barns on Aug. 30, 2017. CITYNEWS/Tony Fera
Eligible Ontario homeowners will be able to get smart thermostats for free under a new government program.

Environment Minister Chris Ballard announced Wednesday that $377 million in proceeds from Ontario’s cap-and-trade auctions this year will be used to establish a Green Ontario Fund.

That not-for-profit provincial agency will oversee programs and rebates for homes and businesses to reduce energy costs.

Part of that will be the GreenON Installations program, under which eligible households can register to have a technician visit and install a smart thermostat at no cost. The province says 100,000 smart thermostats will be available under the program.

Smart thermostats are connected to the internet and adjust themselves automatically and can be programmed and adjusted through smartphones.

A smart thermostat on display at a Green Ontario Fund news conference at Artscape Wychwood Barns on Aug. 30, 2017. CITYNEWS/Tony Fera


Owners and renters of detached and semi-detached homes, townhouses and row houses can register through the Green Ontario Fund website, though renters must have their landlords’ permission.

Registration opened Wednesday with installations starting in the fall on a first-come, first-serve basis. At one point, the website crashed.

The Green Ontario Fund website crashed on Aug. 30, 2017.

Related stories:

Ontario exploring electricity bill pricing in pilot project

Hydro rates in Toronto the highest in Canada: Fraser Institute

How Ontario’s cap-and-trade system works: a few basic details

Bride launches class-action lawsuit against Air Transat for ruining wedding

ROSS MAROWITS, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Aug 31st, 2017

An Air Transat sign is seen on May 31, 2016 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
A disgruntled B.C. bride has filed a national class-action lawsuit against Air Transat for ruining her wedding by allegedly misrepresenting flights as non-stop.

Vancouver law firm Rosenberg Kosakoski LLP said Wednesday it has launched the claim against the airline operated by Montreal-based tour company Transat A.T.

The claim alleges the airline fraudulently misrepresented its efforts that were designed to increase ticket prices and reduce costs by using “sub-standard aircraft.”

The law firm says Air Transat advertised direct flights that typically garner higher prices. However, the aircraft ultimately made stops that were not disclosed to passengers until the plane was airborne.

The class action was filed in the British Columbia Supreme Court by Jessica Spencer, a 33-year-old accountant from Victoria, on behalf of herself and other passengers who were misled.

Spencer claims Air Transat’s actions ruined her dream destination wedding.

The lawsuit hasn’t been tested in court.

Transat couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

The class-action suit comes as the Canadian Transportation Agency held a hearing Wednesday about passengers being trapped for hours aboard two Air Transat jets earlier this summer in sweltering heat with a lack of water and facing the stench of vomit in the cabin.

Christophe Hennebelle, the airline’s vice-president of corporate affairs, offered an apology to passengers, saying the hearings showed the complexity of the situation on July 31.

Both planes were originally bound for Montreal — one from Brussels, the other from Rome — but were forced to divert to Ottawa due to weather conditions. They were among about 20 other planes that couldn’t land in Montreal or Toronto during a two-hour window.

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