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Six people arrested after shots fired near Moss Park

news staff | posted Wednesday, Nov 16th, 2016

Six people were arrested after shots were fired near Moss Park.

It happened near Shuter and Sherbourne streets, just before 1 a.m. on Wednesday.

Witnesses reported hearing at least three shots. No one was injured.

As Toronto police investigated, and as a CityNews cameraman was there, a bag was thrown out of a window of a nearby apartment. Police say a gun was inside.

The six people arrested are facing weapons charges.

School failed student bombarded by racist Instagram messages, family says

ADRIAN GHOBRIAL | posted Wednesday, Nov 16th, 2016

The father of a 14-year-old girl — who allegedly received hundreds of racist messages on her Instagram account — filmed his visit to his daughter’s school on Facebook to get the word out about the incident.

“I made sure if I went to the school, I’m going to be heard right away and this situation is going to get rectified,” said Shawn Howe.

Howe’s daughter Mataya Smith claims last year, when she was in Grade 8, she began receiving racist Instagram messages from two girls.

As she entered Grade 9 at an Oakville Catholic secondary school this year, she says the comments starting coming at her like daggers, in the high school’s halls and again on her Instagram account.

“Comments like, ‘Go cream your scaly, black skin.’ and ‘You’re my slave. Come massage my feet or I’ll hang you and throw fire at you,’” the teen said.

Mataya’s mother Rianne Smith says the school failed her daughter.

Smith says when she first heard about the comments on Friday, Nov. 4, she called and spoke with the school principal.

“The first day, I called and advised them (about what was going on), and they didn’t speak to my daughter,” she said.

“He advised me he would speak to my daughter and get it under control. 4:30 p.m. came around, I still hadn’t heard back from him. Nobody spoke to her about anything.”

Smith claims on the following Monday, she waited hours in the school’s office and was eventually told no one was available to speak with her.

Mataya said when she went to school the next day, students continued harassing and threatening her in the halls. She went to the vice principal’s office as a last resort, and says the VP partially put the blame on her for reacting to the alleged posts on Instagram.

The teen says the vice principal the ordered her to delete all of the messages from her Instagram account.

“She said that I can’t leave her office until I deleted everything,” Mataya said.

Rianne Smith says the family “would have been OK taking down the social media posts had the school spoken to us first and advised us that would have been in the best interest to kind of calm the situation down.

“However, we would have liked to have been able to make copies,” she said.

A few copies did survive. One post of a student asking Mataya why she hadn’t “jumped off a highway yet” and another proclaiming that “Trump would take care of” people like her.

The day after Mataya was forced to erase the messages, her father and aunt arrived at the school, calling for justice on Facebook Live.

Police were finally called, but on Howe. No charges were laid, but he admits he lost his cool.

“I actually went to the school with the intent to fight somebody,” he said. “I know that’s not legally right or possible so I had to do what I had to do to get the word out.”

The Halton Catholic District School Board refused to address the incident directly with CityNews because of concerns over student privacy.

But superintendent of education Camillo Cipriano did address the issue of Mataya being forced to erase her messages.

“If any child in any of our schools enters an administrator’s office and speaks of a bullying incident, it becomes the number one priority for that principal in that building,” he said.

“To ask if part of the process is to erase the video or online image? I can’t really speak to that because every situation is unique. Every situation calls for a principal or a vice principal to do what’s best for that child.”

Howe and Smith confirmed the school has spoken to the students who were allegedly sending the hateful messages, but the family has decided to pull Mataya from the school.

Mataya said she’s looking forward to a fresh start and had this message for the people who bullied her: “Stop what [you’re] doing because maybe somebody is not as strong as I am and they will hurt themselves.”

Twitter adds new options to curb abuse, harassment

BARBARA ORTUTAY, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Wednesday, Nov 16th, 2016

Twitter, long criticized as a hotbed for online harassment, is expanding ways to curb the amount of abuse users see and making it easier to report such conduct.

Twitter said Tuesday that it is expanding a “mute” function that lets people mute accounts they don’t want to see tweets from. Now, users will be able to mute keywords, phrases and conversations they don’t want to get notifications about. Users who decide to mute things won’t see them.

The words, phrases and conversations will continue to exist on Twitter, and anyone who doesn’t mute them will continue to see them. But the company is also making it easier to report hateful conduct, and said it has re-trained its support teams about its policies and hateful conduct.

Abuse can easily spread on Twitter due to its public, real-time nature, where tweets are easily amplified by retweets and users can easily and openly attack others. While Twitter prohibits “specific conduct that targets people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease,” this policy has not been enough to stomp out abuse.

Not even celebrities are immune. Over the summer, “Ghostbusters” star Leslie Jones publicly abandoned Twitter after becoming the target of sexist and racist abuse on the service. She has since returned.

Twitter has been trying to get a handle on its Wild West reputation as a haven for online harassment and abuse while still holding onto its commitment to free speech. It’s been tricky, to say the least.

“We don’t expect these announcements to suddenly remove abusive conduct from Twitter,” Twitter Inc. said in a blog post . “No single action by us would do that. Instead we commit to rapidly improving Twitter based on everything we observe and learn.”

Man dies in elevator accident at King and Yonge

news staff | posted Wednesday, Nov 16th, 2016

A 35-year-old man was killed in an elevator accident downtown on Tuesday evening, paramedics confirm.

It happened in the freight elevator at One King West Hotel & Residence at Yonge and King streets.

Emergency crews arrived at the scene around 7 p.m. to find the man without a pulse, and he was pronounced dead soon after.

It’s not yet known how the man died or whether he was working on the elevator at the time.

Police and the Ministry of Labour are investigating.


Winter Emergency Kit

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Nov 16th, 2016

As we prepare for the upcoming winter, here’s a complete list of what you should keep handy in your vehicle:

  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Shovel
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Booster cables
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Blankets
  • Extra clothing and footwear
  • First aid kit
  • Snacks
  • Smartphone and charger

OPP investigating after puppies thrown from moving SUV south of London

the canadian press | posted Tuesday, Nov 15th, 2016

LONDON, Ont. – Ontario Provincial Police are investigating after four Jack Russell puppies were tossed from a moving SUV in an area south of London, Ont., last week.

Elgin County OPP say the incident took place last Thursday, when a bystander saw someone throw the four puppies out of a moving Ford Explorer.

Police say the puppies appear to be six to seven weeks old.

They say three of the puppies were said to be seriously injured and were taken to an emergency veterinarian in London.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact police.

Rudy Giuliani the favourite as Trump weighs secretary of state


Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani introduces Donald Trump during a campaign event at Trask Coliseum in Wilmington, N.C., on Aug. 9, 2016. GETTY IMAGES/Sara D. Davis
Sequestered in his Manhattan high-rise, President-elect Donald Trump is preparing to fill key foreign policy posts. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has emerged as the favourite to serve as secretary of state, a senior Trump official said.

Although Giuliani has little foreign policy experience, the official said there was no real competition for the job as the nation’s top diplomat. However, a second official cautioned that John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, remained in contention for the key post. Both officials requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the process by name.

The New York billionaire also was considering tapping Richard Grenell as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a move that would bring some experience and diversity to his nascent administration. Grenell, who served as U.S. spokesman at the U.N. under President George W. Bush, would be the first openly gay person to fill a Cabinet-level foreign policy post.

The personnel moves under consideration were confirmed by people with direct knowledge of Trump’s thinking who were not authorized to publicly disclose private discussions.

Giuliani, 72, would be an out-of-box choice to lead the State Department. A former mayor, federal prosecutor and top Trump adviser, Giuliani is known for his hard-line law-and-order views. Bolton has years of federal government experience, but he has also raised eyebrows with some of his hawkish stances, including a 2015 New York Times op-ed in which he advocated bombing Iran to halt the country’s development of nuclear weapons.

A spokeswoman for Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment about his interest in the job. But during an appearance in Washington late Monday, Giuliani said that Bolton would be a “very good choice” to serve as Trump’s secretary of state. Asked if there was anyone better, Giuliani replied: “Maybe me, I don’t know.”

Vice-President-elect Mike Pence was expected to join the incoming president at Trump Tower on Tuesday to review “a number of names” for the incoming administration, according to spokesman Jason Miller.

“If the vice-president-elect is getting together with the president elect to discuss names, I would say it’s getting serious,” Miller said.

The transition planning comes amid an intense and extended backlash from Trump’s decision on Sunday to appoint Steve Bannon, a man celebrated by the white nationalist movement, to serve as his chief strategist and senior adviser.

“After winning the presidency but losing the popular vote, President-elect Trump must try to bring Americans together – not continue to fan the flames of division and bigotry,” said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. Echoing concerns from officials in both parties, she called Bannon’s appointment “an alarming signal” that Trump “remains committed to the hateful and divisive vision that defined his campaign.”

Until joining Trump’s campaign this summer, Bannon led a website that appealed to the so-called “alt-right” – a movement often associated with efforts on the far right to preserve “white identity,” oppose multiculturalism and defend “Western values.”

President Barack Obama avoided any direct criticism of Trump’s personnel moves during a Monday news conference, suggesting that the new president deserves “room to staff up.” The outgoing president encouraged Trump, however, to embrace a unifying tone.

“It’s really important to try to send some signals of unity and to reach out to minority groups or women or others that were concerned about the tenor of the campaign,” Obama said. “And I think that’s something he will – he will want to do.”

Meanwhile, Trump, who has little foreign policy experience of his own, spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the phone on Monday.

His transition office said in a readout that Trump “is very much looking forward to having a strong and enduring relationship with Russia and the people of Russia.” Trump has spoken in recent days with the leaders of China, Mexico, South Korea and Canada.

Trump is also weighing whether to select Michigan GOP chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, a niece of chief Trump critic and 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney. She would be the second woman ever to lead the Republican National Committee, and the first in four decades.

“I’ll be interested in whatever Mr. Trump wants,” McDaniel told The Associated Press.

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League, called Bannon’s selection “a sad day.”

Bannon “presided over the rise of Breitbart as a haven online” for the “alt-right,” Greenblatt said. The website under Bannon’s leadership, he said, “trafficked in the some of the worst tropes, not just only against Jews – but the anti-Semitism is real – but also against other minorities, particularly Mexicans and Muslims.”

Shorter wait times at Ontario hospital emergency rooms, report says

The canadian press | posted Tuesday, Nov 15th, 2016

A report by Ontario’s health quality adviser says most patients at Ontario hospital emergency wards are not having to wait as long to see a doctor.

Health Quality Ontario says there has been a 16 per cent drop in the average amount of time nine out of 10 patients waited in emergency to see a doctor – from 3.6 to 3 hours.

It also found a 10 per cent drop over the past seven years in the amount of time 90 per cent of patients spent in emergency

The report released Tuesday also said the data indicates that urban residents spent longer in emergency and waited longer to see a doctor than people living in rural areas.

The findings are based on data from the provincial health ministry and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences as well as accounts from patients and caregivers.

The report also said that many patients who needed to be admitted to hospital had to wait a long time in emergency for a bed.

“Patients may spend hours and sometimes even days lying on stretchers in emergency examination rooms or hallways,” Health Quality Ontario president Dr. Joshua Tepper said in a release.

The shorter wait times for emergency doctors come despite an ever increasing number of patients and a higher number of more seriously ill people, the report said.

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