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No middle name on ticket keeps Mississauga woman off flight

Amanda Ferguson | posted Tuesday, Apr 10th, 2018

A Mississauga woman learned the hard way that a middle name isn’t something to forget when flying after WOW Airlines denied her boarding because the name on her ticket didn’t match the one on her passport.

Ashley Collins said she arrived at Pearson International Aiport Sunday with a friend to fly to Iceland via WOW airlines with tickets purchased in January. She says she was able to check-in, get her luggage tags, but it wasn’t until she went up the counter, she was told she wasn’t able to fly.

“Once we got to the front, the lady said to her supervisor, ‘It’s another one.’” Collins said. “She handed me my passport and said I was missing the middle name on the ticket so I was denied boarding the flight.”

Collins said she was told 11 others were denied boarding on the flight the previous day for the same reason. She was then given a customer service number to call. A WOW airlines agent informed her there was little she could do because they cannot change a name on a ticket less than four hours prior to a flight.

“We were really looking forward to this trip,” she said. “We had no options at that point.”

Collins ended up paying for a new flight the next day out of Pearson, at a price more than what she paid for round-trip flights to Iceland.

WOW airlines did not return CityNews’ requests for comment.

Gabor Forgacs, from Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism management says the issue of identification can be a common and costly problem for airlines.

In 2016, 60,000 passengers were not admitted into a country of arrival. Airlines are then fined up to $4,000 per passenger, and forced to cover the costs of returning the passenger to their country of origin.

“Airlines learnt to be very careful because they can be in a lot of trouble for not complying with the regulations that require the names of the passenger to match the names of the travel documentation,” Forgacs said.

However, he did point out that not all airlines require middle names, although it is more frequently asked for on international flights.

A spokesperson for WestJet told CityNews it’s reservation system does not require middle names when booking and therefore, it is not required for travel.

Collins said WOW Airlines also charged her $23 for changing her name on her return ticket.

“I just advise everyone to make sure you put your middle name (on your ticket) whether the airlines require it or not because you don’t want to run into a situation like I did,” she said.

Hunk of metal falls off disputed Markham cow statue

Brandon Rowe | posted Tuesday, Apr 10th, 2018

Residents of Markham’s Cathedraltown neighbourhood are renewing their calls to get a statue of Charity the cow moved to greener pastures after a hunk of metal fell off this weekend.

“I’m concerned about the safety of this statue,” says resident Anne Mak. “I’m just worried that it could hurt myself, one of the kids, or anyone who is walking their dogs in the park.”

There is now a safety fence surrounding the statue, which is made of polished silver metal. The cow is on stilts and stands tall over the local parkette. It’s in the image of Charity, a prizewinning show cow.

On Sunday, one of Mak’s neighbours found a large metal leaf, weighing nearly a pound, speared into the earth below the statue. The leaf is part of a garland circling Charity’s neck, and is bigger than an adult’s hand.

The larger-than-life statue was installed by developer Helen Roman-Barber in honour of her father, who once owned Charity, and the farmland that she now stands on, surrounded by a subdivision. The statue was approved by Brampton’s city council, but some residents were up in arms about the design.

Last fall, city council voted to move the 25-foot-high cow, but six months later, it’s still standing.

“They told us it was going to be moved by the end of 2017, but it’s still here in our park,” says Mak.

City staff say they are evaluating three alternative locations for the bovine on stilts, based on cost, the readiness of the site, and when it could be installed. Staff expect to bring a report to council sometime this month. The city says the reason for the delay is that the statue — which isn’t actually completed yet — is still technically owned by the donor, who is reluctant to sign it over.

“It’s written in the contract that upon completion of the installation of the cow, the ownership will be transferred from the donor to the city automatically. However, during the installation, we wanted the donor to stop any work, because we knew that the cow would be relocated or removed one day,” says area councilor Alan Ho. “Because of that, the donor is using this as the ownership is still in their hands.”

A spokesperson for Roman-Barber says they are working on getting the fallen leaf fixed. As of right now, he says no decision has been reached with the city about moving this fixture. He says as far as his client is concerned, the cow is already where it belongs.

12 bus crash survivors still in hospital, 4 in critical condition

The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Apr 10th, 2018

A dozen survivors of a bus crash that killed 15 people on Friday are still in a Saskatoon hospital and four remain in critical condition.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority says four others are in serious condition and four patients are stable.

The Humboldt Broncos were on their way to a playoff game Friday in Nipawin when the bus carrying the junior hockey team collided with a semi truck in northeastern Saskatchewan.

Fourteen people were injured in the collision.

Nick Shumlanski was the first of the Broncos to be released from hospital and sent out a statement Sunday night thanking people for their support.

He said he was told it was a miracle he was able to walk away from the accident with only minor injuries.

Toronto man wanted for domestic assault

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Apr 9th, 2018

Peel police are asking for the public’s help in searching for a Toronto man wanted for domestic assault.

Officers were called around 2 a.m. on Sunday morning to the area of Northaven Drive and Atwater Avenue in Mississauga.

A 47-year-old woman was found with injuries and taken to hospital for treatment. She has since been released.

Police learned the man allegedly responsible was known to the victim and had fled the scene before officers arrived.

Renaldo Francois, 35, is wanted for aggravated assault, assault, and uttering death threats.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

Facebook to send Cambridge Analytica data use notices Monday

Barbara Ortutay, The Associated Press | posted Monday, Apr 9th, 2018

Get ready to find out if your Facebook data has been swept up in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Starting Monday, the 87 million users who might have had their data shared with Cambridge Analytica will get a detailed message on their news feeds. Facebook says most of the affected users (more than 70 million) are in the U.S., though there are over a million each in the Philippines, Indonesia and the U.K.

More than 620,000 Canadian users have had their data improperly shared.

The Federal Privacy Commissioner is currently investigating Facebook.

In addition, all 2.2 billion Facebook users will receive a notice titled “Protecting Your Information” with a link to see what apps they use and what information they have shared with those apps. If they want, they can shut off apps individually or turn off third-party access to their apps completely.

Reeling from its worst privacy crisis in history – allegations that this Trump-affiliated data mining firm may have used ill-gotten user data to try to influence elections – Facebook is in full damage-control mode. CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that he made a “huge mistake” in failing to take a broad enough view of what Facebook’s responsibility is in the world. He’s set to testify before Congress next week.

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie previously estimated that more than 50 million people were compromised by a personality quiz that collected data from users and their friends. In an interview aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Wylie said the true number could be even larger than 87 million.

That Facebook app, called “This is Your Digital Life,” was a personality quiz created in 2014 by an academic researcher named Aleksander Kogan, who paid about 270,000 people to take it. The app vacuumed up not just the data of the people who took it, but also – thanks to Facebook’s loose restrictions – data from their friends, too, including details that they hadn’t intended to share publicly.

Facebook later limited the data apps can access, but it was too late in this case.

Zuckerberg said Facebook came up with the 87 million figure by calculating the maximum number of friends that users could have had while Kogan’s app was collecting data. The company doesn’t have logs going back that far, he said, so it can’t know exactly how many people may have been affected.

Cambridge Analytica said in a statement Wednesday that it had data for only 30 million Facebook users.

SJHL yet to make decision on 2018 championship after deadly bus crash

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Apr 9th, 2018

The president of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League says a decision on what to do with the SJHL championship has yet to be made following Friday’s deadly collision between a truck and a bus that was carrying the Humboldt Broncos team.

Bill Chow says he expects word on how the league intends to handle the final will come within the next few days.

The Broncos were en route to Nipawin, Sask., for Game 5 of their league semifinal when the team’s bus collided with a semi-truck, killing 15.

The Nipawin Hawks were leading Humboldt 3-1 in the best-of-seven series after losing Game 4 in triple overtime earlier in the week.

The Estevan Bruins had already advanced to the championship final.

The SJHL is a junior ‘A’ hockey league with 12 teams.

“We’re a little bit too early to make that decision,” Chow told The Canadian Press on Sunday. “We’ll be meeting as a group, obviously the Humboldt Broncos, the league’s board of governors, and we’ll be making that decision.”

Chow said both the Bruins and Hawks will also be involved in the eventual decision.

“They have representatives at the board, so they’ll have a say in the situation. That’s where that decision will be made.”

Athletes, teams honour victims of Humboldt Broncos deadly bus crash

Melissa Couto, The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Apr 9th, 2018

Some wrote “Broncos” on their caps or shoes, others sported the word across their backs.

Athletes and teams across North America have been paying tribute to the Humboldt Broncos after Friday’s deadly collision between a truck and a bus that was carrying the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team to a playoff game in the province.

The Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks honoured the Humboldt team by wearing jerseys with the word BRONCOS across their name plates during their regular-season finale at Bell MTS Place Saturday night.

Before the game, a moment of silence was observed, with players from both teams standing in a circle around centre ice.

“It was very powerful,” Jets head coach Paul Maurice told reporters after the game. “Again that connection that all hockey players have together, they go through that idea of travelling as a team, being part of a team.

“It was really emotional.”

The Jets and Blackhawks donated $25,000 to the Broncos while the proceeds from Winnipeg’s 50/50 draw for the night were also donated.

The NHL pitched in $25,000 while other teams — the Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames — made donations via a GoFundMe page that had raised more than $3 million by Sunday morning.

The Leafs and Montreal Canadiens wore Humboldt Broncos decals on their helmets while playing each other in Toronto Saturday night, as did the Oilers and Canucks, who also wore Broncos-coloured green and yellow lapel ribbons in Edmonton.

Don Cherry spoke briefly about the crash on his Coach’s Corner segment before introducing a montage of photos of every member of the Broncos team.

“There’s no words to describe what’s happened here,” Cherry said of the crash that killed 15 people. RCMP have said 14 others on the bus were injured.

Bill Chow, the President of the SJHL, called the tributes and support “absolutely overwhelming.”

“Hopefully that support will continue and hopefully it will allow for some type of healing as we move forward over the next few days, months and years,” Chow told The Canadian Press on Sunday.

The tributes extended beyond the hockey world.

Joey Votto, the Toronto-born Cincinnati Reds superstar, took his position at first base Saturday afternoon with “Humboldt Broncos” written in white on his black cleats.

And Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman took the mound against the Texas Rangers in Arlington with the team’s name written in white on the bottom left side of his cap. “SK” was written on the other side.

The Blue Jays and Rangers observed a moment of silence on the field before the game. Afterwards, Stroman said he would be auctioning his cap and donating the proceeds to the Broncos.

“I had a heavy heart all day, to be honest with you,” Stroman told reporters in Arlington. “Just seeing a young team having a bunch of lives taken from them, it’s extremely unfortunate and tragic.

“Everyone in Saskatchewan, I just want to say we’re here with you guys, you’re in our thoughts, you’re in our prayers, and we’ll do anything we can to support you through a tough time.”

A moment of silence was also observed in Las Vegas on Saturday morning, where Brad Gushue and his rink from St. John’s, N.L., is vying for a second straight men’s world curling championship.

Saskatchewan Roughriders wide receiver Duron Carter tweeted a pledge to the Broncos on Saturday, saying “Every touchdown I get this season will be donated to the Humboldt Broncos families! Hope I help this healing process!”

Trump calls out ‘Animal Assad’ for suspected chemical attack in Syria

Jonathan Lemire, The Associated Press | posted Monday, Apr 9th, 2018

President Donald Trump is condemning what he calls a “mindless CHEMICAL attack” in Syria that has killed women and children, though he’s offering no evidence to support the claim by Syrian opposition activists and rescuers that poison gas was used.

Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government is denying the allegations of such an attack on a rebel-held town near Damascus, the capital.

First responders and a relief organization said they found families suffocated in their homes and shelters in the besieged town of Douma, with foam on their mouths.

They did not identify the substance used, but the Syrian Civil Defence and the Syrian American Medical Society said survivors treated at clinics smelled strongly of chlorine.

Trump says in a tweet Sunday that the “area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world.” He says Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran – influential Syrian backers – “are responsible for backing Animal Assad.”

Trump is calling for the area to be opened “immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!”



Trump’s homeland security adviser, Thomas Bossert, noted the timing of the suspected chemical attack – almost a year to the day of the U.S. missile strikes.

“This isn’t just the United States. This is one of those issues on which every nation, all peoples, have all agreed and have agreed since World War II, it’s an unacceptable practice,” Bossert told ABC’s “This Week.”

Asked about the potential for another American missile strike in response, Bossert said: “I wouldn’t take anything off the table. These are horrible photos. We’re looking into the attack at this point.” He said Trump’s national security team has been talking with the president about the situation.

Trump laid some blame on his predecessor, Barack Obama, for Assad’s continued grip on power after years of civil war.

Obama had threatened the Syrian leader with military action after a chemical weapons attack killed hundreds outside Damascus, saying the use of such weapons was a “red line.” American ships in the Mediterranean were poised to launch missiles, but Obama pulled back after key U.S. ally Britain, as well as Congress, balked at his plan.

He opted for a Russian-backed proposal that was supposed to remove and eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles.

“If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line In The Sand, the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago! Animal Assad would have been history!” Trump said in his series of Sunday tweets.

The developments come as Trump is moving to dramatically scale back U.S. goals in Syria, pushing for a quick military withdrawal. Trump has given no formal order to pull out the 2,000 U.S. troops currently in Syria or offered a public timetable, other than to say the United States will pull out as soon as the last remaining Islamic State fighters can be vanquished.

But Trump has signalled to his advisers that ideally, he wants all troops out within six months, The Associated Press has reported.

“It is time to move that pendulum back in a way that brings regional partners and others with equities in these matters all around the globe into putting their resources and their treasure and their boys and girls on the line, and not just American troops,” Bossert said.

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