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Man arrested after random, unprovoked attacks on 5 women: police

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Apr 19th, 2018

Toronto police have arrested a 24-year-old man in connection with several attacks on women in the downtown core.

Police allege the man threw a rock at two different women, striking them in the back, near Yonge and Wellesley streets just after 8 a.m. last Thursday.

On Friday, the same man approached a third woman near Yonge and Dundas streets and allegedly kicked her in the back of the head. She had a concussion as a result of the incident.

Again, on Sunday, the man allegedly kicked a fourth woman in the back near Church and Wood streets, north of Carlton. A few minutes later, he kicked another woman in the chest.

Police say all of the assaults were random and unprovoked.

Ahmed Oumer, 24, has been charged with two counts of assault and assault with a weapon and one count of assault causing bodily harm.

One passenger killed after engine blows on Southwest Airlines flight

The Associated Press | posted Wednesday, Apr 18th, 2018

One passenger was killed and seven others were injured when a Southwest Airlines jet apparently blew an engine at about 30-thousand feet.

Shrapnel smashed a window and damaged the fuselage.

The plane was a Boeing 7-3-7 bound from New York to Dallas with 149 people aboard.

It made an emergency landing in Philadelphia just before noon as passengers breathing through oxygen masks that dropped from the ceiling prayed and braced for impact.

A crew member on a plane that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia reported to air traffic controllers that a piece of the plane was missing and “someone went out.”

In the audio recording of the exchange, the crew member says the plane needed to slow down.

Photos posted by passengers showed a heavily damaged window near the damaged engine.

National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt says today’s incident marks the first passenger fatality in a U-S airline accident since 2009.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane landed after the crew reported damage to one of the engines, along with the fuselage and at least one window.

The N-T-S-B sent a team of investigators to Philadelphia.

One passenger says the plane was fairly quiet because everyone was wearing an oxygen mask, while some passengers were in tears and others shouted words of encouragement.

Amanda Bourman of New York says while many were crying and upset, a few passengers kept yelling to people that they would get through it.

Bourman says everyone clapped and praised the pilot after he set the aircraft down.

Passengers left shaken after ice hits bus headed to Niagara Falls

Brandon Rowe | posted Wednesday, Apr 18th, 2018

Flying ice caused a scary scene for some bus passengers headed to Niagara Falls on Tuesday.

A tour bus was travelling on the westbound QEW, east of Erin Mills Parkway, around 10 a.m. when the ice came hurtling through the windshield.

Ban Deng, the tour guide sitting right behind the driver, told CityNews that the driver was merging into the HOV lane when a huge chunk of ice crashed through the vehicle.

Peel paramedics did respond, but thankfully, nobody was hurt.

“The ice really huge, and then came rolling to our bus window and hit our driver’s side,” said Deng. “And immediately the windshield breaks, the glass breaks and our driver is like heads down really fast, really quick, and then he drives slowly and stops in the left lane. Our driver didn’t break really hard and everyone is safe.”

Ontario Provincial Police sergeant Kerry Schmidt sent out a tweet urging drivers to be vigilant on the roads.

He tells CityNews many drivers don’t realize there could be debris trapped on their vehicles.

“What we’re trying to have people realize is that if you have snow on the roof of the vehicle, you may clean off the side, the windows and the door, but when you go down the highway that snow that is sitting on the roof is likely going to start flying off to the vehicles behind you. When that happens, you may lose control and things happen very quickly.”

CityNews spoke with the driver of the bus, who says he is doing well, but was treated for minor injuries and neck soreness.

Former first lady Barbara Bush dies at age 92

Michael Graczyk, The Associated Press | posted Wednesday, Apr 18th, 2018

Barbara Bush didn’t hesitate to tell people that her trademark pearl necklaces were fake. Americans liked that everything else about the snowy-haired first lady was real.

The wife of the nation’s 41st president and mother of the 43rd brought a plainspoken, grandmotherly style to buttoned-down Washington, displaying an utter lack of vanity about her white hair and wrinkles.

“What you see with me is what you get. I’m not running for president — George Bush is,” she said at the 1988 Republican National Convention, where her husband, then vice-president, was nominated to succeed Ronald Reagan.

Mrs. Bush died Tuesday, according to a statement from family spokesman Jim McGrath. She was 92.

The Bushes, who were married on Jan. 6, 1945, had the longest marriage of any presidential couple in American history. And Mrs. Bush was one of only two first ladies who had a child who was elected president. The other was Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams.

“I had the best job in America,” she wrote in a 1994 memoir describing her time in the White House. “Every single day was interesting, rewarding, and sometimes just plain fun.”

The publisher’s daughter and oilman’s wife could be caustic in private, but her public image was that of self-sacrificing, supportive spouse who referred to her husband as her “hero.”

In the White House, “you need a friend, someone who loves you, who’s going to say, ‘You are great,”’ Mrs. Bush said in a 1992 television interview.

Her uncoiffed, matronly appearance often provoked jokes that she looked more like the boyish president’s mother than his wife. Late-night comedians quipped that her bright white hair and pale features also imparted an uncanny resemblance to George Washington.

Eight years after leaving the nation’s capital, Mrs. Bush stood with her husband as their son George W. was sworn in as president. They returned four years later when he won a second term. Unlike Mrs. Bush, Abigail Adams did not live to see her son’s inauguration. She died in 1818, six years before John Quincy Adams was elected.

Mrs. Bush insisted she did not try to influence her husband’s politics.

“I don’t fool around with his office,” she said, “and he doesn’t fool around with my household.”

In 1984, her quick wit got her into trouble when she was quoted as referring to Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee at the time, as “that $4 million — I can’t say it, but it rhymes with rich.”

“It was dumb of me. I shouldn’t have said it,” Mrs. Bush acknowledged in 1988. “It was not attractive, and I’ve been very shamed. I apologized to Mrs. Ferraro, and I would apologize again.”

Daughter-in-law Laura Bush, another first lady, said Mrs. Bush was “ferociously tart-tongued” from the start.

“She’s never shied away from saying what she thinks. … She’s managed to insult nearly all of my friends with one or another perfectly timed acerbic comment,” Laura Bush said in her 2010 book, “Spoken from the Heart.”

In her 1994 autobiography, “Barbara Bush: A Memoir,” she said she did her best to keep her opinions from the public while her husband was in office. But she revealed that she disagreed with him on two issues: She supported legal abortion and opposed the sale of assault weapons.

“I honestly felt, and still feel, the elected person’s opinion is the one the public has the right to know,” Mrs. Bush wrote.

She also disclosed a bout with depression in the mid-1970s, saying she sometimes feared she would deliberately crash her car. She blamed hormonal changes and stress.

“Night after night, George held me weeping in his arms while I tried to explain my feelings,” she wrote. “I almost wonder why he didn’t leave me.”

She said she snapped out of it in a few months.

Mrs. Bush raised five children: George W., Jeb, Neil, Marvin and Dorothy. A sixth child, 3-year-old daughter Robin, died of leukemia in 1953.

In a speech in 1985, she recalled the stress of raising a family while married to a man whose ambitions carried him from the Texas oil fields to Congress and then into influential political positions that included ambassador to the United Nations, GOP chairman and CIA director.

“This was a period, for me, of long days and short years,” she said, “of diapers, runny noses, earaches, more Little League games than you could believe possible, tonsils and those unscheduled races to the hospital emergency room, Sunday school and church, of hours of urging homework or short chubby arms around your neck and sticky kisses.”

Along the way, she said, there were also “bumpy moments — not many, but a few — of feeling that I’d never, ever be able to have fun again and coping with the feeling that George Bush, in his excitement of starting a small company and travelling around the world, was having a lot of fun.”

In 2003, she wrote a follow-up memoir, “Reflections: Life After the White House.”

“I made no apologies for the fact that I still live a life of ease,” she wrote. “There is a difference between ease and leisure. I live the former and not the latter.”

Along with her memoirs, she wrote “C. Fred’s Story” and “Millie’s Book,” based on the lives of her dogs. Proceeds from the books benefited adult and family literacy programs. Laura Bush, a former teacher with a master’s degree in library science, continued her mother-in-law’s literacy campaign in the White House.

The 43rd president was not the only Bush son to seek office in the 1990s. In 1994, when George W. was elected governor of Texas, son Jeb narrowly lost to incumbent Lawton Chiles in Florida. Four years later, Jeb was victorious in his second try in Florida.

“This is a testament to what wonderful parents they are,” George W. Bush said as Jeb Bush was sworn into office. He won a second term in 2002, and then made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

Sons Marvin and Neil both became businessmen. Neil achieved some notoriety in the 1980s as a director of a savings and loan that crashed. Daughter Dorothy, or Doro, has preferred to stay out of the spotlight. She married lobbyist Robert Koch, a Democrat, in 1992.

In a collection of letters published in 1999, George H.W. Bush included a note he gave to his wife in early 1994.

“You have given me joy that few men know,” he wrote. “You have made our boys into men by bawling them out and then, right away, by loving them. You have helped Doro to be the sweetest, greatest daughter in the whole wide world. I have climbed perhaps the highest mountain in the world, but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara’s husband.”

Mrs. Bush was born Barbara Pierce in Rye, New York. Her father was the publisher of McCall’s and Redbook magazines. After attending Smith College for two years, she married young naval aviator George Herbert Walker Bush. She was 19.

After World War II, the Bushes moved to the Texas oil patch to seek their fortune and raise a family. It was there that Bush began his political career, representing Houston for two terms in Congress in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In all, the Bushes made more than two dozen moves that circled half the globe before landing at the White House in 1989. During the next four years, opinion polls often gave her approval ratings that exceeded her husband’s.

The couple’s final move, after Bush lost the 1992 election to Bill Clinton, was to Houston, where they built what she termed their “dream house” in an affluent neighbourhood. The Bush family also had an oceanfront summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine.

After retiring to Houston, the Bushes helped raise funds for charities and appeared frequently at events such as Houston Astros baseball games. Public schools in the Houston area are named for both of them.

In 1990, Barbara Bush gave the commencement address at all-women Wellesley College, though some had protested her selection because she was prominent only through the achievements of her husband. Her speech that day was rated by a survey of scholars in 1999 as one of the top 100 speeches of the century.

“Cherish your human connections,” Mrs. Bush told graduates. “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent.”

Chivas Guadalajara edges Toronto FC 2-1 in opener of two leg final

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Apr 18th, 2018

Chivas Guadalajara defeated Toronto FC 2-1 on Tuesday night at BMO Field in the opener of the two-leg CONCACAF Champions League final.

Rodolfo Pizarro scored in the second minute as many fans in the near-sellout crowd of 29,925 were settling into their seats. Alan Pulido scored the go-ahead goal for Chivas on a free kick in the 72nd minute.

Toronto’s Jonathan Osorio scored in the 19th minute.

Armed with two precious away goals, the Mexican side will have a big advantage heading into the final’s second leg on April 25 at Estadio Akron.

Toronto received welcome news on the injury front before the game as Jozy Altidore (foot), Chris Mavinga (abdomen), Gregory van der Wiel (Achilles) and Justin Morrow (calf) all returned from injury.

Morrow came on as a substitute in the 67th minute while the others started. Victor Vazquez remained out with a back issue.

The temperature was one degree at kickoff with flurries swirling in off Lake Ontario. The unfamiliar conditions didn’t bother the Mexican side as they silenced the vocal home crowd just 70 seconds into the game.

Isaac Brizuela dribbled down low from the sideline and found Pizarro, who buried it past a diving Alex Bono.

The host side appeared flustered after the early hiccup. Toronto spent the next few minutes on its heels and made sloppy passes when it did get possession.

Eventually the reigning MLS Cup champions settled in and Altidore helped set up the play that put Toronto on the board.

He feathered a ball down the right side for Marky Delgado, who connected with Osorio on a goalmouth pass. The Canadian midfielder just got his leg on it before sliding into the post.

The goal seemed to spark the hosts, who kept Chivas pinned in their own end for most of the first half.

Toronto’s Sebastian Giovinco tested Chivas goalkeeper Antonio Rodriguez in the 32nd minute. The star forward set up for one of his trademark free kicks but the low shot was punched away.

In the 43rd minute, Altidore and Giovinco worked a nifty give-and-go in the penalty area but Rodriguez cut off the angle to deny Altidore’s left-footed strike.

Toronto head coach Greg Vanney made one change at the half as Eriq Zavaleta came on for Mavinga.

Giovinco set up Delgado with a glorious chance early in the second half but his strike sailed just over the bar. Chivas did well to stunt the Toronto attack from there and held off some late pressure in the dying minutes.

The grass surface at BMO Field was covered over the last few days to provide protection from the ice storm and wet weather that pelted the southern Ontario area.

The striped pitch was golf-course green but quite soft with visible pockmarks. Divots of turf were kicked up during pre-game drills but the field seemed to hold up well considering the conditions.

Chivas tightly marks its opponents and the defensive strategy has paid off throughout the competition. The Mexican side allowed only one goal entering the final.

The visitors practised indoors this week and a few came out for the pre-game warmup wearing parkas, gloves, balaclavas and track pants.

Chilly conditions are nothing new for the Toronto players, who have braved the cold into early December during their deep playoff runs the last two seasons.

Snowbanks from the weekend dumping were visible below the north grandstand.

Mexican clubs have won every CONCACAF Champions League title since the tournament rebranded in 2009. Seven of the nine finals have been all-Liga MX matches.

Real Salt Lake (2011) and the Montreal Impact (2015) are the last two MLS clubs to reach the final. Toronto made it to the semifinals in 2012.

Toronto defeated MLS side Colorado last February in the round of 16 before topping Tigres in the quarterfinals and Club America in the semifinals.

Chivas doesn’t boast the same firepower as those Mexican sides but its stifling defence can lead to effective counter-strikes.

The chippy play that marked Toronto’s last two rounds was replaced by a more disciplined style.

Chivas has been mediocre in Liga MX this season but has shone on the Champions stage, knocking off Cibao FC, the Seattle Sounders and the New York Red Bulls en route to the final.

The Champions League winner will serve as the CONCACAF representative at the FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in December.

Bank of Canada to make interest rate announcement, predictions for the economy

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Apr 18th, 2018

The Bank of Canada will decide Wednesday whether to continue raising interest rates, and will issue its latest predictions for the Canadian economy.

Most economists expect the central bank to retain its key rate at 1.25 per cent, the level it has been at since the last quarter-point increase in January.

But they’ll be watching to see if central bank governor Stephen Poloz signals more rate hikes ahead, especially given recent prospects of a deal from the renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement with the United States and Mexico.

Scotiabank Capital Markets economist Derek Holt says the Bank of Canada is facing “a conundrum of sorts,” in that economic growth has been disappointing as the NAFTA talks progressed, yet wage and price pressures are building.

That, he says, puts pressure on the bank to increase rates as a way of taming inflation.

On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund projected a moderate 2.1 per cent economic growth rate for Canada this year, but flashed warning signs of potential trouble ahead for the global economy.

Raptors take 2-0 series lead with 130-119 win against the Wizards

Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Apr 18th, 2018

The Toronto Raptors added another first to their historic NBA season on Tuesday.

DeMar DeRozan poured in 37 points to match his playoff high, and the Raptors beat the Washington Wizards 130-119 on Tuesday, taking a 2-0 lead in their opening-round playoff series.

It’s the first time Toronto has led a series 2-0, and comes three days after they won their first playoff opener in 17 years.

Jonas Valanciunas had 19 points and 14 rebounds, C.J. Miles added 18 points, while Kyle Lowry had 13 and 12 assists. Delon Wright added 11 points, while Serge Ibaka chipped in with 10.

John Wall had 29 points to top Washington, while Mike Scott added 20.

The Raptors clinched the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference for the first time this season with a franchise high 59 wins. They’ve lost just seven games at the Air Canada Centre.

But losers of many playoff openers themselves in past years, the Raptors were expecting a fierce pushback from Washington in Game 2.

“We seem to forget our Game 2s weren’t that bad (after losing Game 1s),” said coach Dwane Casey, who turned 61 on Tuesday. “We’ve got to know they’re going to come out in a desperate mode. They’ve been here for a few days, listening to everybody build us up, and we can’t fall for it. We’ve got to come out with the same mentality of toughness, physicality and be ready for a confrontation.”

Instead, the Wizards barely put up a fight in the first half as the Raptors sprinted out to a 22-point first-quarter lead, and smashed their franchise playoff records both for points in a quarter and half.

The Raptors’ shooting went south in the third quarter as they missed all seven of their three-point attempts. The Wizards pulled to within 100-90 with one quarter to play in front of an increasingly nervous crowd that included Drake, CFL hall of famer Mike “Pinball” Clemons, and Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan.

Back-to-back three-pointers from Scott and Ty Lawson and a pair of free throws from Wall made it a five-point game midway through the fourth, but the Raptors responded — a couple of key stops, a Miles three and a DeRozan jumper, and in less than a minute Toronto was back up by 10.

The Raptors led by double digits the rest of the way, putting a punctuation on the victory with a thrilling play with 3:38 to play. DeRozan saved the ball going out of bounds, and Lowry threw up an alley-oop that Wright finished in thunderous fashion, to the roar from the crowd.

The series now moves to Washington for Game 3 on Friday and Game 4 on Sunday.

The Raptors opened with a 114-106 victory in Game 1, the first time Toronto had won a playoff opener since 2001.

The Raptors had seven threes — from six different players — en route to a post-season franchise record 44 first quarter points. Rookie OG Anunoby had another solid start, and early in the quarter forced a Beal air ball and then calmly drilled a three on the Raptors’ next trip down the floor. Toronto took a 44-27 lead into the second.

Washington pulled to within 14 points a couple of times in the second quarter, but each time the Raptors squashed any hopes of a Wizards run. Miles led the way with three threes and 11 points in the frame, and Toronto took a 76-58 lead into the halftime break, breaking their franchise record of 63 points scored versus Miami in 2016.

The Raptors were outscored 32-24 in the third quarter.

No place to go: Transit headaches for TTC and GO riders

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Apr 17th, 2018

Transit riders not only had to cope with navigating the slushy and icy sidewalks Monday after the ice storm and continued rainfall, but also with getting to their destination.

First, on Sunday, the TTC was forced to shut down Line 3 (Scarborough RT) because of ice that built up on the third rail. Service resumed just before 7:30 a.m. on Monday.

Ahead of the Monday morning commute, the TTC also suspended subway service on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) between Victoria Park and Kennedy stations because of hydro issues at Warden Station. Just after 7 a.m., TTC spokesman Brad Ross tweeted that service had resumed.

There was also no subway service on Line 2 from Kipling to Jane stations due to a late-clearing work from the weekend. Service resumed just before 7:30 a.m.

Then, just when TTC riders were able to breathe a sigh of relief, three more issues popped up — two on Line 2, and one on Line 4 (Sheppard Yonge).

Around 8 a.m., the TTC said subway service was suspended on Line 2 from Woodbine to Kennedy stations due to a mechanical issue on a train at Victoria Park Station. Trains were back up and running a short time later.

And just before 8:30 a.m., subways were not running on Line 4 between Yonge-Sheppard and Bayview stations due to “loss of power.” Trains were running again an hour later.

The TTC also said riders can experience longer than normal travel times on Line 2 between Kipling and Royal York stations due to signal-related problems.

Across the GO Transit network, trains were not moving across the Milton line due to a person on the tracks. The line was reopened a short time later but with delays of up to 75 minutes. Earlier, trains on the Milton line were also running up to 40 minutes late due to a switch problem.

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