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Kim commits to ‘complete denuclearization’ during nuclear summit with Trump


President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un concluded an extraordinary nuclear summit Tuesday with the U.S. president pledging unspecified “security guarantees” to the North and Kim recommitting to the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

Meeting with staged ceremony on a Singapore island, Trump and Kim came together for a summit that seemed unthinkable months ago, clasping hands in front of a row of alternating U.S. and North Korean flags, holding a one-on-one meeting, additional talks with advisers and a working lunch.

Both leaders expressed optimism throughout roughly five hours of talks, with Trump thanking Kim afterward “for taking the first bold step toward a bright new future for his people.”

Trump added during a news conference that Kim has before him “an opportunity like no other” to bring his country back into the community of nations if he agrees to give up his nuclear program.

Trump announced that he will be freezing U.S. military “war games” with its ally South Korea while negotiations between the two countries continue. Trump cast the decision as a cost-saving measure, but North Korea has long objected to the drills as a security threat.

Trump acknowledged that the timetable for denuclearization is long, but said, “once you start the process it means it’s pretty much over.”

Trump sidestepped his public praise for an autocrat whose people have been oppressed for decades. He added Otto Warmbier, an American once detained in North Korea, “did not die in vain” because his death brought about the nuclear talks.

Trump said Kim accepted his invitation to visit the White House at the “appropriate” time.

Light on specifics, the document signed by the leaders largely amounted to an agreement to continue discussions as it echoed previous public statements and past commitments. It did not include an agreement to take steps toward ending the technical state of warfare between the U.S. and North Korea.

The pair promised in the document to “build a lasting and stable peace regime” on the Korean Peninsula and to repatriate remains of prisoners of war and those missing in action during the Korean War.

Language on North Korea’s bombs was similar to what the leaders of North and South Korea came up with at their own summit in April. At the time, the Koreans faced criticism for essentially kicking the issue of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal down the road to Tuesday’s Trump-Kim summit. Trump and Kim even directly referenced the so-called Panmunjom Declaration, which contained a weak commitment to denuclearization and no specifics on how to achieve it.

The formal document signing followed a series of meetings at a luxury Singapore resort.
After the signing, Trump said he expected to “meet many times” in the future with Kim and, in response to questions, said he “absolutely” would invite Kim to the White House. For his part, Kim hailed the “historic meeting” and said they “decided to leave the past behind.”

In a moment that would never happen in North Korea, reporters began yelling questions to Trump and Kim after they signed the document, including whether they had discussed the case of Otto Warmbier, the American college student who suffered brain damage while in North Korean custody and died in June 2017, days after he was returned home to Ohio.

In the run-up to the meeting, Trump had predicted the two men might strike a nuclear deal or forge a formal end to the Korean War in the course of a single meeting or over several days. But in the hours before the summit, the White House unexpectedly announced Trump would depart Singapore earlier than expected – Tuesday evening – raising questions about whether his aspirations for an ambitious outcome had been scaled back.

The meeting was the first between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

Aware that the eyes of the world were on a moment many people never expected to see, Kim said many of those watching would think it was a scene from a “science fiction movie.”

After meeting privately and with aides, Trump and Kim moved into the luncheon at a long flower-bedecked table. As they entered, Trump injected some levity to the day’s extraordinary events, saying: “Getting a good picture everybody? So we look nice and handsome and thin? Perfect.”

Then they dined on beef short rib confit along with sweet and sour crispy pork.

And as they emerged from the meal for a brief stroll together, Trump appeared to delight in showing his North Korean counterpart the interior of “The Beast,” the famed U.S. presidential limousine known for its high-tech fortifications.

Critics of the summit leapt at the leaders’ handshake and the moonlight stroll Kim took Monday night along the glittering Singapore waterfront, saying it was further evidence that Trump was helping legitimize Kim on the world stage. Kim has been accused of horrific rights abuses against his people.

“It’s a huge win for Kim Jong Un, who now – if nothing else – has the prestige and propaganda coup of meeting one on one with the president, while armed with a nuclear deterrent,” said Michael Kovrig, a northeast Asia specialist at the International Crisis Group in Washington.

Trump responded to such commentary on Twitter, saying: “The fact that I am having a meeting is a major loss for the U.S., say the haters & losers.” But he added “our hostages” are back home and testing, research and launches have stopped.

Giving voice to the anticipation felt around the world as the meeting opened, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday he “hardly slept” before the summit. Moon and other officials watched the live broadcast of the summit before a South Korean Cabinet meeting in his presidential office.

The summit capped a dizzying few days of foreign policy activity for Trump, who shocked U.S. allies over the weekend by using a meeting in Canada of the Group of Seven industrialized economies to alienate America’s closest friends in the West. Lashing out over trade practices, Trump lobbed insults at his G-7 host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trump left that summit early and, as he flew to Singapore, tweeted that he was yanking the U.S. out of the group’s traditional closing statement.

The optimistic summit was a remarkable change in dynamics from less than a year ago, when Trump was threatening “fire and fury” against Kim, who in turn scorned the American president as a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.” Beyond the impact on both leaders’ political fortunes, the summit could shape the fate of countless people – the citizens of impoverished North Korea, the tens of millions living in the shadow of the North’s nuclear threat, and millions more worldwide.

Alluding to the North’s concerns that giving up its nuclear weapons could surrender its primary deterrent to forced regime change, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that the U.S. was prepared to take action to provide North Korea with “sufficient certainty” that denuclearization “is not something that ends badly for them.”

He would not say whether that included the possibility of withdrawing U.S. troops from the Korean Peninsula, but said the U.S. was “prepared to take what will be security assurances that are different, unique, than America’s been willing to provide previously.”

The North has faced crippling diplomatic and economic sanctions as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Pompeo held firm to Trump’s position that sanctions will remain in place until North Korea denuclearizes – and said they would even increase if diplomatic discussions did not progress positively.

De Niro in Toronto talking Trump tirade as trade war looms


After cursing out U.S. President Donald Trump during an awards show appearance over the weekend, actor Robert De Niro took the opportunity to take another jab at the president for his stance on Canada-U.S trade while in Toronto for a restaurant unveiling on Monday.

“I just want to make a note of apology for the idiotic behaviour of my president,” said De Niro, followed by applause from the crowd. “It’s a disgrace and I apologize to Justin Trudeau and to the other people at the G7”


De Niro’s apology was in response to President Trump’s Twitter tirade that took aim at Canadian industry, trade and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following the G7 summit. It comes on the heels of De Niro’s Tony Awards speech, which made international headlines on Sunday night.

“I’m going to say one thing — F*** Trump,” De Niro said on the Tony’s stage, to thunderous applause and a standing ovation from the audience. “It’s no longer ‘down with Trump’, its ‘f*** Trump.”

Following his remarks, some CityNews viewers said on Twitter that the actor deserves a key to the city and even Canada. De Niro said he’d be happy to accept.

“That’d be nice, I’ll take it,” he told CityNews reporter Adrian Ghobrial. “The sooner he’s out of office the better for all of us. (Trump is) an idiot, he’s just done something unspeakable…it’s terrible”

De Niro’s remarks come following a tumultuous weekend for U. S. — Canada relations when Trump and Trudeau joined other G-7 leaders in Quebec.

In a press conference, Trudeau called U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs unjust and promised retaliatory tariffs. He said the U.S. had moved forward with the tariffs on the basis of “national security”, a position Trudeau called “kind of insulting.”

After Trudeau’s statements, Trump fired back in tweets, calling the Canadian Prime Minister “meek and mild” as well as “very dishonest and weak.”

De Niro is one of many who have thrown their support behind Trudeau, including G7 allies German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron. At home, support has crossed the political spectrum. Ontario premier-designate Doug Ford, who is known to have praised Trump in the past, says he’s standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Trudeau on trade.

Political tension of this scale between Canada and the U.S. has not been seen since perhaps as far back as the 1960s, with the contentious relationship between Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and President John. F. Kennedy.

Former Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Allan Gotleib says the “special relationship” Canada shared with the U.S. is no more, painting a bleak picture of the trade tiff the two nations are currently embroiled in.

“The advice I would give now to anybody who is in a position of decision-making is to keep cool and don’t react in anger, although it’s understandable,” says Gotleib, who worked with former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

“Keep cool because what we can see from the President is very unpredictable. The Trump of today is not necessarily the Trump of yesterday, or the trump of tomorrow.”

In the current climate, Gotleib also stresses the importance of the diversification of Canada’s trade relations.

“It’s taken us about 50 years to realize how important diversification is and every political leader in Canada since that time has talked about the need for diversification,” he says.

But he says all that talk has not necessarily resulted in major policy changes, adding that while Canada now conducts trade with China, Mexico and other world powers, on the whole the country has not diversified as much as it needs to.

Got-Leib adds that 80 percent of all of Canada’s exports go to the United states. And they’re our top import partner too, so with Canada planning to impose tariffs of its own, the consequences will be felt in your wallet. Douglas Goold with the Toronto Region Board of Trade says price increases could go beyond the price of vehicles, to the cost of dairy and fresh produce at the grocery store. He adds that if this dispute drags on, negative consequences are inevitable.

“(The board)  is very concerned about the latest Trump comments, which I think are relatively unprecedented in diplomatic terms, and not helpful to the process,” says Douglas Goold, VP Policy, Toronto Region Board of Trade.

Goold says the board is “broadly supportive” of the NAFTA negotiations that are currently underway and wants to see them come to fruition.

“We want to see at all costs, the avoidance of a trade war, and I think the worry is it’s going to get worse not better,” he says.

“We’re really worried about the uncertainty that these trade disputes are leading to and investors, above all, like certainty. And I think the longer this goes on, the more the problem will persist.”

Goold adds that if the trade relations remain unstable, it’s possible fewer tourists will visit from south of the border, which in turn could impact Toronto’s tourism industry.

Mother facing charges after letting 3-year-old steer on the highway

News Staff | posted Tuesday, Jun 12th, 2018

Durham police say a mother from Beaverton is facing multiple charges after letting her three-year-old daughter drive on the highway.

On May 31, several videos surfaced on social media of a woman driving on different occasions on a highway at a high rate of speed with her daughter on her lap, steering the vehicle.

Police say the suspect also filmed the incident on her cellphone and neither of them were wearing seatbelts.

They were able to identify the suspect and have arrested her. The Children’s Aid Society has also been notified.

The 33-year-old woman is facing multiple charges including parent not providing the necessities of life and careless driving.

Her name is being withheld to protect the identity of the child.

Anyone with information related to the investigation is asked to contact police.

Search ongoing for missing boater near Bluffers Park

News Staff | posted Monday, Jun 11th, 2018

Toronto police are searching for a man in his 20s after he fell off a boat near Bluffers Park Sunday night.

The Trenton Rescue Centre says there was a group of people on a boat about 1-2,000 feet offshore when one man fell overboard.

The Marine unit, a Toronto Fire board, a Coast Guard ship and a Royal Canadian Air Forces helicopter have been searching the area ever since.

There is no word on how the man fell out of the boat or if he was wearing a life-jacket.

Toronto police say the search continued overnight.

Trump expresses optimism amid final Kim summit preparations

Zeke Miller, Catherine Lucey, Josh Lederman, The Associated Press | posted Monday, Jun 11th, 2018

On the eve of their historic and unprecedented summit, President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un prepared Tuesday for a meeting that could define the fate of millions, along with their own political futures, with Trump forecasting a “nice” outcome and Kim spending the day out of view.

Both sides were finalizing preparations for the meeting, which was to kick off at 9 a.m. Tuesday with a handshake between Trump and Kim, an image sure to be devoured around the world. Trump and Kim planned to meet one on one, joined only by translators, for up to two hours before admitting their respective advisers, a U.S. official said. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about internal deliberations and insisted on anonymity.

The summit will be the first between a North Korean leader and a sitting American president. In Singapore, the island city-state hosting the summit, the sense of anticipation was palpable, with people lining spotless streets Monday waving cellphones as Trump headed to meet Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

As Trump and Lee sat down for a working lunch at the Istana house, Trump sounded optimistic, telling Lee, “we’ve got a very interesting meeting in particular tomorrow, and I think things can work out very nicely.” Trump had earlier tweeted about the “excitement in the air!”

Meanwhile, U.S. and North Korean officials huddled at the Ritz-Carlton hotel Monday ahead of the sit-down aimed at resolving a standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal. A second round of meetings was planned for the afternoon as officials worked to lay the groundwork for progress to be made Tuesday, according to the official familiar with the preparations. Delegates were outlining specific goals for what Trump and Kim should try to accomplish and multiple scenarios for how key issues can be resolved.

The meetings also served as an ice breaker of sorts as the teams worked to get better acquainted after decades of minimal U.S.-North Korea contact. In a sign of lingering tensions, the North Koreans have been closely scrutinizing all American staffers are slated to be in any U.S.-North Korea meetings, including translators, photographers and logistical staff, asking how they can be sure the American are not actually spies.

Trump and Kim arrived in Singapore on Sunday, both staying at luxurious and heavily guarded hotels less than half a mile apart, with Trump at the Shangri-La Hotel and Kim at the St. Regis Hotel.

“The entire world is watching the historic summit between (North Korea) and the United States of America,” Kim told Lee through an interpreter when they met Sunday.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the former CIA director, spent the morning preparing with his top advisers, aides said. He was joined in Singapore by Ambassador Sung Kim, the U.S. envoy to the Philippines; and Ambassador Michael McKinley, a career diplomat Pompeo recently tapped to be his senior adviser.

Pompeo in a statement described the meetings as “substantive and detailed” and said Trump was “well-prepared” to meet the North Korean leader.

Pompeo travelled twice to Pyongyang in recent months to lay the groundwork for Trump’s meeting, becoming the most senior member of Trump’s team to spend time with Kim face to face.

Trump has said he hopes to make a legacy-defining deal for the North to give up its nuclear weapons, though he has recently sought to minimize expectations, saying additional meetings may be necessary.

Asked Saturday about his goals, he said: “Well, I think the minimum would be relationship. You would start at least a dialogue, because, you know, as a deal person, I have done very well with deals.”

The North has faced crippling diplomatic and economic sanctions as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Experts believe the North is close to being able to target the entire U.S. mainland with its nuclear-armed missiles, and while there’s deep skepticism that Kim will quickly give up those hard-won nukes, there’s also some hope that diplomacy can replace the animosity between the U.S. and the North.

As Trump was trying to build a bridge with Kim, he was smashing longtime alliances with Western allies, withdrawing from the G-7 joint communique, escalating a trade fight and launching blistering criticism against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Trump continued to tweet angrily at Trudeau from Singapore, saying Monday “Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal.”

One top Trump adviser cast the move as a show of strength before the Kim meeting. Economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CBS News in Washington that “Kim must not see American weakness,” adding that by criticizing new tariffs, Trudeau was “pouring collateral damage on this whole Korean trip.”

While advisers insist Trump has been reviewing briefing materials, he insists his gut instincts will matter most when he gets in the room with Kim. He told reporters he thinks he will know almost immediately whether a deal can be made, saying: “I will know, just my touch, my feel. That’s what I do.”

Pyongyang has said it is willing to deal away its entire nuclear arsenal if the United States provides it with reliable security assurances and other benefits. But there are major doubts, given how hard it has been for Kim to build his program and that the weapons are seen as the major guarantee to his holding onto unchecked power.

Any nuclear deal will hinge on the North’s willingness to allow unfettered outside inspections of the country’s warheads and nuclear fuel, much of which is likely kept in a vast complex of underground facilities. Past nuclear deals have crumbled over North Korea’s reluctance to open its doors to outsiders.

Another possibility from the summit is a deal to end the Korean War, which North Korea has long demanded, presumably, in part, to get U.S. troops off the Korean Peninsula and eventually pave the way for a North Korean-led unified Korea.

Trump has also raised the possibility of further summits and an agreement ending the Korean War by replacing the armistice signed in 1953 with a peace treaty. China and South Korea would have to sign off on any legal treaty.

Robert De Niro bleeped at Tony Awards for Trump F-bomb

Leanna Italie, The Associated Press | posted Monday, Jun 11th, 2018

With a bleep on live television and double fists raised in the air, Robert De Niro got the theatre crowd on its feet at the Tony Awards with a rousing political introduction of his old friend Bruce Springsteen that was focused squarely elsewhere: on President Donald Trump.

De Niro, a staunch Trump opponent, dropped a couple of F-bombs heard clearly by the Radio City Music crowd Sunday night. The CBS television audience heard dead silence instead before he raised his arms — twice — and earned a sustained standing ovation.

The legendary actor urged the audience to vote in November and lauded Springsteen for his own political commitment before the singer sat at a piano for a moving performance based on his “Springsteen on Broadway” show that had him singing his classic hit, “My Hometown.”

De Niro said of Springsteen: “Bruce, you can rock the house like nobody else and even more importantly in these perilous times, you rock the vote, always fighting for, in your own words, truth, transparency and integrity in government. Boy, do we need that now.”

The anti-Trump sentiment swept backstage as playwright Tony Kushner and others from “Angels in America” spoke to reporters about its three big wins: best play revival and acting trophies for Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane

“I agree,” Kushner said when asked about the De Niro moment, dropping an F-bomb of his own in relation to the president.

“I can’t believe De Niro did that,” Kushner said. “Good for him. I mean, it’s Robert De Niro. Who’s gonna argue with him?”

Kushner went even further, calling Trump’s presidency “the Hitler mistake” that put a “borderline psychotic narcissist in the White House.”

Liberals set to unveil changes to key program fighting homelessness

Jordan Press, The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Jun 11th, 2018

A cornerstone federal strategy to combat homelessness is set to receive a makeover this week that’s expected to focus on outcomes, rather than how quickly cities are spending.

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy is the key vehicle through which federal money flows to cities for funding local efforts to help people get off the streets and into homes.

Despite some successes, the program has come under criticism for having burdensome reporting requirements and too restrictive a scope.

Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos is expected to address those concerns Monday when he unveils planned changes to the Homelessness Partnering Strategy and the rules governing $2.1 billion in program funds to be spent over the next decade.

The government is expected to take an outcomes-based approach to the fund by providing money in exchange for results, rather than timely spending.

The changes are also expected to allow money to be spent on projects that are outside the “housing first” umbrella, which stipulates that they find housing and services for people right away, rather than requiring them to seek treatment first.

The Liberal government has taken a long look at the program after hearing complaints from cities about cumbersome reporting requirements, inadequate funding and unrealistic expectations about how quickly the money could be spent.

The 2017 federal budget doubled the amount of money the government plans to spend on the program over the next decade.

It targets local programs that help two groups: the chronically homeless, and those who repeatedly find themselves living on the street. Between 2014 and 2016, federally targeted spending helped put more than 6,000 people into stable housing, with 41 per cent of them still housed after one year, a recently released evaluation concluded.

The evaluation also raised concerns that funding allocations for cities hadn’t taken into account substantial demographic changes over the past few years, including the growth of cities out west.

In May, an advisory panel recommended widening the definition of homelessness to provide programs beyond those targeting the chronically and episodically homeless, and rework the homelessness strategy to better meet the needs of women fleeing domestic violence, LGBTQ youth, veterans, and Indigenous Peoples.

It also called for a firm deadline for eliminating homelessness in Canada.

The announcement Monday in Toronto will mark the latest piece of a national poverty-reduction strategy the Liberals have promised to deliver in its entirety by next year.

For Bourdain, food was a storytelling tool and a passport

Jocelyn Noveck, The Associated Press | posted Monday, Jun 11th, 2018

Many people thought Anthony Bourdain had the most enviable career in existence. He didn’t deny it.

“I have the best job in the world,” the globe-trotting food-taster and culinary storyteller once told the New Yorker magazine, stating the rather obvious. “If I’m unhappy, it’s a failure of imagination.”

Bourdain’s stunned fans were mourning the loss of that singular imagination on Friday following his death from an apparent suicide, recalling everything from his fearless consumption of a beating cobra’s heart or a sheep testicle — “like any other testicle,” he remarked — to his outspoken support of the #MeToo movement, to his blissful paean to syrup-soaked pecan waffles at Waffle House.

“I want it all,” he wrote in his breakthrough 2000 memoir, Kitchen Confidential. “I want to try everything once.” And it seemed that he pretty much accomplished that, travelling the globe some 200 days a year for his TV shows, reveling not in fancy tasting menus — which he scorned — but in simple pleasures like a cold beer and spicy noodles in Hanoi, which he once shared with former President Barack Obama. For him, food, though a huge pleasure, was more importantly a storytelling tool, and a passport to the world at large.

It was a lifestyle that, while undeniably glamorous, took a toll, he suggested in a 2017 New Yorker profile. “I change location every two weeks,” he said. “I’m not going to remember your birthday. I’m not going to be there for the important moments in your life.”

Not surprisingly, it was on the road, in eastern France, that Bourdain, 61, was found unresponsive Friday morning by good friend and chef Eric Ripert. He’d been working on an episode for the 12th season of his CNN show, Parts Unknown. A prosecutor said he had apparently killed himself in a luxury hotel in the ancient village of Kaysersberg. He left behind an 11-year-old daughter, Ariane, from his second marriage. In a 2008 interview with The Associated Press, Bourdain had said his daughter’s birth had changed his outlook on life: “I feel obliged to at least do the best I can and not do anything really stupidly self-destructive if I can avoid it.”

At the time of his death, his girlfriend was Asia Argento, the Italian actress who has accused Harvey Weinstein of rape. In an essay written after fellow chef Mario Batali was accused of sexual assault, Bourdain wrote that “one must pick a side … I stand unhesitatingly and unwaveringly with the women.” Argento wrote on Twitter Friday that Bourdain “was my love, my rock, my protector.”

Traversing the globe meant visiting areas of conflict and also intense poverty, and Bourdain didn’t shy away from either. In No Reservations on the Travel Channel, he went to Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2011, and reflected on his ambivalence at being there. “I’m there talking about local cuisine, and that means I’m shovelling food into my face … that a lot of those people can’t afford,” he said. And he described how his well-meaning efforts to feed locals around him led to chaos and “hungry kids being beaten with a stick.”

There was, of course, a more lighthearted side to his travels, including some wild and bizarre eating experiences. In Morocco, it was that roasted sheep’s testicle. In Canada, it was a raw seal’s eyeball. In Namibia, it was the wrong end of a warthog (he wound up with a parasite.) In Vietnam, it was the still-beating heart of a cobra that had just been sliced open.

Much closer to home — Bourdain lived in New York, when he wasn’t travelling — was a late-night visit to Waffle House in Charleston, South Carolina, described in poetic terms by Bourdain as “an irony-free zone where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts; where everybody regardless of race, creed, colour or degree of inebriation is welcomed.” Sampling the pecan waffle drowning in butter and maple syrup, he exclaimed, “This is BETTER than French Laundry, man,” referring to the Napa Valley temple of high cuisine.

That clip was being widely shared on Friday, and fans were also flocking to Amazon, where at mid-afternoon, four of the six top-selling books were by Bourdain. Kitchen Confidential was No. 1.

In that acclaimed book, Bourdain, who born in New York City and raised in Leonia, New Jersey, candidly described his personal struggles, including drug use that led to his dropping out of Vassar College.

But he thrived in restaurant kitchens, and that work led him to the Culinary Institute of America, where he graduated in 1978. He eventually became executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in 1998. In the preface to the latest edition of Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain wrote of his shock at the success of his book, which he managed to write by getting up at 5 a.m. before his kitchen shifts.

“The new celebrity chef culture is a remarkable and admittedly annoying phenomenon,” he wrote. “While it’s been nothing but good for business … few people are less suited to be suddenly thrown into the public eye than chefs.”

Fellow celebrity chefs didn’t always gain Bourdain’s respect or praise. Many earned his unfettered scorn. Among them: Alice Waters, whose insistence on organic food he once described as “very Khmer Rouge.” He called Sandra Lee “pure evil,” and worse. He called New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse “Ewok-like,” and Guy Fieri’s Times Square eatery, Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar, a “terror-dome.”

But Lagasse became his friend, and he tweeted Friday: “Tony was a great soul, a mentor, a friend, a father, and an incredible chef.” His friend Ripert, the famed chef of Le Bernardin, called him “an exceptional human being, so inspiring and generous, one of the great storytellers of our time who connected with so many.” Saul Montiel, executive chef at the Mexican restaurant Cantina Roof Top in Manhattan, called Bourdain “one of the few chefs that valued the work of Latinos in the kitchen.”

Countless more wrote of their shock and sadness. Some noted that Bourdain’s death came just days after the suicide of fashion designer Kate Spade, also a great shock to those who knew her. Bourdain’s own mother, Gladys Bourdain, a longtime editor at The New York Times, said she had no indication that her son might have been thinking of suicide.

“He is absolutely the last person in the world I would have ever dreamed would do something like this,” she told the Times. “He had everything. Success beyond his wildest dreams. Money beyond his wildest dreams.”

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