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Tailgating, music and free swag: how to celebrate the Maple Leafs season opener

MEREDITH BOND | posted Wednesday, Oct 3rd, 2018

Toronto Maple Leafs fans have been anxiously awaiting opening night since the day the team was booted from the playoffs in Game 7 by the Boston Bruins.

The expectations grew even higher the day John Tavares put on a Buds sweater back on July 1 and joined the young squad.

On Wednesday, the Leafs will start the 2018-2019 season at the Scotiabank Arena in an Original 6 match-up against the Montreal Canadiens and celebrations are starting early in the day.

Parks Canada Plaque Unveiling Ceremony

  • Parks Canada along with the Monuments Board of Canada is kicking things off with a plaque unveiling ceremony at the Scotiabank to commemorate the historic significance of the 101-year-old franchise.
  • President Brendan Shanahan will be on-hand for the ceremony at 1 p.m., which will also celebrate the Leafs’ 13 Stanley Cup wins, the last one coming in 1967.

Presto Card Giveaway

  • Maple Leafs alumnus Darcy Tucker will be at Spadina subway station at 4 p.m. handing out Presto Cards as a part of the inaugural season at Scotiabank Arena.
  • Scotiabank is giving away 10,000 free Presto Cards at seven TTC stations (Kipling, College, Spadina, Eglinton, Don Mills and Kennedy) and four GO stations(Oakville, Mimico, Pickering and Scarborough.Maple Leaf Square Tailgate Party

Maple Leaf Square Tailgate Party

  • Capping off the celebrations will be a massive tailgate party being held at Maple Leaf Square.
  • There will be a live DJ, some special guests and the chance to win some prizes, including season tickets and signed jerseys.
  • Darcy Tucker will also be at the tailgate party. The gates open at 5 p.m.

The Leafs remain tied atop the betting odds to win the Stanley Cup and a recent EA sports simulation has the Leafs winning the NHL championship.

Find out if Toronto will live up to the hype when the puck drops at 7 p.m. Coverage begins live on Sportsnet at 6 p.m. with Hockey Central Tonight.

If you are stuck at work for any of the games this season, Roger Peterson finds out how you can still watch or listen to the game in a throwback CityNews report.

Supply managed farmers to get compensation as a result of trade deal

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Oct 2nd, 2018

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the new trade deal with the United States and Mexico is a good one for Canada that protects the agricultural supply management system and staves off threatened auto tariffs.

Speaking to reporters in Ottawa, Trudeau says the revamped NAFTA deal — renamed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement — is successful in maintaining fairness and balance between Canada and the U.S., a trading partner 10 times its size.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says all farmers in supply management systems will be fairly compensated for the additional market access being given to trading partners in the deal.

However, she says the amount and type of compensation will be worked out in coming months while Canada, the United States and Mexico all work to ratify the agreement reached late Sunday.

Both Freeland and Trudeau say it’s important to remember that when the negotiations began over a year ago the U.S. aim was to dismantle supply management entirely, and Canada did not let that happen.

Trudeau noticeably did not mention U.S. President Donald Trump in his opening remarks, saying only in answer to a direct question that the relationship with the president has been challenging during the course of negotiations.

Facebook hit with class-action lawsuit after massive security breach

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Oct 2nd, 2018

A class-action lawsuit has been proposed in Canada against Facebook following a security breach that put the accounts of tens of millions of users at risk.

The social media company announced last week that about 50 million user accounts worldwide had been accessed by hackers, with another 40 million left vulnerable during the attack.

Using a video upload tool, which has been available on the site since July 2017, hackers were able to access users’ private messages and posts, as well as retrieve information through third-party websites like Instagram, Etsy and Spotify.

The company says there were no signs that any accounts were misused. Affected users were logged out and notified of the breach when they were logged back in.
Facebook Canada was not immediately available Monday for comment.

Toronto law firm Charney Lawyers PC, which is heading the class action, says Facebook has an obligation to ensure that user information is “properly protected.”

Trump cheers new USMCA trade deal, heralds end of NAFTA era

DIANA PEREIRA | posted Tuesday, Oct 2nd, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump is taking a victory lap at the White House, cheering Sunday’s last-minute free trade deal and pronouncing the death of the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump, flanked by trade ambassador Robert Lighthizer and adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, is calling the continent’s new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement the most important trade deal the U.S. has ever made.

He says the deal, reached late Sunday, will govern $1.2 trillion US in trade, making it the biggest agreement in the country’s history, and marks the end of an era during which the U.S. has been “treated so badly” on trade by other countries around the world.

Trump also says the deal treats American workers with “fairness and reciprocity,” unlike NAFTA, which he again described as the worst deal ever agreed to by the United States.

And he’s cheering the fact it will give American farmers and dairy producers greater access to markets in Canada and Mexico, protect auto manufacturing jobs and encourage innovation on U.S. soil.

Trump says he spoke earlier today with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and outgoing Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto, and is also extending thanks to Pena Nieto’s replacement, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.


Soccer star Ronaldo sued, accused of rape by Nevada woman

JIMMY GOLEN, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Tuesday, Oct 2nd, 2018

Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is being sued by a Nevada woman who said he raped her in the penthouse suite of a Las Vegas hotel in 2009 and then dispatched a team of “fixers” to obstruct the criminal investigation and trick her into keeping quiet for $375,000.

The suit says the woman asked police last month to reopen the criminal case; Las Vegas police confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday that they have reopened a sexual assault case from 2009 brought by the woman named in the lawsuit. The AP does not identify those who say they have been sexually assaulted.

Ronaldo’s attorney, Christian Schertz, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. But after a report on the case in Der Spiegel last week, he threatened to sue the German magazine, saying: “It violates the personal rights of our client Cristiano Ronaldo in an exceptionally serious way.”

In a smiling Instagram video posted hours after the suit was filed, Ronaldo appears to deny the allegations.

“Fake. Fake news,” said the five-time world player of the year, who moved to Juventus from Real Madrid this summer. “You want to promote by my name. It’s normal. They want to be famous, to say my name. But it is part of the job. I am a happy man and all good.”

The woman’s attorneys did not immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment.

The lawsuit claims that the woman, who was then 24, went with a friend to the Rain nightclub at the Palms Hotel and Casino on the night of June 12, 2009, and met Ronaldo there. It says he invited a group of people up to his suite “to enjoy the view of the Las Vegas strip” and then into the hot tub; according to the suit, he then barged in on her as she was changing, exposed himself and asked her for oral sex.

When she refused, the lawsuit claims, he raped her.

According to the lawsuit, and confirmed by police spokesman Aden OcampoGomez to the AP, the woman named in the suit reported the attack to police the same day. OcampoGomez said she also asked for a “sexual assault test,” which was performed at the University Medical Center.

The woman refused to tell police where the assault took place or assist with identifying a suspect other than to say he was a European soccer player, the spokesman said. A Portuguese citizen, Ronaldo was transferred from Manchester United to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 for a then-record sum of 94 million euros, or about $130 million.

“As of now this is an ongoing investigation and no further details are being released at this time,” OcampoGomez said.

The lawsuit claims that the woman’s family arranged for a lawyer “who only had several years of legal experience.” Negotiations left her with “intrusive thoughts, an increased sense of extreme anxiety and fearfulness, complete helplessness and passivity,” the lawsuit says.

“The psychological trauma of the sexual assault, the fear of public humiliation and retaliation and the reiteration of those fears by law enforcement and medical providers left plaintiff terrified and unable to act or advocate for herself,” the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit also accuses Ronaldo or those working for him of battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, coercion and fraud, abuse of a vulnerable person, racketeering and civil conspiracy, defamation, abuse of process, breach of contract, and negligence for allowing details of the confidential settlement to leak out.

It asks for general damages, special damages, punitive damages and special relief, each in excess of $50,000, along with interest, attorney fees and court costs.


Associated Press Writers Regina Garcia Cano in Las Vegas and Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this story.

50 million Facebook accounts affected by security breach

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS AND NEWS STAFF | posted Monday, Oct 1st, 2018

Facebook says it recently discovered a security breach affecting nearly 50 million user accounts.

The hack is the latest setback for Facebook during a year of tumult for the global social media service.

In a blog post on Friday, the company said hackers exploited its “View As” feature, which lets people see what their profiles look like to someone else. Facebook said it has taken steps to fix the security problem and alerted law enforcement.

In a conference call with reporters, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company “patched the issue last night.”

To deal with the issue, Facebook reset some logins, so 90 million people have been logged out and will have to log in again. That includes anyone who has been subject to a “View As” lookup in the past year.

Facebook said it doesn’t know who is behind the attacks or where they’re based.

Guy Rosen, vice-president of product management, said the company’s investigation is “early and it’s hard to determine exactly who is behind this and we may never know.”

Zuckerberg said that the company doesn’t know yet if any of the accounts that were hacked were misused.

Jake Williams, a security expert at Rendition Infosec, said the stolen access tokens would have likely allowed attackers to view private posts and probably post status updates or shared posts as the compromised user, but wouldn’t affect passwords.

“The bigger concern (and something we don’t know yet) is whether third party applications were impacted,” Williams said in a text exchange. “Facebook offers a login service for third parties to allow users to log into their apps using Facebook. In other words, Facebook is providing the identity management for countless other sites and services. These access tokens that were stolen show when a user is logged into Facebook and that may be enough to access a user’s account on a third party site.

News broke early this year that data analytics firm that once worked for the Trump campaign, Cambridge Analytica, had gained access to personal data from millions of user profiles. Then a congressional investigation found that agents from Russia and other countries have been posting fake political ads since at least 2016. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared at a Congressional hearing over Facebook’s privacy policies in April.

Facebook has more than two billion users worldwide. It is not yet known how many Canadian users were affected.

The company said people do not need to change their Facebook passwords, but anyone having trouble logging on should visit the site’s help centre . Those who want to log out can visit the “Security and Login” section of their settings, which lists the places that people are logged into Facebook. It has a one-click option of logging out of all locations.

Ed Mierzwinski, the senior director of consumer advocacy group U.S. PIRG, said the breach was “very troubling.”

“It’s yet another warning that Congress must not enact any national data security or data breach legislation that weakens current state privacy laws, preempts the rights of states to pass new laws that protect their consumers better, or denies their attorneys general rights to investigate violations of or enforce those laws,” he said in a statement.

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said “the most important point is that we found out from them,” meaning Facebook, as opposed to a third party.

“As a user, I want Facebook to proactively protect my data and let me know when it’s compromised,” he said. “Shareholders should ultimately approve of Facebook’s handling of the issue.”

Mayoral candidate Jennifer Keesmaat calls for eastern Gardiner tear down

NEWS STAFF | posted Monday, Oct 1st, 2018

It was a divisive topic at City Hall a few years ago and now mayoral candidate Jennifer Keesmaat is reigniting the debate of what should be done with the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway.

In 2016, city council approved a billion dollar plan to tear it down and rebuild it further north. Now, Keesmaat is calling that plan fiscally reckless and pledging an alternative that she says will save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

“We have an opportunity here, in this eastern portion, to continue the job that was begun many years ago, of opening up our waterfront land and reconnecting our city to the waterfront, ” said Keesmaat, who is now advocating for a grand boulevard east of Jarvis.

“And we can build new communities, with new jobs in retail and employment and affordable housing, places for people to live by unlocking this land and instead replacing it with a grand boulevard.”

Keesmaat says her plan would save taxpayers up to $500-million – money, she says, that would be reinvested into transit.

“It costs significantly less to build infrastructure on the ground than to rebuild it in the sky.”

Mayor John Tory says Keesmaat’s announcement contradicts earlier statements she made when she was chief planner, extolling the benefits of the hybrid plan and her team’s work on it.

“The fact that the city council, by a vote of 36-5, approved this expressway being moved and put in a new place where we can fee up more waterfront land for development on a plan that at the time Ms. Keesmaat took credit for and said her wonderful staff did a wonderful job, which they did, on putting forward this plan… is another example of what’s now going to happen,” said Tory. “She’s going to take us backwards and we’re going to go back to the drawing board to more debates after a decisive council decision and it’s solely to win votes.”

“I don’t think people have any time for that kind of flip-flopping.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, company settle fraud suit for $40M

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Monday, Oct 1st, 2018

Elon Musk’s future with Tesla Motors is clearer after the company settled a securities fraud lawsuit with the federal government, but there are other clouds hanging over the electric car maker.

Under an agreement announced Saturday by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Musk and Tesla each are paying $20 million to resolve the case. Musk gets to remain CEO but must relinquish his chairman’s role for at least three years. The complaint originally sought Musk’s removal as CEO.

One immediate challenge for Tesla is to hire an independent chairman to oversee the company and, just as importantly, its mercurial leader. In effect, the settlement is forcing Tesla into bringing in some managerial help for Musk, which some investors have been calling for.

Musk and Tesla reached their settlement without admitting to or denying the SEC’s allegations.

Tesla was on shaky financial ground even before government regulators set out to remove Musk. It has been under pressure to prove it can consistently manufacture enough cars to survive.

Tesla will soon release its production volume for the July through September period, likely by Wednesday. The manufacturing results will provide a gauge of Tesla’s financial health.

Musk told investors he expected Tesla to produce an average of 7,000 electric vehicles per week during the third quarter, enabling the company to post a profit – something it has rarely done since going public eight years ago.

Tesla’s stock is in need of good news, and the settlement should provide that. The stock is down 30 per cent since hitting an all-time closing high of $379.57 on Aug. 7 – the day Musk tweeted about possibly taking the company private, tweets that sparked the SEC lawsuit.

The steep downturn in Tesla’s market value may have influenced Musk to have an apparent change of heart and negotiate a settlement. Musk had rejected a settlement offer before the SEC sued Thursday, maintaining he had done nothing wrong when he posted a tweet declaring that he had secured the financing to lead a buyout of Tesla.

Investors had worried that Musk would be forced out of the company at a time when Tesla is possibly in a financial bind.

Here’s the problem: Tesla already has accumulated more than $10 billion in debt while it has been burning through about $1 billion in cash every three months. It ended June with $2.2 billion in the bank, meaning the company will likely have to borrow more unless it starts making money.

To compound matters, about $1.3 billion in debt is due to be repaid by March, including $230 million in November.

Analysts’ concerns about Tesla’s financial position will dissipate if the company began to make money in the third quarter, as Musk promised the company would do.

Tesla is expected to release its third-quarter financial results in early November.

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