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Police search for 2 gunmen who opened fire near boy, 8, in Jamestown

NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Oct 25th, 2018

Toronto police are looking for two gunmen who brazenly opened fire on another person in Jamestown on Saturday, just missing an eight-year-old boy who was on his way to buy candy at a nearby store.

“It’s a miracle that the young boy wasn’t struck,” Superintendent Ron Taverner said on Thursday.

Police say two men got out of a white SUV on Jamestown Crescent near John Garland Boulevard and started shooting at a person who had crossed the street. Fifteen shell casings from two different guns were later recovered at the scene.

The boy was in the line of fire, but luckily wasn’t injured.

Police say no victim has come forward and they aren’t certain if the shooting was targeted or random.

1 dead in 2-vehicle crash involving ambulance in Brampton

NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Oct 25th, 2018

One male is dead and two paramedics are injured in a two-vehicle crash in Brampton on Wednesday night.

Peel police responded to a call around 8:30 p.m. in the McMurchy Avenue and Queen Street area where a BMW and an ambulance were involved in a crash.

Const. Danny Martini told CityNews it was a head-on collision.

“Initial investigation tells us that the ambulance was at a stop. They were waiting to make a left-hand turn,” she said.

“They were on Queen Street when the other vehicle came through the intersection and collided with them.”

The driver of the BMW suffered critical injuries. Paramedics rushed to his aid but he was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

Two male paramedics in the ambulance suffered minor injuries and were taken to hospital in non-life-threatening condition. The ambulance was not transporting a patient or responding to a call at the time of the crash.

Roads in the area are closed for the investigation.

High demand, Canada Post strikes affecting cannabis delivery: OCS

NEWS STAFF | posted Wednesday, Oct 24th, 2018

The Ontario Cannabis Store is asking customers for a little understanding and a lot of patience when it comes to tardy pot deliveries, saying it has been dealing with “unbelievably high demand” in tandem with job action by Canada Post workers.

The combination has created longer than normal wait times for legal bud.

“Our staff is working around the clock to fulfill customer orders,” the OCS said in a release. “Still, the unbelievably high demand and complications related to rotating strikes at Canada Post will mean longer-than-expected delivery times for some people.

“While a majority of first-day orders will be fulfilled within days, many first-day customers will still see delivery times that are longer. With over 9,000 Canada Post workers off the job in the GTA today, delivery times could be further impacted as the situation at Canada Post unfolds.”

The OCS said it has a contingency plan in place to deal with the labour dispute at Canada Post and “will provide details at such time it would become necessary to put this plan into action.”

The OCS added Ontario received more online orders in the first 24 of legalization than all other provinces combined.

“Despite this, OCS has adequate product supply to fulfill these orders and continues to receive supply on a regular basis,” it said.

Marijuana, which became legal on Oct. 17, can only be bought on the OCS website for now. Sales through private stores overseen by the LCBO are expected to begin in April.

High demand has led to issues across Canada.

Some storefronts in Edmonton have been weedless for days and are struggling to restock. According to CityNews in Winnipeg, most stores are sold out of multiple strains and are now offering only limited products. Their online store sold out just hours into legalization.

Quebec is now alerting customers to a lack of products, including oils, sprays, gels and pre-rolled joints.

Ford government to freeze minimum wage for 33 months, scrap 2 paid sick days

THE CANADIAN PRESS, NEWS STAFF | posted Wednesday, Oct 24th, 2018

Ontario will cap the province’s minimum wage at $14 an hour until 2020 as part of a rollback of labour reforms introduced by the previous Liberal government.

The Progressive Conservatives say businesses were hurt by the changes brought in by the previous regime.

Ontario’s minimum wage increased from $11.60 to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, and was set to rise to $15 an hour next year as a result of the Liberal law.

Economic Development Minister Jim Wilson says the province plans to link future increases to minimum wage to the rate of inflation.

The government will also reduce the number of personal leave days currently provided to workers to eight from ten.

Under the Tory government’s new labour legislation, workers will be entitled to three days off for personal illness, two day off for bereavement leave and three for family responsibilities.

Razor blade found in chocolate bar bought in Toronto: police

NEWS STAFF | posted Wednesday, Oct 24th, 2018

Toronto police are investigating after a man allegedly found a razor blade in a package of chocolate bars last weekend.

The 41-year-old man said he bought the package of Twix Minis at the Dollarama in Stock Yards Village at Weston Road and St. Clair Avenue West on Saturday.

It’s alleged when he unwrapped one of the bars, he found a razor blade inside.

He wasn’t injured.

Police are asking anyone with information to call them.

Rome escalator accident injures 20 Russian soccer fans

PAOLO SANTALUCIA, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Wednesday, Oct 24th, 2018

At least 20 people were injured when an escalator in the Rome metropolitan system collapsed Tuesday night.

A video shown on Sky TG24 shows the escalator accelerating suddenly, and the people riding down on it collapsing one onto another. The dramatic footage shows people on the parallel escalator trying to pull others to safety.

The cause was not immediately known. The metropolitan station at Piazza Repubblica near the main Termine train station was closed by investigators.

“The scene that we found was people piled up at the bottom of the escalator,” said Rome provincial fire chief Giampietro Boscaino. “People one on the top of the other looking for help. They had various injuries caused by the escalator that was twisted, therefore serious injuries.”

The prefect’s office put the number of injured at 20, mostly Russians in town for a Champion’s League soccer game between CSKA Moscow and Roma. Firefighters said seven were in serious condition.

The news agency ANSA quoted Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi as saying that witnesses reported people were jumping and dancing on the escalator before the accident. ANSA also quoted city transport agency officials as saying maintenance is carried out on metro system escalators every month.

Separately, one CSKA fan was slashed with a knife during clashes between opposing fans outside the Stadio Olimpico, the ANSA news agency reported.

About 1,500 CSKA fans were attending the match.

Canadian satellites vulnerable to cyberattack, internal Defence note warns

JIM BRONSKILL, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Oct 24th, 2018

Satellites vital to Canadian military operations are vulnerable to cyberattack or even a direct missile strike — just one example of why the country’s defence policy must extend fully into the burgeoning space frontier, an internal Defence Department note warns.

The Canadian military already heavily depends on space-based assets for basic tasks such as navigation, positioning, intelligence-gathering, surveillance and communications. Canada is also working on the next generation of satellites to assist with search-and-rescue and round-the-clock surveillance of maritime approaches to the country, including the Arctic.

But those important roles could be endangered as technological advances and lower costs allow more countries, including adversaries, to cause trouble in orbit. Powers such as China and Russia are developing the ability to wage technological attacks in space, the note points out.

“Easier access could also open the door to non-state actors or to failed states with nothing to lose from disrupting space.”

Canada’s new defence policy underscores the importance of space, creating a need for “innovative investment” to ensure National Defence has the tools and know-how to fend off threats, the internal document adds.

A copy of the note, Space Technology Trends: Threats and Opportunities, was recently obtained by The Canadian Press through the Access to Information Act. Several sensitive passages were stripped from the note, prepared last November for the deputy minister of National Defence.

In a statement, the department called the intention to protect and defend military space technology a “very important change” in the new policy.

“What ‘defending and protecting’ these assets means in practice will evolve, as technology and international discussions mature.”

Despite public perception, the militarization of space actually happened decades ago, said Dave Perry, vice-president and senior analyst at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

“Militaries the world over depend on an extraordinary amount of infrastructure that’s space-based, even if there are no physical weapons in space,” he said in an interview. “Space is well-emerged, but we keep calling it emerging.”

Even so, the internal note points out space is becoming ever more congested due to the advent of commercial space companies and the dawn of space tourism. “In addition, more and more nations are becoming space-capable and will expect their share of access to space.”

The most direct threat to Canada’s space capabilities comes from adversaries with the ability to attack satellites, the note bluntly states. China, for example, has demonstrated the ability to destroy one of its aging low-orbit weather satellites with a ballistic missile, creating plenty of space debris.

Other possible tactics include a directed energy attack, electronic jamming or a cyberattack, which can temporarily or permanently disable a satellite, the note adds.

It says Canada is working with the U.S. and other allies on the idea of being able to quickly dispatch replacements for critical space assets that are damaged or destroyed.

As artificial intelligence becomes more prevalent in operating space technology, such as a robotic arm, it will be easier for a hostile player to sabotage it, Perry said.

“If you can figure out a way to affect the software, then that’s a potential vulnerability. Whereas before you would have (needed to fly) someone there, and actually put them on the piece of equipment, to be able to do something.”

High-resolution images of the Earth captured by space satellites, once exclusive to the military, have become increasingly available to other government agencies, companies, the public and hostile players — essentially “whomever is willing to pay,” the note says.

The accessibility of this data and the ability to link it with other sources, such as social media, “will present immense challenges” to privacy and public safety.

As space-based sensing and communication technologies rapidly improve, they become capable of scooping up more information, creating another headache for the military, the note says.

“The challenge of collecting, handling, storing, processing and accessing this data will become more and more severe as the data volume, velocity and variety continues to increase.”

Winning $1.6B Mega Millions ticket sold in S. Carolina

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Wednesday, Oct 24th, 2018

DES MOINES, Iowa — Lottery officials say someone has won the record $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot.

Mega Millions officials said a ticket purchased in South Carolina matches all six numbers in Tuesday night’s drawing. The massive jackpot is the world’s largest ever lottery grand prize.

The winning numbers were5, 28, 62, 65, 70 and Mega Ball 5. No details on where the winning ticket was sold were immediately available. But the lucky player overcame miserable odds: The chance of matching all six numbers and winning the top prize is 1 in 302.5 million.

Mega Millions is played in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

It will likely be days or even weeks before a winner steps forward to claim the prize. Lottery officials and financial managers encourage people to take time to map out a strategy for investing their hundreds of millions of dollars, and winners must deal with security concerns befitting someone who suddenly is immensely wealthy. Depending on the state, winners have from 180 days to a year to claim their prize.

In eight states — Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas — winners can remain anonymous, but in the others their identities will become public.

The Mega Millions jackpot grew so large because it had been nearly three months since a player had matched all six numbers and won the top prize. The last time that happened was July 24, when 11 co-workers from California won a $543 million prize.

Although Tuesday’s jackpot was extraordinarily large, it’s no fluke. It reflects a trend toward ever-growing lottery prizes due to changes in the game that worsened the odds with hopes that bigger jackpots would result in better sales.

Officials with the Powerball game were the first to make that move in October 2015 when changing the odds of winning the jackpot from 1 in 175 million to 1 in 292.2 million. Mega Millions followed suit in October 2017, resulting in the odds worsening from 1 in 259 million to 1 in 302.5 million.

The $1.6 billion prize reflects the annuity option, paid over 29 years. However, nearly all winners take the cash option, which for Tuesday’s drawing was an estimated $913 million.

While most attention has been on the Mega Millions game, Powerball also has been soaring. The estimated prize for Powerball’s annuity option in Wednesday night’s drawing is $620 million, with a cash prize of $354.3 million.

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