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MAD magazine leaving newsstands after 67-year run

Rachel Lerman, The Associated Press | posted Friday, Jul 5th, 2019

MAD, the long-running satirical magazine that influenced everyone from “Weird Al” Yankovic to the writers of “The Simpsons,” will be leaving newsstands after its August issue. Really.

The illustrated humour magazine — instantly recognizable by the gap-toothed smiling face of mascot Alfred E. Neuman — will still be available in comic shops and through mail to subscribers. But after its fall issue it will just reprint previously published material.

The only new material will come in special editions at the end of the year.

DC, the division of Warner Brothers that publishes the magazine, said MAD will pull from nostalgic cartoons and parodies published over the magazine’s 67-year run.

As Neuman would say, “What, me worry?” Worry not, for MAD has more than 550 issues packed full of political parodies and edgy humour to pull from.

The magazine set itself apart as a cultural beacon for decades with its unabashed tendency to make fun of anything and push conventional boundaries. One of MAD’s best known comic series, Spy vs. Spy, featured two spies with beak-like faces and big eyes — costumes that are still regularly worn on Halloween.

It even seemingly parodied fellow popular magazine Playboy, with its Fold-In feature that appeared in nearly every issue. But instead of featuring scantily-clad models, the Fold-In printed — what else? — another joke.

DC will keep publishing MAD special collections and books.

Illustrators and comedians, including one-time guest editor Yankovic, mourned the magazine’s effective closure.

“It’s pretty much the reason I turned out weird,” he wrote on Twitter.

Josh Weinstein, a writer and producer of “The Simpsons” — which has referenced MAD many times — thanked the magazine on Twitter for its inspiring effect on eras of comedy.

“There was a moment in so many of our childhoods where you were the greatest thing ever,” he wrote.

Comedian Harry Shearer, the voice of several characters on “The Simpsons,” cracked on Twitter: “An American institution has closed. And who wants to live in an institution?”

When President Donald Trump referred to Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg as Neuman, while insisting he wouldn’t be fit to serve as president, the 37-year-old candidate said he had to Google the reference.

“I guess it’s just a generational thing,” Buttigieg told Politico . “I didn’t get the reference.”

Cartoonist Evan Dorkin, who worked for MAD, wrote on Twitter that the magazine was long a source of happiness and inspiration for him.

“I hope we provided some smiles to some readers of the past 12 yrs,” he wrote.

The magazine changed as its circumstances did, he wrote, including when the magazine began printing advertisements in 2001 and when it moved from New York City to Burbank, California, at the end of 2017. That move warped MAD’s identity, Dorkin said.

MAD was long a venue for comic artists and cartoonists to grow artistically and shape national conversation. Well-known names such as Al Jaffee, Harvey Kurtzman and Mort Drucker were associated with the magazine for decades.

Woman seriously injured after being struck in Mississauga

News Staff | posted Friday, Jul 5th, 2019

A woman was rushed to a trauma centre after being struck by a vehicle in Mississauga.

Peel police say they were called just before 1 p.m. to Cawthra Road and Dundas Street East.

The pedestrian’s injuries are believed to be possibly life-threatening.

The driver involved remained on the scene.

Drivers are asked to avoid the intersection.

Suspect arrested in sex assault of teen girl in Aurora

News Staff | posted Thursday, Jul 4th, 2019

York regional police have arrested a suspect in connection to the sexual assault of a teenage girl in Aurora.

The girl, who police described as a “young teen,” was walking in the trails west of John West Way at 11:50 a.m. on June 24 when she was approached by a stranger.

Investigators say she was walking alone when the man tried to engage her in conversation. She was later assaulted and sexually assaulted by a male suspect who police said was armed with a handgun.

Police said the suspect used the handgun to assault the teen, but the weapon wasn’t fired.

A 22-year-old man was arrested early Wednesday morning, thanks to tips from the community.

His name will be released once charges are laid in court.

The investigation is ongoing and police are still looking for a jogger who may have come in contact with the girl’s attacker and a young woman with blond hair who was approached by the suspect after getting off the York Transit bus #1088 on the same day as the assault.

Judge blocks Ohio abortion law, clinics to remain open

The Associated Press | posted Thursday, Jul 4th, 2019

A federal judge temporarily blocked an Ohio law Wednesday that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, allowing clinics to continue to provide the procedure as a legal faceoff continues.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett halts enforcement of the so-called heartbeat bill law that opponents argued would effectively ban the procedure. That’s because a fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they’re pregnant.

Barrett said Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics represented by the American Civil Liberties Union that sued to stop the law “are certain to succeed on the merits of their claim that (the bill) is unconstitutional on its face.”

Barrett joined the court in 2006 after being nominated by Republican President George W. Bush.

Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed the Ohio law in April, after predecessor John Kasich, a fellow Republican, twice vetoed it.

Ohio is among a dozen states that have considered similar legislation this year, as abortion opponents have pursued a national anti-abortion strategy to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

Freda Levenson, legal director for the ACLU of Ohio, said in an emailed statement the decision “upheld the clear law: women in Ohio (and across the nation) have the constitutional right to make this deeply personal decision about their own bodies without interference from the state.”

Ohio Right to Life, the state’s oldest and largest anti-abortion group, called the judge’s decision disappointing but not surprising.

“The heartbeat bill has the potential to be the vehicle that overturns Roe v. Wade,” Mike Gonidakis, the group’s president, said in a statement. “We know that this temporary restraining order is just a step in the process to finally seeing Roe reconsidered.”

Meowfest is the pur-fect summer event happening right meow

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Jul 4th, 2019

Calling all cat lovers!

Experience cat-centric entertainment this weekend at Meowfest, taking place at Evergreen Brick Works on Saturday, July 6th. The event brings together feline fondness and is filled with an amazing (fe)line-up, workshops, adoptable kittens, food trucks, and more.

Meowfest is a global celebration for cat lovers while facilitating on-site kitten adoptions and raising money and awareness for animal protection and education.

Kitten Lady, The Cat Photographer, Nala Cat, and Pudge are just some of the adorable Insta-famous headliners at Meowfest this year.

All ticket proceeds will be donated to Toronto Cat Rescue.

General admission ($20.00), will grant full-day access to the marketplace, entertainment, the adoption hall, cocktail and food bar, and more.

There are also additional meet & greet tickets available for your favourite felines.

Meowfest is a pur-fect event to adopt a cat, support local shelter community, and participate in some furry fun.

Below are a few of the famous cats attending this weekend:

View this post on Instagram

Tiny Mouf 💛 Big Heart

A post shared by Hannah Shaw (@kittenxlady) on

General admission and meet and greet tickets are available here:


Ontario to issue 50 new cannabis store licences, 13 in Toronto

News Staff and Allison Jones, The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Jul 4th, 2019

Ontario is set to get 50 more cannabis stores starting in October, and applicants will have to first show they have their finances and retail space ready to go.

The announcement Wednesday comes as some of the first 25 of the province’s legal pot shops that were supposed to open April 1 are still not up and running.

Those initial retailers were chosen through a lottery to open Ontario’s first brick-and-mortar cannabis shops — when the drug became legal recreationally last October it was only available in the province through an online government-run store — and that lottery system has faced criticism for not including a merit component.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will hold a new lottery on Aug. 20 for the next 42 retail store authorizations. Another eight stores will be located on First Nations reserves through a separate process.

For this lottery, applicants will have to show evidence that if they are selected, they have already secured retail space that could be used as a store and that they have enough capital to open it, the AGCO said, noting that a bank letter confirming access to $250,000 cash and another confirming the ability to get a $50,000 standby letter of credit would be needed.

One licenced cannabis producer said the latest initiative will position the industry for significant sales growth in Canada’s largest province.

“After the first 25 stores began to open in Ontario, the industry saw overall sales of cannabis basically double,” Avtar Dhillon, executive chairman and president of Emerald Health Therapeutics said in a statement.

“Adult-use consumers are showing a preference for going into a physical location where they can interact with educated, savvy budtenders and we anticipate that the further expansion of physical stores in Ontario and Canada will strongly serve the growth of legal cannabis sales.”

The Ontario government had decided on an initial round of just 25 stores, citing national supply issues, but that appears to be easing.

“Our government is continuing to take a responsible approach to opening cannabis stores across Ontario, allowing private sector businesses to build a safe and convenient retail system to combat the illegal market,” Finance Minister Rod Phillips said in a statement.

“With marginal improvements in national supply, we are proceeding to issue up to 50 new cannabis store licences.”

Attorney General Doug Downey said in a statement that a phased approach is still necessary.

“While the federal supply issues persist, we cannot in good conscience issue an unlimited number of licences to businesses,” he wrote.

Omar Khan, a vice-president with Hill+Knowlton Strategies who advises several clients in the cannabis industry, said Wednesday’s announcement is a positive step, but called for further action.

“If the government wants to eliminate the illicit market they will need to ensure that consumers are able to access legal product offerings conveniently and in a timely manner,” he said in a statement.

“This means moving aggressively towards an open licensing system as soon as the national supply situation permits, and working with the private sector to significantly improve the current online customer retail experience.”

The 42 new stores selected through the lottery will be distributed regionally, with 13 in the city of Toronto, six going to the Greater Toronto Area, 11 in the west region, seven going to the east region, and in the north, one each in Kenora, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay and Timmins.

Stores will be allowed to open in any municipality regardless of population if the community did not opt out of having cannabis stores.

The process for First Nation stores will start in July on a first-come, first-served basis. The relevant band council must approve the location of an on-reserve store. The pre-qualification rules for prospective lottery participants don’t apply to those looking to open an on-reserve store.

With files from Armina Ligaya

Man’s refusal to wear condom after agreeing to cancels out consent: judge

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Jul 4th, 2019

An Ontario court has ruled that a man who had unprotected sex after agreeing to wear a condom committed sexual assault because his behaviour invalidated his sexual partner’s consent.

In a recent ruling, a judge found Anibal Rivera’s actions amounted to fraud and caused a significant risk of serious bodily harm.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Nathalie Champagne said not wearing a condom against another person’s wishes usurps that individual’s sexual autonomy and their right to make decisions about how they engage in sexual activity.

Court heard Rivera, of Valleyfield, Que., and a woman, who cannot be identified, met on the dating website “Plenty of Fish” in October 2017 and arranged to meet at her Cornwall, Ont., home for a sexual encounter a few days later.

Prior to their meeting, court heard the woman texted Rivera to tell him condoms, which she used as birth control, were mandatory and that “no means no.” Rivera agreed to those terms.

The woman told the court she reiterated her rules during their encounter but Rivera proceeded without a condom against her wishes, insisting he was “clean.” Rivera testified the woman had agreed to go ahead without a condom as long as he did not ejaculate inside her.

Though the pair had planned on Rivera staying the night, court heard he left after a few minutes of small talk.

The woman told the court she went to a hospital the next day to conduct several tests, including for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, as well as a sexual assault kit. She contacted police a few days later.

Before his first interview with police, Rivera drafted a written statement in which he said the complainant had initiated unprotected sex, court heard. He later admitted during cross-examination that he had lied in the statement.

“This is a case of ‘he said, she said’ which raises issues of credibility and reliability,” Champagne wrote in her ruling. “Mr. Rivera’s evidence gives rise to serious issues regarding his credibility and reliability.”

Rivera wrote his statement to police before investigators gave him details of the allegations against him, she said.

“His fabrication that the sexual encounter was initiated by the complainant without a condom and his assertion that she told him she could not get pregnant suggests to me he knew prior to going to the police station that the sexual encounter without a condom was the subject of the complaint,” she said.

“In addition, when confronted with the fact that he drafted the statement at a time he purported to know nothing about the allegations, he changed his testimony.”

The complainant’s evidence that she required Rivera to use a condom and did not agree to sex without it is consistent with the conditions she laid out over text, the judge said. It is also consistent with her undergoing tests at the hospital the next day, Champagne said.

“It is improbable that she would have risked pregnancy by agreeing to sex without a condom, particularly with a stranger,” the judge found.

Champagne said she drew no negative conclusions from the fact that the complainant made small talk with Rivera after their encounter or that she took a few days before contacting police.

“It would be inappropriate for me to do so and would invoke myths and stereotypes about how victims of sexual assault should act,” she said.

“It stands to reason that a complainant might make small talk to keep things calm and avoid unwanted contact and it would not be unreasonable for a complainant to take some time to consider whether or not to proceed with a complaint given the stress and scrutiny of intimate details of one’s life involved in the criminal court process.”

Sex without a condom is a “qualitatively different” act than sex with one and the woman had only consented to the latter, the judge said.

“In my view, Mr. Rivera led the complainant to believe he would wear a condom as he had previously agreed to do so and at the last minute he penetrated her without a condom telling her it would be ok,” she said.

“I find his failure to wear a condom increased the complainant’s risk of pregnancy and constitutes a significant risk of bodily harm … Her consent was therefore vitiated by this action.”

While Champagne said she did not disbelieve the woman’s testimony about forced oral sex and a second round of unprotected sex, the judge said the evidence had not reached the standard of proof for conviction on those allegations.

Put your heart on display at The Museum of Broken Relationships

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Jul 3rd, 2019

Not all relationships last, but The Museum of Broken Relationships is here to help you heal.

From dolls, to love letters to hair dryers and scabs, The Museum of Broken Relationships is a traveling exhibit where people all over the world share the most sentimental and obscure keepsakes from their past relationships. The exhibit has toured to major cities such as London, Tokyo, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Paris – And now it’s making it’s way to Toronto!


Free to the public, the Museum of Broken Relationships will be situated at the Harbourfront Centre for the 2019 Brave Festival from June 28th – September 8th.

What’s special about this exhibit is that relationships don’t just mean romantic ones. People are donating keepsakes from losing their friends, family members, and pets.

Have a keepsake from a past relationship you want to get rid of? Send your ‘breakup’ items to brokenships.com.

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