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Van attack suspect to appear in court Tuesday morning

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Apr 24th, 2018

Alek Minassian, the 25-year old suspect arrested after a van plowed into pedestrians Monday in the Yonge and Finch area will appear in court on Tuesday morning.

Toronto police say information about the charges he is facing will be revealed during the court appearance.

Late Monday night, York police taped off a portion of Elmsley Drive near 16th Ave and Bayview Ave in Richmond Hill, the street where Minassian reportedly lives.


A motive for the horrific attack is not yet clear.

‘Kill me’: suspect confronts police after van attack

Dilshad Burman | posted Tuesday, Apr 24th, 2018

Ten people are dead and 15 others injured following a horrific incident where a man allegedly deliberately mowed down pedestrians on a stretch of Yonge Street between Finch and Sheppard Avenues on Monday afternoon.

He was apprehended by a single police officer near Sheppard Avenue.

A tow truck driver identified only as Mike witnessed the arrest while his truck was broken down in the intersection.

Mike says the suspect van was driving down the sidewalk and a police cruiser approached from the opposite direction. The police cruiser then did a U-turn and began driving “side by side” with the van.

Mike says the vehicles came to a stop and the officer was first to exit his vehicle with his gun drawn. The suspect then flung open the van door and began pointing a black object at the officer.

Mike says he heard the officer repeatedly tell the suspect to “drop it” to which the suspect responded “kill me”. A short time later the suspect dropped the object he was holding and lay down on the sidewalk. The officer then put the suspect in handcuffs and he was arrested.

Police say the suspect’s motives are unknown at this time.


Duchess of Cambridge gives birth to son, her 3rd child

Sylvia Hui, The Associated Press | posted Monday, Apr 23rd, 2018

Kensington Palace says the Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to her third child, a boy weighing 8 pounds, 7 ounces (3.8 kilograms).

The palace says the child was born at 11:01 a.m., a few hours after Kate was admitted to London’s St. Mary’s Hospital in labour.

Prince William was present for the birth of his son, who is fifth in line to the throne.

The palace says “the Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news.”

Ottawa launches online public consultation on plastic, marine waste

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Apr 23rd, 2018

The federal environment minister says she’d like to see Canada move toward zero plastic waste _ and she wants to hear what Canadians think.

Speaking from the seaside community of Eastern Passage, N.S., Catherine McKenna announced Sunday that the federal government has launched a public online consultation to help pinpoint ways for the country to eliminate plastic waste and reduce marine litter.

“We want to hear from Canadians about how we tackle pollution and waste,” she said, flanked by Nova Scotia Environment Minister Iain Rankin and Nova Scotian MPs Darrell Samson and Andy Fillmore.

“It’s not just cleaning up after the fact: it’s actually being thoughtful about how we reduce, how we recycle, how we compost.”

The announcement was made shortly before dozens of volunteers flocked to McNabs Island in the Halifax Harbour and McCormacks Beach in Eastern Passage to pick up litter as part of an Earth Day shoreline cleanup event.

According to the federal government, more than 150 million tonnes of plastic waste is clogging the oceans worldwide. It’s estimated that plastic could outweigh fish by 2050.

McKenna said much of the waste ending up in the country’s waterways is from single-use plastics, such as shopping bags and disposable drink bottles.

“I hear from Canadians every single day saying they want to figure out how we can reduce marine litter, how we can reduce single-use products, how we can take a more life-cycle approach,” she said.

“That’s why I get up every day and I’m so motivated. I look at my three kids, and I think about what kind of future I want for them,” she said.

Monique Breau showed up Sunday morning with her 5-year-old son Jonas to help clean up litter at McCormacks Beach.

She said it’s never too early to teach children about the importance of protecting the environment.

“I want him to be able to eat fish when he’s an adult,” said Breau. “I want him to be able to play on a beach and not worry about plastic waste everywhere.”

Jonas, who was armed with a trash grabber nearly as tall as he was, seemed to already have a good idea about how plastic recycling works.

“We throw it in the plastic bin and we make it (into) new stuff,” he said.

The event was organized by Nova Scotia-based environmental charity Ecology Action Centre, in partnership with Friends of McNabs Island, Oceans North, and Ocean Conservancy.

Heather Grant, the centre’s marine communications coordinator, said the event presented an opportunity for Nova Scotians to learn what they can be doing better to protect the environment.

“As a coastal province, Nova Scotia obviously has a huge stake in the health of the marine environment,” said Grant. “So having people come to clean up the beaches is a great way to get local people engaged and invested in the health of the oceans that the province depends on.”

Louie Porta, vice-president of operations and projects for Oceans North, said garbage in the ocean can literally work its way up the food chain as bigger marine animals eat smaller ones that may have eaten plastic.

It can also contaminate the water and create health risks for people.

“The environment doesn’t know how to process plastic and waste. All of the waste going into the ocean isn’t coming back out,” said Porta. “We need to stem the tide of the waste going into the ocean.”

As of Sunday afternoon, Porta estimated roughly 60 garbage bags were removed from the beaches.

He said all sorts of items were found, including some that couldn’t even fit in the garbage bags: “A table, tires, twisted steel ropes, and all sorts of things in between.”

Porta hopes McKenna’s announcement will give Canadians a chance to provide their solutions about what kind of leadership they want to see when it comes to marine plastics.

Canadians can take part in the online consultation through the government of Canada’s website.

World’s oldest person dies at age of 117

The Associated Press | posted Monday, Apr 23rd, 2018

The world’s oldest person, a 117-year-old Japanese woman, has died.

Nabi Tajima died in a hospital Saturday evening in the town of Kikai in southern Japan, town official Susumu Yoshiyuki said. She had been hospitalized since January.

Tajima, born on Aug. 4, 1900, was the last known person born in the 19th century. She raised seven sons and two daughters and reportedly had more than 160 descendants, including great-great-great grandchildren.

She became the world’s oldest person after the death in September of Violet Brown of Jamaica, also at the age of 117. Video on Japanese television showed Tajima moving her hands to the beat of music played on traditional Japanese instruments at a ceremony to mark the achievement.

Tajima’s town of Kikai is a small island of about 7,000 people halfway between Okinawa and Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands.

The U.S.-based Gerontology Research Group says that another Japanese woman, Chiyo Miyako, is now the world’s oldest person. Miyako lives in Kanagawa prefecture, south of Tokyo, and turns 117 on May 2.

Guinness World Records certified 112-year-old Masazo Nonaka of northern Japan as the world’s oldest man earlier this month, and was planning to recognize Tajima as the world’s oldest person.

Raptors’ series lead disappears after 106-98 Game 4 loss to Wizards

Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Apr 23rd, 2018

The Toronto Raptors saw their playoff series lead disappear on Sunday.

Bradley Beal scored 31 points, while John Wall had 27, and the Washington Wizards beat Toronto 106-98 to tie their opening-round Eastern Conference series at two games apiece.

DeMar DeRozan had 35 points to top Toronto, but it wasn’t be enough. Kyle Lowry had 19 points and seven assists, Jonas Valancunas had 11 points, Jakob Poeltl finished with 10 and Serge Ibaka grabbed 10 rebounds.

Game 5 is Wednesday in Toronto, where the Raptors lost just seven games in the regular season, then the series returns to Washington for Game 6 on Friday.

The Raptors raced out to an early 12-point lead, and held on until midway through the third quarter of what turned into a nailbiter. A Mike Scott basket at the third-quarter buzzer sent the game into the fourth all tied up at 80-80.

Toronto opened the fourth with an 8-0 run capped by a steal and basket by Delon Wright. But the Wizards responded, and when Marcin Gortat threw down a huge dunk — and then beat his chest and roared — it tied the game with 5:40 to play.

The Raptors caught a break when Beal fouled out with five minutes to play. Wizards coach Scott Brooks was livid at the call, and the crowd chanted “Ref you suck!” Wall pounced on a Raptors turnover with 1:57 to play and his basket gave the Wizards a three-point lead.

With the noisy crowd on its feet, Wall calmly drained a jumper that gave the Wizards a six-point lead with a minute to play. Kelly Oubre iced the victory with a pair of free throws with 22 seconds left, while a stock photo of a sad-looking Drake flashed on the jumbotron.

Turnovers proved costly for Toronto for the second straight night, with the Raptors coughing up 19 points on 18 giveaways, including 11 in the first half.

The towel-waving Capital One Arena crowd was dotted with pockets of Raptors fans, and included Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman and Toronto rapper Kardinal Offishall.

They were treated to an entertaining game that even featured some comedic relief from Lowry. Gortat lost a shoe in the first half when his shot was blocked by Serge Ibaka. Lowry picked up Gortat’s shoe and helpfully untied it before handing it back with a friendly pat on Gortat’s backside.

The Raptors had expected the Wizards to put up a fierce fight on their home court, where they pulled even with Boston after trailing 2-0 in last year’s playoffs. The Celtics went on to win the series.

The Raptors dominated Washington in Games 1 and 2, winning by scores of 114-106 and 130-119. But they lost Game 3 122-103, giving up 56 combined points to Wall and Beal, and 28 points on 19 turnovers.

DeRozan scored all nine of his first-quarter points on free throws, and OG Anunoby started with the same steely nerves he’s shown all series. During a 16-second stretch, the rookie had a layup, a steal and a dunk that gave the Raptors a nine-point lead. The Raptors would lead by 11 and took a 30-22 lead into the second.

Early through the second, Wright blocked Wall with such force it knocked the all-star on his back. Wright then fed a sprinting Pascal Siakam who finished with a huge dunk, bringing the players on the bench to their feet roaring their approval. The sequence put Toronto ahead by 11 points, and the Raptors took a 51-40 lead into halftime.

Otto Porter Jr. had eight points in three-and-a-half minutes to start the third, and the Wizards tied the game 58-58 with 8:10 left in the quarter. Beal drained a three to give the Wizards their first lead of the game three minutes later.

Mother of three year old swept into river says search for her son has ended

The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Apr 23rd, 2018

The mother of a three-year-old boy who was swept into a swollen river in southern Ontario two months ago says the search for her son has ended after a child’s body was found nearby.

Provincial police say a fisherman found the body on Saturday afternoon near Orangeville, Ont., 13 kilometres downstream from where Kaden Young was torn from his mother’s arms as the family van entered the Grand River.

Investigators say they’re awaiting confirmation from the coroner to identify the remains.

But in a Facebook post Sunday morning, Kaden’s mother Michelle Hanson writes that two months of searching for her son “has finally come to an end.”

Hanson says funeral arrangements are being finalized this coming week:

Good morning.
We are wanting to thank everyone that has helped in the efforts to bring our Son Kaden home. It has been a long extremely draining two months of searching and now has finally come to an end. The amount of support was absolutely incredible and we really can’t thank everyone enough. Funeral arrangements are being finalized and I will post the details this coming week.

On Feb. 21, three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms when their vehicle entered the Grand River during a flood.

TTC installs additional barriers outside Queens Quay streetcar tunnel

Dilshad Burman and Nitish Bissonauth | posted Monday, Apr 23rd, 2018

Residents are likely rejoicing after the TTC installed what appear to be barriers outside the Queens Quay streetcar tunnel on Sunday.

Six bright yellow bollards have been placed along the streetcar tracks near the intersection of Queens Quay West and York Street.

The move comes in response to several incidents of cars driving down the tunnel and getting stuck — forcing crews to drag them out with massive swing cranes and causing delays to streetcar services.

“These tunnels aren’t all over the city, it’s not a common scenario for drivers to see this type of road configuration” said TTC Spokesperson Jessica Kosmack. “It’s obviously confusing and we are trying to reduce that confusion”

After the two most recent incidents in March, the TTC said a gate mechanism would be installed in addition to the signs, rumble strips, flashing lights and raised track already in place to warn drivers not to enter the tunnel.

Staff has to be paid overtime, delays have to be dealt with, detours have to be set up and alternate modes of transport have to be mobilized. In addition,expensive heavy machinery needs to be brought in to remove the cars.

TTC spokesman Brad Ross tweeted that the bollards are meant to make it obvious that “streetcar tracks are a no-go zone” for cars, adding that a mechanical gate closer to the tunnel will also be installed in the coming weeks.

Despite the recent incidents of cars in the tunnel, the TTC says the number of incidents has, in fact, gone down.

“Since 2014, we’ve had around 25, maybe a couple more but the numbers have actually been going down” explained Kosmack.

“That’s a good sign but obviously even one car going in is too many”

Their goal now is to reduce that number to zero.

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