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Iran announces arrests over downing of Ukrainian plane

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jan 14th, 2020

Iran’s judiciary says arrests have been made over the shootdown of a Ukrainian plane that killed all 176 people on board.

“Extensive investigations have taken place and some individuals are arrested,” the judiciary spokesman, Gholamhossein Esmaili, said on Tuesday. He was quoted by Iranian state media, but did not say how many individuals have been detained or name them.

Iran’s president on Tuesday called for a special court to be set up to probe the downing last week of a Ukrainian passenger by Iranian forces just after takeoff from Tehran.

Iran, which initially dismissed allegations that a missile had brought down the jetliner, acknowledged — three days after Wednesday’s downing and in the face of mounting evidence — that its Revolutionary Guard had shot down the Ukrainian plane by mistake.

“The judiciary should form a special court with a ranking judge and dozens of experts,” President Hassan Rouhani said in a speech televised in Iran on Tuesday. “This is not an ordinary case. The entire the world will be watching this court.”

Rouhani called the incident “a painful and unforgivable” mistake and promised that his administration would pursue the case “by all means.”

“The responsibility falls on more than just one person,” he said, adding that those found culpable “should be punished.”

“There are others, too, and I want that this issue is expressed honestly,” he said, without elaborating.

Rouhani called the government’s admission that Iranian forces shot down the plane the “first good step.”

The plane, en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, 57 Canadians — including many Iranians with dual citizenship — and 11 Ukrainians, according to officials. There were several children among the passengers, including an infant.

Iran shot down the plane when it was bracing for possible U.S. retaliation for a ballistic missile attack on two military bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq. No one was hurt in that attack, which was carried out to avenge the stunning killing of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an American airstrike in Baghdad.

The shootdown and the lack of transparency around it has reignited anger in Iran at the country’s leadership, with protesters taking to the streets in past days. Online videos appeared to show security forces firing live ammunition and tear gas to disperse protests in the streets.

2 dead in Oakville house fire

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Jan 13th, 2020

Halton Police say a man and a woman are dead after a fire broke out at a home in Oakville on Sunday night.

Emergency crews were called to the home on Princess Anne Drive around 8:40 p.m. after a passerby noticed smoke coming from the home.

On arrival, firefighters were faced with heavy smoke on the second floors.

“When they made entry to the home they went to the second floor to conduct a primary search. Smoke conditions and heat conditions were heavy,” deputy fire chief Andy Glynn explained.

“They were beating back the fire as they entered the second floor. They were able to get the fire under control and then subsequently found the two patients and removed them to the ambulance.”

A man and a woman were removed from the home and the man was pronounced dead shortly after. The woman was taken to hospital in serious condition, where she later died.

The fire was extinguished about two hours later and no other people were found inside the house.

The cause of the fire is not known at this time.

Glynn said it appears that the fire may have started in a bedroom on the second floor but that won’t be confirmed until the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office attends and conducts its investigation.

Roads in the area are partially blocked and anyone travelling through is asked to be mindful of emergency personnel working at the home.

Trudeau says meetings with families of plane crash victims gut wrenching

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Jan 13th, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it’s been “gut-wrenching” to listen to stories from the families of 57 Canadians who perished in the downing of a Ukrainian jetliner in Iran last week.

Speaking at a memorial for 13 victims in Edmonton, Trudeau says he’s learned about who they were, what they loved doing and what their hopes were for the future.

He says many came to Canada in search of new opportunities for their families, but those families are now consumed by grief and outrage.

While the tragedy has hit the Iranian-Canadian community hard, Trudeau says it’s a Canadian tragedy and all Canadians are in mourning.

The aircraft was shot down accidentally by an Iranian missile moments after taking off from Tehran airport Wednesday; all 176 on board were killed, including 138 who were headed for Canada.

Iran has admitted the plane was mistaken for a hostile target amid soaring tensions with the United States.

Durham District School Board among several to be hit by 1-day strike this week: OSSTF

NEWS STAFF, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Jan 13th, 2020

Schools in several boards across the province, including Durham District School Board, will be closed on Wednesday, as the union representing high school teachers stages another one-day strike.

It’s the latest in the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation’s (OSSTF) series of rotating strikes during a contentious round of bargaining with the province.

High schools will be closed in Durham District School Board, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, and Wellington Catholic District School Board, among others. (Full list below)

Union president Harvey Bischof says he’ll call off the job action if the government takes class size increases off the table.

“It’s time for the Ford government to come to the table with meaningful responses to our proposals so that we can work toward a deal that protects the quality of education in Ontario,” Bischof said in a statement.

1 dead, 2 injured in crash involving a stolen tractor-trailer in Mississauga

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Jan 13th, 2020

One man is dead and two other people are injured after the driver of a stolen tractor-trailer crashed into another vehicle and a gas station sign, causing a power outage in a area.

The crash happened around 12:15 a.m. Monday at the intersection of Mavis Road and Eglinton Avenue.

Duty Insp. Sean Brennan said the tractor-trailer was travelling eastbound on Eglinton when it collided with a sedan that was heading south on Mavis within the intersection.

“This caused a secondary collision between the sedan and a SUV,” Brennan said.

After crashing into the sedan, the tractor-trailer rolled over and then crashed into a sign at a gas station, causing “significant damage.”

The driver of that tractor-trailer was pronounced dead at the scene. Two other people — a man and a woman — were taken to hospital but their injuries are not life-threatening.

The gas lines to the station were cut off and there was a three-hour power outage because hydro lines were pulled down.

“We did have significant fuel spillage, we’ve had to shut down the gas station fuel lines [and] cut power as we’ve had power lines down as well,” Brennan said.

At one point, 2,200 homes and businesses were without power. However, power has since been restored.

Police believe the tractor-trailer was travelling at a high rate of the speed at the time of the collision.

“The investigation early on has revealed that the tractor was stolen earlier [Sunday] evening from somewhere in the area of Mississauga,” the officer said.

The area remains closed for the investigation and is expected to remain closed for several more hours.

Join BT LIVE at Horseshoe Resort!

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Jan 10th, 2020

We’re hitting road to celebrate winter in Ontario! Join BT on Friday, January 17th from Horseshoe Resort!

WHERE: Horseshoe Resort

1101 Horseshoe Valley Road, Barrie, Ontario, Canada L4M 4Y8.

Driving from Toronto:

  • Take Hwy 400 Northbound
  • Stay on Hwy 400 North to Horseshoe Valley Road (exit 117)
  • Take exit 117 and follow Horseshoe Valley Road to the resort
  • The resort is located on the right hand side. Click here for the printable resort map.

WHEN: January 17th, from 5:30am-9am

The skill hill opens at 5:30am – and, if you arrive between 5:30-8:30, you’ll be able to ski for just $20 for the entire day! PLUS, you’ll have the chance to win incredible prizes all morning long.

We are giving away packages to join BT overnight at Horseshoe Resort on Thursday, January 16th, so you can stay there the night before and join us LIVE! Make sure you tune in all week for your chance to win.

The giveaway includes a getaway for a family of four:

1 night stay in a deluxe queen room, with 4 night lift tickets, and 4 day and night lift tickets including rentals! Total value: $1023

We can’t wait to meet you!


Bullet goes through window of home in Malvern area shooting

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Jan 10th, 2020

Toronto police are investigating after shots were fired in the Malvern area on Thursday night.

Officers responded to the Sewells Road and Empringham Drive for reports of the sound of multiple gunshots around 7:45 p.m.

Spent shell casings were found in the area and police say a bullet went through the window of a home. No injuries were reported.

Two men were seen leaving the area in a white sedan.

No suspect information is available at this time and an investigation is ongoing.


Record-breaking rainfall could hit Toronto and the GTA this weekend

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Jan 10th, 2020

It’s shaping up to be a soggy weekend in Toronto and the GTA as potentially record-breaking rainfall could hit the area.

A special weather statement continues for the area for heavy rain, strong winds and possible freezing rain on Saturday and continuing into Sunday.

Toronto and areas to the southwest could see 50 millimetres of rain on Saturday with an additional 25 millimetres into the evening and overnight, according to 680 NEWS meteorologist Jill Taylor.

Taylor added that it’s a very complex storm system and even a slight change in track or small difference in temps will make a huge difference when it comes to the rain turning to freezing rain or even snow.

Areas to the north, northwest and east of the city could see ice pellets and snow.

A rainfall warning has been issued for parts of southern Ontario, including Windsor, Sarnia and London.

Rain is also in the forecast for Friday, bringing the weekend total close to 100 millimetres. The average rainfall for January is 25.1 millimetres.

Residents are being told to make sure their eavestroughs and downspouts are clear of snow, ice and other debris before the rain hits.

During heavy rain, the sewers can become overloaded and back up into your house, flooding basements.

The City of Toronto has more tips on how to protect your home at toronto.ca.

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