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Ontario Premier Wynne calls Ford a ‘bully,’ says he’s just like Trump

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Apr 19th, 2018

Tensions between Ontario’s premier and the leader of the Opposition escalated Wednesday as Kathleen Wynne accused Doug Ford of being just like U.S. President Donald Trump, in what experts predict is a glimpse of a hostile election campaign to come.

Wynne pushed back against Ford on Wednesday, when she was asked about comments the Tory leader made a day earlier in which he suggested some Liberals could face jail time if they pulled what he described as “shady tricks” with taxpayer dollars.

The premier called Ford a bully and a coward and said he’s borrowing from Trump’s playbook. She said his words are similar to Trump’s attacks on his opponent Hillary Clinton, which included repeated calls to “lock her up.”

“Doug Ford sounds like Donald Trump and that’s because he is like Donald Trump,” said Wynne. “He believes in an ugly, vicious brand of politics that traffics in smears and lies. He’ll say anything about anyone at any time because just like Trump, it is all about him.”

Wynne said she won’t make the same mistake Clinton did, and will instead fight back against that type of behaviour.

“I’m not going to go high. I’m not going to go low. I’m going to call that bullying behaviour out for what it is,” she said. “He may be Donald Trump, but I’m not Hillary Clinton … and Ontario is not the United States of America.”

The Progressive Conservatives dismissed the comparison to Trump as a bizarre and desperate election ploy meant to distract from the Liberals’ political record.

“Desperate, desperate person,” Ford said when asked about Wynne’s comments. “We’ve seen this trick before, she’s trying to hoodwink the people, she thinks she’s smarter than the people.”

Ford repeated his promise to order a full outside audit of government books if elected premier.

The Tory leader announced the proposed audit Tuesday, saying he didn’t trust the Liberals’ accounting and referencing the gas plants scandal that saw former premier Dalton McGuinty’s ex-chief of staff sentenced to four months in jail for deleting documents.

“If Kathleen Wynne tried to pull these kinds of shady tricks in private life, then there would be a few more Liberals joining David Livingston in jail. Ontario deserves answers about how big Kathleen Wynne’s mess really is,” Ford said Tuesday.

The latest exchange is just a sign of what will likely be a particularly nasty campaign, experts said, echoing the premier’s prediction of a “vicious” race to lead the province.

“This is a bad preview of what may be in store,” said Myer Siemiatycki, a political science professor at Toronto’s Ryerson University.

Ford knew exactly what he was evoking with his statement, Siemiatycki said.

“I think he was channelling – and I think he was consciously channelling – Donald Trump, knowing how effective that kind of slogan and rally cry was in galvanizing political support,” he said.

“On the other side, I think the very swift and strong defence and counter-attack coming from Kathleen Wynne, I think maybe on her side intended to rally women especially to her cause.”

A massive cultural shift has occurred since the 2016 U.S. election in the rise of the Me Too movement, creating a climate in which it may be easier to push back against behaviours that would have previously gone unchallenged, experts said.

“Is Wynne right to call someone out for bullying and using language that she’s finding offensive and inappropriate? I mean, it’s a strong position to be in and I think the public is more open to that kind of thing now,” said Laura Stephenson, a political science professor at the University of Western Ontario.

“I think this is going to be something that we may see more of,” she said.

It likely won’t sway those with more populist views, however, Stephenson said. “There’s a lot of people in Canada who don’t dislike Donald Trump, so if anything, this may actually might be playing to some strengths that I think would already have been coming out,” she said.

The Tories also suggested Wynne’s criticism of Trump could compromise sensitive NAFTA negotiations, but Stephenson said the premier’s comments are unlikely to stir trouble and may even go unnoticed by the president.

Still, Stephenson said, when it comes to Wynne fighting back, “What does she have to lose?”

After 15 years in power, the Liberals have been lagging in the polls and face an uphill battle in the June election.

The Tories have repeatedly criticized the Liberals for what they call reckless spending of public funds.

A key ratings agency, Moody’s Investor Services, downgraded its outlook on Ontario’s finances Wednesday to “negative” from “stable” in light of the Liberal government’s plan to run six consecutive multibillion-dollar deficits.

Man arrested after multiple sexual assaults on Dufferin TTC bus

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Apr 19th, 2018

Toronto police have arrested a 47-year-old man in connection with a series of sexual assaults on the Dufferin TTC bus.

Police allege the first assault happened on April 10 around 5:30 p.m.when the man stood behind a 15-year-old girl on the bus and sexually assaulted her.

The next day, between 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., three other teenage girls travelling on the same route alleged the same man stood in front of them and sexually assaulted them.

Officers were able to locate the man standing at the northbound bus stop in front of Dufferin Mall just before 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Kethiswaran Shanmuganathan, 47, of Toronto, has been charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual interference.

Minnesota prosecutors plan announcement on Prince death

Meredith Bond | posted Thursday, Apr 19th, 2018

Prosecutors in the Minnesota county where Prince died will announce a decision Thursday on criminal charges following a two-year investigation into the musician’s death from an accidental fentanyl overdose.

Carver County Attorney Mark Metz was scheduled to announce at 11:30 a.m. Thursday whether anyone would be charged.

Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate in suburban Chanhassen on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin.

A confidential toxicology report obtained by The Associated Press in March showed high concentrations of fentanyl in the singer’s blood, liver and stomach. The concentration of fentanyl in Prince’s blood was 67.8 micrograms per litre, which outside experts called “exceedingly high.” The report noted that fatalities have been documented in people with blood levels ranging from 3 to 58 micrograms per litre.

Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. Authorities found numerous pills in various containers stashed around Prince’s home, including some counterfeit pills that contained fentanyl. The source of that fentanyl was never determined.

While many who knew Prince over the years said he had a reputation for clean living, some said he also struggled with pain after years of intense performances. Documents released by authorities last year paint a picture of a man struggling with an addiction to prescription opioids and withdrawal, and they also show there were efforts to get him help.

Associates at Paisley Park told investigators that Prince had been “going through withdrawals, which are believed to be the result of the abuse of prescription medication,” according to an affidavit unsealed in state court last year.

Just six days before he died, Prince passed out on a plane, and an emergency stop was made in Moline, Illinois. The musician had to be revived with two doses of a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.

The day before his death, Paisley Park staffers contacted California addiction specialist Dr. Howard Kornfeld as they were trying to get Prince help. Kornfeld sent his son, Andrew, to Minnesota that night, and the younger Kornfeld was among those who found Prince’s body. Andrew Kornfeld was carrying buprenorphine, a medication that can be used to help treat opioid addiction.

Documents also alleged Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg, a family physician who saw the musician twice before his death, told authorities he prescribed the opioid painkiller oxycodone to Prince but put it under the name of Prince’s bodyguard and close friend, Kirk Johnson, “for Prince’s privacy.” Schulenberg’s attorney has disputed that.

A laboratory report obtained by The Associated Press notes that one of the pills found in a prescription bottle with Johnson’s name contained oxycodone.

Oxycodone, the generic name for the active ingredient in OxyContin, was not listed as a cause of Prince’s death. But it is part of a family of painkillers driving the nation’s overdose and addiction epidemic, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 2 million Americans abused or were addicted to prescription opioids, including oxycodone, in 2014.

Prince did not have any prescriptions for fentanyl.

Man arrested after random, unprovoked attacks on 5 women: police

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Apr 19th, 2018

Toronto police have arrested a 24-year-old man in connection with several attacks on women in the downtown core.

Police allege the man threw a rock at two different women, striking them in the back, near Yonge and Wellesley streets just after 8 a.m. last Thursday.

On Friday, the same man approached a third woman near Yonge and Dundas streets and allegedly kicked her in the back of the head. She had a concussion as a result of the incident.

Again, on Sunday, the man allegedly kicked a fourth woman in the back near Church and Wood streets, north of Carlton. A few minutes later, he kicked another woman in the chest.

Police say all of the assaults were random and unprovoked.

Ahmed Oumer, 24, has been charged with two counts of assault and assault with a weapon and one count of assault causing bodily harm.

One passenger killed after engine blows on Southwest Airlines flight

The Associated Press | posted Wednesday, Apr 18th, 2018

One passenger was killed and seven others were injured when a Southwest Airlines jet apparently blew an engine at about 30-thousand feet.

Shrapnel smashed a window and damaged the fuselage.

The plane was a Boeing 7-3-7 bound from New York to Dallas with 149 people aboard.

It made an emergency landing in Philadelphia just before noon as passengers breathing through oxygen masks that dropped from the ceiling prayed and braced for impact.

A crew member on a plane that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia reported to air traffic controllers that a piece of the plane was missing and “someone went out.”

In the audio recording of the exchange, the crew member says the plane needed to slow down.

Photos posted by passengers showed a heavily damaged window near the damaged engine.

National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt says today’s incident marks the first passenger fatality in a U-S airline accident since 2009.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane landed after the crew reported damage to one of the engines, along with the fuselage and at least one window.

The N-T-S-B sent a team of investigators to Philadelphia.

One passenger says the plane was fairly quiet because everyone was wearing an oxygen mask, while some passengers were in tears and others shouted words of encouragement.

Amanda Bourman of New York says while many were crying and upset, a few passengers kept yelling to people that they would get through it.

Bourman says everyone clapped and praised the pilot after he set the aircraft down.

Passengers left shaken after ice hits bus headed to Niagara Falls

Brandon Rowe | posted Wednesday, Apr 18th, 2018

Flying ice caused a scary scene for some bus passengers headed to Niagara Falls on Tuesday.

A tour bus was travelling on the westbound QEW, east of Erin Mills Parkway, around 10 a.m. when the ice came hurtling through the windshield.

Ban Deng, the tour guide sitting right behind the driver, told CityNews that the driver was merging into the HOV lane when a huge chunk of ice crashed through the vehicle.

Peel paramedics did respond, but thankfully, nobody was hurt.

“The ice really huge, and then came rolling to our bus window and hit our driver’s side,” said Deng. “And immediately the windshield breaks, the glass breaks and our driver is like heads down really fast, really quick, and then he drives slowly and stops in the left lane. Our driver didn’t break really hard and everyone is safe.”

Ontario Provincial Police sergeant Kerry Schmidt sent out a tweet urging drivers to be vigilant on the roads.

He tells CityNews many drivers don’t realize there could be debris trapped on their vehicles.

“What we’re trying to have people realize is that if you have snow on the roof of the vehicle, you may clean off the side, the windows and the door, but when you go down the highway that snow that is sitting on the roof is likely going to start flying off to the vehicles behind you. When that happens, you may lose control and things happen very quickly.”

CityNews spoke with the driver of the bus, who says he is doing well, but was treated for minor injuries and neck soreness.

Former first lady Barbara Bush dies at age 92

Michael Graczyk, The Associated Press | posted Wednesday, Apr 18th, 2018

Barbara Bush didn’t hesitate to tell people that her trademark pearl necklaces were fake. Americans liked that everything else about the snowy-haired first lady was real.

The wife of the nation’s 41st president and mother of the 43rd brought a plainspoken, grandmotherly style to buttoned-down Washington, displaying an utter lack of vanity about her white hair and wrinkles.

“What you see with me is what you get. I’m not running for president — George Bush is,” she said at the 1988 Republican National Convention, where her husband, then vice-president, was nominated to succeed Ronald Reagan.

Mrs. Bush died Tuesday, according to a statement from family spokesman Jim McGrath. She was 92.

The Bushes, who were married on Jan. 6, 1945, had the longest marriage of any presidential couple in American history. And Mrs. Bush was one of only two first ladies who had a child who was elected president. The other was Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams.

“I had the best job in America,” she wrote in a 1994 memoir describing her time in the White House. “Every single day was interesting, rewarding, and sometimes just plain fun.”

The publisher’s daughter and oilman’s wife could be caustic in private, but her public image was that of self-sacrificing, supportive spouse who referred to her husband as her “hero.”

In the White House, “you need a friend, someone who loves you, who’s going to say, ‘You are great,”’ Mrs. Bush said in a 1992 television interview.

Her uncoiffed, matronly appearance often provoked jokes that she looked more like the boyish president’s mother than his wife. Late-night comedians quipped that her bright white hair and pale features also imparted an uncanny resemblance to George Washington.

Eight years after leaving the nation’s capital, Mrs. Bush stood with her husband as their son George W. was sworn in as president. They returned four years later when he won a second term. Unlike Mrs. Bush, Abigail Adams did not live to see her son’s inauguration. She died in 1818, six years before John Quincy Adams was elected.

Mrs. Bush insisted she did not try to influence her husband’s politics.

“I don’t fool around with his office,” she said, “and he doesn’t fool around with my household.”

In 1984, her quick wit got her into trouble when she was quoted as referring to Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee at the time, as “that $4 million — I can’t say it, but it rhymes with rich.”

“It was dumb of me. I shouldn’t have said it,” Mrs. Bush acknowledged in 1988. “It was not attractive, and I’ve been very shamed. I apologized to Mrs. Ferraro, and I would apologize again.”

Daughter-in-law Laura Bush, another first lady, said Mrs. Bush was “ferociously tart-tongued” from the start.

“She’s never shied away from saying what she thinks. … She’s managed to insult nearly all of my friends with one or another perfectly timed acerbic comment,” Laura Bush said in her 2010 book, “Spoken from the Heart.”

In her 1994 autobiography, “Barbara Bush: A Memoir,” she said she did her best to keep her opinions from the public while her husband was in office. But she revealed that she disagreed with him on two issues: She supported legal abortion and opposed the sale of assault weapons.

“I honestly felt, and still feel, the elected person’s opinion is the one the public has the right to know,” Mrs. Bush wrote.

She also disclosed a bout with depression in the mid-1970s, saying she sometimes feared she would deliberately crash her car. She blamed hormonal changes and stress.

“Night after night, George held me weeping in his arms while I tried to explain my feelings,” she wrote. “I almost wonder why he didn’t leave me.”

She said she snapped out of it in a few months.

Mrs. Bush raised five children: George W., Jeb, Neil, Marvin and Dorothy. A sixth child, 3-year-old daughter Robin, died of leukemia in 1953.

In a speech in 1985, she recalled the stress of raising a family while married to a man whose ambitions carried him from the Texas oil fields to Congress and then into influential political positions that included ambassador to the United Nations, GOP chairman and CIA director.

“This was a period, for me, of long days and short years,” she said, “of diapers, runny noses, earaches, more Little League games than you could believe possible, tonsils and those unscheduled races to the hospital emergency room, Sunday school and church, of hours of urging homework or short chubby arms around your neck and sticky kisses.”

Along the way, she said, there were also “bumpy moments — not many, but a few — of feeling that I’d never, ever be able to have fun again and coping with the feeling that George Bush, in his excitement of starting a small company and travelling around the world, was having a lot of fun.”

In 2003, she wrote a follow-up memoir, “Reflections: Life After the White House.”

“I made no apologies for the fact that I still live a life of ease,” she wrote. “There is a difference between ease and leisure. I live the former and not the latter.”

Along with her memoirs, she wrote “C. Fred’s Story” and “Millie’s Book,” based on the lives of her dogs. Proceeds from the books benefited adult and family literacy programs. Laura Bush, a former teacher with a master’s degree in library science, continued her mother-in-law’s literacy campaign in the White House.

The 43rd president was not the only Bush son to seek office in the 1990s. In 1994, when George W. was elected governor of Texas, son Jeb narrowly lost to incumbent Lawton Chiles in Florida. Four years later, Jeb was victorious in his second try in Florida.

“This is a testament to what wonderful parents they are,” George W. Bush said as Jeb Bush was sworn into office. He won a second term in 2002, and then made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

Sons Marvin and Neil both became businessmen. Neil achieved some notoriety in the 1980s as a director of a savings and loan that crashed. Daughter Dorothy, or Doro, has preferred to stay out of the spotlight. She married lobbyist Robert Koch, a Democrat, in 1992.

In a collection of letters published in 1999, George H.W. Bush included a note he gave to his wife in early 1994.

“You have given me joy that few men know,” he wrote. “You have made our boys into men by bawling them out and then, right away, by loving them. You have helped Doro to be the sweetest, greatest daughter in the whole wide world. I have climbed perhaps the highest mountain in the world, but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara’s husband.”

Mrs. Bush was born Barbara Pierce in Rye, New York. Her father was the publisher of McCall’s and Redbook magazines. After attending Smith College for two years, she married young naval aviator George Herbert Walker Bush. She was 19.

After World War II, the Bushes moved to the Texas oil patch to seek their fortune and raise a family. It was there that Bush began his political career, representing Houston for two terms in Congress in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In all, the Bushes made more than two dozen moves that circled half the globe before landing at the White House in 1989. During the next four years, opinion polls often gave her approval ratings that exceeded her husband’s.

The couple’s final move, after Bush lost the 1992 election to Bill Clinton, was to Houston, where they built what she termed their “dream house” in an affluent neighbourhood. The Bush family also had an oceanfront summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine.

After retiring to Houston, the Bushes helped raise funds for charities and appeared frequently at events such as Houston Astros baseball games. Public schools in the Houston area are named for both of them.

In 1990, Barbara Bush gave the commencement address at all-women Wellesley College, though some had protested her selection because she was prominent only through the achievements of her husband. Her speech that day was rated by a survey of scholars in 1999 as one of the top 100 speeches of the century.

“Cherish your human connections,” Mrs. Bush told graduates. “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent.”

Chivas Guadalajara edges Toronto FC 2-1 in opener of two leg final

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Apr 18th, 2018

Chivas Guadalajara defeated Toronto FC 2-1 on Tuesday night at BMO Field in the opener of the two-leg CONCACAF Champions League final.

Rodolfo Pizarro scored in the second minute as many fans in the near-sellout crowd of 29,925 were settling into their seats. Alan Pulido scored the go-ahead goal for Chivas on a free kick in the 72nd minute.

Toronto’s Jonathan Osorio scored in the 19th minute.

Armed with two precious away goals, the Mexican side will have a big advantage heading into the final’s second leg on April 25 at Estadio Akron.

Toronto received welcome news on the injury front before the game as Jozy Altidore (foot), Chris Mavinga (abdomen), Gregory van der Wiel (Achilles) and Justin Morrow (calf) all returned from injury.

Morrow came on as a substitute in the 67th minute while the others started. Victor Vazquez remained out with a back issue.

The temperature was one degree at kickoff with flurries swirling in off Lake Ontario. The unfamiliar conditions didn’t bother the Mexican side as they silenced the vocal home crowd just 70 seconds into the game.

Isaac Brizuela dribbled down low from the sideline and found Pizarro, who buried it past a diving Alex Bono.

The host side appeared flustered after the early hiccup. Toronto spent the next few minutes on its heels and made sloppy passes when it did get possession.

Eventually the reigning MLS Cup champions settled in and Altidore helped set up the play that put Toronto on the board.

He feathered a ball down the right side for Marky Delgado, who connected with Osorio on a goalmouth pass. The Canadian midfielder just got his leg on it before sliding into the post.

The goal seemed to spark the hosts, who kept Chivas pinned in their own end for most of the first half.

Toronto’s Sebastian Giovinco tested Chivas goalkeeper Antonio Rodriguez in the 32nd minute. The star forward set up for one of his trademark free kicks but the low shot was punched away.

In the 43rd minute, Altidore and Giovinco worked a nifty give-and-go in the penalty area but Rodriguez cut off the angle to deny Altidore’s left-footed strike.

Toronto head coach Greg Vanney made one change at the half as Eriq Zavaleta came on for Mavinga.

Giovinco set up Delgado with a glorious chance early in the second half but his strike sailed just over the bar. Chivas did well to stunt the Toronto attack from there and held off some late pressure in the dying minutes.

The grass surface at BMO Field was covered over the last few days to provide protection from the ice storm and wet weather that pelted the southern Ontario area.

The striped pitch was golf-course green but quite soft with visible pockmarks. Divots of turf were kicked up during pre-game drills but the field seemed to hold up well considering the conditions.

Chivas tightly marks its opponents and the defensive strategy has paid off throughout the competition. The Mexican side allowed only one goal entering the final.

The visitors practised indoors this week and a few came out for the pre-game warmup wearing parkas, gloves, balaclavas and track pants.

Chilly conditions are nothing new for the Toronto players, who have braved the cold into early December during their deep playoff runs the last two seasons.

Snowbanks from the weekend dumping were visible below the north grandstand.

Mexican clubs have won every CONCACAF Champions League title since the tournament rebranded in 2009. Seven of the nine finals have been all-Liga MX matches.

Real Salt Lake (2011) and the Montreal Impact (2015) are the last two MLS clubs to reach the final. Toronto made it to the semifinals in 2012.

Toronto defeated MLS side Colorado last February in the round of 16 before topping Tigres in the quarterfinals and Club America in the semifinals.

Chivas doesn’t boast the same firepower as those Mexican sides but its stifling defence can lead to effective counter-strikes.

The chippy play that marked Toronto’s last two rounds was replaced by a more disciplined style.

Chivas has been mediocre in Liga MX this season but has shone on the Champions stage, knocking off Cibao FC, the Seattle Sounders and the New York Red Bulls en route to the final.

The Champions League winner will serve as the CONCACAF representative at the FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in December.

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