1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar

News

3 women injured, suspect dead in Mississauga assault

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Sep 29th, 2020

Three women are in hospital and a man is dead after an assault overnight in Mississauga.

Emergency crews were called to an apartment building on Ponytrail Drive, in the Burnhamthorpe Road East and Rathburn Road East area, around 1 a.m. Tuesday.

The assault happened inside the home of one of the victims.

Police say the three woman, one believed to be in her 20s, the second believed to be in her 50s, and the third believed to be in her 80s, suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries.

The suspect, a 45-year-old man, was found dead in a wooded area near the apartment.

There has been no word on how the suspect and the victims may have known each other, or what prompted the attack.

Tampa Bay beats Dallas to capture Stanley Cup in six games

The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Sep 29th, 2020

EDMONTON — The Tampa Bay Lightning are the 2020 Stanley Cup champions, hoisting the NHL’s championship trophy Monday in a near-empty Rogers Place to cap off a surreal, bifurcated, bubbled hockey season for the ages.

Brayden Point and Blake Coleman scored the goals and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 22 shots for his first career playoff shutout in a 2-0 win, giving Tampa Bay a 4-2 triumph in the best-of-seven series.

The Lightning players exploded off the bench as the seconds ticked to zero, swarming Vasilevskiy, their whoops and hollers echoing off the empty seats and capacious tarps.

No fans have been allowed in to these so-called bubbled playoffs, with players isolated between contests to prevent contracting COVID-19.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman walked out to centre ice to award the trophy, but this time not accompanied by the lowing boos from fans that had become an unofficial league tradition.

“To win in this place at this time under these circumstances is remarkable and frankly overwhelming,” said Bettman before he handed the silver barrel-and-bowl trophy to Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, who proceeded to lift it with two hands over his head.

In a twist on the usual Cup presentation, the players, coaches and staff gathered around Bettman, instead of standing off to the side as he officially awarded the Cup to Stamkos.

The players cheered, fireworks went off behind the players’ benches and other devices delivered bursts of flames, the heat of which could be felt high up in the arena.

Stamkos did not dress for the game, and played only 2:47 in the entire playoffs due to injury. He came out in his hockey equipment and jersey to accept the award and his first Stanley Cup.

“I’m speechless,” said Stamkos in an on-ice interview.

“I’m so proud of this team and everything that we’ve accomplished.

“It’s one of the greatest feelings, and to be able to celebrate with this group of guys is a dream come true.”

The traditional skate around the ice, hoisting the cup in front of rapturous fans, was altered to the players skating around centre ice, clapping and celebrating as each one in turn took a spin with the mug amid rock music pumped over the loudspeaker.

Fans celebrating in Tampa were shown on all four sides of the video screen that hangs over centre ice.

Tampa defenceman Victor Hedman was voted the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

It’s the second Stanley Cup in the 28-year history of the franchise. The first was in 2004.

It’s the first Cup for every Lightning player except Pat Maroon. The burly, bearded veteran winger won it all last season with the St. Louis Blues.

It’s also the first Cup win for head coach Jon Cooper, in his seventh full season behind the Lightning bench.

He defeated Dallas interim head coach Rick Bowness. Bowness had been hired by Cooper as a mentor in 2013 and served the next five years with the Lightning as his assistant. This was the first Stanley Cup where an assistant faced his former head coach.

Vasilevskiy was 18-7 of the post-season. The 26-year-old Russian played every minute of every game for the Lightning through 25 games.

Tampa Bay outshot Dallas 29-22.

Point scored on the power play midway through the first period, sailing through the slot untouched and putting his own rebound past Dallas goalie Anton Khudobin. Coleman made it 2-0 by capitalizing on a turnover midway through the second frame, one-timing a cross-ice pass from Cedric Paquette.

Nikita Kucherov assisted on Point’s goal and was the NHL’s top scorer in the playoffs: seven goals and 34 points. Point was second at 14 goals and 33 points.

The Bolts had been knocking on the Cup door in recent years, making the final four in four of the last six seasons. In 2015 they lost to Chicago 4-2 in the Stanley Cup final.

Nine members of the current Tampa roster, including Kucherov, Stamkos, Hedman, Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn, Vasilevskiy, and Tyler Johnson were on that Cup-losing squad.

It’s a capstone to bizarre season that began as normal in October 2019, but was halted, and ultimately cancelled around the 70-game mark, on March 12, due to COVID-19.

The NHL resumed play at the start of August in a 24-team, two-month tournament, held in hub cities of Toronto and Edmonton, with players and staff isolated and tested regularly to prevent contracting COVID-19. The NHL reported Monday there had been no positive tests in the nine-week bubble.

The conference championships and the Cup final were held at Rogers Place, the players skating, shooting, and scoring to the sounds of canned oohs, ahhs and cheers.

This is the first time the Stanley Cup has been awarded in the Alberta capital since the Edmonton Oilers won it in the spring of 1988.

The Lightning finished fourth in the regular season (43-21-6) and were a model of consistency in the tournament.

They went 18-7, never lost two games in a row, and shut down the top three defensive teams in the league (Boston, Dallas, and Columbus).

The Bolts were overtime warriors, going 7-2 in extra-session games, including a marathon five-overtime win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round.

The Lightning played 221:14 total in overtime, more than any team in playoff history.

Hedman _ all six-foot-six of him _ was the rock, filling the leadership void when Stamkos went down in late February for core muscle surgery and then was re-injured before the playoffs began anew.

The 29-year-old Swede, in his 11th year in Tampa Bay, scored 10 goals, added 12 assists in the playoffs, ate up 26 minutes a night playing at even strength and on special teams, ignited the offence with seeing-eye tape-to-tape passes, and punished those who crossed his blue-line.

The Bolts were the top scoring team in the regular season (3.47 goals a game) and their best marksmen got the job done in the post season. The top line of Point, Kucherov and Palat delivered eight goals and 21 points against Dallas and accounted for about 40 per cent of all team points in the playoffs.

When the opposition got past the defence, Vasilevskiy was there to shut the door, compiling a .927 save percentage in the playoffs.

The Stars franchise is now 1-4 in Cup play, dating back to its Minnesota roots. The lone championship came in 1999.

Dallas made it all the way to its first final series in two decades due mainly to the storybook play of Khudobin, a career journeyman backup elevated into the starter’s role for almost the entire post-season run after Ben Bishop was injured.

The 34-year-old from Kazakhstan absorbed a shooting gallery of vulcanized rubber: more than 30 shots in 15 games and 40 or more seven times. He was the deciding factor in the third-round series against the Vegas Golden Knights, saving all but nine of 161 shots over five games (.950 save percentage).

The Stars faced Tampa after being outscored 64-62 to that point in the post-season, but were the comeback kids of the playoffs, coming back to win nine times.

They won with stout defence and timely goals by committee, with veteran forwards like Jamie Benn, Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry stepping up when others flagged. First-line centre Tyler Seguin never found his groove, scoring just twice in 26 games.

The defence led the offence. Defenders John Klingberg and Miro Heiskanen combined for 10 goals and 47 points.

Dallas was laid low by injuries to not only Bishop but also defencemen and key depth forwards: Stephen Johns, Taylor Fedun, Radek Faksa, Roope Hintz, and Blake Comeau. The Stars kept having to dip into their pool of Black Aces and ultimately the next man up became one injury too many.

For Tampa, the win will undoubtedly go a long way to washing away the bitter taste of last year’s humiliating playoff debacle. The Lightning won 62 wins in the regular season _ tying an NHL record _ then lost four straight games in the first round to the Blue Jackets.

Following that loss, Tampa decided its high-flying offence needed more edge, pushback, and just plain nastiness. General manager Julien BriseBois signed Maroon and defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk in the off-season.

At the trade deadline, BriseBois inked defender Zach Bogosian, and traded a top prospect and high draft picks for bruising two-way wingers Coleman and Barclay Goodrow.

They proved to be the difference, with the new-look Lightning able to lock down late-game leads and, to paraphrase Conn Smythe, beat opponents on the ice and in the alley.

It was a year of firsts: the first time two teams from cities that never see snow battled it out in an empty arena on the Canadian prairie in late September for the Stanley Cup.

But in the year of COVID _ where the only consistency has been contradiction and people must stay apart if they ever want to get together again _ the Lightning fit right in, proving that if you want to polish the Stanley Cup, maybe just add a bit of grit.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2020.

Trump, Biden prepare to debate at a time of mounting crises

JONATHAN LEMIRE AND JILL COLVIN, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Tuesday, Sep 29th, 2020

In an election year like no other, the first debate between President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, could be a pivotal moment in a race that has remained stubbornly unchanged in the face of historic tumult.

The Tuesday night debate will offer a massive platform for Trump and Biden to outline their starkly different visions for a country facing multiple crises, including racial justice protests and a pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans and cost millions of jobs.

The health emergency has upended the usual trappings of a presidential campaign, lending heightened importance to the debate. But amid intense political polarization, comparatively few undecided voters remain, raising questions as to how, or if, the debate might shape a race that has been defined by its bitterness and, at least so far, its stability.

Biden will step onto the Cleveland stage holding leads in the polls — significant in the national surveys, closer in the battleground states — but facing questions about his turn in the spotlight, particularly considering Trump’s withering attacks. And Trump, with only 35 days to change the course of the race, will have arguably his best chance to try to reframe the campaign as a choice election and not a referendum over his handling of a virus that has killed more people in America than any other nation.

“This will be the first moment in four years that someone will walk on stage as co-equal to Trump and be able to hold him to account for the malfeasance he has shown leading the country,” said Steve Schmidt, senior campaign aide for John McCain’s 2008 Republican presidential bid and a frequent Trump critic. “If Biden is unable to indict Trump for all that he has done, (that) would be profound failure. There is no spinning that away.”

The president’s handling of the coronavirus will likely dominate much of the discussion. The pandemic’s force will be tangible as the candidates’ podiums will be spaced far apart and the traditional opening handshake scrapped.

And the debate could be shaped by an extraordinary confluence of other recent moments: the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, allowing Trump to nominate a conservative jurist to replace a liberal voice and reshape the high court for generations, and the blockbuster revelations about Trump’s long-hidden tax history, including that he paid only $750 a year in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and nothing in many other years.

But the impact of the debate — or the two that follow in the weeks ahead — remains unclear.

The tumult of 2020 is difficult to overstate: COVID-19 has rewritten the rules of everyday life; schools and businesses are shuttered; and racial justice protests have swept the nation after a series of high-profile killings of Black people by police.

Despite the upheaval, the presidential race has remained largely unchanged since Biden seized control of the Democratic field in March. The nation has soured on Trump’s handling of the pandemic, and while his base of support has remained largely unchanged, he has seen defections among older and female voters, particularly in the suburbs, and his path to 270 Electoral College votes, while still viable, has shrunk.

Polls suggest fewer undecided voters remain than at this point in the 2016 campaign. And several high-profile debates in past elections that were thought to be game-changing moments at the time ultimately had little lasting effect.

Four years ago, Democrat Hillary Clinton was widely seen as besting Trump in their three debates, but she lost in November. In 2012, Mitt Romney crushed Barack Obama in their first meeting only to falter in the rematches.

But some debates have mattered: most famously, a turning point in the 1960 race was when John F. Kennedy was perceived — at least by TV viewers — as outdueling Richard Nixon. And in 1980, Ronald Reagan was able to reassure nervous voters that he possessed a presidential temperament when he delivered a winning performance against incumbent Jimmy Carter.

While both sides anticipate a vicious debate between two men who do not like each other, the Biden campaign has downplayed the night’s importance, believing that the pandemic and the battered economy will outweigh any debate stage gaffe or zinger. Conversely, the Trump campaign has played up the magnitude of the duel, believing it will be a moment for the president to damage Biden and recast the race.

Trump had told advisers that he is preparing an all-out assault on Biden, claiming that the former senator’s 47 years in Washington have left him out of touch and that his family, namely his son Hunter, has benefited from corruption. The president on Monday also repeated his demand that Biden take some sort of drug test, asserting without evidence that the Democratic nominee was somehow using a performance enhancer.

That continued a curious round of expectations setting: While Trump’s campaign has of late praised Biden’s debate skills, the president has also vividly portrayed his opponent as not being up to the job, potentially allowing Biden to come off well as long as he avoids a major stumble.

“This guy doesn’t have a clue. He doesn’t know where the hell he is,” Trump said recently, likening the debate to a boxing match and pointing to his head. “To win matches you need that up here. This wins, probably, it’s 50% of it. This is not prime time for Joe.”

But Trump — never a polished debater, though a commanding presence on stage — has done little in the way of formal preparations, which may mean he is walking into his own trap.

“Historically, incumbents do less well in the first debate, largely because they’re unaccustomed to being challenged openly,” said presidential historian Jon Meacham. “The most important single debate in terms of direct impact on outcome came 40 years ago, with the single Carter-Reagan meeting a week before the election. The key question then — ‘Are you better off than you were four years ago?’ — has fresh and compelling resonance.”

Biden’s performances during the primary debates were uneven, and some Democrats have been nervous as to how he will fare in an unscripted setting. But his team views the night as a moment to illuminate Trump’s failings with the pandemic and economy, with the former vice-president acting as a “fact checker on the floor” while bracing himself for the onslaught that is coming.

“They’re going to be mostly personal,” Biden said. “That’s the only thing he knows how to do. He doesn’t know how to debate the facts because he’s not that smart. He doesn’t know that many facts.”

Worldwide death toll from coronavirus eclipses 1 million

ADAM GELLER AND RISHABH R. JAIN, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Tuesday, Sep 29th, 2020

NEW DELHI — The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus eclipsed 1 million on Monday, nine months into a crisis that has devastated the global economy, tested world leaders’ resolve, pitted science against politics and forced multitudes to change the way they live, learn and work.

“It’s not just a number. It’s human beings. It’s people we love,” said Dr. Howard Markel, a professor of medical history at the University of Michigan who has advised government officials on containing pandemics and lost his 84-year-old mother to COVID-19 in February.

“It’s our brothers, our sisters. It’s people we know,” he added. “And if you don’t have that human factor right in your face, it’s very easy to make it abstract.”

The bleak milestone, recorded by Johns Hopkins University, is greater than the population of Jerusalem or Austin, Texas. It is 2 1/2 times the sea of humanity that was at Woodstock in 1969. It is more than four times the number killed in the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

Even then, the figure is almost certainly a vast undercount because of inadequate or inconsistent testing and reporting and suspected concealment by some countries.

And the number continues to mount. Nearly 5,000 deaths are reported each day on average. Parts of Europe are getting hit by a second wave, and experts fear the same fate may await the U.S., which accounts for about 205,000 deaths, or 1 out of 5 worldwide. That is far more than any other country, despite America’s wealth and medical resources.

“I can understand why … numbers are losing their power to shock, but I still think it’s really important that we understand how big these numbers really are,” said Mark Honigsbaum, author of “The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria and Hubris.”

The global toll includes people like Joginder Chaudhary, who was his parents’ greatest pride, raised with the little they earned farming a half-acre plot in central India to become the first doctor from their village.

After the virus killed the 27-year-old Chaudhary in late July, his mother wept inconsolably. With her son gone, Premlata Chaudhary said, how could she go on living? Three weeks later, on Aug. 18, the virus took her life, too. All told, it has killed more than 95,000 in India.

“This pandemic has ruined my family,” said the young doctor’s father, Rajendra Chaudhary. “All our aspirations, our dreams, everything is finished.”

When the virus overwhelmed cemeteries in the Italian province of Bergamo last spring, the Rev. Mario Carminati opened his church to the dead, lining up 80 coffins in the centre aisle. After an army convoy carted them to a crematory, another 80 arrived. Then 80 more.

Eventually the crisis receded and the world’s attention moved on. But the pandemic’s grasp endures. In August, Carminati buried his 34-year-old nephew.

“This thing should make us all reflect. The problem is that we think we’re all immortal,” the priest said.

The virus first appeared in late 2019 in patients hospitalized in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the first death was reported on Jan. 11. By the time authorities locked down the city nearly two weeks later, millions of travellers had come and gone. China’s government has come in for criticism that it did not do enough to alert other countries to the threat.

Government leaders in countries like Germany, South Korea and New Zealand worked effectively to contain it. Others, like U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, dismissed the severity of the threat and the guidance of scientists, even as hospitals filled with gravely ill patients.

Brazil has recorded the second most deaths after the U.S., with about 142,000. India is third and Mexico fourth, with more than 76,000.

The virus has forced trade-offs between safety and economic well-being. The choices made have left millions of people vulnerable, especially the poor, minorities and the elderly.

With so many of the deaths beyond view in hospital wards and clustered on society’s margins, the milestone recalls the grim pronouncement often attributed to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin: One death is a tragedy, millions of deaths are a statistic.

The pandemic’s toll of 1 million dead in such a limited time rivals some of the gravest threats to public health, past and present.

It exceeds annual deaths from AIDS, which last year killed about 690,000 people worldwide. The virus’s toll is approaching the 1.5 million global deaths each year from tuberculosis, which regularly kills more people than any other infectious disease.

But “COVID’s grip on humanity is incomparably greater than the grip of other causes of death,” said Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University. He noted the unemployment, poverty and despair caused by the pandemic and deaths from myriad other illnesses that have gone untreated.

For all its lethality, the virus has claimed far fewer lives than the so-called Spanish flu, which killed an estimated 40 million to 50 million worldwide in two years, just over a century ago.

That pandemic came before scientists had microscopes powerful enough to identify the enemy or antibiotics that could treat the bacterial pneumonia that killed most of the victims. It also ran a far different course. In the U.S., for example, the Spanish flu killed about 675,000. But most of those deaths did not come until a second wave hit over the winter of 1918-19.

Up to now, the disease has left only a faint footprint on Africa, well shy of early modelling that predicted thousands of more deaths.

But cases have recently surged in countries like Britain, Spain, Russia and Israel. In the United States, the return of students to college campuses has sparked new outbreaks. With approval and distribution of a vaccine still probably months away and winter approaching in the Northern Hemisphere, the toll will continue to climb.

“We’re only at the beginning of this. We’re going to see many more weeks ahead of this pandemic than we’ve had behind us,” Gostin said.

___

Geller reported from New York. Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed to this story.

CERB program ends as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Sep 28th, 2020

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) established to support Canadians financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic ended on Sunday.

The federal income assistance program provided more than 8.5 million individuals with $2,000 a month starting April 6.

In its place is employment insurance (EI), which the government says the majority of people will go on.

Anyone who applied for and received the CERB through Service Canada and is eligible for EI is supposed to be automatically transitioned over to employment insurance. Anyone who applied and received the CERB through the CRA would need to apply anew for EI, if they qualify.

The government says the first payment will come the week of Oct. 11. About 80 per cent are expected to receive payments by Oct. 14; a further 10 per cent within the first two weeks.

The $500-a-week floor on benefits in EI, or $300 per week floor for new parents using the extended-leave option, will be taxable. Jobless benefits through this EI program will be available for at least 26 weeks, and claimants will be allowed to earn more than they did under the CERB — up to $38,000 annually, before being completely cut off.

The threshold to qualify for EI has been reduced to 120 hours of insurable work for those coming back into the system that has been nearly dormant since March.

The government says 2.8 million people will qualify for EI as of Monday.

Three new benefits have also been added:

  • The Canada Recovery Benefit: $500 per week for up to 26 weeks to self-employed workers or those not eligible for EI but still need income support.
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit: $500 per week for up to two weeks, for those who cannot work because they are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19.
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit: $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household to eligible workers who cannot work because they must care for children or family members due to the closure of schools, day cares or care facilities.

Click here for more info on federal financial assistance.

Meanwhile cases continue to soar in Ontario, adding to fears of another potential lockdown.

On Friday, Premier Ford ordered bars and restaurants to close by midnight and ordered all strip clubs to close.

Ontario reported 491 new cases on Sunday — the highest number of cases since May.

With files from Jordan Press, The Canadian Press

Man injured in drive-by shooting near Jane Street and Shoreham Drive

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Sep 28th, 2020

A man was injured in a drive-by shooting in North York Sunday evening, police said.

Toronto police said they were called to the Jane Street and Shoreham Drive at around 8:41 p.m.

Police said the victim was shot in the upper back area was transported to the hospital.

Investigators said they are searching for two suspects.

The first suspect is described as a male and was wearing a brown hoodie, black shoes, a black hat and a red bandana.

The second suspect is also a male and was wearing grey sweat pants.

They were seen in a brown-coloured, four-door Ford sedan, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police directly. Tips can also be left anonymously with Crime Stoppers.

1 person dead, another person critically injured in North Etobicoke shooting

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Sep 28th, 2020

A person is dead and another person has been critically injured following a shooting in North Etobicoke Sunday evening, police said.

Police said they were called to the Kipling Avenue and Mt. Olive Drive area at around 7:30 p.m. for a report that two people had been shot in a building.

One victim was pronounced dead at the scene and another person was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injures, police said.

No other information has been released by the police.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police directly. Tips can also be left anonymously with Crime Stoppers.

Mason Road school closed due to COVID-19 outbreak: TDSB

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Sep 28th, 2020

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) says Toronto Public Health (TPH) has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at Mason Road Junior Public School in Scarborough.

The school, located at 78 Mason Road near Kingston Road and Eglinton Avenue East, has been ordered closed for all of next week while TPH continues their investigation, the board said in a tweet Sunday evening.

According to the school board’s COVID-19 advisories page, one student and three staff members have confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The board said the school community has already been informed.

“An outbreak is declared when there are at least two confirmed cases of COVID-19 within a 14 day period and with a link to a school setting,” said a letter to parents. “TPH will let us know if the school can reopen after this period.”

The TDSB said they are requiring all students and staff from the school to self-isolate until Oct. 2.

“I know news of an outbreak and school closure will, understandably, be worrisome for families. Please know that we are in constant contact with TPH and should they believe any additional communications or steps are required, we will let you know as soon as possible,” said school principal Helen Wong in the letter. “In the meantime, additional cleaning will be conducted in the school over the next week.”

 

 

Page 52 of 395« First...102030...5051525354...607080...Last »