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Man in critical condition after being ambushed, shot near Jane and Hwy. 401

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Mar 13th, 2020

A 27-year-old man is fighting for his life after an overnight shooting near Jane Street and Highway 401.

Emergency crews were called to an apartment building on Falstaff Avenue around 3:30 a.m. Friday, where they found the victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

He was rushed to a trauma centre with life-threatening injuries.

“Although we’re at the infancy stage of this investigation, we believe at this point that the victim was ambushed in the lobby (of the building) by three gunmen,” Insp. Mandeep Mann explained.

The first gunman is described as male, black, in his 20s, and about 170 pounds. He was wearing a white hoodie with black sleeves.

The second suspect is described as male, black, about five feet eight inches tall, in his 20s, and approximately 140 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black hoodie.

The third suspect is described as male, black, in his 20s, five feet 10 inches tall, and about 140 pounds. He was wearing a black North Face jacket.

Police believe a fourth suspect was sitting in the getaway vehicle, which has been described as a light-coloured, four-door sedan.

“All the suspects were last seen in that vehicle, fleeing toward Fallstaff Avenue,” Mann said.

Police are still trying to piece together a motive for the crime and how the events of the incident transpired. They are asking anyone who may have information or security/dashcam video of the area to contact investigators.

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau tests positive for COVID-19: PMO

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Mar 13th, 2020

The Prime Minister’s Office says Sophie Gregoire Trudeau has tested positive for COVID-19.

Following medical advice, the prime minister’s wife is remaining in isolation for the time being.

The PMO says she is feeling well, is taking all the recommended precautions and her symptoms remain mild. Health professionals will reach out to those who have been in contact with Grégoire Trudeau as necessary.

The PMO says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in good health with no symptoms.

As a precautionary measure and following the advice of doctors, he will be in isolation for a planned period of 14 days. He will not be tested at this stage as he has no symptoms and as such, doctors say there is no risk to those who have been in contact with him recently.

The Prime Minister will continue his duties as per usual and will address Canadians on Friday.

Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson test positive for coronavirus

NEWS STAFF AND THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Thursday, Mar 12th, 2020

Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have been tested positive for coronavirus.

The actor posted a message to social media saying the couple were in Australia and felt tired, with colds, body aches and slight fevers.

Hanks posted the message below to Instagram.

Hello, folks. Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive.

Well, now. What to do next? The Medical Officials have protocols that must be followed. We Hanks’ will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires. Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no?

We’ll keep the world posted and updated.

Take care of yourselves!
Hanx!

Hanks, 63, and Wilson, an actress and a singer, were married in 1988.

Man in critical condition after shooting at Victoria Park and Finch

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Mar 12th, 2020

A 26-year-old man is in critical condition after a shooting Wednesday night in Scarborough.

Emergency crews were called to a gas station at the intersection of Victoria Park Avenue and Finch Avenue East just after 10 p.m.

It’s believed the man was sitting in a car when he was shot. A vehicle at the scene had multiple gunshot holes in the front windshield.

Police say the man was losing consciousness when they arrived on scene.

The man was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

There has been no word on suspects.

NBA suspending season until further notice because of coronavirus

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Mar 12th, 2020

The NBA has suspended its season “until further notice” after a Utah Jazz player tested positive Wednesday for the coronavirus, a move that came only hours after the majority of the league’s owners were leaning toward playing games without fans in arenas.

Now there will be no games at all, at least for the time being. A person with knowledge of the situation said the Jazz player who tested positive was centre Rudy Gobert. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the league nor the team confirmed the presumptive positive test.

“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice,” the league said in a statement sent shortly after 9:30 p.m. Eastern. “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”

The test result, the NBA said, was reported shortly before the scheduled tip-off time for the Utah at Oklahoma City game on Wednesday night was called off. Players were on the floor for warmups and tip-off was moments away when they were told to return to their locker rooms. About 30 minutes later, fans were told the game was postponed “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

Those circumstances were the league’s worst-case scenario for now — a player testing positive. A second person who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity said the league expects the shutdown to last a minimum of two weeks, but cautioned that timeframe is very fluid.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, which declared a pandemic on Wednesday, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.

It has been a worldwide issue for several weeks. And now, it has hit the NBA.

Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego, speaking before his team played at Miami on Wednesday — where news of the shutdown broke during the fourth quarter — said “these are scary times.”

The NBA’s movement toward empty arenas in the short term came on the same day that the NCAA announced that the men’s and women’s Division I tournaments would be played without fans — except for a few family members — permitted inside to watch.

“People are clearly taking the measures that they feel they need to take for safety,” said Miami Heat guard Duncan Robinson, who played in both the Division I and Division III national championship games during his college days at Michigan and Williams.

“There’s people a lot higher up than ourselves in this locker room who have the information and the knowledge to make those types of decisions,” Robinson said. “In terms of if that were to happen here … we love playing in front of our fans and we feel like that gives us an advantage. But at the same time the NBA has to protect its players in the league and the fans.”

Things have clearly been trending toward empty arenas for some time, and it was abundantly clear Wednesday morning when the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told a Congressional committee that he would recommend the NBA not allow fans at games in response to the coronavirus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci was responding to a question asked by Rep. Glenn Grothman, a Wisconsin Republican, “is the NBA underreacting or is the Ivy League overreacting?” Grothman was referencing how the Ivy League recently cancelled its basketball tournaments, instead of having them without fans or keeping the status quo.

“We would recommend that there not be large crowds,” Fauci said. “If that means not having any people in the audience when the NBA plays, so be it. But as a public health official, anything that has crowds is something that would give a risk to spread.”

Trump suspends travel between U.S. and Europe for 30 days

LISA MASCARO, ANDREW TAYLOR, JILL COLVIN AND ZEKE MILLER, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | posted Thursday, Mar 12th, 2020

Taking drastic action Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced he is cutting off travel from Europe to the U.S. and moving to ease the economic cost of a viral pandemic that is roiling global financial markets and disrupting the daily lives of Americans.

Trump made the announcement that he is suspending all travel from Europe to the U.S. for 30 days beginning at 11:59 p.m. Friday during a rare Oval Office address to the nation. After days of playing down the threat, he blamed the European Union for not acting quickly enough to address the novel coronavirus and claimed that U.S. clusters were “seeded” by European travellers.

“We made a lifesaving move with early action on China,” Trump said. “Now we must take the same action with Europe.”

Trump said the restrictions won’t apply to the United Kingdom, and there would be exemptions for “Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings.” It also wouldn’t apply to cargo. He said the U.S. would monitor the situation to determine if travel could be reopened earlier.

After he spoke, the White House cancelled a planned trip by the president to Nevada and Colorado this week, “out of an abundance of caution.”

The mounting effort to contain the virus and financial fallout intensified on a grueling day: Communities cancelled public events nationwide, universities moved to cancel in-person classes, and families grappled with the impact of disruptions to public schools. The number of confirmed cases of the infection topped 1,000 in the U.S. and the World Health Organization declared the global crisis is now a pandemic.

In a week of mixed messages and false starts, as government officials warned in increasingly urgent terms that the outbreak in the U.S. will only get worse, Washington suddenly seemed poised to act.

Congress, for its part, unveiled a multibillion-dollar aid package Wednesday that was expected to be voted on by the House as soon as Thursday.

“I can say we will see more cases, and things will get worse than they are right now,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said in testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee. He said the virus is “10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu.”

Trump spoke after days of confusion in Washington amid mounting calls on the president to demonstrate greater leadership. In the hours leading up to his remarks, White House aides struggled to determine what action the president could take unilaterally and what required congressional action, as Trump personally weighed the public and political reactions to the options before him.

Trump said he was also directing agencies to provide unspecified financial relief for “for workers who are ill, quarantined or caring for others due to coronavirus,” and asked Congress to take action to extend it.

Trump said the U.S. will will defer tax payments for some individual and business filers for three months to lessen the impacts of the virus outbreak. He said the Small Business Administration will also make low-interest loans available to businesses to help them weather the storm.

“This is not a financial crisis,” he said. “This just a temporary moment of time that we will overcome together as a nation and as a world.”

Trump also reiterated his call on Congress to pass a cut to the federal payroll tax in order to stimulate the economy, though that proposal was dismissed by many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. He remained silent on his previous calls to provide assistance to industries hard-hit by the pandemic like airlines and cruise ships.

On Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled an economic assistance plan that was gaining bipartisan backing. Central to the package is free coronavirus testing nationwide and emergency funding to reimburse lost paychecks for those self-quarantining, missing work or losing jobs amid the outbreak.

The draft legislation would create a new federal emergency sick leave benefit for people with the virus or caring for a coronavirus victim. It would provide two-thirds of an employee’s monthly income for up to three months.

Facing a likely surge in unemployment claims, the package would also give states money for the newly jobless. It would provide additional funding for food and nutrition benefits for pregnant women, mothers and young children. It also would up money for “meals on wheels” and food for low-income elderly people.

“Right now we’re trying to deal with the direct impact of the virus on individual citizens,” said House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, whom Trump tapped to negotiate with Pelosi, urged Congress “to pass legislation quickly.”

“This is a little bit like a hurricane, and we need to cover these outside of normal expenses,” Mnuchin said.

The administration had floated several other strategies, including the rare idea of declaring a national disaster that could potentially unlock funding streams, according to a person unauthorized to discuss the planning and granted anonymity. But Trump ultimately opted against taking that step Wednesday.

A major disaster declaration provides additional authorities for federal agencies, including the military, to assist in responding to an emergency, including medical care, sheltering and distributing goods.

The administration also rolled out new recommendations for the communities most impacted by the virus in Washington state, New York and California, while authorizing Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to take whatever steps necessary to increase the supply of face masks available to doctors and nurses by providing them with masks intended for industrial use.

Mnuchin noted that Trump’s executive authorities are “quite significant” and said the administration would be rolling out “various proposals.”

As pressure mounted for Washington to respond, the GOP leader in the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, signalled potential Republican support for the funding package in Congress.

“We need to do something,” McCarthy said. “I think they could become very bipartisan.”

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

Congress’ attending physician told staff there could be 70 million to 100 million coronavirus cases in the U.S. That’s on par with other estimates. A Harvard official has estimated that 20% to 60% of adults will get the virus, noting it’s “a pretty wide range.”

Pelosi’s goal is to pass an aid package before lawmakers leave town for a previously scheduled weeklong recess, and revisit potential stimulus measures later.

In Washington, tourists still arrived at the U.S. Capitol, but an official unauthorized to discuss the situation and speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed that tours would soon be shut down.

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Associated Press writers Lauran Neergaard, Marty Crutsinger, Laurie Kellman and Kevin Freking in Washington contributed to this report.

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The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Coronavirus FAQ: what it is, how it spreads and who to call

DILSHAD BURMAN | posted Wednesday, Mar 11th, 2020

The novel coronavirus strain we have come to know as COVID-19 is rapidly spreading across the globe. While top experts say the risk to Canadians remains low, residents are on edge as new cases are diagnosed every day, including those contracted via human-to-human transmission.

The government is providing daily updates on cases and how Canada is responding, but questions still abound about how the virus is transmitted, what the symptoms are and who to call if you think you may have it.

Here’s a quick look at the basics of what you should know about the virus, what to do in case of suspected infection and how to protect yourself.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China and causes a respiratory infection.

It is a novel strain of coronavirus — part of a large family of viruses that can cause a range of illnesses from the common cold to pneumonia and bronchitis. The SARS outbreak in 2003 was also caused by a coronavirus.

The first presumptive case of infection in Ontario was identified on Jan. 25.

Latest number of cases on Ontario: COVID-19 in Ontario

How does it spread?

Coronaviruses spread mainly from person to person through close contact.

The risk of catching a severe case of the virus is higher if your immune system is compromised due to old age or chronic disease.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms are flu-like and can range from mild to severe. They include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Complications from COVID-19 can result in serious conditions like pneumonia or kidney failure and in some cases, death.

Can COVID-19 be treated?

There is no specific treatment for coronaviruses and no vaccine that protects against them. Most people with common human coronavirus illnesses recover on their own.

To manage symptoms, the government recommends taking the same measures as you would with a common cold: drink plenty of fluids, get lots of rest and sleep as much as possible and try using a humidifier or take a hot shower to help with a sore throat and cough.

Who to call if you think you have the virus

Unrelated to travel:

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, call Telehealth Ontario for medical advice at 1-866-797-0000 for medical advice. You can also contact your local public health unit. Click here to find a public health unit close to you: Public Health Units.

Be sure to tell them your symptoms and travel history including any countries you visited.

During and after travel:

  • If you become sick while travelling or after you get back, avoid contact with others and call Telehealth or contact your local public health unit. Tell them your symptoms, where you have been travelling or living and if you had direct contact with animals or with a sick person.
  • If you feel sick during your flight or upon landing, tell a flight attendant or a Canada border services agent.

 

After return from an affected area:

  • You may need to self-isolate for 14 days because you may have been exposed to COVID-19. Staying home and limiting your contact with others will help prevent further spread.
  • If your symptoms feel worse than a common cold and you went to an affected area within 14 days of when your symptoms began, once again, call Telehealth or contact your local public health unit and be sure to reveal your symptoms and travel history.

The locations identified as affected areas are:

  • China (mainland)
  • Hong Kong
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • South Korea

How to protect yourself

Since there are no vaccines for coronaviruses, it’s essential to take some basic, everyday steps to protect yourself and prevent the spread of illness.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water and disinfect with alcohol based sanitizer. Watch the video below for a tutorial on how to properly wash and disinfect your hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze – use your elbow and cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are sick

 

If you are travelling in an area with known cases of COVID-19, it is best to avoid:

  • Contact with animals, alive or dead, including chickens, ducks, wild birds and pigs
  • Surfaces with animal droppings or secretions
  • Farms, live animal markets and places where animals are slaughtered

READ MORE:

For a comprehensive list on how to protect yourself: How to protect yourself and others from infection as COVID-19 cases increase

For more frequently asked questions answered by an emergency room physician who worked through the SARS crisis: FAQ: your coronavirus questions answered


 

Ryerson University must transfer withheld funding to student union: judge

SHAWN JEFFORDS AND THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Mar 11th, 2020

Ryerson University has been ordered by an Ontario judge to transfer millions of dollars it has been withholding from the school’s student union.

Justice Markus Koehnen says in a decision released Monday that if he did not grant an injunction requested by the student union, it would be forced to shut down.

The justice says while on balance not granting the injunction would have relatively little impact on the university, it would have a serious impact on services provided by the student union.

The court battle came after Ryerson’s student newspaper reported last January that student union credit card statements apparently showed expenditures of more than $250,000 over eight months.

The Canadian Press has not seen the credit card statements and the union’s financial controller declined to comment on the matter at the time of the allegations.

The school subsequently told the student union it would withhold the fees it collects from students for the union until a forensic audit was conducted and the results shared with the university, and a new operating agreement was negotiated.

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