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Suspected impaired driver crashes car into TTC bus shelter

kyle.mack | posted Friday, Dec 27th, 2019

A man is in custody for impaired driving after allegedly crashing his car into a TTC bus shelter in Scarborough early Friday morning.

The crash happened around 1 a.m. in the area of Sheppard and Progress avenues.

Toronto police said the vehicle veered into bushes before hitting the shelter.

There were people inside the shelter at the time but nobody was injured.

Man seriously injured in Etobicoke shooting

kyle.mack | posted Friday, Dec 27th, 2019

A man is in hospital with what police describe as “very serious” injuries after an early-morning shooting in Etobicoke.

Toronto police were called to a condo complex in the area of Eva Road and The West Mall just after 1 a.m. on Friday for reports of machine gun fire.

When they arrived at the scene, the man was found suffering from gunshot wounds. He was rushed to hospital.

Police have yet to release suspect information but say there are reports that a white car was chasing a black car in the area.

Tips When Flying During the Busy Holiday Season

Simone Gavros | posted Tuesday, Dec 24th, 2019

With the holiday season in full-swing, Toronto Pearson Airport is expected to be full of travellers ready to head home or escape the frigid temperatures Toronto has to offer. To keep your travel experience merry and bright, here are two key tips to keep in mind when travelling on the busiest day of the holiday season!

Leave Early

It goes without saying that you should be at the airport at least 2-3 hours before your flight to ensure optimal time for check-in, checking baggage and security check. Today and during the rest of the busy holiday season, be sure to stick to those early arrival times! Since it’s expected to be the busiest travel day of the holiday season with an estimate of 138,000 flyers, the lines may be longer than usual. No one wants to be stressed out before boarding their flight so making sure you’re on time and ready to go will guarantee an easy experience.

Keep Gifts Unwrapped

As convenient as it might be to get all the wrapping out of the way before heading on the place, that is a big no-no for the airport. Gifts that are wrapped prior to flying can be ripped open during security checks. It has nothing to do with them being Grinches! But, if a package looks suspicious, it’s for the safety of passengers and crew that it be double-checked. It will also make the security check go by much quicker, as well. So, make sure you have wrapping paper waiting for you at your destination!

Keeping these two key tips in mind when travelling during this busy holiday season will be sure to keep everyone jolly this season! Safe travels!

 

What’s open and closed over the holidays

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Dec 24th, 2019

It is the most wonderful time of the year and also the busiest. Before you head out and about over the holidays, consult our list below of what’s open and closed from Christmas Eve until New Year’s Day.

Transit | Malls | Grocery/drug stores | LCBO/Beer stores | Tourist attractions | Government offices and banks | City of Toronto services


Transit

TTC
Dec. 25: Sunday service (subway and most surface routes start at 8 a.m.)
Dec. 26: Holiday service (subway service starts at 6 a.m.)
Dec. 31: Regular service, with free rides from 7 p.m. on Dec. 31 until 7 a.m. on Jan. 1
Jan. 1: Sunday service (subway and most surface routes start at 8 a.m.)

Click here to refer to the service schedule.

GO Transit
Dec. 24: Early homebound service
Dec. 25: Sunday schedule
Dec. 26: Saturday schedule
Dec. 31: Sunday schedule, with early homebound and late-night service, and free rides after 7 p.m.
Jan. 1: Sunday schedule

Click here to refer to the service schedule.

Shopping

Bramalea City Centre
Dec. 24: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Dec. 31: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Dufferin Mall
Dec. 24: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Eaton Centre
Dec. 24: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Dec. 31: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Erin Mills Town Centre
Dec. 24: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Fairview Mall
Dec. 24: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Dec. 31: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Scarborough Town Centre
Dec. 24: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Dec. 31: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Sherway Gardens
Dec. 24: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Dec. 31: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Shops at Don Mills
Dec. 24: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Dec. 31: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Square One
Dec. 24: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Dec. 31: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Toronto Premium Outlets
Dec. 24: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Dec. 31: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Vaughan Mills
Dec. 24: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Dec. 31: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Yorkdale Mall
Dec. 24: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Dec. 31: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Grocery/drug stores

Most grocery stores will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day but some local stores may be open. Call your local store before heading out.

LCBO/Beer Stores

LCBO
Dec. 24: Stores will close at 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: Select stores are open on reduced hours
Dec. 31: Most stores will have extended hours, click here to locate your store’s hours
Jan. 1: Closed

The Beer Store
Dec. 24: Stores will close at 6 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: Select stores will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Dec. 31: Stores will close at 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Tourist attractions

AGO: Closed on Christmas Day but opened over the holidays.
Casa Loma: Closed on Christmas Day but opened over the holidays.
CN Tower: Open over the holidays.
Ontario Science Centre: Closed on Christmas Day but open over the holidays.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada: Open over the holidays.
Royal Ontario Museum: Closed on Christmas Day but open over the holidays.
Toronto Zoo: Closed on Christmas Day but open over the holidays.

Government offices and banks

No mail delivery on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, and banks are closed on those days as well.

City of Toronto services

Garbage collection
Garbage, blue bin and green bin collection will not take place on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day but will be picked up the following day. The next day’s collection will move to the next day and so on. This applies to daytime and nighttime curbside collection. Click here for more information.

Toronto Public Library
Dec. 24: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dec. 25: Closed
Dec. 26: Closed
Dec. 31: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Recreation centres and skating rinks
The City of Toronto’s municipal offices, community and recreation centres, arenas, child-care centres and museums will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Recreation centres will be open until 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Click here for list of activities to do in the city over the break.

It takes a tech village to track Santa on Christmas Eve

James Anderson, The Associated Press | posted Tuesday, Dec 24th, 2019

Depending on which country they’re from, the kids may ask about Father Christmas, Papa Noel, Saint Nick or Santa Claus.

But they all want to know one thing: where in the world the jolly old man and his sleigh full of gifts are on Christmas Eve.

For the 64th time, a wildly popular program run by the U.S. and Canadian militaries is providing real-time updates on Santa’s progress to millions around the globe.

And this year, the North American Aerospace Defence Command is offering even more high-tech ways for children and parents to follow along.

Operation NORAD Tracks Santa has evolved from a misdirected telephone call in 1955, to a trailer parked outside the command’s former lair deep inside Cheyenne Mountain, to NORAD ’s modern-day headquarters at Colorado’s Peterson Air Force Base.

Along the way, the tens of thousands of telephone calls fielded by NORAD volunteers each year have been augmented by an explosion of technology that lets millions track St. Nick’s journey from the North Pole to the Pacific and Asia, from Europe to the Americas.

This year’s portals include Alexa, OnStar, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and 3-D apps developed for mobile devices by Cesium, a Philadelphia-based IT and defence contractor. The apps integrate geospatial and satellite-positioning technology with high-resolution graphics that display the actual positions of the stars, sun and moon and the shadows they cast at any point in Santa’s journey.

It takes a village of dozens of tech firms — including Google, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and Bing Maps — to deliver the immersive effect for global Santa trackers, with some 15 million visits to the website alone last year.

And it takes a village of 1,500 volunteers to field emails and the 140,000 or so telephone calls to 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723). They staff phone banks equipped with monitors inside a building at Peterson, which offers a view of snow-capped Pikes Peak to the west.

More volunteers and firms donate food, water and coffee to those on Santa Watch.

“Hi Santa Trackers! Lots of kids are waiting to ask you about Santa,” a sign reads.

Volunteers are equipped with an Operations Center Playbook that helps ensure each and every caller can go to sleep happy and satisfied on Christmas Eve.

Longtime Santa trackers are familiar with the NORAD-Santa story.

In 1955, Air Force Col. Harry Shoup — the commander on duty one night at NORAD’s predecessor, the Continental Air Defence Command — fielded a call from a child who dialed a misprinted telephone number in a newspaper department store ad, thinking she was calling Santa.

A fast-thinking Shoup quickly assured his caller that he was. And a tradition was born.

Today, most early calls come from Japan and Europe. The volume soars in the U.S. and Canada, said program manager Preston Schlachter. United Kingdom callers ask about Father Christmas. Those in France generally seek Papa Noel’s whereabouts.

For team members, once “Big Red” — Santa’s code name — is airborne, Schlachter said, “it’s off to the races.”

“I’ve never had a block of time move so quickly,” he said.

Male seriously injured in Thorncliffe Park shooting

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Dec 24th, 2019

A male is in hospital after a shooting at a highrise in the Thorncliffe Park area of the city.

Toronto police were called to Thorncliffe Park Drive near the Don Valley Parkway around midnight on Monday.

The victim’s injuries are serious but not life-threatening.

There is no word on arrests or suspect information.

Male dead after shooting in Oshawa

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Dec 24th, 2019

A male is dead after he was shot at a townhouse complex in Oshawa.

Durham regional police were called to the complex on Chevron Prince Path near Simcoe Street North and Britannia Avenue West around 3 a.m. on Tuesday.

The male was pronounced dead at the scene.

There is no word on suspects.

Saudi sentences 5 to death for Jamal Khashoggi’s killing

Abdullah Al-Shihiri and Aya Batrawy, The Associated Press | posted Monday, Dec 23rd, 2019

A court in Saudi Arabia on Monday sentenced five people to death for the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last year by a team of Saudi agents.

Saudi Arabia’s state-run Al-Ekhbariya TV channel reported that three others were sentenced to prison. All can appeal the verdicts.

The crown prince drew international condemnation for the killing because several Saudi agents involved worked directly for him. The kingdom denies that Prince Mohammed bin Salman had any involvement or knowledge of the operation.

State TV also reported the Saudi attorney general’s investigation showed that the crown prince’s former top adviser, Saud al-Qahtani, had no proven involvement in the killing . Al-Qahtani, however, has been sanctioned by the United States for his alleged role in the operation.

The court also ruled that the Saudi consul-general in Istanbul at the time, Mohammed al-Otaibi, was not guilty. He was released from prison after the verdicts were announced, according to state TV.

After holding nine sessions, the trial concluded that there was no previous intent by those found guilty to murder, according to state TV.

The the trials of the accused were carried out in near total secrecy, though a handful of diplomats, including from Turkey, as well as members of Khashoggi’s family were allowed to attend the sessions.

The killing had shocked the world and drawn condemnation from the international community, including the United Nations.

Khashoggi had walked into his country’s consulate in Istanbul on that morning in October 2018 to collect documents that would allow him to wed his Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, who waited for him outside. He never walk out.

Agnes Callamard, a U.N. special rapporteur who authored an inquiry into Khashoggi’s killing, later said the search for justice must not be left to the Saudi judicial system, which is “so vulnerable to political interference.”

President Donald Trump condemned the killing, and his administration sanctioned 17 Saudis suspected of being involved, though not the crown prince. Trump, however, has steadfastly resisted calls by members of his own party for a tougher response and has defended maintaining good relations with Saudi Arabia, framing its importance as a major buyer of U.S. military equipment and weapons and saying this creates American jobs.

Meanwhile, numerous critics of the Saudi crown prince remained imprisoned and face trial for their acts of dissent.

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