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Halifax cartoonists capture public mood following Toronto, Humboldt tragedies

Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press | posted Friday, Apr 27th, 2018

Halifax cartoonist Michael de Adder says he was simply trying to find a small bit of positivity with an image that has garnered national attention for its depiction of recent tragedies in Toronto and Humboldt, Sask.

The cartoon, published in the aftermath of Monday’s van attack in Toronto that killed 10 people and injured 14, shows two boys in hockey sweaters sitting on a bench, sticks by their sides.

The boys, one wearing a green and yellow Humboldt Broncos jersey and the other wearing a blue and white Toronto Maple Leafs sweater, have their arms around one another, supportive in crisis.

“The reality is, I’m just happy to perhaps in a small way add a little bit of positivity in a very negative situation, so that’s all I’m trying to accomplish with that cartoon,” de Adder said in an interview.

De Adder, an award-winning national freelancer, is one of two Halifax cartoonists regularly garnering attention for works that appear to capture the national mood.

Bruce MacKinnon, the Halifax Chronicle Herald cartoonist for whom de Adder often substitutes, gained a similar audience for a cartoon this month following the Humboldt Broncos bus crash that claimed the lives of 16 people and injured 13.

MacKinnon said there’s no set protocol for producing work in such trying circumstances.

“There is a lot more sensitivity involved and you have to consider all the factors a lot more carefully because every nuance in the cartoon is going to be examined very carefully by the reader,” he said. “Sometimes that adds to the power of the cartoon if you get all those nuances right — if you don’t you could end up being a lightning rod for a lot of anger.”

MacKinnon’s Humboldt cartoon depicts the provinces and territories as a group of red-shirted hockey players coming to the aid of a green-shirted Saskatchewan player. The slumped player has his arms around his closest neighbours, Manitoba and Alberta, who are supporting his weight.

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“The thing that stands out about the story aside from the obvious sadness … is the outpouring of compassion of Canadians,” he said of his inspiration for the drawing.

De Adder said his Toronto cartoon was the result of an evening of struggle to come up with what he thought would be an appropriate response to the tragedy.

He said he probably worked on 10 thumbnail sketches before gradually deciding he was on the right track, adding that it’s one thing to get an idea, but another to depict it.

“I knew I was going to have Humboldt consoling Toronto, but I didn’t know if I was going to do adults, or a couple, or two guys. I went with kids and it sort of worked the best.”

The cartoon was posted on de Adder’s Twitter account and has since received thousands of likes from people calling it “heartwarming” and a “beautiful tribute.”

The image was re-tweeted by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who remarked “well done @deAdder” as part of a message expressing condolences to the victims and their families and thanking first responders.

Another Twitter user said: “I am from Saskatchewan and this hit hard. Thank you for remembering our recent loss as well.”

Over the years, MacKinnon has received national and international acclaim for several of his cartoons, including one following the shooting death of army reservist Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial in Ottawa in 2014.

That cartoon trended on Twitter and requests to use it came from media outlets like CNN, Fox News, and The Independent newspaper in the United Kingdom.

Another MacKinnon cartoon depicting the aftermath of the Las Vegas shootings last fall — Uncle Sam re-assuring the NRA that “you’re safe” amid the bodies of gunshot victims — was also picked up and re-tweeted by a host of celebrities, including actors Ron Perlman and Mark Hamill.

Both Halifax cartoonists downplay the attention for work emanating from a smaller market such as Halifax.

They also say they have known each other for years, and share a friendship rather than an outright rivalry.

“We’re sort of in our own little drawing-table worlds,” said MacKinnon. “We are always trying to outdo each other and that kind of thing and that’s a healthy environment.”

Bill Cosby found guilty in sexual assault retrial

Michael R. Sisak and Claudia Lauer, The Associated Press | posted Friday, Apr 27th, 2018

Bill Cosby was convicted Thursday of drugging and molesting a woman in the first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era, completing the spectacular late-life downfall of a comedian who broke racial barriers in Hollywood on his way to TV superstardom as America’s Dad.

Cosby, 80, could end up spending his final years in prison after a jury concluded he sexually violated Toronto native and Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He claimed the encounter was consensual.

Cosby listened to the verdict stoically, but moments later lashed out loudly at District Attorney Kevin Steele and called him an “a–hole” after the prosecutor asked that Cosby be immediately jailed because he might flee. The judge decided Cosby can remain free on bail while he awaits sentencing.

The verdict came after a two-week retrial in which prosecutors put five other women on the stand who testified that Cosby, married for 54 years, drugged and violated them, too. One of those women asked him through her tears, “You remember, don’t you, Mr. Cosby?”

The panel of seven men and five women reached a verdict after deliberating 14 hours over two days, vindicating prosecutors’ decision to retry Cosby after his first trial ended with a hung jury less than a year ago.

Cosby could get up to 10 years in prison on each of the three counts of aggravated indecent assault. He is likely to get less than that under state sentencing guidelines, but given his age, even a modest term could mean he will die behind bars.

Constand, 45, a former Temple women’s basketball administrator, told jurors that Cosby knocked her out with three blue pills he called “your friends” and then penetrated her with his fingers as she lay immobilized, unable to resist or say no.

It was the only criminal case to arise from a barrage of allegations from more than 60 women who said the former TV star drugged and molested them over a span of five decades.

“The time for the defendant to escape justice is over,” prosecutor Stewart Ryan said in his closing argument. “It’s finally time for the defendant to dine on the banquet of his own consequences.”

Another prosecutor, Kristen Feden, said Cosby was “nothing like the image that he played on TV” as sweater-wearing, wisdom-dispensing father of five Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show.”

Cosby’s retrial took place against the backdrop of #MeToo, the movement against sexual misconduct that has taken down powerful men in rapid succession, among them Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey and Sen. Al Franken.

The jurors all indicated they were aware of #MeToo but said before the trial they could remain impartial. Cosby’s lawyers slammed #MeToo, calling Cosby its victim and likening it to a witch hunt or a lynching.

After failing to win a conviction last year, prosecutors had more courtroom weapons at their disposal for the retrial. The other accusers’ testimony helped move the case beyond a he-said, she-said, allowing prosecutors to argue that Cosby was a menace to women long before he met Constand. Only one other accuser was permitted to testify at Cosby’s first trial.

Cosby’s new defence team, led by Michael Jackson lawyer Tom Mesereau, launched a highly aggressive attack on Constand and the other women.

Their star witness, a longtime Temple employee, testified that Constand once spoke of setting up a prominent person and suing. Constand sued Cosby after prosecutors initially declined to file charges, settling with him for nearly $3.4 million over a decade ago.

“You’re dealing with a pathological liar,” Mesereau told the jury.

His colleague on the defence team, Katheen Bliss, derided the other accusers as home-wreckers and suggested they made up their stories in a bid for money and fame.

But Cosby himself had long ago confirmed sordid revelations about drugs and extramarital sex.

In a deposition he gave over a decade ago as part of Constand’s lawsuit, Cosby acknowledged he had obtained quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with, “the same as a person would say, ‘Have a drink.”’ The sedative was a popular party drug before the U.S. banned it more than 30 years ago.

Cosby also acknowledged giving pills to Constand before their sexual encounter. But he identified them as the over-the-counter cold and allergy medicine Benadryl and insisted they were meant to help her relax.

The entertainer broke racial barriers as the first black actor to star in a network show, “I Spy,” in the 1960s. He created the top-ranked “Cosby Show” two decades later. He also found success with his “Fat Albert” animated TV show and served as pitchman for Jello-O pudding.

Later in his career, he attracted controversy for lecturing about social dysfunction in poor black neighbourhoods, railing against young people stealing things and wearing baggy pants.

It was Cosby’s reputation as a public moralist that prompted a federal judge, acting in response to a request from The Associated Press, to unseal portions of the deposition.

Its release helped destroy the “Cosby Show” star’s career and good-guy image. It also prompted authorities to reopen the criminal investigation, and he was charged in late 2015.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission. Constand has done so.

Britain’s new prince is named Louis Arthur Charles

The Associated Press | posted Friday, Apr 27th, 2018

The new prince has a name. Britain’s royal palace says the infant son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has been named Louis Arthur Charles.

The palace said Friday that the baby’s full title is His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge.

William and Kate’s third child was born Monday a brother to four-year-old Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who is almost three years old.

Louis is fifth in line to the throne after his grandfather Prince Charles, his father and older siblings.

North and South Korea agree to push for talks to end war

The Associated Press | posted Friday, Apr 27th, 2018

North and South Korea say they will jointly push for talks with the United State and also potentially China to officially end the 1950-53 Korean War, which stopped in an armistice and left the Koreas still technically at war.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced after their summit on Friday that the Koreas will push for three-way talks including Washington or four-way talks that also include Beijing on converting the armistice into a peace treaty and establishing permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The two leaders said they hope the parties will be able to declare an official end to the war by the end of this year.

While President Donald Trump has given his “blessing” for the Koreas to discuss an end to the war, there can be no real solution without the involvement of Washington and other parties that fought in the war because South Korea wasn’t a direct signatory to the armistice that stopped the fighting.

North and South Korea have also agreed to stop all hostile acts over “land, sea and air” that can cause military tensions and clashes, after a summit between their leaders at a border truce village.

The leaders announced that starting May 1 they will suspend all loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts the countries have been blaring at each other across their heavily-armed border. They will also dismantle broadcasting equipment.

The Koreas also agreed to stop flying propaganda leaflets across their border.

The countries also agreed to take steps to defuse the relatively frequent clashes around their western maritime border by designating the area as a “peace zone” and guarantee safe operations of fishermen from both countries.

Chivas wins CONCACAF title, beating Toronto on penalty kicks

The Associated Press | posted Thursday, Apr 26th, 2018

Mexico’s Chivas beat Toronto FC 4-2 on penalty kicks Wednesday night to win the CONCACAF Champions League and the right to play in the Club’s World Cup for the first time in its history.

Toronto got the 2-1 win in the Akron stadium to force the penalty kicks, where the Mexicans scored their four shots while Jonathan Osorio and Michael Bradley missed for Toronto.

Orbelin Pineda put the home side ahead at the 18th, but Jozy Altidore tied it at the 25th and Sebastian Giovinco added a goal in the 43rd for Toronto.

Chivas won the first leg 2-1 and the series finished with a 3-3 draw.

In the penalty kicks, Oswaldo Alanis, Jesus Godinez, Alan Pulido and Angel Zaldivar scored for Chivas.

Giovinco and Marco Delgado did it for Toronto.

Guadalajara, along with America the winningest team in Mexico with 12 league championships, won their second CONCACAF title, their first since 1962.

Toronto was trying to become the first MLS team to win the CONCACAF title since the L.A. Galaxy did it in 2000.

The Mexican clubs have won this tournament in the past 13 editions. The last non-Mexican team to win it was Costa Rica’s Saprissa in 2005.

Raptors take 3-2 series lead with 108-98 victory over Washington

Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Apr 26th, 2018

The Toronto Raptors are one win away from the Eastern Conference semifinals.

DeMar DeRozan scored 32 points as Toronto pulled away over the final few minutes to beat the Wizards 108-98 on Wednesday. The Raptors will take a 3-2 lead in their seven-game series back to Washington for Friday’s Game 6.

Kyle Lowry finished with 17 points and 10 assists, while Delon Wright scored 18 points off the bench, and Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points and 13 rebounds.

John Wall led the Wizards with 26 points, while Bradley Beal added 20.

Through the first three quarters, Washington seemed the hungrier team in a back-and-forth battle that saw neither team lead by double digits until the game’s last couple of minutes. The Wizards were winning most of the loose balls and dominating the boards, outrebounding Toronto 50-35.

But after losing two games in Washington, the Raptors returned to Toronto with confidence in their homecourt that had seen them lose just seven times in the regular season.

The Raptors clutched a one-point lead into the fourth quarter in front of a nervous Air Canada Centre crowd of 19,987 that included Drake and Canadian swimming star Penny Oleksiak. Thousands more anxious fans gathered outside in Maple Leaf Square to watch both the Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs play on the big screens.

When Kelly Oubre converted a three-point play, it gave the Wizards a five-point lead, but with 6:49 to play Valanciunas stole the ball off Wall, and DeRozan finished the play with a emphatic dunk, bringing the fans to their feet with a roar.

The fans would stay on their feet as Wright first hit a three, then scored on a layup on Toronto’s next trip down the floor, putting the Raptors up by six with 2:58 to play. Valanciunas scored on a layup just over a minute later to make it a 10-point game, flexing his muscles as he ran back down the floor. Miles scored a three with 41 seconds left, the punctuation mark on a thrilling ending.

The Raptors cruised to wins in Games 1 and 2 _ by scores of 114-106 and 130-119 _ but their figurative wheels fell off when the series switched to Washington for Games 3 and 4.

The Wizards clobbered Toronto 122-103 in Game 3, then came from behind to beat the Raptors 106-98 in Game 4 to even the series, and force a Game 6, which will be Friday at Capital One Arena. Game 7, if necessary, will be back in Toronto.

A moment of silence was held before tipoff for those who died in Monday’s horrific van attack in Toronto that left 10 dead, and 14 injured, and both teams held black #Torontostrong banners during the anthems. The two teams, plus the NBA, are donating to a fund set up to help the families affected by the attack.

The Raptors missed their first three shots of the game, but then made six of their next seven. DeRozan had 13 points in the first quarter and his driving layup gave Toronto a six-point lead. But the Wizards closed with a run capped by Wall’s shot at the buzzer that put Washington up 24-23 heading into the second.

The Wizards led by five early in the second, but the Raptors responded with a 18-6 run to go ahead by seven. Washington ended the half on an 11-5 run, and Beal’s three with 10 seconds left cut the Raptors’ lead at halftime to just 48-47.

The Wizards shot 61 per cent in the third quarter, while the Raptors had five three-pointers to lead by one with a quarter left.

Arresting officer in Toronto van attack doesn’t want to be called a hero

Dilshad Burman and Diana Pereira | posted Thursday, Apr 26th, 2018

“He wants the public not to call him a hero. He’s Officer Ken Lam. He’s real. He’s got a name, he’s got a badge. He’s not a hero.”

Toronto’s deputy police chief Peter Yuen spoke to media on behalf of and about Constable Ken Lam in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon after police was inundated by requests to speak to the “hero cop” — the police officer who apprehended and arrested the suspect in Monday’s deadly van attack in Toronto without firing a single shot.

Yuen said he shares a close relationship with Lam and shared some of the constable’s thoughts and what he wants the public and media to know — the salient point being that he does not consider himself a hero, nor does he want the public to see him that way. He was not assigned to the call that day but rather simply “bumped into the suspect.” He feels there were many first responders and other personnel on site who all deserve support and recognition.

Lam is unable to speak to media himself because he is a key witness in a multiple homicide case, Yuen said. He could be required to testify in court and anything he says could be used as evidence in open court.

Here are some snippets of what Yuen said:

Who is Const. Ken Lam?

  • Lam is 42 years old and married.
  • His parents immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong around 40 years ago to give their children a better life.
  • He had an interest in volunteering and helping people from a young age and wanted to work with seniors.
  • He joined Toronto police to give back to his community.
  • He began his police career in traffic services seven years ago, before which he was an engineer for 14 years. He moved to 32 division because he wanted a position where he could interact more with people.
  • Lam is a member of the TPS East Asian internal support network and is known as “the guy who sells stuff” because of his tireless work to raise money for various charities and causes.

How is he doing?

  • Lam is in an after-care program, a mandatory part of the Toronto Police Service (TPS) protocol for officers who endure traumatic experiences. Yuen said the TPS’ support program is one of the best in the country.
  • Lam was in good spirits on Wednesday morning when Yuen spoke to him, but the previous day was a difficult one. Yuen explained he had been through a similar traumatic experience 30 years ago, and knows that there are good days and bad days and it will take a while for Lam to recover.
  • Lam said he wasn’t able to sleep after the arrest. Yuen says that Lam expressed feeling anxiety, sleeplessness and sometimes woke up in cold sweats.
  • Among the things Const. Lam is currently grappling with is whether he made the right decision and what might have happened if he had opened fire.
  • Lam feels a sense of relief and is very appreciative for the public’s acknowledgement and support. He feels he made the right decision when he chose to give up his career as an engineer and join the force.

How did he handle the arrest?

  • Lam was not assigned to the call on Monday. He responded to it and “the incident found Ken Lam” said Yuen. He “bumped into the suspect” and made the arrest.
  • Yuen said Lam followed his training to the letter and he is an example of the TPS’ training translating into action.
  • Officers go through three days of rigorous front line training every year. Yuen said it is a continuous curriculum that is updated and reinforced on an ongoing basis. He added that Lam’s case could very well be used for training purposes next year.
  • Yuen said Lam’s calm and decisive behaviour was “remarkable” and he went “above and beyond.”

Boston Bruins eliminate Maple Leafs with 7-4 victory in Game 7

Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Apr 26th, 2018

The Toronto Maple Leafs had been here before — up a goal heading into the third period of a Game 7 at TD Garden.

Wednesday’s collapse won’t rewrite any record books, but it hurts just the same.

Jake DeBrusk scored his second of the night on a great individual effort to put Boston ahead for good as the Bruins stormed back over the final 20 minutes to stun the Leafs 7-4 and advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Toronto led 4-3 through two periods, having clawed its way back from a 3-2 deficit.

Then the wheels fell off.

“You’re all part of it when it goes good, you’re all part of it when it doesn’t,” Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said. “We came into the third period in a great spot.

“For them, for us. It was all right there. There was one period to go.”

There was also one period to go five years ago in Boston when Toronto led 2-1 through 40 minutes of Game 7 and 4-1 midway through the third period only to make NHL history as the first team to blow a three-goal cushion in that situation before losing in overtime.

The cast of characters is largely different, and the Leafs didn’t give up a late three-goal lead on this night, but they did surrender advantages of 1-0, 2-1 and 4-3, refusing to punch back when the Bruins came hard in the third.

“Not the way we saw it going,” said teary-eyed Toronto defenceman Jake Gardiner, who was on the ice for five goals against. “Personally I’ve got to be better. A lot of this game is on me. And it’s just not good enough, especially in a game like this. It’s the most important game of the season, and I didn’t show up. There’s not much I can say, really.”

“It’s going to be a tough one to swallow,” Gardiner added later. “I let a lot of people down.”

Boston, which led the series 3-1 before Toronto mounted a comeback to push it to Game 7, will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference semifinal.

Game 1 of that series goes Saturday in Tampa, Fla.

Patrice Bergeron, with a goal and two assists, David Pastrnak, Danton Heinen, Torey Krug and Brad Marchand, into an empty net, also scored for the Bruins. David Krejci had three assists, while Kevan Miller added two of his own.

“Didn’t matter how long it was going to take,” Krug said. “We were going to do the job.”

Tuukka Rask made 20 stops. Pastrnak and Marchand had an assist each for two-point nights.

Patrick Marleau, with two, Travis Dermott and Kasperi Kapanen replied for the Leafs, who got 29 saves from Frederik Andersen. William Nylander added two assists.

Toronto forced Game 7 with a 4-3 victory in Game 5 where Andersen stood on his head with a 42-save performance in Boston before picking up 3-1 win on home ice in Game 6.

The netminder was brilliant in those outings, but wasn’t at his best Wednesday.

“Being able to force Game 7 is great,” Andersen said. “Obviously a pretty empty feeling right now.”

Boston tied it 70 seconds into the third when Krug blasted a shot from the point through a screen with the teams playing 4 on 4.

The Bruins then pulled in front at 5:25 with both clubs again playing down a man when he cut around Gardiner off the rush and slipped a shot through Andersen’s five-hole at an electric TD Garden.

“He got it off quick, he made a good move,” Andersen said. “He surprised me a little bit.”

Pastrnak then put it away with 8:21 to play, and Marchand scored into an empty net in the final minute.

Down 3-2 following a wild first period where they led twice, the Leafs tied things at 2:07 of the second when Dermott ripped a shot past Rask for the rookie’s first playoff goal.

The Bruins then went on the power play, with Andersen robbing Krug on a spectacular save from the slot to set up Kapanen shorthanded. The rookie winger fought off Marchand before moving in alone on Rask and beating the Bruins netminder with a slick move at 6:05.

“Disappointed,” Babcock said. “We were set up perfect going into the third.

“We were fresh. I thought we were the fresher team, and we were in the driver’s seat.”

Toronto exits the first round for the second straight spring, but despite the spirited comeback, this stings after a season where the club set franchise records for points (105) and wins (49).

While last year’s Leafs were just happy to make the playoffs, the 2017-18 edition expected to make some noise.

But the loss of centre Nazem Kadri to a three-game suspension in the opener against Boston, Andersen’s suspect play for long stretches, and the inability of Nylander and Auston Matthews to ever really get going cost Toronto.

While Matthews garnered more attention from the Bruins than any other Leafs forward, the 20-year-old star didn’t leave a mark on the series.

A bright spot up front for the Leafs was the play of winger Mitch Marner, who led his team with two goals and seven assists.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” said Matthews, who could only muster a goal and an assist in seven games. “We wanted to keep it going. We had the opportunity tonight.

“We let it slip.”

Marleau opened the scoring on the power play at 2:05 of the first when he tipped Gardiner’s point shot, but DeBrusk tied it on a Boston man advantage just 2:42 later, moments after Andersen reached back to stop a puck dribbling towards to goal line with the help of teammate Tomas Plekanec.

Marleau restored Toronto’s lead at 6:12 off a great pass from Marner, but the Bruins came back once again when Heinen beat Andersen at 9:10 to cap stretch of four goals on 11 combined shots.

The Leafs lost Morgan Rielly later in the period after he took a Zdeno Chara shot from the point in the mouth while battling in front. The bleeding Toronto defenceman missed the rest of the period, but returned for the second.

Marner and Matthews had a couple of chances to restore the Leafs’ lead in that frenetic opening 20 minutes, but the Bruins went ahead with 36.4 seconds left when Miller shot intentionally wide right to Bergeron, who buried his first point since Game 2.

“We just could not hold the leads,” Leafs defenceman Ron Hainsey said. “We had three of them and couldn’t hold the lead.”

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