By Heather Scoffield, The Canadian Press - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 0 Comments
LIMA, Peru – Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government deploys a vast early-warning communications system to warn of potential problems on the horizon.
But Harper insisted Wednesday that he learned about his right-hand man bailing out an embattled Conservative senator in much the same way as other Canadians did: by seeing it on the news.
Not only was the prime minister not in the loop about Nigel Wright’s decision to give $90,000 to Sen. Mike Duffy, Harper said, he never would have signed off on the deal had he been consulted about it.
He also described himself as “sorry,” “frustrated” and “extremely angry” about the whole mess, which has forced his government onto a defensive footing and threatens its carefully cultivated image as a pillar of accountability and sound financial management.
“I learned of this after stories appeared in the media last week speculating on the source of Mr. Duffy’s repayments,” Harper said at a news conference in Peru, the first time he’s taken questions publicly on the scandal since it broke last week.
By Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 4:55 PM - 0 Comments
HAMILTON – Two men are now facing first-degree murder charges in the death of Tim Bosma, the Hamilton father who took two men on a test drive and never returned.
Bosma’s remains were later found burned beyond recognition at a farm belonging to one of the suspects. But Hamilton police said they still don’t know why he was killed.
“I don’t have an answer to that question today,” Supt. Dan Kinsella said in announcing the arrest of a second suspect in the case.
By Jessica Allen - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 4:00 PM - 0 Comments
Two bottlenose dolphins discovered a late 19th-century torpedo during a U.S. Navy training exercise near Coronado Island, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The mammals’ sophisticated sonar detected the object that not even billion-dollar technology could have recognized.
“To train the dolphins, Navy specialists sink objects of various shapes in rocky and sandy undersea areas where visibility is poor. The shapes mimic those of the mines used by U.S. adversaries,” the LA Times said. “A dolphin is then ordered to dive and search. If it finds something, it is trained to surface and touch the front of the boat with its snout. If it has found nothing, it touches the back of the boat.”
At first, Navy specialists ignored the positive response of the first dolphin named Ten because no training devices had been placed in that area.
But after a second dolphin named Spetz gave a positive response in the same area a week later, Spetz was ordered to take a marker down to the object’s site. Human divers were then sent down and found the so-called Howell torpedo in two pieces.
A Rhode Island-based company made only 50 of the torpedos between 1870 and 1889 before a rival company surpassed the Howell’s capabilities.
Before the two dolphins discovered the Howell, only one other example of the torpedo–currently on display at the Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport, Wash.–was known to exist.
“We’ve never found anything like this,” Mike Rothe, who heads the Navy’s marine mammal program, told the LA Times. ”Never.”
By Nicholas Köhler - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 2:41 PM - 0 Comments
Earlier today, when confronted in a Tim Hortons by the CTV reporter Austin Delaney, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was kind enough to offer to tuck him in. “You want me to make your bed for you tonight?” he asked Delaney, who pursued his line of questioning, centred around allegations that the mayor has smoked crack, nonetheless.
This was the backdrop to Councillor Doug Ford’s strangely orchestrated press conference earlier today, which devolved into a tense standoff between Doug and a frustrated city hall press corps.
“If the mayor wants to make a statement, his press secretary will notify the media,” said Doug, the mayor’s older brother, speaking from a prepared statement. “There is no reason for you to be staking out his house and following him around town.” He said this amid the heckling of reporters puncturing his address with questions.
Looking nervous, and speaking in an uncharacteristically halting voice, Doug first announced that “I’m here today because you’ve been asking me for my comment–I’m here to give you my comments.
“I’m not speaking for the mayor. The mayor is my brother, I love him, and he’ll speak for himself.”
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 1:56 PM - 0 Comments
HAMILTON – Tim Bosma was a jokester, a mischievous man with a “crazy laugh,” but most of all he was just a regular guy — and it cost him his life, family and friends say.
There was standing room only in a banquet hall in Hamilton, where hundreds of people gathered to remember the 32-year-old father who was killed after taking two men on a test drive.
Right as the memorial concluded, police announced they had made a second arrest in the case and would provide an update in the afternoon. A 27-year-old Toronto man, Dellen Millard, is already charged with first-degree murder, forcible confinement and theft of a vehicle.
Bosma’s remains were found, burned beyond recognition, on a farm belonging to Millard.
By macleans.ca - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 1:01 PM - 0 Comments
Remember the soap-opera storyline about the young actor who was arrested for dealing cocaine?
Wait, that’s not a soap opera, that’s soap actor Dylan Patton, who was fired from Days of Our Lives in 2010.
Three years after his role was recast, he’s been charged with selling coke out of his parents’ house in Los Angeles, a home that is conveniently located near an elementary school.
Though his parents were home when he was arrested, no one had paid his bail the three days after he was thrown in jail.
And you thought Toronto Mayor Rob Ford had problems.
By Ken MacQueen - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 12:58 PM - 0 Comments
Michel Hachey, a Vancouver plumber, was lucky to escape with his life when he walked toward his Toyota Matrix early Wednesday morning and pressed his key fob to unlock the doors. A tank of acetylene stored inside had leaked overnight, and the tiny electrical pulse used to unlock the doors triggered a massive blast.
Two occupants of a car passing by on Nicola Street, a block of residential apartment buildings just off busy Robson Street, were injured by flying glass and shrapnel and were sent to hospital with minor injuries.
Hachey, remarkably, was being checked out by ambulance staff but seemed to be unhurt. “He was a very lucky individual,” said Vancouver Fire Department Capt. Gabe Roder. “He was a matter of feet away.”
The massive blast lit up Vancouver’s 911 switchboard at 6:50 a.m., raising fears that a bomb had exploded. “There was extensive damage to a number of buildings in the area,” Roder said. “Some of the damage went as far as 12 storeys high.” A sweep of all buildings in the area found no additional injuries. At the early hour most people were still in bed and the street, except for the passing car, was largely deserted.
Roder stressed that while the accident was a fluke, it also serves as a warning that any gas cylinders, including barbeque propane tanks, should never be stored in a car or enclosed space. “What happened behind me was the result of one big mistake,” Roder said.
By Emily Senger - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 11:10 AM - 0 Comments
Much of the city of Montreal is under a boil-water order after a failed water safety test at the Atwater filtration plant.
The order exists in most areas of the city south of Highway 40, reports CTV Montreal, from St. Laurent to Pointe aux Trembles.
Global News reports that the exact areas affected are: Metropolitain Boulevard, from LaSalle to Pointe-aux-Trembles, the northern district of Anjou and the city of Charlemagne, Mont-Royal, Hampstead, Westmount, Cote St. Luc and Montreal East.
The Montreal Gazette describes the water coming out of taps in those areas as “somewhat brownish.” Residents are being ordered to boil it for at least one minute before drinking, or using it to wash food, brush teeth or make ice cubes, reports The Gazette.
The City of Montreal website was down after the city issued the order on Wednesday morning, around 10:30 a.m. A press conference was scheduled for 11:30 a.m.
By macleans.ca - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 10:33 AM - 0 Comments
U.S. President Barack Obama joked at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner that he had “99 problems” and rapper Jay-Z , who had recently taken a controversial trip to Cuba with superstar wife Beyoncé Knowles , was one.
Now it looks like the Obamas might well become a problem for Jay-Z, if first lady Michelle Obama’s remarks at Bowie State University in Maryland are any indication.
At a commencement ceremony, she told graduates of the historically black university to “be an example of excellence to the next generation” instead of “fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper.”
That’s career advice that might ruffle the feathers of Jay-Z, a high-school dropout who hosted a $40,000-a-head fundraiser for the president during his last campaign.
By Jessica Allen - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 10:25 AM - 0 Comments
NPR is hiring.
The American media organization that syndicates 900 public radio stations across the country is looking for for someone to be the “voice of NPR”.
“You’ll record all of NPR’s ‘support for this program comes from’ announcements in our national programs, and edit/produce/traffic them though our system,’ says the job posting.”
What’s more: “Heard by millions of people each week, you’ll get to say, ‘This is NPR’ each day.”
Interested parties should have “a voice that’s clear, confident, and welcoming.”
You will also need a Bachelor’s Degree (“or equivalent combination of education and experience.”)
Your chances to secure the position, which is based in Washington D.C., will be greatly increased if you possess the “ability to sound authentic on the radio” but be warned: “we’re not looking for ‘the voice of god.’”
Applications must include a cover letter and a demo recording of two sample scripts.
For the complete summary of the job, its duties and the qualifications that NPR is looking for, see the full posting here.
By Emily Senger - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 9:57 AM - 0 Comments
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was the butt of jokes for comedians Jon Stewart and Jimmy Kimmel Tuesday night, after the mayor refused to address — for the fifth day — allegations that a video showed him smoking crack cocaine with Toronto drug dealers.
Two journalists at the Toronto Star and one at Gawker have reported that they viewed a video from a man who said he was a drug dealer, which appeared to show Ford smoking from a crack pipe.
On The Daily Show, host John Stewart ran through some of Ford’s well-known gaffs: falling over in a football video, walking face-first into a television camera and, when he was a councillor, offending members of the Asian community by saying “Those Oriental people work like dogs.”
“After repeated incidents of this kind of behaviour, you have to wonder: Is this dude on crack?” asks Stewart, before adding: “Well, funny story.” Continue…
By Nick Taylor-Vaisey - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 9:54 AM - 0 Comments
Maclean’s is your home for the daily political theatre that is Question Period, when opposition and government MPs trade barbs and take names for 45 minutes every day. Today, QP runs from 2 p.m. until just past 3 p.m. We tell you who to watch, we stream it live, and we liveblog all the action. Once a week, we’ll feature a guest blogger to sort through the madness. The whole thing only matters if you participate. Read our morning tease to catch up on the issues of the day, and then chime in on Twitter with #QP.
By Emily Senger - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 8:25 AM - 0 Comments
Once-disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner has made it official: he’s running to be the next mayor of New York City.
Weiner made the announcement early Wednesday, through a video uploaded to the new AnthonyWeiner4Mayor YouTube channel, in which he says:
“Look, I know I made some big mistakes and I let a lot of people down. But I’ve also learned some tough lessons. I’m running for mayor because I’ve been fighting for the middle class, and those struggling to make it, my entire life.”
The attempt to return to public office comes after Weiner was caught sending pictures of his crotch to a college-aged woman (who was not his wife) over Twitter. (He thought it was a direct message. It wasn’t.)
Weiner was forced to give up his seat in Congress amid the scandal. It also caused many a headline pun for the unfortunately named Weiner.
Weiner’s decision to run for mayor is hardly surprising. Weiner has slowly mounted a comeback into public life. He made the media rounds in a series of television interviews and apologies, he released a policy paper on New York called “Keys to the City” and he even rejoined Twitter in April.
Of course, Weiner can’t entirely escape the past as he tries to forge a new beginning. Some headline puns are already posted, with the tabloid New York Daily News kicking things off with the announcement: “WEINER’S ALL IN! Disgraced politician officially thrusts his way into NYC mayoral race following weeks of speculation.”
Here’s Weiner’s Youtube announcement:
By Nick Taylor-Vaisey - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 7:57 AM - 0 Comments
The prime minister is in South America, on a trade mission. The foreign minister is in the House of Commons, engaging in damage control. The Senate’s internal economy committee is down the hall, investigating Senator Mike Duffy‘s improperly claimed expenses. The federal ethics commissioner is in her office, investigating the conduct of Nigel Wright, who was Harper’s chief of staff until last Sunday.
So, while Harper shakes hands and Baird deflects and Senators re-open books and the ethics commissioner pores over the rules, everyone else waits. The slow-moving train that is the ongoing Senate expenses scandal, where only the reporting of CTV’s Robert Fife shovels coal into the engine, lumbers on.
John Ibbitson, writing in The Globe and Mail, explains this hurry-up-and-wait approach to crisis management. The government, as it has done before, can “punt the issue to a neutral third party and then refuse to answer any further questions, claiming officials must be allowed to do their jobs.” The thing that the government must remember, and it’s something Toronto Mayor Rob Ford knows all too well, is that when a scandal is too big to just disappear, the harshest of critics are willing to wait. And wait. And wait for answers.
By Michael Friscolanti - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 6:26 AM - 0 Comments
The old cottage on Stoco Lake, deserted for more than three years now, is a lot like the man who once lived there. On the surface, it appears absolutely perfect. Prime waterfront lot. Spectacular view. Paradise. Even the street sign is charming: Cosy Cove Lane.
But behind that front door, deep within, are the remnants of a repulsive predator—a stalker so vile, so notorious, that strangers still drive to tiny Tweed, Ont., to see his property with their own eyes. “It doesn’t happen as much anymore,” says Ron Murdoch, who lives next door with his wife, Monique. “The only time it happens now is when something comes up in the newspaper.”
The Murdochs are bracing for another spike in traffic.
By macleans.ca - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 6:03 AM - 0 Comments
Prepared remarks for Senator James S. Cowan, leader of the Opposition in the Senate. Cowan gave the speech during debate on a report on Senator Mike Duffy:
“The eyes of Canadians are on the Senate today with an intensity, frustration and anger which has seldom been seen before. I could not have imagined a week ago Thursday when we adjourned for the Parliamentary break that events would have unfolded as they have.
It is no exaggeration to say that the faith of Canadians in the core institutions of our Parliamentary democracy have been badly shaken by those events.
Colleagues, we need to reflect upon what each of us has said and done – and not said and not done – over the past two weeks.
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 5:56 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – As the frantic search for a missing Canadian bushwalker continues in Australia’s Snowy Mountains region, there are reports of “voices” being heard in the area.
The Canberra Times reports that an air search for Prabhdeep Srawn is focusing on a specific location within the Kosciuszko National Park, about 350 kilometres southwest of Sydney.
It says a search helicopter used a thermal camera in an effort to locate the source of the voices, but no one has been found yet.
The 25-year-old Brampton, Ont., man hasn’t been heard from since parking his rental car May 13 in the village of Charlotte Pass.
Members of his family have arrived in Australia to help in the search.
By The Associated Press - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 5:51 AM - 0 Comments
PHOENIX – It was the customer service disaster heard around the Internet.
An Arizona restaurateur, fed up after years of negative online reviews and an embarrassing appearance on a reality television show, posted a social media rant laced with salty language and angry, uppercase letters that quickly went viral last week, to the delight of people who love a good Internet meltdown.
“I AM NOT STUPID ALL OF YOU ARE,” read the posting on the Facebook wall of Amy’s Baking Co. in suburban Phoenix. “YOU JUST DO NOT KNOW GOOD FOOD.”
It was, to put it kindly, not a best business practice. Add to that an appearance earlier this month on the Fox reality television show “Kitchen Nightmares” — where celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay gave up on trying to save the restaurant after he was insulted — and you have a recipe for disaster.
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 5:47 AM - 0 Comments
LIMA, Peru – Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets with mining executives and the Peruvian president this morning as he puts the new “extractive industries” focus of his aid and foreign policy into practice.
He is expected to take questions from the media in the early afternoon — his first since the Senate expenses scandal boiled over on the long weekend.
Until then, however, he will be talking up Canada’s mining companies and their role in developing countries such as Peru.
The new approach was rolled out last fall, and aims to align Canada’s aid spending more closely with its commercial interests — to much consternation from aid groups who fear Canadian business promotion will take precedence over poverty reduction.
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 5:46 AM - 0 Comments
HAMILTON – A memorial service is planned today for Tim Bosma, the Hamilton, Ont., man found dead after he took two men on a test drive.
Bosma’s disappearance and death captured national attention and many in the community are expected to attend the public funeral, which is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.
The 32-year-old father went missing May 6th and police say his charred remains were found on a farm belonging to the accused in the case, Dellen Millard.
Millard is charged with first-degree murder, forcible confinement and theft of a vehicle.
Last week, Bosma’s widow said her husband’s death has left her “broken” and missing a part of herself.
Sharlene Bosma vowed that their daughter would grow up knowing how much her father was loved.
By Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 5:44 AM - 0 Comments
OTTAWA – “Colleagues, there can be no business as usual. Enough is enough.”
The clarion call from James Cowan, the Liberal leader in the Senate, came late Tuesday evening as Parliament’s chamber of sober second thought returned from a 10-day break to assess the damage.
Since the 105-seat appointed body last met more than a week earlier, a five-alarm expense scandal had engulfed Parliament Hill, taking down two more Conservative senators and Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff, Nigel Wright.
In short, three Conservatives and one Liberal senator had been accused of fudging their expense accounts to claim tens of thousands of dollars to which they were not entitled.
By Ivor Tossell - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 8:06 PM - 0 Comments
Toronto, if nothing else, is good at saying no to things.
It is a win, to be sure, to be rid of the proposal for a downtown mega-casino. The city’s council dispatched the idea with a vote even more decisive than anyone dare whisper beforehand. When the results were announced, there was an audible gasp in the council chamber: After a long year of debate, 40 out of 44 councillors voted to flatly refuse a new mega-casino in the city. Even more striking, a face-saving compromise by the mayor – who vigorously campaigned for a casino – was also soundly rejected.
Like Rob Ford’s mayoralty, the casino was already dead, but to forestall any potential of revival, council gave it the full Dracula treatment and staked it through the heart. The mayor was spared the same treatment, escaping reporters camped out around his office by fleeing down a side exit, down private stairs to the parking garage, and gunning it.
By Barbara Ortutay, The Associated Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 5:20 PM - 0 Comments
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Microsoft is the last of the three big video game console makers to unveil its latest gaming system. Tuesday’s unveiling comes nearly eight years after the Xbox 360 went on sale. It follows last fall’s debut of Nintendo’s Wii U and a preview in February of the upcoming PlayStation 4 from Sony.
Each machine has a set of features designed to draw gamers away from rival consoles. There’s one thing all three have in common, though: They are about more than gaming and include entertainment services such as television, movies and music.
Here’s a closer look at the three systems. More details are expected at the E3 video game conference in Los Angeles next month.
By Jessica Allen - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 4:52 PM - 0 Comments
Brad Pitt thinks he can’t remember people’s faces because of a rare medical condition called, prosopagnosia, or more simply: face blindness.
The 49-year-old actor opened up about the trials and tribulations of the condition in an interview in the current issue of Esquire:
“So many people hate me because they think I’m disrespecting them,” he says. “So I swear to God, I took one year where I just said, This year, I’m just going to cop to it and say to people, ‘Okay, where did we meet?’ But it just got worse. People were more offended. Every now and then, someone will give me context, and I’ll say, ‘Thank you for helping me.’ But I piss more people off. You get this thing, like, ‘You’re being egotistical. You’re being conceited.’ But it’s a mystery to me, man…I am going to get it tested.”
The anxiety is so great that Pitt doesn’t like to go out, if he can avoid it. But his line of work not only requires that he go out in public to, well, work, but also that he often be the centre of attention. ”You meet so many damned people,” he says. “And then you meet ‘em again.”
The affliction not to remember faces is all the more shocking, says Pitt, who is an art, architecture and design enthusiast, considering that he comes “from such a design/aesthetic point of view.”
If Pitt does indeed have a face blindness condition, he wouldn’t be the first well-known person to suffer from it: “The primatologist Jane Goodall has also struggled with the handicap,” reports Vanity Fair. “But, according to a 2010 New Yorker feature by Oliver Sacks, ‘her problems extend to recognizing chimpanzees as well as people.’”
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 2:59 PM - 0 Comments
WASHINGTON – David Jacobson is leaving his post as U.S. ambassador to Canada in July to become vice-chairman of one of Canada’s largest banking groups.
Jacobson is joining the board of directors of BMO Financial Group (TSX:BMO) in October. He’ll be based in Chicago, his hometown, where BMO’s main U.S. operations are headquartered.
Jacobson, U.S. envoy for four years, is a Windy City lawyer who worked as a major fundraiser for Barack Obama as the junior Illinois senator ran for president in 2008. Jacobson arrived in Ottawa in October 2009 after the U.S. Senate signed off on his nomination.
While a new U.S. ambassador has yet to be officially announced, another top Obama fundraiser — Bruce Heyman, also from Chicago — is the reported front-runner.