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Sep 23 , 2018 / By :

Seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard’s quest to match her stellar 2014 record in Grand Slam tournaments started on a positive note: She beat Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany 6-2, 6-4 Monday in the first round of the Australian Open. There were some sour faces captured throughout the match — but even those outside of her “Genie Army” of fans would likely admit she’s still Canada’s most adorable tennis player.

Last year, Bouchard advanced to the semifinals at three majors but lost in the Wimbledon final.

Take a look at Bouchard in action on Day 1 of the Australian Open in the gallery below:

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 19: Eugenie Bouchard of Canada celebrates a point against her first round match against Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany during day one of the 2015 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 19, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.

Michael Dodge/Getty Images


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  • Eugenie Bouchard has strong start at Australian Open

  • Eugenie Bouchard named top female athlete for second straight year

  • Eugenie Bouchard signs with sports management giant

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Sep 23 , 2018 / By :

WATCH ABOVE: Police in Kenya used tear-gas on school children protesting the removal of their playground.

NAIROBI, Kenya – Kenyan police Monday tear-gassed schoolchildren demonstrating against the removal of their school’s playground, which has been allegedly grabbed by a powerful politician, said a Kenyan human rights activist.

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The students from Langata Road Primary School were in the front line of people pulling down a wall erected around the playground which has been acquired by a private developer said to be a powerful politician, said Boniface Mwangi. Primary school children in Kenya are usually between six and 14 years of age.

READ MORE: Kenya police brutality turns beat cops into killers

“The governor, the senator and other government officials are all scared of the politician, they cannot do anything to stop the playground from the being taken,” Mwangi said. Television footage showed children, some being carried away, writhing in pain, screaming and choking because of the tear-gas. Police officers later brought dogs to the playground.

Acting police chief Samuel Arachi said he had suspended the police officer who was in charge at the scene of the protest.

In such an incident tear gas is not used because the protests were not violent, Arachi said. He said five people have been arrested; three for vandalism and two for incitement.

“We will never allow officers to use force not only on any citizen more so on children whether in a demonstration or otherwise,” he said.

Elijah Mwangi, who was in charge of the police officers at the school, said he was following orders.

Opposition politician Eliud Owalo said last week that the playground had been grabbed to construct a parking lot for the politician’s hotel adjacent to the school.

READ MORE: Chaos, fights erupt in and out of Kenyan parliament over terror laws

“This is brutality beyond words and greed beyond description. It is difficult to believe that police can actually deploy against primary school children and lob tear gas at them to defend a land grabber. This image of a nation determined to steal forcefully from its own children cannot be what we aspire to. It cannot be the legacy we want to bequeath the children,” said opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Allegations of land seizures by Kenyan officials has become a controversial issue in the country.

©2015

Sep 23 , 2018 / By :

WATCH: A 10 cent fare hike will be coming to TTC riders as of March 1. Dave Trafford has all the details.

TORONTO – Toronto Mayor John Tory is proposing a 10 cent Toronto Transit Commission fare hike as of March 1 to help cover the cost of expanding service to riders.

“During the election campaign I committed along with all the other candidates not to raise transit fares in 2015,” Tory said during a press conference outside of Joyce Public School in North York Monday morning.

“It was not until the transition period after the election that I was fully able to comprehend and see put in front of me, all the facts as to the scope and extent of transit cutbacks imposed by the previous administration.”

WATCH: Toronto mayor John Tory announces a big new influx of funds for the Toronto Transit Commission that will repair and renew a host of services that have been reduced over the years.

Tory said he wants to increase funding to the TTC by $95 million, which includes a number of measures such as allowing people under 12 years of age to ride for free, adding new express bus routes, restoring bus and streetcar routes that were cut in 2011 and adding two more subway trains on Line 1 and 2 during morning and afternoon rush hour.

“I came to the difficult decision that when it came to ways to pay for it, that the fare increase had to be part of it,” Tory said, while cash fares will be exempted.

“One thing I would not do, I would not increase fares and not improve service and I would not decrease service and increase fares which is what my predecessor did.”

VIDEO: TTC fares to be raised by 10 cents in March

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Transit advocate, Steve Munro said this move is a step in the right direction when it comes to improving service.

“They’re committing not just to putting back service that was lost but to making some significant improvements that had been long overdue,” said Munro.

“If we were doing this four years ago, sort of picking up from where the system was before the cuts, it would have been a good next step.”

Munro said the city has lost its transit momentum and Monday’s announcement needs to come with more action over the next four years.

“There are still some other issues to be dealt with such as one of the proposals that were in Andy Byford’s list last August, that wasn’t in the list today, the two hour fare, an integral part of integrating Presto.”

The two hour fare is a recommendation to allow transit riders to use the TTC in any direction for a total of two hours from the beginning of their commute.
It was a recommendation Byford.

The two hour fair refers a recommendation by Byford’s to allow transit riders a two hour window to use the TTC, in any direction, from the beginning of their commute.
Tory’s funding announcement comes one day ahead of the city’s first draft budget to be released Tuesday at the budget committee.

“In that budget, we will provide for the investments in public transit and a number of other things,” explained Tory. “We will do that in the confines of the property tax increase at or below the rate of inflation.”

Tory went on to blame former Toronto mayor Rob Ford for service cuts that has pushed the TTC to its breaking point.

“Deliberate decisions were made under m y predecessor to reduce service and increase crowding levels on the transit system,” he said.

The fare increase and the additional $95 million transit investment is subject to the approval of the TTC commission and city council.

VIDEO: Tory announces that kids will ride TTC for free

Sep 23 , 2018 / By :

WATCH: According to a new U.S. report, this year’s flu shot is only 23 per cent effective. Su-Ling Goh reports.

TORONTO – Canadians may have seen the worst of this year’s flu season — while H3N2 is still widespread across most of the country, the number of cases may have peaked at the start of the year.

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The flu is still spreading across British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland. In Alberta, the same regions have reported widespread activity for a third week straight, according to the latest update from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The beginning of 2015 saw the country’s highest number of outbreaks in long term care homes – 152, a record number over the past five years.

But the number of positive flu cases decreased between Jan. 4 and Jan. 10, “suggesting that the seasonal influenza has peaked,” the Flu Watch report says.

At the start of the year, there were 4,579 positive cases, down from the 5,313 recorded at the end of 2014.

READ MORE: 5 ways to protect yourself from the flu

Laboratory detections, prescriptions for antiviral drugs and hospitalizations have all calmed down after a nasty season that hit seniors hard and left emergency rooms swamped.

It’s been an ugly flu season for a couple of reasons: for starters, H3N2 is the predominant strain and it’s traditionally more potent. Doctors told Global News that it could lead to more hospitalizations.

“It’s possible this might be a flu season where we’ll see people get more ill, which causes people to require hospitalizations versus riding out the flu at home,” Dr. Gerald Evans, a Queen’s University medicine professor and chief of infectious diseases at Kingston General Hospital, said.

By early December, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that the flu vaccine on hand was a mismatch. Last week, it reported that the flu vaccine is only 23 per cent effective, which is among one of the worst results since they started tracking how well the vaccines work.

Ideally, the best flu vaccines are 50 to 60 per cent effective.

The northern hemisphere, more or less, uses the same vaccine – there are only miniscule variations by product and manufacturer, which means the vaccine was just as effective in Canada, too.

READ MORE: Nasty H3N2 flu season worsens as cases rise across Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada has already conceded that the vaccine isn’t “optimally matched” to protect against H3N2. In an emailed statement, an agency spokesperson said the Canadian situation mirrors the U.S.

“To date, the available Canadian data estimates a low level of vaccine effectiveness against the H3N2 strain consistent with the U.S.,” the statement read.

Each year, strains of the influenzas mutate and re-emerge, infecting victims and triggering a new season. Those of us in the northern hemisphere keep a watchful eye over the flu in the southern hemisphere, which affects residents during their winter (or our summer).

READ MORE: Nasty flu season strikes as H3N2 cases spike across Canada

Picking out three strains for a vaccine is guesswork, and by the time influenza makes its way into the northern hemisphere, it’s had time to mutate or “drift.” But by then, the flu vaccine is already formulated.

This year, the vaccine isn’t as effective but health officials say it’s still worthwhile to roll up your sleeve and get the shot.

READ MORE: This year’s flu shot may not be the right match, CDC tells doctors

Overall, this year’s flu season – the way it started a little early and tapered off at the start of the New Year – is similar to last year’s season, the Flu Watch report suggests.

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Sep 23 , 2018 / By :

ABOVE: Filmmaker Michael Moore and actor Seth Rogen – both no strangers to film-centered controversy – are among the celebs weighing in on the new film American Sniper.

This post has been updated with additional comments from Moore and Rogen.

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TORONTO — American Sniper was the No. 1 movie at the box office on its first weekend in wide release — prompting filmmaker Michael Moore to take aim at snipers.

On Sunday, the Bowling for Columbine director said they “aren’t heroes.”

American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper and directed by Clint Eastwood, is based on the book by Chris Kyle, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History.

Kyle boasted of 255 kills, of which 160 were confirmed by the U.S. military.

The Navy Seal was killed in 2013 on a shooting range in Texas by Marine Corps veteran Eddie Ray Routh.

Moore, who earlier used 桑拿会所 to encourage people to see the movie Selma “because it is a piece of brilliant filmmaking, the likes of which are so rare,” tweeted:

Later, on Facebook, he elaborated.

“My dad was in the First Marine Division in the South Pacific in World War II. His brother, my uncle, Lawrence Moore, was an Army paratrooper and was killed by a Japanese sniper 70 years ago next month,” he wrote.

“My dad always said, ‘Snipers are cowards. They don’t believe in a fair fight. Like someone coming up from behind you and coldcocking you. Just isn’t right. It’s cowardly to shoot a person in the back. Only a coward will shoot someone who can’t shoot back.’”

Moore said his tweets were not directed at the movie American Sniper. He praised Bradley Cooper’s performance as “one of the best of the year” and gave kudos to the film’s editing, costumes, hair and makeup.

Moore was less enthusiastic about American Sniper director Clint Eastwood.

“Too bad Clint gets Vietnam and Iraq confused in his storytelling. And that he has his characters calling Iraqis ‘savages’ throughout the film,” he wrote.

Canadian actor-director Seth Rogen appeared to compare American Sniper to the Nazi propaganda film Stolz der Nation (Nation’s Pride), in which a German sniper killed Allied soldiers from a clock tower.

Later, though, Rogen denied he was comparing the films.

©2015

Sep 23 , 2018 / By :

LONDON – The richest 1 per cent of the population will own more than half the world’s wealth by 2016, Oxfam International said in a report released as the World Economic Forum begins in Davos, Switzerland.

READ MORE: Rich get richer, and Canadian companies want their business

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  • Income by postal code: Mapping Canada’s richest and poorest neighbourhoods

Oxfam said the world’s richest people saw their share of global wealth jump to 48 per cent last year from 44 per cent in 2009. Rising inequality is holding back the fight against global poverty as the world’s biggest companies lobby the U.S. and European Union for beneficial tax changes at a time when average taxpayers are still paying the bill for the financial crisis, Oxfam said.

“Do we really want to live in a world where the 1 per cent own more than the rest of us combined?” Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam’s executive director, said in a statement.

“The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering, and despite the issues shooting up the global agenda, the gap between the richest and the rest is widening fast.”

While world leaders such as President Barack Obama and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde have talked about tackling extreme economic inequality “we are still waiting for many of them to walk the walk,” Byanyima said.

The healthcare and financial services industries spent almost $900 million to lobby the U.S. government for favourable legislation in 2013, and more than $200 million was spent on lobbying in the EU, Oxfam said.

At the same time, one in nine people don’t have enough to eat and more than a billion people live on less than $1.25 a day, Oxfam said, ticking off statistics that paint a grim picture for all but the world’s richest.

The charity is calling for a crackdown on tax avoidance by corporations and rich people, as well as increased investment in health and education and equal pay legislation.

READ MORE: Study shows that Canadian rich are getting richer

©2015

Sep 23 , 2018 / By :

WINNIPEG – Dogs trained to find bedbugs and drugs went missing in Winnipeg after a vehicle with 10 animals in it was stolen early Monday. All 10 dogs were found before noon.

“Just relieved that I didn’t lose my kids,” said James Artibello, who owns A-scent K-9 Detection Service in Toronto and was in Winnipeg on business. “They’re treated the same way as family. It’s good to have them back.”

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The yellow ambulance-style vehicle the dogs were in was stolen from the Four Points by Sheraton Winnipeg South on Pembina Highway early Monday morning. The dogs were inside the locked vehicle but Artibello said he had to leave it running all night to keep the dogs warm.

“I don’t think anyone knew there were dogs in the thing. They just took it because it was running, got into it fast and left,” said Artibello.

Police got their first inkling something was wrong when they got a call at about 6:30 a.m., reporting several dogs running loose in a Parkville Drive yard in St. Vital. Police went to the home and rounded up eight dogs.

Not long after, they found out about the theft of the vehicle with the 10 dogs in it.

Dave Reimer found the two remaining dogs, Titan, 5, and Bailey, a seven-month-old pup, in his neighbour’s backyard near Dunkirk Drive and Moore Avenue.

“I brought a little bit of meat out to them. I was hoping they’d come up to me, but I couldn’t get close to them to check their tags. That’s when I called animal services,” said Reimer.

Artibello and police thanked the public and the media for helping to find Baile and Titan.

Artibello has had detection dogs since 2010 and said each dog is worth more than $10,000.

The vehicle the dogs were in was found abandoned in the alley of the 400 block of Young Street at about 4:20 p.m. No arrests have been made.

©2015

Sep 23 , 2018 / By :

TORONTO — Clint Eastwood’s war drama American Sniper blew away the competition — and industry expectations — by taking in $90 million over the weekend, according to studio estimates.

The film, based on the memoir of real-life sniper Chris Kyle and starring Bradley Cooper, shattered the previous record for a January opening held by last year’s Ride Along.

American Sniper had a limited release on Christmas Day to ensure it qualified for Academy Awards consideration. To date, the movie has grossed an estimated $119 million worldwide, making it the second highest-grossing film nominated for Best Picture this year.

The Grand Budapest Hotel has earned $174 million.

American Sniper is on track to be the top-grossing film directed by Eastwood, 84. Only three of his movies — Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby and Unforgiven — have made over $100 million domestically.

BELOW: Watch the trailer for American Sniper

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The second biggest opening on the weekend belonged to The Wedding Ringer, a comedy starring Kevin Hart and Josh Gad. It made $21 million, according to studio estimates.

The family film Paddington was third with $19.3 million at the box office. It has already earned $122 million overseas, where it opened last November.

Taken 3, which opened in first place a weekend earlier, added $14 million to take fourth place.

READ MORE: Full coverage of the Academy Awards

Civil rights drama (and Best Picture nominee) Selma earned an additional $8.3 million to bring its total since Christmas Day to $26 million.

The thriller Blackhat was a flop, opening in 10th place with a mere $4 million.

©2015

Sep 23 , 2018 / By :

WATCH: One of the 13 Dalhousie dentistry students involved in the Facebook controversy has spoken out against his fellow classmates. Ross Lord has the story.

HALIFAX – One of the Dalhousie University dentistry students who was a member of a controversial Facebook group has come forward.

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In a video interview posted Sunday on the website of the Chronicle Herald newspaper in Halifax, Ryan Millet explained why he blew the whistle on his fellow classmates.

He said there were “foolish, boyish” posts, but nothing as offensive as the violent and misogynistic posts from the “DDS Gentlemen’s Club” Facebook group publicized in December that led to the university to suspend Millet and 12 other fourth-year dentistry students from clinical activities.

READ MORE: Dalhousie students in Facebook scandal won’t attend classes with classmates

“The extreme inappropriateness and disturbing nature of the specific ‘hate post’ that eventually came out — there was nothing of that insane level that caught my eye,” he said in the video, which was recorded as he sat next to his lawyer, Bruce MacIntosh.

Millet, 29, said he was added to the group, which was created in 2011, and had previously reported posts directly to Facebook to have them removed.

Some have pushed for an external investigation into the scandal, while an academic and professional standards committee will review the clinical suspensions handed out to the students.

Following a senate meeting Monday afternoon that was not open to the public, Dalhousie president Richard Florizone said the university is now considering having an external presence on the committee for each of the hearings for the dentistry students.

Dalhousie Student Union vice-president Jacqueline Skiptunis said the closed-door nature of the senate meeting was unprofessional and showed the university was lacking transparency.

The students have been permitted to attend classes remotely, but cannot graduate without sufficient clinical hours.

MacIntosh told Global News in an email that his client would not be speaking to the media until after a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday night, where Millet will share his side of the story with the university. He said Millet had made a decision to focus on his studies and preparation for the hearing.

In a separate three-page public letter, MacIntosh said Millet wants to clear his name and move on with his career. He said Millet and his classmates have been “publicly pilloried and secretly convicted, without due process or the right to be heard.”

Read the full letter sent to Global News from Ryan Millet’s lawyer:

View this document on Scribd

He said Millet left the Facebook group after a “repugnant hate ballot” was posted and gave a female friend access to his account in order to collect evidence for a complaint.

In a public letter of apology Millet wrote dated Dec. 18, 2014, he explains how “eternally sorry” he is to the alleged victims, who “deserve far more respect.” To the members of the “DDS Gentlemen’s Club” Facebook group, Millet wrote he apologizes “for not stepping in sooner and stopping this.”

Read Ryan Millet’s apology letter:

View this document on Scribd

READ MORE: Restorative justice: Will it work in the Dalhousie Facebook scandal?

The newspaper story stated Millet was the only one of the 13 accused students to opt out of the university’s restorative justice process. Some female students had previously come forward and said they felt the university had forced them into the process, which was discouraging them from pursuing a formal complaint.

A formal complaint filed by four professors was rejected by the university on the grounds that a restorative justice process was being pursued.

Halifax Regional Police said last week they had received material from Dalhousie pertaining to the Facebook group and found no reason to launch a criminal investigation into the matter.

With files from Marieke Walsh, Global News

©2015

Sep 23 , 2018 / By :

ABOVE: Watch Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley and Martin Kemp on Global’s The Morning Show.

TORONTO — Spandau Ballet singer Tony Hadley, who recorded the now-classic pop song “True” in 1983, has given his stamp of approval to a cover version by Canadian band Eleven Past One.

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“We just heard it in the car,” Hadley said Monday during an appearance on Global’s The Morning Show.

“It’s really good.”

(Eleven Past One’s version of “True” appears on Sounds of the 80s, a compilation of cover songs that will be released Feb. 10.)

Hadley said “True” was written by Spandau Ballet guitarist Gary Kemp, who was inspired by his unrequited love for Altered Images lead singer Clare Grogan.

“He kind of loosely based the song on that and there’s references to Marvin [Gaye] and stuff because we were all into the soul thing as well.”

The UK band that sold more than 25 million records broke up in 1990 and Hadley and bandmates Steve Norman and John Keeble sued Kemp for a cut of royalties. They lost and had to sell their shares of the rights to the Spandau Ballet name to pay Kemp’s legal fees.

READ MORE: All the latest music news

Time apparently heals all wounds, though, and Hadley said he is ready to sing Spandau Ballet’s songs again.

The band, reunited in 2009, is kicking off a world tour on Friday in San Francisco that includes only one Canadian stop — at Toronto’s Massey Hall on April 27.

Hadley’s bandmate, bassist Martin Kemp, said he remembers Spandau Ballet’s previous concert in the historic venue more than three decades ago.

“That one in particular stands out because … there was a whole swath of young girls and they were all taken backstage,” he said. “But we were walking around half-naked backstage and I remember as they were coming around they were looking up, seeing us, and then falling back and fainting again.”

Hadley also reflected on the ’80s.

“It’s kind of weird when you think about it. ‘True’ has gone to No. 1 in 21 countries around the world, all of a sudden we’re touring all over the world,” he said. “It’s very young to have all that success.”

It wasn’t overnight success, though. Spandau Ballet was formed in 1976 and released two albums before True, which spawned hits like the title track and “Gold.”

“It was a big change for us. We had been a kind of club band playing electronic music led by synths,” Kemp explained. “Then we went to Bahamas … and all of a sudden our music just became so much more laid back. That was the sound of True.”

Hadley added: “A lot of people didn’t get into Spandau until True so they saw these blue-eyed soul boys with sharp suits.”

A documentary, Soul Boys of the Western World, goes back to the early days.

BELOW: Watch a trailer for Soul Boys of the Western World.

Kemp said he looks back fondly at Spandau Ballet’s unique fashion sense.

“I’m really proud of everything we wore,” he said. “In those days, nobody told us what to wear. It was just us. What we were doing was showing what fashions were happening in the clubs and then we were representing it on TV cuz we were those kids in the clubs.”

Hadley said he’s thrilled to still be singing at 54.

“I love music. I love singing. I love performing,” he said. “We had a 20-year breakup but we’re a lot better off as people because we finally managed to have the good sense to get us back together again.”

Kemp agreed. “If you are lucky enough to be able to turn your hobby into your job then that is success.

“And that’s the way to have a nice life.”

BELOW: Watch the videos for “True” and “Gold” by Spandau Ballet.

©2015