Kolkata: A police constable has been arrested in connection with a case of abduction and robbery which happened on July 5. The accused constable, identified as Utpal Kar, was arrested on Wednesday night from Bijpur in North 24-Parganas.Earlier on July 5, a jewellery business owner of Nadia identified as Bablu Nath had lodged a FIR at Muchipara police station, stating that he was abducted by two persons in a SUV, who had claimed to be policemen. He also told the police that they had taken Rs one lakh and gold jewellery weighing about 50 grams and left him near the airport on July 4. During the probe, sleuths identified the SUV and its registration number from CCTV footage. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaLater, on the basis of the SUV’s registration number, police managed to get hold of the driver identified as Nepal Dhar and the owner of the SUV, who were both arrested. During interrogation, he stated that a person identified as Ashish Chandra, who works in the records section of Kolkata Police, was involved in the case. Following the statement by Dhar, Chandra was arrested on July 9. After his arrest, he was interrogated and sleuths came to know that Kar, who is a police constable posted at Lalbazar, was also connected with the case. Since then, police had been on the hunt for him as he had fled. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayOn Wednesday, police came to know from sources that Kar was hiding in Bijpur. Immediately, a joint team of Muchipara police station and Kolkata Police Detective Department went to Bijpur and nabbed Kar. According to senior police officials, he has confessed his part in the crime. He was absent since October last year without informing concerned superiors. Chandra had been arrested earlier in 2014 for his connection with a cheating case at Sealdah Government Railway Police (GRP). That time, he was suspended and a departmental inquiry was also initiated.
London: England’s record wicket taker James Anderson is determined to return to the team before the Ashes series with Australia ends in September he told The Sun on Wednesday. The 37-year-old has been ruled out of the second Ashes Test, which starts next Wednesday at Lord’s, after injuring his right calf having bowled just four overs in the series opener at Edgbaston as Australia romped to a 251-run victory. Anderson, who has taken 575 Test wickets, had not played competitive cricket for a month leading into the match after injuring the same calf playing for Lancashire. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”I’m pretty confident I can get over this, I want to keep going,” said Anderson. “The plan is to get back and play some part in The Ashes but, if that doesn’t work out, the winter (tours to New Zealand and South Africa) is absolutely on my radar. “I’m sure there will come a point where other bowlers either get injured or need a rest. “If one needs to be replaced, it might work out well if I can get myself fit and help towards the end of the series.” Anderson, whose place at Lord’s is likely to be taken by young paceman Jofra Archer, said injuries were part and parcel of his advancing years. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later”I’m at the age now when there’s a chance injuries will happen more,” he said. “It’s something I’ve got to prepare for. But I’m very fortunate — I’ve been lucky with having so few throughout my career.” Anderson, who is nicknamed ‘The King of Swing’, said he felt awful watching from the sidelines as the England attack struggled against the Australians especially in the second innings. “Devastating and horrible are the best words to describe my feelings as I watched the other England bowlers toil in the First Test,” he said. “I felt guilty and apologised to the lads for leaving them in the lurch.” However, Anderson rejected criticism that he should have had a game before he returned to the Test side to prove his fitness — Archer played in a second XI game for his county Sussex on Tuesday to prove he had recovered from a side strain. “There’s been some talk I shouldn’t have been chosen at Edgbaston last week without first playing another game to prove my fitness following the torn calf muscle I suffered on July 2,” he said. “But I disagree with that. “In my head, I was fit to play an Ashes Test. “I’ve played in Test matches before after injury without first playing a county game or warm-up of some sort.” Australia lead the five-Test series 1-0.
New Delhi: Having earned the distinction of being the longest serving Congress president, Sonia Gandhi is once again at the helm to steer her party out of troubled waters.Sonia Gandhi, 72, has been made interim president barely 20 months after she voluntarily relinquished the top post in favour of son Rahul Gandhi who refused to continue on as Congress chief after a humiliating 2019 general election defeat. For the Congress Working Committee (CWC) the natural choice was Sonia Gandhi, who has been the party’s saviour-in-chief in times of crisis and a binding force. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Critics say the development has once again highlighted how the Congress is unable to look beyond the Gandhi family when it comes to leadership. With no time line set for party elections, Sonia is likely to continue in the top post in coming months. In her 19-year stint as Congress chief, Sonia Gandhi was hailed for deft handling of party intrigues and judgment that gave the party two consecutive wins at the Centre and several in states. In her decision to accept the CWC’s unanimous request to lead the 134-year-old party, Sonia Gandhi has displayed courage given her continuing frail health, sources said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KOnce considered an unlikely heir to the grand political legacy of the Gandhi family, Sonia went on to create history as the longest serving president from 1998 to 2017. In her political innings defined by a successful coalition experiment in the form of UPA, Sonia Gandhi has always credited mother-in-law and former prime minister Indira Gandhi for her achievements. Bringing disparate political groupings together on one platform in a pre-poll coalition to stump the BJP out of power in 2004, was one of her biggest successes. Though the UPA floundered in its second innings starting 2009, Sonia Gandhi helmed the coalition from the shadows, often inviting the criticism of running a cabinet parallel to that of former prime minister Manmohan Singh who led the Congress-led alliance government. Sonia Gandhi lost no time to resign from the Lok Sabha when the office of profit controversy gripped her over her role as chairperson of the National Advisory Council during UPA-1. She returned to the Lok Sabha with a higher margin in a re-election. But in the 2019 general elections, Sonia Gandhi’s victory margin in her traditional Rae Bareli seat plummeted to 1 lakh, like never before, signalling changing contours of politics under an aggressive BJP. Gradual decline in Congress electoral fortunes under Rahul Gandhi, desertions from Congress to BJP, deepening division in opposition ranks and a surging BJP were some factors that seemed to have weighed on Sonia Gandhi’s mind when she accepted the CWC suggestion on Saturday. Her return coincides with a critical election season with polls in Haryana, Jharkhand and Maharashtra due later this year. Her first challenge would be to fight the BJP in these states having seen Congress getting reduced to just four states under her son. After Congress’ lackluster performance in the first session of the new Parliament, party leaders hope Sonia Gandhi’s leadership will reinvigorate the cadre and bind the ranks that have reeled in a leadership vacuum after Rahul Gandhi resigned as party president on May 25. It is also felt Sonia Gandhi’s return will give reason for a divided opposition to come together to fight the BJP. This is exactly how things unfolded starting 1998 after she took charge as Congress chief. The party was then in tatters at the Centre and in power in only four states. She assumed charge, united the opposition and bound the party which had seen record desertions under past chief Sitaram Kesri. As Sonia begins her fresh innings, her toughest so far, she is bound to find herself in familiar territory a demoralised and desertion-hit Congress, a disunited opposition and a surging BJP. Congress leaders, however, feel she has all it takes to hit back, silence and dignity being her most lethal weapons. PTI
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday asserted that human rights have been “totally violated” in Kashmir and urged people to pray for peace in the Valley. Banerjee, on the occasion of World Humanitarian Day, said she had once taken to the streets to protest against human rights violations. “Today is World Humanitarian Day. Human rights have been totally violated in #Kashmir. Let us pray for human rights and peace in #Kashmir. “Human rights is a subject very close to my heart. In 1995, I was on the road for 21 days to protect human rights violations against deaths in lock-ups,” the CM tweeted.
New Delhi: Cracking a whip on former Members of Parliament overstaying at their official bungalows in Lutyens’ Delhi, a Lok Sabha panel on Monday ordered them to vacate their residence within a week. C R Patil, Chairman of the Lok Sabha Housing Committee, said the panel called a meeting on Monday where it was decided that in three days, power, water and gas connections will be snapped. The development came a day after PTI reported that more than 200 former Lok Sabha MPs have still not vacated their official bungalows here. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “Today, in the meeting of the Housing Committee, it was decided that in three days power, water and gas connections will be disconnected and former MPs have been asked to vacate the houses within a week,” Patil told PTI. However, no MPs have stated that they will not vacate their bungalow, he said. According to the rules, former MPs have to vacate their respective bungalows within one month of dissolution of the previous Lok Sabha. President Ram Nath Kovind had on May 25 dissolved the 16th Lok Sabha with immediate effect on the recommendation of the Union Cabinet after the Modi government was formed for a second term. “More than 200 former Lok Sabha MPs have still not vacated their official bungalows, which had been allotted to them in 2014,” a source had told PTI. The sources had said as these former MPs have not vacated their bungalows located in Lutyens’ Delhi, newly-elected MPs, who won in the Lok Sabha election, have been staying at temporary accommodation.
New Delhi: A special court on Monday sent former Finance minister P Chidambaram to four more days of CBI custody till August 30 in the INX Media case after the probe agency said “certain evidence” had emerged and that the Congress leader’s confrontation with a co-accused during interrogation was incomplete.The Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) had sought extension of Chidambaram’s custody by five days to confront him with certain e-mails and to unearth larger conspiracy in the corruption case in the INX Media scam. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsSpecial Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar said the CBI demand was “justified” for further interrogating the Congress leader. Chidambaram, 73, was produced in the special court on the expiry of his four-day CBI custody which was granted to the agency on August 22, a day after he was arrested amid high drama from his Delhi residence. His counsel Kapil Sibal opposed the CBI plea during the hearing, saying the agency was not disclosing “full facts” of the case to the court. “The CBI’s investigation is clouded. This method of seeking remand behind curtains is not fair.” Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayThe Supreme Court, meanwhile, extended till Tuesday the protection from arrest given to Chidambaram in the separate money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate(ED). The ED’s affidavit claimed that the former Finance Minister was in touch with people running shell companies abroad allegedly connected to him. But the Supreme Court’s protection to Chidambaram from ED did not amount to much as a Special CBI court here extended his CBI custody till August 30, allowing the latter to question him in custody for four more days. Appearing for the probe agency at the trial court later in the day, Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta argued that five more days of Chidambaram’s custody is required as the investigators need to confront him with other co-accused in the case. He added that the senior Congress leader was confronted with one co-accused on Monday. The CBI sources here said that Chidambaram was confronted with Sindhushree Khullar, the former NITI Aayog CEO. They added that he was also confronted with some email exchanges between Karti Chidambaram — also accused in the case — and another co-accused.
EDMONTON – The Alberta government has reversed a decision which denied an evangelical Christian couple’s request to adopt a child because of their religious views on sexuality and gender identity.The unnamed Edmonton couple filed for a judicial review last year after their application to adopt was rejected.The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, arguing that the decision violated their rights, helped the man and woman with their court case.Centre lawyer John Carpay said the couple is thrilled the province has changed its mind and still plan to adopt.“The government has no right to discriminate on the basis of religion when looking at couples who are seeking to adopt,” Carpay said Wednesday.“You can’t say that someone can’t become an adoptive parent because they’re Muslim, they’re Jewish or because they’re evangelical Christian.”He said the man and woman made it clear from the beginning that they had biblical views on marriage, sexuality and gender, but would love and accept any child who joined their family.“But that’s not to say you approve of all behaviours,” Carpay said.The court application for a review detailed that the couple, unable to conceive children, first applied to adopt in 2016. The wife had met several older children in foster care and wanted to take in an older child who might be less likely to be adopted.They were interviewed several times and a recommendation was made for approval but, after further questions about their beliefs regarding sexuality, they were ultimately rejected.A home study report stated that the couple would be unable to help a child with sexual identity issues.A spokeswoman with the Children’s Services Ministry said the decision was rescinded several months ago and the couple has since been approved for adoption.“Families are not denied adoptions based on religious beliefs, and a diversity of belief systems can be found in the Alberta families and homes that have been approved to adopt a child,” said Karin Campbell.“The adoption application process is rigorous to protect the children we serve and the families choosing to care for them. An adoptive family’s strengths, abilities and desires are carefully evaluated to determine what might be a best match or fit for that particular family and the waiting child.”Carpay said the court case isn’t over yet. It has been adjourned until the couple formally adopts a child.“Once that process is completed, the litigation will be formally brought to an end.”
FREDERICTON – Flood-weary residents of New Brunswick’s Darlings Island are praising the efforts of a man dubbed “Uber Rob.”The only road to the small island has been submerged by the flood waters of the Kennebecasis River, forcing residents to make the trip to and from their homes by boat.While many people are using canoes and kayaks, Rob Dekany has been ferrying seven passengers at a time to and from the island since Monday and refuses to accept any payment.Many residents say he’s been their saviour, but Dekany says it just makes him happy to help.Heavy rain overnight helped feed flood waters throughout the province.The Trans-Canada Highway between Fredericton and Moncton has been closed to traffic because the four-lane highway has been flooded.
TORONTO – Watching Kristine Barry and husband Christopher Havill cuddle their two-month-old son Sebastian, it’s hard to believe their little guy has been through more major medical procedures in his short life — and even before being born — than many people experience in a lifetime.Weeks before his birth in May, Toronto doctors discovered through imaging scans that Sebastian had not one, but two congenital heart defects — and they knew they had to do something fairly radical to bring him into the world and give him a chance at a full and healthy life.That something was an in-utero procedure to poke a hole in the wall between the upper chambers of his tiny heart, which had developed with no opening, followed by an operation after birth to repair his major cardiac arteries, which weren’t in the proper locations.Scans of Sebastian while in his mother’s womb showed his aorta, the vessel that takes oxygen-rich blood to the brain and body, and his pulmonary artery, which channels blood to the lungs to be oxygenated, were switched — a condition known as transposition of the great arteries, or TGA.Doctors also discovered there were no openings in the walls between either the two upper chambers (the atria) of his heart or the bottom two chambers (the ventricles), which would have prevented his blood from circulating properly after birth. While in the womb, fetal blood is oxygenated through the placenta.“If a baby doesn’t have any holes between the two sides, so the right and left half, the child would be deeply blue, and eventually will die from this condition unless we are able to create the hole after birth rapidly,” said cardiologist Dr. Edgar Jaeggi, head of the fetal cardiac program at Sick Kids Hospital and part of the two-hospital team that cared for Barry and her soon-to-be born baby.“This is a life-threatening condition that could result in rapid brain damage, with the baby doing very poorly and dying from this,” Jaeggi explained.However, after Sebastian’s birth, doctors would have had only a few minutes to open up his chest and repair his heart, requiring full neonatal resuscitation and cardiac surgery teams to be on stand-by.To avoid such a high-risk delivery and the dangers to the newborn, a team of doctors from Mount Sinai Hospital and Sick Kids opted to perform the procedure to create an opening between the upper chambers of Sebastian’s heart while he was in the womb.“It’s pretty intense hearing something like that, that they’re going to do it while he’s still inside of her,” Havill, 27, said Tuesday after he and his wife travelled to Sick Kids from their home in Barrie, Ont., north of Toronto.“It’s something you would think would only happen on a TV medical show, not in real life,” agreed Barry, 25. “Doing the in-utero procedure actually sounded like the best possible thing. In my gut, we knew this was what we wanted to happen, what we needed to do.”On May 18, doctors at Mount Sinai took the first steps, injecting drugs through Barry’s abdomen that put Sebastian to sleep, paralyzed his body to prevent him from moving, and provided pain relief.“The baby obviously has to be in the right position,” said Dr. Greg Ryan, head of the fetal medicine program at Mount Sinai.“Because if the baby is not aligned in-utero, it’s a non-starter, and we’ve sometimes had to wait for two or three days for the baby to come into position where it gives us our best shot — because you have one shot and you need to make that work.”Barry was then transported to Sick Kids across the street via an underground tunnel that connects the two hospitals, where Ryan performed the next part of the procedure under ultrasound-guided imagery, inserting a fine needle through Barry’s abdomen and uterus, then into the upper chamber of Sebastian’s heart and passing it through the wall to the adjacent atrium.A catheter was then fed through the needle and a tiny balloon inserted between the wall, a process that’s similar to balloon angioplasty to open up a blocked coronary artery in those at risk of a heart attack.“Then, essentially, we blow up the balloon in that wall which had been closed,” explained Ryan. “By blowing it up, we could open up a hole in the wall between the two chambers, and this allows the mixing of the blood.“Once we’ve done that, we withdraw the needle and withdraw the catheter out of the baby’s heart,” he said, adding that he believes this is the first time in the world that the in-utero procedure has been performed in a fetus with TGA.Jaeggi said the team waited until Sebastian was almost full-term to do the in-utero surgery — called a balloon atrial septoplasty, or BAS — because doing so earlier might have allowed the hole to close up again.“We wanted the biggest hole closest to delivery,” he said, describing the opening as about 3.5 millimetres in diameter.On May 23, Barry gave birth through a regular vaginal delivery after being induced and Sebastian was born “pink and screaming.”“They always primed us that we would be having a blue baby, so when he came out, I’m like ‘That’s not blue,’” said Barry, recalling her huge sense of relief. “He was here and he looked as babies should when they’re born.”Sebastian had a second BAS procedure after birth to ensure the atrial opening was large enough. Then five days later, surgeons at Sick Kids performed open-heart surgery on the infant to switch his aorta and pulmonary artery into their proper positions.Now weighing 10 pounds and meeting all his developmental milestones, Sebastian is like any other healthy two-month-old, his parents say.“He’s a pretty calm, pretty chill baby. He lets us know when he’s not happy. He still has that very strong set of lungs that he was born with,” Barry said. “We just recently started getting our smiles from him.”“You barely even know that anything had happened to him unless you take off his shirt and see his scars,” added Havill. “He’s just awesome.”The couple say it’s hard to express how grateful they are to the medical teams at the two hospitals.“Thank you doesn’t seem like enough, but definitely thanks to them for saving my baby’s life,” Barry said.“It’s just amazing what they’re able and capable of doing.”—Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.
WASHINGTON, Untited States – Something strange has been happening lately in Washington when the most powerful man in town, the president of the United States, makes a headline-grabbing declaration on some new policy.The recent response has been: Nothing.Some recent presidential statements have been simply ignored, tuned out as meaningless noise by the federal apparatus he runs. Sunday provided the latest example of the Trump administration ignoring Donald Trump.It came after the president suggested at a partisan rally this week that the Justice Department should be investigating his defeated election opponent: “What the prosecutors should be looking at are Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 deleted emails,” Trump told a crowd, prompting chants of, ”Lock her up!”No way, said his deputy attorney general.Rod Rosenstein not only rejected the idea that public statements from the president should be viewed as an order — he made clear that even if such an order were delivered explicitly more formally, in a private setting, he would refuse it as improper.”No,” Rosenstein replied, when asked about the presidential demand, in a Fox News interview. ”I view what the president says publicly as something he said publicly. If the president wants to give orders to us in the department, he does that privately.”He went one step further: ”The president has not directed us to investigate particular people. That wouldn’t be right. That’s not the way we operate.”That back-of-the-hand dismissal followed a similar event a few days earlier.The president triggered an avalanche of attention with a headline-grabbing announcement on Twitter: After consulting with his generals and military experts, the president said, the U.S. military would no longer accept or allow transgender people.The blunt, clear statement prompted questions about what procedures might be implemented; what would happen to the transgender people already serving; what financial conditions might apply to any discharges; and whether the order might be fought in court.But then a considerable wrinkle developed: The military said it wasn’t happening.It shrugged off the announcement from its commander-in-chief. In an internal communication published by Politico; a statement issued by the Secretary of Defence; and in an exchange with reporters, the military made clear it did not view Trump’s statement as official policy.“What you saw in the form of a tweet represented an announcement,” Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told Pentagon reporters, according to the Washington Examiner. “Orders and announcements are different things, and we are awaiting an order from the commander-in-chief to proceed.”One well-connected military official, chatting off the record, said this discord could occur in the most urgent, life-and-death matters. If the president issued an ill-advised order for a military strike, against North Korea or elsewhere, he predicted the military might push back under a four-word justification: ”If it’s not legal.”That definition of an illegal order, he said, might include a military strike that doesn’t get congressional authorization. He said there was already widespread anxiety last spring, among military brass, over the order for a limited strike against Syria.That order was ultimately carried out.But the Syria issue has also offered examples where administration officials have cited policies different from the president: Vice-President Mike Pence, and UN ambassador Nikki Haley, have taken anti-Russia, anti-Assad, pro-regime-change positions at odds with the president’s.”There’s a certain amount of dysfunction,” conservative writer Ramesh Ponnuru of the National Review told an ABC talk panel Sunday.”The Pentagon seems to be basically ignoring the president’s tweet (on transgender people). And that’s not something that’s just isolated to the Pentagon. The vice-president seems to have his own Russia policy… Attorney-General Sessions, not doing what the president wants him to do in terms of prosecuting or investigating Hillary Clinton.”There’s a question on the part of subordinates in this administration of how seriously they should take the utterances of this president.”Some of those glaring public differences have fuelled speculation that different Republicans are seeking to build their own political resumes. A weekend article in The New York Times suggested different Republicans were even planning the possibility of running in 2020, in case the president doesn’t.Pence vigorously denied a weekend story in The New York Times that he was organizing for such a run: “The allegations in this article are categorically false and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this administration.”But the congressional wing of Trump’s party doesn’t deny this: Republican lawmakers are indeed pushing back.They’ve passed a Russia-sanctions bill; used procedural tools to block presidential appointments during the summer break; and several have crafted bills to protect the special Russia investigator Robert Mueller from being dismissed without cause.All of this is against the president’s wishes.”I think, actually, it may be the Republicans should get some credit for showing independence and not necessarily deferring to a White House that happens to share their party,” Republican Sen. Thom Tillis told Fox on Sunday.”One of the mistakes that Congress has have made over the past 70 or so years is convey a lot of authority (to the president) that they should never have allowed to leave the Congress.”
Some top national and international stories of 2017:JANUARY 20171 – An Islamic State terrorist launched an early morning gun attack on a popular Istanbul nightclub hosting a New Year’s Eve party, killing 39 people, including Ontario resident Alaa Al-Muhandis, and wounding nearly 70 others. The assailant escaped but was captured Jan. 16 in Instanbul after an extensive manhunt.1 – Auston Matthews scored a pair, including the overtime winner, to help the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in the Centennial Classic at BMO Field in Toronto.1 – Ontario’s cap-and-trade program and Alberta’s carbon tax came into effect — pushing up prices for gasoline and natural gas.1 – Bill Marshall, who founded the Toronto International Film Festival in 1976 with two colleagues and was the organization’s director for its first three years, died at the age of 77.2 – Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals in the third period to lead the hometown St. Louis Blues to a 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in the Winter Classic at Busch Stadium.2 – Afghanistan war veteran Lionel Desmond killed his wife Shanna, 10-year-old daughter Aaliyah and his mother Brenda at a home in rural Nova Scotia before committing suicide.3 – 50-year-old pop superstar Janet Jackson and husband Wissam Al Mana welcomed their first child, a boy they named Eissa Al Mana. (She filed for divorce in April.)4 – Pope Francis accepted the early resignation of Canadian Bishop Frederick Henry, who came under fire in Calgary for opposing LGBTQ guidelines for public schools.4 – Hockey Hall-of-Famer Milt Schmidt, the Boston Bruins former captain, coach and general manager, died at age 98.5 – The U.S. overcame two two-goal deficits to defeat Canada 5-4 in a shootout to capture the World Junior Hockey Championship.6 – A U.S. Army Iraq war veteran fatally shot five people and wounded six others at a crowded baggage claim area of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Esteban Santiago, 26, pleaded not guilty Jan. 30 to all charges including five counts of causing death at an international airport.8 – The musical “La La Land” danced its way to a record seven Golden Globes, including best motion picture (musical or comedy), and awards for its stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as well as director Damien Chazelle.10 – Dylann Roof was sentenced to death for the racially motivated slaughter of nine black church members in South Carolina in December 2016, becoming the first person in the U.S. ordered executed for a federal hate crime.10 – Gildan Activewear won an auction to buy bankrupt clothing company American Apparel for US$88 million.11 – Chrystia Freeland was elevated to Minister of Foreign Affairs, the marquee move in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s nine-person, six-portfolio cabinet shuffle aimed in part at preparing for Donald Trump’s U.S. presidency.13 – Canada’s chief of the defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance relieved his second in command, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, of his duties. (The Globe and Mail reported that the decision followed an investigation into the alleged leak of “high-level secret documents.”)13 – Lord Snowdon, one of Britain’s most famous photographers who married Princess Margaret and continued to mix in royal circles even after their divorce, died at age 86.16 – A judge-alone retrial began for Mark Grant on a charge of second-degree murder, one day shy of the 32nd anniversary of 13-year-old Winnipeg teen Candace Derksen’s body being found. On Oct. 18 he was found not guilty.16 – Jackie Gordon, a former police officer, was named the Ontario legislature’s new sergeant-at-arms, the first woman to hold the job.16 – A gunman opened fire at an electronic music festival at a crowded beachfront nightclub in Mexico’s Caribbean coast resort of Playa del Carmen — killing five people, including longtime Toronto nightclub security guard Kirk Wilson.16 – Former U.S. astronaut Gene Cernan, who commanded NASA’s Apollo 17 mission to the moon in December 1972 and became the last of a dozen men to walk on the moon, died at age 82.17 – Australia, China and Malaysia announced they were suspending the nearly three-year underwater search of the Indian Ocean for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared on March 8, 2014 with 239 onboard, including two Canadians.17 – British American Tobacco agreed to fully take over Reynolds American in a US$49 billion deal that would create the world’s largest publicly traded tobacco company.17 – Transgender U.S. Army intelligence officer Chelsea Manning’s 35-year sentence for leaking classified information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks was commuted by outgoing President Barack Obama to about seven years, including the time she spent locked up before she was convicted in 2013 — then known as Bradley Manning. Her sentence expired May 17.18 – Former Montreal Expos star Tim Raines, in his final year of eligibility, was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame along with Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez.18 – Paul McCartney filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan against Sony/ATV to reclaim over 260 of his songs, including the many hits he wrote with John Lennon as part of The Beatles. The copyrights were famously bought by Michael Jackson in 1985 and then fully sold over to Sony/ATV following his death. McCartney cited a 1976 federal U.S. copyright law that let composers reclaim songs after a certain period of time elapsed. (The suit was settled in June but terms of the agreement were confidential.)20 – Billionaire businessman and TV celebrity Donald Trump took the oath of office as the 45th President of the United States.21 – Thousands of Canadians gathered in dozens of cities and towns across the country to show solidarity with the massive Women’s March on Washington to express support for women’s rights and human rights a day after Donald Trump’s inauguration as U.S. president.22 – U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order starting withdrawal from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, fulfilling a campaign pledge. The 12-country Pacific Rim pact, which includes Canada, was tentatively reached in October, 2015 but still required parliament ratification from each country.23 – A Calgary judge found Tamara Lovett guilty of criminal negligence causing death in treating her son with holistic remedies before he died of a strep infection. But the judge issued a judicial stay on a second charge of failing to provide the necessaries of life.24 – U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to advance construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL oil pipeline as well as the Dakota Access pipeline, a pair of projects that were blocked by the Obama administration due in part to environmental concerns.25 – An Edmonton judge sentenced Travis Vader, convicted of manslaughter in the 2010 deaths of missing Alberta seniors Lyle and Marie McCann, to life in prison with a seven-year parole eligibility.25 – TV’s beloved actress Mary Tyler Moore died at age 80. She gained fame in the 1960s as the frazzled wife Laura Petrie on “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” In the 1970s, she created one of TV’s first career-woman sitcom heroines in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”26 – U.S. President Donald Trump’s determination to wall off America’s border with Mexico triggered a diplomatic clash and fresh fight over trade as the White House proposed a 20 per cent tax on imports from the key U.S. ally to fund the border wall and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto abruptly scrapped an upcoming trip to Washington.26 – Inderjit Singh Reyat, convicted of perjury in 2010 for his testimony during the trial of two men accused in the 1985 Air India bombing, was allowed to leave a halfway house where he had been required to stay following his release from prison in 2016.27 – U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to bar all refugees from entering the U.S. for four months, indefinitely halted any from Syria and imposed a 90-day ban on immigration for citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations. The Trump administration faced protests, lawsuits, internal grumbling and an international backlash. On Jan. 30, Trump fired acting attorney general Sally Yates after she directed Justice Department attorneys not to defend the executive order, which was blocked repeatedly by judges.27 – General Motors announced it was cutting 625 jobs in July at its CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont., after previously notifying the plant that it was shifting production of the GMC Terrain to Mexico.28 – Serena Williams won her record 23rd Grand Slam singles title in the Open era, defeating older sister Venus 6-4, 6-4 for a record seventh Australian Open.29 – Six Muslim men were shot and killed and five others critically injured at a Quebec City mosque during evening prayers. Laval University student Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, was charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five of attempted murder.29 – Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to capture the Australian Open and extend his career Grand Slam titles record to 18.31 – ESPN announcer Brent Musburger capped a nearly 50-year career in sports media by calling Kentucky’s 90-81 overtime win over Georgia in NCAA men’s college basketball. Musburger rose to prominence in the 1970s as the host of CBS’ “The NFL Today.”—FEBRUARY 20172 – Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie gave what turned out to be his last public performance, invited onstage at the last minute to take part in Blue Rodeo’s encore (“Lost Together”) to end a concert at Toronto’s Massey Hall. Downie died Oct. 17 after a nearly two-year battle with incurable brain cancer.3 – Toronto filmmaker Rob Stewart’s body was found in the Florida Keys, 90 metres from where he disappeared during a dive earlier in the week. He was 37. Stewart was in Florida filming a followup to his 2006 documentary “Sharkwater.”4 – At 32 years, 36 days old, Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James surpassed Kobe Bryant as the youngest player in NBA history to score 28,000 career points.5 – Quarterback Tom Brady led the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history as the New England Patriots erased a 25-point deficit to force the first-ever overtime, win the coin toss and drive down the field for the championship-winning touchdown in a 34-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51. Brady set Super Bowl records for yards passing (446), pass attempts (62), completions (43), MVP awards (4) and career wins (5).6 – Queen Elizabeth became the first British monarch to reach the Sapphire Jubilee milestone of 65 years on the throne.7 – Ottawa announced it would provide Bombardier $372.5 million over four years in interest-free loans to support the Global 7000 and C Series aircraft projects. The move elicited criticism even though it was far less than the $1 billion the Quebec-based transportation giant originally sought.8 – Canada’s latest census numbers showed the country’s population reached 35,151,728 in 2016, an increase of 1.7 million over 2011 – the strongest growth of all the G7 countries.8 – Britain’s House of Commons gave its final approval to a bill authorizing the government to start exit talks with the European Union. On March 29, the government triggered the two-year divorce process from the 28-nation EU, walking out on a 44-year relationship with its neighbours. Britons voted 52 per cent to 48 per cent to leave the EU in a 2016 referendum.10 – Will Baker, formerly known as Vince Li, was granted an absolute discharge almost nine years after beheading and cannibalizing 22-year-old Tim McLean on a Greyhound bus in Manitoba. Baker was found not criminally responsible due to schizophrenia and placed in a psychiatric hospital but was given more freedom every year.10 – Billionaire businessman Mike Ilitch, who founded the Little Caesars pizza empire before buying the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers, died at age 87.12 – British neo soul singer Adele won all five Grammy categories in which she was nominated, including Record and Song of the Year (“Hello”) and Album of the Year (“25”). She was the first act to sweep the big three awards twice.12 – Grammy-winning jazz singer Al Jarreau, who transcended genres over a 50-year career, died at a Los Angeles hospital, just days after announcing his retirement from touring because of exhaustion. He was 76. Jarreau was one of the few artists to have won Grammys in three separate categories — jazz, pop and R&B.13 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump struck an amiable, conciliatory note after their first face-to-face meetings, acknowledging the unique nature of the Canada-U.S. relationship and the need to keep trade moving across a shared, secure border. Trump suggested Canada would be spared the brunt of his nationalist America-first platform.13 – U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned following reports he misled Vice-President Mike Pence about breaching diplomatic protocol in contacting Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. on the day the Obama administration slapped sanctions on Russia for election-related hacking, as well as at other times during the transition.14 – An Ontario Superior Court judge ruled Canada failed to take reasonable steps to prevent thousands of on-reserve children who were placed with non-native families from losing their indigenous heritage during the ’60s Scoop. The ruling in the long-running and bitterly fought class-action lawsuit paved the way for a settlement with the federal government, announced Oct. 6 for $750 million in compensation.15 – Stuart McLean, a bestselling author, journalist and humorist who entertained millions as host of the popular CBC Radio program “The Vinyl Cafe,” died at age 68. The previous December, McLean announced he was suspending the long-running program to focus on treatment for melanoma, which had been diagnosed in late 2015.15 – The European Union ratified its free trade deal with Canada, almost eight years in the making and overcoming mounting anti-trade populism in Europe. The next day Justin Trudeau became the first Canadian prime minister to address the European Parliament.16 – Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby became the 86th player in NHL history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.17 – Douglas Garland, 57, was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder in the 2014 deaths of Alvin and Kathy Liknes and their five-year-old grandson Nathan O’Brien.19 – Hometown favourite and game-MVP Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans scored an All-Star game record 52 points to lead the Western Conference to a 192-182 victory over the East in the highest scoring NBA All-Star game in history.24 – A Calgary judge ruled that the parents of a diabetic boy who died of starvation and lack of treatment were guilty of first-degree murder. Emil and Rodica Radita were immediately sentenced to life in prison with no chance at parole for 25 years.25 – Bill Paxton, a prolific and charismatic actor who had memorable roles in such blockbusters as “Aliens,” “Apollo 13” and “Titanic” died of a stroke less than two weeks after undergoing heart surgery. He was 61.26 – Candy-coloured musical “La La Land” won six of its record-tying 14 Academy Awards nominations, including Best Actress for Emma Stone and Best Director for Damien Chazelle, who at 32 became the youngest to win the award. “Moonlight” eventually won Best Picture but not before “La La Land” was mistakenly announced the winner and its producers were nearly done with their acceptance speeches. Casey Affleck’s portrayal of a grieving father in “Manchester by the Sea” earned him the Best Actor award.26 – Joseph Wapner, who presided over “The People’s Court” with steady force during the heyday of the reality courtroom show, died at age 97.26 – Rachel Homan’s Ontario rink won 8-6 in an extra end over Manitoba’s Michelle Englot in the Canadian women’s curling championship.26 – Kurt Busch won his first Daytona 500 with a last-lap pass as Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson both ran out of gas.—MARCH 20172 – Judge Gregory Lenehan found a Halifax taxi driver not guilty of sexually assaulting a young woman who was found drunk and unconscious in his cab, prompting a renewed debate over how Canadian courts react when the issue of consent is mixed with heavy drinking. (The Crown appealed the verdict.)4 – U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that predecessor Barack Obama wiretapped his New York skyscraper during the presidential campaign. The charge was widely discredited by U.S. and British intelligence agencies who found no evidence to support his claim.6 – U.S. President Donald Trump signed a scaled-back travel ban designed to withstand the court challenges that derailed his previous version. The order, signed privately in contrast with the high-profile rollout of the original ban, temporarily barred refugees and visitors from six Muslim-majority nations while removing Iraqis and people with valid visas from the list. It too was blocked, this time by a federal judge in Hawaii.10 – South Korea’s constitutional Court removed impeached President Park Geun-hye from office in a unanimous ruling over a corruption scandal that plunged the country into political turmoil and worsened an already-serious national divide.10 – Health Minister Jane Philpott confirmed that Ottawa reached health agreements with Quebec, Ontario and Alberta, a dramatic turnaround after months of negotiations and threats of walkouts at meetings in 2016.10 – Volkswagen pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice in a brazen scheme to get around U.S. pollution rules on nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles by using software to suppress emissions of nitrogen oxide during tests. The German automaker agreed to pay $4.3 billion in civil and criminal penalties — the largest ever levied by the U.S. government against an automaker.12 – Brad Gushue’s Newfoundland and Labrador rink defeated Canada’s Kevin Koe 7-6 to win the Tim Hortons Brier for the first time, in a rematch of the 2016 final.12 – Space’s human cloning series “Orphan Black” emerged as the big winner at the Canadian Screen Awards. It won nine trophies including best dramatic series and best lead actress in a dramatic role for star Tatiana Maslany. Montreal director Xavier Dolan’s French-language drama “It’s Only the End of the World” won six trophies, including best picture and best director.16 – Aydin Coban, 38, wanted in Canada for alleged involvement in online abuse in the case of 15-year-old B.C. teen Amanda Todd — whose suicide drew global attention — was sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison by a Dutch court for cyberbullying dozens of young girls and gay men. In April, The Dutch Supreme Court approved his extradition to Canada.16 – Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s right-wing VVD easily won national elections, defying polls that suggested a close race with anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders.18 – Chuck Berry, rock ‘n’ roll’s founding guitar hero and storyteller who defined its joy and rebellion in “Johnny B. Goode” and other classics, died at age 90. He hit the Top 10 in 1955 with “Maybellene” and went on to influence generations of musicians. Among his other hits were “Roll Over Beethoven,” ”No Particular Place To Go,” ”Sweet Little Sixteen” and his only No. 1, the 1972 racy novelty “My Ding-A-Ling.”18 – Former federal cabinet minister Jason Kenney was elected as the new leader of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party in a decisive first ballot victory on a unite-the-right campaign to dissolve the PCs and form a new party with the Wildrose. Members of both parties voted July 22 in favour of a merger and on Oct. 28 Kenney won the leadership of the United Conservative Party.20 – Veteran Canadian journalist and broadcaster Betty Kennedy died at age 91. She hosted the “Betty Kennedy Show” on Toronto’s CFRB radio for 27 years, and for 33 years, was the lone female panellist on CBC’s “Front Page Challenge.” Kennedy was inducted into both the Canadian Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the Canadian News Hall of Fame and was named an officer of the Order of Canada.21 – British mystery writer Colin Dexter, who created classical music-loving Oxford detective Inspector Morse, died at age 86.21 – The U.S. and British governments, citing unspecified threats, barred passengers on some international flights from mostly Middle Eastern and North African countries from bringing laptops, tablets, electronic games and other devices on board in carry-on bags.21 – Chuck Barris, whose game show empire included “The Dating Game,” “The Newlywed Game” and “The Gong Show,” died at age 87.22 – A British-born I-SIL sympathizer plowed a car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, killing four and wounding dozens, before crashing into Parliament’s gates. He then jumped out and attacked Const. Keith Palmer, stabbing him to death before being shot to death by police.21 – Sunwing Airlines pilot Miroslav Gronych pleaded guilty to having care and control of an aircraft while impaired. He had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit as he sat in the cockpit in Calgary on New Year’s Eve ahead of a planned flight. (He was sentenced to eight months in jail.)22 – Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the Trudeau government’s second budget. Highlights included: higher taxes on alcohol and tobacco products, a slight increase in EI premiums, a crackdown on tax evaders and avoiders, eliminating the public transit tax credit, phasing out the 71-year-old Canada Savings Bond program, and $7 billion over 10 years for child care and learning, including 40,000 new subsidized daycare spaces across Canada by 2019.22 – The U.S. routed Puerto Rico 8-0 to win its first World Baseball Classic behind six hitless innings from Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman, who was named Tournament MVP.22 – Ontario held its first cap-and-trade auction, with the funds to be invested in programs aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions. It sold all current allowances to generate $472 million. (The four standalone auctions in 2017 brought in nearly $2 billion. Ontario will enter a joint carbon market with Quebec and California on Jan. 1, 2018.)24 – TransCanada’s hotly debated, long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline received its elusive U.S. presidential permit from Donald Trump, eight years and six months after the initial application for it to cross the American border.24 – In a humiliating setback, U.S. President Donald Trump and Republican leaders pulled their “Obamacare” repeal and replace bill off the House floor after it became clear the measure would fail badly. (In May, the House narrowly approved legislation, but the Senate later defeated two more broader GOP repeal plans and a “skinny repeal” bill.)26 – Canada’s Rachel Homan and her team of vice-skip Emma Miskew, second Joanne Courtney and lead Lisa Weagle defeated Russia 8-3 to capture the gold medal at the women’s world curling championship in Beijing, becoming the first rink to go undefeated (13-0) in the tournament.28 – U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to eliminate many restrictions on fossil fuel production and roll back measures to combat climate change.30 – North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature voted to roll back the “bathroom bill,” which infringed on LGBTQ nondiscrimination rights by requiring transgender people to use the public bathrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate. It was replaced with a compromise law that kept state lawmakers in charge of future bathroom policies. The backlash over transgender rights cost the state business projects, conventions, concerts and basketball tournaments.31 – Canadians Kaetlyn Osmond and Gabrielle Daleman captured silver and bronze respectively in the women’s competition at the world figure skating championships, the first time two Canadians had shared the women’s podium at the world championship.—APRIL 20171 – Canada’s ice dance darlings Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir captured their third world figure skating title.1 – At the non-broadcast Juno Awards gala dinner, veteran rockers The Tragically Hip won the rock album award for “Man Machine Poem.” Frontman Gord Downie won two awards for his solo multimedia project “Secret Path” — adult alternative album and recording package of the year. The late Leonard Cohen won artist of the year.2 – The late Leonard Cohen’s “You Want It Darker” won album of the year at the Juno Awards broadcast gala in Ottawa. The Tragically Hip won group of the year while frontman Gord Downie picked up songwriter of the year for his “Secret Path” solo project. Alessia Cara won best pop album for her break-out “Know-It-All,” Ruth B took home breakthrough artist of the year, Jess Moskaluke won Country album of the year for “Kiss Me Quiet” and Shawn Mendes was the Juno Fan Choice. Sarah McLachlan was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.2 – Jason Aldean repeated as entertainer of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards while duo Florida Georgia Line won for single record of the year (“H.O.L.Y.”) and vocal event (“May We All” with Tim McGraw). Thomas Rhett took male vocalist of the year and song of the year (“Die a Happy Man”) and Miranda Lambert won album of the year (“The Weight of These Wings”) and her eighth female vocalist of the year award.2 – San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner hit two home runs in a 6-5 loss at Arizona, becoming the first pitcher to homer twice on Opening Day.3 – No seats changed hands in five federal byelections. The Liberals held onto the Toronto-area riding of Markham-Thornhill (Mary Ng), the Montreal riding of Saint-Laurent (Emmanuella Lambropoulos) and Ottawa-Vanier (Mona Fortier). The PCs retained Calgary Heritage (Bob Benzen) and Calgary Midnapore (Stephanie Kusie), formerly held by Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney, respectively.3 – A suicide bombing aboard a St. Petersburg subway train killed 14 people and injured 49 others. The suspected bomber was a Kyrgyz-born Russian citizen. Another bomb, hidden in a bag, was found and de-activated at another St. Petersburg station just half an hour before the blast.3 – The NHL announced the league’s players would not participate in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games in South Korea. The league had been at every Winter Olympics since 1998.4 – A sarin gas attack in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun killed at least 86 people, including 27 children, in one of the worst poison gas attacks in the country’s six-year civil war. Two days later, two American warships blasted a Syrian government air base with almost 60 cruise missiles in fiery retaliation for the gruesome attack.6 – Don Rickles, the big-mouthed, bald-headed “Mr. Warmth” whose verbal assaults endeared him to audiences and peers and made him the acknowledged grandmaster of insult comedy, died at age 90.7 – A hijacked beer truck plowed into pedestrians at a central Stockholm department store, killing five and injuring 15 others, nine of them seriously. Police later arrested a male suspect, a 39-year-old native of Uzbekistan, near the airport.7 – Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia recalled 1.4 million cars and SUVs in the U.S., Canada and South Korea because the engines could fail and stall.9 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was among the dignitaries to speak at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in northern France at a ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. As many as 25,000 people came to honour the Canadians who died in the First World War. (The next day, Trudeau flew to Juno to pay homage to Canada’s role in D-Day on June 6, 1944, during the Second World War.)9 – At the Masters, Sergio Garcia overcame a late round two-shot deficit against Justin Rose and birdied the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to capture his first career major, ending an 18-year drought.9 – Canada’s Brad Gushue completed a perfect run at the World Men’s Curling Championship with a 4-2 victory over Sweden’s Niklas Edin in the gold medal game in Edmonton.9 – United Airlines got a public relations black eye after an elderly doctor was among four passengers randomly picked to be bumped from an overbooked flight out of Chicago to accommodate airline employees added to the flight. He refused to comply and was forcibly removed and dragged down the aisle by security officers. He lost two teeth and suffered a concussion and broken nose. A video of the incident went viral and spawned widespread outrage. Dr. David Dao, a Kentucky physician, filed a lawsuit against United but settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.10 – Canada, the United States and Mexico launched their bid to co-host the 2026 World Cup, when the current 32-country soccer tournament expands to a 48-nation field.10 – Justice Neil Gorsuch took his place as the newest addition to the U.S. Supreme Court, restoring a narrow conservative majority and marking a much-needed political victory for President Donald Trump.12 – Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize winner and girls’ education activist, became an honorary Canadian citizen at a ceremony in Ottawa. She was just the sixth person to receive the honour, and at 19, the youngest.13 – The federal Liberal government introduced a long-awaited suite of bills to legalize marijuana by July 2018. Adults over 18 would be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent in public, share up to 30 grams of dried marijuana with other adults and buy cannabis or cannabis oil from a provincially regulated retailer.13 – American forces in Afghanistan struck an Islamic State tunnel complex near the Pakistani border with the 11-tonne “mother of all bombs,” the largest U.S. non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat, killing 94 I-SIL fighters.16 – Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan narrowly won a referendum for constitutional changes that would abolish the office of the prime minister and convert the country’s system of government from a parliamentary to a presidential one.19 – Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction and days earlier was acquitted of a double murder, died after hanging himself in his prison cell. He was 27.19 – 21st Century Fox issued a statement that Bill O’Reilly had lost his job at Fox News Channel following reports that five women had been paid millions of dollars to keep quiet about harassment allegations.20 – Ontario announced 16 measures to help cool the hot housing market in the Greater Toronto Area, including a 15-per-cent foreign buyer tax, expanded rent control, allowing Toronto to impose a tax on vacant homes and using surplus lands for affordable housing.20 – A gunman opened fire on police on Paris’ iconic Champs-Elysees boulevard, killing one officer and wounding three people before police shot and killed him. The Islamic State group quickly claimed responsibility for the attack.23 – Erin Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms “Happy Days” and “Joanie Loves Chachi,” died at age 56.25 – Great-West Lifeco said it would cut 1,500 positions over the next two years in response to changing technology and customer expectations. The cuts were equal to 13 per cent of the Winnipeg-based insurer’s 12,000 employees in Canada.26 – Jonathan Demme, the eclectic, ever-enthusiastic filmmaker behind the Oscar winners “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia,” and the director of one of the most seminal concert films ever made, the Talking Heads’ “Stop Making Sense,” died from complications from esophageal cancer. He was 73.29 – Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan offered a full apology to his former comrades-in-arms, after exaggerating his role as “architect” of Operation Medusa in 2006, Canada’s largest battle in Afghanistan. The mea culpa, posted to Facebook, followed what some had seen as a half-hearted apology by Sajjan the day before for comments he made in a speech earlier in the month to a think tank in India.—MAY 20174 – Ninety-five-year-old Prince Philip announced he would carry out scheduled engagements for the next few months but would retire from his royal duties starting in the fall.4 – Republicans narrowly won a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” six weeks after a humiliating failure in the lower chamber.6 – “Always Dreaming” won the Kentucky Derby by 2 3/4-lengths, the fifth consecutive favourite to win the first leg of thoroughbred horse racing’s Triple Crown.7 – French voters elected 39-year-old independent centrist Emmanuel Macron as the country’s youngest president, delivering a resounding victory to the pro-European former investment banker and dashing the populist dream of far-right rival Marine Le Pen.9 – Disgraced Senator Don Meredith, the married Pentecostal minister who admitted to a sexual relationship with a teenage girl, declared he would resign his Senate seat, short-circuiting what could have been a historic vote to expel him from the upper chamber.9 – U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey, who had come under intense scrutiny for his role in an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s email practices, and was in the midst of an FBI investigation into whether Trump’s campaign had ties to Russian meddling in the election that sent him to the White House.9 – British Columbia had its first minority government in 65 years as the Liberals squeaked out a razor-thin victory over the NDP, with the Green party holding the balance of power for the first time in Canadian history. Christy Clark’s Liberals won 43 seats, John Horgan’s New Democrats got 41 and the Greens led by Andrew Weaver picked up three seats. (In June, the Liberals were defeated in a non-confidence vote in the legislature and the NDP formed a government after reaching a deal with the Green party on a legislative agenda.)9 – Moon Jae-in declared victory in South Korea’s presidential election after his two main rivals conceded, capping one of the most turbulent political stretches in the nation’s recent history and setting up its first liberal rule in a decade.12 – A ransomware cyberattack known as “WannaCry” wreaked havoc around the globe, paralyzing tens of thousands of companies, government agencies and other organizations in 150 countries.17 – Pte. Chelsea Manning, the American soldier who was sentenced to 35 years in a military prison for giving classified materials to WikiLeaks, was released after serving seven years behind bars. Manning, who is transgender and was known as Bradley Manning before she transitioned in prison, was convicted in 2013 of 20 counts, including six Espionage Act violations, theft and computer fraud but acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.18 – Rocker Chris Cornell hanged himself in a Detroit hotel room hours after performing at a Soundgarden concert. He was 52. Cornell was a leader of the grunge movement with the Seattle-based Soundgarden, with whom he had gained critical and commercial acclaim.18 – Alberta Progressive Conservative Leader Jason Kenney and Wildrose Leader Brian Jean announced the details of their unity deal that would form the United Conservative Party. (Members approved the merger in July and Kenney was elected the UCP’s new leader on Oct. 28.)18 – A man deliberately steered his speeding car into pedestrians in New York’s Times Square, killing a Michigan teenager and injuring 22 others, including a Canadian woman, before it was stopped by steel security barriers. Twenty-six-year-old Richard Rojas was charged with murder and attempted murder.18 – The United States officially served notice of its intention to renegotiate the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement, triggering a 90-day consultation window before talks began August 16th in Washington with Canada and Mexico.19 – Swedish prosecutors dropped their investigation into a rape allegation against Julian Assange, almost seven years after it began and five years after the WikiLeaks founder sought refuge inside Ecuador’s London embassy. (The investigation could be reopened if Assange returns to Sweden before the statute of limitations lapses in 2020.)20 – Thirteen-to-one long-shot “Cloud Computing” ran down “Classic Empire” in the final strides to win the Preakness by a head. Kentucky Derby winner “Always Dreaming” finished eighth.21 – Sweden beat Canada 2-1 in a shootout to capture gold at the world hockey championship.21 – Canadian rapper Drake set a new record at the Billboard awards by taking home 13 trophies, including top artist, top male artist and top Billboard 200 album for “View.”21 – The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which had wowed crowds for 146 years with its “Greatest Show on Earth,” performed its last show, at the Nassau County Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.22 – A suicide bomber struck outside an arena in Manchester, England, as fans were leaving a concert by American pop star Ariana Grande. Twenty-two people were killed, including an eight-year-old girl, and over 100 others were injured.23 – British actor Roger Moore, the suavely insouciant star of seven James Bond films, died in Switzerland after a short battle with cancer. He was 89.27 – Andrew Scheer, a social conservative and former House of Commons Speaker, was elected leader of the federal Conservative party, narrowly winning a 13-ballot battle with rival Maxime Bernier.27 – Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel “The Allman Brothers Band” to superstardom, died of liver cancer. He was 69. Songs such as “Whipping Post,” “Ramblin’ Man” and “Midnight Rider” helped define what came to be known as Southern rock. In 1995, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was honoured with a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2012.28 – Host Windsor Spitfires defeated the Erie Otters 4-3 in the Memorial Cup final to capture the Canadian Hockey League championship.28 – Takuma Sato became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 when he denied Helio Castroneves a record-tying fourth victory as the two traded the lead in the closing laps. (Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe did not finish as he was involved in a crash with 17 laps to go.)30 – Nova Scotians handed Stephen McNeil’s Liberal party a second consecutive majority government. It captured 27 ridings — seven fewer than at dissolution. The Conservatives picked up 17 ridings while the NDP won seven.31 – A massive suicide truck bombing during morning rush hour rocked a highly secure diplomatic area of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, killing over 150 people and wounding as many as 400.31 – CNN announced it cut ties with comedian Kathy Griffin after she posted a video that showed her holding a likeness of U.S. President Donald Trump’s severed head. For a decade she had co-hosted the news network’s New Year’s Eve special with CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper.—JUNE 20171 – President Donald Trump declared he was pulling the U.S. from the landmark Paris climate agreement, striking a major blow to worldwide efforts to combat global warming and distancing the country from its closest allies abroad.1 – Former nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer, 50, pleaded guilty to using insulin to kill eight seniors and hurt six others in her care over the past decade at three Ontario long-term care facilities, in part because she felt angry with her career and her life’s responsibilities. She received eight concurrent terms of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.1 – Robert Wood, a discredited former engineer, was found not guilty of criminal negligence in the deadly collapse of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, Ont., that killed two women when part of the roof-top parking deck caved in.1 – A gunman stormed a casino in Manila and torched gambling tables in the crowded space, creating a choking level of smoke that killed at least 36 people. He stuffed a backpack with casino chips before he fled but was found dead in an adjacent hotel of an apparent suicide.3 – A terror attack in London left seven people dead, including Canadian Christine Archibald, and injured 48 others. Archibald was on London Bridge when three men drove a van into pedestrians and then ran down a set of stairs into Borough Market where they stabbed people in several different restaurants. The attackers, who were wearing fake suicide vests, were shot dead by police.5 – Seventy-nine-year-old comedian Bill Cosby went on trial on charges he drugged and sexually assaulted Toronto native Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004 when she was an employee of Temple University’s basketball program. It was the only criminal case to arise from allegations from more than 60 women that cast Cosby as a serial predator who gave drugs to women before violating them. A mistrial was declared June 17 after jurors failed to reach a unanimous decision.8 – Country music star Keith Urban picked up four honours at the CMT Awards, including video of the year and male video for “Blue Ain’t Your Color.” Carrie Underwood won female video of the year for “Church Bells” and collaborative video (with Keith Urban) for “The Fighter.”8 – Nisga’a writer Jordan Abel was named the Canadian winner of the $65,000 Griffin Poetry Prize for “Injun,” a long poem about racism and the representation of Indigenous peoples. British poet Alice Oswald won the international prize, also worth $65,000, for “Falling Awake.”8 – Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski became the first Canadian woman tennis pro to capture a Grand Slam title as she and Indian partner Rohan Bopanna rallied to beat Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Robert Farah of Colombia 2-6, 6-2, 12-10 in the mixed doubles final at the French Open.8 – British Prime Minister Theresa May’s gamble in calling an early election backfired spectacularly as her Conservative Party lost its slim majority in Parliament, winning 318 seats – short of the 326 they needed for an another outright majority.8 – Former FBI Director James Comey testified before the U.S. Senate intelligence committee and asserted that President Donald Trump fired him to interfere with his investigation into Russia’s ties to the Trump election campaign, bluntly accusing the White House of spreading “lies, plain and simple.”9 – Actor Adam West, who became a pop culture icon for his role as Batman in a campy 1960s TV series, died after a battle with leukemia. He was 88.10 – “Tapwrit” overtook favoured “Irish War Cry” in the stretch to win the Belmont Stakes by two lengths in the final leg of thoroughbred horse racing’s Triple Crown.11 – The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators 2-0 in Game 6 to become the first team in the salary cap era to win back-to-back Stanley Cups. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby repeated as playoffs MVP.11 – Rafael Nadal defeated Stan Wawrinka in straight sets to capture the French Open, becoming the first tennis player to win 10 championships at the same major in the Open era.11 – The Canadian theatrical production “Come From Away” fell short in its historic bid to capture Broadway’s biggest musical prize but took home one Tony award from its seven nominations – for best director of a musical Christopher Ashley. (Best musical went to “Dear Evan Hansen”)12 – The Golden State Warriors won their second NBA title in three years by defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5, capping an almost perfect post-season run (16-1) and exacting revenge on the Cavs after blowing a 3-1 series lead to them in the 2016 final.14 – A deadly overnight fire raced through a 24-storey apartment tower in London; 79 people were confirmed dead or missing and presumed dead.14 – A rifle-wielding attacker opened fire on Republican lawmakers at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., wounding House GOP Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and several others. Scalise’s security detail wounded the shooter who later died of his injuries.16 – Online juggernaut Amazon announced it was buying the Whole Foods supermarket chain for US$13.7 billion in an all-cash deal.16 – Oscar-winning director John Avildsen, whose “Rocky” and “Karate Kid” underdog fables went on to become Hollywood franchises, died of pancreatic cancer at age 81.18 – Nineteen-year-old Canadian Brooke Henderson won the Meijer LPGA Classic for her fourth Tour title.18 – A raging forest fire in central Portugal sent flames sweeping over roads, killing at least 62 people, many of them trapped in their cars as they tried to flee.19 – The Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, diagnosed in late 2015 with an incurable form of brain cancer, was appointed to the Order of Canada. He was among 29 recipients honoured by Gov. Gen. David Johnston for leadership in raising awareness of Indigenous issues.21 – A Tunisian-born Quebecer stabbed a police officer in the neck at the airport in Flint, Mich., in a possible act of terrorism. He unsuccessfully attempted to buy a gun before carrying out the attack. Amor Ftouhi, 49, was taken into custody and charged with numerous offences. Lieutenant Jeff Neville survived the attack.22 – Sears Canada announced plans to close 59 locations across the country and cut approximately 2,900 jobs under a court-supervised restructuring. The beleaguered retailer said it would close 20 full-line locations, plus 15 Sears Home stores, 10 Sears Outlet stores and 14 Sears Hometown locations. In October, it received court approval to liquidate its remaining stores, leaving 12,000 employees out of work.26 – The Toronto Star announced it was laying off 30 employees as it shuttered its Star Touch tablet app — a $20 million venture aimed at attracting a younger readership that failed to meet management expectations. The last edition ran on July 31 and was replaced by a universal app.28 – It took a Lethbridge, Alta., jury just three hours to convict Derek Saretzky of three counts of first-degree murder in the September 2015 deaths of Terry Blanchette, his two-year-old daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette, and Hanne Meketech, 69.29 – The Liberal government announced it was extending Canada’s mission in Iraq, where the Canadian Forces will continue to help Iraqi forces in the fight against the Islamic State group until at least March 2019.29 – B.C.’s minority Liberal government was defeated in a non-confidence vote in the legislature. NDP Leader John Horgan emerged from a meeting with Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon to say he was asked to form a government after reaching a deal with the Green party on a legislative agenda.30 – Peter Mansbridge anchored CBC’s flagship news program “The National” for the final time after 28 years at the helm. His swan song came the next day when he anchored the public broadcaster’s coverage of Canada 150 celebrations in Ottawa.—JULY 20172 – Danielle Kang birdied the final hole to win the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship for her first LPGA Tour title, edging defending champion Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont.2 – Race favourite “Holy Helana” easily captured the Queen’s Plate, the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown of thoroughbred horse racing.5 – The Edmonton Oilers signed superstar captain Connor McDavid to an eight-year extension worth $100 million that kicks in after he finishes the final year of his entry-level deal in the upcoming season. That will make the 20-year-old league MVP the highest paid player in the NHL on an annual basis.5 – Randy Ambrosie was named the 14th commissioner of the Canadian Football League.7 – The B.C. government declared a provincial state of emergency as crews battled more than 180 wildfires that destroyed buildings and forced almost 40,000 people from their homes.8 – Ottawa confirmed an apology and a payment of $10.5 million had been made to Omar Khadr to settle a longstanding lawsuit that claimed Canada had violated his rights and was complicit with the U.S. when he was detained at Guantanamo Bay. Khadr admitted to throwing a grenade that killed American soldier Chris Speer in Afghanistan in 2002 when he was 15-years-old, but later recanted. He was released on bail in 2015 pending his appeal of the war-crimes conviction.9 – Tournament MVP R.J. Barrett, 17, led Canada past Italy 79-60 to win the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup, the first time Canadians of any gender or age group brought home a basketball world title.10 – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared total victory in the fight against the Islamic State group in Mosul. American-backed Iraqi forces had launched a massive operation in October 2016 to retake the country’s second largest city.12 – The Bank of Canada hiked its benchmark interest rate to 0.75 per cent from 0.5 per cent, its first increase in nearly seven years, amid expectations of stronger economic growth this year.15 – Garbine Muguruza overpowered Venus Williams 7-5, 6-0 to win the Wimbledon women’s title for the first time and capture her second major.15 – Martin Landau, the chameleon-like actor who gained fame as the crafty master of disguise in the 1960s TV show “Mission: Impossible,” then capped a long and versatile career with an Oscar for his poignant portrayal of aging horror movie star Bela Lugosi in 1994’s “Ed Wood,” died at the of age 89.16 – Roger Federer defeated Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 to capture his record eighth Wimbledon crown and bolster his major titles record to 19.16 – Josef Newgarden captured his second Honda Indy Toronto title in three years. Toronto’s James Hinchcliffe raced to his second consecutive third-place finish.16 – Twenty-three-year-old Sung Hyun Park shot her second straight 5-under 67 and won the U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National Golf Club for her first LPGA Tour victory.16 – George A. Romero, whose 1968 cult classic “Night of the Living Dead” and other horror films turned zombie movies into social commentaries and who saw his flesh-devouring undead spawn countless imitators, remakes and homages, died following a battle with lung cancer. He was 77.17 – The GOP’s attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare failed in the U.S. Senate for a second time.19 – Shareholders of British American Tobacco and Reynolds American Inc. approved merging into the world’s largest publicly traded tobacco company. London-headquartered BAT paid US$49 billion in cash-and-stock to buy the 57.8 per cent of Reynolds it didn’t already own.20 – Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington was found dead in his home near Los Angeles. Bennington, 41, had hanged himself from a bedroom door. He was a co-lead vocalist for the rock-rap band that was one of the most commercially successful acts of the 2000s, winning countless awards, including Grammys.20 – Former football star O.J. Simpson was granted parole (effective Oct. 1) after having served the minimum of a 9-to-33-year sentence for a bungled attempt to snatch sports memorabilia he claimed had been stolen from him.21 – Shipping giant FedEx announced it was closing its FedEx Office stores in Canada after 32 years in the country. It said the closure of its 24 stores, a manufacturing plant in Markham, Ont., and its head office in Toronto would result in the loss of 214 jobs, but would not affect FedEx’s shipping business in Canada.21 – White House press secretary Sean Spicer abruptly resigned, ending a rocky six-month tenure that made his news briefings defending U.S. President Donald Trump must-see TV.21 – Kenny Shields, the brash lead singer of Canadian rock band Streetheart who swaggered across the country’s stages for decades, died of heart failure. He was 69. The Juno-winning artist was part of the homegrown brand of guitar-driven hits that became rock radio staples throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, including “Action,” “Hollywood,” “Look in Your Eyes” and “What Kind of Love Is This.”22 – Alberta’s political landscape profoundly shifted as the Wildrose party and the Progressive Conservatives voted in a landslide to merge into the new United Conservative Party. (PC Leader Jason Kenney was elected the UCP’s new leader on Oct. 28.)23 – Leader Jordan Spieth stumbled early but played the final five holes in 5-under and closed with a 1-under 69 for a three-shot victory in the British Open at Royal Birkdale, giving him the third leg of a career Grand Slam.23 – Defending champion Chris Froome won his fourth Tour de France title.25 – 14-1 longshot “Cool Catomine” grabbed the lead in the deep stretch to capture the Prince of Wales Stakes, the second jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown of thoroughbred horse racing.25 – Canadian swimmer Kylie Masse won the 100-metre backstroke at the world championships in Hungary in a world-record time of 58.10 seconds.26 – U.S. President Donald Trump surprised many when he announced on Twitter that he was reinstating a ban on transgender people serving in uniform, after the previous Obama administration lifted the ban in 2016.26 – Actress June Foray, who gave voice to Rocky the Flying Squirrel and hundreds of other cartoon characters and was sometimes known as the “female Mel Blanc,” died in a Los Angeles hospital. She was 99.28 – Former B.C. premier Christy Clark announced she would resign effective Aug. 4 as leader of the provincial Liberal party and give up her seat in Kelowna. The New Democrats formed a minority government with the support of the Greens after Clark’s party lost a confidence vote in the legislature at the end of June, ending 16 years in power.30 – Jhonattan Vegas made birdie on the first playoff hole to beat Charley Hoffman and repeat as Canadian Open champion.30 – Deadly clashes between protesters and police marred voting that allowed President Nicolas Maduro to replace Venezuela’s current legislative body — the National Assembly – with a new institution called the Constituent Assembly that would have the power to rewrite the constitution.30 – Catcher Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez, first baseman Jeff Bagwell and Expo great Tim Raines were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, along with former commissioner Bud Selig and front-office guru John Schuerholz.31 – Anthony Scaramucci was ousted as White House communications director after just 11 days on the job, and just hours after former Gen. John Kelly took over as U.S. President Donald Trump’s new chief of staff. Scaramucci got into trouble almost immediately after his appointment — giving a profanity-laden interview to New Yorker magazine, including a tirade against then chief of staff Reince Prebus. The appointment of Scaramucci had earlier prompted former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer to quit.—AUGUST 20171 – CBC announced that Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton, Andrew Chang and Ian Hanomansing would take over as the new hosts of its flagship news program, “The National,” breaking free of the traditional solo news anchor format following the retirement of Peter Mansbridge.1 – Keyboard player Goldy McJohn (born John Goadsby), one of the Canadian founding members of Steppenwolf, the band best known for the classic-rock staples “Born to be Wild” and “Magic Carpet Ride,” died of a heart attack. He was 72.2 – Prince Philip, 96, made his 22,219th — and final — solo public engagement, braving heavy rain to meet Royal Marines at Buckingham Palace. The Duke of Edinburgh had announced in May that he was stepping down from public duties.3 – Paris Saint-Germain obtained Brazilian forward Neymar from Barcelona for a world record US$262 million transfer fee, more than double the previous record of US$116 million paid in 2016 by Manchester United for France midfielder Paul Pogba.4 – Martin Shkreli, the eccentric former pharmaceutical CEO notorious for a price-gouging scandal and for his snide “Pharma Bro” persona on social media, was convicted on three of eight federal charges that he deceived investors in a pair of failed hedge funds.5 – Usain Bolt had his farewell party spoiled when Americans Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman finished ahead of him in the 100 metres at the world track and field championships in London, in the Jamaican sprinter’s final individual race of his unparalleled career.8 – Glen Campbell, the affable superstar singer of “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Wichita Lineman” and “Southern Nights” and whose appeal spanned country, pop, television and movies, died at age 81. Campbell announced in June 2011 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He won five Grammys, sold more than 45 million records, had 12 gold albums and 75 chart hits.10 – Brad Wall, who had served as premier of Saskatchewan since 2007, announced plans to retire from politics. He was first elected in 1999 under the banner of the newly formed Saskatchewan Party, made up of disaffected Tories and Liberals.12 – Suspected Islamic terrorists opened fire at a popular Turkish restaurant in Burkina Faso’s capital, killing 18 people including two Canadians.12 – A car plowed through a group of counter-protesters at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 other people. James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, was arrested shortly after and charged with second-degree murder and other counts.12 – Former NHL coach and GM Bryan Murray died after a three-year battle with colon cancer. He was 74. Murray won the Jack Adams award as coach of the year in 1984 with the Washington Capitals and executive of the year as general manager of the Florida Panthers in 1993. Later, he coached the Ottawa Senators to a Stanley Cup final appearance in 2007. He was promoted to general manager and held that position until stepping down after the 2016 season. He compiled a coaching record of 620 wins (10th most in NHL history), 465 losses, 131 ties and 23 overtime losses.12 – Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt failed to make it to the finishing line in his final race, as the anchor crumpled to the track with a left hamstring injury as he was chasing gold in the 4×100-metre relay at the world championships.14 – A jury found former Denver radio host David Mueller guilty of groping pop star Taylor Swift during a backstage photo-op in 2013. He had sued Swift, claiming the allegation cost him his career and his reputation and she countersued for assault and battery and a request for a symbolic $1 judgment and the chance to stand up for other women.16 – In Washington, the first round of negotiations began on a new North American Free Trade Agreement. The Trump administration started with demands for a five-year termination clause allowing easy cancellation of the agreement; tougher Buy American rules; auto-parts requirements the industry called impossible to meet; and a gutting of the dispute mechanisms that enforce NAFTA.17 – A van deliberately veered onto a sidewalk and sped down a pedestrian zone in Barcelona’s historic tourist district, killing 13 people — including one Canadian. Four Canadians were among the 120 injured. ISIS claimed responsibility. The driver was the subject of a massive manhunt and was gunned down on Aug. 21 in Subirats, a small town 45 kilometres west of the city.18 – U.S. President Donald Trump accepted Steve Bannon’s resignation, ending a turbulent seven months for his chief strategist. The former leader of conservative Breitbart News was the man behind many of Trump’s most controversial efforts, including the travel ban on mainly Muslim countries and the decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement.19 – Dick Gregory, the comedian and activist and who broke racial barriers in the 1960s and used his humour to spread messages of social justice and nutritional health, died of a severe bacterial infection. He was 84.20 – Jerry Lewis, the manic, rubber-faced showman who jumped and hollered to fame in a lucrative partnership with Dean Martin, settled down to become a self-conscious screen auteur and found an even greater following as the tireless, teary host of the annual muscular dystrophy telethons, died of natural causes. He was 91.20 – Rafael Hernandez rode 8-5 favourite “Channel Maker” to victory in the $400,000 Breeders’ Stakes, the final jewel of Canada’s Triple Crown.21 – At 10:16 a.m PT, the first total solar eclipse to sweep coast-to-coast across the U.S. in 99 years began in Oregon, with the path of totality travelling diagonally across 14 states to South Carolina. In Canada, Victoria got the best view of the rare celestial event, with 90 per cent coverage, Vancouver 86 per cent, Calgary 77 per cent and Toronto 70 per cent. The rest of North America was treated to a partial eclipse, as were Central American and the top of South America.21 – A Los Angeles jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay US$417 million to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in its iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. It marked the largest sum awarded in a series of talcum powder lawsuit verdicts against the company, which announced it would appeal.21 – Globe and Mail publisher Phillip Crawley said the national newspaper planned to halt its daily print edition for Atlantic Canada on Nov. 30.21 – Reversing his past calls for a speedy exit, President Donald Trump recommitted the United States to the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan, declaring U.S. troops must “fight to win.” He pointedly declined to disclose how many more troops would be dispatched to wage America’s longest war.24 – Sen. Mike Duffy sued the Senate and the RCMP for the way they handled accusations about his expenses, seeking millions of dollars in damages and compensation for loss of income and benefits. Duffy was acquitted in 2016 on all 31 counts of fraud, breach of trust and bribery.24 – Montreal Alouettes receiver Nik Lewis became the CFL’s all-time pass receptions leader with 1,030, surpassing B.C. Lions great Geroy Simon.25 – Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane off the coast of mainland Texas near Corpus Christi. It lingered off the coast for four days, dropping heavy rain as a tropical storm – with record flooding (1.2 metres) in parts of Houston – killing at least 65 people, destroying thousands of cars and leaving hundreds of thousands of families with flood-damaged homes.26 – Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. let UFC star Conor McGregor have the early rounds before dominating late and stopping him with a TKO in the 10th, but McGregor fared much better than anticipated in his first pro fight. Mayweather improved to 50-0, passing Rocky Marciano’s benchmark record of 49-0. The spectacle brought Mayweather an estimated $300-350 million, while McGregor earned $100 million.30 – Lighthouse founding member and drummer Skip Prokop died at the age of 73 at a hospital in St. Thomas, Ont.—SEPTEMBER 20173 – Walter Becker, the guitarist, bassist and co-founder of the 1970s rock group Steely Dan, died at age 67. The group sold more than 40 million albums and produced such hit singles as “Reelin’ In the Years,” “Rikki Don’t Lose that Number” and “Deacon Blues.”5 – U.S. President Donald Trump announced his administration would be phasing out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that allowed over 800,000 people brought to the U.S. as children to stay in the country.6 – The Bank of Canada raised its overnight lending rate to 1.0 per cent, its second quarter-point increase since July.6 – Category 5 hurricane Irma, the strongest Atlantic Ocean hurricane ever recorded with wind gusts of 298 km, made landfall as it passed the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda. Its 640-km path continued over Puerto Rico and Cuba before slamming the Gulf Coast of Florida as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 10 and weakening to a tropical depression through the U.S. southeast. Irma killed 38 people in the Caribbean and another 36 in the U.S.7 – Credit monitoring agency Equifax revealed there had been a cyberattack on July 29 that exposed the Social Security numbers and other sensitive information of about 145 million people in the U.S., approximately 19,000 in Canada and almost 400,000 in the UK.7 – A magnitude 8.1 earthquake — one of the most powerful ever recorded in Mexico — killed 98 people and toppled hundreds of buildings. The epicentre was located off the country’s southern coast near the Guatemalan border.8 – Troy Gentry, half of the award-winning country duo Montgomery Gentry, died in a helicopter crash near the Flying W Airport in Medford. N.J., where the band was to perform. He was 50.9 – Sloane Stephens easily beat Madison Keys 6-3, 6-0 to win the women’s title at the U.S. Open and her first major.10 – Raphael Nadal overwhelmed Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to win his third U.S. Open title and 16th major overall.12 – Allan MacEachen, a long-serving Liberal MP and senator from Nova Scotia who was a driving force behind many Canadian social programs, died at age 96. MacEachen was one of Canada’s most powerful cabinet ministers of the postwar era and held a variety of posts, including a term as minister of national health and welfare from 1965-1968 during the creation of medicare. As labour minister, MacEachen was also instrumental in reforming the labour code and establishing a new standard for the minimum wage.13 – The International Olympic Committee granted Paris the 2024 Summer Olympics and Los Angeles the 2028 Games, the first time the IOC had granted two Summer Olympics at once. Both cities will host their third Olympics.14 – Halimah Yacob was elected unopposed as Singapore’s first female president.14 – Liberal MP Arnold Chan died of nasopharyngeal carcinoma. He was 50.15 – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft disintegrated as expected in the skies above Saturn in a final, fateful blaze of cosmic glory, following a remarkable journey of 20 years.15 – Ontario’s Wiarton Willie, the albino groundhog at the centre of Canada’s most high-profile weather forecasting tradition, died at age 13.17 – Author Margaret Atwood’s dystopian vision of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the deeply cynical Washington comedy “Veep” and the ever-topical “Saturday Night Live” won top series honours at an Emmy Awards ceremony that took almost non-stop aim at U.S. President Donald Trump in awards presentations and acceptance speeches.18 – Lido Pimienta’s Spanish-language album “La Papessa” won the $50,000 Polaris prize for the best full-length Canadian album based on artistic merit.18 – Hurricane Maria swept over the small Caribbean island of Dominica with catastrophic Category 5 winds, causing widespread devastation and leaving it virtually incommunicado. Two days later, Maria, now a Category 4, ravaged the island of Puerto Rico, knocking out power across the entire U.S. territory and triggering landslides and floods.19 – Toys “R” Us Canada initiated bankruptcy proceedings in an Ontario court a day after it filed for creditor protection in the U.S.19 – A magnitude-7.1 quake struck central Mexico, collapsing buildings in plumes of dust and killing at least 369 people, with 228 deaths occurring in Mexico City. It happened on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 earthquake that killed thousands.19 – Jake LaMotta, the former middleweight champion whose life in and out of the ring was depicted in the film “Raging Bull,” for which Robert De Niro won an Academy Award, died at age 95.21 – The Canada-European Union trade agreement, known as CETA, came into effect after taking a decade to complete.23 – Neil Young and Bruce Cockburn were among the latest inductees into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame at a ceremony at Toronto’s Massey Hall.23 – The Invictus Games Toronto 2017 got underway. The international sports competition was founded by Britain’s Prince Harry as a way to inspire and motivate wounded soldiers on their path to recovery.24 – Germany’s election produced an awkward result that left Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc seeking a coalition with the pro-business Free Democrats and the traditionally left-leaning Greens. Weeks of talks on forming a new majority government collapsed, leaving a minority government, not previously tried in post-war Germany, or new elections as the only options.27 – Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, the pipe-smoking hedonist who revved up the sexual revolution in the 1950s and built a multimedia empire of clubs, mansions, movies and television, symbolized by bow-tied women in bunny costumes, died at age 91.27 – Saudi King Salman announced that starting in June, 2018, women would be permitted to drive in the ultra-conservative kingdom for the first time.30 – A Somali national was arrested after a series of violent attacks that saw an Edmonton police officer stabbed and four pedestrians run down by a truck. A car rammed a traffic barricade at the Edmonton Eskimos game and an officer was stabbed. A few hours later, police chased a U-Haul cube van through the city and four pedestrians were injured.30 – Winnipeg-born legendary TV game show host Monty Hall, best known for “Let’s Make a Deal” which he co-created in 1963, died at age 96.—OCTOBER 20171 – In the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, 58 people were killed — four of them Canadian — and nearly 500 were injured after a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel-casino tower. A crowd of 22-thousand had gathered below for an outdoor country music festival. The gunman killed himself before SWAT teams stormed his room.1 – Ontario NDP deputy leader Jagmeet Singh won the party’s federal leadership race in a first ballot vote, becoming the first non-Caucasian leader of a federal political party.1 – The Catalonia region held a disputed independence referendum to secede from the rest of Spain. Results showed 92 per cent favoured secession but a Spanish court later declared the referendum illegal. Ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and four members of his cabinet fled to Brussels but faced extradition back to Spain for allegedly plotting a rebellion.2 – Rock superstar Tom Petty, who wrote such classics such as “Free Fallin’,” “Refugee” and “American Girl,” died a day after he suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu, Calif. He was 66. Usually backed by the Heartbreakers, Petty broke through in the 1970s and went on to sell more than 80 million records. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.2 – Two of Quebec’s iconic retail brands formalized a merger with Metro Inc.’s $4.5-billion friendly takeover offer for the Jean Coutu pharmacy group, which was to operate as a separate division of the grocery company.3 – The trial began for three former railway employees charged in connection with the fatal 2013 train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Que., that killed 47 people and destroyed part of the town when oil laden train cars caught fire. Charged are former train driver Thomas Harding, traffic controller Richard Labrie and manager of train operations Jean Demaitre.5 – Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. announced the cancellation of its $15.7-billion proposed Energy East pipeline, cutting off a potential conduit to bring more western Canadian oil to eastern refineries and overseas export markets.6 – James Neal scored both goals as the expansion Vegas Golden Knights opened their inaugural NHL season with a 2-1 road win against the Dallas Stars.6 – The federal government agreed to pay a maximum $750 million to survivors of the ’60s Scoop for the harm suffered by Indigenous children who were robbed of their cultural identities by being placed with non-native families. Ottawa would also set aside a further $50 million for a new Indigenous Healing Foundation.8 – Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was fired by the Weinstein Co., the studio he co-founded, three days after a bombshell New York Times expose alleged decades of crude sexual behaviour on his part toward female employees and actresses. The revelation led to a flood of sexual misconduct allegations against multiple men in politics and the entertainment industry, other media powerhouses and assorted business moguls.9 – Shania Twain’s first studio album in 15 years, “Now,” debuted atop both the U.S. and Canadian Billboard album charts, as well as the UK charts10 – The expansion Vegas Golden Knights won their home opener 5-2 over the Arizona Coyotes, to become the first team in NHL history to begin their debut season with three straight wins.13 – Sears Canada, which sought protection from its creditors in June but was unable to find a buyer, received court approval to liquidate inventory from all its remaining stores as the national retailer prepared to shut its doors for good after 65 years, putting 12,000 employees out of a job. Liquidation sales began Oct. 19.14 – A massive truck bombing in Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu killed over 300 people and injured more than 400 others, making it the deadliest single attack in the Horn of Africa nation.15 – Tom Brady set the NFL record for regular-season victories by a quarterback, getting his 187th as the New England Patriots held on for a 24-17 win over the New York Jets. (Brady already held the record for career wins, including playoffs).16 – European aircraft giant Airbus Group announced it was acquiring a 50.01 per cent stake in Bombardier’s C Series program for no financial payment, weeks after the U.S. issued 300 per cent preliminary duties on exports of the aircraft following Boeing’s trade complaint. The C Series headquarters will remain in the Montreal area but a second assembly line for the 100- to 150-seat plane will be set up at the Airbus facility in Alabama.17 – Gord Downie, the poetic lead singer of The Tragically Hip whose determined fight with brain cancer inspired a nation, died at age 53. One of Canada’s most revered singer-songwriters, Downie penned a steady stream of 1990s rock radio staples including “New Orleans is Sinking,” “Blow at High Dough,” “Courage,” “Ahead By a Century” and “Bobcaygeon.”18 – The Quebec National Assembly passed a religious neutrality bill that will oblige citizens to uncover their faces while giving and receiving state services.18 – Gilbert Rozon, a giant in the Quebec entertainment industry and founder of the Just For Laughs comedy festival, announced he was stepping down from various positions amid what he called “allegations involving him.” The next day, at least nine women came forward with sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations.22 – Toronto FC’s 2-2 draw in Atlanta enabled them to set the MLS points record, reaching 69 points on the final day of the regular season to edge the previous record of 68 set by the Los Angeles Galaxy in 1998.24 – Actor Robert Guillaume, who won Emmy Awards for his portrayal of the sharp-tongued butler in the TV sitcoms “Soap” and “Benson,” died at age 89.25 – Fats Domino, the amiable rock ‘n’ roll pioneer whose steady, pounding piano and easy baritone helped change popular music while honouring the traditions of his New Orleans roots, died at age 89. Domino sold more than 110 million records, with hits including “I’m Walkin’,” “Ain’t That A Shame,” “Shake, Rattle and Roll” and “Blueberry Hill.” He was one of the first 10 honorees named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.28 – Former Alberta PC Leader and federal cabinet minister Jason Kenney was elected leader of the province’s newly created United Conservative Party, formed in July when Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose Party voted to merge.28 – Ice dancers Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue won their seventh Skate Canada International title, Kaetlyn Osmond won the women’s singles title and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won the pairs.29 – Drew Brees joined Brett Favre and Peyton Manning as the only NFL quarterbacks to reach 6,000 career completions.30 – Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former business associate Rick Gates were the first to be indicted in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of whether Russia tried to sway the 2016 U.S. election and if President Trump’s campaign was aware of it.31 – A man drove a rented pickup truck onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center memorial in New York, killing at least eight people and injuring a dozen others. The Uzbek-born attacker was shot by police and taken into custody after he jumped out of the vehicle brandishing two air guns and yelling “God is great!” in Arabic.—NOVEMBER 20171 – Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie announced he was stepping down after seven years. He said he would stay on as leader until a replacement was selected and would also continue on as the MLA for Cumberland South.1 – The Houston Astros won the first World Series championship in franchise history with a 5-1 victory over the LA Dodgers in Game 7 at Dodger Stadium. Houston outfielder George Springer was named MVP.3 – Netflix announced Kevin Spacey would no longer be a part of “House of Cards” and it was cutting all other ties with the actor after a series of allegations of sexual harassment and assault.4 – Four years after he walked away from the UFC for a mental breather, Canadian Georges St. Pierre returned to the octagon and defeated Michael Bisping by submission to capture the middleweight championship at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden in New York.5 – A gunman opened fire at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people and wounding about 20 others. The suspect, kicked out of the Air Force following a court martial in 2012 because of domestic violence, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he crashed his car when chased by bystanders, one of whom was armed and had shot him at the church.5 – Montreal elected Valerie Plante as the city’s first female mayor, defeating incumbent Denis Coderre.6 – The CBC broadcast its revamped flagship nightly news program “The National” for the first time since longtime anchor Peter Mansbridge retired in July. It aired live across all six time zones, allowing the four hosts — Ian Hanomansing, Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton and Andrew Chang — to track developing stories in real time from studios in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.7 – Former star pitcher Roy Halladay, a Cy Young Award winner in both leagues and the face of the Toronto Blue Jays franchise for most of the 2000s, died when the plane he was piloting crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. He was 40.12 – More than 530 people were killed when a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck the once-contested mountainous border region between Iraq and Iran, with nearly all of the victims in an area rebuilt since the end of the ruinous 1980s war.13 – The Hockey Hall of Fame held the formal induction ceremony for NHL greats Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi, Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya as well as Canadian women’s star Danielle Goyette. Longtime Canadian university coach Clare Drake and Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs entered in the builder category.13 – Ride-hailing company Lyft announced it was coming to Toronto in what was to be its first expansion outside of the United States.15 – Zimbabwe’s army said President Robert Mugabe and his wife were in custody and it was securing government offices and patrolling the capital’s streets following a night of unrest that included a military takeover of the state broadcaster. Mugabe resigned on Nov. 21. He had been in power since Zimbabwe’s independence from white minority rule in 1980.15 – Canada’s Walk of Fame added environmentalist David Suzuki, sprinter Donovan Bailey and actress Anna Paquin to its ranks at its annual gala. It also posthumously inducted civil-rights pioneer Viola Desmond, business leader Ted Rogers and country crooner Stompin’ Tom Connors.19 – At the American Music Awards, Bruno Mars won artist of the year, favourite pop/rock male and favourite soul/R&B male as well as video of the year (“That’s What I Like”). A trio of Canadians were also recognized. Shawn Mendes took home the favourite adult contemporary artist, his first AMA. Drake was named favourite rap/hip-hop artist. Justin Bieber shared the collaboration of the year award with Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee for the mega-hit song “Despacito.” Bieber was also featured on DJ Khaled’s No. 1 hit “I’m the One,” which won favourite rap/hip-hop song.19 – Country Music Hall-of-Famer Mel Tillis, the affable longtime country star who wrote hits for Kenny Rogers, Ricky Skaggs and many others, and overcame a stutter to sing on dozens of his own singles, died at age 85. He recorded more than 60 albums and had more than 30 top-10 country singles, including “Good Woman Blues,” “Coca Cola Cowboy” and “Southern Rain.”19 – Della Reese, the actress and gospel-influenced singer who in middle age found her greatest fame as Tess, the wise angel in the long-running television drama “Touched by an Angel,” died at age 86.19 – Charles Manson, the hippie cult leader who became the hypnotic-eyed face of evil across America after orchestrating the gruesome murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles during the summer of 1969, died after nearly a half-century in prison. He was 83.19 – The Ontario government passed back-to-work legislation, ending a five-week college faculty strike and allowing nearly 500,000 students to return to class. The 12,000 professors, instructors, counsellors and librarians had been on strike since Oct. 15.20 – Toronto author Michael Redhill won the $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel “Bellevue Square.”20 – Nebraska regulators approved an alternate route through the state for TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline. It was the last major regulatory hurdle facing the $10-billion, 1,897-kilometre project.21 – Royal Bank of Canada became the first Canadian lender to be added to the international Financial Stability Board’s list of global systemically important banks, which are deemed too big to fail.21 – CBS News and PBS announced they were terminating their relationship with Charlie Rose after several women accused him of sexual misconduct.21 – David Cassidy, the teen and pre-teen idol who starred in the 1970s sitcom “The Partridge Family” and sold millions of records as the musical group’s lead singer, died at age 67. Cassidy, who announced earlier in the year that he had been diagnosed with dementia, was admitted to a Florida hospital days earlier due to organ failure.21 – Ride-hailing service Uber came clean about its coverup of a year-old security breach that saw hackers steal the personal information of 57 million customers around the world. Uber acknowledged paying the hackers $100,000 to destroy the stolen information. It did not say how many Canadians were affected.24 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized on behalf of the government of Canada for abuse and cultural losses to former students at five residential schools in Newfoundland and Labrador. They had been left out of a compensation package and national apology in 2008 by former prime minister Stephen Harper, but the Liberal government offered in 2016 to settle a class-action lawsuit for $50 million.24 – The South African Supreme Court of Appeal more than doubled the six-year prison sentence that double-amputee Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius received for the Valentine’s Day 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He will now serve 13 years and five months and be eligible for parole in 2023.24 – Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as president of Zimbabwe. He was fired as vice-president by President Robert Mugabe on Nov. 6 but returned to Zimbabwe after a military takeover that forced Mugabe to resign after nearly four decades in power.24 – Islamic extremists opened fire on worshippers inside a mosque in Egypt’s North Sinai Peninsula, killing 305 people and injuring 128 others.25 – The Western Mustangs capped a perfect season and ended a 23-year Vanier Cup drought with a 39-17 victory over the Laval Rouge et Or in the U Sports football championship.26 – In the 105th Grey Cup on a snowy night in Ottawa, the Toronto Argonauts kicked a field goal with 53 seconds left to take their first lead of the game and followed that with an end zone interception to secure a 27-24 win over the favoured Calgary Stampeders. Two Grey Cup records were set: Argos QB Ricky Ray and receiver DeVier Posey hooked up for a 100-yard TD reception and Argos defensive back Cassius Vaughn recovered a fumble and returned it 110 yards for a touchdown. Ray also became the first starting quarterback to win a fourth championship.27 – Buckingham Palace announced Prince Harry, the fifth in line to the British throne, had become engaged to American actress/humanitarian campaigner Meghan Markle. The wedding is to take place in May 2018.27 – Torstar Corp. and Postmedia Network Inc. announced they had exchanged a total of 41 publications and would stop publishing all but five of them, resulting in 291 job losses. The closed papers include long-standing publications such as the Barrie Examiner, the Orillia Packet and Times, as well as smaller publications such as the Stratford City Gazette and the Thorold Niagara News.28 – Karim Baratov, a Canadian citizen born in Kazakhstan, pleaded guilty in a San Francisco court to nine charges stemming from a massive breach at Yahoo that authorities said was directed by Russian intelligence agents and affected about 500 million user accounts.28 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized for past state-sanctioned discrimination against members of the LGBTQ2 community in Canada. The apology was accompanied by a $145 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit.29 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Sheilah Martin to the Supreme Court of Canada, to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin on Dec. 15.29 – NBC News fired longtime “Today” show host Matt Lauer for “inappropriate sexual behaviour.”29 – Warner Bros. Television Group fired Andrew Kreisberg, executive producer for several Vancouver-shot superhero shows, following allegations of sexual harassment from 19 former and current employees.29 – Convicted Croat war criminal Slobodan Praljak died after swallowing poison just after his 20-year sentence for involvement in crimes during the Bosnian war of the 1990s was upheld by appeals judges at a UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague.30 – Jim Nabors, who starred as Gomer Pyle on TV’s “The Andy Griffith Show” and then on his own popular spinoff, died at age 87. He was also known for his rich baritone voice, recording more than two dozen albums and singing with the Dallas and St. Louis symphony orchestras.—DECEMBER 20171 – Former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, becoming the first Trump White House official to face criminal charges and admit guilt so far in special counsel Robert Mueller’s wide-ranging investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.1 – The Federal Court of Appeal upheld a ruling from the Competition Tribunal that Canada’s largest real estate board must allow its realtor members to make home sales data available online, dismissing a Toronto Real Estate Board appeal.3 – Metropolitan Opera suspended conductor James Levine after the New York Times published accounts from three accusers who said that Levine sexually abused them when they were teenagers. A fourth accuser later came forward.4 – Jeff Glor made his debut as anchor of “The CBS Evening News.”5 – Streaming service Spotify announced that Ed Sheeran was its most-streamed artist of 2017 with 6.3 billion streams. Sheeran’s “Divide” album was the most-streamed, with 3.1 billion, and his “Shape of You” was the top song, with 1.4 billion streams.5 – The International Olympic Committee barred the Russian team from competing at the games in South Korea in February as punishment for the country’s doping violations when it hosted the 2014 Sochi Games. Clean Russian athletes will be able to compete under the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia.” If they win gold, the Olympic flag would be raised and the Olympic anthem played to honour their victories.5 – Grammy-winning singer-songwriter John Mayer underwent an emergency appendectomy, subsequently postponing several upcoming concert dates with Dead & Company — made up of former Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann.6 – The Silence Breakers — those who shared their stories about sexual misconduct by numerous high-profile men in entertainment, media, business, politics and sports and helped to spawn the #MeToo movement — were collectively named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.6 – Johnny Hallyday, France’s biggest rock star for more than half a century, died at age 74. Dubbed the French Elvis, he sold more than 100 million records. France honoured him with an exceptional funeral procession down the Champs-Elysees and a presidential speech by Emmanuel Macron.6 – President Donald Trump shattered decades of unwavering U.S. neutrality on Jerusalem, declaring the sorely divided holy city as Israel’s capital. In the fallout, thousands of Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli forces in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, while demonstrators in the Gaza Strip burned U.S. flags and pictures of Trump in a show of rage.7 – Minnesota Sen. Al Franken announced he would resign from Congress following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations and the collapse of support from his Democratic colleagues, a swift political fall for a once-rising Democratic star.7 – The Moose Jaw Times-Herald (Sask.) published its final edition, closing down after more than 125 years in the business. It was founded as a weekly paper in 1889 and went daily in 1906.7 – The Australian Parliament voted to allow same-sex marriage across the nation, with the law to take effect in early January 2018. Gay marriage was endorsed by 62 per cent of Australian voters who responded to the government-commissioned postal ballot.7 – The National Energy Board released its decision to allow Kinder Morgan Canada to bypass some bylaws in Burnaby, B.C. that stand in the way of its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. It was met with outrage with those opposed to the project calling it overreach, and welcomed by proponents who said it was for the good of the country.8 – Former national ski coach Bertrand Charest was sentenced to a 12-year prison term after being found guilty in June of sexually assaulting the teenage girls he trained dating back more than 20 years. (He was denied bail pending his appeal.)9 – Toronto FC avenged 2016’s MLS Cup final penalty shootout loss to Seattle by dominating the Sounders 2-0 in the championship rematch at BMO Field, becoming the first Canadian team to win the soccer title.9 – World premiere of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” in Los Angeles. (The eighth episode in the beloved space opera franchise took in $220 million in its first weekend in North American theatres — the second-best opening ever behind only its predecessor, “The Force Awakens” ($248.8 million)).10 – Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 506 yards, becoming the first pivot in NFL history to top 500 yards passing three times in his career.10 – The first-ever futures contract for the digital currency bitcoin began trading at 5 p.m. CST, with the January contract opening at $15,000 and ending the initial trading day 20 per cent higher at $18,545.11 – Irish rockers U2 scored their eighth No. 1 album when “Songs of Experience” debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart. They became the only group, and fourth act, to have No. 1 albums in each of the past four decades. The others: Janet Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand.11 – Mario Batali surrendered oversight of daily operations at his restaurant empire following reports of sexual misconduct by the celebrity chef involving at least four women, three of whom worked for Batali, over a period of at least 20 years.11 – The Liberals won three of four ridings in the federal byelections. Jean Yip retained Toronto’s Scarborough-Agincourt that had been held by her late husband, Arnold Chan, while Churence Rogers held onto the safe seat of Bonavista-Burin-Trinity (in N.L.) and Gordie Hogg snatched the B.C. riding of South Surrey-White Rock from the Conservatives. Rosemarie Falk held onto the Conservative riding of Battlefords-Lloydminster (in Sask.)12 – San Francisco-based ride-hailing service Lyft launched in Toronto, its first expansion outside the United States.12 – Ottawa announced it will buy 18 used F-18 fighters from Australia as a stop-gap as it launches a full competition with a national “economic interest” requirement to replace its aging CF-18s with 88 new fighters by as early as 2025. The government had ditched plans to buy 18 Super Hornet jet fighters from Boeing after the U.S. aerospace giant filed a trade complaint against Canadian plane maker Bombardier.12 – Pat DiNizio, lead singer and songwriter of the New Jersey rock band Smithereens, died at age 62. The group, formed in 1980 and peaked in the late ’80s-early ’90s, blended catchy melodies and grinding guitars on hits like “Blood and Roses” and “A Girl Like You.”13 – Iconic singer Nina Simone and New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi led the 2018 class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, that also included The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues and gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe. (They will be inducted on April 14 in Cleveland.)13 – Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which already owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC, announced the addition of Grey Cup champions Toronto Argonauts to its portfolio.13 – Canadian actor Bruce Gray, who was a prolific presence on the stage and screen with roles including an investment banker on the series “Traders” and the hapless father of the groom in the film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” died of cancer at age 81.14 – Walt Disney Co. announced it was buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about US$52.4 billion in stock, including film and television studios and cable and international TV businesses.14 – PBS suspended radio and TV host Tavis Smiley after finding what it called “troubling allegations” of sexual misconduct, making him the second high-profile star (Charlie Rose) to be ousted from a network known for its high-brow, genteel programming.15 – Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin retired from the Supreme Court of Canada after 28 years on the court, including almost 18 years as chief. McLachlin, 74, was the first woman to hold the top job on the high court and Canada’s longest-serving chief justice. (On Dec. 18, Richard Wagner, 60, took the oath of office as chief justice.)15 – Pharmaceutical billionaires and philanthropists, Apotex founder Barry Sherman and his wife Honey, were found dead in their north Toronto mansion. He was 75, she was 70.16 – A Toronto jury found Dellen Millard and Mark Smich guilty of first-degree murder in the 2012 killing of 23-year-old Laura Babcock whose body was never found. It’s believed they burned her body in an animal incinerator that was found on Millard’s farm in 2013 as part of the Tim Bosma murder investigation where both were convicted of first-degree murder.16 – The Ottawa Senators defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 in the NHL 100 Classic outdoor game at TD Place in Ottawa, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the league’s first games played on Dec. 19, 1917.16 – Keely Smith, a pop and jazz singer known for her solo recordings of jazz standards as well as her musical partnership with Louis Prima, died at age 89. Smith got her first paying job singing with the Earl Bennett band when she was just 15. She later auditioned to sing with Louis Prima’s band, and began touring with them in 1948. She and Prima married in 1953, and together they won a Grammy for their hit, “That Old Black Magic” in 1959.17 – Hunter Harrison, the plain-spoken, gruff American who rewrote the Canadian railroading book during his years heading both of this country’s largest railways, died at age 73.17 – Finance Minister Bill Morneau was voted Canadian Press 2017 Business Newsmaker of the Year, first by introducing a contentious tax-reform plan that enraged business owners, doctors and tax experts followed by ethical questions over how he handled his substantial personal assets after coming into office.18 – The high-profile closure and ensuing controversies helped make Sears Canada’s demise the Canadian Press 2017 Business News Story of the Year.18 – An Amtrak train on its inaugural run along a new high-speed bypass derailed south of Seattle as it curved on a bridge, hurtling some rail cars onto an interstate highway below. Three people were killed and dozens injured. There were no fatalties from the seven vehicles hit on the highway.19 – Gord Downie, the late Tragically Hip frontman, was chosen Canadian Press 2017 Newsmaker of the Year for the second consecutive year. He died of brain cancer in October but used every opportunity in his final months to speak out in support of Indigenous people in Canada. He established the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund to provide small grants to, in part, promote Indigenous education in schools.19 – George Weston Ltd. and Loblaw Companies Ltd. revealed that both the bakery owner and grocer participated in an industry-wide bread price-fixing arrangement from late 2001 until March 2015, but will receive immunity after tipping off Canada’s competition watchdog.19 – A Canadian woman was among 12 people killed when a bus carrying cruise ship passengers to the Mayan ruins flipped over on a narrow highway in eastern Mexico. Her husband and two young daughters were among the 20 injured.19 – The Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Carolina Hurricanes 8-1 in the Next Century Game in Toronto to kick off the second century of NHL hockey.20 – Justin Trudeau became the first prime minister found to have violated federal conflict of interest rules. Federal ethics commissioner Mary Dawson concluded Trudeau violated the rules regarding two vacations in 2016 at the private Bahamian island owned by the Aga Khan. Moreover, she found Trudeau didn’t properly recuse himself on two occasions in May 2016 from private meetings about the Aga Khan and a $15-million grant to the billionaire philanthropist’s endowment fund of the Global Centre for Pluralism.21 – A Halifax jury found Christopher Garnier guilty of second-degree murder and interfering with a dead body following the 2015 death of off-duty police officer Catherine Campbell.21 – Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Enberg, who got his big break with UCLA basketball and went on to call Super Bowls, Olympics, Final Fours and Angels and Padres baseball games, died at age 82.25 – Canada moved to expel a Venezuelan diplomat from the country and strip his credentials in retaliation after his Canadian counterpart was kicked out of the South American nation.26 – Johnny Bower, 93, two-time Vezina Trophy winner who helped the Toronto Maple Leafs win their last Stanley Cup championship in 1967, died.28 – The Nova Scotia government announced an inquiry into the deaths of former soldier Lionel Desmond and his family nearly a year after Desmond shot his wife, daughter and mother before turning the gun on himself.28 – Sue Grafton, author of the bestselling “alphabet series” of mystery novels, died in Santa Barbara, Calif. She was 77.28 – Apple apologized for secretly slowing down older iPhones, a move it said was necessary to avoid unexpected shutdowns related to battery fatigue.29 – Canada lost 4-3 in a shootout to the United States in international hockey’s first outdoor game in Orchard Park, N.Y.30 – Montreal’s La Presse published its final print edition after more than 133 years. The French-language newspaper will continue to publish content on its digital platforms.—
MONTREAL – More and more Canadian municipalities will be faced with the decision whether to permanently close natural outdoor rinks because of warmer winter temperatures, says one environmental studies professor.Robert McLeman’s comment Thursday came after the City of Montreal announced the closure of the popular Beaver Lake rink.“Climate change is a reality now and what we’re seeing with Beaver Lake is just one of the smaller but significant impacts of this trend of warming temperatures (and) milder winters,” the Wilfrid Laurier University professor said in an interview.“It’s moving most quickly in southern Ontario, Quebec and into the Maritimes and a little bit slower out West.”Skating on the historic Beaver Lake rink was a popular winter pastime for decades but the city is shuttering the facility because of climate change and constantly shifting winter temperatures that make it impossible to keep the surface safe.“With global warming, we had a terrible year last year in terms of ice melting,” said Luc Ferrandez, who oversees parks and greenspace on the city’s executive committee.“In fact, it was the worst year ever —we went from 100 days of opening per year to 37.”Many days when the rink was open, conditions weren’t ideal and city vehicles that were used to maintain the ice would occasionally fall through.“We can’t afford that kind of risk on Mount Royal,” Ferrandez said, adding snow is being left on the ice to keep people off.The rink did not open this season.McLeman is co-founder of RinkWatch, a research project Wilfrid Laurier launched five years ago to monitor long-term impacts of climate change by studying ice rink data from across North America.His colleagues took some of the collected data and put it into a climate model to forecast future skating seasons.“What we’ve seen is in Montreal, for example, in the second half of this century (after 2050), skating season will shrink by probably a third, maybe up to 40 per cent,” McLeman said. “Out West, say Calgary for example, it would be about 20 to 25 per cent.”It leaves many municipalities with a hard choice: maintain outdoor rinks with shrinking seasons or spend big on expensive refrigerated rinks and indoor arenas.An outdoor rink requires an average daily temperature of -5 C to be maintained.“Even at -4 C, you won’t be able to skate on it,” McLeman said.“Which is what creates that paradox: it’s still cold and below freezing outside but it’s not cold enough to have a rink and that’s sort of the type of regime we’re moving into with climate change.”Further complicating problems in Montreal was that in 2012, the city started a three-year project deepening Beaver Lake, an artificial basin, to about seven metres — a process that has made it even harder to make a proper rink.Ferrandez said lowering water levels as proposed by one community group would make it too steep for skaters and make it more difficult for maintenance equipment to reach the ice.A smaller refrigerated ice rink near the chalet on Mount Royal remains open.Mayor Valerie Plante said she was disappointed with the closure, but called the decision a security issue.Ferrandez said it’s a priority for the administration to find a new site on the mountain for a natural rink by next winter.That, says McLeman, is good news for skating enthusiasts, as the experience is worlds apart from skating indoors.“Absolutely not the same,” he said. “For anyone who has skated outside on Beaver Lake or the Rideau Canal, there’s no comparison.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the basin was two metres deep
HALIFAX – Halifax Mayor Mike Savage says Nova Scotia has to do more to confront systemic racism, calling the toxic work environment at a municipal transit garage detailed by a human rights inquiry “very disappointing.”“We live in a province where there has been systemic racism against African Nova Scotians,” Savage said in an interview Thursday. “We have had issues within the city like all organizations and orders of government.”He added: “We all have to do better.”In a decision released this week, a Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission board of inquiry found that a bus mechanic married to a black woman with Aboriginal band status was subjected to unchecked racial discrimination and harassment.Independent board chairwoman Lynn Connors said Halifax is “vicariously liable” for allowing a “racist” bully to run rampant at Halifax Transit.The allegations against Arthur Maddox, who is no longer with the municipality, included a message scrawled on the men’s bathroom wall, which said “all minorities not welcome; show you care, burn a cross.” It was signed by “a member of the Baby Hitler.”Maddox is also quoted as allegedly saying “racism should be a law that you can shoot somebody and get away with it.”Savage said the city did the right thing when it dismissed the main perpetrator of the racial slurs and intimidation in 2001, but that he returned to work after an appeal.Connors said in her decision that the city had argued that its hands were tied by the sunset clause of the collective agreement.A city spokesman said the municipality had conducted its own workplace investigation prior to the human rights complaint.“That investigation substantiated many of the same allegations and resulted in a number of recommendations which were acted on at the time,” Nick Ritcey said in an email. “When the complaint was made to the (human rights commission) we attempted to settle the complaint but were unsuccessful.”The city also tried to have Maddox added as a party at the inquiry to answer for his conduct, he said.But Ritcey said this was opposed by the commission and the transit union, leaving the city responsible for the employee’s conduct.“We accept the findings of the board of inquiry and will continue our efforts to eliminate any form of discrimination in the workplace,” he said.Halifax put forward a defence based on freedom of expression, arguing that the comments and dialogues of co-workers fell within the scope of constitutionally protected expression.But Ritcey said Thursday that the freedom of speech argument was only made in relation to allegations that were not “racial in nature.”Jacques Dube, chief administrative officer for the municipality, issued an apology Tuesday to the complainant and his family.Dube said he is committed to a harassment-free workplace where all people are treated with dignity and respect.The municipality said it has taken steps to “build a culture of diversity and inclusion” through training and engagement with the African Nova Scotian community.The complaint about racism at the transit yard was originally filed with the provincial human rights commission nearly 12 years ago, in July 2006.A hearing is set for Monday to discuss the awarding of damages or assignment of mandated training.
OTTAWA – Canada’s spy agency ended its investigation of right-wing extremism 10 months before a gunman killed six worshippers at a Quebec City mosque, a new report reveals.The federal spy watchdog says the Canadian Security Intelligence Service reopened the probe following the shooting.Alexandre Bissonnette, 28, pleaded guilty in March to six charges of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder in the Quebec mosque attack.The Security Intelligence Review Committee’s annual report, tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, says CSIS characterizes right-wing extremism in Canada as a complex range of groups and individuals — from white nationalists and anti-gay forces to anti-Semites and people opposed to immigration.An internal CSIS review found the most of these activities amounted to — or were close to — lawful protest, advocacy or dissent, not threats to national security. As a result, the spy service concluded “the current threat environment no longer met the threshold of a CSIS investigation.”CSIS also determined the threat was being appropriately addressed by police, and questioned the additional value of its own efforts.The review committee looked at CSIS’s activities since 2012 with respect to right-wing extremism investigations as well as the impact, if any, of the January 2017 killings on the spy service’s work.Following the mosque attack, the review committee has seen CSIS “engage more extensively and frequently” with the RCMP and other law enforcement partners to better understand the threat posed by right-wing extremism that would fall under CSIS’s mandate, the report says.“According to CSIS, violence is usually infrequent, unplanned, and opportunistic, and is carried out by individuals rather than groups.”Overall, the committee found that CSIS activities conducted during the period of Jan. 1, 2012, to June 30, 2017, complied with the CSIS Act and ministerial direction on intelligence priorities.CSIS activities were also consistent with the authorities and limitations set out in its targeting policy, the report says.Partnerships with police and law enforcement agencies in Quebec and elsewhere — along with other, unspecified investigative tools at CSIS’s disposal — played an important part in the investigation, the report adds.“Besides helping to maintain awareness, these tools were valuable in investigating right-wing extremism activities that may present a threat to the security of Canada, including, for example, hate crimes against Muslims.”Conscious of recent events, including white-supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va., the review committee plans to revisit the issue “in the medium term.”— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter
FREDERICTON – Health care was the dominant issue Friday as New Brunswick’s political parties fought for the public’s attention heading into the first weekend of the campaign for the Sept. 24 provincial election.Premier Brian Gallant used the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton as a backdrop to announce a big-ticket plank in his election platform.Gallant said a re-elected Liberal government would spend $100 million per year for four years on equipment purchases and upgrades to hospitals.“These investments in our hospital infrastructure will create good construction jobs, will help our health-care professionals provide the best care possible and will demonstrate to New Brunswickers that we understand how important their health-care system is to their quality of life,” Gallant said, flanked by his Fredericton area candidates.Gallant detailed a list of projects made possible by $336 million in spending by his government over the last four years.“When a family member is sick or injured there’s really nothing else that matters than making sure they get the health care they need and in a timely fashion,” Gallant said.Later, during a campaign stop in Grand Falls, Gallant said a re-elected Liberal government would prevent the closure of any hospitals in New Brunswick and would set up a dedicated fund of $50 million over 10 years to invest in modernizing the infrastructure and technology of the province’s rural hospitals.“As long as I’m your premier and we’re your government, no rural hospital in New Brunswick will be closed,” Gallant said.Gallant has been repeating that no-closure pledge for the last two years.He said his government would also add additional services to rural hospitals where there is under-used space to help reduce crowding and wait times elsewhere in the health system.Meanwhile, Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs said there’s more to health care than just investing in bricks and mortar.“It’s a change in focus from creating an economic development model — which the government seems to think works through tax dollars and simply building more — versus taking the money and putting it into people so that we can do more,” he said.Higgs said, if elected, his government would reshape aging care.Speaking in Moncton, he said a Tory government would consult with seniors about how they want to live, and provide supports so they can remain in their own homes longer.“We need to encourage a home-care model where people can come to homes and provide that service as opposed to when they don’t need to be in a special care home or a nursing home,” Higgs said.Higgs says he would protect seniors’ assets and pay home-care workers a fair wage but didn’t offer specifics.Gallant is quick to defend his record in seniors care, saying his government has a plan to add 1,000 nursing home and memory care beds, and make over $100 million in renovations to existing nursing homes over the next five years.“We have secured an investment of $75 million over three years by the federal government to create an aging pilot program in our province designed to improve the quality of care for seniors in our province,” Gallant said.The other party leaders spent Friday campaigning in their ridings.The People’s Alliance officially launches its campaign Saturday, while the Green Party plans a platform release on Monday.
OTTAWA – Canada’s national unemployment rate was 6.0 per cent in August. Here are the jobless rates last month by province (numbers from the previous month in brackets):— Newfoundland and Labrador 14.4 per cent (15.4)— Prince Edward Island 9.3 (9.5)— Nova Scotia 8.4 (8.0)— New Brunswick 8.3 (7.5)— Quebec 5.6 (5.6)— Ontario 5.7 (5.4)— Manitoba 5.8 (6.0)— Saskatchewan 6.7 (6.6)— Alberta 6.7 (6.7)— British Columbia 5.3 (5.0)
OTTAWA — Canadian diplomats have been granted consular access to Michael Spavor, one of two Canadians arrested in China earlier this week.In a statement, Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor today.The department says Canadian officials will assist Spavor and his family on an ongoing basis, but provided no other details.On Friday, McCallum met with detainee Michael Kovrig, who is on a leave of absence from Global Affairs.Spavor and Kovrig were taken into custody days after Canadian authorities arrested leading senior Chinese executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver so she can be extradited to the U.S. to face fraud charges.Global Affairs says today that Canadian consular officials are also continuing to provide services to Kovrig and his family.The Canadian Press
Here’s what the quest for home ownership in Canada can feel like: In the country’s most desirable cities, it costs more than most people can afford to own a halfway decent home. In communities near those places, families pushed down the highway are driving prices higher in places that should be safe refuges from the price wars in Toronto and Vancouver. In smaller towns, you can afford a lovely home — if you can find work. It can seem like a no-win situation.Governments in Canada have tried several things to stabilize the market-especially in hot zones. Has any of it worked? As the usually robust spring season begins, are there any signs the hottest markets are cooling? How fraught with emotion can the homebuying process be in markets with high prices and low inventory? And will you, you know, ever own a house?GUEST: Sarah Niedoba, Maclean’s, LivablAudio Playerhttp://media.blubrry.com/thebigstory/s/radio.pmd.rogersdigitalmedia.com/podcasts/thebigstory/tbs_04242019.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on iTunes or Google Play.You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.
“In support of the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor — two Canadians that are being held hostage by the Chinese right now,” he says.The prime minister is also expected to push gender equality issues and be a strong voice on the topic of climate change as the leaders address the Amazon wildfires.The European Union and Germany have already backed French President Emmanuel Macron’s call to put the Amazon fires on the agenda for the meeting in Biarritz.However, there may be no final declaration as leaders try to avoid a repeat of last year in Quebec, where President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the communiqué in a Twitter attack from Air Force One.“I think it would be a sad reflection if the leading democracies can’t reach consensus,” Robertson admits.The summit wraps up on Sunday.-With files from The Associated Press Security squeeze in French resort for G-7 leaders’ summit OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on his way to France for this weekend’s G-7 summit with other world leaders.He will have a lot on his agenda but it’s not clear if the world leaders will come to any consensus at this gathering.China is not at the table for this meeting, but it will be the subject of conversation on several fronts, according to one expert.“The big issue is the China-U.S. ongoing trade dispute which is having collateral damage around the world,” Colin Robertson with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute explains. “Then there’s a whole series of other issues, including what’s going on in Hong Kong, and do the G-7 leaders take a stand?”Trudeau may even try to seek a united statement from Canada’s allies.Related articles: Trump, G-7 leaders to open summit focused on world economy