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TORONTO STAR

Barrie woman’s suicide leaves sexual assault case in jeopardy (mar., 17 janv. 2017)
BARRIE — On June 30, 2016, 20-year-old Kassidi Coyle went to the drive-in with two friends and spent the night at one of their homes. In the early hours of the next morning, police were called and 38-year-old Shawn Roy, visiting from Quebec, was arrested and charged with sexual assault. Four months later, Kassidi died by suicide, leaving her family and friends devastated and fixed on one question: Will her alleged attacker still face a trial? According to those closest to her, Kassidi changed after July 1. “It was like day and night,” her mother, Judi Coyle, said. “That friendly, bubbly Kassidi was gone.” Kassidi, the youngest of four sisters, had been strong, spontaneous, kind and outgoing, the life of every party. She planned to become a nurse. She was a girly-girl with always flawless makeup. She sang country music purposely off-key to annoy her mom. After the alleged sexual assault, she became quiet and withdrawn. She stopped wanting to leave her home or even her room. “It got to the point where we didn’t even recognize her,” said Emily Anderson, one of her best friends. Anderson said Kassidi began having recurring nightmares. “Whenever I asked her about them, she’d say she just pictured it happening over and over again . . . she was losing her mind really, she was,” Anderson said. Two weeks after the alleged sexual assault, she made her first suicide attempt by taking pills, according to Coyle. It took Kassidi three days to wake up from a coma. When she did, her mother said, the first thing she wrote on the board by her bed was: “I want to die.” She tried to kill herself two more times before Oct. 27. That was the night her mother went into her room to check on her and found her barely breathing. Medical staff were able to restart her heart, but it was too late for her brain. She died on Nov. 1. It was 16 days before her first scheduled counselling appointment at Athena’s Sexual Assault Counselling and Advocacy Centre in Barrie. That was the earliest available date, Coyle said, though the alleged assault took place on July 1. “They say she saved six lives (through organ donation) and I said if she’d been an ICU nurse, if she’d been a nurse period – if she’d made it further in life – she would have saved a lot more,” Coyle said. “She would have saved so many more lives.” Coyle’s grief has become intertwined with her desire to see Roy face justice. “What is it going to hurt if you put it before a judge or jury? The jury may say he’s not guilty. But at least we will know that we tried. Let her have the chance of having her case heard, after her death. . . . You prosecute a murderer even though the victim isn’t alive to testify.” On Monday, the publication ban on Kassidi’s identity was lifted by the court at Coyle’s request. Kassidi’s case returns to court in February, when a trial date might be set. If there is a trial, it would be before a judge, not a jury. Coyle said Kassidi gave multiple video statements to the police, as did others who were at the home that night. A rape kit was also done. But without Kassidi to take the stand to testify and be cross-examined about what happened that night, Coyle is concerned that the future of the case is in jeopardy. Roy’s lawyer, David Wilcox, said his client maintains he did not commit the alleged sexual assault. “Obviously this is a tragedy. This young woman has taken her own life. We will never know why she did that or to what extent she was thinking clearly. We will just never know,” Wilcox told the Star. “We are just waiting now while the Crown reviews the evidence to see if it is sufficient to continue in the absence of the complainant.” Cross-examination is the “most effective weapon that any accused person has in defending a criminal charge,” he said. He referred to the cross-examination of the three complainants in Jian Ghomeshi’s sexual assault trial as an example. “Until the defence lawyer had the opportunity to cross-examine those complainants, the prevailing view was he was going to be convicted,” Wilcox said. “It is difficult to imagine a fair trial in the absence of a right to confront and cross-examine a complainant, but again it is not an absolute because there are ways a Crown can try to bring a case to trial in the absence of a complainant.” Legal experts agree that proceeding with a sexual assault trial where a complainant cannot testify is unusual, but not unheard of. In a 2015 case in Toronto, a sexual assault trial proceeded after the complainant died by suicide. The prosecution relied on a security video of the alleged sexual assault. The accused man was acquitted. “It is difficult enough with the complainant alive and ready to testify,” said Amanda Dale, executive director of the Barbra Schlifer Clinic, a legal clinic for women who experience violence. Although a complainant can be the best Crown witness in a sexual assault case, there may be other forms of evidence that the prosecution can present. A suicide note or medical records could be used to argue a suicide is an aggravating factor or to show a complainant’s behaviour was consistent with someone who had been sexually assaulted. On the other hand, the defence “might use her suicide as a bias factor in the interest of justice and also argue lack of evidence as she not there to testify,” Dale said, speaking generally. Much may hinge on whether statements a complainant has made to police are admissible at a trial, something that depends on whether a judge finds they are reliable and necessary, said criminal law professor Robert Currie at the Schulich School of Law. Lawyer Joanna Birenbaum said that “in general it is appropriate for the Crown to proceed when the complainant has given statements under oath to the police.” “In principle, persons who perpetrate sexual violence should not automatically be free from prosecution because the complainant has died, especially when the complainant’s death was a direct result of the trauma of the sexual assault,” said Birenbaum, who is not involved in this case. Kassidi’s mother said she is haunted by what-ifs. What if she had checked on Kassidi sooner on the night she overdosed? What if she’d realized some of the things Kassidi was doing that made her seem like she was getting better were actually signs she was still suicidal? What if Kassidi hadn’t been discharged from the hospital? What if she’d been able to speak to a counsellor sooner? “That’s the way rape is. It starts out here and it ripples, ripples, ripples through everything. Every family member. Every friend. It creates almost like a perfect storm,” Coyle said. “I still can’t believe she is dead, I keep thinking she is going to come home and say, ‘Kidding.’ ” Coyle said more support and more funding for sexual assault victims and for mental health is required across the country, and more education so that family and friends know how to help their loved ones. Anderson agreed. In some ways she believes Kassidi’s final overdose was an attempt to be hospitalized again and access the help she felt she wasn’t able to get otherwise. “I think she was conditioned to think this is the only way to get the help that I need,” Anderson said. “I don’t think she meant to die.”
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Jose Bautista’s bat appears to be back with $40M deal: Arthur (mar., 17 janv. 2017)
At some point Toronto started thinking of Jose Bautista in the context of moments, and which one would be the last one. The Bat Flip was one thing; the Contract Negotiation was something else entirely. In the 2016 playoffs he did smash the one home run against Baltimore, and one against the Texas Rangers, and the Jays beat the two teams in baseball that hated him most. He ended the season stranded at second base against Cleveland; it was one last hit in a mostly miserable playoffs. The crowd had chanted his name, and he had delivered, one more time. And everyone figured that was the end. “That was nice to see,” Bautista said that day, as the clubhouse was silently starting to be packed up. “It’s great. I used to see specks of it here and there on opening days and Canada Days, and you knew the potential was there, but nobody wants to root for a loser.” Now, unexpectedly, Jose Bautista appears to be back. It has been reported as a one-year deal plus a mutual option that could total approximately $40 million U.S. It has the feeling of the last call at a lonely bar, sure: Bautista’s dreams of an earned payday have been deferred, at the least, and the Jays couldn’t figure out how to attain their stated goals: get younger, get more athletic, get more left-handed bats. And so after wandering around — watching Edwin Encarnacion sign in Cleveland, watching a market neither side seemed to fully grasp until it fully formed — the relationship isn’t over. MORE ON THESTAR.COM Bautista and Jays both need another seasonEND Jose Bautista close to signing with Blue Jays Will it work? Well, Bautista is 36, and since Kendrys Morales gets put in the field about as often as your car gets put in the swimming pool — both are bad ideas — Bautista is going to have to play a lot of right field. His numbers dropped last year: His strikeout rate neared 20 per cent, his isolated power number dropped, his batting average was the lowest of his full-time career. In right field, he was suddenly an adventure, and his once-fearsome arm wasn’t the same. He suffered from turf toe and a sprained knee. His bat speed was questioned, especially as he struck out 12 times in 33 post-season at-bats. At times, he looked like he got old. Happens to the best of ’em. Maybe he can be healthy, and be himself, and if he is close to what he was, then this lineup makes a lot more sense than it did a week ago. He has incentives. He has pride. But then, he had pride and incentives when he showed up last year and said he would not negotiate, and was demanding more than $150 million. Back when he retooled his swing after being discarded by the Pirates, it was all about the hands coming through the zone faster, which forced his lead leg to come down sooner, which quieted all the loose ends of what had been a constantly changing swing. Maybe those hands aren’t as fast as they used to be. He can still see the strike zone, but maybe he can’t get there as fast. Add the declining defence, add another year, and it could be a problem. Meanwhile, the Jays are trying to win with this ad hoc-feeling lineup that has been cobbled together with Edwin gone. Morales still seems like he was a panicky grab at designated hitter, Steve Pearce and Justin Smoak will share first unless Pearce wins out, and there are still a lot of older, right-handed bats. It’s funny; Mark Shapiro was hired to rebuild this franchise, because this was an older team whose window wasn’t unlimited. Now it still is, and it seems like the franchise is trying to run as far as it can over the canyon before it has to look down and fall. So, here they are. It seems like ownership wants the revenues to keep rolling in, and absent the kind of truly big-time payroll push that is clearly not coming, Jose Bautista is a perfectly acceptable bet. Neither side set out to find this particular arrangement. Life doesn’t always work out the way you want it to. So, may as well make the most of it. Jose Bautista has been one of Toronto’s defining athletes for nearly a decade, and this franchise is still capable of something before this era ends. Bautista shouldn’t be humbled. He shouldn’t come in meek. He should come in and try to shove it up everybody’s keister again because it’s who he has always been, inside and out. And these sides need each other, for now. If you wanted to be cynical, you would say this is a half-desperate sop to the fans who have remained restless and emotional since the transfer of power, and that Bautista stands a chance to make lousy new last memories: Not quite Willie Mays stumbling in centre field, but a lesser ending. Or, you could say that they brought back an icon, and he could be great again. This franchise is caught between instant nostalgia and an uncertain future and fans who demand glory right now, and this is the best example yet. This Jays era could crumble this season, or a season from now, or even a year after that. At some point, they’re probably going to have to take a step back. But nobody wants to root for a loser. Not again. Not yet.
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11 things we’ve already learned about Donald Trump’s presidency . . . before it’s even started (mar., 17 janv. 2017)
WASHINGTON—Donald Trump will be sworn in is as America’s 45th president on Friday with a speech he has suggested will be inspired by Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy. His transition has not been like theirs. Or anybody’s, really. Trump has raged through the two months since his victory, casting aside norms of decorum, policy and international relations while refusing to temper the anger that thrilled millions of voters while scaring much of the world. Here are 11 things his transition has taught us about the president-to-be and his looming administration: It wasn’t just rhetoric: Trump supporters and critics alike brushed off much of his campaign rhetoric as bluster, strategic metaphor to be discarded the day after the campaign. His preposterously tall Mexico wall seemed a prime example. In fact, he appears serious about building a barrier, even if it doesn’t precisely match his previous description. While he has backed off on other pledges — ripping up the Iran deal, for example — it wasn’t all nonsense. Ball of confusion: Democrats used the Senate confirmation hearings for Trump’s Cabinet nominees to grill them on his most controversial remarks. Instead of defending the boss, as nominees are usually expected to do, they simply disagreed — on Russia, on torture, on climate change, on NATO. Will his views or their views prevail? Until further notice, there’ll be an unusual degree of policy uncertainty. Expect upheaval: Forget his campaign words. During the transition alone, Trump has declared the “One China” policy up for negotiation, suggested he still thinks NATO is “obsolete,” said he doesn’t care what happened to the European Union, and expressed a desire for closer ties with Russia. For better or worse, he was signalling the dawn of a new international order, with America’s role in the world transformed. The consequences of this kind of realignment are impossible to predict. Look, a fly!: Trump has a famously short attention span. His transition conduct suggests he might have trouble focusing on the weighty matters of governance at the expense of trivialities. Exhibit A: while he has declined to receive a standard daily intelligence briefing, he has made time to weigh in on the table settings for inauguration balls. Republicans won’t stand in his way on conduct: The chairman of the House oversight committee, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, aggressively pursued investigations into the official conduct of Hillary Clinton. He is now making clear that he has no intention of spending much energy overseeing the dealings of the party mate in the Oval Office. Unless Democrats win back the House in 2018, don’t expect much checking-and-balancing from Congress . . . . . . . but Congress is where the policy action is: Trump is a master attention-monopolizer, and it’s tempting to obsess over every pronouncement and feud. The meaningful action, though, will often be in intraparty policy battles between congressional Republicans, especially as the incoming president usually has little interest in specifics. On Sunday, as Trump set Twitter alight with a vague proclamation that his Obamacare replacement would include “insurance for everybody.” Republicans were working on plans that would not do so. Resistance is possible: Republicans control the entire federal government, and Democrats are demoralized. That doesn’t mean they can’t get results. A public uproar, led by the left and joined by Trump, pressured Republicans into abandoning plans to gut an ethics watchdog. He’s no invincible juggernaut: It’s understandable if everyone is a little suspicious of polls at the moment. But national polls were pretty accurate; Trump lost the popular vote by two percentage points after trailing in the polls by three, and national polls now show him with an approval rating in the 40s, 20 points worse than his three predecessors at this stage. His base is loyal, but not big. A big error or two might make him toxic fast . . . . …but he is a formidable political force: Betting on a quick impeachment? It is more likely that Trump again proves unexpectedly successful. His command of political showmanship, evident again in his skilful claiming of credit for job creation that has little to do with him, allows him to establish powerful narratives before the facts can catch up. Ethics problems abound: Ethics-in-government experts are unanimous: to avoid conflicts of interest, Trump needs to sell his company. He isn’t doing so. His decision to merely hand over management control to his sons guarantees that there will be clashes between his private business and his official duties . . . and very possibly the constitution. Healing isn’t happening: Trump delivered a gracious victory speech in which he said “is time for us to come together as one united people.” He has made no effort to make that happen. Between mocking Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, insulting civil rights legend John Lewis and turning a Happy New Year tweet into a gloat, Trump has proven unwilling to attempt to heal the wounds of the campaign. By all indications, this will be a scorched-earth presidency.
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Federal government vows action on mercury contamination Grassy Narrows ‘once and for all’ (mar., 17 janv. 2017)
The federal government has promised action that will deal with Grassy Narrows mercury contamination “once and for all.” Working closely with the province and First Nations leaders, federal officials will address mercury contamination that has plagued the northern community for decades, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the Star late Monday. The vow of action followed requests for help from Chief Simon Fobister Sr., a New Democrat MP, and the recent publication by the Star of new test results showing contaminated land. “In light of Star reporters and volunteers from Earthroots finding mercury-contaminated soil behind the mill, we reached out to the Province of Ontario to see how we can work more closely together to address these findings,” said PMO press secretary Cameron Ahmad. Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett, along with provincial officials, will be attending a meeting with the Chief of Grassy Narrows and nearby White Dog First Nations to discuss “next steps in the process to effectively act on the mercury contamination,” the statement said. No date for the meeting was given. Last Friday, the Star published a story detailing how two reporters from the paper and volunteers from Earthroots had dug holes in a clearing behind the old paper mill in Dryden and found significantly higher-than-normal levels of mercury — nearly 80 times the level expected to be found in soil from that region of the province. That set off a chain of events, with a letter from Fobister requesting access to the site to conduct their own tests, and a stiffly worded letter from New Democrat MP Charlie Angus asking Trudeau to commit to a full cleanup. In the PMO’s statement, the spokesperson said the issue of Grassy Narrows is a priority for Bennett and Health Minister Jane Philpott, “who will continue working closely with the Province of Ontario and the First Nations to get to the bottom of the science, and the next steps necessary to deal with this issue once and for all,” said spokesperson Ahmad.  “We are all aware of the issue, and are doing our part to help remedy it.”  Experts from Environment and Climate Change Canada are currently providing advice to Ontario for how contaminated sediment in the river can be cleaned up, the prime minister’s spokesperson said. A recent Star story revealed how the walleye from the river — a staple for the northern community — are the most mercury-contaminated in the province. Fobister, frustrated with inaction, had reacted to the Star’s recent testing story and written to both Ontario Environment Minister Glen Murray and Domtar, the company that now owns the land. He wanted permission to enter the site, which is upstream from his community, to conduct tests to determine if there is a source of ongoing mercury pollution. “This site and surrounding areas need to be tested immediately so that we can . . . assess the extent of the contamination,” Fobister wrote in the letter. “It is critical that our First Nation lead those studies so that we may trust in the results.” Meanwhile, Angus (Timmins-James Bay) wrote to Trudeau asking the prime minister to meet with Grassy Narrows leaders and commit to cleaning up the mercury. Until now, much of the pressure to do something about the mercury problem in Grassy Narrows has been directed at the provincial government. The site of the old mill, Grassy Narrows, and the affected part of the English-Wabigoon River system are all in northwestern Ontario. The federal government, however, has a responsibility for the health and well-being of indigenous people in Canada, advocates say. “The community of Grassy Narrows has written to you three times over the past year to no response,” Angus says in his letter. “Your government’s disinterest (in) this social environmental catastrophe is truly shocking.” In March, May and September of last year, Grassy Narrows leaders invited Trudeau to come to their community and announce a cleanup. A Domtar spokesperson did not answer questions from the Star but said the company had responded to the chief directly. The Star obtained a copy of that letter, which says that if the province decides additional site testing is necessary, “a representative” from Grassy Narrows will be invited to “accompany and observe” the environment ministry’s work. The soil samples taken by the Star and Earthroots came from an area circled on a map by retired mill worker Kas Glowacki, who said that in 1972 he was part of a group of workers who “haphazardly” dumped drums filled with salt and mercury into a pit behind the mill. Late last year, the province’s environment minister said they had looked for the barrels and concluded they did not exist. On Monday, a ministry spokesperson said officials had already been in touch with Glowacki and Fobister “to discuss the new information and most appropriate actions going forward.” “We take this latest information seriously and will work with the community to conduct additional testing, which may include further geophysical studies and soil sampling, in the newly identified area,” said spokesperson Gary Wheeler. “This will include co-ordinating again with Grassy Narrows First Nation and Domtar for joint access to the property to undertake appropriate sampling and study work.” The contaminated soil does not prove the existence of the alleged dump site but is enough to warrant further attention from professionals, experts say. A fuller investigation, they say, would help determine whether this mercury was spilled on the ground, if it is flowing sideways through groundwater, or if it is moving up from a source below. It is also not known if this mercury is contaminating the river system. Mercury has not been used in paper production at the site in decades, and there is no suggestion that current mill operator, Domtar, several owners removed from Reed Paper, is responsible for any possible ongoing source of mercury. What is known is that between 1962 and 1970 the former paper mill — then owned by Reed Paper — dumped 10 tonnes of mercury into the Wabigoon River, contaminating the fish and sickening generations who rely on walleye as a dietary staple. Despite a call from the provincial environment minister in 1984 to clean up the river, the government of the day decided to let it clean itself up naturally. More than four decades on, dangerous and persistently high levels of mercury in the sediment and fish in the river system suggest there is an ongoing source. The river and lake near Grassy Narrows are home to the most mercury-contaminated fish in the province. Physical symptoms of mercury poisoning include loss of muscle co-ordination and tunnel vision. Fetuses are particularly vulnerable to cognitive damage, according to recent research. A recent study done by Japanese experts concluded that 90 per cent of people tested in Grassy Narrows and nearby White Dog have a symptom of mercury poisoning. Jayme Poisson can be reached at jpoisson@thestar.ca or 416-814-2725 David Bruser can be reached at dbruser@thestar.ca or 416-869-4282
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Toronto bouncer among five killed in Mexican nightclub shooting (lun., 16 janv. 2017)
Family and friends are mourning the loss of a Toronto bouncer killed in a shooting attack at an electronic music festival in Mexico’s Caribbean coast resort town of Playa del Carmen early Monday. Kirk Wilson, 49, has been identified by friends as the Canadian killed during a shooting at GTA-owned BPM Festival that left five people dead and 15 more injured. Canadian officials said at least two other Canadians were wounded in the deadly incident. Neil Forester, a Toronto event promoter who first met Wilson 20 years ago, said the city’s club community is shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of one of their beloved bouncers. Wilson, who Forester said lived in Hamilton with his wife and two children, was working security at the BPM Festival at the time of the shooting. “Kirk was just one of the nicest, friendliest guys who always put others before himself,” Forester said. “That’s why he was so well loved. He was just not your typical doorman. He was a staple in the nightclub scene as one of the friendlier guys.” Standing at six-foot-five, Wilson had an imposing figure but was known as one of the friendliest faces in Toronto’s nightclub scene. With dreads hanging down to his waist, Wilson was known to many as “Kirk with the dreads,” Forester recalled. The shooting occurred at the Blue Parrot nightclub, one of the BPM Festival’s venues in Playa del Carmen, just south of Cancun. Quintana Roo state attorney-general Miguel Angel Pech said that four of the dead appear to have been part of the security detail at the 10-day BPM electronic music festival. Pech ruled out a terror attack and said a lone gunman apparently entered the nightclub and began to exchange fire with another person inside. Festival security personnel tried to stop the shooting and came under fire. “I was thinking it was the same thing that happened in Paris, some guy just walking in and shooting people at a restaurant, bang bang bang, a terrorist attack,” said New Zealand tourist Tyler Kee, who was outside the club when shots rang out. “Everyone run, everyone was terrified, looking for their friends … We were running away and then you heard more shots fired, like you don’t know if you’re going to be shot in the back or not.” The shooting was said to have caused a rush of people heading for the exits at the beach-side club, and the lone female victim was apparently killed during the stampede. Pech said 15 people were injured, one seriously. He said five of the injured had been treated for less serious injuries at local hospitals and released. Three people had been detained nearby, but it was unclear if they had been involved in the shooting. “We know of another shooting incident that occurred near the nightclub, but we are investigating whether that is related to the nightclub shootings,” Pech said. Tributes poured in Monday from friends and colleagues who knew Wilson. Justin Meeks worked with the bouncer at the former Guvernment nightclub, and described him as a kind and caring man. “When people say he was one of the nicest guys, it may sound sort of cheesy, but that’s the definition of him,” Meeks said. “He was quiet and kept to himself, but he was humorous, and had one of the kindest, kindest hearts and souls. To find that in the club industry can be rare.” Meeks said Toronto’s nightclub community is reeling from the loss. “It’s blowing my mind,” he said. “He was such a nice guy.” INK Entertainment, a company that runs several nightclubs in Toronto, said Wilson was “a longtime employee and great friend.” “Our team is overcome with grief over this terrible tragedy, and would like to express our sincerest condolences to his family and friends for their loss. Kirk will be missed by the entire INK team,” read a statement from the company. Festival director Rajtek Pulitano of Toronto, one of a half-dozen directors of the festival, said he hadn’t heard any threats against the beach-front event. “It’s been 10 years that I’ve been doing it and this is the first,” Pulitano said. BPM — which stands for “Bartenders, Promoters and Musicians” — is a popular annual 10-day festival, co-founded by a pair of Canadians and held annually in the Mexican resort town since 2008. The BPM Festival posted a statement that said three members of their security team were killed “while trying to protect patrons inside the venue.” “We are overcome with grief over this senseless act of violence and we are cooperating fully with local law enforcement and government officials as they continue their investigation,” the BPM statement said. In a statement Monday night, Global Affairs Canada said its “thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family and friends Mr. Kirk J. Wilson who was killed in the shooting in Playa del Carmen and with all of the victims of this tragic event.” The statement also said that media reports of a second Canadian fatality were wrong and that the deceased “has been identified as not a Canadian citizen.” “Consular officials in Playa Del Carmen and Mexico City are in ongoing contact with local authorities as they continue to address this tragic incident, and are providing consular assistance to Canadian citizens affected by the incident, including two who have been injured,” spokeswoman Natasha Nystrom said in an email. With files from The Associated Press
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Icy roads expected for Tuesday morning commute across GTA (lun., 16 janv. 2017)
Prepare for icy roads, Toronto! Environment Canada has issued a freezing rain warning across the GTA with five to 10 millimetres expected beginning overnight into Tuesday’s morning rush. Environment Canada upgraded its special weather statement after an increase of the certainty of the “path and strength” of a storm system. The ice buildup threatens to paralyze highways, walkways and parking lots. Hilly roads will cause an especially difficult commute for buses and those without winter tires, meterologist Geoff Coulson said. Environment Canada is asking people to consider postponing non-essential travel Tuesday morning until conditions clear up. There is a risk of branches and electrical wires failling under the weight of ice, and a possibility that utility outages may occur. “There will be more than a few hours of freezing rain before people leave their homes,” Coulson said. Light freezing drizzle is expected to start around 9 p.m. Monday, with a steady stream of freezing rain hitting the city and the GTA at midnight until late Tuesday morning. The temperature is expected to be around -1 C early Tuesday morning, before rising to a high of 2 C. The weather Tuesday is fitting for January, but we can also expect a surprise as temperatures soar into the positive for the rest of the week — with above average highs expected for the rest of the month. “It’s not going to look much like January, it’s much milder,” Coulson said. The average high for the month is -2 C, but a high of 6 C forecasted for Wednesday, a high of 4 C on Thursday, and 5 C on Friday. Another bonus is the sunshine forecasted in addition to the mild weather.
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FBI arrests wife of Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen (lun., 16 janv. 2017)
WASHINGTON—The wife of the Orlando nightclub shooter, who was extensively questioned by federal agents in the days after the massacre, has been arrested by the FBI in connection with the attack, authorities said Monday. Noor Salman was taken into custody Monday morning in the San Francisco Bay area and is facing charges in Florida including obstruction of justice. A Twitter post from the United States attorney’s office in Orlando said Salman will make her initial court appearance Tuesday morning in Oakland, California. Noor Salman moved to California after her husband, Omar Mateen, was killed in a shootout with SWAT team members during the June 12 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. FBI agents repeatedly questioned Salman in the aftermath of the shooting about whether she had advance knowledge of her husband’s plans. Salman told The New York Times in an interview published last fall that she knew her husband had watched jihadist videos but that she was “unaware of everything” regarding his intent to shoot up the club. She also said he had physically abused her. “Noor Salman had no foreknowledge nor could she predict what Omar Mateen intended to do that tragic night,” her attorney, Linda Moreno, said in a statement. “Noor has told her story of abuse at his hands. We believe it is misguided and wrong to prosecute her and that it dishonours the memories of the victims to punish an innocent person,” Moreno said. Mateen was the only shooter, and by the time a three-hour standoff with law enforcement had ended, 49 patrons were killed and another 53 people required hospitalization. Mateen pledged allegiance to Daesh, also known as the ISIS and ISIL, in a 911 call to emergency officials during the standoff. He also made a series of Facebook posts and searches before and during the attack. Salman, who grew up northeast of San Francisco, wed Mateen in 2011 after the two met online. They lived in Fort Pierce, Florida, at the time of the shooting. Last month, Salman filed a petition in a California court to change the name of the son she had with Mateen. “We said from the beginning, we were going to look at every aspect of this, of every aspect of this shooter’s life to determine not just why did he take these actions — but who else knew about them? Was anyone else involved?” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in an MSNBC interview on Monday. The Times first reported on the arrest. Orlando Police Chief John Mina said in a statement that Salman was facing accusations of obstruction of justice and “aiding and abetting by providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.” “Nothing can erase the pain we all feel about the senseless and brutal murders of 49 of our neighbours, friends, family members and loved ones,” Mina said. “But today, there is some relief in knowing that someone will be held accountable for that horrific crime.” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he hoped the arrest “provides some comfort to the families who are mourning their loved ones,” he added.
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Top Canadian military commander Mark Norman relieved of post (lun., 16 janv. 2017)
OTTAWA—In a stunning move, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, the second-in-command of Canada’s military, has been relieved of his duties and the top general is refusing to say why. In a notice dated Jan. 13, Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff, revealed that Norman would no longer be acting as the vice-chief. “Effective immediately and until further notice, Vice-Admiral M.A.G. Norman will not exercise the powers, duties and functions, including command of the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS),” Vance said in the notice. Military experts struggled to comprehend the reason for such a dramatic personnel move that has probably cut short the career of a respected senior officer in line to be the next top general. Nor could they recall a time when someone of Norman’s rank had been abruptly bounced from their post. “I was totally shocked . . . it’s pretty unprecedented,” said Dave Perry, a senior analyst with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. One former officer called it extraordinary. “It’s never, never seen. “It’s going to send shock waves through the organization,” said the retired officer, who spoke on background because of his ongoing ties to the department. Yet Vance’s office threw a cloak of secrecy over the move, refusing to provide any more details about why Norman — once praised by Vance as an “officer and a leader” — had been removed from the vice-chief of defence staff position he assumed just six months ago. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s office also refused to shed any light on the unprecedented action, saying only that the minister supported Vance’s decision. Lt.-Col. Jason Proulx, a military spokesperson, said Monday that Vance had “temporarily relieved” Norman from the “performance of military duty” though he declined to provide any further explanation. “For the time being, he will not be carrying out the functions” of vice-chief of defence staff, Proulx said in an email. He declined to say whether Norman would still collect his salary. Military police said they were not investigating Norman. “We haven’t investigated him at all . . . . We’re not investigating,” said Maj. Jean-Marc Mercier, a spokesperson for the military police group, adding that they learned about Norman’s fate Monday morning, like everyone else. However, one military expert said that because Norman had responsibility for the military police group, it’s likely that Vance would have turned to an outside agency to conduct any investigation. Proulx refused to say whether Norman’s removal was the result of an investigation into his conduct. In the absence of an official explanation, speculation raged about what Norman could have done to warrant such a move, even in the corridors of defence headquarters where many were in the dark. The Globe and Mail reported Monday that Norman had been relieved of his duties because of alleged leaks of classified information. The defence department refused to comment on that report. The vice-chief of defence staff oversees much of the administrative work, manages resources, and supervises major capital projects, prompting Vance to joke last summer that the vice-chief “attends more meetings than anybody else, later and longer hours than anybody else.” “In other words, he does much, if not most of the heavy lifting that keeps defence running,” Vance said. The vice-chief post also has a hand in the procurement process and its multibillion-dollar capital projects for everything from new fighter jets to a fleet of warships. Norman joined the navy in 1980, worked his way through the ranks, commanded a frigate, then oversaw the navy’s Atlantic fleet before being named head of the navy in 2013. Just last August, Vance sang Norman’s praises during the change of command ceremony when the navy veteran took over the number two position. “Mark, you are an officer and a leader made for this moment,” Vance told the assembled crowd in an Ottawa armoury. Norman, Vance said, was “loyal and tireless.” “You’re the one for the job, Mark. Thank you for accepting the appointment. Thank you in advance on behalf of all of us for the amazing amount of work and quality of work,” he said. Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, currently the head of the Royal Canadian Navy, has been appointed as the interim vice-chief of defence staff.
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Former Conservative government stalwart Peter MacKay pops up at city hall (lun., 16 janv. 2017)
Peter MacKay can add Toronto charity advocate to a résumé that includes stints as a high-profile Conservative cabinet minister and leader of the defunct federal Progressive Conservative party. MacKay, a front-runner to replace Stephen Harper as Conservative leader until last September when he took himself out of the running, made a surprise, low-key appearance at Toronto city hall Monday. The longtime Nova Scotia MP was part of a delegation from Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre asking a committee for access to below-market-rent city space offered to charities and community groups. MacKay, who left politics in 2015, said in an interview he got to know Boost, a charity that brings together police and agencies to co-ordinate help for child victims of abuse and neglect, when he was federal justice minister. He was invited to join Boost’s board after reaching out to the charity. He moved his young family to Toronto last fall after commuting between Nova Scotia and his partner duties at the Bay St. law firm Baker McKenzie. MacKay said he has been concerned about the sexual exploitation of kids since he was a young Crown prosecutor. “The amount of activity now online — child luring, child pornography — it’s a very dark disturbing trend,” that is “exploding” he said. “Other areas of criminality are receding, they are going down, (but) this is going up,” he added, and the problem can’t be ignored in “Canada’s most dynamic, largest city.” MacKay’s post politics life has included volunteer work with the Special Olympics Canada and Wounded Warriors Canada, which helps ill and injured soldiers, veterans and their families. In addition to justice, MacKay, 51, also had the defence, foreign affairs and Atlantic economic portfolios in an 18-year career capped by then-prime minister Stephen Harper lionizing him as a “great person, and... a historic figure.” Toronto was never a bastion of Harper’s support, and city hall often accused MacKay’s government of giving the country’s biggest metropolis short-shrift on funding for housing, transit and more. But an amiable MacKay said he has happily settled into a home in The Beach with his wife, human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam, their son Kian, 3, and 16-month-old daughter Valentia. “Living near the water (is) a nice reminder of home and (it’s) near child-care and playgrounds and schools, grocery stores, swimming pools... those things were important in deciding where we wanted to set up. “I have a house still back home in Nova Scotia... I’ve never lived in a city of this size. To be sure, it’s a bit of a shock. Commuting and getting around this city is challenging at times, but we’re adjusting,” he said. When he announced his move to the private sector to focus on family, MacKay did not rule out a return to politics. For now, MacKay said, he remains a Conservative, has spoken to all his party’s leadership hopefuls and will not endorse a particular candidate for the May 27 vote. “I’d like to think I’m supporting all of them,” he said. The community development committee voted to ask city staff to look at finding affordable office space for Boost.
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Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch is dead wrong about Toronto: Keenan (lun., 16 janv. 2017)
A few days a week, my wife or I walk the kid who lives next door to us home from the school bus stop, because his mother’s work schedule means she can’t often make it there to meet the bus in time. It’s not a big deal — we’re there already picking up our own kids, we’re heading back to our own house anyway, and his company, if anything, just makes the trip more fun and interesting. It’s a tiny, neighbourly thing. I wouldn’t have even thought about it, except that it seems like the kind of thing Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch believes doesn’t happen in Toronto. Or I assume it is. She’s said — first a few years ago to a small-town paper, then again recently to Toronto Life — that she moved out of Toronto because our city has “no sense of community,” and that in Clearview Township, “I know it’s fine if I walk next door and ask for a cup of sugar, they are going to give me a cup of sugar. It’s the neighbourly thing to do. Living in downtown Toronto as a resident, I would never go next door and ask my neighbour for a cup of sugar. It just wouldn’t happen.” For some reason they were talking about it on the CBC again a few days ago, which is what got me thinking about it. Now, it could be she’s partly right. I don’t recall ever directly testing the “cup-of-sugar” theory. We walk a neighbour’s kid home after school, and call on some of our neighbours to babysit our kids sometimes, especially in emergencies. One neighbour gives us heaping plates of food every time his family has a barbecue. Another neighbour recently asked me for a drive to Home Depot, and one asked to borrow a kitchen knife, and another, a while back, borrowed a screwdriver. A bunch of families from my neighbourhood built and maintain a natural ice rink in the local park, and a bunch of us go over regularly in the summer for free “pop-up day camps” and Friday night sing-a-longs and general hanging out. In South Riverdale, as a kid I would knock on my neighbour’s door and be welcomed in when I locked myself out of the house. As a teenager in Scarborough, and a university student at Ryerson, and as an adult in the Annex and the Junction — in a lifetime all over Toronto — I’ve partied with neighbours, and talked with them, and exchanged favours with them. But I can’t remember any of us ever needing a cup of sugar, so I guess we can’t say for sure. But all my other experiences lead me to expect that if I needed sugar and asked, one of my neighbours would give it to me. Maybe during her time in Toronto, Leitch had a diabetic neighbour, and that’s warped her views. Who knows? Or maybe, possibly, instead of asking for a cup of sugar straight out, she introduced herself by mentioning she has 247 — or 22, or 18, or whatever the number is these days — letters after her name, so it’s not as if she’s the kind of idiot who usually needs sugar handouts. Or started interrogating them about their values to see if they were worthy of supplying her sweet tooth. Or suggested if they weren’t forthcoming with the sugar, she’d report them for un-neighbourly cultural practices. That sort of thing can set you off on the wrong foot with people, inclining them against welcoming you into their community’s embrace. Which is to say, it’s possible it wasn’t Toronto that lacked a sense of community. It’s possible it was Leitch. Because my experience of life — a life lived in Toronto — is like the phrase in The Beatles song: “And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” If you’re radiating hostility and suspicion to those around you, that’s what you get back. If you’re being friendly and helpful, you make friends and get offered help. Which isn’t to say there isn’t truth to the stereotype of Torontonians being somewhat standoffish and reserved around strangers. We do tend to keep to ourselves in public, and often avoid making small talk — or even eye contact — with strangers on the bus or in the grocery line. But I think that this is more of an urban-life defence mechanism based on both personal need and mutual respect: the city is crowded enough that, if we have to pretend we’re friends with everyone we pass in a day, we will never do anything else and never have anywhere we can feel a moment of peace to ourselves. This reserve gets interpreted (as does the habit of New Yorkers of being direct and blunt in the interests of not wasting each other’s time) by some from smaller towns as hostility. (Personally, I feel the stranger in Toronto who leaves me alone to read my book is being more polite than the stranger in some small town who interrogates me about where I’m from and then lectures me on how terrible he thinks Toronto is, but to each her own.) But when it comes to getting help and support from neighbours, and even strangers in the street, when you need it, I’ve seldom been let down. And when it comes to what you actually might call a “sense of community,” Toronto has lots of it. I feel it among my neighbours at the park, and, in the baseball and hockey leagues my kids are part of. I’ve heard stories from LGBT friends about arriving from other places where they never felt able to be open about themselves and finding what felt like an instant family after walking into Glad Day Bookstore. I used to work for a Sri Lankan restaurant owner who would tell me how he got into the business, as did so many of his friends, by plugging into an employment network of fellow immigrants with a line on dishwashing and cooking jobs. There are groups of neighbours who’ve banded together to sponsor refugees from Syria. Groups of kids who form homework clubs at libraries. Women from around the world who meet at community hubs to learn English together. Communities are everywhere you look. If you bother looking. And looking closely at Leitch’s quote again, I see what she said “just wouldn’t happen” here was herasking a neighbour for sugar. That makes more sense. You seldom find what you don’t look for, and you seldom receive what you don’t ask for. If only she’d tried it, she might have found values and practices and a culture in this city that surprised her. A neighbourly sense of community. At the very least, I’m guessing she would have gotten that cup of sugar. Edward Keenan writes on city issues ekeenan@thestar.ca . Follow: @thekeenanwire
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Istanbul nightclub gunman who killed 39 caught, Turkish media reports (lun., 16 janv. 2017)
ISTANBUL—A gunman suspected of killing 39 people during a New Year’s attack on an Istanbul nightclub has been caught in a police operation, Turkish media reports said early Tuesday. The suspect was captured in a special operations police raid on a house in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district, private NTV television reported. The broadcaster said he had been staying in the house belonging to a friend from Kyrgyzstan. Daesh, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has claimed responsibility for the nightclub massacre, saying the attack in the first hours of Jan. 1 was in reprisal for Turkish military operations in northern Syria. The man identified as the suspect had been on the run since the attack. Hurriyet newspaper and other media have identified the gunman as Abdulkadir Masharipov, an Uzbekistan national. The suspect was to undergo medical checks before being taken to police headquarters for questioning, the paper said in its online edition. Dogan news agency published what it said was the first image of the attacker. It showed a bruised, black-haired man in a grey, bloodied shirt being held by his neck. Private NTV television said the gunman had resisted arrest. NTV reported that the alleged gunman’s Kyrgyz friend and three other people also were detained. His 4-year-old child, who was with him at the home, was taken into protective custody. Hurriyet newspaper said the alleged gunman’s wife and 1-year old daughter were caught in a police operation on Jan. 12. Police established his whereabouts four or five days ago, but delayed the raid so they could monitor his movements and contacts, NTV reported. The television channel also broadcast footage showing plain-clothed police taking away a man in a white top and sweat pants, forcing his head down. The station said the images showed the gunman’s Kyrgyz friend being taken to a police vehicle. The state-run Anadolu Agency likewise reported the arrest and identified the gunman, only with a slightly different spelling of his first name, Abdulgadir. It said a Kyrgyz man and three women were detained with him Anadolu said the suspects were being taken to Istanbul’s main police headquarters for questioning. Police were carrying out raids on other suspected Daesh cells, the news agency said without providing details. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu posted a Twitter message thanking the interior minister, Suleyman Soylu, police and intelligence organizations “who caught the Reina attacker in the name of the people.” Earlier in the day, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said the Reina nightclub attack had been carried out professionally with the help of an intelligence organization, a claim he had made in the first days after the attack. He did not name the organization suspected of being involved. Hundreds of people were gathered at the swanky Reina nightclub to celebrate the end of a tumultuous 2016 only to become the first victims of 2017. The gunman shot a police officer and a civilian outside the club, then stormed the premises. Most of the dead in the attack on the upscale club were foreign nationals, from the Middle East. The gunman had reportedly left Reina in a taxi. MORE ON THESTAR.COM Milton woman killed in attack on Istanbul nightclub Daesh makes unusual claim of responsibility for Istanbul nightclub attack Istanbul on alert as search for nightclub attacker reaches fourth day Selfie video reportedly shows alleged suspect of Istanbul nightclub attack
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Eight men as rich as half the world, anti-poverty group Oxfam says (lun., 16 janv. 2017)
DAVOS, SWITZERLAND—The gap between the superrich and the poorest half of the global population is starker than previously thought, with just eight men, from Bill Gates to Michael Bloomberg, owning as much wealth as 3.6 billion people, according to an analysis by Oxfam released Monday. Presenting its findings on the dawn of the annual gathering of the global political and business elites in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, anti-poverty organization Oxfam says the gap between the very rich and poor is far greater than just a year ago. It’s urging leaders to do more than pay lip service to the problem. If not, it warns, public anger against this kind of inequality will continue to grow and lead to more seismic political changes akin to last year’s election of Donald Trump as U.S. president and Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. “It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day,” said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, who will be attending the meeting in Davos. “Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy.” Read more: Two richest Canadians as wealthy as poorest 30 per cent, report says The same report a year earlier said that the richest 62 people on the planet owned as much wealth as the bottom half of the population. However, Oxfam has revised that figure down to eight following new information gathered by Swiss bank Credit Suisse. Oxfam used Forbes’ billionaires list that was last published in March 2016 to make its headline claim. According to the Forbes list, Microsoft founder Gates is the richest individual with a net worth of $75 billion (U.S.). The others, in order of ranking, are Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of fashion house Inditex, financier Warren Buffett, Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim Helu, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York. Oxfam outlined measures that it hopes will be enacted to help reduce the inequality. They include higher taxes on wealth and income to ensure a more level playing field and to fund investments in public services and jobs, greater co-operation among governments on ensuring workers are paid decently and the rich don’t dodge their taxes. And business leaders should commit to paying their fair share of taxes and a living wage to employees. Max Lawson, Oxfam’s policy adviser, urged billionaires to “do the right thing,” and to do “what Bill Gates has called on them to do, which is pay their taxes.” The ability of the rich to avoid paying their fair share of taxes was vividly exposed last year in the so-called “Panama Papers,” a leaked trove of data that revealed details on offshore accounts that helped individuals shelter their wealth. “We have a situation where billionaires are paying less tax often than their cleaner or their secretary,” Lawson told The Associated Press. “That’s crazy.” It’s because of this kind of inequality that trust in institutions has fallen sharply since the global financial crisis of 2008, according to Edelman, one of the world’s biggest marketing firms. In its own pre-Davos survey of more than 33,000 people across 28 markets, Edelman found the largest-ever drop in trust across government, business, media and even non-governmental organizations. CEO credibility is at an all-time low and government leaders are the least trusted group, according to the survey. The firm’s 2017 Trust Barometer found that 53 per cent of respondents believe the current system has failed them in that it is unfair and offers few hopes for the future, with only 15 per cent believing it is working. That belief was evident for both the general population and those with college education. “The implications of the global trust crisis are deep and wide-ranging,” said Richard Edelman, the firm’s president and CEO. “It began with the Great Recession of 2008, but like the second and third waves of a tsunami, globalization and technological change have further weakened people’s trust in global institutions. The consequence is virulent populism and nationalism as the mass population has taken control away from the elites.” Edelman highlighted how “the emergence of a media echo chamber” that reinforces personal beliefs while shutting out opposing views has magnified this “cycle of distrust.” According to the survey, search engines are trusted more as an information tool than traditional news editors, 59 per cent to 41 per cent. “People now view media as part of the elite,” said Edelman. “The result is a proclivity for self-referential media and reliance on peers. The lack of trust in media has also given rise to the fake news phenomenon and politicians speaking directly to the masses.” Edelman said business may be best-placed to help improve trust. Companies need to be transparent and honest with their employees about the changes taking place in the workplace, improve skills and pay fairly, he said. The online survey was conducted between Oct. 13 and Nov. 16, 2016. The world’s 8 richest people are, in order of net worth: Bill Gates: American founder of Microsoft (net worth $75 billion) Amancio Ortega: Spanish founder of Inditex which owns the Zara fashion chain (net worth $67 billion) Warren Buffett: American CEO and largest shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway (net worth $60.8 billion) Carlos Slim Helu: Mexican owner of Grupo Carso (net worth: $50 billion) Jeff Bezos: American founder, chairman and chief executive of Amazon (net worth: $45.2 billion) Mark Zuckerberg: American chairman, chief executive officer, and co-founder of Facebook (net worth $44.6 billion) Larry Ellison: American co-founder and CEO of Oracle (net worth $43.6 billion) Michael Bloomberg: American founder, owner and CEO of Bloomberg LP (net worth: $40 billion) Canada’s 8 richest people are, in order of net worth: David Thomson, (net worth $23.8 billion) Galen Weston, owner of Holt Renfrew (net worth $9.3 billion) Garrett Camp, co-founder of UBER (net worth $6.2 billion) James Irving, owner of Brunswick News (publishing); and J.D. Irving Limited, a conglomerate with interests in forestry, pulp and paper, tissue, newsprint, building supplies, frozen food, transportation, shipping lines, and ship building (net worth $5.4 billion) Bernard (Barry) Sherman, created Apotex, Canada's largest pharmaceutical company (net worth $4.9 billion) Arthur Irving, owner of Irving Oil (net worth $4.7 billion) Jim Pattison, chief executive officer, Chairman and sole owner of the Jim Pattison Group (net worth $4.5 billion) Emanuele (Lino) Saputo, owner of Saputo Dairy (net worth $4.4 billion) Source: Oxfam Canada
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Driver who failed to remain on scene of Mansfield crash turns himself in (mar., 17 janv. 2017)
The driver of one of three vehicles involved in an accident that left four people in critical condition has turned himself in. On Saturday evening, a Toyota Camry and Mitsubishi RVR collided head-on just north of Mansfield, on Airport Rd. between Dufferin County Rd. 17 and Side Rd. 15. A Volkswagen Passat then struck the Toyota Camry and the driver allegedly fled the scene. Charges against the man, 19, are pending. Ontario Provincial Police determined the make and model of the car from debris left at the scene. The initial collision left the driver of the Mitsubishi, a 53-year-old man, with critical injuries including a broken femur, a broken sternum, a broken wrist and head injuries. The passenger, 20, was released from hospital. The driver of the Toyota, a 58-year-old woman, had to be transported to hospital, having sustained injuries to her back, her chest and to her right leg and foot. She was also suffering from pain in her neck. An 18-year-old male passenger was also brought to the hospital, but was released. Seated in the back seat of the Toyota, a 51-year-old man suffered a dislocated right hip, a broken left hip and a broken shoulder and had to be air-lifted to hospital. A 35-year-old woman was transported to a local hospital after she suffered fractures to both femurs, her pelvis and suffered internal bleeding. The investigation continues.
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