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    A plan by Tim Hortons to offer poutine doughnuts at certain U.S. locations on Canada Day is drawing a mix of amusement and disgust online.

    The peculiar treat, described by the company as a Canadian-inspired product, is a Honey Dip doughnut topped with potato wedges, gravy and cheese curds.

    Tim Hortons says the doughnuts, along with a maple-bacon ice cappuccino and maple Timbits, are a way to celebrate the coffee chain’s Canadian origins.

    The product is drawing a range of reactions, with some social media users saying that while they love poutine, slathering it on top of a doughnut is just a bad idea.

    Others are open to actually trying one, but complained that the doughnuts are only being offered in the U.S.

    And one person joked that poutine doughnuts are so unhealthy that they can’t be sold in Canada.

    “Tim Hortons will sell a poutine doughnut but only in the U.S. because Canadian medicare refuses to cover it,” wrote one user on Twitter.

    The company is selling poutine doughnuts for $1.49 (U.S.) each.

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    The morning after a dramatic hostage scene unfolded in Toronto — at a massage parlour and on the phone to The Star’s newsroom — the man at the centre of the incident made a brief but turbulent appearance in court.

    Though the woman he’s been charged with taking hostage is safe, Michael Storms insisted that he isn’t.

    “I’m just telling you, my life is in danger,” he said in an appearance at Finch Ave. court, asking the judge to put him in segregation in jail. “My life has been threatened by the RCMP.”

    The story began on Wednesday, when a man entered the Studio 9 massage parlour in the Eglinton West neighbourhood. He took three women hostage – quickly freeing two of them, but keeping one of the women with him. He then called The Star’s 24-hour news desk, said “nobody would listen” to him, and that he had been driven to “create a situation. A “crisis,” to draw attention to his problems.

    Read more:

    ‘I took a hostage. Are you listening to me?’

    ‘Do you need help with that?’ How a Star editor ended up handling a crisis call

    Transcript: How the hostage-taking unfolded after the Toronto Star became involved

    The man talked with The Star for about an hour before he would speak to the police.

    Storms, 35, was arrested around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. Originally charged with one count of forcible confinement and uttering threats, police said Thursday that he would face three counts each of forcible confinement and uttering threats.

    During his phone call with The Star, the caller said he had been monitored and surveilled for 15 years by the RCMP and CSIS, and that his passport had been revoked.

    In 2014, the National Post reported that a Toronto man named Muhammed Islam — the name Storms said he adopted after converting to Islam at age 20 — was named as one of around 90 high-risk travellers whose passports were seized to prevent extremist violence.

    Thursday’s court appearance was only meant to schedule Storms’ bail hearing for next week. He entered the courtroom distressed, shuffling in and adjusting the black hoodie he wore and wiping sweat from his forehead.

    But when the judge and members of the court began to speak about publication bans, distress turned to anger.

    “I don’t want it banned. I don’t want it banned,” Storms repeated twice, raising his voice. The court immediately dropped the issue at Storms’ wishes, but he remained agitated as the minutes went on.

    Storms was remanded in custody and ordered to have no contact with the victims. The judge gave an order for medical attention with regard to “suicidal ideation.”

    At a moment’s pause, Storms looped back to the earlier conversation.

    “I have a question,” he interjected. “Is that okay if I ask a question, just to be sure?”

    He then asked, again, whether a publication ban had been established. The court assured him it had not.

    “I want it all known,” he insisted, before being led back out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

    Shortly after, the court realized they hadn’t established a ban to protect the identities of victims and witnesses, and Storms was called back. When he was informed a partial publication ban would be imposed, he crossed his arms over his chest, breathing heavily.

    “Do I have to agree to that?” he asked.

    The judge said she was imposing the ban to ensure “the proper administration of justice.”

    Again, Storms pushed to clarify whether this meant anything would be published about his case. “You do understand this is a national security issue right here, right?” he said, raising his voice again.

    He spit out final words to the courtroom as handcuffs were clicked back into place. “You guys know exactly what’s going on,” he said as he was led away, shouting towards the prosecutor. “How’re you doing over there, Crown? You good?”

    Storms will next appear in court July 4.

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    A cyclist who posted a video of himself popping a wheelie through an intersection is defending himself after Toronto police called the trick riding an “offence.”

    The video shows a man riding with the front wheel up, his ponytail streaming in the wind as he swerves confidently around cars and pedestrians. An Instagram called mylittlebikeshop first posted the video on June 22, with the caption “@chain_yanker caught me for a quick clip on Yonge Street.”

    The Instagram in question is for a shop called My Little Bike Shop on College St., and features pictures of used bicycles for sale. It has more than 4,000 followers.

    But what was meant to be a light-hearted video has now added fuel to the often-heated discussion about bike safety.

    On Friday, Toronto police reposted the video onto their Instagram account, saying that while the video shows “great riding skill,” the cyclist is exhibiting “dangerous cycling behaviour.” Speaking directly to the man in the video, they told him “YOU now have our attention,” and asked for anyone who has information about the “offence” to contact police.

    Within an hour, Cam Zalewski, the owner of My Little Bike Shop and the man in the video, fired back, calling it “kind of heartbreaking,” to see his video “surrounded by surveillance videos of murders, stabbings, shootings, robberies and sexual assaults” on the Toronto police Instagram.

    “I never crashed, I never hit anyone … I never even made/make anyone slow down, hit their brakes or cause them to pull last second maneuvers. Yes, maybe a little dangerous, but I am an expert … and have NEVER had an accident or caused an accident while on the streets of Toronto, while on my bike (one wheel or two).”

    He pointed out that he’s seen other cyclists break the rules and endanger themselves and others, saying that they can be “sloppy and dangerous.” His ride, he clearly feels, was neither of those things.

    Const. Clint Stibbe feels differently.

    “These actions were intentional and put himself and others at risk,” Stibbe said.

    He added that skill level does not matter when it comes to following the rules of the road, and that police had been sent the video by a member of the public who was concerned.

    “If it was on private property or somewhere other than a highway, this wouldn’t be an issue,” Stibbe said. “The actions of one individual (have) hurt the cycling agenda in the City of Toronto.”

    Roughly 1,075 collisions per year in Toronto involve cyclists, Stibbe said.

    He also expressed concern about the potential for copycat cyclists who might be less skilled than Zalewski, saying that the police “have a responsibility to denounce this behaviour. We all need to be better road users and set examples for each other.”

    When reached by telephone on Friday, Zalewski’s only comment was, “I already said what I wanted to say on my Instagram.”

    According to Stibbe, the charges that could be laid based on the video include careless driving, which comes with a fine of up to $2,000.

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    They were innovators, scientists and mathematicians.

    They held a monopoly over knowledge, land ownership, intellectual professions, social institutions and political authority.

    They dominated society by setting the rules for the default standards of language, of behaviour, of customs and traditions.

    Sound familiar?

    They are my ancestors, from where I come as a middle-class, upper-caste Indian, the creators of a system so resilient it survived centuries after centuries of invasions and colonization by the Greeks, the Mughals, the Europeans, the British.

    Born in post-colonial India, I grew up with strong female role models — Hindu goddesses, warrior queens, feisty politicians, professional aunts and a mother determined not to allow my sister and me to be treated differently from our brother.

    Like many women seeking to shape a modern India that was equitable, I grew up challenging traditions about our place in society, questioning norms about viewing marriage as an achievement or the deep value placed on chastity.

    When I supported our domestic worker against her drunken husband, when I lectured women from nearby villages about HIV/AIDS or exhorted them to have fewer children, I based my efforts on the premise that all people needed was a little leg up to get on a level-playing field.

    You could say I was a well-meaning white feminist.

    Invisible to me were the barriers and mental prisons formed by the matrices of caste, skin colour, and centuries of dependency piled on top of the misogyny the women experienced.

    Sometimes you notice the rug only when it is pulled from under your feet.

    I moved to beautiful Canada.

    Moving here had the effect of literally flying to the top of the Earth and looking at the world from a new vantage point. It gave me perspective.

    Canada felt like my calm partner, and India a tempestuous ex. Life there was vibrant, full-throated, no holds barred. You shouted, you cried, you laughed out loud. Here, for a new immigrant with a job, life appeared tranquil, pleasant and for the most part predictable.

    Read more: Wonder Woman must save the world, but first she has to fight it: Paradkar

    I had never not belonged where I lived, and here, too, I felt included in inclusive Canada. I didn’t see the difference between the mostly white Canadians around me and myself — I thought I was essentially like them, with darker skin and a few religious rituals.

    The first strike against that notion, or at least one that registered, came at a car dealership where the salesman shut me down saying he did not negotiate with Indians when I asked if that was the best price he could offer. I didn’t recognize it then but it was when my racialization began.

    Over the years, came other instances of individual racism. The shoe salesman who told my visiting father every single shoe he wanted was not in stock, the woman who invited me over but whose husband didn’t show up in his own house because he didn’t like immigrants, the people who didn’t take me seriously because I sound different.

    I believe everybody, no matter of what background, has experienced being put down for something in that background, some with more far-reaching repercussions than others. My exposure to colourism/shadeism in India and the systemic racism I saw here quickly made it obvious that what I faced was nothing compared to what even darker-skinned people experienced or what Black people faced. This society is centred around whiteness — proximity to whiteness brings privilege, and anti-Black racism is not a historical shame. It is a vile and vicious present-day malaise.

    Then came the discovery that blindsided me. The unpeeling of layers hidden underneath Canada’s calm revealed the anguish of the Indigenous peoples of this land. I knew an ancient civilization existed here, but I had thought Canada was a benign rearranging of the cultures; adventurers came, treaties were signed and hello, 150 years.

    I had thought of Indigenous people as a scattered group of what are called “tribals” in India or the orang asli in Malaysia — people of a bygone era, living on their own remote lands, untouched by modernity.

    What I have learned is they have more in common with us, the millions from colonized lands who have known and felt the tragedies that the colonizers wrought on our people, reading stories and hearing them from the mouths of our parents and grandparents.

    This revelation of contemporary colonialism feels like the pages from my history books have come alive, challenging me to participate now, giving me a chance to take sides this time, connecting me to the people who were once mistaken for my forefathers. This brought about a seismic shift in my understanding of where I, now a “non-white,” was situated in the social and racial landscape; if I was once white, by attitude, I was once native, too, in fact.

    The pain of Indigenous and Black people doesn’t exist for my learning or betterment; only mine does. I cannot burden others to educate me. So I try to listen with an open heart and do my job, to make uncomfortable those liberal-minded Canadians whom I know to otherwise nurture a deep sense of fairness and civic duty, but whose privilege shields them from facing this morally unsustainable treatment of people.

    Read more: You don't have to hate police to agree with BLM: Paradkar

    When I celebrate Canada 150 it will be not for what has been accomplished but for the promise of its potential to lead the world to equity.

    Here I am then, once again, poking holes in deeply rooted ideas, questioning traditions about people’s place in society, this time in Canada.

    I have found my feet.

    I am home.

    Shree Paradkar tackles issues of race and gender. You can follow her @shreeparadkar

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    Afifa Charles has endured unspeakable grief since her 14-year-old daughter Shyanne was killed on Danzig St. during Toronto’s worst mass shooting almost five years ago.

    But on Thursday her tears were of joy and pride as Charles prepared for her son Devante, the second of her four children and Shyanne’s younger brother, to walk across the stage as a high school graduate.

    “I’m overwhelmed — everything he went through and he’s graduating on time,” she said. “I want other kids to know it doesn’t matter where you grew up, what you’ve faced in life. If you set your mind to it, it can be done, and he did it.”

    Graduation isn’t just new to Devante, 17, one of 131 students to receive his diploma Thursday evening. The ceremony at Georges Vanier Secondary School is also the first one his mother has ever attended and a landmark event for several generations of their family.

    “I told him, you accomplished something I didn’t,” says Charles, who dropped out in Grade 10 when she was pregnant. “He’s the first in our family to get his high school diploma on time and walk across the stage.”

    Devante listens quietly as his mother bristles with excitement. But he doesn’t miss a beat.

    “I think that deserves a car,” he says with a straight face.

    But asked seriously about how he feels to be a graduate, he flashes a smile.

    “Super proud.”

    Teachers and a crew of 17 family members were eager to celebrate Devante’s achievement in the wake of a tragedy that devastated a neighbourhood and dominated headlines in its aftermath.

    Shyanne was one of two people killed and 22 wounded when shooters opened fire on each other at a community barbecue on July 16, 2012. Joshua Yasay, 23, also died at the scene. Afifa Charles was also at the barbecue but Devante and his two other siblings were not.

    Shyanne’s smile glows from giant portraits in the family home, and thoughts of her loom large on momentous occasions like this one.

    “It was a lot of pressure and weight on the shoulders,” Devante says. “I just tried to do what she couldn’t.”

    Charles says her daughter would have been thrilled. “She’d be screaming louder than I will,” she says.

    “It was a goal for him. He accomplished it for himself and especially for his sister.”

    Devante and his mom spoke to the Star in the North York townhouse where they’ve lived since Shyanne’s death. It’s the home Afifa Charles grew up in and the place she fled to immediately. Her father Tyrone Charles, living there at the time, has since moved into his own place.

    Devante started Grade 8 that fall but transferred from his Scarborough school after two weeks because it was too far, and attended Woodbine Middle School where he stayed for Grade 8 and 9. He went to Vanier for high school.

    His mother recalls being scared about how angry and withdrawn he seemed in those first few years.

    “I didn’t want him to hate the world and stop living.”

    Her father and the rest of their big Trinidadian family were a huge source of support. So were the long talks between mother and son, she says.

    “I realized he was just like me, he kept everything in.”

    Devante remembers the first year of high school as a time of feeling gloomy and alone. He’d come home and hide out in his room listening to music.

    “I didn’t even go outside on weekends.”

    Support through Boost Child and Youth Advocacy Centre made a difference, and so did attentive school staff like guidance counsellor Zenobia Omarali, who Devante says helped him discover subjects like aerospace, electronics and tech design that appealed to his abilities as a hands-on learner.

    “I’ve always liked working with my hands and fixing things,” says Devante. Realizing he could do that in school turned around his attitude.

    Things started to change when “I took the chip off my shoulder,” he says.

    His interest in mechanics, along with a five-month co-op placement in an auto centre this year, gave him a focus and pathway that makes a lot of sense to his mom.

    “‘Car’ was his first word,” says Charles. “Ever since he could talk he’s been obsessed with cars.”

    In January, he plans to start the automotive technician course at Centennial College, with the help of an outside scholarship he received for victims of violence.

    “I’m going to have tears in my eyes too when I see him walk across that stage,” Omarali said before the ceremony.

    Vince Furlin, who taught Devante three courses in the aeronautics and aviation program said he was one of his “favourite students” because he took responsibility for his work and used every opportunity to improve.

    “He gave an effort. I’m very proud to see that he graduated. It’s a really good day.”

    It turned into even a better day when Devante was presented with the Perseverance and Personal Achievement award at the ceremony.

    Charles calls her son a role model and says she is very grateful to his “amazing teachers who helped him and motivated him.”

    “He could have been a statistic, mad at the world, hating everybody. I’m so glad he didn’t turn out that way.”

    By statistic, says Charles, she means one of the disproportionately high number of Black youth, especially boys, who don’t graduate, including many of Devante’s friends who he says ran out of gas and “just stopped coming.”

    Instead, his mom points out he is setting an example for his sister Iyanna, who just graduated from Grade 6, his 9-year-old brother Isaiah and other kids facing difficult circumstances.

    On graduation day, Devante had other things on his mind. Like going to the barber, getting his black dress shirt and pants ready and feeling “kind of nervous.”

    Gliding across the stage discreetly was never going to be an option though, with a huge cast of relatives on hand bearing signs and a bash featuring his grandfather’s home cooking afterwards.

    When the excitement is over, Devante has a few things in mind for the summer. He hopes to find work at the auto centre where he completed his co-op. And given his passion for cars, he figures it’s about time to get his driver’s permit too.

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    When Canada was founded in 1867, 80 per cent of the country’s 3.3 million people lived in rural settings. Today that percentage is flipped around, with just more than 80 per cent of Canada’s nearly 36 million people living in its handful of large and medium-sized cities.

    The country has changed in other ways of course, such as demographics and economics, but this migration from rural to urban is a radical shift in our country’s nature. Instead of spreading out over all that land, we chose to stick closer together, perhaps for warmth. For a country perpetually worried about its identity, we are overwhelmingly city people, living either urban or suburban lives that are more alike in terms of lifestyle than not.

    It’s a pan-Canadian connection that should be exploited by anybody who’s working to unify this sometimes-fractured country.

    All that other land, whether rural, wilderness or something in between the two, is great and good and has given the country part of its identity, but it also has consequences today: Canadian cities remain in the shadow of all that landscape.

    Our cities are impressive creations that took much effort and resources to build. They’ve also become engines of our economy but they’re beholden to their respective provincial governments and Canada has never had a national cities plan or policy at the federal level, something that might help connect that 80 per cent of the country together in common causes like transit, housing and climate change.

    Changing the idea of what Canada is has been long and slow. The 1967 centennial celebrations saw Montreal take the Canadian and world stage rather dramatically. Montreal, with its new Metro system, Expo 67, skyscrapers and freeways, was the poster child for modern urban Canada.

    If you watch the revelatory 1967-era films produced by the National Film Board or other outfits you won’t see much Toronto in them. Perhaps a glimpse of New City Hall, but this city didn’t capture the nation’s attention. Montreal got the deserved glory while Toronto remained Canada’s sleeper city, gestating away, soon to become the biggest, and an economic and cultural powerhouse that — you might say — is world-class.

    It’s interesting then to visit Toronto in the Camera: A Series of Photographic Views of the Principal Buildings in the City of Toronto, a book of photos by Octavius Thompson, published in 1868 just as Canada was founded. The book, available in the Toronto Public Library’s special collection, reveals an ambitious city that was gestating even then, and a familiar preoccupation with its own self-worth.

    The pictures depict a vaguely familiar Toronto, if you can imagine the structures as heritage buildings today, scattered about downtown in isolation from each other. Toronto was incredibly small and compact at this time as its major expansions came later, with the frilly gingerbread of late-Victorian suburbs like Cabbagetown or the more reserved Edwardian neighbourhoods like The Annex. Toronto’s greatest expansion, and one that saw the extraordinary conversion of rural areas to urban, occurred after the Second World War, when farmland was gobbled up as Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough were developed.

    That postwar expansion, coupled with the demolition and replacement of most of the 19th-century buildings seen here, means Toronto’s built form is largely a modern one. While these historic buildings may not have provided Toronto with a uniform and enduring look like Paris, Prague or Edinburgh, cities that remain beholden to a particular historic era, they were the beginnings of something big.

    In these early photos you can see signs of what created Toronto and fed its growth, like the Grand Trunk Railway General Office, and those ever-present institutions dominating the downtown core: the banks.

    In the book, much was made of the building dimensions and the amount of capital each bank had access to. That the manager had a private entrance of his own to one of the banks was a big deal, and the Queen’s Hotel might have been quite nice as is, but it was noted the landlord hoped to make it even nicer by adding a floor. Over at the Rossin House hotel, there were 12 “first-class” stores. “We’re big, we’re important,” suggested these descriptions, but they also reveal a city worried about being whatever the 1867 version of “world class” was.

    Even the write-up of King St. boasted of its width (66 feet) and how substantial the brick and stone buildings along it were: size and girth fixation, a Toronto tradition.

    Toronto was a provincial outpost with muddy streets, but it was an aspirational one. The architecture seen in these photos echoed that of the colonial mother country, striving to be seen as cut from the same kind of cloth, or brick, as London and other big important cities of the day. We’ve been desperately repeating this ever since, though of late this kind of worried navel gazing has been waning a bit. This is Drake’s city now, confident and loud rather than small and nervous.

    The Toronto in these photos was a religious city, too, and even the destitute denizens of the Boys’ Home were encouraged to go to worship at the denomination of their choice each Sunday morning, and the “divine service” was even celebrated at the home on Sunday afternoon. We see here too the roots of puritanical Toronto, another thing we’re slowly shaking.

    Toronto was a city founded on business and piety; it wasn’t a party. Still, something about that mix has drawn people here from all around the world who have continued to build this city and make it better.

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    The number of Black children placed in foster or group home care in Toronto dropped by about 8 per cent last year, as the city’s largest child-protection agency began an “organizational rethink” to address anti-Black racism within its ranks.

    Of the 541 children removed from their families due to neglect or abuse in 2016-17, about 37 per cent — or 202 — had at least one parent who was Black, according the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto. That is down from about 45 per cent of the 617 kids taken into care the previous year.

    However, the rate at which Black children are being taken into care is still four times higher than the percentage of Black children in Toronto’s overall population.

    Just 8.2 per cent of Toronto’s population is under age 18.

    “Through the efforts of our staff, we are seeing a noticeable decline in the numbers of Black youth being admitted to care as we are doing more to support families in their communities,” says the society’s annual report, released last week.

    The decrease is a result of the society’s efforts to be more conscious and thoughtful about its interactions with the Black community, said the society’s CEO David Rivard.

    Front-line staff are offering more support to Black families so their children can remain at home. And when that isn’t possible, the society is placing children with extended family and friends on an informal and formal basis, so they can remain connected to their community, Rivard said in an interview.

    “There has been an active look at the placement and the length of time Black youth are in our system,” he said.

    The shift was sparked, in part, by an ongoing Star investigation of Ontario’s child protection system that found a disproportionate number of Black children in the Toronto area are being removed from their families by children’s aid societies.

    In August 2015, almost a year after the Star’s first report, the Toronto society became the first in the province to release its race-based data. Last summer, all societies pledged to collect and publicly report race-based data as part of a provincial push to address the overrepresentation of Black children in foster and group home care, a problem that has been raised by the Black community for more than a decade.

    The collection and public reporting of race-based data has since been enshrined in law as part of new provincial child protection legislation passed in June.

    During an interview last fall on Flow 93.5, Toronto’s only Black-owned radio station, Rivard admitted the child welfare system “including our own agency, has a long legacy of oppression and systemic racism.”

    The society is committed to “removing systemic barriers, eliminating discrimination and putting in place the right organizational structures,” Rivard and board chair Sheila Jarvis say in the society’s 2016-17 annual report.

    On an individual level, volunteers, board members and senior and front-line staff need to “deepen our knowledge and understanding of intersecting oppressions and racism, reflect upon our position of power and privilege, and check our personal assumptions toward those marginalized communities,” they add.

    A committee of 14 leaders from Toronto’s African Canadian community was appointed last fall to advise the society’s board of directors. Advisory committee meetings are held quarterly and both Rivard and Chief Operating Officer Mahesh Prajapat attend.

    “Just having the advisory committee there and actively involved certainly has had an impact, I think, in how we are dealing with the Black community,” Rivard said.

    Prajapat, who was hired from Peel CAS two years ago to lead the transformation, said the society “is really trying to flip the system on its head.”

    More Black staff are being hired and the society is switching its focus from protecting children from their families to helping families protect their own children, he said.

    Staff are being asked to examine assumptions, biases and stereotypes when dealing with Black families, said Nicole Bonnie, who was hired last fall as director of diversity and inclusion.

    And the society is having “courageous conversations” with school boards and police who are the largest source of referrals to children’s aid, Bonnie said.

    “We’re not saying it’s a perfectly well-oiled machine,” she said. “But we are on the journey. And we are committed in a different way.”

    Quammie Williams, a board member with Young and Potential Fathers, an agency hired by the society to work with fathers whose children are in the system, said the drop in Black kids taken into care last year is a positive development.

    “I think they have definitely made some strides and should be encouraged. But we have to remain vigilant,” said Williams whose agency operates Ujima House, believed to be the first father-focused parenting centre in the country.

    “We are happy to collaborate with them,” he said. “But we need more collaboration among more organizations serving our community.”

    The Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto is also working to improve services to African Canadian families, said Executive Director Janice Robinson.

    According to its 2016-17 annual report, 31 per cent of investigations involve Black children and 37 per cent are admitted into care. Just 9 per cent of Catholic children in the GTA are Black. They are working with Toronto children’s aid to get more comparable data.

    “We are working closely with Black community partners to deliver more culturally appropriate services,” said Dionne Martin, strategic lead for the agency’s African descent service priority program. A pilot project with the African Canadian Community Services, a new agency lead by Margaret Parsons, head of the African Canadian Legal Clinic, is scheduled to begin in the fall, she said.

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    OTTAWA—Gov. Gen. David Johnston has presented Prince Charles with the insignia of companion of the Order of Canada, kicking off a jam-packed day of events to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

    Charles, who is being recognized for his global philanthropy, was at Rideau Hall with his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, to kick off the final day of their royal visit, which culminates in Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill.

    Before the ceremony, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had an audience with the prince in the large drawing room at Rideau Hall, chatting briefly with broad smiles for the benefit of a phalanx of cameras.

    Read more:

    Hundreds of royal-watchers line the streets in Ontario to meet Prince Charles, Camilla

    Prince Charles and Camilla to visit Prince Edward County on Friday

    Prince Charles, Camilla kick off royal tour in Iqaluit

    Later in the day, the royal couple will visit the Canadian Museum of History across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Que., before the moving on to a peacekeeping monument in Ottawa for a ceremonial guard inspection.

    The couple is also scheduled to visit the newly opened and renovated National Arts Centre for a ribbon-cutting with a number of guests.

    A visit to Shopify, an Ottawa-based e-commerce company, is also on the agenda, as well as attending the inauguration of the Queen's entrance at Rideau Hall in the evening.

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    WASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has a reputation as a tactical genius. It was cemented during the Obama era when he executed a long blockade of the Democratic president’s agenda.

    His current test is tougher. He is trying to persuade his caucus to vote for a key item on the Republican president’s agenda — one of the most unpopular major bills in modern U.S. history.

    The polls on Trumpcare vary, but they’re all abominable. McConnell’s version of U.S. President Donald Trump’s effort to replace Obamacare, written in haste and secrecy, has the support of between 12 per cent and 27 per cent of the country.

    “That’s like Congress and their families or something. It’s really hard to get to 12 per cent,” said Jonathan Oberlander, a University of North Carolina professor who studies health policy and politics.

    Most legislation so widely loathed would be dumped. But this isn’t just any legislation. Republican members of Congress have campaigned for seven years on repealing Obamacare.

    Almost every relevant interest group, from hospitals to doctors to the seniors’ lobby, says the plan is terrible. Almost nobody in Congress appears to be an enthusiastic fan. But some Republican lawmakers fear that their reputations will suffer with devoted party supporters if they do not fulfil such a central promise.

    “I generally think there will be hell to pay if we don’t follow through here,” said Scott Jennings, a Republican strategist who previously led a Super PAC backing McConnell’s 2014 campaign in Kentucky.

    “We control the whole government. Voters don’t want incrementalism,” Jennings said. “They want change and we damn well better give it to them.”

    But other Republicans believe the party is better off taking the hit from a failure to act than the hit they would take if they actually passed the bill. Rick Tyler, an MSNBC analyst and former senior aide to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, said Republican lawmakers who back the plan are “suicidal.”

    A change of this kind — a massive clawback of an important social benefit program — has never been approved. The bill would result in millions of people losing insurance.

    The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 22 million fewer people would have insurance in 2026 under the Republican plan than under Obamacare, 15 million fewer through the Medicaid program for low-income people.

    The Medicaid cuts are especially bad politics because the bill also cuts a tax on investment income for people earning $200,000 or more.

    “A caricature of a Republican health care bill,” said Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee. Trump called it “mean.” Justin Krebs, campaign director for liberal group, said it is a sop to wealthy Republican donors interested in tax cuts above all else.

    “When people hear ‘health-care reform,’ ” Oberlander said, “what they expect is not that you’re going to de-insure 22 million Americans.”

    Democrats are shouting their opposition from every available rooftop. They have been joined by Republican governors, like Ohio’s John Kasich and Nevada’s Brian Sandoval, whose residents have benefited from Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid.

    Seeking to minimize public discussion, McConnell tried to rush the Senate to a final vote by Friday. A Republican rebellion forced him to delay until after the weeklong Independence Day recess that begins this weekend.

    The slowdown gives anti-bill forces an opening. As McConnell attempts to find the magic adjustments that will secure the necessary 50 votes — some lawmakers have suggested dumping the tax cut — his swing voters are being forced to march in local parades during which activists from liberal groups like MoveOn and Indivisible will confront them with signs, chants and questions.

    “It’s very difficult for them to hide on July 4th,” said Indivisible co-founder Angel Padilla.

    McConnell can afford only two defections. As of Friday, he was staring at a far bigger number.

    Maine Sen. Susan Collins and Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, relative moderates, have forcefully criticized the Medicaid cuts and other central features of the bill. Several others, including West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, have expressed similar concerns less sharply. More than 15 additional senators have been noncommittal.

    And McConnell must try to address moderates’ anxiety about coverage while also satiating the opposite concerns of hard-liners like Lee and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who say the bill is insufficiently different from Obamacare.

    Krebs said MoveOn would focus its recess activism on bucking up senators concerned about the impact of the reversal of the Medicaid expansion, telling them that “small cosmetic tweaks” can’t fix a bill that is rotten to the core.

    The president might normally be expected to intervene at such a critical juncture. McConnell is on an island: Trump has never demonstrated that he understands enough about the bill to be useful. In a Friday tweet, the president floated the non-starter idea of repealing Obamacare first and then passing a replacement later.

    At a normal level of first-year popularity, Tyler said, Trump could persuade lawmakers simply by threatening to hold rallies in their states and denounce them for thwarting his key initiative. His poor approval rating, hovering around 39 per cent, sharply reduces his arm-twisting power.

    “He has no influence on the Congress,” Tyler said. “When members feel their power is threatened, they will move. But their power’s not threatened. The president has no political leverage.”

    But even liberals think McConnell might figure out how to pull another rabbit out of his hat.

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    Adele has bad news for fans: She’s canceled the two shows left on her world tour due to damaged vocal cords.

    The pop star wrote an emotional open letter about the decision, saying that after struggling the past two nights on stage at London’s Wembley Stadium, she saw a doctor and received a devastating diagnosis.

    After 121 shows around the globe, “it turns out I have damaged my vocal cords,” she wrote in a note on Twitter. “And on medical advice I simply am unable to perform over the weekend. To say I’m heartbroken would be a complete understatement.”

    Medication wouldn’t help, she said. “I’m already maxed out on steroids and aids for my voice. I’ve considered doing Saturday night’s show but it’s highly unlikely I’d even make it through the set and I simply can’t crumble in front of you all and walk out on you in that way.”

    Adele even thought about lip-syncing.

    “I’m so desperate to do (the concerts) that I’ve even considered miming,” she confessed, “just to be in front of you and be with you. But I’ve never done it and I cannot in a million years do that to you. It wouldn’t be the real me up there.”

    After apologizing profusely to those disappointed by the cancellation, Adele said refunds will be available if the shows cannot be rescheduled.

    Read Adele’s full note below:

    I don’t even know how to start this. The last two nights at Wembley have been the biggest and best shows of my life. To come home to such a response after so long away doing something I never thought I could pull off but did has blown me away. However, I’ve struggled vocally both nights. I had to push a lot harder than I normally do. I felt like I constantly had to clear my throat, especially last night. I went to see my throat doctor this evening because my voice didn’t open up at all today and it turns out I have damaged my vocal cords. And on medical advice I simply am unable to perform over the weekend. To say I’m heart broken would be a complete understatement.

    I’m already maxed out on steroids and aids for my voice. I’ve considered doing Saturday nights show but it’s highly unlikely I’d even make it through the set and I simply can’t crumble in front of you all and walk out on you in that way. I’m so desperate to do them that I’ve even considered miming, just to be in front of you and be with you. But I’ve never done it and I cannot in a million years do that to you. It wouldn’t be the real me up there. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for your disappointment. I’m sorry for the nights you would have had with your loved ones and the memories you would have made together. I’m sorry for the time and money you’ve spent organizing your trips. You know I would not make this decision lightly.

    I have done 121 shows and I have 2 left. 2 left!!! And they are 2 gigantic shows! Who the (expletive) cancels a show at Wembley Stadium!? To not complete this milestone in my career is something I’m struggling to get my head around and I wish that I wasn’t having to write this. I have changed my life drastically in every way to make sure I got through this tour that started at the beginning of last year. To not be able to finish it is something I’m really struggling to come to terms with. It’s as if my whole career has been building up to these 4 shows. I’m writing this as the decision has just this moment been made, so I don’t have any other information, but of course refunds will be available if the shows can’t be rescheduled. There will be more information over the next few days. I’m sorry. I’m devastated.

    I’m sorry. I love you I’m so sorry. please forgive me. x

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    Peter Mansbridge anchored CBC’s “The National” for the final time Friday, saying it has been “quite the ride.”

    Mansbridge made a brief reference that it was his final regular newscast.

    “Thanks for watching all these years, it’s been quite the ride for me, but always a privilege to be a part of bringing the national story home to you from wherever that story may be,” said Mansbridge at the end of the hour-long show. “I can only hope you found it worthwhile, too. Goodbye.”

    Mansbridge, 68, said in an interview this week that he didn’t intend to make a big fuss of his last appearance on the flagship newscast as anchor.

    Mansbridge’s swan song is to come Saturday when he anchors the CBC’s coverage of Canada 150 celebrations in Ottawa.

    Read more:Peter Mansbridge says ‘significant change is coming’ to The National

    Mansbridge revealed his retirement plans last year. The CBC has not yet indicated how it will replace him.

    The network ran a tribute to Mansbridge’s 50-year career in a segment broadcast on Thursday’s “The National” and has been paying tribute to him in some of its other programs during the past week.

    Canadians from all over the country took to Twitter to say their goodbyes to the man behind broadcast’s most soothing voice. Everyday Canadians, Mansbridge’s colleagues and even politicians expressed their respect.

    Colin Fraser, MP of West Nova, referred to Mansbridge’s “longtime excellence in journalism” and Siobhan Coady, Minister of Natural Resources and Deputy Government House Leader in Newfoundland and Labrador, tweeted at Mansbridge to say “thank you for telling our stories, respecting our diversity and reflecting the quiet strength of this country.”

    The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, had high praise as well, calling Mansbridge “the best of Canada.”

    Of course, not all goodbyes have to be completely serious.

    “Don’t tell me how the season finale of @petermansbridge ends tonight,” comedian Mark Critch tweeted. “Just started binge watching season 1 of @CBCTheNational No spoilers!”

    Mansbridge has anchored the newscast since his predecessor Knowlton Nash stepped down in 1988.

    With files from Alexandra Jones

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    LITTLE ROCK, ARK.—Police say 25 people were shot after gunfire rang out Saturday at a rap show at a downtown Little Rock nightclub, prompting pleas from top leaders to curb the growing violence in Arkansas’ capital city.

    Police said the shooting at Power Ultra Lounge was the result of a dispute among clubgoers and not an active shooter or terror-related incident. Little Rock police said Saturday that 25 people were shot and three others suffered unrelated injuries. All were expected to survive, police said.

    Police early Saturday cordoned off the block as crime-scene technicians gathered evidence from inside and outside the club. Glass from the club’s second story windows littered the ground, along with empty drink cups.

    Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner told reporters that “some sort of dispute broke out between people inside” the club and that there are “probably multiple shooting suspects.”

    A video posted online by a club patron, Darryl Rankin, showed a packed house for Finese 2Tymes, a performer from Memphis, Tennessee. About a half-minute into a break in the raucous concert, several bursts of gunfire rang out — more than 24 shots in an 11-second period.

    Rankin told The Associated Press that he was recording the show on Facebook Live when gunfire erupted and that one of his friends is now at a hospital with a bullet “stuck in his spine.”

    The shooting follows a week in which there have been about a dozen drive-by shootings in Little Rock, though there’s no indication the events are linked.

    “Little Rock’s crime problem appears to be intensifying,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement. “Every few days it seems a high profile shooting dominates the news, culminating with this morning’s event. I have spoken this morning with Mayor Stodola and I have offered both my heart felt concern over this senseless violent tragedy and state assets as needed to address the continued threat of violence in our community.”

    Early Saturday, Raida Bunche waited outside the club after she had heard from a friend that her son had been at the club. Later Saturday morning, she said she found out her son ran out once the shooting began and was unharmed.

    “I’m sick of all the killing and I’m tired of all the shooting, the kids getting hurt,” Bunche said.

    The club’s Facebook page promoted Friday night’s show with a poster depicting a man pointing what appears to be a gun at the camera. A call to a number listed for Finese 2Tymes’ booking agent wasn’t immediately returned Saturday.

    Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola said on Facebook that more information would be released at a news conference Saturday afternoon.

    “My heart is broken this morning — my prayers are with the victims of this tragedy,” he wrote. He went on to add, “We are committed to doing everything possible to bring safety to our city. We need everyone to help.”

    In May, one person was killed and six people were hurt in a mass shooting at a downtown concert in Jonesboro, Arkansas, about 185 kilometres northeast of Little Rock. In that case, two men were charged with first-degree murder and six counts of first-degree battery.

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    Toronto police are searching for a man in connection with two violent incidents in the city’s east end this spring.

    In the first incident, police say a woman was attacked around 9 a.m. on May 29 in the area of Jones Ave. and Gerrard St. E. The 25-year-old victim had been followed by a man for some time before he confronted her, brandishing a knife. He slashed her, inflicting that police described as serious and life-altering, before fleeing.

    The second incident took place in the area of Blake St. and Boultbee Ave. on June 13. Police say a man approached a 25-year-old woman who was walking with her daughter and punched, kicked and choked her, then stole several items, including a necklace she was wearing.

    He made his getaway on a bicycle.

    Police have identified the suspect in both cases as Kevan Anderson, 27, of Toronto. He is around 5’9”, with dark hair, and his distinguishing features include a scar on his lip and a tattoo that says “RIP Dylan” on his arm.

    Police believe Anderson is armed and dangerous, and say anyone who sees him should call 911.

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    GO train service has been resumed on the Lakeshore West line after a pedestrian was killed this morning.

    The pedestrian was hit around 11 a.m. just east of the Port Credit station.

    Service resumed just before 1 p.m., but GO Transit was warning that there would be some “residual delays.”

    GO is providing service updates on its website.

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    Interac says it has temporarily taken its e-Transfer service off-line to address an “internal technical issue” that has seen service disruptions for a number of customers trying to transfer money online.

    “Financial institutions will not be able to process any transactions while we have the system off-line, nor will consumers be able to send or receive any Interac e-Transfer transactions,” Interac spokesperson Colleen Harasymchuk said.

    “The system and data remains secure,” she added.

    The company first announced the problem Thursday evening via Twitter, saying the service was unavailable and that teams were working to resolve the issue.

    Interac announced about an hour later that the service had been restored, but then followed up with another tweet several hours after that saying that it was continuing to experience an issue.

    Earlier on Friday the company said the service was operating but was experiencing “intermittent issues.”

    Several customers took to Twitter in search of answers, with some saying they were unable to pay their rent for the next month.

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    Being nice. Being free to love. Being an outsider.

    What does being Canadian mean to you? When have you felt most or least Canadian? We asked 10 Canadian citizens living in and around Toronto about when they have embraced their Canadian identity and when they have been embarrassed by it. Whether Canadian-born or newly minted, hopeful or jaded, young or not-so-young, our 10 citizens gave thoughtful answers, some positive, some infuriating.

    To watch a video, press the play button below or choose a face to hear their stories.

    Olivia Or

    “I was about 12 or 13 years old and jaywalking on the way home from school and someone swerved around me and yelled out the window, ‘This isn’t China.’ I thought, there was no way he is talking to me. I was so sure that with my red hair and my white skin that I passed through the world as a white person. And I do, most of the time, but in that moment, I came to realize that that wasn’t enough because I wouldn’t be white all the time.”

    Sargon Lazar

    “(In Iraq) at night there was shellfire and bombings and you would just have to find a corner and stay in there and let these sounds fade away, and in the morning, everything is good. It really makes me appreciate the little things in life. Being in Canada makes it even better because the little things here are great. Just being able to wake up and go to Tim Hortons and buy a coffee – that’s crazy.”

    Sheri Hebdon

    “It was 2005 and it was legal to be married in Ontario, but the federal government was still trying to figure out how to bring in a law that would be nationwide. Being that I was engaged to be married and I had paid a deposit on a very expensive venue I was personally invested in making sure the Supreme Court made the right choice.”

    Farrah Marfatia

    “(My family and I have been going to the cottage in Buckhorn) for the past 25 years. This past summer we all piled in the car and on the way we stop for gas. (My dad) gets out to fill up. A sweet elderly lady comes up to him and asks him whether he’s planning to blow up the gas station. And in that place that is quintessentially Canadian, I felt least Canadian.”

    Kyle Edwards

    “I grew up on a reserve. After Grade 3 I was forced to attend school off my community. It was a weird experience because I learned a narrative of Canadian history that I had never heard before. It kind of excluded Indigenous peoples. It made me feel ashamed of myself, ashamed to be Anishinaabe.”

    Gordon Chong

    “What it means to be a Canadian I think is to be totally all in. You are unhyphenated, unconditional. People who are first-generation immigrants may have trouble with that initially.”

    Franco Danese

    “To be Canadian is something to be proud of, overall. We’ve been lucky to come to this vast land. There’s much opportunity: to be healthy, to have a job, to grow a family.”

    Max Mohenu

    “My parents definitely had a lot of trouble integrating and figuring out how to go about things like jobs, finding a house. (When you) don’t speak the language, some people say you don’t have the skills — obviously there’s racial profiling. When you’re first generation in Toronto (you’re allowed) a certain kind of privilege.”

    Zainab Amadahy

    “I don’t want to idealize what Canada is. The racism that we deal with, the colonial issues, the Indigenous issues — those are real issues. If we don’t acknowledge them, we will never be able to resolve them.”

    Pearlita Juan

    “To be a Canadian is you have your own rights, you can practise your right, you have your voice, and everybody is equal. There is no sir or ma’am. It doesn’t matter if you are a caregiver or your employer is a president.”

    Executive producer: Natasha Grzincic, producers: Evelyn Kwong and Shree Paradkar, video editors: Kelsey Wilson and Annie-Marie Jackson, videographers: Anne-Marie Jackson, Rene Johnston, Randy Risling and Kelsey Wilson, interactive designer: Cameron Tulk, video asset manager: Frank Prendergast

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    A suspected Kensington Market “ghost hotel” has been temporarily shut down, pending the outcome of an investigation by home-sharing service Airbnb.

    “These listings have been suspended from Airbnb while we continue to investigate. Hosting is a big responsibility and those who fail to meet our expectations will be subject to suspension or removal,” said Lindsey Scully, spokesperson for Airbnb in Canada, in a statement emailed on Friday.

    The nine units in question, formerly three large apartments, were located inside what was once described as a vibrant artist and student community, at 38 Kensington Place.

    Former tenants allege they were squeezed out by illegal rent hikes and intimidation tactics, so the landlord could turn a higher profit on the building.

    “Airbnb is opposed to the practice of evicting tenants in order to list a property on our platform and we believe any home-sharing regulations should uphold this principle,” wrote Scully.

    Paralegal Peter Balatidis, who has represented property owner Claude Bitton at the Landlord and Tenant Board, has said his client will not speak with the media.

    “At this time my clients and I decline to make any comment,” said Balatidis, via email, after being informed of the suspension Friday.

    The transformation of 38 Kensington Place was the subject of a story published online on June 19. Scully told the Star that day that the listings were being investigated.

    The listings were pulled offline on Thursday, she said.

    Scully said an investigation can result in a range of penalties “from a warning to suspension or removal from our community.”

    Ghost hotels are buildings where apartments have been converted into short-term rentals, effectively turning a residential building into a hotel.

    The building containing the suspended Airbnb units is one of five Kensington Market properties purchased by Bitton in 2016.

    Tenants, at the time, said Bitton asked for rent hikes as high as 50 per cent. Bitton told the Star’s Jessica Botelho-Urbanski that he was simply seeking to negotiate new leases and only wanted fair market rent.

    The Airbnb units were created by dividing up what were once three-storey apartments into smaller units. Some tenants remain in the building, but at least three large apartments had been converted into Airbnb rentals, based on listings viewed by the Star and interviews with former tenants.

    The Star viewed one unit after it was rented out by tenant advocacy coalition Fairbnb, for $127 a night, plus $65 cleaning and $24 service fees, for a total of $216.

    The listing boasted that up to four could sleep in a neighbourhood known for “art and famous graffiti artists everywhere,” full of food and bohemian charm.

    All nine units were advertised as belonging to “Marina,” “originally from Moscow.”

    Former tenant Chris Leithead said he’s disheartened by what he sees as a lack of regulations around rental housing.

    “I grew up in Toronto,” said Leithead. “I don’t know if I can continue to live in the city I grew up in because this is happening all over.”

    In Toronto, landlords are not allowed to arbitrarily transform apartment buildings into hotels. The rise of Airbnb rentals has resulted in proposed regulations for short-term rentals. Public consultations are underway and a final report is due back to the city’s executive committee this year.

    Thorben Wieditz, with Fairbnb said the fact the account was still active this week is not exactly “confidence boosting” for people facing evictions or involved in the fight against ghost hotels.

    He said once regulations are passed the city will have the tools needed to actually act, rather than “waiting for a short-term rental platform to do their own investigation,” said Wieditz.

    “It just speaks to the need for coming up with regulations soon, to avoid situations like these.”

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    NEW YORK—Dr. Henry Bello proved a man of his word.

    After he was forced to resign as a family medicine doctor amid sexual harassment allegations, he threatened his colleagues. He said he would kill them.

    On Friday, Bello returned to Bronx Lebanon Hospital with an AR-15 assault rifle tucked under his white lab coat and opened fire in his old department, killing one doctor and critically wounding six other people at the hospital, according to law enforcement officials.

    Bello then shot himself, and staggered, bleeding, into a hallway where he collapsed and died with the rifle at his side, officials said. A photo showed the doctor on a blood-spattered floor as police stood over him.

    Now, detectives are trying to piece together what prompted Bello to snap two years after he was forced out, and whether he was hunting for someone in particular when he went to the 16th floor and started shooting.

    “There are many, many details that we’re still putting together,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio said, adding that terrorism was not involved in the attack. “This was a horrible situation unfolding in a place that people associated with care and comfort, a situation that came out of nowhere.”

    His former co-workers described a man who was aggressive, loud, and threatening.

    “All the time he was a problem,” said Dr. David Lazala, who trained Bello as a family medicine doctor. When Bello was forced out in 2015, he sent Lazala an email blaming him for the dismissal.

    “We fired him because he was kind of crazy,” Dr. Maureen Kwankam told the Daily News. “He promised to come back and kill us then.”

    People described a chaotic scene as gunfire erupted, spreading terror throughout the medical facility as employees locked themselves inside rooms and patients feared for their lives after hearing an announcement warning of someone in the building with a weapon.

    “I thought I was going to die,” said Renaldo Del Villar, a patient who was in the third-floor emergency room getting treatment for a lower back injury.

    Shortly after receiving a 911 call about an active shooter, police officers went floor by floor, their guns drawn, looking for the gunman. Fifteen minutes later they confirmed he was dead in the building.

    Bello may have doused himself with an accelerant like gasoline and tried to set himself on fire before shooting himself, officials said. Sprinklers extinguished the fire.

    The officials were not authorized to discuss the still-unfolding investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

    According to New York State Education Department records, Bello graduated from Ross University and had a limited permit to practice as an international medical graduate to gain experience in order to be licensed. The permit was issued on July 1, 2014, and expired last year on the same day. Family medicine doctors handle more routine cases, such as coughs and sprained ankles.

    Bello also worked as a pharmacy technician at Metropolitan hospital in Manhattan because he was having a hard time getting licensed as a physician, but quit the job in 2012 and filed for unemployment, according to the lawyer who represented him on appeal in 2014. He lost his case. One former colleague at Metropolitan said he would frequently argue with nurses and bristled at being told what to do, but his attorney in the unemployment action said that’s not the man he knew.

    “I’m absolutely shocked,” attorney David Wim said. “He was such a nice gentleman. He was very humble, very polite, very respectful.”

    Wim said he even jokingly suggested to his assistant that she date the doctor, who was unmarried.

    But Bello had a history of aggressive behaviour. In unrelated cases, the doctor pleaded guilty to unlawful imprisonment, a misdemeanour, in 2004 after a 23-year-old woman told police Bello grabbed her, lifted her up and carried her off, saying, “You’re coming with me.” He was arrested again in 2009 on a charge of unlawful surveillance, after two different women reported he was trying to look up their skirts with a mirror. That case was eventually sealed.

    It was not immediately clear if the hospital was aware of his criminal history when he was hired.

    Two surgeons at the hospital told the AP that all six victims were in critical condition, but they were expected to survive. Medical staff at the hospital immediately treated all the patients in its emergency department. The victims largely suffered gunshot wounds to the head, chest and abdomen, they said. The most seriously wounded was shot in the liver, said the surgeons, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to speak publicly.

    Employees and their loved ones described the horrifying moments immediately after the shooting as they scrambled for information.

    Garry Trimble said his fiancée, hospital employee Denise Brown, called from inside to tell him about the gunman.

    “She woke me up and told me there was a situation, somebody’s out there shooting people,” Trimble said as he waited for Brown to leave the hospital. “I could hear in her voice she was shaking and about to cry.”

    Brown, 53, emerged around 6 p.m. — hours after the initial report of a shooter at about 2:50 p.m. — and said employees had only recently been freed to leave their secure areas.

    “I was scared,” said Brown, a Bronx resident who described herself as the hospital’s patient ambassador. “Very scary. It was like something you’d see on TV. I just thank God to be alive.”

    The 120-year-old hospital has one of the busiest emergency rooms in New York City, and is just a few kilometers from Yankee Stadium.

    In 2011, two people were shot at Bronx Lebanon in what police said was a gang-related attack.

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    As free agency opened, the Maple Leafs signed two of their own – goalies Curtis McElhinney and Garret Sparks – and were primed to announce the signing of defenceman Ron Hainsey.

    Hainsey is 36, and won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins last year, oddly enough his first year in the playoffs in an NHL career that started in 2002. He agreed to terms on a two-year contract, according to TSN.

    A stay-at-home type, Hainsey’s arrival probably signals the Leafs are moving on from Roman Polak and Matt Hunwick, who both became unrestricted free agents at noon.

    Both fill a need in net. McElhinney signed a two-year, $1.7-million deal to return as the backup to Frederik Andersen. Sparks also signed a two-year deal worth $1.3 million. The $700,000 in Sparks’s second year is one-way, guaranteed contract.

    McElhinney, 34, appeared in 14 games for the Maple Leafs after being claimed on waivers from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 10, 2017. The London, Ont., native posted a 6-7-0 record alongside a 2.85 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage with Toronto.

    Sparks, 24, appeared in 31 games for the Toronto Marlies (AHL) in 2016-17 with a record of 21-9-0, a 2.16 goals-against average and .922 save percentage.

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    BELLEVILLE, Ill.—He flung dishes at his wife, roared at the television, erupted during an outing at a local brewery. Suzanne Hodgkinson became so concerned with her husband’s growing anger that she wrote to his doctor asking for help.

    Now, the wife of the man who opened fire on a congressional baseball team in June wonders what more she could have done.

    “I get up every morning feeling guilty because I didn’t stop it,” Hodgkinson said Wednesday in an interview at her home in Belleville, where the blinds are drawn tight and photographs of her husband adorn a living room wall. It was her first sit-down interview with a reporter since her husband, James Thomas Hodgkinson, attacked a Republican congressional baseball team practice in Alexandria, Virginia, grievously wounding a Republican congressman and three other people before authorities killed him.

    She continued, “I wake up with hot sweats, thinking: ‘You should have known. You should have known.’ ”

    Read more:

    Who was James T. Hodgkinson, the man identified as the GOP baseball practice shooter?

    James T. Hodgkinson, the Alexandria shooter, was living in van, called a ‘loner’

    Gunman who shot congressman wrote anti-Trump Facebook posts, had history of alleged violence

    To be the spouse, or the parent, or the child of someone who commits a mass shooting is to enter a strange club whose members are envied by no one and reviled by many. Rites of passage include hate mail, death threats and the vicious thoughts that haunt them at night. That they should have seen it coming. That they could have done something. That they are alone.

    And then there is the question of how to mourn. How to dispose of a body that everyone else wants to forget.

    On Tuesday, Suzanne Hodgkinson, 65, received an email while at her job at an accountant’s office on Main Street, asking her to identify the body. A formality. When she clicked to open the attachment, her husband’s swollen face stared back at her. “That’s Tom,” she said she had written back, before hitting delete.

    She would like to deal with James Hodgkinson’s remains as quickly and quietly as possible, she said. He was not a bad man at his core, she believes. They married in 1984. When they met, he was happy, singing in her ear at a grocery store. Later, they took in some 35 foster children and adopted two.

    But in the late 1990s, after a long illness, he took a turn, she said. His rage came more suddenly.

    Now she wants it all to go away.

    She has asked a funeral home run by a friend to cremate Hodgkinson’s body. After that, she may scatter the ashes at home, or bury them in nearby St. Louis. She won’t be informing the public. There will be no ceremony.

    “Cold-hearted as it may be, I’m done,” Suzanne Hodgkinson said. “He was not a religious man, and I’m done with this. I want this to get over. I want my granddaughters to be able to go to school in September without this being dredged up.”

    She paused, then spoke as if James Hodgkinson were sitting on the couch next to her. “You just walked out on me.”

    The number of mass shootings in the United States has risen sharply in recent years — to an average of 16.4 per year between 2007 and 2013, from 6.4 per year between 2000 and 2006. (These numbers come from the FBI and exclude episodes tied to domestic violence and gangs.)

    Each of these attacks has left the families of innocent victims awash in pain, with a growing number of Americans roped into the indelible trauma of a sudden, senseless, violent attack.

    And more and more, communities and individuals are having to wrestle with how to treat the bodies of these perpetrators.

    Relatives of people who commit mass shootings often choose secret burials in unmarked graves with small or nonexistent ceremonies, designed to keep away critics and vandals. This has not stopped the onslaught of attention and condemnation.

    Bodies hold symbolic power, said Ann Neumann, a visiting scholar at New York University who studies death, with places of interment often seen as reflections of how society valued a person.

    Which is why people get so worked up when a major criminal is buried in their backyard.

    After the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, protesters lined up outside a funeral home that had agreed to accept the body of one of the attackers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, holding signs that urged his family to “Bury the Garbage in the Landfill.” After the attack in San Bernardino, Calif., in 2015, relatives of the killers, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, interred their bodies in a cemetery far from their California home after a closer graveyard rejected them.

    Soon, a city near the cemetery passed an ordinance prohibiting the burial of known terrorists in the area. Someone took a saw to the sign marking the American Islamic Institute of Antelope Valley, which maintains the plots, hacking it to pieces.

    “I had rocks thrown at me. I was spit on. People shot at me with BB guns,” said Peter Stefan, the funeral director who handled the Tsarnaev burial. It took a week to find a cemetery that would take the remains. Eventually, the bomber’s family washed his body according to Muslim tradition and buried him in a Virginia plot under the cover of night.

    Stefan said he had helped bury the bomber “to show society that we are really a few steps ahead of people like this guy.”

    He added, “We did for him what he probably would never have done for anybody else.”

    In 1999, after Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 13 people at Columbine High School in a Denver suburb, a handful of people went to a ceremony for Klebold. He lay in a cardboard coffin surrounded by stuffed animals.

    At the time, the Rev. Don Marxhausen, who spoke at the ceremony, called the Klebolds “the loneliest people on the planet.” A year after the funeral, he was ousted from his church, amid tension over his involvement with the case.

    He later said he had done it out of a sense of duty and would do it again. “When your phone rings, you go,” he told the Denver Post.

    Klebold’s mother, Sue Klebold, said in a recent interview that a colleague had urged her to have the funeral, arguing that it would help with the grieving process. It did.

    “When you lose a loved one who has hurt other people, one of the struggles you have is the ability to focus on your sorrow, because your grief is so complicated by all these other things,” she said.

    She gradually came out of hiding and wrote a memoir. Today, when she is out in public and someone mentions that her name is familiar, she can be open. “I think you’re probably thinking of my son Dylan,” she says, “who was one of the shooters in the Columbine tragedy.’”

    Here, Suzanne Hodgkinson is wrestling with the legacy of the man she loved. She denies that he ever assaulted any of their children, which was alleged in decade-old court documents.

    Neighbours have urged her not to mow the lawn, for fear she’ll be attacked in her yard. A friend takes out her trash, dispersing it around town to evade snoops. When she ventured to the Shop ‘N Save alone recently, a white-haired woman — a stranger — approached her in the parking lot and slapped her across the face.

    “That was OK,” Hodgkinson said. “Get it out, lady. Just don’t pick up a gun and shoot somebody.”

    She cried all the way home.

    It was during the 2016 presidential campaign that James Hodgkinson’s Democratic politics boiled into a rage, she said. He sided with Sen. Bernie Sanders. When Donald Trump won, Hodgkinson said, her husband went “bananas.”

    She urged him to take action locally. He said he wanted to go to the top.

    In March, he left for Washington, saying that he was going to work on tax reform. She figured he would return, she would retire and they would buy a motorcycle “and just go for days on end.” He emailed the family and expressed frustration with Washington’s intransigence.

    On June 14, she woke to the sounds of her 2-year-old grandson. As she does every morning, she turned on the television and fed her grandson cookies and milk. The anchors were already talking about the shooting, and it briefly occurred to her that her husband might have done it. He had been so angry.

    Then the reporters mentioned that the attacker had a rifle. She figured it couldn’t be Tom. He had left for Washington with only his pistol.

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