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- 08/18/17--11:12: _CNE beefs up securi...
- 08/18/17--09:35: _Like it or not, Fac...
- 08/18/17--09:00: _Bitterness lingers ...
- 08/18/17--06:41: _What white supremac...
- 08/18/17--06:30: _Donald Trump marche...
- 08/18/17--04:48: _Canadians among vic...
- 08/18/17--09:54: _Steve Bannon ousted...
- 08/18/17--14:53: _For those fleeing t...
- 08/18/17--12:12: _Fleeing to Canada, ...
- 08/19/17--04:00: _Eaton Centre Uniqlo...
- 08/19/17--05:53: _U.S. President Trum...
- 08/19/17--09:11: _The fall of Steve B...
- 08/19/17--04:37: _Two men in serious ...
- 08/18/17--10:11: _Back to the future:...
- 08/19/17--08:35: _‘Free speech rally’...
- 08/19/17--07:01: _Canadian officials ...
- 08/18/17--21:00: _Refugees stuck in b...
- 08/18/17--08:00: _Canadian victim of ...
- 08/20/17--06:40: _Homicide unit inves...
- 08/19/17--19:17: _Wreck of warship US...
- 08/18/17--11:12: CNE beefs up security in wake of Barcelona attack
- 08/18/17--09:35: Like it or not, Facebook owns you: Mallick
- 08/18/17--06:30: Donald Trump marches to war — in his own country: Burman
- 08/18/17--04:48: Canadians among victims of Barcelona attack, Spanish officials say
- 08/18/17--09:54: Steve Bannon ousted from White House chief strategist post
- 08/19/17--04:00: Eaton Centre Uniqlo workers seeking to unionize
- 08/19/17--05:53: U.S. President Trump, first lady to skip Kennedy Center arts awards
- 08/19/17--04:37: Two men in serious condition after hotel shooting downtown
- 08/19/17--07:01: Canadian officials to mark 75th anniversary of Dieppe raid in France
Visitors to this year’s Canadian National Exhibition will notice enhanced security measures, including more police officers, in and around the grounds in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Spain.
“You can see the exterior of the park has been hardened somewhat with (concrete) barriers but there are other measures that aren’t seen to the eye,” CNE chief executive officer Virginia Ludy said Friday as the 139th annual fair opened for business.
“We have a very robust plan that we roll out for the two weeks of the event.”
On Thursday afternoon, a suspected terrorist drove a van into a crowd on the Las Ramblas tourist area in Barcelona, killing at least 13 people and injuring more than 100.
A second attack occurred in the resort town of Cambrils south of Barcelona eight hours later, leaving one woman dead.
Ludy said CNE organizers consulted with security officials before the CNE opened Friday morning.
“As part of our overall security plans we’re always monitoring what’s going on in the world and certainly when we see scenes like the tragic one we saw yesterday in Barcelona, it just re-emphasizes to us the importance of continuing to review those plans and making modifications where necessary,” she said.
“Clearly when you are inviting 1.6 million people to a community event, safety and security is always top of mind.”
Mayor John Tory joined Premier Kathleen Wynne and other dignitaries for the opening ceremony inside the entrance to the Princes’ Gates, blocked to incoming traffic with concrete blocks.
Tory said he has spoken to Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders who is satisfied with the security plan for the CNE’s two-week run.
It is the primary job of the police and civic officials to keep people in Toronto safe, “and I’m confident that everything is being done in cooperation with security intelligence agencies to do just that,” Tory said.
He also expressed condolences for the victims and horror at what unfolded in Spain.
“This is an attack on our way of life, because we share the way of life with the people of Spain and many other countries.”
The use of barriers to block entrances to the Exhibition grounds demonstrates there are steps that can be taken to prevent someone from driving a car into a crowd, a tactic terrorists used during attacks in Nice, Berlin and London.
“The CNE and many other organizations and public venues are taking the steps necessary to provide as much protection to people as possible and to make sure people in Toronto remain safe.”
The CNE has taken additional measures to keep thrill seekers on the midway safe.
The Fire Ball will not be operating after an 18-year-old man was killed and seven others injured while on the same attraction at the Ohio State Fair in July.
The ride malfunctioned and an entire row of seats broke apart and threw riders to the ground. The manufacturer found that “excessive corrosion” led to the “catastrophic failure.”
The CNE inspects of all of its rides daily during the fair, which runs until Sept. 4.
Why are people on Facebook? The question is personal — the massive online spiderweb swallows up leisure time — but it’s also industrial. Facebook is actively destroying journalism and thus democracy.
As founder Mark Zuckerberg boasts, the network has two billion active monthly users. Why do people paste themselves into this structure that spies on them, pesters them and distorts their vision of the way we live now?
Even Twitter is getting easier to monitor and control — it will now alert you to online swarming and let you head it off at the pass — but Facebook forces itself on its users.
It starts with your Aunt Fanny, moves on to co-workers then and now, then everyone you’ve ever met or mentioned and confronts you with a ribbon of photos of “People You May Know,” in my case, “People I Forgot But Can’t Now.” This morning it includes a photo of myself (do I not resemble me?), the worst editor and human I’ve ever worked for, a stalker’s ex-wife and more.
My complaints are minor. But British novelist and financial journalist John Lanchester, at his brilliant best in the London Review of Books this month, has taken an axe to the very premise on which Facebook was built, that the world should be “connected.”
Only connect, E.M. Forster said. But why is connection inherently good, Lanchester asks. “Flaubert was skeptical about trains,” Lanchester writes, “because he thought (in Julian Barnes’ paraphrase) that ‘the railway could merely permit more people to move about, meet and be stupid.’”
“You Are the Product” is the headline of his LRB review. It’s a great catchphrase, a reminder of Facebook’s deep shoals. I’m not sure people quite grasp how their personal lives, quiet links and the faces of their babies are being monetized not just for profit but for unseeable purposes.
Zuckerberg will run for the U.S. presidency. The world’s richest man doesn’t visit Iowa and Nebraska in June for no reason. No one does.
It makes sense. Zuckerberg has global power. As Lanchester lists, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram have 1.2 billion, 1.2 billion and 700 million users respectively. Facebook owns them all.
If you don’t mind Facebook having a piece of your soul, you should worry that it has your data. For instance, it has more data on Americans than their voting system does, and it’s free to sell/use it as it pleases.
Americans who think things can’t get worse should consider President Pence as the more-acceptable face of authoritarianism. Try President Zuckerberg as the prize for digitizing your life from stem to stern, from birth to expiry.
Lanchester calls Facebook, with its tiny staff, the purest example of a company whose business is “the capture and sale of attention.” It started out as the equivalent of the “Hi, My Name Is...” badge at a convention.
Now it’s the equivalent of the äppärät worn by New Yorkers in Gary Shteyngart’s 2010 novelSuper Sad True Love Story, that lets everyone know your net worth, hotness rating, medical history and political affiliation. And you know theirs. Facebook is a constant comparison service.
The notorious Peter Thiel, one of Facebook’s original investors in 2004, was drawn to the philosopher René Girard’s idea of “mimetic desire.” We copy other people the way a baby copies adults holding a spoon, saying a word or drinking from a glass. Lanchester says Thiel’s conclusion was that “imitation is at the root of all behaviour.”
And this is why “fake news” became a problem, amplified by Donald Trump’s constant allegation of same. News — actual verified news — took a beating. Today for example, people are taking as real a fake Onion photo of Steve Bannon with hideous facial blood welts. It’s tamer than the Onion photo of him slurping a still-twitching rat tail into his mouth, but still.
We donate to the Guardian to keep it free for everyone, but remember that we do this because former editor Alan Rusbridger made the numbers clear. In 2016, Facebook “sucked up $27 million (U.S.) of the newspaper’s projected ad revenue that year.”
Facebook was the interlocutor, the middleman who slipped between readers and journalists and siphoned off the money. When I step onto the thing for even a moment, I make money for Zuckerberg. I work for him, not the Toronto Star.
I wouldn’t mind being followed for weeks by ads for the hand vacuum (designed in England, made in Malaysia, which is why I despise Dyson) I ordered five minutes ago from an online retailer with no discernible connection to Facebook.
But I do mind that my salary was effectively lower this year because Facebook knew this, its targeting having destroyed the print and online ads on which the Star itself relied.
I take a dim view. With less money, I’ll buy fewer things advertised on Facebook, but it doesn’t care. It’s in the business of attention, not retailing. Its hands are clean.
Of course they’re not. They’re loaded with lucre, and they’re taunting people individually and en masse, damaging quality of life and eating freedom. You are owned.
In Alabama — where else? — deranged hunters can pre-pay to have their cremation ashes packed into bullets to shoot living things after they’re dead.
In a sense, Facebook does this with your personal data. It shoots you with bullets made of you.
By early 1942, in one of the bleakest periods of the Second World War, Germany occupied most of Europe. Allied forces had been pushed back across the English Channel to Britain. Nazi forces were driving into the Soviet Union toward Moscow.
The Allies were desperate for a foothold on the continent and a chance to stop Hitler’s war machine.
So 75 years ago, the Royal Regiment of Canada, mostly men from Toronto, many not long out of boyhood, was tapped to be part of the star-crossed Raid on Dieppe, in occupied France, in the early hours of Aug. 19.
“Everything was against them,” says Doug Olver, son of Pte. William Olver, who would survive a catastrophe that was to write Dieppe into a dark chapter of this country’s history books.
Canadians accounted for almost 5,000 of the 6,100 troops involved in the raid, code-named Operation Jubilee. More than 900 Canadian soldiers were killed and thousands more wounded and taken prisoner.
Of the 554 soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Canada, landing on the beach at Puys, 227 died in battle or later from wounds and 264 were taken prisoner.
It was the highest casualty rate of any Canadian battalion in all of the Second World War for one day’s fighting.
It was only about 18 months ago that Doug Surphlis, Doug Olver and Jayne Poolton-Turvey got to know each other.
But you might say, that as sons and daughter of men who were part of the Raid on Dieppe and ended up as PoWs, they have been living with versions of the same story and the consequences of that awful morning all their lives.
“My mother said it destroyed hundreds of families in Toronto,” says Doug Olver, a retired corrections officer from Georgetown.
So many men killed. So many badly wounded. So many brutalized in PoW camps and returning after the war with what is now known as post-traumatic stress disorder.
“They never got help for it,” says Poolton-Turvey, of Barrie. “They just came back and slid into whatever job or career, family, mortgages, whatever, and they lived their lives.
“We all lived with a former prisoner-of-war who had PTSD and they suffered in silence,” she says.
While silence about war’s horror was not uncommon among vets, it was compounded for the Dieppe men with embarrassment at the disaster of it all and guilt at the massive losses.
“They never spoke about it because it was such a horror story on Blue Beach,” says Olver, using the code name for the beach at Puys.
“When I was a kid, I never heard the word ‘Dieppe’ uttered in my house except once a year. My father always took Aug. 19 off. He wasn’t a drinker, but he would have a couple of scotches that day. And my mother would whisper, ‘Dieppe.’ ”
Buried along with the grief was the anger at what the decision-makers had sent them into at Dieppe.
“They were sent there without any hope of success,” says Poolton-Turvey. “My father always felt that they had been sacrificed.”
That’s why she, Olver and Surphlis got active in their “Every Man Remembered” campaign, and why the three children of Royal Regiment soldiers will be present at Dieppe on Saturday for the 75th anniversary of the raid.
Along with about 75 other descendants of soldiers, they will sail into Dieppe to “see what (their relatives) would have seen as they were going in.”
Initially, the Raid on Dieppe was to be known as “Operation Rutter” and planned for July 1942. It was intended to test German coastal defences and gain experience for the massive amphibious assault — D-Day — that would be necessary to defeat Germany.
Bad weather caused that plan to be postponed. Many wanted it abandoned entirely.
Doug Olver says his father recalled that when the men were told of the first assault plan in July, there was cheering by soldiers eager to get on with the job.
But after they returned from leave after the cancellation and were told in August that the raid was back on as Operation Jubilee, “they were in shock.
“They thought, ‘Oh, my God, what if word has leaked out since last month?’ ”
The Royals were expected to take the small beach and scale the western headlands to knock out German artillery that overlooked the town of Dieppe and its harbour. That would enable the main Canadian force to gain a foothold within Dieppe and beyond.
Everything depended on “stealth, surprise, the cover of darkness,” Olver says. “That was the only way they could succeed in this difficult task of climbing the cliffs.”
From the beginning, however, the plans went awry.
About few kilometres out from Dieppe, as soldiers the were climbing from their mother ships into artillery landing craft at about 3:40 a.m., they ran into a German naval convoy.
The battle was short but loud. “Bullets are pinging off the little craft that my father and uncle were kneeling down in,” Olver says.
The noise alerted any German who might have been sleeping on the coast.
“They’re now in their concrete pillboxes, at their posts,” Olver says. “They just quietly watched as the first wave came in.”
Pte. William Olver, just turned 23, was in the first landing craft and touched down at 5:07 a.m., his son says. They were 17 minutes late because of the engagement with the German convoy and the cover of night was giving way to dawn.
By the time the second wave landed shortly afterward, it was broad daylight.
William Olver was the first man to hit the Puys beach, which was about the size of a football field and shaped like a horseshoe. Olver was also one of the first to cross the beach to the base of the seawall. “That’s what saved his life,” says Doug Olver.
“The Germans waited until his boat was empty and other boats had come on shore. Then they opened a horrific crossfire.
“You’re being shot at from the front, you’re being shot from the left, you’re being shot from the right and right behind you is the English Channel. You had nowhere to go.”
The Allied soldiers “never saw one German until it was all over,” he says.
“There were only approximately 60-70 Germans defending that beach against about 600 men,” Olver says. “But that’s all they needed because of the gun pillboxes.”
As the Canadians were cut down like targets in a shooting range on the beach, or even before they could exit their landing craft, Olver’s father reached the four-metre high seawall with a few other men.
One was Sgt. Charles Surphlis, who almost drowned in the landing. The two men, along with two others on the beach that day, would become friends in the PoW camp and work together after the war for 30 years in the Metropolitan Toronto Police.
Olver blew a hole in the wall and began to scale it.
That’s when he saw the first enemy soldiers, waiting for him.
Atop the seawall, the Canadians were stripped of their weapons. But a young soldier with Olver was shot in the head when the Germans spotted a penknife in his hand.
“So my father thought they were all going to be executed.”
On the beach below, as hundreds of Olver’s comrades lay dead or dying, another German officer came along and taunted him about how prepared the enemy had been for the Allied arrival.
“What happened? You are four days late.”
The campaign to honour the men of Dieppe has “kind of consumed my life,” says Poolton-Turvey, who wrote a book with her late father, Pte. Jack Poolton, in 1998 called Destined to Survive.
“I would go with him to speak at schools and community groups, and I started to learn the story.”
Last year, a group of Dieppe descendants gathered to share information and ensure the sacrifice of their fathers is not forgotten.
Since then, Poolton-Turvey has tried to track down information on almost all the Royals who landed on Blue Beach.
It will be collected in one place where all those vets will be recognized, where future generations can find information about their ancestors.
Poolton-Turvey also organized the tour in which family members of Dieppe vets have travelled to France for the anniversary.
“We’re all going to be standing there shoulder to shoulder honouring the men.”
Photos, a short biography and a Canadian flag will be placed on the graves of the 189 Royal Regiment soldiers buried in the cemetery at Dieppe. (The bodies of some of those killed were never found and others who died later of wounds are buried elsewhere.)
Of the Royals landing on Blue Beach, more than 260 were taken prisoner. During almost three years in captivity, they were given meagre rations, shackled for months at a time, and near the end of the war some endured a “death march” across Germany before being liberated in 1945.
These men were heroes “who never got recognized,” says Poolton-Turvey.
“I’m going to make sure that people know.”
Two terms jumped to the top of the most-searched at Merriam-Webster dictionary following the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend: white nationalist and white supremacist.
Nationalist and supremacist are also the first auto-suggestions on Google, appearing as options when you type the word “white,” suggesting widespread interest in the topic.
Merriam’s word nerds go one step further and do a fine job of explaining the difference between the two.
“White nationalist is defined as “one of a group of militant whites who espouse white supremacy and advocate enforced racial segregation,” while white supremacist is “a person who believes that the white race is inherently superior to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races.”
You’ll notice Merriam-Webster’s explanation makes no mention of white hoods, confederate flags, guns, swastikas, or khakis.
Yet, as with racism, society acknowledges supremacy only when it bears these overt markers, ratified by the white majority, whether in language, in clothing or in accessories.
The Charlottesville protesters who carried torches, wielded bats and shields, and chanted Nazi slogans were easily labelled supremacists. They matched the image of the bad guys seen in history books.
The rest of the time, though, it remains the burden of those affected by its oppressive machinations to prove its existence, to convince people in power that it is not simply a sin of the past.
It was heartening in these polarized times that a large number of counter-protesters who turned up to push back were white. At the same time, the nation-wide indignation indicated that racial supremacy, the principle that powers the continent, continues to be recognized only at a surface level.
Still, if you were one of the liberal-minded progressives who supported the counter-protesters, this basic conversation is worth having again: What does white supremacy without the white hoods look like?
Supremacy is the invisible structure with the visible outcome of placing one group in the centre of financial, political, judicial, corporate, academic, social and cultural power. In other words, it vests one group with supreme control over society.
Earlier this year, Malinda Smith, a political science professor at the University of Alberta, compiled a “diversity gap twittorial” listing representational deficiencies in various sectors.
She demonstrated, with links for further reading, how we end up in Canada with a majority of police forces failing to reflect their communities, visible minorities and Indigenous people under-represented in the judiciary, corporate boards and the legal profession overwhelming white and male. As for the media — you’ve heard from me about that before.
What about universities, those ivory towers regularly excoriated as intolerable bastions of far-left thought?
The Equity Myth, a recently released book based on a landmark four-year study by a group of Canadian academics, including Smith, challenges that stereotype with the finding that “racialized and Indigenous faculty and the disciplines or areas of their expertise are, on the whole, low in numbers and even lower in terms of power, prestige, and influence within the University.”
When I look at this pattern, I don’t see glass ceilings. I see steel-reinforced ones.
When a structure is this deep-rooted and its effects this widespread, you don’t have to consciously work to maintain it. In other words, not doing anything differently perpetuates it.
You know what this means in practical terms. You, as a person with progressive ideals, commiserate with your colleagues of colour about lack of representation in your office, but you don’t feel the need to take up the task of agitating for change.
You’ve agreed more needs to be done, so you tell yourself you’re not racist and absolve yourself of further responsibilities.
The sad reality is if something is to be deemed systemically discriminatory, it is accepted more easily when raised or backed up by a white person; your voice carries more weight than that of your racialized colleagues. When you don’t see workplace diversity as your battle, you abandon those in need of your help.
In effect, you may be an ally in thought but as long as you are a bystander in action, you perpetuate supremacy.
If you were outraged by Donald Trump’s refusal to call out the supremacists after Charlottesville, then you can’t allow yourself to effectively endorse structurally imposed supremacy with your silence.
Put simply, it’s easy to condemn people who chant “white power.” What are you doing to equalize it?
Shree Paradkar writes about discrimination and identity. You can follow her @shreeparadkar
Is America edging closer to a second civil war? In normal times, this question would be dismissed as absurd. But these are no longer normal times.
After all, this was the week when, as scholar David Rothkopf put it in The Washington Post,“Donald Trump gave the most disgusting public performance in the history of the American presidency.”
In doing so, the 45th president of the United States, already suspected of being a Russian stooge, revealed himself with extraordinary clarity as an apologist for white supremacists, neo-Nazis and anti-Semites.
But this past week also revealed more. We saw the real danger of Trump’s presidency. By reminding us of his lifetime pattern of fuelling racist divisions to achieve his goals, we saw what Trump will truly risk to ensure his personal survival.
So this question — of whether the U.S. is hurtling toward catastrophic internal conflict as a result — is now being taken seriously by serious people.
In an article in this week’s New Yorker — titled “Is America headed for a new kind of civil war?”— journalist Robin Wright asks a corollary question: “How fragile is the Union, our republic, and a country that has long been considered the world’s most stable democracy? The dangers are now bigger than the collective episodes of violence.”
She quotes the Southern Poverty Law Center: “The radical right was more successful in entering the political mainstream last year than in half a century.”
Last March, Foreign Policy magazine asked several national security experts to evaluate the risks of a second civil war. The consensus number was about 30 per cent, although some put it as high as 60 per cent or even 95 per cent.
Keith Mines was one of those experts. With a career in the U.S. army, State Department and the United Nations, Mines estimated the U.S. faces a 60 per cent chance of civil war over the next 10 to 15 years.
He cited five factors to justify his prediction: “entrenched national polarization,” divisive press coverage, weakened institutions such as the press and judiciary, “total sellout of the Republican leadership” and a belief that “violence is ‘in’ as a method to solve disputes and get one’s way.”
As for events that could spark civil war, Mines listed a terrorist attack, economic downturn, a racial event that spirals out of control or impeachment of the president or his fall from office: “It is like 1859,” Mines wrote. “Everyone is mad about something and everyone has a gun.”
In a presidency that has already experienced dozens of eye-popping moments, Donald Trump’s sickening news conference last Tuesday topped them all.
In a rambling, combative account of how he saw the events last weekend in Charlottesville, Va., Trump equated the neo-Nazi thugs who triggered the violence that led to three deaths and many injured with the people who protested their presence: “There were very fine people on both sides,” he said.
The depravity of that false claim was dramatically exposed in a chilling 20-minute documentary produced by Vice News and distributed widely to U.S. and international media outlets. It can be seen through the Vice website (vice.com).
The documentary opens with torch-wielding white men chanting “Jews will not replace us” and the Nazi slogan, “Blood and soil.” It includes interviews with the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who came to Charlottesville for the march. It reveals how well they were organized and rebuts any suggestion that there were “very fine people” among them, as Trump claimed.
Jews were particular targets. During the march through Charlottesville last Saturday, a group of neo-Nazis with semi-automatic weapons in their hands stood across from the city’s historic Beth Israel synagogue during Shabbat services, shouting slogans such as “Sieg Heil.” The rabbi advised congregants to leave the synagogue through the back door.
If the response to Trump’s actions among Republican leaders was mixed, even muted, the international reaction to this week was ferocious.
“America is now a dangerous nation,” wrote Gideon Rachman, chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times.
Rachman noted the danger that Trump will use global and domestic conflicts to evade the growing threat of the Russian investigation.
And the enormity of the challenge was surely evident this week.
The U.S. president appears to have decided that he will protect his own skin — come hell or high water — even at the expense of the country’s interests. This is an extraordinary moment in modern American history.
Tony Burman is former head of Al Jazeera English and CBC News. Reach him @TonyBurman or at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Tony Burman is former head of Al Jazeera English and CBC News. Reach him @TonyBurman or at email@example.com .
BARCELONA, SPAIN—Spanish police intensified a manhunt Friday for suspects behind two deadly vehicle attacks on civilians, shooting and killing five people wearing fake bomb belts who attacked a seaside resort and arresting four others believed linked to the carnage wrought on a Barcelona promenade.
Spanish authorities said the back-to-back vehicle attacks Thursday afternoon and early Friday morning — as well as a deadly explosion earlier this week in a house elsewhere in Catalonia — were related and the work of a large terrorist group.
Daesh, also known as ISIS, quickly claimed responsibility for Europe’s latest bout of extremist violence, which left 13 dead and 100 wounded after a van roared down Barcelona’s historic Las Ramblas promenade on Thursday. Hours later, a blue Audi plowed into people in the popular seaside town of Cambrils, killing one person and injuring five others.
Spanish authorities say Canada is among the countries with citizens killed or injured in the terrorist attack in Barcelona.
Local officials say on Twitter that the dead and injured from the attacks come from 34 countries.
Global Affairs says Canadians have been affected by the attacks, but did not provide further details, citing privacy reasons.
Global Affairs spokesman Austin Jean says the government is in contact with family members affected by the attacks and is trying to gather more information.
“Our thoughts are with the Canadians who were affected by the terrorist attack that occurred in Barcelona, Spain,” Global Affairs spokesperson Austin Jean. He added that the government is in contact with family members to provide assistance.
“For privacy reasons, we are not able to release any further details,” Jean said.
Jean said the Canadian government is communicating with local authorities to gather additional information.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy declared Friday that the fight against terrorism was a global battle and Europe’s main problem.
Police said they arrested two more people Friday, after an initial two were arrested Thursday — three Moroccans and one Spaniard, none with terror records. At least three of them were nabbed in the northern town of Ripoll. Another arrest was made in Alcanar, south of Barcelona, where a gas explosion in a house Wednesday that killed one person was also being investigated as a focus of the probe.
“There could be more people in Ripoll connected to the group,” regional Interior Ministry chief Joaquim Forn told TV3 television, adding that police were centring the investigation on identifying the five dead attackers in Cambrils as well as the driver of the Barcelona van.
Forn told local radio RAC1 that the Cambrils and Barcelona attack “follows the same trail. There is a connection.”
“We are not talking about a group of one or two people, but rather a numerous group,” he told Onda Cero radio.
Amid heavy security, Barcelona tried to move forward Friday, with its iconic Las Ramblas promenade quietly reopening to the public and King Felipe VI and Rajoy joining thousands of residents and visitors in observing a minute of silence in the city’s main square.
“I am not afraid! I am not afraid!” the crowd chanted in Catalan.
But the dual attacks unnerved a country that hasn’t seen an Islamic extremist attack since 2004, when al-Qaida-inspired bombers killed 192 people in co-ordinated assaults on Madrid’s commuter trains. Unlike France, Britain, Sweden and Germany, Spain has largely been spared, thanks in part to a crackdown that has netted some 200 suspected jihadis in recent years.
Authorities were still reeling from the Barcelona van attack when police in the popular seaside town of Cambrils, 130 kilometres to the south, fatally shot five people near the town’s boardwalk who had plowed into tourists and locals with their car. Forn said the five were wearing fake bomb belts.
One woman died Friday from her injuries, Catalan police said. Five others were injured.
Cambrils Mayor Cami Mendoza said the town had taken precautions after the Barcelona attack, but that the suspects had focused their attack on the narrow path to the boardwalk, which is usually packed late into the evening.
“We were on a terrace, like many others,” said bystander Jose Antonio Saez. “We heard the crash and intense gun shots, then the dead bodies on the floor, shot by the police. They had what looked like explosive belts on.”
Others described scenes of panic, and found safety inside bars and restaurants until police had secured the area. Resident Markel Artabe was heading out to get an ice cream when he heard the shots.
“We began to run. We saw one person lying on the pavement with a shot in his head, then 20 to 30 metres farther on we saw two more people, who must have been terrorists as they had explosive belts around them. We were worried so we hid,” he said.
The Cambrils attack came hours after a white van veered onto Barcelona’s picturesque Las Ramblas promenade and mowed down pedestrians. That attack at the peak of Spain’s tourist season left victims sprawled across the street, spattered with blood and writhing in pain from broken limbs. Others were ushered inside shops by officers with their guns drawn or fled in panic, screaming and carrying young children in their arms.
“It was clearly a terror attack, intended to kill as many people as possible,” said Josep Lluis Trapero, a senior police official for Spain’s Catalonia region.
Forn also suggested a possible connection to an incident Thursday in which the driver of a Ford Focus plowed through a police checkpoint leaving Barcelona after the Las Ramblas attack, injuring two police officers. The driver was killed.
Daesh said on its Aamaq news agency that the Barcelona attack was carried out by “soldiers of the Islamic State” in response to the extremist group’s calls for followers to target countries participating in the coalition trying to drive it from Syria and Iraq.
Islamic extremists have nearly systematically targeted Europe’s major tourist attractions in recent years. Rented or hijacked vehicles have formed the backbone of a strategy to target the West and most notably its cultural symbols. Barcelona’s Las Ramblas is one of the most popular attractions in a city that swarms with foreign tourists in August.
The dead and wounded hailed from 34 countries, and previous attacks — in Nice, Paris, Berlin and London — have had similarly international victims.
Spanish public broadcaster RTVE and other news outlets named one of the detained in the Barcelona attack as Driss Oukabir, a French citizen of Moroccan origin. RTVE reported that Oukabir went to police in Ripoll to report that his identity documents had been stolen. Spanish media said documents with his name were found in the attack van and that he claimed his brother might have stolen them.
Citing police sources, Spain’s RTVE as well as El Pais and TV3 identified the brother, Moussa Oukabir, as the suspected driver of the van. Forn declined to respond to questions about him Friday.
“We don’t know if the driver is still in Barcelona or not, or what direction he fled in,” Forn told SER Radio.
Rajoy called the killings a “savage terrorist attack” and said Spaniards “are not just united in mourning, but especially in the firm determination to beat those who want to rob us of our values and our way of life.”
By Friday morning, Las Ramblas promenade had reopened to the public, albeit under heavy surveillance and an unusual quiet.
“It’s sad,” New York tourist John Lanza said, as the family stood outside the gated La Boqueria market. “You can tell it’s obviously quieter than it usually is, but I think people are trying to get on with their lives.”
At noon Friday, a minute of silence honouring the victims was observed at the Placa Catalunya, near the top of the Las Ramblas where the van attack started. The presence of Spain’s king and prime minister alongside Catalonia’s regional authorities marked a rare moment when the question of Catalonian independence — the subject of a proposed Oct. 1 referendum — didn’t divide its people.
Rajoy declared three days of national mourning.
Since the Madrid train bombings, the only deadly attacks in Spain had been bombings claimed by the Basque separatist group ETA that killed five people over the past decade. It declared a cease-fire in 2011.
“Unfortunately, Spaniards know the absurd and irrational pain that terrorism causes. We have received blows like this in recent years, but we also that terrorists can be beaten,” Rajoy said.
With files from Star staff and The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON—Steve Bannon, the polarizing nationalist whose race-baiting tactics have been an incendiary hallmark of U.S. President Donald Trump’s flailing young administration, was ousted on Friday in another indication of the White House chaos that shows no sign of abating.
Bannon is the fourth top Trump aide to be fired or to resign in less than a month. He is the second, after Anthony Scaramucci, to be forced out days after calling up a journalist and ranting about his colleagues on the record.
The ouster of Bannon, described by the White House as a mutual decision, comes as Trump’s new chief of staff, former marine general John Kelly, tries to find a way to impose some semblance of discipline on a dysfunctional organization mired in infighting and policy confusion.
The move pleased, though did not satisfy, leaders of minority communities that had been aghast at the elevation of such a person to a position of power. It also leaves Trump’s inner circle nearly devoid of advisors who subscribe either to traditionally Republican policy views or Trump’s brand of racially inflammatory, economically protectionist populism.
Bannon was beloved by segments of the president’s base, including trade hawks, opponents of immigration and anti-Muslim bigots. His take-no-prisoners attitude toward Trump’s critics and the media, which he gleefully labelled “the opposition party,” made him a symbol and a proponent of Trump’s unusually antagonistic public message.
It was far from clear Bannon’s departure would change anything about Trump’s behaviour. The president, resistant to advice of all kinds, had struck similar notes on race and trade long before Bannon joined his campaign.
“Remember, Trump was hawking birtherism - the molding agent between racists and legitimate political opposition to Obama - way before Bannon,” Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy said on Twitter.
Sources close to Bannon told various U.S. outlets that he would try to influence Trump from the outside by launching a fierce battle against the presidential aides he believes are establishment “globalists” insufficiently committed to the “America First” views he believes got Trump elected.
Some U.S. outlets reported that Bannon was likely to return to Breitbart News, the pro-Trump website he once turned into a “platform” for the white supremacist “alt-right.”
“#WAR,” Joel Pollak, a Breitbart journalist, said on Twitter.
“And kids, that’s the day when Bannon the Barbarian was born,” said another Breitbart journalist, Charlie Spiering.
Bannon’s history of bigotry, including unconcealed anti-Muslim sentiment and Breitbart fear mongering about black people and Hispanic immigrants, had made him the most controversial adviser to Trump. Democratic senators had demanded Trump remove him in the wake of the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va. on Saturday.
It is far from clear that this is why Bannon was removed. Trump defended Bannon at a press conference on Tuesday, saying he was “not a racist.”
“We’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon,” he added ominously.
Among the people pushing for Bannon to be fired, according to the New York Times, was News Corp. executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, an informal Trump adviser who speaks frequently to the president.
Bannon feuded with several of his senior colleagues, including Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and angered colleagues this week by phoning a left-leaning magazine, unprompted, and sharing candid thoughts about North Korea policy and about other administration figures.
Bannon’s remarks on North Korea, in which he said the notion of a military strike was unrealistic given the Kim regime’s ability to devastate Seoul in response, were seen as undercutting the president’s own threat of “fire and fury,” confusing Asian allies. And Bannon jabbed at Trump’s top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, and a senior state department official, Susan Thornton, by name.
U.S. media outlets long reported Trump resented the credit Bannon has been given for Trump’s election success.
Trump was said to be especially annoyed by a Time magazine cover of Bannon in February that labelled the strategist “The Great Manipulator.” Trump regularly reminded public and private audiences that he hired Bannon just three months before voting day, after he had won the Republican nomination without Bannon at his side.
“Mr. Bannon came on very late — you know that,” Trump said Tuesday. "I went through 17 senators, governors and I won all the primaries. Mr. Bannon came on very much later than that, and I like him, he's a good man.”
Bannon was even the source of some controversy in Canada. This week, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair called on Gerald Butts, Bannon’s counterpart in the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to “immediately disavow” the supposed friendship the New Yorker magazine reported Butts had developed with Bannon.
Bannon is a former chief executive of Breitbart, producer of right-wing films, investment banker and naval officer.
In addition to pushing Trump to embrace race-baiting — “The Democrats, the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em,” he said in the Tuesday interview with the American Prospect — he also served as a resident skeptic of military action and advocate of populist economic proposals like hiking taxes on millionaires. The New Yorker suggested Bannon was partly inspired by Butts’s account of Trudeau’s success with such a tax hike. New York Stock Exchange traders were heard on television cheering when the news of Bannon’s departure broke.
Bannon, who cultivated a reputation as a Machiavellian schemer, gave a rare public interview at a conservative conference in Washington in February. He drew cheers by advocating the “deconstruction of the administrative state,” by urging a focus on “sovereignty” and by railing against the “corporatist, globalist media” he called biased against Trump.
Since late July, Trump had previously lost or fired press secretary Sean Spicer, chief of staff Reince Priebus and communications director Anthony Scaramucci. Like Bannon’s, Scaramucci’s ouster came after he made an unsolicited call to a magazine journalist.
Bannon sounded confident in his standing as recently as the Tuesday interview. Of his rivals at the State and Defense departments, he said: “They’re wetting themselves.”
We’ve all grown up with the story of living alongside the world’s longest undefended border. Here’s another chapter.
For the last few summers, we’ve vacationed on the Vermont side of the frontier with family friends from the U.S., perched a stone’s throw from the international boundary.
I get to jog past American border patrols, bicycle up to checkpoints (passport in hand), and hike alongside unguarded border markings. We browse for books at the Haskell Library that straddles the two countries, where a line along the floor marks the border (no fines for crossing over, just for late returns).
The stories of Stanstead (Canada) and Derby Line (USA) — twin towns whose intertwined sewer lines and bloodlines surmount the borderline — have always been too good to be true. For decades, their shared cross-border heritage withstood the transgressions of smugglers sneaking in booze, drugs and guns.
Then came 9/11 — and terrorist fears tightened up security while loosening interconnectedness. Today, a line of oversized flower pots has closed off the street alongside the historic library. A border patrol vehicle is a constant presence, with American agents reflexively reminding all bookworms not to worm their way into America.
Where once residents of the USA could casually cross the aptly named Canusa St. to use our sidewalk, they must now report to the border post. Homes that once offered the best of both worlds have plunged in price as prospective buyers feared double trouble.
Despite the strain, co-existence continued. This year, the frontier felt different.
Walking unchallenged through a wildlife sanctuary abutting the border — where the white markings of the International Boundary Commission dot the landscape — I couldn’t help thinking of the recent surge in migrants, who take the extra step of crossing onto Canadian soil. It must be odd for the ever-vigilant American patrols on the borderline, now watching from the sidelines, mindful less of infiltration than exfiltration.
Initially, many Canadians reacted to the news reports with customary smugness and superiority about our humane treatment of downtrodden refugees. But it bears repeating that the sudden increase — Haitians make up an estimated 85 per cent — isn’t as simple as a Donald Trump crackdown versus a Justin Trudeau haven.
In fact, the U.S. still gives sanctuary to Haitians in the wake of a 2010 earthquake, though it is under review. Ottawa quietly resumed deportations in 2014. That means they still have legal status in Trump’s America, but not in Trudeau’s Canada.
That’s not to say Ottawa was wrong to wrap up its program — the earthquake occurred seven years ago — just that it’s wrongheaded to view Canada as the good guy and America as the bad guy. Despite the obvious strains in U.S. immigration policy, its refugee system is still better than most, and Canada has been deporting Haitians while the U.S. hasn’t.
Most have crossed into Quebec, and many will soon be sent to temporary housing in eastern Ontario. They are exploiting a little-understood loophole in our carefully regulated but largely undefended frontier: refugee claimants are turned back at official border points if they already have safe haven in the U.S., yet are allowed to file new claims in Canada if they walk over in between crossings.
It is an axiom of refugee policy that you shouldn’t shuttle from one safe haven to another in search of a better outcome. And as difficult as Haiti can be, economic migrants aren’t bona fide refugees.
“Unless you are being persecuted or fleeing terror or war, you would not qualify as a refugee,” Transport Minister Marc Garneau noted Thursday after the RCMP announced nearly 4,000 crossings so far this month — double the rate for July and five times the pace in June.
The rising tide of refugee claims is a reminder of the sometimes irresistible impulse that drives so many migrants to take risks — and try their chances elsewhere. Easy as it is for us here in Canada to criticize others (notably Europeans and Australians) for trying to stem the tide of boat people, the relatively modest surge in arrivals here puts the problem in perspective.
The only consolation for those crossing the Canada-U.S. border is that they are not risking their lives on unseaworthy vessels in the hands of human smugglers. The death rate among migrants crossing the Mediterranean has nearly doubled, with more than 1,500 lives lost so far this year.
Haitian arrivals deserve to be treated with humanity and dignity — and due process. Yet the surge is a recipe for refugee chaos and dashed hopes if it continues unabated.
And a reminder that the fantasy of open borders — the cornerstone of which is compliance — is usually a story without a happy ending.
Martin Regg Cohn's political column appears Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. firstname.lastname@example.org , Twitter: @reggcohn
Martin Regg Cohn's political column appears Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. email@example.com , Twitter: @reggcohn
CHAMPLAIN, N.Y.—In the bushes at the end of Roxham Rd., just steps from Canada, lay a sheet of white paper that had been ripped from a notebook and soaked from the previous day’s rain.
It was torn into 11 pieces and tossed away, seemingly moments before its author followed in the steps of the nearly 7,000 others who have sought asylum in Canada so far in 2017 via this hole in the border with the U.S.
In handwritten French, it said: “I have come here to live in peace.”
The writer identified herself only as a Muslim woman from the African country of Djibouti. The intended recipient of her plea was also unnamed, but her audience was clearly Canadian.
She wrote of having moved to the United States with her husband and with hope. A victim of genital mutilation at the age of 7 and now suffering marital problems as a result, she said she was fleeing both an abusive marriage as well as a hostile nation.
“President Donald Trump detests Muslims. The people of this country insult us and even spit in our faces,” it reads. “It’s for this reason that I am coming to your country.”
Composed with care, abandoned in haste, the letter was the most personal piece of detritus recovered during a visit this week to the road that runs from Champlain, N.Y., to the Canadian border.
But it is not the only item testifying to the journey thousands of people have taken to get to Canada since the current migrant spike began in November 2016.
There were airplane boarding passes and luggage tags from Haiti, Florida, Ethiopia, Salt Lake City and New York; Greyhound bus tickets from Albany and Indianapolis; a Delaware driver’s licence and a U.S. Social Security number; Florida detention records; immigration documents from Orlando; and medical laboratory test records for a Delaware man.
Dampened by rain and dried by sun, the scraps of papers discarded while fleeing for a new life in Canada offer insight into the journeys made by asylum seekers. They may have been thrown away as simple garbage from a life abandoned or been purposefully left behind for fear of complicating an expected refugee claim in Canada.
Canadian officials said this week that there have been about 250 people crossing each day at Roxham Rd. in the past few weeks, with a one-day peak of 500 about a week ago.
About 85 per cent have been Haitian nationals worried that the U.S. government intends to get rid of a special immigration designation, known as a Temporary Protected Status, that prevents deportation back to Haiti and nine other countries.
Among them is the Baptiste family — mother Sophonie, father Michel and son Colby — who stepped off a Greyhound bus at 6 p.m. Wednesday along with an elderly grandfather, an aunt and a cousin after deciding to leave behind the life they had built over the past decade in Queens, N.Y.
In Haiti, they ran a successful home renovation business that was abandoned over fears of kidnapping. Colby Baptiste said he was employed by Honda and was a registered real estate agent in New York before the family decided to seek refuge in Canada.
Pushing them to take that decision was a letter they received from immigration authorities advising them to prepare for the expiration of their Temporary Protected Status and an eventual return to Haiti.
With tears welling in her eyes, Sophonie Baptiste said she saw Canada as a more generous and open country and was confident her family would be able to rebuild once again.
Colby Baptiste had an expensive camera around his neck and wore a baseball cap pulled low on his head. He looked like any other disoriented tourist arriving in a new town when he got off the bus in the parking lot of a Mountain Mart convenience store in Plattsburgh, N.Y., this week.
He was stoic upon hearing that his family’s first stop in Canada would be a 1,200-person army field camp erected at the nearby Lacolle border post to handle the wave of refugee claimants. Then he stepped away to negotiate the 30-minute taxi ride to Roxham Rd., settling on a price of $40-per-person and beginning the last leg of the family’s northern journey.
Some of the discarded papers testify to the mundane, everyday existences that have been interrupted: a paper ordering medical tests for one man’s apparent kidney problems; a 2016 report on a vehicle emission test in New Jersey; an employment information form for someone who worked as a chicken de-boner at a poultry farm.
But other documents demonstrate the lengths refugee claimants go to, the risks that they take and the threats they claim to be fleeing. The Star is withholding some information contained in the documents that could identify refugee claimants.
One person threw away a sheet of paper marked “Inmate Summary” that was dated this year. The document outlined five charges an individual was facing for violations of laws in the state of Florida, including possession of forged documents, fraudulent use of another person’s identification and making false statements to obtain a driver’s license. A trial was pending.
A discarded scrap of newsprint ripped from the weather section of the Dallas Morning News contained fragments of another individual’s story written in black pen in Amharic writing, the language spoken by Ethiopians: “In 92 it was started. In June 2013 he was killed. In 94 I was helping him and in Feb 2015 both my brother and father disappeared.”
The scraps of paper contain pieces of stories that Canadian law enforcement, border agents and immigration officials will also be challenged to document and assess as the refugee claims are being processed on this side of the border.
That process was already underway in the United States for one man, who appears to have tossed his entire 54-page immigration file, contained in a maroon folder, into a wooded area along Roxham Rd.
The man was originally from Haiti, according to a transcript of his December 2016 interview with a U.S. asylum officer.
Speaking through a Haitian Creole interpreter, the man said that he travelled from Brazil, where he had been working, through Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras to Mexico. From there, he crossed the U.S. border at San Luis, Ariz., in November and made an asylum claim.
He said he was an evangelical Christian and his life was at risk from his half-siblings, who practice voodoo. On one occasion in late 2012 or early 2013, the man said his half-brother attacked him with a stick and broke his finger because he was preaching the Bible.
Then, after a dispute about whether to give their father a Christian or voodoo funeral, the man said his half-siblings employed a criminal gang to harm him.
“I fear greatly for my life and the safety of my family. I know if we were to return to Haiti we would be tortured and killed. I fear I have no protection there,” the man wrote in his asylum application.
However, in an initial interview upon arrival in the United States, the man said he had no fears of persecution.
“My true intentions are to look for a better life,” he said, according to the Department of Homeland Security transcript. He later explained that he had not spoken of the threats to his life because of the stress and shock of being handcuffed and taken into custody at the border.
A U.S. immigration court judge ordered him released from detention several weeks ago after he posted bond.
It’s not clear when the man decided to continue north to Canada or when he tossed his American immigration records into the bush on Roxham Rd. But Canadian officials this week are warning would-be refugee claimants that their tales of persecution and requests for asylum do not mean they will be accepted into Canada.
There is no special protected designation for Haitian migrants in Canada and immigration officials said this week that about half of all Haitian citizens who sought asylum in this country in 2016 were refused.
But that message isn’t getting out to the Haitian diaspora in the United States, said Mathieu Eugène, a Haitian-born New York City councillor who conducted a fact-finding mission to Montreal this week.
“Every time that I’m in the streets, my constituents, the Haitian people, stop me to tell me of their intention to come to Canada,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s because they want to come over here. They would like to stay in the United States. Canada is a great country, but they would like to stay.”
Employees at the Uniqlo store at Toronto Eaton Centre have decided to hold a vote on whether to join a union to improve conditions at the Japanese apparel retailer’s first Canadian location.
Staff at the store are being scheduled for 9.5-hour workdays that include 90 minutes of unpaid breaks and they are often asked to work overtime on top of that, said Chicheng Wat, 35, who works on the sales floor and in the management office.
“People say: ‘It’s just retail, what do you expect,’ but we work hard, we deserve to be treated fairly,” said Wat.
Other employees have said that during peak periods, they are expected to work 12-hour days, said Tanya Ferguson, organizing co-ordinator for Workers United Canada Council.
“I think fundamentally what it comes down to is there just seems to be a lack of respect,” said Ferguson.
The 169 non-management Eaton Centre store employees are scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to join Workers United Canada, after more than 40 per cent of them signed union cards — the first step in the process toward union certification.
If 50 per cent plus one of the votes are in favour of a union, they can begin negotiating a contract with management.
Uniqlo, a division of Japan’s Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., opened two stores in the GTA last year, the first at the Eaton Centre, the second at Yorkdale. It sells casualwear for men, women and children. It is planning to open a third Canadian store in Burnaby, B.C.
Uniqlo has 837 stores in Japan, accounting for 6.5 per cent of the Japanese apparel market and it is now pursuing growth via global markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea the United Kingdom, where it began opening stores in 2001.
It has 51 stores in the U.S.
Uniqlo Canada said it could not make the deadline to comment for this story.
Workers first reached out to the union in July, after hearing of its success in organizing personal trainers at GoodLife Fitness.
“They felt the best way to improve the workplace and stem high turnover was to unionize,” said Ryan Hayes, communications and research, Workers United Canada Council.
“To our knowledge, this is the first unionization drive at a Uniqlo anywhere in the world.”
The union, which has its roots in the garment trade, represents 10,000 workers in Canada and is part of a North American union representing 100,000, said Hayes.
BRIDGEWATER, N.J.—In a break with tradition, U.S. President Donald Trump and the first lady have decided not to participate in events for this year’s Kennedy Center Honors arts awards so honorees can celebrate “without any political distraction,” the White House announced Saturday.
The Kennedy Center said it respected Trump’s decision and the show will go on.
Past presidents and first ladies traditionally host a White House reception in the hours before the Kennedy Center gala, which they would then watch from seats high above the stage. This year’s honours are to be awarded on Dec. 3.
The Trumps reached their decision Friday, said a White House official who insisted on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
It was made the same day that the entire membership of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities resigned to protest Trump’s comments about last weekend’s demonstrations by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. The president has blamed “many sides” for the violence that left an anti-racism activist dead.
Trump has had a long and contentious relationship with the arts world and some Kennedy Center honorees, who are being recognized for lifetime achievement in their fields, already had said they would not attend the White House reception.
One honoree, television writer and producer Norman Lear, had also questioned whether Trump would want to attend the gala, “given his indifference or worse regarding the arts and humanities.”
Trump has recommended defunding the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Dancer Carmen de Lavallade said on her website this week she was honoured to be recognized, but would not go to Trump’s White House.
“In light of the socially divisive and morally caustic narrative that our existing leadership is choosing to engage in, and in keeping with the principles that I and so many others have fought for, I will be declining the invitation to attend the reception at the White House,” she said.
Singer Gloria Estefan earlier had said that she would set her personal politics aside to accept the honour, now in its 40th year. She said the image of a Cuban immigrant, like herself, being honoured is important when Latino immigrants in particular have “taken a beating in the recent past.”
Estefan once hosted a Democratic fundraiser attended by President Barack Obama. She said she and her husband, Emilio, are not affiliated with a political party.
The other honorees are hip-hop artist LL Cool J, who had yet to say whether he would attend the White House reception, and singer Lionel Richie, who described himself as a maybe. Representatives for both celebrities did not immediately respond to requests for comment Saturday.
Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein and President Deborah F. Rutter said they respect Trump’s decision.
“In choosing not to participate in this year’s Honors activities, the administration has graciously signalled its respect for the Kennedy Center and ensures the Honors gala remains a deservingly special moment for the honorees. We are grateful for this gesture” they said in a joint statement.
The honorees, announced earlier this month, will be celebrated at a Kennedy Center gala in December, featuring performances and tributes from top entertainers that will be nationally televised. A traditional State Department reception and awards dinner on Dec. 2 will be held as planned.
Rubenstein and Rutter said all five honorees were expected at both events.
The White House said Trump and first lady Melania Trump “extend their sincerest congratulations and well wishes to all of this year’s award recipients for their many accomplishments.”
Trump also chose to skip the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner in April and instead attended a rally in Pennsylvania where he began with marks attacking the news media while dismissing the dinner and its participants.
“A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation’s capital right now,” Trump said. He added: “And I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from Washington’s swamp, spending my evening with all of you and with a much, much larger crowd and much better people, right?”
Stephen Bannon’s ouster rids the White House of someone who fed off chaos, obsessed over his own image and sowed conflict among top aides to the president.
The problem is that many of Bannon’s most-damaging traits were merely an amplification of the man who continues to sit in the Oval Office.
Thirty weeks into his presidency, U.S. President Donald Trump has made clear that he’s unwilling or unable to abandon a management approach that pits staff against one another, openly antagonizes outside allies, and leaves little room for the painstaking work of governance.
In any other White House, Bannon’s departure as chief strategist on Friday would serve as a reset for the administration following a disastrous week dominated by the president’s combative insistence that “both sides” were to blame for the violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
It’s the boldest stroke in Chief of Staff John Kelly’s attempt to impose order on a White House divided into warring camps. And it would appear to give a boost to those within the White House who opposed Bannon’s hard-line anti-trade instincts, military isolationism and hostility to the federal bureaucracy.
But Bannon will now take his battle to the outside — where the president and his advisers will have no control over his message. Bannon has ample access to funding through his close relationships with conservative billionaire Bob Mercer and other major Republican donors.
Kurt Bardella, a Republican communications specialist who worked for Bannon at Breitbart but later denounced him, predicted the strategist would “feel liberated” by his departure.
“Now, he will be able to operate openly and freely to inflict as much damage as he possibly can on the ‘globalists’ that remain in the Trump Administration,” Bardella said.
Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg shortly after his departure, Bannon vowed to do just that.
“If there’s any confusion out there, let me clear it up: I’m leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents — on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America,” said Bannon, who returned to the job he left to join Trump’s campaign, executive chairman of the conservative website Breitbart News.
The same crisis that accelerated Bannon’s ouster also underscores why the reset is unlikely to be more than symbolic: the man at the top.
To his own detriment, the president resisted an unequivocal condemnation of white supremacists for the violence in Charlottesville, a position cheered on by Bannon.
The episode was an authentic representation of Trump. The president has made clear he’s naturally inclined to stake out politically incorrect positions and serially unwilling to apologize for missteps. His electoral victory despite a string of controversies that would have easily felled nearly any other politician has left Trump with the impression he’s unlikely to pay any political cost for stoking outrage.
He’s been unable to replicate his surprise electoral success in Washington, where the lawmakers and establishment interests he enjoys alienating control important levers of power. There’s little about Bannon’s departure that will help pass an Obamacare repeal, a tax overhaul or a $1 trillion infrastructure plan.
The strategist’s exit won’t repair relationships frayed by caustic attacks, a reflex on display again this week as he launched public tirades against corporate chief executives and Republican senators who dared to criticize him. Nor will the exit convince lawmakers to support the agenda of a president with historically low poll ratings.
In fact, the ouster severs a conduit to his populist base.
Bannon’s departure is also unlikely to satisfy critics who still want Trump to show remorse for his remarks. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Friday that while the firing was “welcome news” that it “doesn’t disguise where President Trump himself stands on white supremacists and the bigoted beliefs they advance.”
Even Bannon’s departure was motivated in part with the president’s frustration that his aide was often depicted as a Svengali strategist in press accounts and on Saturday Night Live, betraying Trump’s intense fascination with his own media portrayal.
Others in the administration cautioned that the move could weaken the president’s ability to translate his ideas into policy.
Bannon was the administration’s most effective advocate for delivering on the Trump campaign agenda, said one White House official opposed to the move who requested anonymity to discuss internal dynamics. The official predicted Bannon’s removal would isolate Stephen Miller, the president’s senior adviser who’s best known for his efforts to curtail immigration, and would leave the president vulnerable to so-called “globalist” who promote policies that could alienate elements of the president’s conservative base.
“Trump’s voters may get upset that America’s not being made great again,” said former Trump adviser Sam Nunberg. “We’ll find out.”
Two men are in serious condition following a shooting in a downtown hotel early Saturday.
Toronto police Const. Caroline de Kloet said two men were found with gunshot wounds in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency hotel at King St. W. and Peter St. near Spadina Ave. around 4:30 a.m.
“One man had a gunshot wound to his stomach and the other man had a gunshot wound to his leg,” she said.
Both were conscious and breathing when they were transported to hospital.
Toronto police were still on the scene as of Saturday morning continuing the investigation. There is currently no information on suspects.
Anyone with information is being asked to contact police at 416-808-5200 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477.
Anyone with information is being asked to contact police at 416-808-5200 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477.
Ontario police can be forgiven for doing double takes this summer at the sight of bikers wearing the grinning devil patch of the Satan’s Choice Motorcycle Club on their backs.
Once the second largest outlaw motorcycle club in the world, the Satan’s Choice club folded in December 2000 when it was absorbed by the Hells Angels.
This summer, a group of Durham and Ottawa-area bikers have re-invented the Satan’s Choice club, which will likely upset Hells Angels bikers, said Det. Sgt. Len Isnor of the OPP Biker Enforcement Unit.
“It’s a bit shocking,” Isnor said. “By somebody bringing them back, there could be some problems. Yes, we’re going to watch.”
The Hells Angels had no immediate comment on the new club.
The old Satan’s Choice had well-publicized clashes with the law, but the new version of the club plans to stay out of jail and trouble, according to a spokesperson, who spoke to the Star on the condition that his name not be published.
“We want to keep the club alive but we’re all law-abiding citizens,” he said.
The new Satan’s Choice moved into the Ottawa area last month and has 48 members and two “strikers” — or prospective members — the spokesperson said.
The re-emergence of the Satan’s Choice in Eastern Ontario comes after the Hells Angels shut down its elite Nomads chapter outside Ottawa last September. That Hells Angels’ chapter was based in in a 0.92-acre, gated compound off Highway 417, just a 15-minute drive from downtown Ottawa.
The new Satan’s Choice spokesperson said his club has a clubhouse, although he declined to say where it’s located.
The move to re-establish the Satan’s Choice comes out of respect for older members and the tradition of an all-Canadian club, he said. The club was originally founded in the GTA as part of an auto club back in the late 1950s.
“We have talked to several of the original members and have had nothing but positive feedback from them,” said the new Satan’s Choice spokesperson.
The Satan’s Choice has always been an all-Canadian club. They folded briefly in the early 1960s and then re-emerged under former international boxer Bernie Guindon of Oshawa. It grew to more than 300 members by the early 1970s, making it the second largest outlaw motorcycle club in the world, behind only the Hells Angels.
There are currently 200 full Hells Angels in Ontario and 500 across Canada, Isnor said.
The Hells Angels are a U.S.-based, international club with members on five continents and in 56 countries, according to the club’s website.
The old Satan’s Choice had several well-publicized clashes with the law, including several members who became involved in drug trafficking. Former member Cecil Kirby disappeared into a witness protection program in the early 1980s after admitting he had been hired to do murders for the local mob.
Their former clubhouse on Kintyre Ave. in south Riverdale was hit with a rocket launcher attack in the mid-1990s.
BOSTON—Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-Nazi slogans converged Saturday on downtown Boston in a boisterous repudiation of white nationalism, dwarfing a small group of conservatives who cut short their planned “free speech rally” a week after a gathering of hate groups led to bloodshed in Virginia.
An estimated 15,000 counter-protesters marched through the city to historic Boston Common, where many gathered near a bandstand abandoned early by conservatives who had planned to deliver a series of speeches. Police vans later escorted the conservatives out of the area, and angry counter-protesters scuffled with armed officers trying to maintain order.
Organizers of the midday event, billed as a “Free Speech Rally,” have publicly distanced themselves from the neo-Nazis, white supremacists and others who fomented violence in Charlottesville on Aug. 12. A woman was killed at that Unite the Right rally, and scores of others were injured, when a car plowed into counterdemonstrators.
Opponents feared that white nationalists might show up in Boston anyway, raising the spectre of ugly confrontations in the first potentially large and racially charged gathering in a major U.S. city since Charlottesville. But only a few dozen conservatives turned out for the rally on historic Boston Common — in stark contrast to the estimated 15,000 counter-protesters — and the conservatives abruptly left early.
One of the planned speakers of the conservative activist rally said the event “fell apart.”
Congressional candidate Samson Racioppi, who was among several slated to speak, told WCVB-TV that he didn’t realize “how unplanned of an event it was going to be.”
Some counter-protesters dressed entirely in black and wore bandanas over their faces. They chanted anti-Nazi and anti-fascism slogans, and waved signs that said: “Make Nazis Afraid Again,” “Love your neighbour,” “Resist fascism” and “Hate never made U.S. great.” Others carried a large banner that read: “SMASH WHITE SUPREMACY.”
“I came out today to show support for the black community and for all minority communities,” said Rockeem Robinson, 21, a youth counsellor from Cambridge.
He said he wasn’t concerned about his personal safety because he felt more support on his side.
Katie Griffiths, 48, a social worker also from Cambridge, who works with members of poor and minority communities, said she finds the hate and violence happening “very scary.”
“I see poor people and people of colour being scapegoated,” she said. “Unlearned lessons can be repeated.”
TV cameras showed a group of boisterous counter-protesters on the Common chasing a man with a Trump campaign banner and cap, shouting and swearing at him. But other counter-protesters intervened and helped the man safely over a fence into the area where the conservative rally was to be staged. Black-clad counter-protesters also grabbed an American flag out of an elderly woman’s hands, and she stumbled and fell to the ground.
Yet Saturday’s showdown was mostly peaceable, and after demonstrators dispersed, a picnic atmosphere took over with stragglers tossing beach balls, banging on bongo drums and playing reggae music.
The Boston Free Speech Coalition, which organized the event, said it has nothing to do with white nationalism or racism and its group is not affiliated with the Charlottesville rally organizers in any way.
“We are strictly about free speech,” the group said on its Facebook page. “We denounce the politics of supremacy and violence.”
Dating to 1634, Boston Common is the nation’s oldest city park. The leafy downtown park is popular with locals and tourists and has been the scene of numerous rallies and protests for centuries.
Rallies also were planned in cities across the country, including Dallas, Atlanta and New Orleans.
Hundreds of people gathered at City Hall in Austin, Texas, Saturday morning, holding signs in support of racial equality. The Austin American-Statesmen reported organizers for the Rally Against White Supremacy estimated about 1,200 people were in attendance.
DIEPPE, FRANCE—Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr is leading a Canadian government delegation to France to mark the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe raid during the Second World War.
The raid, launched on Aug. 19, 1942, would prove to be the bloodiest single day for Canada’s military in the entire war.
The Prime Minister released a statement Saturday to honour the hundreds of Canadians who lost their lives in the battle.
Of the nearly 5,000 Canadian soldiers who took part in the ill-fated mission, more than half became casualties, and 916 would die on the rocky shore of Puys Beach on the northern coast of occupied France.
The beach landing was supposed to happen under the cover of darkness, but the Canadians, along with 1,000 British and 50 American soldiers, were late arriving on shore, and as the sun rose they were left exposed to withering fire from German troops on the cliffs above.
Justin Trudeau said the loss at Dieppe taught Allied forces valuable lessons, which he said helped “to turn the tide of the war on D-Day” less than two years later.
“As we commemorate the Dieppe Raid at events in Canada and France, I ask all Canadians to honour the people who gave so much at Dieppe, as well as their families at home who suffered the loss of their loved ones,” Trudeau says.
Governor General David Johnston noted that this year marks the centennial anniversary of two great victories for Canada — the battles at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele in the First World War — but it’s equally important to remember the losses, like the one at Dieppe.
“We must never forget the terrible cost of armed conflict and ensure that future generations remember, lest we repeat the mistakes of the past,” Johnston said in a statement.
Ceremonies honouring the soldiers’ sacrifice are being held Saturday in Dieppe, Montreal, Calgary and on Sunday in Dieppe, New Brunswick.
Refugee claimants stuck in Canada’s growing backlog have a chance to get their cases heard speedily — if they can afford to take the Immigration and Refugee Board to court.
The Star has learned that at least a dozen asylum cases in which claimants took the board to court, including some that have been in the queue since 2012 and earlier, have been scheduled for hearings by the board since July.
By giving the asylum-seekers their long-awaited hearings, the board avoided the possibility the Federal Court would make a ruling in relation to its handling of the backlog.
Critics say timely processing of asylum claims should not be available only to those who pursue legal action against the government.
“Those who have money can go to the expensive litigation and may be able to get a resolution for themselves,” said lawyer Raoul Boulakia, who represented two of these asylum claimants, a Sri Lankan man and a woman from Burundi.
“But this is not the answer for the vast majority of refugees in the backlog who don’t have the money or are too afraid to litigate against the Canadian government.”
There are some 5,500 so-called legacy asylum claims, those that were filed before 2012 reforms that required new cases to be heard within 60 days. While the refugee board has focused on the new claims, the legacy cases were put on the back-burner. Even some of the new cases have been delayed, meaning the backlog has continued to grow.
Exacerbating the situation is the surge of asylum seekers crossing the border via the United States since President Donald Trump came into power.
The board declined to comment on the litigation, saying it doesn’t comment on individual cases or private proceedings.
Board spokesperson Anna Pape said the refugee backlog stood at 25,365 in June 2017 and is currently growing at a rate of about 1,000 cases per month.
“Over the past 18 months, the (board) has been facing mounting workload pressures amid a rising intake of refugee claims and fixed output capacity. These pressures have led directly to lengthening processing times,” she said.
So far, Ottawa hasn’t provided additional funding to the board, which has the capacity to hear about 21,000 claims a year.
In 2015, some frustrated claimants in the backlog initiated what’s known as “mandamus” litigation with the Federal Court of Canada in an effort to challenge the inaction of the board on their files and order officials to adjudicate their cases.
The backlog has created tremendous hardship for some claimants, who are often separated from their families and cannot plan their lives without permanent status.
Legal Aid Ontario does not usually cover mandamus litigation, but it did fund some of the claimants — from Afghanistan, Burundi, Congo, Eritrea, Guinea, Namibia, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Turkey — represented by Boulakia and the Refugee Law Office in Toronto. There were also similar cases handled by other lawyers.
One of Boulakia’s clients, Ingrid Ntahigima, was a member of the Movement for Solidarity and Democracy, an opposition party in Burundi. She fled to Canada and made an asylum claim in October 2012 due to political persecution.
For years the refugee board didn’t hear her case, despite her repeated pleas and a psychiatric report that showed she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder due to trauma in Burundi and severe depression as a result of the inability to get her asylum resolved.
“I didn’t have any option. I felt so powerless. I didn’t see any hope. I didn’t see any future,” said the 25-year-old from Bujumbura, who works as a customer service representative. She paid more than $3,000 for the litigation out of her own pocket.
“The wait wasn’t necessary. They wasted five years of my life. I understand there is a process, but this is people’s lives. Five years is a long time. It should not be that way. It is just unfair.”
In July, the refugee board agreed to schedule the asylum hearing for Ntahigima and the other litigants. After previewing the woman’s file before the hearing, a refugee judge decided to grant her asylum status immediately because she had such a strong claim. Once she was given a hearing date, her court case was over.
“The violence that reigns in Burundi includes acts of violence motivated by ethnic hatred against the Tutsi minority. Since the claimant is identified as being an opponent of the current regime, she risks being targeted, arrested and abused by the Burundian authorities,” wrote adjudicator Robert Riley in his asylum decision.
“The political opinion of the claimant, combined with her ethnicity, establishes a nexus to the (United Nations) Convention refugee definition.”
While Ntahigima is relieved that she can now move on with her life, she feels the delay was unnecessary.
“Justice delayed is justice denied,” said Ntahigima, who is trying to save up money to apply for permanent residency and continue her university education, hopefully pursuing a degree in international studies and business.
“I’m happy I was granted (refugee) status and can now move on with my life, but it is an injustice if you don’t have the money to sue or are too afraid to raise your voice.”
A Canadian killed in a terrorist attack on a popular street in Barcelona was described by his family as a man who was “always game for a lively debate, a good book exploring new places, and a proper-sized pint.”
In a Facebook post, Staff Sergeant Fiona Wilson, a member of the Vancouver police department, confirmed that her father, Ian Moore Wilson, was among the 13 people killed in the terrorist attack.
“In the midst of this tragedy, my dad would want those around him to focus on the extraordinary acts of human kindness that our family has experienced over the past several days,” wrote Wilson.
She also thanked first responders and others who helped out in the aftermath of the attack, including “the people who assisted my dad in his final moments, and those who focused on my mum’s urgent medical attention and aftercare.”
Wilson is described as a loving husband to his wife Valerie Wilson of 53 years, a father, brother and grandfather.
The family said they intend on focusing on “the extraordinary acts of human kindness” they’ve experienced despite the tragedy because that’s what Wilson would have wanted.
They say they’ve received support from Vancouver police, the RCMP, airlines and emergency responders in Spain who helped Wilson in his final moments and provided urgent medical care to Valerie Wilson.
“These are the things we will choose to focus on when we endeavour to come to terms with the senseless violence and acts of hatred that have taken loved ones before their time,” the family statement said.
The family has asked that their privacy be respected.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that in addition to Moore’s death, four other Canadians were injured in the terrorist attack.
“It was with great sadness that I learned today that one Canadian was killed and four others injured during (Thursday’s) cowardly terrorist attack in Barcelona," Trudeau said in a statement.
“Sophie and I offer our condolences to the families and friends in mourning, and hope for a speedy recovery for the injured Canadians,” Trudeau said.
"We join Spain and countries around the world in grieving the senseless loss of so many innocent people. We must stand firm against the spread of hate and intolerance in all its forms. These violent acts that seek to divide us will only strengthen our resolve."
The details about those who were injured or their current condition has not been released. Canadian officials say they are in touch with the affected families.
Here is a look at some of the other victims:
Francisco Lopez Rodriguez, Spain
One of his nieces, Raquel Baron Lopez, said on her Twitter account that Rodriguez, 60, died immediately when he was struck by the van. After the attack, Lopez posted pictures of her uncle on Twitter when his family was looking for him and trying to find out whether he was alive.
The mayor of Lanteira, the southern town in Spain where Rodriguez was born, confirmed his death to Spanish media.
Luca Russo, Italy
His death was confirmed in a tweet by Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni.
Italian media reported that Russo was 25, held a university degree in engineering and lived in northern Italy. Italian officials said Russo’s girlfriend suffered fractures and remains hospitalized.
Bruno Gulotta, 35, Italy
The mayor in his town, Legnano in northern Italy, confirmed Gulotta’s death. One of his Gulotta’s work colleagues, Pino Bruno, told the Italian news agency ANSA that he saved the life of his two young children — Alessandro, 6, and Aria, 7 months — by throwing himself between them and the van that mowed people down.
Bruno said he spoke to Gulotta’s wife, Martina, and that she told him her husband had been holding the 6-year-old’s hand on the tourist-thronged avenue when “the van appeared suddenly.”
“Everyone knelt down, instinctively, as if to protect themselves,” Bruno said, adding that Gulotta put himself in front of his children and was fatally struck.
Elke Vanbockrijck, Belgium
Arnould Partoens, president of the KFC Heur Tongeren football team, said Vanbockrijck was at the club “nearly every day,” ferrying her 10- and 14-year-old boys back and forth to training and matches. He described her as very committed, often speaking her mind about the boys’ and their teams’ performances.
“She was not negative. She was always positive,” he said in a phone interview. He said the team would hold one minute of silence before every match and training session this weekend.
Partoens said the family was on vacation in Barcelona. The boys and their father, a policeman, were unhurt, he said.
“The mother was in the wrong moment and the wrong place,” he said.
Also, listed as missing:
Jared Tucker, U.S.
His sister, Tina Luke, told The Associated Press that Tucker and his wife, Heidi Nunes-Tucker, were celebrating their honeymoon in Barcelona. She said they married a year ago and then saved up for the trip. She said Tucker is listed as missing and hasn’t been found among the more than 100 injured.
San Francisco broadcaster ABC-7 News reported that Tucker, 43, is from Lafayette in California.
It said the Tuckers were in Barcelona after a two-week European vacation.
It quoted brother-in-law Kalani Kalanui as saying: “They were walking through downtown when he stopped to use the restroom, moments later all hell broke loose and Heidi was swept up in the terrified crowd and she lost sight of Jared.”
With files from the Associated Press
With files from the Associated Press
Toronto police’s Homicide Unit has been called in to investigate after a man was found dead near College and Bathurst Sts. Sunday morning.
At around 8 a.m., officers from 14 Divison rushed to a commercial building on Lippincott St. after receiving a call for the man who was suffering from obvious trauma, Det. Shawn Mahoney told media on scene.
“The body was found by people in the neighbourhood this morning who were coming in to work and called police,” said Mahoney.
Witnesses say that the man, believed to be between 20 to 25-years-old, was suffering from a single gunshot wound.
“We heard from witnesses that something did occur last night,” Mahoney confirmed, and added investigators have a tentative identification of the male but his family has not been notified.
Police say it is too early in the investigation to provide further details on the incident, including a suspect description or the identity of the victim.
Detectives are asking witnesses who were in the area to contact investigators.
WASHINGTON—Civilian researchers say they have located the wreck of the USS Indianapolis, the Second World War heavy cruiser that played a critical role in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima before being struck by Japanese torpedoes.
The sinking of the Indianapolis remains the U.S. Navy’s single worst loss at sea. The fate of its crew — nearly 900 were killed, many by sharks, and just 316 survived — was one of the Pacific war’s more horrible and fascinating tales.
The expedition crew of Research Vessel Petrel, which is owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, says it located the wreckage of the Indianapolis on the floor of the North Pacific Ocean, more than 5,500 metres (18,000 feet) below the surface, the U.S. Navy said in a news release Saturday.
“To be able to honour the brave men of the USS Indianapolis and their families through the discovery of a ship that played such a significant role in ending World War II is truly humbling,” Allen said in the news release.
The Indianapolis, with 1,196 sailors and Marines on board, was sailing the Philippine Sea between Guam and Leyte Gulf when two torpedoes from a Japanese submarine struck just after midnight on July 30, 1945. It sank in 12 minutes, killing about 300. Survivors were left in the water, most of them with only life jackets.
There was no time to send a distress signal, and four days passed before a bomber on routine patrol happened to spot the survivors in the water. By the time rescuers arrived, a combination of exposure, dehydration, drowning and constant shark attacks had left only one-fourth of the ship’s original number alive.
Over the years numerous books recounted the ship’s disaster and its role in delivering key components of what would become the atomic bomb “Little Boy” to the island of Tinian, the takeoff point for the bomber Enola Gay’s mission to Hiroshima in August 1945. Documentaries and movies, most recently USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage (2016) starring Nicolas Cage, have recounted the crew’s horror-filled days at sea. The Indianapolis sinking also was a plot point in the Steven Spielberg blockbuster Jaws (1975), with the fictitious survivor Capt. Quint recounting the terror he felt waiting to be rescued.
The Navy news release issued Saturday said a key to finding the Indianapolis came in 2016 when Richard Hulver, a historian with the Naval History and Heritage Command, determined a new search area. Hulver’s research identified a naval landing craft that had recorded a sighting of the Indianapolis the day before it sank. The research team developed a new search area, although it was still 600 square miles of open ocean.
The Navy said the 13-person expedition team on the R/V Petrel was surveying the Indianapolis site. The team’s work has been compliant with U.S. law regarding a sunken warship as a military grave not to be disturbed, according to the Navy. The wrecked ship remains the property of the Navy and its location is both confidential and restricted, it said.