Archive for January, 2020

5 young adults injured in Fort York neighbourhood shooting – 680 News

January 31st, 2020

As many as five people have been injured in a late night shooting in the Fort York neighbourhood.

Police say they responded to reports of multiple shots fired in a building near the area of Bathurst Street and Fort York Boulevard around 10:30 p.m.

Paramedics say three men were taken to a trauma centre in life-threatening condition while another suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries. A fifth victim is being treated for minor injuries.

While no ages have been released, the five victims have been described as young adult males.

No word yet on any suspects or what may have led up to the incident.

For the latest updates, Listen Live to 680 News throughout the night

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Spike Lee to Direct Adaptation of David Byrne’s American Utopia – Pitchfork

January 31st, 2020

Spike Lee has signed on to direct a film adaptation of David Byrne’s American Utopia, Deadline reports. The feature-length version of Byrne’s hit Broadway show is slated for a 2020 release, and will be executive produced by Participant alongside Byrne, Lee, and others. The film will be produced by Byrne’s Todomundo and Lee’s Forty Acres and a Mule Filmworks production companies, as well as RadicalMedia.

Deadline published the following statement from Byrne on the upcoming film:

Pinch me. This couldn’t have worked out better for this project. Spike Lee directing and Participant producing—two socially engaged teams, well, three if you count us in the band, coming together in what I feel will be something moving, important, and unlike anything anyone has seen before.

American Utopia opened October 2019 and will run until February 16 at New York’s Hudson Theatre. Byrne released an LP of the same name back in 2018.

Read “David Byrne’s American Utopia Is a Broadway-Sized Plea for Common Ground” over on the Pitch.


Bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark dies at age 92 – NBC News

January 31st, 2020

NEW YORK — Mary Higgins Clark, the tireless and long-reigning “Queen of Suspense” whose tales of women beating the odds made her one of the world’s most popular writers, died Friday at age 92.

Her publisher, Simon & Schuster, announced that she died in Naples, Florida, of natural causes.

“Nobody ever bonded more completely with her readers than Mary did,” her longtime editor Michael Korda said in statement. “She understood them as if they were members of her own family. She was always absolutely sure of what they wanted to read — and, perhaps more important, what they didn’t want to read — and yet she managed to surprise them with every book.”

A widow with five children in her late 30s, she became a perennial best-seller over the second half of her life, writing or co-writing “A Stranger Is Watching,” “Daddy’s Little Girl” and more than 50 other favorites. Sales topped 100 million copies and honors came from all over, whether a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in France or a “Grand Master” statuette back home from the Mystery Writers of America. Many of her books, including “A Stranger is Watching” and “Lucky Day,” were adapted for movies and television. She also collaborated on several novels with her daughter, Carol Higgins Clark.

Mary Higgins Clark specialized in women triumphing over danger, such as the besieged young prosecutor in “Just Take My Heart” or the mother of two and art gallery worker whose second husband is a madman in “A Cry in the Night.” Mary Clark’s goal as an author was simple, if rarely easy: keep the readers reading.

“You want to turn the page,” she told The Associated Press in 2013. “There are wonderful sagas you can thoroughly enjoy a section and put it down. But if you’re reading my book, I want you stuck with reading the next paragraph. The greatest compliment I can receive is, ‘I read your darned book ‘til 4 in the morning, and now I’m tired.’ I say, ‘Then you get your money’s worth.’”

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Her own life taught her lessons of resilience, strengthened by her Catholic faith, that she shared with her fictional heroines. She was born Mary Higgins in New York City in 1927, the second of three children. She would later take on the last name Clark after marriage. Mary Clark’s father ran a popular pub that did well enough for the family to afford a maid and for her mother to prepare meals for strangers in need. But business slowed during the Great Depression and her father, forced to work ever longer hours as he laid off employees, died in his sleep in 1939. One of her brothers died of meningitis a few years later. Surviving family members took on odd jobs and had to rent out rooms in the house.

Mary had always loved to write. At age 6, she completed her first poem, which her mother proudly requested she recite in front of the family. A story she wrote in grade school impressed her teacher enough that Mary Clark read it to the rest of the class. By high school, she was trying to sell stories to True Confessions magazine.

After working as a hotel switchboard operator (Tennessee Williams was among the guests she eavesdropped on) and a flight attendant for Pan American, she married Warren Clark, the regional manager of Capital Airways, in 1949. Throughout the 1950s and into the ’60s, she raised the children, studied writing at New York University and began getting stories published. Some drew upon her experiences at Pan American. One story which appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, “Beauty Contest at Buckingham Palace,” imagined a pageant featuring Queen Elizabeth II, Jackie Kennedy and Princess Grace of Monaco. But by the mid-60s, the magazine market for fiction was rapidly shrinking and her husband’s health was failing; Warren Clark died of a heart attack in 1964.

Mary Clark quickly found work as a script writer for “Portrait of a President,” a radio series on American presidents. Her research inspired her first book, a historical novel about George and Martha Washington. She was so determined that she began getting up at 5 a.m., working until nearly 7, then feeding her children and leaving for work.

“Aspire to the Heavens” was published in 1969. It was “a triumph,” she recalled in her memoir “Kitchen Privileges,” but also a folly. The publisher was sold near the book’s release and received little attention. She regretted the title and learned that some stores placed the book in religious sections. Her compensation was $1,500, minus commission. (The novel was reissued decades later, far more successfully, as “Mount Vernon: A Love Story”).

For her next book, she wanted to make some money. Following a guideline she would often suggest to other writers, she looked at her bookshelves, which featured novels by Agatha Christie, Rex Stout and other mystery writers, and decided she should write the kind of book she liked to read. A recent tabloid trial, about a young woman accused of murdering her children, gave her an idea.

“It seemed inconceivable to most of us that any woman could do that to her children,” Mary Clark wrote in her memoir. “And then I thought: Suppose an innocent young mother is convicted of the deliberate murder of her two children; suppose she gets out of prison on a technicality; and then suppose seven years to the day, on her 32nd birthday, the children of her second marriage disappear.”

In September 1974, she sent her agent a manuscript for “Die a Little Death,” acquired months later by Simon & Schuster for $3,000. Renamed “Where are the Children?” and released in 1975, it became her first-best seller and began her long, but not entirely surprising run of success. She would allege that a psychic had told her she would become rich and famous.

Mary Clark, who wrote well into her 90s, more than compensated for her early struggles. She acquired several homes and for a time owned part of the New Jersey Nets. She was among a circle of authors, including Lee Child and Nelson DeMille, who met regularly for dinner in Manhattan. She also had friends in Washington and was a White House guest during the administrations of the Clintons and of both President George H.W. Bush, whose wife Barbara became a close friend, and President George W. Bush.

Married since 1996 to former Merrill Lynch Futures CEO John J. Conheeney, she remembered well the day she said goodbye to hard times. It was in April of 1977, and her agent had told her that Simon & Schuster was offering $500,000 for the hardcover to her third novel, “A Stranger is Watching,” and that the publisher Dell was paying $1 million for the paperback. She had been running her own script production company during the day and studying for a philosophy degree at Fordham University at night, returning home to New Jersey in an old car with more than 100,000 miles on it.

“As I drove onto the Henry Hudson Parkway, the tailpipe and muffler came loose and began dragging on the ground. For the next 21 miles, I kur-plunked, kur-plunked, all the way home,” she wrote in her memoir. “People in other cars kept honking and beeping, obviously sure that I was either too stupid or too deaf to hear the racket.

“The next day I bought a Cadillac!”


Terry Crews apologizes to Gabrielle Union over ‘AGT’ – New York Daily News

January 31st, 2020

“I told [Kevin Hart] a while ago, he needed 2 ‘acknowledge the pain of other people.’ Right now I have to do the same thing. I want to apologize for the comments I made,” Crews wrote. “I allowed disrespectful comments directed at me and my family to cause me to react angrily instead of responding thoughtfully.”


4 people shot in Toronto’s Fort York neighbourhood, police say –

January 31st, 2020

Four people have been hurt — at least one suffering life-threatening injuries — in a shooting in the Fort York Boulevard and Queens Wharf Road area, Toronto police say.

Emergency crews were called to the scene around 10:20 p.m. Friday for reports of gunfire. A heavy police presence could be seen at an apartment building in the area.

It’s unclear if the shots were fired inside or outside the building. Police are advising residents to stay inside for now.

Police have not released the victims’ ages or genders.

No arrests have been made and there is no word on a suspect. 

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Taiwan to spend NT$200 million and ramp up ma… – Taiwan News

January 31st, 2020
Surgical masks

Surgical masks Surgical masks (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic continues to escalate around the world, Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) has decided to speed up production of surgical and N95 masks to 10 million a day in five weeks.

Despite the announcement of a month-long export ban on surgical and N95 masks and the fact that local mask manufacturers can produce 4 million units a day, panic buying has still occurred in the country of 23 million people.

CNA reported the Executive Yuan has passed a special budget of NT$200 million (US$6.6 million) to help manufacturers build up capacity quickly. This is in anticipation of a drastic increase in demand for surgical and N95 respirator masks due to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

Minister of Economic Affairs (MOEA) Shen Jong-Chin (沈榮津) has visited manufacturers to hammer out plans to speed up production. This will include procuring new equipment.

The budget will be quickly allocated to 60 newly added production lines and is set to add 3 million masks per day within three weeks, in the first stage. The second stage will add 6 million masks per day within five weeks, bringing the daily capacity up to 10 million masks in March.

Manufacturers are also being encouraged to boost production of child-size surgical masks, as the majority of elementary schools are slated to open on Feb. 11.


Contract talks break off with provincial government and Ontario teachers’ union – The Globe and Mail

January 31st, 2020

Teachers march outside Market Lane Junior and Senior Public School on Jan 20 2020.

Fred Lum/the Globe and Mail

Ontario’s public elementary schools will be closed for two days next week as teachers hit the picket lines after talks broke off with the provincial government late Friday night.

After three days of renewed negotiations on a new contract, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), the country’s largest education union with 83,000 members, did not reach a deal with Doug Ford’s government.

ETFO had previously warned that if an agreement could not be reached by Friday, it would escalate its job action next week.

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The union will go ahead with its planned province-wide walkout on Feb. 6, accompanied by a week of rotating strikes that would hit every public board on a certain day.

That action would continue each week until an agreement is reached, the union said, shuttering schools twice a week and leaving thousands of parents scrambling for child care.

ETFO has also been on work to rule, which includes not supervising extracurricular activities and not participating in field trips.

ETFO president Sam Hammond said that the union could not agree to funding cuts the government was proposing.

“ETFO made every effort over the past three days to move negotiations forward but it became increasingly clear that the Ford government was not willing to address key issues in any meaningful way,” Mr. Hammond in a statement. “For example, the government wants to reduce funding to support the learning needs of special education students, and it wants ETFO to agree to those cuts at the bargaining table. We can’t do that.”

Education Minister Stephen Lecce said in a statement Friday night that the mediator called off discussions “for now.” He said that the government has “has continued to signal reasonableness on issues from special education supports to efforts to counter violence in schools.”

“I have long said that compensation, pay, and benefits, remain a top priority for teachers’ union leaders, and that remains true today,” Mr. Lecce added. “Even following our formal commitment to one of their publicly-stated priorities [to keep the full-day kindergarten program], ETFO leadership continues to advance compensation for their members over the protection of the education system for our youngest learners.”

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All the main teachers’ unions in the province are involved in some type of job action, from work to rule to strikes, for the first time in more than 20 years.

Among the issues are class sizes in kindergarten, junior and intermediate grades and high school, mandating that high-school students take two online courses, maintaining the full-day kindergarten program with a teacher and an early childhood educator, and compensation. The unions are asking for 2-per-cent cost-of-living increases in line with inflation – in the face of the government’s wage-cap legislation meant to limit public-sector pay increases to 1 per cent.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation will resume its rotating strikes next week, after pausing during the exam period. There have been no talks scheduled between the union and the government.

Meanwhile, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association is planning to hold its second one-day province-wide strike on Tuesday.

President Liz Stuart said this week that the union was called back to the bargaining table on Monday, but, as it stands now, the strike action for Feb. 4 would still go ahead.

“We are pleased to be getting back to negotiations. However, it remains to be seen how serious the discussions will be,” Ms. Stuart said in a statement. “We would like nothing more than to focus on reaching an agreement, but the government needs to understand that their proposed cuts simply cannot stay on the table.”

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Terry Crews says sorry to Gabrielle Union for his remarks – CTV News

January 31st, 2020

LOS ANGELES — Terry Crews apologized for his comments about Gabrielle Union’s claims of mistreatment on “America’s Got Talent,” saying he didn’t mean to “invalidate” her experience and regrets letting down other black women.

On the “Today” show last week, Crews said that Union’s allegations of racism on the production didn’t reflect his experience as the NBC talent show’s host. Union was dropped as a judge on the series after one season.

In a series of posts Friday on his Twitter account, Crews recounted telling Kevin Hart that he had to “acknowledge the pain of other people.”

“Right now I have to do the same thing. I want to apologize for the comments I made. I realize there are a lot of Black women hurt and let down by what I said and also by what I didn’t say,” Crews wrote.

In a tweet addressed directly to Union, he said it was “never my intention to invalidate your experience — but that is what I did. I apologize.”

He failed to offer support to Union out of his desire to be “professionally neutral as your co-worker,” Crews wrote.

When he was asked on NBC’s “Today” about Union and the show, he said that as a man he couldn’t address the claims of sexism, adding, “but I can speak on behalf of any racism comments. That was never my experience.”

The trade publication Variety reported last fall that Union, who is African American, believed she was fired because she had asked NBC and the show’s producers to respond to an environment that tolerated racist jokes and remarks. That included what Union said were multiple notes from producers saying she was wearing her hair “too black” for the “America’s Got Talent” audience.

In December, NBC began an investigation of her claims.

“I’m very confident if we learn something … we will put new practices in place if necessary,” Paul Telegdy, the network’s entertainment chief, told a TV critics meeting in early January.

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Contract talks between ETFO, Ontario government break down – Global News

January 31st, 2020

TORONTO – A renewed round of contract talks between Ontario elementary teachers and the provincial government broke down late Friday with no deal, meaning their strikes will escalate next week.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario and the province had not bargained since Dec. 19, but after the mediator called the parties back to the table this week they spent three long days in negotiations. No new dates are scheduled.

The union had said that if no deal was reached by Friday, teachers would walk out at each board twice a week starting Monday.

READ MORE: 3rd day of talks begin between Ontario’s public elementary teachers, government

“ETFO made every effort over the past three days to move negotiations forward, but it became increasingly clear that the Ford government was not willing to address key issues in any meaningful way,” union president Sam Hammond said in a statement.

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Education Minister Stephen Lecce said that the government has “affirmed in writing” its commitment to maintaining Ontario’s full-day kindergarten program. ETFO had been concerned the one teacher, one early childhood educator model was threatened.

“I have long said that compensation, pay and benefits remain a top priority for teachers’ union leaders and that remains true today,” Lecce said in a statement.

“Even following our formal commitment to one of their publicly stated priorities, ETFO leadership continues to advance compensation for their members over the protection of the education system for our youngest learners.”

Unions are asking for wage increases of around two per cent to keep up with inflation, but the government passed legislation last year capping wage increases for all public sector workers to one per cent for three years. The teachers’ unions and several others are fighting it in court, arguing it infringes on collective bargaining rights.

ETFO has also asked for the government to increase supports for students with special needs and address violence in classrooms.

Hammond said that isn’t happening at the bargaining table, but Lecce said the government “has continued to signal reasonableness” on those issues.

READ MORE: How will the Ontario teachers’ strikes affect students’ learning? Experts weigh in

The school boards to be hit by elementary strikes on Monday include: Bluewater, Grand Erie, Halton, Ontario North East, Renfrew County, Superior-Greenstone and Trillium Lakelands.

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A province-wide strike by ETFO is set for Feb. 6.

All four major teachers’ unions have been without contracts since Aug. 31, and are all engaged in some form of job action. Unions representing English Catholic teachers and teachers in the French system have bargaining scheduled next week.

High school teachers have no scheduled bargaining dates. They announced Thursday that they would resume their weekly rotating strikes, after not holding any during this week’s exam period.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Roku & FOX Reach a Deal to Keep FOX Channels on Roku Players Along With Roku TVs – Cord Cutters News, LLC

January 31st, 2020

Roku and FOX tonight confirmed to Cord Cutters News that a deal to keep FOX Channels on Roku Players and Roku TVs has been reached. Exact terms of the agreement have not been announced, but Roku owners will now keep their FOX Sports, Fox News, & other Fox Roku Channels.

This deal comes after Roku warned Roku owners that if a deal was not reached by the end of today, Roku would be forced to remove all FOX owned Roku Channels. Now, this new deal keeps FOX owned Roku channels like FOX sports on Roku Players and Roku TVs.

This is great news for sports fans as Roku owners will be able to stream the Super Bowl in 4K on supported Roku Players and Roku TVs through the Fox Sports Roku Channel for free.

Currently, some FOX Roku Channels are still missing from the Roku Channel store at the time this story was published. Look for them to be quickly readded now that this deal has been announced. Cord Cutters News will post updates once we see that they have been readded.

This is breaking news more coming soon.

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