CityNews Toronto

    Female suffers serious injuries in Rexdale shooting


    A female has been taken to hospital with serious injuries after a shooting early Monday morning in Rexdale. Toronto police were called to Martin Grove Road near John Garland Boulevard just before 1 a.m. The female victim, possibly around 18 years old,...

    A female has been taken to hospital with serious injuries after a shooting early Monday morning in Rexdale.

    Toronto police were called to Martin Grove Road near John Garland Boulevard just before 1 a.m.

    The female victim, possibly around 18 years old, was found outside with serious gunshot wounds. Investigators have yet to determine where the shooting took place.

    No suspect information has been released at this time. Anyone who might have witnessed the shooting is asked to call police.

    Money laundering report a wake-up call for Canada, but some provinces skeptical


    VANCOUVER — The authors of a report that found $47 billion was laundered across Canada last year debated whether to include a graph that indicated Alberta, Ontario and the Prairies were hotspots for dirty money, says the lead writer. Maureen Maloney...

    VANCOUVER — The authors of a report that found $47 billion was laundered across Canada last year debated whether to include a graph that indicated Alberta, Ontario and the Prairies were hotspots for dirty money, says the lead writer.

    Maureen Maloney said her expert panel used the best mathematical model available to reach the estimates, but it’s more reliable at a national level than a provincial one, so they questioned whether to publish the figures.

    “But we thought, ‘No, we need to do this, because people need to know it’s not just a B.C. problem,’ ” said Maloney, the province’s former deputy attorney general and a public policy professor at Simon Fraser University.

    “It’s a big B.C. problem, but it’s everybody’s problem. And to the extent that B.C. starts fixing our problem or at least makes our province less enticing to money launderers, they’re going to go elsewhere. They’re not going to disappear.”

    The report, one of two recently released by the B.C. government, aimed to sound a nationwide alarm about money laundering. But some provinces have reacted with skepticism, as Alberta questioned the numbers and Ontario said it will monitor the issue.

    Maloney said there is no reliable data on money laundering in Canada, so the panel used what’s known as the gravity model, which estimates the flow of dirty money between countries based on characteristics including GDP per capita and crime rates. The panel divided Canada into six regions and treated each region as a country.

    The panel estimated that Alberta led the country for money laundering in 2015 with $10.2 billion, followed by Ontario with $8.2 billion and the Prairies — Saskatchewan and Manitoba combined — with $6.5 billion.

    To the surprise of many, B.C. came in fourth with $6.2 billion, scuttling its reputation as the money laundering capital of Canada.

    The authors noted that the relatively high estimates in Alberta and the Prairies might arise from the importance the model places on crime rates and GDP levels, which were high prior to the oil downturn.

    “If money laundering in Alberta and the Prairies have been overestimated … that implies that money laundering in B.C., Ontario and Quebec have likely been underestimated,” the report said.

    Still, the panel concluded that money laundering is corroding “the very fabric of society” across Canada, and laid out a vision for it to become a national priority. Multiple recommendations call for the B.C. government to persuade its provincial and federal partners to take action.

    Other provinces have yet to confront the issue with the zeal of B.C., which announced this week it will hold a public inquiry.

    Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer said the province takes criminal activity seriously, but the figure presented in the report is the product of modelling that may not be completely reliable.

    “We use intelligence from front-line law enforcement agencies, not data we can’t verify. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect law-abiding Albertans,” he said in a statement.

    Money laundering is nearly impossible to quantify because, by nature, it’s hidden, but the report’s estimate for Alberta seems high, said Greg Draper, a national lead of valuations, forensics and litigation support with law firm MNP LLP and a former RCMP investigator based in Calgary.

    “I would expect that Vancouver has a bigger issue than Alberta, which is not to say that Alberta does not face its own money laundering risks,” he said, adding illicit money is being washed through the province’s casinos, housing and cash businesses.

    Ontario’s real estate association was so alarmed by Maloney’s report that it contacted its provincial government to call for a beneficial ownership registry. B.C. has already announced plans for such a registry, which collects the names of people buying property using corporations, trusts and numbered companies.

    “Today, drug lords, gun runners and other criminals can hide behind the veil of Canada’s privacy laws,” said Tim Hudak, chief executive officer of the Ontario Real Estate Association and a former provincial Progressive Conservative leader.

    Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli wasn’t available for an interview and in a statement his department didn’t indicate it was planning to take any urgent action.

    “What I can tell you is that we are discussing this issue with our federal and provincial partners — most recently at the last meeting of Canada’s finance ministers. This is something we will continue to monitor,” said spokesman Peter Spadoni.

    Both Saskatchewan and Manitoba said they are taking measures to combat money laundering and pointed to their civil-forfeiture programs, which enable provinces to seize assets believed to be the proceeds of crime without laying criminal charges.

    Saskatchewan added that it will pursue legislative amendments to ensure that corporations hold accurate and up to date information on beneficial owners. But it noted it was difficult to draw conclusions about the province from the Maloney report.

    “The report itself states there are limitations on the methodology, so it isn’t clear what proportion of the Prairie figure in the report applies to Saskatchewan,” it said.

    Jason Childs, an economics professor at the University of Regina, said he would expect money laundering to be worse in B.C. due to its sky-high real estate market, but Saskatchewan’s gaming industry is extremely vulnerable.

    “We have a lot of comparatively small casinos that are going to be operating with different levels of oversight,” he said. “And then you’ve got, also, a lot of cash business going on in Saskatchewan still.”

    As for the federal government, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the reports as “alarming” and said his government has strengthened audits on real-estate transactions and is working with provinces to do more.

    Maloney said better data is needed, but if anything, the panel’s estimates might actually be lower than the reality.

    “Our numbers are not definitive. Nobody’s numbers can be definitive. But we think at the moment, given the data that is available to us, this is probably the best guesstimate there is,” she said.

    “But I would say if we were erring on any side, it would be on a cautious, conservative side.”

    — Follow @ellekane on Twitter.

    Laura Kane, The Canadian Press


    Iraqi Shiite figures warn US-Iran war could ‘burn’ Iraq


    BAGHDAD — Leading Iraqi Shiite figures warned Monday against attempts to pull their country into a war between the U.S. and Iran, saying it would turn Iraq into a battlefield yet again, just as it is on the path to recovery. The warning came hours...

    BAGHDAD — Leading Iraqi Shiite figures warned Monday against attempts to pull their country into a war between the U.S. and Iran, saying it would turn Iraq into a battlefield yet again, just as it is on the path to recovery.

    The warning came hours after a rocket slammed into Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, landing less than a mile from the sprawling U.S. Embassy. No injuries were reported and no group immediately claimed the Sunday night attack.

    Shortly after, President Donald Trump tweeted a warning to Iran not to threaten the United States or it will face its “official end.”

    Last week, the U.S. ordered the evacuation of nonessential diplomatic staff from Iraq amid unspecified threats from Iran and rising tensions across the region. The White House has also sent warships and bombers to the Persian Gulf to counter the alleged Iranian threats.

    On Monday, two influential Shiite clerics and a leading politician — all with close ties to Iran — warned that Iraq could once again get caught in the middle. The country hosts more than 5,000 U.S. troops, and is home to powerful Iranian-backed militias, some of whom want those U.S. forces to leave.

    Populist Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said any political party that would drag Iraq in a U.S.-Iran war “would be the enemy of the Iraqi people.”

    “This war would mark the end of Iraq,” the black-turbaned al-Sadr warned. “We need peace and reconstruction.”

    Qais al-Khazali, the leader the Iranian-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq, or League of the Righteous group, tweeted that he is opposed to operations that “give pretexts for war” and added that they would only “harm Iraq’s political, economic and security conditions.”

    For the Shiite-majority Iraq to be a theatre for proxy wars is not new. It lies on the fault line between Shiite Iran and the mostly Sunni Arab world, led by powerhouse Saudi Arabia, and has long been the setting where Saudi-Iran rivalry for regional supremacy played out.

    After America’s 2003 invasion of Iraq to oust dictator Saddam Hussein, American troops and Iranian-backed militiamen fought pitched battles around the country, and scores of U.S. troops were killed or wounded by sophisticated Iranian-made weapons.

    The office of Hadi al-Amiri, the leader of a coalition of Shiite paramilitary forces backed by both Baghdad and Tehran, released a statement calling on Iraqis to work together “to keep Iraq and the region away from war.”

    “If war breaks out … it will burn everyone,” al-Amiri warned.

    Bassem Mroue And Qassim Abdul-Zahra, The Associated Press

    Prominent Congolese politician Katumbi returns from exile


    KINSHASA, Congo — A prominent Congolese businessman and onetime presidential hopeful has returned home after three years in political exile. Moise Katumbi, who said he feared for his life under the regime of former President Joseph Kabila, arrived...

    KINSHASA, Congo — A prominent Congolese businessman and onetime presidential hopeful has returned home after three years in political exile.

    Moise Katumbi, who said he feared for his life under the regime of former President Joseph Kabila, arrived Monday in his hometown of Lubumbashi where he stepped out of his private jet dressed in all white.

    Katumbi had been sentenced in absentia to three years in prison on real estate fraud charges he said were politically motivated. At one point he had accused the government of trying to poison him, an allegation it denied.

    Katumbi was blocked from taking part in the presidential election to replace Kabila late last year.

    Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi ultimately won the election, according to official results, and other political exiles have also begun returning after Kabila’s departure.

    The Associated Press

    Police seek armed Alabama man accused of shooting officers


    AUBURN, Ala. — Authorities in Alabama are searching for a man they say shot and wounded three Auburn police officers. Local and state law enforcement are searching for 29-year-old Grady Wayne Wilkes, who they say is armed and wearing camouflage body...

    AUBURN, Ala. — Authorities in Alabama are searching for a man they say shot and wounded three Auburn police officers.

    Local and state law enforcement are searching for 29-year-old Grady Wayne Wilkes, who they say is armed and wearing camouflage body armour and a helmet. An Auburn police release says officers responded late Sunday night to a reported domestic disturbance and were shot at by Grady.

    It says three officers were wounded; their conditions weren’t immediately released. The state Law Enforcement Agency activated a Blue Alert , which is used when officers are killed or critically wounded.

    The Opelika-Auburn News reports helicopters are patrolling. A law enforcement command centre has been set at up Auburn University, which is warning students to stay away from a mobile home park about five miles from campus.

    The Associated Press

    D-Day landing ship relocating for 75th anniversary of D-Day


    EVANSVILLE, Ind. — A restored World War II naval vessel will move to a more prominent location along the Ohio River in Evansville in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The LST 325 troop landing ship will be docked at the former site of the...

    EVANSVILLE, Ind. — A restored World War II naval vessel will move to a more prominent location along the Ohio River in Evansville in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

    The LST 325 troop landing ship will be docked at the former site of the Tropicana Evansville casino boat June 6-9. Free tours of the ship will be offered.

    The ship took part in the 1944 D-Day landings in France and was brought back to the U.S. from Greece in 2001 to be restored.

    The Evansville Courier & Press reports city officials had hoped to have the ship permanently moved there by the D-Day anniversary, but a number of delays have postponed that from happening until the end of the year. The ship has been docked a few miles (kilometres) upriver since 2005.

    ___

    Information from: Evansville Courier & Press, http://www.courierpress.com

    The Associated Press

    10 Things to Know for Today


    Your daily look at late breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. TRUMP WARNS IRAN NOT TO THREATEN AMERICA The president tweets about Iran’s “official end” hours after a rocket landed near the U.S. Embassy...

    Your daily look at late breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

    1. TRUMP WARNS IRAN NOT TO THREATEN AMERICA

    The president tweets about Iran’s “official end” hours after a rocket landed near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

    2. WHAT GOOGLE IS SAYING ABOUT HUAWEI

    The tech giant is assuring users of the Chinese company’s smartphones that Google’s basic services will work on them following U.S. government restrictions.

    3. WHERE EPA IS SHIFTING ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT

    The agency is delegating a widening range of public health and environmental enforcement to states, something critics contend is a risky, dangerous retreat.

    4. PORK LOVERS WINCE AS PRICES SPIKE

    Prices have jumped by up to 40% as China’s struggle to stamp out African swine fever in its vast pig herds, sending shockwaves through global meat markets.

    5. THE NEXT FRONTIER IN #METOO

    Lawmakers, educators and teens are re-examining whether sex education needs to evolve to better address some of the issues in society today, AP finds.

    6. MANY STATES USE DRONES FOR RANGE OF WORK

    In Utah, drones hover near avalanches. In North Carolina, they search for endangered birds. And in Kansas, they could soon be identifying sick cows, AP learns.

    7. TECH-SAVVY ESTONIANS PIONEER ONLINE BALLOTING

    Online voting in the European elections begins in Estonia, the only country in the world to allow internet voting for the entire electorate, in every election.

    8. ‘HIPPIE’ ISLAND GETS ON VACCINE BANDWAGON

    An island near Seattle known for its counterculture lifestyle and low immunization rates is seeing an increase in the number of kids vaccinated for measles and other diseases.

    9. MOREHOUSE GRADS GET QUITE THE SURPRISE

    Billionaire tech investor Robert F. Smith stuns the entire class when he tells them he will pay off their student loans __ estimated at up to $40 million.

    10. KOEPKA SURVIVES AFTER BLACK BITES BACK

    Brooks Koepka survives Bethpage Black’s brutal back nine to hold off Dustin Johnson and win the PGA Championship, his fourth major title.

    The Associated Press

    Closing arguments expected in deadly wrong-way crash trial


    BURLINGTON, Vt. — Closing arguments are expected in the trial of a Vermont man facing murder charges in the deaths of five teenagers after he drove the wrong way on Interstate 89. The closing arguments are expected Monday after a two-week trial. The...

    BURLINGTON, Vt. — Closing arguments are expected in the trial of a Vermont man facing murder charges in the deaths of five teenagers after he drove the wrong way on Interstate 89.

    The closing arguments are expected Monday after a two-week trial.

    The attorneys for 38-year-old Steven Bourgoin acknowledge he was driving the pickup truck that hit the teenagers’ vehicle in October 2016.

    His attorneys say Bourgoin was psychotic and delusional at the time of the crash . They say Bourgoin believed he was on a secret mission in the days before the crash.

    A doctor who examined Bourgoin found him competent to stand trial in December 2016. The competency finding meant Bourgoin understood the charges against him.

    He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to five counts of second-degree murder and other charges.

    The Associated Press

    Retrial of ‘Sharia police’ suspects opens in Germany


    BERLIN — Seven men accused of posing as a self-styled “Sharia police” in Germany have gone on trial for the second time, on charges they violated rules on wearing uniforms. News agency dpa reported that none of the defendants, aged between 27 and...

    BERLIN — Seven men accused of posing as a self-styled “Sharia police” in Germany have gone on trial for the second time, on charges they violated rules on wearing uniforms.

    News agency dpa reported that none of the defendants, aged between 27 and 37, addressed the charges against them as their retrial in Wuppertal opened Monday.

    The group took to the streets of Wuppertal in 2014, dressed in orange vests bearing the words “Sharia police” and handing out leaflets declaring the area a “Sharia-controlled zone” where alcohol, music and pornography were banned.

    Five were allegedly part of the self-styled patrol and the other two accessories.

    They were acquitted in 2016 when judges found that the vests couldn’t be classified as a uniform and weren’t intimidating. A federal court ordered a retrial.

    The Associated Press

    Turkey seeks 249 suspects over cheating at ministry exam


    ANKARA, Turkey — Authorities in Turkey have issued detention warrants for 249 people as part of an investigation into alleged cheating during exams to recruit staff to the country’s foreign ministry between 2010 and 2013. The Ankara Chief...

    ANKARA, Turkey — Authorities in Turkey have issued detention warrants for 249 people as part of an investigation into alleged cheating during exams to recruit staff to the country’s foreign ministry between 2010 and 2013.

    The Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s office says 91 of the suspects were detained on Monday.

    The suspects are believed to have links to the network led by U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of orchestrating a failed coup attempt in 2016. Gulen denies the accusation.

    Authorities believe Gulen’s network, which has been outlawed, has helped followers infiltrate key civil service jobs through cheating and other means.

    Some 77,000 people have been arrested for links to Gulen since the coup and around 130,000 others have been dismissed from state jobs.

    The Associated Press

    Impossible Foods debuts meatless sausage at Little Caesars


    DETROIT — Plant-based burger maker Impossible Foods is debuting its second product — meatless sausage crumbles — on Little Caesars pizza. Little Caesars will start testing the Impossible Supreme Pizza on Monday at 58 restaurants in Fort Myers,...

    DETROIT — Plant-based burger maker Impossible Foods is debuting its second product — meatless sausage crumbles — on Little Caesars pizza.

    Little Caesars will start testing the Impossible Supreme Pizza on Monday at 58 restaurants in Fort Myers, Florida; Yakima, Washington; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. The $12 pizza also comes with mushrooms, caramelized onions and green peppers.

    If the test goes well, Detroit-based Little Caesars could expand availability nationwide.

    It’s already been a busy spring for meat substitutes. Earlier this month, Impossible Foods’ rival Beyond Meat debuted on the Nasdaq; its stock price has more than tripled since the IPO.

    Burger King is testing an Impossible Whopper and could sell it nationwide by the end of this year. Tim Hortons announce this week that it’s testing a Beyond Meat breakfast sausage in Canada. Even U.S. meat producers like Tyson Foods are investing in plant-based meats.

    Little Caesars approached Redwood City, California-based Impossible Foods earlier this year seeking plant-based meat for its pizzas. Impossible Foods developed the sausage with custom sweet Italian seasoning for Little Caesars.

    So far, Impossible Foods isn’t selling the sausage anywhere else and hasn’t announced any plan to, spokeswoman Rachel Konrad said.

    Impossible’s sausage is made in the same way as its burger. The company uses heme — the protein molecule that gives meat its juicy texture — from the roots of soy plants. Instead of harvesting it from individual plants, Impossible makes batches of heme by fermenting yeast that is genetically encoded with the soy plants’ DNA. To make “meat,” heme is mixed with other ingredients like soy protein, coconut oil and sunflower oil.

    Konrad said the Impossible Sausage has a higher fat content than the Impossible Burger. It has no cholesterol, 17 grams of total fat, 17 grams of protein and 270 calories in a quarter-pound serving. By comparison, Johnsonville’s sweet Italian ground sausage has 80 mg of cholesterol, 26 grams of total fat, 20 grams of protein and 340 calories.

    Impossible Foods was founded in 2011 and started selling its burgers to restaurants in 2016. They aren’t yet sold at grocery stores. The company has raised more than $750 million in multiple rounds of funding from investors including Bill Gates, Serena Williams, Trevor Noah and Jay-Z.

    Dee-Ann Durbin, The Associated Press

    Spain: 5 Catalan separatist prisoners escorted to Parliament


    MADRID — The five separatist leaders on trial for Catalonia’s 2017 secession attempt who were elected to the Spanish Parliament last month have picked up their official credentials under police escort. The Supreme Court allowed the five to get their...

    MADRID — The five separatist leaders on trial for Catalonia’s 2017 secession attempt who were elected to the Spanish Parliament last month have picked up their official credentials under police escort.

    The Supreme Court allowed the five to get their credentials on Monday and attend the opening session of the new Parliament on Tuesday.

    However, it will not allow them to participate in any meetings or speak to the press while at the Parliament in Madrid.

    Former Catalan regional vice-president Oriol Junqueras and three other high-profile separatists won seats in the Lower Chamber, while Raül Romeva won a seat in the Senate.

    The five, along with others, are being held in prison pending trial. They face several years in prison if found guilty of rebellion.

    The Associated Press

    Harris wants to fine companies that pay men more than women


    NEW YORK — Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris is unveiling a pay inequity proposal that aims to close the gender pay gap by holding corporations accountable when men are paid more than women. Harris’ plan would require companies to...

    NEW YORK — Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris is unveiling a pay inequity proposal that aims to close the gender pay gap by holding corporations accountable when men are paid more than women.

    Harris’ plan would require companies to disclose pay policies while applying for a mandatory “Equal Pay Certification” from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Companies that fail to achieve certification would be fined 1% of their profits for every 1% wage gap they allow to persist for work of equal value.

    The U.S. senator from California says $180 billion would be generated over 10 years, with fines decreasing over time as companies strengthen their equal pay practices.

    “Kamala Harris has a simple message for corporations: Pay women fairly or pay the price,” her campaign said in announcing the plan Monday, noting that the burden has been on workers to hold corporations accountable for pay discrimination.

    “We’ve let corporations hide their wage gaps, but forced women to stand up in court just to get the pay they’ve earned. It’s time to flip the script and finally hold corporations accountable for pay inequality in America,” the campaign said.

    The equal pay plan is the latest proposal from Harris, who has been seeking a break-out moment in a crowded field of Democrats seeking the party’s nomination. Earlier, she outlined a plan that would raise pay for teachers nationwide, and she has also focused on housing affordability. However, she has lagged behind Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has been the policy pace-setter among the Democratic field.

    In Harris’s equal-pay plan, the campaign says, companies would be prohibited from asking about prior salary history as part of their hiring process, banned from using forced arbitration agreements in employment contracts for pay discrimination matters, and would be required to allow employees to freely discuss their pay. They would also be required to report the share of women who are among the company’s top earners, the total pay and total compensation gap that exists between men and women, regardless of job titles, experience and performance.

    All federal contractors will be required to achieve Equal Pay Certification within two years of Harris taking office, her campaign says. If they do not, they will be barred from competing for contracts valued at more than $500,000.

    The Associated Press


    No deal but Sudanese army, protesters will keep talking


    KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudan’s ruling generals and protesters behind months of mass demonstrations that drove autocrat Omar al-Bashir from power have failed to strike a deal but agree to keep talking. That’s after the latest round of negotiations...

    KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudan’s ruling generals and protesters behind months of mass demonstrations that drove autocrat Omar al-Bashir from power have failed to strike a deal but agree to keep talking.

    That’s after the latest round of negotiations between the two sides that resumed on Sunday, following a three-day pause. Another round is due on Monday night.

    After ousting al-Bashir, the military took over but the protesters remained on the streets, demanding the military hand over power to civilian rule.

    Shams al-Deen al-Kabashi, a spokesman for the military council, says the sticking point remains the makeup of the sovereign council that will guide the country through a three-year transition period.

    Madani Abbas, a negotiator for the protesters, says he hopes a final deal, acceptable to all Sudanese, will be struck on Monday.

    The Associated Press



    Ryanair warns Boeing grounding is hurting business


    LONDON — Budget airline Ryanair says its profit fell 29% last year and warns that the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max planes will limit its ability to cut costs. Europe’s largest carrier by passengers said earnings for the year ending March 31 fell...

    LONDON — Budget airline Ryanair says its profit fell 29% last year and warns that the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max planes will limit its ability to cut costs.

    Europe’s largest carrier by passengers said earnings for the year ending March 31 fell to 1.02 billion euros ($1.14 billion) from 1.45 billion euros the previous year. Strong 7% traffic growth was offset by a 6% decline in fares.

    Boeing grounded its 737 MAX planes after two crashes raised concerns about flight-control software. It said last week it has finished updating the software, though it remains unclear when the grounding will end.

    Ryanair had wanted to use the fuel-efficient planes to cut costs. But it delayed delivery of its first five Max planes until the winter so those savings won’t happen until 2021.

    The Associated Press