Basketball great Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash

Basketball legend and Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant died in a California helicopter crash on Sunday along with at least one of his daughters and seven others, reports and officials said.

LIVE: Coverage from CBS News

A fire broke out sending his Sikorsky S-76 helicopter spiralling out of an overcast sky above Calabasas and killing all five on board. It has been widely reported that Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore is among the dead.

During a brief initial press conference on Sunday evening, authorities said that there were nine killed in the crash. Police received a call at 9:47 a.m. that a helicopter may have crashed, officials said.

The Bryants were on their way to Mamba Academy for basketball practice, reports say.

Allen Kenitzer, an FAA spokesman, said his agency and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating. Sikorsky says it is cooperating with authorities to find out the cause of the crash.

Photo of the crash scene via Twitter.

Bryant is survived by Vanessa, 37, and their daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 17, Bianka, three, and Capri, sevens months.

The L.A. Lakers star is considered one of greatest basketball players of all time. He spent his entire 20-year National Basketball Association career with the California team.

Bryant, 41, won five championships and was an 18-time all-star. He is known for scoring 81 points in a single game.

The basketball great’s final tweet was sent out on Saturday evening, congratulating LeBron James for taking his position as third on the ladder in overall career points.

Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016 but began a new career in Hollywood. In 2018, he won an Oscar along with director Glen Keane for the animated short film “Dear Basketball”, the L.A. Times reports.

IGNITE Vice President Ryan Stafford, who represents Lakeshore Campus, posted a tribute to the basketball legend on his Instagram Story.

Obituary

The following obituary was posted by Reuters news agency:

“A transcendent star who went straight from high school to the game’s biggest stage, Bryant won five NBA championship rings with the Los Angeles Lakers and was the face of the franchise during his 20-year career.”

“Bryant, a small forward and shooting guard, averaged 25 points during his career and twice led the NBA in scoring.”

“He was an 18-times NBA All-Star who wore the jersey numbers 24 and 8 – both of which were retired by the Lakers – and continued the ‘Showtime’ tradition of the storied franchise that has been home to the likes of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal.”

U.S. President Donald Trump called the development “terrible news”. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said Bryant “will live forever in the heart of Los Angeles, and will be remembered through the ages as one of our greatest heroes.”

An NBA game taking place at the time the news broke took a moment of silence and soccer superstar Neymar da Silva Santos Jr. made a “24” symbol with his fingers after scoring a goal on Sunday.

Trudeau outlines plan to pass trade deal

After the new North American free trade deal approved by U.S. Senate, the Canadian government plans to ratify the deal next week.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke Tuesday in a news conference after a three-day cabinet retreat in Winnipeg, saying that it’s the government’s utmost priority to push forward with the Canadian-U.S.-Mexico agreement, known domestically as CUSMA, as millions of jobs depend on the new trade pact.

“On Monday, we will present a ways and means motion, and on Wednesday we will table legislations to ratify the deal,” said Trudeau, describing what will take place next week.

In order for the Liberals to pass this legislation in a minority government, they will neeed the support of another party in the House of Commons. Trudeau had expressed is hopes that all parties will negotiate and cone on ratification together.

“What we are doing is reminding everyone in the House and across the country of how important it is to secure the most important trading relationship for future generations.”

CUSMA has been on the top of the list of government priorities that were discussed during the cabinet meetings in Winnipeg.

The cabinet ministers also listened to expert guest speakers, who discussed other important matters including the fight against climate change, the current state of the country’s economy and pressing global affairs, among other critical matters facing the new minority government.

The trade deal, a result of a year of sometimes rocky negotiations with with the Trump administration, has been passed in the U.S. Senate and is awaiting the president’s signature. It has also been approved in Mexico.

Justin Trudeau said in Winnipeg “we are going to make sure we move forward in the right way and that means ratifying this new NAFTA as quickly as possible.”

Conservatives who are the main opposition, are generally supportive of the deal, but have vowed to grill the Liberals over its specifics when the House of Commons resumes sitting on Monday.

Weinstein charged with rape, sexual assault

A Los Angeles district attorney on Monday charged disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein with raping a woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013.

If Weinstein is convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 28 years in prison.

“We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then commit violent crimes against them,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement, reported Reuters.

It comes the same day that Weinstein is on trial for a separate but similar case in New York.

Trump impeached by U.S. House

The U.S. House of Representatives late on Wednesday impeached Republican President Donald Trump with a vote largely along party lines, passing at two articles of impeachment put forward by the majority Democrats claiming abuse of power and obstruction of justice, handing the fate of the president over to a trial in the GOP-held Senate.

The ballots marked by lawmakers in the House came after a day of debate that saw Democrats calling Trump a threat to democracy as Republicans fought back, claiming the proceedings were a partisan coup with Rep. Kevin McCarthy calling it the “least credible impeachment in American history.”

Democrats in the House, led by Nancy Pelosi, accuse the 73-year-old president of abusing his power by asking Ukraine to investigate former Vice President and current presidential hopeful Joe Biden in return for military aid. Trump is also charged with obstructing congressional probes by directing officials and departments to ignore legal summons.

Impeachment is an extraordinary check on presidential power written into the United States Constitution by the founders that allows for the removal of presidents by Congress over the vague “high crimes and misdemeanours” — and Trump is the third president to be impeached after Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.

As the House made history, Trump, who denies any wrongdoing, rallied supporters from Battle Creek, Michigan. 

Article One was supported by 230 Democrats while two Democrats voted against the article, which accuses Trump of abuse of power over his dealings with Ukraine. Democrats lost one ballot when voting in favour of Article Two, which alleges abuse of power.

Sole Independent Justin Amash, who left the Republican Party earlier this year, voted with Democrats on both articles. None of the 195 Republicans in the House supported the articles, as expected by political analysts, while Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard voted only “present”.

Democrats unveil articles of impeachment against Trump

U.S. Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Tuesday, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress as part of a major step forward in a process that is likely to end in a dramatic trial in the Republican-run Senate.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the impeachment charges next week, according to congressional reporters. With a Democrat majority, the House is nearly certain to impeach Trump, which acts as an indictment for the crimes outlined in the articles.

The process will then move to a trial in the Senate where Trump will either be acquitted or removed from office in a two-thirds majority. GOP senators have shown little appetite to remove Trump from office but with public support for such a move growing, there could be surprises ahead.

Trump is the third president in U.S. history to face impeachment.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Chairmen Jerrold Nadler and Adam Schiff gave a brief press conference announcing the two articles of impeachment that, though expected was historic, as charges of “high crimes and misdemeanours” were laid against the U.S. president.

The impeachment charges stem from an investigation launched on Sept. 24 that probed allegations that Trump carried out a so-called “quid pro quo” arrangement with Ukraine during which he withheld military aid until Kiev would investigate political rival and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Republicans insist that the Democrat-led effort is an attempt to undo the results of the 2016 federal election as part of a so-called “witch hunt” against Trump. The president denies any wrongdoing in the Ukraine case as well as in the special counsel probe that dominated the beginning of his presidency.

An hour later, Pelosi stood before reporters for a second time to announce that Democrats had reached a revised North American free trade agreement deal in what allies of the president view as a victory, fulfilling a policy goal of the Trump administration.


‘Endangered the U.S. Constituition’

In a statement to reporters, House Judiciary Committee Chairman and point man for the impeachment inquiry Jerrold Nadler said that the Democrats were forced to take action due to Trump endangering the U.S. Constitution, undermining the next election and putting national security at jeopardy.

“No one, not even the president, is above the law,” Nadler said, flanked by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other chairpersons involved in the impeachment probe, adding that “our elections are a cornerstone of democracy”.

4 dead, 6 injured in Fresno

UPDATED

Four men have dead and six others are injured after gunmen snuck into a backyard gathering of friends and family on Sunday night in Fresno, a city in central California, and opened fire.

About 35 people were at the home, and many were watching a football game when one or more people snuck in and opened fire, said Police Deputy Chief Michael Reid, local reports said.

Reid added that “no kids were hurt”. The victims were described by police as “Asian males between the ages of 25 and 35 years old. Three were dead at the scene and another died at in hospital.

Authorities have yet to release further details about the incident and so it is unknown at the time what weapon was used. Police were going door-to-door in search of surveillance video, reported the Fresno Bee.

Police Lt. Bill Dooley told NBC affiliate KSEE that no arrests had been made in the aftermath of the shooting.

ISIS leader believed killed in raid, say reports

The leader of so-called Islamic State Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was killed in a military operation carried out by the United States, several international and U.S.-based news organizations reported early on Sunday.

LIVE: Trump expected to confirm al-Baghdadi’s death

Reuters reported that a raid had occurred targeting the reclusive figure, who has rarely been caught on camera. Newsweek cited sources saying he was killed. The U.S. military is working to confirm the death with DNA tests.

An announcement from U.S. President Donald Trump related to foreign policy is expected to come at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning. He tweeted earlier that “something very big has just happened”.

The operation took place in northwest Syria, CNN reported, citing dual sources, adding that he reportedly triggered a so-called “suicide vest” and killed himself.

Al-Baghdadi declared an Islamic caliphate in 2014 as Islamic State militants took large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria.

It comes as the Trump administration conducts a significant withdraw from Syria, a move that preceded a Turkish military operation into the northeast, a region dominated by Kurdish political and military control.

Kurdish forces were instrumental to a U.S.-backed international effort to drive the so-called Islamic State caliphate out of area. Some 10,000 Kurdish fighters were killed during a three year offensive.

Current maps of Syria show only slivers of ISIS territory remaining, but up to 18,000 fighters have remained persistent in Syria and Iraq while the group grows in other areas of the world.


An unexpected raid

It was United States Special Operations commandos that carried out what The New York Times reported was a “risky raid” in northwestern Syria on Saturday against what their sources described as a “senior terrorist leader”.

Another source said it was so-called Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who was believed to be the target for the mission, an operation approved by President Donald Trump, U.S. commander-in-chief.

Commandos and analysts were working to confirm the identity of the terrorist who Times sources said triggered his explosive vest, committing suicide. Al-Baghdadi has been reported killed in the past but then appeared to be alive after the claimed incidents.

Several reports said the raid took place in Syria’s northwestern Idlib Province, located many hundreds of kilometres from the north Syria-Iraq border where he was believed to be hiding out.

Climate strikes with Greta Thunberg: What you need to know

(CUP) — Global protests for the climate crisis are taking place on Sept. 20 and 27 with organizations around the world, including Fridays For Future, a movement started by teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Youth and adults around the world will be spending the two Fridays out of school.

“What this moment can do is demonstrate that people are no longer willing to continue with business as usual,” reads the global climate strike website.

“Our house is on fire. The climate crisis is an emergency but we’re not acting like it.”

Here’s what you need to know to get informed and get involved.


The teenager who started it all

In August 2018, then-15-year-old Swedish teen Greta Thunberg began sitting outside the Swedish parliament every weekday for three weeks to protest a lack of action on the climate crisis. Thunberg’s actions went viral after she posted what she was doing on social media.

On Sept. 8, 2018, Thunberg decided to strike every Friday until Swedish policies responded to the threat of climate change with a plan to keep the global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius, in accordance with the Paris climate agreement.

Now 16, Thunberg is in New York to participate in a strike on Sept. 20 before the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23. She spent 15-days sailing across the Atlantic to reach New York in a mode of transportation that emitted no carbon emissions. On Sept. 27, Thunberg will protest in Montreal for the global climate strike.


What are Fridays for Future?

Unlike their parents and grandparents, millennials have to think about their future while keeping in mind that they might not have a future.

FFF connects youth around the world who are striking on Fridays in solidarity with Thunberg, with the goal of influencing their own governments to take urgent action on climate change and encourage people to become more informed about the climate crisis.

The organization is driven by the strikes and efforts of youth of various ages, calling for change at the frontlines of protests. Parents, teachers, and other adults who want to support and facilitate are encouraged to join as well.

Canada became the third country and the first in the Americas to have a rally in solidarity with Thunberg on Nov. 2, 2018.

During the 2018 United Nations climate change conference in Katowice, Poland, nine Canadian cities participated in a FFF Canada strike on Dec. 7, 2018. Across, Canada, 85 strikes took place for the first global FFF strike of the year in March 2019. In May, during Canada’s official day to strike, there were 98 strikes, according to the FFF website.

In Toronto, #WeekforFuture begins on Sept. 20 with a climate strike rally and mass teach-in to empower youth on how to talk to adults about climate change, taking place at Hart House from 12 to 3 p.m.

On Friday, Sept. 27, FFF Toronto is hosting a strike at Queen’s Park, in solidarity with strikes happening all around the world, beginning at noon. “There is no more business as usual because this is a climate crisis,” reads the event Facebook page.


Youth in revolt

According to the United Nations panel on climate change science, human-induced warming already reached one degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels in 2017.

Students are striking to call on governments to keep global temperatures warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

A report from October 2018 suggests that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, the atmosphere will warm up by as much as 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) above pre-industrial levels by 2040. This could result in more disasters like food shortages, floods, fires and the rising temperature of the ocean.


How to get involved

In a movement that started with the actions of one teenager, the actions of an individual should not be underestimated. Joining a local strike on Sept. 20 or 27 can add volume to the initiative and cause the government to react.

Those who want to join in on the strikes can search the FFF map to find a strike happening near them.

With its directory, you can find events occurring past Sept. 27 to get involved in and continue to take action in response to the climate crisis.

According to 350, another organization participating in the global climate strike, 117 countries are expected to engage with over 2,500 registered strikes and events. On the global climate strike map of events, 54 are registered in Canada, scheduled to take place in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Montreal, Halifax, St. John’s, Nfld. and more.

Protesters joining the strikes are encouraged to register for their event on the FFF Canada map and use #FridaysForFuture and #ClimateStrike to find updates on each other’s events.

Subway introducing meatless meatball sub next month

Subway is joining in on the meatless craze that has swept through the fast food industry starting with a new product coming out next month in Canada and the United States: the meatless meatball sub.

The product is made with the ever-popular Beyond Meat’s plant-based protein and will be available at 685 restaurants across North America, available for a “limited time”.

Subway said in a press release the Beyond Meatball Marinara packs 24 grams of protein per six-inch sub, is “drenched” in “irresistible” marina said and is perfectly toasted with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese on top.

The fast food chain cites a study by the researchers at the NPD Group that found 70 per cent of meat-eaters substitute a non-meat protein in a meal at least once a week.

“Subway appeals to so many fans because we truly offer something for everyone. Our guests want to feel good about what they eat and they also want to indulge in new flavours,” a branding official for Subway said.

The meatless trend has grown significantly as substitutes like Beyond Meat become more popular for those that seek an option to cut down on their meat-eating for ethical, health or environmental reasons.

A report released by the United Nations on Aug. 8 warned that global meat consumption must fall to curb climate change, though it stopped ahead of explicitly telling consumers to go entirely meat-free.

Plant-based food and sustainable animal meat could set free several million square kilometres of land by 2050 and cut 0.7 to 8.0 gigatonnes a year of carbon dioxide equivalent, a U.N. panel said last week, reported Reuters.

It has not been made clear what Subway restaurants will be receiving the meatless option but The Avro Post has reached out to the company with a request regarding the Humber College North Campus cafeteria.

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