• Cory Monteith, the Canadian-born star of the hit TV show Glee, has been found dead in Vancouver's posh Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel.

    Vancouver police confirmed Monteith was discovered by staff in his 21st-floor hotel room when he failed to check out on schedule Saturday, July 13.

    Acting Chief Doug LePard told a late-night news conference that police were summoned and paramedics advised that the star, 31, was deceased. Monteith, who was born in Calgary and raised in Victoria, appeared to have been dead for several hours, LePard told reporters.

    LePard passed on condolences to Monteith's family, friends, castmates and "millions of fans."

    "As was the case in countless homes, I watched Glee regularly with my daughters, and I know there will be shock and sadness in many households with the news of his tragic death," said LePard.

    Police decided on the unusual late-night announcement, an hour after notifying his family, to try and quell any speculation about his death, he said.

    [ Related: "Glee" star

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  • I've been thinking about how to talk about Friday's riveting address by Malala Yousafzai to the United Nations in a way to make it relevant to Canadians.

    But then I thought, what could be more relevant to our country than a universal example of sublime courage.

    The Pakistani schoolgirl, who against long odds celebrated her 16th birthday on Friday, made a powerful plea that all children's right to free education be guaranteed and voiced her support for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Global Education First Initiative. The world body declared it Malala Day.

    Malala's composure before a UN hall packed with 500 youth delegates and diplomats belied her age and the fact that less than a year ago she was fighting for her life.

    Her outspoken advocacy for education for Pakistani girls had made her a target for the Taliban in her native Swat Valley. An assassin from the militant Islamist terror group attacked her school bus last Oct. 9, shooting her in the head at close range and injuring fellow

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  • Chris Lloyd was fined $651 when he warned other cyclists about a spot check at a red light.

    How many of us have not done this: You pass a police radar trap on the opposite side of the road and flash your high beams at oncoming motorists to warn them.

    Are you breaking the law?

    A Montreal resident faced the two-wheel version of that question this week and found the answer was yes.

    Cyclist Chris Lloyd was handed a $41 ticket for running a read light on a downtown Montreal where police were set up to catch scofflaws like him.

    Afterward, according to CTV News, Lloyd hung around the intersection and warned fellow cyclists about the police operation.

    "I was standing on the other side of the red light [after getting my own $41 ticket for not stopping — fair enough], and warning other cyclists to stop at the red light," Lloyd explained in a Wednesday Facebook post about the incident.

    "Apparently this constitutes interference in a police operation. I can only assume that their operation was to steal as much money as possible for cyclists that have a tendency to roll through red lights."

    Lloyd

    Read More »from Scofflaw or Samaritan? Montreal cyclist fined for warning fellow bikers about police trap
  • An ongoing debate over whether new Canadian citizens should be asked to swear an oath of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II has raised its head again, this time to be challenged in a court of law.

    The Canadian Press reports that a group of Canadian residents (and would-be citizens) are challenging the requirement in court, claiming it is discriminatory to force them to pledge allegiance to the monarchy.

    The Citizenship Act requires those applying for citizenship to affirm they will be "faithful and bear true allegiance to Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, her heirs and successors."

    The argument goes that swearing allegiance to Canada should be enough.

    Canada's relationship with the monarchy, aside from the whole Queen being our head of state thing, is one of vague indifference.

    There are those who feel strongly in favour of keeping the system intact and those strongly in favour of cutting ties with the Royal Family entirely. The rest of us go about our day completely unencumbered

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  • 350 passengers were on board a train that derailed outside Paris.

    A rush hour commuter train crash is a Paris suburb has resulted in at least seven deaths and an untold number of injuries, according to local reports emerging after the afternoon crash.

    The crash occurred as a commuter train arrived at a stop in the southern suburb of Brétigny-sur-Orge, shortly after 5 p.m. local time. French rail operators have said it is unclear what caused the crash.

    The Telegraph reports that a red alert was issued and that train officials have confirmed that more than 385 people were on board the passenger train when it crashed. France's interior minister has said that "at least seven" deaths have been reported, but that number is likely to go up as the scope of the accident becomes clear.

    French train operator, SNCF, released a statement confirming that four train cars slipped off the track, one of which had tipped onto its side. The company expressed its sadness at the incident and promised to mobilize its resources to help affected travellers. It suggested other

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  • Lac-Megantic residents hug after being allowed to return to their homes Thursday, July 11, 2013 near the scene of a train derailment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

    When tragedy strikes, grieving follows. And sharp, public tragedy begets public grief. Nearly one week after the devastating train crash in Lac-Megantic, Que., the pain is still obvious.

    Tears continue to flow, anger remains red hot. But among that are signs of revival, signs that a town suddenly decimated would recover. Some day.

    On Friday, memorial services were planned to commemorate the 24 confirmed deaths and the 26 people still missing and presumed to have suffered similar fates.

    Residents are expected to gather at a local high school for afternoon prayers and mediation. A candlelight vigil planned for Friday evening has been cancelled, with police fearing they wouldn't have the resources to monitor the event.

    [ Related: Lac-Mégantic prepares vigil to mark 1 week since derailment ]

    The town's grief is that vast. The community of 6,000 lost scores of its own last Saturday, when a runaway train filled with crude oil barreled into town, derailed and exploded. Cousins and uncles were

    Read More »from Lac-Megantic slowly recovers from train disaster; will run again some day
  • Homicide detectives are investigating after a two-year-old child died Monday evening at a daycare centre in Vaughan, Ont. Public health officials shut down the centre for health infractions. Photo via CBC.The government of Ontario will launch massive investigation into itself and how it has handled complaints surrounding day-care facilities in the province, but this sweeping act of housekeeping is coming too little, too late.

    Earlier this week, a two-year-old child in an unlicenced day-care centre operating out of a home north of Toronto.

    York Regional Police are investigating the death, but will wait for the results of an autopsy before deciding whether to lay charges.

    The circumstances behind the death are not currently clear, and it is uncertain how many children were being cared for at the time — although the number has been reported above 20.

    What is clear is that the death has caught the province's Ministry of Health flat-footed.

    The ministry announced late Thursday night that the now-closed facility was the subject of several recent complaints.

    [ Related: Child's death raises private day-care questions ]

    Education Minister Liz Sandals released a statement shortly before midnight on

    Read More »from Previous complaints against Ontario day-care centre where child died went unaddressed
  • The federal government, which regularly gets attacked for falling short on its mandated support for aboriginal communities, has now been told it is deeply under-funding the maintenance of First Nations schools.

    The Parliamentary Budget Officer's office (PBO) has issued a report that concludes Ottawa is spending one-third less than is needed just to keep schools in B.C. First Nations communities from crumbling, the Globe and Mail reports.

    The report, released Thursday, estimates aboriginal schools in the province will need $39 million in the fiscal year 2013-14 via federal obligations under the Indian Act. They are currently receiving just $26 million for this year.

    And population growth will boost the funding requirement to $47 million by 2028-29 just to maintain schools in their current condition, the report says.

    The report suggests school upkeep has fallen victim to other funding priorities within the Department of Aboriginal Affairs that have "more immediate health and safety impacts,"

    Read More »from B.C. First Nations schools badly underfunded, PBO report shows
  • A screenshot via YouTube of a sign in north-end Winnipeg.If you knew prostitutes were walking the streets outside your home, pulling johns to a residential neighbourhood where children and families live, what would you do?

    One Winnipeg man has decided to answer that question with an old fashioned "name and shame" campaign, vowing to publish the licence plate numbers of johns travelling through his north-end neighbourhood.

    Russell Jackson has posted signs around his community warning johns that their licence plate numbers will be posted on Facebook. A page entitled "Stop 4 a Date Facebook the Plate," was launched late last month, prompting much debate over the practice of identifying supposed johns.

    [ Related: University of Manitoba faces complaint from transgender student ]

    "It is degrading, disgusting and disrespectful to our community," Jackson told CTV News, about the prevalence of johns in his community.

    "If I catch you talking to one of the sex workers in my area, I'm going to report your plate. If you are trolling in the neighbourhood, you

    Read More »from Winnipeg man launches ‘name and shame’ campaign against local johns
  • Changes are welcomed by victims-rights advocates but just who would pay for the new regime is at issue.The Conservative government's push to embed victims rights deeply into the Canadian justice system is turning out to be more complex than expected.

    CBC News reports the government has extended the consultation period for its victims bill of rights legislation by two months to allow for more comments.

    The Department of Justice web site on the bill says the deadline for online public consultation expires Sept. 3.

    The proposed legislation would greatly expand the participation of victims at all phases of a case and entrench their role in law, instead of leaving it a matter of policy.

    Changes are welcomed by victims-rights advocates but just who would administer and pay for the new regime is at issue.

    [ Related: Victims of crime need more support, says ombudsman ]

    CBC News said Sue O'Sullivan, the federal ombudsman for victims of crime, has tabled 30 recommendations, including measures to enforce restitution orders and legal support for victims as a case proceeds through the courts, and

    Read More »from Complex victims’ rights bill puts advocates at odds

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