• Defence lawyer Pierre Panaccio (R) walks, followed by Crown prosecutors Helene Di Salvo and Louis Bouthillier (L), to the arraignment of Luka Rocco Magnotta in Montreal, June 19, 2012.Pierre Panaccio has been given the unenviable task of defending the man accused of one of the most grisly killings in Canadian history.

    The well-known criminal attorney from Montreal has been tapped to defend Luka Rocco Magnotta against charges of stabbing, beheading and dismembering 33-year-old Lin Jun last month.

    According to PostMedia News, Panaccio gained notoriety in 2004 for participating in the year long Hell's Angels' mega-trial, the first major test of Canada's anti-gang legislation before a jury.

    While Panaccio is no stranger to high profile cases, former Paul Bernardo lawyer Anthony Bryant says this one will be difficult.

    He told QMI Agency that the video allegedly showing the killing will present Panaccio with "unusual challenges."

    "I can't imagine that it wouldn't be (played)," he said in an interview on Tuesday.

    "I was certainly part of a case where videos played a very important role and they present unusual challenges."

    [Related: Magnotta pleads not guilty; requests

    Read More »from Luka Magnotta’s lawyer Pierre Panaccio will have ‘unusual challenges’
  • This file photo shows Vancouver skyline, pictured in 2009. Canada is monitoring an unmanned Japanese ship which was swept into the ocean during last year's tsunami, and will not allow it to wash ashore on the Canadian West Coast, according to the government. (AFP Photo/Don Emmert)With its beautiful setting, relatively balmy climate and comfortable ethnic diversity, Vancouver's often held up as a model of urban livability.

    But a survey by the Vancouver Foundation reveals that reputation may have fragile underpinnings.

    The 70-year-old organization interviewed more than 3,841 residents of Metro Vancouver and discovered, among other things, that many people felt isolated among the city's splendour.

    "We found that one in four people are finding it difficult to make friends in Vancouver and one in three people are lonely," Vancouver Foundation chief executive Faye Wightman told CBC News.

    The study, done in April and May, also found that despite Metro Vancouver's celebrated ethnic diversity, almost two-thirds of those interviewed did not have any close friends from another ethnic group. And 65 per cent said they preferred to spend their time with people who are like them.

    [ Related: Explore Vancouver area's ethnic diversity ]

    While many respondents believed all new

    Read More »from Vancouver Foundation study finds Lotusland a lonely, isolated place
  • The killing of three armoured-car guards last Friday, allegedly by one of their colleagues, is calling into question how deeply security companies probe the background of their gun-toting employees.

    Travis Baumgartner is expected to return to Edmonton on Wednesday to face first degree murder and attempted murder charges, among others, the Edmonton Journal reported. He's being held by the RCMP in Langley, B.C.

    [Related: Baumgartner tripped up by his own mistakes trying to flee Canada]

    Baumgartner, whose sobbing mother told CTV News on Monday that her 21-year-old son wanted to become a police officer, was arrested by U.S. border guards when he tried to cross near Vancouver on Saturday.

    Family of victim reacts to suspect's arrestJohn Ernst, the uncle of slain guard Michelle Shegelski, talks about his niece and his reaction to the arrest of Travis Baumgartner.

    Baumgartner was hired by G4S Cash Solutions in April. Company spokesman Robin Steinberg told the Toronto Star that all employees go

    Read More »from Background checks questioned after Edmonton armoured car company killings
  • Torontonians will have to come up with some unique ways to stay cool for the next few days as the city endures its first heat wave of the year.Hot enough for ya? If you live in Toronto, it's likely the answer will be a sweaty yes.

    But in British Columbia, which has had a cool and wet June, you'll get a much different answer.

    Toronto has declared a heat alert — its third of the season — as Central Canada braces for its first heat wave of summer, with temperatures expected to reach the mid-30s. Add some humidity and it will feel like more than 40 degrees Celsius. That's about 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

    "This will make for very uncomfortable conditions," Environment Canada said in a special statement covering a stretch of Ontario from Windsor to Ottawa, according to CBC News.

    "It is advised to stay in an air conditioned place or seek shade when possible, drink plenty of water and limit physical outdoor activity."

    According to 680News, a heat wave requires three or more days of 32 C or higher.

    The city won't be opening cooling centres unless the heat alert reaches the extreme level, 680News reported, but it posted a list of air

    Read More »from Baby, it’s hot outside: Ontario endures heat wave as B.C. soaks
  • Singer Justin Bieber jumps on stage while performing during the MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto, June 17, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Cassese (CANADA - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)This morning, Canada's Walk of Fame announced its 2012 inductees: Randy Bachman, Sarah McLachlan, Phil Hartman, Sonia Rodriguez, Russ Jackson and Team Canada 1972.

    The Walk of Fame — sidewalk tiles with the names of famous Canadians marked on them — is found along King Street and Simcoe Street in downtown Toronto. Each tile represents a person or group who "Canadians value for their artistry, intelligence, innovation or service to our country."

    Here's the list of the 137 stars this year's inductees will be joining, including (almost) everyone from Mary Pickford to Alex Trebek to Mordecai Richler to Bobby Orr.

    [ Related: 2012 Walk of Fame inductees announced ]

    Who hasn't been honoured? Well, a lot of famous Canucks.

    Here's a non-comprehensive list of Canadians sure to get stars on the Walk of Fame — one day.

    Film and Television

    Atom Egoyan. In a nation with two directors — okay, we have more than just Cronenberg and Egoyan, but they're the go-to household names, it seems — it's odd that

    Read More »from Canada’s Walk of Fame: Who hasn’t been honoured yet?
  • 2012 inductees announced for Canada's Walk of Fame

    Bryan Adams receives his Walk of Fame star in Toronto. (Courtesy Canada's Walk of Fame)Canada's Walk of Fame announced its 2012 inductees, as picked by 30,000 Canadians from over 135 countries.

    This year's inductees, who will receive their tribute at a ceremony at Toronto's Ed Mirvish Theatre on September 22 are:

    - Randy Bachman, legendary guitarist, songwriter and original Guess Who band member. 

    - Phil Hartman, gifted comedian and Saturday Night Live cast member.  

    - Russ Jackson, one of the greatest quarterbacks in Canadian Football League history. 

    - Sarah McLachlan, JUNO and Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter.

    - Sonia Rodriguez, National Ballet of Canada Principal Dancer.

    - Team Canada 1972, winner of the Summit Series in hockey against the Soviet Union and one of the most important sporting events in Canada's history.

    Canadian hockey heroes among latest Walk of Fame inducteesFor the first time ever an entire team will be inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. The 1972 members of Team Canada are among the 2012 inductees which include Phil Hartman and Randy

    Read More »from 2012 inductees announced for Canada's Walk of Fame
  • Luka Rocco Magnotta has pleaded not guilty to the multiple charges against him, including first-degree murder, in the death and dismemberment of 33 year old Chinese student Jun Lin.

    Magnotta appeared via teleconference at the Montreal courthouse, Tuesday afternoon, just one day after being extradited from Germany.

    According to the Canadian Press, he stood impassive, in a brown shirt, flanked by a guard at a police station in a different part of the city.

    Magnotta's interrogationInterview with Montreal police Cmdr. Ian Lafrenière on the detention of accused killer Luca Magnotta

    Magnotta's attorney, Pierre Panaccio, is expected to request a psychiatric evaluation for Magnotta on Thursday. According to prosecutors, a psych evaluation process could take up to thirty days.

    The 29 year old Scarborough, Ontario native is the prime suspect in the grisly killing of Lin some time in May.  Police believe Magnotta dismembered Lin's body, sending the hands and feet to political parties in Ottawa and

    Read More »from Magnotta pleads not guilty; will request psych evaluation
  • Canadians get a secret thrill when others mention their country. A laudatory reference by an American president, a high ranking in some global list about how wonderful Canada is as a place to live.

    But there was probably a collective pursing of lips Monday when Canada found itself lumped in with North Korea, Syria, Sudan and Zimbabwe as a violator of human rights.

    The slap came from Navi Pillay, United Nations high commissioner for human rights, in a long speech in Geneva. It's the latest in a spate of adverse references from UN agencies.

    One paragraph in Pillay's address criticized recent Quebec legislation restricting gatherings of more than 50 people without a permit, aimed at curbing months of Montreal street protests over plans to raise post-secondary tuition fees.

    "Moves to restrict freedom of assembly in many parts of the world are alarming," she said, according to a Canadian Press report. "In the context of student protests, I am disappointed by the new legislation passed in

    Read More »from Another UN body smacks Canada, this time for Quebec law restricting large protests
  • It's looking more and more like two young Quebec women found dead in their room at a Thai resorts were the victims of accidental poisoning.

    The question remains what exactly killed Noemi and Audrey Belanger of Pohénégamook, northeast of Quebec City?

    Their bodies were discovered Thursday night in their locked room on Phi Phi Island, near Phuket, off the Thai coast.

    Britain's Mail Online reported a doctor who did the initial examination of their bodies suspects the source of the poisoning may have been a meal that could have included poisonous mushrooms or an extremely toxic part of the blowfish.

    Police said there was no evidence of a struggle in their rooms or on their bodies. There were signs of vomiting and the women had lesions on their bodies, as well as bleeding gums and blue fingernails and toenails, which suggest poisoning.

    "We are waiting for the post-mortem examination of the victims' inner organs to see if there are any traces of toxic substances," Pol Col Thaksin told the

    Read More »from No apparent foul play, but death of Quebec women in Thai resort still a mystery
  • Rodney King smiles during a discussion for his book "The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption" at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the campus of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles in this April 21, 2012 file photo. King, whose police brutality case in 1991 led to deadly riots in Los Angeles, was found dead in a swimming pool on June 17, 2012 in Rialto, California, police told CNN. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/FilesIt was a tragic end to a troubled but important life.

    Rodney King, the man who became an unwitting catalyst for civil rights during the LA race riots in 1992, was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool Sunday in Rialto, California. He was 47.

    Though toxicology reports will take six to eight weeks, preliminary reports state King had been drinking and possibly smoking dope before his death.

    Back in 1991, long before the advent of reality TV, the then-25-year-old construction worker was thrust into the international spotlight via a video that showed four LA police officers brutally beating him.

    The video also captured another group of officers standing by and watching as their colleagues repeatedly struck a defenseless King with their batons.

    The bystander that happened to catch a portion of the beating on camera released the footage to media. As it beamed into homes around the world, the footage created public outrage in the U.S. and shone a light on racially motivated police

    Read More »from Rodney King: An enduring symbol of police brutality and racial tension


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