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Thursday 17th of April 2014 03:48:40

Canadian News

Corruption scandal allegations hang over swearing-in of Quebec Liberals

QUEBEC CITY, Que. - Reports that Quebec's anti-corruption police squad is investigating an elected Liberal member of the legislature cast a shadow over the swearing-in ceremony for the 70 party candidates who were successful in last week's election. Premier-designate Philippe Couillard questioned the accuracy of the Radio-Canada news reports, saying there is "no evidence" the information is accurate. According to a report by the French-language network of the CBC, one re-elected Liberal and three former members of the legislature from the government of Jean Charest are being investigated following allegations of illegal fundraising. In his speech, Couillard promised to be truthful with voters as well as vowing to protect Quebec's language and culture.

Disney sees operating income growth at cable networks

The signage at the main gate of The Walt Disney Co. is pictured in BurbankWalt Disney Co's cable networks are expected to record high single-digit growth in operating income and domestic affiliate revenue from fiscal 2014 through 2016, Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo told investors on Thursday. "We feel very good about the long-term growth of our cable business," Rasulo said at a meeting for investors at its the company's ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. Disney's cable operations reported $6 billion in operating income, a 6 percent increase, for the 2013 fiscal year ended September 28. The unit includes sports channel ESPN, the Disney Channel, ABC Family and others.


Obama skeptical about Russian pledge in Ukraine

President Barack Obama speaks in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 17, 2014. The president spoke about health care overhaul and the situation in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama conveyed skepticism Thursday about Russian promises to de-escalate a volatile situation in Ukraine, and said the United State and its allies are ready to impose fresh sanctions if Moscow doesn't make good on its commitments. "My hope is we do see follow-through," Obama said at an impromptu news conference at the White House a few hours after Secretary of State John Kerry wrapped up a meeting in Geneva with diplomats from Russia, Ukraine and the European Union. Obama did not say what additional sanctions might be in the offing if commitments made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva do not materialize. The president discussed the developments with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose support for additional sanctions would be crucial given her country's close economic ties with Russia.


Man suing 'X-Men' director Bryan Singer says he told police of alleged sex abuse

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - A man who claims he was sexually abused by "X-Men" franchise director Bryan Singer said Thursday that he reported the molestation to authorities at the time, and does not know why charges were never pursued. With his voice occasionally wavering, Michael Egan III described abuse he said he endured, beginning when he 15 years old, at the hands of Singer and others. He described being plied with drugs and promises of Hollywood fame while also enduring threats and sexual abuse in Hawaii and Los Angeles over several years. Egan sued Singer in Hawaii on Wednesday and is seeking more than $75,000 on each of four accusations: intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault and invasion of privacy.

Peaceful pro-unity rallies in eastern Ukraine after earlier attack on military base kills 3

A masked gunman guards combat vehicles with Russian, Donetsk Republic and Ukrainian paratroopers, flags and gunmen on top, parked in downtown of Slovyansk on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. The troops on those vehicles wore green camouflage uniforms, had automatic weapons and grenade launchers and at least one had the St. George ribbon attached to his uniform, which has become a symbol of the pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/ Sergei Grits)MARIUPOL, Ukraine - Thousands gathered for peaceful demonstrations Thursday in at least four eastern cities to denounce Russia for its perceived meddling in Ukrainian affairs, a day after the most lethal clash so far killed three pro-Russian activists. Political developments in eastern Ukraine have for weeks been dominated by a small, vocal and armed opposition to the interim government in Kyiv. Thursday's rallies, by contrast, drew crowds who listened to speeches condemning Russia and resisting the pro-Russian movement that is pushing for autonomy for eastern Ukraine. Rallies were held in Donetsk, Luhansk, Mariupol and Kramatorsk, where key government buildings have been occupied by pro-Russian groups.


Business

TSX nears six-year high as energy shares extend rally

A Bay St sign, a symbol of Canada's economic markets and where main financial institutions are located, is seen in TorontoThe energy sector has advanced in each of the last five sessions and added nearly 3 percent in the last two. It added 1.7 percent this week.


Canada March inflation higher than forecast; core tame

A man pumps gas into his truck at a Petro-Canada gas station in TorontoBy Randall Palmer OTTAWA (Reuters) - Costlier energy helped boost Canada's annual inflation by more than expected in March to 1.5 percent from 1.1 percent in February but the less volatile core measure that guides the Bank of Canada edged up to only 1.3 percent from 1.2 percent. Statistics Canada said on Thursday the month-on-month rate was 0.6 percent for overall inflation and 0.3 percent for core. The median forecasts in a Reuters survey were 1.4 percent annually and 0.4 percent monthly for headline inflation and 1.3 percent and 0.3 percent respectively for core. The Bank of Canada on Wednesday had raised its forecast for overall inflation in the first quarter to 1.3 percent from 0.9 percent, and pulled forward its expected time frame for it to reach the 2 percent target to the first quarter of 2015 from the fourth quarter of 2015.


Energy sector to drive Canada first-quarter profit gains

Canadian Natural Resources Limited's Primrose Lake oil sands project is seen near Cold Lake, AlbertaBy John Tilak TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian companies are expected to post solid profit gains when they begin unveiling first-quarter results next week, with robust earnings at energy companies seen overcoming weakness at miners and the materials sector. Energy companies will benefit from a ramp-up in production, improved prices for Canadian crude relative to global benchmarks, and a rally in natural gas prices.


Exclusive: GM says recalled cars safe, but has not tested for knee-bump danger

General Motors CEO Mary Barra appears onstage during a launch event for new Chevrolet cars before the New York Auto Show in New YorkBy Julia Edwards and Eric Beech WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors says that cars being recalled because of faulty ignition switches can be driven safely before repairs, based on more than 80 tests, but the automaker has not addressed a problem long known to potentially shut off the engine: a simple bump from a driver's knee. Safety advocates and engineers say the lack of testing for this factor undermines GM's claims that the cars are safe. As early as 2004, GM engineers complained that the ignition switch could be turned off if the key was bumped by a knee. A Texas judge on Thursday allowed the unrepaired cars to stay on the road, over the objection of safety advocates and plaintiffs lawyers who said there is no way, short of repairs, to ensure the ignition switch would not slip out of the run position, turning off the motor and disabling power steering, power brakes and airbags.


Ex-Goldman director Gupta starts prison term on June 17

Rajat Gupta departs Manhattan Federal Court after being sentenced in New YorkBy Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc director Rajat Gupta is expected to begin his two-year prison term on June 17 for insider trading. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan directed Gupta to surrender by 2:00 p.m. EDT on that date to start serving his sentence, according to an order issued on Thursday. Gupta, 65, was convicted in June 2012 on securities fraud and conspiracy charges for having fed tips, from Goldman board meetings in the second half of 2008, to longtime friend Raj Rajaratnam, founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund firm. Gupta is also a former global managing director of the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. He is the top corporate official convicted in a broad federal insider trading probe unveiled in October 2009, when charges against Rajaratnam were announced.


Weight Loss

Jacques Servier, founder of famed French lab ensnared in drug scandal, dies at 92

FILE - In this May 21, 2013 file photo, Jacques Servier, founder of Servier Laboratories, is pictured during the opening of the trial of the so-called Mediator case, a drug allegedly linked to hundreds of deaths, at Nanterre's court house, outside Paris. Servier, the founder of France's second-largest pharmaceutical group who became ensnared in a scandal over a diabetes drug widely used for weight loss, has died. He was 92. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)PARIS - Jacques Servier, the founder of France's second-largest pharmaceutical group who became ensnared in a scandal over a diabetes drug widely used for weight loss, has died. Servier Research Group announced the death of 92-year-old Servier late Wednesday. Servier and his lab were at the centre of one of France's biggest health scandals, in which the drug Mediator was alleged to be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people. The European Medicines Agency pulled Mediator from shelves when it found that its active ingredient, benfluorex, could lead to a dangerous thickening of heart valves.


A new way to put creeps in their place

A new way to put creeps in their placeSexual harassment on the street is an offence with no real consequence - but this app may help to give offenders something to think about.


Rob Ford recruits Ben Johnson, Trailer Park Boys actor to join his campaign

Canada's former sprinter Ben Johnson poses as he stands in the track where he once competed in the Seoul Olympics on Sept. 24, 1988, at Seoul Olympic Stadium in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. Disgraced Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson and a member of the mockumentary series ``Trailer Park Boys'' have joined Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's re-election team. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Lee Jin-manThroughout the course of any election campaign, it's important for a candidate to bring-in endorsers -- individuals who will lend some credibility to the campaign while, at the same time, showing a sense of momentum. But even what's left of … Continue reading →


Marketers salivating over the latest 'it' ingredient

Protein is the latest buzz ingredient being added to processed foods, and advertising is telling us we need to eat more of it, writes Bruce Chambers.

Alison Sweeney's Stay Slim Tips!

'Biggest Loser' host Alison Sweeney poses backstage at Access Hollywood Live on January 3, 2012 -- Access Hollywood"Biggest Loser" host Alison Sweeney has awesome access to some of the best weight loss tips. Besides being the host on the popular weight loss show, she's also become a wellness junkie. I can't help but learn something every day I'm at work," Alison reveals to Healthy Hollywood. The mother of two, who is no stranger to her own weight loss battle after losing 30 pounds in her 20s and keeping it off, she now lives the show's healthy lifestyle.


Lifestyle

Cronenberg, Egoyan, Gosling among Canuck filmmakers headed to Cannes

Filmmaker Xavier Dolan smiles as he reacts during a press conference in Montreal, Thursday, April 17, 2014, to the news that his latest movie 'Mommy' will be in the official competition at the Cannes Film Festival. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham HughesTORONTO - Canuck filmmakers will figure prominently at this year's Cannes Film Festival, with David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, Xavier Dolan and first-time director Ryan Gosling among those set to unspool new work on the Croisette. Cronenberg's satire of Hollywood life, "Maps to the Stars," will vie for the Palme d'Or alongside Egoyan's "The Captive" and Xavier Dolan's "Mommy." They'll face off against 15 other films including Bennett Miller's much-anticipated Steve Carell feature "Foxcatcher," and new works from Tommy Lee Jones, Jean-Luc Godard, "The Artist" director Michel Hazanavicius, Mike Leigh, and Ken Loach.


Man suing 'X-Men' director Bryan Singer says he told police of alleged sex abuse

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - A man who claims he was sexually abused by "X-Men" franchise director Bryan Singer said Thursday that he reported the molestation to authorities at the time, and does not know why charges were never pursued. With his voice occasionally wavering, Michael Egan III described abuse he said he endured beginning when he 15 year old was at that hands of Singer and others. He described being plied with drugs and promises of Hollywood fame while also enduring threats and sexual abuse in Hawaii and Los Angeles over several years. Egan sued Singer in Hawaii on Wednesday and is seeking more than $75,000 on each of four accusations: intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery, assault and invasion of privacy.

Annette Bening, star of 'The Face of Love,' 'more immersed than ever' in acting

Actress Annette Bening and Director Arie Posin arrive at the premiere of "The Face of Love" on day 8 of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, in Toronto. With four Oscar nominations to her credit and several films set for release this year, actress Annette Bening has found herself delving deeper into her craft, not resting on her laurels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Arthur MolaTORONTO - With four Oscar nominations to her credit and several films set for release this year, actress Annette Bening has found herself delving deeper into her craft, not resting on her laurels. "So I found myself just completely in this woman's brain," she added of her character, Nikki, a widow who loses her grip on reality when she tries to get romantically close to an artist who looks exactly like her late husband. When you're younger you imagine, 'Oh, there's a point at which I'm not still sort of searching and wondering,'" she said at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the film debuted. Directed and co-written by Arie Posin, the drama sees Nikki encounter a man who is a carbon copy of her late architect husband while visiting one of their old haunts, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.


Robin Williams in talks to reprise Fox 2000 developed 'Mrs. Doubtfire' sequel

FILE - In this April 28, 2012 file photo, Robin Williams appears onstage at The 2012 Comedy Awards in New York. Fox 2000 is developing a sequel to the 1993 hit “Mrs. Doubtfire” with “Elf” writer David Berenbaum attached to pen the script for the comedy, confirmed the studio on Thursday, April 17, 2014. While there are no deals in place, insiders say that Chris Columbus is back on board to direct and Williams will reprise his starring role. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, file)LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Fox 2000 is developing the sequel to the 1993 hit comedy "Mrs. Doubtfire," which starred Robin Williams. The follow-up will be penned by "Elf" writer David Berenbaum, the studio's spokeswoman, Chelsey Summey, confirmed on Thursday. While no deals are in place yet, Williams and Chris Columbus are in talks to join the production, Summey said. The 62-year-old Williams would reprise his role as Mrs. Doubtfire, and Columbus would be back to direct and produce with his company 1492.


Iconic Stratocaster has helped guitarists make memorable music for 60 years

An original 1954 Fender Stratocaster, left, is shown next to a 2014 model at a studio in Scottsdale, Ariz. on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014. Leo Fender developed the instrument in a small workshop in Fullerton, Calif. six decades ago. (AP Photo/Matt York)SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Jimi Hendrix made it shriek. Buddy Holly made it swing. Stevie Ray Vaughn made it snarl.


Sports

Heat playoff run could decide James' future in Miami

NBA: Orlando Magic at Miami HeatThe Miami Heat may not be entering the playoffs as the top seed but they are still very much the team to beat, and anything less than a third consecutive NBA title could lead to the breakup of their Big Three. No club has won three straight titles since the Los Angeles Lakers in the early 2000s, and the 16-team field for this year's playoffs, which begin on Saturday, has no shortage of contenders for the NBA's Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy. The San Antonio Spurs, who were a whisker away from winning last year's NBA Finals, and the Indiana Pacers, eager to avenge last season's loss to Miami in the Eastern conference finals, are just two of the many teams feeling good about their chances. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joined forces in 2010 with the goal of creating a dynasty in Miami by stockpiling NBA titles but enter the postseason facing questions about team chemistry and depth.


Man arrested in connection with ex-NFL star's murder trial

Aaron Hernandez, former player for the NFL's New England Patriots football team, attends a pre-trial hearing at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall RiverA man in Florida has been charged with witness tampering and obstruction of justice in a gun-trafficking case linked to the murder trial of ex-National Football League star Aaron Hernandez, authorities said on Thursday. Oscar Hernandez, who is not related to former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, was arrested on Wednesday and will be brought to Massachusetts to face the charges, the U.S. attorney's office in Boston said in a statement. Aaron Hernandez has been in jail since June on charges he and two associates fatally shot semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd near his home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Authorities investigating Lloyd's murder found three guns that they determined were bought in Florida in April 2013.


Pistorius trial adjourns until May, state mauls forensic expert

South African Olympic and Paralympic athlete Pistorius sits in the dock during his murder trial in the North Gauteng High Court in PretoriaBy Siyabonga Sishi PRETORIA (Reuters) - The murder trial of Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius was adjourned on Thursday until May 5 after the state wrapped up three days of punishing cross-examination of a forensic expert brought by the defense. Judge Thokozile Masipa granted the state's request for a postponement to avoid conflicts with other cases. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel - nicknamed "The Pitbull" for his aggressive style - tore into defense witness Roger Dixon, questioning his credibility and expertise. Pistorius, 27, is on trial for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, whom he shot dead with four rounds from a 9mm pistol on Valentine's Day last year in his plush Pretoria house.


Toronto Raptors coach Casey to Nets: Be careful what you wish for

TORONTO - Whether or not the Brooklyn Nets purposefully set themselves up to face the Raptors, Toronto coach Dwane Casey warns: Be careful what you wish for. The Raptors make their first playoff appearance in six years when they host the Nets in Game 1 on Saturday — and the opening-round series is already contentious before it has even tipped off. The Nets seemed to have been angling for this particular matchup, apparently believing their veteran experience will win out over a young, inexperienced Raptors squad. Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri echoed his coach's sentiments.

Hockey Canada announces first group of 20 players for world championship

Hockey Canada has unveiled its preliminary 20-man roster for the upcoming world hockey championship. As expected in an Olympic year, Team Canada will have a young group that doesn't overlap with those who won a gold medal in Sochi. The Toronto Maple Leafs are well represented with goaltender James Reimer, defenceman Morgan Rielly and centre Nazem Kadri. Twelve of the 20 players are in Canadian markets: the three Leafs, goaltender Ben Scrivens and forward David Perron from the Edmonton Oilers;

Celebrity

Cronenberg, Egoyan, Gosling among Canuck filmmakers headed to Cannes

Filmmaker Xavier Dolan smiles as he reacts during a press conference in Montreal, Thursday, April 17, 2014, to the news that his latest movie 'Mommy' will be in the official competition at the Cannes Film Festival. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham HughesTORONTO - Canuck filmmakers will figure prominently at this year's Cannes Film Festival, with David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, Xavier Dolan and first-time director Ryan Gosling among those set to unspool new work on the Croisette. Cronenberg's satire of Hollywood life, "Maps to the Stars," will vie for the Palme d'Or alongside Egoyan's "The Captive" and Xavier Dolan's "Mommy." They'll face off against 15 other films including Bennett Miller's much-anticipated Steve Carell feature "Foxcatcher," and new works from Tommy Lee Jones, Jean-Luc Godard, "The Artist" director Michel Hazanavicius, Mike Leigh, and Ken Loach.


Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombian Nobel laureate who helped define Latin America, dies at 87

FILE - In this March 6, 2014 file photo, Colombian Nobel Literature laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez greets fans and reporters outside his home on his 87th birthday in Mexico City. Marquez died Thursday April 17, 2014 at his home in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)MEXICO CITY - Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez crafted intoxicating fiction from the fatalism, fantasy, cruelty and heroics of the world that set his mind churning as a child growing up on Colombia's Caribbean coast. One of the most revered and influential writers of his generation, he brought Latin America's charm and maddening contradictions to life in the minds of millions and became the best-known practitioner of "magical realism," a blending of fantastic elements into portrayals of daily life that made the extraordinary seem almost routine. Garcia Marquez's own epic story ended Thursday, at age 87, with his death at his home in southern Mexico City, according to two people close to the family who spoke on condition of anonymity out of respect for the family's privacy. Known to millions simply as "Gabo," Garcia Marquez was widely seen as the Spanish language's most popular writer since Miguel de Cervantes in the 17th century.


Valerie Harper: 'I Am Not Absolutely Cancer-Free'

Valerie Harper speaks onstage during the 'The Town That Came A-Courtin' ' panel discussion at the UP portion of the 2014 Winter Television Critics Association tour at the Langham Hotel on January 11, 2014 in Pasadena -- Getty ImagesValerie Harper is not completely out of the woods cancer-wise, despite a story making the rounds on Wednesday.


'X-Men: Days of Future Past' Final Trailer Debuts

Hugh Jackman in 20th Century Fox' 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' - 2014 -- Twentieth Century FoxYour Daily Roundup of Celebrity Gossip & Star Shenanigans!


Robert Pattinson's Sex-Filled Trailer Debuts!

Robert Pattinson films 'Maps to the Stars' on August 20, 2013 in LA -- Getty ImagesYour Daily Roundup of Celebrity Gossip & Star Shenanigans!









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