Man firing into Toronto cafes shoots 14 people, killing 1

TORONTO (AP) — A man firing a handgun into restaurants and cafes as he walked along a Toronto street shot 14 people, killing one of them, before dying after an exchange of gunfire with police late Sunday, police said.

Police Chief Mark Saunders did not rule out terrorism as a motive in the shooting in the city’s Greektown neighborhood.

“Other than the shooter we have a young lady that is deceased,” the police chief said.

Saunders also said a girl aged 8 or 9 was in critical condition.

A video from one witness shows a man dressed in black clothes and a black hat walking quickly and firing three shots from the sidewalk into at least one shop or restaurant. Toronto’s Greektown is a lively residential area with crowded Greek restaurants and cafes.

The condition of the other victims was not known yet, police spokesman Mark Pugash said.

Witnesses heard many shots and described the suspect walking past restaurants and cafes and patios on both sides of the street and firing into them.

John Tulloch said he and his brother had just gotten out of their car when he heard about 20 to 30 gunshots.

“We just ran. We saw people starting to run so we just ran,” he said.

An army of police, paramedics and other first responders soon descended on the scene, while area residents, some in their pajamas, emerged from their homes to see what was happening.

Toronto Councillor Paula Fletcher told CP24 she heard that the gunman was emotionally disturbed.

“It’s not gang related. It looks like someone who is very disturbed,” Fletcher said.

Councillor Mary Fragedakis also said she heard the gunman was disturbed.

Fletcher said for this to happen in an area where families gather for dinner is a tragedy.

Mass shootings are rare in Canada’s largest city.

“We were so use to living in a city where these things didn’t happen,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said. “But there are things that happen nowadays and they are just unspeakable.”

This past weekend Toronto police deployed dozens of additional officers to deal with a recent spike in gun violence in the city. Tory said the city has a gun problem.

“Guns are too readily available to too many people,” Tory said.

Police urged people to come forward with video or witness testimony.

The mass shooting comes a few months after a driver of a van plowed into pedestrians on a Toronto sidewalk, killing 10 people and injuring 14. Authorities have not disclosed a motive. But they have said the arrested driver, Alek Minassian, posted a message on social media referencing a misogynistic online community before the attack.

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This story has been corrected to show that Saunders said the wounded girl was 8 or 9, not that she was 9.

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Blackstone wins EU approval to buy Thomson Reuters unit

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group (BX.N) has secured EU antitrust approval to acquire a majority stake in Thomson Reuters’ (TRI.TO) Financial and Risk unit, the European Commission said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO – The logo of Blackstone Group is displayed at the post where it is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Blackstone is making its biggest bet since the financial crisis with the $20 billion deal which pits co-founder Stephen Schwarzman against fellow billionaire and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

FILE PHOTO: A Thomson Reuters logo is pictured on a building during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 25, 2018. Picture taken January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Much like Thomson Reuters, Blackstone’s portfolio company Ipreo, which it agreed to sell to IHS Markit (INFO.O) in May,provides information and related services to financial market professionals, the Commission said.

The EU enforcer said it did not see any competition concerns despite the overlaps between the two companies.

“The proposed transaction would raise no competition concerns given the limited market shares of the companies, the fact that a number of competitors will remain in the market post-transaction, and the fact that Blackstone accounts for only a minimal share of the demand for Thomson Reuters F&R’s products,” it said.

Thomson Reuters declined to comment on the Commission’s decision.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Keith Weir

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Fiat Chrysler shares drop as CEO exit creates uncertainty

MILAN (AP) – Financial investors sent shares in Fiat Chrysler tumbling 4 percent on Monday as they weighed the potential impact of the accelerated exit of CEO Sergio Marchionne due to serious health issues.

Shares in the Italian-American carmaker were trading at 16.10 euros in volatile trading in Milan. Ferrari, where Marchionne was also replaced at the helm, shed 5 percent to 113.50 euros on opening. The losses weighed on the Milan stock exchange overall, where the heft of FCA pulled down the benchmark FTSE MIB by 1.1 percent.

The FCA board on Saturday named long-time Jeep executive Mike Manley as CEO, unexpectedly accelerating a transition that was planned for early next year. The company said the 66-year-old Marchionne suffered complications from shoulder surgery last month that meant he could not resume his duties. No other details were released.

Boards also named replacements for Marchionne as Ferrari CEO and CNH Industrial chairman. Louis Camilleri, a chairman at Ferrari sponsor Philip Morris, is the new Ferrari CEO, while Suzanne Heywood takes over as CNH Industrial chair.

Manley’s first appointment in the role is at a regular FCA executive council meeting in Turin on Monday, and his first public appearance will be to present FCA’s second quarter earnings on Wednesday.

Marchionne had announced in his last major presentation to analysts last month that the quarterly results would show FCA at zero debt for the first time — an occasion for which the normally casually attired Italian-Canadian manager donned a tie — even if only briefly. The five-year plan included a significant shift to electrified motors.

Marchionne engineered both the turnarounds of Italian carmaker Fiat, which he took over in 2004, and Chrysler, which Fiat acquired in 2009 in a deal with the U.S. government, creating the world’s seventh-largest carmaker out of two formerly dysfunctional entities. He created shareholder value for the Fiat founding Agnelli family with successful spinoffs of Fiat’s heavy vehicle maker CNH Industrial and of the iconic Ferrari super sports car company. But his goal of another big merger failed to find any takers.

Manley, 54, has been key to transforming the quintessentially American Jeep brand into a global marquee since taking over there in 2009, and he also has been the head of the Ram truck division since 2015. Both brands have formed the leading edge of FCA’s North American strategy to move away from passenger car production and focus on SUVs and trucks to meet market demand.

“Although Mr. Manley’s public profile has been relatively low and limited to operational matters, he was heavily involved in setting the 2019-22 strategic plan,” Philippe Houchois, an analyst at Jeffries Financial Services, said in a note. “We expect continuity.” But he also expressed concern that FCA’s success has been linked to Marchionne’s ability to shift strategy to meet targets.

Tokyo-based auto analyst, Anindya Das, called Manley “a natural choice” to replace Marchionne as “Manley has been heading FCA’s main profit and growth engine Jeep since 2009.”

Bernstein analyst Max Warburton, who had often publicly tussled with Marchionne on earnings calls, said a drop in FCA’s shares was to be expected. But he also said shares were “very cheap with not much evidence of a Sergio premium.”

“The market knew Sergio was retiring as CEO in early 2019, but some of us assumed he’d remain as chairman and be there to phone in his instructions,” Warburton said in a note. He forecast a solid 2019 but said the risks were longer-term.

Marchionne ran FCA in a command and control style, with constant firefighting measures. There is no operating manual to follow,” he said.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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All Eyes on Mayawati After CWC Declares Rahul Gandhi as PM face

The BSP which is expected to be a part of an alliance with the Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections has not yet officially reacted to Rahul being projected as a PM candidate.

All Eyes on Mayawati After CWC Declares Rahul Gandhi as PM face
File photo of BSP chief Mayawati. (PTI)
Lucknow: After the Congress Working Committee decided to project Rahul Gandhi as the party’s PM candidate for 2019, the ball is in BSP chief Mayawati’s court now. At a recent meet in Lucknow, the BSP had decided to project Mayawati as its prime ministerial candidate.

The BSP which is expected to be a part of an alliance with the Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections has not yet officially reacted to Rahul being projected as a PM candidate. Speaking to News18, BSP spokesperson Sudhindra Bhadhauria said, “The matter has come to our knowledge and final decision will be taken by BSP chief Mayawati.”

This might also change equations in the alliance talks between the Congress and the BSP for the upcoming state elections in Madhya Pradesh. The CWC’s resolution on Rahul Gandhi has certainly confused both the BSP and the SP.

SP spokesperson Sunil Singh Sajan said the decision to project Rahul as PM candidate is by the CWC and not the grand alliance. “The SP hasn’t yet decided if it will tie-up with the Congress. That decision will be taken by party president Akhilesh Yadav soon. The decision to name Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate is taken by CWC. How can they decide who will be the PM face of the grand alliance?”
Sources say the reason the SP is not too keen on an alliance with the Congress because of its experience of the tie-up during the 2017 Assembly polls in UP and its projections for 2019.

The sources said many senior SP leaders feel that an alliance with the Congress will not go with the ‘political narrative’ that the SP-BSP combine want to make against the BJP. They are planning a strategy of uniting Dalits, backwards and Muslims against the upper castes, which have traditionally been seen to be with the BJP.

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Hard-Right frontrunner dubbed ‘Trump of the Tropics’ formally enters race for Brazil presidency

“He’s our hope. The Brazilian people are discouraged by all the corruption,” said Gilcemar Jasset, a 35-year-old Rio de Janeiro bus driver who arrived at the event dressed as Bolsonaro complete with a presidential sash.

Despite his popularity, Bolsonaro only has the backing of a small fringe party, which means he’s only allowed 10 seconds of free television time, a serious handicap in a nation where TV ads have a big impact. But he brushed off concerns, pointing to his popularity.

“We don’t have a big party. We don’t have election funding. We don’t have television time. But we have what the others don’t have, which is you, the Brazilian people,” Bolsonaro said.

The seven-term congressman has been vague about specific policy plans involving the economy, which he professed to know little about in an interview with Brazil’s O Globo newspaper on Saturday.

On Sunday, Bolsonaro said he supported the privatization of some parts of Petrobras without going into detail, and declined to weigh in on recently announced plans by Boeing to buy a majority stake in Brazilian planemaker Embraer’s commercial arm.

Janaína Paschoal, a lawyer who gained national attending for seeking the impeachment of former leftist President Dilma Rousseff was expected to be announced as Bolsonaro’s running mate. Paschoal, however, told the crowd she was still considering the offer ahead of an August 15 deadline.

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Australian love-scam victim wins her appeal in Cambodia

An Australian woman serving a 23-year prison sentence in Cambodia has achieved a stunning legal victory after her 2014 drug smuggling conviction was quashed by Cambodia’s Supreme Court.

The woman, 46-year-old Yoshe Ann Taylor, a kindergarten teacher and mother of two from Queensland, fell victim to an internet scam, revealed by Fairfax Media in 2016 to have been run by an international drug smuggling syndicate.

Australian woman Yoshe Ann Taylor, imprisoned in Cambodia for her role in attempting to smuggle 2.2kg of heroin to Australia in 2013.

Australian woman Yoshe Ann Taylor, imprisoned in Cambodia for her role in attempting to smuggle 2.2kg of heroin to Australia in 2013.

Photo: Supplied

Ms Taylor, who was lured to the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh on the promise of starting a business in the arts and crafts, was arrested at the airport in September 2013 after being caught trying to leave the Cambodia with two kilograms of heroin concealed in her luggage.

The Cambodia Supreme Court’s decision means that her case will now be remitted to the Cambodian Court of Appeal to be redetermined.

Unbeknown to Cambodian authorities at the time of Taylor’s 2014 trial, or her unsuccessful appeal in 2016, her co-accused, Nigerian national, Nwoko Precious Chineme, who went by the online pseudonym “Precious Max”, had duped several other Australian nationals caught entering Australia with drugs after making similar trips Cambodia.

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Oil higher on Middle East, North Sea supply worries

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Monday on worries over supply after tensions worsened between Iran and the United States, while some offshore workers began a 24-hour strike on three oil and gas platforms in the British North Sea.

file photo: Oil barrels are pictured at the site of Canadian group Vermilion Energy in Parentis-en-Born, France, October 13, 2017. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday backed a suggestion by President Hassan Rouhani that Iran could block Gulf oil shipments if its exports were stopped.

The Iranian leadership was responding to the threat of U.S. sanctions after President Donald Trump in May pulled out of a multinational agreement to trade with Tehran in return for its commitment not to develop nuclear weapons.

The Trump administration has launched an offensive of speeches and online communications meant to foment unrest and help pressure Iran to end its nuclear program and its support of militant groups, U.S. officials said.

Brent crude oil LCOc1 rose $1.19 a barrel to a high of $74.26 before easing to around $74.05 by 1030 GMT. U.S. light crude CLc1 was up 70 cents at $68.96 a barrel.

“Potential Gulf supply is at risk – this is triggering the upward trend,” said Tamas Varga, analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.

The rise also followed news of a 24-hour strike by 40 rig workers on three oil and gas platforms in the British North Sea. The dispute curbed gas flows to shore, but stored crude was expected to mitigate any oil supply disruption.

Limiting supply worries were concerns about the impact on global economic growth and energy demand of the escalating trade dispute between the United States and its trading partners.

Finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s 20 biggest economies ended a meeting in Buenos Aires over the weekend calling for more dialogue to prevent trade and geopolitical tensions from hurting growth.

“Downside risks over the short and medium term have increased,” the finance leaders said in a statement.

The talks occurred amid escalating rhetoric in a trade dispute between the United States and China, the world’s largest economies, which have already slapped tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other’s goods.

Trump threatened on Friday to impose tariffs on all $500 billion of Chinese exports to the United States unless Beijing agreed major changes to its technology transfer, industrial subsidy and joint venture policies.

Economic and oil demand growth are correlated as expanding economies support fuel consumption for trade and travel, as well as for automobiles.

Reporting by Christopher Johnson and Parissa Hedvat in LONDON, Aaron Sheldrick in TOKYO and Jane Chung in SEOUL; Editing by Dale Hudson

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    China says it won’t devalue currency to bolster exports

    BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Monday the value of its currency is driven by market forces and that it has no intention to devalue the yuan to help exports, after Washington said it was monitoring the currency’s weakness amid the escalating bilateral trade row.

    FILE PHOTO: Shipping containers are seen stacked at the Dachan Bay Terminals in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China July 12, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

    The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said that threats and intimidation on trade would never work on China, after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was ready to impose tariffs on all $500 billion of goods imported from the country.

    At a daily news briefing, ministry spokesman Geng Shuang was asked about comments on Friday by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who told Reuters the yuan’s weakness would be reviewed as part of the Treasury’s semi-annual report on currency manipulation, which is due on Oct. 15.

    Mnuchin’s comments were the first since the early days of the Trump administration in 2017 that raised the prospect of designating China as a manipulator.

    Geng said the value of the yuan was subject to the forces of demand and supply, and that healthy economic performance offered support for its level.

    “China has no intention to use means like the competitive devaluation of its currency to stimulate exports,” he said.

    While the ministry has no say in currency policy, it is the only government department which holds a daily news briefing that foreign reporters can attend.

    Neither the People’s Bank of China nor the State Administration of Foreign Exchange responded to requests for comment on Mnuchin’s remarks.

    China’s yuan CNY=CFXS, battered by the trade brawl and strong dollar, has lost more than 7 percent against the greenback since the end of the first quarter.

    Around $505 billion of Chinese goods were imported to the United States in 2017, leading to a trade deficit of nearly $376 billion, U.S. government data shows. Chinese imports from the United States totaled $205 billion in the first five months of 2018, with the deficit reaching $152 billion.

    Earlier this month, the United States imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports. China promptly levied taxes on the same value of U.S. products.

    “We advise the U.S side to remain calm and maintain a rational attitude,” Geng said.

    Reporting by Philip Wen; Additional reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Tony Munroe and Richard Borsuk

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