22 people missing, 900 evacuated after building collapses in China

Written by admin on 15/11/2018 Categories: 长沙夜网

BEIJING – A landslide collapsed and buried buildings at and around an industrial park in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen on Sunday, leaving 27 people missing, authorities said.

At least seven people were rescued after 18 buildings were buried and an area of 20,000 square meters (24,000 square yards) was covered with soil, the Ministry of Public Security’s firefighting bureau said in an online statement.

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Shenzhen’s public security bureau posted a notice online saying that eight hours after the landslide, 21 men and six women were unaccounted for.

READ MORE: Beijing issues 2nd smog red alert, triggering car restrictions, school closures

Shenzhen’s fire brigade said that one building had collapsed, but that the landslide had affected a large area in the northwestern outskirts of the city.

Li Yikang, the deputy secretary general of the Shenzhen city government, said at a televised news conference that more than 900 people had been evacuated.

Giving different figures than the fire authorities, Li said that four people had been rescued and 22 factory buildings buried, involving 15 companies. The reason for the discrepancies wasn’t immediately clear.

Li said that nearly 1,500 people were involved in rescue efforts.

State broadcaster China Central Television, or CCTV, said that there was a residential area next to the industrial zone, and that the buildings buried included two workers’ dormitories.

Ren Jiguang, the deputy chief of Shenzhen’s public security bureau, told CCTV that most people had been moved to safety before the landslide hit.

The Beijing Youth Daily, citing a local resident, reported that the soil that slid down onto the area had been piled up against a 100-meter (110-yard) -high hill after being dug up in the past two years in construction work.

State media carried photos of what looked like at least one five-story building leaning over and partly crumpled in the industrial park, and a sea of brown soil covering a vast area around it.

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Finance ministers to meet in Ottawa to confront Canada’s new economic reality

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OTTAWA – Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau is expecting to hear from his provincial counterparts Monday about a familiar, contentious subject: equalization payments.

Morneau, who will meet with regional ministers for a second day in Ottawa, released figures Sunday outlining how much the neediest provinces can expect to receive from the federal government in the next fiscal year.

The constitutionally guaranteed equalization program will redistribute nearly $18 billion in 2016-17 to poorer provinces, where the cash will help fund public services.

WATCH: Because it’s 2015: How is PM Trudeau going to deal with Canadians’ economic concerns?

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Under the formula, the same six so-called have-not provinces that received cash in 2015-16 – Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island – will get the payments again next year.

That means provincial economies hit hard by low commodity prices – such as Alberta and Saskatchewan – will continue to pay into the program.

On Sunday, Morneau appeared to want to steer clear of the sometimes thorny issue.

“Equalization I’m sure will come up,” Morneau said when asked if he thought the equalization formula is fair when struggling, resource-reliant provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan were still considered among the well-to-do.

“I expect that at every meeting of the finance ministers that is a subject that people will discuss.”

Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao, whose province receives by far the most from the program, said Sunday that the equalization formula will eventually reflect the low energy prices.

WATCH: New housing rules won’t harm first-time buyers: finance minister

Leitao, a former bank economist, said the “very complex” calculation has yet to factor in the weak energy prices because it’s based on a three-year moving average of nominal gross domestic product.

When asked about the formula’s fairness, Leitao said federal coffers take in cash from all provinces – including about 23 per cent that comes from Quebec.

“So, a portion of it gets transferred back (to Quebec) and more,” he said as he arrived for a dinner meeting with the ministers.

In 2016-17, Quebec will receive about $10 billion from the nearly $18-billion program.

Historically, provinces have had their differences about equalization.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has expressed frustration with the formula, arguing it doesn’t easily take into account the changes in resource prices, such as oil and hydro, making it years behind the times.

Wall has also said provinces like Manitoba and Quebec receive bigger payments because the formula doesn’t account for the revenues they rake in from hydro power. The calculation does, however, factor in non-renewable resource revenue from oil and gas.

He has called for the payments to be halved to allow Ottawa to instead invest the money in things like infrastructure projects across the country.

On Sunday, British Columbia Finance Minister Michael de Jong said he expected the ministers to raise the issue of equalization with Morneau as part of the broader talks about all federal transfers, including health payments.

Asked if the current formula was fair, de Jong answered by saying he was happy his province is considered among those that don’t qualify for the payment.

“Candidly, I don’t want to be a province that is categorized as have-not,” de Jong said.

“At the same time, the distribution has to take place on an equitable basis.”

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said his province has always given $11 billion more, year-over-year, than it has received – even when it has qualified for equalization.

The province will receive $2.3 billion next year from the program.

“So, still, Ontario is a net contributor to the federation and we’ll continue to be so and we recognize how important that is for us to have a strong federation,” Sousa said.

He added that other provinces that have qualified for equalization have had “substantively more” per-capita support than Ontario.

“But that’s OK,” Sousa said.

“We want to support all provinces to be at their best and we will work together to do so.”

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FIFA ethics court bans Blatter, Platini for 8 years

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ZURICH – Banished from soccer’s ruling body for eight years for unethical conduct, Sepp Blatter won’t give up the presidency of his beloved FIFA without a fight.

“I will fight. I will fight until the end,” Blatter said Monday at a news conference that started 90 minutes after he and former protege Michel Platini were each banned by FIFA’s ethics committee.

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It was a stunning removal of world soccer’s most powerful leaders over a $2 million payment by FIFA to Platini, the president of European soccer’s ruling body UEFA. The payment is also the subject of a criminal investigation in Switzerland.

“I’m sad. It can’t go on this way. It’s not possible,” said the 79-year-old Blatter, who has spent more than half his life working for soccer’s scandal-hit governing body. “After 40 years, it can’t happen this way. I’m fighting to restore my rights.”

Already serving a provisional ban, the elected FIFA president and his long-time likely successor were kicked out of the sport just two months before 209 member federations elect a new leader.

Platini, a FIFA vice-president whose bid to succeed Blatter on Feb. 26 now looks over, described the proceedings as a “true mockery.”

Their offences were judged to be conflict of interest and disloyalty to FIFA. They avoided life bans because corruption was not proven.

Platini’s lawyer, Thibaud d’Ales, told The Associated Press it came as no surprise that the corruption charge had been dropped.

“They used it with the sole purpose of dirtying Michel Platini, although they knew from the start it was an untenable argument,” D’Ales said.

Guilty verdicts were expected. So were the subsequent denials of wrongdoing and promises of urgent appeals to FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Blatter’s defiant display was a bonus for international media summoned to FIFA’s former headquarters, just hundreds of meters (yards) from the new building where he spent eight hours with four ethics judges last Thursday.

The choice of venue hinted at a vintage Blatter show. He did not disappoint.

Blatter invoked Nelson Mandela within a minute, pointing to the spot where the iconic South African leader had lifted the World Cup trophy 11 years ago, when his country was chosen as the host nation for the 2010 tournament.

Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, the Nobel organization and the United Nations were also referenced in a spirited 52-minute performance as he held court with more than 100 journalists.

His last words were “I’ll be back, thank you.”

Blatter’s trademark fighting talk was delivered while still sporting a strip of surgical tape on his right cheek after a minor medical procedure five days earlier.

Blatter made it clear he regretted his current position but declared he was innocent of any wrongdoing.

“I am not ashamed,” he said. “I am sorry that I am a punching ball. I am sorry for football. … I am now suspended eight years, suspended eight years. Suspended eight years for what?”

Platini was also dismissive of the ethics commission’s work.

He said its proceedings, which included a hearing earlier this month that he did not attend, had been “orchestrated… by governing bodies that I know well” to tarnish him.

“I’m convinced that my fate was sealed before the Dec. 18 hearing and that this decision is just a pathetic manoeuvr to hide a true will of taking me out of the football world,” the Frenchman said.

“My behaviour has always been faultless and I’m at peace with my own conscience.”

Platini said he will also file a lawsuit in a civil court to seek damages for what he has endured during the ethics commission’s proceedings. In a brief statement, UEFA said it was “extremely disappointed” with the ruling and supported its leader’s right to clear his name.

FIFA’s ethics judges decided that Blatter and Platini had broken ethics rules on conflicts of interest, breach of loyalty and offering or receiving gifts.

Platini took $2 million of FIFA money in 2011 – a payment approved by Blatter as uncontracted salary for work as a presidential adviser from 1999-2002.

In Monday’s verdict, Blatter was fined 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,250) and Platini 80,000 Swiss francs ($80,400).

“Neither in his written statement nor in his personal hearing was Mr. Blatter able to demonstrate another legal basis for this payment,” the judges said. “By failing to place FIFA’s interests first and abstain from doing anything which could be contrary to FIFA’s interests, Mr. Blatter violated his fiduciary duty to FIFA.

“His (Blatter’s) assertion of an oral agreement was determined as not convincing and was rejected by the chamber.”

Blatter hit back at that conclusion during his news conference, portraying the ethics committee as saying of Platini and himself: “He’s a liar and I’m a liar.”

“This is not correct,” Blatter said.

Blatter acknowledged an administrative “error” in failing to register FIFA’s debt to Platini in its accounts for eight years, though he insisted: “This is nothing to do with the ethics regulations.”

The Swiss had started tentatively and the grey bristles on his chin – that clearly showed he hadn’t shaven that morning – added to his aged appearance.

Yet his voice grew stronger, seeming to take heart from gentle prompts and notes given by his only child, daughter Corinne, sitting to his left.

He spoke in four languages and translated his own German, French and Spanish answers into English, clearly relishing the attention of a big audience again.

By the end, with his top shirt button undone and tie loose, it was possible to forget that Blatter had faced a health scare on Nov. 1.

“I am back, I am back, I am doing better,” he said. “I have the support of my daughter, I have the support of Linda (Barras), my love.”

While Blatter wants to leave FIFA with his head high, the 60-year-old Platini wants to clear his name, pass a FIFA integrity check and be declared an official candidate in the election he had been favoured to win.

Platini’s campaign has stalled since he was questioned on Sept. 25 in a Swiss federal investigation of suspected criminal mismanagement at FIFA.

Switzerland’s attorney general has opened criminal proceedings against Blatter for the suspected “disloyal payment” of FIFA money to Platini and selling undervalued World Cup TV rights for the Caribbean.

Platini was paid in February 2011, just before Blatter began campaigning for re-election against Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar. Platini’s UEFA urged its members weeks before the June 2011 election to back Blatter, who was elected unopposed when Bin Hammam was implicated in bribery.

Few FIFA officials knew of the Platini payment which emerged during a wider Swiss probe of the governing body’s business affairs, including suspected money laundering in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests.

“I have never cheated with money,” Blatter insisted, before claiming he still wielded authority in the sport. “I am still the president. Even if I am suspended, I am still the president.”


AP Sports Writer Samuel Petrequin contributed from Paris.

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Asia’s first Hello Kitty clinic opens in Hong Kong

Written by admin on 15/10/2019 Categories: 长沙夜网

Hello Kitty is here to heal you.

Asia’s first Hello Kitty-themed health center opened in Hong Kong to adoring fans. Situated at a shopping mall, the centre is decked out from top to bottom with Hello Kitty pictures and imagery. From the couches in the waiting area, to the scales, to band aids, all has the personal touch of the famous kitten on it.

Registered nurse Zoe Fung said that the concept of the centre is to create a relaxing environment for kids who love the cat.

“We used the colors white, blue and pink to create a friendly and warm atmosphere. We hope that the kids and their parents who come here will have a positive experience. Even if you’re not here to enjoy the service, we hope people will come here to take a look and have a great time,” Fung said.

WATCH: The shocking truth about Hello Kitty

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    While the sight of syringe and needle frightens children, Fung says that a trip to the Hello Kitty health centre usually has the opposite effect.

    “They come with a smile and leave with a smile. Getting vaccination shots is something that children are normally afraid of. However, in a pretty environment like this, the children leave with a smile on their face.”

    Hello Kitty is a fictional cartoon character created by a Japanese company in the ’70s. The white kitten with a pink bow tie on its ears has since then acquired a huge following in Asia. There are cafes, shops, various merchandise and even an airplane with the Hello Kitty theme.

    The health center in Hong Kong currently offers health exams and vaccinations for infants, children and adults.

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Massive man-made mountain of soil and waste blamed for deadly China landslide

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SHENZHEN, China – Authorities blamed an enormous, man-made mountain of soil and waste for the collapse of nearly three dozen buildings that left 81 people missing in southern China’s most prominent manufacturing city. Rescuers excavating the mud-drenched mess pulled out one body early Tuesday, the landslide’s first confirmed death.

Authorities said the landslide buried or damaged 33 buildings in the industrial park in Shenzhen, a city near Hong Kong that makes products ranging from cellphones to cars that are sold around the world.

Residents blamed the government while officials cited human error, with one ministry saying, “The pile was too big, the pile was too steep.”

The landslide Sunday covered an area of 380,000 square meters (450,000 square yards) with silt 10 metres (33 feet) deep, authorities said. At least 16 people were hospitalized, including children, Xinhua said.

The official China News Service said the number of the missing people went down to 81, from previous day’s 85, but did not explain how. The Shenzhen government said seven trapped people had been rescued.

WATCH: China badly affected by pollution despite spending on clean energy

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The landslide is the fourth major disaster to strike China in a year following a deadly New Year’s Eve stampede in Shanghai, the capsizing of a cruise ship in the Yangtze River and a massive explosion at a chemicals warehouse in Tianjin on the coast near Beijing.

Human error has been suspected or confirmed in all three previous disasters, pointing to a lack of regulatory oversight and an often callous attitude toward safety in China despite the threat of harsh penalties.

In Sunday’s landslide, the Ministry of Land and Resources said a steep man-made mountain of dirt, cement chunks and other construction waste had been piled up against a 100-meter (330-foot) -high hill over the past two years.

Heavy rains in the region saturated the soil, making it heavy and unstable, and ultimately causing it to collapse with massive force.

“The pile was too big, the pile was too steep, leading to instability and collapse,” the ministry said, adding that the original, natural hill remained intact.

Some residents blamed government negligence.

READ MORE: 22 people missing, 900 evacuated after building collapses in China

“If the government had taken proper measures in the first place, we would not have had this problem,” said Chen Chengli.

Chen’s neighbour, Yi Jimin, said the disaster wasn’t an act of nature.

“Heavy rains and a collapse of a mountain are natural disasters, but this wasn’t a natural disaster, this was man-made,” Yi said.

Aerial photos from the microblog of the Public Security Ministry’s Firefighting Bureau showed the area awash in a sea of red mud, with buildings either knocked on their side or collapsed entirely.

Posts on the microblog said the mud had filled many of the buildings, adding the chances of survival were “extremely small.”

Cellphone camera video of the disaster on state broadcaster CCTV showed a massive wall of debris slamming into the buildings and sending up huge plumes of dust.

A man who runs a store selling cigarettes and alcohol less than a kilometre (a half mile) from the site said local residents had known that the pile of soil was dangerous and feared something bad would happen.

“We heard a sound like an explosion and then all we saw was smoke,” said the man, who gave only his surname, Dong. “We knew what had happened immediately.”

The damaged buildings included 14 factories, two office buildings, one cafeteria, three dormitories and 13 sheds or workshops, Shenzhen Deputy Mayor Liu Qingsheng told a news conference.

The Shenzhen government said 600 people had been relocated.

Nearly 3,000 people were involved in the rescue efforts, aided by 151 cranes, backhoes and other construction equipment, along with rescue dogs and specialized life-detecting equipment.

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Black Hermione cast in new ‘Harry Potter’ play, J.K. Rowling approves

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A black actress playing Hermione Granger? J.K. Rowling has no problem with that.

The bestselling author of the Harry Potter books has responded to mixed reactions after the cast for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child — a new London, U.K. play featuring Harry as an adult — was announced Monday. The role of Hermione, made famous in the film versions by Emma Watson, will be played by Swaziland-born actress Noma Dumezweni.

WATCH: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trailer released

Rowling said on 桑拿会所 that the character’s skin colour had in fact never been specified in the books.

The author also retweeted fan art based on Dumezweni as Hermione.

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Dumezweni, 45, won the Olivier award for best performance in a supporting role for her work in 2005’s A Raisin in the Sun, and recently replaced an ailing Kim Cattrall in Penny Skinner’s play Linda.

READ MORE: ‘Harry Potter’ e-books come to life with enhanced edition for Apple devices

The play, based on a new story by Rowling and others, opens July 30.

This is the plot, according to the play’s website:

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

With files from The Associated Press

J.K. Rowling's 桑拿会所 Analytics | PrettyFamous

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Carjacking, chase ends in North Battleford, Sask. with 5 in custody

Written by admin on  Categories: 长沙夜网

Five people are in custody following an alleged armed robbery and carjacking over the weekend in Saskatchewan. The two adults and three youth were caught by police in North Battleford following a chase involving three RCMP detachments and Saskatoon police.

It began early Saturday morning when Mounties received a report of an armed robbery involving a firearm at a rural residence south of Clavet.

A short time later, police received another complaint involving the same suspects. Mounties said the suspects were in a stolen SUV that rolled near Highway 16.

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    Two women who stopped to help at the rollover were then robbed of their vehicle when a gun was pulled on them. The two women fled into the bush to hide and the suspects took off in the vehicle towards Saskatoon.

    READ MORE: Deadly Saskatoon home invasion ends in charges against 4

    They were spotted by Saskatoon police on Highway 16 in the north end of the city. Two attempts to stop the vehicle using spike belts were unsuccessful and the pursuit continued on Highway 16 west towards North Battleford.

    A third spike belt was deployed on the highway, which was also unsuccessful in stopping the vehicle.

    The chase ended in North Battleford when the suspects abandoned the vehicle in the south end of the city.

    Police said they captured four suspects immediately while a fifth person attempted to flee. He was arrested a short time later by officers with the help of a Saskatoon police canine unit. He was taken to hospital for treatment of injuries sustained during the arrest.

    The five are facing at least 33 charges, including armed robbery, uttering death threats, assault with a weapon and flight from police.

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Toshiba cuts 6,800 jobs, sells Indonesia plant

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TOKYO – Scandal-plagued Japanese manufacturer Toshiba Corp. is cutting 6,800 jobs after projecting a net loss of 550 billion yen ($4.5 billion) for the fiscal year through March 2016.

Toshiba said Monday it will slash the jobs in its personal computer, video product and consumer electronic businesses. The job cuts equal about 3 per cent of Toshiba’s overall employees. It is also selling its TV plant in Indonesia.

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Toshiba, which also makes nuclear power plants, has repeatedly apologized after acknowledging it had systematically doctored its books over several years to inflate profits by 152 billion yen ($1.3 billion).

Officials have said that mangers set unrealistic earnings targets, under the banner of creating a big “challenge,” and subordinates faked results.

The scandal at one of the nation’s top brands highlights how Japan is still struggling to improve corporate governance, despite efforts to beef up independent oversight of companies.

Toshiba said the job cuts in Japan will be by early retirement, but a significant number of overseas jobs will also be involved and steps will vary by each nation. It did not immediately have a detailed regional breakdown.

Earlier this year, Toshiba said it is selling facilities for making computer chips related to image sensors to Sony Corp.

Toshiba is also in trouble because it operates and is decommissioning, with Hitachi and other companies, the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, which went into meltdowns after the March 2011 tsunami.

Toshiba said it had not yet fully calculated the impact of the nuclear disaster on its books.

The latest earnings projection means Toshiba is sinking into its second straight year of red ink, after racking up a nearly 38 billion yen ($312 million) loss for the fiscal year that ended in March.

Japanese media reports said the loss forecast for this fiscal year would be a record for Toshiba, surpassing the massive losses during the Lehman financial crisis.

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Manitoba premier mulls surtax on high incomes, hints at election issue

Written by admin on 15/09/2019 Categories: 长沙夜网

WINNIPEG – Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger is considering a surtax on high-income earners and feels he is no longer bound by a provincial law that would require a referendum on major tax changes.

Selinger says no final decision has been made, but he has been “looking at” high-income tax rates that have been implemented in Alberta, Ontario and federally under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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“I note many jurisdictions have implemented a surtax already across the country – both east and west of us,” Selinger said in a year-end interview with .

“There’s different options that have been started to be proposed. We’re working our way through this consideration right now.”

Alberta’s NDP government has replaced the province’s flat 10 percent income tax rate with a series of higher income tax brackets for people earning more than $125,000 annually. As of next year, the top bracket – for those earning more than $300,000 – will reach 15 per cent.

Manitoba’s current top tax rate is 17 per cent and kicks in at $67,000.  Selinger said it is too early to discuss details, such as at what level a surtax might apply and the rate. He also suggested that if a surtax is implemented, it would be at least partially offset by cuts to middle and lower income taxes.

“We’re always interested in making life more affordable for middle-class and working families in Manitoba. That’s important.”  Selinger ran into public anger in 2013 when he raised the provincial sales tax to eight per cent from seven. He suspended a section of the province’s balanced budget law that required a referendum on any increase to sales, income or corporate payroll taxes.

The Opposition Progressive Conservatives took the issue to court and argued Selinger was not allowed to sidestep the referendum. A Court of Queen’s Bench judge rejected the Tory argument. The judge said it is unconstitutional to force a referendum on tax changes because it infringes on the powers of the legislature.

With that court ruling, Selinger said he would feel no need to hold a referendum if he implements an income surtax.

“The courts ruled that the way the (balanced-budget) law was written was illegal and unconstitutional … but we do believe people need to have a chance to have input into things.”

Selinger said people would have their say via legislature committee hearings – Manitoba is one of two provinces in which every legislature bill must undergo public hearings. He also hinted a surtax could be an issue for the provincial election set for April 19.

“We would put that to the people as a proposal. They would have a chance to be aware of that, and they would have a chance to vote on it in an election.”

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Kyle Lowry ejected, Raptors lose 104-94 to Sacramento

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TORONTO – The Toronto Raptors were already fighting an uphill battle, faced with clawing their way out of a massive first-quarter hole.

Doing it without all-star guard Kyle Lowry proved just too big of a challenge.

The Raptors dropped a 104-94 loss to Sacramento on Sunday, after giving a season-worst 37 points to the Kings in the first quarter, then losing Lowry to a third-quarter ejection.

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“It’s terrible, it’s totally unacceptable the way we performed tonight,” coach Dwane Casey said. “The way you come into the game with that disposition of: OK, we’re at home, we’re OK. It’s not OK. How many times do we have to do that before it smacks us upside the head and wakes us up?”

Patrick Patterson added 18 points in the loss, while James Johnson finished with 14, Terrence Ross chipped in with 13 and Bismack Biyombo grabbed 13 rebounds.

The Raptors (17-12) stumbled out to another horrible start, digging themselves a 22-point deficit before the first quarter was even over.

“Yeah, it was terrible,” DeRozan said. “Gave them too much confidence, too many easy shots. . . we found ourselves dug in a hole.”

Lowry was ejected with 7:22 left in the third quarter, picking up two quick technicals when he persisted in speaking to official Scott Wall about a call.

Addressing the media in the post-game locker-room, Lowry said he let his team down.

“At the end of the day it’s my fault,” he said. “I’ve got to have better composure and I take all responsibility for my actions.

“I couldn’t be out there with my teammates and that’s the most frustrating part is I let my teammates down and the organization.”

Patterson insisted Lowry had nothing to be apologetic about.

“We know that he’s a very passionate player, he plays with his heart every possession, he’s very emotional, and he cares about the game and most importantly he cares about this team,” Patterson said. “We understand whether he gets two technicals, whether he gets one, whether he gets in a fight, whether he gets ejected, we all know it’s his passion, it’s his desire to want to win so much.

“He shouldn’t feel sorry, he shouldn’t feel like he let us down.”

The Raptors managed to inch their way back into the game, and trailed just 78-70 with a quarter to play. A Patterson three-pointer with 4:29 remaining pulled the Raptors to within four points, but that was as close as they’d come.

Darren Collison’s basket with 1:10 left put the Kings up by 12 and sent the soldout crowd of 19,800 fans pouring out of the Air Canada Centre.

Rajon Rondo had 19 points and 13 assists to lead the Kings (11-16), while former Raptor Rudy Gay also had 19 points.

Rondo was playing his second game since he was suspended for his flurry of profanity-laced homophobic slurs directed toward referee Bill Kennedy.

Kings coach George Karl said he believes the team has moved past the ugly incident.

“I hope so,” Karl said. “I don’t think it’s a burning fire, it probably has a way to flicker and maybe stimulate something but I don’t think it’s on our top-10 priority list, it’s not going to make the top 10 of David Letterman for us.”

The Raptors were without both Jonas Valanciunas, who missed his 14th consecutive game with a broken hand, and DeMarre Carroll (knee contusion). Both are scheduled to see doctors this week seeking clearance for their return.

The Raptors couldn’t get anything going in a first quarter that saw the Kings race out to a 17-2 lead. The Kings led 37-18 going into the second.

The Raptors chipped away at the deficit in the second and when Patterson scored on a running dunk with 29 seconds left before halftime, it cut the Kings lead to seven points. Sacramento led 55-48 at the break.

Patterson led the way with eight points in the third, and the Raptors trailed by just eight going into the fourth.

The Raptors host Dallas on Tuesday.

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Virtual reality to offer foreign buyers a glimpse into Canadian real estate

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TORONTO – Overseas investors looking to park their money in Canadian real estate could soon be donning headsets and touring upcoming condo developments in virtual reality, according to the founder of a Toronto-based technology firm.

Invent Dev turns floor plans of new developments into 3D, immersive mockups that can be experienced in virtual reality, such as through the Occulus Rift system, or via he Samsung Gear VR headset.

David Payne, the company’s founder and CEO, says he’s been getting tremendous interest from the Chinese community.

ChangSha Night Net


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    “They are very excited about the potential,” he said, noting that in the past week alone he has received three media inquiries from Chinese news outlets.

    The technology could help Canadian developers tap into global markets by allowing prospective buyers to tour a space without ever having to board a plane, he said.

    “They can now, from the comfort of their own home, view any floor plan that they want, with the finishes they want, and feel like they’re actually inside that home,” says Payne.

    The technology can benefit developers in other ways as well, says Payne.

    Rather than building model suites, Lifestyle Custom Homes employed Invent Dev’s technology to create virtual reality mockups of its upcoming development in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood – a significant cost saving for the company, says Payne.

    While full-blown virtual reality – the kind that’s experienced through a headset – is relatively new in the Canadian real estate industry, a number of agents have been using other technologies to create immersive experiences of homes.

    Cameras such as the Matterport Pro 3D can scan an existing home and create a three-dimensional rendering of it that can be viewed through a simple web browser. A number of Toronto-based brokers with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, which works with a large proportion of overseas buyers, started using the technology earlier this year.

    “Our clients love the fact that they’re able to experience an immersive model that they’re able to control and where they’re able to walk through a space in its entirety,” says Elaine Hung, the company’s vice-president of marketing.

    “It’s a huge benefit for us, and for overseas buyers.”

    Ara Mamourian says his brokerage, SpringRealty长沙夜网, has been using online virtual tours for all of its listings since 2013. One of the things that prompted Mamourian to start offering the service was a high number of calls from overseas buyers.

    Mamourian says some foreign investors are willing to purchase properties such as condos without visiting them in person first.

    “They love this technology because they can essentially walk through the house and actually feel how big the rooms are, or how small the rooms are, without being fooled by that wide-angle lens,” he says.

    While the appeal of immersive tours for foreign buyers is obvious, realtors note that the technology has benefits for local home buyers, as well. For example, it can help a home-hunter narrow down his or her list of options, ultimately cutting down on the amount of time spent driving around town touring homes, says Hung.

    “We have a new generation of home buyers … who expect and deserve to experience a product before they invest their time in walking through,” says Hung.

    As virtual reality technology becomes more affordable and more widely adopted by consumers, its popularity in the real estate industry is likely to grow, she adds.

    “Real estate is one of the leading industries to pioneer and adopt this technology in a significant way.”

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B.C. tech startups threaten to disrupt ‘dinosaur’ industries

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VANCOUVER – One technology startup is using artificial intelligence to save people who book online flights up to 80 per cent.

Another helps farmers boost their crop yields with a mobile app that manages operations from seed to sale.

A third new technology firm aims to replace conventional bank accounts with only a card and an app.

They’re all samples of a boom in digital-technology startups in Vancouver that are revolutionizing traditional industries with tech savvy.

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The companies are challenging old methods of doing business, and they’re out to “disrupt” everything from travel to agriculture to financial services.

READ MORE: 4 Canadian tech companies to watch in 2016

“You adapt or you die,” said Ray Walia, CEO of Launch Academy, a leading non-profit firm that trains and mentors such startups.

The organization has helped entrepreneurs start more than 350 companies, raising about $57 million in funding and creating over 635 jobs across 15 industries. They include TripDelta, Farm At Hand and Koho.

Walia said employers outside the technology world must change the mindset that “bleeding-edge” advancements don’t matter to their own industries.

“It’s an economic stimulus for the entire country. Because it’s those technology companies that are going to help those incumbents – those dinosaurs – stay alive and avoid the asteroid that’s coming.”

The youth-propelled trend is also flourishing in the technology hubs of Toronto and Montreal, and is considered most prolific in San Francisco’s Silicon Valley.

About 84,000 British Columbians were employed by over 9,000 tech companies in 2014, according to the provincial Technology Ministry – more than in mining, forestry, and oil and gas combined.

Earlier this month, Premier Christy Clark announced the province is betting on startups as engines for job creation by establishing a new $100-million venture capital fund to launch in 2016.

It’s the first prong in a multi-year government strategy to enhance the industry’s role in the provincial economy. Plans to attract new talent and open markets are expected to be announced in January, when the province hosts the B.C. Tech Summit, its largest-ever technology business conference aimed at mingling entrepreneurs with those in established industries.

READ MORE: Canadian startups target wearables for elite athletes

Vancouver is home to more than a dozen “incubator” facilities and “accelerator boot camps,” which provide crash courses for early-stage companies on taking technology ideas to market. Millennials are strongly represented, with many aspiring to hatch the next company valued at $1 billion – broadly dubbed a “unicorn” in tech circles, or “narwhal” in Canada.

Hootsuite, Slack and Avigilon have already joined the Narwhal Club, while another 12 Vancouver companies are considered emerging. Ten others have been acquired by more established companies, according to Launch Academy.

Walia said innovative new business models are developing, with some entrepreneurs realizing product ideas with just a 3D printer, then turning to online freelancers for logo design and marketing.

Others write code in their basement and harness remote servers to increase efficiency and prevent disastrous losses of data.

Employees also collaborate from far-flung cities using social apps and video streaming, while avoiding overhead costs.

Those seeking venture capital have participated in American Idol-style pitch competitions that have sold tickets out the door and down the block in Vancouver’s Gastown district.

Millennial startups are also often motivated by doing social good, the result of a hyper-awareness of pressing issues from constant immersion in social media. Many for-profit companies are incorporating philanthropy into their business model.

READ MORE: Canadian-made armband aspires to change how we interact with computers

“If you don’t adapt, you’re not going to succeed,” said Vivian Chan, who co-ordinates an accelerator program for wireless companies with Wavefront. “You can join the rest of the crew, or you’re going to be left behind.”

Chan said millennials are thirsty to run their own businesses, their way.

“It’s the cool thing to do.”

But rags-to-riches success stories such as Uber and Airbnb have put a halo over the current wave of startups, warned HeroX CEO Christian Cotichini, who has successfully built four companies over 24 years.

He predicted there will be a rise in failures of startups in the coming year, but suggested that won’t be as painful as more notorious tech-industry crashes of the past.

Cotichini also predicts more millennials will dump the pursuit of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg-style rockstar status and instead focus on building a career out of their small, sustainable businesses.

Industries invented before the Internet are “de facto obsolete,” he said.

“We’re really on a super cycle of leveraging all this new technology to make our lives better.”

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Canadian soldier stabs pregnant wife before plunging to death from Toronto balcony: police

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TORONTO —; A Canadian soldier allegedly stabbed his pregnant wife multiple times and threw her off of an apartment building balcony in Toronto Sunday night, before plunging to his death. This according to Toronto police who are investigating the suspected homicide.

Police said Precious Charbonneau, 33, and Robert Giblin, 43, both of Toronto, were a recently married and living in the apartment together when they fell from the 21st floor balcony at 111 Raglan Ave., near Bathurst Street and St. Clair Avenue, just before 6 p.m.

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Their bodies were discovered with “obvious signs of trauma” and police said Charbonneau was the victim of a homicide. It is believed that Charbonneau was nine weeks’ pregnant.

An autopsy was conducted Monday and police said the cause of death was “multiple impact injuries” consistent with a fall.

Investigators said they believe Giblin was responsible for Charbonneau’s death and are not pursuing any more suspects.

“I was out on the balcony having a smoke and she went right by me,” said second floor resident Ryan Darbyson.

“I thought somebody tossed a garbage bag out of their window and when I looked down, what I saw was something that I should not have and will now never forget.”

Darbyson said he immediately dialed 911 and was on the phone with authorities when a second body struck the ground.

“There was nothing, there was not even a sound. Even when he hit there was not even a sound,” he said, adding that he called out to his wife after the first body fell.

“Anybody who said they heard screaming, they probably heard me.”

The Canadian Department of National Defence confirms Giblin was a sergeant from the Joint Task Force Central (JTFC) based out of the Denison Armoury in Toronto.

“The loss of any soldier is devastating to the military community and our thoughts and condolences go out to Sergeant Robert Giblin’s family and friends,” said DND spokesman Lonny Kates.

Kates said Giblin was a regular force member who joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 1997.

He was deployed on HMCS Regina in 2003 and to Afghanistan in 2005 and 2007. He was also an intelligence operator.

“[Building management] told me he was always downstairs everyday complaining and yelling and screaming about something about the building and she just told me that something was wrong with him mentally,” he said.

“Obviously he wasn’t getting the care that he needed because you can see the result.”

The police homicide squad has taken over the investigation. Investigators are urging any witnesses to come forward and contact Toronto police or Crime Stoppers.

With files from David Shum

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