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‘High energy objects’ likely downed Malaysia Flight MH17: Report

WATCH: A preliminary report on the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 found there was no warning before the plane was hit by multiple high-velocity objects. Mike Armstrong has the details.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands  — Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was likely struck by multiple “high-energy objects from outside the aircraft,” causing it to break up over eastern Ukraine, a preliminary report into the deadly aviation disaster concluded Tuesday.

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  • Flight MH17: More human remains uncovered by dogs on Ukraine disaster site

  • Flight MH17: Investigators set up search base at jet crash site

The report by the Dutch Safety Board stopped short of saying the Boeing 777 was shot down by a missile, but its findings appear to point to that conclusion. It also did not say who might have been responsible.

READ MORE: Malaysia prepares to mourn as bodies from plane shot down return home

The Boeing 777 suddenly plunged out of the sky July 17 over pro-Russian rebel-held territory in Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board.

“The damage observed in the forward section of the aircraft appears to indicate that the aircraft was penetrated by a large number of high-energy objects from outside the aircraft,” the report said. “It is likely that this damage resulted in a loss of structural integrity of the aircraft, leading to an in-flight break up.”

WATCH: Tjibbe Joustra, chair of the Dutch Safety Board, outlines the report’s main findings including that Malaysia Airlines flight 17 was likely downed by ‘high-energy objects’.

The board is leading the international investigation into the cause of the disaster. Its full report is expected within a year of the crash.

“The initial results of the investigation point toward an external cause of the MH17 crash,” the board’s chairman, Tjibbe Joustra, said in a statement. “More research will be necessary to determine the cause with greater precision. The Safety Board believes that additional evidence will become available for investigation in the period ahead.”

Christopher Yates, an aviation safety specialist at Yates Consulting, told the AP the report “is extremely consistent with damage from a missile for the simple reason there are penetration marks.

READ MORE: Families of Flight MH17 victims seek answers; parents believe daughter is still alive

“It must have been moving at very high velocity to create the damage,” he said. “It could only be a missile of the type that would reach the altitude that would have struck the aircraft, potentially a BUK missile.

WATCH: Malaysian officials comment on Dutch report that Flight MH17 was shot down

He said the report gave no indication whether the missile had been fired from the ground or from another aircraft, but it likely came from the ground as there were no military aircraft known to have been flying at the time. The missile could not have been shoulder-fired because it would not have reached the necessary altitude, he added.

Because of the ongoing conflict between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian forces, investigators from the board have not visited the fields where the wreckage of Flight 17 plunged to the ground. That likely contributed to the board’s cautious assessment of what happened.

“Detailed examination of the structural damage is ongoing,” the report said. “Forensic examination will be performed if the wreckage can be removed.”

Investigators so far have studied photos of the crash site, radar data and information gleaned from the downed jet’s “black boxes” — its cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder. They all indicated that there was no technical fault that may have caused the plane to disintegrate.

The cockpit voice recorder “revealed no signs of any technical faults or an emergency situation,” the Safety Board said. “Neither were any warning tones heard in the cockpit that might have pointed to technical problems.”

READ MORE:  Missile shrapnel hit Malaysia Airlines, says Ukraine

Pro-Russian rebels officially deny having shot down the plane, but unofficially one senior rebel admitted they were behind a missile strike.

Just three hours before the plane was shot down above rebel-held territory in Eastern Ukraine, the Associated Press reported on the passage of a Buk M-1 missile system — a machine the size of a tank bearing four ground-to-air missiles — driving through the rebel-held town of Snizhne, near the crash site.

A highly placed rebel officer told the AP in an interview in the aftermath of the disaster that the plane was shot down by a mixed team of rebels and Russian military personnel who believed they were targeting a Ukrainian military plane.

Intercepted phone conversations between the rebels released by the Ukrainian government support that version of events.

In those tapes, the first rebels to reach the scene can be heard swearing when they see the number of bodies and the insignia of Malaysia Airlines.

FULL REPORT: Preliminary report points towards external cause of MH17 crash

View this document on Scribd

©2014The Canadian Press

As Scots eye independence, rest of UK gets nervous

BERWICK-UPON-TWEED, England – All Gavin Jones has to do is scan the shelves of his impossibly quaint shop on England’s border with Scotland to know he’ll have a big problem if the Scots declare independence next week.

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There are teddy bears in Campbell clan tartans and shelves of shortbread from Scotland — just above the red jams made in England. After independence, the Scottish goods would be subject to import duties, and customers would likely pay in two different currencies. Business in Berwick-upon-Tweed, England’s northernmost town, could soon be crushed by bank transaction costs.

“If Scotland chooses independence, it changes our concept of local,” he said. “There are then barriers put in place.”

READ MORE: UK offers Scotland more financial autonomy

Berwickers like to think of themselves as neither English nor Scottish. Little wonder: this enclave has changed hands 13 times over the centuries. But there is no getting away from the fact that the locals in Berwick (pronounced BEAR-ick) could be dramatically affected by the Sept. 18 referendum.

In that way, they are like the rest of Britain. While the vote may alter the balance of power in British politics, increase the likelihood that the U.K. will leave the European Union and weaken the nation’s economy and currency, the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland will have no say in the outcome. Only residents of Scotland are eligible to cast ballots.

Constitutional Chaos

Britain’s left-leaning Labour Party would be the biggest political victim of independence — it is often joked there are more pandas in Edinburgh’s zoo than there are Conservative Party lawmakers in Scotland. Scottish voters elected 41 Labour members of Parliament in the 2010 election and only one Conservative.

If the next general election due in May were held today, eliminating Scottish votes would give Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives a 37-seat majority win.

That could drag Britain toward yet another high-stakes vote — on whether the country as a whole should leave the EU. Cameron has promised a referendum to appease voters concerned about immigration and meddling by bureaucrats in Brussels. Scotland has been very pro-EU, so losing its votes would weaken the camp that wants Britain to stay.

Leaving the EU could have huge consequences for Britain. The EU guarantees freedom of movement for people, goods and money, a big advantage for companies that want to do business across the bloc, which with its 500 million people is the world’s largest combined economy. If Britain were to leave the bloc, multinational companies that have their EU headquarters in London — from Starbucks to many of the world’s biggest banks — may seek to relocate, taking money and jobs with them.

“These are very crucial times for the U.K.,” said Patrick Dunleavy, a professor of political science at the London School of Economics. “The U.K. has been united for 300 years and it’s been in the European Union since 1973. These two referenda, plus the general election all coming very close together, one way or another, we’re going to have five years of constitutional chaos.”

Financial Unknown

More immediately, the loss of Scotland could hurt Britain through the amount of financial uncertainty it would generate over the next 18 months — the time it would take Scotland to sever its ties with Britain. During that period, policymakers would have to agree on whether Scotland would continue to use the pound as its currency as well as how to split British public debt and North Sea oil revenue.

The currency question is the murkiest. While independence leaders say they will continue to use the pound, politicians in London have ruled out a currency union.

“It would be a fairly long 18 months,” said Monique Ebell, an economist at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

Because the result of the talks would affect the value of the pound, foreign investors in Britain could delay big decisions — opening a factory, for example, or hiring new staff — until a time when they can better gauge the risks and costs.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs last week warned that while there was no reason an independent Scotland couldn’t prosper in the long-run, “in the short-to-medium-term, the consequences of a surprise ‘Yes’ vote for the Scottish economy, and for the U.K. more broadly, could be severely negative.”

Kevin Daly, Goldman Sachs’ chief U.K. economist, said that uncertainty about the pound’s future value could trigger a run on the currency. The Bank of England is working on contingency plans to manage the pound in the event of a Yes vote.

The potential for trouble was made clear on Monday, when the pound nosedived after a poll showed the No campaign had lost its lead. The pound shed two cents to trade at $1.6130, the lowest since November.

“Our base view is the proposal will be defeated,” said Bill O’Neill, the head of the U.K. investment office at UBS Wealth Management. “But clearly the market will be watching for the polls.”

The people of Berwick, meanwhile, are increasingly concerned. What would happen if there were suddenly a border between them and their Scottish neighbours? What happens if you suddenly need a passport to get across the few miles separating the town and Scotland?

In his shop, surrounded by items inspired as much by “Braveheart” as English icons like London phone booths, Gavin Jones can’t help but worry.

“It adds complexity and cost, for no additional revenue” Jones said of separation. “We’re Berwickers. We’re neither English, nor Scottish.”

That is true for now at least.

John Tory defends SmartTrack plan as campaign to woo voters released

WATCH: John Tory admits the need to ‘tunnel’ in order to complete SmartTrack plan 

TORONTO – John Tory says he will do whatever it takes, even tunneling underground, to complete a portion of the west-end Toronto rail line for his SmartTrack transit plan.

“90 per cent of SmartTrack runs on existing GO train tracks and we knew the part to the west was the part where there are no GO train tracks,” Tory said in an interview with Global News.

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“If that involves tunneling in that area, then we’ll tunnel.  The west end of it will be built because it’s going to make it more complete to the west end of the city, including out to the jobs in Mississauga.”

Tory responded to criticism from fellow mayoral candidate Olivia Chow after she said SmartTrack will take “heavy rail from Mount Dennis to Mississauga” right next to homes that will be built in the area.

“He says he won’t need to buy any properties. He says he won’t go near a street. So how will he get heavy rail from Mount Dennis to Mississauga?” Chow told reporters at the corner of Eglinton Avenue West and Widdicombe Hill Boulevard in Etobicoke Tuesday morning.

Tory said the cost of underground tunneling is already incorporated into the $8 billion price tag to electrify the GO train lines and buying new trains.

“We came up with an estimate per kilometre of construction,” he said.

Tory’s defense of his SmartTrack line comes on the same day he released a television advertisement campaign and an interactive website to convince voters about the benefits of his transit plan.

A digital tool called the ‘SmartTracker’ was launched that allows people to find out how much time it takes for them to travel from one destination to another.

The website claims commute times are estimated to be cut in half for some riders who travel from the west-end of the city towards downtown Toronto and from as far as northeast of Toronto to the city’s core.

“Commuters who live in Scarborough or Etobicoke and work downtown, for instance, who have to transfer from buses onto packed subway platforms, will save 20 or 30 minutes on a one way trip,” Tory said in a media release.

The so-called “SmartTrack” line is a two-way surface subway service Tory says will run all-day from around Pearson Airport in the west-end of the city to all the way northeast to Unionville, Markham.

“The numbers of how long it’s going to take to get from place to place comes from the GO electrification study,” Tory told Global News.

“They were trying to determine themselves in making the decision to electrifying the GO train lines consistent with provincial policy.”

READ MORE: Tory wants to exploit GO Transit lines

Tory says the cost to build and implement the 53 kilometres rail line will be split between the city, the province and the federal government.

“The $8 billion is the capital cost to electrifying the GO train lines, doing the work in the west end, buying the trains,” said Tory.

“The operating cost will be the responsibility of Metrolinx. The concept I’m going to champion with Metrolinx and provincial government is it be fare integrated with the TTC.”

Tory hopes to keep the cost of using the line equivalent to a $3 TTC fare.

Tory’s advertising campaign comes a week after Mayor Rob Ford announced his transit plan for an extensive subway expansion as a main campaign platform in his re-election bid.

READ MORE: Rob Ford to ‘bore’ his subway plan through ‘until the cows come home’

Ford’s plan was largely criticized for being too costly and impractical.

His rapid transit vision would see 32 kilometres of new subways built across the city at a cost of $9 billion.

Meanwhile, Olivia Chow questioned both her adversaries plans based on funding models she says will ultimately lead to property tax increases for Toronto residents.

WATCH: Olivia Chow critical of John Tory’s SmartTrack plan

Chow also criticized how Tory’s SmartTrack plan would be built along routes requiring new infrastructure and the costs that will entail.

The former downtown Toronto federal MP said her transit plan includes spending $15 million to increase bus service, build light rail along Finch Avenue and Sheppard Avenue and have the Scarborough subway replaced with above ground rail.

With a report from Mark McAllister

City of Burnaby files civil claim against Kinder Morgan

VANCOUVER – The City of Burnbay said in a press release that they have filed a civil claim against Kinder Morgan in Supreme Court.

On Sept. 2, the city said workers from Kinder Morgan entered a conservation area on Burnaby Mountain and cut down trees and bushes. The city said the company ignored a order to cease bylaw contraventions, which prohibits cutting trees and damaging the park.

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So now Burnaby will go to court on Sept. 11 to seek a temporary injunction to stop further works damaging the park until the matter can be heard before the court.

A few weeks ago the National Energy Board (NEB) ruled that Kinder Morgan can proceed with necessary studies of its preferred pipeline route through the mountain without the city’s consent.

“There is no requirement … for companies to reach agreement with landowners, the Crown, or otherwise, before exercising the right to access land,” the board stated.

The City of Burnaby will also be seeking a declaration that the NEB ruling does not have constitutional jurisdiction to issue an order to the city that directs or limits its bylaws.

“In spite of Burnaby’s longstanding bylaws put in place to fulfill our citizens’ wishes to protect irreplaceable conservation areas in our city, on September 3 Kinder Morgan cut down 13 ecologically significant trees – the largest of which was 24 metres high – in the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area,” said Mayor Derek Corrigan in a press release. “These trees cannot be replaced.”

“Kinder Morgan was not entitled to carry out this destructive action, and the fact that they have now stopped their work and have gone back to the National Energy Board to seek an order that would allow them to continue to conduct destructive survey work in the park – including cutting of large trees in forested areas, drilling of bore holes, and constructing a helicopter staging area – demonstrates that they knew they did not have the lawful right to do what they did.”

Corrigan said the city will do everything it can to ensure Kinder Morgan does not return.

“We do not believe that the National Energy Board’s ruling enables Kinder Morgan to defy our laws and we are asking the Supreme Court to confirm this,” he added.

Obama to deliver prime-time address on militants – National

WATCH: President Obama will lay out his plan to deal with Islamic State militants to congressional leaders today, before delivering it to Americans in prime-time on Wednesday

U.S. President Barack Obama will deliver a prime-time address to the nation Wednesday to discuss his plans for expanding U.S. efforts to confront militants in Iraq and Syria.

The White House says Obama will speak from the State Floor at 9 p.m. EDT. The White House says he will discuss the threat posed by the Islamic State militants and a strategy for “degrading and ultimately destroying” the group.

Ahead of his address, Obama is meeting with congressional leaders at the White House Tuesday. Officials have said the president is seeking “buy-in” from lawmakers but they have not specified whether Obama will seek an authorization for use of force.

The U.S. is already launching airstrikes against militants in Iraq, actions taken at the invitation of the Iraqi government and without congressional authorization.

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Related

  • Special forces already in Iraq: defence minister

  • State Department counters Islamic State propaganda on YouTube, 桑拿会所

©2014The Canadian Press

Janay Rice defends her husband, suspended NFL running back Ray Rice

Janay Rice, the wife of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, spoke out for the first time after video was released showing him violently punching her.

In an emotional post via her Instagram account she defended her husband and criticized the media attention surrounding the story.

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“I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “But to have to accept the fact that it’s reality is a nightmare itself. No one knows the pain that the media & unwanted [opinions] from the public has caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret everyday is a horrible thing.

“To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don’t you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is! Ravensnation we love you!”

The message came one day after TMZ posted disturbing video showing Rice punching Janay, who was then his fiancée, in an elevator at an Atlantic City hotel last February.

The Associated Press reported it had viewed a higher-quality and slightly longer version of the video which shows Rice and his wife shouting obscenities at each other before he delivers a knockout punch. He then drags her unconscious body out of the elevator where he is met by hotel staff. One of them can be heard saying “she’s drunk, right?” followed by “no cops.”

WATCH: What the Ray Rice controversy could mean for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell faced sharp criticism for initially handing Rice a two-game suspension in late July, before indefinitely suspending the running back Monday.

The NFL originally said it hadn’t seen the latest video, and denied a report from TMZ that no one connected to the league had asked the hotel in Atlantic City for video from inside the elevator.

A statement from the NFL issued Tuesday said:

“Security for Atlantic City casinos is handled by the New Jersey State Police. Any videos related to an ongoing criminal investigation are held in the custody of the state police. As we said yesterday: We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us.”

WATCH: Ravens coach comments on decision to cut Rice

READ MORE: Social media reacts to Ray Rice video, Ravens contract termination

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said the decision to let Rice go came after a meeting with Ravens’ owner Steve Bisciotti and general manager Ozzie Newsome.

“It’s something we saw for the first time (Monday), all of us,” Harbaugh said. “It changed things, of course. It made things a little bit different.”

Backlash from the video has been widespread with both NFL players and the public criticizing the league and the Baltimore Ravens for their handling of the case.

The Ravens began scrubbing the name of Ray Rice from the organization by offering an exchange program for the running back’s jerseys. The NFL shop also removed all Rice jerseys from its online store.

Janay married Ray Rice in the weeks following the elevator incident, for which the six-year veteran was subsequently charged with aggravated assault.

Rice was offered a pretrial diversion program, which could lead to the charges being removed from his record upon successful completion of the program.

WATCH: NFL players react to Ray Rice video, suspension

*With files from the Associated Press

Wednesday September 10th on The Morning News: – Halifax

Many of us were saddened by the recent news of Robin Williams’ death due to suicide after a long, debilitating struggle with severe depression. The media frenzy over his death has refocused wider public attention on the often neglected and taboo topic of suicide. Wednesday is World Suicide Prevention Day and at 6:45 we’ll talk with the Vice President of the Canadian Suicide Prevention Association about some of the support groups that are available to help.

Our closer look at the Gottingen250 celebration continues with 2 members of Universal Soul. The legendary hip-hop group is getting back together to take the stage at the big concert this Saturday night. At 7:15 we’ll sit down with Finley Tolliver and Tracey Williams to talk Gottingen Street memories.

745  See what’s new and next   – by supporting some of Halifax’s hottest local designers at the Design and Artistry Showcase at Sunnyside mall this weekend.   Fashion guru Lindsay Stockall hosts a mini fashion show. @SunnysideMall

815 Dr. Howard Conter chats with us about infectious diseases.  There’s a mystery illness spreading among young people in the US – and there are concerns it could spread to Canada.

At 8:45 we’ll continue our look at The Atlantic Film Festival with the filmmakers behind the short film Lord Of Chaos. The film deals with the effects of Post Traumatic Stress disorder told through a retired military medic struggling to find his voice among the chaos plaguing his mind. At 8:45 we’ll meet the Lead Actor and Director of the movie.

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WATCH: Sloan talks about new album ‘Commonwealth’

ABOVE: Watch members of Sloan appear on Global’s The Morning Show.

TORONTO – The new Sloan record, Commonwealth, distinguishes itself in many ways: it’s a double album, the second-longest of the band’s career; it’s divided into four sides, each a solo showcase for one of the quartet’s creative engines; and the final song is 18 minutes long, an Andrew Scott-penned marathon of superglued song sketches.

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And despite all that, the new Sloan record essentially sounds quite a bit like a Sloan record.

Of course, that can be said of pretty much everything in their catalogue since their adolescent (if audacious) debut recordings Peppermint and Smeared came out in 1992.

Little that they’ve done since 1994’s Twice Removed has sounded much like what was going on in rock music, but it’s all sounded of a piece: sure-footed, polished power pop.

“From our second record on, it’s like, what year is that, 1981? Or 1965? Or 2008?” pointed out Chris Murphy recently, surrounded at Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel by his bandmates Scott, Jay Ferguson and Patrick Pentland.

“A lot of the songs — I don’t know about all of them — could be on any of the records. It’s fairly interchangeable. Except for a deliberate attempt to make a streamlined record on our 2003 record, ‘Action Pact,’ it’s been pretty much just an eclectic, whatever you’ve got at the time (process). I could probably take all the songs that we have, which is 200 of them, and I could probably create albums out of it with different sounds or something.”

Here, Pentland interjects from a nearby couch.

“It’s odd, because … in a weird way, you’re kind of comparing us to AC/DC or something, where every record sounds the same. And you’re probably right,” said Pentland, clad in a Jesus and Mary Chain shirt.

“But it’s four AC/DCs because we’re all doing our own sound throughout it.

“None of us have really changed our sound that much, I guess.”

The process hasn’t changed much, either. Even as Commonwealth boasts its “four solo records” conceit — which indeed winks at Kiss and their ill-fated series of solitary ego workouts — Murphy stresses that the only real difference was the track sequencing. The four members worked largely in isolation on writing their songs, but that’s what they’ve always done.

In a way, the segregated nature of their contributions sort of goes against the band’s defining narrative of democracy and unity, one that sees them evenly splitting both the mike and the money.

But it’s the way they’ve worked since the second record, and any deviations from the formula were flitting and even infamous.

“When we recorded our album Action Pact,” began Murphy, again taking aim at the 2003 record, one of only two in the band’s discography that failed to chart in Canada, “we had a producer (Tom Rothrock), which we usually don’t have. And he was really into this idea of us recording everything together. So we’d come in, he’s a real ‘vibe’ guy — like a surfer basically — put on a click, weird beat, and be like: ‘Just play something. Now you play something. All right, YOU play something.’

“And it was just,” he pauses, “garbage.”

Considering that the band has always essentially been composed of four solo artists, their cohesion and consistency is surprising. Pentland attributes that in part to the fact that, individually, their tastes have been more or less unchanging since the band’s beginning.

On the other hand, Murphy says he’s been actively working to make timeless-sounding records since their distortion-contorted debut Smeared.

“I think that I spent some time being so mortified by our first album being so of the time, slash, behind the time that I was hell-bent on not feeling that way again.

“I don’t hate our first record anymore. I never really hated it. It (was just) so ’88, but we were doing it in ’91.”

Although their next record, 1994’s dramatically more mature and now-beloved Twice Removed, first laid down the blueprint for their sound — cheerfully lit power pop tinged with jangly psychedelia — they still hadn’t completely committed to the one-for-all thing.

“Patrick was probably trying to make songs within the confines (that) we were allowing him on that record,” Murphy pointed out. “He used to refer to Jay and me as the ‘alt gestapo.’”

“When we made that record, I thought: ‘What the (hell) are you doing? We made this record, it got us on a major label, and now you’re making a completely different record?’” Pentland recalled.

Finally with 1996’s One Chord to Another, the band achieved egoless equality. Pentland even gave the band its first two Top 10 singles in “The Good in Everyone” and “Everything You’ve Done Wrong” (their third, and to this point final, Top 10 hit was 1998’s “Money City Maniacs,” also a Pentland composition).

Each member of the band agrees that Sloan wouldn’t have lasted if it couldn’t constitute a creative outlet for all four players. They’re the first to drop the “democracy” term, by the way, although Murphy wants to clarify exactly what that means.

“We’re not a democracy where (we say), ‘What do you guys think of this song?’ and then we all vote or something. It’s not like that. It’s like: ‘OK, we’re all in this. We’re all going to give ourselves. Everybody’s going to get songs, and you can do them however you want.’”

And how are disagreements handled?

“If you don’t agree with someone, but the other guys do, you just have to step away and trust that they’re making the right decision,” Pentland replied.

“Or wait and say I told you so.”

Sloan’s last full-length, 2011’s lush and punchy The Double Cross, was critically celebrated by critics in the U.S. and did better there than some of their past records.

Still, Murphy points out, “we haven’t had a pay increase in 10 years.” The band seems utterly bored by discussion of sales or broadening their audience.

“It’s hard to compete with the nostalgia people have for the songs that came out in university or whenever they were in love with life or whatever,” said Murphy. “I think the music that we’re making is just as good, but it would be naive to think it’s going to have the same kind of effect on people.

“We’ll reach some young people, but it’s mostly people who have been following us all along, and our music has already changed their world in a way our latest record won’t.”

It was in part the disappointment surrounding the much-battered Action Pact — an album fuelled by a major investment from the label, Pentland says — that crystallized a way forward, one where Sloan would double down on its Sloanness and worry less about fitting in.

“A lot of pressure came off us,” remembered Pentland. “After a while, it was just like, this isn’t going to happen. We’re not going to be superstars. So let’s just focus on being us. We don’t care about being on Letterman anymore.”

©2014The Canadian Press

City committee OKs increased fines for Winnipeg snow zone parking – Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – A city council committee has approved a proposal that parking fines be doubled in snow zones during snow-clearing operations.

The Infrastructure and Public Works Committee on Tuesday accepted four changes to Winnipeg’s snow clearing policy, including fines of $300 ($150 with early payment) for illegal parking and reprioritizing sidewalk snow removal.

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“Unfortunately, people need to feel it in the pocketbook if they leave their vehicles on the street,” said Brad Sacher, the director of public works. “We feel fines would make a difference.”

There are 5,000 tickets handed out every time Winnipeg does a major snow-clearing operation, Sacher said, and the numbers are going up, not down.

“We’re not getting the compliance we thought we would.”

St. Boniface Coun. Dan Vandal was the only councillor to vote against the fine increases. He said he wants the city to better inform the public about snow-clearing operations.

“Communication is not getting out there like we want it,” he said.

The proposals do include suggestions for improving communication about when neighbourhoods will be cleared.

The recommendations will now go to the city’s Executive Policy Committee, and if they pass that hurdle, city council will vote on whether to make them law.

The changes include adjusting snow zones so streets can be plowed on schedule, specifically referring to streets in Osborne Village that haven’t been cleared regularly.

There’s also a provision for punitive measures against contractors who dump snow on sidewalks or private property.

The proposals come with a $672,000 increase to the 2014 snow clearing budget and another $1.66 million in the 2015-17 budgets.

READ MORE: Higher fines, more equipment recommended to improve snow clearing

5 things you need to know about Apple’s iPhone event

WATCH: Globalnews桑拿按摩’s tech reporter breaks down Tuesday’s Apple announcement.

TORONTO – Apple unveiled a slew of new products in Cupertino, California Tuesday, including two new versions of its flagship smartphone and its first foray into wearable tech.

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and the Apple Watch during a nearly two-hour long special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts, the same venue where Apple founder Steve Jobs unveiled the game-changing Mac computer 25 years ago.

WATCH: Apple CEO Tim Cook announced not one, but two new iPhone models – both of which have larger screens.

Though the new iPhone lineup was touted as the “biggest advancement in the history of the iPhone,” the majority of the excitement surrounding the event was focused on the long-rumoured Apple Watch.

LISTEN: Apple unveils its next generation products

Here is a look at what the technology giant has in store for its users:

Apple Watch

Wearable tech fans finally got a glimpse of perhaps the longest-rumoured Apple product ever – the Apple Watch.

“It’s the most personal product we’ve ever made,” said Cook of the company’s first smartwatch.

The device works as a companion to the iPhone to send messages, check notifications, interact with other Apple Watch users and use Apple Maps.

Apple’s product designers repurposed the traditional watch dial to be a “Digital Crown” that allows users to scroll, zoom and navigate the screen. The watch can also sense when the user is raising their wrist to automatically illuminate the screen.

WATCH: Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the company’s first foray into wearable tech – Apple Watch.

Apple Watch will be available in three different collections – Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition – and will come in two different sizes, 42 mm and 38 mm for those with smaller wrists. There is even an 18-karat rose or yellow gold version.

Apple Watch will also feature its own messaging system that will allow users to send each other “touches” in the form of a vibration, drawings and even share each other’s heartbeat, which is read directly from the user’s wrist.

Apple has not yet announced an official release date for the watch, but said it will go on sale in “early 2015,” starting at US$349.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Cook began the event by unveiling what he called the “biggest advancement in the history of iPhone,” the much-anticipated iPhone 6. The phone is available in two sizes: the iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch screen and the larger version, the iPhone 6 Plus, with a 5.5-inch screen.

The iPhone 6 also features new Retina HD display screens. The models are the thinnest ever in the iPhone series at 6.9 mm and 7.1 mm.

The devices will also have longer battery lives – the 6 will get up to 50 hours of audio playback, while the 6 Plus will get up to 80.

Both phones have upgraded 8MP iSight Cameras with 1.5 micron pixels. The iPhone 6 camera will include a new feature dubbed “Focus Pixels” that allow the camera to focus twice as fast.

WATCH: Apple’s Phil Schiller provides a look at some of the new and exciting features of the iPhone 6.

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For Canadian consumers, the iPhone 6 will start at $759 for the 16GB model and $859  for the 64GB model without a contract. For the first time, Apple will not offer a 32GB iPhone; however, a new 128GB model will be available for $969 outright.

The iPhone 6 Plus will run you $859 for the 16GB model, $969 for the 64GB model and $1079 for the 128GB model. Both phones will be available in space grey, silver and gold.

The new phones will go on sale in Canada Sept. 19.

Mobile payments

Apple also unveiled its new mobile payment process called Apple Pay. The new system will be built into every iPhone 6 and 6 Plus using Near Field Communication (NFC). Security for the new payment system features Touch ID and a new chip called ‘secure element.’

Users can store their credit card numbers in Apple’s Passbook App; however, the company was quick to note that card numbers are encrypted and card numbers are never stored on the device. Apple was also careful in explaining that Apple never stores, or has access to payment information – the transaction information stays between the user, the merchant and the bank.

WATCH: Apple Pay is a new mobile payment platform built into every iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

If the phone is lost or stolen, users are able to protect themselves by using the “Find My iPhone” app to suspend all mobile payments.

Apple has already teamed up with a number of U.S. retailers, including Macy’s, Walgreens, Whole Foods and the Disney Store, to introduce Apple Pay. Online retailers including Uber and the MLB have also signed on.

However, its unclear when Canadians will get to use Apple Pay. The company has not yet done any work on the system outside of the U.S.

iOS 8

Where there’s a new iPhone, there’s a new operating system. Apple users already got a sneak peek at the latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

iOS 8 is the first major software change since Apple released the totally redesigned iOS 7. The new software will sport interactive notifications, so you can respond to a message without having to leave another app. It will have new gestures, such as double tapping to see a list of frequent contacts.

iOS 8 will also feature new additions that have long been associated with the Android platform. For example, the new “quick type” feature promises predictive typing suggestions. Some pointed out that Android has also supported similar notification features before Apple.

One small feature that many users seemed to be excited about was the option to remove yourself from group messages.

The new operating system will be available for download Sept. 17.

Live stream difficulties 

Apple’s event wasn’t without it’s missteps, however.

The live stream of the keynote, which was available only on certain Apple platforms, experienced a number of technical blunders throughout the two-hour event. In fact, many viewers missed the majority of the iPhone segment because the stream would only show a special event slate listing technical information.

Apple fans and tech reporters took to 桑拿会所 to complain about the troubles.

Planning to renovate instead of move? You’re far from alone

Big box renovation chains like Rona, Home Hardware and Home Depot appear poised to be direct beneficiaries of the next boom in Canada’s housing market – renos.

CMHC, the country’s government-backed home loan insurer, said Tuesday that the pace of home construction cooled in August, with most experts suggesting they expect a further deceleration ahead.

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Why? Because while “the housing party continues for now, it can’t last forever,” Brian DePratto at TD Economics said.

That’s something we’ve been hearing for some time now.

But experts say there isn’t much more leverage left in the tank for borrowers to absorb, and a new report from CIBC this week suggests many buyers over the last few years will be hard-pressed to move on from starter homes they’ve already paid a lot for.

That’s because the so-called “move up” dream homes many first-time buyers look to purchase later on, mostly in the single-detached category, have been rising in price through Canada’s current boom at a much quicker rate than other housing segments like condos, townhouses, semis or even smaller single-detached houses.

CIBC points to Toronto’s heated market as a main example, but says the price inflation story is “ditto for other cities such as Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton where the move up category has risen notably faster” than lower priced starter homes.

So instead of moving up into those larger four-bed, three-bath bungalows, many have started to add extensions and redo their current homes, according to CIBC.

“With limited move up options, it’s no surprise then that many Canadians choose to renovate their existing homes,” CIBC’s Benjamin Tal said.

He notes that since 2009, reno projects as a slice of the overall residential investment pie in Canada (the all-in amount of cash – or debt — businesses and individuals spend on homes and real estate) has risen to 46 per cent, annually – or nearly half of all spending in the sector each year.

“By far the largest share on record,” the economist said (see chart).

And spending on renos may well increase.

“Renovation activity will remain robust,” Tal said, “and, in fact, might accelerate in the coming years.”

Riders QB Darian Durant out for the season

REGINA – The Saskatchewan Roughriders have announced quarterback Darian Durant will be out for the rest of the 2014 season.

Durant was injured in the third quarter of the Riders win over the Bombers when Bombers defensive end Bryant Turner hit the Riders quarterback on a dead play.

Tests in Regina after the game revealed that Durant suffered a torn tendon in his right elbow and will require surgery.

Durant has been added to the teams six game injury list. Tino Sunseri will get the start against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday.

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Ravens, businesses offering exchange programs for Ray Rice jerseys – National

ABOVE: One day after the NFL suspended Rice indefinitely, Baltimore Ravens fans are finding unique ways to get rid of their Rice jerseys

TORONTO – The Baltimore Ravens say they will offer an exchange for former Raven player Ray Rice jerseys at stadium stores.

Ravens made the offer on 桑拿会所 Tuesday morning saying details about the exchange are still to come.

The announcement comes one day after a deeply disturbing video surfaced of Rice punching his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in a hotel elevator in Atlantic City. He can then be seen dragging her unconscious body out the elevator.

Rice was released by the Ravens Monday afternoon and suspended indefinitely by the NFL in the wake of the video being made public.

WATCH: What the Ray Rice controversy could mean for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tweeted that commissioner Roger Goodell made the decision to ban Rice “based on new video evidence that became available today.” Goodell had faced a firestorm of criticism for initially issuing a two-game ban for Rice.

Outrage over video was swift and severe with many NFL players taking to social media to speak out about domestic violence and the league’s handling of the case.

In addition to the Ravens severing ties with Rice, the NFL Shop discontinued all jerseys of the running back from their online store Monday.

Rice’s alma mater, Rutgers, began disassociating itself with the former star by removing Rice from all promotional videos, according to local media reports.

In Baltimore, local businesses also offered promotions to satiate the city’s outrage, offering free food and drink for Rice jerseys.

Hersh’s Pizza and Drinks is offering free pizza for any unwanted Rice jerseys, and will donate $2.70 for every jersey to the House of Ruth, a non-profit that helps victims of domestic violence.

No Idea Tavern tweeted they will offer a $10 bar tab for all Rice jerseys, no questions asked.

The Baltimore bar later said they received so much support for the promotion they will follow suit and match the donation of $2.70 to the House of Ruth.

WATCH: NFL players react to Ray Rice video, suspension

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