Day: October 15, 2018

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Naked man does backflip into aquarium shark tank…


Police say the man who jumped into a shark-filled tank at Ripley’s Aquarium on Friday is also believed to be a suspect in their investigation of a serious assault that occurred near another Toronto tourist destination.

Toronto police Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook said investigators looked at the suspects in the two cases, which happened on the same evening, and saw similarities.

“At this point, we believe that it is the same man,” she said.


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Police said that about 8 p.m. on Friday, a 34-year-old man was attacked near Dufferin Street and Saskatchewan Road, near Medieval Times, by a patron who earlier had been asked to leave the premises.

The victim suffered serious injuries and was taken to hospital. Douglas-Cook said the suspect is wanted on a charge of assault causing bodily harm.

Later that night, at about 10:30 p.m., police received a call about an indecent exposure at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.

“It was reported that a man took off his clothing and jumped into the shark tank on the main level of the aquarium,” police spokesperson Katrina Arrogante said earlier on Monday.


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Video posted to social media over the weekend shows the man swimming around in the tank with several sharks below him.

“Oh my gosh,” a woman can be heard saying.

Security guards asked the man to get out of the tank, Arrogante said. But as he appeared to be attempting to leave, he jumped in a second time. A video shows him doing a backflip into the water as spectators cheered and applauded.

“Eventually the man did exit the tank and put on his clothing and he did leave the premise,” she said.

Peter Doyle, general manager of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, said the man was not held by security personnel after he left the tank, as the aquarium does not detain guests as a matter of protocol.

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“We called the police and he took off in just his pants and shoes and left the building,” he said.

No one was harmed in the incident, including any of the sharks, police said.

Doyle said the welfare of the aquarium’s animals is “paramount.”

“This was an unusual incident and we’re going to press charges for sure,” he said.

Doyle said it’s the first time something like this has occurred in the five years since the aquarium opened.

In an interview prior to the man being linked to the assault case, Arrogante said the suspect could possibly face charges of mischief or incident exposure.

Left: Police have released a photo of a man they say jumped into a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada on Friday night. Right: The suspect wanted in an assault that occurred on the same evening.

Toronto Police Service

Police described the swimmer as 35 to 40 years old, five feet 10 inches tall and 220 pounds, with a tattoo on his lower leg. He was last seen wearing a dark-coloured hoodie, jeans and a green T-shirt.

The suspect in the assault was described as the same age and build, but with a teal shirt and missing teeth.

Douglas-Cook said police are asking the suspect to turn himself in, adding it’s “only a matter of time” before he’s identified.

— With files from Shallima Maharaj and Don Mitchell

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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May under pressure…


LONDON — Theresa May has been forced to scrap plans to sign up to a Brexit divorce deal after the prime minister came under intense pressure from her own Cabinet to pursue a more abrupt exit from the European Union.

A provisional agreement between EU and UK negotiators fell apart on Sunday after the Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab flew into Brussels following threats from several Cabinet ministers to walk out of government and suggestions that Conservative backbenchers are now willing to topple May.

May had been hoping to sign up to a Brexit divorce deal early this week ahead of the crucial October European Council summit in Brussels later this week.

However, a provisional agreement between the two sides — that the UK could remain in a “temporary” customs union with the EU after Brexit as part of the Northern Irish “backstop” clause — caused fury among Conservative MPs who believe that Britain is being forced into remaining permanently tied to the EU.

“In the last few days UK and EU negotiators have made real progress in a number of key areas. However there remain a number of unresolved issues relating to the backstop,” a UK government spokesperson said on Sunday evening.

The backstop is the insurance policy for making sure the frictionless border between Northern Ireland and the Republic is maintained after Brexit. It will come into effect at the end of the proposed transition period, in January 2021, unless a new trading arrangement which protects the open Irish border is in place.

On Sunday the UK was set to sign up to a backstop arrangement which had been reported since early last week, in which the UK would remain in a customs union and Northern Ireland alone would stick to single market rules.

Business Insider reported on Friday that several senior members of May’s Cabinet had given May the weekend to change her position on the backstop or suffer a series of walkouts. A senior Cabinet source told BI that May was approaching a “killer moment” in her leadership, adding that “the prime minister needs to hear the mood by Monday.”

House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey were all poised to quit. Several Cabinet rebels are set to meet on Monday night to discuss what to do about the crisis in the party.


Andrea Leadsom.

Reuters/Neil Hall

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) which props up May’s minority government is also putting huge pressure on May, with its leader Arlene Foster suggesting that she is “ready” to force a no-deal Brexit rather than accept the provisional deal agreed by UK negotiators.

The DUP is furious with plans for Northern Ireland to remain fully aligned with rules of the EU’s single market after Brexit as this would create new checks on the border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

The row has left May’s premiership hanging by a thread with multiple reports suggesting that backbenchers are angling for the former Brexit Secretary David Davis to step in as an interim leader in order to deliver a “harder” form of Brexit outside customs and trade ties with the EU.

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries said it may be time to “get Mrs May out of the way” in order to install Davis in Number 10 instead.



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HARVARD: Race can only help applicants' chances…


BOSTON (AP) — Harvard University intentionally uses a vague “personal rating” to reject Asian-American applicants in favor of students from other racial backgrounds, according to a trial that started Monday and carries weighty implications for dozens of other U.S. colleges.

Harvard’s legal team denied any discrimination in its opening statement at Boston’s federal courthouse, saying race is just one factor that’s considered and can only help a student’s chances of getting admitted. In its hour-long opening, lawyers for Students for Fair Admissions accused Harvard of intentionally discriminating against Asian-Americans through a “personal rating” score that’s used to measures character traits such as “courage” and “likeability.”

Dozens of supporters and observers packed into the courtroom and two overflow rooms Monday, a day after backers from both sides hosted separate rallies in the Boston area.

The trial began nearly four years after Harvard was sued by Students for Fair Admissions, a nonprofit in Arlington, Virginia, that believes schools should not consider race when selecting students. It comes at a time when the nation’s elite colleges have come under mounting scrutiny over the way race factors into the admissions process.

The suit says Asian-American applicants bring stronger academic records than any other race, yet they are admitted at the lowest rate. The group says that’s because Harvard consistently gives them low scores on the personal rating, which, according to a document revealed by the group Monday, is only loosely defined in Harvard policies.

Lawyers for the group presented a document they say is Harvard’s only guidance on the personal rating. It was simply a numeral rating ranging from one, for “outstanding,” to five, for “questionable personal traits.”

Adam Mortara, a lawyer for Students for Fair Admissions, says the measure’s subjectivity creates an opportunity for racial discrimination.

“You have let the wolf of racial bias in through the front door,” he said.

Students for Fair Admissions is led by Edward Blum, a legal strategist who has fought against the use of race at other colleges, including a Supreme Court case in 2016 that upheld policies at the University of Texas.

Yet Mortara argued Monday the lawsuit is not a broader attack on affirmative action, saying Harvard has simply gone too far in its “zeal” to consider race.

“Diversity and its benefits are not on trial here. Students for Fair Admissions supports diversity on campus,” he said.

But Harvard’s lawyers argued the lawsuit represents an attack on the school and many other universities that consider race as a way to admit a diverse mix of students.

William Lee, a lawyer for the school and a member of its governing board, said race is just one of many factors that can work in favor of an applicant, getting no more weight than a student’s geography or family income.

“Race alone is never the reason a student is granted admission,” Lee said. “And race is never the reason a student is denied.”

He downplayed the influence of any single numerical rating, saying the final decision comes down to a 40-person committee that spends weeks reviewing and discussing applications.

The trial is expected to last three weeks, with two weeks for the plaintiff’s case and one for Harvard. The final decision will be made by U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs.

The legal showdown begins amid a revived national debate over the role race should play in college admissions. The U.S. Justice Department is also investigating Harvard over alleged discrimination against Asian-Americans, and Yale was recently announced as the subject of a similar investigation by the Justice and Education departments.

The Harvard case has captured the attention of many in the education world, including leaders of some colleges that say a loss for Harvard could put their own policies in jeopardy.

___

Follow Collin Binkley on Twitter at https://twitter.com/cbinkley



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'KARDASHIANS' Ratings Lowest Ever…


Home Television Kardashians Ratings Go Right off a Cliff, Last Week Was Lowest Ever,…


Tonight’s “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” may be key to its survival on E!

Last week’s show scored their lowest number of viewers in years– just 809,000. It was the 35th most watched cable show last Sunday out of 50 entries.

The last time I wrote about the K’s ratings, they had settled into an average of 1 million a week, off about 400K from their past average.

But three weeks ago they dipped under 1 million for the first time to 919,000. The next week they were back up a notch over to 1.061 million. But then last week the whole thing collapsed.

I don’t know if this has anything to do with Kanye West, or the family’s basic odiousness. But if tonight’s show– we’ll see results on Tuesday– doesn’t bounce back, the party may be over.

See you Tuesday.

Author

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News. He writes for Parade magazine and has written for Details, Vogue, the New York Times, Post, and Daily News and many other publications. He is the writer and co-producer of “Only the Strong Survive,” a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals.



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COPS: Father tries to attack son with chainsaw, but son runs him over with mower…



BRISTOL, Tenn. – A Tennessee man lost one of his legs after his son, trying to fend off the 76-year-old’s chainsaw attack, drove over the older man with a lawn mower, according to the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office.

The father, identified as Douglas Ferguson, of Bristol, now faces a charge of attempted second degree murder, according to the Bristol Herald Courier.

The incident happened June 28, but, because of the severity of the injury, authorities weren’t able to serve the arrest warrant until Tuesday.

Officials say Ferguson’s son was mowing the front lawn when his father went after him with the chainsaw.

“The son defended himself against the attack by running over the suspect with the lawn mower,” according to an SCSO press release obtained by the Kingsport Times-News. “The injuries that the suspect (Ferguson) sustained were as a result of the lawn mower striking and running over him.”

Ferguson, who was found bleeding from his leg and head, was taken to the hospital where doctors amputated his leg.

Investigators with the sheriff’s office said the two men have a long-running feud.

Ferguson was jailed on the attempted murder charge and for violating parole related to a previous aggravated assault, according to the Times-News. Bond was set at $25,000 for the attempted murder charge.



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Skateboards into rally…



Skateboards into rally...

(Second column, 10th story, link)


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