Michael Jackson’s hometown to name school for him

GARY, Ind. – Plans are in the works to name a school after Michael Jackson in the late pop star’s Indiana hometown.

The Gary Community School Board approved Tuesday a memorandum of understanding with Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson. The agreement that Jackson signed last month says the district “seeks to honour Michael Jackson and to inspire children to excel in the arts and education.”

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District superintendent Cheryl Pruitt said she’s working with the Jackson family on which school to rename.

“A close relationship with the Jackson family to improve the quality of programs for the Gary Community School Corp. can mean tremendous gains for the school district and the city as a whole,” she told the Post-Tribune.

Michael Jackson spent the first 11 years of his life in Gary. His family moved to California after the Jackson 5 struck it big in 1969 with the release of their first album. Jackson, who died in 2009, last returned to Gary in 2003 and received an honorary diploma from Roosevelt High School near his childhood home.

Pruitt said renaming the school came up in a conversation with Katherine Jackson, who donated $10,000 during the Gary Promise scholarship event hosted by former NBA star Magic Johnson in April.

“She’s always wanted something left here,” Pruitt said.

The district has long struggled with high poverty levels, and the school board voted in June to close six of its 17 schools because of a $27 million deficit blamed in part on declining enrolment and the state’s property tax caps.

©2014The Associated Press

Continue reading Michael Jackson’s hometown to name school for him

WATCH: Chinese tourism credited for bounce back in visitors to Vancouver – BC

Tourism is Vancouver is up almost double last year.

For the first time ever, the second biggest number of visitors is the Chinese.

Vancouver and B.C. are a must-see for tourists from China.

“We had predicted a 17 growth in Chinese tourism, but so far to date we are up 31 per cent,” says Stephen Pearce of Tourism Vancouver and VP of Leisure Travel.

The increase is nearly double than what was forecast for Chinese tourists.

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Tourists from China have now passed the British and moved into second place behind the Americans on the foreign visitors list.

About 220,000 Chinese tourists are expected to visit Vancouver this year.

No one is feeling the good vibes more than Jerry O’Neil whose horse and buggy business in Stanley Park has seen a huge jump thanks to the flood of Chinese visitors.

“This year we are up about 38 to 40 per cent with the Chinese market and about 32 per cent for the other markets,” says Jerry O’Neil of Stanley Park Horse Drawn Tours.

The big bump in numbers is being helped by easy air access to Vancouver from China.

Five airlines including China Southern with its daily dreamliner service are bringing tourists here.’

China’s National Geographic magazine is currently featuring Jerry O’Neil and singer Wanting Qu as part of an aggressive campaign to promote B.C. tourism.

Qu was raised in Vancouver but is a superstar in her home country China where her videos promote BC.

O’Neil is spending $750,000 on a unique horse and carriage terminal in Stanley Park in the hopes of growing his business even more.

“The sky is the limit, because they just love nature and Vancouver’s got it,” says O’Neil.

— with files from Brian Coxford

Continue reading WATCH: Chinese tourism credited for bounce back in visitors to Vancouver – BC

Toronto Morning: What you need to know today – Toronto


A former Supreme Court of Canada justice is to release a report today from his investigation into the use of lethal force by Toronto police. The probe by Frank Iacobucci was sparked by the killing of a teenager on an empty streetcar last summer. The report comes amid a lawsuit by the family of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim against the officer who shot him and another who tasered him as he lay dying.An Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has disappeared from radar on a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers, the official Algerian news agency said Thursday. Air navigation services lost track of the plane 50 minutes after takeoff early Thursday, last sited at 0155 GMT, the agency said.A two-alarm house fire kept crews active in the early morning hours. It started just after 2:30 a.m. when a house caught fire on Kennilworth Avenue near Queen and Woodbine. The blaze began with a car fire in the garage and was spreading to the house when fire crews stepped in to knock it down.Stem cell and bone marrow donations are critical for hundreds of people in Canada suffering from certain types of cancers or blood diseases. Right now there are approximately 800 people on the transplant list. Among them is 11-year-old Cierra Singh. Cierra has a rare blood disease called Myelodysplastic Syndrome.Dozens of containers holding remains of victims of the Malaysia Airlines crash were loaded aboard two military transports to go to the Netherlands Thursday on the second day of the airlift, while Australia’s government dispatched 50 police officers to London to prepare to join a proposed U.N. team to secure the crash site.


Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this afternoon. High 24. UV index 8 or very high.

More on current weather conditions and a 7-day forecast. 

To get real-time weather for your area, download the Global News Skytracker weather app.

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Mass Transit: Click for TTC and GO Transit Updates.

Roads: Click for the latest Toronto traffic.

Do you have any suggestions or additions for our Toronto morning roundup? Reach us via email at [email protected]杭州夜网, on 桑拿会所 or on Facebook.

Continue reading Toronto Morning: What you need to know today – Toronto

During 2 hour execution, lawyers debated whether inmate was in pain – National

WATCH: The governor of Arizona wants an investigation after a man put to death on Wednesday was left gasping for air for 90 minutes before he died. Paul Johnson reports.

FLORENCE, Ariz. – The nearly two-hour execution of a convicted murderer prompted a series of phone calls involving the governor’s office, the prison director, lawyers and judges as the inmate gasped for more than 90 minutes.

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They discussed the brain activity and heart rate of Joseph Rudolph Wood, who was gasping over and over as witnesses looked on. The judge was concerned that no monitoring equipment showed whether the inmate had brain function, and they talked about whether to stop the execution while it was so far along.

But the defence lawyers’ pleading on the grounds that Wood could be suffering while strapped to a gurney, breathing in and out and snoring, did no good.

Nearly two hours after he’d been sedated Wednesday, Wood finally died.

A transcript of an emergency court hearing released Thursday amid debate over whether the execution was botched reveals the behind-the-scenes drama and early questions about whether something was going wrong.

READ MORE: Masking death penalty’s violence increases suffering, Arizona execution shows

Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan read a statement Thursday outside his office dismissing the notion the execution was botched, calling it an “erroneous conclusion” and “pure conjecture.” He said IV lines in the inmate’s arms were “perfectly placed” and insisted that Wood felt no pain.

But he also said the Arizona attorney general’s office will not seek any new death warrants while his office completes a review of execution practices. He didn’t take questions from reporters.

Defence lawyer Dale Baich called it a “horrifically botched execution” that should have taken 10 minutes.

U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake convened the urgent hearing at the request of one of Wood’s attorneys, notified by her colleagues at the execution that things were problematic.

A lawyer for the state, Jeffrey A. Zick, assured Wake that Wood was comatose and not feeling pain.

He spoke to the Arizona Department of Corrections director on the phone and was given assurances from medical staff at the prison that Wood was not in any pain. Zick also said the governor’s office was notified of the situation.

Zick said that at one point, a second dose of drugs was given, but he did not provide specifics. The participants discussed Wood’s brain activity and heart rate.

“I am told that Mr. Wood is effectively brain dead and that this is the type of reaction that one gets if they were taken off of life support. The brain stem is working but there’s no brain activity,” he said, according to the transcript.

READ MORE: Should we worry about ‘botched’ executions?

The judge then asked, “Do you have the leads connected to determine his brain state?”

The lawyer said he didn’t think so.

“Well if there are not monitors connected with him, if it’s just a visual observation, that is very concerning as not being adequate,” the judge said.

Wood died at 3:49 p.m., and judges were notified of his death while they were still considering whether to stop it.

Zick later informed the judge that Wood had died.

Anesthesiology experts say they’re not surprised that the combination of drugs took so long to kill Wood.

“This doesn’t actually sound like a botched execution. This actually sounds like a typical scenario if you used that drug combination,” said Karen Sibert, an anesthesiologist and associate professor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Sibert was speaking on behalf of the California Society of Anesthesiologists.

READ MORE: U.S. inmate dies of heart attack after botched execution

Sibert said the sedative midazolam would not completely render Wood incapacitated. If he’d felt pain or been conscious, he would have been able to open his eyes and move, she said. The other drug was the painkiller hydromorphone.

“It’s fair to say that those are drugs that would not expeditiously achieve (death),” said Daniel Nyhan, a professor and interim director at the anesthesiology department at Johns Hopkins medical school.

But the third execution in six months to appear to go awry rekindled the debate over the death penalty and handed potentially new evidence to those building a case against lethal injection as cruel and unusual punishment.

An Ohio inmate gasped in similar fashion for nearly 30 minutes in January. An Oklahoma inmate died of a heart attack in April, minutes after prison officials halted his execution because the drugs weren’t being administered properly.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said later that she was ordering a review of the state’s execution process, saying she’s concerned by how long it took for the drug protocol to kill Wood.

READ MORE: Texas can continue to keep execution drug supplier secret

Family members of Wood’s victims in a 1989 double murder said they had no problems with the way the execution was carried out.

“This man conducted a horrific murder and you guys are going, ‘let’s worry about the drugs,”‘ said Richard Brown, the brother-in-law of Debbie Dietz. “Why didn’t they give him a bullet? Why didn’t we give him Drano?”

Arizona uses the same drugs that were used in the Ohio execution. A different drug combination was used in the Oklahoma case.

States have refused to reveal details such as which pharmacies are supplying lethal injection drugs and who is administering them out of concerns that the drugmakers could be harassed.

Wood filed several appeals that were denied by the U.S. Supreme Court. Wood argued he and the public have a right to know details about the state’s method for lethal injections, the qualifications of the executioner and who makes the drugs. Such demands for greater transparency have become a legal tactic in death penalty cases.

Wood was convicted of fatally shooting Dietz, 29, and her father, Gene Dietz, 55, at their auto repair shop in Tucson.

©2014The Associated Press

Continue reading During 2 hour execution, lawyers debated whether inmate was in pain – National

Flight AH5017: 5 Quebec residents aboard Air Algerie flight

WATCH ABOVE: An Algerian flight disappeared from radar over Mali, shortly after taking off from Burkina Faso. There were 116 people on board, including five Canadians. Eric Sorensen reports.


Five Quebec residents aboard Air Algerie flightBurkina Faso official says wreckage from missing Air Algerie flight found in MaliConflicting reports emerged about wreckage spotted in two different sitesPrime Minister Stephen Harper said he was “saddened to learn that Air Algérie Flight AH5017, carrying 110 passengers and six crew members on board, crashed in Mali.”France’s foreign minister and officials in Africa are saying the Air Algerie flight that has gone missing over Mali probably crashed.French officials say a rainstorm over Mali may have been a factor in the crash

A woman from Sherbrooke, Que., was one of the five Canadians on board Air Algerie Flight AH5017 presumed to have crashed in northern Mali, Global News has confirmed.

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Jean-Pierre Prevost’s daughter, 35-year-old Isabelle Prevost, was travelling with another Quebec family – two adults, two children – from Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, to Algiers on their way to a relative’s 50th wedding anniversary, Prevost told Global News.

The Air Algerie jetliner was carrying 116 people, including five Canadians, when the flight lost contact with air traffic controllers early Thursday morning

Plane wreckage found in Mali

A Burkina Faso official says the wreckage of the Air Algerie plane that went missing has been found in Mali.

The wreckage of the Air Algeria plane that went missing Thursday has been found about 50 kilometres (31 miles) from the border of Burkina Faso near the village of Boulikessi in Mali, a presidential aide said.

“We sent men with the agreement of the Mali government to the site and they found the wreckage of the plane with the help of the inhabitants of the area,” said Gen. Gilbert Diendere, a close aide to president Blaise Compaore and head of the crisis committee set up to investigate the flight.

“They found human remains and the wreckage of the plane totally burnt and scattered,” he said.

He told The Associated Press that they went to the area after hearing from a resident who described seeing a plane go down.

French officials said a military unit has been sent to secure the site in Mali. A message posted Friday on the website of President Francois Hollande said the wreckage had been clearly identified despite the disintegration of the aircraft.

The MD-83 aircraft, owned by Spanish company Swiftair and leased by Algeria’s flagship carrier, disappeared from radar less than an hour after it took off early Thursday from Burkina Faso’s capital of Ouagadougou for Algiers.

It vanished Thursday in a rainstorm over restive northern Mali, and French officials had said it has probably crashed – the third major international aviation disaster in a week.

Air navigation services lost track of the Swiftair MD-83 about 50 minutes after takeoff from Ougadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, at 0155 GMT (9:55 p.m. EDT Wednesday), the official Algerian news agency said.

Global News

French fighter jets, U.N. peacekeepers and others had been hunting for signs of wreckage of the MD-83 plane in the remote region. Scattered separatist violence may hamper any eventual investigation into what happened.

Families from France to Canada and beyond waited anxiously for signs of Flight 5017 and their loved ones aboard. Nearly half of the passengers were French, many en route home from Africa.

VIDEO:  French foreign minister says Algerian plane probably crashed

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement saying he was saddened at news of the crash.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the passengers and crew who lost their lives in this tragedy,” he said in the statement, adding that it was confirmed Canadians are among the victims.

Tweets from the account of Lynne Yelich, Canada’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said consular officials are ready to provide assistance.

READ MORE: Is 2014 the year of airline accidents?

The plane, owned by Spanish company Swiftair and leased by Air Algerie, disappeared from radar screens less than an hour after takeoff, en route from Burkina Faso’s capital of Ouagadougou to Algiers.

Before vanishing, the pilots sent a final message to ask Niger air control to change its route because of heavy rain, Burkina Faso Transport Minister Jean Bertin Ouedraogo said.

Burkina Faso’s government spokesman said on national TV the country will observe 48 hours of mourning.

An Algerian crisis unit meets at the Houari-Boumediene International Airport in Algiers on July 24, 2014 following the disappearance of an Air Algerie plane over Mali. An Air Algerie plane missing since early July 24 over Mali with 116 passengers and crew, including 50 French nationals, on board probably crashed, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.


Air Algerie among several recent aviation disasters.

The disappearance of the Air Algerie plane comes after a series of aviation disasters.

Fliers around the globe have been on edge ever since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared in March on its way to Beijing. Searchers have yet to find a single piece of wreckage from the jet with 239 people on board.

Last week, a Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down while flying over a war-torn section of Ukraine, and the U.S. has blamed it on separatists firing a surface-to-air missile.

READ MORE: Flight MH17: 2 more planes carrying victims to fly to Netherlands

Earlier this week, U.S., European and Canadian airlines started cancelling flights to Tel Aviv after a rocket landed near the city’s airport. Finally, on Wednesday, a Taiwanese plane crashed during a storm, killing 48 people.

It’s easy to see why fliers are jittery, but air travel is relatively safe.

There have been two deaths for every 100 million passengers on commercial flights in the last decade, excluding acts of terrorism. Travellers are much more likely to die driving to the airport than stepping on a plane. There are more than 30,000 motor-vehicle deaths in the U.S. each year, a mortality rate eight times greater than that in planes.

A senior French official said it seems unlikely that fighters in Mali had the kind of weaponry that could shoot down a jetliner at cruising altitude. While al-Qaida’s North Africa branch is believed to have an SA-7 surface-to-air missile, also known as MANPADS, most airliners would normally fly out of range of these shoulder-fired weapons. They can hit targets flying up to roughly 12,000-15,000 feet.

Swiftair, a private Spanish airline, said the plane was carrying 110 passengers and six crew, and left Burkina Faso for Algiers at 0117 GMT Thursday (9:17 p.m. EDT Wednesday), but had not arrived at the scheduled time of 0510 GMT (1:10 a.m. EDT Thursday). It said the crew included two pilots and four flight attendants.

Canadians among passengers on Air Algerie

According to the Spanish pilots’ union, the passengers include:

51 French.27 Burkina Faso nationals,Eight Lebanese.Six Algerians.Five Canadians.Four Germans.Two Luxemburg nationals.One Swiss, one Belgian, one Egyptian, one Ukrainian, one Nigerian, one Cameroonian and one Malian.

The report that five Canadians were on the Air Algerie flight comes a week after a Canadian was among the nearly 300 who perished when a Malaysian passenger plane was shot down over eastern Ukraine in an area controlled by pro-Russian rebels. Andrei Anghel was a 24-year-old medical student from Ajax, east of Toronto.

Swiftair said the Air Algerie plane was built in 1996 and has two Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219 PW engines.

Swiftair took ownership of the plane on Oct. 24, 2012, after it spent nearly 10 months unused in storage, according to Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets, which sells and tracks information about aircraft. It has more than 37,800 hours of flight time and has made more than 32,100 takeoffs and landings.

If confirmed as a crash, this would be the fifth one – and the second with fatalities – for Swiftair since its founding in 1986, according to the Flight Safety Foundation.

The MD-83 is part of a series of jets built since the early 1980s by McDonnell Douglas, a U.S. company now owned by Boeing Co. The MD-80s are single-aisle planes that were a workhorse of the airline industry for short- and medium-range flights for nearly two decades. As jet fuel prices spiked in recent years, airlines have rapidly being replacing the jets with newer, fuel-efficient models such as Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s.

There are 496 other MD-80s being flown, according to Ascend.

Boeing spokesman Wilson Chow said the company was aware of the reports on the plane and was “gathering more information.”

Brahima Ouedraogo reported from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. AP journalists Ciaran Giles in Madrid, Spain, Elaine Ganley, Thomas Adamson and Sylvie Corbet in Paris, and Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.

–With files from The Canadian Press

©2014The Canadian Press

Continue reading Flight AH5017: 5 Quebec residents aboard Air Algerie flight

Flight MH17: 2 more planes carrying victims to fly to Netherlands

WATCH ABOVE: The bodies another 74 people who died when Malaysia Airlines MH17 was shot down over Ukraine arrived in the Netherlands , where forensic experts are working to identify the victims. Shirlee Engel reports from Amsterdam.

KHARKIV, Ukraine – Two military aircraft carrying remains of victims from the Malaysian plane disaster departed for the Netherlands Thursday, while Australian and Dutch diplomats joined to promote a plan for a U.N. team to secure the crash scene which has been controlled by pro-Russian rebels.

All 298 people aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 – most of them Dutch citizens – were killed when the plane was shot down on July 17. U.S. officials say the Boeing 777 was probably shot down by a missile, most likely by accident.

WATCH: Grim task of identifying victims of Malaysian crash underway. Global News’ Shirlee Engel reports.

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  • Flight MH17: Victims’ bodies arrive in Netherlands; black boxes delivered to investigators

  • Flight MH17: US gives no evidence of direct Russian involvement

  • Flight MH17: EU imposes new sanctions against Russian officials

  • Flight MH17: Crash victim’s father pens heartbreaking open letter

  • Flight MH17: Rebels release train carrying bodies, hand over black boxes

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who says he fears some remains will never be recovered unless security is tightened, has proposed a multinational force mounted by countries such as Australia, the Netherlands and Malaysia that lost citizens in the disaster.

READ MORE: Emotional photos and videos from MH17 day of mourning in Netherlands

To that end, Abbott said Thursday he had dispatched 50 police officers to London to be ready to join any organization which may result.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was travelling with her Dutch counterpart Frans Timmermans to Kyiv to seek an agreement with the Ukraine government to allow international police to secure the wreckage, Abbott said.

A numbered coffin carried by Dutch military personnel contains an unidentified body from the crash of MH17 on July 23, 2014 at Eindhoven airport, Netherlands.

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Details including which countries would contribute and whether officers would be armed and protected by international troops were yet to be agreed, Abbott said.

On Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution proposed by Australia demanding that rebels co-operate with an independent investigation and allow all remaining bodies to be recovered.

The first bodies remains arrived in the Netherlands on Wednesday and were met by Dutch King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and hundreds of relatives.

Ukraine’s government said 51 containers of bodies and body parts had been cleared for Thursday’s flights. At least 200 bodies were aboard the train that brought them from the crash site to Kharkiv earlier this week.

Dutch police spokesman Ed Kraszewski told The Associated Press that a team of 25 forensic experts and dozens of support staff began working to identify remains Wednesday evening at a military barracks on the outskirts of the central city of Hilversum.

WATCH: The first 40 bodies from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane began to arrive in the Netherlands, the country where Flight MH17 originated. Dutch officials are taking on the painstaking task of identifying the victims. Shirlee Engel reports.

READ MORE: US gives no evidence of direct Russian involvement

Staff will “examine the bodies, describe the bodies, take dental information, DNA and put all the information together in the computer and compare this information with the information they gathered from the families in the last days,” Kraszewski said in a telephone interview. “Then we have to see if there is a match.”

Meanwhile, police and traffic authorities appealed to the public not to stop on the highway as a convoy of hearses passes by Thursday on its way from Eindhoven Air Base to Hilversum.

On Wednesday, the convoy of hearses passed through roads lined with thousands of members of the public, who applauded, threw flowers or stood in silence as the cars drove by.

The Dutch Foreign Ministry said Thursday that the number of Dutch victims had risen by one to 194, taking into account a woman with joint German and Dutch nationalities who earlier had been listed as German.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for “creating the conditions” that led to the crash, but offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement.

The officials said the plane was likely shot down by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile fired by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. The U.S. officials cited intercepts, satellite photos and social media postings by separatists, some of which have been authenticated by U.S. experts.

WATCH:  A makeshift memorial to the victims of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 disaster is growing at the Amsterdam International Airport. 

Russia on Thursday brushed off the accusations. Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov said in a video statement that if the U.S. officials indeed had the proof the plane shot down by a missile launched from the rebel-held territory, “how come they have not been made public?”

Pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian government troops have been fighting for more than three months, leaving at least 400 dead and displacing tens of thousands.

Ukrainian forces are trying to ride the momentum of taking the strategic city Slovyansk on July 5 which was in rebel hands for more than two months. Government forces are now closing in on Donetsk, where insurgents regrouped after leaving Slovyansk, and are trying to cut off supply routes to rebels based in the neighbouring Luhansk region.

Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow, Lucian Kim in Donetsk, Mike Corder in The Hague, Netherlands, and Rod McGurk in Canberra, Australia, contributed to this report.

Continue reading Flight MH17: 2 more planes carrying victims to fly to Netherlands

Lewis Black, Kathleen Madigan return to Just For Laughs – Montreal

MONTREAL — Lewis Black and Kathleen Madigan – both familiar thanks to countless TV appearances – are back at Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival this week.

The two popular stand-up comedians spoke to Global News on Wednesday hours before hitting the stage.

“I’m obviously out of my mind,” Black said, when asked what makes his brilliantly bitter rants so funny.

“What makes it funny is I’m nuts. When I’m on stage, I’m crazy.”

Watching the cantankerous comic, who turns 66 in August, one can’t help but worry his head might explode.

Have no fear, Black insisted.

“My blood pressure is spectacular,” he said. “It’s 120 over 80. You can get me really excited and then within a minute my blood pressure is back to normal.”

Black, a JFL regular, credits the festival for at least some of his success.

“JFL, for all intents and purposes, was kind of instrumental in being part and parcel of a bunch of things that happened to push me to where I’m at,” he explained. “Wherever that is.”

Kathleen Madigan


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  • Bobby Slayton is back to do the ‘Nasty’ at Just For Laughs

  • Alonzo Bodden set to get topical at Just For Laughs

  • Angelo Tsarouchas comes home for Just For Laughs

  • Just For Laughs veteran Dom Irrera hosts All Star Show

Madigan, 48, is back in Montreal for one delicious reason.

“It’s the pizza,” she said. “I’m not kidding. It’s the smoked meat pizza.

“You really can’t get it anywhere else in the world, that I know of. It’s not available in the States.”

Madigan is often described as one of the best female comics around – even though she’s simply one of the best comics around.

“I don’t wake up in the morning and think ‘I am a lady.’ It’s just something I don’t think about,” she said.

Madigan acknowledged the JFL line-up is dominated by male acts – something she sees in the industry generally.

“A lot of women don’t want to be on the road 300 nights a year,” she explained. “They show up at open mic night and they’re funny and they’re clever and then they don’t continue.”

Why did she stick with it?

“I was 23 and stupid and I liked to travel,” Madigan replied. “It suited me.”

She added: “You have to be a little kind of crazy. Something’s wrong with me.”

On stage, Madigan, jokes about real-life events, her personal experiences and “the things that I’m interested in.”

READ MORE: Bobby Slayton is back to do the ‘Nasty’ at Just For Laughs

Doing stand-up is her job, but Madigan said it’s almost always fun.

“I write a lot really just for me because otherwise I would get bored and hate what I’m doing,” she explained. “Some nights it’s a job but it’s not called Happy Hour, it’s called performing. It’s work.

“People are like, ‘Go have fun on stage.’ If I was really going to have fun on stage there’d be a video poker machine or I’d be hitting golf balls.”

Madigan said her material almost never offends (“I don’t like confrontation,” she said) but she believes nothing is off-limits for comics (“Say whatever you want and let the cards fall where they may”).

Madigan recalled being heckled for poking fun at Sarah Palin.

“It wasn’t even really that mean,” she said. “It was just pointing out, because she was the governor of Alaska, that there’s more reindeer than people in Alaska so it’s really not that big of an accomplishment.”

Continue reading Lewis Black, Kathleen Madigan return to Just For Laughs – Montreal

Typhoon weather likely cause of TransAsia crash that killed 48 – National

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Stormy weather trailing behind a typhoon was the likely cause of a plane crash on a Taiwanese island that killed 48 people on board and injured 10 on the plane and five on the ground, the airline said Thursday.

The ATR-72 operated by Taiwan’s TransAsia Airways was carrying 58 passengers and crew when it crashed while trying to land in the Penghu island chain in the Taiwan Strait between Taiwan and China late Wednesday. The plane was flying from the city of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan.

The victims included 46 Taiwanese and two French medical students who were interns in Taiwan.

The tail of TransAsia Airways flight GE222 is seen after it fell on a local house the night before near the airport at Magong on July 24, 2014 in Penghu Island, Taiwan. Taiwan’s TransAsia Airways crashed in the Penghu Islands killing 47 of the 58 people on board when it went down amid heavy rain yesterday.

Ashley Pon/Getty Images

The crash came hours after Typhoon Matmo passed over Taiwan. About 200 airline flights at Taiwanese airports had been cancelled earlier in the day due to rain and high winds. Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau had warned of heavy rains Wednesday evening even after Matmo moved west into China.

“According to what we can understand so far, this was due to weather, the influence of the typhoon,” a TransAsia representative, Phoebe Lu, told The Associated Press. She said the carrier was waiting for Taiwanese authorities to complete an investigation to get confirmation.

Criminal Investigation Bureau search through the crash site where TransAsia Airways flight GE222 crashed the night before near the airport at Magong on July 24, 2014 in Penghu Island, Taiwan. Taiwan’s TransAsia Airways crashed in the Penghu Islands killing 47 of the 58 people on board when it went down amid heavy rain yesterday.

Ashley Pon/Getty Images

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A spokesman for Taiwan’s air regulator, the Civil Aeronautics Administration, noted the bad weather but said an investigation still was under way.

“Even though there was bad weather, whether to land or not was up to the pilots. It is confirmed that before landing, the pilots circled, but the cause is yet to be determined,” the spokesman, Lee Wan-lee, told reporters.

Local television showed relatives of victims, including one woman who lost three daughters.

One victim, firefighter Lee Ming-tsun, 47, was found in the wreckage by his own co-workers, the government’s Central News Agency reported.

The plane’s captain, who had 22 years of flying experience, was planning to retire soon, his daughter told a local television station from the city of Tainan.

Co-pilot Chiang Kuan-hsing’s mother, holding back tears on television, said: “He had reached the goal he wanted” to in his career. “When he went to another place, we’d always wish him well.”

The airline identified the French passengers as Jeromine Deramond and Penelope Luternauer. They were medical school interns at Taipei’s National Taiwan University, the university said.

The crash of Flight GE222 was Taiwan’s first fatal air accident in 12 years.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou called for one minute of silence in memory of the victims. “I think that like a lot of citizens, last night I felt very sorrowful,” he said in comments broadcast on television.

The airline said one of the injured 10 survivors had gone home and five local residents who were hurt on the ground were treated and released. The crash damaged eight houses, according to Chen Tung-yi, a section chief with the Penghu disaster response centre.

“All the bodies have been dug out,” Chen said.

Family members were flying to Magong airport near the crash site to visit a morgue and identify victims, the airline said.

Penghu, a scenic chain of 64 islets, is a popular tourist site about 150 kilometres (90 miles) southwest of the Taiwanese capital, Taipei.

The 14-year-old plane lost contact with the tower after saying it would make a second landing attempt, according to the head of Taiwan’s air regulator, the Civil Aeronautics Administration, Jean Shen.

Visibility as the plane approached was 1,600 metres (one mile), which met standards for landing, and two flights had landed shortly before GE222, the aviation agency said.

The Central News Agency, citing the county fire department, said it appeared heavy rain reduced visibility and the pilot was forced to pull up and attempt a second landing.

The plane showed no defects and there was ample visibility to land safely, said Lee, the air agency spokesman.

In the village of Xixi, where the plane came down, television stations showed disaster crews picking through the remains of the aircraft cabin, demolished houses and a smashed car.

The airline said it was offering the family of each victim about $6,600 and paying another $27,000 for funeral expenses.

Taiwan’s last major aviation disaster was also near Penghu. In 2002, a China Airlines Boeing 747 broke apart in midair and crashed into the Taiwan Strait, killing all 225 people aboard.

Associated Press writers Gillian Wong, Joe McDonald and Louise Watt in Beijing and Johnson Lai in Taipei contributed to this report.

©2014The Associated Press

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Sanchez makes perfect debut in Jays’ win – Toronto

TORONTO – Aaron Sanchez didn’t know which Boston Red Sox hitters he’d be facing, and he didn’t know the score.

Making his major league debut against Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli protecting a one-run lead, the Toronto Blue Jays’ top prospect just tried to pretend no one was in the batter’s box.

“My mentality out there was just me and the catcher,” Sanchez said.

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With 35,696 fans watching, Sanchez did just about the best he could do, working two perfect innings to help preserve Toronto’s 6-4 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday night at Rogers Centre.

“To be in that kind of ball game, that’s what you dream of when you get to the big leagues,” the 22-year-old said. “Maybe not your first one, but I’m here to help the team win.”

On his second day in the majors, Sanchez debated asking bullpen catcher Alex Andreopoulos who he’d be facing. Once he finally did, Andreopoulos told him it didn’t matter.

Sanchez, considered one of the top young arms in baseball, used a mix of a fastball that topped out at 99 mph and an effective curveball to get Pedroia, Ortiz and Napoli to each fly out. Starter R.A. Dickey (8-10), who got the win by allowing four runs in six innings, watched from the clubhouse and came away impressed with how Sanchez dealt with the pressure.

“He’s coming in against the 2-3-4 hitters of the Boston Red Sox with a two-run lead as a 22-year-old young man,” Dickey said. “I thought he handled himself with great poise and hopefully that’s a microcosm of what he’s going to become.”

When Jose Bautista added to his impressive night (2-for-4 with two RBI) with a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh, Sanchez did a little fist pump in the dugout knowing he had just a little more breathing room to work with. He didn’t need it.

Sanchez caught Daniel Nava looking for his first major league strikeout, got Xander Bogaerts to ground out and struck out Stephen Drew to make it through his second inning perfect. Of his 25 pitches, 16 were strikes.

“You see different guys over the years and young kids that come up, they can look a little rattled,” manager John Gibbons said. “I don’t know how you can do it any better than that. But he look like he belonged.”

On the mound, Sanchez tried to calm his nerves, remembering what his triple-A debut was like. He managed to keep from thinking about the moment until after his outing was done.

“I think at the end when Gibby told me that I was done and he gave me a big smile and he said, ‘It’s OK to smile,’ I think that’s when kind of everything hit me that I’d just pitched in the big leagues for the first time,” Sanchez said.

The Blue Jays (53-49) are sure glad he did. Barring a complete game or close to it by Dickey, Gibbons knew Sanchez was going to pitch Wednesday night because of how beaten up the bullpen was.

When Dickey gave up a three-run home run to Ortiz in the first before even recording an out, it looked like it could be a long night for the knuckleballer. Instead, the Blue Jays tied the score in the bottom of the inning and settled down.

“The better thing was the way the team responded after falling behind 3-0,” Gibbons said. “That’s key. They throw up a goose egg there, the emotions of the game, you don’t know where it goes from there. Of course we turn around and score, it evens things out again.”

Dickey kept the Red Sox (47-54) off the board until Nava and Bogaerts hit back-to-back doubles in the fifth to make it 4-3. But in the sixth a triple by second baseman Ryan Goins tied it, and an error by Bogaerts at third on what would’ve been an inning-ending groundout by Reyes gave the Blue Jays the lead.

That was the situation Sanchez faced, with his parents in attendance and major league career in front of him. Catcher Josh Thole said his fastball “felt like 130” after Dickey’s knuckleball, but the rookie did everything else like a seasoned veteran.

“It was nice to see him get in the ball game and be calm and just real even-keel when he was out there, not breathing heavy, there was no anxiety I felt,” Thole said. “He commanded all of his pitches really well, even threw a couple change-ups that I thought he was commanding well. Any time you’re throwing 98 and you’ve got a breaking ball like that, it makes it easy back there to call a game for him.”

Under any circumstances, it would’ve been a special night for Sanchez. But Gibbons was glad for the contribution the right-hander made in an important victory.

“To give us two easy, shut-down innings was huge for the ballclub. He’ll always remember that,” Gibbons said. “We brought him here for a reason: Not just to debut, we brought him here to help us and that was a good start.”

Gibbons joked at the start of his news conference that he wanted to focus on team accomplishments before individuals because the Blue Jays are in a pennant race, chasing down the American League East-leading Baltimore Orioles. But in the scope of history, Dickey hopes Sanchez’s debut is remembered as something special.

“I think he was fantastic, and hopefully that’s a glimpse kind of through the window of what might be,” Dickey said. “I think it’s pretty neat to see something like that unfold.”

Notes — Ortiz’s first-inning home run was his fourth in the three-game series and 37th in his 107th career game at Rogers Centre, good for first all time among visitors. He passed Alex Rodriguez. … Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen, who struggled in a non-save situation Tuesday after coming back from illness, pitched a flawless ninth for his 14th of the season … Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz took a bouncer to the side of the face in the first inning but remained in the game. Buchholz allowed four earned runs and five total on six hits to get the loss.


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Your Manitoba: July – Winnipeg

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