Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sword-wielding man subdued by Vancouver police

Police used rubber bullets and a Taser to try to take down a sword-wielding man in downtown Vancouver near the busy intersection of Burrard Street and Georgia Street on Monday.

The man was hit by several of the bullets fired by Vancouver police officers as they tried to subdue him after he had been waving the sword on a downtown street and while on the city's public transit system, said police spokesman Const. Lindsey Houghton.
The rubber bullets — fired from an Arwen gun usually deployed in riot control — and a shot from a Taser stun-gun failed to take the man down, and he was then tackled to the ground by several officers, Houghton said.
The man was taken into custody and appeared to have suffered no serious injuries.
Houghton said SkyTrain passengers reported the man to police at about 1:30 p.m. PT when he started repeatedly unsheathing the sword while on a train at the Metrotown station.
Police confronted the man outside the Burrard SkyTrain station at about 2 p.m. PT.
The man is facing possible weapons-related charges and officers will be requesting the courts consider a psychological examination, Houghton said.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Hangover 2 Sets Box Office Records

It didn't take long for The Hangover Part 2 to break some box office records. The R-rated sequel to 2009's surprise hit The Hangover grossed $31.7 million in just its first day in release, and set a few new records in the process.
The Hangover 2 can now claim the top spot as the biggest midnight opening for an R-rated film at $10.4 million, a figure that more than doubles the take from any other midnight release this year. Writer/director Todd Phillips' follow-up to The Hangover, the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time, also set a new record as the best opening day on record for a comedy film (and the widest opening of any R-rated film).
In announcing the new records, Warner Bros. Pictures President of Domestic Distribution Dan Fellman stated, "From the tracking, we knew audiences couldn't wait for another Hangover, but these numbers are through the roof. Leave it to Todd Phillips to create a new must-see comedy that has people lining up at the box office and rolling in the aisles. Congratulations to him, the cast and all the other talents behind the film on making another unforgettable comedy."
The Hangover Part 2 is breaking records in spite of the fact critics aren't fans of this sequel. The film currently rests at just 34% fresh onRottenTomatoes, while the original film sits at 79% fresh.
I personally went to watch it on Saturday with my girlfriend, and we loved it. These critics are harsh and don't know what they are talking about. But here's an update.
The Hangover Part II has earned an estimated $118 million since opening late Wednesday night, movie industry website boxofficemojo.com reported Sunday. It's the second biggest opening weekend of the year, and the most lucrative ever for a live-action comedy."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

10-year-old dies in Brampton home

A 10-year-old boy died at a home in Brampton, Ont., on Friday afternoon.
Paramedics and police responding to a 911 call shortly after 5 p.m. found the child unresponsive in the home on Homeland Court, in the Dixie Road and Howden Boulevard area.
The boy was declared dead at the scene.
Police are investigating and an autopsy is being conducted, though results aren't expected for a couple days.
Peel Regional Police spokesman Const. Adam Minnion said the boy's body showed no obvious signs of trauma.
"That's what makes this a little bit more challenging for us, is it's not clear cut for us to walk in and go, 'There's been an obvious assault taken place, we can make arrests right away,' " Minnion said.
"Generally speaking… most people would think that a 10-year-old child is in relatively good health, so we have to make sure that the death either occurred naturally or whether or not there was some type of neglect or assault."
Police would not say who called 911.
Minnion said police constables will be posted around the home until it's determined whether the boy's death was from natural causes or involved potential foul play.
The city of Brampton borders Toronto to the northwest.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Attendant dies after being dragged by gas thief

A Mississauga gas station attendant has died after he was seriously hurt trying to chase down a driver who drove away without paying.
The incident occurred May 19 at a Petro Canada station on Southdown Road near the Queen Elizabeth Way. Emergency crews arrived at around 5 p.m. to find the man lying on the roadway.
The 62-year-old suffered severe injuries, and died the following day, Peel police said. They withheld that information until Thursday, citing investigative reasons.
Police said last week the employee tried to confront the driver and was then hit by his vehicle as it drove away from the scene.
They are still searching for a suspect.
Police are looking for a gold sedan, and the driver is described as a black male aged 20-30 years old. The vehicle may have incurred some damage, and police are urging the public to contact them if they have information.

This man died over a tank of gas. Is this showing how bad the cost of fuel is now? Let me know in the comments below what you guys think.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tornado death toll rises, no more survivors found

The death toll from a monster tornado that savaged Joplin, Missouri, rose to 125 on Wednesday and tornadoes overnight in nearby states caused at least 15 more deaths.
Three days after the deadliest single tornado in the United States in 64 years, rescue teams with dogs sifted through rubble in Joplin without finding anyone alive on Wednesday.
Authorities said the operation was still a search and rescue, but hope of finding more people alive was fading.
The number of people injured by the massive tornado was revised up to more than 900, according to local authorities, from 823 earlier in the day.
Officials were no longer saying how many people are missing because they believe the figure of 1,500 missing mentioned earlier in the week was inflated by double counting or people simply being out of town.
Some families continued a desperate search for missing loved ones amid the ruins of homes and businesses.
Fifteen-month-old Skyular Logsdon, whose blue teddy bear, red t-shirt and pants were found wrapped around a telephone pole after the storm, remains missing, his great grandmother told Reuters on Wednesday.
His injured parents were found and taken to a hospital after the tornado. But the little boy has vanished.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blockbuster Canada to close 140 stores

TORONTO - Some 1,400 Blockbuster Canada employees could lose their jobs if the movie and video game rental chain closes a third of its stores as part of a court-ordered receivership process.
One Canadian store manager, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Tuesday the company has notified staff that 140 locations across the country will be closing their doors on June 18. Each store currently employs about 10 people, and staff are still waiting to learn what will happen to their jobs once the stores 
Employees had already been warned that they would be paid weekly instead of bi-weekly and were instructed not to sell gift certificates.
The last day customers will be able to rent merchandise at the affected stores is Thursday, with a liquidation sale beginning the next day at those locations.
The receiver is looking for potential buyers interested in Blockbuster Canada's assets. The company currently operates 400 movie and video game rental stores that employ 4,000 people across the country.
Blockbuster Canada was placed into receivership by an Ontario court this month in the face of US$70 million in claims from various movie distributors, including Hollywood studios, and other suppliers.
Since 2009, Blockbuster Canada had been paying its parent company three per cent of its sales in exchange for the right to use, and argues that if the new owner strips them of that right, it would have a "devastating impact" on its business. Stores have been operating under the Blockbuster name in Canada for 21 years.
In papers filed in a New York state court, Grant Thornton said the Canadian operations need to keep using Blockbuster's intellectual property, which includes its name as well as the computer systems that allow it to rent movies.
Blockbuster Canada was already shedding market share amid growing competition before the court-appointed receivership happened.
Movie download and streaming service Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq:NFLX) accounts for nearly 30 per cent of Internet traffic into homes during peak evening hours, according to a study published by Sandvine Inc. (TSX:SVC) earlier this month. Video stores will soon face even more competition from Zip.ca, the Canadian company that currently rents videos by mail. It will soon partner with Samsung to offer rentals through Internet connected TVs.
Video on demand rentals through TV cable and satellite companies generated $210 million in revenues in Canada in 2010, up 20 per cent over 2009.
Rogers (TSX:RCI.B), which owns the second-biggest video store chain in Canada, reported a 31 per cent drop in sales in its video stores last year, compared to the year before. The company said it will continue to shut down stores due to a continued decline in business.
With the dark cloud looming over the Blockbuster brand for several years, its American unit was already shrinking when it filed for bankruptcy protection.
The American Blockbuster used to dominate the U.S. movie rental business, but has been losing as customers shifted Netflix, video on demand offered by cable providers, and DVD kiosks that charge as little as $1 for per rental.
The company had slimmed down to 3,000 stores in the U.S., less than a third of the peak of 9,100 in 2004. In the United States there are about 2,400 currently open with plans to close about 700 more by mid-April.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The rising cost of living

Canada's pain at the pumps is bordering on torture. Despite relief in the form of a few cents per litre decrease since the early days of May, our nation's year-over-year gas price hike is brutal: a jump of nearly 30 cents per litre, on average, across Canada from May, 2010, to May, 2011, according to GasBuddy.com.
Yet while skyrocketing pump prices get all the media play, in fact all areas of consumerism are rising, rising, rising. Here are what goods and services you're paying more for now versus a year earlier in Canada.
Year-over-year increase: 1.9 per cent
The cost of goods and services around the house are up almost across the board over the last year - according to Statistics Canada, furniture prices jumped 2.4 per cent; pet food spiked 3.4 per cent; child care costs rose 5.2 per cent. More notably, though, is the price of Internet access, which was a major headline maker in the past 12 months. Over the same period Ontario and British Columbia applied the dreaded 13 per cent HST to its residents' telecom bills, Canadian Internet access ballooned in price by 3.7 per cent.
Year-over-year increase: 2.5 per cent
It was a tale of two trends for the cost of beer in Canada over the last year. According to Stats Canada, the price of suds bought in stores fell by 1.6 per cent (about 45 cents on a case of cheap brew) since March, 2010, though beer served in bars and restaurants conversely rose by 2.1 per cent during that same period. Those might sound like sweet numbers to smokers, though. By Statistics Canada's Consumer Price Index, the price of a pack of cigarettes has jumped 5.7 per cent nationwide over the past year.
Year-over-year increase: 2.6 per cent
Health care costs in Canada are rising, this we know. And the crisis, as it was called by party leaders during election time, is proving very costly. Prescribed medications are down in cost by 2.2 per cent year-over-year, Stats Canada notes, but over-the-counter drugs have soared by 5.8 per cent. Add that all up and the numbers are frightening. According to the Globe and Mail, Canadians spent about $172 billion on health care in 2008. Last year, that figure rose to more than $191 billion.

Monday, May 23, 2011

'Cut the city in half': Death toll rises to 89 in Missouri tornado
A massive tornado - the deadliest single U.S. tornado since 1953 - tore through the city of Joplin on Sunday, killing at least 89 people. Please take a moment and pray for the lost.