5 Things To Know Today
Hostages being held by ‘Islamist’ is Sydney, Australia cafe siege. Jury to being deliberating in Luka Magnotta trial today. Toronto Police Service board to meet today amid controversial Facebook post. Rob Ford to being 5th round of chemotherapy today. Ontario to get $1.25 billion extra in federal transfer payments.
HOSTAGES HELD BY ‘ISLAMIST’ IN SYDNEY CAFE SIEGE
Police in Sydney, Australia continue to negotiate with a gunman who has taken several people hostage inside a cage. At least 5 hostages have managed to get out of the building but it is unclear how many more are being held. At one point, the gunman forced two of his victims to hold up a flag with Arabic writing on it, indicating that he has a link to terrorist groups. For now, it is unclear what the gunman wants. — In Belgium, four gunmen have taken a person hostage after they entered an apartment in the north-western city of Ghent. Heavily-armed police have surrounded the area and authorities have urged residents to stay indoors.
JURY TO BEGIN DELIBERATING IN LUKA MAGNOTTA TRIAL TODAY
The last leg of one of Canada’s most high-profile trials is underway. Jurors at the Luka Magnotta trial in Montreal are expected to begin deliberating today. The jury in the trial for Luka Magnotta heard closing arguments from the Crown prosecutor and defense council on Thursday. Today, the jury returns to court to receive directives from the judge. “What’s next is the judges duty to instruct the jury as to what the rules of law are when they go into deliberation” Legal analyst Philip Schneider told Global News, “In the case of the judge and directives, they’re bound by them. Whatever he says is the rules of law in terms of how they arrive at their verdict. They have to follow those rules.” Magnotta has admitting to the killing and dismemberment of 33-year-old Jun Lin, but argues he was mentally unstable during the crime. Lawyers were given their last chance to expose any information to the jury on Thursday. Crown prosecutor Louis Bouthillier brought up things like Magnotta’s post-murder actions, trying to poke holes in the deference’s argument that Magnotta was out of touch with reality at the time of the attack. While Magnotta’s defense lawyer, Luc Leclair, focused on his state of mind, saying his behavior proves he was insane at the time of the murder, and therefore, not criminally responsible. 12 of the 14 jurors will be sequestered until they reach a verdict following Monday’s instructions.
TORONTO POLICE SERVICE BOARD TO MEET TODAY AMID CONTROVERSIAL FACEBOOK POST
The Toronto Police Service Board is meeting on Monday amid tension regarding a controversial Facebook post. Earlier this month, the Toronto Police Association called on the resignation of board chair Alok Mukherjee after he posted a meme on Facebook. The image hinted that police brutality posed as a deeper threat in North America than Ebola or ISIS. TPA President Mike McCormack said the post “crossed the line” and proved he “is no longer fit to sit on a police body oversight.” Mukherjee has since responded, saying he regrets the post, but stands by its message as a topic of interest, encouraging discussion. Mukherjee has since been faced with more criticism, after a post from April 2013 re-surfaced with a meme that read: “Marriage is like a deck of cards. In the beginning all you need is two hearts and a diamond. By the end, you wish you had a club and a spade.” Mayor John Tory responded to the post in email statement saying “Violence against women is never a laughing matter… This is unacceptable — especially from someone who holds public office.” Monday’s meeting will also be Tory’s first meeting as a self-appointed member of the board. Mukherjee will also be administering the oath to Tory when he takes the seat. The meeting begins at 1:30 pm at Police Headquarters, 40 College Street, 2nd floor auditorium, and is open to the public.
ROB FORD TO BEGIN 5TH ROUND OF CHEMO TODAY
Round 5 of chemotherapy is expected to begin today for Rob Ford. It has been a few weeks since doctors updated Ford’s condition, but the last we got was that the initial treatments for his abdominal cancer did not shrink the tumor.
ONTARIO TO GET $1.25 BILLION EXTRA IN FEDERAL TRANSFER PAYMENTS
The province is getting a winfall from the Harper Tories. Next year, Ontario will get $1.25 billion in extra cash from Ottawa to help pay for health care and social insurance payments. The province says the boost in cash flow is because it was deprived $640 million in transfer payments in 2014. Ontario will get $20.4 billion from the federal government in 2015, up from $19.2 billion in the past year.