Bike lanes for Kits Vancouver city councillors have voted to approve a new bikeway in Kitsilano, following a series of public meetings that saw the neighbourhood divided on the issue. More than 200 members of the public initially registered to speak to the proposed cycling and pedestrian changes along Point Grey Road and York Avenue. You can read more about this story here.
Extended hours for patios Patios at bars and restaurants in Vancouver have the support of Vancouver city council to stay open past the current 11 p.m. curfew. Council unanimously approved a motion from Mayor Gregor Robertson yesterday (July 29), directing staff to identify both short-term actions and longer-term policy changes for expanding patio space and hours. You can read more about this story here.
Mountie cleared perjury charge The first of four RCMP officers charged with perjury in relation to the death of Robert Dziekanski has been found not guilty. Constable Bill Bentley was cleared of all charges by the B.C. Supreme Court today (July 29). You can read more about this story here.
Rainbow crosswalks cheered On July 29, Vancouver city councillor Tim Stevenson unveiled Vancouver’s four rainbow crosswalks at Davie and Bute streets—Canada’s first permanent ones—in the heart of the Davie Village. The public’s reaction to the street art has been overwhelmingly positive. You can read more about this story here.
Toronto police under fire Yesterday, hundreds of people gathered outside a police station in Toronto to protest the shooting of Sammy Yatim, an 18-year-old who was killed by authorities on July 27. Yatim was alone on a bus and holding a knife when police shot and killed him. An amateur video of the incident clearly shows nine shots fired in 13 seconds. A tazer can also be heard being deployed after Yatim was presumably hit by gunfire.
Explosion in Florida An explosion at a propane refilling plant in central Florida sent flames billowing hundreds of feet into the air for hours yesterday evening. The blast was reportedly caused by a combination of an equipment failure and human error, according to CNN. Several workers were hurt but nobody was killed in the incident.
Manning verdict today A verdict is expected today in the case of U.S. leaker Bradley Manning. The former soldier faces 20 charges, the most-serious of which is aiding the enemy, which carries a possible sentence of life in prison. Manning gave hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the whistleblower organization Wikileaks in an effort to spark a debate about U.S. foreign policy. He has already pled guilty to lesser charges that carry a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Zimbabwe prepares for polls Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has said he will step away from power if defeated in a national election scheduled for tomorrow (July 31). Observers are calling the race too close to call, though Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is widely believed to be the more popular of the two. Mugabe has ruled the southern African country with violence and oppression for more than three decades.
Middle East peace talks restart Israel and the Palestinian territories have resumed peace talks after more than three years away from the negotiating table. U.S. secretary of state John Kerry is currently in the Middle East in an effort to expedite dialogue. The process will be complicated by the fact that Palestinians are split between two governments—the Palestinian National Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip—and by Israel’s refusal to halt the construction of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land.
Edler out for two Olympic games The Vancouver Canucks’ Alex Edler has been suspended for two games from the 2014 Winter Olympics to take place in Sochi, Russia. The International Ice Hockey Federation issued the penalty for a hit against Eric Staal it described as “reckless, dangerous and in disregard to the vulnerability of his opponent.”
Bieber bus busted On June 28, a bus on tour with Canadian pop superstar Justin Bieber was found to contain marijuana and drug paraphernalia, the Toronto Star has reported. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the items were discovered during an inspection made when the vehicle was on route to Michigan. Bieber was not on the bus in question.