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Gunshots rang out on street corners, in nightclubs and at house parties across the city over the long weekend, injuring 15, Toronto police said Monday.

“This is not a normal weekend in the city of Toronto,” Chief Mark Saunders said at a news conference. “I did not anticipate in a three-day or a two-day span that I’d be talking about [15] people shot.”

The 14th and 15th victims were shot Monday afternoon in the Lawrence Heights neighbourhood. A man was transported to hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries, according to police. Another person later arrived at hospital with a gunshot wound.

It was the 12th shooting incident police responded to in the span of three days. The incidents do not appear to be connected, Chief Saunders said.

Early Monday morning, Toronto police responded to a shooting at the District 45 nightclub in North York, where five people were shot. Gunshots erupted inside the busy venue just before 2 a.m., causing people to flee the scene in a panic, police said. Shell casings have also been recovered outside the club. Chief Saunders urged anyone with information on the shooting to contact police.

Three people were transported to hospital in the wake of the shooting, one of them with life-threatening injuries. Two others checked themselves in to be treated for gunshot wounds.

“I find [this shooting] disturbing,” Chief Saunders said. “You’ve got over 100 people [in the club] and someone would be brazen enough to pull out a gun and start shooting.”

Two men were also shot near Church Street and Adelaide Street Monday morning, police said, and early Sunday morning, a man was shot at a mansion in the Bridle Path area that was being rented as an Airbnb at the time. Police are searching for three suspects in that incident, the chief said.

The weekend highlights mounting gun violence in Canada’s largest city.

More than 350 people have been shot in Toronto this year. By this time in 2018, 318 people had been shot in the city according to Toronto Police numbers.

If the trend continues, this will be the fourth year in a row that gun violence has increased in the city. In 2018, 613 people were shot in Toronto in 428 separate incidents.

Mayor John Tory called the violence “unacceptable” in a statement Monday, and reaffirmed his position on banning handguns, which he said would help address gun violence in the city.

Chief Saunders said he’d leave the decision to ban handguns to politicians, but added any move to take firearms off of Toronto streets is a “good day for the city.”

Not all the shootings resulted in injuries. No one was injured at four of the scenes where police responded to reports of gunshots over the weekend. By contrast, four of the shooting incidents had multiple victims, Chief Saunders said.

Most of the shootings occurred at night, Chief Saunders said, saying that people living a 9-to-5 lifestyle are unlikely to be at risk of gun violence while going about their daily lives.

He cautioned people attending bars or clubs to leave if they felt unsafe and said that the increased number of people celebrating in Toronto over the long weekend may have been a factor in the spike in shootings.

A third of the shootings this weekend occurred in neighbourhoods northwest of downtown, according to police.

Last week, Toronto police said they are investigating seven shooting incidents that all occurred in the Lawrence Heights neighbourhood in July, the same area where two people were shot Monday.

On Thursday, a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed inside a North York apartment building.

The number of people injured by gunfire this weekend could increase as people continue to check themselves into hospital, a police spokesperson said Monday afternoon.

Indian government strips disputed Kashmir of special status, internet services cut

By Sheikh Saaliq and Emily Schmall The Associated Press


NEW DELHI — India’s government revoked disputed Kashmir’s special status with a presidential order Monday as thousands of newly deployed troops arrived and internet and phone services were cut in the restive Himalayan region where most people oppose Indian rule.

Home Minister Amit Shah announced the revocation amid an uproar in India’s Parliament and while Kashmir was under a security lockdown that kept thousands of people inside their homes. The decree needs the approval of the ruling party-controlled Parliament, which was debating it on Monday.

The order revokes Article 370 of India’s Constitution, eliminating the state of Jammu and Kashmir’s right to its own constitution and decision-making process for all matters except defense, communications and foreign affairs. The government’s action would also strip Kashmir of its protection from Indians from outside the state permanently settling, buying land, holding local government jobs and securing educational scholarships.

READ MORE: Thousands of Indian students, tourists ordered to leave Kashmir

Critics of India’s Hindu nationalist-led government see the move as an attempt to dilute the demographics of Muslim-majority Kashmir with Hindu settlers.

The announcement came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi convened a Cabinet meeting and the government’s top-decision making body on security matters, the Cabinet Committee on Security, which he heads.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and both claim the region in its entirety. Two of the three wars India and Pakistan have fought since their independence from British rule were over Kashmir.

Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, told a Pakistani TV station on Monday from Saudi Arabia, where he is on a pilgrimage to Mecca, that Pakistan will step up diplomatic efforts to prevent the order from taking effect.

“India is playing a very dangerous game by changing the status of Kashmir through illegal acts,” he said.

In Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, hundreds of Kashmiri activists rallied against the change in Kashmir’s status near the diplomatic enclave where India’s embassy is located. Authorities kept demonstrators away from the building because of security concerns.

Obama calls on Americans to reject the normalization of racism in wake of mass shootings

By Hannah Jackson National Online Journalist, Breaking News  Global News

In a statement posted to Twitter on Monday, former U.S. President Barack Obamaoffered his condolences to the families of those killed in mass shootings in Texasand Ohio over the weekend, and called on Americans to reject the normalization of racist sentiment.

“Michelle and I grieve with all the families in El Paso and Dayton who endured these latest mass shootings,” he wrote.
Barack Obama✔@BarackObama

Venezuela, Uruguay warn against travel to U.S. cities following mass shootings

By Jesse Ferreras Online Journalist  Global News

Venezuela and Uruguay have warned their citizens against travel to certain U.S. cities following mass shootings that killed 31 people in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio on the weekend.

The warnings came after the U.S. last week heightened its own travel adv

Brazil gang leader tried to leave prison dressed as his daughter — and leave her there

By Staff The Associated Press

A Brazilian inmate tried to break out of a jail this weekend by disguising himself as his daughter, but was thwarted on the cusp of freedom by state prison authorities.– A A +

A Brazilian gang leader tried to escape from prison by dressing up as his daughter when she visited him behind bars and walking out the penitentiary’s main door in her place, authorities said Sunday.

But prison officials said the nervousness displayed by Clauvino da Silva, also known as “Shorty,” as he tried to leave the prison in the western part of Rio de Janeiro dressed as a woman gave him away.

His plan was apparently to leave his 19-year-old daughter inside the jail. Police are looking into her possible role as an accomplice in Saturday’s failed escape attempt from Gericinó prison.

Rio’s State Secretary of Prison Administration released photos showing da Silva in a silicon girl’s mask and long dark-haired wig, wearing tight jeans and a pink shirt with a cartoon image of donuts. They also released a video in which da Silva can be seen removing the mask and some of the clothes, and saying his full name.

Authorities say da Silva was part of the leadership of the Red Command, one of the most powerful criminal groups in Brazil that controlled drug trafficking in a large part of Rio.

After the failed escape bid, da Silva was transferred to a unit of a maximum-security prison and will face disciplinary sanctions, officials said.

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