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10 Dead, 15 Injured in Van Ramming on Toronto Street; Driver in Custody

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Police in Canada’s biggest city are piecing together witness accounts and surveillance video trying to determine why a driver plowed a rented van along a crowded sidewalk, killing 10 people and injuring 15 in what many said seemed a deliberate attack.

A 25-year-old suspect was quickly captured in a tense but brief confrontation with officers a few blocks away from where his van jumped the sidewalk Monday and continued for a mile, leaving people bloodied and dead in his wake. But authorities so far had not disclosed a possible motive or cause even as the police chief agreed with witnesses that it seemed intentional.

“The incident definitely looked deliberate,” Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters at a late-night news conference.

Saunders said the suspect, Alek Minassian, who lives in the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill, had not been known to police previously. An online social media profile described him as a college student.

Officials would not comment on a possible motive except to play down a possible connection to terrorism, a thought that occurred to many following a series of attacks involving trucks and pedestrians in Europe and the presence in Toronto this week of Cabinet ministers from the G7 nations.Asked if there was any evidence of a terrorist link, the chief said only, “Based on what we have there’s nothing that has it to compromise the national security at this time.”


A senior national government official said earlier that authorities had not turned over the investigation to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a sign that investigators believed it was unlikely that terrorism was the motive. The official agreed to reveal that information only if not quoted by name.

Authorities released few details in the case, saying the investigation was still underway, with witnesses being interviewed and surveillance video being examined.

“I can assure the public all our available resources have been brought in to investigate this tragic situation,” Toronto Police Services Deputy Chief Peter Yuen said earlier.

Police said the suspect was scheduled to appear in court at 10 a.m. Tuesday, and that information on the charges against him would be released at that time.

The incident occurred as Cabinet ministers from the major industrial countries were gathered in Canada to discuss a range of international issues in the run-up to the G7 meeting near Quebec City in June. Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale called the incident a “horrific attack” and said the G7 foreign ministers extended their condolences.

The driver was heading south on busy Yonge Street around 1:30 p.m. and the streets were crowded with people enjoying an unseasonably warm day when the van jumped onto the sidewalk.

Ali Shaker, who was driving near the van at the time, told Canadian broadcast outlet CP24 that the driver appeared to be moving deliberately through the crowd at more than 30 mph.

“He just went on the sidewalk,” a distraught Shaker said. “He just started hitting everybody, man. He hit every single person on the sidewalk. Anybody in his way he would hit.”

Witness Peter Kang told CTV News that the driver did not seem to make any effort to stop.

“If it was an accident he would have stopped,” Kang said. “But the person just went through the sidewalk. He could have stopped.”

Video broadcast on several Canadian outlets showed police arresting the driver, dressed in dark clothes, after officers surrounded him and his rental Ryder van several blocks from where the incident occurred in the North York neighborhood of northern Toronto. He appeared to make some sort of gesture at the police with an object in his hand just before they ordered him to lie down on the ground and took him away.

Witness Phil Zullo told Canadian Press that he saw police arresting the suspect and people “strewn all over the road” where the incident occurred.

“I must have seen about five, six people being resuscitated by bystanders and by ambulance drivers,” Zullo said. “It was awful. Brutal.”

Police shut down the Yonge and Finch intersection following the incident and Toronto’s transit agency said it had suspended service on the subway line running through the area.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his sympathies for those involved.

“We should all feel safe walking in our cities and communities,” he said. “We are monitoring this situation closely, and will continue working with our law enforcement partners around the country to ensure the safety and security of all Canadians.”

___

Associated Press writers Ben Fox in Miami and Rob Gillies in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, contributed to this report.

Source: Associated Press

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Home Depot shoppers threaten to boycott after learning the co-founder gave millions to help elect Trump

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Bernie Marcus gave $7 million to spending groups and PACs supporting Donald Trump in 2016, and will also support his re-election campaign.

Helping to make America great again has become this retired Home Depot co-founder’s own DIY project.

Billionaire Bernie Marcus recently made headlines by sharing that he plans to give 80% to 90% of his wealth (estimated at $4.53 billion by Bloomberg, or $5.8 billion by Forbes) to charity when he dies. But the former Home DepotHD, -0.54%   chairman also revealed in the same Atlanta Journal-Constitution interview that he will be donating to Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, as well. Indeed, he donated $7 million to help elect Trump in 2016, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

And now some enraged customers on social media say they are boycotting the home-improvement chain’s stores, which does about $108 billion in annual sales. They claim to be cutting up their Home Depot cards, and say they plan to shop at competitors like Lowe’s LOW, +0.07%  and Menards, under the hashtag #BoycottHomeDepot. They have also responded to unrelated posts on Home Depot’s official Twitter TWTR, +2.72% account with comments like “just say no to Home Depot” and “I will rot in the bowels of hell before I give one penny to @HomeDepot again.”

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Trump’s Trade War Forces Volvo To Shift Gears In South Carolin

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Volvo is a Chinese-owned Swedish company making cars in the U.S. When it decided to set up a plant in South Carolina to build cars to ship around the world, it was following a long tradition.

With its port, Charleston, S.C., has been a shipping hub for centuries. And the state has been home to international manufacturers for decades — BMW, Michelin and Bosch are among the many global firms with footholds there.

But before the plant opened last year, President Trump transformed America’s approach to trade policy.

Trump’s trade war with China has stretched for more than a year, and trade tensions remain high with Europe as well. Tariffs on steel and aluminum are pinching auto suppliers in the U.S., who face higher costs for raw materials to make parts. Meanwhile, tariffs on imported parts can cut into the budgets of automakers, who rely on thousands of different components from around the world to build each vehicle.

Volvo, owned by the Chinese firm Geely, intended to export many cars from the plant near Charleston to China, but the tit-for-tat tariffs between Beijing and Washington threw a wrench into those finely tuned plans. U.S.-made Volvos aren’t being sent to China after all.


“It’s kind of a disappointment, but we’re going to work through it,” says Trey Yonce, a supervisor at the plant, as he watches line workers assemble cars. “It wasn’t what we wanted to hear.”

But as Yonce notes, Volvo is adapting, not cutting back.

Analysts compare imposing tariffs to squeezing on a balloon. Put pressure in one spot and the global economy will shift to work around it.

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House Democrats give IRS until April 23 to hand over Trump’s tax returns

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House Democrats have given the Internal Revenue Service a new deadline to hand over President Donald Trump’s tax returns days after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his department would miss the original deadline of April 10.

In a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig sent Saturday by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., Democrats gave a second and final deadline of April 23 for six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns. The lawmakers could go to court to seek the returns if the IRS does not turn them over.

“To date, the IRS has failed to provide the requested return and return information despite an unambiguous legal obligation to do so … Please know that, if you fail to comply, your failure will be interpreted as a denial of my request,” Neal wrote in the letter.

The letter also states that there is “no valid basis to question the legitimacy of the Committee’s legislative purpose,” citing Supreme Court instructions that Congress’ power to investigate is “broad.”

“It is not the proper function of the IRS, Treasury, or Justice to question or second guess the motivations of the Committee or its reasonable determinations regarding its need for the requested tax returns and return information,” Neal wrote.


House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., notified his committee that he would be subpoenaing Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, for the president’s financial statements. The subpoena is another avenue Democrats are pursuing to obtain Trump’s financial information.

In the memo, Cummings said he intended to issue the subpoena, which request documents between 2011 and 2018, on Monday.

The Ways and Means Committee first sent a formal request to the Treasury Department for Trump’s tax returns on April 3, giving the department a deadline of April 10 to produce the documents.

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