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‘Star Trek: Discovery’ adds several Canadian actors

By The Canadian Press on April 28, 2017. TORONTO Several Canadians have joined the cast of the Toronto-shot series Star Trek: Discovery. Rekha Sharma of Vancouver will play Commander Landry, the security officer of the Starship Discovery.

Toronto s Kenneth Mitchell has been cast as Kol, a commanding officer in the Klingon Empire. Clare McConnell of Toronto is in the role of Dennas, a leader in the Klingon Empire. And Toronto native Damon Runyan will play Ujilli, another Klingon leader. London native Shazad Latif was originally announced in the role of Kol but will now play Lieutenant Tyler, a Starfleet officer in the Federation.

No date has been announced for the premiere of the series, which has been pushed back a couple of times. It will debut on CBS with all subsequent episodes available on the streaming service CBS All Access. In Canada, the first episode will premiere on CTV, on the same night as CBS. All remaining episodes will initially air on Space (in English) and Z (in French), and then later stream on CraveTV.

US sets up missile defence system in South Korea as North flexes muscles

Foster Klug, The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, April 25, 2017 9:45PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 26, 2017 9:39AM EDT

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — Hours after a display of North Korean military power, rival South Korea announced Wednesday the installation of key parts of a contentious U.S. missile defence system meant to counter the North. South Korea’s trumpeting of progress in setting up the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence system, or THAAD, comes as high-powered U.S. military vessels converge on the Korean Peninsula and as a combative North Korea signals possible nuclear and missile testing. North Korea conducted live-fire artillery drills on Tuesday, the 85th anniversary of the founding of its million-person Korean People’s Army. On the same day, a U.S. guided-missile submarine docked in South Korea. And the USS Carl Vinson aircraft supercarrier is also headed toward the peninsula for a joint exercise with South Korea.

The moves to set up THAAD within this year have angered not only North Korea, but also China, the country that the Trump administration hopes to work with to rid the North of nuclear weapons. China, which has grown increasingly frustrated with North Korea, its ally, and Russia see the system’s powerful radars as a security threat. South Korea said in a statement Wednesday that unspecified parts of THAAD were installed. It said that Seoul and Washington have been pushing to get THAAD quickly working to cope with North Korea’s advancing nuclear and missile threats. According to the Yonhap news agency, the parts include two or three launchers, intercept missiles and a radar. Some people near the site in the country’s southeast are worried that THAAD may cause health problems, and thousands of police officers assembled Wednesday, blocking the main road, Yonhap reported. About 500 protesters rallied, and 13 villagers and police officers were injured in scuffles and treated at hospitals, reportedly for broken bones, according to the Seongju fire department.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday that the system’s deployment would “disrupt the regional strategic balance and further aggravate the tension on the peninsula.”

Geng said “China will firmly be taking necessary measures to defend our own interests” but offered no details. China’s defence ministry has also repeatedly criticized THAAD’s deployment and said the military will take unspecified actions in response. On Tuesday, North Korea conducted what it called its largest ever combined live-fire drills, near the east coast port city of Wonsan. North Korea’s official media reported Wednesday that leader Kim Jong Un personally observed the exercises, which involved the firing of more than 300 large-calibre artillery pieces and included submarine torpedo-attacks on mock enemy warships.

Along with sending U.S. military assets to the region in a show of force, President Donald Trump is leaning on China to exert economic pressure on North Korea. Chinese President Xi Jinping, who spoke to Trump on Monday, is urging restraint from both North Korea and the U.S. In Washington, top Trump administration officials are due to brief the entire U.S. Senate on Wednesday. A rapid tempo of North Korean weapons testing in the past year has pushed Kim Jong Un’s authoritarian nation closer to developing a nuclear-armed missile that could reach the U.S. mainland. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham voiced confidence that Trump won’t allow North Korea to reach that point. Graham, a defence hawk who dined with Trump on Monday night, said North Korea should not underestimate the president’s resolve.

The USS Michigan, a nuclear-powered submarine, arrived Tuesday at the South Korean port of Busan for what was described as a routine visit to rest crew and load supplies. The U.S. 7th Fleet said two American destroyers were conducting simultaneous maritime exercises with naval ships from South Korea and Japan. North Korea routinely accuses the United States of readying for an invasion, and threatens pre-emptive strikes to stop it. An unidentified North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said the U.S. administration’s policy to maximize pressure on North Korea was “little short of lighting the fuse of total war,” the state news agency reported Tuesday. The streets of Pyongyang, however, were quiet for Tuesday’s anniversary, which was overshadowed by April 15 celebrations of the birthday of the nation’s late founder, Kim Il Sung, and were marked by a missile test the following day.

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is to chair a special meeting of the UN Security Council.

Tillerson will be “very vocal” about nations enforcing sanctions on North Korea, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said. Trump said Monday the council must be prepared to impose stronger sanctions.

Associated Press writers Hyung-jin Kim and Kim Tong-Hyung in Seoul, South Korea; Eric Talmadge in Pyongyang, North Korea; and Chris Bodeen in Beijing contributed to this report

​’I could be dead’: Security guard shot by ‘Yuletide Bandit’ frustrated by early parole

Richard Long remembers the moment a bullet screamed by has ear like it was yesterday. He said he doesn’t think about it often anymore. But when the nickname “Yuletide Bandit” is in headlines again, his mind goes back to the moment he could have lost his life during an encounter with Michael Syrnyk.

“I just thank my lucky stars. I mean, I could be dead,” said Long. Long, a retired security guard with Securicor, was exiting the Safeway on Jefferson Avenue near McPhillips Street one Sunday in April 2002. He said he was given the all clear from his partner to walk toward their armoured vehicle, and it wasn’t until he heard a loud bang that he knew something was wrong.

“I turned around and he pumped the shotgun and I saw, in slow motion, the cartridge coming out, and then I knew I was in trouble. So I just spun around, drew my weapon and returned fire. By that time he had already loaded [his shotgun] and blasted again,” said Long.

​'I Could Be Dead': Security Guard Shot By 'Yuletide Bandit' Frustrated By Early Parole

Police on scene at the Safeway on Jefferson Avenue in 2002 after Michael Syrnyk, nicknamed the Yuletide Bandit, was involved in a gunfight with a security guard. (CBC)

Long said the bullet grazed past his right ear and he emptied the six shots from his gun at the heavily armoured Syrnyk. Long was shot in the back after he ran out of ammunition and said that if it wasn’t for the protective vest he was wearing he would have been dead on the spot leaving his children to grow up without their father, and robbing him of the past 15 years with his family or young grandchildren.

“When you put your uniform on and you put your gun in your holster, there is always a certain amount of risk. Whether you’re a police officer or a firefighter, you always want to come home,” said Long.

Yuletide Bandit back on Winnipeg streets

Syrnyk was arrested in 2002 and sentenced to 21 years and six months for a series of armed robberies, mainly during holiday seasons from 1994 to 2002, which earned him the Yuletide Bandit nickname. His offences included robbing banks, businesses and armoured trucks at gunpoint.

Following a parole board decision, he was released from federal custody on Friday to a community facility in Winnipeg, where he will be monitored 24 hours a day and be required to report to a parole officer. Long said he isn’t surprised Syrnyk was released early despite pleading guilty to a long list of firearms-related charges and 21 counts of armed robbery.

​'I Could Be Dead': Security Guard Shot By 'Yuletide Bandit' Frustrated By Early Parole

Richard Long engaged in a 2002 gunfight with Michael Syrnyk, who was recently released on parole. (CBC)

“Now he’s here in Winnipeg, in a halfway house apparently,” Long said, adding that he’s frustrated by the parole board’s decision.

“Well, he got, what was it 25 years or whatever, and now he’s out walking the streets. He’s still going to be a young man,” said Long. Long also said being hit in the back after running out of ammunition was a cheap shot.

“You don’t shoot a guy in the back,” said Long.

Long said he knew Syrnyk was going to get out at some point but he isn’t sure the time Syrnyk served does enough for the victims of his crimes.

“I know for certain that there’s some bank tellers that could just not go back to work. They just couldn’t do it. So there’s somebody’s livelihood gone,” Long said.

“That’s the people he should be apologizing to.”

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