The National Today
'Our hearts are broken': Dozens of shots, 4 dead in Fredericton shooting
Newsletter: A closer look at the day's most notable stories
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- What we know about the deadly shooting in Fredericton that killed four people, including two police officers.
- U.S. President Donald Trump raises steel and aluminum tariffs, sending the Turkish lira and other currencies into a tailspin.
- Boris Johnson is facing more and more backlash after penning a controversial column on women who wear burkas.
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Shock and sorrow in Fredericton
The is nothing about the apartment complex on Brookside Drive in Fredericton that spells trouble.
Four tidy, three-storey red brick buildings, set back from a two-lane road that cuts through the heart of a quiet, residential neighbourhood. There's a plaza with a Tim Horton's, Subway and a dentist's office a block to the north and a middle school a couple of minutes' walk to the east.
But it proved a deadly, dangerous place Friday morning when Fredericton Police responded to a call just after 7 a.m. local time.
David MacCoubrey, who lives in a building at the rear of the complex, told The Canadian Press that he was awakened by three gunshots at 7:07 a.m. and then heard at least 17 more shots over the next hour and 20 minutes as he huddled on his apartment floor.
Tim Morehouse, another resident, heard someone scream "Shut up! Shut up!" before the shots rang out. Then looking out his window saw a body lying on the ground in the parking lot behind 237 Brookside Drive.
Another witness, Justin Mclean, told the CBC that he saw a wounded police officer and tried to go and help him but was told to go back inside and take shelter by the man's colleagues.
When the shooting finally stopped four people were dead, including two Fredericton Police, and a suspect was in custody being treated for "serious injuries."
The RCMP have been called in to assist in the investigation and neither the victims nor the suspect have yet been identified. A news conference with the mayor and chief of police is scheduled for 3:30 AT this afternoon.
It's an all too familiar scenario for the people of New Brunswick.
On June 4, 2014, three members of the RCMP died in a running gun battle in Moncton – a two-hour drive down the TransCanada. The officers, armed only with pistols, were heavily outgunned by a man with a semi-automatic rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun.
Friday's tragedy also has echoes of a 2005 ambush on a farm near Mayerthorpe, Alta., that left four RCMP dead.
Policing remains a dangerous business, even in the less populated quadrants of Canada.
According to Statistics Canada, 133 Canadian police officers were murdered in the line of duty between 1961 and 2009, including eight double, one triple and the one quadruple-slaying in Alberta. The homicides happened in every province and territory except Prince Edward Island and the Yukon.
In all, the Police and Peace Officers' National Memorial on Parliament Hill in Ottawa lists the names of 865 police who died on duty.
Const. John Davidson, an Abbotsford, B.C. officer who was shot and killed last November while responding to a call about a stolen vehicle, will be added at a ceremony next month.
And after this morning's events in Fredericton, two more names will be inscribed on the wall.
Quote of the moment
"Our hearts are broken by the murder of our two brave police officers. In this time of shock and grief, let us all protect their families."
-Fredericton Mayor Mike O'Brien.
Trump's Turkey takedown
A simmering dispute between Turkey and the United States over the fate of a jailed American evangelical pastor has come to full boil as Donald Trump imposed new tariffs this morning, sending the Turkish lira into free-fall.
"I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!" Trump crowed in a tweet. "Aluminum will now be 20 percent and Steel 50 percent. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!"
The move follows a speech that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered to supporters yesterday, in which he downplayed the effects of American trade measures and sanctions that have been levied against two of his cabinet ministers.
"There are various campaigns being carried out. Don't heed them," said Erdogan. "Don't forget, if they have their dollars, we have our people, our God."
But the lira, which had already lost a third of its value this year, tumbled a further 14.6 per cent Friday — its biggest one-day drop since 2001 — before finishing nine per cent lower.
Erdogan took to the airwaves again Friday, calling on Turkish citizens to help their government by selling off U.S. dollars and buying liras instead.
"If there is anyone who has dollars or gold under their pillows, they should go exchange it for liras at our banks. This is a national, domestic battle," the president proclaimed during a rally in the northeastern city of Bayburt. "This will be my people's response to those who have waged an economic war against us."
The first round of American tariffs — the 25 per cent duty on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum that Trump imposed on most foreign producers in March — halved Turkish steel exports to the U.S. Turkey is the world's eighth largest steel producer and sold 17.8 million tonnes to American buyers in 2017, its largest export market, worth US $11.5-billion.
Yet the American tariffs and sanctions are being felt far beyond Turkey.
The euro slid sharply, closing at a 13-month low, after the Financial Times reported that the European Central Bank worries that banks in Spain, France and Italy might be vulnerable over Turkish loans.
Market fears over Turkey are also dragging down the Canadian dollar as investors opt for "safe" currencies like the Swiss franc, Japanese yen and U.S. dollar.
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BoJo, oh no
Boris Johnson, Britain's former foreign secretary and would-be prime minister, is facing possible expulsion from the Conservative Party over his controversial remarks about burka-wearing women.
The Tories yesterday confirmed that they have received "dozens of complaints" from Britons who were upset by Johnson's Aug. 5 column in The Daily Telegraph, in which he criticized Denmark's new burka ban but admitted that he finds it "absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes." Many accused him of promoting Islamophobia.
Sky News reports that one of the letters, signed by 100 British Muslim women who wear the burka or niqab, takes issue with the party's request that Johnson apologize for his remarks and calls for sterner action.
"A deliberate choice was made to inflame tensions in a way that makes it easier for bigots to justify hate crime against us," it reads. "Our rights as equal citizens may be debated within wider society, but such vile language which has real consequences for us, should never be acceptable."
Under Conservative Party rules, the complaints will be sent to an independent body for review, which can then refer the former journalist and mayor of London to the party executive for punishment that could include the termination of his membership. Although such a fate seems unlikely given that he remains one of the party's best-known and most popular figures.
The Telegraph reported Friday that its columnist might be sent to diversity training instead, citing "senior Tory figures."
A poll published earlier this week found that 33 per cent of those surveyed thought Johnson's remarks were 'racist,' versus 60 per cent who said he had done nothing wrong. But almost half believe the MP should apologize.
Johnson has a long history of gaffes and controversial remarks, including a racially-charged 2002 column about then Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit to Congo that referenced "piccaninnies" and "watermelon smiles" and a 2007 opinion piece that compared Hillary Clinton's appearance to "a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital."
In 2016, he won a £1,000 prize for penning a rude limerick about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and a goat — which proved a bit awkward when he became Foreign Secretary the next month. Although globally, he probably remains most infamous for flattening a 10-year-old school boy during a game of touch rugby.
Johnson received some more bad news yesterday, when a parliamentary ethics watchdog ruled that his decision to return to writing for The Telegraph violated regulations about former ministers taking on new jobs.
The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments found that Johnson, who resigned from cabinet over Brexit tensions on July 9, ignored the minimum three-month waiting period before taking on an outside job.
Johnson signed a new deal with The Telegraph on July 12.
His last contract with the paper paid him almost £23,000 a month.
A few words on …
How the City of Victoria, B.C. has decided to reckon with Canada's past.
What The National is reading
- Russian PM compares new sanctions to 'declaration of economic war' (Tass)
- Women in northern and rural Sask. travelling nearly 900 km to give birth (CBC)
- 1,600 campers evacuated as flash floods hit southern France (France 24)
- Melania Trump used visa opposed by her husband to get her parents citizenship (CNN)
- Ex-Tour de France champion Jan Ullrich arrested (Deutsche Welle)
- Ugandan vanilla farmers arm themselves to protect lucrative crop (Africanews)
- Canada's Kylie Masse beats rivals for gold in backstroke thriller (CBC)
- Edmonton hosts Canada's first-ever flat Earth conference (Edmonton Journal)
Today in history
Aug. 10, 1988: The truth behind Gretzky's L.A. trade
A day after the Great One held his tearful press conference to confirm he had been traded to the LA Kings, all of Canada is still pissed-off. Wayne's best man, Eddie Mio, explains his friend's true feelings about the deal, in what is surely the longest and most-watched TV interview the back-up netminder ever had. Then Oiler's owner Peter Pocklington tries again to sell the idea that he isn't quite as villainous as everyone believes.
That's all for today.
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