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Famed Etobicoke baker dies of COVID-19
Author of the article:Rita DeMontis
Publishing date:Feb 19, 2021 • 14 hours ago • 3 minute read

Natale Bozzo, the founder of SanRemo Bakery, died recently. PHOTO BY SUPPLIED /San Remo/Instagram
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Natale Bozzo, 75, founder of the iconic SanRemo bakery on Royal York Rd., in south Etobicoke, recently passed away after a six-week struggle with the COVID-19 virus, leaving family, friends and customers stunned by the loss.

“We’re all in a state of shock,” said son Rob in a recent interview. “My dad was in the best of health and had absolutely no issues until he got sick six weeks ago.”


Rob describes how his father had come in to give a hand after the bakery, in business for more than 50 years, had transitioned to takeout only. “He was the one who had guided us to change the business plan for takeout — it was a smart move. And he loved coming in to help out.”

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The bakery had closed for two weeks last month after some staff, who worked off hours and had no contact with anyone, tested positive for the virus. After a thorough deep-clean, the place reopened for business.

Rob says how his father contracted the virus “is a mystery. Our bakery adhered to every single health and safety code — in fact, when inspected, we were told we had gone above and beyond all standards.”

Bozzo leaves a legacy considered legendary in the Italian bakery business. Having emigrated to Canada from Italy at age 15 he immediately started working at a local bakery in Little Italy, later opening SanRemo 52 years ago with his brothers, taking over ownership from them in the mid 1990s and bringing in his three sons, Edward, Rob and Nick, who all grew up in the sweet industry.

SanRemo was more than a neighbourhood institution, it was a pillar of the community, where daily line-ups for the fresh breads, hot table foods and authentic Italian pastries were the norm. Regulars who had moved away still made the trek to this tiny corner of pastry paradise in order to get their fill and catch up with everyone.

Natale Bozzo may have retired, said son Rob, but he was always there, baking, helping, creating – a vision his family says they will cherish forever.


Condolences and tributes have been poring in since news broke of his passing – including Premier Doug Ford tweeting , “my condolences go out to Rob, Nick, Ed, and the entire family of Natale Bozzo, a true local champion who followed his passions,” said Ford, adding “a family-owned business, the SanRemo Bakery and Café has been a staple in Etobicoke for many years. God bless the Bozzo family.”

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Rob says they have all been overwhelmed by the love and support from everyone, including total strangers.

“Honestly from a family point, from a human being aspect it’s really overwhelming from all the love and affection (we have received). It’s a testament to my father’ work ethic and the type of person that he was.”

Rob says his father “treated everyone like they were his family. He was amazing, and his work ethic was his Number One priority. He was so passionate about his work, this bakery.

The family patriarch was in perfect health, but six weeks ago he started feeling ill and stayed home, going to hospital when he found he couldn’t breath well. “After struggling for a few days, we were told he had to go on a ventilator — and was sent to a hospital in Kitchener.” Natale was on the ventilator for five weeks before succumbing to the illness.

“The worst part was we were not able to see or talk to him. He was in a coma. It was incredibly difficult.”

Rob recalls a father who was everyone’s friend, who was always passionate about his work and always found the good in everyone.

“My father’s work was his life, his work ethic was the strongest. His hands bore witness to all the good he created.

“He was the foundation of everything we have today. We have what we have today because of him, and we will continue to honour him with the same passion for this industry.”

Funeral details, adhering to strict COVID-19 protocols, have yet to be announced.
 

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More deaths from Alzheimer's, other dementias in U.S. in 2020, report finds
Author of the article:Washington Post
Washington Post
Tara Bahrampour, The Washington Post
Publishing date:Mar 02, 2021 • 23 hours ago • 3 minute read • comment bubbleJoin the conversation
Comforting an Alzheimer's patient.
Comforting an Alzheimer's patient. Getty Images
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Preliminary reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that there were at least 42,000 more deaths from Alzheimer’s and other dementias in 2020 compared with the average of the five years prior, according to a report released Tuesday by the Alzheimer’s Association. This was approximately 16% more than expected.

About 40% of COVID-19 deaths in the United States have been residents or staffers of long-term-care facilities, said the report, which is the organization’s annual Facts and Figures assessment.

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The report also noted that by 2050, the number of people 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s in the United States will skyrocket from 6.2 million now to 12.7 million, as the number of people in that age bracket increases from 58 million to 88 million.


The biggest spike in deaths among dementia patients in 2020 occurred early in the pandemic, when the virus raged in nursing homes and other communal-living locations, killing many residents before medical professionals and caregivers had a full understanding of how to protect people, said Maria Carrillo, the association’s chief science officer. “I think we’re going to see a leveling out of that now that we’re getting vaccines,” she said.

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But for people with cognitive impairment who did not die of COVID-19, the effects of the coronavirus may be deadly far beyond the initial surge. For the past year, the pandemic has interrupted routines, divided families and curtailed social interactions that might have helped keep patients functioning longer.

Social isolation has been shown to correlate with cognitive problems among older people. But determining the depth of its effect, along with the impact of disrupted routines, pared-down medical care and other factors during the pandemic will take time, Carrillo said.

“There is so much to unpack,” she said. “We’re going to be analyzing this data in the coming years.”

Along with studying people previously diagnosed with dementia, researchers will need to follow the rates of new diagnoses, which may be delayed until older people and their families feel more comfortable with in-person medical appointments.

“People might be holding off on going to the doctor … or their physicians are only doing virtual visits,” where it can be harder to detect subtle changes in cognitive function, Carrillo said. Putting off appointments could have delayed the diagnosis of co-morbidities such as diabetes, she said. “Have the safety measures actually impacted our older population [by] accelerating dementia? We don’t know yet,” she said.

A study published in October found that the pandemic has had negative effects on dementia and pre-dementia patients, in direct and indirect ways.

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A survey of 389 patients and 147 caregivers associated with a memory clinic in the Netherlands found that patients had experienced an increase in social isolation, psychological symptoms and discontinuation of care. Both patients and caregivers said they were worried about faster cognitive decline, and three-quarters of caregivers reported an increase in problems including apathy, sleeping issues, agitation and repetitive behavior.

These could have a snowball effect, the report said, noting that “a recent review showed that patients who exhibit aggression, wandering or disinhibition are even at higher risk of catching and spreading COVID-19, triggering a vicious circle as research now shows that catching COVID-19 has adverse impacts upon the brain and cognition.”

The study, which was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, surveyed patients living alone or with partners or family members and included both those whose cognitive decline was diagnosed by tests and those who performed normally in tests but had subjectively experienced cognitive decline.

Because of the pandemic, many people sought out social connections online, “but this is more difficult for patients with cognitive complaints,” the study said. “We even found that some patients did not go outside at all.” That included skipping visits to the doctor or hospital, either by choice or because health facilities were closed.

“The loss [of] structure and social cohesion may be the final push toward onset of overt symptoms,” the study said, adding that symptoms could also have been exacerbated by uncertainty and anxiety tied directly to the pandemic.
 

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Retired cop killed by single punch in Las Vegas
Thomas Driscoll, a 22-year-old veteran of the Connecticut State Police, died Sunday from head and neck injuries from the attack.

Author of the article:postmedia News
Publishing date:Mar 04, 2021 • 21 hours ago • 1 minute read • comment bubble16 Comments
Thomas Driscoll died in Las Vegas.
Thomas Driscoll died in Las Vegas after being punched by a stranger on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. PHOTO BY SCREENGRAB /Connecticut State Police Museum
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A retired police officer was killed by a single punch while on vacation in Las Vegas over the weekend.

Thomas Driscoll, a 22-year-old veteran of the Connecticut State Police, died Sunday from head and neck injuries from the assault, according to the New York Post. The newspaper said Driscoll didn’t know his attacker, who allegedly followed him and a woman on a pedestrian bridge on the Las Vegas Strip.

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The arrest report, acquired by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, said Driscoll, 57, was on a walkway near Bally’s with a woman when they passed a group of men.


A man, identified by police as Brandon Leath, 33, made a remark about Driscoll and the woman walking through them. Cops say Leath ran and waited for the pair at the bottom of an escalator, where Leath took a “fighting stance.”

A single punch felled Driscoll, according to police, and Leath was later arrested near The Mirage. He originally denied striking Driscoll.

Appearing in court Wednesday on a murder charge, he stuck with his denial. “This is very serious. This is my life. Ma’am, I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said, according to the Review-Journal.

Brandon Marcus Leath. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Brandon Marcus Leath. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Driscoll was mostly a bomb squad member at the Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., and retired in 2009, state police told the Review-Journal.

He had reportedly been in the Las Vegas area to do some hiking nearby.

“It saddens us to hear that he died after being assaulted,” Connecticut State Police said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”
 

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Canadian soldier found dead in his quarters in Afghanistan: Military
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:Mar 05, 2021 • 18 hours ago • 1 minute read • comment bubbleJoin the conversation
A Canadian flag sits on a members of Canadian forces that are leaving from CFB Trenton, in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014.
A Canadian flag sits on a members of Canadian forces that are leaving from CFB Trenton, in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. PHOTO BY LARS HAGBERG /The Canadian Press
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OTTAWA — A member of the Canadian Armed Forces has died in Afghanistan.

The Defence Department says Master Warrant Officer Guy Adam Law was found dead in his quarters at the Canadian Embassy in Kabul on Feb. 25.


A statement says the cause of death is under investigation and is being assessed as “non-operational.”

Law was originally from Saskatoon and had been working at the Embassy since last August as a facility operations and maintenance officer.

He had joined the Armed Forces in 1991 and had deployed on four operational tours.


The Defence Department says his body will return to Canada on March 7.

“Our thoughts are with the family, friends and loved ones of Master Warrant Officer Law, and our focus remains on providing them support during this difficult time,” the department said in a statement.

“The Canadian Armed Forces is a family and it is heartbreaking when we lose one of our own. We stand together, we grieve together, and we will always remember them.”
 

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Audio cassette tape inventor Lou Ottens dead
Author of the article:
WENN - World Entertainment News Network
Publishing date:
Mar 10, 2021 • 9 minutes ago • < 1 minute read • Join the conversation

Old audio cassette tapes are pictured in this file photo. Photo by file photo /Getty Images
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Lou Ottens, the brains behind the audio cassette tape, has died, aged 94.
The Dutch engineer was also part of the group which invented the compact disc.




The former head of product development at Phillips, Ottens introduced the first cassette tape at the Berlin Radio Show electronics fair in Germany in 1963. The Compact Cassette was trademarked the following year.
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Then, as technical director at Phillips Audio, he was part of the Phillips and Sony team which developed the CD in 1979.
 

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Infamous Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy dead at 90
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Bill Trott
Publishing date:Mar 30, 2021 • 13 hours ago • 4 minute read • Join the conversation
Radio show host G. Gordon Liddy arrives for the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, April 21, 2007.
Radio show host G. Gordon Liddy arrives for the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, April 21, 2007. PHOTO BY JONATHAN ERNST /REUTERS
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G. Gordon Liddy, a brash former FBI agent who helped orchestrate the 1972 Watergate break-in, a crime that began the unraveling of Richard Nixon’s presidency, died on Tuesday at the age of 90.

Liddy, who parlayed his Watergate infamy into a 20-year career as a conservative talk-radio host, died surrounded by family at the home of his daughter in Mount Vernon, Virginia, his son, Thomas P. Liddy, told Reuters by telephone.


“He had a full life, and it just had run its course,” the younger Liddy said of his father, adding that COVID-19 was not a factor. “He did all the good Lord asked of him and then a little more.”

Liddy had been diagnosed a few years ago as suffering from Parkinson’s disease, his son said. News of Liddy’s death was first reported by the Washington Post.

Liddy, born George Gordon Battle Liddy, was one of the notorious White House “plumbers” whose job it was to plug leaks to the media in the Nixon administration. His portfolio at Nixon’s Committee to Re-elect the President was “dirty tricks” – and he approached the job with gusto.

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He and colleague E. Howard Hunt, a former CIA agent, came up with schemes so outlandish and illegal that their superiors often squelched them.

Among them were a plot to kill investigative columnist Jack Anderson, an ardent Nixon critic; having anti-war protesters at the Republican National Committee in San Diego in 1972 kidnapped and taken across the border into Mexico; and luring Democratic Party officials to a party with prostitutes.

But not all their plans were rejected. In 1971 a few months before the Watergate burglary, Liddy was part of the break-in at the offices of a psychiatrist who was seeing Daniel Ellsberg, a former U.S. military analyst who leaked the top-secret Pentagon Papers about the U.S. war in Vietnam.

Then came the break-in that would undo Nixon. Liddy and Hunt came up with the plan to get into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate hotel-office complex in Washington as Nixon was seeking re-election in 1972.

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After his team was caught, Liddy would be convicted of conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping for the Watergate and Ellsberg break-ins.

He was sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and served nearly five before being released – thanks to a commutation in 1977 from Democratic President Jimmy Carter, who felt his sentence was out of proportion to those meted out to other Watergate criminals.

Unlike his six co-defendants, Liddy refused to cooperate with prosecutors, which had led a judge to add 18 months to the prison term because he would not answer a grand jury’s questions.

Liddy’s time in prison was the longest of any Watergate figure but he remained unapologetic about his crime and told the New York Times he would do it again if asked. He also was proud about not cooperating with the grand jury while denouncing those who had. He drove a Rolls-Royce with a license plate that said “H20-GATE.”

After prison, Liddy started a security-investigation firm, wrote best-selling books, had a few acting roles on television and in movies and in 1992 became host of a Washington-based radio talk show that was eventually syndicated to more than 225 stations. He retired in 2012.

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With ramrod-straight posture and a trademark brushy mustache, Liddy was known for his bravado. He bragged about being able to hold his hand over a flame without flinching and spoke of being able to kill a person with just a pencil. When callers to his radio show asked how he was doing, he barked, “Virile, vigorous and potent!”

Liddy said he was a wimp as a child until he decided to do something about it. In his 1980 autobiography “Will,” he said he was inspired by the tenor of the speeches of Adolf Hitler that his family’s German maid listened to on the radio and determined to make a man of himself.

His course included roasting and eating a rat and lashing himself to a tree during a lightning storm to overcome his fears.

In 2001, Liddy’s reported belief that the Watergate break-in was meant to cover up a call-girl ring operated out of Democratic headquarters was a key component of a defamation suit against him by Ida “Maxie” Wells, a secretary at the Democratic headquarters at the time of the break-in.

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According to the Washington Post, Liddy said in at least two speeches that Nixon lawyer John Dean orchestrated the break-in to steal pictures of scantily clad prostitutes, including Dean’s then-girlfriend, from Wells’ desk.

A federal jury deadlocked and the case was dismissed.

Born Nov. 30, 1930, in New York City, Liddy graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University in 1952 and a law degree from Fordham Law School in 1957.

After two years’ U.S. Army service, Liddy became a special agent of the FBI before resigning in 1962 to practice law in Manhattan. He then served as prosecutor in New York’s Dutchess County, where he was known for wearing a pistol to court. “He believed passionately in the dangers of drugs, criminals and Communists,” said a New York Times profile in 1973.

As a prosecutor, he was involved in the 1960s raid on Timothy Leary, the former Harvard professor and LSD advocate who had a commune near Poughkeepsie, New York. In the 1980s the two men would tour the nation putting on debates on moral and social issues.

Liddy unsuccessfully sought election to Congress from New York’s 28th district in 1968 but that year played a significant role in Nixon’s presidential campaign in the district.

Liddy and his wife, Frances, who died in 2010, had five children.
 

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Former CFTO-TV broadcaster Tom Gibney dead at 84
Author of the article:postmedia News
Publishing date:Apr 05, 2021 • 7 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Tom Gibney.
PHOTO BY SUPPLIED /SCREEN GRAB
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Tom Gibney, a longtime news anchor with CFTO-TV, has died.

Gibney — whose illustrious run as anchor with the Toronto-based station spanned decades, starting in 1973 and ending in 2007 — was 84.


He died on Monday. The cause of death wasn’t immediately known.

There were many social media tributes from those who worked with or were inspired by Gibney.

“I have lost a great friend and my second father,” former CTV colleague Lance Brown tweeted on Monday. “You were one of the most uncomplicated, genuine people I have ever known.”


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Added Claude Feig on Twitter: “Very sorry to hear about the passing of my former #CFTO colleague #TomGibney A great broadcaster and true gentleman. RIP Tom.”


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“I grew up watching and idolizing #tomgibney. A giant in the news industry. Condolences to his family and friends,” added current CTV News Toronto co-anchor Nathan Downer.

Andria Case, an anchor/reporter with CTV News in Toronto, reflected on Gibney’s impact.

“They don’t make them like #TomGibney anymore. I always remember the first time he read a script I wrote, I felt I had arrived,” Case tweeted.


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Gibney, a native of Yorkton, Sask., delivered the evening news for CFTO-TV and was also known as a host for the Lotto 6/49 draws syndicated across Canada, eventually entering semi-retirement in 2001 before calling it a career in 2007.
 

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G. GORDON LIDDY: Portrait of an American zealot
Author of the article:Brad Hunter
Publishing date:Apr 05, 2021 • 13 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation
Radio show host G. Gordon Liddy arrives for the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, April 21, 2007.
Radio show host G. Gordon Liddy arrives for the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, April 21, 2007. PHOTO BY JONATHAN ERNST /REUTERS
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Hollywood recognized the villainous potential of G. Gordon Liddy.

He was the Cold War and cultural warrior straight out of central casting.

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If the mastermind of the notorious Watergate break-ins that brought down U.S. President Richard Nixon in a bonfire of scandal and bitterness didn’t exist, a screenwriter would invent him.

Liddy was the Smoking Man out of X-Files two decades before the show existed.

The American man of the post-war years died March 30 at his daughter’s home in Fairfax County, Va. He was 90.

But Liddy was much, much more than the caricature of the archetypal Nixon villain, even though he said he would have killed for the disgraced president.


AMERICAN CENTURIAN

Liddy was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and followed his father into the legal profession. He claimed he was scrawny and through sheer will transformed himself into “a strong, fearless man.”

Befitting of his times, he joined the U.S. Army in time for the Korean War but much to his chagrin never saw combat because of a medical condition.

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G-MAN

After his military stint, Liddy graduated with a law degree from Fordham University and signed on with the FBI in 1957. During his stint as a G-Man, Liddy earned a reputation as a wild card and a shoot-first, ask-questions-later sort of guy.

Fellow feds called him a “wild man” and a “superklutz.” He later said he quit the FBI in 1962 because he wanted a more comfortable life for his growing family.

Liddy hated hippies but half a million people gathered on a dairy farm in Bethel, N.Y., in 1969 for the Woodstock music festival.
Liddy hated hippies but half a million people gathered on a dairy farm in Bethel, N.Y., in 1969 for the Woodstock music festival. PHOTO BY FILE PHOTO /Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network
GODDAMN HIPPIES

Liddy worked for his father in patent law for several years before becoming an assistant district attorney in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., up the river from the Big Apple.

As the upheaval of the 1960s exploded, Liddy decided he hated hippies, loved guns, God, America and Richard Nixon in no particular order.

Local conservatives cheered in 1966 when he was involved in the arrest of LSD guru Timothy Leary. Oddly, the two men later became friends and shared a level of respect and admiration. The duo even hit the college lecture circuit.


SILENT MAJORITY

As the war in Vietnam raged on to no avail and America’s inner cities burned, former vice-president Richard Nixon, the Republican standard-bearer in the 1968 presidential election, spoke of the “silent majority.” They supported our boys, supported the cops and, well, hated hippies.

Naturally, Liddy was entranced, and because of his efforts during the campaign and Nixon’s victory, he was given the post of special assistant to the secretary of the treasury.

His crew at the treasury — known for going after drug traffickers — were nicknamed “The Plumbers.”

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The Vietnam War tore America apart. Liddy was all for it. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Vietnam War tore America apart. Liddy was all for it. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WATERGATE

It started in September 1971 when Liddy teamed up with H. Howard Hunt, a former spy, to recruit the Plumbers for a break-in at a psychiatrist’s office. The headshrinker’s patient was Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, an indictment against the war in Vietnam.

Liddy was then transferred to CREEP (Committee to Reelect the President) to play dirty tricks on the Democrats. Around 2 a.m., on June 17, 1972, the CREEP security boss and four anti-Castro Cubans were nabbed breaking into Democratic headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington.

Hunt and Liddy were soon identified as the masterminds behind the plot. Both were later jailed and Nixon resigned in disgrace in August 1974.

Liddy does a guest turn on Miami Vice. He played a zealot.
Liddy does a guest turn on Miami Vice. He played a zealot.
AFTERMATH

Liddy was hammered with a 20-year jolt in jail, but the sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter and the archetypal Nixon devotee was released in 1977.

After he was sprung by Carter, Liddy wrote a well-received autobiography called Will, and hit the college lecture circuit with long-time frenemy Leery. He even made two guest appearances on Miami Vice as a covert military operative that Sonny Crockett knew in Vietnam.

In the early 1990s, Liddy took to the airwaves hosting a daily talk show featuring a heady brew of right-wing talking points.

Still, unlike so many in today’s society, when he was nabbed for his role in Watergate, Liddy came clean and remained unrepentant.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

Radio show host G. Gordon Liddy arrives for the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, April 21, 2007.
Infamous Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy dead at 90
As of August 1974, America no longer had Richard Nixon to kick around.
NIXON: President left office in disgrace and America broken

QUOTE

“The nation was at war not only externally in Vietnam but internally,” he wrote in his well-received autobiography. “I had learned long ago the maxims of Cicero that ‘laws are inoperative in war’ and that ‘the good of the people is the chief law.’ ”

bhunter@postmedia.com

@HunterTOSun
 

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Canadian retail titan W. Galen Weston dies at 80
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Moira Warburton
Publishing date:Apr 13, 2021 • 15 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Chairman and President of George Weston Limited W. Galen Weston speaks during the company's annual shareholders meeting in Toronto, May 12, 2011.
Chairman and President of George Weston Limited W. Galen Weston speaks during the company's annual shareholders meeting in Toronto, May 12, 2011. PHOTO BY MARK BLINCH /REUTERS
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W. Galen Weston, patriarch of one of Canada’s wealthiest families and retail titan, has died at age 80, according to a statement by the family on Tuesday.

Weston was the third generation of his family to lead George Weston Limited, an already-prosperous retail empire founded by his grandfather, which he expanded significantly.


The family company, now run by his son, Galen Weston, owns Primark and Selfridges in the United Kingdom, as well as the Canadian grocery chain Loblaw Co Ltd, pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart, and real estate company Choice Properties.

Weston passed away peacefully at home after a long illness, the statement said.

He was born in Buckinghamshire, England, and moved to Dublin at 21 to escape a domineering father, the Irish Times reported in 2014, where he met his wife, Irish model Hilary Frayne. They married in 1966.

His grandmother gave him the funds to launch a line of retailers in Ireland, one of which eventually became Primark, the Times said.

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In the 1970s Weston returned to his family’s base of operations, Canada, to revive the family’s struggling Loblaws supermarket chain, and helped turn it into one of the largest food distributors in the country.

“In our business and in his life he built a legacy of extraordinary accomplishment and joy,” Galen Weston, chairman and CEO of George Weston Ltd, said in a statement.

“The luxury retail industry has lost a great visionary,” Alannah Weston, Weston Sr.’s daughter and chairman of Selfridges Group, said.

The Weston family is among the wealthiest in Canada, with Forbes estimating their total wealth at $8.7 billion.
 

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Former U.S. vice president Walter Mondale dies at 93
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Arshad Mohammed and Will Dunham
Publishing date:Apr 20, 2021 • 17 hours ago • 5 minute read • Join the conversation
Former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale has died at the age of 93, his children confirmed on Monday, April, 19, 2021.
Former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale has died at the age of 93, his children confirmed on Monday, April, 19, 2021. PHOTO BY JOSHUA ROBERTS /REUTERS
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ST. PAUL — Walter Mondale, a leading liberal Democratic voice of the late 20th century who was U.S. vice president under Jimmy Carter and lost in a landslide to Ronald Reagan in the 1984 presidential election, died on Monday at age 93, his family said.

“Well my time has come. I am eager to rejoin Joan and Eleanor,” Mondale said in a statement to his staff and released to the public after his death, referring to his late wife Joan, who died in 2014, and daughter Eleanor, who died in 2011 at age 51. “Before I go I wanted to let you know how much you mean to me.”


Mondale, the first major U.S. party presidential nominee to pick a woman running mate, believed in an activist government and worked for civil rights, school integration, consumer protection and farm and labour interests as a U.S. senator and vice president during Carter’s troubled one-term presidency from 1977 to 1981.

He also served as U.S. ambassador to Japan from 1993 to 1996 under Bill Clinton.

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Mondale had spoken in recent days with Carter, Clinton, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, a family spokesperson said.

“It’s with great sadness that Jill and I learned of the passing of Vice President Walter Mondale, but great gratitude that we were able to call one of our nation’s most dedicated patriots and public servants a dear friend and mentor,” President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden said in a statement.

“Walter Mondale was the first presidential nominee of either party to select a woman as his running mate, and I know how pleased he was to be able to see Kamala Harris become Vice President,” Biden’s statement added.

“Today I mourn the passing of my dear friend Walter Mondale, who I consider the best vice president in our country’s history,” Carter, 96, said in a statement that also praised Mondale’s political skill and integrity.”

“He was an invaluable partner and an able servant of the people of Minnesota, the United States, and the world.”


Widely known as “Fritz,” Mondale was the Democratic nominee in 1984 against Reagan, a popular incumbent Republican who had beaten Carter four years earlier, and selected New York Democratic U.S. congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro as his vice presidential running mate. Ferraro died in 2011 at age 75.

Despite the historic selection of a woman, Mondale suffered one of the worst defeats ever in a U.S. presidential election, losing in 49 of the 50 states and carrying only his native Minnesota as well as Washington, D.C.

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It was the first of two times that Mondale was sent into political retirement by a crushing defeat.

Eighteen years later, grieving Minnesota Democrats beseeched Mondale, then 74, to run for the Senate after Senator Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash 11 days before the 2002 election. Mondale lost narrowly to Republican Norm Coleman, who depicted him as the graying representative of a bygone era.

During his race against Reagan, Mondale promised Americans he would raise their taxes, a vow that did little to help his candidacy.

“I mean business. By the end of my first term, I will reduce the Reagan budget deficit by two-thirds,” Mondale said during his speech in San Francisco accepting the 1984 Democratic presidential nomination. “Let’s tell the truth. It must be done, it must be done. Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won’t tell you. I just did.”

The remark helped sink his campaign. Even years later, he expressed no regrets. “I’m really glad I did it,” he told PBS in 2004. “It’s something that I felt good about, and I thought I told the truth.”

Earlier that year, Mondale made a memorable political quip when, during a primary debate, he tried to depict Gary Hart, a rival for his party’s presidential nomination, as all style and no substance by asking: “Where’s the beef?”

The line, borrowed from a humorous hamburger commercial popular at the time, hurt Hart’s campaign.

Mondale was a protege of fellow Minnesota liberal Hubert Humphrey, also a senator and vice president, who lost the 1968 presidential election to Republican Richard Nixon.

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Mondale served in the Senate from 1964 until he was elected as vice president in Carter’s 1976 victory over incumbent Republican Gerald Ford, who had become president after Nixon resigned in 1974 due to the Watergate corruption scandal.

Mondale became a more engaged vice president than many who preceded him. He played a key role in buttressing the sometimes frayed relationship between Carter’s White House and the Democratic-controlled Congress.

He did not always agree with Carter, as when he privately opposed Carter’s preachy 1979 speech in which the president told Americans, besieged by a bad economy, that they were suffering from a “crisis of confidence.” Mondale even considered resigning over the speech.

Carter increasingly looked like a weak president as he struggled with a hostage crisis in Iran, a Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and tough economic times at home.

The Carter-Mondale ticket lost in 1980 against Reagan and his running mate, George H.W. Bush. Mondale, still associated in voters’ minds with Carter, faced the daunting task of trying to defeat a popular incumbent amid economic prosperity in 1984.

The contest between Mondale and Reagan presented Americans with a clear choice between liberal and conservative candidates and doctrines.

Mondale was seen as the victor in their first debate, with the older Reagan coming across to some as out of touch and uncertain.

Reagan rebounded in the second debate. He allayed concerns about his age with his response to a question as to whether, at age 73, he was too old to be seeking four more years as president.

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“I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience,” Reagan joked, provoking laughter in the audience at the debate, and even from Mondale.

“I think the public wanted to vote for Reagan,” Mondale said later. He said that after the second debate, “I was almost certain the campaign was over. And it was.”

Mondale’s loss and a similar thrashing of fellow liberal Michael Dukakis in 1988 opened the way for more centrist Democrats like Bill Clinton to assert themselves in the party.

Born in Ceylon, Minnesota, on Jan. 5, 1928, Walter Frederick Mondale was the sixth of seven children. His father was a Methodist minister, his mother a music teacher.

Minnesota was dominated by farming and mining, and it had a tradition of liberal, populist politics, with many Scandinavian-American residents like the Norwegian Mondales.

After serving in the U.S. Army, he earned a law degree at the University of Minnesota. His political life started with his work on the re-election campaign of Humphrey, then mayor of Minneapolis.

When Humphrey became vice president in 1964, Mondale succeeded him in the Senate, coming to Washington during Democratic President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society,” a time of great hope and excitement for liberals, though their optimism was crushed by the Vietnam War.

Mondale married wife Joan in 1955. She died in 2014. They had three children, Eleanor and sons Theodore and William.

Plans for memorials will be announced later for both Minnesota and Washington D.C., Mondale family said.
 

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Chad President Idriss Deby killed on frontline, son to take over
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Mahamat Ramadane
Publishing date:Apr 20, 2021 • 8 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation
Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno greets a crowd of journalists and supporters as he arrives to cast his ballot at a polling station in N'djamena, on April 11, 2021.
Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno greets a crowd of journalists and supporters as he arrives to cast his ballot at a polling station in N'djamena, on April 11, 2021. PHOTO BY MARCO LONGARI /AFP via Getty Images
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N’DJAMENA — Chad’s President Idriss Deby, who ruled his country for more than 30 years and was an important Western ally in the fight against Islamist militants in Africa, has been killed on the frontline against rebels in the north.

Deby’s son, Mahamat Kaka, was named interim president by a transitional council of military officers, spokesman Azem Bermendao Agouna said in a broadcast on state television.

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Deby, 68, came to power in a rebellion in 1990 and was one of Africa’s longest-ruling leaders, surviving numerous coup attempts and rebellions.

His death was announced the day after he was declared the winner of a presidential election that would have given him a sixth term in office. Most of the opposition, which had long complained of his repressive rule, boycotted the vote.


Deby – who often joined soldiers on the battlefront in his military fatigues – visited troops on the frontline on Monday after rebels based across the northern frontier in Libya advanced hundreds of km (miles) south toward the capital N’Djamena.

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“Marshal Idriss Deby Itno, as he did each time that the institutions of the republic were gravely threatened, took control of operations during the heroic combat led against the terrorist from Libya. He was wounded during the fighting and died once repatriated to N’Djamena,” Bermendao said.

The government and National Assembly have been dissolved and a nationwide curfew imposed from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m.

“The National Council of Transition reassures the Chadian people that all measures have been taken to guarantee peace, security and the republican order,” Bermendao said.

Deby had pushed through a new constitution in 2018 that would have allowed him to stay in power until 2033 – even as it re-instated term limits.


He took the title of Marshal last year and said before last week’s election: “I know in advance that I will win, as I have done for the last 30 years.”

He was dealing with mounting public discontent over his management of Chad’s oil wealth and crackdowns on opponents.

But in the election results announced on Monday, Deby was credited with 79% of the vote, handing him a sixth term in office. Several leading opposition figures boycotted the poll.

Western countries have seen Deby as an ally in the fight against Islamist extremist groups, including Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin and groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State in the Sahel.

His death is a blow to former colonial power France, which had based its Sahel counter-terrorism operations in the Chadian capital, N’Djamena. Chad had announced in February the deployment of 1,200 troops to complement 5,100 French soldiers in the area.

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The rebel group Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), which is based across the northern frontier with Libya, attacked a border post on election day and then advanced hundreds of kilometers (miles) south.

But the Chadian military appeared to have slowed its advance about 300 km (185 miles) from N’Djamena.

The rebels acknowledged on Monday that they suffered losses on Saturday but said they were back on the move on Sunday and Monday.

Déby had joined the army in the 1970s when Chad was going through a long-running civil war. He received military training in France and returned to Chad in 1978, throwing his support behind President Hissène Habré and eventually becoming commander in chief of the armed forces.

He seized power in 1990, leading a rebel army swathed in desert headgear in a three-week offensive launched from neighboring Sudan to topple Habre, a man accused of instigating tens of thousands of political murders.