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Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld dead at 88
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Will Dunham
Publishing date:Jun 30, 2021 • 2 hours ago • 5 minute read • Join the conversation
Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld looks on after former U.S. President George W. Bush placed a wreath during the 18th anniversary of September 11 attacks at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., Sept. 11, 2019.
Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld looks on after former U.S. President George W. Bush placed a wreath during the 18th anniversary of September 11 attacks at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., Sept. 11, 2019. PHOTO BY AL DRAGO/FILE PHOTO /REUTERS
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Donald Rumsfeld, a forceful U.S. defense secretary who was the main architect of the Iraq war until President George W. Bush replaced him as the United States found itself bogged down after 3-1/2 years of fighting, has died at age 88, his family said in a statement on Wednesday.

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“It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of Donald Rumsfeld, an American statesman and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather,” the statement said. “At 88, he was surrounded by family in his beloved Taos, New Mexico.”


The statement did not say when Rumsfeld died.

Rumsfeld, who ranks with Vietnam War-era defense secretary Robert McNamara as the most powerful men to hold the post, brought charisma and bombast to the Pentagon job, projecting the Bush administration’s muscular approach to world affairs.

With Rumsfeld in charge, U.S. forces swiftly toppled Iraqi President Saddam Hussein but failed to maintain law and order in the aftermath, and Iraq descended into chaos with a bloody insurgency and violence between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims. U.S. troops remained in Iraq until 2011, long after he left his post.

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Rumsfeld played a leading role ahead of the war in making the case to the world for the March 2003 invasion. He warned of the dangers of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction but no such weapons were ever discovered.

Only McNamara served as defense secretary for longer than Rumsfeld, who had two stints – from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, for whom he also served as White House chief of staff, and from 2001 to 2006 under Bush.

Rumsfeld was known for imperious treatment of some military officers and members of Congress and infighting with other members of the Bush team, including Secretary of State Colin Powell. He also alienated U.S. allies in Europe.

In 2004, Bush twice refused to accept Rumsfeld’s offer to resign after photos surfaced of U.S. personnel abusing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad. The scandal triggered international condemnation of the United States.

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In this file photo taken on Dec. 15, 2006 outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is joined by U.S. President George W. Bush, centre, and Vice-President Dick Cheney.
In this file photo taken on Dec. 15, 2006 outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is joined by U.S. President George W. Bush, centre, and Vice-President Dick Cheney. PHOTO BY TIM SLOAN /AFP via Getty Images
The United States faced global condemnation after the photos showed U.S. troops smiling, laughing and giving thumbs up as prisoners were forced into sexually abusive and humiliating positions including a naked human pyramid and simulated sex. One photo showed a prisoner forced to stand on a small box, his head covered in a black hood, with wires attached to his body.

Rumsfeld personally authorized harsh interrogation techniques for detainees. The U.S. treatment of detainees in Iraq and foreign terrorism suspects at a special prison set up under Rumsfeld at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, drew international condemnation, with human rights activists and others saying prisoners were tortured.

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He was a close ally of Bush’s vice president, Dick Cheney, who had worked for Rumsfeld during the 1970s Republican presidencies of Richard Nixon and Ford.

Rumsfeld became a lightning rod for criticism and, with the Iraq war largely a stalemate and public support eroding, Bush replaced him in November 2006 over Cheney’s objections.

Days after vowing Rumsfeld would remain for the rest of his term, Bush announced his departure a day after mid-term elections in which Democrats took control of Congress from Bush’s Republicans amid voter anger over the Iraq War.

Robert Gates, a soft-spoken but demanding former CIA director, took over from Rumsfeld in December 2006 and made sweeping strategic and military leadership changes in Iraq.

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Many historians and military experts blamed Rumsfeld for decisions that led to difficulties in Iraq. For example, Rumsfeld insisted on a relatively small invasion force, rejecting the views of many generals. The force then was insufficient to stabilize Iraq when Saddam fell.

Rumsfeld also was accused of being slow to recognize the emergence of the insurgency in 2003 and the threat it posed.

The U.S. occupation leader under Rumsfeld, L. Paul Bremer, quickly made two fateful decisions. One dissolved the Iraqi military, putting thousands of armed men on the streets rather than harnessing Iraqi soldiers as a reconstruction force as originally planned.

The second barred from Iraq’s government even junior members of the former ruling Baath Party, essentially emptying the various ministries of the people who made the government operate.

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Rumsfeld also oversaw the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 to oust the Taliban leaders who had harbored the al Qaeda leaders responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. As he did in Iraq two years later, Rumsfeld sent a small force to Afghanistan, quickly chased the Taliban from power and then failed to establish law and order.

U.S. forces during Rumsfeld’s tenure also were unable to track down Osama bin Laden. The al Qaeda chief slipped past a modest force of U.S. special operations troops and CIA officers along with allied Afghan fighters in the Afghan mountains of Tora Bora in December 2001. U.S. forces killed him in 2011.

Critics argue that had Rumsfeld devoted more troops to the Afghan effort, bin Laden may have been taken. But as he wrote in “Rumsfeld’s Rules,” his compilation of truisms dating to the 1970s: “If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.”

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Another quote from “Rumsfeld’s Rules” was equally apt: “It is easier to get into something than to get out of it.”

Rumsfeld was known for his rollicking news conferences in which he sparred with reporters and offered memorable quotes.


Speaking in 2002 about whether Iraq would give weapons of mass destruction to terrorists, he said: “Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

Rumsfeld later titled his memoir “Known and Unknown.”

“Stuff happens,” he told reporters in April 2003 amid rampant lawlessness in Baghdad after U.S. troops captured the Iraqi capital.

During his time away from public service, Rumsfeld became wealthy as a successful businessman, serving as chief executive of two Fortune 500 companies. In 1988, he briefly ran for the Republican U.S. presidential nomination.

Rumsfeld also served as a Navy pilot, U.S. NATO ambassador and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He and wife Joyce had three children.
 

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McAfee attempted suicide months before death in Spanish jail, prison source says
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Joan Faus
Publishing date:Jul 02, 2021 • 1 day ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
John McAfee, co-founder of McAfee Crypto Team and CEO of Luxcore and founder of McAfee Antivirus, speaks during an interview in Havana, Cuba, July 4, 2019.
John McAfee, co-founder of McAfee Crypto Team and CEO of Luxcore and founder of McAfee Antivirus, speaks during an interview in Havana, Cuba, July 4, 2019. PHOTO BY ALEXANDRE MENEGHINI /REUTERS
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BARCELONA — John McAfee, who authorities believe committed suicide in a Spanish prison last month, first tried to kill himself in February, prompting closer monitoring of the U.S. software mogul by warders, a penitentiary system source told Reuters on Friday.

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McAfee, who launched the world’s first commercial anti-virus software in 1987, was awaiting extradition to the United States on tax evasion charges. His widow said last week he was not suicidal and blamed U.S. authorities for his death.


The failed suicide attempt took place on Feb. 28 at the Brians prison complex outside Barcelona, where he had been held since his detention in October at the city’s airport, the source said.

As a result of the attempt the prison opened its standard suicide watch protocol, which involves monitoring the inmate’s mental health and closer supervision for days, weeks or sometimes months. The source declined to specify how long McAfee, 75, had been on suicide watch, citing confidentiality reasons.

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McAfee’s lawyer Javier Villalba has previously said his client had not shown any suicidal signs before being found dead in his cell. He was sharing the cell with another inmate but was alone at that time.

Villalba did not respond to Reuters requests for comment on Friday.


A spokesperson for Catalonia’s Justice Department, in charge of the northeastern region’s jail system, declined to comment.

The department has opened an internal investigation on McAfee’s death which is being shared with the judge in charge of the case.

El Pais newspaper reported on Monday the official autopsy showed that he died by suicide, but officials would not confirm or deny the report.
 

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Haitian President Jovenel Moise assassinated at home, wife injured
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Andre Paultre
Publishing date:Jul 07, 2021 • 1 hour ago • 2 minute read • 6 Comments
Haiti's President Jovenel Moise and first lady Martine attend a ceremony at a memorial for the tenth anniversary of the January 12, 2010 earthquake, in Titanyen, Haiti, January 12, 2020.
Haiti's President Jovenel Moise and first lady Martine attend a ceremony at a memorial for the 10th anniversary of the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake, in Titanyen, Haiti, Jan. 12, 2020. PHOTO BY ANDRES MARTINEZ CASARES /REUTERS
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PORT-AU-PRINCE — Haitian President Jovenel Moise was shot dead by unidentified attackers in his private residence overnight in a “barbaric act,” the government said on Wednesday, stirring fears of escalating turmoil in the impoverished Caribbean nation.

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The assassination coincided with a wave of gang violence in Port-au-Prince as armed groups have battled with police and one another for control of the streets recent months, turning many districts of the capital into no-go zones.


The 53-year-old president’s wife, Martine Moise, was also shot in the attack that took place around 1 a.m. local time and was receiving medical treatment, Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph said in a statement.

“A group of unidentified individuals, some of them speaking Spanish, attacked the private residence of the president of the republic and thus fatally wounded the head of state,” he said.

Joseph said the police and army had the security situation under control though gunfire could be heard throughout the crime-ridden capital of 1 million people after the attack.

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With Haiti politically polarized and facing a growing humanitarian crisis and shortages of food, fears of widespread chaos are spreading. The Dominican Republic said it was closing the border it shares with Haiti on the island of Hispaniola.


The bloodshed in Haiti is driven by worsening poverty and political unrest.

The country of about 11 million people – the poorest nation in the western hemisphere – has struggled to achieve stability since the fall of the Duvalier dictatorship in 1986, and grappled with a series of coups and foreign interventions.

A U.N. peacekeeping mission – meant to restore order after a rebellion toppled then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004 – ended in 2019 with the country still in turmoil. In recent years, Haiti has been buffeted by a series of natural disasters and still bears the scars of a major earthquake in 2010.

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Moise, a banana exporter-turned-politician, faced fierce protests after taking office as president in 2017. This year, the opposition accused him of seeking to install a dictatorship by overstaying his mandate and becoming more authoritarian. He denied those accusations.

“All measures are being taken to guarantee the continuity of the state and to protect the nation,” Joseph said.


Moise had ruled by decree for more than a year after the country failed to hold legislative elections and wanted to push through a controversial constitutional reform.

The U.S. Embassy said in a statement it would be closed on Wednesday due to the “ongoing security situation.”

The United States is assessing the “tragic attack” and President Joe Biden will be briefed on the assassination, the White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in Washington.

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“We stand ready and stand by them to provide any assistance that’s needed,” she said. “Of course our embassy and State Department will be in close touch but it’s a tragedy. We stand with them and it’s important that people of Haiti know that.”

The United States had on June 30 condemned what it described as a systematic violation of human rights, fundamental freedoms and attacks on the press in Haiti, urging the government to counter a proliferation of gangs and violence.

Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader held an emergency meeting early on Wednesday about the situation in Haiti but had yet to issue a statement.
 

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Final death toll from Florida condominium collapse put at 98
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Steve Gorman
Publishing date:Jul 26, 2021 • 4 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
The partially collapsed Champlain Towers South residential building is demolished, in Surfside, Florida, July 4, 2021.
The partially collapsed Champlain Towers South residential building is demolished, in Surfside, Florida, July 4, 2021. PHOTO BY MARCO BELLO /REUTERS
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Remains of the last person still listed as missing in the collapse of a Florida condominium tower on June 24 have been recovered and identified, bringing the final confirmed death toll to 98, Miami-Dade County officials said on Monday.

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Remains of the latest victim, Estelle Hedaya, 54, were found by search teams on July 20, and medical examiners had been working since then to positively identify her before making Monday’s announcement, authorities said at a news conference.


The Miami-Dade fire department’s round-the-clock search for additional victims at the beachfront site of the Champlain Towers South condo, in the Miami suburb of Surfside, was demobilized last Friday.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava called the combined search-and-rescue operation and efforts to find and identify victims of the Surfside disaster “the largest non-hurricane emergency response in the history of our state.”

“Today I can report, because of the sustained heroic efforts, the last remaining missing person has now been accounted for and identified and the family notified,” the mayor said. “Through these tireless efforts we were able to at least bring closure to all those who reported missing loved ones.”

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The confirmed death toll consists of the 97 victims killed outright when the building crumbled in the early hours of June 24 as residents slept, and one victim who died while hospitalized.


No one had been pulled alive from the mounds of pulverized concrete, splintered lumber and twisted metal since the early hours after the collapse 33 days ago, and authorities formally gave up hope of finding any more survivors on July 7.

Although the remains of everyone who was believed to have been trapped in the rubble have since been found, police will continue to sift through the debris for additional remains of those who died and for personal effects to return to loved ones, Levine Cava said.

The search for belongings was continuing through debris left when half of the building caved in on itself, as well as through rubble from the portion of the high-rise initially left standing but later demolished, Miami-Dade Police Department director Alfred Ramirez told reporters.

Authorities said they were still gathering evidence for investigations into what triggered the collapse.

While the cause remains undetermined, a 2018 engineering report found structural deficiencies that are now the focus of several inquiries, including a grand jury probe.

The disaster has prompted officials across South Florida to study residential buildings for signs of poor construction or structural weaknesses. (Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Leslie Adler and Sandra Maler)
 
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Night Court star Markie Post dead at 70
Author of the article:WENN - World Entertainment News Network
Publishing date:Aug 08, 2021 • 7 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Former Night Court star Markie Post.
Former Night Court star Markie Post. PHOTO BY RYAN REMIORZ /SunMediaArchive
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Night Court star Markie Post has died at the age of 70, after a nearly four-year cancer battle.

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Post passed away on Saturday, her manager Ellen Lubin Sanitsky confirmed to Deadline.

Night Court star Markie Post dead at 70
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She’s best known for playing public defender Christine Sullivan on the U.S. sitcom Night Court from 1985 to 1992, and for Lee Majors series The Fall Guy, which ran from 1982 to1985.

More recently, she had a recurring role as the mother of Sarah Chalke’s character on American TV comedy Scrubs, and also appeared as mum to Sophia Bush on Chicago P.D.


Markie’s best-known movie role was as the mother of Cameron Diaz’s character in the irreverent 1998 comedy hit There’s Something About Mary.

Even after she fell ill, the actress was determined to continue acting as a “side job” and worked on a number of projects between chemotherapy treatments, including TV movie Four Christmases and a Wedding and the series The Kids Are Alright.

“Our pride is in who she was in addition to acting; a person who made elaborate cakes for friends, sewed curtains for first apartments and showed us how to be kind, loving and forgiving in an often harsh world,” her devastated family said in a statement.
 

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'BOOM THEY WERE GONE:' Alberta trainers mourn two horses struck by lightning
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Bill Graveland
Publishing date:Aug 09, 2021 • 12 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
In this file photo taken on June 14, 2021, thunder clouds move east over a pasture south of Sundre, Alta.
In this file photo taken on June 14, 2021, thunder clouds move east over a pasture south of Sundre, Alta. PHOTO BY MIKE DREW /Postmedia Network
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SUNDRE, Alta. — A large dirt mound at the top of a green pasture in central Alberta is a reminder that tragedy can strike like lightning.

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Two high-value horses being trained by Ian Tipton and his partner, Lisa Blanchard, died July 2, when a severe storm rolled in west of Sundre. High winds and 100 millimetres of rain fell in an hour, while multiple lightning strikes hit the house and nearby pasture.


When it was over, several horses charged up and down the pasture. Two of the 14 were gone.

“We’ve buried them near where they dropped,” Tipton said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

“These two were pretty special and now they have a resting place overlooking everything.”

There are numerous hoofprints in the dirt on the grave.

A number of horses in the herd have made the area their new resting place. Czar, an old, grey Andalusian, stood over his two fallen comrades — Cipato and Jacinto — for 24 hours after they died, Tipton said, and never strays far away.

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It’s something Tipton, who has been working with horses for the past 50 years, has never seen before.

“Those horses never left them, not for a minute. The little black guy was trying to wake them up and this grey horse stood over them and would not leave them until they were in the ground,” he said.

“Any time I look up here, it never changes … morning to night. They come back.”

Blanchard said the horses who died were like family.

“We were just absolutely devastated, just sick with both the sense of personal loss — and professionally,” she said.

Tipton Horsemanship is an education centre for classical horsemanship. Staff train horses, some of them Grand Prix quality, and have clients from around the world who want to ride them.

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Cipato, an eight-year-old Friesian quarter-horse cross, was likely worth up to US$70,000, said Tipton, while Jacinto, a purebred Portuguese Lusitano, was worth roughly US$30,000. Both were insured.

“It certainly doesn’t replace the value they are to us as family members,” Tipton said.

David Phillips, a senior climatologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada, said July is the deadliest month for lightning strikes.

Canada records over two million strikes a year, or about one every three seconds. The most hit Ontario, followed by Alberta and Saskatchewan.

“The average temperature of a lightning flash is about 30,000 degrees Celsius and typically the voltage is about 150 times more powerful than the electric chair,” Phillips said.

The most prevalent time for the storms to hit are at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.


Very few lightning strikes are a direct hit. Phillips said most happen when lightning travels down an object then jumps, or when a current hits the ground then travels along the ground “and knocks you down.”

Tipton said he is comforted knowing his two horses likely had a quick death.

“There was no suffering,” Tipton said. “Both of those souls were perfectly happy and then boom they were gone.”
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Three brothers dead after Ohio manure-pit fall
Author of the article:Kevin Connor
Publishing date:Aug 12, 2021 • 12 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Site of the Mercer family farm accident.
Site of the Mercer family farm accident. PHOTO BY WDTN /TORONTO SUN
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Three brothers are dead after falling into a manure pit and succumbing to the fumes on their family livestock farm in western Ohio.

Mercer County reports on Tuesday, the Wuebker brothers — Todd 31, Brad, 35, and Gary, 37 — were working maintenance of the farm when they fell into the pit.

WHIO TV7 reports rescuers found the men after their mother called 911.

First responders — including a dive team — were able to pull them out of the pit after about 20 minutes and they were transported to Mercer Health Hospital where they later died from their injuries.

The National Agricultural Safety Database says fertilizer from manure pits can produce toxic gases like hydrogen sulfide, methane, and ammonia.

Four hundred and sixteen farmers died from work-related injuries in 2007.

“Always treat a pit as if it is a death trap and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and others if entry is necessary,” the NASD says on its website.

On Wednesday, Mercer Landmark, Inc., where two of the three brothers worked, released a statement.

“Our hearts are with the Wuebker Family. Brad, Gary and Todd Wuebker lost their lives doing what they loved — working on the family farm. Brad and Gary were members of our team and had a work ethic like no other,” the statement read.


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“Brad and Gary will forever be missed as members of our team and will create a void that will be impossible to fill. We ask that you keep the Wuebker Family in your thoughts and prayers.”
 

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Woman was strangled to death after pyjamas caught in oven door: Coroner
Author of the article:Denette Wilford
Publishing date:Aug 20, 2021 • 13 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Door of the emergency ambulance car
Door of the emergency ambulance car PHOTO BY CHALABALA /Getty Images
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A woman in England who died earlier this year was killed when her pyjamas top became caught in her oven door.

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Jackie Cottrill, 52, was found Jan. 24 next to her oven with her clothing tangled up in the appliance, LancsLive reported.


Her nephew Jack Brocklebank, who was staying with her at the time, had gone downstairs in the early hours that day and his aunt had made him a sandwich. Brocklebank then went to bed and woke up at 1 p.m., but didn’t leave his room for another hour, an inquest heard this week.

That’s when he discovered his aunt collapsed next to the oven.

A full post-mortem examination determined her cause of death was asphyxiation due to the compression of her neck caused by her pyjama top being tangled in the oven door.

“She died at her home address due to the entanglement of her clothing with an oven door handle,” coroner Dr. James Adeley stated during the inquest.

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“It is very unusual that someone who was fit and well managed to suspend themselves accidentally from the oven door,” he continued. “What appears to have happened is that for some reason she has fallen and caught her pyjamas top on the lower handle of the oven door.”

He added: “In my 20 years of doing this, I have never come across this happening.”


Cotrill reportedly suffered a stroke six years earlier but did not have any issues with balance, the inquest heard.

“Only she knows how it happened,” said Sarah Ramsdale, one of Cotrill’s two daughters.

“We’ll never know,” Cotrill’s brother Adrian Macfarlane added.

dwilford@postmedia.com
 

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Homicide ruled out in mysterious deaths of family of three, dog
Author of the article:Denette Wilford
Publishing date:Aug 22, 2021 • 9 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
jon ellen
PHOTO BY ELLEN CHUNG /Instagram
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The initial autopsy of a young family and their dog has resulted in more questions for investigators.

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The deaths of John Gerrish, Ellen Chung, their one-year-old daughter, Miju, and their family dog was already a mystery but even more so now that officials have ruled out homicide since the discovery of their bodies on Tuesday.


“Initially, yes, when we come across a family with no apparent cause of death, there’s no smoking gun, there’s no suicide note, there’s nothing like that, we have to consider all options,” Mariposa County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Kristie Mitchell told Fox News.

“Now that we’re five days in, no, we’re no longer considering homicide as a cause of death.”

The family from Mariposa, Calif., was found on a hiking trail in the Sierra National Forest, a day after they were reported missing, according to the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office.

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Investigators are now relying on toxicology results and the dog’s autopsy to provide some answers.

“We’re hoping that within the next week, two weeks, we’ll have a better idea,” said Mitchell.

“There’s toxicology that we’re waiting for from the autopsies themselves, and then also from the [necropsy for the dog].”

The area was initially being treated as a hazmat situation but by Wednesday, the warning was lifted.

Investigators are looking at a range of causes of death, including toxic algae blooms and toxic gases.

In July, the U.S. Forest Service asked visitors and their pets to avoid swimming and wading because of toxic algae in the water. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife had conducted water testing and showed a high concentration of algae bloom, which can produce toxins and “pose a risk to humans and pets.”


The family’s Sunday hike was intended to be for the day, which prompted concern from family and friends when they didn’t return home.

Steven Jeffe, a family friend, said the couple were “really beloved” and “devoted to their daughter,” and everyone in their lives is “devastated” by the loss.

“It’s just a tragedy,” Jeffe told the Fresno Bee. “You have people who pass away and die. And that’s always sad. This one is just so freaky and strange, and it’s really, really sad. They had so much going for them.”
 

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Geronimo the alpaca euthanized in Britain despite public outcry
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Guy Faulconbridge and Sarah Young
Publishing date:Aug 31, 2021 • 16 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Veterinary nurse Helen Macdonald with the alpaca Geronimo at Shepherds Close Farm in Bristol, England, Aug. 25, 2021.
Veterinary nurse Helen Macdonald with the alpaca Geronimo at Shepherds Close Farm in Bristol, England, Aug. 25, 2021. PHOTO BY FINNBARR WEBSTER /Getty Images
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LONDON — An eight-year-old alpaca named Geronimo, who was at the centre of a legal row with the British government and whose plight triggered a nationwide campaign to keep him alive, has been killed after twice testing positive for bovine tuberculosis.

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Video footage showed veterinary staff in blue overalls, masks, and goggles, backed by police officers, arrive at a farm in western England where the animal lived, and lead him away.


The order to kill the alpaca led to pleas from owner Helen Macdonald for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie to show mercy, prompting some celebrities to demand they swerve away from what they cast as a public relations disaster.

Protesters in recent weeks had shown up at Macdonald’s farm to guard him from executioners after the government ordered him to be put down. More than 140,000 people had signed a petition calling for the creature to be saved.

Alpaca Geronimo at Shepherds Close Farm in Bristol, England, Aug. 25, 2021.
Alpaca Geronimo at Shepherds Close Farm in Bristol, England, Aug. 25, 2021. PHOTO BY FINNBARR WEBSTER /Getty Images
“The infected animal was moved from the premises and euthanized by staff from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) as a necessary measure to control the spread of bovine tuberculosis,” the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said in a statement.

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Bovine tuberculosis is a chronic bacterial disease of cattle that occasionally affects other mammal species. It can spread to humans through the ingestion of unpasteurized milk.

Macdonald, a veterinary nurse, said the alpaca was negative when he was brought in from New Zealand and believes the government’s diagnosis is the result of a false positive. She has spent thousands of pounds on a failed court battle to save the animal.

A spokesman for the prime minister said it is highly distressing for someone to lose an animal.

“Our sympathies are with Ms Macdonald and others that are affected by this terrible disease,” he said.
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Peel police service dog dies on duty of natural causes
Author of the article:postmedia News
Publishing date:Sep 02, 2021 • 7 hours ago • < 1 minute read • 5 Comments
Peel police are mourning the death of Dutch, a service dog.
Peel police are mourning the death of Dutch, a service dog. PHOTO BY TWITTER /Peel Police K9 Unit
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Peel police are mourning the death of a beloved service dog.

They said Dutch died of natural causes while on duty on Sept. 1.


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Dutch had joined Peel’s Canine Unit in 2017 and he and his trainer had attended 650 calls for service, resulting in 67 arrests.

“He will be missed and remembered by his friend, handler and partner, Constable Colin Manson, the Manson family and his police family,” they said.

“We thank Dutch for his dedicated and loyal service to our community and enriching the lives of those who knew him. Rest easy, Dutch.”


Flags at all Peel Regional Police facilities will fly at half-mast in Dutch’s memory.
 

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Five U.S. Navy helicopter crew members declared dead after crash off San Diego coast
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Sep 04, 2021 • 15 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter conducts flight control checks on the flight deck of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Indian Ocean November 25, 2020. Picture taken November 25, 2020.
An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter conducts flight control checks on the flight deck of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Indian Ocean November 25, 2020. Picture taken November 25, 2020. PHOTO BY US NAVY /via REUTERS
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy on Saturday declared dead the five missing crew members of a helicopter that crashed off the coast of California earlier this week, as recovery operations continued.

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“The U.S. Navy has declared the five missing crew members of an MH-60S helicopter crash, deceased. U.S. 3rd Fleet has shifted from search and rescue efforts to recovery operations,” the Navy said in a statement.


The helicopter took off from the USS Abraham Lincoln on Tuesday and crashed into the Pacific Ocean 60 nautical miles off the coast of San Diego during routine flight operations, according to the Navy.

One crew member had been rescued, the U.S. Navy Third Fleet said.

The identities of the five deceased crew members were being withheld pending notification of their next of kin, and an investigation into the incident was underway, the Navy said.
 

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Man accused of fatally stabbing law firm receptionist
Author of the article:Kevin Connor
Publishing date:Sep 06, 2021 • 6 hours ago • 1 minute read • 31 Comments
Julia Ferguson
Julia Ferguson PHOTO BY TORONTO POLICE HANDOUT /Toronto Sun
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A man faces charges after a receptionist at a law firm was killed in a stabbing in downtown Toronto.

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Julia Ferguson, 29, of Toronto, died Sunday after an assailant stabbed her Thursday afternoon in the King-Sherbourne Sts. area.


A suspect fled the scene. A man later turned himself into police.

Ferguson’s friends have established a GoFundMe page, raising more than $54,000 as of early Monday night.

“Julia was working at her job as a receptionist at a law firm when she was attacked and stabbed in the chest,” says the GoFundMe page.

“The stab wound to her chest resulted in a puncture wound to her heart leaving her without vital signs upon paramedics arrival. Due to Julia’s strength, the paramedics were able to resuscitate her, and she was rushed to the hospital,” says the page. “Though Julia sustained critical injuries, the doctors were cautiously optimistic.”

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On Sunday, the family received news that due to a lack of oxygen, Julia was pronounced brain dead.

“Never could we imagine losing our friend so young and so tragically. Julia fought for her life as hard as she could so that her friends and family would be able to say goodbye.”


Osman Osman, 33, of Toronto, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and assault with a weapon. Osman is in custody and police say the charges will likely be upgraded.

Det.-Sgt. Tiffany Castell said Osman had a relationship with the law firm, Hicks Adams LLP, but wouldn’t elaborate.

“I can’t get into too many more details, but there is an association there,” she said, adding that investigators allege the attack wasn’t a random incident.
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Man accused of fatally stabbing 'beautiful and kind-hearted' Toronto law firm receptionist
Julia Ferguson, 29, of Toronto, died Sunday after being attacked Thursday afternoon

Author of the article:Kevin Connor
Publishing date:Sep 07, 2021 • 15 hours ago • 2 minute read • 79 Comments
Julia Ferguson, 29, was stabbed Sept. 2, 2021 while working at law firm Hicks Adams LLP on King St. E. in Toronto. She died Sept. 5.
Julia Ferguson, 29, was stabbed Sept. 2, 2021 while working at law firm Hicks Adams LLP on King St. E. in Toronto. She died Sept. 5. PHOTO BY HANDOUT /Toronto Police
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A man now faces murder charges after a law firm receptionist stabbed on the job in downtown Toronto last week has died.

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Julia Ferguson, 29, of Toronto, died Sunday after being attacked Thursday afternoon at 238 King St. E., east of Sherbourne St.


The attacker fled the scene, but a man later surrendered himself to police.

Ferguson’s friends have established a GoFundMe page for her family, raising more than $54,000 as of early Monday night.

“Julia was working at her job as a receptionist at a law firm when she was attacked and stabbed in the chest,” says the GoFundMe page, identifying the business as Hicks Adams LLP.

“The stab wound to her chest resulted in a puncture wound to her heart leaving her without vital signs upon paramedics arrival. Due to Julia’s strength, the paramedics were able to resuscitate her, and she was rushed to the hospital,” says the page. “Though Julia sustained critical injuries, the doctors were cautiously optimistic.”

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On Sunday, the family received news that due to a lack of oxygen, Ferguson was pronounced brain dead.

“Never could we imagine losing our friend so young and so tragically. Julia fought for her life as hard as she could so that her friends and family would be able to say goodbye.”


The fundraising campaign says she was an organ donor who will “live on in our memories and through those she has and will help.”

Ferguson leaves behind her “mother, brother, boyfriend, family and many friends who will miss her dearly.”

“If you were blessed to know Julia you know what a beautiful and kind-hearted soul she was,” the GoFundMe says. “Those who know her can tell you that she was an exceptional human being. Julia was young, beautiful, vivacious and full of life.”

Osman Osman, 33, of Toronto, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and assault with a weapon. Osman is in custody and police say the charges will likely be upgraded.

Det.-Sgt. Tiffany Castell said Osman had a relationship with the law firm, Hicks Adams LLP, but wouldn’t elaborate.

“I can’t get into too many more details, but there is an association there,” she said, adding that investigators believe the attack against the firm itself wasn’t random.

kconnor@postmedia.com
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'She made everyone feel special,' recalls stabbing victim's brother
Julia Ferguson, 29, died after being attacked at her law firm Thursday

Author of the article:Scott Laurie
Publishing date:Sep 07, 2021 • 6 hours ago • 2 minute read • 8 Comments
Julia Ferguson was stabbed to death on Sept. 2, 2021, while working as a receptionist at a law firm.
Julia Ferguson was stabbed to death on Sept. 2, 2021, while working as a receptionist at a law firm. PHOTO BY SUPPLIED PHOTO /Toronto Sun
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Family and friends are mourning the sudden loss of Julia Ferguson, 29, who was fatally stabbed while working at a law firm last week.

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“I think some really heavy grief is to come still because shock is carrying a lot of people through,” said her brother, Chris Ferguson, who returned to Toronto on Tuesday from London, Ont., to help support Julia’s grieving boyfriend, Jesse.


“The best thing that keeps coming to me is how she made everybody feel,” Chris said. “She made everyone feel special.”

Ferguson was working as a receptionist last Thursday at a law firm, Hicks Adams LLP, in the King-Sherbourne Sts. area when an assailant stabbed her.

A suspect fled the scene. A man later turned himself in to police.

Despite efforts to save her, Julia died Sunday afternoon.

“We miss her terribly,” said Chris Hicks, partner at the law firm where Ferguson worked. “It is just shattering for us, this loss.”

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Julia Ferguson with her brother Chris Ferguson. FAMILY HANDOUT
Julia Ferguson with her brother Chris Ferguson. FAMILY HANDOUT
He and his staff are reeling.


“She was smart and competent and smart and polite with everyone — and was a real asset to our office because of these qualities,” Hicks said.

A family friend has organized a GoFundMe page which has raised more than $69,000 as of Tuesday night.

Lisa S wrote on the page: “If you were blessed to know Julia, you know what a beautiful and kind-hearted soul she was. Those who know her can tell you that she was an exceptional human being. Julia was young, beautiful, vivacious, and full of life.”

Julia Ferguson, 29, was stabbed Sept. 2, 2021 while working at law firm Hicks Adams LLP on King St. E. in Toronto. She died Sept. 5.
Julia Ferguson, 29, was stabbed Sept. 2, 2021 while working at law firm Hicks Adams LLP on King St. E. in Toronto. She died Sept. 5. PHOTO BY HANDOUT /Toronto Police
The outpouring has left the family grateful.

“To see the amount of people who have shown their support … I didn’t realize the scope,” Chris said.

He said Julia moved from London, Ont., nine years ago to work in Toronto.

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Julia Ferguson with her boyfriend Jesse. FAMILY/HANDOUT
Julia Ferguson with her boyfriend Jesse. FAMILY/HANDOUT
He described her as a dog lover who charmed everyone she met.

Her small family lost their father 17 years ago and are now grieving another loss.

Chris said it is especially hard for his ailing mother, Lynn, who could not make it to the hospital to say goodbye.

“She’s been as well as she can, but that’s her baby. That’s her baby daughter,” he said.

Julia Ferguson with her mother Lynn. FAMILY HANDOUT
Julia Ferguson with her mother Lynn. FAMILY HANDOUT
Osman Osman, 33, of Toronto, is in custody and is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and assault with a weapon. Police expect the charges to be upgraded.

Toronto Police Det.-Sgt. Tiffany Castell said Monday that Osman had a relationship with the law firm, but she wouldn’t elaborate.

“I can’t get into too many more details, but there is an association there,” she said, adding investigators allege the attack wasn’t random.
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Charge upgraded against accused man held in fatal law firm stabbing
Osman Osman, 33, faces second degree murder; seeing psychiatrist in jail

Author of the article:Scott Laurie
Publishing date:Sep 08, 2021 • 10 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
Julia Ferguson, 29, was stabbed Sept. 2, 2021 while working at law firm Hicks Adams LLP on King St. E. in Toronto. She died Sept. 5.
Julia Ferguson, 29, was stabbed Sept. 2, 2021 while working at law firm Hicks Adams LLP on King St. E. in Toronto. She died Sept. 5. PHOTO BY HANDOUT /Toronto Police
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The suspect accused in the stabbing death of Julia Ferguson, 29, is now facing an upgraded charge of second-degree murder.

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Osman Osman, 33, made a brief court appearance by video from the Toronto South Detention Centre.


The crown requested “non-communication orders” forcing Osman not to have contact with a list of 19 people.

Three of those people are Ferguson’s relatives; her brother and boyfriend are among them.

Osman is accused in connection with the death of Ferguson, who was stabbed at about 2 p.m. on Sept. 2 as she worked as a receptionist at a law firm in the area close to Sherbourne St. and King St. E.

Ferguson died in hospital on Sept. 5 with family by her side.

At Wednesday’s hearing, the crown requested Osman remain detained.


The Justice of the Peace said “due to the nature of the charge Mr. Osman is going to continue in detention.”

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“Mr. Osman, have you understood sir, that the case is going to go over until September the 22nd?”

“Yes,” Osman said.

Julia Ferguson with her brother Chris Ferguson. FAMILY HANDOUT
Julia Ferguson with her brother Chris Ferguson. FAMILY HANDOUT
It was the only word he uttered during his seven-minute appearance in which he wore an orange jumpsuit and a blue medical mask.

Osman’s lawyer Alan Sobcuff told the court “he does have mental health issues. I understand that he has already been seen by, I believe, somebody in the jail. A psychiatrist perhaps.”

Christopher Hicks, founding partner of Hicks Adams LLP where the incident happened, told the Sun on Tuesday that he is legally not allowed to discuss any link between Osman and the firm.

“I’m not supposed to talk about that,” Hicks said. “Homicide doesn’t want me talking about the investigation or who was involved.”

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On Monday, Det.-Sgt. Tiffany Castell said Osman had a connection to the firm, but she wouldn’t elaborate.

“I can’t get into too many more details, but there is an association there,” she said, adding investigators allege the attack wasn’t random.

Julia Ferguson with her mother Lynn. FAMILY HANDOUT
Julia Ferguson with her mother Lynn. FAMILY HANDOUT
A GoFundMe page set up by Ferguson’s friends as a gesture of support for her family has raised more than $72,000 as of Wednesday afternoon.

“Even in her passing Julia will be helping others seeing that she decided to be an organ donor. She felt it was important to give anything she could to those in need. She will live on in our memories and through those she has and will help,” wrote the organizer Lisa S.

Julia Ferguson with her boyfriend Jesse. FAMILY/HANDOUT
Julia Ferguson with her boyfriend Jesse. FAMILY/HANDOUT
Osman is scheduled back in court on Sept. 22 at 9 a.m.
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