National Newswatch

Memorial held for Canadian man killed fighting ISIL in Syria

Jan 9 2017 — Diana Mehta — An Ontario man who died fighting Islamic State militants in northern Syria was remembered as a hero by members of Canada's Kurdish community who gathered Monday in Ottawa to honour him. Nazzareno Tassone, 24, was killed on Dec. 21 in the city of Raqqa, while fighting alongside the Kurdish People's Defense Units, a U.S.-backed group that's also known as […]

Toronto mayor wants all hands on deck to tackle the opioid crisis

Jan 8 2017 — Diana Mehta — TORONTO — The fentanyl-fuelled opioid crisis that has wreaked havoc in British Columbia is moving east, and the mayor of Toronto hopes a united and rapid response will help save lives in Canada's most populous city. Part of that effort begins Monday, with the first meeting of the Toronto Overdose Early Warning and Alert Partnership, which will bring together politicians, […]

Toronto mayor wants all hands on deck to tackle the opioid crisis

Jan 8 2017 — Diana Mehta — TORONTO — The fentanyl-fuelled opioid crisis that has wreaked havoc in British Columbia is moving east, and the mayor of Toronto hopes a united and rapid response will help save lives in Canada's most populous city. Part of that effort begins Monday, with the first meeting of the Toronto Overdose Early Warning and Alert Partnership, which will bring together politicians, […]

Negotiations underway in Syria to recover body of Canadian fighter from ISIL

Jan 5 2017 — Diana Mehta — TORONTO — Negotiations are underway to recover the body of a Canadian man killed while fighting Islamic State militants in Syria, a leader of Toronto's Kurdish community said Thursday. Nazzareno Tassone, 24, was killed in the city of Raqqa on Dec. 21 while fighting alongside Kurdish forces, according to the Kurdish People's Defense Units, a U.S.-backed group also known as the YPG. His […]

‘A Monster Calls’ marks a first for Sigourney Weaver

Jan 5 2017 — Diana Mehta — TORONTO — As she portrayed a stern, emotionally reserved British matriarch in her latest film "A Monster Calls," sci-fi queen Sigourney Weaver marked a career milestone — her first role as a grandmother. The 67-year-old actress, famous for her "Alien" and "Ghostbusters" films among many others, said she jumped at the chance to be a part […]

Man believed to be teaching English overseas killed fighting ISIL in Syria

Jan 4 2017 — Diana Mehta — An Ontario family has learned that their 24-year-old son, who they thought was teaching English overseas, has been killed in Syria while fighting against Islamic State militants. Nazzareno Tassone was fighting alongside Kurdish forces when he was killed in the city of Raqqa on Dec. 21, according to a letter the Kurdish People's Defense Units sent his family. Tassone's younger sister said the […]

Canadian woman reportedly dies in Italian hiking incident: media reports

Jan 4 2017 — Diana Mehta — A young Ontario woman who had recently moved to Europe with her fiance died on New Year's Day after falling off a mountain path during a hike near the Italian-Austrian border. Chelsea Rebecca Alvarez was hiking on Jan. 1 in a mountainous area in the South Tyrol region of northern Italy, when she reportedly slipped off a path and […]

Ontario university facility create ‘smallest snowman’ from silica spheres

Dec 23 2016 — Diana Mehta — Days before Christmas, a research scientist at an Ontario university has created a microscopic figure he's calling the world's "smallest snowman." Todd Simpson, from Western University's Nanofabrication Facility, says the figure was made from three incredibly tiny silica spheres stacked on top of each other, with arms and a nose made of platinum. The facility published an image […]

Parents of Canadian man held hostage in Afghanistan speak out about new video

Dec 22 2016 — Diana Mehta — TORONTO — The parents of a Canadian man held hostage in Afghanistan say a recently released video of their son and his family marks the first time they've seen their two grandchildren, who were born in captivity. Canadian Joshua Boyle and his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, were kidnapped in 2012 while travelling in a mountainous region of northern Afghanistan. In a […]

Canadian man with family caught in Libyan conflict calls on Ottawa to speak out

Dec 21 2016 — Diana Mehta — TORONTO — A Canadian man whose family is trapped in a militant-controlled area in the Libyan city of Benghazi is calling on Ottawa to help broker a ceasefire so innocent civilians can flee the fighting. Ali Hamza, of Mississauga, Ont., says his 75-year-old mother, five siblings, sister-in-law and six young nieces are among about 130 families still living in the neighbourhood of Ganfouda, which […]

Canadian man with family caught in Libyan conflict calls on Ottawa to speak out

Dec 21 2016 — Diana Mehta — TORONTO — A Canadian man whose family is trapped in a militant-controlled area in the Libyan city of Benghazi is calling on Ottawa to help broker a ceasefire so innocent civilians can flee the fighting. Ali Hamza, of Mississauga, Ont., says his 75-year-old mother, five siblings, sister-in-law and six young nieces are among about 130 families still living in the neighbourhood of Ganfouda, which […]

Man who fled to Pakistan after sexually assaulting woman sentenced in absentia

Dec 19 2016 — Diana Mehta — TORONTO — An Ontario man who fled to Pakistan after being found guilty of sexual assault was sentenced in absentia Monday, in what a Toronto judge called a "phenomenally rare procedure." Moazzam Tariq — a permanent resident of Canada from Pakistan — was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison. The 29-year-old had been out […]

Two teams of Toronto students give up holidays to help locals in India, Egypt

Dec 18 2016 — Diana Mehta — TORONTO — While their classmates head home for the holidays, a handful of university students from Toronto will be spending much of their winter break in villages in India and Egypt, teaching locals how to build and sell affordable water filters. The goal of the two small teams from Ryerson University is to help improve access to […]

‘Cancelling Christmas’: 2 kids, mother, great-grandmother die in Ontario house fire

Dec 15 2016 — Diana Mehta — PORT COLBORNE, Ont. — A house engulfed in flames several metres high. A father running out of the burning home frantically pleading for someone to help rescue his wife and two children trapped inside.   That was the horrific scene neighbours woke up to early Wednesday as they helplessly watched the fire rapidly consume the two-storey home in the small community […]

Aussie actor practised accent on strangers to play young Obama in ‘Barry’

Dec 15 2016 — Diana Mehta — TORONTO — As he prepared to play a young Barack Obama on the big screen, Devon Terrell shed his Australian accent, altered his body language and started practising his part on strangers he met on the streets of New York City. "Barry," which premieres on Netflix on Friday, examines the life of the U.S. president back when […]