Monthly Archives: November 2018

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Woman killed after house fire in Toronto’s north end

The niece of an elderly woman killed in a house fire in north-end Toronto describes her aunt as “strong-willed” and a “wonderful person.”

“It was very much a surprise to us,” said Wendy Heigh, the victim’s niece.

“We didn’t expect this at all.”

Toronto Fire Services said crews were called to a house on Bathford Crescent, near Leslie Street and Finch Avenue East, at 12:25 p.m. Saturday.

After arriving, firefighters found heavy smoke. A spokesman said the fire was believed to have been in the living room.

“In the course of our search and rescue and fire suppression operations, there was one victim located inside the home,” Matthew Pegg, Fire Chief with Toronto Fire Services said.

Toronto Fire and police have not released the identity of the victim but family said the victim’s name was Iris.

“She was independent. She did not want to leave the house. She lived here since – I think she was the first natural owner of the house – and she was just a very wonderful person,” Heigh said.

According to Heigh, Iris was in a wheelchair and had Parkinson’s disease.

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Lesley Walsh, a neighbour, said she saw clouds of smoke coming from the home.

“When I came out of the house I saw smoke and the smoke kept getting thicker and thicker,” said Walsh.

“As soon as I saw it, I thought there is a fire around the corner.”

Toronto Fire Services said the investigation is still in its early stages and it will likely be a couple of days before they find the fire’s origin.

“We take these investigations very seriously with our partners with the [Ontario Fire Marshall] and we have to see if we do it systematically and scientifically,” said Jim Jessop, Deputy Fire Chief Toronto Fire.

The coroner’s office has also been called in to assist with the investigation.

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White House could be petless for the first time in 150 years when Donald Trump moves in

President Barack Obama’s fluffy family dogs Bo and Sunny have stolen American’s hearts.

But as the Obama family prepares to leave the White House at the end of January, so will the fluffy tenants.

Throughout history, America’s first families often had pets in their families.

George W. Bush had a Scottish terrier named Barney Bush, the Clintons had a Labrador retriever named Buddy and a cat named Socks, while America’s 27th president, William Howard Taft, had a milk cow.

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  • New dog Sunny joins Obamas at White House

  • 13 photos of U.S. presidential pets

    Former president Benjamin Harrison’s grandchildren had a goat named whiskers and Teddy Roosevelt had exotic birds and a pony.

    READ MORE: 13 photos of U.S. presidential pets

    With Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, many are left wondering if his family will have a pet residing with them at the White House. If not, he could be the first president in 150 years without a pet.

    For 84-year-old Claire McLean, founder of the now-closed Presidential Pet Museum, this is a very significant time in presidential pet history.

    “First families with pets make people feel like they’re just like us,” McLean remarked.

    The museum displayed statues, books, vintage pictures, and artifacts such as a bell that was said to belong to former William Taft’s milk cow.

    “You can teach children and adults about the presidents of the United States through the pets easier than you can through anything else,” McLean told CBS news.

    McLean got her start when she landed a position with former president Ronald Reagan to groom their new puppy named Lucky.

    “She was rambunctious and stubborn and had a mind of her own,” McLean told CBS News. “She was even pulling president Reagan in the rose garden.”

    She had such a great time with Lucky, she secretly saved a souvenir.

    “I swept up the hair put it in a brown paper bag and snuck out of the White House with it,” McLean said.

    Lucky inspired McLean’s mother to paint his portrait, which led Claire on a search for presidential pet memorabilia.

    In 1999, she turned her collection into the Presidential Pet Museum. McLean said that starting it changed her life by giving her something to be passionate about.

    Although the museum closed six years ago, she said she’s looking for a new owner.

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Edmonton Oilers aiming for third Battle of Alberta win of the season

The Edmonton Oilers hope to continue their Battle of Alberta winning streak when the team faces off against the Calgary Flames for the first time in 2017.

Defenceman Adam Larsson will miss his first game of the season Saturday night.

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“You put bodies in, but you don’t replace him,” head coach Todd McLellan said. “You do things more by committee. Our pairs will be distributed tonight based on how they’re performing more than set pairs. You don’t replace him. Hopefully, it’s short term.”

McLellan didn’t say what Larsson’s injury is, but he did look stung after blocking a shot against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.

READ MORE: Draisaitl OT goal gives Oilers 3-2 win over Taylor Hall and New Jersey Devils

Up front, Jujhar Khaira is out with an illness. Expect Eric Gryba and Matt Hendricks to play in place of Larsson and Khaira.

The Oilers and Flames haven’t played since October when Edmonton swept a season-opening home-and-home. Brandon Davidson suffered an injury in the first game and is still upset at Flames rookie Matthew Tkachuk.

IN PHOTOS: Rogers Place hosts inaugural Battle of Alberta

“The whistle blew, we skated three seconds behind the net, and it was a slew-foot,” recalled Davidson. “I’m going to play this game the same way I play every game. I’m going to make sure I have a chip on my shoulder for sure.

“It’s definitely a game I’ve had circled on the map for a long time.”

The Oilers come into the game in third in the Pacific Division, three points up on the fourth place Flames.

Catch the game on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 6:30 p.m. The puck drops at 8 p.m.

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Suicides in Quebec indigenous communities preventable: coroner’s report

A Quebec coroner’s report says five suicides that occurred in two indigenous communities in 2015 were avoidable.

The report released Saturday by Bernard Lefrancois says the problems are largely rooted in the reserve system, which the coroner compares to apartheid.

READ MORE: National suicide strategy urged after deaths of 2 youths in northern Ontario: First Nations chief

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Lefrancois’ report says the four women and one man had different stories but were all aboriginal, and all suffered individually against a backdrop of collective unhappiness.

The victims ranged in age from 18 to 46 and all took their lives between February and October of 2015 in the communities of Uashat mak Mani-Utenam, near Sept-Iles, and Kawawachikamach, on Quebec’s North Shore.

READ MORE: AFN National Chief urges national approach to lower suicide rates amongst Indigenous youth

The report says the five victims —; four Innu and one Naskapi —; all exhibited at least one of the factors associated with suicide,which can include alcohol and drug consumption, family difficulties,
mental illness and exposure to the suicide of a loved one.

Lefrancois’ report calls for improving the living conditions in aboriginal communities, which have a suicide rate that is double that of the general population.

WATCH BELOW: Indigenous youth suicide in Canada



AFN National Chief urges national approach to lower suicide rates amongst Indigenous youth



‘Children need to know that they are valued’: minister of Indigenous and northern affairs



Mental health team lands in Attawapiskat after suicide attempts



“What’s it going to take to end this cycle of crisis and death among young people:” MP Charlie Angus on tragedy in Attawapiskat

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B.C. Parks looks to address overcrowding concerns at Mount Seymour

More and more people are flooding into Mount Seymour Provincial Park and other natural spaces to enjoy the sunshine and fresh snow, which has led to massive headaches when it comes to parking and highway traffic.

B.C. Parks has taken note of the problem and is looking at various solutions, including investing in the building of a parkade or even a gondola.

But Steven Jones, leader of parks advocacy group North Shore Dawn Patrol, says such large capital projects are not necessarily the answer.

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“It’s hard to justify,” Jones said. “The use is concentrated in a few peak days each year, and within a few hours within those days. So I think we need to look more at how we can distribute the demand across more parks and across more hours within this park.”

Jones suggests B.C. Parks should instead look at providing services that would ultimately decrease the number of vehicles in the area, including shuttles and ride-share programs.

He also says rises in provincial tourism have resulted in overcrowding throughout the B.C. parks system, and that more investment is needed to meet demand.

“We’re up against a hard wall right now,” Jones said. “A lot of our parks are at capacity, whether it’s parking, campsites, trails that are washing out.

“I think our tourism industry is going to start to hit a cap and have a hard time to grow in the coming years if we don’t get serious about reinvesting in our parks.”

B.C. Parks recently conducted a survey among park visitors asking their opinions about solutions to overcrowding and other park issues. The results are expected to be made public sometime in the spring, after which more public consultation may take place.

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SpaceX launches first rocket since September explosion

LOS ANGELES – A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from California on Saturday, marking the company’s first launch since a fireball engulfed a similar rocket on a Florida launch pad more than four months ago.

The two-stage rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:54 a.m. carrying a payload of 10 satellites for Iridium Communications Inc., which is replacing its entire global network with 70 next-generation satellites.

The satellites were expected to be deployed about an hour after launch.

About nine minutes after the rocket blasted off, to cheers from the control room, its jettisoned first stage landed upright on a so-called droneship in the Pacific Ocean south of Vandenberg – part of Spacex’s effort to make boosters reusable.

The company has succeeded six times previously with landings on a barge or ashore.

READ MORE: SpaceX plan to fuel rockets with people aboard raises eyebrows

A camera aboard the first stage gave viewers a you-are-there experience as it returned to Earth, flared landing rockets and made a perfect vertical touchdown on the floating pad.

The return to flight is an important step for SpaceX, billionaire Elon Musk’s California-based company that has about 70 launches in line, worth more than $10 billion. In addition to commercial launches, SpaceX ferries supplies to the International Space Station and is developing a Falcon capable of carrying astronauts to the station.

SpaceX officials say they identified all possible causes of the Sept. 1 accident during prelaunch testing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, and took corrective action.

WATCH: SpaceX identifies cause of September accident

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The accident destroyed the rocket and its payload – a satellite that Facebook wanted to use to spread internet access in Africa – and grounded the Falcon 9 program as an investigation took place.

SpaceX announced this month that investigators concluded the accident involved a failure of one of three helium tanks inside the rocket’s second-stage liquid oxygen tank.

The investigation involved the Air Force, NASA, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration, which issued a license for the launch.

The September accident was the second time a Falcon 9 was destroyed. In June 2015, a Falcon loaded with space station supplies disintegrated shortly after liftoff. SpaceX determined that a support strut broke.

READ MORE: Elon Musk reveals bold plans to colonize Mars

The 10 satellites launched Saturday are part of McLean, Virginia-based Iridium’s project to replace its existing network of satellites that provide global voice and data communications.

The program, called Iridium NEXT, was not only delayed by the SpaceX accident but again most recently as a powerful storm headed into California last weekend.

Iridium plans six more Falcon 9 launches, each carrying 10 satellites, as part of a technology upgrade expected to be completed in 2018.

SpaceX’s effort to recover Falcon first stages is intended to reduce costs by recycling a major piece of the launch system.

The first stage contains tanks for liquid oxygen and kerosene as well as nine engines that power the rocket and payload into space, then separates 2 1/2 minutes into flight as the single-engine second stage ignites and continues on to place payloads in the proper orbit.

The first Falcon booster to safely land back on Earth now stands outside the company’s headquarters.

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Calgary family releases video of ‘vicious’ beating of man by police officer

Video has been released by a family that shows a man being beaten by a Calgary police officer while handcuffed.

The incident happened during an arrest two years ago and the officer has since been charged.

The suspect, who family identified as Daniel Haworth, was arrested after officers were called to the 700 block of 9 Street S.W on May 25, 2015.  The suspect had reportedly broken into his ex-girlfriend’s home.

This weekend, Robert Haworth, the brother of the man beaten, is speaking out about what happened and released the video of the incident to Global News.

“The attack was so vicious, that I was completely shocked,” Robert Haworth said.

Robert watched the video for the first time on Thursday.

The CCTV footage of the incident shows a handcuffed Daniel being punched in the head three times by an officer, who then throws Daniel to the ground.

“I didn’t think that someone could be attacked that aggressively by someone who was supposed to be protecting us. My father was a police officer and so, I kind of have this picture of cops being heroes,” Robert said.

Still image from the CCTV footage of the arrest involving Constable Lindsay and Haworth.

Global News

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Officers said that Haworth received serious head injuries during the incident and was taken to hospital.

“At this time, an altercation took place between one of the officers and the man, resulting in the man being thrown to the ground while handcuffed,” Calgary Police Services said in a statement.

Sources identified the officer involved as Constable Trevor Lindsay, who is also named in a lawsuit still underway for an alleged 2013 assault.

Last week, police announced that Lindsay had been charged with aggravated assault in connection with the 2015 arrest.

The six-year frontline CPS member charged with assault was one of the transporting officers in the incident.

The following statement was sent to Global News from Lindsay’s lawyer, Don MacLeod, on Saturday:

“I can only confirm that my client maintains his innocence, intends to advance a vigorous defence and will respond only at the appropriate time and manner in a court of law where all of the evidence will be considered.”

The surveillance video was given to Daniel Haworth by his lawyer, before Daniel died last year of a fentanyl overdose at the age of 35.

“It’s very difficult to watch….someone you love being hurt. It was very hurtful and disappointing and shocking,” Catherine Haworth, Robert’s wife, said.

READ MORE: Calgary police officer charged with aggravated assault also named in 2013 lawsuit

The father of three had been trying to beat his addictions. His family said he had attended several Calgary rehab facilities.

“He had a big heart, he was generous, he was hard-working. He was a good father and a good brother,” Robert said.

Daniel and Robert’s father was a Calgary police officer and it was a police officer who tried to save Daniel’s life after the overdose.

“There are many wonderful police officers and this shouldn’t take away from them. There was a police officer who worked for 18 minutes on Danny to bring him back to life, so that we could say goodbye to him. We are forever grateful,” Catherine said.

The Haworth family says Daniel was diagnosed with a traumatic head injury after the beating and that he was never the same.

“We don’t have any delusions. We know that Danny could be a handful at times. He was super intelligent, so he would kind of get under people’s skin but no matter what he said, he didn’t deserve what had happened. That was extreme,” Robert said.

“He was a sweet soul. Very smart and he wanted to get help and get healthy. And he worked very hard at it,” Catherine said.

The Haworths said they don’t harbor any ill feelings towards Calgary police but they do “want Lindsay to be removed from his job.”

“We do hope that he stands up and says he’s done something wrong. I hope that he accepts  it. That would be huge for our family,” Robert said.

Above all, they don’t want something like this to happen again.

“It (being a police officer) is a difficult job and not everybody can do it,” Catherine said. “It’s mentally and emotionally straining. We hope that there will be resources put in place for those officers who are starting to feel overwhelmed, that are getting tired and need a mental break.”

Lindsay is on administrative leave with status under review and none of the allegations have been proven in court.

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Jean-François Lisée presents new language policies at PQ convention

A Parti Québécois (PQ) convention in Quebec City this weekend will help to determine the party’s platform for the 2018 provincial election.

One of the biggest debates is likely to focus on the French language. Party members from across the province are weighing in on their new leader’s new plan.

“Never before have we proposed that 100 per cent of new immigrants and their spouses have a real knowledge of French,” leader Jean-François Lisée said in his opening speech, Saturday.

“It’s really the beginning of a new era,” said Joliette MNA, Veronique Hivon on what this weekend’s Conseil National means for the party.

Lisée also proposed a French exam for students at English CEGEPs and universities in order to receive their diplomas. He wants to extend Bill 101 to medium-sized business and businesses under federal jurisdiction.

Lisée’s speech got a lot of applause, but for some party faithful, his language proposals don’t go far enough.

“In the education system, we need to enforce law 101 in the CEGEPs,” said Marc Laviolette, former union boss and current Beauharnois riding association president.

Laviolette said he expects riding associations to propose an amendment to force francophone students to study at French CEGEPs and universities.

“That’s a position that was in our program in 2011 and that will be discussed,” said Martine Ouellet, MNA for Vachon.

WATCH BELOW: Jean-François Lisée talks Quebec identity

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However, the government said Lisée’s position on language is an attack on diversity.

In his speech, Lisée said French is declining on the island of Montreal because only 50 per cent of people speak French at home – and he wants there to be a majority of francophones in Montreal in the future.

“This is one of those debates that really does more than irritate me, but worry me, when people put a focus on the language you speak at home,” said Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil.

“I think it’s so important to make that distinction and not to make people feel fearful about immigrants when they hear them speaking another language.”

READ MORE: Rapper Rod le Stod to help PQ campaign to counter Ottawa’s 150th-birthday bash

Weil added that many people in Montreal speak multiple languages, as well as flawless French.

The Parti Quebecois convention continues Sunday. Lisée is expected to answer questions about his vision for diversity Sunday afternoon.

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US Air Force relaxes marijuana restrictions for new recruits

The U.S. Air Force is making it a little bit easier for potential recruits with a history of marijuana use to take to the skies —; as long as they don’t continue to partake in the herb upon beginning service.

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Under existing policy, the Air Force disqualified prospective airmen and women who admit to using marijuana a certain number of times within a given timeframe, although the exact criteria varied depending on where applicants were trying to enlist.

READ MORE: Pot advocates to hand out 4,200 joints at Donald Trump’s inauguration

“Some recruiters used if you smoked marijuana less than five times, sometimes it was less than 15 times,” Lt. Gen Gina Grosso, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, told Military长沙桑拿.

“What we decided to do is stop asking [about] prior marijuana use at the recruiter level… who really counts how many times they’ve used marijuana? So that just comes off the table,” Let. Gen. Grosso added.

WATCH: Donald Trump’s pick of an anti-pot U.S. attorney general has cannabis advocates on both sides of the border worried years of progress towards legalization will be rolled back. As Shirlee Engel reports, Jeff Sessions made no effort to calm these fears at his confirmation hearing.

In a policy memo published Jan. 9, the Air Force outlined how it plans to streamline its “pre-accession marijuana usage” guidelines.

“The Air Force will remove any prescribed limits on prior use of marijuana in determining accession qualifications. Subordinate commands and agencies are prohibited from developing separate criteria with respect to pre-service use of marijuana,” the memo stated.

However, the memo stated that a diagnosis of addiction remains an automatic disqualifier, while legal proceedings related to marijuana use could also hamper eligibility.

“The Air Force will maintain a strict “no use” policy. An applicant or enlistee will be disqualified for service if they use drugs after the initial entrance interview.”

READ MORE: Marijuana will be the great unifier of polarized U.S.: Jesse Ventura

WATCH: Federal task force explains logic behind age limit of 18 for cannabis

This comes less than three months after U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced a wide-ranging review of policies concerning marijuana use as well as tattoos, parenthood status and fitness standards, during a speech at the City College of New York.

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Protesters host anti-Donald Trump marches, rallies across the US ahead of inauguration

Protesters gathered Saturday to support immigrant rights at rallies around the U.S., denouncing President-elect Donald Trump for his anti-immigrant rhetoric and his pledges to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and to crack down on Muslims entering the country.

A standing-room-only crowd packed into a historic African-American church in downtown Washington for one of dozens of rallies around the nation.

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READ MORE: Donald Trump unleashes 桑拿会所 attack on John Lewis 

“We are not going to allow Donald Trump to bury the Statue of Liberty,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, told participants in Washington. “We are a nation for all people, regardless of religion, regardless of background, regardless of who you love.”

In Chicago, more than 1,000 people poured into a teachers’ union hall to support immigrant rights and implore each other to fight for those rights against what they fear will be a hostile Trump administration.

WATCH: Anti-Donald Trump protesters march in support of civil rights ahead of inauguration. Chris Pollone reports.

Ron Taylor, a pastor of a Chicago area Disciples for Christ Church and executive director of the United Congress of Community and Religious Organizations, told the audience there, “Regardless of what happens in the coming days we know that good will conquer evil and we want to say to each and every one of you, you are not alone.”

The protests mark the latest chapter in a movement that has evolved since 2006, when more than a million people took to the streets to protest a Republican-backed immigration bill that would have made it a crime to be in the country illegally.

READ MORE: Barack Obama gives final address, urges Americans to embrace the ‘work of citizenship’ 

The crowds this weekend at rallies or cultural events in Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Jose, California, and elsewhere, are expected to be nowhere near as big as then.

Yet the line to enter Metropolitan AME Church in Washington stretched nearly a city block. People attending included immigrants who lack permission to be in the country and their relatives and supporters. Also present were elected officials, clergy and representatives of labour and women’s groups.

Participants carried signs with messages including “Resist Trump’s Hate” and “Tu, Yo, Todos Somos America,” which translates to “You, me, we all are America.”

WATCH: Loretta Lynch urges Americans to ‘push forward’ in final speech as Attorney General

“I stand here because I have nothing to apologize for. I am not ashamed of my status because it is a constant reminder to myself that I have something to fight for,” said Max Kim, 19, who was brought to the U.S. from South Korea when he was 6 and lacks legal permission to stay in the country.

The Washington crowd urged Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress not to undo the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, aimed at helping people like Kim who were brought to the country as children.

Michael Takada of the Japanese American Service Committee urged the Chicago audience to “disrupt the deportation machine” that he and others fear will ramp up when under the new president. He also urged them to keep a close eye on their local police departments and speak out if they see those departments help “ICE to deport our community members.”

Immigrant rights advocates demonstrate against President-elect Donald Trump’s immigration policies, during a rally at Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017.

( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Dr. Bassam Osman, chair and co-founder of The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, elicited one of the loudest cheers from the crowd when he called out the president-elect by name in one of the opening prayers. “Lord, this land is your land, it is not Trump’s land.”

While there was plenty of cheering, there was also uneasiness and fear of what’s to come after Trump is sworn in.

Rehab Alkadi, a 31-year-old mother of a young son who came to the United States four years ago from war-torn Syria, said she doesn’t believe she can be deported because “there is a war in Syria, but who knows. It’s so scary, what Trump says,’ she said. “He said a lot of things bad about the Muslim people.”

Former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn attended the rally in a show of support for immigrants’ rights.

“You see the fear in light of the rhetoric that Trump verbalized in the course of his campaign,” he told a reporter. “The idea of a registry for Muslim people is wrong and people want to stand up for that.”

President Barack Obama in 2012 launched an executive effort to protect some young immigrants from deportation, after multiple proposals failed in Congress.

The creation of the DACA program was heralded as a good first step by advocates who hoped it would be a prelude toward overhauling immigration laws. But that didn’t happen, and Republican-led states pushed back against Obama’s plans to expand the program.

Now the focus is on the next administration. As a candidate, Trump promised his supporters stepped-up deportations and a Mexican-funded border wall, but it is unclear which plans the celebrity businessman will act on first, and when. And many immigrants are fearful of the campaign rhetoric but less motivated to protest in the absence of specific actions.

Many participants Saturday said they would keep the pressure on Trump and said they planned to participate in next Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington.

“The threat of deportation is imminent for our communities,” said Cristina Jimenez, executive director of United We Dream and one of the rally’s organizers. “We will keep fighting. We’re not going back into the shadows.”


Associated Press writer Don Babwin in Chicago contributed to this story.