1. The conflict between Israel and Gaza is exploding again. Gaza sent hundreds of rockets at Israel in recent days, prompting the Israeli army to strike back. A precise operation took out more than 100 rocket launchers and killed at least 13 in Gaza, including Hamas military mastermind Ahmed Al-Jaabari, six Hamas fighters and, sadly, six civilians. A Palestinian rocket killed three Israeli civilians. The U.S. and Canada have declared their support for Israel’s right to defend itself.
2. In less stressful news, Justin Bieber gave an intimate interview (that sounds so wrong) to Brian D. Johnson, a Maclean’s columnist who was, for a guy who’s quizzed Jagger, Richards and Madonna, surprisingly intimidated by the idea of speaking to the 18-year-old star. Some of the tidbits that didn’t make it into the magazine include a tense moment when Biebs is asked “What are your views these days on premarital sex?” More here.
3. Still on the celebrity beat, we have more evidence that Rihanna is a robot. She’s doing seven shows in seven days in seven cities. Tonight she’s at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall. “Yo Toronto. I’ll be at The Danforth tonight. Will you? #777Tour #HTC #2ndStop #UNAPOLOGETIC,” she Tweeted. There are some fun shots of her getting mobbed at Pearson Airport over at CityNews.ca.
4. Mike Roy, a local celebrity in London, Ont. known for his Occupy activism, was arrested Tuesday night for violating his one year ban from the university, imposed after he attended an unauthorized demonstration in February. On Tuesday he tried to attend a speech by pro-life Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth. An officer spotted him, which is not very difficult considering he’s an older gentleman with giant ear plugs and the occasional piece of duct tape over his mouth. More here.
5. Stephanie Rose Bongiovi, the 19-year-old daughter of Bon Jovi, has given her dad a bad name. She was been arrested for drug possession and may have overdosed on heroin in her dorm room at Hamilton College in upstate New York, where tuition is $55,000 per year. More in People.
6. In real news, Toronto Police charged 20-year-old Alaa Ali Hejazi with 11 counts, including sexual assault and forcible confinement, on Wednesday. The Globe and Mail reports Hejazi is a second-year business and technology management student at Ryerson University. Police say he broke into a home Monday morning after posing as a newspaper salesman. He turned himself in.
7. Dawn Russell, the president of St. Thomas University in Fredericton, is paid between $200,000 and $225,000 a year, according to a salary breakdown released Thursday as part of a new disclosure law. Eddy Campbell, the president of the much larger University of New Brunswick, earns up to $349,999 per year, reports CBC. Some Canadian presidents make more than $450,000.
8. Amanda Todd’s mother took to Twitter to express her anger at being excluded from B.C.’s anti-bullying forum. She even went so far as to Tweet, “Is that a form of bullying?” Organizers said Todd had agreed to stay away because of how it might affect emotional teens in the audience.
9. Stephen Colbert, the American comedian, has taken another shot at Windsor, Ont., which he called the “earth’s rectum” in his book America Again. University of Windsor marketing Prof. Vincent Georgie told CBC that the publicity could be good for the city. Any publicity is good, right?
10. There’s finally a race for the Liberal leadership. Lawyer Martha Hall Findlay has declared her candidacy. She told Power & Politics that she supports the oil sands and development, but that she’s also an environmentalist. We’re hearing a lot about this environment thing lately. Justin Trudeau went so far as to bring up Greenpeace in an interview he did this week with The Cadre.