Here are five of the top stories making headlines this afternoon.
Newfoundland and Labrador’s incoming premier Frank Coleman quits politics. The man who was on track to become premier of Newfoundland and Labrador quit today, just weeks before he was sworn in. Coleman, 60, was scheduled to become leader of the governing Progressive Conservatives on July 5 and he would have been sworn in as premier a few days later. Coleman, a successful businessman who is a political rookie, cited family circumstances for his decision to leave politics. He was coy about anything more specific. The party will hold a new leadership race over the summer, and it hopes to have a new leader in place by early September.
London, Ont. Mayor Joe Fontana resigns. The debate over who will resign first, Fontana or Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, is over today and anyone who had money on Fontana can collect. Fontana stepped down Monday, after being convicted of fraud, forgery and breach of trust last week. A judge found Fontana had forged an expense document and used $1,700 of taxpayer money to cover part of his son’s wedding reception while he was a Liberal MP in 2005. Fontana was pressured to step down as London mayor before the trial, but refused to do so. His sentencing hearing begins July 15 and Fontana could face jail time, which would make him inelegible to be mayor under the Municipal Act.
B.C. teachers prepare to strike, starting tomorrow. The B.C. teachers’ union said Monday that a strike is imminent and blamed the government for failing to reach an agreement over the weekend that would have averted the strike. B.C. Education Minister Peter Fassbender says the final offer to the teachers—the union says this is a seven per cent wage increase over six years—is as good as its going to get. The teacher’s federation has a meeting scheduled for this afternoon to discuss next steps, but it seems a strike, starting tomorrow, is pretty much unavoidable at this point.
More bad news from Iraq, where the government loses control of another city. Militia groups assocaited with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) took the city of Tal Afar from the Iraq government Monday, in another indication that the country is teetering on the brink of civil war. ISIS is active in Syria and the conflict there has spilled over into neighbouring Iraq, where ISIS now controls a northwest portion of the country. In what would be an unlikely alliance, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry today said the U.S. won’t rule out military co-operation with Iran in the region, but another White House spokesperson said joint military action with Iran isn’t on the table.
The bear video everyone is talking about. In case you’ve missed it, two men were jogging on a trail near Fort McMurray, Alta. when they were approached by a black bear. The bear followed them very, very closely as one of the joggers, Bruce Allan, recorded the meeting with his smartphone camera and posted it in to Youtube. The bear seems to toy with the men as they back away slowly before it climbs up a tree, at which point both men make a mad dash for their car. The remarkable footage is making the rounds on social media today.