Five of the top stories from this afternoon.
A decision on Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The NBA has come down hard on Sterling after his girlfriend recored him telling her not to bring black people to games. The recording was published by gossip website TMZ on Friday. By Tuesday afternoon, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Sterling, 84, will be fined $2.5 million and will be banned for life from owning another team. Silver also said he will try to force a sale of the Clippers. The decision comes after players on the Clippers showed their own disgust with a silent protest during a warm-up before Sunday’s game. The players wore their shooting shirts inside-out so that the logo wasn’t visible. They also donned black wrist bands, tape and socks.
RCMP places Canadian aid group working with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza on terrorist list. The International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy, or IRFAN, has been placed on an RCMP terrorism list ahead of the group’s court battle to retain its charitable status. The letter, which the RCMP delivered to the organization, doesn’t give a reason for the decision. But, in the past, the CRA has accused IRFAN of aiding Hamas. On Tuesday, RCMP raided two IRFAN offices, one in Mississauga and one in Montreal A lawyer representing IRFAN says there is no evidence that the charity gave any aid to Hamas, and said the raids may be politically motivated.
Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason steps down. The shakeup in Alberta politics continues, with provincial NDP leader Mason announcing his retirement from the leadership role Tuesday. Mason has been the voice of the left in the province since 2004, not an easy task in the most right-leaning province of them all. While the MLA is stepping away from the party’s leadership, he will likely run for re-election in the Edmonton riding that he has represented since 2000. His announcement comes a day after news broke that former federal minister Jim Prentice is assembling a team to launch his leadership bid for the Progressive Conservatives. If and when Prentice joins the race, he will be the clear frontrunner and the party’s best hope so far of finding a leader that can repair deep divisions left after Alison Redford’s tumultuous departure.
Severe storm warning continues for 70 million Americans. The threat of powerful storms, some of which could spawn tornadoes, continues for much of the eastern United States today, after the severe weather system has already killed 31 people on Sunday and Monday. The worst-hit states so far are Mississippi and Alabama, which continued to brace for more bad weather Tuesday. Tens of thousands were left without power Tuesday in those two states.
Cast for new Star Wars film announced. The biggest entertainment news this afternoon: director J.J. Abrams released a list of the stars of the next Star Wars movie, Episode VII, which will hit theatres in 2015. Much of the original cast will be back, including Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamil. As for new faces, they are: John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. No word on who will play which role, so it’s up to fans to speculate.