Here are five of the top stories making headlines this afternoon:
Tensions remain high in Ferguson, Missouri. The Governor of Missouri has stepped in to deal with escalating violence after an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by police in the St. Louis suburb Saturday. The State Highway Patrol will take over crowd control from local police, Gov. Jay Nixon said Thursday. Protests against the shooting have turned violent, with heavily armed police shooting tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd yesterday, and arresting protestors. President Barack Obama also called for an “open and transparent” investigation into the shooting, but he did not go so far as to call for the officer responsible for Brown’s death to be named.
Guilty verdict in robocalls trail. A young former Conservative staffer could face up to five years in prison after he was found guilty of election fraud during the 2011 federal election. Superior Court Justice Gary Hearn found Michael Sona guilty today, saying there was little doubt that Sona orchestrated a campaign to use robotic telephone calls to direct voters to the wrong polling stations. Most of those contacted were Liberal supports in Guelph. Sona was the only person ever charged, though both the Crown and defence indicated they thought others were likely involved. Sentencing begins in October.
Supreme Court Chief Justice wants to burry the hatchet with Harper and MacKay. Beverly McLachlin today acknowledged ongoing tensions with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Justice Minister Peter MacKay and said it was time to move on. “We have a job to do in our court and we will continue to do it to the best of our ability. … There’s always going to be tensions here and there, but it is part of the process,” she told reporters at meeting of the Canadian Bar Association in Newfoundland. Earlier this year, MacKay suggested that McLachlin had acted inappropriately when she tired to alert the Conservatives about their Supreme Court nominee, Marc Nadon. MacKay’s comments came after the court decided that Nadon was not eligible for the appointment.
Doug Ford apologizes to Toronto police chief. For real this time. After first denying he did anything wrong, and then offering a half-hearted verbal apology yesterday, Toronto Coun. Ford today sent Bill Blair a letter apologizing for comments he made earlier this month. Blair had threatened Ford with a defamation lawsuit after the councillor suggested Blair leaked a story to the Toronto Star that said Mayor Rob Ford was going to be issued a subpoena to appear at the criminal trial of Alessandro Lisi. Coun. Ford suggested that Blair leaked the story as revenge for not being reappointed to another term as police chief. Today, Blair said he accepted Doug Ford’s written apology and won’t be moving ahead with legal action. Looks like third time was the charm for Doug Ford.
Robin Williams was in early stages of Parkinson’s, says widow. Susan Schneider, William’s wife, said her husband had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease before his apparent suicide on Monday, but he wasn’t ready to share that diagnosis with his fans. She also said he was sober at the time of his death. Williams has been public about previous battles with substance abuse.