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Toronto mayor on hot seat

TORONTO -- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford repeatedly denied doing anything wrong as he faced an Ontario judge Wednesday to defend himself against a conflict-of-interest allegation that could see him kicked out of office and barred from running for city council for seven years.

The lawsuit was launched by Toronto resident Paul Magder. Ford is alleged to have been in a conflict of interest for giving a speech and participating in a council vote to strike a recommendation that he repay donations he solicited using official city letterhead for his private football charity.

The recommendation was made by the city's integrity commissioner, Janet Leiper.

The hearing was expected to last three days.


Quake rattles Costa Rica

CANGREJAL, Costa Rica -- A powerful, magnitude-7.6 earthquake shook Costa Rica and a wide swath of Central America on Wednesday, collapsing some houses, blocking highways and causing panic and at least one death from a heart attack.

Officials initially warned of a possible tsunami, and local police supervisor Jose Angel Gomez said about 5,000 people -- 80 per cent of the population -- had been evacuated from coastal towns in the Samara district west of the quake's epicentre. But by midday they were allowed to return.


Hijacked tanker recovered

LAGOS, Nigeria -- Nigeria's navy on Wednesday retook an oil tanker hijacked Tuesday night off the country's largest city, freeing 23 Indian sailors held hostage by pirates who fled as the navy arrived, a spokesman said.

None of the sailors was hurt in the hijacking of the MT Abu Dhabi Star, which happened off the coast of Lagos, said Pat Adamson, a spokesman for Dubai-based Pioneer Ship Management Services LLC.


Cancer fraud alleged

CALGARY -- A Calgary man has been accused of pretending to have cancer and holding a fundraiser that garnered $7,500.

Police say the silent auction was held July 8, 2011, to raise funds for a man's cancer treatment.

Police received information from the public in August and determined the funds were raised under fraudulent pretences.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of 28-year-old Kristopher Nicholas Cook, of no fixed address.


DNA linked to former PM

George Dryden says he will change his name to George Diefenbaker.

The Toronto man has been searching for months for evidence that he is the son of John Diefenbaker. Unable to find DNA from belongings of the former prime minister in a museum, Dryden spent the summer tracking down some of Diefenbaker's distant cousins in southern Ontario.

When they all refused to give him samples of their DNA, he decided to hire a private investigator. The sleuth collected a Q-Tip, covered with sticky ear wax, after it had been tossed away by one of the relatives, Dryden said.

He says he then had it tested against his own DNA and it revealed a genetic link to the Diefenbaker family, although the sample is not enough to prove conclusively he's the former prime minister's son.


Spy chief returned to Libya

TRIPOLI, Libya -- Deposed Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi's notorious spy chief is in custody in Tripoli after extradition from Mauritania, Libya's premier said Wednesday, in a step toward bringing the man linked to aircraft bombings and atrocities to justice.

A plane carrying Abdullah al-Senoussi landed in the afternoon at Metiga air base at the heart of Tripoli in the afternoon. He was flown by helicopter to the Hill Prison in the capital.


Torso tied to slaying?

TORONTO -- Police say two boaters found a suitcase containing a rotting torso floating in Lake Ontario off the shore of Toronto's Bluffers Park Wednesday.

Police wouldn't say if the torso was connected to the murder of Guang Hua Liu. Parts of the 41-year-old woman's body -- but not her torso -- were found in mid-August scattered west of Toronto and near her home in the city.


-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 6, 2012 A6

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