Ongoing History Daily: That time when Shaq almost sued 311

Back in the early 2000s, Omaha’s 311 was on a real roll, selling lots of records, playing plenty of gigs, and making their share of big-budget music videos.

In 2001, they managed to get Shaquille O’Neal for a cameo in the video for their song You Wouldn’t Believe. At the time, O’Neal was playing for the LA Lakers and the team was in the middle of a playoff run. The team stipulated that O’Neal was not to play any basketball outside of official games and practices for fear that he might get hurt.

But 311 convinced him to play a little hoops in this video, completely in contravention of orders from the Lakers. There was an added complication.

For some reason, O’Neal showed up with two left shoes. Where was anyone going to get a pair of size 22 basketball shoes at short notice? Nowhere. Shaq still agreed to appear in the video—but if anyone filmed his feet, he promised that he’d sue.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ongoing History Daily: The time Nirvana set their tour van on fire

Being on tour as Nirvana must have been a pretty intense thing. There were all those nights where Kurt (and sometimes the rest of the band) smashed all their gear onstage. The label had granted the band a $750 equipment allowance when the band went on tour, but given the amount of gear that was trashed, that didn’t go very far.

Hotel rooms and dressing rooms also suffered, often using fire extinguishers in ways they were not intended.

Then there was the time one of their tour vans almost went up in flames. Kurt, who was often keen on using destruction to alleviate his boredom, was giving an interview with a journalist and apparently got bored. So he set the van’s curtains on fire.

The flames were put out before there was some real damage, but the label was not impressed.

© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Fire in Waterloo claims life of 54-year-old woman, damages 3 homes

A 54-year-old woman has died as a result of an overnight fire at a home near Mount Hope cemetery, according to Waterloo Regional Police.

They say the fire at a home near Graham and Waterloo streets was reported at around midnight between Sunday and Monday. The blaze also damaged two surrounding homes.

Three people were taken to an area hospital by paramedics for treatment but the woman was unable to survive her injuries and was pronounced deceased.

Two men, ages 58 and 30, are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Police say they are continuing to investigate the cause of the fire alongside Ontario’s Office of the Fire Marshal.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Nature Conservancy releases plan to protect grasslands in Manitoba, other prairie provinces

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has announced a plan to protect iconic Prairie grasslands, considered one of the most endangered and least protected ecosystems in the country.

The plan aims to raise $500 million by 2030 to conserve more than 5,000 square kilometres — about six times the size of Calgary — in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

“What we’re trying to do is accelerate the rate of conservation in the Prairie Provinces, specifically in the grasslands,” said Jeremy Hogan, the non-profit organization’s director of prairie grassland conservation, in an interview.

“They are Canada’s most endangered ecosystem. There’s only about 18 per cent left of the Great Plains Prairie grasslands in Canada and we continue to lose about (600 square kilometres) a year.”

Grasslands, he said, are often converted to fields for growing crops or taken over by expanding cities and towns.

But he calls them an “unsung hero” for the environment.

“They provide a lot of what we call ecosystem services,” he said. “So, they provide a lot of benefit to everyday Canadians’ lives, even if you don’t live or work in the grasslands.”

They store and filter water, preventing both floods and droughts. They improve water quality. They keep soil in place, because of extensive root networks, so there’s less erosion along lakes and rivers.

Hogan said grasslands also are important for reducing the effects of climate change.

“The carbon storage in grasslands is incredible and it’s all stored securely underground,” he said. “So, when you get these kinds of fires like the ones that are happening in Alberta right now, carbon stored in the grasslands isn’t threatened by those fires like carbon stored in forests.”

Across Alberta, wildfires have already scorched more than 10,000 square kilometres of forest this year.

Horgan said grasslands can also be an economic benefit for local communities and are essential to food security.

“A lot of the grasslands that are intact today are working ranches,” he said. “So, the grasslands are operated as cattle operations. As long as the cattle are grazed sustainably, it’s actually a mutually beneficial relationship.

“It requires a little bit of disturbance from grazing animals to maintain range health … and then on the flip side of that is a healthy sustainable grazing operation leads to more nutritious forage for cattle. So, it’s actually a win-win for ranchers and the environment.”

Duane Thompson, chairman of the environment committee with the Canadian Cattle Association, said in a statement that farmers and ranchers are proud of their role in managing and protecting at-risk ecosystems. They are often involved in nature conservancy projects to protect grasslands.

Outside of Waterton Lakes National Park in southern Alberta, a 16.5-square-kilometre property known as The Yarrow has been conserved after a $6.9-million fundraising campaign. It features grasslands, wetlands, creeks, mixed forests and includes 27 wildlife species.

The organization now wants to protect grasslands in the Cypress Uplands Natural Area in southwestern Saskatchewan. They rise more than 600 metres, the highest elevation east of the Canadian Rockies, and are home to pronghorn, deer, elk and cougars. The area also has the highest diversity of birds, including burrowing owl, common nighthawk and ferruginous hawk, in that province.

East of Brandon, the nature conservancy has also secured its largest-ever conservation agreement in Manitoba. The 21 Farms project, which is 4.5 square kilometres, boasts mixed-grass prairie, as well as sandhill prairie and sandhill forest, and is home to the Sprague’s pipit and a large Sharp-tail grouse lek.

“That’s one of the cool points about the Prairie grasslands,” said Hogan. “It’s not just this one block of grass. It’s very, very diverse west to east and changes with different topography and soil type.”

The action plan, he said, hopes to raise money to continue protecting those types of areas across all three provinces before they disappear.

“It’s not too late to act, but we’re getting there,” Hogan said. “The fact that there is only 18 per cent left is a very real and dangerous thing to grasslands. Once you reach a certain point, there’s no going back.

“What is left is worth protecting and it’s worth protecting urgently.”

© 2023 The Canadian Press

U.S. releases video of ‘unsafe’ manoeuvre by Chinese warship in Taiwan Strait

WATCH: U.S. military releases video of close encounter with Chinese warship in Taiwan Strait

The United States Navy has released a new video showing an up-close angle of an “unsafe” manoeuvre performed by a Chinese warship in the Taiwan Strait this weekend.

The incident, first captured by Global News on June 3 aboard the HMCS Montreal, was just the latest aggressive military move from Beijing in the South China Sea.

American destroyer USS Chung-Hoon and frigate HMCS Montreal were conducting a so-called “freedom of navigation” transit of the strait between Taiwan and mainland China.

China claims the democratic self-governing island of Taiwan as part of its own territory, and similarly claims the strait is part of its exclusive economic zone, while the U.S. and its allies regularly sail through and fly over the passage to emphasize that the waters are international.


The USS Chung-Hoon observes a Chinese warship on June 3 in the Taiwan Strait. The U.S. Navy released footage on Monday describing the warship's move as "unsafe." The Chung-Hoon was conducting a deployment alongside HMCS Montreal on June 3. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andre T. Richard)

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andre T. Richard

In the video released Monday, a Chinese warship can clearly be seen sailing across the path of the Chung-Hoon in calm waters. A voice can be heard in English, apparently sending a radio message to the Chinese ship, warning against “attempts to limit freedom of navigation,” though the exact wording is unclear because of wind noise.

The Chung-Hoon ultimately needed to alter course and slow down to avoid a crash with the ship, which at one point was 150 yards away. The U.S. Navy called the manoeuvre “unsafe.”

The Chinese ship did not attempt a similar manoeuvre on HMCS Montreal, which was sailing behind the American destroyer.

“Chung-Hoon and Montreal’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the combined U.S.-Canadian commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said.

“The U.S. military flies, sails, and operates safely and responsibly anywhere international law allows.”

Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson at the Chinese foreign ministry, said Monday the measures the military took were “completely reasonable, legitimate, and professional and safe.”

“The U.S. had caused trouble and provocation first, while China dealt with it in accordance with the law and regulations afterwards,” Wang said.


The USS Chung-Hoon observes a Chinese warship on June 3 in the Taiwan Strait. The U.S. Navy released footage on Monday describing the warship's move as "unsafe." The Chung-Hoon was conducting a deployment alongside HMCS Montreal on June 3. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andre T. Richard)

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andre T. Richard

The U.S. also recently accused China of performing an “unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” in the air, saying a Chinese J-16 fighter jet late last month flew directly in front of the nose of a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance aircraft over the South China Sea.

The close calls have raised concerns of a possible accident that could lead to an escalation between the two countries’ militaries at a time when tensions in the region are already high.

The incident in the Taiwan Strait came on a day when Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Chinese Defence Minister Gen. Li Shangfu were in Singapore for an annual defence conference.

Anand said neither Canada nor its allies would be deterred from sailing in international waters.

“Canada will continue to sail where international law allows, including the Strait, the South China Sea,” she said.

“And really, our overall goal is to increase the peace and stability of this region. And that’s why we are going to continue to see more of Canada in this region as set out in our Indo-Pacific strategy. We’ve already seen unsafe intercepts and we have addressed those appropriately with China in terms of our RCAF pilots. Actors in this region must engage responsibly, and that’s the bottom line.”

Li on Sunday suggested that the U.S. and its allies have created the danger with their patrols, and was intent on provoking China.

“The best way is for the countries, especially the naval vessels and fighter jets of countries, not to do closing actions around other countries’ territories,” he said through an interpreter.

“What’s the point of going there? In China we always say, ‘Mind your own business.’”

Austin had invited Li to talk on the sidelines of the conference; Li refused.

— with files from Global News’ Mackenzie Gray, Reuters and The Associated Press

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Judge 'surprised' after Prince Harry a no-show in court on 1st day of U.K. tabloid case

Prince Harry’s highly anticipated showdown against the publisher of the Daily Mirror kicked off Monday without him present in court — and the judge was not happy.

Harry’s lawyer said the Duke of Sussex would be unavailable to testify following opening statements because he’d taken a flight from Los Angeles after the birthday of his 2-year-old daughter, Lilibet, on Sunday.

“I’m a little surprised,” Justice Timothy Fancourt said, noting he had directed Harry to be in court for the first day of his case.

Mirror Group Newspaper’s lawyer, Andrew Green, said he was “deeply troubled” by Harry’s absence on the trial’s opening day. They accused Harry of “wasting time” in the court case, as reported by the BBC.

Green added that it was “absolutely extraordinary” Harry was “not available for day one of his own trial.”

The case against Mirror Group is the first of the prince’s several lawsuits against the media to go to trial, and one of three alleging tabloid publishers unlawfully snooped on him in their cutthroat competition for scoops on the royal family.

Harry’s lawyer, David Sherborne, said phone hacking and forms of unlawful information gathering were carried out on such a widespread scale, it was implausible the publisher’s newspapers used a private investigator to dig up dirt on the prince only once, which is what they have admitted.

“The ends justify the means for the defendant,” Sherborne said.

Stories about Harry were big sellers for the newspapers, and some 2,500 articles had covered all facets of his life – from his illnesses at school to ups and downs with girlfriends, Sherborne said.

“There was no time in his life when he was safe from these activities,” Sherborne said. “Nothing was sacrosanct or out of bounds.”

Mirror Group has said it used documents, public statements and sources to legally report on the prince.

But Sherborne said it was not hard to infer that Mirror journalists used the same techniques on Harry — eavesdropping on voicemails and hiring private eyes to snoop — as they did on others.

Harry had been scheduled to testify Tuesday, but his lawyer was told last week the duke should attend Monday’s proceedings in London’s High Court in case the opening statements concluded before the end of the day.

When he enters the witness box, Harry, 38, will be the first member of the British royal family in more than a century to testify in court. He is expected to describe his anguish and anger over being hounded by the media throughout his life, and its impact on those around him.

He has blamed paparazzi for causing the car crash that killed his mother, Princess Diana, and said harassment and intrusion by the U.K. press, including allegedly racist articles, led him and his wife, Meghan, to flee to the U.S. in 2020 and leave royal life behind.

The articles at issue in the trial date back to his 12th birthday, in 1996, when the Mirror reported Harry was feeling “badly” about the divorce of his mother and father, now King Charles III.

Harry said in court documents that ongoing tabloid reports made him wonder whom he could trust as he feared friends and associates were betraying him by leaking information to the newspapers. His circle of friends grew smaller, and he suffered “huge bouts of depression and paranoia.” Relationships fell apart as the women in his life – and even their family members – were “dragged into the chaos.”

He says he later discovered that the source wasn’t disloyal friends but aggressive journalists and the private investigators they hired to eavesdrop on voicemails and track him to locations as remote as Argentina and an island off Mozambique.

Mirror Group Newspapers said it didn’t hack Harry’s phone and its articles were based on legitimate reporting techniques. The publisher admitted and apologized for hiring a private eye to dig up dirt on one of Harry’s nights out at a bar, but the resulting 2004 article headlined “Sex on the beach with Harry” is not among the 33 in question at trial.

Phone hacking that involved guessing or obtaining security codes to listen in on celebrities’ cell phone voice messages was widespread at British tabloids in the early years of this century. It became an existential crisis for the industry after the revelation in 2011 that the News of the World had hacked the phone of a slain 13-year-old girl.

Owner Rupert Murdoch shut down the paper and several of his executives faced criminal trials.

Mirror Group has paid more than 100 million pounds ($125 million) to settle hundreds of unlawful information-gathering claims, and printed an apology to phone hacking victims in 2015. But it denies executives – including Piers Morgan, who was editor of the Daily Mirror editor between 1995 and 2004 — knew about hacking.

Harry’s fury at the U.K. press — and sometimes at his own royal relatives for what he sees as their collusion with the media — runs through his memoir, Spare, and interviews conducted by Oprah Winfrey and others. His claims will face a tough audience in court when he is cross-examined by Mirror Group’s lawyer.

The opening statements mark the second phase of a trial in which Harry and three others have accused the Mirror of phone hacking and unlawful information gathering.

In the first part, Sherborne, who represents Harry and the other claimants, including two actors from the soap opera Coronation Street, said the unlawful acts were “widespread and habitual” at the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, and carried out on “an industrial scale.”

Two judges — including Fancourt — are in the process of deciding whether Harry’s two other phone hacking cases will proceed to trial.

Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun, and Associated Newspapers Ltd., which owns the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, have argued the cases should be thrown out because Harry failed to file the lawsuits within a six-year deadline of discovering the alleged wrongdoing.

Harry’s lawyer has argued that he and other claimants should be granted an exception to the time limit, because the publishers lied and deceived to hide the illegal actions.

— With files from Global News’ Sarah Do Couto

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Vacant Manitoba Avenue house a total loss after fire, set for demolition

A vacant house on Manitoba Avenue is expected to be demolished after a morning fire early Monday affected its structural integrity.

Winnipeg firefighters were called to the blaze just before 2 a.m. and were able to get it under control within two hours, but the damage led to the house being declared a total loss and a call for an emergency demoliton.

No one was injured in the fire, and its cause remains under investigation.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Vehicle crushed by dump truck in Toronto crash: police

A vehicle was crushed by a dump truck in a crash in Toronto’s west end Monday morning, police say.

Toronto police said emergency crews were called to Weston Road and Oak Street, which is just south of Highway 401, at 7:47 a.m. for a two-vehicle crash with one of them on fire.

In an update, police said three vehicles were actually involved, one of which was a dump truck that crushed one of the other vehicles.

Toronto paramedics told Global News they took one person to hospital after the crash. A man in his 30s was taken to a trauma centre with serious injuries.

Police said the injuries were non-life-threatening.

There is no word on what may have led to the collision. Weston Road was closed in the area after the incident.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Montreal Canadiens sign Cole Caufield to 8-year contract extension

The Montreal Canadiens have signed Cole Caufield to eight-year contract extension, the team announced Monday.

The deal, which will pay the 22-year-old winger an average annual salary of US$7.85 million, runs through the 2030-31 season.

Caufield scored 26 goals and added 10 assists in 46 games in 2022-23 before he underwent season-ending surgery on his right shoulder in February.

Despite missing nearly half the season, Caufield led the Canadiens in goals for the second consecutive year, tied with Nick Suzuki this season.

Montreal selected Caufield in the first round (15th overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft.

Since making his NHL debut in 2020-21, the forward has recorded 84 points (53 goals, 31 assists) in 123 NHL games.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Forest fire smoke prompts air quality statement for Peterborough region

Persisting smoke from forest fires in northern Ontario and Quebec has prompted Environment Canada to issue an air quality statement for the Peterborough area on Monday.

Environment Canada said the smoke, which began to descend in the region on Sunday, will contribute to fluctuating air quality and visibility for much of the region including Peterborough, Peterborough County, Bancroft, the City of Kawartha Lakes, and Haliburton County.

“Poor air quality may persist through the day today and possibly into Tuesday for some areas,” Environment Canada said at 5:12 a.m. Monday.

“Air quality and visibility due to wildfire smoke can fluctuate over short distances and can vary considerably from hour to hour.”

The weather agency said wildfire smoke can be harmful to health, even at low concentrations.

People with lung ailments, older adults, children, those who are pregnant, or those working outdoors are advised to monitor for symptoms and drink plenty of water to help their bodies cope with the smoke.

“Stop or reduce your activity level if breathing becomes uncomfortable or you or someone in your care feel unwell,” the statement said.

“Contact your health care provider or local health authority if you develop severe symptoms or need advice.”



The hazy sky continues on June 5, 2023 for the Peterborough area.

The hazy sky continues on June 5, 2023 for the Peterborough area.

Greg Davis/Global News Peterborough

Homeowners with an HVAC system are advised to use the highest-rated MERV filters in their systems, ideally rated 13 or higher, and set the fan to recirculate air constantly, or use a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) cleaner.

Keep doors and windows closed if the temperature in your home is comfortable, Environment Canada said.

If outside, Environment Canada suggests a well-fitted respirator-type mask.

For more information on reducing health risks, Environment Canada suggests you visit or

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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