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Philadelphia gunman in custody after hourslong standoff

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PHILADELPHIA — Authorities say a gunman who barricaded himself for hours inside a Philadelphia home, shooting at and wounding six officers, is in police custody.

Philadelphia police Sgt. Eric Gripp said early Thursday morning that the man was taken in custody after an hourslong standoff with police.

The shooting started around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Officers were serving a narcotics warrant at a home and had already entered when gunfire erupted. The gunman and police exchanged gunfire for hours.

Six officers were shot, but have been released from hospitals. Two officers had been trapped in the house during the standoff but were safely evacuated.

A heavy police presence was in the neighbourhood for hours with businesses, including day care centres, on lockdown and roads closed.

Christina Paciolla And Claudia Lauer, The Associated Press








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CRA puts focus on paper returns as tax-filing season opens

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OTTAWA — The Canada Revenue Agency is sending an unlikely message to kick off tax season: Paper-filers, we have not forgotten you.

Despite a years-long push to have more people file taxes online because it’s generally faster and easier, many Canadians still prefer putting pen, or pencil, to paper.

The people who prefer paper to online are getting particular attention because they tend to be Canadians whose tax files are needed to send them essential benefit payments.

There are seniors who need old-age security, parents eligible for the Canada Child Benefit and first-time filers who might be eligible for a new benefit for low-income workers.

Because of that, the CRA has made changes to the paper tax booklet to further simplify language, add notes about new benefits for the 2019 tax year, and include a checklist so nothing gets missed.

Frank Vermaeten, the CRA’s assistant commissioner, says the agency wants to make sure those who prefer paper are still comfortable using it amid wider pushes to electronic filing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2020.

The Canadian Press


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Statistics Canada set to reveal new data on poverty rates

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OTTAWA — Statistics Canada will lay out today how many Canadians live below the country’s low-income threshold as part of an updated portrait of poverty.

The results will be closely watched today by the federal Liberals, who have touted their work on reducing the number of people living in poverty since 2015.

The poverty figures for 2018 will be the most recent available and are key benchmarks to track the government’s anti-poverty strategy.

Today’s release will have an added twist: the statistics office will also unveil proposed changes to how it calculates the poverty line, including how the revised formula would affect the numbers from the last several years.

Experts have said the changes would likely increase the number of Canadians regarded as living below the official poverty line.

The Market Basket Measure, as it is known, calculates the minimum a person or family would have to earn to afford a basket of goods and services needed to reach a modest or basic living standard.

However, the made-in-Canada measure hasn’t been updated since 2008, and doesn’t include things like the cost of wireless services.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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