Canada police seek suspects in restaurant bombing, 15 injured

A police forensic investigator photographs evidence at Bombay Bhel restaurant, where two unidentified men set off a bomb late Thursday night, wounding fifteen people, in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canadian police were looking for two suspects who walked into a crowded restaurant Thursday night and detonated a bomb, injuring 15 people, but police said on Friday the incident did not appear to be a hate crime or linked to international terror.

The blast went off in a popular Indian restaurant in Mississauga, a city west of Toronto, at about 10:30 p.m. local time on Thursday. Security camera footage showed two men entering the restaurant, one carrying an object.

“There’s no indication this is a terrorist act, no indication this is a hate crime at this time,” Peel Police Chief Jennifer Evans told reporters on Friday.

The explosion caused “a considerable amount of damage,” Evans said, adding there were two private birthday parties at the restaurant at the time, with children under 10 in attendance. There were no children among the injured.

A police forensic investigator collects evidence at Bombay Bhel restaurant, where two unidentified men set off a bomb late Thursday night, wounding fifteen people, in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

A police forensic investigator collects evidence at Bombay Bhel restaurant, where two unidentified men set off a bomb late Thursday night, wounding fifteen people, in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Three people were critically injured, but by Friday morning, their condition was upgraded to stable, Evans said. Another 12 people ranging from 23 to 69 years of age suffered minor injuries.

The two male suspects fled after detonating the improvised explosive device, police said. No one has claimed responsibility and the motive for the attack was still not known.

Kul Prasad Sapkota said he was shocked to wake up to news that someone had exploded a bomb in the popular restaurant that he had known intimately during his six years as a chef there until 2016.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a post on Twitter: “We’re in solidarity with the victims of this violence, and wish a swift recovery to the injured. We’re working closely with police and officials in Mississauga on this.”

The blast in Mississauga comes a month after a driver deliberately plowed a white Ryder rental van into a lunch-hour crowd in Toronto, killing 10 people and injuring 16.

“These are shocking incidents, made all the more shocking because they have been unusual in our society,” Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne told reporters on Friday.

(Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Toronto police eye deadly van attack suspect’s ‘cryptic message’

Mourners attend a makeshift memorial a day after a van struck multiple people along a major intersection in north Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegr

By Anna Mehler Paperny and Nichola Saminather

TORONTO (Reuters) – The man accused of plowing a rental van into pedestrians on a crowded Toronto sidewalk, killing 10 people in Canada’s deadliest mass killing in decades, left a “cryptic message” on social media before his attack, police said on Tuesday.

Suspect Alek Minassian, 25, was charged with 10 counts of murder and 13 counts of attempted murder in the incident.

One possible clue to his motive emerged on Tuesday as Facebook confirmed Minassian wrote a post before the incident that referenced an “incel rebellion.” The term is shorthand used in some online message boards for “involuntary celibacy”, a loose social media movement of men who blame women for their celibacy.

Canadian authorities have declined to say whether anger toward women had motivated the attack.

A mourner reacts at a makeshift memorial a day after a van struck multiple people along a major intersection in north Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

A mourner reacts at a makeshift memorial a day after a van struck multiple people along a major intersection in north Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The post also voiced admiration for a man who killed six college students before taking his own life in California in 2014 and who cited the “cruelness of women” for his virgin status.

“The accused is alleged to have posted a cryptic message on Facebook minutes before” the attack, Graham Gibson, a Toronto police detective sergeant, told a news conference. The majority of the victims were women, ranging in age from their mid-20s to early 80s, Gibson said.

He said the question of whether the attack was driven by anger against women was “going to be part of our investigation.”

Facebook has since deleted Minassian’s account, a representative said. “There is absolutely no place on our platform for people who commit such horrendous acts,” she said in an email.

Minassian kept his shaved head down during a brief court appearance in Canada’s largest city, speaking quietly with a defense lawyer and stating his name in a steady voice when asked to do so.

The incident had the hallmarks of deadly vehicle assaults by Islamic State supporters. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there was no reason to suspect any national security connection.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Toronto Mayor John Tory visit a makeshift memorial a day after a van struck multiple people along a major intersection in north Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Toronto Mayor John Tory visit a makeshift memorial a day after a van struck multiple people along a major intersection in north Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Trudeau called on all Canadians to stand united with Toronto as flowers and scrawled messages in multiple languages piled up at a makeshift memorial in the city’s north end, an ethnically diverse neighborhood of towering office buildings, shops, restaurants and homes.

“We cannot as Canadians choose to live in fear every single day as we go about our daily business,” Trudeau told reporters outside of parliament in Ottawa.

The prime minister said the incident had not changed the country’s threat level or security preparations for a G7 summit in Quebec in June.

Minassian had briefly served in Canada’s armed forces in late 2017 but asked to be voluntarily released after 16 days of training, defense ministry spokeswoman Jessica Lamirande said.

The suspect’s two-story red-brick home in a suburb north of Toronto was a crime scene Tuesday, taped off and surrounded by police vehicles. Officers went in and out of the house.

SOUTH KOREANS AMONG VICTIMS

Details about the dead began to emerge on Tuesday, with a South Korean foreign ministry representative saying that two of that country’s citizens were killed and one injured in the attack. The representative spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media.

A Jordanian citizen was also killed, said an official at the country’s embassy in Ottawa.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp identified one of the victims as Anne Marie D’Amico, an employee of asset manager Invesco Canada. In a statement, Invesco confirmed that one of its employees had been killed but did not name her.

It could be days before all the victims are publicly identified, said Ontario Chief Coroner Dirk Huyer said, adding that the extent of their injuries was making some identities difficult to determine.

“It ranges from scrapes and bruises to terrible injuries that I won’t get into discussing here,” Gibson added.

The attack shook the usually peaceful streets of Toronto, which recorded 61 murders last year.

The drama started at lunchtime on a warm spring day, when the driver drove his vehicle into the crowds. The street was soon covered in blood, empty shoes and bodies.

Last October, eight people died in New York when a man driving a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists on a bike path. The Islamic State militant group encourages its supporters to use vehicles for attacks.

(Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny and Allision Martell; Additional reporting by Andrea Hopkins in Ottawa; Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Cynthia Osterman)

Toronto van attack suspect faces murder charges in court

A damaged van seized by police is seen after multiple people were struck at a major intersection northern Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Saul Porto

By Allison Martell and Anna Mehler Paperny

TORONTO (Reuters) – The driver suspected of killing 10 people and injuring 15 others when he plowed a rental van into pedestrians in Toronto made his first court appearance on Tuesday, where details of a motive for the attack were expected to emerge.

While the worst mass killing in Canada in decades has the hallmarks of other deadly vehicle assaults by Islamic State supporters in the United States and Europe, officials said it did not represent a threat to national security.

Suspect Alek Minassian, 25, entered a Toronto courtroom on Tuesday morning. His head was shaved and he was looking down as prosecutors announced they were charging him with 10 counts of first-degree murder.

The proceedings began after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the attack outside of parliament in Ottawa, calling on all Canadians to stand united with Toronto.

“We cannot as Canadians choose to live in fear every single day as we go about our daily business. We need to focus on doing what we can and we must to keep Canadians safe while we stay true to the freedoms and values that we all as Canadians hold dear,” Trudeau said.

The prime minister said that, while it would take time before the motives of the attacker were understood, the incident had not changed the country’s threat level or security preparations for a G7 summit in Quebec in June.

People left flowers at a makeshift memorial, which grew as commuters returned to work on Tuesday morning. Blank white posters left against a stone wall were covered with messages.

The Canadian flag was lowered to half-staff at parliament and at Toronto city hall.

Minassian, who was not previously known to authorities, attended a high school program where one classmate remembered him as “absolutely harmless.”

The officer who apprehended Minassian was praised for making a peaceful arrest even as the suspect shouted “Kill me” and claimed to have a gun.

Canadians mourned as the victims began to be identified on Tuesday.

“We are a peaceful, tolerant, free society. The horrific violence on Toronto’s Yonge Street will strengthen rather than undermine these truths,” columnist John Ibbitson wrote in the Globe and Mail national newspaper.

The attack shook the usually peaceful streets of Toronto, a multicultural city with a population of 2.8 million. The city recorded 61 murders last year.

Downtown Toronto’s iconic CN Tower, which is normally lit up in the evening, went dark on Monday evening.

The drama started at lunchtime on a warm spring day, when the driver drove his vehicle into the crowds. The street was soon covered in blood, empty shoes and bodies.

Canada is still recovering from the shock of a highway crash in Saskatchewan earlier this month that killed 16 people on a bus carrying a junior hockey team.

Last October, eight people died in New York when a man driving a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists on a bike path.

(Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny and Allision Martell; additional reporting and writing by Andrea Hopkins in Ottawa; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe, Jonathan Oatis and Jim Finkle)

Toronto van attack suspect due in court on Tuesday

A damaged van seized by police is seen after multiple people were struck at a major intersection northern Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Saul Porto

By Allison Martell and Anna Mehler Paperny

TORONTO (Reuters) – The driver suspected of killing 10 and injuring 15 others when he plowed a rental van into pedestrians in Toronto will make his first court appearance on Tuesday when details of a motive for the attack were expected to emerge.

While the worst mass killing in Canada in decades has the hallmarks of other deadly vehicle assaults by Islamic State supporters in the United States and Europe, officials said it did not represent a threat to national security.

Alex Minassian, 25, identified by police as the suspect, will appear in a Toronto court at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT), Toronto police said. Charges will be made public at that time.

Minassian, who was not previously known to authorities, attended a high school program where one classmate remembered him as “absolutely harmless.”

People left flowers at a makeshift memorial, which grew as commuters returned to work Tuesday morning. Blank white posters left against a stone wall were covered with messages.

The Canadian flag was lowered to half-staff at parliament and at Toronto city hall.

The officer who apprehended Minassian was praised for making a peaceful arrest eve as the suspect shouted “Kill me” and claimed to have a gun.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who called the incident a “tragic and senseless attack,” was to speak to reporters at 8:25 a.m. EDT (1225 GMT) in Ottawa.

Canadians mourned as the victims began to be identified on Tuesday. “We are a peaceful, tolerant, free society. The horrific violence on Toronto’s Yonge Street will strengthen rather than undermine these truths,” columnist John Ibbitson wrote in the Globe and Mail national newspaper.

The attack shook the usually peaceful streets of Toronto, a multicultural city with a population of 2.8 million. The city recorded 61 murders last year.

Downtown Toronto’s iconic CN Tower, which is normally lit up in the evening, went dark on Monday evening.

The drama started at lunchtime on a warm spring day, when the driver drove his vehicle into the crowds. The street was soon covered in blood, empty shoes and bodies.

Canada is still recovering from the shock of a highway crash in Saskatchewan earlier this month that killed 16 people on a bus carrying a junior hockey team.

Last October eight people died in New York when a man driving a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists on a bike path.

(Additional reporting and writing by Andrea Hopkins in Ottawa; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

Driver kills nine, injures 16 plowing van onto Toronto sidewalk: police

Firemen cover a victim of an incident where a van struck multiple people at a major intersection in Toronto's northern suburbs, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

y Anna Mehler Paperny and Allison Martell

TORONTO (Reuters) – A driver plowed his white Ryder rental van into a crowd, killing nine people and injuring 16 along a roughly mile-long stretch of busy Toronto sidewalk during lunch hour on a sunny Monday afternoon, police said.

Officials declined to answer questions about what motivated the driver to steer his vehicle toward people just before 1:30 p.m. (1730 GMT). They said the driver was in custody and stopped short of calling it a deliberate act.

But at least one witness described the driver as appearing to deliberately target victims on his roughly mile-long (1.6 km-long) rampage, according to media reports.

“This is going to be a long investigation,” Toronto Deputy Chief Peter Yuen told a news conference after disclosing the death toll.

People react to an incident where a van struck multiple people at a major intersection in Toronto's northern suburbs, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

People react to an incident where a van struck multiple people at a major intersection in Toronto’s northern suburbs, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

A Reuters witness saw at least two tarp-covered bodies at the site of the incident. Five people remained in critical condition at Sunnybrook Health Services Centre on Monday afternoon, the hospital said.

Canada’s public safety minister, Ralph Goodale, declined to comment on what may have motivated the attack.

“The investigation is at a stage where no further information can be confirmed at this point,” Goodale told a news conference said. “The police are conducting obviously their thorough investigation to determine what happened and why it happened, the motivations involved.”

Ryder System Inc spokeswoman Claudia Panfil confirmed that one of the company’s rental vehicles had been involved and said the company was cooperating with authorities.

There have been a string of deadly vehicle attacks in the United States and Europe, including an Oct. 31 attack in New York that killed eight. Islamic State militant group encourages its supporters to use vehicles for attacks.

Toronto police investigates an incident where a van struck multiple people at a major intersection in Toronto's northern suburbs in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Donovan

Toronto police investigates an incident where a van struck multiple people at a major intersection in Toronto’s northern suburbs in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Donovan

‘IT’S UNPRECEDENTED’

The incident was one of the most violent in recent Canadian history.

A former Canadian university student last month pleaded guilty to killing six men praying in a Quebec City mosque in January 2017.

In September, a Somali refugee who was charged with attempted murder on allegations he ran down four pedestrians with a car and stabbed a police officer outside a sports stadium in Edmonton, Alberta.

“It’s unprecedented,” said John Flengas, acting superintendent in the city’s paramedic services. We’ve never seen anything like this in the city of Toronto.”

The incident occurred about 30 kms (18 miles) away from the site where Toronto is hosting a Group of Seven foreign ministers.

A man who gave his name as Ali told CNN he saw the van and that the driver appeared to have been targeting people.

“This person was intentionally doing this, he was killing everybody,” the man said. “He kept going, he kept going. People were getting hit, one after another.”

He said a number of the victims were older people and at one point he saw a stroller fly into the air.

At least one person was struck outside on the sidewalk outside an Anglican church, north of where the van came to rest in front of a currency exchange in a condominium tower.

Yonge Street is large, divided boulevard at the point where the incident occurred, its center meridian dotted with planter boxes and sculptures.

Some of the victims were struck in a public square popular with office workers on lunch breaks. Aerial photos of the scene posted on social media showed a food truck parked just a few feet away from where emergency workers busily transferred people onto stretchers.

There was no noticeable change in security around the Intercontinental Hotel where the ministers of Canada, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan were meeting on Monday.

(Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny and Allison Martell in Toronto; Additional reporting by Jim Finkle, Nichola Saminather, Carlo Allegri and Julie Gordon; Writing by Andrea Hopkins and Scott Malone; Editing by Grant McCool)

Trudeau attends emotional vigil for Canada bus crash victims

Community members leave notes and flowers at a memorial at Elgar Petersen Arena in Humboldt, April 7, 2018. REUTERS/Matt Smith

By Katherine Fitzpatrick

HUMBOLDT, Saskatchewan (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined religious and community leaders at an emotional vigil on Sunday night to honor the 15 members of a junior ice hockey team killed in a bus crash that shocked the hockey-loving nation.

Hundreds of people including National Hockey League (NHL) players attended the vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos club at the center of one of the worst disasters to hit Canada’s sporting community.

“We’re here behind you. We will be here for you,” Rob Muench, mayor of the small farming town of Humboldt in Saskatchewan province, told the gathering.

“We will get through this.”

Fourteen other members of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team were injured in the accident, which occurred as the team was traveling to a league playoff game in the town of Nipawin, about 200 km (125 miles) northeast of Humboldt, on Friday.

The bus collided with a semi-trailer truck. Canadian police are looking into road, weather and vehicle conditions.

Former NHL star Sheldon Kennedy was among those who were expected to attend the vigil, along with former players Bob Wilkie and Peter Soberlak. Kennedy was on board a bus involved in another fatal crash in 1986, in which four members of the Swift Current Broncos were killed.

One minute silence was observed at the time when the playoff was scheduled on Sunday evening.

“Today and for every day forward we are all humble Broncos and we will be forever humble Broncos strong,” Broncos President Kevin Geringer told the members attending the vigil.

For the prairies community of Humboldt, population about 6,000, ice hockey is a sport that unifies the town and gives it its identity, bringing home two national championships.

Townspeople and team supporters gathered at the local Uniplex sports and education complex to comfort each other. An online fund-raising initiative to help the victims’ families has raised C$3.7 million ($2.9 million).

Rob Eichorst, the team’s governor, said Sunday’s interdenominational vigil was organized by local religious leaders “for healing of the community, the hockey team, the province, the country.”

“There’s no playbook on how to handle this,” Eichorst said. “People are bringing food … We’ve got multinational companies helping us, we’ve got national companies offering stuff. The support is overwhelming and truly appreciated.”

He estimated 300 to 400 people had gathered at the complex on Friday evening. Grief counselors were on hand and the Red Cross was providing support to players’ families as well as the families who billet players.

(Reporting by Katherine Fitzpatrick in HUMBOLDT, Saskatchewan; Writing by Denny Thomas; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Stephen Coates)

Israel says to send 16,000 African migrants to Western countries

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem April 2, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

By Maayan Lubell

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel said on Monday it has scrapped a plan to deport African migrants to Africa and reached an agreement with the U.N. refugee agency to send more than 16,000 to Western countries instead.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu named Canada, Italy and Germany as some of the nations that will take in the migrants.

Other migrants, many of whom are seeking asylum, will be allowed to remain in Israel, which they entered illegally on foot through the border with Egypt, for at least the next five years.

The fate of some 37,000 Africans in Israel has posed a moral dilemma for a state founded as a haven for Jews from persecution and a national home. The right-wing government has been under pressure from its nationalist voter base to expel the migrants.

But the planned mass deportation led to legal challenges in Israel, drew criticism from the United Nations and rights groups and triggered an emotional public debate among Israelis.

In February, Israeli authorities started handing out notices to 20,000 male African migrants giving them two months to leave for a third country in Africa or risk being put in jail indefinitely.

Teklit Michael, who came to Israel from Eritrea a decade ago, said he was delighted by the new deal.

“I saw in the past few years a lot of people lose their hopes because of that deportation to an unsafe place,” said Michael, 29.

MONEY AND AN AIR TICKET

The Israeli government has offered migrants, most of them from Sudan and Eritrea, $3,500 and a plane ticket to what it says is a safe destination. At immigration hearings, migrants were told they could choose to go to Rwanda or Uganda.

But rights groups advocating on their behalf say that many fled abuse and war and that their expulsion, even to a different country in Africa, would endanger them further.

The groups had challenged the deportation plan in Israel’s High Court, which on March 15 issued a temporary order that froze its implementation.

Netanyahu said the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees had agreed to organize and fund the new plan that would take five years to implement.

“The joint commitment is that ‘You take out 16,250 and we will leave 16,250 as temporary residents’. That enables the departure of a very large number of people, 6,000 in the first 18 months,” Netanyahu said at a news conference in Jerusalem.

A UNHCR spokeswoman in Tel Aviv confirmed that an agreement had been reached but gave no details.

The U.N.’s refugee agency had urged Israel to reconsider its original plan, saying migrants who have relocated to sub-Saharan Africa in the past few years were unsafe and ended up on the perilous migrant trail to Europe, some suffering abuse, torture and even dying on the way.

The largest community of African migrants, about 15,000, lives in south Tel Aviv, in a poor neighborhood where shops are dotted with signs in Tigrinya and other African languages and abandoned warehouses have been converted into churches for the largely Christian Eritreans.

(Additional reporting by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Finland is world’s happiest country, U.S. discontent grows: U.N. report

People enjoy a sunnny day at the Esplanade in Helsinki, Finland, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Finland is the world’s happiest country, according to an annual survey issued on Wednesday that found Americans were getting less happy even as their country became richer.

Burundi came bottom in the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s (SDSN) 2018 World Happiness Report which ranked 156 countries according to things such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.

Taking the harsh, dark winters in their stride, Finns said access to nature, safety, childcare, good schools and free healthcare were among the best things about in their country.

 

FILE PHOTO: Finland's flag flutters in Helsinki, Finland, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Finland’s flag flutters in Helsinki, Finland, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

“I’ve joked with the other Americans that we are living the American dream here in Finland,” said Brianna Owens, who moved from the United States and is now a teacher in Espoo, Finland’s second biggest city with a population of around 280,000.

“I think everything in this society is set up for people to be successful, starting with university and transportation that works really well,” Owens told Reuters.

Finland, rose from fifth place last year to oust Norway from the top spot. The 2018 top-10, as ever dominated by the Nordics, is: Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.

The United States came in at 18th, down from 14th place last year. Britain was 19th and the United Arab Emirates 20th.

One chapter of the 170-page report is dedicated to emerging health problems such as obesity, depression and the opioid crisis, particularly in the United States where the prevalence of all three has grown faster than in most other countries.

While U.S. income per capita has increased markedly over the last half century, happiness has been hit by weakened social support networks, a perceived rise in corruption in government and business and declining confidence in public institutions.

“We obviously have a social crisis in the United States: more inequality, less trust, less confidence in government,” the head of the SDSN, Professor Jeffrey Sachs of New York’s Columbia University, told Reuters as the report was launched at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

“It’s pretty stark right now. The signs are not good for the U.S. It is getting richer and richer but not getting happier.”

Asked how the current political situation in the United States could affect future happiness reports, Sachs said:

“Time will tell, but I would say that in general that when confidence in government is low, when perceptions of corruption are high, inequality is high and health conditions are worsening … that is not conducive to good feelings.”

For the first time since it was started in 2012, the report, which uses a variety of polling organizations, official figures and research methods, ranked the happiness of foreign-born immigrants in 117 countries.

Finland took top honors in that category too, giving the country a statistical double-gold status.

The foreign-born were least happy in Syria, which has been mired in civil war for seven years.

“The most striking finding of the report is the remarkable consistency between the happiness of immigrants and the locally born,” said Professor John Helliwell of Canada’s University of British Columbia.

“Although immigrants come from countries with very different levels of happiness, their reported life evaluations converge towards those of other residents in their new countries,” he said.

“Those who move to happier countries gain, while those who move to less happy countries lose.”

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Additional reporting by Reuters television in Finland; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

Trump sets metals tariffs but exempts Canada and Mexico

FILE PHOTO: Rolled steel are seen at a Hyundai Steel plant in Dangjin, about 130 km (81 miles) southwest of Seoul June 15, 2011. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won/File Photo

By David Lawder, Antonio De la Jara and Dave Sherwood

WASHINGTON/SANTIAGO (Reuters) – President Donald Trump pressed ahead with the imposition of 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum on Thursday but exempted Canada and Mexico, backtracking from earlier pledges of tariffs on all countries.

Details of the plan came from a briefing by administration officials ahead of Trump’s speech, which had been due to start at 3:30 p.m. (2030 GMT). Trump will say that other countries can apply for exemptions, according to the administration, although details of when they would be granted were thin.

Trump has offered relief from steel and aluminum tariffs to countries that “treat us fairly on trade,” a gesture aimed at putting pressure on Canada and Mexico to give ground in separate talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which appear to be stalled.

Trump has also demanded concession from the European Union, complaining that it treated American cars unfairly and has threatened to hike tariffs on auto imports from Europe.

Stock markets in Canada and Mexico rallied on the news, as did the Canadian dollar and the Mexican peso.

There was no mention of Mexico and Canada giving ground on NAFTA in the proposals.

Trump’s tariffs have triggered the threat of countermeasures from the European Union and now China. The levies aim to hit Beijing, although China exports very little of either metal to the United States.

(Additional reporting by Michael Martina, Elias Glenn, Kim Coghill, Brian Love, Nichola Saminather, Doina Chiacu and Andrea Hopkins; writing by David Stamp and David Chance; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Frances Kerry)

Philippines may turn to China, Russia after scrapping Canada helicopter deal

FILE PHOTO - Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana listens to questions during a news conference inside the military headquarters of Camp Aquinaldo in Quezon city, metro Manila, Philippines March 14, 2017

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines may turn to non-Western defense manufacturers, including China and Russia, to acquire 16 helicopters after it had to scrap a $233 million deal with Canada, its defense minister said on Monday.

Francois-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s trade minister, has ordered a review of the contract over concerns about Manila’s intended use for the helicopters.

“We are looking at Korea, Russia, China, Turkey and other countries for the medium-lift helicopters in lieu of the Bell 412EPI,” Philippines’ Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana told reporters.

“We’re back to square one in the procurement process.”

It took about two years to negotiate the deal. The contract for the 16 combat utility helicopters was a repeat order, he said, after Canada delivered eight Bell 412 helicopters worth 4.8 billion pesos ($92.8 million) in 2014.

Lorenzana signed the Canadian helicopter deal last week at the Singapore Air Show last week, but Canada ordered a review after learning the aircraft would be used in anti-rebel operations.

“I think there is malice in the way it is being raised,” Lorenzana told reporters.

“It is not an attack helicopter but a medium-lift, meaning for transport of personnel and supplies. We are not asking these for free but we’re buying them. We do not have to justify how we will use these equipment.”

President Rodrigo Duterte scrapped the deal on Friday night because of conditions imposed by Canada, telling his generals not to buy from the United States and Canada because of conditions imposed on arms sales.

Air Force officials said Russia’s Kamov and China’s Z-series helicopters are comparable models to Bell’s 412 medium lift. South Korean’s Surions are also an option.

($1 = 51.7300 Philippine pesos)

(Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Martin Petty & Simon Cameron-Moore)