Canada briefs – July 14

The family of a young man swarmed by about 20 attackers and beaten to death with baseball and cricket bats was still trying to absorb the tragedy on Monday.

Swarming victim’s death ‘senseless’

TORONTO — The family of a young man swarmed by about 20 attackers and beaten to death with baseball and cricket bats was still trying to absorb the tragedy on Monday.

Born in Sri Lanka, 22-year-old Kristian (Kristy) Thanapalan came to Canada from Norway as a young child with his mother, Ahileswary Thanapalan, and father, Thanapalan Tharmalingam.

Thanapalan died of a blunt force injury to his head, police said.

Toronto police Det.-Sgt. Savas Kyriacou said he and five other young men were swarmed early Saturday after they finished playing a late-night game of volleyball.

Temporary border crossing opens

CORNWALL, Ont. — Armed guards assumed their posts at a makeshift border crossing Monday in eastern Ontario, allowing traffic to flow freely to and from the U.S. for the first time since a dispute between aboriginals and Ottawa erupted in May.

The Canada Border Services Agency opened the temporary crossing at 6 a.m. ET Monday, at the north base of the Seaway International Bridge.

The agency’s permanent crossing, located on Cornwall Island in the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, has been closed amid a dispute with local Mohawks over Ottawa’s promise to equip border guards with guns.

“For the first time in six weeks, it feels like home again,” said Cornwall Mayor Bob Kilger.

WHO looking at flu vaccine priority

TORONTO — Health-care workers around the world should have priority access to swine flu vaccine when it becomes available, the World Health Organization said Monday.

The agency’s vaccine chief skated around the dilemma of how that goal can be met, given that most countries will have little or no access for the foreseeable future to pandemic vaccine, the bulk of which has already been bought by a short list of affluent nations.

Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny said the WHO is working at the highest levels internationally to urge those countries to share, either by donating a portion of their vaccine or providing funds for the purchase of pandemic vaccine for countries which currently are not in the queue.

Dr. Theresa Tam, director general for infectious diseases at the Public Health Agency of Canada, said Canada is considering the request from the WHO.

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