LONDON – IOC president Thomas Bach expressed confidence Sunday in the ability of Brazilian authorities to protect next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in the wake of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.
With the Games nine months away, the bomb and gun attacks in the French capital that left at least 129 people dead and over 350 wounded will raise concerns over the safety of athletes and fans at the Olympics. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Friday’s attacks.
WATCH:聽Brazil to spend $129 million on security for Rio 2016
“We have confidence in the Brazilian authorities and in the international co-operation of their security agencies,” Bach said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “I’m sure all these international services will make all efforts to protect the Olympic Games from these kinds of terrorist attacks.”
Security will be among the issues discussed when IOC officials travel to Rio in the coming days for their latest “project review” of Olympic preparations, Bach added. The games, the first in South America, start on Aug. 5.
“The IOC is not a security agency,” Bach said. “This is the duty of the police and security forces of the host country in co-operation with the international services.”
Security has been the top priority for the International Olympic Committee ever since the 1972 Munich Games, where 11 Israeli athletes and coaches died after Palestinian gunmen raided the Olympic village.
READ MORE:聽No viral testing of sewage-filled Olympic waters: Rio 2016 organizers
The attacks in Paris came at a time when the French capital is bidding to host the 2024 Olympics. Paris, which lasted hosted the Games in 1924, is competing against Rome, Los Angeles, Hamburg and Budapest. The IOC will select the host city in September 2017.
Bach said the attacks should not harm the Paris bid.
“We have to take into consideration we are talking about Olympic Games nine years from now,” he said. “Terrorism is international. Terrorism is not restricted to Paris or France. It’s an international challenge. Terrorism is not restricted to sports events. We could sadly see in Paris it affects any kind of gathering.”
Friday night’s bloodshed began when two explosions went off outside Stade de France during a friendly soccer match between France and Germany. Four people, including three suicide bombers, were killed in those attacks.
The Stade de France would serve as the flagship Olympic Stadium if Paris wins the right to host the 2024 Games.
“In nine years I hope the world will look differently, that the responsible politicians will have an answer to terrorism,” Bach said.
The upcoming climate change conference in Paris may not result in legally-binding carbon emission reduction targets, said Canada’s new environment minister, but broadcasting their goals on the international stage should put pressure on individual countries to stick to the targets they set for themselves.
READ MORE: Trudeau, first ministers, scientists to gather Nov. 23 to talk climate change
Alberta Premier trumpets need for climate change policies
Trudeau, first ministers, scientists to gather Nov. 23 to talk climate change
In an interview with The West Block’s Tom Clark this week, Catherine McKenna said she believes the climate talks will be successful, even if the purpose is not to negotiate individual reduction targets for each country.
“What we’re trying to do is get an agreement where everyone is at the table, everyone says we accept climate change is a problem, we’re going to take action, we’re going to do it in a transparent way, we’re going to be accountable for our targets, we’re going to be doing better,” McKenna said.
For Canada, that will likely mean a commitment to meet —; or do better than —; the 30 per cent reduction of 2005 levels by 2030 set by the previous Conservative government. That target, however, may not be legally binding. McKenna, an international lawyer by trade, said “legally binding” can mean different things.
“In the United States, if it’s a legally binding treaty, it has to go through Congress,” she said. “The last thing we want is to have it fail in Congress … the U.S. not be part of this treaty. I think what we need is a way forward. And so, even if it’s not legally binding in a very formal international law sense, the idea that you would have to report on your targets, you have to show progress, you would have to show where you’re at, those are all ways that you increase transparency and they increase pressure.”
McKenna confirmed she will meet with Canada’s premiers and various federal scientists before the conference to hammer out how they will approach the talks as a cohesive unit.
“It’s really exciting because scientists from Environment Canada are going to talk about the science of climate change. We haven’t really had a big discussion about that over the past decade and I think that’s setting the stage.”
Airlines continued to operate flights to Paris on Saturday, but the terror attacks in the French capital left tourists and business travelers wondering whether to cancel upcoming trips.
The attacks left the travel community on edge. Some would-be travelers quickly cancelled trips to Paris, while the airlines let anxious customers with weekend tickets for Paris change plans without a fee.
Tensions were high at airports across Europe on Saturday.
READ MORE: Canadian reaction to Paris attacks: solidarity, security concerns dominate
A Paris-bound Air France jet was evacuated at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport after authorities received a threatening tweet. At London’s Gatwick Airport, a terminal was shut down for hours after a 41-year-old man from France was seen throwing away what looked like a gun. Authorities called in explosives experts.
U.S. authorities said that they had nothing to add to Friday night’s comment by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson that officials didn’t know of any specific or credible terror threats against the United States.
Air France said it would operate all upcoming flights to and from France but that delays were expected because of increased security measures at airports, including Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport.
WATCH: Examining France’s decision to ‘close its borders’
United Airlines and Delta Air Lines said that all their flights between the U.S. and Paris were operating, although Delta noted that many Paris departures were held up waiting for passengers to go through extra security screening. American Airlines said all its flights would run too, except a Paris-to-Dallas flight – that plane remained in Dallas when the Paris-bound leg was cancelled Friday night.
Delta spokesman Anthony Black said flights to and from Paris were full. United and American declined to give details on the occupancy levels of their flights.
Some Americans, however, cancelled trips after seeing coverage of the terror on Paris streets.
Joe Nardozzi, a 31-year-old New York investment banker, and his wife won’t be taking the wedding-anniversary trip they planned later this month.
“I have no interest in losing my life over a trip to Paris.”
U.S. airlines waived fees for Paris-bound passengers who want to change their ticket, but only if their flight was scheduled in the next couple days. That angered Nardozzi, who paid $1,600 for his tickets and said American Airlines was too inflexible given the horror of the situation.
Blake Fleetwood, president of New York-based Cook Travel, said about 10 customers told him they want to cancel Paris trips. He and his wife might do the same next month.
“It’s a terrible situation,” Fleetwood said. “It’s going to hurt the travel industry, the hotels, the airlines, the restaurants.”
READ MORE: Security experts stunned by Paris attacks
Kevin Mitchell, who runs an advocacy group called the Business Travel Coalition, expects some worried corporate travellers to cancel trips to Europe.
“These companies have to continue to do business,” he said, “but for some period of time they’ll give employees a lot of leeway about travelling to Europe and Paris in particular.”
It’s not just Western visitors who might avoid Paris. Egyptian college graduate Aya Sayed has always dreamed of strolling the streets of the City of Light.
“I would be too afraid to go because I don’t want to be mistreated because of my headscarf or ethnicity.” she said. “Who knows what they might do to us now?”
Decisions by leisure and business travellers could hinge on whether the Paris attacks are seen as a one-time event or the vanguard of a stepped-up campaign by Islamic radicals. Islamic State, the group fighting in Syria and Iraq, claimed it bombed a Russian passenger jet last month over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, although investigators have not determined the cause of the crash that killed 224 people.
Consumers with travel insurance that includes terrorism coverage can probably recover the cost of a trip to Paris, according to Squaremouth, a policy-comparison website. But even policies that cover terrorism may only apply to trips scheduled in the next week or month and might not apply to travel in other parts of France or Europe more broadly, a company spokeswoman said.
French officials said they would increase border controls on roads, train lines and at airports, which remained open.
Even travellers who go to Paris are likely to be in a less celebratory mood. On Saturday, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and other must-see attractions were closed until further notice, and the mood in the city was changed.
WATCH: France’s security alert at the highest possible level following Paris shooting
Toronto residents Mark Hutchison and Ashleigh Marshall planned a big night out during a Paris stopover on their trip back home from Tanzania – “go to a restaurant, go to a bar, have a glass of wine,” Hutchison said. Instead, they decided to hunker down in their hotel with a bottle of wine once the sun went down Saturday evening.
“It’s a lot to take in,” he said of the deadly attacks. “You can’t make sense of it.”
On flights to the U.S. from Paris, the mood was understandably subdued.
Shannon Sharpe, 47, who works for an oil and gas company, caught a connecting flight in Paris on his way to Houston from Africa.
READ MORE: France calls state of emergency, Paris wakes up to a city in lockdown
“It was a bit more quiet,” he said of the Air France flight. “I don’t want to say it was a bit of mourning, but when a tragedy like that happens, people are still in a state of shock,” he said.
Will Bogle, of Atlanta, a music agent and manager of gospel singer Ricky Dillard, spent five days in Paris with his pregnant wife, Rebecca Hill-Bogle. On Friday, they were dining about 10 minutes away from one of the explosions.
The couple flew home on a Delta Air Lines flight. Will Bogle said the experience was different from after the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S., when there was more talk from flights attendants and pilots. But coming from France, there was not much talk at all, he said.
PARIS – A manhunt is underway in Paris for a man suspected of renting the car that delivered attackers to the Bataclan concert hall.
French police put out a photo of a fugitive, 26-year old Salah Abdeslam who was born in Brussels, saying the suspect is on the run and too dangerous for anyone outside law enforcement to engage directly.
In Belgium, seven people were detained Sunday in connection with the deadly attacks as the city entered three days of mourning for the 129 people killed in the worst violence in France in decades.
Thousands of French troops were deployed and tourist sites stood shuttered in one of the most visited cities on Earth, while more details started to emerge about the investigation.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Friday’s attacks on a stadium, a concert hall and Paris cafes that left 129 people dead and over 350 wounded, 99 of them seriously.
A man holds his head in his hands as he lays flowers in front of the Carillon cafe, in Paris, Saturday, Nov.14, 2015. French President Francois Hollande vowed to attack Islamic State without mercy as the jihadist group admitted responsibility Saturday for orchestrating the deadliest attacks inflicted on France since World War II. (
AP Photo/Thibault Camus
Authorities said three teams of attackers were involved and seven suicide bombers blew themselves up – three near the stadium and three at the concert hall and one not far from it.
Authorities have not said if there are more attackers at large.
A French police official said Sunday that three Kalashnikovs were found inside a Seat car found in Montreuil, a suburb 6 kilometres (nearly 4 miles) east of the French capital. It was one of two vehicles known to have been used in the attacks. The official, who could not be named because the investigation is ongoing, said the weapons have not yet been analyzed.
WATCH: Raids related to Paris attacks carried out in Belgium
In Belgium, an official said the seven people detained would hear later Sunday whether they would be held in custody longer. Three other people were arrested there Saturday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the ongoing investigation, also said two of the seven attackers who died in Paris on Friday night were French men living in Brussels. He said one was living in the Molenbeek neighbourhood, which is considered a focal point for religious extremism and fighters going to Syria.
The attack had global impact. Security was heightened across France, across Europe’s normally open borders, even across the ocean to New York, and how to respond to the Paris attacks became a key point among U.S. Democratic presidential hopefuls at a debate Saturday night.
Countries around the world doused their national buildings in the French colours of blue, white and red to honour the victims – or, like the Eiffel Tower and New York’s Empire State Building, went dark to express their sorrow.
President Barack Obama on Sunday called the terror attacks in Paris an “attack on the civilized world.”
Obama, speaking at a G-20 summit in Turkey focusing on fighting terrorism, pledged U.S. solidarity with France in the effort to hunt down the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
At the request of France, the European Union will hold a special meeting of its interior and justice ministers Friday to assess the impact of the Paris attacks.
READ MORE: Security experts stunned by Paris attacks
President Francois Hollande has said that France, which is already bombing Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq in a U.S.-led coalition, would increase its military efforts to crush IS and be “merciless” against the extremists.
With 3,000 extra troops mobilized to protect Paris, French authorities laboured Sunday to identify the suicide bombers and hunt potential accomplices still at large.
WATCH: French authorities searching for accomplices in Paris terrorist attacks
Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said three groups of attackers, including seven suicide bombers wearing identical vests containing the explosive TATP, carried out the attacks that began as Parisians enjoyed a night out Friday.
The investigation sprawled well beyond France’s borders, since Molins said some attackers mentioned Syria and Iraq. Authorities in Belgium arrested three people in raids linked to the Paris attacks, and a Syrian passport found next to the body of a man who attacked France’s national stadium suggested that its owner passed through Greece into the European Union last month.
However, many questions remain – mainly who the other attackers were, and whether there are others still at large.
READ MORE: Frenchman and man with Syrian passport among attackers in Paris
French authorities are particularly concerned about the threat from hundreds of French Islamic radicals who have travelled to Syria and returned home, possibly with dangerous skills.
Details about one attacker began to emerge: 29-year-old Frenchman Ismael Mostefai, who had a record of petty crime and had been flagged in 2010 for ties to Islamic radicalism. He was identified from fingerprints found on a finger amid the bloody carnage from a Paris concert hall, the Paris prosecutor said. A judicial official and lawmaker Jean-Pierre Gorges confirmed his identity.
Police detained his father, a brother and other relatives Saturday night, and they were still being questioned Sunday, the judicial official said.
Authorities in Greece, meanwhile, said the holder of the Syrian passport found at the site of the stadium attack entered Oct. 3 through Leros, one of the eastern Aegean islands that tens of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty have been using as a gateway into Europe.
The same man entered Serbia from Macedonia on Oct. 7 and requested asylum in Serbia, according to Serbian police.
It was not clear if the passport was real or fake, or if it belonged to the suicide bomber. The chief of the European Union border agency Frontex has said trafficking in fake Syrian passports has increased as a flood of refugees has poured into Europe.
French authorities say they have formally identified two other attackers: one of the suicide bombers at the national stadium and another man who attacked a restaurant in central Paris.
One of the men was 20 and the other was 31. Both were French nationals living in Belgium. Neither of their identities have been released to the public.
In its statement claiming responsibility, the Islamic State group called Paris “the capital of prostitution and obscenity” and mocked France’s air attacks on suspected IS targets in Syria and Iraq.
READ MORE: ISIS claims responsibility for Paris attacks; France remains the ‘top of the list of targets’
Struggling to keep his country calm and united after an exceptionally violent year, Hollande met Sunday with opposition leaders – conservative rival and former President Nicolas Sarkozy as well as increasingly popular far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who has used the attacks on Paris to advance her anti-immigrant agenda.
After the meeting, Sarkozy called calling for a change in France’s Syria policy, suggesting the country needs to work with both Russia and the U.S. to “destroy” the Islamic State group.
“We need everyone … there can’t be two coalitions in Syria,” Sarkozy said.
In Paris, the shining sun and warm air felt cruelly incongruous.
Streets, parks and commerce were unusually empty for such a mild, clear day, and several city monuments were closed for security reasons or to express the city’s grief.
The Eiffel Tower remained closed on the first of three days of national mourning in Paris, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. Thousands of French troops deployed around Paris on Sunday and tourist sites stood shuttered in one of the most visited cities on Earth while investigators questioned the relatives of a suspected suicide bomber involved in the country’s deadliest violence since World War II.
AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza
Some Parisians and tourists defied the high security, walking past heavily-armed soldiers in body armour to take pictures beneath the Eiffel Tower.
People have placed flowers and candles to mourn for the victims killed in the Friday’s attacks in Paris, France, in front of the French Embassy in Berlin, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015.
AP Photo/Markus Schreiber
On the streets, the entire nation was enveloped in mourning. Flags were lowered and Notre Dame Cathedral – closed to tourists like many Paris sites – planned a special church service later Sunday for families of the victims. Well-wishers heaped flowers and notes on a monument to the dead in the neighbourhood where attackers sprayed gunfire on cafe diners and concert-goers.
Quentin Bongard said he left one of the targeted cafes after a fight with his girlfriend just moments before the attacks.
“Those are all places that I go often to,” the Paris resident said, still shaken. “We just want to come here, bring flowers, because we don’t want to be terrorized … but it is frightening.”
Yet even in their grief, residents were defiant about the lifestyle that has made their city a world treasure. Olivier Bas was among several hundred who gathered late Saturday at the site of the Bataclan hall massacre. Although Paris was quiet and jittery, Bas intended to go out for a drink – “to show that they won’t win.”
Eyewitness describes scene in Paris after exiting Metro station
Eyewitness describes scene in Paris after exiting Metro station
Regina woman recalls harrowing night in Paris
Local Parisians talk about how they feel following Friday’s violent attacks
Local Parisians talk about what they saw during Friday night’s attacks
Meanwhile, refugees fleeing to the continent by the tens of thousands feared that the Paris attacks will prompt EU nations to throw up even more razor-wire border fences and other obstacles to their quest to start a new life.
A top European Union official insisted Sunday that the bloc’s refugee policy does not need to be overhauled in the wake of the Paris attacks and urged world leaders not to start treating asylum-seekers as terrorists.
“Those who organized these attacks, and those who carried them out, are exactly those who the refugees are fleeing,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters at the G-20 summit in Turkey. “There is no need to revise the European Union’s entire refugee policy.”
Poland incoming government declared Saturday it would not accept refugees without security guarantees but Juncker urged them “to be serious about this, and not to give in (to) these basic reactions.”
READ MORE: ISIS claims responsibility for deadly explosions that killed 37 in Beirut
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for several recent attacks.
On Thursday, twin suicide bombings in Beirut killed at least 43 people and wounded more than 200, and 26 people died Friday in Baghdad in a suicide blast and a roadside bombing that targeted Shiites. The militant group also said it bombed a Russian plane that crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Oct. 31, killing 224 people.
Associated Press writers Greg Keller, Lori Hinnant, Raphael Satter, Thomas Adamson and John Leicester in Paris; Maamoun Youssef in Cairo, John-Thor Dahlburg in Brussels, Jill Lawless in London and Shawn Pogatchnik in Dublin contributed to this report.
They don’t know how many people are coming, when they’ll arrive, what services they’ll need or who will pay for them. But Ontario’s preparing to welcome an unprecedented influx of Syrian refugees.
The federal Liberals are standing by their promise to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by January, which gives them about six and a half weeks, if you include Christmas and Boxing Day.
But specifics have been scant: the Feds haven’t said how people will be transported to Canada or where they’ll stay once they arrive. While the original promise was for 25,000 government-assisted refugees, references to Canadians’ vocal eagerness to help desperate people suggests the government may also rely on private sponsorships.
READ MORE: The logistic nightmare of resettling 25,000 refugees in 2 months
Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Minister John McCallum won’t even say when the government will fulfill its promise to reinstate health-care coverage for refugees and refugee applicants in limbo. A statement attributed to him last week said it could be weeks or months.
READ MORE: Canada’s scrambling to resettle 25,000 Syrians but restoring refugee health care could take months
So Ontario, which has traditionally welcomed the plurality of Canada’s refugees, is trying to prepare for anything.
The provincial Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care sent a memo to the health community last week, telling them to prepare to care for a new wave of refugees even if they don’t know who is coming and when.
“There are many unknowns at this point including confirmation of resettlement locations, timing and pacing of resettlement and total numbers of refugees,” the memo reads.
“What is known is that Ontario will likely be a major point of entry for incoming refugees over the next few months and we need to ensure the health system is ready, willing and able to assist.”
Ministry spokesperson David Jensen said the province doesn’t know what additional care these newcomers will need following their routine medical exam, which the federal government organizes and whose cost refugees are expected to cover once they find their financial feet.
“Public Health Ontario is working to determine whether any additional plans may be required,” he wrote in an email Friday.
Nor does the province know whether it will be footing the bill for the new refugees’ health expenditures.
Government-assisted refugees get full health coverage; because of the previous federal government’s cuts, which the new government has yet to reverse, privately sponsored refugees get partial coverage.
While Ontario has set up a temporary health program of its own to fill the gap, the resulting paperwork has become so complex that many health-care practitioners refuse to provide refugees with health care altogether.
REFUGEE HEALTH CUTS: Even those who qualify get turned away
Researchers and health-care workers have noted this places a greater burden on emergency care and puts other members of the public at risk as sick people delay treatment and get sicker.
Nonetheless, “Ontario has made it clear that we are ready to support the work of the federal government” when it comes to refugee resettlement, Jensen wrote. And the province is committed to providing “all the necessary supports for this at-risk population deserves.”
“From its earliest days, Ontario has been a place for people fleeing war, famine, persecution and other tragic circumstances to build a new life for themselves and their families.”
WATCH ABOVE: As Tracy Nagai reports, the feeling of solidarity is the common theme behind several vigils planned this weekend in Calgary.
CALGARY – Hundreds of Calgarians are paying tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks at City Hall Saturday night.
READ MORE: Canadian reaction to Paris attacks: solidarity, security concerns dominate
Canada and Calgary react to the tragedy in France
Montreal Canadiens pay tribute to victims of Paris attacks
Images of Paris in aftermath of attacks
France in mourning after Paris attacks
With a pen in hand, their tool to fight fear, many made banners of support to reach out to those in pain.
“I was absolutely terrified and so sad for them,” said Iman Bukhari from the Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation.
“These attacks are an attack against humanity.”
The lives lost in Paris, strike a chord with so many in Calgary.
Paris was left devastated after series of attacks across the French capital killed more than 100 people and injured dozens more, marking the deadliest attack on French soil since the Second World War.
READ MORE: Paris attacks: Death toll in attacks could exceed 120; attackers killed
“My parent’s left Afghanistan, we left from there to seek refuge in France. It’s like home to me and then we came here to Canada, so I just couldn’t believe that was happening,” said Quais Amer, who helped organize the vigil at City Hall.
People have taken to social media with the hashtag (#) ‘YYC to Paris’ and also to the street, with symbols of support evident throughout Calgary.
“We are a multicultural country, so we care about each other, if one community gets hurt, the other one gets hurt too,” said Amer.
This feeling of solidarity, the common theme behind several vigils planned this weekend in Calgary.
“I’m originally from Ukraine and my country has been under attack as well, since last year,’ said Inna Platonova, who planned a vigil. “Every week, we see the horrible acts of violence around the world against innocent.
In Calgary, armed with words and the right to express them, the message is that Paris is not alone.
“We are for humanity, we are for all people. If you hurt people in Paris, you hurt people in Calgary,” said Bukhari.
French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency following the attacks, closing France’s international borders and deployed the military around Paris.
EDMONTON – It’s a show of solidarity that began Friday night after the deadly terror attacks in Paris and on Saturday Edmonton joined the efforts.
The High Level Bridge was lit up in blue, white and red to honour the victims of Friday’s attacks in the French capital, the deadliest attack in the country since the Second World War. Mayor Don Iveson took to 桑拿会所 Saturday to announce the decision.
High Level & Muttart Conservatory will be blue, white & red tonight. 🇫🇷 Sorry we couldn’t change them last night. #PrayForParis #yegcc
— Don Iveson (@doniveson) November 14, 2015
On Friday night, the ATB Financial building in downtown Edmonton was lit in blue, white and red lights in support of the victims.
The Calgary Tower, Toronto’s CN Tower and New York City’s One World Trade Center’s 408-foot spire top were also lit up Friday night.
READ MORE: CN Tower, One World Trade Center lit red, white and blue to honour France
On Friday night, Iveson took some heat on social media from people asking why the High Level Bridge wasn’t lit up. He responded with the following:
Many have asked the bridge be lit for #Paris, though rather fittingly Diwali is about light’s triumph over darkness: https://t.co/5hGPxrQww2
— Don Iveson (@doniveson) November 14, 2015
Security experts stunned by Paris attacks
Explosive used in Paris attacks described as ‘very unstable,’ easy to make
Frenchman and man with Syrian passport among attackers in Paris