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Priest stabbed live on TV at Canada’s biggest church

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A priest was stabbed in front of his congregation live on television during morning mass on Friday at Canada’s biggest church, police said.

Footage broadcast on a Catholic television station and picked up by the top-rated CTV network showed a man in jeans, a parka and a white baseball cap approach Claude Grou at St Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal.

He is seen chasing the priest around the altar and standing menacingly over Grou as he falls to the ground, scattering candles and a banner, before stabbing his victim.

Witness Adele Plamondon, told public broadcaster Radio-Canada the priest was about to start reading the gospel, when “this man drew a knife and ran up to stab him.”

“I’d thought he was just going to kneel in front of the alter to pray, like many people do,” she said.

 AFP / Sebastien St-Jean Police provide security at Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal on March 22, 2019, after priest Claude Grou was stabbed

The suspect remained silent during the assault but appeared “very determined,” Plamondon added.

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Grou recovered enough to get to his feet and is seen backing away as security officers surround the assailant, who drops his knife. Three guards restrained him while others tended to Grou, who appeared to be in shock.

The priest was taken to hospital, where his condition was said to be stable, with police reporting to AFP that he had been “slightly wounded in the upper body.”

– ‘Horrible and inexcusable’ –

The suspect was due to be interrogated shortly, while the church has been cordoned off, with services expected to resume later in the day.

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Police did not reveal a motive for the attack.

 AFP / Sebastien St-Jean Journalist gather at Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal on March 22, 2019, after Catholic priest Claude Grou was stabbed

Church spokeswoman Celine Barbeau said Grou was conscious when he was rushed from the scene.

“We are hopeful he will pull through.” she added.

Mayor Valerie Plante called the assault a “horrible and inexcusable act that has no place in Montreal.”

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Saint Joseph’s Oratory, built from 1920 to 1955, sits atop the north face of Mount Royal overlooking Canada’s second-largest metropolis, and attracts some two million pilgrims and tourists each year.

The national shrine was founded by Brother Andre Bessette, a central religious figure among French-Canadians, who was canonized by Pope Benedict in 2010 for his devotion to the sick and disabled.

Jean-Francois Lefebvre, who was working in front of the oratory when the attack unfolded, said he saw police arrive and take away the suspect in handcuffs.

“I find this incident very unfortunate, in a place so peaceful that attracts millions of visitors,” he told AFP.

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“With what happened in Christchurch, it seems that all places of worship are being targeted,” he added, referencing a gunman’s attack at two mosques in New Zealand last Friday that left 50 dead and 50 wounded.

In 2017, a shooter gunned down six worshippers at a mosque in Quebec City.

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Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed a proposed Texas law banning guns in secure airport areas. Supporters say it’s still needed.

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Federal law already makes it illegal for most people to possess a weapon on secure parts of an airport tarmac. The bill was aimed at also allowing local law enforcement, especially at smaller airports, to take action in the face of an emergency.

A state representative says action is still needed after Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed his bill that would have allowed local authorities to bring charges against people who carry a gun in a secure area of a Texas airport.

Federal law already makes it illegal for a person or airport employee to possess a weapon on secure parts of the airport tarmac. State Rep. Rafael Anchía, a Democrat from Dallas, wanted to give state officials the same jurisdiction as federal agents in such a case, partially so that smaller commercial airports wouldn’t have to wait for a federal agent to arrive on site in order to take action in the face of an emergency.

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Judge drops the hammer on ‘possibly criminal’ Alex Jones for his unhinged rant against Sandy Hook families

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A Connecticut judge this week sanctioned InfoWars host Alex Jones after he uncorked an unhinged rant against attorneys representing the families of Sandy Hook victims who are suing him for defamation.

CNN reports that Bridgeport Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis slammed Jones in court on Tuesday and called his attacks on the Sandy Hook families and their attorneys "indefensible," "unconscionable," and "possibly criminal behavior."

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‘Where?’: Trump fans told to seek shelter from storm after waiting in line for hours

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President Donald Trump is scheduled to launch his campaign Tuesday evening. But his supporters are being told to seek shelter as the weather gets worse.

Trump supporters held tailgates and by noon Tuesday, thousands were waiting to enter the arena. That's when it began to rain and within hours the rain turned into storms.

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