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Canada News Advisory for Tuesday, Jan.10, 2023

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Here are the latest Canada News stories from The Canadian Press. All times are Eastern unless otherwise stated. Coverage plans are included when available. Entries are subject to change as news develops.

IF YOU NEED HELP, PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO mainslots@thecanadianpress.com and we’ll get back to you right away.

TOP HEADLINES:

U.S. President Joe Biden to visit Canada in March

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Canada to buy surface-to-air missiles for Ukraine

Constable killed, officer hurt in B.C. slide named

N.S. Justice Department threatens legal action over disclosure of ER death

Poilievre calls for closure of Roxham Road border crossing

Mendicino open to amending cybersecurity bill

Hospital network says outage not a cyberattack

Parks Canada defends Moraine Lake decision

NEW TOP STORIES SINCE THE LAST ADVISORY:

Canada to buy surface-to-air missiles for Ukraine

Cda-Ukraine

Ottawa, , — Canada is buying a U.S. surface-to-air missile system for Ukraine nearly a year after Russia’s invasion of the country began. By Dylan Robertson. Wire: National. Photos: 1

Poilievre calls for probe into McKinsey contracts

Commons-Probe-McKinsey

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada — Conservative party Leader Pierre Poilievre is calling for a parliamentary inquiry into federal contracts awarded to consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Wire: National. Photos: 1

Parks Canada defends Moraine Lake decision

Banff-Transportation

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada — A decision to restrict personal vehicles at one of the most popular tourist destinations in Banff National Park was required to balance the growing number of visitors with protecting the environment, says a Parks Canada official. Wire: National. Photos: 1

Calgary man rescued from back of garbage truck

Calgary-Garbage-Rescue

Calgary, Alberta, Canada — A man sustained what Calgary fire officials are calling moderate injuries after he was rescued from the back of a garbage truck. Wire: Prairies/BC.

Ontario court overturns HIV murder convictions

Ont-HIV-Manslaughter

Toronto, Ontario, Canada — Ontario’s top court has overturned two first-degree murder convictions in the case of a man who did not disclose his HIV-positive status to sexual partners, though he remains a dangerous offender and sentenced to life. By Allison Jones. Wire: Ontario/Quebec.

Police ID man allegedly killed by teen girls

Ont-Girls-Homicide-Victim

Toronto, , — A homeless man who died after eight teen girls allegedly attacked him in Toronto was remembered as quiet and kind on Tuesday as the case left several in the homeless community worried about their safety. By Fakiha Baig. Wire: Ontario/Quebec. Photos: 1

Ottawa eyes Indigenous ombudsperson role

MMIW-Ombud

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada — The federal government is appointing a ministerial special representative who will be tasked with providing recommendations for the creation of an Indigenous and human rights ombudsperson role. Wire: National. Photos: 1

RCMP say man tried to smuggle drugs into prison

Mba-Hitchhiker-Drugs

Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada — Mounties say a Manitoba man is in custody after he allegedly ingested a balloon filled with methamphetamine with the purpose of smuggling the drugs into a prison. Wire: Prairies/BC. Photos: 1

Views mixed on cannabis consumption spaces in B.C.

Cannabis-Consumption

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada — British Columbia has released results of public engagement on the possible approval of cannabis consumption spaces, such as at special events or businesses where marijuana is available for sale. Wire: Prairies/BC. Photos: 1

Environmental group takes Ontario to court

Ont-Hamilton-Greenbelt

Ontario has broken the law by forcing the City of Hamilton to expand its boundary into the protected Greenbelt to build homes, an environmental rights group alleges in legal documents as it takes the province to court in a case being tracked by the mayor. By Liam Casey. Wire: Ontario/Quebec. Photos: 1

Ont. needs gig economy legislation ‘faster’: Uber

Uber-Labour

Uber’s vice-president and global head of public policy wants Ontario to speed up its efforts to deliver gig economy legislation and act on its pitch to boost gig worker benefits. By Tara Deschamps. Wire: Business. Photos: 1

Via Rail apologizes for holiday travel disruptions

Via-Rail-Apology

Montreal, Quebec, Canada — Via Rail Canada is apologizing to travellers for extensive delays and cancellations over the holiday period as it offers refunds and travel credits. Wire: Business, National.

Air passenger protection rights under spotlight

Passenger-Rights

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada — An advocate for air passengers says Canada should make it so travellers are automatically entitled to compensation from airlines when their flights are disrupted, rather than having to make claims on their own. Wire: National. Photos: 1

Icelandic budget airline launches in Canada

Icelandic-Airline-Canada

An Icelandic airline is the latest in an increasingly crowded field of startup carriers vying for the hard-earned travel dollars of budget-conscious Canadians. By Amanda Stephenson. Wire: Business. Photos: 1

PREVIOUS TOP NEWS STORIES (Updated):

U.S. President Joe Biden to visit Canada in March

US-Cda-Three-Amigos

U.S. President Joe Biden will make his first official visit to Canada in March, the White House has confirmed. By James McCarten.  Wire: National. Photos: 1

Constable killed, officer hurt in B.C. slide named

Avalanche-Police-Death

Nelson, British Columbia, Canada — A group of nearby skiers came to the aid of two Nelson, B.C., police officers swept up in a deadly avalanche Monday, while dozens of trained search and rescue volunteers scrambled to get them off the mountain before dark, a rescue official said. Wire: National.

N.S. Justice Department threatens legal action over disclosure of ER death

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HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s Justice Department has threatened a provincial politician with possible legal action because she publicly posted a letter with information identifying a woman who died in hospital after a seven-hour wait for a doctor. Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, the Independent member of the legislature for Cumberland North, says she was advised to take down a letter to Health Minister Michelle Thompson that was posted to her Facebook page on Friday. By Keith Doucette

Poilievre calls for closure of Roxham Road border crossing

Conservatives-Immigration

OTTAWA – Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre sidestepped questions today about so-called illegal immigrants who came into Canada via the Roxham Road crossing, as one of his caucus members faces criticism for refusing to help with a family’s immigration case. By Stephanie Taylor.

Mendicino open to amending cybersecurity bill

Cybersecurity

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada — The federal public safety minister says he is prepared to work with parliamentarians to revise the Liberal government’s cybersecurity bill after civil society groups and opposition MPs raised transparency and accountability concerns.  Wire: National.

Hospital network says outage not a cyberattack

Ont-UHN

Toronto, Ontario, Canada — A major Toronto hospital network said it had restored “virtually all” its digital systems Tuesday morning, attributing the outage to internal issues, not an outside cyberattack. By Liam Casey and Jordan Omstead.  Wire: Ontario/Quebec. Photos: 1

Hamlin injury gives CFL chance to review protocols

FBO-CFL-Winter-Meeting

It’s a story that’s now trending in a positive direction, but Damar Hamlin’s horrific injury is providing the CFL, its executives and its head coaches with a talking point at the league’s winter meetings. By Dan Ralph.  Wire: Sports.

Canada and the F-35: What are we buying?

Fighter-Jets-Explainer

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada — After more than a decade of partisan politics and government mismanagement, Canada is officially buying the F-35 fighter jet. But while the announcement has been welcomed by some, questions still remain. Here’s what you need to know: By Lee Berthiaume.  Wire: National.

Hamilton uncovers another decades-old sewage leak

Ont-Hamilton-Sewer

Hamilton, ,  — The City of Hamilton says it has uncovered another sewage leak that has been dumping waste into Lake Ontario for more than two decades.  Wire: Ontario/Quebec.

N.S. non-profits call for higher income assistance

NS-Income-Assistance

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada — Nova Scotia food banks and other community groups are calling for an immediate increase in income assistance for the growing number of residents who cannot afford housing or food.  Wire: Atlantic. Photos: 1

RCMP investigating woman’s death in central N.S.

NS-Suspicious-Death

Five Islands, Nova Scotia, Canada — The RCMP are investigating a woman’s death in central Nova Scotia after officers responded Monday to a report of shots fired.  Wire: Atlantic. Photos: 1

Hydro-Québec president Sophie Brochu steps down

Hydro-Quebec-Brochu

Montreal, Quebec, Canada — Sophie Brochu, the president and CEO of Hydro-Québec, announced today she will step down on April 11.  Wire: National, Business. Photos: 1

Magic mushoom regulation needed, say patients

Psilocybin-Therapy

A recreational magic mushroom industry is popping up in Canada as advocates mount legal challenges arguing the federal government should regulate psilocybin so it can be more readily available to patients who need it.  Wire: National.

CF Montreal fires coach after political backlash

SOC-MLS-CF-Montreal-Hire

Montreal, Quebec, Canada — CF Montreal has terminated the contract of its reserve squad coach after political backlash over years-old comments on his Twitter account suggesting the former premier of Quebec should be assassinated.  Wire: Sports. Photos: 1

Murder trial begins for former Halifax med student

NS-Sandeson-Trial

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada — A retrial started today for a former Nova Scotia medical student accused of fatally shooting a fellow Dalhousie University student and disposing of his body after a drug deal in downtown Halifax.  Wire: Atlantic. Photos: 1

Sarah Polley, James Cameron up for Golden Globes

Cda-Golden-Globes

Toronto, Ontario, Canada — Several big Canadian names are competing at tonight’s Golden Globes, as the film and TV awards show attempts a comeback after a year off the air. By Noel Ransome.  Wire: Entertainment. Photos: 1

Couples opt for micro-weddings amid inflation

Your-Money

Danielle Woodcock was planning her wedding when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, delaying and eventually cancelling her big day. By the time she revisited it in 2021, she had decided to go in a different direction – a micro-wedding. By Rosa Saba.  Wire: Business, Lifestyle. Photos: 1

P.E.I. Indigenous leader John Joe Sark dies

OBIT-PEI-Sark

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada — Prince Edward Island’s premier is remembering Mi’kmaq spiritual leader John Joe Sark as a passionate defender of Indigenous culture.  Wire: Atlantic. Photos: 1

OC Transpo says LRT will be back on tracks today

Ottawa-Transit

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada — OC Transpo says the trains should be running as usual across Ottawa’s light rail transit system by the end of the day.  Wire: Ontario/Quebec. Photos: 1

Canada sanctions Sri Lanka ex-presidents Rajapaksa

Cda-Sri-Lanka

Ottawa, ,  — Canada is imposing sanctions on four senior leaders of Sri Lanka, including two recent presidents, accusing them of human rights violations during that country’s civil war.  Wire: National. Photos: 1

Silver reflects on six years as Yukon’s Premier

Yukon-Silver-Exits

Dawson City, Yukon, Canada — Ask Sandy Silver about his path from being the only Liberal in the Yukon’s legislature to the territory’s premier and he will often pivot back to the community he represents, Dawson City, about 500 kilometres north of Whitehorse.  Wire: National. Photos: 1

Report details growing housing challenges in North

North-Renters

Yellowknife, ,  — Aurora Rose Gellenbeck has been living out of a hotel in Yellowknife for the past month because she hasn’t been able to find anywhere suitable to rent. By Emily Blake.  Wire: National. Photos: 1

Tips on shady finances ‘may not get investigated’

RCMP-Money-Laundering

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada — The RCMP says many tips from Canada’s financial intelligence agency about possible crimes “may not get investigated” due to a lack of policing resources and conflicting priorities. By Jim Bronskill.  Wire: National. Photos: 1

LOCAL JOURNALISM INITIATIVE STORIES:

The LJI is a federally funded program to add coverage in under-covered areas or on under-covered issues. This content is delivered on the CP wire in the “Y” or spare news category, or you can register to access it at https://lji-ijl.ca. This content is created and submitted by participating publishers and is not edited by The Canadian Press. Please credit stories to the reporter, their media outlet and the Local Journalism Initiative. Questions should be directed to LJI supervising editor Amy Logan at amy.logan@thecanadianpress.com. Below is a sample of the dozens of stories moved daily:

N.W.T. residents may not be eligible for boarding home compensation

LJI-NT-BOARDING-HOME-COMPENSATION

Not for the first time, there are questions over whether a technicality will keep compensation from N.W.T. residents – this time regarding federal boarding homes. 600 words. Caitrin Pilkington/Cabin Radio

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Most Mud Lake residents will stay put, despite N.L. government’s relocation offer

LJI-NL-09012023-mud-lake

The cause of the 2017 flood in Mud Lake, N.L., is the subject of a class-action lawsuit against Nalcor Energy, the former Crown agency behind the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric development. Most residents seem willing to live with the uncertainty of whether another flood is likely, rather than have power permanently cut off from their homes. But even a small exodus will mean the community of about 50 won’t be the same. 1,100 words. PHOTO. Peter Jackson/The Telegram

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Who gets to fish for B.C. salmon in the future?

LJI-BC-FutureSalmonFishery-Equity

Ottawa has shuttered about 60 per cent of B.C.’s commercial fisheries since 2021 and last month launched a licence buyback program to lure fish harvesters to exit the industry to protect plummeting salmon stocks. It is not yet clear who will remain on the water, but many suspect large corporations and investors will continue to prosper while independent harvesters and coastal communities languish. 1,000 words. PHOTO. Rochelle Baker/Canada’s National Observer

FROM AP:

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TOP STORIES

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CALIFORNIA STORMS — The latest in a relentless string of California storms is swamping roads, battering coastlines with high surf, turning rivers into gushing flood zones and forcing the evacuation of thousands in towns with histories of deadly mudslides. The storms are even prompting tornado warnings. At least 14 people have died since the storms began last week, including two people killed by falling trees. By Christopher Weber and Stefanie Dazio. SENT: 1,010 words, photos, videos. Developing.

BIDEN-CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS — The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee has requested that the U.S. intelligence community conduct a “damage assessment” of potentially classified documents found in the Washington office space of President Joe Biden’s former institute, Rep. Mike Turner sent the request Tuesday to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, saying that Biden’s retention of the documents puts him in “potential violation of laws protecting national security, including the Espionage Act and Presidential Records Act.” By Zeke Miller. SENT: 1,040 words, photos. Developing. With: BIDEN-CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS-EXPLAINER (upcoming); BIDEN-TRUMP-CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS (upcoming).

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR — Ukrainian officials say Russian forces are escalating their onslaught against Ukrainian positions around the wrecked eastern city of Bakhmut. The officials say the intense attack is bringing new levels of death and devastation in the grinding, monthslong battle for control of eastern Ukraine that is part of Moscow’s wider war. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said there is “almost no life left” around Bakhmut and the nearby Donetsk province city of Soledar. By Andrew Meldrum. SENT: 1,055 words, photos. With: RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-HOUSE — The ruined kitchen of his family’s Kyiv home stands at the center of a 42-year-old carpenter’s traumatic experience of Russia’s war in Ukraine. SENT: 300 words, photos.

BRAZIL-CAPITAL UPRISING — Thousands of protesters in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo demanded “No amnesty!” following a riot that invaded the heart of Brazil’s capital Sunday in an effort to reinstall former President Jair Bolsonaro. The words evoke memories of an amnesty law that for decades has protected military members accused of abuse and murder during the country’s 1964-85 dictatorship. By David Biller and Felipe Mello. SENT: 1,050 words, photos, videos. With BRAZIL-UPRISING-EXPLAINER — Roots of the Brazilian capital’s chaotic uprising.

NORTH AMERICA SUMMIT — President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday pledged their resolve to promote prosperity for people throughout the hemisphere as they opened wide-ranging talks about the fragile security situation in Haiti, North American trade, political unrest in Brazil and more on the sidelines of the North American Leaders Summit. By Colleen Long and Christopher Sherman. SENT: 1,015 words, photos. Developing from 4:45 p.m. news conference.

TRUMP-LEGAL-TROUBLES — A longtime Donald Trump lieutenant who became a star prosecution witness and helped convict the former president’s company of tax fraud is set to be sentenced for dodging taxes on $1.7 million in company-paid perks. Allen Weisselberg is expected to be sentenced Tuesday to five months in jail, in keeping with a plea agreement the senior Trump Organization adviser and former chief financial officer reached in August. By Michael R. Sisack. Developing from sentencing scheduled for 2:15 p.m. EST.

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TRENDING

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BRITAIN-PRINCE HARRY — After weeks of hype and days of leaks, readers got a chance to judge Prince Harry’s book for themselves when it went on sale around the world on Tuesday. SENT: 470 words, photos.

MEGA MILLIONS-JACKPOT — After nearly three months of lottery losing, will someone break the trend Tuesday night and win a $1.1 billion Mega Millions jackpot? SENT: 140 words, photos.

SCHOOL-LAWSUIT-BLACK LIVES MATTER — A Georgia school district is being sued by students who say they were barred from wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts to school events while white peers got to wear shirts with Confederate flags. SENT: 230 words.

TEEN-CATFISHED-TRIPLE-KILLING — A background investigator erroneously failed to check a would-be trooper’s mental health history, allowing him to be hired for the Virginia State Police the year before he kidnapped a 15-year-old girl and killed three members of her family in California. SENT: 410 words, photos.

POLICE-DEPARTMENT-INVESTIGATION — Officials in a Tennessee city have fired five officers and suspended three others following a sex scandal at the police department. SENT: 175 words.

ITALY-POMPEII-RESTORED HOUSE — The newly restored remains of an opulent ancient house in Pompeii offer visitors an exceptional peek at details of domestic life in the doomed Roman city. SENT: 700 words, photos.

OBIT-DIAMOND AND SILK — Lynette “Diamond” Hardaway of the conservative political commentary duo “Diamond and Silk” has died, according to former President Donald Trump and the pair’s official Twitter account. SENT: 340 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON

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CONGRESS-HOUSE INVESTIGATIONS — House Republicans are moving swiftly Tuesday to establish the marquee investigations of their new majority, voting to create panels focused on China and what they characterize as abuse of power in the federal government. Votes expected around 4 p.m. EST. UPCOMING: developing from 4 p.m. vote. With: CONGRESS-SANTOS-ETHICS — House Democrats are formally requesting an ethics investigation into Rep. George Santos of New York, the freshman Republican facing mounting scrutiny for lying about his background, work history and accomplishments (upcoming).

BIDEN-STUDENT LOANS — The White House is moving forward with a proposal that would lower student debt payments for millions of Americans now and in the future, offering a new route to repay federal loans under far more generous terms. President Joe Biden announced the repayment plan in August, but it was overshadowed by his sweeping plan to slash or eliminate student debt for 40 million Americans. SENT: 900 words, photo.

CAPITOL RIOT-INTERNET PERSONALITY — A far-right internet personality who streamed live video while he stormed the U.S. Capitol was sentenced on Tuesday to two months of imprisonment for joining the mob’s attack on the building. Anthime Gionet, known as “Baked Alaska” to his social media followers, declined to address the court before U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden sentenced him to 60 days behind bars followed by two years of probation. Gionet had faced a maximum of six months of imprisonment. SENT: 815 words, photos.

ELECTION-2024-CALIFORNIA-SENATE — Democratic Rep. Katie Porter of California says she’ll seek the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a fellow Democrat and the oldest member of the chamber. Porter said Tuesday in a video posted on Twitter that “California needs a warrior in Washington.” Porter says that’s exactly why she’s announcing her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2024. SENT: 485 words, photo.

FLORIDA DEMOCRATS — The head of the Florida Democratic Party has resigned after a disastrous midterm election in the onetime battleground state. Florida Democratic Party chair Manny Diaz, chair of the Florida Democrats, sent a long letter Monday to the state’s executive committee members complaining about a lack of resources, a lack of volunteers to knock on doors, and a failure to present unified messaging. SENT: 580 words, photo.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-PATRIOT-MISSILES — About 100 Ukrainians will head to Oklahoma’s Fort Sill soon to begin training on the Patriot missile defense system the U.S. and Germany have pledged to help protect its from Russia’s ongoing barrage of its civilian population and infrastructure. Ukraine has long sought the Patriot surface-to-air guided missile defense system because it can target aircraft, cruise missiles and shorter-range ballistic missiles. SENT: 285 words, photos.

CAPITOL-RIOT-PROUD-BOYS — A jury has been chosen for the seditious conspiracy trial of former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and four other members of the far-right extremist group. The defendants are charged with conspiring to stop the transfer of presidential power by attacking the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Jurors are expected to hear attorneys’ opening statements in Washington’s federal court on Wednesday. SENT: 490 words, photo.

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NATIONAL

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TEXAS-LEGISLATURE-ABORTION — Texas lawmakers are returning to the Capitol for the first legislative session since a statewide abortion ban took effect, and access to birth control for minors is likely to command fresh attention. A December court ruling took away the ability of minors in Texas to receive contraceptive healthcare without parental consent through a federal program. SENT: 690 words, photos.

CALIFORNIA-BUDGET — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has projected a $22.5 billion budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year. That’s a sharp turnaround from the $98 billion surplus Newsom had to work with last year. Newsom announced the deficit Tuesday as he lays out his spending priorities for the fiscal year that starts in July. SENT: 940 words, photo.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS-INAUGURATION — Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was sworn in as Arkansas governor Tuesday, becoming the first woman to hold the office in the state and portraying herself as part of a new generation of leaders. SENT: 450 words, photos.

TEXAS EXECUTION — A former suburban Houston police officer was set to be executed for hiring two hit men to kill his estranged wife nearly 30 years ago. SENT: 640 words, photos. UPCOMING: Execution scheduled for after 7 p.m.

SQUEEGEE KIDS-ENFORCEMENT — Baltimore officials are rolling out a new plan to address squeegee kids that combines enforcing anti-panhandling at certain busy intersections with robust outreach aimed at connecting disadvantaged youth with jobs and other resources. SENT: 960 words, photos.

MARIJUANA-CONNECTICUT — Connecticut’s first round of recreational cannabis sales for adults 21 and older have begun. Sales were allowed to start at 10 a.m. Tuesday at seven existing medical marijuana establishments. The new availability comes less than two years after Gov. Ned Lamont signed legislation making Connecticut the latest state to legalize recreational sales. SENT: 950 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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EUROPE-COCAINE — Cocaine is spreading at an alarming rate through Europe, much of it through the world ports of Antwerp in Belgium and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. And Tuesday’s announcement of record seizures is also obscuring a bigger truth — that South American cartels are throwing ever more cocaine at the European market. With it comes not only addiction, decay and death, but also violence and gang warfare pushing neighborhoods to the brink and some of the highest ranking people in Belgium and the Netherlands into forced seclusion. SENT: 925 words, photos.

EUROPE-ENERGY-CRISIS-EXPLAINER — Warm weather is helping Europe keep the lights and heat on this winter despite Russia cutting off most of its natural gas supply to the continent. Record highs have left Europe’s gas reserves practically untouched well into the winter heating season. SENT: 1,180 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-CHINA — Chinese embassies have suspended issuing new visas for South Koreans and Japanese in apparent retaliation for COVID-19 testing requirements recently imposed by those countries on travelers from China. The embassies in Tokyo and Seoul announced the suspensions on Tuesday in brief online notices. SENT: 950 words, photos.

ROMANIA-ANDREW-TATE — The divisive social media personality Andrew Tate appeared in court in Romania’s capital Tuesday to appeal a judge’s decision to extend his arrest on charges of being part of an organized crime group, human trafficking and rape to 30 days. SENT: 510 words, photos.

REL-VATICAN-ITALY — Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni has made her first official visit to see Pope Francis, fulfilling what she has said is a hoped-for opportunity to better understand the Argentine pontiff. Meloni spent 35 minutes with Francis alone before she met with the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and the foreign minister. SENT: 475 words, photos.

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HEALTH/SCIENCE

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SCI-2022-US WEATHER-DISASTERS — America’s onslaught of mega costly weather disasters remains stuck in high gear. Federal climate scientists on Tuesday say that 2022 had 18 climate extremes that caused at least $1 billion in damage, costing more than $165 billion in damage. This is part of a big jump in US billion dollar disasters has been going on since 2016. SENT: 1,155 words, photos.

MED-MPOX-DECLINE — Mpox is no longer the exploding health crisis that it appeared to be less than six months ago. So who deserves the credit for controlling the U.S. outbreak? It’s an unsettled question, but experts cite a combination of factors. Some commend public health officials. SENT: 1,065 words, photo.

MENTAL HEALTH-988 — The 988 mental health and suicide helpline has quickly expanded its reach in the six months since it launched. It has received just over 2 million calls, texts and chat message since July. SENT: 910 words, photos.

PUERTO RICO-MORPHING LIZARDS — U.S. scientists in Puerto Rico have found that forest-dwelling lizards have genetically morphed to survive life in the city. The study focused on the Puerto Rican crested anole, a small brown lizard with a bright orange throat fan. SENT: 510 words, photos.

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BUSINESS/ECONOMY

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FINANCIAL MARKETS — Stocks wavered in uncertain trading on Wall Street ahead of key updates this week on inflation and company earnings. The S&P 500 rose 0.1%. SENT: 515 words, photo.

WORLD-BANK-GLOBAL-ECONOMY — The World Bank warns the global economy will come “perilously close” to a recession this year, led by weaker growth in the world’s top economies — the United States, Europe and China. The World Bank lends money to poorer countries for development projects. SENT: 715 words, photo.

CENTRAL-BANKERS-POWELL — The Federal Reserve has only a limited role to play in combating climate change, Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday, a stance that puts him at odds with environmental activists who have pushed central banks worldwide to take steps to restrict lending to energy companies. SENT: 660 words, photos.

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ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT

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GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS — After going dark for a year, the Golden Globes return to the air Tuesday on a one-year audition to try to win back their awards-season perch and relevancy to a Hollywood that shunned the awards after an ethics and diversity scandal. Stars and studios boycotted last year’s ceremony, which NBC opted not to televise saying the Hollywood Foreign Press Association needed to make “meaningful reform.” By Film Writer Jake Coyle. SENT: 815 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Ceremony begins at 8 p.m. With GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS-LIST — Running list of winners.

BOOKS-PHILIP-ROTH-TRIBUTE — Authors Ottessa Moshfegh and Susan Choi and actors John Turturro and Mary-Louise Parker will be among dozens of featured guests at a Philip Roth tribute taking place mid-March in the late novelist’s hometown of Newark, New Jersey. SENT: 255 words, photo.

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SPORTS

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WCUP-WOMEN’S SLALOM — Mikaela Shiffrin had the second-best time behind Olympic champion Petra Vlhova in the first run of a night slalom as the American goes for a record 83rd win on the women’s World Cup circuit. Shiffrin entered the race tied with fellow American Lindsey Vonn for the record with 82 wins each. SENT: 210 words, photos.

BBA-TWINS-CORREA — A person familiar with the negotiations says Carlos Correa has agreed to a $200 million, six-year contract that keeps him with the Minnesota Twins after failing to complete deals with the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants. SENT: 540 words, photos. Developing.

TEN-AUSTRALIAN-OPEN-TENNIS-AFTER-SERENA — The 2023 Australian Open will be the first Grand Slam tournament to be held since Serena Williams walked away from tennis with a farewell at the U.S. Open shortly before her 41st birthday. And so the sport will will get a real taste of what a post-Serena world looks like on a big stage. SENT: 785 words, photos.

CFP-CHAMPIONSHIP —Stetson Bennett threw two touchdown passes and ran for two scores in the first half as No. 1 Georgia demolished No. 3 TCU 65-7 to become the first team to win consecutive College Football Playoff national championships. SENT: 1,075 words, photos. With T25-COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLL — Georgia becomes 12th back-to-back champ in AP Top 25 history.

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News

COVID: Canada retaining Evusheld – CTV News

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While Health Canada says it is “aware” of the U.S. decision to withdraw the emergency use of Evusheld, a drug by AstraZeneca used to help prevent COVID-19 infection— the agency is maintaining its approval, citing the differences in variant circulation between Canada and the U.S.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Jan. 26 that its emergency use authorization of the drug was pulled due to its inefficacy in treating “certain” COVID-19 variants.

The FDA stated in a release on its website that as the XBB.1.5. variant, nicknamed “Kraken”, is making up the majority of cases in the country, the use of Evusheld is “not expected to provide protection” and therefore not worth exposing the public to possible side effects of the drug, like allergic reactions.

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In an email to CTVNews.ca, Health Canada said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration pulled the drug as the main variant of concern in the U.S. is XBB.1.5.

“Dominant variants in the [U.S.] may be different from those circulating in Canada,” the federal agency said in an email. “The most recent epidemiological data in Canada (as of January 1, 2023) indicate that BA.5 (Omicron) subvariants continue to account for more than 89 per cent of reported cases.”

On Jan. 6 the FDA said in press release that certain variants are not neutralized by Evusheld and cautioned people who are exposed to XBB.1.5. On Jan. 26, the FDA then updated its website by saying it would be limiting the use of Evusheld.

“Evusheld is not currently authorized for use in the U.S. until further notice by the Agency,” the FDA website states.

On Jan. 17, Health Canada issued a “risk communication” on Evusheld, explaining how it may not be effective against certain Omicron subvariants when used as a preventative measure or treatment for COVID-19.

“Decisions regarding the use of EVUSHELD should take into consideration what is known about the characteristics of the circulating COVID-19 variants, including geographical prevalence and individual exposure,” Health Canada said in an email.

Health Canada says Evusheld does neutralize against Omicron subvariant BA.2, which according to the agency, is the dominant variant in many communities in Canada.

The drug was introduced for prevention measures specifically for people who have weaker immune systems and are unlikely to be protected by a COVID-19 vaccine. It can only be given to people 12 years and older.

“EVUSHELD is not a substitute for vaccination in individuals for whom COVID-19 vaccination is recommended,” the agency’s website reads.

Health Canada says no drug, including Evusheld, is a substitute for vaccination.

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Alberta Justice spokespeople deliver duelling statements on prosecutor email review

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Alberta premier's prosecutor

An email probe into whether Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s office interfered with Crown prosecutors took a confusing turn Friday after two government spokespeople delivered duelling statements that raised questions over how far back the search went.

The review was ordered by Smith a week ago to respond to allegations in a CBC story that reported a staffer in the premier’s office emailed prosecutors last fall to question decisions and direction on cases stemming from a blockade at the Canada-U. S. border crossing at Coutts, Alta.

The Justice Department said Monday it had done a four-month search of ingoing, outgoing and deleted emails and found no evidence of contact.

Two days later, Alberta Justice communications director Charles Mainville said in a statement that deleted emails are wiped from the system after 30 days, meaning the search for deleted emails may not have covered the entire time period in question.

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On Thursday night, Ethan Lecavalier-Kidney, a spokesman for Justice Minister Tyler Shandro, responded to questions about Mainville’s statement. He said while emails are deleted after 30 days, they live on in the system for another 30 and could have been checked that far back by investigators.

“For example, if an email was deleted on Oct. 17, 2022, the email would no longer be accessible to the user as of Nov. 16, 2022, but would continue to be available to our investigation team until Dec. 16, 2022,” said Lecavalier-Kidney in his statement.

A 60-day search would have stretched back to late November, capturing all but the first six weeks of Smith’s United Conservative Party government. Smith was sworn in as premier on Oct. 11.

But while Lecavalier-Kidney’s statement said investigators could go back 60 days, it did not state that they did so, leaving confusion on how far back they went.

When asked Friday to clarify whether investigators went back 30 or 60 days on the deleted emails, Lecavalier-Kidney did not respond to questions while Mainville reissued the original statements in an email.

The government has also delivered conflicting messages on who was investigated in the review.

Smith promised that emails from all Crown prosecutors and the 34 staffers in her office would be checked.

However, the Justice Department later said emails between “relevant” prosecutors and Smith staffers were checked. It did not say how it determined who was relevant.

The Coutts blockade and COVID-19 protest at the border crossing last year saw RCMP lay charges against several people, ranging from mischief to conspiracy to commit murder.

Smith has said she did not direct prosecutors in the Coutts cases and the email review exonerated her office from what she called “baseless” allegations in the CBC story.

The CBC has said that it has not seen the emails in question but stands by its reporting.

The Opposition NDP said questions stemming from the CBC story, coupled with multiple conflicting statements from the premier on what she has said to Justice Department officials about the COVID-19 cases, can only be resolved through an independent investigation.

Smith has given six versions in recent weeks of what she has said to justice officials about COVID-19 cases.

Smith has said she talked to prosecutors directly and did not talk to prosecutors directly. She has said she reminded justice officials of general prosecution guidelines, but at other times reminded them to consider factors unique to COVID-19 cases. She has also suggested the conversations are ongoing and that they have ended.

She has attributed the confusion to “imprecise” word choices.

Smith has long been openly critical of COVID-19 masking, gathering and vaccine mandate rules, questioning if they were needed to fight the pandemic and labelling them intolerable violations of personal freedoms.

She has also called those unvaccinated against COVID-19 the most discriminated group she has seen in her lifetime.

Last fall, Smith said charges in the cases were grounded in politics and should be open to political solutions. But she recently said it’s important to let the court process play out independently.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2023.

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Trudeau government dropped the ball on fighting abuse in sport, former minister says

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A Liberal MP and former sport minister is again calling for a public inquiry into abuse in sport — and is accusing her own government of not doing enough to tackle the problem.

Kirsty Duncan said the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau failed to build momentum behind her efforts to prevent harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport in the years after she left cabinet — despite knowing a lot about the problem well before Hockey Canada’s handling of sexual assault allegations exploded in the news last year.

Duncan said she even faced “pushback” from people within her own government when she made tackling abuse a top priority of her time as sport minister.

Duncan said she would not identify the individuals who resisted her efforts, or state whether they were in her own office or other government departments.

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“It should not be a fight. I’m asking for the protection of athletes and children. There should never have been pushback,” Duncan told CBC News in an exclusive interview.

“I will not stand idly by while there are athletes, children and young people hurting in this country. And I do not accept the status quo. And if I do not push for an inquiry, it means accepting the status quo. And I will not be complicit.”

On Thursday, Duncan announced she’s taking medical leave effective immediately on the advice of doctors to deal with a physical health challenge.

Duncan was not re-appointed to cabinet by Trudeau after the 2019 election. She was instead appointed deputy House leader for the government.

Trudeau dropped the position of sport minister from cabinet at the time and folded Duncan’s responsibilities into the portfolio of the heritage minister, Steven Guilbeault.

Guilbeault’s ministerial mandate letter — which outlined his key policy objectives — charged him with fostering a culture of safe sport.

‘Other priorities’

In response to questions from CBC about the progress Guilbeault made on that mandate, his office pointed to a Sport Canada timeline of safe sport initiatives in the country.

The department launched a call for proposals to implement a new independent safe sport mechanism in 2020. In July 2021, Guilbeault announced that the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) would receive up to $2.1 million to set up a new mechanism to oversee implementation of a new universal code of conduct in sport.

Then-minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault responds to a question in the House of Commons on Nov. 3, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

A senior government source with knowledge of Guilbeault’s portfolio concedes “other priorities required more attention” when he was heritage minister. Guilbeault’s legislative priorities at the time including confronting online abuse, digital streaming regulation and copyright reform.

The source, who spoke to CBC News on the condition of confidentiality, said the department’s priorities shifted when the pandemic hit in March 2020, just four months after Guilbeault was appointed minister. The source said they “totally understand” Duncan’s claim that more could have been done on safe sport.

“Since 2016, our government has worked with the sport community to advance a respectful sport culture and respond to calls for action,” Guilbeault’s office wrote in an email to CBC News.

 

Former sports minister says leaders ‘want to do better on preventing abuse in sport

 

Former sport minister and Liberal MP Kirsty Duncan says leaders in sports ‘welcome scrutiny.”

Duncan said she felt her safe sport initiatives were not given the attention they deserved after she left the office.

“There was nothing in place. There was literally nothing. There didn’t even seem to be policies. Some had policies, some didn’t,” she said. “Where was the oversight? Where was the accountability?

“I think what we’ve seen over the last four years, and we’ve certainly seen this summer, is that there remains a hugely disappointing resistance to change.”

Current Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge was asked about Duncan’s claim that the government isn’t doing enough to protect athletes in the country.

“I can tell you that we’re taking it extremely seriously,” she told CBC News.

“That’s why we’ve invested $16 million in the last budget just to create the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner, because we felt it was so important to have that independent mechanism. I’m also making it mandatory for all nationally funded organizations to sign up with those before the next funding cycle.

“So any organization that hasn’t protected their athletes by signing up with OSIC will no longer receive the whole funding. That’s the strongest tool that I have. So yes, we are taking this extremely, extremely seriously.”

 

Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge says government taking safe sport file ‘extremely seriously’

 

Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge says her office made it mandatory for nationally funded organizations to sign up with the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner in order to receive government funding.

Just weeks after Duncan was named sport minister in January 2018, an investigation by CBC News revealed that at least 222 coaches involved in amateur sports over 20 years had been convicted of sex offences involving over 600 victims under age 18.

Duncan — a former gymnast who said she experienced emotional and psychological abuse herself as an athlete — said she was shaken by that report.

She introduced a number of measures — “broad strokes,” she calls them now — such as a third-party investigation unit and a national toll-free confidential helpline for victims and witnesses of abuse in sport. She also brought territorial and provincial sport ministers together in February 2019 to sign a declaration aimed at tackling and preventing harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport.

“I knew I had to address the grassroots. That’s where most athletes will spend their life,” Duncan said.

“Safe sport needs to be on every federal, provincial, territorial meeting year after year after year, with real goals and deliverables. I talked a lot about numbers. How can we address a problem if we don’t know what that problem looks like?”

Reluctance in government

In the 2019 federal budget, the government committed $30 million over five years “to enable Canadian sports organizations to promote accessible, ethical, equitable and safe sports.”

But Duncan says there was a climate of resistance to policies she was introducing, both within and outside the government.

“I don’t think people understood the problem. There wasn’t a lot of interest in Parliament. I asked what we were doing and I was told that we had to stop this safe sport stuff and get back to what sport was really about,” she said, referring to celebrating sporting achievements.

“My answer was, ‘So not protecting children?'”

CBC News reached out to the Prime Minister’s Office but they declined to comment.

‘Resistance in the system’: Duncan said Hockey Canada resisted attempt to investigate allegations of abuse

 

Liberal MP Kirsty Duncan says there shouldn’t be any “pushback” from organizations over investigating claims of abuse from athletes.

Duncan said a three-page letter sent by Hockey Canada to one of her senior policy advisers reflects the tone of the opposition she faced.

The letter, first reported by the Canadian Press, was written by Glen McCurdie, then Hockey Canada’s vice-president of insurance and risk management. In it, McCurdie expressed concern about some of the policies Duncan was pursuing, including the third-party investigation unit.

Glen McCurdie, Hockey Canada’s former vice-president of insurance and risk management, appears as a witness at the standing committee on Canadian Heritage in Ottawa on July 27, 2022. The committee was looking into how Hockey Canada handled allegations of sexual assault and a subsequent lawsuit. (The Canadian Press)

Duncan said she never saw the letter four years ago and only read it for the first time this past summer, when the Hockey Canada controversy was playing out.

“Hockey Canada does not wish to be encumbered by a system or process that ties our hands and does not allow us to manage a situation as we deem necessary. We are simply asking that you keep this in mind as you continue to lead us in a collective Safe Sport strategy,” McCurdie wrote in the letter, which was also obtained by CBC News.

Duncan said she was frustrated in 2019 by Hockey Canada’s reluctance and remains just as frustrated today.

“Hockey Canada pushed back against a third party investigator and a safe sport helpline. Who would do that?” she said. “Who wouldn’t want a child to be able to pick up a phone and say, ‘I’ve had a problem’?

“I think people want to sweep this under the rug. I think people want to move on. And we can’t.”

In an email to CBC, Hockey Canada said the 2019 letter does not reflect the organization’s current thinking or direction.

“Hockey Canada recognizes that we need to do more to foster a safe and positive environment for all participants on and off the ice,” the organization wrote.

Hockey Canada said the organization participated in the government’s safe sport helpline and hired third-party investigators to look into the claims it received. Hockey Canada became a full signatory in October 2022 to the Office of the Sport Integrity Commission, which is now responsible for overseeing and investigating allegations of abuse in sport.

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