POLITICS

Five stories in the news today, Feb. 13

02/13/2015 04:28 EST | Updated 04/14/2015 05:59 EDT
Five stories in the news today, Feb. 13, from The Canadian Press:

MOHAMED FAHMY LEAVES PRISON AFTER GRANTED RELEASE ON BAIL

After more than 400 days in a Cairo prison, Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy was freed late Thursday, less than 24 hours after an Egyptian court ordered him released on bail. However, the 40-year-old's legal battles are not over yet. A retrial for Fahmy and an Egyptian colleague from Al-Jazeera English was put over to Feb. 23, and until then, lawyers said Fahmy would have to report to a local police station each day.

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FINANCIALLY-STRAPPED SUN NEWS NETWORK GOES DARK

The Sun News Network went off the air at 5 a.m. ET Friday after negotiations to sell the troubled television channel were unsuccessful. No on-air announcement was made as the screen went dark and was quickly replaced later with the Sun TV logo. The closure of the conservative-angled news channel follows months of uncertainty surrounding its fate, after Postmedia Network Canada Corp. announced plans to purchase the Sun Media newspapers and websites from Quebecor for $316 million.

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VIA TERROR PLOT TRIAL CONTINUES TODAY

It's expected cross-examination of an undercover FBI officer will begin today in the trial of two men who are accused of planning to attack a Via passenger train. Not-guilty pleas on terror-related charges have been entered for Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser. The two men are accused of planning to derail a train in 2012. The court has heard secret audio recordings of conversations the men had with the FBI agent.

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IS CANADA'S WORLD STATURE GROWING?

John Baird said last week as he resigned as foreign affairs minister that Canada has become more respected internationally under the Harper Conservatives. He cited Canada's fight against terrorism, it's tough stand against Russia over Ukraine and strong Canadian support for Israel. But at the same time Baird was forced to run a gauntlet of eggs and shoes last month in the West Bank over the government's pro-Israeli policy. A former adviser to prime minister Brian Mulroney says Canada's standing in the world has fallen. Paul Heinbecker points to among other things a "truculent" attitude toward the UN, on which the Harper government has repeatedly turned its back.

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EXPERTS WORRY ABOUT SUPPORT FOR VACCINATIONS DESPITE STRONG SUPPORT IN POLL

A new online poll has found more than 80 per cent of those questioned believe vaccinations are effective in preventing disease, but some experts crunching the numbers are worried support may be softening. Dr Kumanan Wilson of Ottawa Hospital, a researcher who has studied the phenomenon of vaccine rejection, points to the fact that a significant minority of adults between 18 and 54 were either ambivalent to vaccination or outright opposed. He says those numbers are concerning because people in those age groups who are likely to have children and will decide whether or not to vaccinate them.