POLITICS

Five stories in the news today, June 12

06/12/2015 04:37 EDT | Updated 06/11/2016 05:59 EDT
Five stories in the news today, June 12 from The Canadian Press:

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DOMESTIC POLITICS AT PLAY FOR PM IN EUROPE

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will wake up in Ottawa this morning, after completing his latest international trip after nine years as prime minister, having largely satisfied a clear domestic political purpose: shoring up support among some large Canadian diaspora voting blocs. The prime minister's every move to Ukraine, Poland, the G7 in Germany and the Vatican was recorded by his 24/7 camera crew collecting images that will no doubt be used on the coming election campaign.

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MULCAIR, UNIONS AT ODDS OVER SENATE ROLE

Tom Mulcair and some of the NDP's traditional allies in the labour movement are at odds over his contention that appointed senators have no business blocking legislation passed by elected MPs. The NDP leader maintains the unelected Senate has no moral legitimacy in a democracy to thwart the will of elected representatives — an argument he's ramped up in the wake of this week's scathing audit of senators' expenses.

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MEDICAL POT RULING HAZY FOR PRODUCERS

Marijuana-medicated brownies, teas and oils are now on the menu for patients who prefer ingesting their treatment, yet commercially licensed pot producers say a high court ruling doesn't set out clear directions for them. Lawyers at the cannabis industry's national association are hashing out the impact of a Supreme Court of Canada ruling on Thursday that struck down limits on what constitutes legally allowable forms of medicinal pot.

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MERS OUTBREAK IN SOUTH KOREA A WAKE-UP CALL: WHO

South Korea's burgeoning MERS outbreak should be a reminder to the world that a virus some may have written off can trigger significant disease and major disruption, a World Health Organization expert says. The outbreak in that country has now infected 126 people, 11 of whom have died. And it may be a while yet before South Korea's health officials manage to stop spread of the virus, said Peter Ben Embarek, the WHO's point person for Middle East respiratory syndrome or MERS.

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OLDER PEOPLE COULD DONATE BLOOD EASIER

The agency that runs Canada's blood donor clinics wants to make it easier for older donors to give blood. Canadian Blood Services says it will introduce changes this fall to lift some eligibility restrictions for new and dedicated donors who are over the age of 61. The changes include dropping a requirement that all first-time donors 61 and older must submit a doctor's letter confirming they are fit to give blood.

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ALSO IN THE NEWS ...

— Closing arguments expected in the Halifax trial of Christopher Phillips, who is accused of threatening police with a dangerous chemical.

— Lindsay Kantha Souvannarath of Geneva, Ill., and Randall Steven Shepherd of Halifax appear in court charged with conspiracy to commit murder in connection with a planned attack on the Halifax Shopping Centre.

— Statistics Canada releases the national balance sheet and financial flow accounts for the first-quarter.

— Premier Stephen McNeil attends a Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children restorative inquiry event.

— Judge-only trial continues for suspended Sen. Mike Duffy. He has pleaded not guilty to 31 charges, including fraud, breach of trust and bribery.