NEWS
06/02/2016 13:26 EDT | Updated 06/03/2017 01:12 EDT

The Thursday news briefing: An at-a-glance survey of some top stories

Highlights from the news file for Thursday, June 2:

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CANADIANS DONATE MILLIONS TO WILDFIRE RELIEF: The Red Cross says it has taken in $125 million in donations to assist the recovery effort in fire-damaged Fort McMurray. The agency's president, Conrad Sauve, says once eligible donations are matched by the Alberta and federal governments, that figure will increase substantially. Sauve says much of the $125 million has already been used to pay for direct cash transfers to evacuees, transportation, food, shelter and cleanup kits. In early May, wildfires forced more than 80,000 people from their homes in Fort McMurray. A phased re-entry for the fire evacuees began earlier this week.

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GREENHOUSE GAS TARGETS AND ENERGY INDUSTRY EXPANSION DON'T ADD UP: A study suggests that Canada can't expand its energy industry and meet its greenhouse gas targets without inflicting heavy damage on the rest of the economy.  David Hughes, former research director at the Geological Survey of Canada, says other industries will have to reduce their emissions by huge margins if Canada sticks to its growth projections for the oilsands and its climate change commitments. Hughes says in a study for the University of Alberta's Parkland Institute that Canada's non-energy sector would have to cut CO2 releases by about half by 2030. He says those kind of drops would probably be accompanied by major economic turmoil.

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LIBERALS MAKE CONCESSIONS ON ELECTORAL REFORM: The Trudeau government is making some major concessions in the process to determine how to go about changing the way Canadians vote. They are giving up their majority on the all-party committee exploring alternatives to the current first-past-the-post system. The government will also leave it up to the committee to advise on the best way to consult Canadians on its recommendation. That opens the door to a possible referendum.  

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SUMMER BREAK STARTS EARLY FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES: Federal funding shortages mean Syrians enrolled in language classes in Toronto and Vancouver are being turned away. Settlement agencies told a House of Commons committee Thursday that while the federal government did top up their budgets to deal with the influx of over 25,000 Syrians in a matter of three months, the money isn't going far enough. Rather than scale back the number of classes altogether, they decided to just stop offering their 27 federally-funded courses over the summer.

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SECOND MAN TO FACE CHARGE IN CANADIAN PROFESSOR'S KILLING: Police in Florida say they plan to charge a second man in the slaying of a well-known Canadian law professor two years ago. Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo said Luis Rivera is a suspect in Daniel Markel's homicide. Rivera has not been charged, but he is already in a federal prison for an unrelated crime. In court records released Thursday, police allege both Rivera and Sigfredo Garcia came to Tallahassee from South Florida and killed Markel in July 2014. An attorney for Garcia says his client will plead not guilty to murder charges. The police chief also called the relationship between Markel and his ex-wife, Wendi Adelson, a "motivating factor" in Markel's killing.

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CANADIAN TOLD NOT TO PICKUP ANY MORE BISON: A Canadian who made international headlines for putting a shivering bison calf into his SUV at Yellowstone National Park has been ordered not to do it again as part of his probation. Shamash Kassam was also fined $235 and ordered to donate $500 to the park's wildlife protection fund on pleading guilty to a wildlife disturbance citation. Kassam Found the "wet and shivering" baby bison in the middle of the road near a river and decided to pick the calf up fearing it would have been road kill if the animal was left there.  Wildlife officers were unsucessful in reuniting the calf with a nearby herd and the animal had to be euthanized because it was "causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway."

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AVOID ISOLATIONISM, OBAMA SAYS: U.S. President Barack Obama is pleading for the next generation of American military leaders not to give in to isolationism or pull back from showing leadership in the world. Obama used his final commencement address as president to reassure the military that it remains the world's dominant fighting force, implicitly pushing back against critiques that the military's might has ebbed under his watch. He told graduates at the U.S. Air Force Academy they'd be called upon to strike a complicated balance between realism and idealism, withdrawal and overreach.

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CLINTON SAYS TRUMP WOULD ENDANGER AMERICA: Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton says Republican rival Donald Trump can be allowed to "roll the dice with America." The former secretary of state blasted her likely general election opponent during a speech in San Diego Thursday.  She said Trump isn't qualified to be president pointing to everything from his aggressive Twitter attacks to his emotional outbursts. She predicted Trump presidency could lead the U.S. into war abroad and ignite economic catastrophe at home.

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PRINCE KILLED BY OVERDOSE: Autopsy results show that Prince died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a powerful opioid painkiller that is up to 50 times more potent than hero. The singer was found dead April 21 at his Minneapolis-area estate. After he died, authorities began reviewing whether an overdose was to blame and whether he had been prescribed drugs in the preceding weeks. The autopsy report says Prince administered the drug himself, but the date he took it was unknown.

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SUN SETS ON CANADA AM: Longtime viewers of CTV's Canada AM expressed surprise that the network is ending its morning news program after 43-years.  CTV isn't explaining the reason behind its decision, only saying it will announce replacement programming next week. But Sen. Pamela Wallin, who anchored on the show for about 10 years, said she isn't surprised saying the whole industry is in "tumult."

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