NEWS
09/02/2016 13:19 EDT | Updated 09/03/2017 01:12 EDT

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

Highlights from the news file for Friday, Sept 2

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TRUDEAU TAKES LIGHTER TOUCH ON CHINESE VISIT: After holding high level talks with Chinese leaders this week and raising touchy issues like human rights, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau helped coach a basketball game Friday. Trudeau visited a Shanghai high school and became a guest coach for a basketball game. He also dropped into a busy local restaurant that specializes in Montreal-style smoked meat and is run by a Montrealer.

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CANADIAN MERCHANTS TO GET ONLINE WINDOW INTO CHINA: Canadian merchants are expected to get a spot on the e-commerce giant Alibaba. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be present this weekend for the launch of a Canadian pavilion on Alibaba's Tmall platform.  It will allow Canadian sellers to tap into China's rapidly expanding middle class that now comprises some 300 million people. Alibaba is the world's largest e-commerce platform.

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FALLING SALES HAVEN'T AFFECTED VANCOUVER HOME PRICES: Experts say Vancouver's real estate market is returning to more historically normal levels after the British Columbia government implemented a 15 per cent tax for foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says home sales fell 26 per cent last month compared with the same time last year. However, prices continue to climb even as sales drop _ the composite benchmark price for all residential properties was about $933,000, a 31 per cent jump compared to a year ago.

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EXPORTS ON THE RISE: Canadian exports increased in July as Statistics Canada reported the trade deficit narrowed to $2.5 billion. CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld said the improvement was a step in the right direction, but noted it was only one month in a quarter that is expected to be strong. Canadian exports increased 3.4 per cent to $42.7 billion in July, as volumes gained 3.7 per cent but prices fell 0.3 per cent.

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EDMONTON MAYOR WANTS PEOPLE TO FIGHT RACISM:  Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson says people should  "make it awkward" for people who make racist comments.  His call comes after a racist comment was directed at actor and former high-jump champion Jesse Lipscombe while he was filming a public service announcement this week. Iveson met with Lipscombe on Friday and says racism has no place in any community.

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CRTC MUST SIGN OFF ON BLOCKING QUEBEC WEBSITES: The CRTC says it needs to give approval before Quebec can block access to certain websites. The Quebec government recently passed a law that forces Internet companies to access to online gambling websites not authorized by the provincial government. Canada's wireless telecom lobby says the legislation is unconstitutional and violates federal law. The CRTC agrees, saying federal law states it is the only body that can order Internet sites be blocked and, even then, only under exceptional circumstances.

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TEACHERS DISCIPLINED OVER JAR OF DEATH CHALLENGE:  Three high school teachers who failed to intervene when students organized a "Jar of Death" punishment at a camp have been disciplined by the agency that regulates educators' conduct in British Columbia. Campers were pressured to lick a teacher's foot, chew gum that had been chewed by another teacher and drink a glass of water into which four people had spat The B.C. commissioner for teacher regulation says the three teachers admitted that their actions constitute professional misconduct and they all received suspensions.

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REPUBLICANS URGE VOTERS TO BACK GOP CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES: Some Republicans are urging voters to back GOP congressional candidates because they'd help limit Hillary Clinton's agenda should she be elected president this November. Republicans don't want to be blamed for giving up too early on Donald Trump — but with Trump lagging in most polls and election day two months off, many view the argument as a low-risk strategy. Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain unveiled a video this week promising to "act as a check, not a rubber stamp," if Clinton wins the White House.

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HURRICANE BARELY NUDGES SOUTH CAROLINA: A South Carolina official says tropical storm Hermine has brought scattered reports of flooded roads, trees down and power outages but no major damage. An emergency management spokesman says it's more like a bad summer storm than a hurricane. The storm hit Florida as a hurricane, but winds fell to tropical storm strength as it moved across the Southeast.

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