NEWS
04/27/2017 12:05 EDT | Updated 04/30/2017 10:31 EDT

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

Highlights from the news file for Thursday, April 27

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PM SAY TRUMP WAS PREPARED TO CANCEL NAFTA: U.S. President Donald Trump insists he wasn't bluffing about threatening to pull out of NAFTA this week. He says he was two or three days away from doing it — really. But he also says he had a change of heart during phone calls with the leaders of Canada and Mexico. Speaking in Saskatchewan, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that he reminded Trump they were both elected on a similar platform of helping people find and keep jobs. The prime minister said he pointed out that a lot of jobs and industries were developed under NAFTA.

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FRIEND SAYS WOMAN RESCUED FROM CRANE A THRILL SEEKER: A friend of a woman who spent hours suspended high above a Toronto construction site after scaling a crane says she is an adventure-seeking person. Marisa Lazo, 23, was rescued Wednesday by a firefighter from a crane she had scaled and faces six counts of mischief by interfering with property. Lazo was granted bail for $500 with several conditions, including staying away from construction sites and rooftops.

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TRUDEAU DEFENDAS CARBON TAX AFTER FARM VISIT: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending his proposed carbon tax after a visit to a farm in the Saskatchewan community of Gray. Trudeau then held a news conference at the local rink, where he said putting a price on carbon pollution is a way to reward people who are innovating and reducing their carbon output. Producer Todd Lewis, who showed Trudeau around his family's century-old farm, says carbon pricing has hurt agriculture in other parts of the country. Lewis says farmers low-carbon agriculture was born in Saskatchewan and farmers deserve recognition for the work they've done.

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HOME CAPITAL SECURES FIRM COMMITMENT FOR $2B: Home Capital Group Inc. shares regained some ground on Thursday after it secured a $2-billion credit line and said it's exploring its strategic options, suggesting it could be up for sale. The stock rose nearly 17 per cent at $6.99 on the Toronto Stock Exchange after the Toronto-based mortgage lender said it hired RBC Capital Markets and BMO Capital Markets "to advise on further financing and strategic options." Home Capital lost more than half its value on Wednesday after it warned it would miss financial targets and was seeking the credit line to offset withdrawals from savings accounts at its Home Trust subsidiary.

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DEFENCE SEEKS ACQUITTAL FOR MAN IN MURDER CASE: The lawyer for a man who admits he strangled his wife and buried her body in their home says he was acting in self-defence, but the Crown is arguing he made up stories of domestic abuse to avoid a murder conviction. The two sides made their closing arguments Thursday in the second-degree murder trial of Allan Shyback. Shyback, 40, is also charged with causing an indignity to the body of Lisa Mitchell, 31, who was last seen alive in Calgary in October 2012.

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COURT HEARS RCMP OFFICERS FELT 'OUTGUNNED': A senior RCMP officer says he told superiors he was concerned about the lack of firepower for front line officers long before the 2014 Moncton shooting rampage that left three Mounties dead. Supt. Troy Lightfoot told the RCMP's trial on labour code charges Thursday that officers were feeling "outgunned" after active shooter incidents such as the 2005 attack in Mayerthorpe, Alta., that killed four Mounties. But he said senior management became focused on the backlash stemming from the 2007 Tasering death of Robert Dziekanski in Vancouver.

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SPACE AGENCY GETTING $80.9M FOR PROJECTS: The federal government is providing $80.9 million over five years to the Canadian Space Agency to help it develop new technologies. The funding, which was already announced in this year's federal budget, will support two projects. One is a radar instrument that would be used to study the surface and subsurface of Mars. The other is a demonstration of the applications of quantum technology in space involving the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo.

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JUDGE ORDERS VOLKSWAGEN TO PAY $2.1B: Judge Members of a Canadian class-action lawsuit against Volkswagen can submit claims for reimbursement starting on Friday after an Ontario judge ordered the car manufacturer to pay $2.1 billion to affected customers. Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba wrote in his judgment Wednesday that the 105,000 people who purchased or leased certain Volkswagen or Audi vehicles that were caught up in an emissions cheating scandal will each receive a damages payment between $5,100 and $8,000.

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QUEBEC TABLES BILL TO END COP PANTS PROTEST: Quebec Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux has tabled a bill to force municipal police officers to ditch their colourful protest pants. The bill amends the Police Act to require police officers and special constables to wear the uniform and equipment provided by their employer. Montreal police have been wearing camouflage and other brightly coloured pants since July 2014 as part of pressure tactics stemming from a battle over pension reforms.

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BORDER AGENTS CHARGED WITH DRUG SMUGGLING: Two Canadian border agents are among five people arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling. RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency say the agents worked out of Toronto's Pearson International Airport. Authorities allege the pair facilitated the importation of more than 30 kilograms of cocaine between January last year and April this year. They also seized cocaine shipped from Colombia and Jamaica to Toronto.

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