NEWS
01/10/2018 11:47 EST | Updated 01/11/2018 03:42 EST

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

Highlights from the news file for Wednesday, Jan. 10

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TRUDEAU HECKLED ABOUT KHADR AT HAMILTON TOWN HALL: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a woman heckling him about Omar Khadr during a town hall in Hamilton that he too is angry about the multi-million-dollar settlement issued to the former Guantanamo Bay inmate. The Canadian government paid Khadr a reported $10.5 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged the government violated his Charter rights. The payment last summer generated a political firestorm that continues today, as a young woman shouted about it when Trudeau attempted to take another person's question at an event at McMaster University. Trudeau said the anger that a lot of people feel about the payment is real, and that it might surprise people to know he shares that anger and frustration.

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ETHICS WATCHDOG GRILLED ON TRUDEAU VIOLATIONS: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was going to find himself in hot water one way or another when he took a trip to the Aga Khan's private island, then later attended a pair of meetings about one of the spiritual leader's projects, the former House of Commons ethics watchdog said Wednesday. Mary Dawson — whose final major pronouncement as ethics commissioner was to call the prime minister on the carpet over that ill-advised family trip in December 2016 — was the star witness Wednesday at a special hearing of the Commons ethics committee, which was looking at the findings in her "Trudeau Report." She said that if Trudeau had asked her for guidance before the trip, she would have likely advised him to vacation somewhere else.

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TWO MEN FOUND GUILTY IN DEADLY ALBERTA FIRE: Two men have been found guilty of first-degree murder for shooting one of the men's parents and sister on a central Alberta farm. Jason Klaus and Joshua Frank sat silently with no expression as the verdicts were read. Justice Eric Macklin told court in Red Deer, Alta., that both men repeatedly lied about what happened to Klaus's family and their stories were full of inconsistencies. The bodies of Gordon Klaus and his daughter, Monica, were found in their burned-out farmhouse near Castor, Alta., in December 2013. Sandra Klaus was never found, although police believe her body was also in the house. During their trial, Klaus and Frank each blamed the other for the murders and gave different versions of what happened.

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NO WORKING SMOKE ALARMS IN DEADLY OSHAWA, ONT., FIRE: There were no working smoke alarms in a southern Ontario home where four people were killed in a fire this week, an investigator said Wednesday, calling the deaths a "preventable tragedy." A mother and her two young children, and an unrelated man who ran into the burning home to help those inside, were killed in the blaze in Oshawa, Ont., on Monday. "This is a preventable tragedy and it shouldn't happen — not in today's day and age with the technology we have, with the safety systems we have in place and the fire services that we have," Rick Derstroff, an investigator with Ontario's Office of the Fire Marshal, told reporters outside the home on Wednesday.

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SUPPORTERS OF TIMS WORKERS RALLY ACROSS ONTARIO: Protesters rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Ontario on Wednesday to show support for employees after some franchisees made benefits and break cuts after a minimum wage increase — but many demonstrators stopped short of committing to a boycott. Some, but not all, of the chain's franchisees have said employees will have to cover a larger share of their dental and health-care benefits as well as take unpaid breaks in order to offset the added costs of the province's hourly minimum wage rate increase to $14 an hour on Jan. 1. But labour groups who gathered outside stores in cities including Toronto, Ottawa and Coburg, Ont., on Wednesday describe the company as "wildly profitable" and argue Tim Hortons and its parent company can afford to pay employees at the new rate without taking away previous perks.

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CHINA BLASTS VANCOUVER MEETING ON NORTH KOREA: China says it will not be attending an international meeting on North Korea next week in Vancouver, raising questions about whether the event will have any real impact. The federal government is keeping a tight lid on exactly which countries have been invited to the meeting, which Canada is co-hosting with the United States. But China says it will not be attending and that it believes the summit will hurt rather than help peace efforts, while Bloomberg News quoted a Japanese official raising questions about the fact countries like Colombia and Greece will be taking part.

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NEWSPRINT DUTIES MAY ACCELERATE SHIFT TO DIGITAL: The imposition of duties on U.S. imports of Canadian newsprint will accelerate the transition from print to digital and threaten thousands of jobs on both sides of the border, say industry players including North America's largest newsprint producer. "There are 600,000 workers in the newspaper publishing sector as well as the commercial printing sector who are at risk," said Resolute Forest Products spokesman Seth Kursman. Newsprint demand has decreased by 75 per cent since 2000 and is falling by about 10 per cent a year. Anything that further reduces demand is a blow to the newspaper industry, say trade associations in Canada and the U.S.

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NOVA SCOTIA PREMIER ORDERS REVIEW OF CHILDREN IN CARE: Nova Scotia's premier has told child welfare officials to review how they handle complex cases, as a former foster child in the province faces deportation to a country he has no connection to. Stephen McNeil said Wednesday he has asked the Community Services Department to complete a review of any cases that would require supports similar to those needed by Abdoul Abdi. The 24-year-old man was recently released from prison after serving a five-year sentence on multiple charges. He was put in segregation in a New Brunswick jail by the Canada Border Services Agency upon his release and is now awaiting a hearing on deportation to Somalia. Abdi arrived in Canada as a six-year-old child refugee and was shortly after apprehended by the Nova Scotia government and placed in foster care but never obtained citizenship.

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NEIGHBOURS GO TO COURT OVER ALLEGED CONDO BROTHEL: A condo owner has been ordered to stop using his property for business purposes — including alleged "prostitution related activities" — after his neighbours went to court armed with evidence they put together through their own sleuthing. Court documents say residents of the building in Burnaby, B.C., started raising concerns in August 2015 about visitors and disturbances at a unit owned by Christopher Nino Diopita. In a petition filed with the Supreme Court of British Columbia, neighbours reported hearing sounds of alleged physical violence and "hysterical screaming" coming from the unit as well as seeing women letting men into the building.

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CANCER VICTIM DIES MONTHS AFTER LOTTERY WIN: A Newfoundland woman who was suffering from an advanced form of cancer when she won a $1.5-million lottery jackpot in November has died. Diane Elaine Bishop of Mount Pearl had Stage 4 breast cancer. An online obituary says the 51-year-old convenience store operator, who had two sons in their 20s, died Tuesday surrounded by her family.

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