The Wednesday news briefing: An at-a-glance survey of some top stories - NEWS 95.7
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The Wednesday news briefing: An at-a-glance survey of some top stories

Last Updated Dec 6, 2017 at 7:00 pm AST

Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc stands during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Wednesday, December 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

Highlights from the news file for Wednesday, Dec. 6

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GUILTY VERDICT HANDED DOWN IN LINDHOUT KIDNAPPING: An Ontario judge has handed down a guilty verdict in the kidnapping of Amanda Lindhout in Somalia. Ali Omar Ader had pleaded not guilty to a criminal charge of hostage-taking. Evidence during the trial revealed that an RCMP undercover officer lured Ader to Canada on the pretext of signing a lucrative book deal. Lindhout, a freelance journalist from Alberta, was kidnapped in 2008 along with an Australian photographer and held for 15 months.

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ROGERS CONSIDERING SELLING BLUE JAYS: Rogers Communications is considering selling some of its assets including the Toronto Blue Jays to raise money for its main communications businesses. Rogers Chief Financial Officer Tony Staffieri made the comment at an industry conference in New York this week, but didn’t elaborate on who might buy the team. One analyst said that the issue of assets sales has been raised before but Staffieri’s comments are the most explicit to date.

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LEBLANC DIAGNOSED WITH LEUKEMIA: Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc has been diagnosed with leukemia but says it won’t interfere with his cabinet duties. LeBlanc said on Wednesday that he was diagnosed last April with chronic lymphocytic leukemia which his doctor calls “one of the most common types of leukemia in adults.” LeBlanc is scheduled to begin treatments next week, which will conclude in the spring. LeBlanc has represented his New Brunswick riding for 17 years and is a childhood friend of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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MAN CONVICTED OF KILLING THREE WOMEN HAS LITTLE HOPE OF PAROLE: A 60-year-old man convicted of killing three women during an hour-long rampage in the Ottawa Valley has had his parole eligibility set at 70 years. Basil Borutski was convicted late last month of first-degree murder in the deaths of 36-year-old Anastasia Kuzyk and 48-year-old Nathalie Warmerdam, and of second-degree murder in slaying of Carol Culleton. The murder convictions carry an automatic life sentence and an Ontario judge ruled on Wednesday that the life terms will be served consecutively. Someone convicted of first-degree murder can’t seek parole for at least 25 years and the judge set parole eligibility for the second-degree murder conviction at 20 years.

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MONTREAL MASSACRE VICTIMS REMEMBERED: Flowers were laid Wednesday outside the Montreal engineering school where 14 women were killed by a lone gunman 28 years ago. Some of the people who attended a memorial service in front of the school wiped tears away as they remembered the Montreal Massacre. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remembered the victims on Wednesday during his visit to China, taking part in a candle-lighting ceremony at the Canadian Consulate in Guangzhou to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

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TRUDEAU CALLS FOR COUNTRIES TO EMBRACE FREE TRADE: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned on Wednesday that the world is at a crossroads regarding trade. He told a business forum in China that the world will lose out unless countries embrace free trade and elevate their citizens who have been left behind by globalization. He told his audience that the nations of the world are at a “pivot point” where they must decide whether to work together or falter separately and become isolated. Trudeau didn’t mention the Trump administration by name, but has already spoken out in China about the need to save the North American Free Trade Agreement from demise.

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CANADA SAYS ITS EMBASSY TO REMAIN IN TEL AVIV: The Trudeau government says the Canadian embassy in Israel will stay in Tel Aviv as the Americans make preparation to move their mission to Jerusalem. Canadians in the region are being urged to exercise caution ahead of three days of planned protests against the U.S. announcement. President Donald Trump is seen by the Palestinians as siding with Israel on the most sensitive issue in the conflict. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem for their capital. However Trump declared it was time for a new approach to Mideast peace after decades of failure.

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MUSLIMS WORRIED ABOUT BORDER PRECLEARANCE PLANS: Concerns are being raised about planned new procedures for preclearing travellers to enter the United States. Civil liberties and Muslim groups are worried about invasive searches and abusive questions as they pass through customs areas in Canadian airports. Currently, passengers flying to American cities through eight major Canadian airports can be precleared there by U.S. Customs. Canada’s Senate is studying legislation that would expand preclearance operations.

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SENATOR PREDICTS FRANKEN WILL RESIGN ON THURSDAY: A top Senate Democrat says he expects Sen. Al Franken to resign Thursday over allegations of sexual misconduct. Another woman has come forward with accusations against the Minnesota Democrat. In a tweet on Wednesday, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon said: “I expect that Senator Franken will announce his resignation tomorrow.” Wyden tweeted that “It is the right thing to do given this series of serious allegations.” More than a dozen Senate Democrats, led by female lawmakers, have called on Franken to step aside. Franken’s office said in a brief statement that he will have an announcement on Thursday.

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SIX WOMEN CLAIM WEINSTEIN COVER UP WAS RACKETEERING: Six women have filed a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein, seeking to represent a class of “dozens, if not hundreds” of women who say they were assaulted by the movie mogul. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday at a federal court in New York. It claims that his actions to cover up the assaults amounted to civil racketeering. It claims that Weinstein and the companies he worked with colluded together to conceal Weinstein’s widespread sexual harassment and assaults. A lawyer for Weinstein declined comment. According to the lawsuit, actresses and other women in the film industry were lured to industry events, hotel rooms, Weinstein’s home, office meetings or auditions under the pretense that they were to discuss a project.

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