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Top News Advisory for Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Dec 18, 2014 18:26

Thursday, Dec. 18

6:30 p.m.

Here are the latest Top News stories from The Canadian Press. All times are Eastern unless otherwise stated. Coverage plans are included when available. Entries are subject to change. Contact the National Desk at 416-507-2150.


CF-18s attack as Kurds fight to retake Sinjar


OTTAWA – Canadian warplanes have been in action in Iraq once again, bombing enemy targets ahead of Kurdish Peshmerga forces who are pushing to break the siege in the Sinjar mountains.The region along the Syrian border was home to many members of the Yazidi minority before extremist fighters swept in last August, killing or abducting hundreds and prompting tens of thousands of refugees to flee through the mountains. Will be Writethru

See also:

ML-Islamic-State (Iraqi Kurdish troops open corridor to Sinjar). Moved International


Alberta political earthquake felt in Ottawa


OTTAWA – Former Wildrose party leader Danielle Smith’s stunning decision to cross the floor and join the Progressive Conservatives in Alberta has federal politicians reading the tea leaves and figuring out what this means for their own fortunes.


Wildrose migration a month in making: Prentice


EDMONTON _ Alberta Premier Jim Prentice says an emissary from the Wildrose approached his team a month ago to pitch a group floor crossing.Prentice says he was surprised by the offer and let his whip handle negotiations until they progressed to the point for him to meet face-to-face with the Wildrose leader a week ago. PHOTO. Will be writethru


Top court won’t hear appeal of war criminal


OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear the appeal of the first person ever found guilty under Canada’s war-crimes legislation.Rwandan war criminal Desire Munyaneza was found guilty in 2009 of several charges relating to rape and civilian massacres in Rwanda. PHOTO.


Group fighting terrorist label denied permission to fund-raise legal fees


OTTAWA – An organization that was formally branded a terrorist organization last summer has been denied permission by Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney to raise legal fees to fight the listing.


Fewer in-person hearings on social security tribunal; teleconferences have lower success rate


OTTAWA – The government’s backlogged social security tribunal has been working to reduce the number of in-person hearings for those appealing decisions to deny them employment insurance and Canada Pension Plan disability benefits. But government statistics show appeals are much more likely to be successful via in-person hearings than by teleconferences, essentially meaning efforts to reduce the backlog could mean fewer ailing and injured Canadians are winning their appeals.


John Crosbie’s son seeks Tory nomination


CONCEPTION BAY SOUTH _ Soft-spoken Ches Crosbie practises yoga daily and is not exactly a larger-than-life quote machine in the fashion of his father, John Crosbie, the former federal cabinet minister.But he comes from a distinguished line of Newfoundland politicians and hopes after a successful law career to continue that tradition as a Conservative MP. PHOTO. Moves Atlantic and National; please guard against duplication.


Hospital project: Pamela Porter pleads guilty


MONTREAL _ Pamela Porter pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of laundering the proceeds of crime and was sentenced to 33 months for her role in an alleged bribery scandal connected to a superhospital project.With time already served, Porter has two years less a day to go in a sentence that was agreed to by the Crown and defence. PHOTO.


2 dead in duck-helping case: woman gets prison


MONTREAL _ A widow whose husband and daughter were killed when their motorcycle crashed into a woman’s car as she helped ducks on a highway is satisfied with the accused’s 90-day prison term.Besides the detention, Emma Czornoba must do 240 hours of community service and is prohibited from driving for 10 years. PHOTO. Czornobaj is pronounced (SHOR’-noh-bye); Will be updated


Magnotta jury deliberations into Day 3


MONTREAL _ Jurors at Luka Rocco Magnotta’s murder trial are into their third day of deliberations.Magnotta is charged with first-degree murder and four other charges in the slaying and dismemberment of Chinese engineering student Jun Lin in May 2012. PHOTO. Will be updated


Fire head says First Nations could do informal housing inspections for fire hazards


WINNIPEG _ Manitoba’s fire commissioner says First Nations could do informal housing inspections for fire hazards without mass evictions.David Schafer told an inquest examining two fatal fires on Manitoba reserves that regular inspections of band homes could simply look for working smoke detectors and multiple exits in case of fire. PHOTO. Will be writethru


Law society defends decision to bar students


HALIFAX _ The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society has the authority to deny accreditation to graduates from a Christian university in British Columbia that requires students to abstain from sex outside heterosexual marriage, a lawyer for the self-regulating body told a court hearing Thursday.Marjorie Hickey told the Nova Scotia Supreme Court that the law society draws its authority from a section in the Legal Profession Act that says the purpose of the society is to “uphold and protect the public interest in the practice of law.”


Manitoba’s Selinger determined to fight for job


WINNIPEG _ Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger says he will fight to the end to keep his job despite record-low poll numbers, opponents within his own ranks and the loss of some key advisers.Selinger, who is essentially having to reapply to be NDP leader after a caucus revolt, said he does not want to leave. PHOTO.


B.C. city tries to force police costs from firm


VANCOUVER – A Vancouver-area city is asking the National Energy Board to hand Kinder Morgan a bill that could be worth more than $2 million for policing and cleanup costs after pipeline work was targeted by protesters last month. Environmental activists set up a makeshift encampment in a conservation area on Burnaby Mountain, east of Vancouver, in an attempt to block crews from conducting drilling and survey work related to its proposal to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline. Moves Business and National. Guard against duplication.


Incentive shifts economics of Ebola vaccine


TORONTO _ Earlier this week, U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law a little piece of legislation that may significantly change the economics of making drugs or vaccines to protect against Ebola and other viruses in its deadly family. And it might at some point provide a tidy windfall for Merck, the company developing an Ebola vaccine designed at Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. PHOTO.


Only third of eligible organ donors identified


TORONTO _ A new report says two-thirds of Canadians who are eligible organ donors at death do not make it through the complex process that would help thousands of Canadians waiting for life-saving transplants.The report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) says there are potentially more donors among deceased patients over age 60 and among those with irreversible brain damage declared dead after their heart stops. Will be updated. Moves National and Lifestyles.


Pipeline prospects far from certain for 2015


CALGARY _ At an energy conference last month, Enbridge Inc. CEO Al Monaco was bemused so many people turned out to hear what he and other pipeline bosses had to say.“We never used to get invited anywhere,” he quipped, drawing chuckles from the crammed hotel ballroom in downtown Calgary. PHOTO. Moved Business and National


Peladeau likely to dominate politics in 2015


MONTREAL _ Quebec media mogul Pierre Karl Peladeau’s journey to become the father of a country begins in earnest in 2015. The controlling shareholder of Quebecor Inc. is the acknowledged front-runner in the Parti Quebecois leadership race, which will end in May. PHOTO.


Vanishing sea ice creates whole new Arctic


Frank Pokiak remembers long days on the land, camped at traditional hunting grounds under June’s 24-hour sun, secure in the knowledge that sea ice would provide a safe highway back to his Tuktoyaktuk home.Those days are gone. PHOTO.


The biggest news in Cuba: The return of five prisoners


UNDATED – It might surprise foreigners to hear this, but the biggest news in Cuba today isn’t the historic reopening of diplomatic ties with the U.S. — it’s the return of five prisoners splashed atop the Granma newspaper and which primarily prompted the standing ovation at Havana’s jazz festival. An American who lives there says Cubans might not realize the magnitude of what just happened. From Canadian Press Washington correspondent Alexander Panetta.


Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear


MOSCOW _ Sternly warning the West it cannot defang the metaphorical Russian bear, a confident-looking President Vladimir Putin promised Thursday to shore up the plummeting ruble and revive the economy within two years.While he issued a litany of sharp rebukes against the West, Putin struck a conciliatory note on Ukraine, saying that the rebellious east should remain part of the country, backing a quick exchange of war prisoners and praising his Ukrainian counterpart. PHOTO.


Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013


BOSTON _ Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev returned to court Thursday for the first time since he was arraigned in July 2013, and he received a shout of encouragement from the mother-in-law of a man who was shot and killed while being questioned by law enforcement after the bombings.Security was tight at the federal courthouse in Boston for Tsarnaev’s final pretrial conference. Tensions ran high, and one bombing victim had a testy exchange with protesters outside. PHOTO.


Analysis: New focus on how Pakistan will address militancy


ISLAMABAD _ Many wonder if the attack that killed 148 people at a Pakistani school will be a watershed in the country’s long, conflicted history with Islamic militancy.But Pakistan has had many potential turning points in the war on terror that at the time were called game changers. PHOTO.


Australian leader: Siege may have been preventable


SYDNEY _ Australia’s prime minister said Thursday that a deadly siege in a Sydney cafe may have been preventable, as the chorus of critics demanding to know why the gunman was out on bail despite facing a string of violent charges grew louder.Man Haron Monis, a 50-year-old Iranian-born, self-styled cleric with a lengthy criminal history, burst into a downtown Sydney cafe on Monday wielding a shotgun, taking 17 people hostage. The siege ended 16 hours later when police stormed into the cafe to free the captives, two of whom were killed in a barrage of gunfire, along with Monis. PHOTO.



Aboriginal group wants teacher fired


WINNIPEG _ An aboriginal leader says a Winnipeg high school teacher should be fired immediately over social media comments about First Nations.Grand Chief Derek Nepinak (NEE’-pih-nack) of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs also says he is planning to sue for defamation. PHOTO.



VANCOUVER – Industry Minister James Moore makes an announcement on improving service and prices in Canada’s wireless industry.



National average price dips below a dollar


OTTAWA _ The average cost of a litre of gasoline in Canada has dropped below $1 for the first time in nearly four and a half years, according to price monitoring website many locations across the country have seen prices below that mark for a couple of weeks, Thursday was the first time since Aug. 30, 2010, that the average dipped to 99.9 cents. Moves Business and National, guard against duplication.


Sony cyberattack may be costliest ever


NEW YORK _ The unprecedented hack of Sony Pictures which a U.S. official says is linked to North Korea may be the most damaging cyberattack ever inflicted on an American business.The fallout from the hack that exposed a trove of sensitive documents, and this week escalated to threats of terrorism, forced Sony to cancel release of the North Korean spoof movie “The Interview.” The studio’s reputation is in tatters as embarrassing revelations spill from tens of thousands of leaked emails and other company materials. PHOTO.


Replica of bell from HMS Erebus goes on show


TORONTO _ A 3D replica of the bell from the recently found Franklin expedition ship HMS Erebus has gone on display at the Royal Ontario Museum.It is being showcased as part of an exhibit called the Franklin Outreach Project, a joint initiative between Parks Canada and the Toronto museum. Will be writethru.


Animal abuser to get psychiatric assessment


CALGARY _ A Calgary man who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges for taping shut the mouths of a dog and cat will remain in custody while he undergoes a psychiatric assessment.Nicolino Camardi has been in custody since he was arrested in May. Will be writethru


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