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

By The Canadian Press
August 31, 2017 - 2:45pm

Highlights from the news file for Thursday, Aug. 31

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HEARINGS CONTINUE INTO LENGTHY AIR TRANSAT FLIGHT DELAYS:  Ground crews responsible for two Air Transat flights that sat on the Ottawa airport tarmac for six hours say the pilots didn't tell them about a need for fuel for one of the aircraft and water for the passengers.  They testified at Canadian Transportation Agency hearings into the delays.  The agency is trying to determine whether Air Transat broke its tariff agreement with customers aboard the flight. There has been a rash of finger-pointing between the airline and airport officials over the delays.

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NO CHARGES IN THE MANITOBA SWITCHED AT BIRTH CASES:  The Mounties say there'll be no charges into two cases of babies who were switched at birth in a northern Manitoba hospital over 40 years ago.  The four men went home from a hospital at Norway House with different parents in 1975. The RCMP and Health Canada launched separate investigations after the men went public with the mix-ups following DNA tests. Police say there is no evidence that any criminal offence was committed.

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JUDGE WON'T DECLARE SCHOENBORN HIGH RISK: A British Columbia judge has turned down an application to designate a man who killed his three children a high risk individual.  Allan Schoenborn was found not criminally responsible for the deaths nine years ago.  But Justice Martha Devlin of the B.C. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Schoenborn does not pose a high enough risk that he could cause grave physical or psychological harm to another person.

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NO CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST PROUD BOYS: The navy says there will be no charges against five members of the group the "Proud Boys" who disrupted a Mi'kmaq ceremony in Halifax this summer.  Rear-Admiral John Newton said Thursday there will be no further action against the men, but they remain on an unspecified term of probation and must adhere to unspecified conditions. The investigation began in early July, a few days after a group of "Proud Boys" confronted Indigenous people gathered in a park for what they described as a sacred rite. The incident was caught on videotape and spread on social media.

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ECONOMY BEATS EXPECTATIONS:  Statistics Canada says the real gross domestic product grew by 4.5 per cent in the second quarter, the best start to a calendar year since 2002. Household spending stood out for many analysts in Thursday's numbers, growing 4.6 per cent on a year over year basis. The growth is the latest evidence that economic momentum has continued to build in 2017. 

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TRUDEAU SAYS WORKERS WILL BE PROUD OF REVAMPED NAFTA: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government will negotiate a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement that Canadian workers will be proud of.  Trudeau touched on NAFTA when he spoke at the annual convention of the United Food and Commercial Workers union in Montreal. He also said that labour groups are "well-represented" on Canada's council on NAFTA, which is led by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

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TORY SAYS CANADA SHOULD JOIN MISSILE DEFENCE UMBRELLA:  The newly minted Conservative foreign affairs critic says Canada should think about joining the U.S. ballistic missile defence system for North America. Erin O'Toole says that North Korea's increased capability to potentially reach North America with a long-range missile is a game changer. O'Toole is critical of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for shutting the door on Canada's participation in the U.S. missile shield program, saying he was being naive in the face of the escalating threat from North Korea.

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MILITARY TO HELP MANITOBA FOREST FIRE EVACUEES:  The military has chipped in two planes to help take some 3,700 people fleeing northern Manitoba forest fires to Winnipeg. A lack of transportation has complicated efforts to find shelter for the evacuees who left their homes this week. The Canadian Red Cross prepared to welcome the evacuees Thursday by turning a 4,300-square-metre hall at Winnipeg's convention centre into an emergency shelter.

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BORDER OFFICIALS SHARE INFORMATION ABOUT AMERICANS COMING TO CANADA: Canada Border Services Agency has started to share information with U.S. Homeland Security about the thousands of American citizens who cross into Canada each day. The American government is expected to provide Ottawa with similar information about Canadians entering the U.S. The exchanges are meant to improve security and help enforce other laws related to public health and safety.

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HURRICANE RAVAGED HOUSTON MAY CAUSE ECONOMIC RIPPLES: The Houston that was battered by hurricane Harvey is an economic powerhouse whose influence reaches far beyond its region, leading many to worry about when its economy will be able to stand up again. Houston produces the plastic used in everything from sports cars to baby bottles and is part of a coastal region that supplies nearly a third of U.S. oil-refining capacity. As the fourth-largest U.S. city, with 2.3 million people, it is also headquarters for 20 Fortune 500 companies. The city's public schools will start classes two weeks late because of the effects of Harvey.

The Canadian Press

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Thu, 31 Aug 2017 18:25:59 -0400

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