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

By The Canadian Press
December 13, 2017 - 4:15pm

Highlights from the news file for Wednesday, Dec. 13

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HOSTAGE TAKING AT ONTARIO BANK LEAVES GUNMAN DEAD: Police shot and killed a gunman during a hostage taking at a bank north of Toronto on Wednesday. Police say nobody else was injured but those inside the Royal Bank in Maple, Ont., were definitely traumatized.  Police arrived at the scene to find a gunman and several others inside and say they had to use "lethal force" to gain control of the situation.

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VIOLENT ALTERCATION LEAVES TORONTO INFANT WITH CRITICAL INJURIES: Toronto police say a four-month-old baby girl suffered serious injuries during a violent incident in a Toronto condo building that also left a man injured. Police say a woman was also injured and is under arrest in hospital. Police won't say what the relationship is between the man, woman and child. Police weren't clear on the nature of the injuries to the baby.

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GOVERNING LIBERALS FLESH OUT TWEAKS TO TAX PROPOSALS: The Trudeau government is spelling out some of its adjustments to its controversial tax reforms.  The Liberals are tweaking a proposal that would tighten existing rules enabling small-business owners to lower their tax burden by distributing earnings among family members who do not make significant contributions to their companies. Critics have denounced the proposals but the government said Wednesday that the revisions contain clear tests to determine whether a relative has made a meaningful contribution to — or investment in — the family business.

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ANTI-NAFTA POLITICIANS URGE TRUMP TO STAND HIS GROUND: Some left-wing politicians opposed to the North American Free Trade Agreement are urging U.S. President Donald Trump keep his promise to drastically overhaul the deal. They held a news conference in Washington on Wednesday calling on Trump to keep stand firm. Sen. Bernie Sanders expressed support for American demands like increased Buy American protections.

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MONTREAL MOSQUE DENIES COMPLAINING ABOUT FEMALE CONSTRCTION WORKERS: Members of a Montreal mosque are denying a televised report that they asked for female construction workers to be excluded from a site opposite their building. The company employing the construction workers did not immediately respond to a request for an interview. Officials with the mosque said they're astonished by the TVA report and called it false.

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WINDOW CLOSING TO BUY MARKLE HOME: The real estate agent selling "Suits" actress Meghan Markle's Toronto home is expected to nail down a buyer as soon as tonight. Alex Beauregard says the three-bedroom home where Markle and Prince Harry spent time before announcing their engagement has drawn a lot of interest. It was listed last week at $1.395 million.

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FED CHAIR EXPECTS 'MODEST LIFT' FROM TAX CUTS

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says she and her colleagues expect a "modest lift" to economic growth from the tax cuts being proposed by President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers. Yellen said at a news conference the likelihood of lower taxes is why Fed officials expect the economy to grow at 2.5 per cent in 2018. But growth would then slip back closer to its recent two per cent average. She says the potential for greater consumer spending and capital investments from tax cuts has been reflected in part by rising stock prices.

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SALMON ASSESSMENT LAUNCHED IN BC: A decline in the steelhead salmon in British Columbia's Fraser River has prompted an emergency assessment of the species. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada says the average annual returns of the fish should be in the range of 1,000 to 2,000. The results would be first sent to the federal government, which has 90 days to respond with a decision or to launch a further review.

The Canadian Press

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