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

In a photo provided by William Sun, structural damage is seen at the train station in Hoboken, N.J., after a New Jersey Transit commuter train crashed into the station during the morning rush hour, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016. The crash caused an unknown number of injuries and witnesses reported seeing one woman trapped under concrete and many people bleeding. (William Sun via AP)
September 29, 2016 - 1:53 PM

Highlights from the news file for Thursday, Sept. 29

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ONE DEAD IN NEW JERSEY TRAIN CRASH: One person is dead and 108 people are injured after a New Jersey commuter train crashed into the Hoboken Terminal during morning rush hour. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says a woman standing on the platform was killed by debris. The train came in at a high rate of speed and hit a bumper block — apparently knocking out pillars as it ground to a halt in a covered waiting area. The train operator is in critical condition and is co-operating with investigators. Christie says there's no indication so far that the crash was anything but a "tragic accident.''

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CANADIAN RELEASED FROM IRANIAN CUSTODY HAPPY TO BE HOME: Hugs and flowers greeted Homa Hoodfar as she arrived in Montreal on Thursday after spending nearly four months in an Iranian prison. The retired Canadian-Iranian anthropology professor says she feels tired after her ordeal but her health is improving. Hoodfar was detained at Tehran's notorious Evin prison on allegations of "dabbling in feminism" and security matters. Iran does not recognize dual nationalities, meaning those detained cannot receive consular assistance.

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CANADIAN DELEGATION LEAVES FOR PERES FUNERAL: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and two of his predecessors are in Israel for Friday's funeral of former Israeli prime minister and president Shimon Peres. Peres died Wednesday at age of 93. Trudeau left Ottawa on Friday morning. He was joined by former prime minister Jean Chretien, interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose and Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion. Former prime minister Stephen Harper is not flying with Trudeau, but taking a commercial flight instead.

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SPY AGENCY FAILED TO BRIEF MINISTER: A watchdog says the Canadian Security Intelligence Service did not tell the public safety minister about a notable overseas incident during a probe into jihadi-inspired fighters. The Security Intelligence Review Committee says CSIS should have informed the minister about the development — one of several shortcomings the committee notes about the spy service's investigations of Canadian foreign fighters.

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PREMIERS WANT TO MEET WITH PM TO DISCUSS HEALTH FUNDING: The premiers want some commitments from the federal government regarding health funding before they're willing to entertain discussions on climate change. The demand is laid out in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. It was penned by Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski, the current chairman of the group representing the premiers of Canada's 10 provinces and three territories. The letter obtained by The Canadian Press says if the meeting doesn't happen, the Liberals should put off plans to change the formula that determines annual increases in federal health-care payments.

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FEDS WANT TO BLOCK COMPANIES FROM MAKING MASS LAYOFFS:The federal government is poised to tighten labour laws to make it tougher for large federal regulated companies to hand down mass layoffs without warning. The requirements have undergone a quiet overhaul amid concerns from officials and Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk. The final wording has not been set, but the aim is to better ensure employers take the necessary steps to help affected employees find other jobs and get the severance pay owed to them. Documents obtained by The Canadian Press indicate that officials hope the new rules will give workers more of a heads-up as to when layoffs are coming.

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CANADA AND RUSSIA TO HOLD ARCTIC CONFERENCE: Canada and Russia will hold a joint conference on Arctic co-operation next month in Ottawa, despite differences over Syria and Ukraine. Pam Goldsmith-Jones, the parliamentary secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion, announced the event Thursday in a speech at Carleton University in Ottawa, where the November conference will be held. Goldsmith-Jones said Canada profoundly disagrees with Russia's conduct in Ukraine and Syria, but added that it makes no sense to keep the two countries' respective scientists apart.

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CANADA TO SUPPORT FRENCH COUNTER-TERRORISM: Canada's military is putting the finishing touches on plans to send transport aircraft to support French counter-terrorism operations in northern Africa. Defence officials say the planes would likely be used to transport French troops and equipment into the Sahel region, which includes Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Mali. French troops have been hunting al Qaida-linked fighters in those countries since August 2014.

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OTTAWA LOOKING AT BETTER PROTECTING CYCLISTS: Some recent high-profile accidents involving cyclists has the federal government looking at ways to better protect those who ride their bikes on Canadian roadways. Ottawa and the provinces have agreed to set up a national task force to look at ways to reduce fatalities. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre both have written to Transport Minister Marc Garneau to raise concerns. A 23-year-old woman died this month in Ottawa when her bike was struck by a truck and two cyclists were killed in Montreal over the summer.

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PARTY-TIME FOR YOUNG ROYALS IN VICTORIA: Prince George and Princess Charlotte have made their second public appearance of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's tour of British Columbia, taking part in a children's party Thursday at Government House in Victoria. Charlotte immediately bee-lined for some colourful balloons before heading to the petting zoo for some time with the goats, sheep, rabbits and miniature horses. She also spent some time with Moose, a large poodle and golden retriever cross breed that is a cancer therapy dog when he isn't entertaining royals. Prince George sat on his father's knee before warming up to the party at a bubble-blowing station. George used a squirt gun while Prince William picked up a wand to make huge bubbles.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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