The Wednesday news briefing: An at-a-glance survey of some top stories | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau are welcomed to the White House by U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife Melania in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
October 11, 2017 - 1:35 PM

Highlights from the news file for Wednesday, Oct. 11

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TRUDEAU GETS WARM RECEPTION IN WASHINGTON: Donald Trump has welcomed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the White House by hinting at the possibility of a free trade deal directly with America's northern neighbour, should ongoing NAFTA talks collapse. But the U.S. president also said it's too early to give up on efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. It's no secret that the president is not a fan of NAFTA, but Wednesday's remarks suggest he's open to the possibility of a bilateral trade deal with Canada. The prime minister's arrival in Washington comes amid early signs of trouble in the talks, with big business groups now expressing fear the quarter-century-old deal could disappear.

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WASHINGTON GLAD-HANDING MASKS NAFTA NERVES: Key sticking points in the ongoing NAFTA negotiations came up Wednesday in a meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a powerful group of American lawmakers, though they all expressed hope of clearing those hurdles so the countries might reach a deal. Lawmakers stood and cheered when Trudeau arrived and departed the Capitol Hill meeting, but there was no glossing over impediments to a potential deal. Meeting participants said the prime minister defended Canada's supply management system while being pressed to allow more access to American dairy imports.

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DELTA DOESN'T EXPECT TO PAY CSERIES DUTIES: Delta Air Lines says its deliveries of Bombardier CSeries aircraft may be delayed next year but that ultimately it won't be forced to pay the 300 per cent preliminary duties recently announced by the U.S. Commerce Department. "We're not going to be forced to pay tariffs or anything of the ilk," CEO Ed Bastian said Wednesday. He said the U.S. government's decision is disappointing and doesn't make a lot of sense, but that it's still early in the process, which is triggering lots of political debate. Delta signed a deal for up to 125 CS100s in 2016.

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CHEVRON NEEDS NO COSTS PROTECTION, COURT TOLD: Forcing a group of Ecuadorian villagers to come up with almost $1 million before they can pursue their claim against oil behemoth Chevron would deprive them of access to justice, Ontario's top court heard Wednesday. The notion that Chevron, which makes about $1 billion every business day, needs to be protected from legal costs if the Indigenous Ecuadorians lose their fight is absurd, their lawyer said. The villagers are asking the Canadian courts to make Chevron Canada pay a hard-fought US$9.5-billion award they won in Ecuador in 2013 over environmental devastation and the health problems caused.

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LINDHOUT'S MOTHER PLEADED FOR DAUGHTER'S LIFE: Amanda Lindhout's mother pleaded with one of her daughter's alleged Somalian kidnappers to lower a $2-million ransom demand, saying her family wasn't rich and had little money to offer. In a series of tense telephone recordings played in court Wednesday, Lorinda Stewart tells accused negotiator Ali Omar Ader that she simply wants to see her daughter again. Lindhout was a freelance journalist from Red Deer, Alta., when she and Australian photographer Nigel Brennan were seized near Mogadishu in August 2008 while working on a story. Both were released in November 2009.

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IMF WARNS OF CANADA'S HIGH DEBT LEVELS: The International Monetary Fund warns in a new report of Canada's high debt levels and higher-than-average pressure on Canadian households' ability to pay down that debt. The IMF said in its Global Financial Stability report on Wednesday that these dynamics in Canada's private non-financial sector leaves its economy more sensitive to tighter financial conditions and weaker economic activity. Canada was named along with Australia, Brazil, China and Korea as countries where the debt-service ratio has risen to high levels.

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2 CHARGED IN QUADRUPLE KILLING IN CALGARY: A man and a woman face charges related to a quadruple homicide this summer that Calgary police have described as brutal and ruthless. Yu Chieh Liao, who also goes by Diana Liao, and Tewodros Mutugeta Kebede are charged with first-degree murder in the death of 26-year-old Hanock Afowerk, police said Wednesday. The pair also face three counts of accessory after the fact in the deaths of Cody Pfeiffer, 25, Glynnis Fox, 36, and Tiffany Ear, 39. Liao and Kebede are to appear in court on Nov. 2.

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WOMAN SUES HOSPITAL OVER FLESH-EATING DISEASE: A new mother who was diagnosed with flesh-eating disease days after giving birth and is now a quadruple amputee is taking legal action against a Halifax hospital and several doctors. Lindsay Hubley gave birth to her son Myles on March 2 at the IWK Health Centre and has undergone numerous surgeries since, including amputations below both of her elbows and knees and a total hysterectomy. A statement of claim alleges several wrongdoings in the hospital's care. The allegations have not been tested in court.

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TORONTO SCHOOL BOARD REMOVING 'CHIEF' FROM JOB TITLES: Canada's largest school board says it is phasing out the word "chief" from senior staff's job titles out of respect for Indigenous peoples. The Toronto District School Board says it has been working on removing the term from job titles for a few years, and is close to eliminating it completely. The board says the word "chief" doesn't accurately represent the jobs it's used to describe, and is being replaced with terms like "manager" and "executive officer."

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DEMOCRAT MOVES TO IMPEACH TRUMP: A House Democrat has offered a resolution to impeach U.S. President Donald Trump. Texas Rep. Al Green withdrew it before action was taken, but says he'll do it again and intends to eventually force a vote. His impeachment resolution doesn't accuse Trump of crimes, which Green argues is not needed for impeachment. He cites Trump's statements and actions about Muslims, Puerto Rican hurricane victims, transgender people, football players and others. He says Trump has incited "white supremacy, sexism, bigotry, hatred, xenophobia, race-baiting and racism."

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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