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

Deliah Saunders, right, and Audrey Saunders, sisters of Loretta Saunders, testify at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, in Membertou, N.S. on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. Loretta Saunders, an Inuk woman, was murdered in Halifax in February 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
October 30, 2017 - 1:34 PM

Highlights from the news file for Monday, Oct. 30

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THREE CABINET MINISTERS HAVE ETHICS SETUP SIMILAR TO MORNEAU: At least three other members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet have personal financial arrangements similar to the setup that, despite the initial blessing of the federal ethics commissioner, has landed Finance Minister Bill Morneau in hot water. Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc, Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould are using so-called conflict-of-interest screens. That's a measure that falls short of the blind-trust gold standard for politicians seeking to avoid precisely the sort of controversy Morneau now finds himself in.

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TRUMP CAMPAIGN BOSS CHARGED: The Russia investigation struck a series of blows against the Donald Trump presidency Monday. Multiple charges were laid against his former campaign manager and there's word that a lower-level adviser is co-operating with investigators after admitting to communicating about stolen emails with intermediaries of the Putin government. The day began with ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort surrendering to authorities after he and another senior campaign aide were slapped with a dozen criminal charges, including conspiracy against the United States and money-laundering.

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MMIW HEARINGS BEGIN IN NOVA SCOTIA: Relatives of a murdered Inuk woman say that merely appearing white heightens police and public interest in a crime or missing person case. Loretta Saunders' sister, Delilah Saunders, and their mother Meriam made the comments Monday as they spoke to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Forty witnesses are expected to testify during three days of hearings at Membertou First Nation in Cape Breton. Saunders' body was found at the side of a New Brunswick highway in February 2014, leading to murder convictions against Halifax residents Blake Leggette and his girlfriend Victoria Henneberry.

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ACCUSED KILLER SAYS HE DIDN'T CARE ABOUT LOVE TRIANGLE: A man charged with murder told court on Monday that he slept with several women and didn't care "too much" about an ongoing feud between his girlfriend and Laura Babcock, a Toronto woman who the Crown alleges was killed for being the odd one out in a love triangle. Dellen Millard, 32, of Toronto, and his friend Mark Smich, 30, of Oakville, Ont., are charged with the first-degree murder of Babcock, whose body has not been found. Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Millard painted himself as a bad boyfriend to Christina Noudga, a woman he was dating in 2012 when Babcock disappeared.

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FORMER SEARS EXEC CITES 'OBSTACLES' TO TURNAROUND: Sears Canada's former executive chairman says his plan to turn around the embattled retailer was well-reasoned but the creditor protection process was biased towards liquidation. Brandon Stranzl says the creditor process which Sears entered in June was structured as a sale rather than a rehabilitation from the beginning. Stranzl had been in weeks-long discussions with the embattled retailer to buy it and continue to operate it, but no deal was reached. Sears Canada began liquidation sales across the country on Oct. 19.

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INDIGENOUS HOLIDAY BILL MOVING AHEAD: A Saskatchewan MP's private member's bill on making National Indigenous Peoples Day a holiday is moving forward. Georgina Jolibois' bill proposes making June 21 — which is National Indigenous Peoples Day — a statutory holiday, which means it would be celebrated nationwide and would be a paid day off for employees. The bill passed second reading in the House of Commons on Oct. 24. It is scheduled for debate in the House on Dec. 8.

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SEARCH ON FOR PARENTS OF ABANDONED INFANT: Police in Halifax are searching for the parents of a month-old infant who was apparently abandoned on the weekend, left wrapped in a blanket behind a business in a busy shopping district. Investigators were called to a building on Quinpool Road just before 5 p.m. Sunday after Halifax Regional Police received a complaint about an abandoned baby. Spokeswoman Const. Dianne Penfound said the baby girl was found on a step behind the building. "It's nothing I have seen (before)," said Penfound.

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ONTARIO TORIES CALL FOR HALT TO CASINO DEAL: Ontario's Opposition is calling on the government to halt a deal with a gaming company that runs a British Columbia casino alleged to have accepted millions that could be proceeds of crime. The B.C. government has launched an independent expert's review of the province's policies in the gambling industry after concerns were raised about the possibility of money laundering at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, B.C. That casino is run by Great Canadian Gaming Corp., which the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. selected to run facilities at several casinos.

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FREELAND WARNS OF VENEZUELAN REFUGEE CRISIS: Canada is concerned that the political and economic turmoil in Venezuela will spark a refugee crisis for the South American country and its neighbours, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Monday. Freeland said that she and Peru's foreign minister would take that message to the United Nations in New York City on Monday, following her appearance at a business conference in Toronto. Canada and Peru co-chaired a meeting of ministers from the Lima Group of countries last week in Toronto.

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ONTARIO BILL TAKES AIM AT DISTRACTED WALKING: Ontarians texting or using other electronic devices while crossing the street could be facing fines if a bill designed to improve road safety becomes law. The bill — called the Phones Down, Heads Up Act — was introduced Monday by Yvan Baker, a Liberal member of the provincial legislature. According to a 2010 report from Ontario's chief coroner, 11 per cent of pedestrian deaths from that year involved people distracted by a cellphone or electronic device.

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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