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

Pilar Ramirez cleans her home after returning as residents re-enter fire-ravaged Fort McMurray, Alta., on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Codie McLachlan
June 01, 2016 - 1:23 PM

Highlights from the news file for Wednesday, June 1:

FORT MCMURRAY RESIDENTS BEGIN TO RETURN TO CITY: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says Fort McMurray residents will need every ounce of the courage they've already shown since a vicious wildfire tore through parts of their city. Notley says many hard days still lie ahead as the community rebuilds and evacuees who are returning won't find a normal life waiting for them. She says it will take years to recover from the wildfire that destroyed nearly one-tenth of the city, but promises the province will be there to help. Notley was in Fort McMurray to welcome back the first of more than 80,000 people who had to flee when the fire hit May 3.

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HUNTER TOOTOO STEPS DOWN: Hunter Tootoo's aunt says he likely "hit a brick wall" before deciding to step down from his Liberal cabinet post in order to get help for a drinking problem. Rose Tootoo told The Canadian Press it's a struggle that's all too familiar to members of his family. Tuesday's surprise announcement touched off widespread speculation about what prompted the decision. Sources familiar with Tootoo's career say he has a history of alcohol problems.

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CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER BERATES CANADIAN JOURNALISTS: China's visiting foreign minister is berating a Canadian journalist for asking a question about his country's human rights record. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says it was "irresponsible" of a journalist from the web outlet IPolitics to ask about human rights and the jailing of a Canadian, Kevin Garratt, who is charged with espionage. Wang appeared visibly angry as he delivered the scolding in the lobby of Canada's foreign affairs headquarters at a joint press conference with Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion. The IPolitics question was agreed to by a number of journalists representing several news organizations at the event, including The Canadian Press.

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HOUSING MARKET TOO HOT: The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development says Ottawa needs to cool down Canada's housing market. It's calling on the feds to introduce new measures to reduce some of the risk associated with soaring home prices and household debt levels in Toronto and Vancouver. An OECD report says the possibility of a housing market correction, particularly in those two markets, could threaten the country's financial stability. Those two cities comprise a third of the country's real estate market.

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SUSTAINABLE BEEF: An industry initiative called the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef is praising McDonald's Canada for its leadership. McDonald's has wrapped a pilot project to verify cattle ranches as producing sustainable beef. More than 180 beef operations in Canada were verified as sustainable under the pilot after being audited for principles including animal welfare and community engagement. The industry group says it will now create a verification framework building on the pilot program.

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PEDOPHILE DUBBED SWIRL FACE SENTENCED: A British Columbia pedophile convicted of producing online child pornography in Cambodia where he disguised his face with a swirl has been sentenced to five-and-a-half-years in prison. But because of his time already served, a B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled Christopher Neil's remaining sentence is just over 14 months, six months more time than the Crown had requested. The 41-year-old man pleaded guilty in December to five child-sex crimes that took place in Cambodia, as well as Vancouver and Maple Ridge, B.C., spanning a 10-year period.

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RUSSIAN ROCKET TROUBLES: Canada is asking Russia for more information about a rocket stage that is expected to splash down this weekend in environmentally sensitive Arctic waters. Global Affairs Canada spokesman Austin Jean says Ottawa wants to know why it wasn't told in advance of the launch, which came to light through a notification from an international aviation agency. Austin says the highly toxic rocket fuel is likely to burn up on re-entry, but it'll be coming down in an area known to be a hot spot for a wide variety of animals.

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EGYPTAIR BLACK BOX DETECTED: A French ship searching the Mediterranean has detected black box signals from a missing EgyptAir flight in the waters between the Greek island of Crete and the Egyptian coast. The development that could help solve the mystery of why the aircraft crashed into the sea last month, killing all 66 on board — including two Canadians. In the two weeks since Flight 804 disappeared from radar en route to Cairo from Paris, only small pieces of debris and human remains have been retrieved.

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CLINTON ASSAILS TRUMP AS A 'FRAUD': Hillary Clinton has assailed presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump as a "fraud" intent on scamming the American people following new revelations about the businessman's now-defunct education company. Clinton, Trump's likely general election opponent, cast Trump University as a get-rich scheme for the real estate mogul that preyed on vulnerable Americans, urging them to sign up for pricey seminars even when they were financially strapped. "He is trying to scam America the way he scammed all those people at Trump U," Clinton said during a campaign stop in Newark, New Jersey. "It's important that we recognize what he has done because that's usually a pretty good indicator of what he will do."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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