In-The-News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what’s on the radar of our editors for the morning of Oct. 10.
What we are watching in Canada …
It’s the last debate tonight.
The debate starts at 8 p.m. Eastern in Gatineau, Que., within sight of Parliament.
The French-language debate will be the leaders’ last big chance to make their marks before the Oct. 21 election, especially on the volatile electorate in Quebec.
New Democrats are reminding Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau of his broken promise to change the electoral system.
Ottawa Centre candidate Emilie Taman, who’s running against Liberal minister Catherine McKenna, is to tout the NDP’s promise to introduce proportional representation and lower the voting age to 16 in an event on the lawn of Parliament later today.
In 2015, the Liberals promised that would be the last election run under the traditional first-past-the-post electoral system, only to scuttle the recommendations of the committee they put together to examine the issue.
Also this …
The RCMP does not give lie-detector tests to employees undergoing top-level security screenings despite federal rules that require such examinations.
The revelation comes as the national police force assesses the damage from possible leaks by one of its most senior intelligence officials.
Cameron Jay Ortis, 47, faces charges of violating Canada’s official-secrets law for allegedly trying to pass classified information to adversaries.
At a news conference last month, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said Ortis had a valid “top secret” clearance — which must be renewed every five years — but he had not undergone a polygraph exam, a test that measures physiological signs such as heart rate and breathing that might indicate deception.
The RCMP refused to say when Ortis, who joined the police force in 2007, underwent his most recent security-clearance update.
“The RCMP does not currently conduct polygraph examinations as part of its security-screening process,” the force said.
ICYMI (In case you missed it) …
TORONTO — Credit-monitoring giant TransUnion says the personal information of about 37,000 Canadians may have been compromised this summer.
The agency says the data was accessed through the fraudulent use of one if its legitimate business customer’s login credentials.
TransUnion says it learned of the breach in August and has notified those whose information may have been accessed.
The issue at TransUnion means that both of Canada’s credit monitoring agencies have seen customer data compromised.
In 2017, the information on 143 million customers globally, including about 19,000 Canadians, was compromised at Equifax Inc..
TransUnion and Equifax provide credit reports that assess how qualified people are for a loan, among other financial services
What we are watching in the U.S. …
More than a million people in California were without electricity as the state’s largest utility pulled the plug to prevent a repeat of the past two years when windblown power lines sparked deadly wildfires that destroyed thousands of homes.
The unpopular move that disrupted daily life — prompted by forecasts calling for dry, gusty weather — came after catastrophic fires sent Pacific Gas & Electric Co. into bankruptcy and forced it to take more aggressive steps to prevent blazes.
The drastic measure caused long lines at supermarkets and hardware stores as people rushed to buy ice, coolers, flashlights and batteries across a swath of Northern California. Cars backed up at traffic lights that had gone dark. Schools and universities cancelled classes. And many businesses closed.
Most of downtown Sonoma was pitch black when Joseph Pokorski, a retiree, showed up for his morning ritual of drinking coffee, followed by beer and cocktails.
The Town Square bar was open and lit by lanterns but coffee was out of the question and only cash was accepted. Pokorski decided to forgo a 30-minute wait for a cup of joe from the bakery next door and move on to beers and a couple greyhound cocktails of vodka and grapefruit juice.
What we are watching in the rest of the world …
Turkey launched airstrikes, fired artillery and began a ground offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria after U.S. troops pulled back from the area, paving the way for an assault on forces that have long been allied with the United States.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of the campaign, which followed the abrupt decision Sunday by U.S. President Donald Trump to essentially abandon the Syrian Kurdish fighters, leaving them vulnerable to a Turkish offensive that was widely condemned around the world.
The decision was a major shift in U.S. policy and drew oppositions from all sides at home. It also marked a stark change in rhetoric by Trump, who during a press conference in New York last year vowed to stand by the Kurds, who have been America’s only allies in Syria fighting the Islamic State group . Trump said at the time that the Kurds “fought with us” and “died with us,” and insisted that America would never forget.
After Erdogan announced the offensive, Trump called the operation “a bad idea.” Later Wednesday, he said he didn’t want to be involved in “endless, senseless wars.”
In northern Syria, residents of the borders areas were in a panic and got out on foot, in cars and with rickshaws piled with mattresses and a few belongings. It was a wrenchingly familiar scenario for the many who, only a few years ago, had fled the advances on their towns and villages by Islamic State group.
On this day in 1970 …
Quebec labour minister Pierre Laporte was kidnapped by FLQ terrorists in Montreal. He was found dead a week later.
Weird and wild …
CLOVIS, N.M. — A high school football coach in New Mexico has been fired and faces charges after authorities said a student used cellphone video to capture him taking money from a player’s wallet.
State Police say they arrested Miyamura High School coach John D. Roanhaus on Saturday after seeing footage showing $40 being taken from a student’s wallet in the team locker room.
Roanhaus is the youngest son of New Mexico Hall of Fame coach Eric Roanhaus, who retired in 2016 as head football coach at Clovis High School after recording 343 wins, the most in state history.
A new Canadian study suggests a common medication to treat people with Type 2 diabetes could help prevent the development of ovarian cancer.
The study, published today in Clinical Cancer Research, shows that scarring of the ovaries occurs with age and the drug metformin may be able to halt that process.
Lead author Curtis McCloskey says the ovary is constantly in a state of growth and retraction, and when that happens repeatedly, you can get scarring or fibrosis.
The research team examined 27 ovaries that had been removed from women aged 21 and 82.
McCloskey says most of the ovaries from post-menopausal women were fibrotic. But there was one outlier — an ovary from a 69-year-old woman who had been taking metformin appeared pre-menopausal.
McCloskey says he hopes scientists go further by giving women metformin for a year to see if the fibrosis goes away.
Celebrity news …
LOS ANGELES — The olive green cardigan that Kurt Cobain wore during Nirvana’s MTV “Unplugged” performance is heading to the auction block.
So are some of the late rocker’s custom guitars.
Julien’s Auctions says the sweater and a custom Fender guitar built in 1993 that Cobain used during the band’s In Utero tour will be offered during a two-day auction Oct. 25 and 26.
The turquoise-bodied left-handed guitar was on display for several years at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Cobain, one of the biggest stars of the grunge rock music scene of the early 1990s, was 27 when he killed himself on April 5, 1994.
Feeling nostalgic …
QUEBEC — Nordiques fans will be able to buy a piece of their old hockey team’s history for $30.
Quebec City is selling off seats from the former home of professional hockey in its town, last known as the Pepsi Colisee.
The old arena’s white wooden seats will be sold on the Oct. 19-20 weekend in pairs, up to a maximum of 12 seats per buyer.
The organization that manages the site for the city, ExpoCite, says 500 people have already expressed interest in buying seats.
Demolition of the facility, which opened in 1949, began last month, four years after it was closed.
The arena was home to the NHL’s Quebec Nordiques until their 1995 move to Colorado.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 10, 2019.
The Canadian Press