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Remembrance Day commemorations and Drake high on weed biz; In-The-News Nov. 8

A poppy rests on a cenotaph marking the fallen from the First World War following a Remembrance Day service in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

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 Nov. 8.

What we are watching in Canada …

TORONTO — A new survey suggests more Canadians are making a point to mark Remembrance Day this year.

The poll commissioned by Historica Canada indicates the percentage of Canadians who plan to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies has climbed to 41 per cent.

That’s a boost of two per cent over last year, and 14 per cent over 2016.

The data indicates that the jump could be because of the dwindling numbers of remaining Second World War veterans.

Eighty-eight per cent of respondents said they think it’s important to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies while the oldest vets can still be there.

Also this …

TORONTO — Ontario’s teachers are preparing to challenge the government in court over a new law that caps all public sector wage increases.

It limits those increases to one per cent a year for the next three years, which Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy calls a “fair and time-limited approach” to eliminating the deficit.

More than a million public sector workers would be affected by the bill, which applies to employees at school boards, universities and colleges, hospitals, long-term care homes and other organizations.

Shortly after it passed in the legislature Thursday evening, the four major unions representing high school, elementary, Catholic and French teachers in the province issued a joint statement.

The unions are all currently in negotiations with the government for new contracts, and they say it tramples on collective bargaining rights.

They say that the passage of the legislation all but shatters any prospect of good faith bargaining, and they are preparing a court challenge.

ICYMI (In case you missed it) …

TORONTO — The Controversial holiday standard “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is returning to playlists at Bell Media’s radio stations starting next week.

A spokesman for the Canadian broadcaster says feedback from listeners has led the company to reintroduce the 1944 duet after yanking it out of rotation last Christmas season.

Bell was among numerous radio operators who effectively banned “Baby It’s Cold Outside” from their airwaves following scrutiny over what some called inappropriate lyrics in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Most versions of the song feature a male performer trying to persuade a female singer to stay inside, with exchanges that include, “What’s in this drink?” and “Baby, don’t hold out.”

Public broadcaster CBC bumped the song from its holiday streaming playlists last year only to add it back within days after an audience backlash.

What we are watching in the U.S. …

There were three words U.S. President Donald Trump wanted to hear from the Ukraine president — investigations, Biden, Clinton.

That’s according to the transcript, released Thursday, of an impeachment inquiry interview with career State Department official George Kent.

Kent told investigators that that was his understanding of what Trump wanted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to say in order to unlock U.S. military aid, as relayed to the official by others, including those in direct contact with the president.

Numerous current and former Trump officials have testified that the president was conditioning U.S. aid on Ukraine publicly investigating Democrats including his potential 2020 political foe Joe Biden and Biden’s son.

Clinton, he explained, was “shorthand” for the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. It was a reference to Trump’s view, pushed by his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani but outside of mainstream U.S. intelligence, that Ukraine played a role interfering in the election.

House investigators are releasing key transcripts from days of closed-door interviews in the impeachment inquiry as they prepare for public sessions with witnesses next week. A whistleblower’s complaint about Trump’s July 25 telephone call with Zelenskiy was the spark that ignited the investigation.

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

As Turkish forces launched assault in northern Syria, social media users propagated images of Turkey’s soldiers hugging, cradling or feeding children.

But none of those images actually reflected the ongoing offensive in northern Syria. Some weren’t of Turkish soldiers. None of them were recent and some had been taken in other countries.

Experts say the false and misleading posts promoting Turkey appeared to get a boost from a co-ordinated network of Twitter accounts that amplified the content through trending hashtags and retweets.

The online campaign follows a pattern of social media propaganda that seeks to sway global opinion when controversial, international events erupt.

The images began making the rounds after U.S. President Donald Trump’s widely criticized withdrawal of American troops opened the way for the Turkish offensive against the Kurds.

 

Weird and wild …

HALIFAX — Animal rehabilitation officials believe they have identified the aggressive goose that was likely responsible for an unprovoked attack on an 87-year-old Halifax-area woman.

Hope Swinimer, director of Hope for Wildlife, says the bird was among nine resident geese that were removed from Sullivan’s Pond in downtown Dartmouth and brought to the centre in Seaforth earlier this week.

They were moved a month early this year after Willow Webb, who uses a walker, was knocked to the ground and pecked by some of the geese on Oct. 25, leaving her with a broken pelvis and elbow.

Swinimer says in the last few days she has noticed that one of the snow-white birds appears to have taken on the role of lead protector of the flock.

Earlier this year, the suspect goose was among four new birds added to the existing flock, which long ago became a beloved symbol of the community on the east side of Halifax harbour.

Swinimer says the rogue goose may be separated from the group, but the final decision on its fate rests with municipal staff.

On this day in 1943 …

Charlottetown-born Capt. Fred Peters won the Victoria Cross during the Second World War naval battle at Oran Harbour, North Africa. Five days later, Peters was killed in a plane crash while heading to England to receive his medal.

Your health …

NEW YORK — New figures show more than 2,000 people have been diagnosed with vaping illnesses in the United States in the still-unsolved outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that 2,051 confirmed and probable cases have been reported. Illnesses have occurred in every state but Alaska. Forty people in 24 states have died.

The outbreak appears to have started in March. No single ingredient or vaping device has been linked to all the illnesses. Most who got sick said they vaped products containing THC, the high-inducing ingredient in marijuana.

Health officials urge people to avoid vaping, particularly products containing THC and purchased off the street.

The CDC said it tallied 39 deaths as of 5 p.m. Tuesday. Massachusetts reported an additional death Wednesday.

Your money …

TORONTO — Early Gen-Xers may find it uncomfortable to admit, but they have joined their parents in being old enough to claim senior discounts.

The eldest members of the cohort born between 1965 and 1979 can save money by targeting their spending.

While most retailers only offer discounts to Canadians that reach the traditional age of retirement, some give customers a break long before age 65.

Home renovation retailer Rona and Reno-Depot give a 15 per cent rebate on the first Tuesday of the month to customers 50 years and older.

Goodwill has seniors days offering a 25 per cent discount for those 55 plus, while Best Western and Fairmont Hotels give 10 per cent and 15 per cent discounts respectively to guests of that age.

Denny’s gives a break on Thursdays and Rexall PharmaPlus on Tuesdays to that age group.

Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) recommends that members ask whether or not discounts are available because they aren’t always advertised.

Celebrity news …

TORONTO — Canadian rapper Drake has signed an investment partnership to launch More Life Growth Co., a licensed cannabis producer that’ll be based in his hometown, Toronto.

The deal, struck with Canopy Growth Corp., gives Drake a 60 per cent stake in the More Life Growth company, while Canopy Growth will hold the remaining 40 per cent.

It’s the latest in a string of investment partnerships launched by Canopy Growth with some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Martha Stewart, Snoop Dogg and Seth Rogen. Gene Simmons holds a deal with B.C.-based cannabis company Invictus.

Canopy Growth will provide all of the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the More Life cannabis production facility, which operates on a licence held by a numbered company in Toronto.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2019.

The Canadian Press