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

Last Updated Oct 20, 2017 at 5:40 pm EST

Highlights from the news file for Friday, Oct. 20

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GORD DOWNIE’S FAMILY THINKING ABOUT A PUBLIC MEMORIAL: One of Gord Downie’s brothers says the outpouring of public support in the days since the singer’s death has been “unbelievable.” Mike Downie calls the response uplifting. Downie died Tuesday night at age 53 after a lengthy battle with cancer. A private family gathering for the singer was to be held on Friday, but Mike Downie said the family is also considering holding a public memorial.

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MORNEAU STILL UNDER FIRE FOR PERSONAL FINANCES: Finance Bill Morneau’s promise to sell millions of dollars of assets hasn’t shaken questions about how he handled his personal fortune when he was appointed to cabinet in 2015. He continued to face questions about the matter at a media event in Waterloo, Ont., on Friday. He appeared to show some impatience with reporters, saying he doesn’t “report to journalists” on his personal situation.

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PM SAYS GOVERNMENTS SHOULDN’T TELL WOMEN WHAT TO WEAR: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says governments should not tell women what or what not to wear as the PM faced questions about Quebec’s Bill 62 for a second straight day. The bill bans people from providing or receiving provincial government services with their faces covered and is widely seen as an attack on Muslim women. Trudeau said on Thursday that it’s not up to the federal government to challenge the constitutionality of the provincial law, but on Friday he said his government would take its “responsibilities seriously and look carefully at what the implications are.”

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SENTENCING ARGUMENTS WRAP UP IN CASE OF SASK SCHOOL SHOOTER: Lawyers were to make their final arguments on Friday in the sentencing hearing for a Saskatchewan youth who shot and killed four people and injured seven others in La Loche, Sask. The hearing is to determine if the teen will be sentenced as an adult or a youth — he was under the age of 18 at the time of the 2016 shooting. The teen pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder. The teen could get six years of custody and four years probation if he’s sentenced as a youth, but he faces a life sentence as an adult.

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U.S. HASN’T ANALYZED IMPACT OF NAFTA: There are few signs that American policy-makers have analyzed the economic impact of ending the North American Free Trade Agreement, even as President Donald Trump threatens to scuttle the deal. A Congressional research unit that performs studies for lawmakers, tells The Canadian Press that no one has requested research on NAFTA. Trump’s trade rep Robert Lighthizer says he also hasn’t yet done research, telling American reporters this week that he’s focusing on trying to get a new deal. Some trade watchers in Washington say they fear the Trump administration is inching toward a pullout.

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POLLUTION BIGGER KILLER THAN WAR, REPORT SAYS: A report says pollution kills more people around the world than war or infectious diseases. The Lancet medical journal study published on Friday suggests at least nine million people died around the globe in 2015 because of pollution. The report says air, soil and water pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals killed three times more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined and 15 times more people than war and violence. The group Environmental Defence says while Canada has one of the lower rates of pollution-related deaths compared with places like India and Somalia, it’s also one of the few developed nations that doesn’t have legally binding air quality standards.

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JUDGE UPHOLDS DISMISSAL OF MANSLAUGHTER CHARGES AGAINST NB POLICE OFFICERS: A New Brunswick judge has upheld a lower court decision dismissing manslaughter charges against two Bathurst city police constables in the shooting of a New Brunswick businessman. Const. Patrick Bulger and Const. Mathieu Boudreau had been charged in the death of Michel Vienneau, a 51-year-old storeowner who was shot in his vehicle in the northern New Brunswick city. A provincial court judge ruled in February that prosecutors failed to produce enough evidence to warrant a trial, and on Friday a superior court judge supported that ruling.

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PUTIN ACCUSES CANADA OF PLAYING POLITICAL GAMES: Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking issue with Canada passing a new law cracking down on human rights violations. He said this week that Canada is playing “unconstructive political games.” The Magnitsky Act targets the actions of gross human rights violators in all countries, not just Russia. It has been closely linked to the Russian whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow prison in 2009 after accusing officials of a $230-million tax fraud. The new law will prevent wealthy rights abusers from coming to Canada and hiding their fortunes here.

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AIRBUS NOT LOOKING TO BUY OUT C SERIES PARTNERS: Airbus and Bombardier plan to remain partners on the C Series program even after the European aerospace giant is able to buy out its minority partners. According to terms of the deal announced on Monday, Airbus has the option to buy out Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) in about seven years, and the Quebec government in 2023. Airbus CEO Tom Enders told reporters on Friday that Bombardier and the provincial government are great partners and are welcome to “stay on the journey going forward.”

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WEINSTEIN ACCUSER SAYS SHE IS FEARFUL: The Los Angeles lawyer for an Italian actress who has accused Harvey Weinstein of rape says it has had a “humongous impact on her life” and she is extremely scared. Attorney David M. Ring told reporters Friday that his client met Weinstein briefly at the L.A. Italia film festival in 2013 and he bullied his way into her hotel room. Ring says that she gave Los Angeles police detectives a description of sexual assault and rape. The attorney says the actress has had no interaction with Weinstein since then. Weinstein’s representative has denied the Oscar-winner had non-consensual sex with any woman.

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