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

Last Updated Nov 23, 2017 at 5:40 pm EST

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes questions from the media outside the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, P.E.I., on Thursday, Nov 23, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Rochford

Highlights from the news file for Thursday, Nov. 23

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TRUDEAU ATTACKS OFFSHORE TAX EVASION: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says paying taxes is part of every Canadian’s responsibility. Trudeau told a speech in Charlottetown on Thursday that there are some wealthy Canadians who don’t think the need to pay their fair share of taxes and are also forcing the federal government to spend a billion dollars to pursue them. Trudeau also said over the past three decades, most Canadians saw their incomes grow by less than one per cent a year in real terms while the wealthiest saw their incomes nearly triple.

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CANADA CUBA CONNECTION MAY DEFUSE NORTH KOREAN TENSIONS, TRUDEAU SAYS: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada could play a key role in calming tensions with North Korea by working with Cuba. Trudeau says he discussed North Korea last year with Cuban President Raul Castro. Trudeau said while visiting Charlottetown on Thursday that Cuba has decent diplomatic relations with the North Korean regime. He says Canada can pass along messages through that pipeline.

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MONEY LAUNDERING COPS TRACKING FENTANYL BUCKS: Canada’s anti-money laundering agency is helping fight fentanyl by tracing the movement of funds tied to the deadly drug. The federal Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre was cited for its role in uncovering a Calgary-based trafficking network. Agency interim director Barry MacKillop says the agency has passed intelligence about the dangerous opioid to law-enforcement partners. It tries to pinpoint cash linked to money laundering and terrorism by sifting through tens of millions of pieces of information annually from banks, insurance companies, securities dealers, money service businesses, real estate brokers, casinos and others.

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COMPETITION WATCHDOG INVESTIGATES SEARS LIQUIDATION SALES: The federal Competition Bureau is investigating allegations that prices on some merchandise were marked up ahead of the liquidation sales at Sears Canada that started last month. The court-appointed monitor overseeing the retailer said in a report to Ontario Superior Court that the watchdog sent letters on Nov. 8 to the liquidators inquiring about the allegations that certain merchandise was marked up. The Competition Bureau won’t comment on the matter.

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FEDS WANT TO BUILD HOMES NOT FUND SHELTERS: The federal minister responsible for a new national housing strategy says the government prefers to spend money on building and finding homes for low-income Canadians rather than put cash into more shelter space. Jean-Yves Duclos says it’s hoped that this week’s big cash infusion into affordable housing means fewer Canadians will fall into homelessness over time.

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QUEBEC PREMIER ADMONISHES STORE MANAGER: Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says he is concerned about reports that a manager of an Adidas store reportedly told a Montreal crowd he would say a few words in French at an event to accommodate the city’s francophone media. Couillard told the legislature on Thursday if the manager’s statements are true, they’re unacceptable in a French-speaking province. Adidas has not commented on Couillard’s criticism.

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TWO MEN SENTENCED FOR ASSAULTING DENNIS OLAND: A New Brunswick court has handed four month jail sentences to two men who pleaded guilty to assaulting Dennis Oland in prison. Convicted killer Cody Alexander Muise and Aaron Marriott, who was convicted in a 2008 drug shooting, attacked Oland at Atlantic Institution in Renous, N.B., on July 31 of last year. Oland suffered facial injuries. He has since been released and the courts have ordered a new trial on a murder charge in the death of his father Richard Oland.

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MONCTON UNIVERSITY OFFICIAL IN LINE FOR LANGUAGE COMMISH POSTING: It appears the Trudeau government is eyeing the rector of the Universite de Moncton as the next languages commissioner. The Canadian Press has learned that Franco-Manitoban Raymond Theberge is the favoured choice to replace Graham Fraser. Madeleine Meilleur withdrew her candidacy earlier this year following accusations from the opposition she was too closely linked to the governing Liberals. Francophone and Acadian communities across the country have been calling for a commissioner who is not from either Quebec or Ontario. The federal government is not confirming whether Theberge has been chosen for the position.

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ZIMBABWE’S INCOMING LEADER PROMISES A NEW DEMOCRACY: Zimbabwe’s incoming leader Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised a “new, unfolding democracy,” but many wonder if the longtime Robert Mugabe ally can bring the change the country craves. Already the main opposition group says it has not been invited to his inauguration on Friday, even after it backed the ruling party’s efforts to remove Mugabe from power.

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BEAVERTAIL TRADEMARK FLAP SETTLED: Calgary food writer Julie Van Rosendaal stirred up a fuss last year when she posted a recipe to her blog around Canada Day for a homemade version of BeaverTails. She received a complaint from lawyers for the BeaverTails pastry company and responded by changing the name of her recipe to Beaver Doughnuts. But the BeaverTails lawyers weren’t satisfied, saying that having the word beaver in her recipe’s title was still confusing to consumers. Van Rosendaal changed the name of her recipe to Canadian Semiaquatic Rodent Posterior Doughnuts. BeaverTails has apologized following a social media furor.

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