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Top stories of 2018 - July-Dec.

JULY 2018

1 – Manuel Lopez Obrador won Mexico’s presidential election, defeating incumbent Enrique Pena Nieto. He took office on Dec 1.

1- NHL all-star free agent centre John Tavares signed a seven-year, US$77 million contract with his childhood team, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

1 – NBA free agent superstar LeBron James agreed to four-year, US$154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, departing Cleveland after leading the team to four straight NBA Finals and a championship in 2016.

2 – Twelve young boys and their soccer coach were found alive by rescue divers nine days they were trapped by flooding while exploring a cave in northern Thailand. The grueling search had begun on June 23 and was complicated by continuing heavy rains. Drivers brought the boys and their coach food and first aid while officials tried to figure out how to get them to safety when none of the boys could swim. A Navy Seal died on July 6 while delivering oxygen to the cave. Guided by experienced divers, all the boys and the coach were brought out safely from July 8-10.

6 – The driver of the tractor-trailer that collided with the Humboldt Broncos team bus in April was arrested at his home in Calgary. The RCMP said Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, 29, was facing 16 counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and 13 counts of dangerous operation of motor vehicle causing bodily injury.

11 – The Bank of Canada raised its trend-setting interest rate a quarter point to 1.50 per cent, the fourth raise since mid-2017, and the highest level since 2009.

11 – The CRTC fined two companies for the first time under Canada’s anti-spam law for allegedly aiding in the installation of malicious computer programs through online ads. Datablocks was fined $100,000 and Sunlight Media $150,000.

12 – Syrian rebels agreed to surrender the southern city of Daraa, the cradle of the 2011 revolt against President Bashar Assad in Arab Spring-inspired protests.

13 – A suicide bombing at an election rally in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province killed 132 people, including a candidate, ahead of the arrest of disgraced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif upon his return to Pakistan to face a 10-year prison sentence on corruption charges.

13 – The U.S. Justice Department announced charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offences during the 2016 presidential election, as part of the ongoing special counsel probe into potential co-ordination between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia.

14 – Angelique Kerber claimed her first Wimbledon women’s singles title with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over seven-time champion Serena Williams.

15 – Scott Dixon captured his third Honda Indy Toronto. Canadians Robert Wickens and James Hinchcliffe finished third and fourth, respectively.

15 – France won its second World Cup title, beating Croatia 4-2.

15 – Novak Djokovic won his fourth Wimbledon men’s singles title beating Kevin Anderson in straight sets. It was his first Grand Slam win in more than two years and 13th overall.

18 – The European Commission fined U.S. tech giant Google a record US$5 billion for forcing cellphone makers that use the company’s Android operating system to install Google’s search and browser apps, thus restricting competition and reducing choices for consumers.

18 – The Toronto Raptors dealt all-star guard DeMar DeRozan, the franchise’s leader in points, to the San Antonio Spurs for superstar forward Kawhi Leonard.

19 – A tourist duck boat sank during a sudden storm on a Branson, Miss., lake, killing 17 people, including nine members an Indiana family.

19 – Toronto rapper Drake became the first artist to hit 10 billion streams on Apple Music.

22 – A child and a young woman were fatally shot and 13 others were wounded when a man walked through Toronto’s Greektown neighbourhood spraying bullets at bystanders. The 29-year-old suspect exchanged gunfire with police before he was found dead nearby. His family later said he had struggled with psychosis and depression his entire life. The victims were identified as 10-year-old Julianna Kozis and 18-year-old Reese Fallon.

22 – Francesco Molinari won the British Open by two strokes with an 8-under 276, securing his place in history as Italy’s first major champion.

23 – Toronto police charged Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard with one count of sexual interference and two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm. The charges stemmed from three separate incidents in 2016 that involved two alleged victims. Hedley went on indefinite hiatus earlier in the year after Hoggard was accused of sexual misconduct in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

24 – Queen’s Plate winner Wonder Gadot led wire-to-wire to win a muddy Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie Racetrack, capturing the second jewel of Canada’s Triple Crown.

29 – Vladimir Guerrero, Chipper Jones, Trevor Hoffman, Jack Morris, Jim Thome and Alan Trammell were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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AUGUST 2018

1 – WestJet Airlines lost another fight against unionization when the Canada Industrial Relations Board issued an interim order naming the Canadian Union of Public Employees as the official bargaining agent for its 3,000 flight attendants. WestJet pilots were already members of the Airline Pilots Association.

1 – Representatives announced legal action against the Soulpepper Theatre Company and its co-founder, Albert Schultz, over sexual-harassment allegations had been “resolved.” Schultz had resigned from the Toronto theatre company in January, hours after four actresses filed lawsuits alleging he groped them, exposed himself, pressed against them or otherwise behaved inappropriately.

1 – Bowing to concerns about international competitiveness, the Trudeau government scaled back carbon pricing requirements for some of the country’s heaviest energy users before the plan was to take effect in 2019. New requirements issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada increased the emissions threshold at which polluters would have to pay a carbon price.

1 – Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister made major changes to his cabinet roughly midway through his mandate. They included moving Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen to Education, Finance Minister Cameron Friesen to Health and Families Minister Scott Fielding to Finance.

1 – The military opened fire on protesters in the capital of Zimbabwe who claimed the country’s presidential election was rigged. Six people were killed in Harare when the army rolled in tanks to disperse rock-throwing demonstrators who also denounced President Emmerson Mnangagwa. He was declared the winner of the tight election two days later.

1 – An Aeromexico jet crashed just after taking off in Durango, Mexico after being hit by a strong burst of wind and hail. Terrified passengers scrambled to flee the plane when it burst into flames but all 103 people on board survived.

2 – A 60-year-old German tourist was shot in the head while driving with his family on a highway near Morley in southwestern Alberta.

2 – Two paramedics accused of failing to properly care for a 19-year-old Good Samaritan in Hamilton, Ont., were charged with failure to provide the necessities of life to Yosif Al-Hasnawi. He died after being shot on Dec. 2, 2017 when he tried to help an older man who was being accosted outside his mosque.

2 – Ontario announced it was launching a constitutional court challenge of the federal government’s planned carbon tax. The province’s Progressive Conservative government had already backed Saskatchewan, which filed a challenge to the tax in April.

2. Apple became the world’s first company to be valued at US$1 trillion, the financial fruit of technology that had redefined society since the company was founded 42 years earlier. By the end of November, its value had fallen back to US$845 billion.

3 – A 77-year-old man was killed when a powerful tornado touched down west of Lake Manitoba, lifting several homes off their foundations and sweeping one vehicle into the lake. The RCMP said the man was found dead outside what remained of his wrecked home in Alonsa.

3 – The federal government delivered $11 million to help the City of Toronto defray some of the costs associated with an influx of asylum seekers.

4 – Robert Brazile, Bobby Beathard, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens and Brian Urlacher were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Lewis used his induction speech to call for more enlightened leadership in America.

5 – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro dodged an apparent assassination attempt when drones armed with explosives detonated while he was delivering a speech to hundreds of soldiers.

5 – A magnitude 7.0 quake that struck the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok killed more than 460 people, damaged tens of thousands of homes and displaced several hundred thousand people.

5 – Saudi Arabia expelled Canada’s ambassador and froze new trade deals with Canada in a growing dispute over the Liberal government’s criticism of human-rights violations in the Islamic kingdom.

6 – Actress Charlotte Rae, best known for playing the wise and patient housemother to a brood of teenage girls on the long-running TV sitcom “The Facts of Life,” died at age 92.

7 – Longtime Quebec Liberal John Ciaccia, whose quarter century in provincial politics was marked by a stint as native affairs minister during the explosive Oka Crisis in 1990, died at age 85.

7 – Tesla’s stock jumped more than five per cent after CEO Elon Musk sent out a tweet saying he was considering taking the electric car maker private at $420 a share and had already secured funding.

8 – Two co-workers stranded in their office elevator while floodwaters from an intense rainstorm rose steadily to their necks said they used their fists and heads to force open a ceiling panel to call for help as Toronto police raced against the clock to save them.

8 – The mayor of Victoria said a statue of Prime Minister John A. Macdonald would be removed from the front entrance to city hall as a gesture of reconciliation with First Nations. Lisa Phelps said Macdonald was a great man but was also the architect of the Indian Residential School system.

8 – Holocaust survivor Philip Riteman, who spent 30 years speaking to young people about his experience in concentration camps and ardently urging love over hate, died in Halifax at the age of 96.

8 – Heavy rains began in the Indian state of Kerala that led to deadly flooding called the worst in the country’s history. More than 300 people died and more than 800,000 were displaced by the floods and landslides.

9 – The family of an Indigenous man shot to death on a Saskatchewan farm in August 2016 filed lawsuits against the RCMP and the farmer who was acquitted in the killing. Colten Boushie died after being shot in the head on a farm near the community of Biggar.

9 – The federal government announced it had reached voluntary, five-year deals with Visa, Mastercard and American Express to trim the fees they charge Canadian businesses by 10 basis points. It said the move was expected to save small and medium-sized companies a total of $250 million per year.

10 – Four people were killed, including two police officers, when a gunman opened fire in a quiet residential corner of Fredericton, N.B. Police said they shot a suspect who was taken to hospital for treatment of serious wounds. Matthew Vincent Raymond, 48, was later charged with four counts of first-degree murder.

10 – A Canadian gold mining company won the right to go after Venezuela’s prized U.S.-based oil refineries and collect $1.4 billion it lost in a decade-old takeover by the late socialist President Hugo Chavez.

12 – NASA launched a spacecraft that was to fly closer to the sun than anything ever sent before. The Parker Solar Probe rocketed away from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on an unprecedented quest that was to take it straight through the wispy edges of the corona of the sun.

12 – Brooks Koepka shot a major championship record-tying 264 over 72 holes to win the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in suburban St. Louis. It was Koepka’s second major victory of the year, after winning the U.S. Open in June.

12 – Simona Halep defeated third-seeded Sloane Stephens in a see-saw battle that featured 15 service breaks to win the Rogers Cup women’s singles final in Montreal. It was the second Rogers Cup title for the world’s top-ranked women’s player.

12 – Rafael Nadal beat Stefanos Tsitsipas to win the Rogers Cup men’s singles tennis tournament in Toronto. It was the fourth Rogers Cup title for Nadal.

13 – The 2018 class was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. They included NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, star goaltender Martin Brodeur, winger Martin St. Louis, league trailblazer Willie O’Ree, Canadian women’s star Jayna Hefford and Russian great Alexander Yakushev.

13 – Former football player and professional wrestler Jim (The Anvil) Neidhart, who won two world tag-team titles over his World Wrestling Entertainment career, died in Florida at age 63.

14 – East Coast painter Mary Pratt, whose vivid depictions of everyday objects won her international acclaim, died peacefully at her home in St. John’s. She was 83.

14 – Smoke from hundreds of wildfires in British Columbia drifted into Alberta and prompted new air quality advisories in both provinces. Advisories would eventually be posted for areas stretching all the way to Manitoba.

14 – A Christian university in British Columbia dropped a requirement that students sign a covenant forbidding sex outside of heterosexual marriage. The change followed a Supreme Court of Canada ruling that upheld the right of provincial law societies to deny accreditation to graduates of Trinity Western’s proposed law school. The societies said the covenant amounted to discrimination of LGBTQ students.

14 – Vancouver punk pioneer Randy Rampage a.k.a. Randall Desmond Archibald died in his home at the age of 58 of an apparent heart attack.

14 – A highway bridge in the Italian port city of Genoa collapsed during a heavy rainstorm, sending dozens of cars and trucks plunging 45 meters into a dry riverbed. The death toll, including those who later died in hospital, was at least 43 people.

15 – For the second straight year, the B.C. government declared a provincial state of emergency due to hundreds of wildfires burning across the province. More than 3,000 people were under evacuation orders with nearly another 19,000 on evacuation alert. By the end of August, more than 2,000 fires had been reported – scorching a record of nearly 13,000 square kilometres.

16 – Natan Obed, 42, was re-elected leader of Canada’s 60,000 Inuit. Obed said he planned to make housing a priority during his second term as president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

16 – The RCMP arrested protesters as officers enforced a court injunction to dismantle a protest camp and snuff out a sacred fire at a site where the Trans Mountain pipeline ends in Burnaby, B.C. The city had obtained the order from a B.C. Supreme Court judge who said camp occupants could continue protests at the site without staying there overnight.

16 – Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul,” died at age 76 from pancreatic cancer. Franklin had dozens of hit over a span of half a century, including “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Chain of Fools,” ?I Say a Little Prayer” and her signature song, “Respect.” She also stood as a cultural icon around the globe.

16 – Turkey’s finance chief tried to reassure thousands of international investors during a conference call, pledging to fix the economic troubles that had seen the country spiral into a currency crisis.

16 – U.S. health officials approved a new generic version of the EpiPen, the emergency allergy medication that triggered a public backlash due to its rising price tag.

17 – The Transportation Safety Board said three people had been killed in a light plane crash at a remote Northwest Territories lake. The Cessna 206 that crashed at Little Doctor Lake was operated by Simpson Air.

17 – The Quebec government said it would dole out cheques ranging from $1,000 to $46,700 per permit to compensate taxi drivers who’d seen the value of their permits plummet since the arrival of ride-hailing service Uber in the province.

18 – The career of one of Quebec’s most famous professional wrestling families came to an end when Jacques Rougeau, 58, wrestled with his three sons for the first and last time at Stade IGA in Montreal. The Rougeau family was involved in wrestling dating back to the 1940s but Rougeau said his sons didn’t want to carry on with the family business.

18 – Former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan died at the age of 80 after a short illness. The Ghanian diplomat was remembered by Canadian politicians as a friend of Canada and tireless advocate for peace around the world. Annan and the UN were co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.

18 – Former cricket star and longtime politician Imran Khan was sworn in as Pakistan’s prime minister despite protests by opposition parties, which accused the security services of intervening on his behalf in July’s elections.

19 – Guelph, Ont., IndyCar driver Robert Wickens suffered a violent wreck in the first lap at Pocono Raceway and was flown off the track by helicopter for medical treatment. He suffered injuries to his lower extremities, right arm and spine.

20 – The Trudeau government scrapped an unpopular lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents and grandparents. It said it was instead increasing the number of sponsorship applications it would accept the following year.

20 – Afghan forces rescued nearly 150 people, including women and children, hours after the Taliban ambushed a convoy of buses and abducted them. The quick response marked a rare if limited battlefield success for Afghan troops after weeks of insurgent attacks, but the militants escaped with 21 captives.

20 – The Eagles’ greatest hits album surpassed Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as the bestselling album of all-time.

21 – The Manitoba government asked the RCMP to investigate allegations that workers on northern hydro developments decades earlier had sexually abused Indigenous women. The allegations were contained in a report from the province’s arm’s-length Clean Environment Commission.

21 – The British Columbia Court of Appeal ordered a new trial for the former leader of a religious sect who was acquitted of taking a 15-year-old girl across the U.S. border for a sexual purpose. The Crown had appealed the verdict in the case of James Oler, the former leader of a Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints community in Bountiful, B.C., which practices polygamy.

21 – An Air Canada-led consortium reached a $450-million deal to acquire the Aeroplan loyalty program from Aimia Inc. The group, which included TD Bank, CIBC and Visa Canada, also agreed to assume the approximately $1.9-billion liability associated with Aeroplan miles customers had accumulated.

21 – Reigning women’s world champion Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., said she would not compete during the 2018-19 figure skating season.

21 – The Trump administration moved to dismantle a big piece of U.S. President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy, proposing to scale back restrictions on climate-changing emissions from coal-fired power plants even as it acknowledged it could cause more premature death and illness.

21 – U.S. President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to eight criminal charges including tax evasion and unlawful campaign contributions related to payments made to women who claim to have had affairs with Trump. The court appearance came on the same day that Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, was found guilty on eight of 18 counts of tax and bank fraud.

22 – Ohio State suspended superstar football coach Urban Meyer for three games for mishandling repeated professional and behavioural problems of an assistant coach. Investigators found Meyer protected his protege for years through domestic violence allegations, a drug problem and poor job performance before the coach was fired the previous month.

23 – Renegade Conservative MP Maxime Bernier quit the Tory caucus and announced plans for a new political movement. The 55-year-old veteran MP derided party leader Andrew Scheer and his former colleagues as “intellectually and morally corrupt.”

23 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to close gaps between First Nations and municipalities on fighting wildfires after meeting with local leaders facing treacherous flames in British Columbia. Trudeau acknowledged the divide in resources for municipalities, which work with the province on forest fires, and First Nations reserves, which fall under federal responsibility.

23 – The federal government reached a financial settlement with two of four Indigenous men from northern Manitoba who were switched at birth and only found out about the mixup 40 years later. Neither Ottawa nor the lawyer for Luke Monias and Norman Barkman would reveal how much money the men would receive.

23 – The Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal from the Toronto Real Estate Board, ending a years-long battle. The decision meant member real estate agents would be able to publish home sales data on their websites.

23 – One of the top players in women’s hockey history, Hayley Wickenheiser, was named the new assistant director of player development for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

23 – John Lennon’s killer, Mark David Chapman was denied parole for a 10th time.

24 – Robin Leach, whose voice crystalized the opulent 1980s on the TV show “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” died at 76.

25 – Arizona Senator John McCain died of brain cancer one day after announcing he would not be seeking further treatment. He was 81. In more than three decades in Congress, McCain became known as a political maverick willing to stick to his convictions rather than go along with party leaders. The bitter rival of U.S. President Donald Trump famously cast the deciding no vote that stopped the Republican push to repeal Obamacare.

26 – Pope Francis issued a sweeping apology for the “crimes” of the Catholic Church in Ireland, saying church officials regularly didn’t respond with compassion to the many abuses children and women suffered over the years.

26 – Playwright Neil Simon, a master of comedy whose laugh-filled hits such as “The Odd Couple,” ”Barefoot in the Park” and his “Brighton Beach” trilogy dominated Broadway for decades, died at 91.

26 – Canada’s Brooke Henderson shot a final-round 7-under-par 65 for a 21-under total at the Wascana Country Club to win the CP Women’s Open. It was the first time a Canadian had won the national Open since 1973. It was the seventh career LPGA Tour win for the 20-year-old from Smiths Falls, Ont., and second victory of 2018.

27 – Canadian actor-comedian Shaun Majumder announced on social media that after 15 years with the CBC-TV comedy series “This Hour Has 22 Minutes,” he would not be returning for the new season in the fall. The Burlington, N.L., native said the decision wasn’t his and was due to creative differences.

27 – A U.S. judge in Seattle blocked the Trump administration from allowing a Texas company to post online plans for making untraceable 3D guns, agreeing with 19 states and the District of Columbia that such access to the plastic guns would pose a security risk.

28 – A 16-year-old youth was charged in a southern Alberta highway shooting that left a German tourist with a serious brain injury. RCMP said the teen from the Stoney Nakoda First Nation was facing 14 charges, including attempted murder and possession of a prohibited firearm.

28 – An independent study ordered by Puerto Rico found Hurricane Maria killed nearly 3,000 people in the U.S. territory in the desperate, sweltering months after the storm – with the elderly and impoverished most affected.

30 – The Federal Court of Appeal overturned Ottawa’s approval of the contentious Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. In a unanimous decision, the court said the National Energy Board’s review of the project was flawed and the federal government had failed to adequately consult with Indigenous stakeholders. The Liberal government announced on Oct. 3 that it would not appeal the ruling but would instead work to fix problems with the approval process.

31 – A deal was reached for a consortium to buy the Hudson Bay Railway and repair the only land link to the northern Manitoba community of Churchill. The community had been forced to fly in food and fuel since the rail line was damaged by flooding in May 2017 and Denver-based owner Omnitrax said it could not afford repairs. The Arctic Gateway Group consortium included several northern communities, Fairfax Financial Holdings and AGT Food and Ingredients. The federal government had earlier committed $74 million to help repair the rail line and $43 million over 10 years to subsidize railway operations.

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September 2018

2 – The 200-year-old National Museum of Brazil was gutted by a fire that broke out after it closed for the day. It had housed 20 million items, thousands of them irreplaceable, but most of the skull of a 12,000 year old fossil nicknamed Luzia was later found in the debris. The oldest human fossil ever found in Latin America was among the museum’s most prized possessions.

3 – Nike revealed a new advertising campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who sparked a movement by kneeling during the national anthem to protest injustice in America. Despite a backlash that included some people burning their runners, a digital commerce research company found Nike sales surged 31 per cent over the Labour Day weekend.

3 – A Myanmar court sparked international outrage when it sentenced two Reuters journalists to seven years in prison on charges of illegal possession of official documents. The journalists had been reporting on the brutal crackdown on Rohingya Muslims when they were charged with violating the colonial-era Official Secrets Act. They said they were framed by police and appealed their conviction.

4 – Quebec provincial police arrested a 49-year-old suspect in the kidnapping of the president of the Cora Group breakfast chain. Nicholas Tsouflidis was allegedly abducted at gunpoint from his Mirabel home in March 2017 before being found in a ditch several hours later. Paul Zaidan, a former Cora franchisee, was charged with kidnapping, extortion and other offences.

4 – The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario launched a legal challenge against the provincial government’s decision to repeal a modernized sexual-education curriculum and return to a curriculum introduced in 1998.

4 – U.S. President Donald Trump’s West Wing was roiled by the publication of an incendiary tell-all book by Bob Woodward that revealed new details about his advisers’ worries about the president and the workings of his inner circle. Trump called the book “total fiction.”

4 – Amazon became the second publicly traded company to be worth US$1 trillion, hot on the heels of Apple.

4 – The strongest typhoon to hit Japan in 25 years toppled huge cranes, flipped cars on their side, damaged historic shrines and caused at least 11 deaths as it swept across part of Japan’s main island of Hokkaido.

5 – Lise Payette, a former Parti Quebecois cabinet minister who was responsible for creating Quebec’s no-fault automobile insurance plan and who ended up playing a key role in the 1980 referendum campaign, died at the age of 87.

5 – Alvin “Ab” Brian McDonald, the first captain in Winnipeg Jets history, died at age 82.

5 – British officials announced they had charged two officers of Russian military intelligence in the nerve agent poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury. The Kremlin rejected accusations that Russian President Vladimir Putin was ultimately responsible for the poisoning and said Russia would not investigate the suspects.

6 – India’s Supreme Court struck down a colonial-era law that made gay sex punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a landmark victory for gay rights that one judge said would “pave the way for a better future.”

6 – Handsome film and TV star Burt Reynolds died at age 82. Reynolds enjoyed a prolific career with a mix of critically acclaimed roles including “Deliverance” and “Boogie Nights” and commercial hits such as “The Cannonball Run” and “Smokey and the Bandit.” He won an Emmy for the TV series “Evening Shade.”

6 – A powerful earthquake on Japan’s main northern island of Hokkaido triggered dozens of landslides that crushed houses under torrents of dirt, rocks and timber. After days of searches, Japanese authorities said 41 people had been killed and more than 650 were injured.

6 – A Dallas police officer shot and killed a 26-year-old man in his own apartment. Amber Guyger said she mistook his apartment for her own home and believed he was a burglar. Guyger was charged three days later with manslaughter and was fired on Sept. 24.

6 – A computer programmer who was working at the behest of the North Korean government was charged in connection with several massive cyberattacks, including the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014 and the WannaCry ransomware attack that affected hundreds of thousands of computers.

7 – A Saskatchewan judge ordered a group of protesters to remove their teepees from the lawn outside the provincial legislature in Regina. Protesters set up the teepees at the end of February to bring attention to racial injustice and the disproportionate number of First Nations children in care.

7 – Federal officials said not one highly endangered North Atlantic right whale had died as a result of a ship strike or fishing gear entanglement during the summer fishing season in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Fisheries Department said restrictions put in place to protect the species following a dozen deaths in Canada the previous year were a success.

7 – The B.C. government cancelled the state of emergency it declared Aug. 15 when hundreds of wildfires covered the province.

7 – The last man to emerge from a shattered mine in Springhill, N.S., decades earlier died at age 95. His obituary said Herb Pepperdine mined coal all his life and spent eight days trapped in the Springhill mine after an underground explosion on Oct. 23, 1958.

8 – A 2006 letter from a top Vatican official confirmed that the Holy See received information in 2000 about the sexual misconduct of a now-resigned U.S. cardinal, lending credibility to bombshell accusations of a coverup at the highest echelons of the Roman Catholic Church.

8 – Twenty-year-old Naomi Osaka of Japan grabbed her first Grand Slam title by defeating Serena Williams in a controversial U.S. Open final. Williams was handed a code violation, a point penalty and then a game penalty for verbal abuse after she called umpire Carlos Ramos a thief. Williams later accused Ramos of sexism, saying he would never have taken a game from a male player for such remarks.

10 – Peter Donat, the Canadian actor who played Agent Fox Mulder’s father in “The X-Files” and had roles in TV shows, films and on stage, died at his home in California. He was 90.

11 – Nova Scotia introduced legislation banning the use of conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth under 16. Conversion therapy attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation.

11 – A member of the Manitoba legislature and former federal cabinet minister took over the leadership of the Manitoba Party. Steven Fletcher had been kicked out of the provincial Progressive Conservative caucus for publicly breaking with the party on a number of policies, including voting against a bill to create a Crown corporation on Energy efficiency.

12 – In what doctors called a Canadian first, surgeons from Montreal’s Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital successfully completed a face transplant in a 30-hour operation on a 64-year-old man. Maurice Desjardins had been living in constant pain and isolation since a 2011 accident despite five reconstructive surgeries.

12 – Prince Edward Island announced it was scrapping a controversial business immigration program that prompted federal investigations alleging hundreds of applicants never actually settled on the Island.

12 – Jeff Fager resigned as the executive producer of “60 Minutes” after he was named in reports about tolerating an abusive workplace.

12 – “The Tonight Show” cancelled an appearance by Canadian Norm Macdonald after criticism of his comments about the #MeToo movement and fellow comedians Louis C.K. and Roseanne Barr.

13 – Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced the creation of Canada’s first protected marine area under the Canada Wildlife Act. Shell Canada cleared the way for the Scott Islands marine National Wildlife Area by giving up its ocean exploration rights off northern Vancouver Island.

13 – U.S. President Donald Trump rejected the official conclusion that nearly 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico in 2017 from Hurricane Maria, falsely claiming it was a plot by Democrats to make him look bad. Fellow Republicans broadly dissociated themselves from Trump’s claims and acknowledged the veracity of the independent study.

13 – Pope Francis accepted the resignation of West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield and authorized an investigation into allegations he sexually harassed adults. The move was announced just ahead of an audience with U.S. church leaders over an abuse and coverup scandal roiling the Catholic Church.

14 – A slow-moving Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina with sustained winds of 145 kph winds, causing catastrophic flooding in some areas and leaving 800,000 people without power. Florence had been downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it moved into South Carolina later in the day but continued to dump torrential rain on both states. Authorities said at least 46 people were killed, most of them in North Carolina where some areas got up to a metre of rain. The economic research firm Moody’s Analytics estimated the hurricane caused around US$44 billion in damage and lost output.

15 – Typhoon Mangkhut battered the northeastern Philippines with powerful winds and gusts equivalent to a category 5 Atlantic hurricane. At least 88 people were killed, many of them in gold mining areas that were hit by landslides.

14 – Quebec MP Maxime Bernier announced his new political party would be called the People’s Party of Canada. Bernier said the name fit a party that would represent people who are tired of Canadian politics being hijacked by special interest groups, cartels and lobbyists.

14 – Manitoba RCMP announced they had called in the Ontario Provincial Police to probe alleged assaults linked to hydro projects in the province’s north during the 1960s. The investigation came after an arm’s-length review agency released a report saying the presence of a largely male construction workforce led to the sexual abuse of Indigenous women, some of whom said their complaints were ignored by the RCMP.

14 – The Ontario government said it had filed a statement in court outlining its arguments that Ottawa’s carbon pricing plan is unconstitutional.

14 – Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded guilty to two federal crimes after cutting a deal with prosecutors and agreeing to co-operate with the special counsel’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and contacts with the Trump campaign.

14 – U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh “categorically” denied a sexual misconduct allegation dating back to his high school days. The New Yorker reported the alleged incident took place at a party when Kavanaugh was attending Georgetown Preparatory School.

15 – A Russian-Canadian member of the protest group Pussy Riot was flown to Berlin for treatment after falling severely ill in Moscow. The hospital said it was “highly plausible” that Pyotr Verzilov had been poisoned with a toxin attacking his nervous system. Verzilov was in hospital for nearly two weeks.

16 – Canelo Alvarez won the middleweight title in a majority decision over Gennady Golovkin to hand the longtime champion his first loss as a pro.

17 – A Toronto-area MP suddenly defected from the Liberals as the House of Commons resumed following the summer break. Leona Alleslev said she switched to the Opposition Conservatives because Canada needs strong leadership on the economy and global issues.

17 – A public inquiry began into the much-delayed and over budget Muskrat Falls hydro megaproject in Labrador. An expert testified that hydroelectric dams like Muskrat Falls are particularly vulnerable to cost and schedule overruns.

17 – Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel became the first streaming series to win an Emmy for best comedy and HBO’s Game of Thrones recaptured best drama series honours at the 70th Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Game of Thrones won a total of nine Emmys, just ahead of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and NBC’s enduring sketch series Saturday Night Live, which won eight apiece.

18 – Nova Scotia introduced legislation to make the funeral home industry more accountable after a woman’s remains were mistakenly cremated when a home in the Annapolis Valley mixed up the bodies of two women who died a day apart.

18 – A judge ruled a Quebec trucker’s prolonged inattentiveness triggered a horrific crash on an Ontario highway that left four people dead and several others injured. Mohinder Saini was convicted of four counts of dangerous driving causing death after his transport truck plowed into 20 vehicles that were slowed and stopped in a construction zone on Oct. 2, 2015.

18 – The U.S.-China trade war escalated with China announcing retaliatory tax increases on $60 billion worth of U.S. imports, including coffee, honey and industrial chemicals.

18 – A Russian reconnaissance aircraft was shot down by Syrian forces responding to an Israeli airstrike, killing all 15 people aboard. The incident threatened previously close security ties between Russia and Israel, further destabilizing the region.

18 – Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa announced he planned to blast off on the first-ever private commercial trip around the moon and would invite six to eight artists, architects, designers and other creative people to join him. The SpaceX Big Falcon Rocket was scheduled to make the trip in 2023.

19 – Ontario’s top court suspended what it said was a “dubious” lower court ruling that provincial legislation to slash the size of Toronto city council in the middle of an election campaign was unconstitutional. The ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal did away with the Progressive Conservative government’s need to invoke the notwithstanding clause and rush through reintroduced legislation on the matter.

19 – Saskatchewan MP Erin Weir called for an external review of the harassment investigation that led to his ouster from the NDP caucus. Weir said he was not afforded due process.

19 – The leaders of North and South Korea announced a wide range of agreements that they said were a major step toward peace on the Korean Peninsula. But Kim Jong Un said he would only permanently dismantle his main nuclear complex if the United States took corresponding measures.

20 – The House of Commons unanimously adopted a motion to recognize the crimes committed against Rohingya by the Myanmar military as a genocide.

20 – The World Anti-Doping Agency reinstated Russia, ending a nearly three-year suspension of the country’s drug-testing program because of a state-sponsored doping scheme. WADA said the reinstatement was subject to strict conditions but the head of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport said the agency was effectively thumbing its nose at clean athletes.

20 – The Canadian Armed Forces said it was re-opening nearly two-dozen cases of alleged sexual assault after reviewing dozens of files previously dismissed by military police as “unfounded.” The move came nearly 18 months after authorities revealed that nearly one in every three sexual assault complaints logged with military police between 2010 and 2016 was deemed unfounded.

21 – Tornadoes caused a wide swath of damage as well as lengthy power outages in eastern Ontario and western Quebec. Cars were overturned on Highway 50 in Gatineau and homes suffered extensive damage in Ottawa’s western area of Dunrobin. Environment Canada later confirmed six twisters touched down, three in each province. Several people were injured when they were hit by flying debris.

21 – The Federal cabinet gave the National Energy Board 22 weeks to redo its environmental review of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, this time taking into account the impact of additional oil tanker traffic off the coast of British Columbia. The lack of such an assessment was one of the reasons cited by the Federal Court of Appeal when it overturned approval of the expansion project in August.

24 – Celine Dion announced on social media that she would leave her Caesars Palace residency in June 2019.

24 – A Toronto man who stood to inherit a multi-million-dollar aviation company was found guilty of first-degree murder in his father’s death. It was Dellen Millard’s third such conviction after he was earlier found guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend and a Hamilton man trying to sell his truck.

25 – The Trudeau government ordered officials to take a second look at any case where funding or services for veterans’ family members are not related to the veterans’ service. The move followed widespread anger after Veterans Affairs decided to pay for the PTSD treatment of a Halifax man convicted of killing an off-duty police officer because his father was a veteran who had also been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

24 – New Brunswick ended up in uncertain political waters following a provincial election that reduced the governing Liberals to 21 seats – one less than the Progressive Conservatives – while the Green Party and the People’s Alliance won three ridings each.

25 – The prosecution withdrew an assault charge in Toronto against former star Blue Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna in exchange for a one-year agreement that he stay away from the mother of his child and continue counselling. The Crown said the complainant, Alejandra Roman Cota, had made it clear she would not return to Toronto to testify against Osuna.

25 – Pope Francis acknowledged that the sex abuse scandals rocking the Catholic Church had outraged the faithful and said the church must change its ways if it wanted to keep future generations. The statement followed the release of a report that concluded at least 3,677 people were abused by clergy between 1946 and 2014.

25 – The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said an Air Canada pilot had been awake for over 19 hours when his plane had a near miss at San Francisco International Airport late on the night of July 7, 2017. The plane mistakenly lined up to land on a taxiway that had four other planes on it at the time and cleared the first jet by only 30 metres when it initiated a go-around and started climbing.

26 – The Canadian Armed Forces officially eased its restrictions on beards while in uniform, effective immediately. The move was part of efforts to modernize the military for the 21st century – and in the process increase recruitment and improve morale.

26 – The federal government said Corrections Canada would review a decision to transfer a convicted child killer from an Ontario prison to a healing lodge. Terri-Lynne McClintic pleaded guilty in 2010 to killing eight-year-old Victoria Stafford of Woodstock, Ont. The girl’s father called the transfer “completely wrong.”

26 – The Toronto Blue Jays made the long-expected announcement that manager John Gibbons would not return for the 2019 season.

27 – MPs unanimously endorsed a motion to revoke the honorary Canadian citizenship of Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. The move came after a United Nations fact-finding mission found the Myanmar military was committing genocide against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities, and that Suu Kyi had failed in her duty to protect her own citizens.

27 – U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford traded vastly different versions of their high school days during testimony at his confirmation hearing. The California professor said she was “100 per cent” certain she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh in the summer of 1982. Kavanaugh said he was the victim of a calculated political hit that had destroyed his family and his good name.

28 – Senators voted to send Brett Kavanaugh’s U.S. Supreme Court nomination for a broader vote on Capitol Hill – but only after Arizona Republican Jeff Flake helped negotiate a week-long FBI investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual assault.

28 – Facebook announced it had recently discovered a security breach affecting nearly 50 million user accounts.

28 – Pope Francis defrocked a Chilean priest who was a central character in the global sex abuse scandal rocking his papacy.

28 – A massive earthquake and tsunami with waves as high as six metres struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, destroying more than 70,000 homes. The country’s national board for disaster management said on Oct. 8 that the death toll was at least 1,949 with another 2,500 people injured.

29 – The US Securities and Exchange Commission and Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced a negotiated settlement of a suit filed against him for alleged securities fraud. The suit claimed his tweet in August that he had secured funding to take the company private was false and misleading. The settlement allowed Musk to remain as Tesla CEO but required him to step down as chairman for three years.

30 – Canada and the United States reached an agreement on a new North American trade pact at the 11th hour before a deadline to get the text before the existing U.S. Congress. It came after weeks of bitter, high-pressure negotiations and after the U.S. had already reached a deal with Mexico. If ratified by all three countries, the replacement for NAFTA would usher in key changes for the agriculture and automotive sectors, including granting the U.S. access to 3.6 per cent of the Canadian dairy market. It would also help Canada avoid the threat of punishing American tariffs but U.S. duties already in place on Canadian steel and aluminum imports remained in place.

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OCTOBER 2018

1 – The Coalition Avenir Quebec ended a half century of two-party rule in Quebec by winning a majority in the provincial election. The coalition won 74 of the province’s 125 ridings, sweeping the Liberals out of office and reducing them to 32 ridings. The Parti Quebecois suffered an unprecedented defeat at the polls. The 52 women elected – representing 41.6 per cent of the province’s 125 seats – is the highest percentage in Canada.

1 – The Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to researchers James P. Allison of the United States and Tasuku Honjo of Japan for advances in discovering how the body’s immune system can fight off cancer.

2 – Parliament formally stripped Aung San Suu Kyi of her honorary Canadian citizenship for complicity in the atrocities committed against Myanmar’s Rohingya people. The Senate followed an earlier move by the House of Commons and voted unanimously to strip Myanmar’s civilian leader of the symbolic honour bestowed on her in 2007.

2 – A $40-billion liquefied natural gas project in northern B.C. received final approval from investors. The five partners in the project to build a 670-kilometre pipeline and LNG plant in Kitimat – Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsubishi, Malaysian-owned Petronas, PetroChina and Korean Gas – had delayed the final investment decision in 2016, citing a drop in natural gas prices.

2 – Canadian Donna Strickland became only the third woman to win the Nobel Prize for Physics when she shared the prize with a French colleague and an American scientist. The associate professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and Gerard Mourou were honoured for their work in the field of pulsed lasers. Arthur Ashkin developed “optical tweezers” that can grab tiny particles such as viruses without damaging them.

2 – Alberta announced it was ditching its privatized model for road testing and would administer road exams directly to new drivers to fix reported problems with poor service, high fees and lack of access in smaller centres.

3 – Canada signed a legally-binding international agreement to block commercial fishing in the High Arctic for at least 16 years. Other signatories included Norway, Russia, the United States, China, Iceland, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the European Union and Denmark in respect of Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The agreement covers an area about the size of Quebec and Ontario combined.

3 – Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister abandoned plans to start charging a $25-a-tonne carbon tax in December. Instead Pallister announced he would join other conservative leaders in opposing federal plans to impose a carbon tax on provinces that did not put their own price on emissions that cause climate change.

3 – The Alberta Review Board ordered that a man found not criminally responsible in the stabbing deaths of five young people in Calgary in 2016 be moved to Alberta Hospital in Edmonton where he could be granted supervised day passes. It also said Matthew de Grood could eventually be placed in a halfway house with 24-hour supervision.

3 – Three researchers who “harnessed the power of evolution” to produce proteins that have led to new drugs and biofuels were named winners of the Nobel Prize in chemistry. The award went to Frances H. Arnold, only the fifth woman to win the prize for chemistry, and jointly to American George Smith and British scientist Gregory Winter.

3 – Buck Showalter was fired as manager of the Baltimore Orioles. The team made three playoff appearances under his guidance but in 2018 staggered through the worst season since it moved to Baltimore in 1954.

3 – Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo denied allegations that he had raped an American woman in Las Vegas nine years earlier. Lawyers for Kathryn Mayorga had filed a civil suit on Sept. 27 alleging Ronaldo sexually assaulted her in his hotel room and hired a team of fixers to pressure her to keep quiet. Lawyers for the 33-year-old Portuguese player said police investigated Mayorga’s claim in 2009 and did not recommend the filing of criminal charges.

4 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced dairy farmers would be compensated for their expected losses under the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Under the deal, American farmers were to get access to up to 3.6 per cent of the Canadian dairy market.

4 – Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard announced he was leaving politics after his Liberal party was defeated by the Coalition Avenir Quebec in the Oct. 1 provincial election.

7 – Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared after a visit to his country’s consulate in Turkey. Turkish media showed video three days later of what they called a 15-member Saudi “assassination squad” landing in Istanbul on the day Khashoggi disappeared.

7 – Twenty people were killed in a supersized limousine crash in upstate New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo said the next day that the limousine had failed a state safety inspection and the driver wasn’t properly licensed. The limousine company operator was charged on Oct. 10 with criminally negligent homicide.

7 – Interpol announced its chief who had been missing for days had resigned. The announcement came soon after China confirmed Meng Hongwei, who was China’s vice minister of public security while also leading Interpol, had been detained as part of a sweeping purge against allegedly corrupt or disloyal officials under President Xi Jinping’s authoritarian administration.

8 – The Nobel Prize in economics was divided between Americans William Nordhaus for his work on the economics of a warming planet and Paul Romer, whose study of technological innovation raised hopes that people are creative enough to do something about climate change.

9 – An explosion and fire shut down an Enbridge natural gas pipeline about 15 kilometres northeast of Prince George, B.C. The pipeline supplied most of the natural gas distributed to homes around the province by FortisBC, which warned of a reduced supply for months to come.

9 – American U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley announced she was resigning after two years. She gave no reason and denied speculation that she would return to government or politics.

10 – Charges were announced against the owner of the Alberta trucking company involved in the fatal Humboldt Broncos bus crash. Alberta Transportation Minister Brian Mason said Sukhmander Singh of Adesh Deol Trucking had been charged with non-compliance with various federal and provincial safety regulations.

10 – Ontario announced that effective Oct. 18, turban-wearing Sikhs would be allowed to ride motorcycles without helmets, joining three other provinces in providing the exemption. The Progressive Conservative government said the exemption recognized Sikh motorcycle riders’ civil rights and religious expression.

10 – Supercharged by abnormally warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle with potentially catastrophic winds of 155 mph, one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the U.S. mainland. The hurricane was blamed for 43 deaths in the state.

11 – The federal government announced it was imposing a 25 per cent surtax on some foreign steel products due to “excessive imports” it said were harming the domestic steel industry. The surtax applied to seven products that range from rebar to wire rods.

11 – Ontario Provincial Police announced charges against the mother of a toddler who was swept into a raging river during flash flooding. Michelle Hanson, 35, of Amaranth, was charged with impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death. Three-year-old Kaden Young was caught in fast-moving waters after his mother’s minivan ended up in the Grand River near Orangeville on Feb. 21.

11 – The Supreme Court of Canada ruled federal ministers drafting legislation do not have a duty to consult Indigenous groups. In a decision involving an Alberta First Nation, a majority of the high court said law-making does not amount to Crown conduct that triggers the deeply entrenched duty to confer with Indigenous Peoples.

11 – The Washington Supreme Court ruled the death penalty violates the state’s Constitution.

12 – Former governor general Michaelle Jean lost her bid for a second term as secretary general of la Francophonie. The organization of French-speaking nations chose Rwanda’s foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo to replace her.

12 – Princess Eugenie married tequila executive Jack Brooksbank in a star-studded royal wedding at St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle in London.

14 – Pope Francis presided over the canonization of Pope Paul VI, who oversaw the modernizing church reforms of the 1960s, and Archbishop Oscar Romero, a human rights icon who was murdered for his defence of El Salvador’s poor.

15 – Plagued by falling sales and heavy debt, Sears Holdings in the U.S. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization and announced plans to close 142 stores by the end of the year.

15 – Just months after they were married, Prince Harry and Meghan, the duchess of Sussex, announced they were expecting their first child.

16 – Toronto’s Pride Parade lifted a ban on uniformed police officers participating in the annual event. Pride Toronto said it made the decision because the two sides had made progress on conversations related to “policing and institutional power.”

16 – The federal government introduced legislation to ban the practice of isolating prisoners who pose risks to security or themselves. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the bill would replace solitary confinement with “structured intervention units” where inmates removed from the general population would maintain their access to rehabilitative programming, interventions and mental-health care.

16 – The B.C. government introduced a speculation and vacancy tax aimed at moderating the overheated housing market and helping to improve housing affordability by creating more homes for renters.

17 – Canada ushered in a seismic cultural shift as it became one of the few countries in the world to legalize cannabis for adult recreational use. Provinces were left to set regulations for consumption and sales, with differing rules across the country. Only one provincially licensed retailer was open in B.C. and sales in Ontario were restricted to an online site while the province worked out rules for privatized sales. In less than 24 hours, some private retailers in other provinces were either sold out of supply or were tending to long lineups and expected to run out by the end of the day.

17 – Serial rapist and killer Paul Bernardo told the National Parole Board that low self-esteem drove him to commit his horrific crimes and that he no longer poses any threat to the public. Bernardo’s pitch for parole was turned down by the panel hearing the case after just 30 minutes of deliberation.

17 – An 18-year student opened fire with a shotgun at his vocational school in Crimea, killing 19 students and wounding more than 50 others before killing himself.

17 – Canelo Alvarez, the Mexican middleweight champion, signed an 11-fight deal for $365 million that his promotional company said was the richest athlete contract in sports history.

18 – Coalition Avenir Quebec leader Francois Legault promised to bring renewal and change to the province’s politics as he was sworn in as premier. Legault offered assurances that even though his party was handed a large majority in the Oct. 1 election, he would seek consensus for his reforms.

19 – The Saskatchewan government said its constitutional challenge of Ottawa’s carbon tax would not be heard until 2019. The provincial court of appeal had set Feb. 13 and 14 for the hearing.

20 – Saudi Arabia finally admitted that journalist Jamal Khashoggi had been slain at its consulate in Turkey. Authorities said the Saudi journalist died in a “fistfight” and that 18 Saudi suspects were in custody. It said intelligence officials had also been fired.

20 – Former NDP MP Kennedy Stewart won the Vancouver mayoral race by a margin of less than one per cent of total votes cast. He replaced Gregor Robertson, who decided not to seek re-election after 10 years in office.

20 – President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw the U.S. from a nuclear arms pact with the former Soviet Union. Trump said Russia was violating the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty and preventing the U.S. from developing new weapons. Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev said the withdrawal would undermine efforts to achieve nuclear disarmament. On Dec. 4, the Trump administration announced it would begin the formal process to scrap the treaty within 60 days unless Russia returned to compliance with its terms.

21 – Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the border, about 2,000 Central American migrants swam or rafted across a river separating that country from Guatemala, re-formed their mass caravan in Mexico and vowed to resume their journey toward the United States.

22 – The union representing 50,000 Canada Post employees began rotating strikes after failing to reach a new contract agreement with the Crown Corporation. Small businesses called for a speedy end to the walkouts – saying a prolonged job action could chew into their profits ahead of the busy holiday shopping season.

22 – A Manitoba government backbencher who made inappropriate comments to female staff was ousted from the Progressive Conservative caucus. Cliff Graydon was forced to sit as an Independent in the legislature.

22 – An alleged serial killer charged in the deaths of eight men with ties to Toronto’s gay village waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Bruce McArthur, a 67-year-old self-employed landscaper, was ordered to stand trial on eight counts of first-degree murder.

22 – Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province would continue to fund overdose-prevention sites but would shift their focus to also include a longer-term goal of helping drug users receive treatment and rehabilitation services.

22 – Two weeks before the U.S. midterm elections, President Donald Trump alleged without evidence that a massive caravan of migrants headed to the American border included “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners.” Trump threatened to seal off the U.S.-Mexico border or slash aid to three Central American nations if the caravan wasn’t stopped.

22 – Prime Minister Scott Morrison delivered a formal apology to Australia’s victims of child sex abuse, saying the nation must acknowledge their long, painful journey and its failure to protect them.

23 – The federal government announced it would return 90 per cent of all the money it collects from a carbon tax directly to residents of provinces hit with the levy. The federal rebates would apply in provinces and territories that do not have climate pricing plans that meet federal standards. That included Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick starting in April 2019, and Yukon and Nunavut as of July 2019. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe called it a vote-buying scheme.

23 – In a bid to survive after New Brunswick’s cliffhanger election, the minority Liberal government presented a throne speech outlining what it said was a framework for collaboration.

23 – The Liberal government faced new pressure to cancel a deal to sell armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia amid international outrage over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he didn’t want to leave Canadians “holding a billion-dollar bill” by cancelling the controversial contract. Just days later Trudeau raised the cancellation cost to “in the billions.”

23 – A bomb was found in a mailbox at the suburban New York estate of George Soros, the liberal billionaire philanthropist who had been the target of right-wing conspiracy theorists. It was the first of more than a dozen suspicious packages mailed to critics of U.S. President Donald Trump over the following week. Packages were also sent to CNN, former President Barack Obama, former presidential candidate Hilary Clinton and actor Robert de Niro. None of the packages exploded.

23 – China opened the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge – 55 kilometres – linking Hong Kong to the mainland.

24 – The Lubicon Lake Band reached a long-standing land claims settlement with the Alberta and federal governments for $113 million. The Cree band, which was left out of Treaty 8 when it was negotiated by the British in 1899, was also to receive 246 square kilometres of land in the area of Little Buffalo, northeast of Peace River.

24 – Three insiders from U.S. College basketball recruiting were convicted of fraud by a federal jury in Manhattan. The trial of former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager Christian Dawkins and amateur league director Merl Code centred on whether their admitted efforts to channel secret payments to the families of top recruits to lure them to major basketball programs sponsored by Adidas was criminal. Prosecutors accused the defendants of defrauding universities, who were unaware of the payments, by tricking them into passing out scholarships to players who should have been ineligible.

24 – U.S. regulators approved a plan for the first oil and gas production in federal Arctic waters.

25 – A bill to enact a new trade