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Iowa caucus crashed and street preacher gets noise ticket; In The News for Feb. 4

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne responds to a question during an update on the coronavirus situation on Monday, February 3, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

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 Feb. 4 …

What we are watching in Canada …

The Federal Court of Appeal is set to release its decision on the latest challenge of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion today.

Four First Nations from British Columbia filed court challenges after the federal government approved the project a second time last June.

A court hearing in December focused on the government’s consultation with the First Nations between August 2018 and June 2019.

The consultation took place after the Court of Appeal struck down the first project approval in August 2018 in part because of insufficient dialogue with Indigenous groups.

At the hearing last month, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Squamish Nation, Coldwater Indian Band and a coalition of small First Nations from the Fraser Valley argued that the government came into the consultations having predetermined the outcome.

The federal government responded that consultations were meaningful, saying that instead of just listening and recording the concerns it heard, it also incorporated them into broader programs to protect the environment.

The project is to triple the capacity of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline to carry diluted bitumen and refined products from Alberta’s oilsands to a shipping terminal in Burnaby, B.C.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government purchased the pipeline and related infrastructure for $4.5 billion in 2018 and construction of the expansion is underway.

Also this …

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health says the province’s new coronavirus investigations seem to be tapering off.

Dr. David Williams says while many cases have developed between seven and nine days after exposure, few were seen at day 11 or 12.

Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, says 126 people have been tested nationally, with only four positives. 

Meantime, the federal government is awaiting final approval from Chinese authorities to fly through restricted airspace and land at the closed airport in Wuhan to pick up Canadian citizens from the quarantined region of the country that is the epicentre of the virus.

The Liberal government insisted China let parents and other primary caregivers accompany their Canadian children, even if they are not citizens themselves.

China has seen 425 deaths and more than 20,400 confirmed cases on the mainland, and more than 180 cases have been reported around the world.

Belgium has reported its first case of the virus — one of nine Belgians who were repatriated from Wuhan over the weekend.


What we are watching in the U.S. …

Problems with a mobile app appeared to force a delay in reporting the results of the Iowa caucuses, leaving the campaigns, voters and the media in election limbo and pressing for an explanation.

The Iowa Democratic Party said it expects to release data later Tuesday after manually verifying its data against paper backups. Chairman Troy Price said the delays were the result of a reporting issue, not a hack or intrusion.

But other caucus organizers put the blame squarely on a new technology used to report results from some 1,700 caucus meetings across the state. Glitches with a new mobile app caused confusion, they said, and some caucus organizers were forced to call in results for the state party to record manually, introducing human error and delays.

Des Moines County Democratic Chair Tom Courtney said he heard that in precincts across his county, including his own, the mobile app was “a mess.”

Precinct leaders were instead phoning in their results to the Democratic Party headquarters, and “they weren’t answering the phones,” Courtney said.

The problems were an embarrassment for a state that has long sought to protect its prized status as the first contest in presidential primaries and the nation’s first vetter of candidates. The delay was certain to become fodder for critics who argued that the caucuses — party meetings that can be chaotic, crowded and messy — are antiquated and exclusionary.

The Iowa Democratic Party pressed forward with the new reporting system amid warnings about the possibility of hacking and glitches. Party officials said they took numerous security precautions and maintained that any errors would be easily correctable because of backups and a paper trail.

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

The British government plans to announce new rules for the imprisonment of convicted terrorists after an Islamic militant who was recently released from prison stabbed two people in south London, the second such attack in less than three months.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, who is in charge of the police, said the government would release its plans Monday. Following Sunday’s attack and a Nov. 29 attack in which two people were killed in central London, the government said it would effectively stop the early release of convicted extremists, double terror sentences and overhaul the conditions under which they are released back into the community.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the difficulty is how to apply retrospectively to the cohort of people who are currently in the system. He said the country does doesn’t want to return to a system where released offenders are subject to laborious surveillance.

“It is time to take action to ensure, irrespective of the law we are bringing in, people in the current stream don’t qualify automatically for early release,” he said.

A man police identified as 20-year-old Sudesh Amman strapped on a fake bomb and stabbed two people on a busy London street Sunday before being shot to death by police.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi said Amman had been convicted of publishing graphic terrorist videos online and had stockpiled instructions on bomb making and knife attacks. Police on Monday continued to search a hostel that Amman had moved into less than two weeks ago and raided another property outside of London.

ICYMI (In case you missed it) …

OTTAWA — Willie O’Ree is hopeful that one day sport will be free of racism and bigotry, but thinks it’s still a long way off.

The 84-year-old O’Ree became the first black player in NHL history when he suited up got the Boston Bruins for a game against Montreal on Jan. 18, 1958. He played two NHL games in the 1957-58 season and 45 more in 1960-61, scoring four goals and adding 10 assists. 

Being the only black player of his generation O’Ree, endured a great deal of racism and he says he is saddened it continues to happen today.

“It’s not only happening in hockey, it’s happening in football and baseball and other sports,” O’Ree says. “Now we’re concentrating on hockey because the sport has very few black players and players of colour playing in it. I’m disappointed in that there’s still players out there that have to look at a person and judge them by the colour of their skin.

“We’ve taken one step forward and two back. I believe we’re working in the right direction, but it’s going to take a long time. It’s not going to happen overnight.”

Racism was brought to the headlines last fall after Akim Aliu came forward about racial slurs he endured from head coach Bill Peters while both were with of the American Hockey League’s Rockford Ice Hogs.

O’Ree credits Aliu for finding the fortitude to come forward.

“I believe he did the right thing,” O’Ree says.

“The one thing I learned from (Martin Luther King Jr.) is don’t judge a person by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character and there’s a lot of truth to that.”

Weird and wild …

EDMONTON — A conservative legal advocacy organization says it will be representing a street preacher who was issued a ticket under a noise bylaw.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms says Dale Malayko, a retired firefighter, was given the $250 ticket last June when he and a colleague were preaching at an Edmonton street corner in an area popular with pedestrians on the city’s south side.

Malayko, who stands on a wooden box with mounted small speakers that are connected to a wireless mic, was fined after a nearby business owner made a noise complaint, the group says.

The justice centre says it is taking Malayko’s case pro bono and will argue that he is not guilty because he was “peacefully expressing himself in a manner and place that is protected by the Constitution.”

It also argues that unlike street performers, Malayko doesn’t ask for money from passersby and offers Bibles to those who want them.

The Edmonton Police Service says it won’t comment with the case is before the courts.

Know your news …

An Air Canada 767-300 carrying 128 passengers landed safely in Madrid Monday after engine trouble and a blown tire forced pilots to declare an emergency shortly after takeoff. In 1983, an Air Canada 767 ran out of fuel mid-flight and glided to a safe landing in what Manitoba town?

(Keep scrolling for the answer)

On this day in 1998 …

British Columbia became the first jurisdiction in North America to give gay and lesbian couples the same privileges as heterosexuals for child support, custody and access.

Your health …

MONTREAL — Two international studies say cervical cancer could be eliminated within the next 20 years in Canada and within a century globally, which would represent a huge victory for women’s health.

These goals are contingent on a 90 per cent vaccination rate against the human papilloma virus (HPV), good cervical cancer screening rates and access to adequate treatment.

The results of the research, produced in part by a team led by Marc Brisson of Universite Laval’s faculty of medicine and the CHU de Quebec-Universite Laval research centre, were published in the prestigious international medical journal The Lancet. 

The researchers used projections based on mathematical models, calculating the effect of targets advocated by the World Health Organization.

Specifically, the WHO calls for 90 per cent of young girls to be vaccinated against HPV by 2030, for 70 per cent of women to be screened once or twice for cervical cancer during their lifetimes and for 90 per cent of women with precancerous lesions or cervical cancer to have access to adequate treatment. 

In Canada, the immunization rate is currently about 80 per cent, with girls and boys getting vaccinated in fourth grade.

Since vaccination coverage is good in the country, and since women easily have access to screening, the researchers predict cervical cancer could be eliminated here more easily than elsewhere. In North America, the disease could be virtually eliminated by 2040, they say.

Entertainment news …

VANCOUVER — One of Canada’s best-known environmentalists and broadcasters is making his theatrical debut in a performance that explores whether people can learn to love the planet the way they love each other.

David Suzuki will take to the stage alongside his wife and fellow activist Tara Cullis in “What You Won’t Do For Love,” created in collaboration with the Toronto-based Why Not Theatre.

Set at the dinner table, the scripted conversation will feature stories from the couple’s life spanning four decades at the forefront of the environmental movement.

Decisions about how to mitigate climate change often hinge on economic fears, rather than the interconnectedness of humans with nature, Suzuki says.

But to deal with the environmental crisis seriously, he said, “We have to love the world that gave birth to us and that keeps us alive and healthy.”

Know your news answer …

Gimli, Man. The pilots put the massive plane down on an old military air strip that had been converted to a race track. No one was seriously hurt in what became know as the Gimli Glider.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 4, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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