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Liberals, Tories in deadlock; Linda O'Leary verdict expected: In The News for Sept 14

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 Sept. 14... What we are watching in Canada ...
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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 Sept. 14...

What we are watching in Canada ...

With less than a week before the federal election, a new poll shows Justin Trudeau's Liberals and Erin O'Toole's Conservatives in a dead heat. 

The poll conducted by Leger in collaboration with The Canadian Press shows both parties tied with the support of 32 per cent of decided voters, with the NDP in third place with 20 per cent.

A similar poll conducted two weeks ago had the Conservatives ahead with 34 per cent compared with 30 per cent for the Liberals and 24 per cent for the NDP.

The polls cannot be given a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

The leaders are back on the campaign trail today after spending yesterday sharpening their attacks, with O'Toole painting his opponent as privileged and entitled — saying while Trudeau was "partying," he was doing search-and-rescue missions in the military.

Trudeau accused O'Toole of engaging in "personal attacks," and insisted his own actions could not be compared to the Tory leader's, even while arguing O'Toole has "proxies" in the anti-vaxxer movement, without providing concrete evidence.

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Also this ...

A verdict is expected today in Linda O'Leary's trial, two years after a deadly boat crash in central Ontario.

The wife of celebrity businessman Kevin O'Leary has pleaded not guilty to one charge of careless operation of a vessel under the Canada Shipping Act.

Linda O'Leary was at the helm when the boat collided with another vessel on Lake Joseph on Aug. 24, 2019, as the couple and a family friend were returning to their cottage after a dinner party.

Two people on the other boat -- Gary Poltash, 64, of Florida, and Suzana Brito, 48, from Uxbridge, Ont. -- died from their injuries. Three others were also hurt.

O'Leary's defence lawyer, Brian Greenspan, has argued his client should be cleared because there is evidence the other boat's lights were off at the time of the incident, rendering it essentially "invisible."

However, witnesses who were on the other vessel, including a man who was charged with failing to exhibit a navigation light, testified they remembered some lights being on.

A police officer also told the court during trial that O'Leary registered an "alert range'' blood alcohol level in a breath test shortly after the crash. The officer testified O'Leary told her she had only had one drink, and it was after the crash.

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What we are watching in the U.S. ...

MATHER, Calif. (AP) — U.S. President Joe Biden is using his first western swing since taking office to hold out the wildfires burning across the region as an argument for his $3.5 trillion rebuilding plans.

He is calling year-round fires and other extreme weather a climate change reality the nation can no longer ignore. 

With stops Monday in Idaho and California, Biden sought to boost support for his big rebuilding plans, saying every dollar spent on “resilience” would save $6 in future costs. 

And he said the rebuilding must go beyond simply restoring damaged systems and instead ensure communities can withstand catastrophic weather that doesn’t strike based on partisan ideology.

“Even some of my less believing friends are all of a sudden having an altar call,” Biden said of those who have sought to minimize the risks posed by climate change. “They're seeing the Lord.”

In Boise, he said: “It’s not a Democrat thing. It’s not a Republican thing. It’s a weather thing.” 

The president’s two-day Western swing comes at a critical juncture for a central plank of his legislative agenda. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are working to assemble details of the infrastructure-plus plan — and how to pay for it, a concern not just for Republicans. A key Democratic senator said Sunday that he will not vote for a package so large.

In California, Biden took an aerial tour of damage from the Caldor Fire after getting a briefing from officials at the state emergency services office. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who faces a recall vote Tuesday, joined Biden for the briefing.

Biden is providing last-minute help to Newsom in the recall election. Tuesday is the last day to vote. 

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What we are watching in the rest of the world ...

BARCELONA, Spain — Climate change could push more than 200 million people to move within their own countries in the next three decades and create migration hot spots unless urgent action is taken in the coming years to reduce global emissions and bridge the development gap, says a new World Bank report. 

It says the long-term effects of climate change, such as water scarcity, decreasing crop productivity and rising sea levels, could lead to millions of what it describes as “climate migrants” by 2050. Curbing carbon emissions, increasing climate change adaptations as well as promoting sustainable, inclusive development could reduce the number of climate migrants significantly, says the report.

The second part of the Groundswell report published Monday examined how the impacts of slow-onset climate change could lead to climate migration under three different scenarios with varying degrees of climate action and development.

Under the most pessimistic scenario, with a high level of emissions and unequal development, the report forecasts up to 216 million people moving within their own countries across the six regions analyzed. Those regions are Latin America; North Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; Eastern Europe and Central Asia; South Asia; and East Asia and the Pacific.

In the most climate-friendly scenario, with a low level of emissions and inclusive, sustainable development, the world could still see 44 million people being forced to leave their homes.

While climate change's influence on migration is not new, it is often part of a combination of factors pushing people to move, and acts as a threat multiplier. People affected by conflicts and inequality are also more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change as they have limited means to adapt.

“Globally we know that three out of four people that move stay within countries,” said Dr. Kanta Kumari Rigaud, a lead environmental specialist at the World Bank and co-author of the report.

The report also warns that migration hot spots could appear within the next decade and intensify by 2050. Planning is needed both in the areas where people will move to, and in the areas they leave to help those who remain.

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On this day in 1984 ...

Pope John Paul held a special mass for 50,000 Polish-Canadians at Toronto's Canadian National Exhibition. Toronto was the first stop on his 12-day visit to Canada.

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In entertainment ...

Two of Netflix's most-prized 2021 festival movies appeared on pirate websites online early Monday after debuting as part of the at-home digital offerings of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Jane Campion's drama "The Power of the Dog," starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and the Antoine Fuqua thriller "The Guilty," led by Jake Gyllenhaal.

It was not immediately clear if TIFF showings were the source of the pirated copies or if they came from elsewhere. However, both movies premiered over the weekend as part of TIFF's hybrid festival model with screenings in theatres as well as virtually in homes across the country.

Representatives for Netflix and TIFF did not immediately respond for comment.

Piracy can erode a film's prospects at the box office and derail some of the buzz that builds ahead of awards season for festival titles. Many in the Hollywood film community have worried that making high-definition copies available through digital festival platforms almost guarantees those titles could show up on the black market.

But those same filmmakers and distributors have few options if they want to premiere their new films amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual screenings at home became one solution but the model has been disliked by many major international film festivals that thrive on the mass gathering of film lovers.

A copy of "The Power of the Dog" that spread on torrent sites did not include the opening Netflix logo, nor any visible watermarks. It was tagged as a "webscreener" by the pirates, suggesting it was pulled from an online source.

Both Netflix titles have release dates — "The Guilty" is set to debut Oct. 1 on the streaming service after a limited theatrical release while "The Power of the Dog" is also expected to hit theatres before shifting to the small screen in December.

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ICYMI ...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — For the first time in 60 years of human spaceflight, a rocket is poised to blast into orbit with no professional astronauts on board, only four tourists. 

SpaceX's first private flight will be led by a 38-year-old entrepreneur who's bankrolling the entire trip. He's taking two sweepstakes winners with him on the three-day trip circling Earth, along with a health-care worker who survived childhood cancer. 

They'll soar 160 kilometres higher than the International Space Station, aiming for an altitude of 575 kilometres. Liftoff is set for Wednesday night from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

They’ll ride alone in a fully automated Dragon capsule, the same kind that SpaceX uses to send astronauts to and from the space station for NASA.

By contrast, Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson and Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos briefly skimmed space during their short rides in July — Branson reached 86 kilometres while Bezos hit 106 kilometres up.

As the private flight's benefactor, Jared Isaacman, sees it: “This is the first step toward a world where everyday people can go and venture among the stars."

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 14, 2021

The Canadian Press




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