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In The News for Nov. 24: What will Freeland have to say at Emergencies Act Inquiry?

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland rises during Question Period, Wednesday, November 16, 2022 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 Nov. 24 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is next on the witness list at the public inquiry probing the federal government's decision to invoke the Emergencies Act in response to weeks-long protests last winter.

Freeland, who is also the federal finance minister, was the lead on emergency economic powers given to banks and other financial institutions to freeze the accounts of participants in the "Freedom Convoy."

The Public Order Emergency Commission is scrutinizing the events that led to the federal emergency declaration Feb. 14, weeks into protests that gridlocked downtown Ottawa and halted Canada-U.S. trade at several border crossings.

Freeland is the seventh cabinet minister to testify this week before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau closes out the public hearings on Friday.

Commissioner Paul Rouleau is expected to present a final report to Parliament early next year.


Also this ...

Canada is set to have a new national climate adaptation strategy, outlining the government's intention to eliminate deaths from heat and forest fires, protect homes and businesses at the highest risk of flooding and help get people forced to flee extreme weather back home faster.

Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair is scheduled to release the adaptation strategy, and a plan to carry it out, in Prince Edward Island on Thursday. He will do so on behalf of Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, who was called away on a personal matter.

The government describes the document as a blueprint to identify the hazards Canadians face, figure out ways to lower the risk, and setting targets to actually do that.

The targets will include better informing Canadians of those risks, ending all heat-related deaths, and upgrading the national disaster financial assistance program to include not just recovering from a major event, but rebuilding to withstand the next one.

The government will also publish a list of things it intends to do to help adapt, including new investments in the federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, and cash to fight wildfires and produce more complete flood maps for the entire country.


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

A Walmart manager pulled out a handgun before a routine employee meeting and began firing wildly around the break room of a Virginia store, killing six people in the nation's second high-profile mass shooting in four days, police and witnesses said.

The gunman was dead when officers arrived late Tuesday at the store in Chesapeake, Virginia's second-largest city. Authorities said he apparently shot himself. Police were trying to determine a motive. One employee described watching "bodies drop" as the assailant fired haphazardly, without saying a word.

"He was just shooting all throughout the room. It didn't matter who he hit. He didn't say anything. He didn't look at anybody in any specific type of way," Briana Tyler, a Walmart employee, said Wednesday.

Six people were wounded in the shooting, which happened just after 10 p.m. as shoppers were stocking up ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Police said they believe about 50 people were in the store at the time.

The gunman was identified as Andre Bing, 31, an overnight team leader who had been a Walmart employee since 2010. Police said he had one handgun and several magazines of ammunition.


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

On the fourth day of an increasingly urgent search, Indonesian rescuers narrowed their work Thursday to a landslide where dozens are believed trapped after an earthquake killed at least 271 people, more than a third of them children.

Many of the more than 1,000 rescue personnel are using backhoe loaders, sniffer dogs and life detectors, as well as jackhammers and bare hands, to speed up the search in the worst-hit area of Cijendil village.

It is believed that some people are still stuck after a landslide set off by Monday's quake left tons of mud, rocks and trees in Cugenang sub-district.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited Cianjur on Thursday and said that their focus will be on one location where 39 are still missing.

On Wednesday, searchers rescued a 6-year-old boy who was trapped for two days under the rubble of his collapsed house.

The 5.6 magnitude of Monday's earthquake would not typically be expected to cause serious damage. But the quake was shallow and shook a densely populated area that lacks earthquake-resistant infrastructure. Weak aftershocks continued until Thursday morning.


On this day in 1859 ...

English naturalist Charles Darwin's "The Origin of the Species," which suggested humans evolved from apes, was published amid great controversy.


In entertainment ...

A writer who accused former U.S. President Donald Trump of rape filed an upgraded lawsuit against him Thursday in New York, minutes after a new state law took effect allowing victims of sexual violence to sue over attacks that occurred decades ago.

E. Jean Carroll's lawyer filed the legal papers electronically as the Adult Survivor's Act temporarily lifted the state's usual deadlines for suing over sexual assault. She sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for pain and suffering, psychological harms, dignity loss and reputation damage.

Carroll, a longtime advice columnist for Elle magazine, first made the claim in a 2019 book, saying Trump raped her in the dressing room of a Manhattan luxury department store in 1995 or 1996.


Did you see this?

Canada showed Wednesday it belonged at the World Cup. But there is work to do in putting its opponent away.

While the Canadian men shone in their return to the soccer showcase after a 36-year absence, they failed to convert a slew of chances in a 1-0 loss to Belgium.

The fact they pushed the second-ranked team to the limit is something to celebrate. But they now find themselves in a position where they will be eliminated from knockout-round contention if they lose Sunday against No. 12 Croatia, which tied No. 22 Morocco 0-0 earlier Wednesday in Group F play.

The 41st-ranked Canadians looked anything but awed at the occasion, repeatedly forcing the Belgians onto the back foot. But while Canada outshot Belgium 21-9, it only managed three shots on target, the same as the Red Devils.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2022

The Canadian Press

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