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Hockey's cradle up for sale and pantless in Winnipeg; In-The-News Nov. 21

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. 21. What we are watching in Canada ... OTTAWA — Gov. Gen.
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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 Nov. 21.

What we are watching in Canada ...

OTTAWA — Gov. Gen. Julie Payette is honouring 39 people with the Order of Canada this morning, including actor William Shatner, writer Ann-Marie MacDonald and lawyer James Lockyer.

Shatner is being given one of Canada's highest civilian honours for his 60-year career in theatre, television and film; MacDonald for her art and advocacy for women and on LGBTQ issues; and Lockyer for his work championing people wrongly convicted of crimes.

Mathematician Robert Langlands, filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin and actor Donald Sutherland are also being made companions of the order, the most prestigious of its three levels.

Payette will preside over the ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

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Also this ...

The Somali government says a Somali-Canadian human rights activist and diplomat has been killed.

The Somali ministry of information says Almaas Elman was murdered in the capital city of Mogadishu.

The government said in a tweet that it is investigating and will bring those responsible to justice.

A Global Affairs Canada spokeswoman said the department was prepared to help the family.

"Our deepest thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of the Canadian citizen who died in a shooting in Somalia," Natasha Nystrom said in an email Wednesday. 

"Consular officials stand ready to provide consular services to the family."

She said consular officials in Kenya are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information. 

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ICYMI (In case you missed it) ...

LONDON — Prince Andrew is stepping back from public duties with the Queen's permission because of his association with a notorious sex offender.

The Queen's second son says it has become clear to him in recent days that his association with the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has become a "major distraction" to the Royal Family's charitable work.

Andrew says he is willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with its investigation if required.

The unseemly scandal has rocked the Royal Family, particularly over the past few days since a television interview on Saturday failed to bring an end to questions over his links to Epstein.

The decision of a senior royal to step away from his duties is extremely unusual and reflects the degree to which charities and educational institutions had been questioning their associations with him in recent days.

Andrew, who seemed to show no remorse in Saturday's interview, says he regrets his association with the former American billionaire investor.

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

WASHINGTON — U.S. House impeachment investigators will hear from two key witnesses today who grew alarmed by how President Donald Trump and others in his orbit were conducting foreign policy in Ukraine, capping an intense week in the historic inquiry.

David Holmes, a political counsellor at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, says he was having lunch with Ambassador Gordon Sondland this summer when he heard Trump on the phone asking the envoy about the investigations he wanted from the Ukraine president. The colourful exchange was like nothing he had ever seen, Holmes said in an earlier closed-door deposition.

Fiona Hill said her National Security Council boss, John Bolton, cut short a meeting with visiting Ukrainians at the White House when Sondland started asking them about "investigations."

The two witnesses set to appear today are the last scheduled for public hearings in an inquiry that brought hours of testimony from a roster of current and former U.S. government officials defying Trump's orders not to appear.

The impeachment inquiry focuses on allegations that Trump sought investigations of former Vice-President Joe Biden and his son — and the discredited idea that Ukraine rather than Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election — in return for the badly needed military aid and a White House visit the new Ukrainian president wanted to show his backing from the West.

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

BEIRUT —Lebanon's worsening financial crisis has thrown businesses and households into disarray.

Banks are severely limiting withdrawals of hard currency, and Lebanese say they don't know how they'll pay everything from tuitions to insurance and loans, all made in dollars.

Politicians are paralyzed, struggling to form a new government in the face of tens of thousands of protesters in the streets for the past month demanding the entire leadership go.

Store owners on one of Beirut's main commercial streets are cutting salaries by half or considering shutting down. Shops advertise sales, but still can't draw in customers.

Consumers fear a collapse in the currency will wreck the value of their savings.

The only place doing a thriving business — the store that sells safes, as Lebanese increasingly stash their cash at home.

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Weird and wild ...

WINNIPEG — A casual bet about the Winnipeg Blue Bombers getting the ultimate Canadian Football League win has left one of their most dedicated fans in shorts for the past 18 years.

Before the 2001 Grey Cup, Chris Matthew said he wasn't going to put on pants until his beloved Bombers won the championship.

The Bombers had the best record in the league that year, but they lost the big game and Matthew has been in shorts ever since. 

"Be careful of what you say because if you have to live up to it sometimes it can be a little uncomfortable," the 62-year-old warns.

He has worn pants on a couple of occasions — to funerals of people who did not know the story of the shorts. On formal occasions, he wears his kilt.

He has optimistically dusted off his old zubaz print pants from the 1980s in preparation of finally covering up his calves this weekend.

The Bombers play the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the Grey Cup on Sunday in Calgary.

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On this day in 1981 …

An estimated 100,000 people gathered on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to protest high interest rates. At the time, the demonstration, initiated by Canadian Labour Congress president Dennis McDermott, was the largest ever held on Parliament Hill.

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Your health ...

TORONTO — A new study suggests infants are more vulnerable to measles infection than previously thought.

The findings debunk notions that most babies are protected for much of their first year by maternal antibodies passed on through pregnancy.

In fact, Toronto researchers from the Hospital for Sick Children and Public Health Ontario say the vast majority of 196 infants they studied were susceptible by three months of age.

And none of the infants were immune at six months.

Babies typically don't receive the measles vaccine until they are 12 months old.

Shelly Bolotin, a scientist at Public Health Ontario, said the findings underscore the need for everyone to keep their immunization up-to-date to protect the most vulnerable members of the population.

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Canadian music news ...

VANCOUVER — John Mann, lead singer and songwriter for Vancouver's beloved Celtic-inflected rock band Spirit of the West, has died. He was 57.

Eric Alper, the band's publicist, says Mann died peacefully in Vancouver on Wednesday from early onset Alzheimer's, the disease with which he was diagnosed several years ago.

"Surrounded by friends and loving family until the end, all were reminded of John's rich legacy," Alper said in a release.

A four-time Juno nominee for his work with Spirit of the West, Mann and his band became underground heroes for their politically savvy, musically diverse songwriting, which fused traditional strains of folk, Celtic and turn-of-the-'90s alt-rock.

In his later years, Mann survived cancer — and wrote about it — only to suffer from early onset Alzheimer's, though he determinedly continued performing as he faced the condition.

Mann had two children, son Harlan and daughter Hattie, with his wife, the playwright Jill Daum.

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The games we play ...

WINDSOR, N.S. — For hockey fans across Canada, the water in Nova Scotia's Long Pond is sacred — especially when it's frozen.

It's billed as the "cradle of hockey" because there's evidence to suggest the game has been played there since the early 1800s.

The 10-hectare rural property on the east side of Windsor, N.S., that includes the pond is now up for sale, with an asking price of $1.38 million.

"It's been a difficult decision for the family, but it's been on our minds for quite some time," says Danny Dill, who owns the pond and the surrounding land with his brother Andrew.

The Dill brothers also operate the nearby farm that is famous for its giant pumpkins. A 45-minute drive north Halifax, the farm is also tourist draw.

In 2015, Sports Illustrated named Long Pond one of the seven "hockey wonders of the world," saying it was recognized as a place where the game of hurley evolved into the modern game of hockey.

Dill said the family wants to see the site developed into a larger tourist attraction, similar to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 21, 2019.

The Canadian Press




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