Four stories in the news for Thursday, Dec. 13
CHINA CONFIRMS DETENTION OF TWO CANADIANS
Two Canadian men have been detained in China on suspicion of “endangering national security,” the country’s foreign ministry said today. Spokesman Lu Kang confirmed that entrepreneur Michael Spavor and former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig were taken into custody on Monday and that they are being handled separately. Canada has been informed of the detentions, Lu said, but declined to say whether the men have been provided with lawyers. The two cases ratchet up pressure on Canada, which is holding the CFO of telecommunications giant Huawei at the request of the United States.
KHADR ASKING COURT TO CHANGE BAIL CONDITIONS
Lawyers for former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr are scheduled to appear in Edmonton court today to seek changes to bail conditions he faces while he appeals war crime convictions by a U.S. military commission. Khadr, who is now 32, is seeking a Canadian passport to travel to Saudi Arabia and wants permission to speak to his sister. An application filed by his lawyer, Nathan Whitling, suggests Khadr’s appeal in the U.S. been overly delayed and he has obeyed all the conditions of his release.
POT STORES ON AGENDA AT TORONTO COUNCIL
Councillors in Toronto are set to debate whether to allow retail pot shops in Canada’s largest city. City staff recommend councillors allow privately run cannabis stores to operate in Toronto, saying it would “would have the unintended consequence of encouraging the illegal market.” The issue is on the agenda for today’s council meeting, a day after councillors in two neighbouring municipalities voted against having pot shops within their boundaries.
SEX ASSAULT TRIAL RESUMES FOR EX-GYMNASTICS COACH
The trial of a former high-ranking gymnastics coach accused of sexual assault resumes in Sarnia, Ont., today. Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching at his judge-alone trial. The former head coach of the women’s national team is accused of sexually assaulting a young gymnast years ago. At the beginning of the trial in October, a woman who is now in her 30s testified that Brubaker would kiss her on the lips to say hello and goodbye starting when she was 12 years old.
ALSO IN THE NEWS:
— A coalition of fishing, environmental and tourism operators will protest new oil leases they say are putting the Sable Island National Park Reserve in Nova Scotia at risk.
— The case of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur is due in court. McArthur faces first-degree murder charges in the deaths of eight men with ties to Toronto’s gay community.
— The trial of Edward Downey, 48, will continue today. He faces two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Sara Baillie and her daughter Taliyah Marsman in the summer of 2016.
The Canadian Press