Four stories in the news for Monday, Aug. 19
CHINESE OFFICIALS FIRE BACK AT FREELAND OVER HONG KONG
China is telling Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to butt out. Freeland and her E.U. counterpart, Federica Mogherini, issued a joint statement Saturday condemning violence in Hong Kong as tensions between pro-democracy protesters and police escalate. The statement urged restraint amid “a rising number of unacceptable violent incidents.” And that prompted a spokesperson for China’s Embassy in Canada to fire back, telling Freeland to “immediately stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs.” The embassy also defended the actions of Hong Kong police, saying the protests “deteriorated and evolved into extreme violence.”
JUDGE TO GIVE DECISION IN MOUNTIE’S MANSLAUGHTER TRIAL
A judge is expected to render a verdict today in the manslaughter trial of an RCMP officer in northern Manitoba who fired a dozen shots into a Jeep following a police chase. Crown prosecutors told the trial in Thompson that Const. Abram Letkeman made only wrong choices in the lead up to the shooting death of Steven Campbell in 2015. Court heard that 12 bullet casings were found at the scene and the 39-year-old Campbell, who was drunk behind the wheel, was hit at least nine times. The defence argued that all police officers make mistakes and Letkeman thought his life was in danger because the Jeep was moving toward him.
CAPTIVE BREEDING FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES GROWING
A western painted turtle that’s never been anywhere other than in an aquarium is being returned to a pond near Langley, B.C., as part of captive breeding at the Greater Vancouver Zoo to help save an endangered native population. The program is one of a growing number across Canada, last-ditch efforts to stave off local extinctions of everything from butterflies to caribou. Captive breeding programs vary widely. Some release young born to captive animals, some collect eggs from the wild and return the hatchlings, while others protect pregnant females until they give birth. But despite all the good intentions there are some who fear the programs can become sops to a public concerned about species loss, yet not concerned enough to change how it acts.
ATWOOD STAR OF FALL SEASON, SAY BOOK WATCHERS
Industry watchers say it’s the international literary event of the season, and in a rare feat, the spotlight will be on a Canadian author. With Margaret Atwood’s long-awaited sequel to 1985’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” to hit shelves on Sept. 10, the publisher and booksellers say the hype for “The Testaments” has already translated into strong preorders, early awards acclaim and sold-out events to celebrate the release. Atwood will ring in the book’s midnight launch at an event in London, England, that will be beamed to more than 1,000 screens worldwide, including in Cineplex theatres across Canada. She’ll then set off on a book tour that includes 10 Canadian stops.
ALSO IN THE NEWS:
— Small Business minister Mary Ng in Fredericton to announce investments in women entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada.
— Vice Admiral Mark Norman trial begins in Ottawa.
— Andrew Berry stands trial in Vancouver for the second-degree murder of his daughters.
— Environment Minister Catherine McKenna in Victoria to announce support for Canada’s conservation efforts and fight against climate change.
The Canadian Press