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In the news today, Aug. 22

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press availability with Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. Security around Parliament Hill has been tightened in anticipation of today's visit to Ottawa by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Susan Walsh

Five stories in the news for Thursday, Aug. 22



Security around Parliament Hill has been tightened in anticipation of today’s visit to Ottawa by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The Parliamentary Protective Service is warning of visibly heightened security around the precinct for Pompeo’s visit “due to the nature of the event.” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s office says discussions with Pompeo will centre around Canada-U.S. co-operation on a number of domestic and international fronts, as well as security and foreign policy matters. The State Department says the crisis in Venezuela will also be on the agenda.



A Vancouver Island man has told a B.C. court that he didn’t kill his two daughters. Andrew Berry took the stand Wednesday in Vancouver and also denied that he tried to take his own life on Christmas Day 2017. Berry is on trial for two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey, who were stabbed to death in his Oak Bay apartment. The jury has already heard that Berry was found injured in the tub. Defence lawyer Kevin McCullough has told the jury that Berry will testify he owed loan sharks thousands of dollars and he was attacked in the apartment on the day the girls were killed. The jury has already heard how police found a note at the scene addressed to Berry’s sister that read, “Betrayed, bullied, and miscast I set out to leave with the kids.”  



An analysis of 11 previous major studies concludes that autism has become so over-diagnosed that within five to 10 years, there could be almost no difference between those diagnosed with it and those who have not. Montreal researcher Laurent Mottron found that the differences have decreased in five of the seven main constructs that define autism, including emotion recognition, theory of mind, planning and brain size. He says the gap could soon narrow to nothing because the criteria have lowered to the point where a diagnosis could become nearly meaningless. The study’s authors say their findings may be due to several factors, including a true increase in the condition, greater public awareness, the fact that a diagnosis leads to greater support, a lowered threshold for diagnosis and a greater tendency to diagnose individuals with a normal IQ.



A group established to look into restricting inappropriate or overused physician services in Ontario will report on its recommendations today. The group, which has members from the provincial government and the Ontario Medical Association, is expected to reveal a list of recommendations designed to save money in the health-care system. It was formed in the wake of a four-year contract struck between the province and its doctors in February. At the time, the working group was created to recommend changes to physicians services or payments that could result in $460 million in savings.



A retired fisherman from Richmond, B.C., has reeled in the catch of a lifetime — a $60-million lottery haul. The B.C. Lottery Corp. says Joseph Katalinic matched all seven numbers in last month’s Lotto Max draw to win the largest lottery prize in the province’s history. It says in a release there have previously been three $50-million winners in the province. Katalinic retired as a commercial fisherman 20 years ago and told the lottery corporation he now plans to “live like a king.” He says there was a lot of hugging and kissing when he broke the news to his family, which is planning a vacation in Hawaii and a visit to a town in Europe where his parents were born.



— Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains will announce funding for Canadian cleantech companies across the country.

— Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett participates in the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Metis Nation of Ontario Annual General Assembly in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. 

— Statistics Canada is expected to release today its wholesale trade figures for June.

— A judge is to give his verdict in the second-degree murder trial for Silva Koshwal, who has pleaded guilty but not criminally responsible in the death of Nadine Skow. She was stabbed 101 times in her apartment in August 2015.

The Canadian Press