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The big chill and a royal visitor; In-The-News for Nov. 18

Shanna and Lionel Desmond hold their daughter Aaliyah in a photo from the Facebook page of Shanna Desmond. An inquiry begins today in the case of Lionel Desmond, the Afghan war veteran who bought a rifle and killed his mother, wife and daughter before turning the weapon on himself in early 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Facebook MANDATORY CREDIT

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. 18.

What we are watching in Canada …

The Weather Network has released its winter forecast, and it’s not great, unless you like your winter on hard side.

Chief meteorgolist Chris Scott says the season will be long, cold and messy across much of Canada.

He says the early start to winter in southern Ontario has set a bit of a trend across the country — except in B-C, that is.

On the West Coast, it’ll be a little warmer than usual with a little less precipitation, but in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, it will be frigid.

The same is true for Ontario and Quebec, where Scott says winter weather will continue into late March or early April.

Scott says it won’t be bitterly cold in Atlantic Canada, but it will be a very stormy season.

He says there will likely be lots of snow in New Brunswick and P-E-I, while in Nova Scotia it wilt be a mix of snow, ice and rain.

Snowfall in Newfoundland and Labrador will be right around the average.

Also this …

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be meeting in Ottawa today meets with the king of Jordan.

It is King Abdullah II’s fifth visit to Canada in his twenty years on the throne of the Middle Eastern country.

The Prime Minister’s Office says the two will discuss the partnership between Canada and Jordan and efforts to promote diversity and counter violent extremism.

They’ll also discuss ongoing regional security concerns, exacerbated in recent weeks by the repeated violation of a ceasefire in the Syrian civil war.

Upwards of 660,000 Syrians have sought shelter from the conflict in neighbouring Jordan, and thousands of them have since been resettled to Canada under a marquee Liberal program that originated in a campaign promise during the 2015 election.

That year, Trudeau promised to bring 25,000 Syrians to Canada and it is four years ago this month in Jordan that the Liberal government kicked off a multi-billion-dollar program that would eventually see nearly 40,000 Syrians arrive.

ICYMI (in case you missed it) …

TORONTO — Canada’s literary cognoscenti is getting ready to walk the red carpet at tonight’s Scotiabank Giller Prize gala.

A mix of familiar names and newcomers are in the running for the $100,000 honour to be awarded at a ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto.

Newfoundland chronicler Michael Crummey is hoping to clinch a win for “The Innocents” after receiving nods from the Writers’ Trust and Governor General’s Literary Awards this season.

Latvian-Canadian writer and filmmaker David Bezmozgis will have his third shot at the Giller with the short-story collection “Immigrant City.” Another returning nominee is Montreal-raised Alix Ohlin with “Dual Citizens.”

Victoria-based Steven Price made the final cut for the first time for “Lampedusa,” while Vancouver-based Ian Williams vying for the prize with his debut novel “Reproduction.”

And fellow first-time novelist Megan Gail Coles, raised in Savage Cove on Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, rounds out the short list with “Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club.”

What we are watching in the U.S. …

WASHINGTON — Impeachment hearings are entering a crucial second week as Democrats are set to hear from eight witnesses about U.S. President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

Three State Department officials have already testified about their concerns as Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate Democrats and withheld military aid.

In an interview aired on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump would be welcome to appear before investigators or answer questions in writing.

Trump has said the impeachment process is stacked against him and is nothing more than a “witch hunt.”

The week’s most anticipated witness may be Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who is set to appear on Wednesday.

Sondland spoke multiple times to Trump about Ukraine policy, and other witnesses have said the two discussed efforts to push for the investigations of Democrats.

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

HONG KONG — The head editor of China’s nationalistic Global Times newspaper says Hong Kong police should use snipers to fire live ammunition at violent protesters.

Hu Xijin made the comments Sunday evening during a violent standoff between riot police and demonstrators occupying Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Hu wrote on his Weibo social media account: “If the rioters are killed, the police should not have to bear legal responsibility.”

Hu is an outspoken commentator who leads the Global Times, a tabloid under the People’s Daily, the official paper of the ruling Communist Party.

He made similar remarks on Twitter, which is banned in mainland China.

Hong Kong has been roiled by six months of anti-government protests.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Nov. 12, 2019.

The Canadian Press