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 Jan. 14 …
What we are watching in Canada …
OTTAWA — Canadian investigators are getting their first chance to visit the crash site outside of Tehran today, as part of an international team looking into the sequence of events that ended with a jet from Ukraine being shot out of the sky.
The attack killed all 176 people on board, including 57 Canadians.
The aircraft was shot down just hours after Iran launched air strikes against two military bases in Iraq where U.S. forces, and also some Canadians, are stationed.
The air strikes were in retaliation for a targeted drone strike on Jan. 3 by the U.S. that killed Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani.
Iran’s judiciary said Tuesday that arrests have been made and the president has called for a special court to be set up to probe the downing last week of the plane by Iranian forces.
Iran, which initially dismissed allegations that a missile had brought down the jetliner, acknowledged three days after Wednesday’s downing that its Revolutionary Guard had shot down the Ukrainian plane by mistake.
Also this …
VICTORIA — B.C. Premier John Horgan says he is excited by the prospect of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle calling British Columbia their part-time home.
He had a light-hearted conversation about the couple with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday, he said during a news conference in Victoria.
“We’re both kind of giddy about it. Canada is a cool place to be. We are all pretty happy about that as Canadians.”
The Queen said Monday there will be a period of transition to sort things out on the couple’s future roles as members of the Royal Family during which Meghan and Harry will spend time in both Canada and the United Kingdom.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent the holidays at a secluded beachfront villa near Victoria, where they were seen exploring the community.
Horgan said hasn’t “given a lot of thought” to the costs of the family putting down roots in the province, if B.C. is where they choose to spend their time in Canada.
“I’m sure there are people working on that right now,” he said. “And I may have more to say on that should the royals choose to put down roots in British Columbia.”
The Prime Minister’s Office wouldn’t comment on potential costs of the couple living in Canada.
What we are watching in the U.S. …
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans signalled they would reject the idea of simply voting to dismiss the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump as the House prepares to send the charges to the chamber for the historic trial.
It will be only the third presidential impeachment trial in American history, a serious and dramatic endeavour coming amid the backdrop of a politically divided nation and the start of an election year.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not set the timing for the House vote that will launch the Senate action. Trump was impeached by the Democratic-led House last month on charges of abuse of power over pushing Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden and obstruction of Congress in the probe. Democrats said the vote could be Wednesday.
With the impeachment trial starting in a matter of days, senators are still debating the rules of the proceedings. GOP senators are conferring privately about whether to allow a motion to dismiss the charges against the president or to call additional witnesses for testimony.
Trump suggested over the weekend he might prefer simply dismissing the charges rather than giving legitimacy to charges from the House, which he considers a “hoax.”
What we are watching in the rest of the world …
BOSTON, Mass. — A U.S. cybersecurity company says Russian military agents have successfully hacked the Ukrainian gas company at the centre of the scandal that led to President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
Russian agents launched a phishing campaign in early November to steal the login credentials of employees of Burisma Holdings, the gas company, according to Area 1 Security, a Silicon Valley company that specializes in email security.
Hunter Biden, son of former U.S. vice-president and Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden, previously served on Burisma’s board.
It was not clear what the hackers were looking for or may have obtained, said Area 1’s CEO, Oren Falkowitz, who called the findings “ncontrovertible”and posted an eight-page report. But the timing of the operation suggests that the Russian agents could be searching for material that damaging to the Bidens.
The House of Representatives impeached Trump in December for abusing the power of his office by enlisting the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden, a political rival, ahead of the 2020 election. A second charge accused Trump of obstructing a congressional investigation into the matter.
ICYMI (In case you missed it) …
TORONTO — An investigation into a mistaken alert about an incident at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station will be completed fairly quickly, Ontario’s solicitor general says.
Sylvia Jones has tapped the chief of Emergency Management Ontario to investigate how the alert warning of an unspecified problem at the facility was sent in error to cellphones, radios and TVs across the province at about 7:30 a.m. Sunday.
“It’s very important for me, for the people of Ontario, to know exactly what happened on Sunday morning,” Jones says.
“Having said that, I do not anticipate this is going to be a long, drawn-out investigation. I want to know what happened and equally important, I want some recommendations on insurances and changes we can make to the system to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Initial observations suggest human error was responsible for the alert that was sent out during routine tests of the emergency alert, Jones says.
“This has never happened in the history of the tests that they do every day, twice a day, but I do want to know exactly all of the issues related to it, whether it was one human error or whether it was a series of things.”
A follow-up alert was sent to cellphones nearly two hours after the original notification.
Wierd and wild …
CALGARY — The first giant panda twins born in Canada have safely arrived in the land of their roots.
The Calgary Zoo says Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue are exploring their new panda pad at a breeding research facility in Chengdu, China.
The zoo says the pandas — whose names mean Canadian Hope and Canadian Joy — left Calgary on a flight early Friday with their keeper and a member of the facility’s veterinary team.
The pandas were born at the Toronto Zoo in 2015 and were transferred to Calgary with their parents in March 2018, as part of a 10-year agreement between Canada and China.
Parents Er Shun and Da Mao are to remain in Calgary until 2023.
Know your news …
The Queen says Prince Harry and Meghan can move part-time to Canada. What Canadian military base did Harry train at when he was with the British army?
(Keep scrolling for the answer)
On this day in 1949 …
The first non-stop trans-Canada flight, from Vancouver to Halifax, was completed.
Entertainment news …
TORONTO — Comedy veteran Catherine O’Hara is getting a lifetime achievement award from Canada’s national performers’ union.
The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists says it will present the “Schitt’s Creek” star and “SCTV” alumna with its national award of excellence April 18 in Los Angeles.
The honour recognizes an ACTRA member’s career achievements and contribution to Canada’s entertainment industry.
O’Hara currently stars as eccentric matriarch Moira Rose on CBC’s “Schitt’s Creek,” but her vast TV credits include “Six Feet Under,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and HBO’s “Temple Grandin.”
Big screen credits include “Beetlejuice,” “Home Alone,” “Waiting for Guffman,” “Best in Show,” “A Mighty Wind” and “For Your Consideration.”
Past winners of ACTRA’s special award include O’Hara’s “Schitt’s Creek” co-star Eugene Levy, as well as Jay Baruchel, Molly Parker, Neve Campbell and Jason Priestley.
Know your news answer …
Suffield. It was widely reported that Harry did two stints at the British Army Training Unit Suffield in southeastern Alberta in 2007 and 2008.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2020.
The Canadian Press