Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigns, clearing way for successor Yosihide Suga

Abe, Japan's longest-serving prime minister, announced last month that he was stepping down because of health problems.
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Former Bloc MP Suzanne Tremblay dies at 83
Former Bloc Québécois MP Suzanne Tremblay has died at the age of 83, media reports say. A relative confirmed the news, according to the Radio-Canada website, which said Tremblay died of cancer in hospital in Rimouski. Born in Montreal, Tremblay had worked in education for many years. She was notably a professor at the Université […]
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Coronavirus death rate dropping amid better ICU treatments
Advances in medical care and therapies for COVID-19 is helping to lower the death rate for patients in intensive care, according to doctors and researchers -- some good news amid rising cases and concerns of a second wave in Canada.
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Some scientists taking 'DIY inoculations' instead of waiting for COVID-19 vaccine
Some independent scientists, technologists and science enthusiasts are designing 'do-it-yourself inoculations' against COVID-19 instead of waiting a year or more for a vaccine to be formally approved.
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Building fair, equitable Canada at core of National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation report
Created in 2014, the NCTR plays a critical role in protecting the history of the residential school systems.
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Winnipeg police say driver in fatal collision fled police, crashed into another vehicle
Police said officers tried to pull over a vehicle for a traffic stop but the driver "took off at a high rate of speed."
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Children in First Nations communities 25 times more likely to have type 2 diabetes, study shows
Over the last decade, the number of younger people in Manitoba diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has increased by more than 50 per cent.
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Edmonton hotels show interest in supporting city’s housing needs
The desperate need to house Edmonton's homeless is catching the attention of an industry struggling to keep their rooms occupied.
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‘My brain doesn’t work like it did’: COVID-19 ‘long-hauler’ describes persistent symptoms
More than 130,000 Canadians have recovered from COVID-19, but some patients say they’re experiencing debilitating side effects months after infection.
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Gregor Chisholm: The Buffalo Blue Jays turned their last resort into home-field advantage. And Sunday might not be goodbye
In the end, getting booted out of the Rogers Centre because of the pandemic wasn’t a barrier to success. The Jays lead the majors in hits and runs since they moved into Buffalo’s Sahlen Field, the home away from home that they fought hard to resist, Gregor Chisholm writes.
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Colorado Rapids, FC Cincinnati report positive COVID-19 tests
Colorado’s MLS game against Sporting Kansas City has been postponed.
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Civilians in Yemen caught in the middle as crisis worsens
The Houthi administration suspended all UN and humanitarian flights into Sanaa on Sept. 9.
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Coronavirus: Ottawa to ease border restrictions for compassionate visits by foreign nationals
The federal government is expected to announce next week that it will ease border restrictions that were preventing Canadians from seeing family members and loved ones that are foreign nationals living in another country.
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Okanagan mother battling terminal cancer, hoping for help
“I got diagnosed in 2013 with cancer. I've been fighting that for a few years and after the last few years it has metastasized."
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Two wounded in shooting near Jane and Sheppard
Toronto police say two people were wounded after shots were fired near the intersection of Jane Street and Sheppard Avenue West Saturday evening.
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Fraser Health speeding up plans for Tri-Cities COVID-19 test site, as only existing site closes
The Friday announcement came amid outcry that the region's single existing test site would close down on Oct. 2.
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Syrian minister accuses Turkey of being one of region’s ‘main sponsors of terror’
Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Moallem made the statement in a prerecorded speech to the first-ever high-level meeting of the U.N. General Assembly held virtually.
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Calgary high school athletes cleared to practise but no inter-school competitions allowed
Calgary high schools will begin practices and tryouts for fall sports on Monday but there will be no inter-school competitions for now.
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Two die after small plane crashes in field southwest of Edmonton
The Transportation Safety Board says it is sending a team of investigators to the crash site.
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New York Rangers trade Marc Staal to Detroit Red Wings
The 33-year-old Staal has played his whole 13-season NHL career so far with the Rangers,
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COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kitchener high school
A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at a Kitchener high school marking the first time one has been declared at a school in the region.
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Rosie DiManno: The French Open is playing a dangerous game with live crowds. Serena Williams isn’t the only tennis star worried
As recently as a week ago, Grand Slam organizers in Paris were hoping for around 20,000 fans a day at Roland Garros, starting Sunday. A surge of coronavirus cases slashed that number to 1,000. That’s still 1,000 more than they had at the U.S. Open, and some of the world’s best aren’t happy about it, Rosie DiManno writes.
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Saskatoon Contacts AAA hockey club moving to SaskTel Centre
The Contacts are hoping and preparing for their season to start in the second half of November.
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University of Calgary launches ongoing survey to study COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on youth
A new University of Calgary study is asking Edmonton and Calgary students ages 12 to 18 how they're dealing with COVID-19.
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Quebec Court Ruling Declares Part Of Canada's Child Pornography Law Invalid
MONTREAL — A Quebec author charged with producing child pornography in connection with fictional scenes in a horror novel has been acquitted in a ruling that also declared part of Canada’s law invalid.Quebec Superior Court Justice Marc-Andre Blanchard ruled Thursday that certain articles of Canada’s child pornography laws cast too wide a net, targeting works of literature that don’t endorse or promote pedophilia.The judge said that under the law, libraries and book stores could “potentially find themselves in the position of facing charges of possession or distribution of child pornography since they possess, lend or sell such works.”He ruled that two of the articles in the Criminal Code violate sections of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteeing the right to freedom of expression and to life, liberty and security of the person.No evidence fiction harms children: authorYvan Godbout had been charged with producing child pornography over passages found in his horror novel, “Hansel et Gretel,” which include scenes of sexual abuse of a minor-aged brother and sister.Godbout had argued that the author of a fictional horror novel that neither advocates nor counsels pedophilia should not see his freedom of expression restricted through criminal charges that carry a devastating social stigma.He also argued that there is no evidence to show that such written works of fiction cause any harm to children.The court’s ruling was welcomed Friday by PEN Canada, an organization that advocates for freedom of expression for writers.“Its very important that in cases like this, courts always take into account the creative licence authors need, and they don’t put a chill on it,” Brendan de Caires, the group’s executive director, said in a phone interview.In a statement published Friday on Facebook, Godbout’s publishing house, which was also charged in the matter, said it was pleased with the verdict.“These charges have had terrible consequences on our operations and on our author, Yvan Godbout,” Editions AdA wrote. The statement thanked book stores, publishers, distributors and politicians for their support.“We want to take the time today to thank our guardian angels during this interminable torment.”Province argued violating freedom of expression was justifiedAt trial, Quebec’s attorney general had acknowledged a violation of Godbout’s freedom of expression but argued it was justified in order to protect society’s youngest and most vulnerable. All material depicting sexual acts with children is harmful, it was argued.In a 55-page decision, Blanchard largely sided with Godbout.While sexual material involving minors is clearly harmful, “the court believes we must distinguish between material that exposes a tangible reality, videos or photos or even drawings, from literary fiction,” he wrote.Blanchard also acknowledged that the process caused Godbout significant psychological distress, noting charges of child pornography lead to a greater social stigma than many other crimes.The ruling recounts Godbout’s testimony that police burst into his room at 6 a.m. while he was sleeping, treated him in a humiliating manner and seized his electronics. A five-hour interrogation followed, with lines of questioning that Godbout claims suggested he was a pedophile.READ MORE ‘Cuties’ Backlash Is Prompting People To Cancel Their Netflix Subscriptions 'Greta' Sticker Is Offensive But Not Child Pornography: RCMP Teens Receive 2 Years Probation For Toronto School Sex Assaults Feds Unveil $22 Million Strategy To Fight Online Child Exploitation While he said this did not factor into his decision on the constitutionality of the law, Blanchard described the arrest as “shocking.”“We are not in the presence of a potential pedophile whom we must corner or catch in the act, or who we fear will remove the evidence, but rather an author of a novel, which certainly contains pedo-pornographic passages, but who sells his work in broad daylight and to the public, in particular, in Costco warehouse stores,” Blanchard wrote.The judge noted the law was broadened in 2005 to include not just material that advocates for, or encourages, pedophilia, but any description of sexual acts with children, as long as the description is a dominant characteristic of the work of fiction and is done with a sexual purpose.By that definition, the judge noted, some victims of sexual assault could not legally speak out about their experiences.Blanchard said the expanded law effectively rendered illegal an overly wide swath of literature, unduly limiting freedom of expression.He concluded that the concepts of “advocating” and “advising” sexual activity with a minor, or an equivalent, should be a “prerequisite for the constitutional validity” of laws criminalizing materials that contain pornographic passages. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept 25, 2020.Also on HuffPost:
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Canada reports more than 1,200 new coronavirus cases, 7 deaths
Saturday's data bring the country's total COVID-19 cases to 151,517 and fatalities from the virus to 9,262.
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Canadian Taxpayers Federation tabs pension payouts for 15 B.C. MLAs at more than $20 million
“While we thank these retiring politicians for their work, taxpayers need to know the huge cost of these gold-plated pensions.”
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Second COVID-19 case confirmed at Holy Cross High School in Saskatoon
The SHA has not declared an outbreak, says the school division.
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B.C. election: Liberals promise free flu shots, NDP recommits to northern B.C. hospital
Two of the major party leaders made healthcare commitments Saturday, while the BC Greens announced a new batch of candidates.
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Family of elderly man admitted to Foothills unit under COVID-19 outbreak watch says they weren’t told ‘the entire story’
Three units at Foothills Medical Centre are under an "outbreak watch" as cases continue to spread at the Calgary hospital. One family says they weren't told the whole story when their elderly father was admitted to one of those units.
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After 45 years, Books Unlimited in Saskatoon closes pages on final chapter
Lyle Fitzgerald has owned and ran Books Unlimited for 33 years, but on Oct. 23, he's closing his doors for good.
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Montrealers march to send message on climate inaction
About 1,000 mostly young activists demanded carbon neutrality by 2030, protection of migrant rights and the defunding and demilitarization of police services.
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Week in Review: Trump-Montreal link, second wave, Halloween, no shows, crime rate
Catch up on all the big stories that happened this week in Montreal.
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Kingston-area adds 2 more COVID-19 cases; 11 now active
Kingston opened its new COVID-19 assessment centre on Saturday morning.
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Spreading hope for Harper: How an Alberta girl’s fight for a medical treatment is bringing people together
A little girl from Spruce Grove, Alta., is bringing people from across the province together in a fight for a multi-million-dollar lifesaving treatment.
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COVID-19 Pandemic Is Increasing Obsessive Behaviour, Depression: Alberta Survey
EDMONTON — An online survey of Albertans who have reached out for help during the COVID-19 crisis suggests the pandemic is taking a toll on mental health, with increased signs of obsessive behaviour, stress and depression. “We did not expect people to be experiencing this level of anxiety, depression or stress,” said Vincent Agyapong, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Alberta and co-author of a newly published paper.Agyapong’s research has focused on the lingering mental-health effects of public traumas such as the Fort McMurray wildfire. He and his colleagues have been asked by provincial and private agencies to help design a public mental-health response to COVID-19.The paper, published in Environmental Research and Public Health, is an attempt to assess those needs.“We thought it would be useful to collect baseline data,” Agyapong said.In late March, the researchers contacted about 33,000 Albertans who subscribed to Text4Hope — a government initiative that sends out a daily supportive text message written by mental health professionals. They asked subscribers to complete a survey that contained standard measures of anxiety, depression and obsessive behaviour. About 6,000 people responded. Results consistent between men and womenThe survey, funded by a group of Alberta charitable health foundations, found that about 60 per cent of respondents had become worried about dirt, germs and viruses since the COVID-19 outbreak. About 54 per cent had begun washing their hands “very often or in a special way” that could be considered a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder.Nearly 50 per cent were considered probable candidates for anxiety disorders and more than 40 per cent were likely to be clinically depressed. Almost 85 per cent of respondents reported moderate to high stress.The results were consistent between men and women. Symptoms and anxiety levels tended to increase with age and education levels. Agyapong is cautious about the results. The survey sample isn’t representative of the Alberta population. And some level of stress and unusual behaviour is understandable when people are losing their jobs and seeing society shut down around them.But something is going on, he said.“It’s not diagnostic, but it is indicative,” said Agyapong. “It doesn’t necessarily mean (the results) aren’t representative of what’s going on.”READ MORE 'The World Is In Crisis, And Things Are About To Get Much Worse': PM To UN Canada Sees Record High Level Of Youth Not In School Or Work: StatCan He Caught COVID-19 Working In Health Care. Now He’s Awaiting Deportation. Let’s Call A Truce, Gen Z: We Millennials Need Your Help To Build A Better World Although research suggests about one-quarter of the general population will show some obsessive compulsive symptoms at some point in life, the incidence of the actual condition is only about two per cent — much lower than the figure in Agyapong’s survey.Agyapong points out his findings are consistent with studies done in other countries such as China. He said simple measures can help — even the daily reassurance provided by Text4Hope. Preliminary results suggest that in six weeks, anxiety levels in subscribers fell by 20 per cent.“It may not work for everybody, but if you can get it to work for even half of those who are struggling, then it means that you don’t need more (expensive) resources at a population level,” Agyapong said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2020Also on HuffPost:
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'How do they not know?' Visitors, residents hope quarter-million-dollar reward leads to gondola arrest
Sea to Sky Gondola ownership have announced a $250,000 reward for a tip that leads to an arrest and conviction for the cutting of the gondola's cable.
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Who is Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s latest nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court?
Here's a look at the staunchly conservative judge's history and what both her supporters and opponents say.
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Security removes tents from protestors during vigil for Clinic 554 at N.B. legislature
A crowd at the Fredericton legislature assembly grounds to protest New Brunswick's lack of funding for abortions outside of hospitals.
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