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In the news today: Ukraine working to rebuild as war with Russia nears two year mark

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today...

Ukrainians struggling to rebuild amid ongoing war

As Ukraine nears a grim anniversary in its war with Russia, the Red Cross says residents in the strife-torn country are adapting to a new normal of cannibalized houses, intermittent electricity, air raid sirens and rocket attacks.

The agency says residents have embraced the hard reality that with scarce resources going to the war, they must turn to one another to get things done.

Saturday marks the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Economists expect inflation eased in January

As the Bank of Canada waits for the right moment to start cutting interest rates, some economists are arguing that its decision shouldn't hinge on the housing market.

Canada's inflation rate has zipped up and down over the last several months, but has still trended downward as global price pressures fade and the economy weakens.

Several commercial banks are forecasting inflation fell to 3.2 per cent in January, down from 3.4 per cent in December.

Here's what else we're watching ...

Canada's war criminal past haunts family today

A Toronto woman whose family unknowingly employed an alleged Nazi war criminal for decades says Canada still doesn't do enough to keep people with problematic pasts out of this country.

Gail Bocknek says Erichs Tobiass and his wife Emma worked for her family as a handyman and housekeeper from the time she was a child until her own children were grown.

In 1995 Bocknek found out from an evening newscast that Tobiass was an alleged Nazi conspirator from Latvia.

The Canadian government was also trying to revoke his citizenship.

Ontario legislature resuming with flurry of bills

Ontario's legislature will resume sitting this week with a flurry of activity, from repealing an unconstitutional wage restraint law to enacting a reversal of a decision to dissolve Peel Region and introducing politically charged omnibus legislation.

The colleges and universities minister is also expected to announce the government's plan to address the financial struggles of the province's post-secondary institutions early in the session.

The institutions have been grappling with low and stagnant levels of operating funding for years and then a 10 per cent tuition cut and freeze announced by Premier Doug Ford's government in 2019 exacerbated their challenges, a government-commissioned panel said.

Could Canadians lose Pornhub access?

Pornhub owners say blocking access to Canadians is among options they're considering as they try to persuade parliamentarians to change a controversial Senate bill.

A House of Commons committee is set to study proposed legislation that, if passed in its current form, would require companies verify the age of their users to ensure they don't have access to sexually explicit material.

Privacy experts warn that carries serious risks.

Canadians would have to share personal information to make it happen — and some companies could decide to block access to their sites altogether.

Why some communities see fewer living organ donors

Doctors say some racialized patients needing a kidney transplant in British Columbia and Ontario don't ask their family and friends to donate for various reasons, including cultural beliefs and racism.

Doctor Jagbir Gill, a nephrologist at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, has been working to identify barriers among South Asian patients while Doctor Istvan Mucsi of Toronto's University Health Network has done the same with those from the African, Black and Caribbean communities.

Their joint project is funded by Health Canada as part of an effort to increase living donor kidney transplants in the racialized groups that are more prone to kidney disease due to greater rates of diabetes and high blood pressure, compared to Caucasians.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 19, 2024.

The Canadian Press