Trudeau meets with Bloc leader and a choked up Alex Trebek; In-The-News Nov. 13

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. 13.

What we are watching in Canada ...

OTTAWA — And now it's Yves-Francois Blanchet's turn.

The Bloc Quebecois leader will meet with the prime minister today in Ottawa, a day after Justin Trudeau had back-to-back meetings with Conservative Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe.

Trudeau and Blanchet will talk about the upcoming sitting of Parliament — scheduled to begin Dec. 5 with the election of a House of Commons Speaker followed by a throne speech outlining the Liberal government's priorities.

Blanchet has made clear that his party will only vote to accept legislation that benefits Quebec and is expected to push for more autonomy for the province.

Trudeau will also meet with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh on Thursday.

The meetings are an opportunity for the prime minister to sort out which of his party's policy platforms will fly in a minority Parliament.

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Also this ...

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — An audit released today warns the health of Canada's fish stocks is in a steady state of decline.

The report by advocacy group Oceana Canada says twenty-nine per cent of fish stocks are considered healthy this year, compared to thirty-four per cent last year.

The number of critically depleted stocks has increased since 2018, including a number of crustacean stocks such as shrimp in waters off British Columbia.

In its third audit of Canada's fisheries management, Oceana Canada says the updated Fisheries Act that became law this year should develop regulations requiring timelines for rebuilding plans.

The report says valuable stocks will continue to decline without firm commitments towards rebuilding stocks.

Robert Rangeley, Oceana's science director, says the audit has revealed worrying trends about the health of Canada's oceans and the federal government response.

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ICYMI (In case you missed it) ...

TORONTO — The death of a two-year-old girl who was hit by a falling air conditioner has prompted an investigation by the City of Toronto.

The child died in hospital after she was hit Monday afternoon outside an east-end apartment building, police said Tuesday.

The building is owned by the city and part of Toronto Community Housing, which launched an investigation to find out how a window air conditioning unit tumbled from an eighth-floor suite.

"This is a tragic situation," said community housing spokesman Bruce Malloch.

While the city's probe ramps up, police have completed their preliminary investigation, said Const. Caroline de Kloet.

"From the interviews that investigators have done, they've come to the conclusion that there won't be any criminal charges," she said.

Malloch said the organization has a program that encourages tenants to swap out window air-conditioning units for floor models, free of charge.

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What we are watching in the U.S. ...

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The closed doors of the Trump impeachment investigation are swinging wide open.

When the gavel strikes at the start of the House hearing today, the U.S. and the rest of the world will have the chance to see and hear for themselves for the first time about President Donald Trump's actions toward Ukraine and consider whether they are, in fact, impeachable offences .

It's a remarkable moment, even for a White House full of them.

All on TV, committee leaders will set the stage, then comes the main feature: Two seasoned diplomats, William Taylor, the graying former infantry officer now charge d'affaires in Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary in Washington, telling the striking, if sometimes complicated story of a president allegedly using foreign policy for personal and political gain ahead of the 2020 election.

So far, the narrative is splitting Americans, mostly along the same lines as Trump's unusual presidency. The Constitution sets a dramatic, but vague, bar for impeachment, and there's no consensus yet that Trump's actions at the heart of the inquiry meet the threshold of "high crimes and misdemeanours ."

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What we are watching in the rest of the world ...

Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg will leave North America and begin her return trip across the Atlantic today aboard a 15-metre catamaran sailboat whose passengers include an 11-month-old baby.

The boat leaves little to no carbon footprint, boasting solar panels and a hydro-generators for power. It also has a toilet, unlike the boat on which she sailed from the United Kingdom to New York in August. That one only had a bucket.

"There are countless people around the world who don't have access to a toilet," she said about the upgrade. "It's not that important. But it's nice to have."

Thunberg spoke Tuesday inside the tight confines of the catamaran, named La Vagabonde, as it was docked in Hampton, Va., near the Chesapeake Bay's mouth. She's hitching a ride to Spain in hopes of attending a United Nations climate meeting in Madrid in early December.

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Weird and wild ...

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — An Alabama man charged with criminal mischief in the slashing of a towering "Baby Trump" balloon has defended his actions, saying it was a matter of good versus evil.

Al.com reports Hoyt Deau Hutchinson called the syndicated "Rick & Bubba Show" and said he was shaking in anger when he drove past the balloon and its handlers Saturday during President Donald Trump's visit to the state.

He yelled at the protesters, but then realized they might have seen him, so he bought a University of Alabama shirt to better blend into the crowd and get close to the balloon.

Pretending he wanted a picture with the balloon, Hutchinson said he used a material cutter with a sharp razor to slice the symbol open.

"I get so mad about people not taking a stand," he said. "The left wants to use religion against you like you shouldn't act like this and stuff but I'll tell you this — the Devil knows the Bible as good as we do."

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On this day in 1950 …

A Canadian chartered airliner crashed on Mt. L'Obiou in the French Alps, killing all 59 people on board.

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Your health ...

VANCOUVER — A new landmark report warns superbugs are likely to kill nearly 400,000 Canadians and cost the economy about $400 billion in gross domestic product over the next 30 years.

An expert panel cautions that the percentage of bacterial infections that are resistant to treatment is likely to grow from 26 per cent in 2018 to 40 per cent by 2050.

This increase is expected to cost Canada 396,000 lives, $120 billion in hospital expenses and $388 billion in gross domestic product over the next three decades. 

"This is almost as big, if not bigger, than climate change in a sense because this is directly impacting people. The numbers are just staggering," says Brett Finlay, a University of British Columbia microbiology professor who chaired the panel, in an interview. "It's time to do something now."

The Public Health Agency of Canada commissioned the report on the socio-economic impacts of antimicrobial resistance and the Council of Canadian Academies assembled the independent panel.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when micro-organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi, evolve to resist the drugs that would otherwise kill them.

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Your money ...

HALIFAX — Figuring out what to charge for an Airbnb is a process that can be fraught with emotions and conflicting advice.

Airbnb suggests rates and offers a tool that lets hosts set their prices to automatically go up or down based on changes in demand.

However Halifax host Carolyn Hocquard recommends searching other properties in their area to get a sense of prices and use them as a benchmark.

"I started low to get going and then I just continuously raised the price periodically," she says.

Hocquard began charging $35 per room per night, but now her lowest price is $55 and her highest is $80.

When she was experimenting with what to charge, she would raise the price by $5 or $10 to give herself insight into what people will pay and when.

Hocquard will sometimes offer a discount — usually around 10 per cent — to people who book a longer stay.

When toying with prices, Hocquard says to keep in mind that Airbnb takes a percentage of every booking.

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Celebrity news ...

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek got choked up when he read the final response from a Brown University student who wanted to show support as he battles pancreatic cancer.

The emotional moment came in Monday's episode when Trebek, a Canadian, read Dhruv Gaur's final answer.

Instead of writing a correct response, Gaur wrote "We love you, Alex!" He substituted a heart in place of the word love.

Trebek's voice cracked slightly as he thanked Gaur, telling him, "That's very kind."

Gaur was eliminated in the semifinals for the Tournament of Champions.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 13, 2019.

The Canadian Press