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Campaign focuses on Ontario; First female New York governor: In The News for Aug. 24

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 Aug. 24. What we are watching in Canada ...

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 Aug. 24.

What we are watching in Canada ...

All three main party leaders are in Ontario for day nine of the federal election campaign.

After spending the past several days in Atlantic Canada, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau starts his day with an announcement in Hamilton.

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole is staying in Ottawa, where he will also make a morning announcement before holding virtual telephone townhalls with Quebec and British Columbia.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh will kick off his Tuesday with an announcement on long-term care in Mississauga. He'll then make a whistle stop with Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and NDP Hamilton-area candidates in Amherstburg before meeting with supporters at the campaign office of another local candidate in the area.


Also this ...

Manitoba's governing Progressive Conservatives will choose a new party leader and premier Oct. 30.

The party executive met Monday night and also set down rules, including an entry fee of $25,000.

Premier Brian Pallister announced earlier this month he would not seek re-election, and said Monday he is prepared to step aside within a few weeks.

The only person so far who has announced a plan to run for leader is former health minister Heather Stefanson, who has garnered the support of most Tory caucus members.

Stefanson and any other potential leadership candidates face several requirements, such as having to sell a minimum of 1,000 new or renewed party memberships.

The cutoff for signing up supporters as members is Sept. 30. The Sept. 15 deadline to enter the race is five days before the federal election, which will be a barrier to any federal candidate that might consider a provincial leadership run as a backup.


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

ALBANY, N.Y. _ Kathy Hochul became the first female governor of New York in a brief, private ceremony at the stroke of midnight Tuesday, taking control of a state government desperate to get back to business after months of distractions over sexual harassment allegations against Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo left office at 12:00 a.m, two weeks after he announced he would resign rather than face a likely impeachment battle. He submitted his resignation letter late Monday to the leaders of the state Assembly and Senate.

On his final day in office, Cuomo released a pre-recorded farewell address in which he defended his record over a decade as New York's governor and portrayed himself as the victim of a "media frenzy.''

Hochul was scheduled to have a ceremonial swearing-in event Tuesday morning at the Capitol, with more pomp than the brief, legally required event during the night.

For the first time, a majority of the most powerful figures in New York state government will be women, including state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Attorney General Letitia James and the chief judge, DiFiore. The state Assembly is led by a man, Speaker Carl Heastie.

Cuomo's resignation comes after an independent investigation overseen by state Attorney General Letitia James concluded there was credible evidence he'd sexually harassed at least 11 women.

Hochul, who said she didn't work closely with Cuomo and wasn't aware of the harassment allegations before they became public, has vowed no one will ever call her workplace "toxic," saying she has a different approach to governing.


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

WASHINGTON — The leaders of the world’s seven major industrialized democracies met on what was a happy occasion at on England’s southeast coast two months ago, which included the welcomed appearance of President Joe Biden and his “America is back” message.

On Tuesday, leaders of the Group of Seven nations will meet again in virtual format confronted by a resurgence in the COVID-19 pandemic, more dire news on climate change and the burgeoning refugee crisis in Afghanistan following the collapse of its government and fears of a resurgence in Afghan-based terrorism.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reconvening the leaders for crisis talks on Afghanistan amid widespread unhappiness about Biden’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal. Complaints have come from Britain, France, Germany and others in the G-7, which includes only one non-NATO member, Japan.

Despite Biden’s April announcement that the U.S. would completely withdraw from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the central Asian nation was almost an afterthought when the G-7 met in June in the English resort town of Cornwall.

Johnson and others, including French President Emmanuel Macron. are pushing Biden to extend his self-imposed Aug. 31 deadline for the total withdrawal of U.S. forces in order to ensure the evacuation of all foreign nationals as well as Afghans who worked for or otherwise supported the American-led NATO operation that vanquished the Taliban in 2001 and has now accepted defeat.


On this day in 1990 ...

Three Canadian warships set sail for the Persian Gulf to participate in the blockade of Iraq over its invasion of Kuwait three weeks before.


In entertainment ...

LONDON — A British judge has ruled that songs by punk trailblazers the Sex Pistols can be used in a forthcoming TV series despite the opposition of former frontman John Lydon. 

Ex-Pistols guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook sued the singer, once known as Johnny Rotten, after he tried to block the music’s use in “Pistol,” which is being made for Disney subsidiary FX and is based on a memoir by Jones.

Lydon called the show “nonsense” during hearings last month at the High Court and said the songs could not be licensed without his consent. 

But Cook and Jones claimed that an agreement dating from 1998 allowed a majority decision. High Court judge Anthony Mann agreed, saying the pair were entitled to invoke “majority voting rules” as outlined in the band agreement. 

He said Lydon’s claim that he was not aware of the details or implications of the agreement that he had signed was “a convenient contrivance.”

“Pistol” is being directed by Danny Boyle, the Academy Award-winning director of “Trainspotting” and “Slumdog Millionaire.”

Formed in London in 1975, the Sex Pistols split up in 1978 and Bassist Sid Vicious died the following year. The surviving members have reunited for several concerts, most recently in 2008.



HALIFAX — An anti-racism advocate says a recent Nova Scotia Court of Appeal decision on sentencing for Black offenders will help the justice system recognize the full extent of the injustices facing African Nova Scotians.

The ruling, which requires trial judges during sentencing to consider the historical disadvantages and systemic racism experienced by Black offenders, is "a turning of the tides," said Robert Wright, executive director for the African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent Coalition.

"We recognize now that justice is not blind," he said in an interview. "It has been too sighted in the wrong way and that justice is meted out kind of proportionally to your status in the society."

Justice Anne S. Derrick, on behalf of a Court of Appeal panel, ruled that compelling judges to inquire about the systemic issues facing African Nova Scotians could help reduce the levels of incarceration in that community. 

"This is not a conventional appeal," Derrick wrote in the 5-0 ruling. "We are not being asked to find the sentencing judge erred in law or imposed a manifestly unfit sentence.

"The moral culpability of an African Nova Scotian offender has to be assessed in the context of historic factors and systemic racism, as was done in this case."

The decision involved the case of Rakeem Rayshon Anderson, an African Nova Scotian man who was found guilty on five firearm-related charges in June 2019. Police had found a .22-calibre revolver in his waistband following a traffic stop in November 2018.

Provincial court Chief Judge Pamela Williams handed Anderson a conditional sentence of two years less a day, along with two years' probation. She said her sentencing decision was supported by the results of an Impact of Race and Culture Assessment involving Anderson.

Williams said regardless of the sentence she imposed, it would likely "do little to deter others in similar circumstances" because of socio-economic forces that are "firmly entrenched in systemic racism and marginalization."

The Crown said it didn't appeal the decision to overturn the sentence, but it wanted guidance on the lower court judge's ruling.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 24, 2021

The Canadian Press