Trapped miners rescued, election outcome poll : In The News for Sept. 28

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 Sept. 28 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

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More than 24 hours after an incident at a northern Ontario mine trapped them underground, the first of the dozens of miners began returning to the surface late Monday.

An official with mining company Vale, Gord Gilpin, said in a statement that they were "relieved and delighted to see these individuals returning to surface safe and sound.''

Vale had said earlier in the day that a rescue team had reached the 39 workers, who were in several different ``refuges'' between 900 and 1,200 metres underground at Totten Mine, located about 40 kilometres west of Sudbury, Ont.

No one was injured, and Vale said it expected all 39 employees to return to surface in the coming hours.

The company said the workers became stuck after a scoop bucket being transported underground on Sunday detached and became hung up in the shaft, rendering normal conveyance for transporting employees unavailable.

The employees could still get out, the company said, but it meant they faced a long climb up a secondary egress ladder system with support of Vale's mine rescue team.

The company said the trapped miners had access to food, water and medicine. A spokesman for the United Steelworkers said that some of the trapped miners needed insulin.

Kalem McSween, a spokesman for the province's Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, said in an email that an inspection team will investigate the incident once the rescue operation is finished.

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Also this ...

Canadians may not be thrilled with the outcome of last week's federal election but a new poll suggests few are angry that it produced an almost identical result to the 2019 nation-wide vote.

Just 10 per cent of respondents to the Leger survey said they're happy with the outcome, which produced another Liberal minority government led by Justin Trudeau and only minor changes to the seat counts of all the parties.

But another 24 per cent said they're comfortable with the outcome, while nine per cent said they prefer a minority government in any event and 14 per cent said they're indifferent.

On the flip side, 12 per cent said they're angry about the outcome and six per cent said they're uncomfortable with it; another 24 per cent said they're unhappy about it "but life goes on."

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole has lambasted Trudeau for calling an unnecessary, 610-million-dollar election that changed nothing, all in the midst of a deadly fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The online survey of 1,537 was conducted Sept. 24-26, but it cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

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

ATLANTA (AP) _ A man already sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to fatally shooting four people at a massage business outside Atlanta is set to enter a plea to shooting four others on the same day at two spas inside the city.

Robert Aaron Long, 22, is scheduled to appear Tuesday in Fulton County Superior Court, where he will enter a plea on charges including murder, aggravated assault and domestic terrorism.

District Attorney Fani Willis is seeking the death penalty, as well as a sentencing enhancement under Georgia's new hate crimes law.

In July, Long pleaded guilty in Cherokee County to charges including four counts of murder. He received four sentences of life without parole plus an additional 35 years.

Those killed in Cherokee County were: Paul Michels, 54; Xiaojie ``Emily'' Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; and Delaina Yaun, 33. The Atlanta victims were: Suncha Kim, 69; Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; and Yong Ae Yue, 63.

Tuesday will be the second time Long appears before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville. During a brief appearance last month, Glanville asked Long's defense attorneys _ court-appointed lawyers from the Georgia capital defender's office _ about their qualifications to handle a death-penalty case and went through a checklist specific to capital cases.

When the killings happened in March, Asian Americans were already experiencing an uptick in hostility related to the coronavirus pandemic. The fact that a majority of the slain victims were women of Asian descent exacerbated existing feelings of fear and anger.

Many have been upset by Long's assertions that he was motivated by the shame he felt from sexual urges, rather than by racial bias.

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

KABUL, Afghanistan _ The Taliban banned barbershops in a southern Afghanistan province from shaving or trimming beards, claiming their edict is in line with Shariah, or Islamic, law.

The order in Helmand province was issued Monday by the provincial Taliban government's vice and virtue department to barbers in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital.

``Since I have heard (about the ban on trimming beards) I am heart broken,'' said Bilal Ahmad, a Lashkar Gah resident. ``This is the city and everyone follows a way of living, so they have to be left alone to do whatever they want.''

During their previous rule of Afghanistan, the Taliban adhered to a harsh interpretation of Islam. Since overrunning Kabul on Aug. 15 and again taking control of the country, the world has been watching to see whether they will re-create their strict governance of the late 1990s.

Some indication came on Saturday, when Taliban fighters killed four alleged kidnappers and later hung their bodies in the public squares of the western city of Herat.

"If anyone violates the rule (they) will be punished and no one has a right to complain,'' said the order issued to the barbers. It wasn't immediately clear what penalties the barbers could face if they don't adhere to the no shaving or trimming rule.

During the Taliban's previous rule, the conservative Islamists demanded that men grow beards. Since being ousted from power following the U.S.-led invasion in 2001, many men have opted for no or cleanly trimmed beards.

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On this day in 1972 ...

Paul Henderson scored the most famous goal in Canadian hockey history with 34 seconds remaining in the final game of the Canada-Soviet ``Summit Series'' in Moscow. The NHL stars tallied three times in the final period to win 6-5 and take the series with a 4-3-1 record. Henderson scored the winning goals in each of the last three games.

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In entertainment ...

TORONTO - Cadence Weapon has won the 2021 Polaris Music Prize for his album ``Parallel World.''

The Edmonton-raised rapper's project _ which fuses hip-hop, electronic and grime music _ was selected by an 11-member grand jury as the best Canadian album of the year, based on its artistic merit.

The win comes after two of his previous albums were shortlisted in past years but missed taking home the top prize.

Cadence Weapon, born Rollie Pemberton, is based in Toronto and has a storied life in Canada's arts scene and beyond. He was named Edmonton's poet laureate for two years in 2009 and once contributed to Chicago-based music website Pitchfork.

The Polaris Music Prize awards the artist or group that created the standout Canadian album of the previous year _ irrespective of genre or sales _ as chosen by a team of journalists, broadcasters and bloggers.

It is considered one of the country's most prestigious music awards. Former winners include Backxwash, Haviah Mighty, Jeremy Dutcher and Kaytranada.

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ICYMI ...

MONTREAL - A new study has found that severe cases of COVID-19 were very rare among Canadian children during the first waves of the pandemic.

But researchers warn the findings should not be taken as a reason not to vaccinate youth.

The study published Monday by the Canadian Medical Association Journal looked at 264 reported cases of children hospitalized in Canada between March 25 and Dec. 31 of last year -- before the more infectious Delta variant emerged.

Of those cases, researchers found that 43 per cent had been hospitalized for another reason -- such as a fracture -- and it was only after they were admitted that the positive COVID test came to light.

Overall, nearly 34-thousand Canadians of all ages were hospitalized during the same time frame.

But even with the encouraging conclusions, the study's co-lead author hopes it does not give parents a false sense of security.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2021

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