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Canada to train Ukrainian troops amid Kyiv turbine row: In The News for Aug. 4, 2022

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 Thursday, August 4, 2022 ... What we are watching in Canada ...
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Minister of Defence Anita Anand speaks during an announcement at Canadian Forces Base Trenton in Trenton, Ont., on Monday June 20, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg

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 Thursday, August 4, 2022 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

Defence Minister Anita Anand is expected to announce today that the Canadian Armed Forces will start training Ukrainian soldiers in a third country.

The move comes nearly six months after Canada suspended its previous training mission in Ukraine just weeks before Russian forces invaded the country.

It also follows the return on Sunday of 150 Canadian soldiers who were first deployed to Poland in April to help with a flood of Ukrainian refugees flowing over the border.

A senior government official, granted anonymity to discuss matters not yet made public, tells The Canadian Press the new mission will include a significant number of troops and build on the military assistance that Canada has already given to Ukraine.

That includes training Ukrainian forces on how to use the four M777 howitzers that Canada donated earlier this year, as well as cyber assistance through Canada's electronic spy agency, the Communications Security Establishment.

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Also this ...

Ukraine's ambassador to Canada will today make clear her country's disappointment over Canada's decision to allow pipeline equipment that was in Montreal for repairs to be returned to a state-controlled energy giant in Russia despite war-related sanctions.

Yulia Kovaliv is to appear before a committee of MPs looking into Ottawa's decision to allow a turbine to be released to Gazprom, which Canada has sanctioned over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, for use in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline supplying Germany with natural gas.

Last month, the Liberal government drew criticism for granting Siemens Energy an exemption on sanctions against Russia and allowing the turbine to return to Germany and then eventually to Russia for installation in the pipeline.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson are also to appear before the House of Commons foreign affairs committee today, and Liberal chair Ali Ehsassi says it is important for Canadians to hear how the decision was made.

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

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones says he now understands he was irresponsible to declare the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre a hoax, and he now believes it was "100% real.'' 

The jury in Austin, Texas, began deliberating Wednesday how much the conspiracy theorist and Infowars host owes the parents of one of the children who were killed in the 2012 attack in Newtown, Connecticut. 

Testimony wrapped up with Jones telling the jurors that any compensation above $2 million would sink his Texas-based company. 

Jones also acknowledged that he was wrong to push false claims that the massacre didn't happen.

The parents suing Jones testified Tuesday that an apology wouldn't suffice and that Jones must be held accountable. They are seeking at least $150 million.

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

China says it has conducted "precision missile strikes" in the Taiwan Strait as part of military exercises by its navy, air force and other departments in six zones surrounding the island. 

The drills were prompted by a visit to the island by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week. They are intended to advertise China's threat to attack the self-governing island republic in response to moves to solidify its de-facto independence from Chinese rule. 

China's official Xinhua News Agency said the exercises were joint operations focused on "blockade, sea target assault, strike on ground targets, and airspace control."

Taiwan has put its military on alert and staged civil defence drills, while the U.S. has numerous naval assets in the area.

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On this day in 1769 ...

Prince Edward Island, then called the Island of St. Jean, was made a separate colony from Nova Scotia.

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In entertainment ...

A suspect mistakenly released from a Los Angeles County jail where he was being held on suspicion of shooting Lady Gaga’s dog walker and stealing her French bulldogs has been recaptured. 

The county Sheriff’s Department says James Howard Jackson, 19, was arrested Wednesday nearly five months after he was released from jail while awaiting trial “due to a clerical error." 

Jackson was one of five people arrested in connection with the Feb. 24, 2021, attack in Hollywood. 

Last month, the U.S. Marshals Service announced a reward up to $5,000 for information leading to his arrest. 

Jackson’s arrest comes as one of three men charged in the case pleaded no contest to second-degree robbery.

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Did you see this?

Fire crews in British Columbia's southern Okanagan region are literally fighting fire with fire, as the B-C Wildfire Service takes advantage of cooler weather to try to contain a blaze that has forced hundreds from their homes.

Fire information officer Marg Drysdale told a news conference Wednesday that crews were conducting controlled burns on the southeastern flank of the more than 42-square-kilometre wildfire burning southwest of Penticton.

An aerial ignition was planned for the region as crews burned off trees and bush not far from Highway 3A, which was closed earlier this morning for a 5km stretch as flames moved closer.

The wildfire service said roughly three-quarters of B.C.'s active wildfires were caused by lightning, while 11 per cent are linked to human activity.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 4, 2022

The Canadian Press