Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Federal help for BC, stranded motorists return to Vancouver: In The News for Nov. 18

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. 18 ... 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 Nov. 18 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

The Canadian Armed Forces has been called in to help with recovery efforts in B.C., with the provincial government declaring a state of emergency following catastrophic flooding.

The military will provide both air and land support for critical provincial supply chains and in evacuation and rescue efforts.

Premier John Horgan said travel restrictions will also be introduced to ensure essential goods and medical and emergency services can reach communities.

In a statement, Defence Minister Anita Anand said more troops will be sent to assist the communities that are most impacted, and support repair and mitigation efforts, adding "We must meet this unprecedented situation in British Columbia with resolve and assistance... We will be there for British Columbians to keep them safe and to recover from this tragedy."

Crews will continue today in their search through debris left by landslides along Highway 99 near Lillooet and Highway 7 near Agassiz to determine if any vehicles were caught underneath. No bodies were recovered Wednesday, and at least two people have been reported missing.

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham says thousands of animals died when parts of the Fraser Valley flooded, an efforts are underway to develop routes to allow veterinarians to access farms and treat what livestock may have survived.


Also this ...

About 200 people stranded for days after the devastating mudslides and floods returned to Vancouver Wednesday aboard a late-night evacuation train

Most of the train's passengers had been in Hope, located about 150 kilometres east of Vancouver, since Sunday when disastrous floods and mudslides cut off some of the province's major highways.

Jonathan Abecassis, a spokesman for Canadian National, says the evacuation train is the result of efforts between Emergency Management B.C., Via Rail and CN.

Earlier Wednesday, B.C.'s transportation ministry announced the reopening of Highway 7 between Agassiz and Hope in limited capacity to westbound traffic only to allow people to make their way back to the Lower Mainland.

B.C. declared a state of emergency following the unprecedented flooding that has displaced residents, severed highway access, trapped motorists and resulted in at least one death of a woman and thousands of livestock.


And this ...

A group of universities and colleges from across Canada are signing a charter to fight anti-Black racism in post-secondary institutions. 

The 22-page document requires those signing it to respect certain principles as they develop their own action plans to foster Black inclusion. 

Referred to as the Scarborough Charter, the document was drafted by an advisory committee that emerged from an event hosted by the University of Toronto last year as anti-Black racism was in the international spotlight. 

Forty-six universities and colleges, including the country's largest post-secondary institutions, are signing the charter virtually today.

They include the University of Toronto, McGill University, York University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Calgary and the University of Waterloo. 

Charter committee chair Wisdom Tettey says more universities and colleges are expected to sign the charter in the near future. 


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

BRUNSWICK, Ga. _ The man who fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery faces cross-examination by prosecutors Thursday, while a large group of Black ministers planned to rally outside the courthouse in support of Arbery's family.

Travis McMichael returns to the witness stand a day after testifying that Arbery forced him to make a split-second ``life-or-death'' decision by attacking him and grabbing his shotgun. McMichael's testimony marked the first time any of the three white men charged with murder in Arbery's death has spoken publicly out about the killing.

Now he faces aggressive questioning by prosecutors, who contend there was no justification for McMichael and his father to arm themselves and chase Arbery when he ran past their Georgia home on Feb. 23, 2020.

Meanwhile, the Rev. Al Sharpton planned to return Thursday for a rally with a large group of Black ministers, after a defence attorney intensified frustrations in the coastal Georgia community of Brunswick when he said he didn't want "any more Black pastors'' sitting in the Glynn County courtroom with Arbery's family.

Attorney Kevin Gough asked the judge last week to remove Sharpton from the court, saying the civil rights activist was trying to influence the jury, which is disproportionately white. The judge refused, and later called Gough's remarks "reprehensible.''

The Feb. 23, 2020, shooting of Arbery after he was spotted running in the defendants' neighbourhood deepened a national outcry over racial injustice after cellphone video of his death leaked online two months later.

McMichael and his father, Greg McMichael, armed themselves and jumped in a pickup truck to pursue Arbery after he ran past their home from a nearby house under construction. A neighbour, William "Roddie'' Bryan, joined the chase in his own truck and recorded the cellphone video.

Prosecutors say the men chased Arbery for five minutes and used their trucks to prevent Arbery from fleeing their neighbourhood before Travis McMichael shot him. They say there's no evidence Arbery committed any crimes.


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

BERLIN _ The head of Germany's disease control agency has warned that the country faces a ``really terrible Christmas'' unless steps are taken to counter the sharp rise in coronavirus infections.

German lawmakers are debating measures Thursday that would replace the nationwide epidemic rules, which will expire at the end of the month.

The Robert Koch Institute, Germany's disease control agency, said Thursday that 65,371 newly confirmed cases had been reported in a single day, continuing the upward trend that experts have been warning about for weeks.

"We are currently heading toward a serious emergency,'' the agency's director, Lothar Wieler, said. ``We are going to have a really terrible Christmas if we don't take countermeasures now.''

Wieler said Germany needs to increase its vaccination rates to significantly above 75 per cent, from 67.7 per cent at present. Some regions in Germany have vaccination rates as low as 57.6 per cent.

He also called for the closure of clubs and bars, an end to large-scale events and access to many parts of public life to be limited to those with vaccine or recovery certificates.

Wieler warned that hospitals across Germany are struggling to find beds for COVID-19 patients and those with other illnesses.


On this day in 1992 ...

Superman, alias Clark Kent, died after 54 years as one of North America's greatest superheroes. Superman was killed by Doomsday, a supervillain he had fought in D.C. Comics. You can't keep a good Man of Steel down, however -- and Superman was resurrected within a year.


In entertainment ...

LOS ANGELES _ A lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges that Alec Baldwin recklessly fired a gun when it wasn't called for in the script when he shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza on the New Mexico set of the film "Rust.''

"There was nothing in the script about the gun being discharged by defendant Baldwin or by any other person,'' the lawsuit from script supervisor Mamie Mitchell says.

The lawsuit is the second to stem from the shooting, with many more expected.

Like last week's from head of lighting Serge Svetnoy, it was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and names many defendants including Baldwin, who was both star and a producer; David Halls, the assistant director who handed Baldwin the gun; and Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who was in charge of weapons on the set.

Mitchell's lawsuit focuses mainly on Baldwin's actions. It said she was standing next to Hutchins and within 1.22 metres of the actor, and was stunned when he fired the gun inside the tiny church on Bonanza Creek Ranch on Oct. 21.

According to discussions before the scene was filmed, it called for three tight shots of Baldwin: One on his eyes, one on a blood stain on his shoulder, and one on his torso as he pulled the gun from a holster, the lawsuit says.

There was no call for Baldwin to point the gun toward Hutchins and Souza, nor to fire it, the lawsuit says.

It also alleges Baldwin violated protocol by not checking the gun more carefully.



A multimillionaire dog named Gunther VI is selling his Miami mansion that was once owned by Madonna. 

As crazy as it sounds, Gunther VI the German shepherd inherited his vast fortune from his grandfather Gunther IV. 

Among his holdings is the eight-bedroom waterfront home where the "Material Girl" singer used to live. 

The Tuscan-style villa purchased 20 years ago from Madonna went on sale Wednesday for $31.75 million. 

Gunther III inherited a multimillion-dollar trust after owner German countess Karlotta Liebenstein died in 1992. 

Since then, a group of handlers have helped maintain a jet-setting lifestyle for a succession of dogs.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 18, 2021.

The Canadian Press