French conservative debate, bail hearing for Tamara Lich: In the news of May 25

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In The News is a roundup of articles from The Canadian Press designed to start your day. Here’s what’s on our editors’ radar for the morning of May 25… What we’re watching in Canada…

In The News is a roundup of articles from The Canadian Press designed to start your day. Here’s what’s on our editors’ radar for the morning of May 25…

What we’re watching in Canada…

The candidates for the leadership of the federal Conservative Party will appear on stage tonight for its debate in French.

The event is taking place in Laval, Quebec, north of Montreal, and comes as the deadline approaches for candidates to register their supporters as party members in order to be eligible to vote in the contest.

Former Quebec Premier Jean Charest and longtime Ottawa-area MP Pierre Poilievre are expected to dominate much of the debate as both are fluent in French and have paved the way to victory in the province.

Patrick Brown can also speak French and has spent the race campaigning against a controversial secularism law in Quebec that prohibits certain public officials in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols at work, which he says is an affront to religious freedom.

Party members will also be monitoring whether Leslyn Lewis has improved her French after largely sticking to a prepared script during the 2020 French-language leadership debate.

The candidates will take to the stage after the Quebec Legislative Assembly passed a language reform bill that critics say goes too far in protecting the French language by potentially depriving English-speakers of the province. the ability to access services such as health care in English.

Also this…

An Ottawa judge is expected to decide today whether “Freedom Convoy” organizer Tamara Lich should return to jail.

Moiz Karimjee, a crown attorney, said Lich violated one of her bail conditions by agreeing to accept a reward for her leadership at the Ottawa protest and should be fired behind bars awaiting trial.

Lich and fellow protest organizer Chris Barber are jointly charged with mischief, obstructing police, counseling others to commit mischief and intimidation.

She was released with a long list of conditions, including a ban on all social media and an order not to “support anything related to the Freedom Convoy”.

Lich’s attorney, Lawrence Greenspon, says his bail conditions should be relaxed to allow him to come to Ontario and use social media.

The “Freedom Convoy” demonstration turned into a week-long protest that brought the streets of Ottawa to a standstill.

What we’re watching in the US…

UVALDE, Texas _ An 18-year-old gunman opened fire at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday, killing at least 19 children as he walked from class to class, officials said, in the deadliest shooting in a school for almost a decade and the last horrific moment for a country scarred by a series of massacres. The assailant was killed by law enforcement.

The death toll also included two adults, authorities said. Governor Greg Abbott said one of the two was a teacher.

The assault at Robb Elementary School in the heavily Latino town of Uvalde was the deadliest shooting at an American school since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.

Hours after the attack, the families were still waiting for news of their children.

Outside the city‘s civic center, where families were expected to wait for news of loved ones, the silence was repeatedly broken by screams and groans. “No! Please no!” shouted one man hugging another.

“My heart is broken today,” said school district superintendent Hal Harrell. “We are a small community, and we are going to need your prayers to get through this.”

The attack came just 10 days after a deadly and racist rampage at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, added to a years-long string of massacres at churches, schools and stores. And the prospects for national gun regulatory reform looked as bleak, if not bleaker, than in the aftermath of Sandy Hook’s death.

But US President Joe Biden appeared ready to fight, calling for new gun restrictions in an address to the nation hours after the attack.

“As a nation, we have to ask, when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name are we going to do what needs to be done?” Biden asked. “Why are we willing to live with this carnage?”

What we’re looking at in the rest of the world…

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan _ In Afghanistan, 1.1 million children under the age of five are likely to face the most severe form of malnutrition this year, according to the UN, as growing numbers of starving and wasting children are taken to hospital wards.

The UN and other aid agencies averted starvation after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan last year by rolling out a massive emergency aid program that fed millions of people.

But they are struggling to keep pace with ever-worsening conditions. Poverty is skyrocketing and more and more Afghans are in need of aid, world food prices are rising due to the war in Ukraine and the promises of international funding so far do not materialize, according to an assessment report published this month.

As a result, vulnerable people are victims, including children but also mothers who struggle to feed themselves with their families.

UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, said 1.1 million children this year are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition, also known as severe wasting, nearly double the number in 2018 and against just under a million last year.

According to UNICEF, severe wasting is the deadliest type of malnutrition, in which food is so lacking that a child’s immune system is compromised. They become vulnerable to multiple bouts of illness and eventually become so weak that they cannot absorb nutrients.

The number of children under five admitted to health facilities with severe acute malnutrition has steadily increased, from 16,000 in March 2020 to 18,000 in March 2021 and then to 28,000 in March 2022 , UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan Mohamed Ag Ayoya wrote in a tweet last week.

Hit by one of its worst droughts in decades and torn apart by years of war, Afghanistan was already facing a food emergency; but the Taliban takeover in August plunged the country into crisis. Many development agencies pulled out and international sanctions cut billions of dollars from government finances, collapsing the economy.

Millions of people have been pushed into poverty, struggling to feed their families. At the end of last year, half of the population of around 38 million people lived below the poverty line, according to UN figures. As the economy continues to slump and prices rise, this could reach 97% of the population this year by mid-2022, according to the United Nations Development Programme.

On this day in 1950…

The federal and provincial governments have agreed to build the Trans-Canada Highway. It was completed 12 years later.

In entertainment…

Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard is set to return to the stand today in his sexual assault trial.

The Hedley frontman pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one of sexual interference, a charge that refers to sexually touching a person under the age of 16.

Prosecutors allege he violently and repeatedly raped two women, one of whom was 16 at the time, in two separate incidents in the fall of 2016.

The complainants testified that they cried and said no during the meetings, which took place in hotel rooms in the Toronto area.

Hoggard began his testimony on Tuesday, saying the two encounters were consensual and heated.

He said he relied on verbal and non-verbal cues to assess the consent of each of the plaintiffs.

Have you seen this?

With housing, gas and food prices rising, some young people in Halifax say they are being pushed out of town.

Gina Grattan, a 25-year-old who works full and part-time, says she lives paycheck to paycheck to cover rent, utilities and student loan payments.

Grattan says Halifax is her home and she would like to stay there as long as possible, but it’s getting harder and harder.

Halifax was ranked the least affordable of Canada’s 27 major cities in a study by RBC and Canadian think tank Youthful Cities.

The report indicates that Canadians aged 15 to 29 living in cities have an average monthly deficit of $750.

In Halifax, the average young person has a monthly deficit of nearly 1,300 dollars, the highest of any city.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 25, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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