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The Monday news briefing: An at-a-glance survey of some top stories


Highlights from the news file for Monday, Oct. 2

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TWO CANADIANS AMONG DEAD IN VEGAS: Two Canadians were among dozens of people killed in Las Vegas when a gunman opened fire on a crowd of thousands gathered at an outdoor country music festival Sunday. Jessica Klymchuk, of Valleyview, Alta., and Jordan McIldoon, 23, of Maple Ridge, B.C., were among at least 58 people who died in the horrific attack that also left more than 500 others injured, including an unknown number of Canadians. In a statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced the "senseless and cowardly act of violence."

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HIGH-RISE SNIPER KILLS DOZENS AT VEGAS CONCERT: A gunman on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel-casino rained heavy fire down on a crowd of over 22,000 at an outdoor country music festival, turning the expanse into a killing field from which there was little escape. At least 58 people died. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. At least 515 people were injured. Authorities said SWAT teams using explosives stormed the gunman's hotel room in the gold-coloured glass skyscraper and found he had killed himself.

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CHARGES LAID IN EDMONTON ATTACK: A suspect has been charged in an attack which saw an Edmonton officer stabbed and four people injured when they were hit by a rental truck fleeing police. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif faces five counts of attempted murder, four counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and one weapons-related charge. Police raised the possibility of terrorism charges on Sunday when revealing that Sharif had been investigated two years earlier for espousing extremist views and was found to have an Islamic State flag in his car.

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ACCUSED IN QUEBEC MOSQUE SHOOTING GOING STRAIGHT TO TRIAL: The accused in the slayings of six men at a Quebec City mosque last January will bypass his preliminary hearing and go straight to trial, the Crown announced on Monday. Prosecutors filed a direct indictment against Alexandre Bissonnette during a brief hearing in Quebec City. Crown prosecutor Thomas Jacques also announced another charge — one more count of attempted murder with a restricted weapon.

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PAYETTE NOW 29TH GOVERNOR GENERAL: Amid all the pomp and pageantry afforded the Queen's representative in Canada, former astronaut Julie Payette took the formal oath of office Monday to become the country's 29th Governor General in a traditional ceremony on Parliament Hill. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood by as Payette read the oaths of allegiance of the Governor General and commander-in-chief of Canada, and of the Keeper of the Great Seal of Canada. The audience included justices of the Supreme Court, political and Indigenous leaders and other dignitaries, including former governors general, several provincial premiers and Payette's friends and family.

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PREMIERS TO TALK TAX CHANGES WITH MORNEAU: The Liberal government has been fielding a lot of complaints about controversial proposed tax reforms and now the premiers are about to have their turn as they gather in Ottawa to meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The provincial and territorial leaders will get a chance on Tuesday to hear Finance Minister Bill Morneau discuss his proposals to eliminate small business tax provisions the Liberals argue allow wealthy Canadians to avoid paying their fair share. The suggested changes have led to an outcry from doctors, farmers, small business owners and even some premiers, who are concerned about the effect they would have on their provincial economies.

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TECH SECTOR WARNS FEDS OVER TAX PROPOSALS: The country's fastest growing technology companies and industry investors are urging the federal government to meet the sector before going ahead with controversial tax-reform proposals. In a letter to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, the Council of Canadian Innovators warns his tax proposals would limit tech entrepreneurs' access to capital that's vital for their companies' growth and job creation. The association also says the changes, if implemented, would create uncertainty for corporate tax planning, intensify a brain drain of tech talent away from Canada and negatively affect Ottawa's highly publicized investments to help high-potential firms scale up.

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SINGH MEETING MPS ON 1ST DAY AS NDP LEADER: Jagmeet Singh spent his first day as the newly elected leader of the federal NDP meeting individually with MPs in Ottawa as he prepares to name an interim leader in the House of Commons. Singh, a member of the Ontario legislature who does not currently have a Commons seat, is expected to name an MP in the coming days who will oversee the work of the federal caucus. NDP national director Robert Fox says Singh will be paid directly by the party because he can't be paid through parliamentary channels.

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BORUTSKI MURDER TRIAL BEGINS: Basil Borutski had nothing to say for himself Monday as the former millwright, accused of killing three women in the Ottawa Valley in 2015, refused to enter a plea at the start of his murder trial. The 59-year-old remained silent in the prisoner's box as a court clerk first asked him to confirm his name before asking how he would like to plead to the three first-degree murder charges against him. The charges relate to the deaths of Carol Culleton, 66, Anastasia Kuzyk, 36, and Nathalie Warmerdam, 48, whose bodies were found in separate crime scenes in and around Wilno, Ont., on Sept. 22, 2015.

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DEVOS TO VISIT ONTARIO: U.S. President Donald Trump's education secretary, who holds controversial views on publicly funded education, is set to visit Ontario to learn about its public school system. Ontario government officials confirmed Betsy DeVos' trip is taking place but wouldn't provide details. U.S. embassy officials provided few specifics, except to say DeVos' visit is on Thursday and Friday and involves a study tour to Toronto "to examine best practices in Ontario's education system."

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The Canadian Press

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