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WE charity back in spotlight and an Alex Trebek memoir; In The News for July 21


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 July 21 ...

What we are watching in Canada ... 

OTTAWA — The Liberal government's cancelled contract with an organization connected closely to the prime minister will be back in the spotlight today.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected in the House of Commons, with the opposition raring to press him on how his cabinet decided to approve handing control over a $900-million student program to the WE Charity organization.

The Conservatives' latest line of attack is linked to media reports of internal problems with WE, including one by Canadaland suggesting auditors had raised red flags about how the organization has handled its finances in recent years.

The Tories say that raises questions about how much due diligence was actually done before the contract to run the Canada Student Services Grant program was awarded to WE.

The Liberals have said the non-partisan public service made the call, and the top public servant will also be answering questions on the deal today.


Also this ...

OTTAWA — Closing submissions in the trial of an Ottawa police officer charged in the death of a Black man continue today over video conference.

Const. Daniel Montsion's hearing was initially scheduled for April but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawyers representing Montsion argued yesterday that he acted according to his training and the information available to him at the time during the confrontation four years ago.

His lawyers told the court that Montsian had no choice but to "engage" with Abdirahman Abdi after being called to assist another officer on July 24, 2016.

Abdi, a 37-year-old Somali-Canadian man, lost vital signs during the incident and died in hospital the next day.

Montsion is charged with manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.


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

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump is set to once again take centre stage in the federal government’s coronavirus response.

That's after a White House debate over how best to deploy its greatest and most volatile asset — him — played out in public amid the president’s faltering poll numbers.

One week after a campaign shake-up, Trump advisers have stressed the urgency of the president adopting a disciplined public agenda in an effort to turn around his lagging performance against Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Now, after a three-month hiatus from daily briefings, Trump is set to resume a regular public presence, starting today, as confirmed coronavirus cases spike nationwide.


What we are watching elsewhere in the world ...

BRUSSELS — After four days and nights of wrangling, exhausted European Union leaders have finally reached agreement on an unprecedented $2.1-trillion budget and coronavirus recovery fund.

They somehow found unity early this morning after one of their longest summits to date.

To confront the biggest recession in its history, the EU reached a consensus on a 750-billion euro coronavirus fund to be sent as loans and grants to the countries hit hardest by the virus.

That comes on top of the seven-year, one-trillion euro EU budget.

At first, the grants were to total 500 billion euros, but the figure was lowered to 390 billion euros.


Entertainment news...

TORONTO — "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek says if his current treatment for Stage 4 pancreatic cancer doesn't work, he'll probably stop pursuing medical intervention.

In his touching new memoir, "The Answer Is...Reflections on My Life," the Sudbury, Ont.-raised TV personality writes that "quality of life was an important consideration" in the decision.

The seven-time Emmy Award winner says he and his wife, Jean Currivan, and their two children had "a good cry" when he told them.

Trebek adds he's "lived a good, full life," knows he's nearing the end of it, and is "not afraid of dying."

The 79-year-old, who lives in Los Angeles and turns 80 on Wednesday, announced his cancer diagnosis in March 2019 and has continued to work on "Jeopardy!" throughout his treatment.

His new memoir looks back on his life and career, and gives up-to-date reflections on his health, the world, and the COVID-19 pandemic.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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