Evening Update: London, Ont. police chief apologizes to woman at centre of Hockey Canada sexual-assault case
Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
The police chief of London, Ont. publicly apologized today to a young woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted in 2018 for the length of time it took to bring criminal charges in the case against five former junior hockey players. London police initially closed their investigation without charges in 2019, before reopening it in 2022.
“As a police officer working in this space for many, many years, I can tell you that this is a difficult, difficult situation for all victims and survivors of sexual violence,” Chief Thai Truong said, speaking for the first time about the criminal charges laid last week.
Earlier on Monday, lawyers for the five former players from Canada’s 2018 world iunior hockey team appeared in court, their first time in front of a judge since their clients were charged. The court has scheduled the players’ next court appearance for April 30.
King Charles diagnosed with cancer at 75
Royal officials said on Monday that doctors have discovered that Charles, 75, has cancer and he has cancelled all public appearances while he receives medical care. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said the King was receiving expert care and he looked forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible.
Charles had sought treatment last month in London for an enlarged prostate, but sources say that is not where his cancer is located. Officials did not provide further details but added that the King had “chosen to share his diagnosis to prevent speculation and in the hope it may assist public understanding for all those around the world who are affected by cancer.”
Senior B.C. minister removed from cabinet for saying Israel founded on ‘crappy piece of land’
B.C. Premier David Eby has removed a senior cabinet minister for saying Israel was founded on a “crappy piece of land.”
Selina Robinson will remain in the New Democratic Party caucus but has been dismissed as Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. The Premier initially resisted calls for Robinson’s resignation, but demands for her ouster continued to mount over the weekend, particularly in the Muslim community and First Nations leadership.
Robinson apologized the day after making the comment, but said she was merely referring to the fact that the land has limited natural resources. She has since issued a statement promising to take anti-Islamophobia training.
Manulife backtracks on plan to give Loblaw exclusive right to fill prescriptions for some drug plan members
Canada’s largest insurer has reversed its decision to give Loblaw Cos. Ltd.’s pharmacies the exclusive right to fill prescriptions on certain specialty medications for chronic illnesses. Last month, Manulife Financial Corp. said all specialty medications would “primarily” be fulfilled by Shoppers Drug Mart and other Loblaw-owned pharmacies.
Manulife Canada president and chief executive Naveed Irshad said in a statement the company has “listened to and are addressing the concerns” it has “heard over the past week” including comments from the federal government. Now, Manulife has announced its plan members who take specialty medications will be able to fill their prescriptions at any pharmacy of their choice.
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ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Middle East: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler in a visit that Palestinians hope will deliver a truce in Gaza before a threatened Israeli assault on Rafah, the border city where about half of the enclave’s population is sheltering.
Artificial intelligence: AI expert Yoshua Bengio urged Ottawa to implement quickly a bill to regulate AI and guard against serious dangers posed by the technology, saying a registry is needed to monitor powerful systems.
The 2024 Grammys: The performance by Joni Mitchell at this year’s Grammy Awards was expected. The appearance of another Canadian icon at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles was a shocker. Read all about the best, worst and most quotable moments at the Grammys.
Weather: The Nova Scotia government is asking Ottawa for help as the province digs out from an “extreme snowfall” that has prompted parts of Cape Breton to declare local states of emergency.
WeWork: The shared office space provider may be forced to take on a new bankruptcy loan to make up for slower-than-expected progress on rent negotiations, a lawyer for the company said.
Stocks fall as bond yields spike again on rethink of first Fed rate cut
The major North American stock indexes closed lower on Monday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell pushed back firmly against speculation that rate cuts would be imminent, while investors assessed a mixed bag of U.S. earnings reports. The TSX lost 1%, a steeper decline than Wall Street owing to weakness in materials and utilities sectors.
The S&P/TSX composite index was down 213.20 points at 20,871.89. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 274.30 points to 38,380.12, the S&P 500 lost 15.80 points to 4,942.81 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 31.28 points to 15,597.68.
The Canadian dollar traded for 73.93 cents US compared with 74.33 cents US on Friday.
The American right’s hate-on for Taylor Swift is self-defeating
“Ms. Swift, who won Album of the Year for a record fourth time at the Grammys Sunday night, will likely be no worse for the wear. But America’s Trump-supporting conspiracy theorists, resigned to listening to off-key political anthems on YouTube, certainly will be.” – Robyn Urback
Ottawa must restore balance between its temporary and permanent resident programs
“We cannot dismiss the reality that part of the service sector can only survive with low-wage, low-skill foreign workers. This issue is not unique to Canada, though, and it will not disappear tomorrow.” – Michael Barutciski
To everyone critiquing Patrick Mahomes’s dad bod, give your head a slap
“If anyone talked about a female athlete the way they’ve been talking about Mahomes, they’d be so thoroughly cancelled that their credit cards would stop working.” – Cathal Kelly
Protein plays a key role in healthy aging, helping to maintain strong bones, preserve muscle strength and mobility, and support the immune system. But the kind of protein matters. New research shows women who ate more plant protein in their 40s and 50s increased their odds of healthy aging. Here’s what to know.
TODAY’S LONG READ
Messi business: Inter Miami booed by furious Hong Kong fans as Argentinian spends exhibition match benched
Argentinian soccer superstar Lionel Messi is used to crowds screaming his name. But not normally with such anger, or accompanied by the word “refund.” A much-hyped exhibition match between his Inter Miami and Hong Kong XI ended in boos and jeers Sunday after the U.S. club’s star player spent the entire game on the bench.
As it became clear he was not going to play, chants of “refund, refund” and “we want Messi” could be heard from the 38,000-strong crowd at Hong Kong Stadium. Following Miami’s 4-1 victory, co-owner David Beckham was drowned out by boos as he tried to thank the crowd “for their incredible support.”
Hong Kong had been gripped by Messi fever for weeks leading up to the Argentinian’s arrival Friday. Tickets for the match, costing between $150 to $840, sold out in less than an hour, and some fans flew in from as far as Australia and South Korea. Read the full story by James Griffiths.