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Borutski inquest jury to present verdict, G7 Summit wraps up: In The News for July 28

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 28 ... What we are watching in Canada ...
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Basil Borutski arrives in a police vehicle for an appearance at the courthouse in Pembroke, Ont., on September 23, 2015. A jury is set to present a verdict and recommendations today at a coroner's inquest into the deaths of three women at the hands of their former partner in rural eastern Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

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 28 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

A jury is set to present a verdict and recommendations today at a coroner's inquest into the deaths of three women in rural eastern Ontario.

The inquest, which began June 6, is examining the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Carol Culleton, Nathalie Warmerdam and Anastasia Kuzyk, with a focus on the dynamics of gender-based violence, intimate partner violence and femicide in rural communities.

Culleton, Warmerdam and Kuzyk were killed on their properties in the Renfrew County area on the same day in 2015 by Basil Borutski, a man who had a known history of violence against women.

The five-member jury has been tasked with presenting a set of recommendations aimed at preventing similar tragedies and protecting victims of intimate partner violence, particularly in rural communities.

On Friday, lawyers and Wamerdam's daughter Valerie shared their own recommendations with the jury, including the need for "adequate and stable" funding from the provincial government for organizations providing intimate partner violence support services and the creation of an independent commission on the issue.

A press conference is expected after the jury presents its verdict and recommendations, featuring comments from Valerie Warmerdam and other parties involved in the inquest.

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Also this ...

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his G7 counterparts are expected to end their summit in Germany with a show of support for Ukraine before all seven leaders will head to a NATO summit in Spain.

On Monday, Canada issued a new round of sanctions on Russian supporters, including agents involved in disinformation campaigns.

Over the course of the three-day summit, leaders also discussed ways to alleviate the global fallout of the Russian invasion, including a growing energy and food security crisis.

Canadian officials in Germany say Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy specifically asked leaders to consider plans to rebuild communities and infrastructure once the fighting ebbs, which he hopes will happen by winter.

But officials say leaders in the meeting, which Zelenskyy attended virtually, are preparing for a more drawn-out conflict.

Trudeau plans to speak publicly about Canada's G7 commitments before boarding a plane to Madrid, Spain, for the NATO Summit where leaders will discuss the military implications of the conflict.

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And this too ...

Most people in Canada do not think people should have to swear an Oath of Allegiance to the Queen, according to a poll ahead of Canada Day.

A Leger poll for the Association of Canadian Studies found that 56 per cent of respondents did not agree with swearing allegiance to the Queen. 

New Canadians have to swear an oath to the monarchy at citizenship ceremonies including a pledge to “be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, her heirs and successors."

Jack Jedwab, president of the Association for Canadian Studies, said most people born in Canada were probably unaware that new Canadians had to swear an oath to be faithful to the Royal Family.

"If you ask Canadians about their identity, few would mention the monarchy," he said.

While 58 per cent of those who responded are positively disposed toward the Queen, with only 28 per cent negatively disposed, Canadians are evenly divided — 40 per cent positively and 40 per cent negatively — in their view of the monarchy overall. 

The poll asked whether, "as a Canadian, we should all agree to be faithful and bear true allegiance" to the Queen and her heirs.

Those who are very favourable toward the monarchy were more likely to approve of pledging allegiance. 

Canada is a constitutional monarchy, with the Queen as the head of state. She is represented federally by Gov. Gen. Mary Simon, and at a provincial level by lieutenant-governors. 

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

WASHINGTON _ The House panel investigating the U.S. Capitol insurrection is holding a surprise hearing on Tuesday with an unidentified witness, cloaking the last-minute proceedings in extraordinary secrecy and raising expectations for new bombshells in the sweeping investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack.

The unexpected hearing, scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday, was announced with 24 hours' notice while lawmakers are away from Washington on a two-week recess. The committee had said last week that there would be no more hearings until July.

The subject of the hearings is so far unclear, but the panel's announcement on Monday said it would be "to present recently obtained evidence and receive witness testimony.'' A spokesman for the panel declined to elaborate.

The committee's investigation has been ongoing during the hearings, which started three weeks ago, and the nine-member panel has continued to probe the attack by supporters of then-President Donald Trump. Among other investigative evidence, the committee recently obtained new footage of Trump and his inner circle taken both before and after Jan. 6 from British filmmaker Alex Holder.

Holder said last week that he had complied with a congressional subpoena to turn over all the footage he shot in the final weeks of Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, including exclusive interviews with Trump, his children and then-Vice President Mike Pence. The footage includes material from before the insurrection and afterward.

It is uncertain if Holder's footage will be shown at the hearing Tuesday. Russell Smith, a lawyer for Holder, declined to comment.

Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the panel's Democratic chairman, told reporters last week that the committee was in possession of the footage and needed more time to go through the hours of video.

The panel has held five hearings so far, mostly laying out Trump's pressure campaign on various institutions of power in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress, when hundreds of Trump's supporters violently pushed past police, broke into the building and interrupted the certification of President Joe Biden's victory.

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

ELMAU, Germany _ The Group of Seven developed economies on Tuesday wraps up a summit intended to send a strong signal of long-term commitment to Ukraine's future, ensuring that Russia pays a higher price for its invasion while also attempting to alleviate a global hunger crisis and show unity against climate change.

The leaders of Canada, the U.S., Germany, France, Italy, the U.K. and Japan on Monday pledged to support Ukraine "for as long as it takes'' after conferring by video link with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The summit host, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, said he "once again very emphatically set out the situation as Ukraine currently sees it.'' Zelenskyy's address, amid a grinding Russian advance in Ukraine's east, came hours before Ukrainian officials reported a deadly Russian missile strike on a crowded shopping mall in the central city of Kremenchuk.

Officials have said during the summit that leaders of the major economies are preparing to unveil plans to pursue a price cap on Russian oil, raise tariffs on Russian goods and impose other new sanctions.

From the secluded Schloss Elmau hotel in the Bavarian Alps, the G-7 leaders will continue straight to Madrid for a summit of NATO leaders _ where fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine will again dominate the agenda. All G-7 members other than Japan are NATO members, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has been invited to Madrid.

Zelenskyy has openly worried that the West has become fatigued by the cost of a war that is contributing to soaring energy costs and price hikes on essential goods around the globe. The G-7 has sought to assuage those concerns.

While the group's annual gathering has been dominated by Ukraine and by the war's knock-on effects, such as the challenge to food supplies in parts of the world caused by the interruption of Ukrainian grain exports, Scholz has been keen to show that the G-7 also can move ahead on pre-war priorities. The summit host has been keen to secure agreement on the creation of a "climate club'' for countries that want to speed ahead when it comes to tackling global warming.

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On this day in 1981 ...

Terry Fox died of cancer in a hospital in New Westminster, B.C., one month before his 23rd birthday. Fox had lost a leg to cancer before embarking on his "Marathon of Hope'' run across Canada. He made it halfway -- to Thunder Bay, Ont. -- before cancer struck again. Fox raised nearly $25 million to fight cancer and won the love and admiration of millions. Thousands of people take part in annual fundraising runs across the country, and around the world, named after Fox.

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In entertainment ...

VENTURA, Calif. _ A California judge found Monday that there is enough evidence against a man once briefly married to Britney Spears who showed up uninvited at the pop star's wedding to go to trial on a felony stalking charge.

After a two-hour preliminary hearing, Ventura County Judge David Worley ruled that 40-year-old Jason Allen Alexander should be held to answer on the charge, along with misdemeanour counts of trespassing, vandalism and battery, court records showed.

Not guilty pleas to all the charges were entered by an attorney for Alexander, who did not attend and remains jailed.

Spears married longtime boyfriend Sam Asghari at her home in Thousand Oaks, California, on June 9, in front of several dozen guests including Selena Gomez, Drew Barrymore, Paris Hilton and Madonna.

Alexander, a childhood friend of Spears to whom she was married for less than three days in 2004, appeared uninvited at the house before the ceremony, livestreaming his raid on Instagram.

Richard Eubler, a since-fired security guard for Spears, testified at Monday's hearing that Alexander got inside her house and up to the locked door of Spears' bedroom while she was inside, according to multiple media reports.

Eubler said Alexander had also tried to enter the property in the days before the wedding.

Alexander's attorney, Sandra Bisignani, argued there was no evidence he had any intention of harming Spears.

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Did you see this?

A lawyer for "Freedom Convoy" organizer Tamara Lich says the Alberta woman has been arrested.

Eric Granger confirmed in an email Monday evening that they were awaiting further details, but the arrest appeared to be related to Lich's bail conditions.

He could not confirm the location of the arrest, but another lawyer who has also represented Lich, Keith Wilson, said on Twitter that the arrest happened Monday in Medicine Hat, Alta., where Lich lives. 

A judge initially denied Lich bail after her arrest during the massive protest that overtook downtown Ottawa for more than three weeks in February, but she was released in March after a review of the court decision.

Lich and fellow protest organizer Chris Barber are jointly accused of mischief, obstructing police, counselling others to commit mischief and intimidation.

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

"We are not aware of anything that could have prompted this and are surprised by this development given the recent bail review hearing in Ontario where Ms. Lich's positive record for complying with her conditions was one reason why some of her conditions were relaxed at that time," Granger wrote in an email to The Canadian Press.

Medicine Hat police did not immediately respond to a request to confirm if Lich had been arrested there.

In May, an Ontario judge ruled Lich could remain on bail until her trial after a Crown prosecutor argued she'd violated one of her bail conditions by agreeing to accept an award for her leadership during the Ottawa protest, and should be sent back behind bars to wait for her court appearance.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 28, 2022.

The Canadian Press