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A dozen jurors selected for Magnotta trial

Twelve jurors selected to hear Magnotta first-degree murder trial
The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - A dozen jurors have been selected to hear evidence at Luka Rocco Magnotta's murder trial, leaving just four more spots to fill before the long-anticipated proceedings can get underway.

Magnotta, 32, has pleaded not guilty to five charges, including first-degree murder, in connection with the May 2012 slaying and dismemberment of Chinese engineering student Jun Lin, 33.

Five more jurors were added Thursday, meaning the jury currently has six men and six women.

Ford thanks well-wishers in recording

Rob Ford campaigns for his brother from hospital in recorded message
Maria Babbage, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - A frail-sounding Rob Ford implored Toronto voters from his hospital bed Thursday to elect his brother to succeed him, just hours before starting chemotherapy for a rare and aggressive cancer that forced him to drop out of the mayoral race.

In a recorded three-minute statement released by his brother's campaign team, a gravelly-voiced Ford first thanked well-wishers, saying their support meant the world to him and his family.

Canada spares two Russian banks sanctions

Canada takes two Russian banks off sanctions list after new information: Baird
Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Canada has removed two banks from its list of sanctions against Russia, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird confirmed Thursday, sparking criticism the government is playing favourites to protect its own domestic commercial interests.

Baird made the admission in the House of Commons after a question from NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar.

"Following receipt of new information and further investigation and analysis, these entities are being removed from the list," Baird said.

Canada, U.S. talk energy beyond Keystone XL

No quick solution to Ukraine's energy woes, Canada and U.S. officials say
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Canadian and U.S. assistance to Ukraine on the energy file will be limited to technical help, at least for the time being.

The eastern European country's natural gas stores are in a precarious position due to the ongoing conflict with Russia and there have been suggestions that Canada and the U.S. could help with exports.

But Canada's natural resources minister and the U.S. energy secretary say neither country is in a position to help increase Ukraine's energy supply without major infrastructure developments.

NewsAlert: 56M cards affected data breach

Canadian Press NewsAlert: Home Depot says 56M cards affected in data breach
The Canadian Press

NEW YORK, - Home Depot says 56 million payment cards affected by data breach between April and September.

More to come

Tyson entry to Canada questioned

Tyson allowed into Canada; other stars with shorter rap sheets not so lucky
Lee-Anne Goodman, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Questioned are being raised about how boxer Mike Tyson, a felon with multiple convictions, gained entry to Canada last week.

The former heavyweight champion was in Toronto for his sparsely attended one-man show at the Air Canada Centre.

Questions about the entry of a felon were initially drowned out by Tyson's antics during the visit.

He got into an on-air verbal dustup with a CP24 news anchor who asked him about his 1992 rape conviction. He also made a high-profile visit to troubled Toronto mayor Rob Ford, calling him "the best mayor in Toronto's history."

Abortion a problem for New Brunswick Liberals

New Brunswick Liberals could face internal dilemma over abortion access issue
Alison Auld, The Canadian Press

The Liberals in New Brunswick could face a tough internal debate if they win Monday's election and have to grapple with the question of access to abortion, says a political observer who warns the party could have trouble finding a unified voice on the divisive issue.

Geoff Martin, a political science professor at Mount Allison University, said Liberal Leader Brian Gallant has been ambiguous at best on whether he would repeal a regulation that restricts public funding of abortions in New Brunswick.

EU leaders to attend summit in Canada

Canada to host top European Union leaders for summit this month
The Canadian Press

GRIMSBY, Ont. - Two senior members of the European Union will be in Canada later this month for what is billed as a Canada-EU summit.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, will be in Ottawa and Toronto on Sept. 26.

Harper made the announcement in Grimsby, Ont., while meeting with members of the local business community.

Quebec ombudsman worried about budget cuts

Quebec's ombudsman worried about impact of upcoming budget cuts on most vulnerable
The Canadian Press

QUEBEC - Quebec's ombudsman is concerned that the most vulnerable members of society might pay the price in soon-to-be-announced provincial budget cuts.

In tabling her 2013-2014 report Thursday, Raymonde Saint-Germain noted that the Liberal government's attempts to clean up public finances and eliminate the deficit in 2015-2016 must respect the less fortunate members of society.

She said she fully subscribes to the need for public financial recovery, but insisted it is important to respect the rights of citizens in any decisions that are made.

Trafficking in aboriginal women: some facts

Facts from a now-public report on trafficking of aboriginal women in Canada
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - A newly disclosed report says aboriginal women and girls are easy prey for human traffickers because they are more likely to suffer from poverty, drug addictions and mental-health problems.

Among the other findings in the Public Safety Canada report:

— Family members, gangs and friends can recruit women and girls through financial and psychological coercion and physical violence;

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