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Family says D'Andre deserved better and Biden taps Buttigieg: In The News for Dec. 17

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 Dec. 17 ... What we are watching in Canada ...

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 Dec. 17 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

A disposition hearing will be held in Fredericton today to determine what happens to Matthew Raymond after a jury in November found him not criminally responsible for killing four people.

Raymond shot and killed Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright, as well as Fredericton police constables Sara Burns and Robb Costello in 2018.

His defence argued he had a mental illness and believed he was defending himself from demons.   

Raymond is currently detained at the Restigouche Hospital Centre in Campbellton.  

According to the Criminal Code, a disposition hearing can result in an accused being detained at a hospital, discharged with conditions, or discharged absolutely.  

Today's hearing will include impact statements from some family members of the victims.


Also this ...

The family of a Black man shot and killed by police west of Toronto says their son deserved better. 

Ontario's police watchdog there found no basis to proceed with criminal charges against the Peel regional police officer who shot and killed D'Andre Campbell in his Brampton home on April 6.

The 26-year-old lived with schizophrenia and called police while in crisis. 

The Campbells say D'Andre and other vulnerable members of society deserve better.

The Special Investigations Unit says the officer was acting in self defence because Campbell held a large knife in his hands and wouldn't drop it.

The family says his death was preventable.


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

President-elect Joe Biden introduced his one-time Democratic primary rival Pete Buttigieg as his nominee for transportation secretary Wednesday, saying the 38-year-old can be “a new voice" in the fight against economic inequality, institutional racism and climate change.

Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, would be the first openly gay person confirmed by the Senate to a Cabinet position. Biden hailed that milestone while saying, by the time he's done filling out his new administration's top jobs, it will have more women and people of colour than ever, including “a Cabinet that is opening doors and breaking down barriers, and accessing the full brains and talent we have so much of.”

Biden said Buttigieg offers "a new voice with new ideas determined to move past old politics.”

“We need someone who knows how to work with state, local and federal agencies,” Biden said, noting that highways are in disrepair and that some bridges “are on the verge of collapse.”

Beyond standard transportation fixes, which are easier to promise than for administrations to get through Congress, Biden wants to rejuvenate the post-coronavirus pandemic economy and create thousands of green jobs by making environmentally friendly retrofits and public works improvements.

The president-elect noted that much of the nation, including his home state of Delaware, face the risk of rising sea levels. A more immediate challenge, though, will be enforcing Biden’s promised mask-wearing mandate for airplanes and public transportation systems to slow the spread of the coronavirus.


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

India’s Supreme Court on Wednesday offered to set up a mediation panel to end a three-week protest by tens of thousands of farmers who are demanding the repeal of new agricultural reform laws that they say will drive down crop prices and devastate their earnings.

The court sent notices to the government and the farmers’ representatives across the country seeking their views on the proposal and set Thursday as the date for a possible decision.

The farmers have been blocking half a dozen major highways on the outskirts of New Delhi for three weeks and say they won’t leave until the government quashes what they call the “black laws” passed by Parliament in September.

Darshan Pal Singh, a Sikh leader, said a 68-year-old Sikh priest allegedly shot and killed himself at a protest site on the outskirts of the capital.

Police said they were investigating the circumstances of his death. Singh told reporters that police found a note from the priest in which he said he was sacrificing his life “to express anger and pain against the government injustice.”

Indian media reports have said he went to his car and allegedly shot himself.


On this day in 1991 ...

Joey Smallwood, the former premier who led Newfoundland into Confederation in 1949 and served as the province's first premier until 1972, died in St. John's, Nfld. He was 90.


In sports news ...

An Ontario police officer is facing fraud charges after an investigation into the theft of Wayne Gretzky memorabilia from the home of the hockey legend's father.

Police say a three-month probe into the theft uncovered an alleged fraud involving a Gretzky hockey stick.

A spokeswoman for the Ontario Provincial Police says Insp. June Dobson is facing fraud charges in the case.

Police in Brantford, Ont., announced that they arrested a 58-year-old Oakville, Ont., man and a 58-year-old Brockville, Ont., woman, but did not name them.

Those arrests came after an investigation following the theft of approximately US$500,000 worth of memorabilia from the home of Walter Gretzky.

Brantford police say that during the investigation they uncovered evidence of someone - unrelated to the theft - allegedly committing fraud involving a Gretzky hockey stick.

Dobson is facing charges of fraud over $5,000 and breach of trust.



He’s called Pustakawan, or Kawi, if you wish.

Prague’s zoo said on Wednesday it has finally completed the process of naming a critically endangered Sumatran orangutan baby born on its premises on Nov 17.

It took a while, because the zookeepers had to go through more than 4,000 proposals submitted by members of the public.

Kawi is the fourth baby for his mother, Mawar, and the first for father Pagy.

His name means Librarian in Indonesian, zoo officials said. Librarian was the name of an orangutan in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series of fantasy novels.

The species has been drastically reduced by hunting and by destruction of its forest habitat. Only around 14,000 of the great apes with long red hair are believed to exist in the wild.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 17, 2020

The Canadian Press