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The Tuesday news briefing: An at-a-glance survey of some top stories


Highlights from the news file for Tuesday, Oct. 3

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FOURTH CANADIAN CONFIRMED DEAD IN VEGAS: A fourth Canadian has been confirmed dead in a mass shooting at a country music show in Las Vegas. Tara Roe Smith, who was 34 and lived in Okotoks, Alta., was there with her husband, Zach, for a weekend getaway. Jessica Klymchuk of Valleyview, Alta., Jordan McIldoon of Maple Ridge, B.C., and Calla Medig of Jasper, Alta., also were among the nearly 60 people killed when a gunman open fire on the crowd from the window of a hotel on Sunday night. Another six Canadians are among the injured.

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VEGAS GUNMAN HAD ARSENAL IN HOTEL ROOM: The retired accountant who opened fire on country music concertgoers in Las Vegas had an arsenal of 23 guns in the hotel room he used as a sniper's perch. Authorities found more guns, ammunition and explosives in a search of his Nevada home. The rampage by Stephen Craig Paddock killed at least 59 people and injured 527, some from gunfire and some from a chaotic escape. Officials say some of the guns found in Paddock's room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel casino had scopes on them. He used 10 suitcases to tote them all to his room.

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POT AND TAXES TOP OF MIND FOR PREMIERS: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is getting an earful from premiers about the federal government's controversial small business tax reform plan and the tight timeline for legalizing cannabis by next July. On their way into a daylong first ministers meeting Tuesday, premiers said they intend to air their concerns about those issues. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said she wants more clarity from the federal government on the burden the provinces will have to bear to regulate the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.

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HARDER OUT AS CHAIR OF COMMITTEE: A Conservative MP whose beliefs on abortion prompted her Liberal counterparts to walk out of a hearing last week won't be heading up the status of women committee after all. Six Liberals and one NDP member voted against making Lethbridge MP Rachael Harder the chair of the committee, opting instead for her Tory colleague Karen Vecchio, who opposed her own nomination but was chosen anyway. Last week, the Liberals walked out of the committee meeting to protest the nomination of Harder, who holds anti-abortion views.

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REPORT SAYS OTTAWA NOT READY FOR CLIMATE CHANGE: The federal government is nowhere near ready for the massive storms and more frequent floods and fires that are expected to result from climate change, warns Canada's environment commissioner. In her autumn annual reports, Julie Gelfand asked whether Ottawa will be able to protect more than $66 billion in federal assets like bridges, roads and airports, while also continuing to provide services, when fires, floods and extreme storms hit hard. The answer, she said, is a resounding 'No.'

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POLL FINDS LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES DEADLOCKED: As the midway point of their four-year mandate approaches, the federal Liberals find themselves statistically tied with a resurgent Conservative Opposition, says a new poll conducted by Ekos Research and commissioned for The Canadian Press. The New Democrats, reeling from a disappointing 2015 campaign and subsequent — and protracted — leadership race, remained a distant third. The Ekos-Canadian Press poll puts the Liberals at 34 per cent, the Conservatives at 33 per cent and the NDP at 15 per cent.

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EDMONTON ATTACK SUSPECT APPEARS IN COURT: The case of a Somali refugee accused of attacking a police officer and running down four pedestrians has been put over so he can find a lawyer. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif made his first court appearance Tuesday on 11 charges, including five of attempted murder, that were laid after a driver hit an Edmonton police officer with a speeding car, stabbed him and then mowed down pedestrians with a cube van during a downtown police chase. Tactical officers forced the van on its side and arrested a suspect after using a stun grenade and a Taser.

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CANADIAN MUSICUANS REMEMBER TOM PETTY: Sass Jordan always considered Tom Petty a huge musical influence, but says the opportunity to witness him playing on a soundstage was hard to pass up. Tom Cochrane also considers himself another tested fan of Petty's songbook, ranking his 1989 album "Full Moon Fever" as his transcendent best. Ewan Currie, lead singer of Saskatchewan band the Sheepdogs, sees Petty as an "effortless statesman" of rock music with rare mass appeal. Petty died Monday night at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles a day after he suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu, Calif. He was 66.

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CMHC TURNS TO AIRBNB FOR HOUSING HELP: Canada's housing agency is looking to an unlikely ally in a bid to boost the stock of affordable rental housing: Airbnb. The head of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., says he believes short-term rental companies like Airbnb and Vacation Rental By Owner could help increase the rental supply in the country and, in turn, possibly reduce rents. The government's upcoming national housing strategy will have a heavy focus on increasing the supply of affordable housing options, including rental units.

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CAFE GOES 'SCREEN FREE'; FACES BACKLASH: A popular Halifax cafe and bar is facing backlash for its decision to be "screen free" after 5 p.m. — but the unusual move has garnered some support as well. Signs at Lion and Bright in the city's hip north end were recently posted on tables informing patrons of the rule, which requires work-related screens such a laptops to be put away during the evening. Owner Sean Gallagher says during the evening, Lion and Bright becomes a bar with an atmosphere that encourages people to "turn their work off" and relax and socialize, but some patrons say they won't be visiting Lion and Bright anymore.

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The Canadian Press

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