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obamaOBAMA PASSES DIPLOMATIC TORCH TO TRUDEAU

In what was almost certainly his last visit to Canada as U.S. president, Barack Obama held court for nearly an hour before a joint session of the House of Commons and the Senate yesterday, basking in applause and heaping praise on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with whom he’s become fast friends. But even as he lauded Canada for such values as integrity, human rights and fair play, he also urged it to pay its full share to NATO.

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FEDS LABEL MICROBEADS ‘TOXIC SUBSTANCE’

The federal government has officially listed microbeads as a toxic substance, giving it the ability to ban the plastic beads used in cleansers. An online notice says the tiny plastic beads commonly found in facial and body scrubs is now listed as a toxic substance under the Environmental Protection Act, which gives the government the option to control their use or institute an outright ban.

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INVESTIGATION BEGINS INTO FATAL HOUSE EXPLOSION

Some residents displaced by a powerful house explosion west of Toronto that killed one woman and injured at least nine people are still waiting to return home as authorities investigate the cause of the blast. Police in Mississsauga say they didn’t know how many people are still out of their homes or how soon they will be allowed back in. A canine team entered the rubble yesterday and found no sign of any remaining victims.

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SUMMER CONSUMER SPENDING TO DROP 25 PER CENT: CIBC

A new survey says Canadians plan to keep a close watch on their wallets when it comes to discretionary spending this summer.The poll from CIBC quoted respondents as saying they planned to cut spending to an average of $1,346 on things like summer travel, dining and recreational activities, as well as purchases like barbecues and sports equipment.

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pregnancy test in barsPREGNANCY TESTS AT BARS HIGHLIGHT FETAL HEALTH

It’s not unusual to see dispensers for tampons or sanitary napkins in women’s washrooms, but at a college and a bar in Whitehorse, women can also buy pregnancy tests. In an attempt to reduce the number of women who drink while pregnant, the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society Yukon installed three pregnancy test dispensers — two at Yukon College and one at the pub Dirty Northern Public House — in Whitehorse last year.

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CONCERT RAISES CASH FOR FORT McMURRAY FIRE VICTIMS

Organizers say a benefit concert to raise money for victims of the Fort McMurray wildfire reached its goal of raising $2 million for the United Way in the Alberta city. Honky tonker Corb Lund co-hosted the event at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium with Great Big Sea frontman Alan Doyle. Others who performed included Blue Rodeo, Ian Tyson, Randy Bachman and Nickelback, whose members hail from Hanna, Alta.