Thursday, October 12

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News In Brief

Highlights from the news file for Thursday, Oct. 12

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CANADIAN AND FAMILY HELD BY TALIBAN FREED IN COMMANDO RAID: The High Commissioner for Pakistan to Canada says Pakistani commandos carried out a raid and there was a shootout before they safely rescued a Canadian and his family being held hostage. Tariq Azim Khan said Thursday that Canadian Joshua Boyle and his family were then flown by helicopter to the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan where they remain. He says Boyle and his family are fit to travel and it’s undecided whether they will fly to Canada or to the U.S. from there. He says they don’t know how many of the suspects were killed. He says one or two escaped and there is a search for them. He says he exchanged emails with the father of Joshua Boyle to tell them they had been rescued.

 

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TRUDEAU VISITS MEXICO: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Mexico City Thursday as he continued efforts to try to save the North America Free Trade Deal. U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed pessimism about the fate of NAFTA and some Mexican leaders appear to be laying the groundwork for the deal’s demise. Trudeau says he remains optimistic about NAFTA but acknowledged there are other paths that could be pursued, and they’ll be followed if necessary.

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U.S. STARTS MAKING NAFTA DEMANDS: The most difficult phase of the renegotiation of the North America has begun with the U.S. making its most hardball demands. Sources say U.S. negotiators presented a so-called termination clause on Wednesday that would kill the pact after five years if the three member countries fail to renew it. The next big drop could occur Friday as negotiators will move on to rules for auto parts.

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UNION ACCUSES GENERAL MOTORS OF STARTING ‘A WAR ON CANADA’: The union representing striking workers at a General Motors plant in Ontario says the company has declared “war on Canada.” Unifor says GM has threatened to move more production of the Equinox sports utility vehicle to Mexico if the 25-day-old strike continues. Union president Jerry Dias said Thursday that GM is taking advantage of the low pay scales for Mexican workers at the expense of higher-paid workers in the U.S. and Canada.

 

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Hurrican IkeUS HOUSE PASSES HURRICANE DISASTER AID BILL: The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a $36.5 billion measure that would replenish government disaster aid funds and help the cash-strapped government of Puerto Rico keep functioning in the devastating aftermath of hurricane Maria. The measure will now go to the Senate, which plans to take up the bill next week.

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SELF-DRIVING CAR TAKES TO THE STREETS OF OTTAWA: Organizers are billing the test drive of a self driving car in Ottawa Thursday as the first of its kind in Canada. The BlackBerry QNX-equipped self-driving car had Mayor Jim Watson on board as it went down an Ottawa street. The street was closed for the public demonstration, which attracted scores of people, but the car is expected to be operating on city streets in the test area amidst real traffic and pedestrians.

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The Canadian Press