Trudeau builds a cabinet and hockey stops using 'midget'; In-The-News Nov. 20

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 Nov. 20.

What we are watching in Canada ...

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OTTAWA — It will be all business this afternoon when the prime minister unveils a cabinet to navigate a new era of minority government in a bitterly divided country.

Justin Trudeau has taken a month since winning re-election to put together his new team — twice as long as he took in 2015.

Like cabinets during his first mandate, this one will have an equal number of men and women, and will attempt to balance regional, ethnic and religious considerations.

The biggest shift will likely involve Chrystia Freeland, who is expected to be named deputy prime minister and minister in charge of a beefed-up intergovernmental affairs department, to be renamed domestic affairs.

Sources say Francois-Philippe Champagne will leave his post at Infrastructure to take over from Freeland at Foreign Affairs.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau is expected to stay put.

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Also this ...

TORONTO — A canvas by Pablo Picasso will hit the Toronto auction block tonight alongside offerings from some of Canada's most treasured artists.

The Heffel Fine Art Auction House says Picasso's "Femme au chapeau" will lead its fall sale with a pre-auction estimate between $8 million to $10 million. The 1941 oil-on-canvas depicts photographer Dora Maar, who during her relationship with Picasso served as the principal subject of his "Weeping Woman" series.

Canadian highlights include a 1912 work by Emily Carr depicting a First Nations village in British Columbia. Heffel says "Street, Alert Bay" is the first major Carr canvas to come to market in years and could fetch between $2 million and $3 million.

American comedian Steve Martin is selling one of the several Lawren Harris paintings in his collection. The Group of Seven painter's 1928 oil-on-board "Mountain Sketch LXX" is expected to hammer down for between $300,000 and $500,000.

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ICYMI (In case you missed it) ...

TORONTO — A Federal Court is ordering Canada's internet service providers to block websites for a company selling pirated television online, deeming that such a move wouldn't infringe on freedom of expression or net neutrality.

The decision affects Gold TV, an IPTV service that offers thousands of traditional TV channels for a nominal fee, streaming over internet networks.

It's the first time a nationwide blocking order has been made in Canada, setting a precedent that critics say could have broader consequences.

Earlier this year, a coalition of Canadian telecommunications companies and internet providers — Bell Media, Groupe TVA and Rogers Media — filed a complaint in a federal court saying GoldTV.ca was selling subscriptions to numerous channels without owning the rights.

University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist calls the federal court order "an enormously problematic decision, and flawed from a legal perspective."

"At a minimum, site blocking ought to be a measure of last resort, and it wasn't in this case," Geist said in a phone interview.

"Before you can even entertain the possibility of taking what is really the most extreme step in terms of literally trying to block content, you need to have taken every step you can short of that, and that's not what happened here."

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

WASHINGTON — Ambassador Gordon Sondland, the most anticipated witness in the impeachment inquiry, is likely to be unpredictable when he faces questions about his evolving accounts of the Trump administration's dealings with Ukraine and a newly revealed summertime phone call with President Donald Trump.

Sondland, a wealthy hotelier Trump tapped as his ambassador to the European Union, is more directly entangled than any witness yet in the president's efforts to get Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden and Democrats in the 2016 election. Yet Sondland has already amended his testimony once — "I now do recall," he said, talking to Ukraine about investigations.

Sondland's appearance at today's hearing, and his closeness to Trump, is of particular concern to the White House as the historic impeachment inquiry reaches closer to the president, pushing through an intense week with nine witnesses testifying over three days in back-to-back sessions.

Trump has recently tried to suggest that he barely knows his hand-picked ambassador, but Sondland has said he has spoken several times with the president and was acting on his direction.

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

HONG KONG — Schools reopened today in Hong Kong after a six-day shutdown, but students and commuters faced transit disruptions as the last protesters remained holed up on a university campus.

City officials tried to restore a sense of normalcy as primary and secondary classes resumed. Workers began cleaning up debris blocking a major road tunnel, but it was unclear how soon it could be reopened.

A small group of protesters refused to leave Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the remnants of hundreds who took over the campus for several days. They won't leave because they would face arrest. Police have set up a cordon around the area to prevent anyone from escaping.

The occupation of Polytechnic capped more than a week of intense protests, the latest flareup in the often violent unrest that has gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for more than five months.

Since a police siege of the campus began Sunday, more than 1,000 people have been arrested and hundreds of injured treated at hospitals, authorities said.

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Weird and wild ...

HONESDALE, Pa. — A bagel shop manager in New York drove to Pennsylvania to return a key fob that a customer had left in his shop on Long Island.

Diana Chong drove off from Bagels 101 on Saturday with her family for a pre-Thanksgiving celebration in Honesdale. After parking in Pennsylvania, she realized she had left the fob, needed to restart her car, at the store 298 kilometres away.

Manager Vinny Proscia offered to ship the fob, but they couldn't find a service.

So Proscia decided to deliver it.

Chong tells Newsday she insisted he accept $200 for gas and tolls and a gift card.

Proscia says he got stopped for speeding on the return trip, but the officer let him go after he showed a thank-you card from Chong.

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On this day in 1995 …

Former prime minister Brian Mulroney filed a $50-million lawsuit against the RCMP and the Justice Department. The suit claimed Mulroney's reputation and stature had been hurt by a letter the Mounties sent to Swiss authorities alleging Mulroney had taken kickbacks in the 1988 sale of 34 Airbus jets to Air Canada. Mulroney dropped the case after reaching a settlement with Ottawa.

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Celebrity news ...

LOS ANGELES — The three top money winners in "Jeopardy!" history will vie for a share of $1.5 million in January.

ABC and the quiz show's producer says Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer will compete in prime-time episodes on the network.

The first contestant to win three matches will receive $1 million. Each runner-up will take home $250,000.

Canadian Alex Trebek will host the contest, titled "Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time" on Jan. 7.

Rutter is the top all-time money winner with $4.7 million, followed by Jennings with $3.4 million and Holzhauer with $2.7 million.

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The game we play ...

TORONTO — Members of the little people community are applauding Hockey Canada for dropping the term midget along with other traditional age group names.

The governing body of hockey in Canada plans to replace categories like midget, novice, peewee, bantam and atom with age-based designators starting next season.

Mark Halliday, Hockey Canada's vice-president of marketing and communications, says they want to be an inclusive brand, sport and organization."

The term 'midget' has long been used in a variety of sports even though it is considered by many to be a derogatory slur.

Allan Redford, the president of the Little People of Canada, says it's not about sensitivity but rather awareness, acceptance and dignity.

He says it's often sometimes difficult to imagine the challenges that people with short stature face.

Little People of Manitoba president Samantha Rayburn-Trubyk says "hockey was our mountain and we've climbed it."

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 20, 2019.

© Preeceville Progress