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A second mandate for CAQ and North Korea rattles Sabre: In The News for Oct. 4

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CAQ Leader Francois Legault makes his victory speech to supporters at the Coalition Avenir Quebec election night headquarters, in Quebec City, Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

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 Oct. 4 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

Francois Legault will be heading back to Quebec's legislature with an even stronger hold on power, after a resounding election victory that saw his Coalition Avenir Quebec win the most seats of any party in more than 30 years.

As of midnight Legault was leading or elected in 89 ridings, compared to 23 for the Quebec Liberals, 10 for Quebec solidaire and three for the Parti Quebecois. 

A first cheer went up at Legault's election night headquarters in Quebec City as the party was declared the winner less than 15 minutes after voting closed, and the celebration continued as the victories continued to roll in. Legault was easily reelected in his own riding of L'Assomption.

In his victory speech, Legault beamed as he spoke of a "historic" victory that saw his party elect a record number of women to the legislature, and outlined priorities for a second term that include education, tackling inflation and rebuilding a health system shattered by COVID-19. But he also acknowledged the divisiveness of a five-week campaign that saw heated debates over the economy, the environment and, especially, the number of immigrants the province should accept.

Despite a decline in both seats and popular vote, the Liberal party will retain official Opposition status. Leader Dominique Anglade appeared all smiles as she addressed supporters. In a brief speech, she thanked her party members, husband and three children, and promised to represent all Quebecers in her next term.

Monday's results are likely to raise further questions about the first-past-the-post electoral system. The Liberal party managed to snag second-place status with fewer votes than either Quebec solidaire or the Parti Quebecois and with only about a percentage point more than the Conservatives.

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Also this ...

Lawyers representing marginalized sex workers will argue existing prostitution laws violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms at the Ontario Superior Court today.

Representing transgender, Indigenous and Black sex workers, the lawyers are expected to argue how laws brought in by the Harper-era Conservatives are too restrictive and disproportionately harm marginalized groups.

The Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform started arguing in a Toronto courtroom on Monday that the laws governing sex work are fostering stigma, inviting targeted violence and removing safe consent.

The alliance says there shouldn't be any criminal laws specific to sex work, and it has dozens of recommendations to create a more regulated industry.

The Supreme Court of Canada struck down the prohibition on prostitution in 2013 after lawyers argued existing provisions were disproportionate, overbroad and put sex workers at risk of harm. 

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

Nearly a week after hurricane Ian smashed into Florida and carved a path of destruction that reached into the Carolinas, more than half a million statewide residents faced another day without electricity Tuesday as rescuers continued their search for those trapped inside homes inundated with lingering floodwaters.

At least 78 people have been confirmed dead from the storm: 71 in Florida, four in North Carolina and three in Cuba since Ian made landfall on the Caribbean island on Sept. 27, and in Florida a day later.

Search and rescue efforts were still ongoing in Florida, where more than 1,600 people have been rescued statewide. But for many Florida residents, power restoration has become job one. Ian knocked out power to 2.6 million customers across the state when it roared ashore with 241 kph winds and pushing a powerful storm surge.

Ian also washed away bridges and roads to several barrier islands. About 130 Florida Department of Transportation trucks started work on building a temporary bridge to Pine Island. During a news conference Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis added that the structure should be completed by the end of the week, and be ready for drivers to carefully traverse at slow speeds.

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

North Korea on Tuesday fired a ballistic missile over Japan for the first time in five years, forcing Japan to issue evacuation notices and suspend trains during the flight of the nuclear-capable weapon that could reach the U.S. territory of Guam and possibly beyond.

The launch was the most provocative weapons demonstration by North Korea this year as it ramps up missile tests to build a full-fledged nuclear arsenal that viably threatens U.S. allies and the American homeland with the goal of wresting outside concessions, some experts say.

The missile's estimated 4,500-kilometre flight was the longest by any North Korean missile, though the North has previously launched other potentially longer-range weapons at high

 angles to avoid neighbouring countries. The United States strongly condemned North Korea's "dangerous and reckless decision" to launch what it described as a "long-range ballistic missile" over Japan.

Japanese authorities alerted residents in northeastern regions to evacuate to shelters, in the first "J-alert" since 2017 when North Korea fired an intermediate-range Hwasong-12 missile twice over Japan in a span of weeks during its previous torrid run of weapons tests.

Tuesday's launch is the fifth round of weapons tests by North Korea in the past 10 days in what was seen as an apparent response to military drills between South Korea and the United States and other training among the allies including Japan last week. North Korea views them as an invasion rehearsal.

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On this day in 1982 ...

Canadian pianist Glenn Gould died in Toronto at the age of 50, eight days after suffering a severe stroke.

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In entertainment ...

Will Smith is out of limbo as far as the movie world goes. 

After being seen as persona non grata for slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, Smith is getting his new movie released. 

Apple drops "Emancipation" Dec. 2 and begins streaming it a week later. 

The movie had been mothballed after Smith's slap of Rock, which earned the actor a 10-year ban from the Oscars. 

Both the film and Smith would be eligible for Oscar consideration.

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Did you see this?

Former U-S President Donald Trump has sued CNN, seeking $475 million in damages, saying the network had defamed him in an effort to short-circuit any future political campaign.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, focuses primarily on the term "The Big Lie" about Trump's false claims of widespread fraud that he says cost him the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden. 

CNN said it had no comment on the lawsuit.

Trump repeatedly attacked CNN as president, which resonated with his conservative followers. He has similarly filed lawsuits against big tech companies with little success. His case against Twitter for knocking him off its platform following the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol insurrection was thrown out by a California judge earlier this year. Numerous federal and local election officials in both parties, a long list of courts, top former campaign staffers and even Trump's own attorney general have all said there is no evidence of the election fraud he alleges.

Trump's lawsuit claims "The Big Lie," a phrase with Nazi connotations, has been used in reference to him more than 7,700 times on CNN since January 2021.

In a statement Monday, Trump suggested that similar lawsuits would be filed against other news organizations. And he said he may also bring "appropriate action" against the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by his supporters.

The lawsuit comes as he is weighing a potential bid for the presidency in 2024.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 4, 2022

The Canadian Press