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In The News for Nov. 25: The PM to sit in the hot seat at the Emergencies Act inquiry

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during Question Period, in Ottawa, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

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. 25 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to appear today at the public inquiry probing his government’s decision to invoke emergency powers in response to last winter's weeks-long "Freedom Convoy" protests.

Trudeau's testimony will cap six weeks of hearings at the Public Order Emergency Commission, which has already heard from seven Liberal ministers about why the Emergencies Act was invoked in response to demonstrations in downtown Ottawa and at several border crossings.

The emergency declaration Feb. 14 — which ministers say was necessary because of risks to Canada's security, economy and international reputation — allowed the government to extend special powers to police and financial institutions until it was revoked a week later.

Trudeau is likely to face questions about the legal advice his cabinet received on how to interpret the definition of a "threat to the security of Canada" that the Emergencies Act relies on.

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Also this ...

British Columbia's strong economic performance will be a major part of the province's fiscal update today, but the finance minister says she'll also issue cautions about inflation pressures and rising interest rates.

Selina Robinson says the numbers she presents as part of the province's quarterly budget update will show an economy continuing to grow despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The minister's last update in September forecasted a budget surplus for the current fiscal year of $706 million.

Robinson's update comes a week after the swearing-in of new Premier David Eby, who has already made several spending announcements adding up to more than $1 billion.

Eby promised to spend millions for more RCMP officers, initiated a public safety campaign and arranged a $100 credit for residents on their electricity bill from the Crown utility.

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

Black Friday marks a return to familiar holiday shopping patterns, but inflation is weighing on consumers.

Elevated prices for food, rent, gasoline and other household costs have taken a toll on shoppers. As a result, many are reluctant to spend unless there is a big sale and are being more selective with what they will buy _ in many cases, trading down to cheaper stuff and less expensive stores.

Shoppers are also dipping more into their savings, turning increasingly to "buy now, pay later" services like Afterpay that allow users to pay for items in installments, as well as running up their credit cards at a time when the Federal Reserve is hiking rates to cool the U.S. economy.

This year's trends are a contrast from a year ago when consumers were buying early out of fear of not getting what they needed amid clogs in the supply network. Stores didn't have to discount much because they were struggling to bring in items.

But some pandemic habits are sticking around. Many retailers that closed stores on Thanksgiving Day and instead pushed discounts on their websites to thin out crowds at stores are still holding onto those strategies, despite a return to normalcy.

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

Japanese prosecutors raided the headquarters of major advertising company Dentsu on Friday, as the investigation into corruption related to the Tokyo Olympics widened.

Major local TV broadcasters showed Tokyo District Prosecutors and Japan Fair Trade Commission officials entering Dentsu headquarters. Dentsu dominates event organizing, marketing and public relations in Japan. It helped land the 2020 Games for Tokyo, and then lined up record domestic sponsorships.

Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive at Dentsu, has been arrested four times in recent months on charges of receiving bribes from various companies that became sponsors for the Games.

The latest investigation centres around bid-rigging for companies to be picked to work on test events, according to Japanese media reports. The test events started in 2018, spanning various sports including sailing and weightlifting, to prepare for the Olympics.

Being chosen for test events is critical to being picked for actual Olympic venues.

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Also this ...

A fire in an apartment building in northwestern China's Xinjiang region has killed 10 people and injured nine, authorities said Friday, in the second major fire accident in the country this week, which left a total of 48 dead.

The fire broke out Thursday night in the regional capital of Urumqi, where temperatures have dropped to below freezing after dark.

Flames spread upward from the point of origin on the 15th floor to the 17th floor, with smoke billowing up to the 21st floor, according to multiple state media reports. The blaze took around three hours to extinguish.

The deaths and injuries were caused by inhalation of toxic fumes, with those taken hospital all expected to survive, the reports said.

An initial investigation appears to show the fire was sparked from a power strip in a bedroom of one of the 15th-floor apartments, they said.

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On this day in 1885 ...

Rocky Mountain Park was established at Banff, Alta. It was the first national park in Canada and only the third in the world. Two years earlier, three men working on the Canadian Pacific Railway stumbled across a cave containing hot springs on the slopes of Alberta's Rocky Mountains. The park spans 6,641 square kilometres of valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows and rivers. It is now called Banff National Park.

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In entertainment ...

Six works by Lawren Harris led Heffel's fall auction Thursday, selling for a total of $7.3 million.

One of the canvases, "House in the Ward, Winter, City Painting No. 1," sold for $2,521,250.

A painting by female Automatist painter Marcelle Ferron led the postwar & Contemporary Art session, selling for $1,801,250.

Andy Warhol's highly coveted portrait of Queen Elizabeth II surpassed the million-dollar mark and broke the global auction record for the series. The royal blue screenprint from the ultrarare Royal Edition, dazzling with diamond dust, sold for $1,141,250.

Tom Thomson's "Moccasin Flower or Orchids, Algonquin Park," sold above its estimate for $1,501,250.

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Did you see this?

RCMP in southern Alberta had an unusual chase this morning after 20 ostriches escaped their pen.

Mounties say in a statement that they started receiving reports just before 8 a.m. about the birds on the road near Taber, Alta.

They say one of the 20 ostriches was hit and killed on the road.

With the help of the farmer, officers were able to locate and capture most of the other loose birds. Police say a video taken by a local resident shows an RCMP vehicle with the ostrich owner on the passenger side trying to grab one of the birds by the neck.

They say all but a couple of the birds had been captured by 12:30 p.m. and officers were still helping the owner to locate and capture those that are still running wild.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2022

The Canadian Press