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The Thursday news briefing: An at-a-glance survey of some top stories


Highlights from the news file for Thursday, Nov. 30

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AIR TRANSAT BLAMED FOR TARMAC DELAY: A federal agency says Air Transat is to blame for a lengthy delay with two of its planes grounded on the tarmac in Ottawa. The Canadian Transportation Agency ruled that Air Transat broke an agreement with customers that governs when passengers can be let off a flight due to a tarmac delay. It says Air Transat must tighten its rules about when passengers are allowed off planes during delays and what services it has to provide, and ensure its pilots actually know the wording in the agreements.

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KELLY ELLARD GRANTED CONDITIONAL APPROVAL FOR DAY PAROLE:  The British Columbia woman who killed a teenager in Victoria two decades ago has been granted conditional approval for day parole. Kelly Ellard was granted day parole for six months but must first complete a residential treatment program for substance abuse. After six months, the parole board will review the decision. Ellard was 15 when she killed 14-year-old Reena Virk.

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BAIL REVOKED FOR TORONTO POLICE OFFICER CONVICTED OF ATTEMPTED MURDER:  A Toronto court has revoked the bail for a police officer found guilty of attempted murder in the fatal shooting of a teen on an empty streetcar four years ago. Const. James Forcillo was handed a six-year prison sentence last year. He was freed on house arrest pending his appeal but a prosecutor said Thursday that Forcillo's bail has been revoked at the request of the Crown, which contended the officer failed to meet his bail conditions.

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CENTRAL BANK LOOKS AT DIGITAL CURRENCY: The Bank of Canada is looking at the merits of digital currencies.  The central bank released a research paper that said there are merits to creating a central bank digital currency as society starts to move away from cash, and the bank's potential to reap profits from issuing that cash could be threatened. But it cautioned that due to the complexity and uncertainty around the currency, central banks should proceed incrementally and cautiously.

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FEDS WITHDRAW CHALLENGE OVER HEALTH CARE FOR FIRST NATIONS CHILDREN: The Trudeau government is pulling back from a Federal Court challenge over the delivery of health-care services for First Nations children. Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott said on Thursday that changes have been made to address two aspects of a Canadian Human Rights tribunal finding the government wanted to deal with in Federal Court.

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STUDY WARNS WORKERS OF SECOND-HAND POT SMOKE: A University of Calgary study has found it's entirely possible for a person to have traces of cannabis from just being exposed to the smoke. The study found that THC, the main ingredient in marijuana, is detectable in the body after as little as 15 minutes of exposure even if the person is not actively smoking it. Findings suggest anyone exposed to second-hand smoke in a poorly ventilated room including a kitchen, basement or living room with the windows closed, will test positive.

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GUN CONTROL ACTIVISTS URGE TRUDEAU TO FORGE AHEAD ON FIREARMS LEGISLATION: Gun-control activists are calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to not let the pro-gun lobby slow down his government's efforts to introduce firearm legislation. They held a news conference in Ottawa on Thursday in which they called on Trudeau to keep his campaign promise to bring in firearm-tracing regulations that would help police better trace guns used in crimes.

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RESCUE EFFORTS CALLED OFF FOR ARGENTINE SUB CREW: Argentina's navy says the search for a submarine that has been lost for 15 days will continue, but the rescue part of the mission for 44 crew members on board has ended. Navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said Thursday that the rescue mission "extended for more than twice what is estimated for a rescue." The navy says an explosion occurred near the time and place where the ARA San Juan sub went missing on Nov. 15. Hopes for survivors had already dimmed because experts say the crew only had enough oxygen to last up to 10 days if the sub remained intact under the sea. More than a dozen countries have been searching for the missing sub.

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JIM NABORS, GOMER PYLE ON ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW, DIES AT 87: Jim Nabors, who played Gomer Pyle on TV's "The Andy Griffith Show," has died at 87. Nabors died peacefully at his home in Hawaii on Thursday with his husband, Stan Cadwallader, at his side. He was 87. Cadwallader says Nabors' health had been declining for the past year. His immune system also was suppressed after he underwent a liver transplant about 20 years ago. Nabors became an instant success when he joined "The Andy Griffith Show" in the early 1960s. The character of Gomer Pyle, the unworldly, lovable gas pumper who would exclaim "Gollllll-ly!" proved so popular that in 1964 CBS starred him in "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." Nabors' operatic voice also made him a favourite in Las Vegas and other showplaces.

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The Canadian Press

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