5 at 5: Pope Francis asks forgiveness in mass with abuse victims

Also: Search for missing Calgary boy moves to rural property and MacKay grilled over prostitution bill

Tony Gentile/Reuters

Tony Gentile/Reuters

Here are five of the top stories making headlines this afternoon:

Pope Francis asks forgiveness for Church sexual abuse cover ups. Pope Francis held a private mass with six abuse survivors Monday, where he used some of his harshest language yet to condemn sexual abuse within the Church, saying he would not tolerate abuse, nor those who covered it up. “Before God and his people I express my sorrow for the sins and grave crimes of clerical sexual abuse committed against you. And I humbly ask forgiveness,” the Pope said during the mass. Critics have questioned why it took so long for the Pope to meet with abuse survivors and say they want action to back up his words today.

Peter MacKay in the hot seat over prostitution bill. The Justice Minister testified before a House of Commons committee today where he admitted that the Conservative’s newest iteration of its prostitution law will very likely meet with court challenges, but he also thinks it is “defensible” in court. Manitoba’s attorney general Andrew Swan, who is also scheduled to testify, says Manitoba supports the majority of the bill, but wants the government to amend two portions, which criminalize the act of prostitution itself—rather than the customers. The previous prostitution law was struck down by the Supreme Court last year and the justices gave the government until December 2014 to create a replacement. The committee hearings continue until Thursday.

Police search property outside Calgary in investigation into missing boy and grandparents. Police have concentrated their efforts around a rural property just north of Calgary in the ongoing search for Nathan O’Brien, 5, and his grandparents, Alvin and Kathryn Liknes, who were last seen on Sunday evening at their Calgary home. The property police are now searching is owned by Archie and Doreen Garland. Police say their son, Douglas Garland, is considered a person of interest in the case. Douglas Garland has been taken into custody on an unrelated identification theft charge. Police say there was evidence of violence in the Liknes home, where Nathan was staying for a sleepover, and they don’t think the family left voluntarily.

Power outages persist in Maritimes after Hurricane Arthur. Tens of thousands of people in the Maritime provinces are still without power Monday after tropical storm Arthur brought heavy rains and winds to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI over the weekend. In New Brunswick, strong winds downed trees and powerlines, leaving approximately 80,000 customers without power on Monday afternoon. About 17,000 customers will have to wait as long as the weekend for power to be restored, a NB Power spokesperson said. Arthur was considered a hurricane when it was off the coast of the United States, but was downgraded to a storm by the time it made landfall in Canada.

Expect even more security screening on some U.S.-bound flights. Airline passengers flying to the U.S. may be required to switch on their cellphones and other electronic devices as part of security screening due to new U.S. Transportation Security Administration rules. The announcement, made on Sunday, also said devices that could not be switched on could be confiscated. There is no official word about exactly which flights will be subjet to the new screening, but reports say passengers on flights in-bound to the U.S. from Africa, Europe and the Middle East will be under extra scrutiny. One thing is for sure: charge up those cellphones and tablets prior to take off.

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