Five stories in the news today, Feb. 13, from The Canadian Press:
MOHAMED FAHMY LEAVES PRISON ON BAIL
— Mohamed Fadel Fahmy (@MFFahmy11) February 13, 2015
After more than 400 days in a Cairo prison, Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy was freed late Thursday, less than 24 hours after an Egyptian court ordered him released on bail. However, the 40-year-old’s legal battles are not over yet. A retrial for Fahmy and an Egyptian colleague from Al-Jazeera English was put over to Feb. 23, and until then, lawyers said Fahmy would have to report to a local police station each day.
SUN NEWS NETWORK GOES DARK
The Sun News Network went off the air at 5 a.m. ET Friday after negotiations to sell the troubled television channel were unsuccessful. No on-air announcement was made as the screen went dark and was quickly replaced later with the Sun TV logo. The closure of the conservative-angled news channel follows months of uncertainty surrounding its fate, after Postmedia Network Canada Corp. announced plans to purchase the Sun Media newspapers and websites from Quebecor for $316 million.
Related reading: Jaime Weinman — Why Sun News failed. Scott Gilmore: We need more discordant voices in the media.
VIA TERROR PLOT TRIAL CONTINUES TODAY
A man accused of plotting to attack a train between the U.S. and Canada waived his right to cross-examine a key witness Friday.Chiheb Esseghaier, who has refused to recognize the jurisdiction of the court, sat motionless when the judge asked him if he had any questions for the undercover FBI agent. The agent has spent the past two weeks testifying about his relationship with Esseghaier and co-accused, Raed Jaser, who face terror-related charges.
IS CANADA’S WORLD STATURE GROWING?
John Baird said last week as he resigned as foreign affairs minister that Canada has become more respected internationally under the Harper Conservatives. He cited Canada’s fight against terrorism, it’s tough stand against Russia over Ukraine and strong Canadian support for Israel. But at the same time Baird was forced to run a gauntlet of eggs and shoes last month in the West Bank over the government’s pro-Israeli policy. A former adviser to prime minister Brian Mulroney says Canada’s standing in the world has fallen. Paul Heinbecker points to among other things a “truculent” attitude toward the UN, on which the Harper government has repeatedly turned its back.
EXPERTS WORRY ABOUT SUPPORT FOR VACCINATIONS DESPITE STRONG SUPPORT IN POLL
A new online poll has found more than 80 per cent of those questioned believe vaccinations are effective in preventing disease, but some experts crunching the numbers are worried support may be softening. Dr Kumanan Wilson of Ottawa Hospital, a researcher who has studied the phenomenon of vaccine rejection, points to the fact that a significant minority of adults between 18 and 54 were either ambivalent to vaccination or outright opposed. He says those numbers are concerning because people in those age groups who are likely to have children and will decide whether or not to vaccinate them.