Here are five of the top stories making headlines this afternoon:
Alberta PC leadership candidate Jim Prentice suggests term limits for premier and MLAs. If Alberta PC party leadership hopeful Prentice wanted to get Albertans talking, he certainly succeeded this afternoon. Speaking in Edmonton Thursday, the man who hopes to be the next Alberta leader said his second task as premier would be to pass an accountability act that would limit Alberta premiers to two terms and MLAs to just three. The act would be the first of its kind in Canada and is an attempt to put a stop to the apparent cronyism in the long-governing Alberta PC party (43 years and counting in power).
Harper announces National Research Council will launch Arctic program. The federal government will spend $17 million over eight years to fund research specific to the North, including research on resource development, northern transportation and shipping, marine safety technologies and community infrastructure, the Prime Minister announced during the first full day of his annual tour of the North. Stephen Harper made the announcement in Whitehorse, after touring Yukon College. He said the program is designed to bridge the gap between research and the marketplace and it will also seek $65 million in investments from industry.
Tim Leiweke on his way out as Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment president and CEO. Tim Leiweke’s time as the man at the top of the sports company that owns the NHL’s Maple Leafs, NBA’s Raptors, AHL’s Marlies and Toronto FC of Major League Soccer is limited. Leiweke will remain as president and CEO until June 2015, or until a replacement is named, MLSE announced Thursday. Leiweke joined the organization in April 2013 and, recently, rumours have circulated that he was leaving. There have been major shakeups to many of the Toronto sports teams under Leiweke’s watch, among them: hiring NBA executive Masai Ujiri and adding Drake as part of the Raptors rebranding campaign, firing Toronto FC president and general manager Kevin Payne, and restructuring senior management at MLSE.
Thai military general named Prime Minister after overseeing coup. Just three months after overseeing the coup that removed Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her government from power, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha has been voted into the job as interim PM by the Thai legislature. Of course, those who voted for Prayuth were hand-picked by the junta and Prayuth was the only candidate. So he pretty much sealed that win. Prayuth, 60, is set to retire from the military next month, but until then he will be both the Prime Minister and a top soldier in the Thai army. Prayuth has promised to hold democratic elections in the country eventually, but not until at least 2015.
Israel steps up campaign in Gaza again, kills three top Hamas commanders. Israel has again stepped up its campaign against Hamas in Gaza after ceasefire talks in Egypt collapsed earlier this week. Today, the Israeli military reported killing three top Hamas military commanders as they emerged from a tunnel before dawn. Israel has also called up an additional 10,000 reserve soldiers. Today, a Hamas leader also took credit for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. The June deaths of the three teens were a flashpoint, one that lead to the ongoing violence that has claimed the lives of more than 2,000 Palestinians as well as 64 Israeli soldiers and two Israeli civilians.