Coronavirus lockdown and a return to the Super Bowl; In The News for Jan. 24

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 Jan. 24 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

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The chief medical officer says Canada's chances of getting a coronavirus outbreak is low as China locks down more cities in an effort to contain its spread.

Dr. Theresa Tam says as of Thursday there are no confirmed cases here.

Her comments come as China's National Health Commission confirmed it is dealing more than 800 cases of the new virus and 26 deaths.

China's lockdown affects at least 10 cities in central Hubei province, encompassing about 33 million people.

Montreal-based acrobatic troupe Cirque du Soleil has also cancelled all performances in Hangzhou, China as a precaution.

It says it made the decision to cancel performances of "The Land of Fantasy" show after Chinese officials requested the temporary closing of all indoor activities with 100 or more people to stem the outbreak.

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Also this ...

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer gathers his MPs and senators around him today to plot strategy for Parliament's return on Monday.

The caucus retreat comes at a time when many Tories are plotting their own strategies for how best to replace Scheer.

At least three sitting Conservative MPs are launching leadership campaigns, and another former MP, Peter MacKay is snapping up support from many others.

But Scheer is expected to remain leader of the party until the members choose a new boss on June 27, and he must now set the course for the Opposition's priorities in the minority Parliament.

He's expected to tell his caucus today that despite the leadership race, they must remain united and focused on their elected task of holding the government to account.

They'll also have to decide whether to work with the government, and it's possible that the Liberals' first item on the agenda — ratifying the new NAFTA — will be an early opportunity to prop them up.

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

NEW YORK — "Sopranos" actress Annabella Sciorra says after he raped her, Harvey Weinstein warned her to keep quiet about their encounter.

She did, for decades, before coming forward with her allegations.

Sciorra told her story in court Thursday and the jurors listened intently and took notes.

Sciorra alleged the movie mogul barged into her New York apartment, assaulted her and left her quivering on the floor.

During cross-examination, lawyers for Weinstein pounced on Sciorra's delay in telling her story, suggesting that by not reporting it to police or seeing a doctor, it supports Weinstein's claim that the sex was consensual.

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

MOSCOW — A Russian man who was arrested by the Nazis as a teenager and sent to the Auschwitz death camp says he is still amazed 75 years later that he survived the ordeal.

Yevgeny Kovalev told The Associated Press that "we didn't hope that we would survive."

The 92-year-old was speaking ahead of the 75th anniversary Monday of the camp's liberation in 1945.

He painfully recalls the stench coming from crematoria that incinerated victims day and night. He also remembers the terror of never knowing whether camp masters would choose him to be the next person to die.

On Thursday, world leaders denounced the rising threat of anti-Semitism and vowed never to forget the lessons of the Holocaust at a solemn ceremony in Jerusalem marking the anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation.

But each of the high-powered dignitaries tinged their speeches with competing interpretations of the Second World and its relevance today, giving a politically charged feeling to the gathering.

More than 45 world leaders attended the World Holocaust Forum, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, Prince Charles, U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

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ICYMI (In case you missed it) ...

VANCOUVER — British Columbia's Passenger Transportation Board has granted long-awaited licensing approvals to ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft for service in the Lower Mainland and Whistler.

A statement from the independent licensing tribunal says the next steps for the companies will be to secure vehicle insurance and to work with the municipalities in the approved operating areas to ensure bylaw compliance.

Representatives for Uber and Lyft say in statements that they are pleased with the approvals and will work with local jurisdictions to get their services operating as soon as possible.

The B.C. government promised to bring ride-hailing services to the province last year, but by December only one company had received approval to operate in the Tofino and Whistler areas.

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Weird and wild ...

GEORGETOWN, S.C. — A South Carolina sheriff's office says a deputy investigating a burglary call had to use a stun gun on his K9 after the dog bit a cow, which then charged at people nearby.

The Georgetown County Sheriff's Office says the deputy responded to the call with a K9 on Wednesday.

The agency said the dog became "distracted" and bit a cow on the property, forcing the officer to stun it.

Reacting to the bite, the spooked cow struck the deputy and property owner.

The Greenville News reports none of the parties involved were seriously hurt.

At the end of it all, it was determined the original burglary call was unfounded.

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Know your news ...

Canada Post unveiled a commemorative stamp Thursday that pays tribute to an all-black hockey league that once thrived in the Maritimes — long before the NHL became part of Canadian lore. The Colored Hockey League saw teams competing for the Colored Hockey Championship between 1895 and the 1930s. What is the name of the team featured on the stamp?

(Keep scrolling for the answer)

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On this day in 2006 ...

Pittsburgh Penguin star Mario Lemieux retired for the second and last time from the NHL.

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Entertainment news ...

IQALUIT, Nunavut — Iqaluit folk-rock ensemble the Jerry Cans are plotting a Canadian tour that will take them to nine stops across the country.

The two-time Juno-nominated act says they will swing through cities including Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary to promote their upcoming album "Echoes," set for release May 15.

The band describes the 14-track project as reverb-frayed rock blended with buzzed-out violin and throat singing.

"Echoes" will be released on Aakuluk Music, a record label the band started to help other Nunavut-based artists launch their projects.

The Jerry Cans' run of dates kicks off in Burnstown, Ont., a community near the Ottawa River, on Feb. 6.

It continues to Montreal on Feb. 9; Ottawa on Feb. 10; Edmonton on March 9; and Calgary on March 10. The group hits British Columbia with stops in Nanaimo on March 11, Victoria on March 12, Burnaby on March 13 and Penticton on March 14.

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The games we play ...

J.P. Darche is returning to the Super Bowl.

The former long-snapper will head to Miami with the Kansas City Chiefs as one of their team doctors. The 44-year-old native of St-Laurent, Que., made his first Super Bowl appearance in 2006 as a player with the Seattle Seahawks, who dropped a 21-10 decision to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Detroit.

"It's very exciting (but) nowhere near what it was as a player," Darche said. "When you're playing it's one thing, but when you're doing what I'm doing now, whatever tiny part of it that I help with, I guess you feel you're still part of it in some ways."

Kansas City advanced to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years with a 35-24 AFC title win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. On Feb. 2 in Miami, the Chiefs will face the San Francisco 49ers, who dispatched the Green Bay Packers 37-20 in the NFC final.

The six-foot, 242-pound Darche was a standout linebacker over five seasons at McGill University in Montreal, serving as team captain his final two while attending medical school. After being selected in the third round of the '99 CFL draft by Toronto, Darche spent one season with the Argonauts before joining the Seahawks.

Darche played six seasons in Seattle before spending his final two NFL campaigns with Kansas City (2007-08). He remains McGill's all-time leader in tackles (272) and completed his medical degree after retiring as a player.

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Know your news answer ...

The Halifax Eurekas. The Eurekas won the Colored Hockey Champions in 1904.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2020.

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