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New provincial vaccine passports; climate and the election: In The News for Sept. 22

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 Sept. 22 ... What we are watching in Canada ...

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 Sept. 22 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

Starting today, patrons at dine-in restaurants, nightclubs, gyms, sports facilities and other venues in Ontario must present a receipt of full vaccination along with government identification as the province's new COVID-19 vaccine certificate system goes into effect

Doctors’ notes for medical exemptions will be accepted, but businesses that don't comply with the checks required by the system and patrons who give false information may be fined. However, businesses, bylaw officers, police forces and the province say enforcement will be gentle at first.

Premier Doug Ford has said he understands some people are concerned their civil liberties are being infringed upon, but the greater concern is another surge in infections that requires locking down the province again.

While venues will have to check paper or digital vaccine receipts with identification at first, the province has said it aims to launch a QR code and verification app for businesses on Oct. 22 to streamline the process.

New Brunswick's vaccine passport system is also now in effect, meaning people must show proof of full vaccination to access certain events, services and businesses, and masks are mandatory in all public indoor spaces.

Anyone entering New Brunswick must pre-register with the province.

Those who fail to follow the new rules can be fined between $172.50 and $772.50.

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Also this ...

Environment groups say there is no doubt the 2021 election was a big win for climate action in Canada.

Environmental Defence executive director Tim Gray says two-thirds of Canadians voted for climate action in 2019.

But he says the Conservatives upped their climate game in 2021 so it can now be said that 95 per cent of Canadians voted for climate action on Monday, leaving no room for any party or government to block or slow efforts any longer.

Still Gray and others say the Liberals have to move quickly on their platform, including capping emissions from oil and gas production and mandating electric vehicle sales.

Fossil fuel production and transportation are the two main drivers behind the emissions increase Canada saw since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took office six years ago.

Trudeau will head to the United Nations climate meeting in Scotland in November with stronger emissions targets than ever but Gray says there is still a lot of work to do to show how Canada intends to meet its emissions targets for the first time ever.

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

NEW YORK _ Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday sued his estranged niece and The New York Times over a 2018 story about his family's wealth and tax practices that was partly based on confidential documents she provided to the newspaper's reporters.

Trump's lawsuit, filed in state court in New York, accuses Mary Trump of breaching a settlement agreement by disclosing tax records she received in a dispute over family patriarch Fred Trump's estate. It accuses the Times and three of its investigative reporters, Susanne Craig, David Barstow and Russell Buettner, of relentlessly seeking out Mary Trump as a source of information and convincing her to turn over documents. The suit claims the reporters were aware the settlement agreement barred her from disclosing the documents.

The Times' story challenged Trump's claims of self-made wealth by documenting how his father, Fred, had given him at least $413 million over the decades, including through tax avoidance schemes.

Mary Trump identified herself in a book published last year as the source of the documents provided to the Times.

Trump's lawsuit -- which seeks $100 million in damages -- alleges Mary Trump, the Times and its reporters ``were motivated by a personal vendetta'' against him and a desire to push a political agenda.

The defendants "engaged in an insidious plot to obtain confidential and highly-sensitive records which they exploited for their own benefit and utilized as a means of falsely legitimizing their publicized works,'' the lawsuit said.

In a statement to NBC News, Mary Trump said of her uncle, "I think he is a loser, and he is going to throw anything against the wall he can. It's desperation. The walls are closing in and he is throwing anything against the wall that he thinks will stick. As is always the case with Donald, he'll try and change the subject.''

A Times spokesperson, Danielle Rhoads Ha, said the lawsuit "is an attempt to silence independent news organizations and we plan to vigorously defend against it.''

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

NEW YORK _ Racism, the climate crisis and the world's worsening divisions will take centre stage at the United Nations on Wednesday, a day after the U.N. chief issued a grim warning that "we are on the edge of an abyss.''

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, more than two dozen world leaders appeared in person at the U.N. General Assembly on the opening day of their annual high-level meeting. The atmosphere was sombre, angry and dire.

China's President Xi Jinping warned that "the world has entered a period of new turbulence and transformation.'' Finland's President Sauli Niinistö said: "We are indeed at a critical juncture.'' And Costa Rica's President Carlos Alvarado Quesada declared: "The future is raising its voice at us: Less military weaponry, more investment in peace!''

Speaker after speaker at Tuesday's opening of the nearly weeklong meeting decried the inequalities and deep divisions that have prevented united global action to end the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed nearly 4.6 million lives and is still raging, and the failure to sufficiently tackle the climate crisis threatening the planet.

COVID-19 and climate are certain to remain top issues for heads of state and government. But Wednesday's U.N. agenda will first turn the spotlight on the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the controversial U.N. World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, which was dominated by clashes over the Middle East and the legacy of slavery.

The U.S. and Israel walked out during the meeting over a draft resolution that singled out Israel for criticism and likened Zionism to racism _ a provision that was eventually dropped. Twenty countries are boycotting Wednesday's commemoration, according to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which urged more countries to join them "in continuing to fight racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism.''

Perhaps the harshest assessment of the current global crisis came from U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who opened his state of the world address sounding an "alarm'' that "the world must wake up.''

"Our world has never been more threatened or more divided,'' he said. "We face the greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes.''

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On this day in 1967 ...

Montreal's "Expo 67" broke the attendance record of 42,973,561 set at the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels.

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In entertainment ...

NEW YORK (AP) _ Singer Sarah Dash, who co-founded the all-female group Labelle _ best known for the raucous 1974 hit "Lady Marmalade" _ has died. She was 76.

Patti Labelle and Nona Hendryx completed the trio. They announced Dash's death Monday on social media. No cause of death was disclosed.

Dash originally started in the group The Ordettes, before it morphed into The Bluebells and then into Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles. In the early 1970s, they shortened it to Labelle, changed their outfits and veered toward funk, with all three members singing lead and background.

They made gospel-soul covers of rock songs, and their original tunes included the ballad "Can I Speak to You Before You Go to Hollywood?'' "Morning Much Better'' and "Touch Me All Over.''

But the group's best-known tune was "Lady Marmalade," a song about New Orleans sex workers from their 1974 album "Nightbirds."

"Lady Marmalade'' reached No. 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles (now Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs). It was voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003 and appears in both Baz Luhrmann's hyperactive 2001 movie ``Moulin Rouge'' and the Broadway musical inspired by the film.

Labelle disbanded in 1976. Dash, a native of New Jersey, continued performing as a solo singer, releasing several albums over the years. She wrote music with Keith Richards and toured with the Rolling Stones.

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ICYMI ...

A mountain goat is believed to be responsible for the death of a grizzly bear found slumped near a trail in British Columbia's Yoho National Park earlier this month.

David Laskin, a wildlife ecologist with Parks Canada, says a necropsy on the carcass found wounds consistent with the size and shape of mountain goat horns, with one under each of the female bear's armpits and one on the side of its neck.

He says other causes of death were ruled out, including human involvement. 

Laskin says it's common for grizzlies to prey on mountain goats, with a tendency to attack from above, and it's not unusual that a bear might be injured in the scuffle.

But he says a goat fatally wounding a bear is "exceedingly rare."

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2021

The Canadian Press

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