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Royals visit Ottawa, April inflation rate : In The News for May 18

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 May 18 ... What we are watching in Canada ...
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Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrive in St. John's to begin a three-day Canadian tour, Tuesday, May 17, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

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 May 18 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, will attend a service at Ottawa's Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral today as they visit the national capital.

After the prayer service, the royal couple is scheduled to meet with a displaced Ukrainian woman and her two sons. 

The second day of the royal tour also includes stops at the National War Memorial, a local school and a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Prince Charles and Camilla's final event of the day is a Platinum Jubilee reception at Rideau Hall.  

Métis National Council President Cassidy Caron has said she intends to use that occasion to make a request for an apology from the Queen for the legacy of residential schools.

The three-day tour began in St. John's, N.L., with a focus on reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

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Also this ...

Statistics Canada will give its latest reading of how much the cost of living has risen when it releases inflation figures for April this morning.

The agency's consumer price index posted a year-over-year increase of 6.7 per cent in March, the fastest pace since January 1991.

The Bank of Montreal is predicting the report today will show a year-over-year increase of 6.8 per cent for April.

BMO chief economist Douglas Porter says it now seems like only a matter of time before the annual inflation rate tops seven per cent.

In its monetary policy report last month, the Bank of Canada said it expected inflation to average almost six per cent in the first half of the year, however it has since said it will likely be revising its forecast.

The central bank raised its key interest rate target by half a percentage point to one per cent last month in a bid to help slow inflation and warned that more rate hikes are coming.

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And this too ...

A wave of buyer's remorse is taking shape in several heated real estate markets, after housing prices started dropping and the number of sales slowed over the last two months.

Toronto and Vancouver brokers and lawyers say they have noticed buyers looking at what options they have to get out of a purchase and sellers hoping to ensure one goes through because conditions have shifted dramatically from the previous highs and frenzied pace.

The country experienced a 25.7 per cent drop in the number of homes sold over the last year and a 3.8 per cent slide in housing prices between March and April, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Monday. The average home price last month totalled $741,517.

Toronto real estate lawyer Mark Morris says in recent weeks, he's seen nine cases where buyers want to back out of deals, but on Monday alone was approached by three sellers keen to use legal channels to keep purchasers from walking away.

Though Morris is loath to call the encounters a trend, he says three in a day is a record because he used to see one case like this every few months.

While Tirajeh Mazaheri hasn't seen legal action in Vancouver, the Coldwell Banker Prestige Realty agent has found investors who purchased pre-construction homes a few years ago but have yet to take possession of them are worried.

She says these investors are wondering if the market will keep up with the price they paid for the property a few years ago and are hoping they can recoup their cash if they choose to sell the home in a year.

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. _ The man that prosecutors call a diabolical and crafty monster who staged a deadly shooting at a Southern California church seemed to be a kind and quiet person who shared his food and proclaimed himself a Christian, his roommate says.

Jordin Davis of Las Vegas said David Wenwei Chou gave no warning that he might be planning such an attack.

"At this point, and everything that's happened, I've just started to wonder: `Did you, David, use your kindness and generosity to hide some very dark secrets?''' Davis asked.

Chou, 68, is accused of opening fire Sunday afternoon at a lunch gathering of elderly parishioners at Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in the community of Laguna Woods.

A local physician who tried to stop him was killed and five other people were injured before Chou was subdued by church members, authorities said.

Chou had his first court appearance by video link Tuesday but didn't enter a plea to charges of murder and attempted murder. His arraignment was continued to June 10. He will be held without bail.

Chou wanted to "execute in cold blood as many people in that room as possible,'' Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in announcing the charges, which include a sentencing enhancement for lying in wait. If convicted, Chou could face either life in prison or the death penalty.

"This monster crafted a diabolical plan to lock the church doors with his victims inside in order to lead what he thought were innocent lambs to slaughter,'' Spitzer said. "But what he didn't realize was the parishioners at the church that day weren't lambs _ they were lions and they fought back against the evil that tried to infiltrate their house of worship.''

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

KYIV, Ukraine _ Ukrainian fighters extracted from the last bastion of resistance in Mariupol were taken to a former penal colony in enemy-controlled territory, and a top military official hoped they could be exchanged for Russian prisoners of war. But a Moscow lawmaker said they should be brought to "justice.''

The Russian parliament planned to take up a resolution Wednesday to prevent the exchange of Azov Regiment fighters, who held out for months inside the Azovstal steelworks plant while Mariupol was under siege, according to Russian news agencies.

Ukraine's deputy defence minister, Hanna Maliar, said negotiations for the fighters' release were ongoing, as were plans to rescue fighters who are still inside the sprawling steel mill.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said "the most influential international mediators are involved'' in the plans. Officials have not said how many remain inside.

More than 260 Ukrainian fighters _ some of them seriously wounded and taken out on stretchers _ left the ruins of the Azovstal plant on Monday and turned themselves over to the Russian side in a deal negotiated by the warring parties. An additional seven buses carrying an unknown number of Ukrainian soldiers from the plant were seen arriving at a former penal colony Tuesday in the town of Olenivka, about 88 kilometres north of Mariupol.

In an unrelated development that could take the sheen off of any Russian declaration of victory in Mariupol, Sweden and Finland both officially applied to join NATO on Wednesday, a move driven by security concerns over the Russian invasion.

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion on Feb. 24 in what he said was an effort to check NATO's expansion but has seen that strategy backfire by driving the public in Sweden and Finland, traditionally nonaligned nations, toward the Western alliance.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he welcomed the applications, which now have to be weighed by 30 member countries.

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On this day in 2001 ...

Newspaper magnate Conrad Black announced he was giving up his Canadian citizenship to accept an appointment to Britain's House of Lords. He later became Lord Black of Crossharbour.

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In entertainment ...

OTTAWA _ Joanna Chiu has won the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.

The Vancouver-based Toronto Star journalist won for her debut book, "China Unbound," which details China's growing global influence and why it matters to Canadians.

The award was announced Tuesday night by the Writers' Trust of Canada and presented by prize sponsor Canadian National at the Politics and the Pen gala in Ottawa.

The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize recognizes a book of literary non-fiction on a political subject relevant to Canadian readers that has the potential to influence thinking on Canadian political life.

Finalists for the prize included Mike Blanchfield and Fen Osler Hampson for their book "The Two Michaels: Innocent Canadian Captives and High Stakes Espionage in the US-China Cyber War;" "Flora!: A Woman in a Man's World" by Flora MacDonald and Geoffrey Stevens; "The Next Age of Uncertainty: How the World Can Adapt to a Riskier Future" by Stephen Poloz; and "'Indian' in the Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power" by Jody Wilson-Raybould.

The prize was established in honour of the outspoken and popular Liberal member of Parliament from Windsor, Ont., who died in 1998.

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Did you see this?

One of Canada’s largest supermarket chains is taking a small but meaningful step to signal its support for Ukraine as the country defends itself against Russia's invasion.

Loblaw will change the name of its frozen President’s Choice-brand chicken Kiev, a dish of breaded chicken breast stuffed with herbs and butter, to chicken Kyiv, using the Ukrainian spelling. 

Catherine Thomas, vice-president of communications at Loblaw, says the product is currently being updated, and new boxes will hit shelves later this summer.

Campaigns from the Ukrainian ministry of foreign affairs have largely convinced western governments and media outlets to refer to the country’s capital as Kyiv —transliterated from the Cyrillic alphabet and following the Ukrainian spelling of K-Y-I-V — instead of Kiev, K-I-E-V, which is the Russian version. 

Though the language campaign has been focused on the city, not the dish, other players in the food industry have adopted the change since February, when Russian forces launched their attacks on Ukraine and created a humanitarian crisis.

Ricardo Larrivée, a Quebec chef who has hosted his own cooking show for more than 20 years, changed the spelling of the chicken Kyiv recipe on his website in early March. 

A representative for his company, Ricardo Media, says it was important for them to "show our solidarity with Ukrainians." 

Several supermarket chains and food manufacturers in Australia and the United Kingdom made the change to the spelling of the dish following widespread calls on Twitter.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 18, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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