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In the news today: No terrorism link in border crossing crash: FBI

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today...
A view of the Rainbow Bridge where the border crossing between the U.S. and Canada is closed after a vehicle exploded at a checkpoint on a bridge near Niagara Falls, Ont., Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023. The governor of New York state says there’s no apparent terrorism link to a car that hit a median at breakneck speed, soared through the air, crashed and exploded, killing two people Wednesday at a Canada-U.S. border checkpoint in Niagara Falls.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today...

No terrorism link in Niagara Falls crash, no explosive materials found: FBI

The FBI says a deadly car crash and explosion at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing between New York state and Ontario shows no sign of terrorist involvement and there were no explosive materials at the scene, and the case has been turned over to the Niagara Falls Police Department as a traffic investigation.

Details of what led to the crash remain scarce, with security camera video released by the U.S. government showing the car speeding through an intersection, hitting a low median and flying through the air into a line of vehicle checkpoint booths on the American side of the crossing.

Federal Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc says both Canada and the U.S. are taking the "violent circumstance" very seriously, but stresses it is "simply not responsible" to speculate on what caused the incident without more accurate information.

The crash and subsequent explosion prompted the closure of three other area border crossings between Ontario and western New York for hours, along with additional passenger screenings and vehicle security checks at the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport.


Here's what else we're watching ...

EU-Canada Summit to cover Israel, Hamas, Ukraine

A major meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the leaders of the European Union begins today in Newfoundland and Labrador's capital city of St. John's.

The war unfolding in Gaza between Israel and Hamas militants is expected to feature prominently in the two-day EU-Canada Summit, particularly after the two sides announced a truce-for-hostages deal on Wednesday.

European Union officials say a declaration supporting a two-state solution that would result in a sovereign Palestinian state existing alongside Israel will likely be a significant part of the summit's joint statement, which is expected at the end of the event's discussions.

The officials, who offered a briefing to journalists on the condition that they not be named, said the ongoing war in Ukraine is expected to be a big part of discussions, too.

Trade, climate and energy are also on the agenda, as Atlantic Canada angles to become a major supplier of hydrogen fuel to European markets, particularly Germany.


Mosque, rabbi call for tolerance amid attacks

After a man allegedly yelled slurs and threw a rock at Muslims standing outside a Toronto mosque last week, a local rabbi felt the need to send over a message expressing sympathy. 

Rabbi Shaanan Scherer said it was important for him to contact the Toronto Islamic Centre and speak up against the attack, particularly as the Israel-Hamas war has led to a rise in aggression and violence against Muslim and Jewish communities across Canada. 

"I was just disgusted that somebody would attack innocent Muslims who are citizens here in Toronto," said Scherer, who teaches at a local Jewish school that has also been the subject of two bomb threats in recent days.

"Despite political differences ... it's about people of faith wanting to practice religion without being discriminated against here in Canada. And we can agree on putting an end to any forms of hatred."


Toronto man wants help to rescue family from Gaza

A Toronto resident whose son is in a Gaza hospital says the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is good news, but he needs government help to bring his family to Canada. 

Nahed El-Khalidy says the truce comes too late, however, to save the life of his daughter who was killed Monday when an Israeli bomb struck a building near where she was staying.

He says the blast left his 17-year-old son seriously injured and hurt several other family members, including a six-year-old girl.

El-Khalidy, a permanent resident who moved to Canada three years ago, says his wife and six of his children were able to cross into Egypt on Sunday, but his teenage son was turned away.

He says the ceasefire will make it easier to bring medicine and water to hospitals like the one where his son is being treated, but his son needs medical care that isn't currently available in Gaza.


Sainte-Marie says she's 'not a piece of paper'

Buffy Sainte-Marie is pushing back on a report that questions the legendary singer’s Indigenous heritage, maintaining that she has never lied about her identity. 

The iconic songwriter and activist says a recent C-B-C report was full of mistakes and omissions. 

In her first public statement since it was published, Sainte-Marie calls the report an attack on her character, life and legacy.

Chuck Thompson with C-B-C says in an email that the broadcaster stands by the report and the evidence was fairly presented. 

In the October report, C-B-C located the singer's birth certificate, which says she was born in 1941 in Massachusetts and lists the baby and parents as white.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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