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Couple charged in Toronto break-ins, sex assaults

Man faces 95 charges in break-ins, sex assaults in Toronto;wife also charged
The Canadian Press

TORONTO - A Toronto man broke into dozens of homes, often while the homeowners were sleeping, took property and on numerous occasions sexually assaulted the female occupants before making an escape, "possibly" with the help of his wife, police alleged Friday.

Police said the "serial sexual predator" and his wife were arrested Wednesday in connection with 59 break-end-enter incidents that allegedly took place in Toronto between August 2011 and August of this year.

Halifax Chronicle Herald to lay off 20 people

Halifax Chronicle Herald cites declining advertising in issuing 20 layoffs
The Canadian Press

HALIFAX - The Halifax Chronicle Herald issued layoff notices to 20 unionized newspaper employees Friday in a bid to cut costs and stem advertising losses.

Herald CEO Mark Lever said the move was made because of declining advertising and sluggish revenues.

"Newspapers across the country are being affected by a significant decline in national advertising," he said in a statement.

"These steps are necessary to ensure that Canada's last independently owned daily newspaper continues to serve Nova Scotians."

Thousands protest in Montreal

Thousands protest in Montreal against provincial economic policies
The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - Several thousand people took to the streets of Montreal on Friday to protest what they call austerity measures imposed by the provincial government.

The demonstration began outside Premier Philippe Couillard's office and headed toward Club 357-C, an Old Montreal establishment that has been mentioned at Quebec's corruption probe as a venue for people of influence.

Many people wore Halloween-themed costumes and the protest's slogan was Austerity: A Horror Story.

Report: Seniors increasingly faced with debt

Report: Seniors increasingly struggling with debt, bankruptcy
Lee-Anne Goodman, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - The country's growing cohort of senior citizens is carrying more debt into retirement and increasingly declaring bankruptcy, says a report prepared for the federal government.

The need to support dependent adult children who are taking longer to find work is contributing to the trend, says the study conducted for the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

The report, prepared by market research firm The Strategic Council, also said declining numbers of seniors are in registered pension plans. There's also evidence of growing income inequality among those 65 and older.

First Iraq missions over, no bombs dropped

Canada's first operational missions over Iraq complete, no bombs dropped
Murray Brewster, The Canadian Press

KUWAIT CITY - Canadian warplanes have conducted two combat sweeps over Iraq, but bad weather continued to prevent them from striking any Islamic State targets, the task force commander said Friday.

Two CF-18 jet fighters conducted the first patrol on Thursday, with another mission taking place Friday. In both cases, the aircraft returned with full bomb loads.

Soccer field stabbing case pushed to Nov. 20

Newfoundland man accused in soccer stabbing had mental health issues: stepmom
Sue Bailey, The Canadian Press

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The stepmother of a Newfoundland man accused of attempted murder in the stabbing of an 11-year-old boy says his family tried to get him help for mental health issues.

Nicholas Layman, 19, was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon after an attack Sept. 25 on a soccer field in Conception Bay South, N.L.

Parties jostle to frame government's tax plan

Framing income splitting: Family-friendly, or lining wallets of wealthy dads?
Jennifer Ditchburn, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - The political race is on to frame the government's marquee income-splitting plan as either a financial boon to Canadian families with children or a "retrograde" measure skewed towards men and the wealthy.

The stakes are high for all the parties, who are fighting for the support of some key constituencies — women, suburban voters and the middle class — in the lead-up to the 2015 election. Their attitude toward the tax measures will be key.

The NDP flat-out calls the income-splitting plan "paternalistic" and "backwards."

Alexander announces live-in caregiver changes

Government changes live-in caregiver program, does away with the 'live-in' part
Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - A long-awaited overhaul of the program that brings thousands of caregivers to Canada every year will remove the requirement that they live with their employers.

The change is part of an effort to reduce caregiver abuse but also clear a backlog of some 60,000 cases that have seen caregivers stuck waiting as long as a decade for permanent residency and to be reunited with their families.

Court battle over infant autopsies in Winnipeg

Lawyers fight over who should be allowed to witness infant autopsies in Winnipeg
The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG - A Manitoba judge has reserved a procedural decision involving autopsies on the bodies of six infants found in a Winnipeg storage locker.

The lawyer for Andrea Giesbrecht (GEEZ'-brehkt), who is accused of concealing the remains, wants an independent pathologist to monitor the autopsies by the chief medical examiner's office.

But a lawyer for the medical examiner's office says the examiner has the right to conduct autopsies without interference.

David Gisser says there is nothing in provincial law that gives the courts authority over how autopsies are done.

Conservative election scandals, at a glance

Some election scandals that dogged the Conservatives in recent yeara
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Here is a look at some of the election-related scandals that have swirled around the Conservative party in recent years.

In and Out: During the 2006 election campaign, the Conservatives moved money from local riding associations to the national party, allegedly as a way of getting around campaign spending limits. After a five-year investigation, the party pleaded guilty to Elections Act charges and repaid $230,198.

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