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Police statement focus of lawsuit filed by wrongfully convicted Nova Scotia man

HALIFAX - A sexually explicit document from 1969 became the focus of a lawsuit Thursday launched by a Nova Scotia man wrongfully convicted of statutory rape. The RCMP say the document is based on a statement Gerald Barton gave to a senior Mountie investigating an alleged case of rape in Jordantown, N.S. In the statement, Barton is quoted as saying he had consensual sex with a 14-year-old girl, who later gave birth to a boy. It was used to convict Barton, then 19, of having sex with a female between the ages of 14 and 16. He was sentenced to a year of probation.

Black not a danger to markets, lawyer says in bid to dismiss OSC proceedings

TORONTO - Conrad Black isn't a danger to Canadian investors and proceedings to keep him from Ontario capital markets aren't necessary, his lawyer said Thursday. Lawyer Peter Howard is asking that a proceeding against Black by the Ontario Securities Commission be dismissed, because he says any fallout from his alleged involvement in a complicated system of non-compete payments involving Hollinger Inc. and Hollinger has already been dealt with in civil and criminal matters in the United States.

Supreme Court will consider constitutionality of mandatory minimum gun sentences

The Supreme Court of Canada will consider whether the Harper government's changes to mandatory minimum sentences for unlawful gun possession are constitutional. The high court agreed Thursday to hear a pair of Crown appeals of Ontario cases in which the province's Appeal Court struck down the law, ruling it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. The sentencing laws increased the mandatory minimum sentences for possession of a loaded, prohibited firearm from one year to three years for a first offence and five years for a second offence.

Newfoundland government linked moose-vehicle accidents, hunting 10 years ago

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - A former senior bureaucrat testified Thursday that the Newfoundland and Labrador government had research 10 years ago from its own scientists linking moose-vehicle collisions and the extent to which moose are hunted. Gary Norris said research reported as part of a review of how the province was handling such accidents indicated "a clear relationship between moose-vehicle collisions and moose harvests."

Deutsche Bank wins dismissal of FHFA case

By Karen Freifeld NEW YORK (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank AG has won dismissal of a lawsuit seeking to have it cover government-sponsored Freddie Mac's losses on defective mortgage securities purchased from a more than $1.4 billion trust. The German bank was accused by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Freddie Mac, of misrepresenting the underwriting and quality of home loans backing the securities in the trust, which dated from 2006.

Child custody case jolts French leader's Mexico trip

France's president traveled to Mexico to bury diplomatic tensions, but his ex-partner jarred his visit Thursday by championing the cause of a Frenchwoman's child custody battle with a former Mexican governor. President Enrique Pena Nieto treated French leader Francois Hollande to the full honors of a state visit, with cannon salvos at the Campo Marte military field in Mexico City.

Extradition decision delayed in so-called 'honour killing' case in B.C.

VANCOUVER - A judge has delayed releasing his decision on whether the mother and uncle of a B.C. woman who police believe was murdered in a so-called "honour killing" will be extradited to India. Jaswinder (Jassi) Sidhu was found stabbed to death in Punjab in June 2000, and her mother, Malkit Kaur Sidhu, and uncle, Surjit Singh Badesha, are charged with murder and conspiracy in India. The Crown alleged the mother and uncle orchestrated the murder because the 25-year-old woman married a poor rickshaw driver in India rather than the wealthy older man they preferred.

Frozen food makers plan major PR push touting nutrition as sales slip

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Frozen foods are about to get some badly needed image therapy. With sales slipping in the category, frozen food makers are in the final stages of preparing a major public relations campaign to defend the nutritional reputation of their products. The push will include what are said to be the first national TV ads on behalf of the industry as a whole, as well as social media and in-store promotions.

First Air pilots fired after flying plane off course during Arctic trip

A northern air carrier has fired two pilots after they flew a plane so far off course on a routine Arctic flight that it took about 20 minutes to get back. "We learned the pilots did not follow our standard operating procedures designed to eliminate navigational errors," First Air said in a release Thursday. "As a result, those pilots are no longer employees of First Air." The Boeing 737 left Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, on a routine flight to the territorial capital of Iqaluit on March 31. It was carrying 19 passengers and four crew when something went wrong.

Appeals court hears case testing gay-marriage rights

By Joan Biskupic DENVER (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court signaled on Thursday it may strike down a Utah ban on same-sex marriages in the highest-level case to date to test whether gay and lesbian couples have a right under the U.S. Constitution to marry. During an hour-long argument, two of the three judges on the panel scrutinized the position of the lawyer for Utah that society at large and children in particular benefit from marriages exclusively between a man and a woman.
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