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— PM stays mum on Manchin move that could kill EV tax credits: The Prime Minister’s Office hasn’t issued any statements about Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s announcement that he will vote against U.S. President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion spending package, which includes electric-vehicle incentives that the Canadian government has been aggressively trying to quash.
The bill would have also served as an overhaul to America’s health care, education, climate, immigration and tax laws. Manchin’s announcement dealt a “potentially insurmountable political blow” to the plan, The Washington Post reports.
— Ministers won’t say who dropped the residential school case against the Catholic Church: CBC News has been investigating who in the federal government decided in fall 2015 to drop a multimillion-dollar residential school compensation case against Catholic Church groups, but current and former ministers — including Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller —a re refusing to disclose any documents or information. Advocates say it is “the latest slap in the face” to survivors.
— Barton named Rio Tinto chairman: Canada’s outgoing ambassador to China, Dominic Barton, has been named chairman for the Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto. The former chairman is stepping down following a scandal over the company’s destruction of 46,000-year-old rock shelters in Australia.
— Trudeau does the media rounds: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been wrapping up the year by giving interviews to major outlets. For CTV, he discussed his 2021 regrets and what he thinks will define 2022. In the Star, he said he sees no ‘finish line’ in politics. In the CBC’s interview, he talked public health measures and also said citizens — not just the government — must play a role in fighting Quebec’s Bill 21.
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AROUND THE WORLD
— Chile elects youngest ever president: Leftist candidate Gabriel Boric has been elected president of Chile. The 35-year-old former protest leader, who will become the country’s youngest president, defeated a far-right rival who pledged to cut taxes and social spending, prioritized law and order, and defended Pinochet’s legacy. Boric promised to curb Chile’s neoliberal economic model.
— Mass killings revealed in Myanmar: A BBC investigation has found that the Myanmar military carried out a series of mass civilian killings in July, with at least 40 men killed. The killings took place in four separate incidents in July and are thought to have been a collective punishment for attacks by militia groups.
— Elsewhere: Hong Kong held its first “patriots only” election, and turnout was low. Philippines Super Typhoon Rai has killed at least 208 people as death toll surges. Fauci says Christmas travel will fuel spread of Omicron. The Netherlands became the first EU country to re-enter lockdown due to Omicron. U.K. newspaper publishes photo of Boris Johnson at alleged garden party during lockdown. U.K. foreign minister adds Brexit brief to portfolio after minister resigns. Hundreds of thousands marched in Sudan’s capital amid tear gas and stun grenades. Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai denies she made sexual assault accusation. Pope Francis condemns domestic abuse as ‘almost satanic’. Sixth child dies in Australia bouncy castle tragedy.
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CARTOON OF THE DAY
The Swedish town of Gävle can’t get its residents to stop setting its Yule goat decorations on fire. A 42-foot straw goat was again set alight on Friday, reviving — as Reuters describes it — “a long-running tradition of locals illegally attempting to torch it and authorities scrambling to stop them.”
The incendiary tradition began the very first year the town installed a giant version of the traditional Swedish Christmas decoration — as a marketing ploy — in 1966. That one didn’t make it to New Year’s.