"Schitt's Creek" makes history and the ricin affair: In The News for Sept. 21

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 Sept. 21.

What we are watching in Canada ...

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The fish-out-of-water Canadian sitcom "Schitt's Creek" made history for its swan song season at the Emmy Awards Sunday night, nabbing all seven categories in which it was nominated, including best comedy series.

In posts on Twitter, the CBC and Pop TV said it's the first time a comedy or drama has swept all four acting categories, while the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences declared it's the first time a series has won all seven comedy categories.

It's also the first time a Canadian show has won an Emmy for best comedy series, beating out heavyweights including "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Insecure," and "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."

All four key cast members also snagged acting trophies, including Hamilton-born Eugene Levy and Toronto-born Catherine O'Hara. They play Johnny and Moira Rose, the parents of a formerly wealthy family adjusting to a humble life in a small town the father once bought as a joke.

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods for playing their children, David and Alexis.

Daniel Levy, who is Eugene's son, also won a writing award and a directing trophy he shares with filmmaker Andrew Cividino for the Ontario-shot show, which ended its sixth and final season in April.

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REGINA — A mother who alleges the federal government and RCMP took a "negligent" and "lackadaisical" approach to investigating missing and murdered Indigenous women will attend a hearing this week that will determine if her lawsuit moves forward, her lawyer says.

Anthony Merchant says Diane BigEagle, whose daughter Danita Faith has been missing since 2007, will be there for the Federal Court certification hearing in Regina for the proposed class-action lawsuit by families of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Merchant says families of other murdered or missing Indigenous women will be there, too.

"We know the wrongs, we had the murdered and missing inquiry had a whole series of recommendations. The government said they were going to follow the recommendations but nothing has happened," Merchant said on Sunday.

The suit, which was launched in 2018, alleges systemic negligence on the part of the RCMP in investigating cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and says family members have been forced to endure mental anguish because of the RCMP's failure to properly investigate and prosecute the disappearances.

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ICYMI (in case you missed it) ...

WASHINGTON — A woman suspected of sending an envelope containing the poison ricin, which was addressed to White House, has been arrested at New York-Canada border, three law enforcement officials told The Associated Press on Sunday.

The letter had been intercepted last week before it reached the White House. The woman was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Peace Bridge border crossing in Fort Erie, Ont., and is expected to face federal charges, the officials said. Her name was not immediately released.

The letter addressed to the White House appeared to have originated in Canada, the RCMP have said. It was intercepted at a government facility that screens mail addressed to the White House and President Donald Trump and a preliminary investigation indicated it tested positive for ricin, according to the officials.

The officials were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

A spokesman for the RCMP deferred questions to the FBI, which confirmed an arrest had been made but would not comment further.

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

WASHINGTON — The Senate returns to Washington as all eyes are on Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Chuck Grassley of Iowa for clues to whether they will support any effort to approve a Supreme Court justice before November's election.

President Donald Trump and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are moving quickly to set up a nominee, confirmation hearings and a vote to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Democrats oppose a Trump appointment so close to an election.

Trump's Democratic rival, Joe Biden, is urging other Republican senators to join Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine in opposing a confirmation vote before the race is decided.

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CHICAGO — A front-runner to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a federal appellate judge who has established herself as a reliable conservative on hot-button legal issues from abortion to gun control.

Amy Coney Barrett is hailed by religious conservatives and others on the right as an ideological heir to the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Liberals say Barrett’s legal views are too influenced by her Catholic beliefs and fear she could seek to scale back abortion rights.

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

SRINAGAR, India — Senior Indian and Chinese military commanders are holding talks Monday to find ways to resolve a monthslong tense standoff between the rival soldiers along their disputed mountain border in mountainous Ladakh region.

Details of the talks, which are happening on the Chinese side in Moldo area facing Indian-controlled Ladakh region, weren’t immediately disclosed.

Despite several previous rounds of talks at military, diplomatic and political levels, the border tensions have persisted.

The standoff escalated in June to the deadliest clash between the two countries in decades — a clash on a high ridge between soldiers using clubs, stones and their fists. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed. China is believed to have also suffered casualties, but has not given any details.

In recent weeks, the Asian giants have accused each other of sending soldiers into the other’s territory and firing warning shots for the first time in 45 years, raising the spectre of full-scale military conflict.

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JERUSALEM — An Israeli court on Monday approved the extradition of a former teacher wanted in Australia on charges of child sex abuse, paving the way for her to stand trial after a six-year legal battle.

Malka Leifer, a former educator who is accused of sexually abusing several former students, has been fighting extradition from Israel since 2014. Leifer maintains her innocence and the battle surrounding her extradition has strained relations between Israel and Australia.

Leifer's attorneys said they would appeal the extradition decision to Israel's Supreme Court.

Earlier this month, Israel's Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Leifer's attorney over a Jerusalem court's ruling that she was mentally fit to stand trial, saying it was "putting an end to the saga that has been drawn out for many years."

On Monday, the Jerusalem District Court ruled that Leifer would be deported to Australia to stand trial for 74 charges of child sex abuse.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 21, 2020.

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