The search continues and Ontario anticipates Stage 3; In The News for July 13

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 July 13.

What we are watching in Canada ...

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ST-APOLLINAIRE, Que — Quebec provincial police continued to search through the night for the father of two girls whose bodies were found Saturday in a small town southwest of Quebec City.

The bodies of Norah and Romy Carpentier, aged 11 and 6, were located in a wooded area in the community of St-Apollinaire, Que.

The girls had last been seen on Wednesday and became the subject of an Amber Alert the next day.

On Sunday, the manhunt for their father, Martin Carpentier, 44, had authorities tightening the search in a thickly wooded area near where the young sisters from Levis, Que. were found.

The attention of the entire province has been on the case, especially in the town of just over 6,000 people where it's playing out.

Police have said the girls and their father were believed to have been in a car crash on Highway 20 in St-Apollinaire on Wednesday evening.

But police did not find any occupants inside the car when they arrived.

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Also this ...

A lot of businesses across Ontario are eagerly awaiting an announcement today from the provincial government.

With recent data indicating a gradual but steady decline in Ontario's COVID-19 caseload Premier Doug Ford is expected to unveil the next phase of the province's reopening strategy.

The province said in a document released in late April that Stage 3 would include "opening all workplaces responsibly" and "further relaxing the restrictions on public gatherings."

Meanwhile, health officials in Quebec, the epicentre of the pandemic in Canada, are concerned about a spike in COVID-19 cases in Montreal linked to the reopening of the city's bars.

Over the weekend Montreal's public health authority urged patrons and employees who have frequented bars since Canada Day to get tested for the coronavirus.

On the East Coast, Prince Edward Island is reporting another new case of COVID-19 — a woman in her 80s from Queens County tested positive and is self-isolating at home.

P.E.I. has reported four new cases of the infection since July 4 after being COVID-free during the months of May and June.

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ICYMI (in case you missed it) ...

OTTAWA — A representative of Canadian families and loved ones killed in Iran's shootdown of a Ukrainian airliner in January says a new report blaming a misaligned missile battery and other mistakes by the Iranian military for the tragedy underscores the need for an independent investigation.

The report released late Saturday by Iran's Civil Aviation Organization comes months after Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was shot down by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 55 Canadian citizens, 30 permanent residents and dozens of others with connections to Canada.

Iranian authorities initially denied responsibility, only changing course days later after Western nations presented extensive evidence that Iran had shot down the plane. Iran has since been accused of stonewalling efforts to investigate the full circumstances around the crash.

Hamed Esmaeilion, a Toronto dentist whose wife Parisa and nine-year-old daughter Reera died on the plane, reiterated those allegations on Sunday following release of the civil aviation report.

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

LOS ANGELES — Kelly Preston, who played dramatic and comic foil to actors ranging from Tom Cruise in "Jerry Maguire" to Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Twins," died Sunday, husband John Travolta said. She was 57.

Travolta said in an Instagram post that his wife of 28 years died after a two-year battle with breast cancer.

"It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my beautiful wife Kelly has lost her two-year battle with breast cancer," Travolta said. "She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many."

The couple had three children together.

"Shocked by this sad news," Maria Shriver said on Twitter. "Kelly was such a bright loving soul, a talented actress, and a loving mom and wife. My heart breaks for her family who have already known such sadness and grief."

Preston had a lengthy acting career in movies and television, starring opposite Kevin Costner in the 1999 film "For the Love of the Game." In 2003, she starred in "What a Girl Wants" and as the mom in the live-action adaptation of "The Cat in the Hat." The following year she appeared in the music video for Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved."

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

BEIJING — China on Monday said it will ban entry to U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, Representative Chris Smith and Ambassador for Religious Freedom Sam Brownback over their criticism of the ruling Communist Party’s policies toward minority groups and people of faith.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said actions by the U.S. had "seriously damaged China-U.S. relations" and that China was determined to uphold its national sovereignty against what it sees as interference in its internal affairs.

"China will respond further according to the development of the situation," Hua said.

There was no indication that any of the four had plans to travel to China.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 13, 2020.

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