Cats and dogs, Uber and Lyft, and Alec Baldwin; In-The-News for Oct. 9

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 Oct. 9.

What we are watching in Canada ...

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The Conservatives aren't saying whether they're talking about immigration and the border on the federal campaign trail today.

But leader Andrew Scheer is gathering reporters for a field trip starting just a couple of kilometres from the spot in Quebec where thousands of irregular migrants have crossed into Canada.

His election tour is taking him to Hemmingford, Que., on the U.S. border, where Roxham Road on the Canadian side is separated from a road on the American side by just a few metres of scrub.

Meanwhile, Trudeau has a morning campaign stop in Markham, northeast of Toronto, where the Liberals are trying to hold onto a number of suburban seats, and New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh is speaking to a Canadian Union of Public Employees convention in Montreal.

Green Leader Elizabeth May is also in Montreal, with a packed schedule that has her making announcements on advancing Quebec culture and promoting affordable housing alongside the Greens' deputy leader, Daniel Green.

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Also this ...

The winner of the Nobel Prize for chemistry will be revealed today.

The announcement comes one day after a Canadian won for physics.

James Peebles, a Manitoba-born scientist, won the Nobel Prize for physics on Tuesday.

Peebles, who was born in the francophone community of St. Boniface before it became part of Winnipeg, completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Manitoba before moving to Princeton University in New Jersey for graduate school.

A dual Canadian-U.S. citizen, he has taught at the Ivy League school for the last five decades.

Peebles, 84, has been retired for 20 years, but he says he has continued to research and teach at a "relaxed rate" because he enjoys it.

"Life will go on," he said. "I suppose the aura of the Nobel is such that my life will change, but I don't think I'm going to let it change much. You understand, I'm used to a quiet life."

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ICYMI (In case you missed it) ...

TORONTO — Cats may have nine lives, but dogs may extend the lives of their owners.

A study released this week suggests dog owners live longer than their canine-less counterparts, experiencing nearly a one-third lower risk of dying from heart problems.

Researchers analyzed data on more than 3.8 million people taken from 10 studies published between 1950 and 2019.

They found that dog ownership was associated with a 24 per cent risk reduction in death overall, and the risk of death due to cardiovascular-related issues dropped by 31 per cent. This gap was even more pronounced among dog owners who had survived a heart attack, whose risk of death was 65 per cent lower than non-owners.

The clinician scientist noted that her team's analysis didn't account for variables that may explain the difference in health outcomes between dog owners and the rest of the population.

It's possible that dog owners are more likely to have higher incomes, or that furry companions fit into their already active lifestyles,

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

The White House declared it will not co-operate with what it termed an "illegitimate" impeachment probe by House Democrats, setting up a constitutional clash between President Donald Trump and Congress.

Trump attorneys sent a letter to House leaders bluntly stating their refusal to participate in the quickly moving impeachment investigation. The letter threatens to cease co-operation with Capitol Hill on key oversight matters, accusing lawmakers of formulating their probe "in a manner that violates fundamental fairness and constitutionally mandated due process."

"Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to participate in it," White House Counsel Pat Cipollone wrote.

The White House is objecting that the House did not formally vote to begin the impeachment inquiry into Trump and is also attacking the conduct of House intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has insisted the House is well within its rules to conduct oversight of the executive branch under the Constitution regardless of a vote.

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

In a span of 24 hours, President Donald Trump moved from threatening to obliterate Turkey's economy if it invades Syria to inviting its president to visit the White House.

But Trump did not back away from a plan to withdraw American troops from Syria as he tried to persuade Turkey not to invade the country and attack the U.S.-allied Kurds — a needle-threading strategy that has angered Republican and Democratic lawmakers and confused U.S. allies.

"This is really dangerous," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

Trump tweeted that while U.S. forces "may be" leaving Syria, the U.S. has not abandoned the Kurds, who stand to be destroyed if Turkey follows through with its planned invasion. The Kurds lead a group of Syria fighters who have been steadfast and effective American allies in combating the Islamic State in Syria. Turkey, however, sees the Kurds as terrorists and a border threat.

Joseph Votel, a retired Army general who headed Central Command's military operations in Syria until last spring, wrote on The Atlantic website Tuesday that mutual trust was a key ingredient in the U.S. partnership with the Kurds.

"The sudden policy change this week breaks that trust at the most crucial juncture and leaves our partners with very limited options," Votel wrote.

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On this day in 1668 …

Canada's first institution of higher education, The Quebec Seminary, later called Laval University, was founded by Bishop Francois de Laval.

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Weird and wild ...

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — Mac the Moose has had a boost and is once again the tallest in the land.

A crew of workers perched themselves high in a cherry picker and used ropes and a truck crane to carefully attach a new set of antlers on the roadside attraction in Moose Jaw, Sask.

The larger rack means Mac is once again the tallest moose statue in the world.

The city discovered in January that Mac was a bit too short for the accolade, because a shiny silver ungulate sculpture in east-central Norway had surpassed him by 30 centimetres.

The revelation resulted in a plan to dethrone the rival by building Mac a bigger rack.

"I think he looks distinguished," said Jacki L’Heureux-Mason, executive director of Tourism Moose Jaw.

"No more papier mache dog."

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Your money ...

Many Canadian have turned to driving for Uber or Lyft to make some extra money in a slow month.

But making a buck off the ride hailing services comes with challenges, including vehicle wear and tear, insurance, varying rates of pay and dealing with customers. Then there's the persistent stories about fares being too low for drivers to make a decent salary.

Jeff Perera, a public speaker and educator who has been driving his 2012 Honda Civic for Uber in Toronto since 2016, says timing and location are two key factors for drivers looking to turn a profit.

Timing is important, says Perera, because the companies set the rates, not the drivers.

He sees a lot of demand for rides around rush hour and at 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, when people are spilling out of bars and clubs.

Holidays are also a boon, he says, as demand for rides is usually high the weekends around Halloween and in the lead up to the December holidays when office parties and other family activities are occurring.

"There's a weekend where people are more than likely having their last Friday at work and that's a good time to go out," he said. "Obviously New Year's Eve is a big one too."

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Celebrity news ...

Alec Baldwin says he fell for a "scam" Statue of Liberty tour.

The actor shared his experience on Instagram over the weekend saying he bought $40 tickets for a boat tour of the Statue of Liberty for his family, but they were instead escorted to a shuttle bus to New Jersey.

Baldwin says his family ultimately ended up taking the Staten island Ferry, which is free and passes the Statue of Liberty.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced expanded enforcement Tuesday against companies that mislead tourists and operate buses without permits.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 9, 2019.

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