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Tory leadership candidate disqualified and Yukon heat: In The News for July 6, 2022

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Patrick Brown speaks to media following a meeting at the Conservative Party headquarters in Toronto on Friday, February 16, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

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 Wednesday, July 6, 2022 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

The campaign for Patrick Brown said it was consulting its legal team after the leadership election organizing committee of the federal Conservatives voted to disqualify him from the race late
Tuesday.

Ian Brodie, the chair of the committee, announced the stunning move in a written statement after a meeting to discuss the matter.

He said the party had recently become aware of "serious allegations of wrongdoing" by the Brown campaign. 

The allegations are related to the financing rules in the Canada
 Elections Act, Brodie said, but provided no further details. Brodie said the party will be sharing what it has with Elections Canada.

The Brown campaign responded with a statement accusing the party of basing its decision on "anonymous allegations" and without providing the full details or evidence.

It also accused the party of making this decision to favour Pierre Poilievre, the longtime Ottawa-area MP considered a front-runner in the race -- and the main rival to Brown.

As of late Tuesday night, the Poilievre campaign had not commented on the news.

The Conservatives will announce the winner of the leadership race in Ottawa on September 10th.

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Also this ...

Yukon is on hot this July.

Mike Fancie, of the Yukon Wildland Fire Management, says wildfires are breaking out across the territory due to lightning strikes and a heat wave that wears on.

Fancie says about 20 fires a day have been sparked beginning on the long weekend, bringing the total this year to 155 wildfires that have burned 45-thousand hectares.

He is describing the proportion of fires caused by lightning as "stupendously high," noting it sits at 97 per cent, compared with about 70 per cent in a typical year with the remainder being caused by humans.

The fires come as Environment Canada issued a heat warning for much of the territory, while both fires and flooding have prompted evacuation alerts in several areas. 

Flood warnings have also been in effect since last week for certain areas.

Fancie notes that many of the challenges are caused by a so-called Rex block weather system, which occurs when a high-pressure system sits above a low-pressure system and brings isolated thunderstorms.

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

The man accused of opening fire at an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago legally bought five weapons, including two high-powered rifles. 

Authorities said Tuesday that the purchases were allowed even though police were called to his home twice in 2019 for threats of violence and suicide. 

The suspect was charged with seven counts of murder. Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart promised that dozens more charges would be sought and that the man could receive a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole. 

The assailant sprayed more than 70 rounds from a rooftop into a crowd in Highland Park, an affluent community of about 30,000 on the Lake Michigan shore.

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

Residents of parts of Shanghai and Beijing have been ordered to undergo further rounds of COVID-19 testing following the discovery of new cases in the two cities, while tight restrictions remain in place in Hong Kong, Macao and other Chinese cities.

Shanghai has only just emerged from a strict lockdown that confined most of its 24-million residents to their homes for weeks and the new requirements have stirred concerns of a return of such harsh measures.

The latest outbreak in China's largest city, a key international business centre, has been linked to a karaoke parlour that failed to enforce prevention measures among employees and customers, including the tracing of others they came into contact with, according to the city health commission.

The city's department of culture and tourism said all such outlets have been ordered to temporarily suspend business.

While China's borders remain largely closed, cutting off both visitors from abroad and outbound tourism, officials have cautiously increased flights from some foreign countries, most recently Russia.

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On this day in 1885 ...

French scientist Louis Pasteur tested an anti-rabies vaccine on 9-year-old Joseph Meister, who had been bitten by an infected dog; the boy did not develop rabies.

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In entertainment ...

Rock guitar icon Carlos Santana has suffered a health scare.

The 74-year-old collapsed on stage last night at Michigan's Pine Knob Music Theater.

Officials at the outdoor amphitheatre say Santana appeared to be overcome by heat exhaustion.

Later, his manager said he was taken to a nearby hospital for observation and is doing well.

Despite the good news, his manager added that tonight's show in Pennsylvania has been postponed.

Santana is still scheduled to perform in Toronto on August 7th.

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Did you see this?

Canada is about to toss more than half of its doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine because it couldn't find any takers for it either at home or abroad.

It also has yet to explain how it plans to manage millions of doses of both Novavax and Medicago vaccines that it bought but is unlikely to use itself.

Canada signed a contract with AstraZeneca in 2020 to get 20 million doses of its vaccine, and 2.3 million Canadians received at least one dose of it, mostly between March and June 2021. Following concerns in the spring of 2021 about rare but potentially fatal blood clots from AstraZeneca, and with more ample supplies of the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, Canada moved away from using AstraZeneca. In July 2021, it promised to donate the rest of its procured supply, about 17.7 million doses.

In an emailed statement, Health Canada said "Canada made every effort" to make good on that promise, but 13.6 million doses earmarked for that have expired and will have to be thrown out.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2022

The Canadian Press