In the news today, Sept. 12

Four stories in the news for Thursday, Sept. 12

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LEADERS DIVE INTO DAY 2 OF THE CAMPAIGN

With that new-campaign-bus smell still fresh, federal party leaders are heading out for Day 2 of the 43rd general election campaign. The excitement had been palpable Wednesday with all eager to get going on convincing Canadians their path is the right one to choose come the Oct. 21 vote. While Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has picked "Choose Forward" as his campaign theme this election, he began it forced to look back on a past controversy, the SNC-Lavalin affair. The first of several planned leaders' debates tonight will be hosted by Maclean's and Citytv in Toronto. Trudeau has declined to appear, so Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will face off against Green Leader Elizabeth May and the NDP's Jagmeet Singh.

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CAMPAIGN SEEKS UNITY TO SAVE RIGHT WHALES

An ocean advocacy group is campaigning for unified action from Canadian and U.S. governments to save North Atlantic right whales from extinction. Oceana is launching its campaign in Toronto and Washington, D.C. today. The group is calling on both countries to expand existing protection measures for the marine mammals, focusing on ship strikes and fishing gear entanglement. Only about 400 of the right whales remain on Earth, and eight were killed in Canadian waters this summer. Kim Elmslie, campaign director for Oceana Canada, says the bi-national campaign is asking officials for urgent responses to the worsening crisis.

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BOYLE CROSS-EXAMINATION TO CONCLUDE TODAY

The cross-examination of former Taliban hostage Joshua Boyle is expected to conclude today after court heard he allegedly set weight-loss goals for his wife, Caitlan Coleman, that had to be met, or else she would be punished. Crown prosecutor Jason Neubauer said Wednesday that the demands were a way for Boyle to assert his control over her. Boyle, who is from Ottawa, testified the pair had pestered each other for years to lose weight and the targets of two and a half pounds per week were just proposals for negotiation, with no punishment for failing to meet them. Boyle has pleaded not guilty to numerous charges, including assault, sexual assault and unlawful confinement after the couple and their children returned to Canada following five years as prisoners of extremists.

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2,300 PIGEONS KILLED DURING SASKATOON BRIDGE FIX

The City of Saskatoon says about 2,300 pigeons have been killed as part of a project to rehabilitate a major bridge. The city says the dead birds have been removed from the Senator Sid Buckwold Bridge along with 635,000 kilograms of pigeon poop. It says the birds and the poop had to go because they posed a health risk and the weight of the droppings — equivalent to 356 medium-sized vehicles — could compromise the structure of the bridge. The city says a specialized pest control company was hired to trap and humanely euthanize the pigeons and barriers are now in place to prevent birds from roosting in the same areas again.

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ALSO IN THE NEWS:

— Lawyers are expected to appear to fix a trial date for Port Moody Mayor Rob Vagramov. He faces a charge of sexual assault that was alleged to have been committed in Coquitlam in 2015.

— Finance Minister Carole James releases data from the first year of British Columbia's speculation and vacancy tax.

— Transat executives discuss earnings on a 10 a.m. conference call after releasing the company's third-quarter financial results.

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