Wednesday, Feb. 26
TOP NEWS ADVISORY
Here are the latest Top News stories from The Canadian Press. All times are Eastern unless otherwise stated. Coverage plans are included when available. Entries are subject to change. Contact the National Desk at 416-507-2150.
TOP NEWS AT THIS HOUR
Royal Bank first-quarter net income rises to $2.09 billion, dividend going up
TORONTO _ Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY) says its first-quarter net income was $2.09 billion, up $45 million or two per cent from a year earlier. On a per-share basis, RBC earned $1.38, up four cents from $1.34 per share a year earlier. The bank also announced its quarterly dividend will increase by six per cent to 71 cents per common share.
Rob Ford to make rare appearance at mayors' meeting in Ottawa today
OTTAWA _ The mayors of Canada's urban centres will be gathering in the nation's capital today to discuss infrastructure, housing and the economy. Attending the meeting for the first time will be the scandal-plagued Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who plans to run for re-election later this year. AUDIO
Taxpayers federation announces porkbarrel awards as big city mayors meet
OTTAWA _ Canada's top pork-barrellers will be on full display in Ottawa as the Canadian Taxpayers Federation announces the Teddies. It's the 16th year for the awards, which are handed out by the federation to highlight waste of tax dollars at every level of government. Just don't expect anyone to actually pick up their award.
Pennies saved long ago pennies earned for feds trying to balance books
OTTAWA _ When it comes to balancing the country's books, it's the equivalent of finding loose change under a couch cushion. But each penny surely counts for a Conservative government desperate to press every bit of cash into paying down the deficit. PHOTO
Benedict denies he was pressured to resign, says it was free choice
VATICAN CITY _ Retired Pope Benedict XVI denies he was pressured to leave office, saying his decision was freely made and his alone. Benedict wrote to the Vatican correspondent for La Stampa newspaper amid speculation about his reasons ahead of Friday's first anniversary of the first resignation by a pope in 600 years. PHOTO
Hezbollah says Israel bombed positions in Lebanon 2 days ago
BEIRUT _ Hezbollah says Israel carried out an airstrike targeting its positions in Lebanon near the border with Syria earlier this week, claiming it caused damage but no casualties. Hezbollah vowed to retaliate but said it will "choose the appropriate time and place."
UN calls on Syrian warring sides to allow aid into Damascus district
BEIRUT _ A United Nations official is calling on warring sides in Syria to allow aid workers to resume distribution of food and medicine in a besieged Palestinian district of Damascus. The call comes as U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged Syria to allow more humanitarian staff to work inside the country. PHOTO
Uganda health minister says care available to homosexuals
KAMPALA _ Uganda's health minister says gays will not be discriminated against by medical workers after the country's president signed a law that strengthens criminal penalties against homosexuals. Health Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said a clause which would have required medical workers to report homosexuals to police was removed from the bill.
Ukraine disbands police unit blamed for violent attacks on protesters
KYIV, Ukraine _ Ukraine's acting interior minister says he has disbanded a feared riot police force that many accuse of attacks on protesters. Activists have blamed the force known as Berkut for violent attacks against peaceful demonstrators protesting against a government decision to ditch closer ties with the European Union and turn to Moscow instead.
Missouri executes inmate for raping and killing 15-year-old girl in 1989
BONNE TERRE, Mo. _ A Missouri inmate was executed early Wednesday for abducting, raping and killing a Kansas City teenager as she waited for her school bus in 1989, marking the state's fourth lethal injection in as many months. Michael Taylor, 47, was pronounced dead at 12: 10 a.m. AUDIO
SPECIAL CP PACKAGE MOVES THURSDAY:
EDITORS: A special package of stories on Romanian children adopted by Canadian families after the country's 1989 revolution will move Thursday at 5 a.m. ET. Written by Canadian Press reporter Dene Moore, the package includes three print stories, a video, photos and photo slide show. The material stands for use any time and is suitable for weekend use. There is also a broadcast script and a voicer.
Study looks at legacy of Romanian orphanages (Romanian-Orphans)
VANCOUVER _ When the Iron Curtain was torn down almost 25 years ago, the images shocked the world: tens of thousands of Romanian children warehoused in cold, grey institutions, sometimes stacked six to a bed. Malnourished and ailing, children rocked themselves in silence on thin, threadbare mattresses. Most didn't talk or cry. There was no point. No one was listening. With BC-Romanian-Moms and BC-Romanian-Adoptee. See also CP Photo gallery and CP Video. 728 words.
Moms recall plight of Romanian orphans (Romanian-Moms)
VANCOUVER _ Theirs are stories by turns tragic and triumphant. After the Iron Curtain was torn down in Romania almost 25 years ago, childless western couples flooded the country looking to adopt. More than 1,400 Canadian families did. With BC-Romanian-Orphans and BC-Romanian-Adoptees. 700 words.
Struggles followed Romanian orphans to Canada (Romanian-Adoptee)
UNDATED _ She was so tiny in her crib that her soon-to-be-mom thought she was about 18 months old. Actually, she was 4 1/2, but neglect and malnourishment had taken their toll. "What about this little girl?" Sonya Paterson recalls asking in one of a string of dark rooms in dark orphanages she visited throughout Romania. She was helping hundreds of Canadian and American couples adopt children from the crumbling communist state. With BC-Romanian-Orphans and BC-Romanian-Moms. See also CP Photo slide show and CP Videos. 517 words.
For more information, questions can be directed to the Vancouver bureau at 604-687-1662.
Vancouver ends 2013 with high consumer debt while Montreal decreases it
MONTREAL _ Canadians are still on target for a record year of personal debt despite ending 2013 by making a small dent in the money they owe, says credit monitoring agency TransUnion. At the end of last year, Canadians owed a total of $27,368 on such things as lines of credit, credit cards and car loans, TransUnion said in a study released Wednesday.
Release of Justin Bieber jail video expected, with some parts omitted
MIAMI _ Video of Justin Bieber at a South Florida police station after his January arrest is expected to be made public today, with some sensitive parts omitted. Miami-Dade County prosecutors say DVDs of about 10 hours of video will be made public this afternoon. AUDIO
Possible Listeria contamination prompts recall of some Caesar salads
OTTAWA _ Safeway and Buy-Low Foods are recalling Caesar salad and chicken Caesar salad products due to possible Listeria contamination. The salads are sold in Buy-Low Foods, Nesters Market, Safeway and St. Martin's Family Foods stores across the Prairies and B.C. and in Ontario.
Cartel leader's high-tech gadgets helped him evade capture for 13 years
WASHINGTON _ Mexico's most powerful drug cartel leader employed high-tech communications gadgetry and sophisticated counterespionage practices to elude an international manhunt for 13 years, The Associated Press has learned. In the end, however, life on the run unraveled for Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in a decidedly low-tech way. PHOTOS
Couple uncovers rare gold coins worth $10M while walking their dog
LOS ANGELES _ A Northern California couple out walking their dog on their property stumbled across a modern-day bonanza: $10 million in rare, mint-condition gold coins buried in the shadow of an old tree. Nearly all of the 1,427 coins, dating from 1847 to 1894, are in uncirculated, mint condition. PHOTOS, AUDIO
Police in California town accused of taking impounded cars for themselves
KING CITY, Calif. _ Police officers in a Central California town took part in a scheme in which cars belonging to poor Hispanic people were impounded, towed and later sold or given away for free to some officers when the car owners couldn't pay the fees, authorities said Tuesday. PHOTOS