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Last-Ditch Talks Aim to Save EU-Canada Trade Deal

The head of the European parliament and Canada's trade minister held last-ditch talks Saturday aimed at salvaging a trade deal threatened by a Belgian region's refusal to sign on.

EU assembly chief Martin Schulz also planned an 11th-hour huddle with Paul Magnette, head of Wallonia's socialist government which is blocking the agreement between Ottawa and the 28-nation European Union.

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Canada Schools Evacuated over Unsubstantiated Bomb Threats

Some 60 schools and universities in eastern Canada were evacuated Wednesday over a series of bomb threats, including one received by police, that appeared to have been bogus.

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Reduced Fire Threat, but still no Return for Canada Evacuees

The threat posed by the massive fire that led to the evacuation of Fort McMurray, Canada has diminished, but it will take time before residents can return home, officials said Thursday.

Rescue crews have restored electricity downtown but still must do the same for gas and drinking water, as well as the sewer system.

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City at Epicenter of Canada Fires 'Virtually Intact'

The center of the city at the heart of the forest fires raging through Alberta's oil sands region remains "largely intact" even though outlying neighborhoods have suffered serious damage, the authorities said Friday.

Fort McMurray's downtown area "is largely intact, the hospital is still standing, the telephone center is intact and the water treatment center is back up and running," Alberta's Premier Rachel Notley told reporters during a news conference, adding that municipal buildings and the airport also remain intact.

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Montreal Tries on 'Up All Night'

About 200 demonstrators gathered late Friday in Montreal to give the "Up All Night" protests sweeping France a go, and see if they can press for political results across the Atlantic.

The goal of the event, said student Pauline, is "to create spaces for people who were not involved in politics. It's a movement of citizens."

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Protests Greet French Far-Right Leader in Canada

Protests and hotel cancellations have marred French far-right leader Marine Le Pen's visit to Canada, her party said Tuesday.

Two Montreal hotels successively canceled her bookings of banquet halls that were to be used for news conferences, the National Front said in a statement.

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Canadian Charged with Trying to Join Terror Group

Canadian authorities have charged a Quebec man for attempting to leave the country to take part in a terrorist group, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Friday.

Ismail Habib, 28, was also charged with making a false statement to obtain a passport, the RCMP added.

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Ban, Trudeau Meeting Marks Canada's Returns to World Stage

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's visit Thursday to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marked the return of Canada on the world diplomatic stage, after a decade-long retreat from multi-lateralism.

"I want to restore Canada's voice and leadership role at the U.N.," Trudeau said ahead of Ban's arrival in Ottawa, casting the first visit of a U.N. chief in years as recognition of the new Liberal government's commitment to working in concert with other nations.

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Canada to End Air Strikes in Iraq, Syria February 22

Canada will end air strikes targeting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and bring home its six fighter jets on February 22, the government announced Monday, going against public opinion.

In their place, Ottawa will triple the number of special forces training Kurdish militia in northern Iraq to about 210, while a handful of surveillance and refueling aircraft will continue to play roles in the U.S.-led coalition, Defense Minister Hargit Sajjan told a joint news conference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and senior officials.

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Five Killed in Western Canada Avalanche

Five snowmobilers were killed Friday after being buried in an avalanche in Canada's British Columbia (BC) province, officials said.

The deaths were confirmed by the BC Coroner's office, which said the accident occurred Friday afternoon in the western Canadian hamlet of McBride, some 800 kilometers (500 miles) northeast of Vancouver.

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