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CBC Investigates Ex-hostage says there may be Canadian al-Qaeda link

Nazim Baksh, Adrienne Arsenault, CBC News

In the two years since Matthew Schrier staged a daring escape from the clutches of al-Qaeda in Syria, the name and address of a Canadian living in Montreal have been constantly nagging at him.  

The Canadian who keeps Schrier up at night is a man in his early 20s who converted to Islam in his late teens. 

CBC News is not naming him because it's not clear what his connection is to Schrier's kidnapping. Instead, we refer to him as AKM.

According to his friends, AKM is a devout Muslim who goes by his adopted Arabic name. CBC News has learned from those close to him that AKM leads a peaceful and quiet life in Montreal, is married and has a job. 

Gambling to feature at New York daily fantasy sports hearing

JAKE PEARSON, Associated Press

(AP) — A judge is expected to hear different interpretations of how the country's two biggest daily fantasy sports companies operate at a hearing Wednesday on whether the businesses should be allowed to continue operating in New York.

Oral arguments to be made at a hearing before Justice Manuel Mendez in state Supreme Court in Manhattan follow weeks of legal wrangling after Attorney General Eric Schneiderman declared DraftKings and FanDuel illegal gambling operations, sent them cease-and-desist letters and demanded they shut down earlier this month.

Retailers, charitable organizations gear up for the busy days surrounding Thanksgiving

Times Staff Report

WATERTOWN — Heading to the mall and other big-box stores Thursday is becoming as much of a Thanksgiving tradition as turkey and stuffing.

As they have in recent years, many national retailers will be open for business on Thanksgiving, offering the most ambitious Black Friday shoppers a head start.

Some stores will open before sunrise Thursday, while others will keep their doors closed until 5 or 6 p.m.

Traffic deaths on the rise


DETROIT –– After declining for most of the past decade, traffic deaths spiked 8 percent in the first half of this year, prompting a call from the nation’s highway safety chief to find ways to reduce the human errors that cause most fatalities.

The new estimate released Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration comes just as millions of Americans prepare to hit the road for the Thanksgiving holiday. AAA predicts that 42 million people will drive 50 miles or more over the coming weekend.

Officials react to news of agreement between Alcoa, state

 - Malone Telegram

MASSENA –– When Ernest J. LaBaff took to the podium on Tuesday to make his remarks about the agreement reached between the state and Alcoa, he said he didn’t need a script.

“They handed me a speech that I was to read. I don’t need a written speech to tell you how I feel today. First of all, this is a great day for me and my family in Northern New York. I couldn’t be happier,” said LaBaff, president emeritus of the Aluminum, Brick and Glass Workers International Union.

HIV now treatable but most states keep laws criminalizing it

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) –– Charlie Sheen’s recent revelation that he’s HIV-positive served as a reminder that his home state of California remains among a large group of states with HIV-specific criminal laws that activists consider outdated and that the U.S. Justice Department says should be revised.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 33 states have HIV criminal laws, generally making it a crime to expose others to HIV or fail to disclose HIV-positive status. Sheen, who says his sexual partners knew of his diagnosis, has not been charged, and there’s no indication he would face prosecution under California’s laws.

Native culture is celebrated

FRANK DIFIORE - Malone Telegram

FORT COVINGTON — Native American culture was front and center at Salmon River Central School on Tuesday, as hundreds of students took part in a traditional Mohawk dance and heard from local presenters and student film directors.

Native American Day has been celebrated at Salmon River for the past 12 years, according to SRC teacher and Title VII director Katsitsionni Fox.

“It’s the busiest day of the year for our staff,” said Fox.

“Everything’s really well-organized, it’s very high-energy,” said SRC senior Sierra George.

Pastor among 8 indicted in fatal church beating

Associated Press

UTICA (AP) –– The pastor of an insular New York church where a young man was beaten to death and his younger brother seriously injured was among seven people charged Tuesday with murder.

Pastor Tiffanie Irwin’s mother, Traci Irwin, also was charged in a 13-count indictment, as were Irwin’s two brothers, Joseph and Daniel Irwin, all of whom were leaders in the church. Also named were the victims’ father, Bruce Leonard; their half-sister Sarah Ferguson; and two other church members –– Linda Morey and her son, David Morey.

Newborn found abandoned in manger at New York church


NEW YORK - A newborn with his umbilical cord still attached was found lying in a manger at a New York church, police said on Tuesday.

At Holy Child Jesus Church in the borough of Queens on Monday, the custodian found the crying infant wrapped in towels in the indoor nativity scene he had set up just before his lunch break, a New York police spokesman said.

Father Christopher Ryan Heanue, one of the priests at the church, said he and others placed a clean towel around the baby while waiting for paramedics to show up.

Airlines resent paying tab to return passengers rejected by Canada

Jim Bronskill, The Canadian PressJim Bronskill, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA -- Major Canadian airlines say they're unfairly shouldering the costs of removing from Canada people who arrive with a passport or other valid document only to be turned away by federal officials.

There are "numerous scenarios" in which air carriers must pay the tab for returning such inadmissible arrivals to their home country, Air Canada says in a submission to a federal review panel studying transportation policy.

These cases may involve people who arrive with proper documentation but are barred by Canadian authorities because they have a criminal record -- something the airline would have no way of knowing -- or their refugee claim is denied.

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