Canada

LONDON, England - A face-saving compromise may be on the way for reluctant allies, including Canada, who are unwilling to boost defence spending to meet the NATO standard.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the final statement at the Wales Summit later this week will describe the long-standing expectation that member nations spend at least two per cent of their gross domestic product on defence as an "aspirational target."

VANCOUVER - Queena Zeng anticipated her final year of high school would be fairly stressful, packed with SAT cram sessions and the nerve-racking wait for university acceptance letters.

Instead, Zeng, 17, is afraid crucial learning time is being wasted for her and half-a-million other British Columbia public school students who won't be starting their school year on time.

While the rest of the country's children went back to class on Tuesday, the province's fall term began under the cloud of a teachers' strike that started 14 weeks ago and has no apparent end in sight.

MONTREAL - A powerful former construction magnate who entertained union leaders and politicians on his luxury yacht began testifying Tuesday at Quebec's corruption inquiry.

Tony Accurso took the stand after commission chair France Charbonneau rejected his bid for a publication ban as the inquiry resumed after a summer break.

Accurso, once the owner of several influential construction companies, had argued that testifying at the inquiry would jeopardize his right to a fair trial in pending criminal proceedings. He feared his appearance would taint potential jurors.

TORONTO - Justin Bieber's arrest in Ontario on charges of dangerous driving and assault is the latest in a series of run-ins with the law for the Canadian pop star. A look at some of Bieber's recent legal troubles:

Dec. 30, 2013: Police allege Bieber hit the driver several times in the back of the head after the pop star and five others were picked up by a limousine in Toronto on Dec. 30, 2013. Bieber has pleaded not guilty to assault.

TORONTO - What started out as Justin Bieber's "peaceful retreat" in Canada, ended with him facing criminal charges — and his lawyer pointing the finger squarely at the paparazzi for the pop star's latest run-in with the law.

It was the second time this year Bieber was charged in Canada and it could add to his legal troubles south of the border, where he is already on probation.

The 20-year-old was arrested and charged with dangerous driving and assault Friday following a collision between a minivan and an all-terrain vehicle northeast of his hometown of Stratford.

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - One of two brothers from Calgary who reportedly travelled overseas to join a terrorist group in Syria was a quiet but social young man who didn't talk about religion during a short time playing volleyball at a British Columbia university, say people who knew him at the time.

CBC News reported last week that Collin and Gregory Gordon, two brothers who most recently lived in Calgary, had travelled to Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

TORONTO - Five former top executives at Sino-Forest Corp., who accused of perpetuating a massive fraud, should be judged by Canadian standards even though the company's main operations were based in China, a long-awaited securities tribunal was told Tuesday.

Ontario Securities Commission lawyer Hugh Craig told the opening of the OSC hearing that the allegations against ex-Sino-Forest chief executive Allen Chan and four others involved Canadian investors, which should make them accountable under Canadian regulations.

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - A black inmate is suing the province of British Columbia, alleging he was targeted by the Ku Klux Klan behind bars and endured “torture” at the hands of a sheriff and a guard.

Oneil Parchment, 56, said in court documents that officials at the Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre didn’t do enough to protect him from violence and racism.

The convicted drug dealer from Nanaimo laid out a number of allegations in his statement of claim, beginning with an alleged assault in 2009 at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre.

Polar bear scientists have developed a new way to study the mighty Arctic predator — pulling DNA off footprints left in the snow.

Fingerprinting a footprint could fundamentally change how researchers work with the bears by making it easier, cheaper and safer to study an animal that has become politically charged in the debate around climate change and Arctic development.

TORONTO - It's being called "the Angelina effect."

Angelina Jolie's stunning revelation she had a preventative double mastectomy due to a genetic cancer risk has doubled the number of high risk women considering genetic testing to see if they carry certain genes linked to breast and ovarian cancers, new Canadian research suggests.

Doctors from the cancer centre at Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital presented their findings in San Francisco on Tuesday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Breast Cancer Symposium.

LONDON - Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in the U.K. in advance of a NATO summit in Wales later this week — and tweeting about reports of another beheading in Iraq.

Shortly after Harper's plane touched down in London, he acknowledged reports of a video from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant purporting to depict the death of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff.

"Appalled to learn of the barbaric and unacceptable death of Steven Sotloff at the hands of ISIL," Harper tweeted. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones."

TORONTO - Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr tries again Wednesday to expand his civil lawsuit against the federal government to include a claim that Canada conspired with the United States for what he says was the abuse of his rights and torture.

The proposed $20-million action foundered last December when Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley ruled the amended lawsuit, initially filed in 2004, needed to be rewritten before it could proceed on its merits.

TORONTO - A new musical comedy about Toronto's embattled mayor doesn't open until the middle of the month, but the Saskatchewan actor who plays the lead role in the show says some people are already giving him "heck" thinking he's the "real" Rob Ford.

"At times they're happy to see me and at times I have had people yell at me and give me a stern talking to about my drinking, which of course, I am not really a drinker," Sheldon Bergstrom told The Canadian Press on Tuesday as rehearsals began for "Rob Ford the Musical: Birth of A Ford Nation."

LONDON, England - Keystrokes could soon replace Kalashnikovs as the harbinger of future wars once NATO leaders endorse an updated policy that places catastrophic cyberattacks in the same league as real-world bombs and bullets.

A major digital assault against any of the alliance's 28 members would have the potential to trigger a response under NATO's collective defence clause, according to a revised policy that's expected to get final blessing at this week's summit in Wales.

OTTAWA - After decades of service, the military's last Lee-Enfield rifles are finally getting close to retirement.

Colt Canada of Kitchener, Ont., has been picked to design modern rifles to replace the vintage firearms used by the Canadian Rangers.

The military will get a chance to test out 125 of the new weapons next summer during its annual Operation Nanook training exercise.

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - A surprising thing happens here, in the inner sanctum of the U.S. missile-defence program, when an unidentified object streaking across the sky sets off a series of low-octave sirens — womp, womp, womp.

The Canadians stay in the room. They keep working.

The idea that Canadians are forced to leave during the missile-defence system's tests and false alarms is one of many myths swirling around the program, which generated noisy debate a decade ago in Ottawa and could soon do so again.

TORONTO - It's a question that bedevils dieters on a regular basis: Is a low-fat or a low-carb diet the true path to weight reduction?

A new study suggests either will do — so long as you actually work at whichever one you choose.

The study is what is called a meta-analysis; it groups together and reanalyzes data from 48 different randomized trials of various diets.

The work was done by researchers at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, McMaster University and a number of other institutions in Canada and the United States.

MILTON, Ont. - A 99-year old former squadron leader with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War had a ringside seat at an event that could shed new light on why Canada waited until Sept. 10, 1939, to declare war on Nazi Germany.

Wess McIntosh, who lives in Milton, Ont., about 50 kilometres west of Toronto, was actually in the Royal Canadian Navy when Great Britain and France declared war 75 years ago Wednesday following Germany's invasion of Poland.

HALIFAX - The trial of a 35-year-old man accused in the fatal beating of a gay rights activist in Halifax was delayed Tuesday after he was allowed to fire his lawyer.

Andre Noel Denny of Membertou, N.S., is charged with second-degree murder in the beating death of Raymond Taavel.

Taavel, 49, died outside the Menz bar on Gottingen Street in Halifax during an altercation in April 2012.

Denny's trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, but that was postponed when he asked Judge Peter Rosinski for permission to fire defence lawyer Don Murray.

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - The lawyer for a British Columbia man accused of killing three women and a 15-year-old girl has asked the jury to convict his client of second-degree murder.

Twenty-four-year-old Cody Legebokoff admitted in B.C. Supreme Court last week that he was present when the three women died but that he didn't murder them and said the girl killed herself.

He refused to name his alleged accomplices, saying he didn't want to go to prison being labelled a "rat."

OTTAWA - The NDP has asked Canada's director of public prosecutions to look at the evidence collected by the RCMP in the Mike Duffy case to determine if charges should be laid against other people as well.

The Mounties have filed 31 charges against Duffy related to his housing and travel expense claims, accusing him of misspending more than $200,000.

But MP Charlie Angus, the NDP ethics critic, wonders why others haven't been charged.

Angus said he and other NDP MPs got an earful over the summer parliamentary recess from constituents angry about the matter.

QUEBEC - The fraud trial of former Quebec lieutenant-governor Lise Thibault will resume Oct. 2.

Lawyers agreed on the date in a brief court appearance in Quebec City on Tuesday.

Thibault's trial was interrupted at the beginning of August after she suffered an epileptic seizure.

She is on trial after being charged with fraud and breach of trust in connection with more than $700,000 in alleged improper expenses.

The money was allegedly spent on gifts, trips, parties, meals and skiing and golf lessons.

CALGARY - A Canadian cowboy who has completed a 16,000-kilometre horseback journey to Brazil says he was overcome with emotion at trail's end.

Filipe Masetti Leite, 27, immigrated to Canada from the South American country when he was a teenager. On July 2012, he started a return journey by riding out of the Calgary Stampede grounds with his two horses Bruiser and Frenchie. He added a third horse to his team, Dude, from a ranch in New Mexico.

TORONTO - The public inquiry into a deadly mall collapse in northern Ontario will issue its final report next month.

Commissioner Paul Belanger will issue a statement and make the document public on Oct. 15 at a community centre in Elliot Lake, Ont., the city where the collapse happened in June 2012.

Two women were killed and several other people were injured when the mall's rooftop parking garage caved in.

The inquiry heard how a steel-beam weld failed due to years of corrosion caused by water and salt penetration.

OTTAWA - The number of Canadian firms applying for lucrative medical marijuana licences has topped 1,000, as a so-called "greenrush" continues to overwhelm Health Canada.

So far, only two new licences have been approved this summer even as the department tightens the application rules — and as nervous investors await decisions on their multimillion-dollar bids.