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Canada posts budget surplus in first six months of 2018/19

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Canada posted a budget surplus of C$1.21 billion in the first six months of the 2018-19 fiscal year compared with a C$6.18 billion deficit in the same period a year earlier, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.

Revenues jumped by 8.8 percent in the April-September period, helped by a greater intake from taxes and employment insurance premiums. Program expenses were up 2.8 percent.

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In September, Canada ran a budget deficit of C$1.36 billion compared with a deficit of C$3.28 billion a year earlier.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Peter Cooney


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Pompeo State Dept. homepage advocates ‘being a Christian leader’ — here’s why that’s more disturbing than it sounds

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The website of the U.S, Department of State currently features a photograph of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the words, “Being a Christian Leader.”

The link on the State Dept. homepage goes to a video and the text of Pompeo’s speech to the American Association of Christian Counselors in Nashville, Tennessee on October 11.

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Russia denies US news report it bombed 4 Syria hospitals in 12 hours

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Russia on Monday denied a US newspaper report that its warplanes bombed four hospitals in rebel-held territory in Syria over a period of 12 hours this year.

The Russian defence ministry rubbished the claim in a report by The New York Times, saying "the alleged 'evidence' provided by the NYT is not worth even the paper it was printed on".

The May strikes -- which the newspaper tied to Moscow through Russian radio recordings, plane spotter logs and accounts by witnesses -- are part of a larger pattern of medical facilities targeted by forces supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country's devastating civil war.

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Black family arrested for ‘loitering’ on their own front lawn

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On October 1, a black family was standing in the front yard of their home, when police approached. They were arrested for loitering even though they were on their own property, reports KYW news.

Loitering offenses have historically been used as a way to purge people seen as undesirable, such as the homeless, from public spaces.

Now, the family is demanding answers from the Chester Township Police Department in Pennsylvania.

"It's a terrifying thing. It makes me feel as though the police can knock down your door, and drag you out of your home at anytime," Rachel Briggs told KYW. "This is an incident that made me feel like I'm a prisoner in my own home," she added. Her sons and nephew were dragged off to jail, where they spent the night while the family scrambled to make their bail.

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