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Police in Quebec say a fire at a seniors' residence in Quebec has left eight dead and 24 missing.

Liberals scrape back in divided Canada

Canadians awoke yesterday to a new Parliament, fractured along the regional fault lines of the country. The Liberal government of Prime Minister Jean Chretien won a bare majority based on its strength in Ontario and Quebec, but it was almost shut out of Western Canada and took a severe drubbing in Atlantic Canada where resentment over widescale cuts to unemployment insurance and social programmes have resuscitated the labour-affiliated New Democratic Party.

Prairie populist becomes leader of the opposition

Preston Manning becomes the leader of Canada's official opposition today, with his Reform Party taking an extra six seats to push ahead of the weakened Bloc Quebecois.

English-French tension threatens Canada's PM

The rise of the ultra-conservative Reform Party is threatening the majority of the Canadian Prime Minister, Jean Chretien, although his Liberal Party will probably hang on to power in today's voting, following a divisive election campaign which has heightened English-French tensions.

Canadian poll gets a blast of nastiness

All over the spacious glass and marble lobby of a tall office building in the heart of Toronto's business district there are signs bearing the same environmentally-friendly message. "It's lights out at the Exchange Tower. Help give migrating birds 'Safe Flight' by eliminating or reducing the use of office lights from dusk to dawn. Thank you for your co-operation."

Span of Green Gables

From tomorrow, new bridges in Canada and Denmark mean the traveller can bid farewell to troubled waters.

Race-hate ads add a nasty new flavour to Canada poll

A series of attack television advertisements from the west Canada based Reform Party, claiming that Quebec-born political leaders such as the Prime Minister, Jean Chretien, cannot be trusted to deal with national unity, has injected a nasty note of ethnic prejudice into Canada's election campaign.

Canadian polls show separatist vote plunging

Support for the Bloc Quebecois, the Quebec separatist party that runs for seats in the national parliament, is falling so fast that the head of the Quebec provincial government, Premier Lucien Bouchard, has been forced to step back into federal politics in an attempt to rescue it.

Canada reels over Quebec revelation

A new book has rewritten the agenda for the election campaign, reports David Usborne

Quebec plan to break away stuns Canada

With federal elections only three weeks away, Canada was reeling yesterday from revelations that Quebec came within an ace of making a dramatic unilateral declaration of independence two years ago that was to have relied on swift recognition from France.

Canada Liberals face two-way challenge

Prime Minister Jean Chretien's decision to call a snap election a year and a half before it is required has run into trouble before the campaign is 48 hours old.

Canadian PM calls a snap election

Ottowa (Reuters) - Canada's Prime Minister, Jean Chretien, called a snap general election yesterday for 2 June, 17 months before it was due, in order to benefit from a solid Liberal lead in the polls.

Canada Tories steam into the deep blue water

Shattered party rebuilds with sharp swing to the right, Hugh Winsor writes from Ottawa

Deathly spell of doom messiahs

Today's bizarre tragedy is one in a long line of mass suicide cults involving affluent, educated people who fall under the spell of messianic leaders.

Children key to cult suicides

Quebec police are hoping three teenagers, who apparently opted not to join their parents in a ritual cult suicide at the weekend, will help them unravel some of the continuing mystery surrounding the Order of the Solar Temple doomsday cult. Authorities had believed the cult was no longer active in Quebec until a fiery ritual in a farmhouse at Saint-Casimir near Quebec City left five people dead.

Language police get tough with the English-speaking patient

The old fear falling sick as Quebec's separatists insist French is spoken in the doctor's surgery, reports Catherine Pepinster
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The guide, since withdrawn, used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process (Getty)
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Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
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Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links