In the news today, Feb. 7

Five stories in the news for Thursday, Feb. 7

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LINDROS URGES NATIONAL CONCUSSION PROTOCOL

Former hockey great Eric Lindros brought his star power to Parliament Hill on Wednesday, urging MPs to develop a single national protocol for preventing and treating sports-related concussions. Lindros suggested youngsters, whose brains are still developing, should have to take at least a few months off each year from rough-and-tumble sports to give their brains a chance to heal. They should also be prevented from making hits on opponents until they're in their mid-teens, Lindros said. Lindros, whose own NHL career was cut short after he suffered repeated debilitating concussions, was testifying at a special House of Commons committee that is exploring what, if anything, the federal government should be doing about sports-related head injuries.

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DIPLOMATS SUE CANADA OVER INJURIES SUFFERED IN CUBA

Five Canadian diplomats and their family members who became mysteriously ill while posted to Cuba are suing Ottawa for more than $28 million. In a statement of claim filed Wednesday in Federal Court, the diplomats say the Canadian government failed to protect them, hid crucial information and downplayed the seriousness of the risks. Global Affairs Canada acknowledges that nine adults and five children from diplomatic families have developed unusual illnesses in Havana, with symptoms including nausea, dizziness, headaches and trouble concentrating. Global Affairs has said the government is trying to pinpoint the cause.

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PREVENTING HEART DISEASE PROTECTS BRAIN: REPORT

Researchers have found much deeper links between cardiovascular disease and the risk of cognitive impairment than were previously known. A study by researchers at the Heart and Stroke Foundation mapped the associations between heart disease, stroke and the development of vascular cognitive impairment. "The most startling finding is that people with heart conditions have a significantly increased risk of vascular cognitive impairment and possibly dementia because of their underlying vascular disease," said Heart and Stroke CEO Yves Savoie. In a report released today, the authors outline their findings from an analysis of 2.6 million hospitalizations of Canadians with cardiovascular disease between 2007 and 2017.

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PAUL DEWAR, FORMER NDP MP, DIES OF CANCER

Paul Dewar, a teacher and union leader from Ottawa who became the New Democratic Party's foreign affairs critic, died Wednesday after contending with brain cancer for a year. He was 56. A statement from the NDP said his wife and two sons were with him when he died at home. Dewar's path into politics meant following in some pretty big footsteps. His mother, Marion Dewar, was not only one of Ottawa's most beloved mayors but also a heavyweight in the federal NDP and social-activist circles in the 1970s and '80s. He is perhaps best known for having served as the MP for Ottawa Centre from 2006 to 2015, much of which he also spent as the NDP's foreign affairs critic, following an early career as an elementary school teacher and union executive.

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DOCTOR PAYMENT INCREASES SLOWING DOWN: CIHI

The Canadian Institute for Health Information says doctors in Canada are seeing smaller payment increases at the same time that the number of doctors per Canadian is rising. The not-for-profit says that in 2016-2017, total gross clinical payments to physicians increased 2.8 per cent to $26.4 billion. That's the lowest single-year increase since the organization started collecting data in 2000. The institute says gross clinical pay covers the cost of running a practice for most physicians, so it should not be considered equal to take-home pay.

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ALSO IN THE NEWS:

— Former Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps speaks by videoconference to the Commons national defence committee regarding a study of diversity within the Canadian Armed Forces.

— The CMHC will issue its Housing Market Assessment report, which serves as an "early warning system" for the country's housing market.

— The Canadian Screen Awards will announce the 2019 nominees.

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