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In today's Morning Brief, we take a look inside the strategies of the anti-vaxx movement. We also look at concerns immigration lawyers have over Canada's new airport preclearance law, the testing of an automated machine that dispenses prescribed opioids in Vancouver, and the possible timeline for Canadian ratification of the new North American free trade deal.
Del Bigtree, an anti-vaccination activist, speaks before a crowd of anti-vaxxers at a VIP event in Washington, D.C. Bigtree is a controversial documentarian and one of the movement's biggest figures. (CBC) (CBC)

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Marketplace captures misinformation, fundraising tactics by anti-vaxx movement

An undercover Marketplace investigation gives us a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the anti-vaccination (anti-vaxx) movement. Using hidden cameras, social media, court documents and tax returns, CBC's team pieced together a portrait of the movement's misinformation and fundraising tactics.

Experts say the movement is largely to blame for a shift in mindset about vaccination. Today, nearly half of Canadians say they have some concern about its safety.  Read more here about Marketplace's investigation of the anti-vaxx movement.

In brief

Lawyers alarmed as Ottawa gives more powers to U.S. border officers at Canadian airports

Several immigration lawyers say they're concerned about Canada's new preclearance act, which gives added powers to U.S. customs officers to strip-search, question and detain U.S.-bound travellers on Canadian soil. Read more here about the new preclearance powers.

Vancouver's drug-dispensing machine: Why it exists and how it works

A pilot project in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside provides high-risk opioid users with access to an automated machine that dispenses drugs prescribed by a doctor. Read more here abiout the drug-dispensing machine.

Canada's Ebola vaccine almost didn't happen, new study reveals

A study published this week tells a darker story about one of Canada's key scientific discoveries — the development of the world's first approved Ebola vaccine. Documents obtained under access to information reveal Canadian government scientists struggling against federal funding cuts and industry indifference. Read more here about the development of the vaccine.

Hustle or slow walk? Timing of new NAFTA now up to Canada

The U.S. Senate's vote in favour of the revised NAFTA yesterday means the deal is on its way to Donald Trump's desk for a signature, possibly by as early as next week. The question now becomes how quickly will Canada ratify it. Read more here on the process of getting the new trade deal approved.

Iran's top leader says Ukraine aircraft downing a 'bitter accident'

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran today called the downing of a Ukrainian plane last week a "bitter accident." In his first Friday sermon in Tehran in eight years, Khamenei said it saddened Iran as much as it made its enemies happy. The downing of Flight PS752 killed all 176 people aboard, including 57 Canadians. Read more of Khamenei's comments here.

Now for some good news to start your Friday: A man who fled the violence of the Democratic Republic of Congo with his family encountered snow for the first time in Victoria this week. Faustin Bameni Wavedila says he has now seen the "real Canada." After living for more than 10 years in Namibia, he arrived in B.C. with his family almost seven months ago, but it took a severe cold snap to bring the white stuff to the usually green city. Wavedila says he was surprised by the softness of snow, expecting it to be hard and icy. "It's like cold cotton falling from the sky." His daughter, Samuella, 11, took the opportunity to pelt her father with snowballs. Read more here about the family's first experience with snow in B.C.

A little chilly for dining al fresco

(Submitted by Arleney Rodriguez de Sanchez)

How cold has it been in Western Canada lately? As this photo sent to CBC Calgary of a plate of frozen noodles shows, it is not exactly patio weather. Temperatures in the West dipped below –40 C in some places this week. See more cold-weather photos from CBC Calgary here.

Today in history: Jan. 17

1604: James I of England appoints 54 scholars to produce a new translation of the Bible. The translation, completed in 1611, would become one of the most lasting and influential English translations.

1945: Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews from the Nazis, disappears in Hungary while in Soviet custody. Moscow authorities admit years later he died in custody, but the circumstances remain a mystery. Wallenberg was the first person named an honorary citizen of Canada.

1974: Pauline McGibbon is appointed lieutenant-governor of Ontario, the first woman ever appointed to a vice-regal post in the Commonwealth.

1991: British tycoon Richard Branson and fellow adventurer Per Lindstrand complete the first crossing of the Pacific in a hot-air balloon. They land in a blinding snowstorm in the Northwest Territories. 

2002: In intra-day trading, the Canadian dollar falls below 62 cents US for the first time ever. It rebounds to close at 62.12 cents US. (The next day, the loonie closes at a record low 62.02
cents US).

2010: The science-fiction blockbuster Avatar wins best drama at the Golden Globes and picks up the directing honour for Canadian James Cameron. Canadian Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner win the screenplay honour for Up in the Air.

With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters