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Canada Morning Update: Trudeau urged to bar Huawei from 5G; the latest in the Stronach feud

Good morning,

These are the top stories:

U.S. senators are urging Trudeau to ban Huawei from 5G

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Two influential members of a Senate intelligence committee – Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Mark Warner – are calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to follow the lead of the U.S. and Australia in blocking Huawei from supplying equipment for the 5G mobile network. “There is ample evidence to suggest that no major Chinese company is independent of the Chinese government and Communist Party − and Huawei, which China’s government and military tout as a ‘national champion,’ is no exception,” the pair wrote in a letter obtained by The Globe. The senators also said allowing Huawei to help build 5G infrastructure could have implications for sharing sensitive information between the Five Eyes intelligence partners.

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The Frank-Belinda Stronach feud: What you need to know

Belinda Stronach made a take-it-or-leave-it offer to her father six weeks ago to resolve a two-year dispute, sources say (for subscribers). But the Magna founder rejected the offer and has launched a lawsuit demanding full control of the family business, the removal of his daughter and another executive from their positions, and $520-million in damages.

As part of the settlement offer, Ms. Stronach and Stronach Group chief executive Alon Ossip sought sole ownership of the horse-racing and gambling operation (which posted US$1.1-billion in sales last year) while giving Mr. Stronach assets including a ranch that raises grass-fed cattle (the family firm has invested more than US$300-million in that project).

Other details in the suit offer details on the infighting: Ms. Stronach rejected Mr. Stronach’s bid to put more money into the ranch; she also shut down a golf course he had put money into developing.

Here’s Eric Reguly’s take on the spat: “Over the decades, Mr. Stronach pushed Ms. Stronach hard and she shows every indication that she will fight back just as hard. In that sense, the Pygmalion effect worked. Mr. Stronach has apparently passed on the scrapper gene to his daughter. There will be no happy ending to this blood feud.”

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The latest on the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Turkey has told U.S. officials it has audio and video recordings that prove Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Washington Post reported. That comes as Turkey accepted a Saudi proposal to jointly investigate the case, with Turkish investigators preparing to enter the consulate. Turkish officials believe the Saudis sent an “assassination squad” to Istanbul to kill Khashoggi, a critic of the Crown Prince. The Saudis have denied those allegations.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, said the U.S. may be closer to finding out what happened. But he said he sees no reason to cut off arms sales to the Saudis over the Khashoggi incident. But U.S. senators, including some Republicans, pushed back. “If it’s found that they murdered a journalist.… There will have to be significant sanctions placed at the highest levels,” GOP Senator Bob Corker said.

Supreme Court: Gladue hearing, and a ruling on duty to consult

Several Supreme Court justices indicated that the trial judge in the Cindy Gladue case appeared to have made a major error by not following the guidelines of Canada’s rape-shield law. In 2011, Gladue bled to death from a wound after a paid sexual encounter with trucker Bradley Barton. The sexual encounter would have made jurors more likely to accept the myth that past sexual behaviour would have made Gladue more likely to consent, Justice Andromache Karakatsanis said. That view potentially aligns with the arguments of intervenors who say Gladue, as an Indigenous woman and sex worker, was unable to receive a fair trial because she was objectified and dehumanized. The court’s ruling on the case is likely several months away.

In a separate hearing, the court ruled that the federal government is not obligated to consult with Indigenous people when laws are being made. The Mikisew Cree First Nation in Alberta had argued that they should have been consulted on a pair of environmental bills, which they say violated their treaty rights to hunt, fish and trap. Five of the judges said the government’s duty to act honourably when dealing with Indigenous people still applies during the legislative process, but they were divided about the practical effects of that requirement.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

A Soyuz rocket failed, triggering an emergency landing for two astronauts

The rocket malfunctioned two minutes into a flight that was set to take American Nick Hague and Russian Alexei Ovchinin to the International Space Station. The two were able to separate their capsule from the rocket at an altitude of 50 kilometres, before enduring gravitational forces of six to seven times more than what’s felt on Earth. They landed safely in Kazakhstan.

In Opinion, Michael Byers writes that the incident is a blow to Russia’s space program as its Soyuz rocket is the only way to get astronauts to the ISS. And there is a Canadian factor, too: “the Soyuz capsule currently at the ISS is only rated for 210 days in space. It has to be brought back by the end of December if additional risks are to be avoided. This leaves NASA and [Russia’s] Roscosmos with three options: launch the next Soyuz with only a two-week delay for the investigation into this week’s accident; leave three astronauts on the ISS without a safe exit option; or leave the ISS without a crew to make essential repairs. Every course of action carries enormous risks. And Canada is at the centre of this drama because astronaut David Saint-Jacques is due to fly on the next Soyuz mission on Dec. 20 – which just became much more dangerous than it already was.”

MORNING MARKETS

Shares bounce back

Global shares were having their best day in nearly a month on Friday as European and Asian markets recovered from a brutal selloff that still left them set for their worst week since February. Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 2.1 per cent, and the Shanghai composite 0.9 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were up by between 0.7 and 0.8 per cent by about 6 a.m. ET. New York futures were also up. Investors are awaiting the kickoff to quarterly results from the big U.S. banks. The Canadian dollar was below 77 US cents.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Our opioid death crisis urgently needs a prevention strategy

“Comprehensive exposure reduction efforts would require systematic identification of high-risk opioid users, and provision of a safer opioid supply (similar to the proposed medical-hydromorphone-dispensing machine project in Vancouver) that would effectively result in broad-scale reductions of hazardous opioid use. Such a measure, in principle, would be the equivalent of a targeted vaccination or preventive treatment program for a severe infectious-disease outbreak. Our health systems, instead, have relied mainly on after-the-fact or more peripheral measures, such as naloxone distribution, supervised drug-use sites, or conventional opioid-addiction treatment. While these measures are surely beneficial for some in reducing health harms and deaths, they – for various reasons – do not sufficiently reach or decrease hazardous opioid product exposure to effectively curtail the present opioid death crisis in Canada.” – Benedikt Fischer, senior scientist, Institute for Mental Health Policy Research at CAMH

By defending a crucifix, Quebec crosses the line into hypocrisy

“The incoming Coalition Avenir Québec government in Quebec said this week it will not remove the crucifix that hangs in the province’s legislature, even as it intends to move ahead with its controversial plan to ban some public servants from wearing religious symbols at work. The crucifix, a spokesman argued, is nothing but a “heritage object” that is “part of our history” and, as such, it should not be included in the larger argument about religious symbols in the public sphere. It would be difficult to hold a more hypocritical position than that. The image of Jesus Christ on the cross is one of the most potent religious symbols in the world.” – Globe editorial

On China, will Trump’s bite match his bark?

“Despite the cacophony of distractions and tweets that characterize much of Trump’s approach to global affairs, there is no ambiguity about his intentions vis-à-vis China. As Canada discovered in renegotiating NAFTA, Mr. Trump is particularly adept at using sound and fury to achieve his goals. With China, the stakes and the risks are much higher. Some see parallels with Ronald Reagan and the Soviet Union. Others wonder whether the “fundamental disagreements” can be reconciled without serious collateral damage. What is certain is that the overt America First, might-is-right approach resonates best with Trump’s base – and with Americans who see globalism on trade or security as having failed to serve America’s interests.” – Derek Burney, Canada’s ambassador to the United States from 1989 to 1993

LIVING BETTER

Your weekend books guide (for subscribers)

Women’s anger has always been a momentous thing, fuelling social-justice movements and individual action,” Elizabeth Renzetti writes. “As two new books (Rage Becomes Her; Good and Mad) demonstrate, that rage has also been denigrated (‘the madwomen’), ignored, painted as hysterical and unfeminine, used to divide women from each other and been dismissed as unserious and transitory.”

“What Stephen Harper has delivered (Right Here, Right Now: Politics and Leadership in the Age of Disruption) is, for all its flaws, more than what most other conservatives of his stature grappling with the present moment are offering,” says Adam Radwanski.

Book clubs 2.0: “Every couple of months a 7,000-plus Instagram community (Bad Girls Book Club) votes on the next read. Meetings (events, really) are held at cool venues across Toronto and feature guest speakers along with the odd tarot card reader or drag queen performance, depending on the book,” Courtney Shea writes.

“What will the literary season – la rentrée, they call it in French, the same word they use for “back-to-school” – look like without a Nobel Prize in Literature to debate or praise? Are we feeling an immense void at the centre of literary life yet? Or are we not thinking about it at all?” Russell Smith asks.

MOMENT IN TIME

More than 200 people killed in Bali bombings

(Jack Hamilton/Associated Press)

JACK HAMILTON/AP

Oct. 12, 2002: The backpack bomb that ripped through Paddy’s Bar at 11:05 p.m. was both a prelude and a decoy. It buckled walls, propelled patrons airborne and sent scores of people fleeing across the street to the relative safety of the Sari Club, another bar popular with international tourists. Few noticed the white Mitsubishi L300 minivan laden with explosives parked illegally in front of the club. The second blast stripped roofing tiles from buildings as far as a kilometre away. In total, 202 people from 21 countries died, including 88 Australians and two Canadians. A third bomb that was detonated outside the island’s U.S. consulate resulted in no casualties but made clear the terrorists’ intentions of inflicting harm on Americans. The attacks ravaged the island’s tourist-dependent economy, with visits dropping by 60 per cent. Indonesian and Australian authorities soon traced the plot all the way back to Indonesians who had battled alongside Osama bin Laden and the mujahedeenagainst Soviet troops in Afghanistan. A month after the bombings, investigators began rounding up members of Jemaah Islamiyah, a violent Islamist group linked to al-Qaeda. In 2008, a firing squad executed three men convicted of carrying out the attacks. – Patrick White

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