A summary of what you need to know today, compiled by The Globe’s news desk on Dec. 13, 2012
Inquest confirms nurse in royal hoax killed herself
The nurse at the centre of the royal hoax call hanged herself, leaving behind three notes, an inquest heard today. Jacintha Saldanha was found hanging in her apartment several days after transferring a prank call by two Australian radio DJs to a nurse caring for the Duchess of Cambridge. No details of the notes have been released.
Going, going ... gone
The long political shuffle away from the ill-fated F-35 purchase ended Wednesday with a full “reset” of the effort to secure a next-generation warplane. The F-35 program, once passionately embraced by the Tories, became an increasing political liability as costs soared to $45-billion – five times the original price tag. The government is now starting from scratch, looking for cheaper alternative to the aging CF-18 Hornets.
Japan accuses China of violating air space
A dangerous showdown between Japan and China edged closer to crisis today as Japan scrambled warplanes in response to an unprecedented incursion by China of its airspace. A Chinese state-owned surveillance aircraft wandered over the islands at the heart of a dispute between Beijing and Tokyo. China, which asserts ownership over the islands, said the flight was “completely normal” and called on Japan to stop “illegal activities” in the disputed area.
Russia says Syrian rebels may win
In a week in which most of the world has endorsed his enemies, Bashar al-Assad has suffered yet another blow – a blast of pessimism from one of his few remaining allies. Russia’s deputy foreign minister was quoted today as saying the embattled president appears to be losing control of the country, comments some see as a signal that Russia is positioning itself for regime change. That comes as the United States, and more than 100 other countries, recognized the Syrian opposition coalition as the legitimate representatives of the people. Canada has yet to take that step.
NHL talks yield no breakthrough
Talks aimed at salvaging a part of the hockey season appeared to have made little progress. The league and players association met separately with mediators in New Jersey on Wednesday and talks may resume later this week.
Fugitive software guru now in Florida
The long, strange, legal drama starring fugitive software guru John McAfee has shifted to a new location: the United States. Mr. McAfee arrived in Miami Wednesday evening after being deported from Guatemala. The eccentric millionaire fled to Guatemala to avoid police questioning in the murder of a neighbour in Belize.
EU banking deal reached
The European Union took a landmark step toward a banking union today with an agreement to make the European Central Bank the bloc’s top banking supervisor. Reached after marathon talks between EU finance ministers, the deal is seen as providing hope that leaders are gaining the upper hand over the debt crisis.
Supreme Court to rule on ‘TV tax’
We’re watching the Supreme Court of Canada this morning for a ruling on what critics call a “TV tax.” At issue is a move by Canada’s broadcast watchdog that would allow local TV stations to negotiate a price for providing their signals to cable or satellite service providers, which currently get those signals for free.
UN nuclear inspectors hold talks in Iran
In the first such meeting since August, inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog landed in Tehran today to hold talks over Iran’s disputed nuclear program. However, officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency are not expected to be allowed to inspect the Parchin military complex.
Ex-Thai PM charged with murder
Former Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his deputy were formally charged with murder today, in the first prosecutions of officials in connection with the deadly “red shirt” rallies in Thailand in 2010. Investigators charged Mr. Vejjajiva for the death of a taxi driver, saying he allowed troops to use war weapons and live ammunition against protesters. Mr. Vejjajiva denied the charge, saying it was politically motivated.