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Rachel Maddow during a taping of her show in New York on March 9, 2017. (An Rong Xu/NYT)
Rachel Maddow during a taping of her show in New York on March 9, 2017. (An Rong Xu/NYT)

MORNING UPDATE

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TODAY’S TOP STORIES

Trump’s 2005 tax returns revealed

Donald Trump paid $38-million (U.S.) in taxes on income of $150-million in 2005. The rare look at Trump’s taxes came via MSNBC, which obtained a copy of his 2005 returns. The White House seemed to confirm those numbers in a statement, adding, “You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago.” Trump marked down $100-million in losses on the return, which reduced what he had to pay in taxes.

Unlike past presidents, Trump has continually refused to release his tax returns. He has said he can’t disclose the returns because they’re under review by the Internal Revenue Service. But with the White House now providing some details on his 2005 returns, some Democrats are saying Trump’s defence for not disclosing has been shattered.

Trump’s trade pick takes on softwood lumber dispute

Trump’s trade nominee is promising action on the Canada-U.S. softwood lumber dispute. American companies want a cap on how much Canadian lumber can go across the border, and Robert Lighthizer says the U.S. will go to trade court if a new deal can’t be reached. Lighthizer also criticized Canada for not doing more to prevent counterfeit goods from entering the United States.

McGill admits hazing-free promise hasn’t been kept

Coercion, excessive drinking and “sexually provocative games.” That’s what McGill University is acknowledging new players on its basketball team experienced as part of a hazing ritual in 2015. The incident goes against the hazing-free promise McGill announced after a high-profile incident in 2005.

The 2015 case was initially reviewed by the athletics department, which found the incident to be “very minimal.” But when McGill proceeded with a full investigation, a year after the incident, the school found it was “more serious than what we had been originally told.” Both the men’s and women’s teams were placed on probations, but players weren’t sanctioned for their actions.

After investigating the 2005 incident, McGill cancelled the rest of the football team’s season. The school says because this review happened a year later and many of the players had changed, it wouldn’t have been fair to cancel the teams’ seasons. “They’re letting themselves off the hook,” said the student who was the victim in the 2005 hazing.

Don’t scrap preliminary inquiries, Canadian Bar Association says

Preliminary inquiries save time and resources and shouldn’t be scrapped, the Canadian Bar Association says. In a letter to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, the group argues that the link between court delays and preliminary inquiries “is speculative at best.” Ontario and Manitoba have, to varying extents, called for an end to preliminary inquiries as a way to prevent cases from being thrown out over delays. That’s because a Supreme Court last year set strict time limits for cases. So far, two men have been freed from first-degree murder charges because of delays.

THE LOOKAHEAD

Election day in the Netherlands

It’s election day in the Netherlands. Far-right populist Geert Wilders is hoping to claim victory, but even if he does his party probably wouldn’t have enough seats to form a government; with 28 parties competing for 150 seats, a coalition is likely. “I want the Netherlands to be the first country which stops this trend of the wrong sort of populism,” said Wilders’s primary opponent, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

THE MARKETS

Crude prices were once again a dominant story in the markets, with oil’s rebound helping underpin European stocks as investors wait for today’s expected U.S. interest rate increase. West Texas Intermediate oil jumped above $48 a barrel after an industry report pointed to falling crude stockpiles in the U.S. Tokyo’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng each lost 0.2 per cent, while the Shanghai composite gained 0.1 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.2 per cent by about 6 a.m. ET, Germany’s DAX was little changed, and the Paris CAC 40 was down by less than 0.1 per cent. New York futures were up.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Rachel Maddow’s explosive Trump report defused by cheap delays

“[MSNBC’s Rachel] Maddow, more often than not a whip-smart commentator and one of broadcast journalism’s best assets, had something legitimate, worthy and downright groundbreaking to say. But instead of giving the people what they want – which is essentially Trump’s first instinct – she played by the rules that have largely doomed cable news, using cheap delay tactics and the worst sort of preambled grandstanding. Trump could not have asked for a better execution of events.” – Barry Hertz

In B.C., political fundraising reform is coming! Eventually. Maybe

“[B.C. Premier Christy Clark] hasn’t committed herself to any [campaign finance] reform at all, just to its possibility – which, frankly, already exists, thanks to the NDP’s promise to ban donations from corporations and unions, and to set limits on individual donations, if it wins the election. … Premier Clark’s non-partisan panel will almost certainly recommend that B.C. ban donations from corporations and unions, and set limits on individual donations. … The question for voters, though, is would Clark, as the re-elected Premier, implement such a recommendation? There are no guarantees. She could have done today what she is promising to, maybe, do tomorrow. Caveat emptor, British Columbia.” – Globe editorial

HEALTH PRIMER

Hot yoga has health benefits, but it’s not for everyone

Hot yoga can be great, but it’s not for everyone. The first question you have to ask yourself: Can you deal with 60-90 minutes of 32 C to 42 C heat? There will be lots of sweat, guaranteed. The hot temperature doesn’t make you more flexible. Instead, it delays the pain, which allows you to stretch more than you normally would.

MOMENT IN TIME

Van Gogh’s first solo show opens in Paris

March 15, 1901: Vincent van Gogh went to his grave in 1890 having sold only one of his roughly 900 paintings. His first-ever solo show didn’t come until 11 years after his death, on this day in 1901, when the influential Galerie Bernheim-Jeune in Paris mounted an exhibition of 71 of the Dutch artist’s works. During its two-week run, the show caused a sensation. Among the painters who strolled through the gallery were Henri Matisse, Maurice de Vlaminck and the grand old man of Impressionism, Claude Monet (who was especially taken with an 1889 canvas, Field with Poppies). It was van Gogh’s first big step on the road to becoming an art superstar. One of the show’s paintings, Still Life: Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers, would later smash records when it sold in 1987 to a Japanese buyer for nearly $40-million (U.S.). – Christopher Harris

Morning Update is written by Arik Ligeti.

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