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Women breastfeed their newborn babies inside the maternity ward of the government run Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila June 1, 2011. The ward, the busiest in the country, sees an average of 60 births a day. The Philippines' population growth rate of around 2.0 percent is above Southeast Asia's average of around 1.7 percent, with an estimated 200 babies born every hour. Lack of a national policy on birth control and access to modern family planning methods -- frowned upon by the powerful Catholic church -- are some of the factors that have led to the country's population ballooning to nearly 100 million, according to various government and private sector estimates, with the Philippines the second most populous nation in the region after Indonesia. (CHERYL RAVELO/REUTERS)
Women breastfeed their newborn babies inside the maternity ward of the government run Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila June 1, 2011. The ward, the busiest in the country, sees an average of 60 births a day. The Philippines' population growth rate of around 2.0 percent is above Southeast Asia's average of around 1.7 percent, with an estimated 200 babies born every hour. Lack of a national policy on birth control and access to modern family planning methods -- frowned upon by the powerful Catholic church -- are some of the factors that have led to the country's population ballooning to nearly 100 million, according to various government and private sector estimates, with the Philippines the second most populous nation in the region after Indonesia. (CHERYL RAVELO/REUTERS)

Morning Briefing: Ottawa to reboot foreign aid policy Add to ...

A summary of what you need to know today, compiled by The Globe’s news desk on Nov. 23, 2012

Ottawa to reboot foreign aid policy

International Co-operation minister Julian Fantino is expected to outline a significant re-alignment of Canada’s approach to overseas development, one that will put greater emphasis on economic self interests while calling for an increased role for the private sector, The Globe’s Kim Mackrael reports. In an address today to the Economic Club of Canada, the minister is expected to call for Canada’s main aid agency – CIDA – to pursue more partnerships with the private sector to achieve development objectives.

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Saskatchewan premier dials into Halifax summit

The premiers meeting in Halifax will kick into high gear today amid continued grumbling about the absence of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has raised some eyebrows with his decision not to travel to Halifax, though he will take part in discussions via conference call. The most significant development out of yesterday’s meeting was an agreement between Quebec and Alberta to strike a working group to examine ways to co-operate on energy issues.

Shoppers flock to Black Friday frenzy

On your marks, get set, shop! Millions of Americans – and a small army of border– hopping Canadians – will descend on stories across the nation, part of the annual ’Black Friday’ shopping tradition that is a make or break day for retailers. The action got started earlier than usual this year with an increasing number of stores opening over night, a move criticized by some employee groups who say it undermines the Thanksgiving holiday for working families.

Here The Globe’s retailing reporter Marina Strauss explains how Black Friday is putting pressure on Canadian retailers.

Ceasefire holds in Gaza despite shooting

In the first outbreak of violence since Wednesday’s ceasefire a Palestinian was killed and nine injured along Israel’s border fence with Gaza. The shooting occurred when a group of men approached the fence to salvage equipment damaged in the eight day clash, according to reports. Israeli officials said warning shots were fired. Despite the violence the ceasefire, brokered by Egypt, appears to be holding. Separate talks will continue in Egypt today with Israeli and Hamas officials over implementation of the seven-point plan.

Here Canadian-Israeli journalist Lisa Goldman writes on her reaction to the Gaza crisis.

Violence erupts in Eqypt

Egyptian opposition activists began setting fire to Muslim Brotherhood offices Friday amid growing opposition to President Mohammed Morsi’s assumption of new powers. The moves infuriated his critics, one of whom labelled him a “new pharoah.” There are calls for major protests Friday -- including in Tahrir Square, the symbolic heart of the protests that toppled his predecessor -- and the controversy has cut short a honeymoon during Mr. Morsi was riding high after helping broker a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.

Salvation Army looks for ways to tone down bell ringing

The Salvation Army in one New England city is on the search for a quieter bell to placate a local shop-owner upset about the noise made by the charity’s fundraisers. The move follows an unsuccessful complaint to police by Sarah Hamilton-Parker, who says she dreads Christmas because of the bell-ringing.  “I listen to this for 200 hours a year,” she told the local paper in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. “This is my fourth year and I can’t take it anymore. I’m so sick of it.” Police could not help -- noting that the fundraisers have the permission of the city -- but the charity agreed to look for ways to tone it down.

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