A summary of what you need to know today, compiled by The Globe’s news desk on March 1, 2013.
South African police face more scrutiny as video provokes outrage
Eight South Africa police officers have been suspended in the wake of global outrage over a video showing a man handcuffed and dragged behind a police car. The taxi driver – a Mozambican migrant who died two hours later from head injuries and internal bleeding – is seen in the video in a dispute over parking with several policemen leading to his arrest. South African president Jacob Zuma called the images “horrific, disturbing and unacceptable.”
U.S. budget cuts loom
With hours counting down before $85-billion in spending cuts begin to take effect, the White House will hold talks today with Congressional leaders as hope fades for a last-minute compromise. The cuts, part of deal struck two years ago aimed at pressuring Democrats and Republicans to compromise on a more comprehensive budget deal, are slated roll out today following a week of brinksmanship and finger-pointing.
The dictator and the hoops star bond over sushi
Dennis Rodman likes what he sees in North Korea’s hoops-loving dictator Kim Jong Un. “The guy’s really awesome,” former NBA star concluded after a whirlwind tour of the Hermit Kingdom that included sushi with Kim and an exhibition basketball game which included members of the Harlem Globetrotters.
Conservative icon retires in wake of child porn comments
Tom Flanagan, a titan of Canadian conservatism and mentor to a generation of Tory politicians, is stepping down from his teaching position at the University of Calgary after comments he made about child pornography provoked a storm of protest. Flanagan was captured on video saying he had “grave doubts” about the idea of jailing people who view child pornography. “It is a real issue of personal liberty and to what extent we put people in jail for doing something in which they do not harm another person,” he said.
Labour, skills shortages take centre stage with budget
Ottawa is keying in on growing labour and skills shortages as one of the major themes of the upcoming budget, The Globe’s Bill Curry reports. One plan under consideration would be to make companies promise apprenticeship training as part of any bid for major procurement contracts; another would give trades-focused colleges the power to award degrees to encourage enrolment. The budget is expected within weeks.