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Canada Evening Update: British MPs vote overwhelmingly to seek Brexit delay; the latest developments on Boeing 737 Max aircraft

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

With Brexit only 15 days away, British MPs vote overwhelmingly to seek a delay

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British lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly to seek a delay in Britain’s exit from the European Union, setting the stage for Prime Minister Theresa May to renew efforts to get her divorce deal approved by Parliament next week.

Just 15 days before Britain is due to leave the EU, Ms. May is using the threat of a long delay to push Brexit supporters in her Conservative Party finally to back her deal.

A new vote on it will likely happen next week, when those lawmakers will have to decide whether to back a deal they feel does not offer a clean break from the EU, or accept that Brexit could be watered down or even thwarted by a lengthy delay.

Opinion: “A no-deal Brexit is now off the table, as far as British lawmakers are concerned. Yet, there is still no deal – a circle that will be hard to square.” – Doug Saunders (for subscribers)

“Northern Ireland is facing perilous economic circumstances with no transition period, no safety net of a backstop and no political leadership.” – Katy Hayward, associate sociology professor at Queen’s University Belfast

Boeing 737 Max planes will be grounded for ‘weeks,' U.S. lawmakers say

U.S. lawmakers said after a briefing with the acting head of the Federal Aviation Administration today that Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 planes will remain grounded for “weeks” at a minimum, until a software upgrade can be tested and installed in all of the planes.

The grounding of the Boeing aircraft across the globe follows two crashes in five months of Max 8 planes, including the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday the killed all 157 people on board, including a number of Canadians.

Meanwhile, Air Canada has been overwhelmed with calls as travellers scrambled to rebook flights after Ottawa reversed course and grounded the Boeing planes yesterday.

Two black boxes from the Ethiopian Airlines crash have arrived in Paris for expert analysis.

Opinion: “The Max is being labelled as unsafe to fly. But is that really true? The answer has a lot to do with what we mean by safe in the first place and how we balance what we expect from the way we travel.” – Ashley Nunes, who studies regulatory policy at MIT’s Center for Transportation & Logistics

“Everyone wants easy answers and someone to blame, so early versions of coverage with grabby headlines get stuck in the minds of the public and are hard to dislodge.” – Howard Green, author

Canadian David Sidoo steps down as CEO of East West Petroleum in wake of U.S. college admissions scandal

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Following the arrest of Vancouver businessman David Sidoo as part of a widespread college admissions cheating scandal in the United States, the former Canadian Football League star has stepped down as chief executive officer of East West Petroleum (for subscribers). And Advantage Lithium says it has temporarily replaced Mr. Sidoo as its CEO.

The college-admissions scandal broke Tuesday, when U.S. authorities arrested dozens of people in what they described as a US$25-million scam to help actors Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin, some CEOs and other wealthy people commit fraud to get their children into elite universities, such as Yale and Stanford. Mr. Sidoo is accused of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in Massachusetts.

Separately, LVMH’s Sephora beauty chain has ended its partnership with Ms. Loughlin’s daughter, social-media “influencer” Olivia Jade, following the scandal.

Opnion: “While U.S. colleges garner attention, the same privilege exists on Canadian campuses. Indeed, with fewer schools and larger numbers of alumni, it’s likely that legacy rates at Canadian universities are much higher than the reported ones in the United States.” – Adam Kassam, resident physician and writer

“In a society in which some people inherit wealth and status, and where this competitive advantage translates to power and access, 'merit’ is vapid.” – Wendell Nii Laryea Adjetey, lecturer at Harvard University

Trump vows to veto Senate resolution after Republicans cast defiant votes against border declaration

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The U.S. Senate passed a proposal today to terminate President Donald Trump’s declaration of an emergency at the southern border, with 12 Republicans defying the President, who vowed a veto.

With the emergency declaration, Mr. Trump was seeking an alternative way to get billions of dollars for the border wall after Congress declined to give him funding.

Republicans who defected by supporting the measure to end the emergency declaration are worried that presidents – including future Democratic ones – could usurp the power of Congress to fund the government and use the tactic to pass their own pet programs.

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WHAT ELSE IS IN THE NEWS

Democrat Beto O’Rourke jumped into the 2020 presidential race today, shaking up the already packed field and pledging to win over voters from both major parties as the former Texas congressman tries to translate his political celebrity into a formidable White House bid.

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Former Democratic Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke (Photo by Kathy Willens/AP)

The Associated Press

Families who lost loved ones in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre of school children are allowed to sue Remington, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled today. It’s a a setback to gun makers, which until now have been largely shielded from liability.

China’s Huawei pleaded not guilty today to a 13-count indictment filed in a New York federal court against the telecom giant, as tensions have ratcheted up between the U.S. and Beijing. Read more about Huawei, the arrest in Canada of CFO Meng Wanzhou and China’s subsequent detainment of two Canadians in our explainer.

Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, who has become a prominent voice in campaigns against climate change, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by three Norwegian lawmakers. Students around the world are expected to skip school tomorrow in order to demonstrate against climate change, taking their cue from Ms. Thunberg (for subscribers).

Swedish climate-change activist Greta Thunberg (Photo by Morris MacMatzen/Reuters)

Morris MacMatzen/Reuters

MARKET WATCH

Canada’s main stock index fell today, led by declines in shares of material companies on the back of lower gold prices. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index closed down 62.42 points at 16,087.55.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 snapped a three-day streak of gains, as uncertainty over when a trade deal between the United States and China would be reached left investors on edge.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 7.05 points to 25,709.94, the S&P 500 slipped 2.44 points to 2,808.48 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 12.50 points to 7,630.91.

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LIVING BETTER

Like many investors, you may be wondering whether the fees you pay your adviser are money well spent. Often, people opt to hammer their fees as low as possible. But low fees without good advice can put you in a worse position than higher fees and helpful advice, Rob Carrick writes (for subscribers). He has prepared a worksheet to document the extent to which an adviser is contributing to your financial success with planning and advice. Some ways they can provide bang for the buck is providing a financial plan that:

  • calculates how much money you’ll need to retire, and how much you need to invest to get to that level.
  • helps you get out of debt.
  • maps out a way to, if feasible, offer financial help to adult children and/or aged parents.

LONG READS FOR A LONG COMMUTE

A simple act of kindness turns complicated in the wake of the Humboldt Broncos tragedy

Sylvie Kellington was at home in Humboldt, Sask., last year when word spread that the Broncos bus had crashed. Devastating details followed. “We are just a little town, and everyone knows everybody else here,” Ms. Kellington says. “I felt helpless.”

She is the mother of two teenagers and works as a hairstylist. Her son had only recently stopped playing hockey. Her heart ached for the parents and families of the 16 who died and the 13 survivors. She exchanged messages with her friend, Cailin Hergott. Each desperately wanted to help. “I sat on my couch thinking, ‘What can we do?’ ” Ms. Kellington says. “That’s when it dawned on me. I had heard of GoFundMe.”

She hoped $10,000 could be raised. In the next 12 days, however, the fund grew to almost $15.2-million.

She did not expect her act of kindness to evolve into something so complicated that the court system would be involved. She never expected a fortune to accrue, or that parents swamped with grief would fight over it. She could not foresee that advisers entrusted with dispensing the funds would receive threats from some families. The Globe and Mail reviewed several hundred pages of court documents detailing how the complex and emotional process unfolded. Read Marty Klinkenberg’s full story here.

Sylvie Kellington, left, and Cailin Hergott. (Photo by Kayle Neis for The Globe and Mail)

Kayle Neis/The Globe and Mail

How the songwriters behind Dear Evan Hansen create sympathy for an online liar

The United States is a land that loves its liars – and you could argue that its greatest original art form, the musical, has played a major role in making that the case, with its long history of charming dissemblers singin’ and dancin’ and lyin’ their way into audiences’ hearts.

Dear Evan Hansen, the smash Broadway hit about to open its first international production in Toronto, is the latest musical to take on the topic – but audaciously updated for our times and placed in a recognizable, modern social-media landscape where fabulists are more pervasive than ever.

Its titular teenage anti-hero – whose escalating lies in the wake of a high-school classmate’s suicide transform him into an inspirational YouTube star – is the creation of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the suddenly ubiquitous Oscar-winning and Grammy-winning songwriting team also behind La La Land and The Greatest Showman. Globe subscribers, read J. Kelly Nestruck’s full story here.

Justin Paul, left, and Benj Pasek, composers of Dear Evan Hansen, pose for a portrait at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, Tuesday, March 5, 2019. (Galit Rodan/The Globe and Mail)

Galit Rodan/The Globe and Mail

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If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

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