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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Crown drops breach-of-trust charge against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman after defence presents new evidence

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The Crown has dropped the charge of breach of trust against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, citing new information that was brought forward by his defence in March.

Federal prosecutor Barbara Mercier said there was no longer a reasonable prospect of conviction in the case that had become politically charged. The new information brought “greater context … that we were not aware of,” she said.

Ms. Mercier added that some of Mr. Norman’s actions were secretive and inappropriate, saying, as one witness put it, “he crossed the line.” She also said there was no interference.

Defence lawyer Marie Henein said the case has been a “profoundly painful” time for Vice-Adm. Norman and his family to sit silent and patient for two years, adding the vindication in court on Wednesday was a bittersweet victory. She called for his immediate return to civil service.

And Konrad Yakabuski writes the dropped charge "should come as a relief for the Trudeau government. It no longer faces the prospect of a trial in which Scott Brison, Gerald Butts and former Privy Council chief Michael Wernick might have been required to spill the beans about the inner workings of the Trudeau government – and might potentially interfere with the election campaign. Marie Henein would not have made them look good.” (subscribers)

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GM to invest $170-million to convert Oshawa plant, saving 300 union jobs

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General Motors Canada says it will invest $170-million and employ 300 people to make auto parts at its plant in Oshawa, Ont., after car assembly stops in December.

The plan announced on Wednesday includes relocation offers for laid-off workers, enhanced retirement packages for 1,300 employees, and the construction of a test track at the site for autonomous vehicles.

The factory was expected to be closed by the end of the year after Detroit-based GM said it was stopping production of the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS, eliminating about 3,000 jobs and ending a century of car making.

China ignores overtures from Ottawa amid Huawei dispute

Canadian leaders have been unable to communicate with Chinese decision makers in the midst of the worst diplomatic crisis between the two countries in decades, with Beijing not responding to Ottawa’s entreaties to talk amid mounting damage to trade with the world’s second-largest economy.

Five different Canadian federal ministers have requested conversations with top-level Chinese officials since the Vancouver arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on Dec. 1. None has been successful.

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China has not refused those approaches, four sources with knowledge of the situation told The Globe and Mail. It has merely ignored them, despite multiple requests.

South Africans vote in election that could decide fate of anti-corruption campaign in long-ruling ANC

Twenty-five years after the end of apartheid, millions of South Africans are voting in an election that could determine the fate of an anti-corruption cleanup campaign in the long-ruling African National Congress (ANC).

The ANC, the former liberation movement that has governed South Africa since the first democratic election in 1994, is almost certain to win Wednesday’s national vote. But its margin of victory will help decide whether President Cyril Ramaphosa can move ahead with his much-touted efforts to tackle the corruption scandals that have dogged the ANC for more than a decade.

Voting stations close at 9 p.m. local time, and early results are expected overnight or Thursday morning.

WHAT ELSE IS ON OUR RADAR

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Pakistani Christian woman cleared of blasphemy charges arrives in Canada

Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who spent eight years on death row before being acquitted of blasphemy charges last year has sought refuge Canada. Ms. Bibi’s arrival comes after a months-long effort to leave Pakistan, where she faced death threats from hardline Islamists who rejected a Supreme Court verdict that overturned blasphemy charges against her.

Prince Harry and Meghan introduce baby son

Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan showed off their newborn son to the world on today, saying the arrival of their “little bundle of joy” was magic. The seventh-in-line to the British throne has been named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

MARKET WATCH

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 39.65 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 16,397.40. Five of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the energy sector climbing 1.7 per cent.

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In New York, the S&P 500 fell on Wednesday as a late slide in shares of Intel Corp erased earlier gains fueled by hopeful notes from the White House regarding the status of trade negotiations with China.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.96 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 25,967.05, the S&P 500 lost 4.51 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 2,879.54 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 20.44 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 7,943.32.

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TALKING POINTS

A fake guillotine leaves us wondering: Why is the press so wary of calling politicians liars?

“Why are we normally so wary of calling politicians liars? It’s complicated. ... When someone points out the misstatement, does the fabulist retract it and try to do better next time? If so, it’s hard to say for certain that they lied. But if they dig in their heels and double down? (Hello, Mr. Trump!) Well, frankly, then they deserve to be branded a liar. Still, many journalists believe the word should be used sparingly, lest we dilute its power.” - Simon Houpt

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On jobs, jobs, jobs, two cheers for Trump and Trudeau

“How a leader fares on the economy has much to do with timing: whether the term of office coincides with an up or a down cycle – whether global forces are trending favourably or not. Both Mr. Trump and Mr. Trudeau hit the sweet spot in that regard, and anyone doling out prizes needs to keep this perspective in mind.” - Lawrence Martin

LIVING BETTER

People have long visited Dubai for its reputation as a decadent theme park that offers a glimpse of the future. Soon, a bold new project will make the emirate’s forward-looking status official. At the Museum of the Future, which is scheduled to open next year, visitors will be immersed in the city’s obsession with innovation. According to the Ruler of Dubai (and United Arab Emirates Prime Minister), Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, “the future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it and execute it. While others try to predict the future, we create it.”

Dubai, UAE - Oct 16, 2018: View of the Museum of the Future under construction in Dubai. It is a groundbreaking design in architecture. It has an oval torus shape with an open center.

ymgerman/istock

LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE

Decade in the red: Trump tax figures show over $1-billion in business losses

Printouts from U.S. President Donald Trump’s official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts, with the figures from his federal tax form, the 1040, for the years 1985 to 1994 represent the fullest and most detailed look to date at the President’s taxes, information he has kept from public view. Though the information does not cover the tax years at the centre of an escalating battle between the Trump administration and Congress, it traces the most tumultuous chapter in a long business career – an era of fevered acquisition and spectacular collapse.

Evening Update is written by Shannon Busta. If you’d like to receive this newsletter by e-mail every weekday evening, go here to sign up. If you have any feedback, send us a note.

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