Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Flight 752 investigation collapses as Iran and Ukraine clash over compensation, leaked evidence
The joint Iran-Ukraine probe into last month’s downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 appears to have collapsed following two developments:
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a TV interview the US$80,000 that Iran is offering as compensation for each victim is “too little.”
- A leaked recording seems to confirm Iranian officials knew immediately that their military shot down the plane with a missile. Iran took days to acknowledge publicly that this was the case.
Iran has said the recording between the Tehran air traffic control tower and a pilot is legitimate and was shared with Ukrainian investigators on condition it remain secret. After it was leaked, Iran said it would no longer give information to Ukraine.
The dispute closes one of the last useful channels of details about the Jan. 8 disaster that killed all 176 people on board, including 57 Canadian citizens and 29 permanent residents of this country.
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Beijing praises Ottawa for calm in face of coronavirus outbreak
The Chinese government has commended Canada for its calm in response the coronavirus outbreak, contrasting it with the more dramatic reaction of the United States, which has told its citizens to avoid travel to China and has banned entry by foreigners who have been there in the past 14 days.
Canada once again finds itself wedged between China and the United States as those two superpowers continue their economic and political struggle.
Canada’s relations with China have been fraught since the arrest in Vancouver of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on Dec. 1, 2018, at the request of U.S. officials, and the detainment of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in apparent retaliation.
Beijing made no promises about when it might give permission for a plane chartered by the Canadian government to fly from Hanoi to Wuhan to evacuate more than 300 Canadians in a lockdown zone around the epicentre of the virus.
Ottawa has insisted China let the primary caregivers of Canadian children return to the country after leaving Wuhan, even if they are not citizens themselves.
Global Affairs said yesterday that when those Canadians are evacuated, they will be quarantined for 14 days at a Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, Ont.
Opinion: “Never before have a large number of people – about 300 have visas to leave – been transported to Canada and, under a legal order, placed in quarantine. Medically, it’s probably unnecessary. Politically, it’s probably essential.” - André Picard
U.S. politics: the latest on the Trump impeachment trial and the Iowa caucuses
With acquittal seemingly assured, the Democrats prosecuting U.S. President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial urged the Senate to convict him to show no president is above the law. As both sides gave closing arguments, Trump’s legal team called the case against him politically motivated, reckless and baseless.
The Senate is due to vote Wednesday, with a two-thirds majority required to remove the president. None of the 53 Senate Republicans has indicated support for conviction.
Opinion: “The gulf between truth and accountability is one of the hardest aspects of living under the Trump administration. We know what happened, and we know that this knowledge will likely not translate into justice.” - Sarah Kendzior
“Cleared of this abuse of power, Democrats rightly wondered what guardrails were left to restrain this president, whether it’s now carte blanche for King Donald.” - Lawrence Martin
Meanwhile, Iowa kicks off a fractious and unpredictable Democratic presidential nomination race tonight, with caucuses starting at 8 p.m. EST. Most results should be known by about 11 p.m.
Polls in the past week from Civiqs, Emerson and Monmouth have showed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders either leading or statistically tied with former vice-president Joe Biden.
There will also be Republican caucuses, which Trump is expected to win handily.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Thunberg nominated for Nobel Peace Prize: Two lawmakers in Sweden have nominated Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, saying she “has worked hard to make politicians open their eyes to the climate crisis.”
Air Canada jet makes emergency landing: A Toronto-bound Air Canada Boeing 767 made an emergency landing in Madrid after experiencing a ruptured tire on takeoff and “an engine issue” shortly after departing the airport, the carrier said in an e-mail.
Enbridge’s Line 3 project clears hurdle: The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has ruled that a revised environmental impact statement for Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline replacement is adequate, helping to clear a significant hurdle for the long-delayed project.
Hamilton coming to the big screen: Walt Disney says it will release to theatres a four-year-old live film of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway show Hamilton, featuring all of the original Tony Award winners, in October next year.
Bernie Ebbers dies: Bernard Ebbers, the Canadian-born former chief of WorldCom who was convicted in one of the largest corporate accounting scandals in U.S. history, has died just over a month after his early release from prison.
North American stocks rose today, lifted by an unexpected rebound in U.S. manufacturing that helped temper fears that caused stocks overnight in Asia to plunge on the potential impact of the coronavirus in China.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 143.78 points to 28,399.81, the S&P 500 gained 23.40 points to 3,248.92 and the Nasdaq Composite added 122.46 points to end at 9,273.40.
Canada’s main stock index was up, despite a drop in energy stocks, on strength in the technology and health care sectors. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 61.27 points to 17,379.76.
Looking for investing ideas? Check out The Globe’s weekly digest of the latest insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and what investors need to know for the week ahead. This week’s edition includes coronavirus market jitters, 10 hidden gem companies and the best and worst online brokerages.
The obscure but important Baltic shipping index tells us global growth is in trouble
“If the Baltic baby is right this time, we’re in for a storm. The index’s all-time high came in mid-2008, after which it went into steep decline. Not long later, much of the Western world was in deep recession.” - Eric Reguly
Mahomes answers Super Bowl casting call
"[Kansas City quarterback Patrick] Mahomes was already the most marketable new star in the league. After winning a Super Bowl, he now has the pedigree to go along with the shampoo commercials.” - Cathal Kelly
The Super Bowl spectacle? No thanks, I’d rather darn socks
“First off, Shakira killed it and Jennifer Lopez was in comparison a tad predictable. I mean seriously, the pole dancing?” - John Doyle
How do we make the world more accessible? And how can that accessibility add value to a business? These questions have been pivotal to the success of AccessNow, whose CEO Maayan Ziv has muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair. In this week’s episode of the I’ll Go First podcast, she shares how her personal experiences navigating an inaccessible city inspired her to start her company.
LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE
At 100, the Group of Seven shows off unexpected angles
If you venture to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ont., this year, of course you’ll meet up with old friends. There, at the start of an exhibition timed to the centenary of the Group of Seven, is Lawren Harris’s majestic Mount Robson thrusting itself through the snowfields of the Rockies. A few rooms later, you’ll find A.Y. Jackson’s First Snow, Algoma perfectly capturing the softening effect of the flakes on the landscape.
But in “A Like Vision:” The Group of Seven at 100, you’ll also encounter enough unfamiliar stuff to make you wonder if the exhibition shouldn’t be called An Unlike Vision. Perhaps Arthur Lismer’s little cartoons of artists on painting trips in the bush can be read as mere footnotes to the Group’s great landscape project. And yet, a work such as his still-life painted from his window in Montreal strikes an uncharacteristic note of Old World intimacy in which the influence of Post-Impressionism has been reduced to a postcard of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers propped up against the sill.
And F. H. Varley’s portraits of flappers are more intriguing than any of his landscapes while his Night Ferry, Vancouver of 1937, with its view of the city’s skyline and a Munch-like swirl to the water, could win a prize for the most unlikely painting in this show: wrong geography, too urban and too nakedly expressionistic to make it an easy fit within fond memories of the Group of Seven’s blasted pines or swelling mountains. Read Kate Taylor’s full story here.