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A woman pushes a shopping cart past a display of nuts imported from the United States at a supermarket in Beijing, Friday, March 23, 2018. China announced a $3-billion list of U.S. goods including pork, apples and steel pipe on Friday that it said may be hit with higher tariffs in a spiraling trade dispute with President Donald Trump that companies and investors worry could depress global commerce.Mark Schiefelbein/The Associated Press

Beijing warns of ‘people’s war’ against U.S. tariffs

Chinese consumers are a global superpower and if Beijing wants to retaliate against the U.S.’s planned US$60-billion tariffs on Chinese goods, it has a record of using those buyers, nudged by nationalism and propaganda, to exact a painful toll on rivals. Consider this: China’s retail sales were worth US$7.5-trillion last year, 14-per-cent higher than those in the U.S. China is No. 1 in cars, smartphones and any number of other items people buy for themselves. Chinese consumers, in other words, have already collectively become the world’s buying superpower.

China has retaliated in recent years in trade wars with the Philippines, Japan and South Korea, with Chinese consumers participating in boycotts of foreign-made cars, cosmetics and tourist destinations that have inflicted financial suffering on those Beijing wants to punish. Now, China is also prepared to wage a “people’s war” against the United States, the nationalist Global Times, a Communist Party imprint, said in an editorial.

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Elizabeth May, NDP MP Kennedy Stewart arrested at Trans Mountain pipeline protest

Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart were arrested at a protest against Kinder Morgan’s expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline as demonstrations spread across the country. May and Stewart were being processed by RCMP officers inside a tent at the Trans Mountain pipeline terminal in Burnaby, B.C.

The two MPs acknowledged they risked arrest after the B.C. Supreme Court placed limits on where demonstrators could protest in an injunction issued last week. The injunction prohibits activists from getting within five metres of Kinder Morgan’s two terminal sites on Burnaby Mountain where work related to the pipeline expansion is under way. A news release from protest organizers said almost 100 people have been taken into custody since demonstrations in Burnaby began.

Inflation hits three-year high, strengthens case for more rate hikes

Canadian inflation surged to its highest rate in more than three years in February. Statistics Canada reported that the 12-month increase in the consumer price index was 2.2 per cent, up sharply from 1.7 per cent in January, and the fastest 12-month pace since October, 2014.

February also marked the first time in six years that the average of the Bank of Canada’s three gauges of core inflation – the underlying inflationary trend across the broader economy, filtering out short-lived distortions and sector-specific volatility – inched above 2 per cent, the central bank’s inflation target, which serves as its formal guide for determining interest rates.

The inflation numbers came in considerably hotter than anticipated; economists’ consensus estimate was a 1.9-per-cent overall reading, with a 1.8-per-cent average for the core measures. The surprise sent the Canadian dollar up a half-cent against its U.S. counterpart in morning trading, as the figures revived expectations for the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates again relatively soon to keep inflation under wraps – a prospect that had been fading recently amid tepid economic data and the central bank’s growing concern about U.S. trade protectionism.


The close: Wall Street continues nosedive on trade-war worries

Wall Street tumbled on Friday as investors, increasingly nervous about a potential U.S. trade war with China, shied away from risky bets going into the weekend as they looked for shelter from further declines. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 424.55 points, or 1.77 per cent, to 23,533.34, the S&P 500 lost 55.43 points, or 2.10 per cent, to 2,588.26 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 174.01 points, or 2.43 per cent, to 6,992.67.

Canada’s main stock index fell to a five-week low, led by declines for financial and industrial shares, as domestic data showed hotter-than-expected inflation and fears of a global trade war gripped investors.

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Rexene Daley and Lisa Barrett work on the cod fillet line at the Icewater Seafood plant in Arnold's Cove, Nfld., on Tuesday, November 14, 2017.Paul Daly/The Globe and Mail

Newfoundland cod stocks, thought to be on the comeback, have suffered a serious decline

A federal science report released Friday reports northern cod stocks in the fertile fishing area 2J3KL have dropped 30 per cent since federal scientists last assessed the stock in 2016. That year, scientists projected that cod would continue to grow through 2018. Instead, there has been a reversal.


Watch out world, Bolton the superhawk has landed in the White House

One of the few things that drew a sigh of relief about U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration was that he had a national security team of restrained, temperate minds. Men like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster. In the space of a fortnight, they’re both gone. The hardliner Mike Pompeo replaced Mr. Tillerson. More ominous is the onset of the confrontational John Bolton to take over from Mr. McMaster. The superhawk has landed and, as one article put it, God help us all. Lawrence Martin

Facebook’s threat to democracy is worse than Cambridge Analytica

Over the last few months, I’ve had conversations with political decision-makers in parties that have governed Canada, Sweden, Belgium and Germany. I’ve made a point of asking a basic question: “What scares you?” What are the fracture points you see tipping your country into the sort of anti-government marginality that has seized the United States, Hungary, Poland and, recently, Italy?

Every one of their answers included a version of the same set of sentences. “We’re losing touch with a huge number of voters who are getting all their news and information from posts and videos. We just can’t reach those people any more. They’re abandoning normal politics.” Doug Saunders

Time to #deletefacebook

The cascade of revelations, about fake news, and about the casual way people’s data have been distributed to political operators, strikes at the heart of Facebook’s claims to virtue. Selling us to pop-up advertisers is one thing. Selling us to sleazy political operators, some of whom may work for Donald Trump, is something else. No wonder there’s a growing #deletefacebook campaign. One of its backers is Brian Acton, who recently sold his company, WhatsApp, to Facebook for US$16-billion. “It is time,” he tweeted Tuesday. Margaret Wente


Should I switch to high-protein bread?

A reader writes: Is “protein bread” a better choice than regular whole grain bread? What’s in it? Is it a good way to get more protein?

A higher protein intake can help preserve muscle strength in older adults and enhance the performance of athletes in training, writes Leslie Beck. But most of us are probably doing just fine on the protein front without eating protein-enhanced foods. It’s unlikely you really need the protein added to processed foods, but if you do want (or need) a protein boost from bread, you’ll need to read labels to know which ingredients you’re getting and which ones you’re not.


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A customer shows a bag of marijuana, newly purchased from a Montevideo pharmacy on the first day of legal cannabis sales in the country.Matilde Campodonico

What Canada can learn from Uruguay’s legalization of marijuana

It’s been nine months since this South American country became the first in the world to fully legalize and regulate marijuana, but with crackdowns by banks and bureaucratic backlogs, getting drugs is a challenge.

Short on options, Îles-de-la-Madeleine residents make a strategic retreat from rising seas

On a Quebec archipelago, the Gulf of St. Lawrence is slowly devouring roads and threatening communities. But after expensive and ineffective battles against erosion, many locals are moving inland instead. This is the second part of a Globe and Mail series. Part 1 looks at Halifax’s battle of the rising sea: and asks whether the city can be ready for future floods and storms?

Evening Update was written by Michael Snider. 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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