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Facebook shares take a hit in wake of abuse of data revelations

Facebook shares fell nearly 6.8 per cent today as politicians in the United States and United Kingdom reacted to the news that the private data of tens of millions of Facebook users was misused. Legislators are threatening to haul Facebook executives, including founder Mark Zuckerberg, before committees in the coming months to explain how an advertising-data firm that helped Donald Trump win the U.S. presidency was able to harvest the personal data.

And at the centre of the storm is a 28-year-old Canadian who has emerged as a whistle-blower. In media reports, Chris Wylie described working with former Donald Trump aide Steve Bannon to mine data, after first finessing a massive dataset from Facebook, drawing upon the personal data of 50 million users.

The West takes stock of Putin’s election win

Many in the West will look at the result of Sunday’s election and shrug. But inside Russia, the scale of Mr. Putin’s victory matters. The 77 per cent who voted for Mr. Putin is 13 points greater than six years ago when he was facing an equally unimpressive field of challengers and there were many more allegations of election fraud. As Mark MacKinnon writes from Moscow, if you’re a Russian who believes your country should be a part of Europe and the West, Mr. Putin’s thumping win is meant to tell you that you’re in a tiny minority.

Ottawa imposes packaging rules for cannabis

The federal government announced tight new restrictions to limit the number of colours and the use of graphics on legal cannabis products in an effort to make the product unappealing to young Canadians. Health Canada is calling for packaging of cannabis products that is child-resistant, opaque, without any graphics or images, and all in one uniform colour. In addition, all products will need to include health warnings, a new logo with a cannabis leaf and the letters THC, and information on levels of active ingredients in the cannabis.

Canadian security officials sound warning over China’s Huawei

Three former directors of Canada’s key national security agencies are urging the federal government to heed the warnings of U.S. intelligence services and cut Canadian ties with Huawei, the giant Chinese smartphone and telecom equipment maker. Ward Elcock, John Adams and Richard Fadden spoke after the heads of U.S. spy agencies told the U.S. Senate intelligence committee that Huawei’s smartphones and networking equipment could be used to conduct undetected espionage, especially the next, advanced generation of 5G technology.

Feds, Ontario, Quebec to invest $200-million in 5G research labs

The federal government and the provinces of Ontario and Quebec are investing $200-million in a series of linked laboratories for 5G technology, hoping to spur the development of Canadian innovations to run on the next generation of wireless networks. 5G refers to the fifth generation of cellular network technology that some international wireless carriers are planning to deploy as soon as late 2018. The latest iteration of wireless technology will support much faster smartphone download speeds and is expected to enable innovations such as autonomous vehicles, smart cities and augmented-reality applications.

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The close: Facebook plunge leads Wall Street sell-off

U.S. stocks dropped on Monday, with the S&P and Nasdaq suffering their worst day in just over five weeks, as concerns over increased regulation for large tech companies was spearheaded by a plunge in Facebook shares. The stock had its worst day since March 2014 and was down 10.8 percent from its closing record hit on Feb. 1, to put the stock squarely in correction territory, a drop of 10 percent from its high. Facebook’s plunge weighed heavily on the S&P technology sector, down 2.11 percent, as well as the Nasdaq, off more than 2 percent. Both indexes had their worst daily performance since Feb. 8.


How Donald Trump threw Canada’s refugee system into turmoil

Ottawa was forced to set aside $173-million to pay for extra patrols at border crossings to cope with the influx, as well as security screening and processing of refugee applications.


Is Trump the precursor to a new style of presidency or an aberration?

Donald J. Trump serves as President in an age of informality, and he treats the duties and set-piece responsibilities of the presidency with informality. He is chief executive in an era of social media, and his early morning tweets both set and reflect the zeitgeist of the Twitter age. Mr. Trump presides in an age of disruption, and he is a disruptor. Supporters and detractors agree that Mr. Trump is a different kind of president – and wonder whether his departures from form are precursors to a new style of the presidency or merely an aberration. David Shribman

What we can learn from Hedley’s #MeToo demise

This influential sway of social media at a time of heightened sensitivity speaks to how carefully we must tread when it comes to navigating allegations of sexual assault. At the core remains the critical question of how we should balance justice for victims while maintaining the rights of the accused. Debra Soh

Ontarians will pay a price if Doug Ford keeps his budget promises

Doug Ford’s most pressing policy task is to present a convincing fiscal plan for the imminent election. He needs a budget true to his aw-shucks conservative populism – but also one that adds up at the bottom. This will not be easy. Arithmetically, he has three options: increase taxes; tolerate a deficit; or cut spending. Jim Stanford


DNA on drugs: How genetic tests could make prescriptions more precise

It’s well known that different people can react differently to the same drug, with some patients feeling no effect – and some experiencing unwanted, even fatal, reactions. Now that reading patients’ DNA has become cheap and easy, pressure is mounting to make gene-guided prescriptions a regular part of publicly funded medicine


After a three-year delay, Nordstrom is ready to launch in Canada

Nordstrom is set to open as many as 15 Rack stores in Canada, starting with the first one on Thursday in the Vaughan Mills mall north of Toronto

I would walk 100 miles: A woman’s journey on the coldest ultramarathon on Earth

What can you learn about yourself by testing your mettle against the wilderness? Eva Holland entered one of the world’s most gruelling and coldest ultramarathons to find out

Evening Update is 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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