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Anti-apartheid heroine Winnie Madikizela-Mandela dies

During her husband’s 27-year incarceration, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela campaigned tirelessly for Nelson Mandela’s release and for the rights of black South Africans, suffering years of detention, banishment and arrest by the white authorities. But her legacy as an anti-apartheid heroine was undone when she was revealed to be a ruthless ideologue prepared to sacrifice laws and lives in pursuit of revolution and redress.

Her uncompromising methods and refusal to forgive contrasted sharply with the reconciliation espoused by her husband as he worked to forge a stable, pluralistic democracy from the racial division and oppression of apartheid. The contradiction helped end their marriage and destroyed the esteem in which she was held by many South Africans.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela died Monday at age 81.

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China slaps tariffs on U.S. goods

China’s finance ministry announced Sunday it would be increasing tariffs by up to 25 per cent on 128 U.S. products including frozen pork, wine and certain fruits and nuts. The tariffs, a response to U.S. duties on imports of aluminium and steel, take effect almost immediately. China’s move includes suspending some previous obligations to the World Trade Organization to reduce tariffs on 120 U.S. goods and creating additional tariffs on eight others.

After the announcement, an editorial in the widely read tabloid Global Times warned that if the U.S. had thought China would not retaliate or would only take symbolic countermeasures, it can now “say goodbye to that delusion.”

“Even though China and the U.S. have not publicly said they are in a trade war, the sparks of such a war have already started to fly,” the editorial said.

U.S. prepares to slap tariffs on Chinese goods

Sometime this week the Trump administration will unveil the list of Chinese imports targeted for U.S. tariffs. The list of US$50-billion to US$60-billion worth of annual imports is expected to target largely high-tech products to punish Beijing over technology transfer policies.

Experts predict the list will target products that benefit from Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” program, which aims to upgrade 10 strategic industries for replacing imports with Chinese-made products. Reports that the tariff list may also include consumer goods such as clothing and footwear drew strong protests from U.S. business groups, which argued that it would raise prices for U.S. consumers.

Ontario retaliates against New York State’s Buy American provisions

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced on Monday morning that Ontario will be mirroring Buy American legislation in New York State that came into effect on April 1. The new Buy American rules require the purchase of U.S.-made iron for government road and bridge projects. Ontario plans to institute what amounts to a Buy Canadian-style policy, restricting the use of iron from suppliers in New York State on government contracts.


All the talk of trade wars hit the markets hard today

Wall Street shares plunged as investors fled technology stocks amid resurgent trade war worries, with key indexes trading below their 200-day moving averages and the S&P 500 closing below that pivotal technical level for the first time since Britain’s vote to leave the European Union in June 2016.

The first trading day of the second quarter began with a broad selloff concentrated in the technology and consumer discretionary sectors, as losses by, Tesla and Microsoft, among others, took center stage from retaliatory trade measures China unveiled on Sunday.

Canada’s main stock index also dropped on Monday, led by a slide in energy companies as crude oil prices tumbled and by declines in financial companies. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index unofficially closed down 153.84 points, or 1.0 per cent, at 15,213.45. Eight of the index’s 10 main groups ended lower.

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Lawyers and academics are lauding new federal legislation on domestic abuse that they say will strengthen the courts’ definition and treatment of intimate partner violence. The new approach “has the potential to enhance the safety of victims and to increase their trust in the criminal-justice system,” University of Ottawa law professor Elizabeth Sheehy says.


Margaret Wente joins the snowbird generation

I’ve often asked my snowbird friends what the heck they do down south (apart from lounging in the hot tub as they sip their margaritas). For many years, I’ve both envied and looked down on people who go south for the winter. Softies! Real Canadians don’t flinch at the fourth ice storm of the season.

However, sometime last fall, my husband said he was thinking he might take part of the winter off, so I immediately found a place in Arizona. By the end of our month, many of our smug assumptions about snowbirds had been shattered. Margaret Wente

Don’t be fooled by the ploys of animal-exploiting businesses

When Canada Goose announced the launch of a new jacket collection to mark its 10-year partnership with Polar Bears International, the company said it will be donating a small portion of sales to the field scientists who don the brand’s coyote fur-trimmed and goose down-filled gear, whilst working to save the bears. While media headlines praised the company, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called attention to the countless coyotes caught in painful leg hold traps to make the brand’s fur-adorned hoods.

Canada Goose’s hypocrisy is blatant, as there is nothing commendable, compassionate or ethical about using money earned from the commissioned death of one animal to help save the life of another, while simultaneously keeping a massive profit for yourself. Jessica Scott Reid

Why deleting Facebook isn’t enough

While being pessimistic about the depressing tableau of Silicon Valley malfeasance is easy, let us not forget that the internet has brought tremendous value to our society. Therefore, the answer is not to lock down the open internet or even to delete Facebook (however satisfying that might feel, with 2.2 billion users it is embedded in our society). Instead, we urgently need new democratic rules for the internet that enhance the rights of citizens, protect the integrity of our public sphere and tackle the structural problems of our current digital economy. Taylor Owen


Why are gyms failing the people who need them most?

Advances in modern medicine have led doctors to a better understanding of the benefits of exercise in managing a broad range of chronic conditions, from multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and epilepsy.

Irony of ironies: Where most gyms fail is in serving people with physical disabilities or chronic medical conditions – in other words, people who, in many cases, literally need to work out to save their lives.

TP free: Why I stopped using toilet paper (and you should, too)

Toilet paper is an environmental nightmare. That, and it’s not even close to being effective at what it is meant to do. We wouldn’t wipe any other part of our body with dry paper and deem ourselves clean, yet somehow this is what we expect from toilet paper. Since making the decision to quit toilet paper, I have not used a square on my body, and I have never been more clean.


Ghosts of war: My journalist father’s Vietnam odyssey, revisited

Robert Reguly’s war reporting delivered a fearless, first-hand look at the brutality of Vietnam. Fifty years later, his son Eric Reguly retraces his footsteps.

Enbridge’s new reality

North America’s top pipeline company faces a slew of issues – from a complex corporate structure to a pipeline replacement with an unclear timeline – but easy answers are not forthcoming

Today’s Evening Update was compiled 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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