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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Ottawa working with Burkina Faso to catch those who killed kidnapped Canadian: Freeland

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada is working with the government of Burkina Faso and other international partners to pursue those responsible for the killing of Canadian citizen Kirk Woodman, Janice Dickson writes.

Mr. Woodman was abducted on Jan. 15 by a dozen gunmen on a mining site owned by Vancouver-based Progress Minerals near the border with Niger, an area that the government says is under growing threat from armed jihadists. A spokesman for Burkina Faso’s security ministry confirmed today that he had been found dead.

He’s the second Canadian to go missing in the West African country in recent weeks. Edith Blais from Quebec and her Italian friend Luca Tacchetto have not been heard from since Dec. 15, when they were travelling in the western city of Bobo-Dioulasso.

The latest on Huawei and the escalating Canada-China battle

A Canadian woman whose pro-democracy father is imprisoned in China was detained and intimidated by Chinese security authorities while transiting through Beijing International Airport yesterday. The temporary detention of Ti-Anna Wang, her infant daughter and husband appears to be the latest reprisal as China campaigns to force the return of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Canada Dec. 1 at the request of the United States.

Separately, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet met with six senior ambassadors last night as Canada mounts an international campaign to gain global allies. Calling China’s behaviour “a threat to all countries,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says she welcomes the support Canada has received as it opposes China’s treatment of three Canadians: Robert Schellenberg, sentenced to death on drug charges, and former diplomat Michael Kovrig and enterpreneur Michael Spavor, detained since mid-December.

Opinion from Campbell Clark: “Does Canada have weighty support in the world, or is it as good as alone in facing intimidation from a rising superpower?”

Opinion from Canada’s former ambassador to China, David Mulroney: “If China truly wishes to be understood, something that is important for all of us, it should do more to protect those who actually help us understand.”

Meanwhile, U.S. prosecutors have launched another criminal investigation of Huawei – for stealing American trade secrets – as the United States campaigns to persuade allies such as Canada and Britain to ban the telecom-equipment maker’s gear from next-generation 5G networks.

Today, China’s envoy to Canada warned Ottawa about possible repercussions if it banned Huawei from supplying equipment to Canadian 5G networks.

And the University of Oxford in Britain says it has stopped accepting funding from Huawei after scrutiny over the company’s relationship with China’s government.

Ontario government rolling back Liberal-era student-aid reform

Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives are rolling back student aid reforms brought in under the previous Liberal government as part of a package of changes to postsecondary education funding announced today, Joe Friesen writes.

The government announced that some of the grants billed in 2016 as “free tuition” will be reduced. Students in the lowest income bracket will now receive a portion of their student aid as a loan

Minister of Training Colleges and Universities Merrilee Fullerton also announced a 10-per-cent reduction in tuition fees for domestic students at Ontario colleges and universities. The reduction in revenue will not be made up by the government elsewhere, and will likely force universities and colleges to adjust their budgets.

Vast majority of Canadian food waste takes place within the food industry - and not at the household level, study finds

More than half of all food produced in Canada is wasted, with the food industry putting the vast majority of it into landfills, according to a new study.

The study released today shows that the level of food waste in Canada is far worse than previously believed, Ann Hui writes, with 58 per cent of all food produced either lost or wasted. It also finds 86 per cent of that waste takes place within the food industry and not in households.

At the production level, the study says, farmers often discard fruits or vegetables considered “imperfect.” Products are also often thrown out based on overly conservative best-before dates. Some food is used as animal feed or fertilizer, or donated to food banks, but much of it is simply thrown out.

Separately, scientists have unveiled what they say is an ideal diet for the health of the planet and its populations - including a doubling of consumption of nuts, fruits, vegetables and legumes, and a halving of meat and sugar intake.

UN calls on Canada to remove sexist sections from Indian Act

The United Nations Human Rights Committee says Canada must remove the discriminatory sections of the Indian Act that deny First Nations women the same rights to Indian status as the act gives to men, Gloria Galloway writes.

The federal government is aware of the sexist sections of the legislation and embarked more than a year ago on an open-ended consultation with First Nations about how it can be fixed.

But the UN committee says it is not good enough to have a consultation with no fixed end date.

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MARKET WATCH

U.S. stocks advanced today as a published report that the United States was considering lifting tariffs on Chinese imports lifted investor sentiment (for subscribers). The report was later denied by U.S. Treasury Department officials. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 162.94 points to 24,370.10, the S&P 500 gained 19.86 points to end at 2,635.96 and the Nasdaq Composite added 49.77 points to close at 7,084.46.

Canada’s main stock index also rose, extending its winning streak. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 99.96 points at 15,211.22, lifted in part by bank stocks.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

The Liberal party has swiftly rejected a bid by Karen Wang, the former candidate in the B.C. by-election in Burnaby South candidate, who hoped for a “second chance” to run for the party after making online comments about the ethnicity of NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh (for subscribers).

Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, said today he paid a firm to manipulate online polling data “at the direction of and for the sole benefit of” Mr. Trump.

Donald Trump’s current lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who along with the President has repeatedly denied that any collusion occurred between Russia and other people in the 2016 campaign, retreated from those earlier broad statements, saying he had no idea whether any aides colluded with Moscow during that time.

Canada’s Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov have advanced to the third round of the Australian Open, while Eugenie Bouchard and Bianca Andreescu lost their second-round matches (for subscribers).

Sears Holdings chairman Eddie Lampert won a bankruptcy auction to buy the once iconic U.S. retailer after presenting an improved offer of US$5.2-billion, Sears said today, allowing it to keep its more than 400 U.S. stores running.

TALKING POINTS

Gillette: The bad boy of razors meets the #MeToo movement

“The company’s socially conscious message – already viewed millions of times on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook – just might change some minds in the #MeToo era. But can the campaign change the image of Gillette, a renowned corporate bully in the shaving business?” - Barrie McKenna (for subscribers)

The cabinet shuffle says little about Jody Wilson-Raybould – and plenty about the government

“Over the past number of months, Ms. Wilson-Raybould gave a series of speeches bluntly calling out the government’s failures on the reconciliation front – a timely recognition that the current gap between the Trudeau government’s rhetoric on relations of Indigenous peoples and the reality of their actions was too great.” - Merle Alexander, Leah George-Wilson, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, Val Napoleon, Doug White and Naiomi Metallic

There is little evidence to support a 70% marginal tax rate for the rich

“Canadian individuals are already being taxed to death. A socially optimal tax rate that seeks to maximize the redistribution of income from one class of Canadians to another is an idea whose time has not come. Instead, the government should repeal its 4-percentage-point rate hike from 2016 and return the top personal marginal rate to just below the psychological barrier of 50 per cent.” - Allan Lanthier

LIVING BETTER

Many wine lovers who rely on the 100-point system are on the hunt for products that rank 90 or above, Beppi Crosariol writes. Those people operate on the not-unreasonable assumption that A-level wines are blatantly better than the ones that earn a B-plus. And they would be dead wrong. There’s big value on the humbler side of 90. Globe subscribers, here are nine that score just shy of 90.

LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE

What is lidar? Only the most important automotive technology in years

Solid-state lidar – it’s a term that inspires unrecognizing shrugs from drivers at best. At worst, it provokes yawns of disinterest, Peter Nowak writes.

But it’s arguably the most important technological development in cars in years – one that safety-conscious drivers definitely should know and care about. It’s going to be a core piece of many new vehicles, whether they have self-driving capabilities or not. And it’s about to go mainstream.

The word “lidar” itself is a portmanteau that combines the meanings of “light” and “radar” into, well, a sort of light-based radar. Regular radar detects its position by emitting microwaves, which bounce off surroundings and relay back to a sensor at their source. The radar can thus paint a rudimentary picture of what’s around it and how far away those things are.

Lidar works on the same premise, except it emits laser pulses – thousands per second – instead of microwaves. The lasers provide a more accurate picture than radar and can create three-dimensional images of the vehicle’s surroundings, effectively giving it a sort of robotic vision.

Open this photo in gallery:

Illustration of solid state lidar.Velodyne

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