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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Bruce McArthur pleads guilty to murder of eight men linked to Toronto’s Gay Village

Nearly a decade after men started to disappear from Toronto’s Gay Village, Bruce McArthur has admitted he was the serial killer who murdered eight men, Tu Thanh Ha and Victoria Gibson write.

Mr. McArthur was charged with the first-degree murders of Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi, Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, Dean Lisowick, Selim Esen and Andrew Kinsman. Read more about the eight lives lost here.

Only a few details about the case were released in court: Mr. McArthur’s murders involved planning and were deliberate. Six of the eight killings were sexual in nature, involving ligature and confinement. Several of his victims’ bodies were staged after the killing.

The judge informed Mr. McArthur that his sentence would be life in prison; the only question is whether sentences for each murders will be concurrent or consecutive. A sentencing hearing will be held next week, when families will be able to read out victim statements, and more details about the crimes will be entered into the court record.

U.S. formally requests extradition of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou

The Canadian government has received a formal request for the extradition to the United States of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, as a judge in Vancouver agreed to a minor change in her bail conditions.

The action comes a day after the United States unsealed 13 criminal counts of conspiracy, fraud and obstruction against her and the company.

The release of the indictment documents has brought new clarity to the U.S. case, Nathan VanderKlipppe writes, but between the pages of detailed allegations lay the subtext of a shift with generational consequences.

The Dec. 1 arrest of Ms. Meng at Vancouver International Airport at the request of U.S. officials thrust Canada into a diplomatic dispute with China, which has detained two Canadians and sentenced to death a third.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said today that the government is trying to get consular access to a Canadian man arrested in Macau over the weekend on fraud allegations, but it has no reason to believe that the arrest is linked with the cases of the two other men detained in China.

Opinion: “The U.S. knows the hell it has thrown Canada-China relations into as a result of Canadian authorities having taken Ms. Meng into custody at Washington’s behest,” Lawrence Martin writes. “Where, it might be asked, is the compensation?”

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is out on bail and remains under partial house arrest after she was detained Dec. 1 at the request of U.S. authorities, leaves her home to attend a court appearance regarding her bail conditions, in Vancouver, on Tuesday January 29, 2019. Darryl Dyck/The Canadian PressDARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

Britain’s May seeks changes to Brexit deal, but EU stands firm

British Prime Minister Theresa May today won a few weeks to salvage a Brexit deal but headed toward a clash with the European Union by promising to overhaul the divorce agreement she spent a year and a half negotiating (for subscribers).

Trying to break the Brexit deadlock, Ms. May got Parliament’s backing for a bid to change an Irish border guarantee in the withdrawal deal – a provision May and the EU both approved, and which the bloc insists cannot be changed.

The Brexit process has grown increasingly surreal since Parliament rejected Ms. May’s divorce deal two weeks ago, leaving Britain lurching toward a cliff-edge “no-deal” departure from the bloc on March 29.

Canada’s online application for immigration sponsorship is discriminatory, lawyers say

A new first-come-first-served online application for immigrants seeking to sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada is being condemned as “profoundly discriminatory” after the program opened and closed in less than 10 minutes yesterday (for subscribers).

All 27,000 openings for the program this year were spoken for within minutes of the application form’s going live online. Matthew Genest, a spokesman for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, says an initial analysis shows no technical problems with the system.

But immigration lawyer Clifford McCarten is among many now raising concern about the fairness of access to the program, as only those with reliable Internet access, quick typing skills and good understanding of English or French would have had any hope of success.

Horwath says Ford government undermining inquiry into Taverner’s OPP appointment

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is accusing Premier Doug Ford’s government of undermining an independent inquiry into the hiring family friend Rob Taverner as the province’s next police commissioner, and says the appointment cannot go ahead.

Ms. Horwath said comments made by Community Safety Minister Sylvia Jones to The Globe and Mail yesterday mean that Mr. Taverner cannot be the next OPP commissioner, and the process should begin again.

Ms. Jones said she still believes he will be appointed, despite the province’s Integrity Commissioner currently probing whether Mr. Ford was in a conflict of interest when the government named Supt. Taverner to the post last November.

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MARKET WATCH

Canada’s main stock index gained today, as energy shares were buoyed by higher crude prices and precious metal mining stocks were supported by rising gold prices. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 84.52 points 15,463.14 (for subscribers).

Wall Street was mixed, with technology shares dipping ahead of Apple’s quarterly report while a rebound in 3M and other industrials elevated the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Dow rose 51.74 points to 24,579.96, the S&P 500 lost 3.85 points to end at 2,640 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 57.39 points to 7,028.29.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Nominations for this year’s Juno Awards were announced this morning, with pop superstar Shawn Mendes among the leading nominees, who also include Jann Arden and Michael Buble (for subscribers). Sarah McLachlan will host the awards March 17.

The latest episode in a long fight between Winnipeg fashion magnate Peter Nygard and New York hedge-fund billionaire Louis Bacon is a court order in the Bahamas for Mr. Nygard’s arrest (for subscribers).

Christina Haugan, widow of the Humboldt Broncos head coach Darcy Haugan, says she forgives Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, the truck driver who caused a crash that killed her husband and 15 others.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee today postponed a vote on President Donald Trump’s attorney general nominee, William Barr, as Democrats expressed concern that he might not make public a final report on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

TALKING POINTS

Closing our data gap will be good for our health

“If you don’t know the numbers, or if the numbers are not comparable, you can’t implement sound public policies. With the era of Big Data looming large, Canada’s health care data gap risks becoming a deadly chasm.” - André Picard

Read more from The Globe’s data deficit series: Divorce and marriage data crucial for understanding Canada’s public health, researchers argue

Pride at the crossroads: Party, or politics?

“The organization isn’t wrong to worry that the longer uniformed police are unwelcome, the harder it will be to throw a large, lavish festival. That might already be impossible – dismal finances have already brought a vow to reduce the number of stages this year from 14 to three. If party invitations are being culled anyway, Pride Toronto should consider who its real friends are, and who’s just in it for the loot bags.” - Denise Balkissoon

Victim statements can never truly depict the agony of loss

“Marriages never celebrated. Children never born. Grandchildren never bounced on knees. Families torn into tiny bits that can never be put back together in a form that can be called normal or familiar.” - Chris Rutkowski, whose mother was killed and father injured by a driver running a red light

LIVING BETTER

Apple has made the group chat function in FaceTime unavailable after users said there was a bug that could allow callers to activate another user’s microphone remotely. The bug was demonstrated through videos online and reported on this week by tech blogs. Reports say the bug in the video chat app could allow an iPhone user calling another iPhone through Group Facetime to hear the audio from the other handset – even if the receiver did not accept the call.

LONG READS FOR A LONG COMMUTE

Diana Athill, author of clear-eyed memoirs of love and sex, dies at 101

Diana Athill, an Englishwoman who wrote a series of critically lauded memoirs chronicling her romantic and sexual liaisons over much of the 20th century, but who attained international literary celebrity in her 90s with the publication of an installment about the waning of desire, died last week in London. She was 101.

Ms. Athill’s renown came with Somewhere Towards the End, the sixth – though by no means the last – volume of her autobiography. Published in 2008, the year she turned 91, it is a meditation on the inevitable pains, and unexpected pleasures, of aging.

Above all, she was praised for her candor. Ms. Athill was noted in particular for her clear-eyed, unflinching honesty about her sexual appetites – long deemed a taboo thing for women to have, much less write about – and the exquisite pleasure, and exquisite pain, that they had engendered. Globe subscribers, read the full obituary here.

Diana Athill, photographed in 2009 in Toronto. Tory Zimmerman/The Globe and MailTory Zimmerman/The Globe and Mail

In praise of punctuation, and my mental illness

"I spent two months actively fighting my illness. Conversations punctuated with questions marks, exclamations of both joy and anger, and many, many commas occurred daily. I cried. I learned. I grew.

"I wrote a new chapter in my story.

"I continue to value the semicolon and it is no surprise to me that the semicolon is often used as part of a movement to bring awareness to depression, mental illness and suicide. Many will draw or tattoo the punctuation mark on their skin to remind them that they are choosing to continue the sentence/their story.

“I think about using a period every day, ending the sentence rather than persisting. Sometimes this is a fleeting thought, others it is a serious contemplation.” - Andrea Mathieson

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