Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Eighth Canadian tests positive for coronavirus on cruise ship; second evacuation plane lands in Wuhan
A second Canadian plane has left the quarantined Hubei province, bringing home more Canadians who have asked to return from the coronavirus epicentre.
Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne says there is room for about 200 passengers on the plane, which would return tomorrow. Yesterday, officials said there are 236 Canadians hoping to board the flight from Wuhan.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the spreading coronavirus outbreak will hit the Canadian economy, in particular the tourism sector, supply chains and the struggling oil industry.
In Japan: An eighth Canadian among the 285 quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship has tested positive for the virus.
In China, authorities are stoking the state hero-making machine. Stung by criticism following the death off Li Wenliang, the doctor in Wuhan who was muzzled by police for warning colleagues about coronavirus, Chinese state-run media have been flooding news outlets with inspiring tales of new, authorized heroes.
The Globe’s Asia correspondent Nathan Vanderklippe paints a vivid picture of the country where tens of millions are under a form of medically imposed house arrest, and even mighty Yangtze waterway has gone quiet.
Opinion: This coronavirus threat isn’t over. But the time to tackle the next threat is now - André Picard
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U.S. charges four Chinese military hackers in 2017 Equifax breach
The United States has charged four Chinese military hackers in the 2017 breach of the Equifax credit reporting agency that affected nearly 150 million people – including thousands of Canadians – Attorney-General William Barr said today.
The hackers spent weeks in the Equifax system, breaking into computer networks, stealing company secrets and personal information, including social security numbers, birth dates and driver’s licence data.
Equifax agreed to pay up to US$700-million to settle claims it broke the law during the data breach and to repay affected consumers.
Chinese hackers are suspected in similar massive data breaches, including the one at hotel group Marriott International.
German politics upended as Merkel’s heir apparent unexpectedly quits
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s heir apparent shook up German politics today, saying she would step down as the governing party’s leader and not run for chancellor, fuelling uncertainty in the country seen as Europe’s anchor of stability amid Brexit and pressure from the far right.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s surprise decision upended Merkel’s plans to hand her the reins of power after more than 15 years as chancellor.
The announcement followed days of infighting within the Christian Democratic Union over the election of a state governor, in which CDU lawmakers ignored party instructions and voted with the far-right Alternative for Germany party.
Canada’s military wants Ottawa to ban Huawei from 5G
Canada’s military wants the federal government to ban Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies from supplying equipment for the next generation of wireless infrastructure, a senior official tells The Globe.
National security agencies, the military and the Department of Innovation are conducting a cybersecurity review on whether Huawei’s 5G technology would be a security risk.
The military believes Huawei is not a trusted vendor because its 5G equipment could be used for Chinese espionage or to disable critical infrastructure during an international crisis, the official said.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Tim Hortons to “refocus”: Tim Hortons is planning to “refocus” this year, after dragging down sales growth of parent company Restaurant Brands International Inc. in 2019. “We spent too much time trying to create initiatives on the fringes” rather than focusing on the core of the brand, RBI CEO Jose Cil said.
Oakland officer sues Raptors’ Masai Ujiri: Sheriff’s deputy Alan Strickland is suing Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri for damages, alleging he was injured in a shoving altercation at Oakland’s Oracle Arena during last year’s NBA Finals.
Ottawa launching consultations on Indigenous Trans Mountain ownership: Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the federal government is launching a new set of consultations with Indigenous groups that will determine if and how they might take part in ownership of the Trans Mountain pipeline and its expansion project.
Ottawa, Newfoundland reach deal on Muskrat Falls: Ottawa and Newfoundland and Labrador will rewrite the financial structure of the Muskrat Falls hydro project to shield ratepayers from paying for the megadam’s cost overruns.
Canada’s Nick Taylor wins PGA event: Canadian golfer Nick Taylor faced increasingly windy conditions, a hard-charging Phil Mickelson and his own struggles in the back nine to come out on top at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am yesterday.
Gold rose and the U.S. dollar hit a four-month high against the euro today on safe-have appeal as the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak passed that of the SARS epidemic two decades ago, but North American stock markets rallied as investors took the long view.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 174.31 points to 29,276.82, the S&P 500 gained 24.38 points to close at 3,352.09 and the Nasdaq Composite added 107.88 points to end at 9,628.39.
Canada’s main stock index rose today, led by a rally in the materials sector and consumer stocks led by Restaurant Brands. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 85.08 points at 17,740.57.
Looking for investing ideas? Check out The Globe’s weekly digest of the latest insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and what investors need to know for the week ahead. This week’s edition includes pro RRSP tips, soaring utilities and dividend growth stocks.
Oscars 2020: Tug of war between Hollywood’s woke intentions and retro behaviour continues
“The implication was that more women should be nominated in more categories, and at every such mention, the crowd cheered. But they’re the people who did the voting. They were protesting themselves.” - Johanna Schneller
Let’s not make excuses for TTC fare cheats
“Living in a big city means coping with some obnoxious forms of humanity, from the motorist who speeds through red lights to the smoker who treats the sidewalk as an ashtray. But surely one of the worst is the transit rider who doesn’t pay the fare.” - Marcus Gee
The latest episode of The Globe’s podcast I’ll Go First features Shyra Barberstock, who saw vast Indigenous talent across Canada, but not positive portrayals of her community and Indigenous business. So she launched Okwaho Network, a social-media platform that connects Indigenous entrepreneurs around the world.
LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE
The untold story of Sarah Chan, the Toronto Raptors’ dynamic new talent seeker
Toronto Raptors fans may never have heard of one of the newest talent seekers shaping the basketball team’s future, because her work largely takes place on the other side of the world. But as the manager of scouting in Africa, Sarah Chan’s mission is to unearth the next Pascal Siakam.
When Chan, from South Sudan, volunteered to help out at a basketball camp in Kenya in 2017, she had no idea she was about to meet an NBA team executive named Masai Ujiri, and that it would lead to her dream job. The Nigerian-raised Raptors president eventually asked Chan about her background. Her life story involved leaving war-stricken Sudan for Kenya, finding basketball, and playing it in the United States and around the world. It included a tryout with a WNBA team and a master’s degree in international relations.
After their 2017 conversation, Ujiri was so impressed, he hired Chan to help organize, coach and scout talent for the growing series of Giants of Africa camps he holds each summer across the continent as part of the foundation he started in 2003. This past fall, Ujiri promoted her to a newly created position. Now she also co-ordinates the Raptors’ three other scouts in Africa to scour the continent to find talent. Read Rachel Brady’s full story here.