Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
The latest on UIA Flight 752 and U.S.-Iran tensions
The victims and their families: Iran’s policy of not recognizing the second passports of dual nationals has led to intricate negotiations over how the remains of dozens of Iranian-Canadians who died aboard Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 last week will be treated, The Globe and Mail has learned.
The investigation: Investigators believe that it was a Russian-made Tor missile that shot down the plane, according to Ukraine’s top security official, who said the Kremlin is trying to undermine that version with misinformation.
Kathy Fox, head of the Transportation Safety Board, says Canadian investigators have left Turkey for Iran and are seeking to examine the plane’s flight data recorders. She expects they will have access to the crash site and to the remains of the plane, which are being reconstructed elsewhere.
Next steps: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said during an official visit to Singapore that foreign ministers from the five countries, besides Iran, that lost citizens on the plane – including Canada, Sweden, Afghanistan and Britain – would meet Thursday in London to discuss “how we are prosecuting them [Iran].”
The U.S.: President Donald Trump defended his decision to kill Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, whose assassination escalated tensions between the United States and Iran that led to last week’s missile strikes. Trump said Soleimani posed an impending threat, but added the threat “doesn’t really matter” given the military leader’s history.
Reaction: Michael McCain, CEO of Maple Leaf Foods spoke out on Twitter last night against the U.S. government’s role in the tragedy that killed all 176 people on board – including the family of a company employee.
Context: Catch up on the news and analysis and get the latest updates in our explainer here.
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The Queen agrees to let Prince Harry and Meghan live part-time in Canada
The Queen has agreed to a “period of transition” for Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, that will see them live in Canada and Britain while details of their future role in the Royal Family are worked out. She said in a statement she has asked for “final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”
The news comes after the Queen met today with Prince Charles, Prince Harry and Prince William at her Sandringham estate regarding the couple’s desire for more freedom and greater financial independence.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex caught the Royal Family off guard last week by issuing a statement that they intended to step back from senior Royal roles, something documents show they had been planning for months.
Separately, Prince William and Prince Harry issued a joint statement today denouncing a British media report that said the Duke and Duchess were pushed away by Prince William’s “bullying attitude.”
The Academy Awards: Oscar’s nominations, snubs and gender and race issues
Female directors were shut out, Parasite made history for South Korea and the Joaquin Phoenix vehicle Joker received the most nominations with 11, edged out The Irishman, 1917 and Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood with 10 apiece in today’s Oscar nominations.
Who was snubbed: In the directing category, both Greta Gerwig (Little Women) and her partner, Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story) failed to make the cut. Actors including Robert De Niro (The Irishman), Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse) and Eddie Murphy (Dolemite is My Name) were also shut out.
Opinion: “The names left off the ballot seem especially egregious, given the overwhelming male and lily-white complexion of the nominees.” - Barry Hertz
“The organization is still 68 per cent male and 84 per cent white. Until those numbers change, the nominations slate won’t either.” - Johanna Schneller
Who’s Canadian: The nominees’ Canadian contingent includes Montreal’s Meryam Joobeur, director of live-action short Brotherhood; Dean DeBlois of Aylmer, Que., director of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World; sound engineer Paul Massey, who spent his early career in Toronto, for Ford v. Ferrari; and Vancouver-born production designer Dennis Gassner for 1917.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Trump’s latest impeachment salvo: U.S. President Donald Trump says the Senate should simply dismiss the impeachment case against him, an extraordinary suggestion as the House prepares to transmit the charges for the historic trial.
HBC names new president for Canada: Hudson’s Bay Co. has named Iain Nairn, most recently CEO of Swedish stationery and gift retailer Kikki.K, as president to lead its namesake department store business in Canada.
Astros’ Hinch, Luhnow fired: Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were fired today after the pair were suspended by Major League Baseball for the team’s sign-stealing during its run to the 2017 World Series title and during the 2018 season.
BoC outlook survey: Canadian businesses and consumers remained relatively confident despite the country’s lacklustre economic performance in the final quarter of 2019, two Bank of Canada surveys indicate.
Teachers strike in Ontario: Teachers in Ontario’s English Catholic system have announced a one-day strike on Jan. 21 to step up the pressure on contract negotiations with the province.
Earthquake rattles Quebec: Earthquake Canada says a minor earthquake shook the Salaberry-de-Valleyfield region in southwestern Quebec early this morning and could be felt in the Montreal area – though there were no reports of damage, and none were expected.
Booker drops out: U.S. Senator Cory Booker has dropped out of the Democratic presidential candidate race today, saying he lacked the money to extend his bid.
Wall Street stocks rose today, lifted by optimism over the planned signing this week of a U.S.-China trade deal and hopes the start of the U.S. corporate earnings season will not disappoint. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 83.28 points to 28,907.05, the S&P 500 gained 22.78 points to 3,288.13 and the Nasdaq Composite added 95.07 points to 9,273.93.
Canada’s main stock index closed higher, despite a drop in commodity stocks. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 58.93 points at 17,293.42.
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 the best and worst rated TSX stocks, an underperforming bank pick and a simple – and winning – portfolio strategy.
The U.S.-China trade deal is bad for Canada – and we can’t do a thing about it
Here’s the problem: Whatever China commits to buying from the U.S. will inevitably come at the expense of other exporting countries. In farm products, Canada is among the countries most at risk of losing market share." - Barrie McKenna
Who should we honour next on the five-dollar bill? There’s only one choice: Terry Fox
“As the 40th anniversary of the iconic Marathon of Hope approaches, there is no better way to honour Terry Fox than to put his face on a five-dollar bill. Canada has the loonie. It has a toonie. Now it needs the Terry.” - André Picard
The Globe’s tech podcast I’ll Go First is back for a second season. Episode one features John Paul Morgan, who is the founder and CTO of Morgan Solar and an evangelist for solar power. While he does want to help stop climate change, his main concern is trying to make the world a fairer place.
LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE
Neil Peart remembered for operatic drum solos and a love for literature and language
On Jan. 7, Neil Peart, the virtuoso percussionist and philosophic lyricist for Rush, succumbed to glioblastoma. The Tragically Hip’s iconic front man Gord Downie died from the same ruthless brain cancer in 2017. Two of Canadian rock’s most peculiarly gifted and deeply literate thinkers are now gone.
Peart, retired and 67 years old at the time of his death, will be remembered for an active style of drumming that was ambitious and flamboyant yet exact – his jazzy improvisation meticulously planned. He was a cymbal-smashing sticksman who felt comfortable in difficult time signatures – like a circus daredevil on the highest of wires. As an insistent free spirit, he filled his life with adventure; in the studio and onstage, he stuffed songs with drum fills that tumbled like artful dominoes and impressionistic solos that were near operatic.
Aside from regretful 1980s fashion choices and an unpopular one-time enthusiasm for right-wing writer Ayn Rand, Peart hit all the right notes. Read Brad Wheeler’s full appreciation here.