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Theresa May survives no-confidence vote in British Parliament after Brexit defeat

Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly survived a vote of no-confidence in Parliament today, but the result did little to quell the turmoil gripping the British government over her plan for leaving the European Union, coming a day after she suffered a historic defeat on the Brexit plan.

Ms. May has until Monday to present a new Brexit plan to Parliament, and she vowed today to work with members of parliament from all parties to move forward. She hinted at a delay from the March 29 leaving date, telling MPs the EU would agree to an extension if officials saw progress in her talks with MPs on a new deal.

Opinion: “For the first time since 2016, it is possible Brexit could be postponed, cancelled or subjected to a second referendum – outcomes that more closely reflect the democratic will,” Doug Saunders writes (for subscribers).

U.S. condemn’s China’s death sentence for Schellenberg, plus more of the latest on Canada-China’s tensions

The U.S. State Department is condemning as “politically motivated” China’s sentencing of Canadian Robert Schellenberg to death, following discussions between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland (for subscribers).

Mr. Schellenberg, originally sentenced to 15 years in prison on drug charges, was retried Monday and quickly sentenced to death. This follows the detainment by China last month of former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor in what some see as reprisal for Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the United States.

The rapid completion of the retrial and sentencing of Mr. Schellenberg was “unusual and rare,” his lawyer says, as fierce criticism erupted inside China over his legal treatment amid a widening diplomatic rift between the two countries, Nathan VanderKlippe writes.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his federal cabinet will receive a private briefing from six senior ambassadors this evening as Canada addresses the quickly deteriorating situation.

Meanwhile, in a rare meeting with foreign reporters, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei thanked Canada’s justice system for the kind treatment of his daughter, Ms. Meng.

Opinion: “Make no mistake: China is targeting Canada, and not the United States, because they see us as both weak and anxious for closer economic ties, an image reinforced by Ottawa’s previously fawning words for China,” writes Brian Lee Crowley, managing director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

Burnaby South Liberal candidate withdraws from race after comments about Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Karen Wang, the Liberal candidate running against NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh in the Burnaby South by-election in B.C., has withdrawn after she made comments that referenced his ethnicity (for subscribers).

The resignation comes after the Toronto Star quoted Ms. Wang as telling her supporters on the Chinese-language social-media platform WeChat that she is “the only Chinese candidate,” and further identifying Mr. Singh as “of Indian descent.”

A statement from the federal Liberals said her comments were not “aligned with the values of the Liberal Party of Canada” and the party accepted her resignation. In her own statement, Ms. Wang apologized to Mr. Singh.

RBC cuts five-year fixed mortgage rate, other banks expected to follow

Royal Bank of Canada has become the first major bank to lower its posted interest rate for five-year fixed-term mortgages, a move that has been widely anticipated amid tumbling bond yields.

The bank lowered its featured five-year mortgage rate today to 3.74 per cent from 3.89 per cent. Other big banks did not immediately match the rate, but Robert McLister, founder of mortgage-rate comparison website, said others will move soon.

New advisory board to help RCMP modernize after years of bullying, harassment

Ottawa is creating an external board of civilian advisers to help the RCMP modernize after years of grappling with internal bullying and harassment. Members of an interim board will be in place by April 1, with legislative changes coming this spring to make the board permanent.

Initially, the mandate of the board will focus on priorities such as supporting the development of a strategy that puts people first, RCMP business modernization and employee health and well-being. Over time, it will expand its reach into other areas of management.

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Wall Street’s major indexes hit one-month highs today as upbeat earnings from Bank of America and Goldman Sachs boosted investor sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 141.57 to 24,207.16, the S&P 500 gained 5.80 points to 2,616.10 and the Nasdaq Composite added 10.86 points to 7,034.69.

Canada’s main stock index also rose, helped by gains in bank shares as optimism spilled over from Wall Street. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 64.98 points at 15,111.26.

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Bruce McArthur, the alleged serial killer who faces murder charges in the deaths of eight men with ties to Toronto’s Gay Village, has had his case put over to Jan. 29, when his pre-trial discussions are set to continue.

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit has concluded its probe of the officers who responded to a mass shooting on Toronto’s Danforth Avenue last July – determining that their actions were not only justified, but commendable, and confirming gunman Faisal Hussain fatally shot himself.

Singer Corey Hart, whose string of hits in the 1980s included Sunglasses at Night and Never Surrender, will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame this year (for subscribers).


More and more, it looks like Donald Trump has something big to hide

“That Russian interference in the American election was abetted by Mr. Trump and/or members of his team has become more credible than not. The number of times Mr. Trump has done Mr. Putin’s bidding – on Syria, Ukraine, the European Union, at the Helsinki summit and many more – is beyond the pale.” - Lawrence Martin

Why you should forge a career path toward a job that doesn’t exist today – as I did

“A dream job is something to work toward, not something that is achieved quickly or without purposeful dedication. It is what one can provide that no one else can that will set a prospective employee apart.” - Michelle Tham, head of education for Labatt Breweries of Canada


To enjoy pasta, even on a diet, it’s all about how it is cooked and limiting the size of your portion, Lucy Waverman writes. Cook pasta to al dente, which means “to the tooth,” so that there is some firmness to the bite. Al dente pasta is lower on the glycemic index than soft, overcooked pasta, – meaning al dente pasta doesn’t spike blood sugar as rapidly. Pasta and sauce should be made separately. Sauces can made ahead of time, but cooking the pasta is a last-minute event. Globe subscribers, get step-by-step instructions here.


Businessman George Brady, 90, was a Holocaust survivor who was haunted by the loss of his sister

After his sister and parents were murdered during the Holocaust, George Brady immigrated to Canada in 1951 and began a new life, starting a plumbing business, marrying and raising four children, Tu Thanh Ha writes.

Then one day in 2000, he received mail from a stranger in Japan. “Please forgive me if my letter hurts you [by] reminding you of your difficult experiences,” a woman in Tokyo wrote to him. “... We would like to know about the time you spent with Hana before you were sent to the camp.”

It was another life-changing moment for the Czech-born Mr. Brady, who had been deported by the Nazis at 14, had survived Auschwitz but still felt responsible for the death of his sister, Hana.

In the years after he received the letter from Japan, Mr. Brady became famous around the globe as a protagonist in Hana’s Suitcase, a bestseller about him and Hana and their journey as Jewish children under the Nazis. Read the full story here.

Open this photo in gallery:

Fumiko Ishioka, director of the Holocaust education centre in Tokyo, and George Brady stand behind the replica of Hana's Suitcase. (J.P. Moczulski/The Globe and Mail)J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

Why Toronto’s condo market could get rougher this year

In recent years, Toronto’s condo market has been a story of rising prices, rising rents, limited supply and a decoupling from the detached market, Shane Dingman writes. And as analysts and developers look at 2019 there are signs the market could get rougher still for new buyers, builders and renters.

The first issue could be affordability. “New condo prices are shutting out first-time buyers in the city,” said Shaun Hildebrand, president of real estate market analysts Urbanation. Preconstruction condos are set to top $1,000 a square foot in 2019, a dramatic 68-per-cent increase from 2016’s average presale price of $595 a square foot.

Traditionally, presale condos are more expensive than what’s in the resale market (a function of having to price unbuilt condos for future sale). But over the past three years, resale condo prices soared 50 per cent, initiating a frenzy in 2017-18 where buyers rushed to lock up more almost 60,000 presale deals at what looked like sure-fire discounts.

Resale-price growth slowed in 2018, but Urbanation predicts prices could grow 6 per cent on average in 2019, extending the 19-month trend where condo prices grew faster than the detached home market – all the more remarkable when you consider that between 2012 and 2017 detached-home prices grew faster than condos for 62 straight months. Read the full story here.

Open this photo in gallery:

The condo skyline at Adelaide Street West and Spadina Avenue in downtown Toronto. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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