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Thirteen Canadians detained in China since Huawei executive’s arrest, official says

Thirteen Canadians have been detained in China since the high-profile arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on Dec. 1, Global Affairs Canada has confirmed to The Globe and Mail. Until today, only three – former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig, businessman Michael Spavor and teacher Sarah McIver – were publicly known to have been detained. Ottawa says at least eight have been released, including Ms. McIver.

News of the 13 Canadian detentions came as the United States issued a new travel advisory for China, warning its citizens they could be detained without charge, Michelle Zilio writes. Although the U.S. travel advisory does not directly mention the Canadian cases, it warns Americans could be targeted in a similar way.

Social media accounts belonging to Mr. Spavor have shown brief glimmers of life in recent weeks, in what appears to be a digital glimpse into the invasive tactics being employed by those investigating him, The Globe and Mail’s Asia correspondent Nathan VanderKlippe reports. There is reason to think those reactivating his presence on Facebook, Viber and Instagram are Chinese investigators peering deep into his digital life.

Opinion: “Canada finds itself in an impossible situation, caught between the world’s two economic superpowers as they go toe to toe in a struggle for supremacy,” writes Gordon Ritchie, former Canadian ambassador for trade negotiations.

Nancy Pelosi elected speaker as Democrats take control of the U.S. House of Representatives

California’s Nancy Pelosi was elected speaker as the U.S. House of Representatives passed into Democratic hands today, the only woman who has held the office and now one of few elected officials who will be returning to it.

Representatives and senators were sworn in today, almost two weeks into the partial government shutdown triggered over funding of Donald Trump’s border wall. The standoff between legislators and the President could set the tone for a combative two years, Adrian Morrow writes. Here are five major threads that will define the new Congress, and the second half of the presidential term.

Stock markets pummeled again as fears deepen over a darkening economic outlook

Stocks tumbled today on Wall Street, with technology companies suffering their worst loss in seven years, after Apple reported that iPhone sales in China are slumping.

The rare warning of disappointing results from Apple reinforced investors’ fears that the world’s second-biggest economy is losing steam and that trade tensions between Washington and Beijing are making things worse.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 660.02 points or 2.83 per cent to 22,686.22 and the broader S&P 500 index fell 62.14 points or 2.48 per cent to 2,447.89. The Nasdaq, which has a high concentration of tech stocks, retreated 202.44 points or 3.04 per cent to 6,463.50.

The TSX also suffered losses, but not nearly to the extent as south of the border, falling 134.41 points or 0.94 per cent to 14,212.75.

Apple stock dropped almost 10 per cent, erasing more than US$74-billion in market value. That will likely cause new pain for Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, after the conglomerate suffered a big quarterly decline in its net worth that will hit its bottom line.

Bristol-Myers announces deal to acquire Celgene, creating pharmaceutical giant

Bristol-Myers Squibb said today it would buy Celgene for about US$74-billion, combining two of the world’s largest cancer drug businesses in the biggest pharmaceutical deal ever.

Both Bristol-Myers and Celgene face separate challenges, and some Wall Street analysts questioned whether the combination would solve them.

Bristol’s most important cancer immunotherapy and growth driver, Opdivo, has lost much of its lustre as Merck’s rival drug Keytruda seized dominance in advanced lung cancer. Celgene has endured high-profile clinical failures and will see U.S. exclusivity on its flagship multiple myeloma drug, Revlimid, start being phased out in 2022.

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Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu has recorded a massive tennis upset today, stunning world No. 3 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 6-4, 6-4 in the second round of the ASB Classic (for subscribers).

China reached a milestone in space exploration today, landing a vehicle on the far side of the moon for the first time, state media announced (for subscribers).

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The first image of the moon's far side taken by China's Chang'e-4 probe. (China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via AP)The Associated Press

Two deaths yesterday to note: Bob Einstein, TV’s hapless daredevil Super Dave Osborne and Marty Funkhouser on Curb Your Enthusiasm, had cancer (for subscribers). You can read Brad Wheeler’s apprecation here. Daryl Dragon, the male half of the pop duo The Captain and Tennille, whose string of soft-rock hits in the 1970s included Love Will Keep Us Together and Muskrat Love, died of renal failure. Both were 76.

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With Romney’s blast, the anti-Trump uprising begins

“Trump Republicans aren’t taking Mr. Romney’s challenge to their modern-day Nero lightly. Nor should they. His condemnation was a green light from a high priest of the party establishment to let the anti-Trump uprising begin. Others who have spoken out lack Mitt Romney’s stature.” - Lawrence Martin

Still looking for a new year’s resolution? Say nice things – to yourself

“A relentlessly mean internal voice is a hallmark of many mental-health conditions and can make it difficult to function. Resisting the dark voice with a lighter one – being as internally kind to yourself as you are to good friends – is a proven remedy, but in this cynical world, a sunshiney attitude can seem air-headed, if not pathetic.” - Denise Balkissoon


Many of us resolve to eat healthier in the new year after a holiday season of excess. But do we make the right choices? Avoid these nutrition myths, Leslie Beck advises. Follow a detox diet in January - there’s no evidence that doing so speeds the removal of toxins. Vitamin supplements are useless - if you regularly skip meals, eat a low-calorie diet or have a health condition or take medications that interfere with nutrient absorption, you may benefit from a supplement. Regular exercise beats diet for losing weight - it takes a lot of exercise to generate a calorie deficit large enough to affect the bathroom scale.


‘It was my time’: Toronto woman graduates with bachelor’s degree at 79

Osra Lindo immigrated to Canada from Jamaica and raised four children while finding work in banks around Toronto, Caroline Alphonso writes. When she enrolled at York University, the commute from her Scarborough home included both the bus and the subway and lasted almost two hours, each way.

This fall, after four years of commuting, Ms. Lindo met her goal: She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in gender, sexuality and women’s studies. She is 79 years old. “It was my time,” she said. All of her children were grown, “and that’s when I decided, yeah, I’m going to do something for me. And it was four lovely years at York.”

Ms. Lindo’s accomplishment speaks to the simple pleasure of learning no matter your age – and she’s not about to stop.

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Osra Lindo, a 79 year old grandmother who just graduated from York University. She hasn't stopped studying and is now learning to play the piano. (Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail)Moe Doiron

How I got closer to my son – with a little help from my friends

The summer he turned 3, Jackson was diagnosed with autism-spectrum disorder, Julie M Green writes. We would turn off the car radio, knowing he needed the quiet in order to decompress. Silence gradually became our family’s soundtrack. Sometimes it was belly laughs. Other times, it was my son’s shrieks, the smash of a toy thrown in frustration.

One day – by fluke – he heard When I’m Sixty-Four by the Beatles. It was love at first listen. My nine-year-old fell, and he fell hard. I’m still not sure what it was about that song that hooked him. Whatever the trigger, we were wholly unprepared for what was to come.

Whenever that song played, a light went on in his hazel eyes. The boy who rarely smiled wore a huge, goofy grin. The boy who stood rigid now choreographed a meticulous routine. "Birthday greetings, bottle of wine … " “Look!” I tugged at my hubby’s sleeve. “He’s dancing!” I was hardly able to contain my delight.

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