Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Probe into Iran’s downing of UIA Flight 752 could take years, Champagne warns
Foreign ministers from five countries whose citizens died in the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 by the Iranian military last week – Canada, Britain, Ukraine, Sweden and Afghanistan – met in London today.
Following the meeting, Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne says those countries expect Iran to deal with them on providing compensation for victims’ families, and ensure a transparent investigation into the tragedy.
He said the probe could take years to complete and that the “eyes of the international community” are on Iran, but was vague about what action the group could take to force Tehran to co-operate.
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Chief justice, senators sworn in for Trump’s impeachment trial
U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts was sworn in today to preside over President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, then immediately administered the oath to the full Senate to ensure “impartial justice” as jurors.
Earlier, House Democrats prosecuting the case stood before the Senate and formally read the articles of impeachment. Opening arguments are to begin next Tuesday.
Opinion: “The wealth of evidence against the President is now such that Senate Republicans will be presented at the trial with an integrity litmus test. Either they will make their vote on the basis of the law and the Constitution, or on the basis of craven partisan politics.” - Lawrence Martin
“If nothing else, the last couple of weeks have only cemented the conviction many have that [Trump’s] often no-holds-barred style of governing is precisely what the country needs.” - Gary Mason
Iran abandons nuclear limits, says it is enriching more uranium than ever before
Iran is now operating without any limits on its nuclear program and is enriching more uranium than it did before the 2015 nuclear agreement, President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech today.
After the U.S. assassination of Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani this month, Iran announced that it was no longer bound by the deal, which had already been renounced by the United States in 2018.
Meanwhile, Canadian special forces and other military personnel in Iraq have resumed some activities following a temporary suspension last week over fears of violence as U.S.-Iranian tensions escalated, though many others remain on lock down.
Prince Harry makes first public appearance since royal-family split
Prince Harry made his first public appearance today since the Queen agreed to a period of transition for him and Meghan Markle as they step back from their senior royal roles and seek more independence.
He hosted the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draw in his last scheduled royal engagement before the transition, during with the couple will split their time between Britain and Canada.
Opinion: “To them, independence means geographical distance. Commoners achieve this with a semester abroad or a stint teaching English to children in Vietnam. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will opt instead for extended stays in Canada, where they might be the only thirtysomethings in the country capable of affording real estate in Vancouver.” - Robyn Urback
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Supreme Court dismisses B.C. bid to limit heavy oil shipments: The Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously dismissed British Columbia’s proposal to limit the amount of heavy oil shipped across the province. The decision upholds a lower court ruling that the amendments proposed by B.C. would be unconstitutional because only Ottawa has such oversight of the federally owned and regulated Trans Mountain pipeline.
U.S. approves USMCA: The U.S. Senate has approved the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement revamping the North American free-trade agreement, sending it to President Donald Trump to sign into law. Canada still needs to approve the deal that was signed by the leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada in September, 2018.
Ford slams union leaders: Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the province’s education unions are holding parents “hostage” and insists his government won’t budge on a 1-per-cent cap on salary increases. All teachers’ unions in the province are either on work-to-rule or staging one-day walkouts. No further contract talks are scheduled.
Bombardier stock tanks after profit warning: Bombardier has once again slashed its financial estimates for 2019 and says it is weighing whether to pull out of its joint venture with Airbus and the Quebec government on the A220. Shares plummeted 32 per cent in trading today, closing down 57 cents at $1.22.
RCMP intercept more than 16,000 between border crossings: New figures from the federal government show 16,503 people were intercepted by the RCMP last year crossing between formal border points, likely to seek asylum in Canada.
B.C. court rules in favour of father over immunization: A B.C. provincial court judge says the father of two boys has the right to ensure his children receive necessary immunizations and dental treatments, despite objections from the children’s mother.
North American markets scaled new records today as the U.S.-China trade deal, strong corporate earnings south of the border and encouraging U.S. economic data lifted stocks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 267.42 points to 29,297.64, the S&P 500 gained 27.52 points to 3,316.81 and the Nasdaq Composite added 98.43 points to 9,357.13.
In Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite index closed up 69.60 points at 17,484.77.
Canadian governments ought to get serious about bringing down debt
“Ultimately, increasing government debt not only burdens current taxpayers, but also future generations of Canadians, who will repay the debt and cover the interest payments, potentially through higher taxes.” - Jake Fuss and Milagros Palacios, Fraser Institute
Cyberwar is coming to a city near you
“The future of warfare is digital. Iranian and U.S. cyber warriors have been trading punches for years, routinely infiltrating and disrupting energy companies, telecommunications firms and a wide array of critical infrastructure.” - Robert Muggah and Michael Fujimoto, SecDev Group
January is viewed by some as an austerity month, following the excesses of the holidays. But consistently good-quality wines at a decent price are something to celebrate – and stock up on – year-round. Globe wine critic Christopher Waters offers these 10 wines for consideration that deliver value with benchmark quality. They include pinot noir from France, chardonnay from Australia and syrah from Canada.
LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE
‘Womenomics’ opens doors for Japan’s female workers, but at great cost to their personal lives
After 13 years in Tokyo’s male-dominated financial sector, Mariko Magnan decided it was time for a change.
Having experienced life abroad in France and the United States, a particular aspect of Japan’s corporate culture was getting harder to ignore. Despite her past achievements – studying at Paris’s HEC business school, landing jobs at Société Générale and Goldman Sachs – she felt unable to perform to her full potential in her own country, constantly pulled between the demands of raising two young children and the expectations of her more senior male colleagues.
Japan is notorious for the punishingly long hours both male and female staff are expected to dedicate to their employers. However, the challenge is even more acute for working women, who are still largely considered to be responsible for household and family duties on top of their day jobs.
In 2016, Magnan launched TPO, Japan’s first corporate concierge service, with the aim of narrowing the gap between traditional cultural attitudes toward women’s place in society and the country’s new reality, where almost three-quarters of women are working. Read Catherine Tsalikis’s full story here.