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Trump wants to split NAFTA, negotiate separate trade deals with Canada, Mexico, adviser says

An adviser says U.S. President Donald Trump wants to break up NAFTA and negotiate separate trade deals with Canada and Mexico. If it happens, the move would shatter the world’s largest free-trade zone, worth more than $1-trillion in annual trade.

Bilateral trade deals could hurt businesses with supply chains stretching across North America. For example, many auto companies source parts from all three countries. Separate deals would also prevent Canada and Mexico from teaming up to resist the Trump administration’s protectionist negotiating demands.

The move is the latest in an ongoing push for a new North American free-trade agreement that began 10 months ago. Last week, the Trump administration hit Canada and Mexico, among other countries, with punitive tariffs on steel and aluminum (25 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively). Canada and Mexico retaliated with tariffs of their own; Canada’s take effect July 1, targeting $16.6-billion worth of U.S. goods.

If the U.S. pulled out of NAFTA, the pact would remain in force between Canada and Mexico. If this happens, a divided NAFTA could accomplish Mr. Trump’s goal of getting companies to leave Canada and Mexico and set up in the U.S. instead. “My fear is that NAFTA gets split up and the U.S. would be the only country that works in both directions,” said Christopher Sands, director of the Center for Canadian Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

The G7 Summit this week in Quebec is an opportunity to lower the heat, Derek Burney and Fen Osler Hampson write. “It gives our Prime Minister an opportunity to assert firmly but calmly – and without chest-beating histrionics – the resolve of America’s closest allies to resist the slide into an all-out trade war while at the same time lending their support for Mr. Trump’s Korea initiative.”

For a full primer on how we got here, read our explainer on the NAFTA saga so far.

Serial killer nurse Wettlaufer’s firing concealed after deal with union

Despite being fired for making a slew of medication errors, serial killer Elizabeth Wettlaufer left the nursing home where she murdered seven patients with a $2,000 payout and a positive recommendation letter.

Ms. Wettlaufer left Caressant Care in Woodstock, Ont., with a letter saying she resigned for personal reasons. The payout and positive recommendation were part of a settlement she received when she grieved her 2014 firing with the support of her union, the Ontario Nurses’ Association.

After Caressant Care, Ms. Wettlaufer murdered one more patient at the Meadow Park Long Term Care facility in London, Ont., and attempted to murder two others – at the Telfer Place nursing home in Paris, Ont., and at a patient’s residence in Ingersoll, Ont.

These new details emerged Tuesday on the first day of a public inquiry exploring how the province’s health-care system failed to stop Ms. Wettlaufer from injecting her patients with lethal doses of insulin.

Ms. Wettlaufer’s crimes went undetected until she confessed to a psychiatrist in 2016.

Ottawa allows extension for inquiry into missing, murdered Indigenous women

The Canadian government has granted the commission examining missing and murdered Indigenous women another six months to submit its final report.

The commission, set up in 2016, is investigating the systemic causes of violence against Indigenous women and girls. The government has pushed its final report deadline from Nov. 1, 2018, to the end of April, 2019. The commission asked for more time to interview survivors and family members and to conduct research.

The government is currently addressing some of the recommendations of the inquiry’s interim report that was released last fall, such as providing more health services funding for family members and others who are affected and addressing gaps in the criminal-justice system

Fashion designer Kate Spade found dead in New York in apparent suicide

Kate Spade was found dead Tuesday morning in an apparent suicide. The 55-year-old was found by housekeeping staff inside her Park Avenue apartment.

Law officials say she left a note at the scene, which told her 13-year-old daughter it was not her fault.

Spade was a famous fashion designer, and especially well-known for her accessory line. She rose to prominence in the early 1990s after co-founding Kate Spade Handbags in New York. Today, the company has more than 300 stores worldwide.

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Canada’s main stock index rose on Tuesday, propelled by gains in oil firm Enbridge and in the materials sector. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX rose 0.44 per cent to 16,122.25.

On Wall Street, the Nasdaq ended the session at a record high for the second day in a row boosted by gains in the technology and consumer sectors, and the S&P 500 inched higher as investors were encouraged by strong U.S. economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.06 per cent to 24,799.98, the S&P 500 gained 0.07 per cent to 2,748.8 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.41 per cent to 7,637.86.

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The Miss America pageant announced it’s dropping its swimsuit competition and will no longer judge contestants based on beauty. Instead, the pageant will focus on “what makes you you” and its role as a scholarship provider. The announcement came after a shake-up at the organization that put women in its top three leadership positions. The overhaul was triggered by an e-mail scandal last December in which Miss America officials ridiculed winners’ intelligence, appearance and sex lives.


Ford’s combative media strategy isn’t helping anyone

“Mr. Ford has long treated reporters like blackflies in cottage country, a pesky annoyance to be endured in brief bursts. But his current campaign, which deploys media-management tactics that have left some veteran reporters agog, seems designed to provoke the media into a hissy fit. While his opponents hammer him for his peekaboo platform and his poll numbers slip, the combative media strategy isn’t helping.” Simon Houpt

The Ontario NDP is stuck in an old groove

“The NDP, with its disparate provincial and federal factions, is like an old rock band. Its members still occasionally jam together but they’ve largely gone their separate ways, some into the mainstream, some leaning straight-edge, others dabbling in New Age. A couple of them aren’t on speaking terms.” Globe editorial

Why I want to continue leading la Francophonie

“Accusing me of extravagant spending, a ruthless campaign of disinformation has targeted expenses for renovations at an apartment owned by Canada in Paris, put at the disposal of the [Organisation internationale de la Francophonie] to serve as the official residence of the secretary general.” – Michaëlle Jean


If you‘re worried about smartphone addiction or online privacy, watch out for new controls from Apple and Google. Apple says its new operating system, iOS 12, will let users monitor and limit the time they spend on their phones and other devices. The company also announced stricter controls for how websites collect data on people and new restrictions on how apps can access users’ cameras and microphones. Google announced similar changes.


Even amid the grandeur of Budapest’s Parliament District, the gleaming Central European University building stands out with sleek lines and glass walls designed to reflect the university’s values of transparency and openness, Dan Nolan writes.

But the liberal CEU faces an uncertain future in Budapest after a 15-month standoff with Hungary’s hard-right government, which increasingly points to the university’s forced exit. The ruling party, Fidesz – led by strongman Prime Minister Viktor Orban − in April won a third consecutive mandate after a virulent campaign that branded CEU’s founder George Soros as a traitor scheming to force migrants on Hungary.

The university’s rector, Michael Ignatieff, the Canadian scholar and former federal Liberal leader, says the fight against CEU is an unprecedented attack on academic freedom.

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