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Canada Evening Update: Trump warns Democrats, forces out Sessions; Clement leaves Conservative caucus over social-media activities

Good evening,

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Trump says he won’t work with Democrats if they investigate his administration

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During a combative news conference today, President Donald Trump warned he would adopt a “warlike posture” if the new Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives used its powers to press investigations into his administration.

Following midterm elections yesterday, Democrats will now head House committees that can probe the President’s tax returns – which he has refused to turn over – possible business conflicts of interest and any links between his 2016 election campaign and Russia, a matter also being investigated by U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller.

Lawrence Martin sees good news for Canadians: “While voices of reason and civility didn’t get the full repudiation of him that they wanted, the President is weakened.”

Not so fast with the celebration, Sarah Kendzior argues: “It is hard, however, to rejoice at the Democrats’ gain of the House when the worst impulses of humanity are routinely stoked by the man who holds the highest power, and echoed by his GOP lackeys.”

Yesterday’s results did bring some notable firsts: Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota became the first Muslim women elected to the House. Two Native American women were elected to the House: New Mexico’s Debra Haaland and Kansas’s Sharice Davids, who is also openly gay. Colorado’s Jared Polis became the first openly gay man to be elected governor.

Up for re-election yesterday was county clerk Kim Davis, who gained notoriety for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licences in Kentucky. She lost.

Here are The Globe’s key takeaways from the U.S. midterms.

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U.S. attorney-general Jeff Sessions resigns at Trump’s request

Attorney-general Jeff Sessions was pushed out today after enduring more than a year of blistering and personal attacks from President Donald Trump over his recusal from the Russia investigation. Mr. Sessions told the President in a one-page letter that he was submitting his resignation “at your request.”

Mr. Trump blamed the recusal for opening the door to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller. The implications for Mr. Mueller’s investigation were not immediately clear.

Tony Clement leaves Conservative caucus over social-media activities

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has forced MP Tony Clement to resign from caucus after a number of women complained about his behaviour on social media, Daniel Leblanc and Laura Stone write.

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Mr. Clement announced yesterday he had resigned from a number of parliamentary duties, after acknowledging that he faced an extortion attempt after he sent out sexually explicit pictures and videos online.

He was initially kept in caucus, but that situation changed today after a number of women said on social media that Mr. Clement’s interactions had made them feel uncomfortable.

Doug Ford admits former minster Jim Wilson resigned over sexual misconduct allegation

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has publicly admitted for the first time that he forced former trade and economic minister Jim Wilson to resign over allegations of sexual misconduct, not only addiction issues as originally claimed by his office, Laura Stone writes. Speaking to reporters today, Mr. Ford said he has “zero tolerance” for improper behaviour. He also said: “The addiction issue is a real issue. Mr. Wilson has gone to rehab.”

The Premier also confirmed his office launched third-party investigations into Mr. Wilson and Andrew Kimber, one of Mr. Ford’s former top staffers who also resigned last Friday over allegations of sexually inappropriate text messages. “In the case of Andrew Kimber one person came forward, an investigation was immediately launched, since then others have come forward. The investigation is ongoing,” a spokesman said.

Marco Muzzo, drunk driver who killed four near Toronto, denied parole

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Marco Muzzo, the drunk driver who killed three young children and their grandfather in a crash north of Toronto three years ago, has been denied parole. A Parole Board of Canada panel says he has not addressed his alcohol misuse, and denied him both day parole and full parole.

The September, 2015, crash claimed the lives of nine-year-old Daniel Neville-Lake, his five-year-old brother Harrison, their two-year-old sister Milly and the children’s 65-year-old grandfather, Gary Neville. Mr. Muzzo was speeding and drove through a stop sign, T-boning a minivan carrying the family, his court case heard.

Daniel, Milly and Harrison Neville-Lake

Kay Prince Photography/THE CANADIAN PRESS

MARKET WATCH

Canada’s main stock index closed higher today, after strong quarterly results from tech companies boosted the market and investors dove back into marijuana stocks. U.S. stocks ended more than 2 per cent higher with broad gains led by the technology and healthcare sectors as investors, relieved to have midterm elections behind them, made bets that a divided Congress would be good for equities.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index close up 76.72 points at 15,369.43. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 545.29 points to 26,180.30, the S&P 500 gained 58.44 points to 2,813.89 and the Nasdaq Composite added 194.79 points to end at 7,570.75.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Ottawa toughens rules for prisoner transfers to healing lodges

Under new rules announced today, federal prisoners won’t be eligible for transfers to Indigenous healing lodges without secured perimeters until they’re into the “preparation for release” phases of their sentences. The move comes after public anger that Terri-Lynne McClintic, convicted of murdering eight-year-old Tori Stafford, was moved to a healing lodge in Saskatchewan from a traditional prison.

4,500 Ontario Cannabis Store customers affected by Canada Post privacy breach

Canada Post says someone used its delivery tracking tool to gain access to personal information of 4,500 Ontario online cannabis customers. The postal service did not say what information was compromised in the privacy breach, but the Ontario Cannabis Store says it includes postal codes, dates of delivery of cannabis and who signed for the package.

POPULAR WITH READERS

Speaker rebukes Morneau over ‘massive’ budget bill

For the second year in a row, Speaker of the House of Commons Geoff Regan has chastised Finance Minister Bill Morneau for stuffing measures into a bill that were never mentioned in his budget, Bill Curry writes.

He has ruled that measures in Mr. Morneau’s 854-page budget bill – which Mr. Regan called “massive” – related to new federal labour laws were not mentioned in the 2018 budget and will therefore be voted on separately by MPs.

The Speaker has been given the power to order separate votes on bills – part of a Liberal Party campaign pledge to stop the misuse of omnibus bills. But since taking office, the Liberals have repeatedly been accused of using large omnibus bills to avoid scrutiny.

TALKING POINTS

The case for 30-year mortgages as a financial stress reliever for new buyers

“The No. 1 question to ask about your next mortgage is not whether you got the lowest possible interest rate, or how fast you’ll pay it off. Instead, ask yourself this: How much stress will your mortgage cause you in the years ahead? If the lowest rate mortgage fries your nerves, it’s arguably not the best deal.” - Rob Carrick

Fixing solitary isn’t enough. Canada’s prisons need to be reformed top to bottom

Canada can’t tear down all of its prisons and start over. But without a drastic reform, the only alternative is to keep trying to limit the worst abuses, such as with solitary confinement, while leaving unchanged the structural problems that make our prison system a self-defeating relic of another era. - Globe editorial

LIVING BETTER

It’s just about time to stock up for holiday entertaining, so Beppi Crosariol asked the pros for their top picks on what wines to keep on hand – for $20 or less. Véronique Rivest, owner of Soif Bar à Vin in Gatineau and one of the top palates in the world, recommends a Bordeaux that’s less than $16 in Quebec: Château Puy-Landry Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 2016.

Prefer white? Bryant Mao, wine director at Hawksworth Restaurant in Vancouver, loves a great Australian choice: Pewsey Vale Riesling 2017. A go-to sparkling option for Andrea Vescovi, general manager and wine director at Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio in Vancouver, is this cava from Spain: Segura Viudas Brut Reserva. Find more house wine selections here (for subscribers).

LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE

Sale of Rogers magazines to publisher of The Hockey News falls apart

A deal in the works for Rogers Communications Inc. to sell most of its magazines to the publisher of The Hockey News has fallen apart at the last minute, Susan Krashinsky Robertson writes. (for subscribers) The company is still seeking a buyer, sources tell The Globe.

In August, Rogers put eight print and digital titles on the block – Maclean’s, Canadian Business, MoneySense, Today’s Parent, Hello! Canada, Flare and Chatelaine’s French and English editions – along with its custom-content group.

Roustan Media, owned by Graeme Roustan and publisher of The Hockey News, emerged as the lead bidder and entered exclusive negotiations. But late last week, Rogers expressed a desire to examine other potential offers and Mr. Roustan withdrew from the process, sources said.

Evening Update is written by S.R. Slobodian. If you’d like to receive this newsletter by e-mail every weekday evening, go here to sign up. If you have any feedback, send us a note.

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