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Canada Evening Update: U.S. Senators urge Trudeau to block Huawei; Belinda Stronach offered to settle dispute weeks before father’s lawsuit

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

U.S. senators urge Trudeau to block Huawei from 5G

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Two influential members of the U.S. Senate select intelligence committee have written Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, urging him to bar Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei from Canada’s next-generation 5G mobile network on the grounds the Shenzhen-based firm represents a significant security risk.

These American concerns cross party lines. The pair are Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democrat Senator Mark Warner, vice-chair of the intelligence committee. They want Canada to follow the lead of the United States and Australia in blocking Huawei from supplying equipment that will connect future smartphones to the internet and telephone network.

“As you are aware, Huawei is not a normal private-sector company. There is ample evidence to suggest that no major Chinese company is independent of the Chinese government and Communist Party − and Huawei, which China’s government and military tout as a ‘national champion,’ is no exception. ,” Mr. Rubio and Mr. Warner wrote Mr. Trudeau in an Oct. 11 letter obtained by The Globe and Mail.

The senators raise the prospect that a Canadian embrace of Huawei technology in its 5G networks could affect the sharing of sensitive and confidential information between Five Eyes intelligence-sharing allies. The United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand constitute the Five Eyes, which allows police, prosecutors and spies to exchange information to prevent espionage and terrorism.

Belinda Stronach offered to settle TSG dispute weeks before father’s suit

Frank Stronach decided to take his daughter to court over control of a $1.5-billion empire after Belinda Stronach made a take-it-or-leave-it offer to settle a two-year feud that would have seen her take control of the family’s crown jewel, its horse-racing and gambling business, sources say. Mr. Stronach, the 86-year-old founder of auto-parts company Magna International Inc. and a life-long horse-racing fan, has been battling with his daughter over leadership of their private company, the Stronach Group (TSG), which owns six prestigious U.S. racetracks, along with a 90,000-acre ranch and golf course in Florida.

Six weeks ago, advisers and friends to both sides said Ms. Stronach, 52, chairwoman and president of the family company, and TSG chief executive Alon Ossip tabled what they called a non-negotiable offer to resolve the dispute. They sought sole ownership of the horse-racing and gambling operations, which posted US$1.1-billion in sales last year. Mr. Stronach would have been left with assets that included a ranch that raises grass-fed cattle. The family company has invested more than US$300-million in the Florida project as part of Mr. Stronach’s passion for animal rights and environmentally sustainable food options.

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Mr. Stronach turned down the settlement offer and instead launched a lawsuit demanding full control of the family business, the removal of his daughter and Mr. Ossip, and $520-million in damages. The claims have not been tested in court, and Ms. Stronach and Mr. Ossip have denied allegations that they mismanaged the family business.

Turkey claims proof missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed as business, political leaders step up pressure on Saudi Arabia

Turkey’s government has told U.S. officials it has audio and video proof that missing Saudi Arabian writer Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, The Washington Post reported late Thursday. The newspaper, for which Mr. Khashoggi is a columnist, cited anonymous officials as saying the recordings show a Saudi security team detained the writer when he went to the consulate on Oct. 2 to pick up a document for his upcoming wedding.

The claim comes as global business leaders are reassessing their ties with Saudi Arabia, stoking pressure on the Gulf kingdom to explain what happened to Mr. Khashoggi. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that Canada has “serious issues” around reports about Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance, adding there is still more to learn before he’ll comment further.

Meanwhile, a delegation from Saudi Arabia arrived in Turkey as part of an investigation into the writer’s disappearance, Turkey’s state-run news agency Anadolu said. The news agency said the delegation would hold talks with Turkish officials over the weekend.

Facebook hack yielded personal information for as many as 30 million users

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Hackers stole personal information such as phone numbers and e-mails from as many as 30 million Facebook users as part of the most significant security breach in the company’s history. The social media first firm disclosed the security breach two weeks ago, at the time estimating that as many as 50 million accounts had been hacked by attackers who had exploited a complex series of bugs in the company’s software.

Facebook scaled its estimate of affected users down to 30 million in an update on Friday, but revealed that attackers had been able to access a wide array of personal details from millions of accounts. Company officials said they believe hackers used automated software to steal contact information from profiles of 29 million Facebook users and said they would notify affected users about what information was stolen and how to protect themselves against suspicious e-mails, phone calls and text messages.

For roughly half the users affected by the breach, 14 million accounts, hackers were also able to collect even more information, such as birth dates, relationship status, lists of friends, posts they had written, recent search history, and geographic information from the last 10 locations that they had checked into or were tagged in on Facebook.

Michaëlle Jean defeated in bid for second term to lead la Francophonie

Michaëlle Jean gambled and lost in her bid for a second term as secretary-general of la Francophonie when member nations chose Rwanda’s foreign minister Friday. In a closed session at the organization’s biennial summit in Armenia, the organization of French-speaking nations chose Louise Mushikiwabo to replace Ms. Jean.

The appointment was confirmed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office, which said there was “consensus” for the Rwandan lawmaker, something confirmed by several sources. ms. Mushikiwabo had the support of France and many African Union countries going into the summit. Both Canada and Quebec withdrew their support for Ms. Jean this week, saying they would back the “consensus candidate.”

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Named to the post in 2014, Ms. Jean was the first secretary-general not to come from Africa since the position was created in 1997. and had been dogged by stories of excessive spending and questionable expenses during her mandate.

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MARKET WATCH

Stock markets worldwide bounced back Friday after a multi-day sell-off. Canada’s main stock index broke its five-day losing streak, driven by gains in healthcare shares. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index finished up 97.16 points at 15,414.29.

The Canadian dollar edged higher as oil and stock prices rebounded, but the loonie was on track to end the week lower after multi-year peaks for Treasury yields contributed to market volatility.

Wall Street rose as investors returned to technology and other growth sectors, but gains were limited by ongoing worries about U.S.-China trade tensions and rising interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 287.16 points to 25,339.99, the S&P 500 gained 38.71 points to 2,767.08 and the Nasdaq Composite added 167.83 points, to 7,496.89.

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WHAT’S TRENDING ON SOCIAL

Vast region of Northwest Territories declared an Indigenous Protected Area

A vast region of the Northwest Territories that local Indigenous people call their “breadbasket” because of the abundance of wildlife has been declared permanently off limits to resource development, eight years after the federal government tried to open it to mining. The Edéhzhíe, a 14,250-square-kilometre plateau west of Great Slave Lake, was declared an Indigenous Protected Area in Fort Providence, NWT, on Thursday afternoon.

Covering a territory twice the size of Banff National Park, the Edéhzhíe is a blend of boreal forests and wetlands populated with caribou, moose, wolves, fish and other wildlife. It has been a place of cultural and spiritual significance for Indigenous people for generations, and likely for millennia. Indigenous Protected Areas are closed to development and managed with the participation of local Indigenous people. The new area is a partnership between the Dehcho – a coalition of Dene and Métis people – and the federal government. It will be managed by a board of directors, a local Indigenous conservation group known as the Dehcho K’ehodi guardians, and the Canadian Wildlife Service.

“We are proud to be working with the Dehcho First Nations to protect a very special place in Canada,” Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said. "By protecting more of nature, we are ensuring a healthier and more prosperous future for our kids and grandkids.”

TALKING POINTS

The Democrats are at a low point. Can they regain power?

“Today’s Republicans arguably dominate American politics, all branches of government, more so than at any time in their history. For the Democrats, it’s a crisis, a power outage of unique dimension. They’ve been simultaneously without power in the executive and legislative branches before but not in combination with minority court status and such a lack of representation at the state level. An opportunity awaits them in the Nov. 6 midterm elections, which the opposing party traditionally wins. But it’s no certainty that the Democrats will succeed and if they don’t, few need imagine what further humiliation they will suffer at the hands of a vindicated Donald Trump. While showing some signs of life, the Democrats remain a bewildered lot. They felt they gave the country a quality leader. Barack Obama was fair-minded, high-minded, cerebral, honourable. They can scarcely believe what’s happened since.” — Lawrence Martin

Universal basic income isn’t the answer to the looming AI job crisis

“Why don’t we just give everyone $20,000, no strings attached? That, in essence, is the policy known as Universal Basic Income, or UBI. It has gained popularity on the right and the left because of its simplicity. It would replace the basic income already provided by complex welfare and unemployment insurance plans, instead handing an above-poverty amount to every adult regardless of income or employment status. UBI appeared in the news recently when Ontario Premier Doug Ford abruptly cancelled a provincial pilot study that was giving slightly smaller amounts to about 4,000 people. The Premier was wrong to cancel the study; governments should never be enemies of knowledge. But just because it’s hated by small-minded people doesn’t mean UBI is a viable policy, or even a desirable one.” — Doug Saunders

LIVING BETTER

We should pay more attention to the social and relational contributors to our health

“A social/relational model of health asserts that healthy human beings are not isolated minds in chemical/mechanical bodies, but people in the world who engage with others in many ways, in a wide array of settings and with multiple purposes. This view is reinforced by scientific research about the need for connections with others for healthy human development. Everything from brain development to emotional maturity depends on connections to other people. Our medical model must change.” — Sholom Glouberman

LONG READS FOR A LONG COMMUTE

Vancouver’s civic election is coming up on Oct. 20. Here’s what you need to know

In just a few days, Vancouverites will be choosing a new mayor from among a crowded field of candidates, in one of the city’s most unusual races of recent memory. The candidate nominated by the incumbent mayor’s party is out of the race, while newer parties and independents are fighting over a political landscape transformed by stricter campaign-finance laws. Whoever wins on Oct. 20 will inherit messy challenges in housing policy, urban planning and more. Here’s what you need to know first.

Abortion-pill inequality: How access varies widely across Canada

Women’s health advocates have hailed the abortion pill as the key to eliminating barriers to abortion in Canada because it can be prescribed by a family doctor and taken at home, no matter where a woman lives. Yet, nearly two years after Mifegymiso became available, many women still have to travel to abortion clinics, endure lengthy waits and pay out-of-pocket if they want to use it to end their pregnancies.

Prescribing data provided to The Globe and Mail show large regional disparities in access to the abortion pill, which the World Health Organization says is a safe and effective method of terminating pregnancies in the first nine weeks. In Manitoba, where nearly 4,000 abortions are performed every year, no prescriptions for Mifegymiso have been dispensed from retail pharmacies since it came on the market, according to the data. But in Ontario, which has about 40,000 abortions every year, more than 6,600 prescriptions were dispensed last year and this year, up to August, 2018.

The figures, provided by IQVIA, a pharmaceutical analytics firm, don’t reflect prescriptions dispensed from abortion clinics. But low numbers in provinces such as Manitoba suggest that for some women, getting a prescription from a family doctor and having it filled at a local pharmacy are a challenge.

Barriers to abortion in Canada are complex and vary by region, according to women’s health advocates, who say timely access to abortions is important. Delays can affect the type of abortion a woman can receive – Mifegymiso can only be prescribed to women in the first nine weeks of pregnancy – and waiting also exposes women to pregnancy-related symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, stress and anxiety.

“This is a medical procedure that should happen in a short window of time. It impacts health if you wait,” said Frédérique Chabot, director of health promotion with Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, an Ottawa-based advocacy group. “There are piecemeal efforts made, but a systemic strategy must come from the public health system.”

Evening Update is written by Steve Proceviat. 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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