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Canada Morning Update: Canada arrests Huawei’s global CFO in Vancouver; Facebook gave RBC, other companies preferential access to users' data

Good morning,

These are the top stories:

Canada arrests Huawei’s global chief financial officer in Vancouver

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Canada has arrested the chief financial officer of China’s Huawei Technologies who is facing extradition to the United States on suspicion she violated U.S. trade sanctions against Iran. Wanzhou Meng was arrested in Vancouver at the request of American law enforcement authorities. A Canadian source with knowledge of the arrest said the U.S. is alleging that Ms. Meng tried to evade the American embargo against Iran but provided no further details. David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, predicted the arrest of Ms. Meng will provoke a major backlash in China and hurt Huawei’s efforts to gain business in Western countries. “This is a really big deal. Ms. Meng is by birth and position a member of China’s corporate royalty,” he said.

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Facebook gave RBC, other companies preferential access to users' data, documents show

British lawmakers released hundreds of internal Facebook e-mails including several showing how the social media giant entered into contracts with a host of large companies including the Royal Bank of Canada that gave them special access to users' friends list. The e-mails were released on Wednesday by the chair of the British House of Commons’ digital, culture, media and sport committee. The documents are part of a U.S. lawsuit filed against Facebook by California app developer Six4Three. Damian Collins, the chairman of the committee, was recently given the material by the founder of Six4Three and said the documents showed that Facebook entered into “whitelisting” agreements with companies including Royal Bank, Netflix, Airbnb and Lyft which gave them access to friends data in return for online advertising even after Facebook restricted access in 2015.

B.C. climate plan proposes changes that will affect every part of the economy

B.C.'s new climate action plan proposes sweeping changes that will touch every part of the economy from home heating to heavy transportation, using the province’s abundant supply of clean hydro-electric power to help shift individuals and industry off their reliance on the fossil fuels that currently make up two-thirds of B.C.'s energy consumption. Details of the rebates and tax credits aimed at spurring the change will not be released until budget day in February, but Premier John Horgan says his province is now back on track to cut greenhouse gas emissions in line with Canada’s international commitments on climate.

Federal government preparing to compensate survivors of physical and sexual abuse at 700 day schools

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Canada is taking another step to acknowledge the centuries of harm done to Indigenous people by agreeing to compensate those who were abused as children while attending one of roughly 700 government-funded day schools. The agreement has yet to be ratified and more details, including the range of compensation that will be awarded, will be made public early in the new year. But it is estimated that there are between 120,000 and 140,000 former students of the day schools who are still alive, and the federal government has not set a limit on the total amount it will pay out.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

At George H.W. Bush’s funeral, a rue friendship was on full display

A nation bid goodbye to George H.W. Bush with high praise, cannon salutes and gentle humour Wednesday, celebrating the life of a Texan who embraced a lifetime of service in Washington and was the last president to fight for the U.S. in wartime. As David Shribman writes, Mr. Bush’s funeral was the last breath of a long-ago time even as it was a signature American moment. On full display was the friendship endured by Mr. Bush and former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who praised the late Mr. Bush as a strong leader. What Mr. Mulroney left unsaid was that, in all of these things, he stood at Mr. Bush’s side – sometimes as negotiating partner, often as sounding board, always as ally. It is a camaraderie the world may not see again. Andrew Cohen writes that it was natural for Mr. Mulroney to lionize Mr. Bush, declaring no president of the great republic “more courageous, more principled, more honourable.”

In photos: A nation bids farewell to former U.S. president George H.W. Bush

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MORNING MARKETS

Stocks slump

Global stock markets slumped for a third day running on Thursday as the arrest of a top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Canada for extradition to the United States fed fears of fresh tensions between the two economic superpowers. The arrest of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhouof, who is also the daughter of the firm’s founder, triggered renewed fireworks coming just as Washington and Beijing prepare for crucial trade negotiations. Tokyo’s Nikkei slumped 1.9 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 2.5 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite 1.7 per cent. In Europe, stocks were also falling sharply, with London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 down by between 2.3 and 2.5 per cent by about 6:30 a.m. ET. New York futures were also down. The Canadian dollar, hit by Wednesday’s Bank of Canada decision, was below 74.5 US cents.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

A new weapon against press freedom in the Philippines

"What’s being done to Rappler reflects the Duterte administration’s wider confrontational attitude toward the media. Through social media, the President’s office has unleased its attack dogs on news organizations and journalists who report critically on the “drug war.”Carlos Conde, former correspondent for The New York Times in Manila, is the Philippines researcher for Human Rights Watch

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Mulroney, Bush and the last lyrical act of a unique friendship

“There were prime ministers and presidents who held office longer than Brian and George. But none maintained a friendship longer, out of power, with the depth of affection that Mr. Bush and Mr. Mulroney did. And so that’s why Brian Mulroney stood in the well of the Washington National Cathedral Wednesday. He was saying farewell, amid laughter and tears, to a friend.” – Andrew Cohen, former Globe and Mail correspondent in Washington, is a journalist, professor and author of Two Days in June: John F. Kennedy and the 48 Hours That Made History.

LIVING BETTER

Wine just tastes better sipping it on the property where the grapes are grown and while learning about the intricate process. This is why wine tours are so appreciated: the process is explained and the visitors can drink. Transportation can often be difficult for wine tours, which is why the 4 Barrels Walking Wine Tour in New Zealand’s Central Otago region is the perfect mix. A self-guided, free tour that takes in four wineries in Cromwell (east of Queenstown) on an eight-kilometre loop, and can be completed in about four hours, including fairly leisurely tastings; a bit longer if you want to include lunch.

MOMENT IN TIME

Camp X opens

Dec. 6, 1941: It was North America’s first spy school – a place where aspiring assassins, saboteurs and signal interceptors learned their skill sets. And how to put them to use against the Nazis. Known to the Canadian, U.S. and British governments by different names at different times, it was a place to learn the fundamentals about the dark arts of espionage. How to kill a targeted German. How to bomb trains and factories. How to capture radio airwaves and mine them for intelligence value. Located near Oshawa, Ont., on the shores of Lake Ontario, Camp X was the brainchild of a Canadian working for British intelligence – William Stephenson, the man called Intrepid. Pearl Harbor exploded a day after the doors opened, so it wasn’t long before angry American agents flocked north to use the camp, too. They had nothing like it at the time. Operatives from around the world were trained at the camp before being dropped behind enemy lines in Europe. When the Nazis were vanquished in 1945, Camp X was wound down, but it briefly became home to Igor Gouzenko. The Soviet embassy cipher clerk had defected to Ottawa to tell tales about allied Moscow becoming an enemy. – Colin Freeze

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