These are the top stories:
Iran warns European troops could be next to be endangered
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday warned European troops in the Middle East could be “in danger” after three European nations intensified the pressure on Iran by triggering a dispute mechanism in a 2015 nuclear agreement.
“Today the American soldier is in danger, tomorrow the European soldier could be in danger,” Mr. Rouhani said at a televised cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
He gave no further explanation, although several European nations have troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Swift arrests prompt concerns: Ukraine’s deputy prosecutor-general says the arrests raise worries that Iran is reaching conclusions before an international investigation gets under way.
Video emerges showing two missiles: A video published by The New York Times appears to show Flight 752 was hit by not one, but two, missiles in the minutes after takeoff. The footage, taken from a rooftop security camera, shows what appears to be a second missile striking the plane 23 seconds after the first.
Canada prepares to host meeting: Foreign ministers from Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan and Britain – the five countries besides Iran that lost citizens in the crash – will convene tomorrow as they seek a joint approach on the disaster. That could end up including some form of legal action against Iran.
Republican pushes back on Trudeau’s remarks: Kevin McCarthy, the top House Republican, said “there’s no blame here for America” over the plane crash. His comments followed the Prime Minister’s contention that Canadian victims would be “home with their families” if there hadn’t been an escalation in U.S.-Iran tensions.
Views from our Opinion section
Globe editorial: “the problems with the killing of Gen. Soleimani … are mitigated when the focus shifts away from how the current U.S. President ought to behave (but never will), and turns to the actions of Iran.”
Dennis Horak, Canada’s former Iran envoy: “Sadly, these protests [in Iran] are likely to end in very much the same way the previous ones have, with arrests, beatings and deaths in the streets of Iranian cities.”
Alireza Nader, fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies: “It’s time [for Canada] to side with Iranians’ struggle for freedom and dignity by designating the Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organization and adopting a policy similar to the ‘maximum pressure’ policy pursued by the U.S.”
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An insurer is suing to recover $200-million from a former Bondfield Construction CEO
Zurich Insurance has filed legal action against the former head of a major Ontario construction company as it seeks to recover $200-million it says it paid out as a result of Bondfield’s collapse.
The insurer alleges John Aquino “misappropriated” or misused funds that should have been reserved to pay subcontractors and suppliers.
Bondfield – one of the largest builders of Ontario public sector projects, including hospital redevelopments – has been operating under bankruptcy protection since last April.
RCMP viewed Wet’suwet’en protesters as ‘radicalized,’ court documents show
Recently revealed court documents show that police characterized activists as holding “radicalized ideology” during last year’s standoff over the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northeastern B.C.
The documents also include a five-step process the RCMP followed when they arrested 14 protesters on Jan. 7, 2019.
The insight into police procedures comes as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and protesters vow to again defend unceded territory, with dozens of trees felled to block construction workers.
GasLink’s president has sent a letter to request a meeting with Indigenous leaders, an offer rejected by one hereditary chief who said he wants talks with the B.C. and federal governments.
U.S. politics: Democrats debated in Iowa as an impeachment trial nears
Bernie Sanders took aim at the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal, saying it would benefit “large corporations” at the expense of workers and the environment. He also sparred with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as the fight for the left-wing vote was thrust into the spotlight with the first primaries weeks away. Here are the highlights from Tuesday night’s debate.
The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote today to send the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate, which could begin trial proceedings as early as tomorrow. Democrats also released a trove of new documents on the Trump-Ukraine saga.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Juul temporarily halts production of some vape flavours: The action by Juul Labs Canada comes as it waits for new federal rules that could impose restrictions on vaping products. Mango, vanilla, fruit and cucumber are the flavours Juul is pausing; studies have shown that teens are attracted to e-cigarettes because of their flavours.
The price of protecting Harry and Meghan: An expert says security costs for Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, while they’re living in Canada could run more than $10-million per year. Ottawa has yet to say whether it will cover any of the anticipated expenses.
RCMP investigations could lead to first test of DPAs: Two RCMP cases examining alleged foreign corruption could lead to the first use of deferred prosecution agreements, a tool that was thrust into the spotlight amid the SNC-Lavalin scandal.
World stocks pause to gauge China-U.S. trade outlook: World stocks eased off record highs on Wednesday and U.S. and German bond yields slipped as euphoria over a Sino-U.S. trade deal was depleted by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying tariffs on Chinese goods would remain in place for now. Tokyo’s Nikkei and the Shanghai Composite each lost 0.5 per cent, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 0.4 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.2 per cent by about 5:30 a.m. ET, with Germany’s DAX down 0.1 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 down marginally. The Canadian dollar was at about 76.5 US cents.
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
The best new things to see and do in Canada in 2020
Looking for an outdoors activity? “The world’s first interprovincial zip line” is slated to start linking Ottawa and Gatineau this summer.
Those seeking a family fun may want to check out a new multimedia night walk running at the Toronto Zoo until April.
And for a camping experience, visit B.C.'s Mount Revelstoke National Park, which is set to open a new frontcountry campground – and you don’t have to bring a tent.
Go here for more Canadian travel suggestions.
MOMENT IN TIME
Coronation of Elizabeth I of England at Westminster Abbey in 1559
Jan. 15, 1559: It was a cool Sunday morning on this date in 1559 when Elizabeth, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, entered Westminster Abbey. She wore the same gold-cloth robes her half-sister Mary had when she was crowned sovereign five years earlier. The Gothic church was dazzling with many lush tapestries and a carpet of blue velvet that led to a giant stage in the middle of the cathedral. In a traditional ceremony almost 600 years old, Elizabeth ascended the high altar and the congregation was asked if they would accept her as queen. A resounding “Yes” was followed by a cacophony of bells, organs, fifes, trumpets and drums. In a service as much sacred as secular, she was consecrated and anointed and crowned. The service was in Latin and, for the first time, English and included, for the last time, a Catholic mass. Afterward, there was a banquet feast at Westminster Hall. It started at 3 p.m., featured jousting and much merriment, and ended at 9 p.m., when the Queen retired for the evening. Elizabeth’s reign lasted 45 years. – Philip King