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The key changes coming to domestic violence law

Experts say the proposed changes put forth by the Liberal government as part of justice-system reforms go a long way toward modernizing the Criminal Code for domestic abuse cases. For example, repeat offenders would have to prove why they should be released on bail, instead of the Crown having to make the case to keep them in jail. Additionally, “intimate partner” would be the new term used instead of “spouse” and “common-law partner,” a key acknowledgment of dating violence. (Statistics Canada found dating violence accounted for more than half of all domestic-violence court cases).

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Canada’s Hudson’s Bay Co. was hit with a data breach

The company says payment information may have been stolen from those who shopped at Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off Fifth and Lord & Taylor stores in North America. Information from five million credit cards may have been compromised, according to a cybersecurity firm’s analysis. The firm said three Canadian Saks locations were affected by the breach, but HBC hasn’t provided any specifics. Hudson’s Bay and HomeOutfitters locations don’t appear to have been affected, HBC said.

Assisted death allowed a couple married nearly 73 years to die together

George and Shirley Brickenden met during Christmas in Halifax in 1944. Last week, after almost 73 years of marriage, the couple died while holding hands in their bed at a Toronto retirement home. As health reporter Kelly Grant writes: “The Brickendens are at the vanguard of patients and families who are creating new rituals around dying in Canada – the kind of rituals that are only possible when death comes at a previously appointed hour. But cases like theirs also raise uncomfortable questions about whether the vague eligibility criteria in Canada’s assisted-dying law are sometimes being interpreted more broadly than the government intended.”

Israelis and Palestinians are engaged in a war of words over Friday’s Gaza violence

Eighteen Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops on Friday amidst a protest near the Gaza Strip border. Palestinians and human-rights groups say the protest was legitimate and Israel’s military overreacted. But Israel says its actions were necessary to prevent a breach of its borders. The United Nations and European Union have called for an independent investigation into what happened, a demand rejected by Israel’s defence minister.

China issued new tariffs on U.S. products in response to steel and aluminum duties

Fears of a global trade war continue to ramp up, with Beijing adding tariffs of up to 25 per cent on 128 U.S. products in retaliation over the Trump administration’s steel and aluminum duties.

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Donald Trump spoke out on DACA, NAFTA

Trump reiterated his threat to kill the North American free-trade agreement when he tweeted that Mexico “must stop the big drug and people flows, or I will stop their cash cow, NAFTA.” Trump also said border issues are to blame as he declared that any deal is now off the table for “Dreamers” − those brought to the U.S. illegally as children.


Stock futures drop

U.S. stock futures dropped after an early equity rally petered out in Asia, where volume was low as many markets across the world remain closed for the Easter holiday. The greenback edged lower and Treasury yields increased. Tokyo’s Nikkei slipped 0.3 per cent, and the Shanghai composite 0.2 per cent. European markets are out of action, and New York futures were down by about 5:45 a.m. ET. The Canadian dollar was above 77.5 US cents.


The new rules for the internet - and why you shouldn’t delete Facebook

“While being pessimistic about the depressing tableau of Silicon Valley malfeasance is easy, let us not forget that the internet has brought tremendous value to our society. Therefore, the answer is not to lock down the open internet or even to delete Facebook (however satisfying that might feel, with 2.2-billion users it is embedded in our society). Instead, we urgently need new democratic rules for the internet that enhance the rights of citizens, protect the integrity of our public sphere and tackle the structural problems of our current digital economy.” – UBC assistant professor Taylor Owen and New America senior advisor Ben Scott

Cross purposes: The battle for Christianity in Canada

“I am convinced, as are many believers, that Christianity is challenged as never before. But the challenge comes not from popular hostility – no matter how much Christians might see themselves as a persecuted minority. No, to my mind, the threat facing the church is the very real prospect of public irrelevance. So many Canadians have turned away from Christianity. And yet, they are longing to turn toward it, if only Christians will stop judging them – and listen, instead, to their fears, hopes and longings for a better world.” – Michael Coren, author

How RVs could help address Vancouver’s homelessness problem

“When you talk to people living in motorhomes, and there are dozens already camped on Vancouver streets, they don’t identify as homeless. Most are proud of their homes, many of which are powered by solar panels and fit in with Vancouver’s green city aspirations. What they don’t like is having to hide and move. Some say they would be happy to pay a modest rent for a safe spot in someone’s leafy backyard. This, of course, is not a perfect fix. Recreational vehicles should never be considered a permanent replacement for housing. But people on the margins, faced with a dearth of other options, have already innovated by moving into them. It wouldn’t hurt to loosen the rules, so they can leave the industrial parks and live in nice neighbourhoods. And if a state of emergency declaration can help make it happen, let’s consider that too.” – Adrienne Tanner


Are calcium supplements helping or harming your health?

Calcium is important for healthy bones, but experts say most people don’t need the added supplements. Researchers, meanwhile, have linked calcium supplements to kidney stones, cardiovascular disease and precancerous colon growths. In 2010, Health Canada reduced its recommended dietary allowance for calcium. The agency also warns that regularly exceeding 2,500 mg a day (for those under 51) or 2,000 (for those over 51) can increase the risk of kidney stones and other problems.


40th anniversary of Dallas premiere

April 2, 1978: Just like a real oil well gusher, Dallas came with no warning and brought conspicuous wealth for all involved. Incongruously launched by CBS amid a crippling energy crisis, the glossy drama introduced viewers to the Ewings, a Texas oil family headed by crusty patriarch Jock Ewing (Jim Davis) and genteel wife Miss Ellie (Barbara Bel Geddes), whose fortune reputedly came when Jock screwed over his ex-partner decades before. The focus quickly shifted to oleaginous oldest son J.R., played by Larry Hagman, whose blind ambition was matched only by his duplicity. In a matter of weeks, J.R. became prime time’s pre-eminent heel/hero. Dallas went from serialized soap to pop-culture phenomenon when it closed its third season with a cliffhanger “Who Shot J.R.?” episode. When the identity of the shooter was revealed in late 1980, more than 75 per cent of the U.S. viewing audience tuned in. Dallas ran 14 seasons, and boosted sales of cowboy boots and Stetsons worldwide. And while a 2012 TV reboot failed to capture the same magic, Dallas diehards celebrated the original series’ 40-year anniversary at the Southfork ranch in north Texas, mingling with members of the original cast and posing with props – including the gun that shot J.R. – Andrew Ryan

Morning Update is written by Arik Ligeti.

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