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The federal government’s long-promised defence policy update has been been delayed because the Trudeau cabinet is struggling with the cost of new military equipment, such as submarines, tanks and drones, according to a senior official.

The official, who is familiar with the nearly two-year-old review, said the delay in releasing the defence update has frustrated military commanders who want to see major spending to meet Canada’s commitments to NATO and NORAD. The U.S. is also pressing Ottawa to boost military spending.

In March, 2022, the government said it would bring in a defence review and promised to boost “the defence budget by $553-billion over the next 20 years.” The review has yet to appear.

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A CH-146 Griffon helicopter from Canadian Forces Base Bagotville, is being loaded onto a C-17 Globemaster airplane, at Canadian Forces Base Trenton in Trenton, Ont., on Nov. 17, 2013.Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press

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Hackers linked to Chinese government targeted critics, politicians and businesses, U.S., Britain allege

Hackers linked to the Chinese government launched a sweeping, state-backed operation that targeted United States officials, journalists, corporations, pro-democracy activists and Britain’s election watchdog, U.S. and British authorities said yesterday.

The hacking group, nicknamed Advanced Persistent Threat 31 or “APT31″ by U.S. and Britain, is part of a program run by China’s Hubei State Security Department, an arm of China’s Ministry of State Security located in the city of Wuhan, the Justice Department said.

The department said the hacking campaign began at least as early as 2010, and that its intention was to harass critics of the Chinese government, steal trade secrets of U.S. corporations and spy on and track high-level political figures.

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The Francis Scott Key Bridge is shown collapsed after it was struck by cargo ship The Dali March 26, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland.Supplied/Getty Images

Cargo ship hits Baltimore’s Key Bridge, bringing it down

Baltimore’s Key Bridge collapsed early Tuesday, and several vehicles fell into the river below, after a container ship rammed into it. Rescuers were searching for survivors.

The vessel, chartered by shipping company Maersk, appears to have hit one of the supports of the bridge, causing the roadway to break apart in several places and plunge into the water. The ship caught fire, and thick, black smoke billowed out of it.

Rescuers said as many as 20 people could have fallen into the Patapsco River.

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Also on our radar

Florida’s DeSantis signs social media ban for minors: Florida will have one of the country’s most restrictive social-media bans for minors under a bill signed by Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis yesterday. The bill will ban social-media accounts for children under 14 and require parental permission for 14- and 15-year-olds.

UN demand for Gaza ceasefire provokes clash between allies: The United States angered Israel yesterday after it abstained from a United Nations Security Council vote demanding a ceasefire in Gaza, leading to a 14-0 vote to approve the resolution. Israel responded by cancelling a visit to Washington by a high-level delegation in the strongest public clash between the allies since the war began.

Ontario pharmacists seek restrictions on exclusive deals: The Ontario College of Pharmacists is stepping up the profession’s criticism of exclusivity deals between pharmacies and insurers, and also pushing for new regulatory restrictions on the practice.

Judge pauses MAID death as court fight continues: A Calgary judge ruled yesterday that a 27-year-old woman can access medical assistance in dying despite her father’s efforts to persuade the courts to block her request, although the judge’s decision also prevents the daughter from receiving the procedure for at least a month so her family can appeal.

Trump to face trial April 15 in hush-money case: Donald Trump’s trial over a hush-money payment to a porn star will start April 15 after a New York judge rejected a bid by Trump to further delay the case. The trial marks the first criminal prosecution of a former U.S. president that will unfold before this year’s presidential election.

AGO workers begin strike: More than 400 workers at the Art Gallery of Ontario voted to strike yesterday, rejecting a final offer from management that would have boosted wages by 3.25 per cent and given them more than two years of retroactive payouts.

California school district pushes for reparations: A task force created by the Berkeley Unified School District in California is exploring how to to deliver reparations to African-American members of its community, despite a backlash against measures to promote diversity and racial equity.

Morning markets

Global shares struggled for traction today as mixed messages from U.S. policymakers and a wobble in the Chinese yuan left traders unsettled and tentative ahead of Friday’s release of U.S. inflation data.

The MSCI All-World index was barely changed on the day, as Europe got off to a weak start and sentiment in China and Hong Kong remained fragile after Friday’s sudden slide in the yuan. S&P 500 futures rose 0.3 per cent.

In early trading in Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.3 per cent while Germany’s DAX advanced 0.26 per cent and France’s CAC 40 added 0.07 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei share average was little changed at 40,398.03 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed higher at 16,618.32.

The dollar traded at 73.68 U.S. cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Tony Keller: “After years of the Trudeau government flooring the growth accelerator on temporary immigration, Immigration Minister Marc Miller last week announced a tap of the brakes. The overdue move is welcome – though so far it’s more pledge than plan, with many details about execution (not this government’s strong suit) still to come.”

Cathal Kelly: “What if the NHL playoffs took three weeks, included 12 teams and every round was best-of-three? ... One suspects the major objection to an Ozempic’d NHL postseason would be that it isn’t fair. That you can’t show a team’s true quality in two or three games. To which I would say, when did this become about fairness? The NHL is not a social program. It’s a TV show. Best-of-three with no days off is a lot more entertaining than two weeks of grinding that comes down to one hour at the end.”

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Editorial cartoon by David Parkins, March 26, 2024.Illustration by David Parkins

Living better

When it comes to running, the best performance enhancer isn’t something you can buy

If you’re a runner, you’re familiar with the endless stream of sports science breakthroughs that promise to make you faster. But have you considered the power of performance-enhancing virtues? In a new book, philosopher and world-class ultramarathoner Sabrina Little argues that we should think of running as a laboratory for developing our character, and that cultivating traits such as perseverance, resilience, joy and gratitude can make you faster.

Moment in time: March 26, 1915

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Individual team portraits of members of the 1914-1915 Stanley Cup-winning Vancouver Millionaires hockey team, 1915.Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Vancouver Millionaires win first Stanley Cup

The 1915 Vancouver Millionaires hardly had to wait for the final whistle to start celebrating their first Stanley Cup victory. The team romped to their third lopsided victory in a row, thrashing the Ottawa Senators 12-3 at Vancouver’s Denman Arena. The Millionaires were the first Western team to win the Cup, hailing from the three-team Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PHCA) – and the last from Vancouver. That season, the PCHA and the rival, six-team National Hockey Association (NHA) – which preceded today’s NHL – agreed their respective winners should play for Lord Stanley’s cup. The best-of-five series alternated between each league’s rules – the PCHA allowed the controversial forward pass, the NHA did not. Ottawa was favoured but the Millionaires had a deep bench, with seven of 10 players destined for the Hockey Hall of Fame. Their dominance over the Senators assured that the Cup “will sojourn in the sunset doorway of the Dominion for a year at least,” the Vancouver Daily World wrote. Vancouver played for the cup four more times by 1923, but never won again – nor have the city’s current-day Canucks. James Bradshaw

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