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Good morning,

These are the top stories:

Queen’s fired its track coach who criticized University of Guelph’s handling of the Dave Scott-Thomas allegations

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Steve Boyd. (Lars Hagberg/The Globe and Mail)

Steve Boyd says he was fired from his position as track and field head coach at Queen’s University for speaking out against U of Guelph’s handling of misconduct allegations against former coach Dave Scott-Thomas.

“It took 13 years for Guelph to fire their coach for what he did, and it took two months for Queen’s to get rid of me for having an opinion about it,” said Boyd, the reigning cross-country coach of the year. He added: “Queen’s refused to acknowledge that this is the biggest story in our sport, maybe since Ben Johnson.”

In a statement, the university said Boyd “has repeatedly engaged in public commentaries that do not reflect the values expected by representatives of Queen’s University.”

This is the daily Morning Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for Morning Update and more than 20 more Globe newsletters on our newsletter signup page.

Protests and rail blockades: Provincial pressure, Tyendinaga meeting, Via layoffs

Here’s a look at the latest as new rail blockades appear in Alberta and Quebec:

  • Four Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs from Northern B.C. arrived in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, where demonstrators have blocked Canadian National Railway’s main line for two weeks. The Wet’suwet’en chiefs and their Mohawk Nation counterparts plan to start crafting a solution to present to Ottawa.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is considering bringing in an Indigenous police force to replace the RCMP in dealing with the B.C. protest over the Coastal GasLink project.
  • Provincial premiers are seeking a meeting with Trudeau to find a resolution to end the blockades. Premier François Legault, faced with three Quebec blockades, called for co-ordination and said “Trudeau must take leadership.”
  • Via Rail said it will temporarily lay off about 1,000 employees, a figure that amounts to one-third of its work force. That follows other layoffs at CN.
  • Independent MP Jody Wilson-Raybould said Trudeau and B.C. Premier John Horgan should make themselves available to meet with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.

We also have a number of opinion pieces on the issue:

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Corey Shefman: Stop using the ‘rule of law’ as a weapon against Indigenous peoples

Robyn Urback: If this is all Trudeau can offer on the blockades, perhaps he should have gone to Barbados

Editorial: What could the blockades lead to? A national shortage of reason and moderation

Ottawa is warning Alberta about its emissions as the Teck mine decision looms

Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said there is a “significant risk” that Alberta’s greenhouse gas emissions cap will be exceeded by 2030.

Wilkinson’s letter to his provincial counterpart comes as Ottawa weighs whether to approve, reject or delay a decision on a proposed new oil-sands mine that would add to provincial emissions. That federal decision is due by the end of next week.

The Trudeau and Kenney governments are at odds over the province’s existing emissions, with Ottawa estimating a figure of 86.5 megatonnes this year while Alberta has pointed to a 2018 assessment of 67.7 megatonnes.

Democrats targeted Michael Bloomberg in his first debate appearance

Elizabeth Warren addresses Michael Bloomberg. (John Locher/AP)

John Locher/The Associated Press

After spending $400-million in an advertising blitz, and soaring to third place in national polls, former New York mayor and businessman Michael Bloomberg finally took to the debate stage in Nevada last night.

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His fellow contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination wasted no time in taking aim at him, with Senator Elizabeth Warren saying: “Democrats take a huge risk if we substitute an arrogant billionaire for another one.”

He was also hit with attacks over his oversight of a stop-and-frisk police program during his mayorship as well as allegations that he fostered sexual harassment and gender discrimination in his company.

David Shribman writes that if the debate had been a boxing match, “a referee might have intervened and declared a technical knock-out.”

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at tips@globeandmail.com Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

China expels three reporters: None of the three Wall Street Journal reporters had any connection to a Feb. 3 opinion piece with the headline “China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia,” which examined financial markets but that Beijing viewed as a slight amid the coronavirus outbreak.

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Venezuela’s envoy to Canada works from his condo: Orlando Viera-Blanco, who was appointed to the ambassador post by Venezuelan Opposition Leader Juan Guaido, has based himself out of his Ottawa condo to avoid tensions with embassy staff loyal to socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Violinist plays while undergoing brain surgery: Dagmar Turner played Mahler and Gershwin as British doctors removed a tumour from her brain. The idea to play was formed as a way to prevent any damage to her violin skills.

MORNING MARKETS

U.S. dollar jumps, yen slides: The U.S. dollar trampled everything in its path on Thursday after a steep and sudden slide in the Japanese yen called into question its safe haven status and others from the euro to the Australian dollar were all knocked over. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.09 per cent just after 6 a.m. ET. Germany’s DAX fell 0.16 per cent and France’s CAC 40 lost 0.28 per cent. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index jumped 1.84 per cent. Tokyo’s Nikkei added 0.34 per cent. New York futures were weaker. The Canadian dollar was trading at 75.40 US cents.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

If you want to be appointed a judge, there are Liberal steps to the bench

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Campbell Clark: “Last year, Prime Minister Trudeau, defending the judicial appointments of friends of New Brunswick cabinet minister Dominic LeBlanc, said there was no need for concern. ‘We have a merit-based, transparent appointment system,’ Mr. Trudeau said then. But that is not so. Trust in an independent judiciary is important. Putting partisan layers into the selection process undermines that trust.”

TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

(Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail)

LIVING BETTER

What to watch on Crave, Amazon Prime and CBS All Access this weekend

Enlightened (Crave) may have premiered in 2011, but it’s a must-watch for those just catching on to the talents of newly minted Oscar winner Laura Dern. She stars as a corporate stooge-turned-whistle-blower.

Two Lovers (Amazon Prime) also features an opportunity to catch a new Oscar winner. Joaquin Phoenix plays a sad sack of a man, who lives with his parents, that is caught between two women.

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The Good Fight (CBS All Access), a spinoff of The Good Wife, centres on a D.C. lawyer as she slowly spirals into a paranoid rage.

MOMENT IN TIME

N.Y. Metropolitan Museum of Art opens to public

(Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Feb. 20, 1872: New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, but its real age is debatable: The famed museum only opened its doors to the public 148 years ago, on Feb. 20, 1872. It had been incorporated for almost two years and had acquired a Roman sarcophagus and a collection of 174 Old Master paintings when it finally became a museum that could show art to visitors. Six thousand of them showed up for a three-month-long inaugural exhibition that featured works by Dutch, Flemish, English and Italian artists including Anthony Van Dyck, Nicolas Poussin and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. The wealthy art lovers who had founded the institution were highly pleased and museum president John Taylor Johnston reported that “the pictures looked splendid,” adding, “We have something to point to as the Museum, something tangible and something good.” That first museum was housed in the Dodworth Building, formerly a private residence and then a dance academy, located 30 blocks down Fifth Avenue from the museum’s current site in Central Park, where it moved in 1880. Today, the Met’s collection covers 5,000 years of history and boasts more than two million artworks from around the world. – Kate Taylor

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