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Coronavirus information
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Good morning,

These are the top stories:

The latest updates on the coronavirus

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  • Last night, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global emergency. China now is becoming increasingly cut off from the world and airline companies say they will no longer operate flights in and out of the country
  • The Canadian government said it was not ready to release plans for the transport and quarantine of 196 Canadians to be airlifted out of China. Several countries, including the United States, have already evacuated their citizens.
  • The death toll is now at 213, and nearly 10,000 have been infected. On Friday, the U.S. advised its citizens not to travel to China. Italy and Britain reported their first coronavirus cases.

One of the world’s biggest cruise ships was in lockdown over fears of the coronavirus on board. About 6,000 passengers and 1,000 crew were trapped on the Italian ship, the Costa Smeralda.

According to Ansa, the Italian news service, and other local media, the two Chinese passengers from Macau, who are husband and wife, were placed in isolation aboard the ship. They were tested aboard and confirmed negative for the virus.

Read more: What can I do about the Wuhan coronavirus? A guide for Canadians of what’s helpful, and what’s not

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.

A mother’s $6,000 phone bill: The push to rein in Ontario’s costly prison phone system

A 65-year-old at a Montreal seniors’ home thought it might have been fraud when she racked up a $6,072.12 phone bill in just three months.

She found that the bill was from a telephone system in Ontario prisons that critics say divides families, deters rehabilitation and limits access to the justice system by hitting a vulnerable population with exorbitant bills.

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Her son was being held at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre where his criminal charges were eventually dropped, but the phone charges remained: his mother opted for a payment plan of $50 a month for 11 years.

After years of Brexit drama, Britain enters a new chapter as it formally cuts ties today

It’s taken three prime ministers, two elections and almost four years of rancorous debate, but Britain will finally leave the European Union Friday at 11 p.m. ET, and set off on a new, uncertain future.

But Brexit is certainly far from over – there are plenty of challenges ahead. Mr. Johnson has promised to negotiate a comprehensive trade agreement with the EU before Dec. 31 and has ruled out an extension. Few experts believe that’s possible

The economy has also ground to a halt and regional tensions have soared. There are signs that the wounds from the Brexit battle remain raw and that the country is still bitterly divided.

  • Opinion (Doug Saunders): After Brexit, Britain will be less free and independent

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

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Talks with Ontario teachers’ union ‘productive,’ Education Minister says: Yesterday, the government’s negotiators were in the second day of talks with the ETFO, the country’s largest education union with 83,000 members, as the clock ticked toward a deadline that would ramp up strike action unless a deal is reached by the end of the week.

Convicted killer Kelly Ellard has day parole extended after birth of second child: Ms. Ellard, now in her late 30s, is serving a life sentence for the second-degree murder of Reena Virk in the Victoria area, a crime that garnered national and international attention given the age of the victim and perpetrators.

Parks Canada officials hope knowledge exchange in fighting Australian wildfires will be beneficial: Dozens of Canadian firefighters travelled to Australia in December to assist with a crisis that has left more than two dozen people dead and destroyed more than 2,000 homes.

Federal Court of Appeal set to release decision in Trans Mountain challenge on Tuesday: Four First Nations from British Columbia filed court challenges after the federal government approved the project a second time last June.

MORNING MARKETS

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World shares struggle for footing after virus-battered week: World share markets fought to regain their footing on Friday as investors clutched at hopes that China could contain the coronavirus, even as headlines spoke of more cases and deaths, travel bans, evacuations and factory shutdowns. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.98 per cent around 6 a.m. ET. Germany’s DAX lost 0.56 per cent and France’s CAC 40 slid 0.74 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.99 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended down 0.52 per cent. New York futures were lower. The Canadian dollar was trading at 75.53 US cents.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Has there ever been a better ‘quiet star’ than Christine Sinclair? Not even Klose

Cathal Kelly: “One hopes the goal record prompts an international reconsideration of Ms. Sinclair’s seminal place in the women’s game. She isn’t up there with the likes of Germany’s Birgit Prinz, the U.S.'s Mia Hamm and Brazil’s Marta. They’re now up there with her. But even if that doesn’t happen, Canada knows. Ms. Sinclair deserves to be thought of along with Gretzky and Orr.”

Courtroom chaos is coming to Ontario – and the blame lies at the feet of its attorney-general

Frank Addario: “Despite being the architect of this mess, [Ontario Attorney-General Doug] Downey, a member of a Progressive Conservative government that preaches personal responsibility to ordinary people, has been silent so far. If he cannot own up to causing this chaos, he does not deserve his job.” Addario is a lawyer in Toronto.

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TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

Brian Gable

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail

LIVING BETTER

What it’s like to update an icon

John Becker and his wife, Megan Scott, have just spent nine years revising Joy of Cooking adding more than 600 new recipes to the book, releasing their gloss on the family’s magnum opus, just before Christmas. Never out of print since its release in 1931, it has absorbed four generations of his clan’s energy, and now includes recipes for banh mi, lamb shawarma and miso ramen with chashu pork. They’ve added dishes – kale salad makes an entry – and trendy cooking methods – sous vide and pressure cooking get lots of ink.

MOMENT IN TIME

A bronze statue of Eaton's founder Timothy Eaton sits in the company's flagship store in downtown Toronto Tuesday July 13, 1999. (CP PHOTO/Kevin Frayer)

KEVIN FRAYER/The Canadian Press

Timothy Eaton dies

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Jan. 31, 1907: Timothy Eaton once told a friend that early in his career his total assets amounted to “a wife, five children and seven dollars.” On his death, this day in 1907, Mr. Eaton left an estate worth $5.2-million and a vast retail empire. Born in Ireland, Mr. Eaton came to Canada in 1854. He began his career operating general stores in Kirkton and St. Marys, Ont., before relocating to Toronto in 1869 to run a dry-goods store that would go on to revolutionize business in Canada. The T. Eaton Co. store on Yonge Street charged fixed prices and took only cash. If products were unsatisfactory, they could be returned. The store grew alongside the city’s wage-earning middle class, gobbling up nearby parcels of land until it sat on 22 acres of prime downtown real estate. To dissuade customers from shopping elsewhere, the company pioneered the department store: opening restaurants and shoe-repair shops on the premises and even running a direct bus service to the store from nearby train stations. In 1884, it launched a mail-order catalogue, making consumer products available in rural towns across Canada. The catalogues became ubiquitous, straddling the line between marketing tool and cultural touchstone, fondly remembered by generations of Canadians. — Mark Rendell

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