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Morning Briefing: Shades of 2011, earthquake rocks Japan coast

Powerful earthquake hits Japan


A summary of what you need to know today, compiled by The Globe's news desk on Dec. 7, 2012

Shades of 2011, earthquake rocks Japan coast

With eerie shades of 2011, a large quake off of Japan sent a one metre wave crashing into the coast devastated by last year's killer tsunami. The earthquake caused panic along the coast as thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate. There were several minor injuries. The wave hit the same area as the much-larger tsunami which killed 20,000 and triggered the worst nuclear accident in 25 years, virtually shutting down Japan's nuclear energy program.

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Tories rethink controversial jet program

The simmering issue of Canada's plan to purchase F-35 Lightening fighter jets is set to boil over again, as huge cost overruns prompt a serious look at alternatives . The cost of the cutting-edge jets – pegged at $9-billion when announced in 2010 – may now exceed $40-billion. The Conservatives, who have taken heat for not doing sufficient due diligence on the F35s, are launching a review of alternative fighters from a number of other suppliers.

Ottawa poised to rule on Nexen bid

It appears that Ottawa is close to making the politically charged call whether to approve the purchase of Calgary energy giant Nexen Inc. by Chinese-state controlled CNOOC Ltd. The Nexen bid – along with Malaysian-based Petronas' s $6-billion bid for Progress Energy Resources Corp. – present a challenge for the Harper government to balance need for much-needed foreign investment with a growing unease about offshore control of critical resources. The decision – thought to likely to favour both bids – is expected to come today or Monday. As critical will be guidelines the government is expected to release bringing clarity to the rules for foreign investors.

Egypt president hangs tough as protests continue

No retreat – that was the signal sent from a steadfast Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's embattled president, last night in an address to the nations. Mr. Morsi offered little in the way of concessions to the opposition, which has taken to the streets in recent weeks in defiance of a decree which concentrates power in president's hands. Today, the opposition called for massive protests as it rejected an offer from the president to join talks Saturday aimed at striking a compromise. Mr. Morsi made it clear a referendum on the proposed constitution will go ahead as planned this month.

Hamas chief makes first visit to Gaza

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Long the political chief of Hamas, Gaza's dominant political entity, Khaled Meshaal did something he had never done before: visit the war-scarred strip of land. Mr. Meshaal – who was born in the West Bank and left as a child – slipped over the Egyptian border into Gaza today, where he was welcomed by officials and kissed the ground. The visit comes just a week after an Egyptian-brokered deal ended an eight-day conflict between Hamas and Israel.

Jobs up, unemployment down in US and Canada

Both the United States and Canada showed solid job growth in November, with both countries seeing a drop in unemployment rate. The United States  churned out 146,000 jobs last month - well above expectations - knocking the unemployment rate down to a 4-year low of 7.7 per cent. Meanwhile, the Canadian economy cranked out another 59,000 jobs, pushing unemployment down to 7.2 per cent.

Dashed hopes for hockey fans

It's a day of disappointment for hockey fans. After a few days of talks that seemed to be getting traction, negotiations collapsed late Thursday after the league rejected the players' latest offer. There are no plans yet to renew talks.

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