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Morning Update: Florida shooting; Zuma resigns; Patrick Brown

Parents wait for news after reports of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, 2018.

Joel Auerbach/AP

Good morning,

These are the top stories:

At least 17 dead after former student opens fire at Florida high school

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A 19-year-old gunman returned to the Florida high school where he had once been expelled for disciplinary problems and opened fire with an assault-style rifle on Wednesday, killing 17 people and injuring more than a dozen before he was arrested, authorities said. The violence erupted shortly before the end of class at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., near Fort Lauderdale. The gunman, who was identified as Nikolas Cruz, was arrested later outside, some distance from the school in an adjacent community.

In the hours after the shooting, people who knew Cruz described him as a "troubled kid" who enjoyed showing off his firearms and whose mother would resort to calling the police to have them come to their home to try to talk some sense into him.

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is now one of the 10 most deadly mass shootings in U.S. history. The Globe and Mail's U.S. correspondent Joanna Slater looks at how Americans grappled with grief and rage immediately after the shooting.

Olympics 2018: Figure skating pair Duhamel and Radford win bronze medal in free skate

The day before her final program on Olympic ice, Meagan Duhamel tweeted that she was going to skate for anyone who had a dream as she prepared to take the ice for the pair long program. A day later, that dream came true for Duhamel and Eric Radford, stepping onto the podium for the first time when they won the bronze medal. Their combined score from their short and long programs was 230.15. The German pair of Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot won gold, while China's Sui Wenjing and Han Cong claimed the silver.

Elsewhere on the Olympics front:

In a rematch of the Sochi 2014 gold medal game, where Canada won 3-2 in overtime, Canada's women's hockey team kept its perfect record intact with a hard-fought 2-1 win over the United States Wednesday night. Both countries had already punched their ticket to the semifinals for Monday having won their first two games of Pool A.

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Russian hockey players are tripping over their words this week, as they struggle to say the name of their team. Russian athletes are not allowed to self-identify as Team Russia, and any player who does risks being sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee, as part of the punishment handed down to the country for running a widespread doping campaign at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Medal count (Gold, Silver, Bronze, Total)

Germany: 8, 2, 4, 14
Norway: 5, 7, 4, 16
Netherlands: 5, 4, 2, 11

United States: 5, 1, 2, 8
Canada: 3, 4, 4, 11

Want to get caught up further? Our daily Olympics guide gives you everything you need to know about the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

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Globe in South Africa: Defiant Jacob Zuma resigns presidency as political crisis grips the country

Less than 24 hours before a planned parliamentary vote to fire him, South Africa's president Jacob Zuma has bowed to intense pressure from his own ruling party and announced his resignation in a late-night speech to the nation. It was an ignominious end to one of the stormiest and most controversial political careers in postapartheid history. And it was the culmination of a dramatic day of surprises in South Africa, beginning with a dawn police raid on wealthy associates of Mr. Zuma's family, who are facing corruption charges. His resignation is a stunning victory for his rival, Cyril Ramaphosa, the leader of the ruling African National Congress, who now becomes the acting president and is expected to be confirmed as president in a vote by Parliament on Thursday. In his speech, Mr. Zuma said he was worried about the tensions within the ANC between his supporters and opponents. "No life should be lost in my name," he said.

Once an uneducated Zulu traditionalist living in poverty, the former South African leader was known for his smiling image during his time in power – but behind the shiny surface lay a ruthless master tactician who demolished his foes. The Globe's Africa correspondent Geoffrey York looks at how Mr. Zuma's double life caught up with him. (for subscribers)

Here's Robert Rotberg, the founding director of Harvard Kennedy School's Program on Interstate Conflict, on why Mr. Zuma's ouster and ANC Leader Cyril Ramaphosa's assumption of power should save South Africa.

Former Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown says he is target of 'fabricated political assassination'

Patrick Brown has accused CTV News of fabricating a "malicious and false report" against him, the latest volley in a campaign he is waging on social media and in select interviews to clear his name. "You lied. You defamed me," Mr. Brown said in a Facebook post on Wednesday. "I will not allow your brand of trashy journalism to hurt another person in this country." Mr. Brown also told Global News on Wednesday he has been subjected to a "fabricated political assassination." It was his first television interview since he was forced to resign as leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives on Jan. 25 after CTV aired allegations of sexual misconduct with two young women. CTV said it stands by its reporting. Mr. Brown has not responded to an interview request from The Globe and Mail. The stakes are enormous for the 39-year-old career politician. Mr. Brown became leader of the Ontario PC Party in 2015. Before then, he was a federal Conservative MP and city councillor in his hometown of Barrie, Ont. He is fighting to stay on as an MPP. Interim leader Vic Fedeli has called on him to resign his seat in the provincial legislature. Mr. Brown joins a growing list of high-profile men who have been forced to resign by the #MeToo movement, which began last fall with allegations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Sun Life to add medical-marijuana coverage to group benefits plans

Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada will become the first major insurance company to add medical marijuana to its group benefits plans for Canadian companies, a pivotal move in the insurance industry that will help ease the financial burden for medical-marijuana users, and a sign of the growing acceptance of cannabis in the Canadian workplace. As of March 1, Sun Life will include medical cannabis as optional coverage under an extended health-care benefit plan. Sun Life, which administers group benefits plans for more than 22,000 Canadian companies, oversees health and dental coverage for more than five million Canadians – including dependents.

Boushie family vows to seek justice-system changes

The family of slain Cree man Colten Boushie left Ottawa Wednesday vowing to continue their fight for justice after securing from the federal government a commitment to change the jury selection process. Mr. Boushie's relatives were invited guests of the Prime Minister as he made a major speech on Indigenous rights in the House of Commons. Mr. Trudeau said that as a country, Canada must commit to ensuring no family has to face what they've endured. He committed his government to making changes to the justice system that will include the way juries are selected. "Reforms are needed to ensure that – among other things – Indigenous peoples might once again have confidence in a system that has failed them all too often in the past," Mr. Trudeau said. "That is why we will bring forward broad-based, concrete reforms to the criminal justice system, including changes to how juries are selected."

The acquittal of Gerald Stanley in Mr. Boushie's death on Friday sent shockwaves across the country and sparked demonstrations in many cities. It also reignited debate about criminal justice, colonialism and Indigenous reconciliation. Get caught up on The Globe's coverage of what has happened since the verdict.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Liberals to change how Indigenous-rights cases are handled

The federal government is preparing to change the way it approaches legal cases with Indigenous peoples to recognize, from the outset, that First Nations, Métis and Inuit have the rights that were given to them in the Constitution. The new policy, which will be formalized in legislation, is aimed at moving cases out of courts and onto negotiating tables, saving years of legal battles and millions of dollars annually in fees. "Going forward, recognition of rights will guide all government relations with Indigenous Peoples," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the House of Commons on Wednesday in announcing that, 36 years after Section 35 of the Constitution protected aboriginal and treaty rights, government officials will no longer demand that Indigenous people prove those rights exist at the beginning of every legal process.

MORNING MARKETS

World stocks steam higher as inflation fears fizzle

Stocks, bond yields and commodities steamed higher on Thursday while the U.S. dollar tumbled, as investors suddenly seemed to forget the inflation fears blamed for a brutal market sell-off in recent weeks. Overseas, European markets rallied with Britain's FTSE 100 climbing 0.54 per cent around 5:54 a.m. (ET). France's CAC 40 rose 1.53 per cent and Germany's DAX advanced 0.97 per cent. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei finished up 1.47 per cent. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.46 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.97 per cent. West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$60.96 a barrel. The Canadian dollar was higher at 80.09 US cents.

FYI: The Globe now provides all users access to real-time stock quotes for both Canadian and U.S. markets. Go here to find out about the major changes to our Globe Investor site.

WHAT EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT

The Catholic funding debate needs to be schooled by facts "Instead of supporters of a single non-faith-based school system deploring the spinelessness of politicians, however, they should be asking themselves just why Catholic boards seem to have so much success attracting students from the public system. Catholic school students tend to perform better on provincial standardized tests. And rankings, such as the Fraser Institute's annual Report Card on Ontario's Elementary Schools, invite parents to compare schools." Konrad Yakabuski (for subscribers)

Once again, a Canadian dies in an Iran jail

"[Foreign Affairs Minister] Chrystia Freeland said Tuesday that Canada is 'seriously concerned by the situation surrounding the detention and death of [Kavous] Seyed-Emami. We expect the Government of Iran to provide information and answers…. We will continue to use every means at Canada's disposal to seek further information.' Strong words, but somewhat undercut by the fact Canada doesn't have an embassy in Tehran. The former Conservative government closed it in 2012, a poorly advised and much-criticized move at the time. The Trudeau government is now in the delicate position of demanding answers about Mr. Seyed-Emami while also pursuing its goal of re-establishing diplomatic ties." Globe editorial

Get ready: A massive automation shift is coming for your job

"The robots are coming to take our jobs and Canada must do a lot more to deal with it. That's not the prediction of a doomsday prophet, but of the world's leading business consultant, the managing director of global firm McKinsey & Co. and chair of the Canadian government's Advisory Council on Economic Growth, Dominic Barton. Okay, admittedly Mr. Barton didn't exactly say the robots are taking over the planet. But he is warning that automation – robots, driverless cars, artificial intelligence, technological transformation – will disrupt millions of Canadian jobs, not far in the future, but in the next dozen years. Put another way: If you are 30 or 35 now, there's a good chance that not just your job, but the kind of job you do, will be eliminated – at the most inopportune time of life, when you are 40 to 55, perhaps with a mortgage and kids." Campbell Clark

HEALTH PRIMER

How do I stop myself from snacking?

No matter what you eat for lunch, it seems that by mid-afternoon you're standing in front of the office vending machine waiting for that bag of ketchup-flavoured potato chips to dispense. What can you do to break the spell? Try suppressing your cravings by distracting your nose with "diet aromatherapy," says Rachel Herz, a neuroscientist who teaches at Brown University and Boston College. Dr. Herz says that perfumes and scented oils aren't going to somehow change your metabolism or the way your body functions. Rather, they can help psychologically as diet aids, making you stop and think before you mindlessly reach for a snack.

MOMENT IN TIME

Canada appoints its first female senator

Feb. 15, 1930: It was once the most exclusive male club in Canada – until Cairine Wilson joined it. On this day in 1930, Wilson was appointed by then-prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King as the country's first female senator. Her elevation to the post came four months after a landmark decision from the British Privy Council, which ruled that women were indeed persons, and therefore eligible to sit in the Senate of Canada. Wilson wasn't the natural first choice for the Red Chamber: the case that led to her appointment had been hard-fought by five Alberta feminists, including jurist Emily Murphy. But King chose Wilson – a mother of eight, Liberal organizer and daughter of Liberal senator Robert Mackay – for the historic position. She proved her independence, consistently taking progressive positions on subjects ranging from divorce to women's education, and later became known for helping European refugees flee the Nazis. In 1960, she was honoured with a marble bust in the Senate antechamber. It was installed under the bronze plaque that pays tribute to the Five Persons from Alberta: the women who fought for her right to join the club. – Laura Stone

Morning Update was written by Kristene Quan and Shelby Blackley.

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Students attending the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are describing hearing multiple shots during a shooting at their South Florida high school Wednesday. The Associated Press
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