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Canada Morning Update: Protests over Trump’s Jerusalem decision; Tory senators’ China trip under scrutiny

Palestinian protesters shout slogans against US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in the West Bank city of Nablus, on Dec. 7, 2017.


Palestinian leaders are calling for protests over Trump's Jerusalem decision

President Donald Trump announced yesterday that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Palestinian leaders condemned the move, arguing it had undermined any hope for a two-state solution, and Hamas called for an uprising. Saeb Erekat, a leading Palestinian negotiator, said the policy change has "disqualified the United States of America to play any role in the peace process." Palestinian leaders have called for "three days of rage," and Israel's military is looking at closing streets in central Jerusalem.

Palestinians consider East Jerusalem, which Israel annexed after the Six-Day War in 1967, the capital of their future state. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated Canada's long-standing stance that Ottawa will not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, though he refrained from saying anything that could be implied as criticizing Mr. Trump for the controversial move.

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Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, praised Trump's move, saying "there is no peace that doesn't include Jerusalem as the capital of Israel." Go here for a primer on the competing claims over the historic city and Trump's divisive answer.

Our editorial board argues that Trump should have consulted the wisdom of his own book before making his decision: "The Art of the Deal's second commandment is this: "Protect the downside and the upside will take care of itself." Not a bad piece of advice. But President Trump's announcement on Wednesday did the exact opposite. His move has obvious and potentially catastrophic downsides for the Middle East, and America's standing in the region. It antagonizes Arab allies, weakens Arab moderates, fuels radicals who will celebrate it as proof that the U.S. is the enemy of Palestinians and Muslims, and breaks with the rest of the international community. And the upside? There is none – except possibly for the President's popularity with some voters in Middle America."

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The Senate ethics watchdog is investigating a China trip by three Tory senators

Senators Victor Oh, Don Plett and Leo Housakos travelled to China in April of this year, but did not disclose the trip It as either sponsored travel or a gift. Chinese media reported that the three senators visited at the invitation of Beijing-based Pantheon Asset, a Chinese firm involved in the management of "high-net-worth families." Pantheon recently opened a Vancouver office. Housakos's office initially said the trip was partly paid for by China and a Canadian-based trade group. But Oh later said he didn't see a need to declare the trip since his "family" had paid for all the senators' expenses. Oh said the trip was to visit his ancestral home.

A Somali man has been found guilty in the kidnapping of Amanda Lindhout

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Ali Omar Ader could face life in prison when he is sentenced next year. The guilty verdict brings to a close an ordeal that started in 2008, when the Alberta-born Lindhout, working as a freelance journalist, was kidnapped near Mogadishu along with an Australian photographer. They were held captive for 15 months, only released after a ransom payment. Ader was accused of working with the kidnappers as a negotiator and translator.

An RCMP officer posing as a business agent lured Ader to Canada in 2015 with the promise of a book deal. Instead, he was arrested. The case against Ader was a landmark in Canadian law, with police charging him for an act committed abroad.

First Nations leaders want to control cannabis sales in their communities

Chiefs say they want the right to govern the sale and distribution of marijuana and to set the laws that will oversee its use by their people. The federal government has pledged to legalize marijuana by July of next year. Ottawa is letting each province determine rules around distribution and the minimum age of consumption. But First Nations leaders say they may want to diverge from provincial rules.

Meanwhile, some Ontario mayors say they don't want marijuana retail shops

"We have taken a stance of: We are not a willing host," Richmond Hill Mayor Dave Barrow said. The town's council will hold a vote on the matter next week. The mayors of Markham and Vaughan have also expressed concerns over the Ontario government's plan to open 40 cannabis outlets by July of next year. Municipalities opposed to physical shops won't be forced to accommodate one in the first wave of openings.

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Montreal's police chief has been suspended

Chief Philippe Pichet failed to rein in turmoil and corruption on the force, Quebec's Public Security Minister Martin Coiteaux said. The decision to suspend Pichet follows a 96 page-report that Coiteaux described as "devastating." It outlines botched investigations, favouritism and cover-ups. Roughly 20 cases were found to have been mishandled, including a sexual-assault allegation against an investigator. The government has appointed the head of the provincial force as interim leader of the Montreal police. He'll be tasked with cleaning up the corruption until a new chief is found.


The greenback rose to its highest level in two weeks on Thursday over optimism the United States would successfully push through tax reforms, while world shares rebounded after two straight days of losses. Tokyo's Nikkei gained 1.5 per cent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng 0.3 per cent, though the Shanghai composite lost 0.8 per cent. In Europe, London's FTSE, Germany's DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were up by between 0.2 and 0.6 per cent by about 5:30 a.m. ET. New York futures were also up. The Canadian dollar was down to about the 78-cent (U.S.) mark. Oil rose in a sign that investors are wary of pushing the market lower in response to an unexpectedly large rise in U.S. stocks of refined products.

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.


Imagining movies – and the world – without sexual predators

Since its inception, those who ran the American film industry decreed that the stories that matter are about sexy women and tough men. Anyone who didn't fit that mould or tried to protest was told, or forced, to be quiet. Until now. … Advocates are often criticized for having complaints without solutions, but it's hard to imagine a world without misogyny and violence when we live on earth as it exists now. These ills are so pervasive that surmounting them requires a high, steep climb, and no one knows what's on the other side. Perhaps it's fitting that the film industry lead the way – we're ready for stories that show us who we really are and who we could eventually be." – Denise Balkissoon

There's more to Rogers' ownership of the Blue Jays than money

"For the Rogers family, non-core assets such as the Jays and the Cogeco stake seem to resemble a child's treasured piggy bank: Cash that can be accessed if needed, but only by breaking something with sentimental value. Rogers was built with debt and has weathered financial storms. The company is in better financial shape now than at any point in its history. [Rogers CEO Joe] Natale has the luxury of time as he decides what to do with non-core assets. There's a solid financial case for selling sports teams and the Cogeco stake. But marketing strategies and family sentiment will drive Rogers's final decision on these assets." – Andrew Willis (for subscribers)


Must-have foods for a nutrition-minded pantry

Stocking your kitchen with a good mix of everything from cooking oils to nut butters to canned foods is essential for being able to whip up a quick and nutritious meal. When it comes to oils, extra virgin olive oil is great for salad dressings, while canola and grapeseed can be used cooking. Peanut, almond and tahini are a few nut and seed butters great for snacks, smoothies and dips. For canned foods, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, beans and tuna are a few choice options. Go here for more tips on dried fruit, breakfast cereals, pasta and spices.


Bakelite is patented

Dec. 7, 1909: If you had to pick a date that truly revolutionized consumer-goods manufacturing, it would be Dec. 7, 1909, the day Bakelite was patented. Leo Baekeland, a Belgian-born American chemist, had been trying to create a better shellac when he began experimenting in the early 1900s with phenol and formaldehyde combinations. Instead, he invented Bakelite, the early plastic known as the world's first truly synthetic resin. Unlike earlier plastics, Bakelite was heat-resistant and did not conduct electricity, making it a great insulator. Better still, it could be easily molded and would retain its shape even when heated. By the 1930s, Bakelite was being used to make jewellery, kitchenware and all sorts of household objects. Even today, collectors love the stylish, distinctive look of Bakelite and will spend hundreds, even thousands, of dollars at auction for Bakelite baubles in good condition – something to think about next time you're out antiquing. – Dianne Nice

Morning Update is written by Arik Ligeti.

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