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Canada Morning update: Trump agrees to meet Kim Jong-un; Canada exempt from U.S. tariffs; latest on McArthur case

A combination photo shows Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Lucas Jackson/REUTERS

Good morning, these are the top stories:

U.S. President Donald Trump agrees to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un by May

U.S. President Donald Trump has agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un by May, setting the ground for a historic summit that comes as the isolated Asian state shows new willingness to discuss its nuclear program. Mr. Kim has "expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible," South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-yong said Thursday evening outside the White House, after briefing the U.S. President. The White House confirmed Mr. Trump's formal acceptance of the offer, which would be the first meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader

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Trump announces Canada, Mexico will get relief from U.S. tariffs

In a move that offers temporary reprieve and also amps up pressure at the bargaining table, U.S. President Donald Trump has exempted Canada and Mexico from his steel and aluminum tariffs pending the renegotiation of NAFTA. Mr. Trump unveiled details of his tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum Thursday, to take effect in 15 days. For now, only Canada and Mexico will escape the levies; other countries will have to negotiate with the U.S. for exemptions. The President is citing "national security" as the reason for applying the duties under an obscure 1962 law. (for subscribers)

As Lawrence Martin writes, the President's olive branch comes with thorns. While Ottawa is no longer up against a harsh deadline, Canada's exemption is dependent upon an agreement being reached on NAFTA.

Man told Toronto police in 2016 that Bruce McArthur tried to choke him

Months before his last two alleged victims disappeared, Bruce McArthur had a sexual encounter that ended with the other man reporting to Toronto police that Mr. McArthur tried to strangle him, The Globe and Mail has learned. The alleged assault, which a police source said took place in 2016, appears to be at least the second time Mr. McArthur was interviewed by investigators in the years before he was eventually arrested and subsequently charged with six counts of first-degree murder.

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As The Globe's editorial board writes, it's time for an independent review into how the police have handled the case of the alleged serial killer.

Trudeau to appoint RCMP's first permanent female commissioner

The RCMP will be headed for the first time by a permanent female commissioner as the national police force continues to struggle with sexual harassment and gender imbalance in its ranks, federal sources said. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to announce the new commissioner at the RCMP training academy in Regina on Friday, where he is expected to emphasize the historic nature of the appointment.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Viola Desmond takes her place as Canadian civil rights icon as new $10 bill unveiled

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It's official. The civil-rights trailblazer is the new face of the $10 bill. The new banknote was unveiled by Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz at a Halifax ceremony on Thursday. It marks a growing recognition of Ms. Desmond's refusal to leave the whites-only section of a Nova Scotia movie theatre on Nov. 8, 1946 – nearly a decade before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Alabama – and the seminal role it played in Canada's civil-rights movement. She is now the first black person – and the first non-royal woman – on a regularly circulating Canadian banknote.

MORNING MARKETS

Stocks rise

Global shares hit a one-week high on Friday before easing a touch, as caution ahead of jobs data in the United States outweighed a potential breakthrough in nuclear tensions over the Korean peninsula. Tokyo's Nikkei gained 0.5 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng 1.1 per cent, and the Shanghai composite 0.6 per cent. In Europe, though, London's FTSE 100 was up marginally by about 6:10 a.m. ET, with the Paris CAC 40 up 0.1 per cent and Germany's DAX down 0.3 per cent. New York futures were up, and the Canadian dollar was heading back up toward the 78 US cent mark, sitting at 77.7 US cents in the early hours. Crude oil futures rose after two days of sell-offs.

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

Another good reason to hire women: to boost productivity (and men's pay)

"Over the past few decades, women's participation in the labour force has resulted in gains in the earnings of men. That may seem counterintuitive: You would think that an increased labour pool would push down wages for everyone. And yet, the evidence is clear. According to a new U.S. study from a researcher at the University of Akron, there is a very strong correlation between female labour-force participation and male earnings. … Although the research to date is not crystal-clear on the mechanism by which it happens, bringing women into the work force causes productivity to rise. It seems that having more women looking for work creates a larger pool of skills and abilities from which employers can choose, which benefits them. As well, in both Canada and the United States, the industries that have gained the most over the past decades have tended to be in the service sector and to be the ones that rewarded higher skill and education levels." Linda Nazareth

Trump's tariff agenda does not make economic sense

"Donald Trump has a long and lurid history of impulsive behaviour – just ask the tabloids – but his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum seems shambolic even by his standards. His announcement on Thursday included indefinite exemptions for Canada and Mexico while NAFTA is being renegotiated but didn't back off his standard message that other countries are taking advantage of the United States.The new levies, including a 10-per-cent tariff on aluminum and a 25-per-cent hit on steel, may simply be designed to bolster support among his political base ahead of midterm elections in November. More worryingly, they could signal the Trump administration's lurch into full-on protectionism.In either case, the President is signalling his willingness to punish allies, penalize U.S. manufacturers and endanger the global trade system. He's doing all this in order to advance an agenda that doesn't make a lot of economic sense." Ian McGugan (for subscribers)

Boushie's family – and our justice system – deserves answers. So why no appeal?

"The decision to not appeal the Stanley acquittal is perhaps not surprising, given some of the decisions of the prosecution at trial. But it is, nonetheless, very disappointing. The decision has denied the family, the community and Canada itself an opportunity for a second objective look at the process. It also unfortunately serves to reinforce the view among some lawyers and others that this was a fair and unbiased trial." David Tanovich

HEALTH PRIMER

Why high-tech gadgets are looking to the past to help us sleep better In Canada, about a third of adults get less than the recommended seven to nine hours of shut-eye, and roughly half report having trouble falling or staying asleep. Although a number of sleep aids are incorporating technology to help us get a better night's rest, Wency Leung reports that they're actually just revamping 17th-century ideas.

MOMENT IN TIME

Ivan Ivanovich achieves orbit

March 9, 1961: Only weeks before cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to venture into space, the Soviet Union launched Ivan Ivanovich, a life-like mannequin in a spacesuit that was used to help test the Vostok capsule. A flying menagerie that included a dog named Chernushka, guinea pigs, mice, reptiles, plant seeds and samples of microbes, human blood and cancer cells were also along for the ride. To test the capsule's radio, Ivan flew with an automated recording of choral music. The voyage lasted 1 hour 41 minutes, long enough to complete a single orbit. On the way down, Ivan was ejected from the capsule and descended to Earth on a parachute. To ensure that he was not mistaken for a real (and presumably dead) cosmonaut by well-meaning rescuers, a sign inside his visor read MAKET (dummy). The mannequin's head was destroyed in postmission tests, but the body flew again with a replacement head on March 25. His second journey marked the final test before Gagarin's historic flight. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ivan was auctioned off along with other space memorabilia to Texas billionaire Ross Perot. The space-faring mannequin is now on display at the U.S. National Air and Space Museum in Washington.– Ivan Semeniuk

Morning Update was written by Kiran Rana. If you'd like to receive this newsletter by e-mail every weekday morning, go here to sign up. If you have any feedback, send us a note.

A South Korean envoy announced that U.S. President Donald Trump is ready to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un by May in response to Kim's invitation to hold the first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit. Ryan Brooks reports. Reuters
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