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Politics Today: Spence’s strike ends, but the #idlenomore fight continues

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, wearing a headdress, takes part in a drum ceremony before departing a Ottawa hotel to attend a ceremonial meeting at Rideau Hall with Gov. Gen. David Johnston in Ottawa Jan. 11, 2013.


Politics Today is your daily guide to some of the stories we're watching in Ottawa and across Canada, by The Globe and Mail's team of political reporters.

Spence strike ends, but fight continues

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence is set to end her hunger strike today with the signing of a declaration that native and Parliament's opposition leaders will carry on her fight. This deal was brokered by interim Liberal leader Bob Rae and native leader Alvin Fiddler, the Globe's Gloria Galloway reports. Ms. Spence has scheduled a news conference at 11 a.m. ET to speak about it.

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Also, John Ibbitson gives a close look to what the Harper government's priorities will be in making an agreement with first nations leaders.

Kerry is the key...stone

President Barack Obama's pick for Secretary of State, John Kerry, has his confirmation hearings today in the U.S. Senate, where he is sure to be asked about his views on the Keystone XL pipeline. Mr. Kerry is an enthusiastic environmentalist and sponsored the Senate's ill-fated plans for climate change legislation, and that will no doubt weigh heavily on his views about Keystone.

Meanwhile, to avoid a potential conflict of interest, the wealthy Massachusetts senator has been divesting his Canadian oil-company holdings.

Redford speaks

Speaking of Alberta oil, Premier Alison Redford will address the province tonight in a TV speech. She is expected to talk about the province's financial woes, which the finance minister has alluded to by calling the upcoming March budget not "fun." (Bad news for those who, uh, find most budgets fun.) Soft oil prices have been weighing h1eavily on the Progressive Conservative attempt to balance the books.

Who's in Davos?

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Last year at the Davos, Switzerland, international economic forum, Prime Minister Stephen Harper laid out his agenda for his first full year with a majority government. Not so this year. Mr. Harper isn't attending the conference going on right now, and in his stead are four members of cabinet: Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, International Trade Minister Ed Fast and Industry Minister Christian Paradis.

Also in attendance are Quebec Premier Pauline Marois and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. According to a list of delegates from The Guardian, eight of the 41 Canadians in Davos are public officials (the above, plus Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney and Marc Kielburger), but the bulk are CEOs and other businesspeople.

Nigeria makes the case for Mali intervention

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? Though things are bad in Mali now, they might get a whole lot worse without Western help, Nigeria's ambassador to Canada tells the Globe's Campbell Clark. Ojo Maduekwe says the African effort to end the conflict in Mali is substantial, but will have difficulty succeeding without continued military resources from France and others. "An incremental approach ultimately is not the smartest thing to do," he says. "It will be more convenient for now, but more costly in the future."

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