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South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma leaves the room after announcing his resignation in Pretoria on Wednsday.

SIPHIWE SIBEKO/REUTERS

Good morning,

After nearly 10 years in charge, Jacob Zuma has resigned as president of South Africa. He had been under pressure from his own party to step aside and the country's Parliament was set to hold a vote to dismiss him if he didn't relinquish his post. Cyril Ramaphosa, the former deputy president and a political rival, replaces Mr. Zuma.

"The ANC should never be divided in my name," Mr. Zuma said in a late-night address to South Africans "I have therefore come to the decision to resign as President of the Republic with immediate effect, even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organization."

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Mr. Zuma had been plagued by allegations of corruption and his son's business associates were the subject of a police raid earlier in the day. The Globe's Africa correspondent Geoffrey York writes in a recap of Mr. Zuma's political career that in the end, his double life finally caught up with him: "The double identity drove his political career. It meant that he was always underestimated by his rivals. With supreme confidence, he laughed at his critics and rebounded from disastrous setbacks that would have destroyed a lesser politician. He chuckled gleefully at the insults that his foes hurled at him in Parliament, then had them violently evicted by thuggish bouncers. In the end, the double life caught up with him."

And Robert Rotberg writes in a column that "Cyril Ramaphosa's assumption of power should save South Africa."

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CANADIAN HEADLINES

Patrick Brown, who stepped down as leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives after being accused of sexual harassment, is publicly defending himself. He says the claims against him are a "fabricated political assassination." CTV is sticking by their initial story, although one of the two women now says she thinks her incident with Mr. Brown happened a year or so later than was originally reported.

The Supreme Court has ordered a new trial in a sexual assault case, because they say the trial judge relied on stereotypes of how victims in such cases are supposed to behave.

The Liberal government says they will introduce legislation soon to remove barriers that Indigenous people face in courts. Groups would no longer have to prove their constitutional rights in every case, as they do now, but would have those assumed.

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Justin Trudeau has appointed veteran government lawyer Caroline Maynard to be the next federal information commissioner.

B.C. Premier John Horgan is raising concerns that a dispute with Ottawa over the fate of the Trans Mountain could affect federal funding for social programs. The warning from Mr. Horgan comes after federal officials abruptly cancelled an announcement last week for $153-million in childcare funding for the province. The federal government insists it was merely a scheduling issue, but the incident has caused confusion over the fate of the deal.

The B.C. government's plan to allow cities to create special zones for rental housing has city planners eager to take advantage of the new rules. But they're always cautious that restricting expensive plots of land could hurt property values and may not be easy to implement in already densely populated city centres.

And the federal Liberals suggest there will be some help for media companies in this year's budget.

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on automation: "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."

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on sex ed: "[Doug] Ford is hoping that this discomfort over sex-ed could drive support among socially conservative voters, both immigrant and native-born, to his side. He may be right. But the consequences would be just awful."

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Linda McQuaig (Toronto Star) on climate change: "But trying to find some happy middle ground doesn't work when the force to be reckoned with is nature. You can't cut a deal with her on climate any more than you can barter with her about the laws of gravity."

Andrew Coyne (National Post) with the contrarian take on saving the news business: "Reasonable people can differ on whether the government should rescue the newspaper industry from its own mistakes. I've argued it's unnecessary — nothing is preventing people from paying for what we produce if they choose and, in fact, the better papers are finding more and more people willing to do so."

The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on Kavous Seyed-Emami: "Canada should relentlessly insist on an autopsy and, if necessary, turn to the United Nations to increase the pressure. We know Iran's cruel game. Let's not play along with it.."

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INTERNATIONAL HEADLINES

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is dismissing the allegations of corruption against him and vowed to carry on despite a police recommendation that he be indicted on corruption charges. Police say that he accepted nearly $300,000 in gifts from two billionaires and Israel's attorney-general is considering whether to press charges or not.

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A meeting between Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and U.S. President Donald Trump is being planned for the next few weeks. The statement by Mexico's foreign ministry comes after Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray was at the White House for bilateral talks, during which trade, security, energy and migration were discussed.

At least 17 people are dead after a former student opened fire with an AR-15 assault rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. We are less than 50 days into 2018, but gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety says that this is the 18th shooting in a U.S. school so far this year.

Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, a longtime opponent to former dictator Robert Mugabe, died after an ongoing battle with colon cancer at age 65.

And U.S. inflation picked up, signalling that an era of low prices is nearing an end. Investors fear that the U.S. federal reserve and other central banks could move in a more aggressive fashion to ward off possible overheating in their economies.

We also have a new weekly newsletter called Amplify that will inspire and challenge our readers while highlighting the voices, opinions and insights of women at The Globe and Mail. Amplify will have a different guest editor each week - a woman who works at The Globe - highlighting a topic of the author's choice. Sign up today.

Video shot by eyewitness Mike Quaranta shows Nikolas Cruz's arrest on Wednesday afternoon. Cruz is accused of killing 17 people at a Florida school. Reuters
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