News breakdown: March 10 -16

Students walked out of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, one month after 17 people were killed in a shooting at the school. (Courtesy Saul Martinez/The New York Times)

Students walked out of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, one month after 17 people were killed in a shooting at the school. (Courtesy Saul Martinez/The New York Times)

International

More than 3,000 demonstrations against gun violence in schools took place across every U.S. state, drawing approximately 1,000,000 students and allies. In other news Democrat Conor Lamb narrowly defeated Republican Rick Saccone in a special congressional election in Pennsylvania’s 16th district, where President Donald Trump won by 20 points in the general election.

In response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Manchester by the Russian government, the U.K. has expelled 23 undeclared Russian intelligence officers from the country as well as suspending all high-level bilateral contacts. The leaders of the U.K., U.S., France, and Germany have issued a joint statement placing the blame for the poisoning at Russia’s feet, but Russia responded by expelling 23 diplomats from the U.K. and ordered the closing of the British Council in Russia.

President Trump has fired former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, nominated former CIA Director Mike Pompeo as Tillerson’s replacement, and nominated CIA deputy director Gina Haspel as Pompeo’s replacement. Pompeo will likely be easily confirmed as Secretary of State due to the bipartisan nature of his confirmation as CIA Director. Haspel’s confirmation is in doubt over her role overseeing a secret CIA site in Thailand where torture took place and the destruction of evidence of torture under her orders.

Approximately 12,000 have fled rebel-controlled Eastern Ghouta after Syrian regime forces allowed an exodus mere hours after an intense night of airstrikes and shelling. Half of rebel-occupied territory has been seized by the regime in past weeks with rebel group Faylaq al Rahman withdrawing in recent days, seemingly in the face of defeat.

The South Korean government is proposing to hold high-level talks with North Korea in late March with an inter-Korean summit to take place in April. North Korea’s foreign minister has visited Sweden, whose North Korean embassy represents the U.S.’ interests, in a trip that is speculated to lead to a N.K.-U.S. summit in Stockholm in early April.

Doug Ford greets the media after being named as the newly elected leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives at the delayed Ontario PC Leadership announcement in Markham, Ont., on Saturday, March 10, 2018. (Courtesy CP/Chris Young)

Doug Ford greets the media after being named as the newly elected leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives at the delayed Ontario PC Leadership announcement in Markham, Ont., on Saturday, March 10, 2018. (Courtesy CP/Chris Young)

National

Doug Ford has won leadership of the Ontario PC party in a chaotic race where runner-up Christine Elliott beat Ford in number of ridings won and the popular vote, but lost in points which are the deciding factor in the PC leadership race. In a poll taken from the 12th-14th of March the PC party leads with 43 per cent predicted support. The Liberals and NDP are trailing with 27 per cent and 23 per cent respectively.

The Competition Bureau searched the offices of Postmedia and Torstar on March 12 in an anti-competition investigation into a swap of 41 papers between the two companies in November 2017. Following the paper swap both Postmedia and Torstar announced that 36 of their acquired papers would be shut down with almost 300 jobs being lost.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has imposed anti-dumping duties on Canadian newsprint with a duty of 6.53 per cent being imposed on 25 paper plants and additional duties on newsprint companies. Foreign Affairs Minister Freeland and Natural Resources Minister Carr called the duties “unjustified” and spoke of their negative impact.

President Trump has boasted in a speech at a fundraising event that he made up details about trade at a meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau, specifically about the US’ trade deficit where none exists. President Trump claimed that the U.S. had a $17 billion deficit with Canada when in fact the US ran a $2.8 billion surplus with Canada.

Toys “R” Us is in talks to sell their Canadian business as it closes its stores in the U.S with the U.S. company looking for permission from bankruptcy court to sell their equity interest in the Canadian division. MGA Entertainment, a California-based toy company, is looking to acquire the Canadian division of Toys “R” Us and have already submitted a bid.

A man makes his way down Gottingen Street in Halifax during a snowstorm on March 10, 2018. (Courtesy Alexander Quon/Global News)

A man makes his way down Gottingen Street in Halifax during a snowstorm on March 10, 2018. (Courtesy Alexander Quon/Global News)

Local

A man makes his way down Gottingen Street in Halifax during a snowstorm on March 10, 2018. (Courtesy Alexander Quon/Global News)

A major winter storm hit the Atlantic provinces with Nova Scotia being the hardest hit with more than 25 cm of precipitation and winds of up to 110 km/h. In two winter storms 14,000 and 40,000 lost power across Nova Scotia and a host of flights were cancelled out of Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

The Nova Scotian government has announced $245 million in new funding announcements, including $120 million for expanding high-speed internet service. These new funding announcements come as a result of recalculated offshore royalty revenues. They also include $40 million for funding research and innovation in ocean and clean energy as well as $16 million in funds for a needle exchange, job coaching for those with autism, and home energy efficiency improvement for low-income individuals.

Nova Scotia’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) will pay for $1.5 million in security upgrades to the CAT ferry terminal in Portland, without which the ferry service between Nova Scotia and Maine would have ceased. U.S. Customs and Border Protection initially sought $7 million, but the lowered price tag can be seen as a success for the TIR.

The provincial government said that it is expanding the Caregiver Benefit Program to support 600 additional adults living at home. The program offers $400 a month to those who provide unpaid care for 20 hours a week or more to an adult with high care needs.

The Dalhousie Student Union elections took place with Aaron Prosper being elected President, Masuma Khan being elected VPAE, Chantal Khoury being elected VPFO, Annie Shannon-Dwyer being elected VPI, Cory Larson being elected VPSL, and Kathleen Olds being elected BOG Representative. However, there are concerns over lost power and students not being able to. The DSU is considering a re-run of the elections as a result.