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The weapon system believed to have shot down UIA Flight 752 designed to riddle air targets with shrapnel

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The SA-15 is a Russian-made surface-to-air missile system manufactured by a subsidiary of Moscow-based Almaz-Antey Corp., a state-owned arms-maker. Russia sold 29 of the systems to Iran in the mid-2000s.

According to Michael Duitsman, a research associate with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, Calif., the missile system automatically tracks targets and points them out to a human operator, who then must press a button to fire the missiles.

The commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force had requested that civilian flights be halted, he says, but the request was not acted upon.

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U.S. Senate opens President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial

Hours before proceedings got under way in the Capitol, a congressional watchdog concluded that the White House broke the law by withholding military aid to Kyiv to crank up the pressure on Ukraine to tarnish Joe Biden, one of his presidential rivals, by investigating him and his son Hunter Biden over the latter’s Ukrainian business dealings.

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In the early afternoon, Adam Schiff led a group of seven Democratic members of the House of Representatives who will serve as de facto prosecutors to the Senate to formally deliver the articles of impeachment.

The contours of the trial – such as whether it will hear from witnesses and how long it will take – remain up in the air.

Opinions:

  • Lawrence Martin: To acquit Trump, just how much will Republican senators have to hold their noses?
  • Gary Mason: Don’t look now, but Donald Trump’s on a roll

Supreme Court dismisses B.C. bid to limit heavy-oil shipments across the province

After a one-day hearing, the bench deliberated for less than half an hour before Chief Justice Richard Wagner announced the decision, upholding a lower-court ruling that what B.C. is proposing would be unconstitutional because only Ottawa has oversight of the federally owned and regulated Trans Mountain pipeline, or TMX.

The B.C. provincial government had asked the court to rule on whether it has the power to regulate the transport of heavy oil through its territory.

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Both B.C. and Alberta have been in a long-running conflict over the Trans Mountain expansion, which would triple the capacity of the existing pipeline, providing access to new overseas markets for Alberta’s landlocked oil.

  • Also read: First Nation chief calls on Kenney to back land-preservation plan that would threaten proposed oil-sands project
  • Editorial: Alberta’s oil patch is taking it on the chin again, and the prime suspect is still the lack of pipelines

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says union leaders holding parents ‘hostage’ in education contract talks: All teachers’ unions in the province are either on work to rule or staging one-day walkouts. Contract negotiations have stalled, and no further talks are scheduled.

Bank of Montreal creates Indigenous Advisory Council after arrest of Indigenous man, granddaughter: The council, with eight Indigenous members from across Canada, is intended to help with the company’s response to last month’s incident, as well as with wider calls for corporate policies to be put in place in light of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The Premiers of B.C. and Ontario would welcome Harry and Meghan as residents of their provinces: However, the question of who may foot the bill for the couple’s security in Canada has led to the creation of an online petition this week from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, which is urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ensure Canadians are not on the hook for the costs.

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MORNING MARKETS

World shares rise as Chinese report fuels bets on growth: World shares rose to record highs on Friday, buoyed by Chinese data that suggested the world’s second-biggest economy was stabilizing. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended up 0.45 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.60 per cent. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.78 per cent just after 6 a.m. ET. Germany’s DAX was up 0.64 per cent. New York futures were positive. The Canadian dollar was trading at 76.68 US cents.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Are the federal Conservatives a party of losers?

Bob Plamondon: “Party members should ask themselves which of the candidates would they most want to have a coffee or a beer with." Plamondon is the author of Full Circle: Death and Resurrection in Canadian Conservative Politics

Want to bring the Michaels home? Send Meng Wanzhou back to China

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Eddie Goldenberg: “There will be plenty of time, once our two citizens are back on home soil, to debate and determine what our future relationship should be with China and, indeed, with the United States.” Goldenberg is a former chief of staff of prime minister Jean Chrétien and is now a partner in the law firm of Bennett Jones LLP.

One is the loneliest number: On the world stage, Canada has been left to stand alone

Greg Donaghy and Thomas Axworthy: “For the first time in our history, Canada is virtually alone in the world, creating unprecedented challenges for our foreign policy. We need to get more serious about our diplomacy than ever before.” Donaghy is the director of the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History at Trinity College at the University of Toronto. Axworthy is the public policy chair at U of T’s Massey College.

TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

By Brian Gable

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail

LIVING BETTER

For downsizing retirees, decluttering a lifetime of stuff can be overwhelming, but help is out there

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After years of living in a home and raising a family, the prospect of sorting through a lifetime of belongings can be overwhelming. Retirees facing this task might not have the strength to tackle it, while those still working might not have the time. In Canada, this has started an industry to help people downsize. For example, Cindy Beaudet, owner of Destinations Seniors Downsizing in Calgary, charges $60 an hour for services such as sorting, packing, moving, setting everything up in the new place, and selling or donating a home’s contents.

MOMENT IN TIME

NHL goalie Jacques Plante is born

Plante shows off an early-model mask beside a team photo in this 1965 photo. (CP PHOTO)

The Canadian Press

Jan. 17, 1929: Jacques Plante, one of the National Hockey League’s greatest goaltenders, was born on this day in 1929 and passed into legend 30 years later during the first period of a game in New York. After his cheek and lip were sliced open by a puck, the Montreal Canadiens goalie returned to the ice with stitches in his flesh and a crude fibreglass mask on his face. Plante had developed the mask years earlier but his coach, Toe Blake, insisted he use it only in practices. When he told Blake he wouldn’t return to the game without it, he got his way. He went on to become the first goalie to wear a mask during games on a regular basis. It’s preposterous today to think of goalies playing with nothing on their heads but a tuque. Yet it took Plante’s courage and innovative spirit to make masks acceptable. Plante won six Stanley Cups with the Canadiens and seven Vézina Trophies as the NHL’s best goalie. He played pro hockey until 1975, and died of cancer in Switzerland in 1986. — Peter Scowen

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