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Morning Briefing: In Canada’s cold there is heat - just not today

A woman walks her dog along a country road near Montreal Thursday, Dec. 27. This storm later hit Canada's Atlantic provinces. After only just digging themselves out, the Maritimes are set to receive upwards of 40 centimetres of snow Satuday night and Sunday.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

A summary of what you need to know today, compiled by The Globe's news desk on Jan. 22, 2013

This just in – temperatures are soaring

It's a jarring juxtaposition – on a day when a good chunk of the country is shivering its way through the coldest day of the winter comes word that Environment Canada is jacking up new temperature benchmarks to reflect climate change. Average temperature estimates are rising across the board, especially for winter, and conditions are getting more erratic – a "new normal" for our climate. The benchmarks – for precipitation and temperature – are used for all sorts of things, from how to construct houses and sewers to predicting mosquito season, writes The Globe's Anna Mehler Paperny.

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Canadian suspected in Philippine court shooting spree

Police allege that a Canadian man was involved in a bloody melee in a Philippine court room, shooting two people and wounding a prosecutor before being killed by a police officer. The suspect, identified as John Pope, 63, was appearing in court in central Cebu city facing illegal possession of firearms charges when he shot a lawyer and a doctor and wounded the prosecutor, according to police officials.

Canada meets French demand to extend plane mission

Canada is deepening it's involvement in war-torn Mali. Ottawa has agreed to a French request to extend the mission of its heavy-lift transportation plane. It isn't clear how long the mission – which had been set for just one week – will be extended, but it will fuel fears in some quarters that Canada is getting dragged deeper into the conflict. Ottawa, which is expected announce the extension later this week, would not confirm comments Monday by France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius that Canada would be assisting in the transport of African troops into the conflict zone.

Bolshoi head undergoing plastic surgery

The head of Russian's famed Bolshoi ballet is undergoing plastic surgery to repair damage from an acid attack last week that may leave him blind. Sergei Filin was attacked by a hooded assailant in the parking lot near his home last Thursday, an assault he believes was triggered by rivalries within the ballet. The 42-year-old artistic director says he can see light and shade only, but doctors remain hopeful they will be able to restore sight in one of his eyes.

Israelis head to the polls today

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Israel goes to the polls today, and while there's little doubt that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will return for another term, the question is what sort of government he will lead. The election, the first since 2009, comes after a campaign that badly weakened Mr. Netanyahu, writes The Globe's Patrick Martin from Jerusalem. While his Likud party combined with coalition partner Yisrael Beitenu is expected to form the core of the new government following the election, Mr. Netanyahu will need to bring in a number of smaller parties into the coalition, setting up difficult choices that will define his government.

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