Here’s what we’re reading today.
1. ‘I need to do more’: Bill Morneau takes steps to calm ethics controversy
“Finance Minister Bill Morneau is placing his assets in a blind trust and divesting shares in his family-built company to calm a growing ethics controversy over his personal holdings.
“During a news conference on Parliament Hill, Morneau said he will unload the million shares, worth about $20 million, he has in Morneau Shepell, the human resources and pension management company his father founded.
“His other assets will be placed in a blind trust in order to avoid any public perception of conflict of interest, he said. ”
– CBC News
2. Liberals drop controversial capital-gains tax change in reform retreat
“Finance Minister Bill Morneau has pulled one of his three tax proposals targeting high earners, moving to quell outcry that has spurred questions about his own personal finances as he prepares to unveil a Canadian budget update.
“Morneau, speaking Thursday at a farm in Erinsville, Ontario, said the government wouldn’t proceed with proposed changes that would have restricted a person’s ability to convert money held in a private corporation into capital gains as a way to reduce taxes.”
3. Trump’s chief of staff defends his boss, speaks of his own son lost to war
“In a remarkable, somber appearance in the White House briefing room, Mr. Kelly, a retired Marine general whose son Second Lt. Robert Kelly was slain in battle in 2010, said he had told the president what he was told when he got the news.
“‘He was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed,’ Mr. Kelly recalled. ‘He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1 percent. He knew what the possibilities were, because we were at war.'”
4. What would happen if Amazon brought 50,000 workers to your city? Ask Seattle.
“As Seattleites will say, keeping up with the Internet juggernaut has not always been easy, providing a word of caution for officials from other cities willing to pursue the company at great expense.”
5. Spain unleashes historic power to end Catalan independence push
“Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will deploy the Spanish government’s most wide-ranging constitutional powers for the first time in the country’s history as he seeks to land a decisive blow on the Catalan separatist movement.
“Spanish stocks and bonds dropped as Rajoy’s government said it will move forward with the process of suspending the powers of the Catalan administration after regional President Carles Puigdemont refused to shelve his claim to independence.”