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Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:

1,250 Canadians and family members still stranded in Afghanistan, Ottawa says

Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau says about 1,250 Canadian nationals, permanent residents and family members are stranded in Afghanistan as Canada and its allies continue to put pressure on the Taliban to allow them safe passage out of the country.

Mr. Garneau, alongside Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino, further announced that Canada was accepting 5,000 Afghan refugees that are now in overcrowded U.S. bases in the Middle East and Europe.

Meanwhile, in a televised address this afternoon, President Biden defended his handling of the evacuation. Yesterday, the U.S. pulled its last troops out of Afghanistan ahead of the August 31 withdrawal deadline, ending a two-decade war and leaving the Taliban to take over Kabul airport and declare victory.

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Canada’s economy posts surprise second-quarter contraction, casting shadow over recovery

The Canadian economy suffered a shock contraction in the second quarter and the summer reopening is off to a rocky start, casting a shadow over the country’s recovery process.

Exports were slammed from April to June, a direct consequence of global supply-chain disruptions. Key materials are in short supply, freight rates have surged to records, and container ships wait days to unload at ports, leading to incessant headaches for companies.

Those challenging dynamics are poised to continue for some time, particularly as the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads widely among key trading partners in the Asia-Pacific region.

Day 17 of the federal election campaign

Leader Justin Trudeau was in Ottawa today as the Liberals are promising to create a new, permanent health transfer to provinces and territories for mental health care, at an initial cost of $4.5-billion over five years.

In Vancouver, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he will crack down on “big-money” house flippers by increasing the taxable amount of capital gains profits from 50 to 75 per cent. Meanwhile, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole in Ottawa stressed his party’s goal to balance the budget “without cuts” within 10 years.

Outside the campaign trail, the Assembly of First Nations released key priorities for the next federal government, including calls for an emphasis to be placed on reconciliation, climate leadership and economic growth for First Nations. Also, an internal report says that racism and transphobia are significant problems within the Green Party that the organization has failed to effectively manage.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Ontario optometrists poised to withdraw provincially covered services Wednesday: Optometrists in Ontario are poised to withdraw services covered by provincial health insurance starting tomorrow following a breakdown in talks with the government. The Ontario Association of Optometrists says it’s aware of the inconvenience to patients but argues the government has left it with no other choice.

U.S. rail regulator deals blow to CN’s US$29.8-billion bid to take over Kansas City Southern: The U.S. rail regulator blocked Canadian National Railway’s (CN) first of two steps to take over U.S. carrier Kansas City Southern (KCS). The Surface Transportation Board on Tuesday rejected CN’s proposal to create the voting trust in which it planned to independently own and operate KCS while awaiting STB approval of the takeover itself.

Tourism association ‘caught off guard’ by U.S. travel advisory for Canada: Canada’s tourism and hotel associations say they were caught off guard and disappointed by the U.S. government’s decision to escalate its travel advisory for Canada. The U.S. State Department urged Americans on Monday to “reconsider” travel to Canada as it set the travel advisory to Level 3.

Dany Fortin’s lawyers cite Patty Hajdu interview comment in court fight over his firing: Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin’s lawyers are citing Health Minister Patty Hajdu’s statements during a CTV television interview on May 30 in their fight to prove their client’s removal as head of Canada’s vaccine distribution campaign constituted improper political interference.

Mike Richards out as executive producer of Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune: Mike Richards is out as executive producer of Jeopardy!, days after he exited as the quiz show’s newly appointed host because of past misogynistic and other comments. Richards is also no longer executive producer of Wheel of Fortune, according to a memo to staff that was confirmed by Sony, which produces both of the shows.

Theranos founder’s abuse claims could complicate jury selection in fraud trial: Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’s claims that she was abused by the company’s chief operating officer, who at the time was her boyfriend, could complicate jury selection in her highly anticipated fraud trial, legal experts said.

MARKET WATCH

Canada’s main stock index closed slightly lower after reaching an intraday record but ended August by notching a seventh straight month of gains for the longest streak in more than four years.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 12.03 points, or 0.06 per cent, to 20,582.94. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 39.11 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 35,360.73, the S&P 500 lost 6.11 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 4,522.68 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 6.66 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 15,259.24.

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LIVING BETTER

Globe Craft Club: Learn how to knit a scarf before the cold weather arrives

Tonight at 7 p.m. ET, join expert knitter Tarra McCannell – who has 30 years of practice and has knitted hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces – for the final instalment of the Craft Club. She will be teaching the club how to knit a basic striped scarf, just in time for sweater weather.

TIFF 2021: 15 films we’re most anticipating at this year’s hybrid festival

If the 46th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival isn’t the organization’s big blockbuster comeback year, it is certainly a giant leap toward the normalcy of previous editions. For starters, there are about twice as many films screening this year compared with 2020. The Globe and Mail’s Arts team has been picking through this year’s programming to bring you our most anticipated TIFF 2021 titles. Catch ‘em all, if you can.

TODAY’S LONG READ

Dr. Tim O’Shea makes sure Hamilton’s homeless have access to health care

After a day spent on the streets of Hamilton downtown core, Marcie McIlveen, right and in purple shirt, outreach coordinator for HAMSMART, updates Dr. Tim O'Shea after an afternoon of encampment visits with outreach worker fellow outreach worker Dani Delottinville.​Glenn Lowson/The Globe and Mail

Tim O’Shea sees his first patient of the day in a parking lot behind a downtown community health centre.

The man, who is homeless, has an eye infection so bad that both eyes are nearly swollen shut. He’d been treated in hospital and discharged with antibiotics, outreach worker Marcie McIlveen explains to Dr. O’Shea – but lost them shortly after, when his backpack was stolen on the streets.

On this hot Thursday afternoon in Hamilton, Dr. O’Shea kneels beside the man on the pavement, retrieving an iPad from his own backpack to email a replacement prescription to a nearby pharmacy.

Each week, Dr. O’Shea, a member of Hamilton’s Social Medicine Response Team (HAMSMaRT), makes the rounds with Ms. McIlveen. Together, they provide some of the city’s most marginalized people with access to health care. Read Molly Hayes’ full story here.

Evening Update is written by Ibnul Chowdhury. If you’d like to receive this newsletter by e-mail every weekday evening, go here to sign up. If you have any feedback, send us a note.