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

Powerful earthquake kills more than 3,400 in Syria and Turkey

Developing story: A 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked parts of Turkey and Syria early today, killing more than 3,400 people and injuring thousands more as it toppled thousands of buildings and trapped residents under mounds of rubble.

Authorities feared the death toll would keep climbing as rescuers searched through tangles of metal and concrete for survivors in a region already suffering from Syria’s 12-year civil war and a refugee crisis.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada stood ready to provide help in the aftermath of the quake. Global Affairs Canada did not immediately respond to requests for comment about whether any Canadians were affected.

In photos: A look at the damage and rescue efforts as hundreds believed still trapped under the rubble

Video: Collapsing buildings, aftershocks and rescue efforts

Explainer: Latest updates on Turkey and Syria’s earthquake, and how you can help

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Tories silent ahead of the health care summit between Ottawa and the provinces

The federal Conservatives are staying mum on whether they support injecting billions more into Canada’s health care systems and won’t say whether they would uphold a new health accord negotiated between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the premiers.

Trudeau will gather with his provincial and territorial counterparts in Ottawa tomorrow, where he is expected to offer the premiers a “large sum of money” that will go toward an increase to the base funding and separate bilateral deals that will target key areas, such as primary care.

In return for the federal funding, a senior federal official says, the Prime Minister expects a pledge that none of the new money will be redirected to non-health care spending, and that the provinces and territories will not reduce their contributions to medicare.

Opinion: Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are stuck in the mud and hoping a health care deal helps pull them out - Campbell Clark

Ukraine’s defence ministry in turmoil as it braces for new Russian offensive

Ukraine has sown confusion about whether Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov would be replaced, creating doubts about the leadership just ahead of a Russian offensive expected as the war’s first anniversary approaches.

A day after announcing that Reznikov would be sidelined, a top ally of President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared to row back, saying no changes would be made this week.

Opinion: Canada is taking an unserious approach to stopping the Russian Wagner Group - Jessica Davis

The dangerous hype around psychedelics as a treatment for mental illness

Proponents claim that once-taboo substances such as MDMA, psilocybin, ayahuasca and ibogaine could help free countless sufferers from the agonies of mental illness and addiction, Marcus Gee writes.

But research into the therapeutic value of the drugs is still in its infancy. Many of the claims about them – that they rewire the brain, that they help people conquer their inner demons – remain unproven.

The danger is that all of this raises the hopes of the afflicted, only to let them down with a thump.


Chinese spy balloon fallout continues: As the United States continues to search for the wreckage of an alleged Chinese spy balloon, Beijing has criticized its shooting down as a dangerous overreaction that risked further damaging diplomatic ties.

Opinion: In the Chinese spy balloon crisis, cooler heads prevailed – and that’s a good thing - Michael Byers

U.S. earthquake felt in Canada: A 4.2 magnitude earthquake was “lightly felt” in Ontario this morning after it hit near Buffalo, Earthquakes Canada says – a light quake by international measures but the largest to hit the area in more than a half-century.

Alphabet job cuts begin in Canada: Google and YouTube parent Alphabet started laying off employees in Canada today, more than two weeks after the California-based internet giant said it would chop 12,000 workers worldwide in a cost-cutting measure.

Grammys recap: Beyoncé broke the record for most career wins at music’s Grammy awards last night with 32. But album of the year eluded her again, with British singer Harry Styles taking home the honours for Harry’s House. Canadian winners include North Vancouver songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr., who picked up two Grammys for work with the likes of Styles and Adele. Drake and Michael Bublé also won trophies.

Read more: The best and worst moments from the 2023 Grammy Awards

Red carpet looks: Lizzo wows in orange, Doja Cat dons black Latex

RIP Charles Kimbrough: The Tony- and Emmy-nominated actor who played straight-laced news anchor Jim Dial opposite Candice Bergen on Murphy Brown, has died at 86.

Kimbrough played newsman Jim Dia


North American equity markets closed lower today after data showing a resilient U.S. jobs market suggested interest rates will stay higher for longer as central banks fight to slow inflation amid relatively strong economic growth.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 34.99 points or 0.1 per cent to 33,891.02, the S&P 500 fell 25.40
points or 0.61 per cent to 4,111.08 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 119.50 points or 1 per cent to end at 11,313.36.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index dropped 129.42 points or 0.62 per cent to 20,628.92. The loonie traded at 74.37 U.S. cents.

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Why the NHL all-star weekend is a cringe convention

“Judging by the mortified looks, even the players seem to get that this isn’t a career highlight. It’s something they’ll have to live down.” - Cathal Kelly


If you set health and wellness goals in January, the “fresh start effect” may be starting to wear off. Here’s how to reset those goals. Steps include:

  • Shift your focus: You’re more likely to succeed if you add a healthy behaviour to your routine instead of swearing off something you think unhealthy.
  • Break down big goals: If you aim to lose 20 pounds or more this year, set small monthly weight loss targets.


To save Great Salt Lake, Utah explores radical options – and other water-starved states are taking notes

At about half the size of Lake Ontario, the Great Salt Lake is the largest inland body of salt water in the western hemisphere. Rapid drying threatens the ecosystems and Utah communities that rely on it.Nathan VanderKlippe/The Globe and Mail

Great Salt Lake is in crisis, drying so fast it may cease to function as a living body of water in just a few years, parched by the huge volumes of rain and snowmelt diverted to irrigate crops and flush toilets.

The crisis at the lake has produced no shortage of ideas to fix the problem. One state lawmaker wants to use nuclear energy to pump deep groundwater to the lake. Others have recommended a mass forest cull, saying the state has too many trees that are sucking up too much water.

How Utah acts is especially important because it is dependably conservative, said Ben Abbott, an aquatic ecologist at Brigham Young University who is among the leading scientific advocates for the lake. Its actions are viewed with less skepticism than those of liberal regions such as Colorado or California.

If Utah can find a way to resolve the Great Salt Lake crisis, the steps it takes could build a template for others to follow. Read Nathan VanderKlippe’s full story.

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