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

Hopes for an experimental coronavirus vaccine weren’t dashed today, which is a cautious way of saying early-stage clinical trials for the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine candidate managed to produce an immune response.

The leading candidate to thwart the COVID-19 pandemic was not the only one to see encouraging developments, but one must view the positive news with a long lens, especially as the pandemic continues to leave both literal and secondary casualties in its wake.

In the Arctic, researchers are not sure how to regroup from a field season lost to travel restrictions, except to seek local support. For Canadian restaurateurs, the slowdown caused by physical distancing meant to stem the spread of coronavirus is an existential crisis, and a widely supported letter penned by industry lobby groups is asking governments to help reduce these businesses’ operating costs and encourage dining out.

The flipside of this discretionary-spending problem is shown in a survey that suggests Canadians feel better about personal debt than they have years.

And of course, we’re a long way from knowing how it will all play out.

More COVID-19 coverage: It’s been six months since COVID-19 came to Canada. Here are some of the lives we’ve lost

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Crash cause unknown: Police say it wasn’t a rock slide that caused a tourist bus to roll over near a glacier in Jasper National Park on Saturday, killing three people, but the cause is still unknown and removing the vehicle is a delicate operation that could take days.

Downed jet probe under way: While rejecting Iran’s conclusion that human error caused a passenger jet to be shot down in January, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister says a thorough international probe of the incident will take a long time. The crash killed 55 Canadians and 30 permanent residents.

PM’s personal day: Justin Trudeau did not appear in the House of Commons today to face questions about the WE Charity controversy, even though the Prime Minister said last week he was prepared to respond to opposition parties. His itinerary says he will appear tomorrow instead.

New Jersey intrigue: Investigators are exploring the possibility of a link between an attorney’s suicide and the fatal shooting of a federal judge’s son on the weekend. The judge, Esther Salas, was recently appointed to hear a lawsuit related to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Extradition treaty paused: Britain is suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong in a response to new Chinese security legislation affecting the former British colony.

Tax hikes ahead?: Some financial advisers are telling their wealthy clients to anticipate tax hikes as all levels of government look for ways to pay off mounting coronavirus-related debt.


News of promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates had investors in an optimistic mood today, on both sides of the border. The main stock indexes all rose, though there were mitigating factors on both Wall Street and Bay Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8.92 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 26,680.87, the S&P 500 gained 27.11 points, or 0.84 per cent, to 3,251.84 and the Nasdaq Composite added 263.90 points, or 2.51 per cent, to 10,767.09. The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 60.18 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 16,183.66.

Looking for investing ideas? Check out The Globe’s weekly digest of the latest insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and what investors need to know for the week ahead. This week’s edition includes bargain value stocks, tech ETFs and a tasty growth play.


Getting kids back to school has to be our top priority

“The single best way to ensure schools can reopen safely is to ensure there is no community spread. And when there is, we need to be able to catch cases quickly and limit spread with efficient contact tracing. When kids go back to school, there will be transmission of COVID-19. We have to accept that there is no risk-free scenario. But again, the real issue lies in balancing the risks and the benefits.” – André Picard, Staff Columnist

The first thing we need to know about the WE Charity deal is how this bad idea began

“Once the PM announces a program, it’s happening. [Assistant deputy minister] Rachel Wernick’s job was just to execute. So who pushed the idea forward in the crucial period when the decision on whether to go ahead with the student-grant project was really made – before it was announced by the PM? And did they already have WE in mind?” – Campbell Clark, Chief Political Writer

Enforcing masks may seem impossible, but that was said about anti-smoking bylaws, too

“Just as anti-maskers today claim that their choices do not affect anyone else, so too did critics of past anti-smoking bylaws, who insisted that their decision to smoke indoors was essentially of no one else’s concern. The science about second-hand smoke was ‘spurious,’ after all.” – Robyn Urback, Staff Columnist

We must act now to prevent the loss of an entire generation in long-term care

“There is no time to wait for the results of an Ontario government commission looking into how the LTC system responded to COVID-19. The commission will deliberate until the sting of our failures wears off and our memories become clouded. We already have 21 years of evidence and 35 reports detailing the changes needed within the LTC sector – all of these are collecting dust. We do not need more reports – we need immediate corrective action.” – Dr. Doris Grinspun, chief executive of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario


Menze Visuals/Handout

How four couples creatively tied the knot during the pandemic

While most involved in high wedding season are experiencing an eerie quiet in 2020, others are embracing the chance to celebrate their love in their own quiet way, minus the eerie. The Globe’s Gayle MacDonald reached out to four couples to hear how their original grand plans turned out on a smaller scale.


One mental-health solution: a kinder, gentler emergency department for people considering suicide

A proposed hospital expansion in Ontario might provide the first Canadian opportunity for advocates of a new approach to emergency care for patients considering suicide. What’s clear is that the current situation – long waits in crowded emergency rooms and the chance of being locked alone in a small, uncomfortable room – is failing.

Instead, there is hope that patients can receive treatment and care quickly in a comfortable dedicated space, and be discharged without straining ER resources. They get a treatment plan when they leave as well.

The idea comes from the United States, where EmPath (emergency psychiatric assessment, treatment and healing) units have been found to reduce wait times, hospitalizations and the need for restraints for patients at risk of self-harm.

Read the full article by Erin Anderssen here.

Evening Update is compiled and written weekdays by an editor in The Globe’s live news department. 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.