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Evening Update: All 12 boys, coach rescued from Thai cave; Theresa May survives Brexit rebellion for now

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

All 12 boys and their soccer coach freed from Thai cave in daring rescue mission

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It was the ending people around the world had been holding their breaths for: All 12 boys and their coach trapped in a flooded Thai cave have been rescued. Thailand’s Navy Seals, who were central to the rescue effort, said on their Facebook page that the remaining four boys and their 25-year-old coach were all brought out safely today. Eight of the boys were rescued by a team of Thai and international divers on Sunday and Monday. “We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the 13 Wild Boars are now out of the cave,” the SEALs said, referring to the name of the boys’ soccer team. A medic and all the Navy Seal divers involved in the rescue mission have also left the cave safely.

Theresa May survives a Brexit rebellion for now, as Tories face spectre of losing power

British Prime Minister Theresa May has survived a threat to her leadership, and plans to press ahead with her Brexit strategy, Paul Waldie writes. She looked to be on shaky ground yesterday after three pro-Brexit cabinet ministers resigned, including leadership rival Boris Johnson. The departing ministers quit in protest over what they see as Ms. May’s growing softness on Brexit.

U.S. President Donald Trump waded into the controversy as well by praising Mr. Johnson while noting the “turmoil” in Britain. Mr. Trump has been an outspoken supporter of Brexit and is set to meet Ms. May in London later this week.

Ms. May has moved quickly to try to re-establish her authority. She replaced Johnson and the other former cabinet ministers within hours and publicly challenged their reasons for resigning. She also fended off a Tory MP rebellion by warning them that sacking her could prompt an election that their party might lose.

Canada will not double its defence spending despite calls from Trump, Trudeau says

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held the line in the face of calls from Mr. Trump for NATO members to increase their defence spending, saying Canada has no plans to double the amount of money spent on its military.

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He played down the weight given to an agreement made by all NATO allies in 2014 to spend 2 per cent of GDP on defence within the next decade. The target, he said, is “an easy shorthand” but also a “limited tool” to measure a country’s commitment to the alliance.

Mr. Trudeau’s comments came on the eve of what many expect will be one of the most contentious meetings between NATO leaders in the alliance’s 69-year history, with Mr. Trump putting allies on notice that they need to pony up on defence – or else.

Following the NATO summit, Mr. Trump will meet with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. With the Russian leader, “getting along” is “a really smart thing,” he says. Lawrence Martin writes: “It’s a smart thing if you’re dealing with a Russian leader who listens to reason. It’s a smart thing if getting along does not mean condoning Kremlin aggression but rather results in it being curtailed. But Vladimir Putin shows no willingness to turn a corner and act in partnership with Western democracies. Nor, it seems, does the U.S. President. He’d rather break the bonds.”

Health Canada recalls heart drug due to contamination with possible carcinogen

Health Canada has announced a major recall of drugs used for high blood pressure and heart failure because they may be contaminated with a probable human carcinogen, Carly Weeks writes. The drugs, made with the active ingredient valsartan, were found to contain N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Health Canada said Chinese company Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals supplied the valsartan to several companies that used it to make drugs. Here’s a list of the recalled drugs.

Ontario cancels some education-related summer workshops, school repair fund

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A series of education-related summer workshops have been abruptly cancelled as part of Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government’s crackdown on spending, Caroline Alphonso writes.

Educators learned of the cancellations in e-mails from the Ministry of Education just days before sessions were set to begin. The sessions would have involved writing curriculum on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, one on American sign language and one on Indigenous languages in kindergarten.

And school boards, facing a $15.9-billion repair backlog, learned in a memo that the new government has cancelled a $100-million fund earmarked for school repairs. The cut is the result of the cancellation of the province’s cap-and-trade program, which paid for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund for schools and helped fund energy-efficient building elements such as new windows and furnaces.

France advances to World Cup final, beats Belgium 1-0

France is back in the World Cup final for the first time since Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt in 2006. Twelve years after one of soccer’s most infamous moments, Samuel Umtiti used his head to score from a corner kick in the 51st minute and earn France a 1-0 victory over Belgium in the first of the all-European semifinals. France will face either Croatia or England in the final on Sunday in Moscow. Those two teams play in the other semifinal match tomorrow.

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MARKET WATCH

Canada’s main stock index rose to a record high today as the energy sector continued to gain on the back of rising oil prices. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 96.38 points at 16,548.72, beating the record high the market set on Monday. The Canadian dollar slipped and was trading near 76.20 U.S. cents.

In the U.S., the S&P 500 extended recent gains to post its highest close since Feb. 1 as strong results from PepsiCo Inc boosted optimism about the earnings season. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 142.87 points to 24,919.46 and the Nasdaq Composite added 3 points to 7,759.20.

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WHAT’S TRENDING ON SOCIAL

U.S. tennis superstar Serena Williams has advanced to the semifinals of Wimbledon, with a fiercely contested victory over Italy’s Camila Giorgi. But that wasn’t the only buzz at Centre Court in London. Canadian rapper Drake, whose recent Scorpion album is burning up the music charts, was seen cheering on his pal. The seven-time Wimbledon champion will next take on Germany’s Julia Goerges.

TALKING POINTS

‘No Jab, No Pay’. In Australia, no excuse accepted for unvaccinated kids

“Canada would do well too to learn from Australia and abolish the nonsensical acceptance of “conscientious objection” to vaccination. People have a right to practise religion (or embrace so-called alternative medicine) but that does not include the liberty to expose a child or a community to a communicable disease that can cause illness or death.“ – André Picard

The dawn of an Ottawa-Ontario battle like none other

“Brace yourself for a chapter like no other in the epic tale of conflict between Queen’s Park and Parliament Hill. Such battles are as old as Confederation, but this one could be a doozy. There is an assumption out there that Ontario is the ‘good’ province, that Ontarians place the national interest above parochial concerns. History tells a different tale.” – John Ibbitson

Morals over money: Low-cost options for socially responsible investors

“Fees aside, what about the claim that investing responsibly comes at a steep price in terms of lower returns or higher risk than a well-diversified broad-based index? That is a tired trope. While a grossly undiversified portfolio certainly can expose an investor to unpleasant surprises, one need not invest in the whole market to achieve both good diversification and returns commensurate with the amount of risk taken.” – Lisa Kramer, professor of finance at the University of Toronto

LIVING BETTER

Stiff neck and aching shoulders from reaching forward to type all day or bowing over your smartphone? Here are three exercises to get rid of that desk-jockey slouch from Lorrie Maffey, a clinical musculoskeletal specialist with the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. They involve moving your arms in the shapes of Y, T and W. You can do them sitting or standing, and make sure you have an elongated, straight spine, Wency Leung writes. Y: Take both arms in the air, elbows straight and hands flat, fingers pointing. Squeeze your shoulder blades for two beats. T: Bring both arms parallel to the floor, and reach outward for two beats. W: Bend at the elbows with your fingertips pointing upward, so your forearms form the outer edges of the W. Again, squeeze your shoulder blades for two beats. Repeat these Ys, Ts and Ws about 10 to 15 times, pulsing for two beats each.

LONG READS FOR A LONG COMMUTE

Why Canadians shouldn’t expect gas prices to come down any time soon

Consumers are unlikely to see any price relief at the gas pumps for the foreseeable future, according to analysts who say uncertain international markets and a refinery outage in Alberta will keep Canadian prices high, Salmaan Farooqui writes. Syncrude Energy says its oil sands complex won’t be back to full production until mid-September after a power outage shut down part of its operations late last month. Meanwhile, turbulence in Venezuela and Libya, as well as recent sanctions placed on Iran, could also have an effect on the global price of crude and further impact gas prices in the long term.

Vancouver’s detached-home market hits a rough patch

Vancouver’s once high-flying market for detached houses has hit turbulence as sales and prices decline, creating uncertainty for both buyers and sellers, Brent Jang writes. The number of detached properties that sold for at least $1-million in the City of Vancouver dropped to 885 transactions in the first half of 2018, down 36 per cent from the same period last year, according to a new report by Sotheby’s on what it calls “top-tier” sales. A separate analysis by real estate agent Steve Saretsky shows that the average price for all detached properties sold last month within Vancouver fell 4.6 per cent compared with June, 2017. (for subscribers)

Evening Update is written by S.R. Slobodian and Jacob Lorinc. 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.

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