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

The federal government has reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with Michael Spavor to compensate him for the nearly three years he was incarcerated under harsh conditions in Chinese prisons.

The settlement came after Mr. Spavor threatened to sue Ottawa and fellow prisoner Michael Kovrig, alleging he was arrested by China because of information that he unwittingly shared with Mr. Kovrig. That information, he alleged, was later passed on, unbeknownst to Mr. Spavor, to the Canadian government and its Five Eyes spy-service partners in the course of Mr. Kovrig’s duties as a diplomat with Global Affairs Canada’s Global Security Reporting Program.

A statement from Mr. Spavor’s lawyer, John K. Phillips, confirms a mediated settlement has been concluded but he offered no further details. “The only thing any party is able to say is that the matter has been resolved,” Mr. Phillips said.

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Bank of Canada holds interest rate steady, offers few hints about timing of cuts

The Bank of Canada held the policy interest rate steady today at 5 per cent for the fifth time in a row, and offered few hints about the timing of potential future cuts. The interest rate has been at 5 per cent since last July, after one of the most aggressive monetary policy tightening campaigns in Canadian history.

With the rate of inflation growing closer to the bank’s 2-per-cent target, and the economy growing slowly, central bank officials don’t expect to raise interest rates further. At the same time, they’re not yet willing to entertain rate cuts, which would offer relief to homeowners with mortgages and businesses struggling to pay debts.

  • Opinion: The case for an April interest rate cut by Tiff Macklem
  • How economists and market bets for rate cuts are reacting to today’s central bank decision

More small towns in Canada will be able to choose which immigrants can settle, minister says

More small towns will be able to choose newcomers to settle in their communities under a pilot project to be made permanent by Immigration Minister Marc Miller.

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot has been popular in towns such as Moose Jaw and North Bay, in helping address skill shortages. Now the Immigration Department plans to extend the pilot to more small towns, and to make it permanent in around 18 months.

Gaza ceasefire talks at an impasse as humanitarian crisis deepens

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An Israeli army convoy moves in the Gaza Strip as seen from a position on the Israeli side of the border on March 6, 2024.Amir Levy/Getty Images

Talks of a ceasefire in Gaza and a hostage exchange between Israel and Hamas were at an impasse today, as worries over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza deepened. Negotiators from Hamas, Qatar and Egypt – but not Israel – have been trying to secure a 40-day ceasefire in time for Ramadan, which begins next week.

Just yesterday, U.S. President Joe Biden urged Hamas to accept the terms of the offer, saying it’s in the hands of the militant group now. While Hamas has pledged to continue with the talks, officials in the group said a ceasefire must be in place before hostages are freed, Israeli forces must leave Gaza, and all Gazans must be able to return to homes they have fled.

“We are showing the required flexibility in order to reach a comprehensive cessation of aggression against our people, but the occupation is still evading the entitlements of this agreement,” Hamas said in a statement.


Hunger crisis in Sudan worsens: The head of the World Food program warned today that the year-long conflict between rival generals in Sudan risks creating the world’s largest hunger crisis.

U.S. politics: Nikki Haley ended her presidential bid today, clearing the way for Donald Trump to win the Republican nomination. In a speech to staff, she refused to endorse Trump. Her bid was a last-ditch effort by Reaganite Republicans to take back their party.

Acne woes: A U.S. lab says high levels of benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, were detected in some acne treatments from brands such as Clinique, Target’s Up & Up and Clearasil.

‘Dead’ galaxy discovered: The James Webb Space Telescope has spotted a galaxy that was “dead” when the universe was only a fraction of its current age. Many dead galaxies have been detected over the years, but this is the earliest by about 500 million years.

No more nukes: The Oscar buzz around Oppenheimer has prompted celebrities and activists to sign an open letter as part of a preawards campaign calling for an end to nuclear weapons worldwide.


Wall Street’s three major indexes and the TSX closed higher today as economic data and comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reinforced expectations that the U.S. central bank would reduce its benchmark interest rate this year.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 68.03 points at 21,593.96. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 75.86 points at 38,661.05. The S&P 500 index was up 26.11 points at 5,104.76, while the Nasdaq composite was up 91.95 points at 16,031.54.

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.92 cents US.

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When governments got things done: Mulroney, Chrétien and a lost age of capacity

“The era in which they governed, 1984 to 2003, might be called the Age of Capacity, a time when governments took on big problems and fixed them.” – Andrew Coyne

Ottawa risks repeating Alberta’s climate policy of all talk and no walk

“Industry commitments to improve performance are a good thing, but the history of such efforts in the oil and gas sector shows that talk is cheap.” – Martin Olszynski and Sara Hastings-Simon

Measles is not some harmless childhood infection

“Before antibiotics were available, measles killed more people than influenza.” – Dawn Bowdish


Revenge travel is over – it’s time to embrace better reasons for seeing the world

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Style Advisor Revenge TravelLauren Tamaki/Supplied

A lot of us who cancelled trips in 2020 during the pandemic booked “revenge” trips once restrictions lifted, eager to cross things off our bucket lists and regain all the time stolen from us. Revenge travel was born. But now it might be time to rethink that concept, writes Heather Greenwood Davis. “Travel has never been just about taking the trip. It’s about being present while you’re on it.”


A blocked exit and barrage of bullets: Video shows B.C. Sikh leader’s final moments

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The entrance of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, BC on Monday, March 4, 2024. The Globe and Mail viewed the surveillance footage from the evening of June 18, 2023 at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara. The surveillance camera, showing a similar wide-angle view, captured the shooting of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar.Ethan Cairns/The Globe and Mail

The brazen slaying last June of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar was over in less than two minutes and was caught on surveillance video. The Globe and Mail has viewed the footage from that evening – including the 75 seconds up to and including the shooting that left Mr. Nijjar dead. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has publicly blamed the Indian government for his death, an accusation that had an immediate impact on Indo-Canadian relations. Read more here.

Evening Update is written by Maryam Shah. 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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