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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz urges lenders to offer longer-term mortgages

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Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz is hitting back at critics who say stricter mortgage rules are stifling the housing market, urging lenders to instead fix the problem themselves by offering longer-term mortgages (for subscribers).

Speaking to a business audience in Winnipeg today, Mr. Poloz waded into a heated debate over tougher mortgage rules introduced by federal regulators in 2016 and 2018, including a new stress test designed to discourage risky lending to heavily indebted home buyers.

“The longer the mortgage term, the less relevant a mortgage interest rate stress test becomes,” he said.

Just 2 per cent of mortgages issued last year in Canada had terms of more than five years, he pointed out. Mortgage terms of 10 years, 20 years and even longer terms are more common in the U.S. and elsewhere.

One million species facing extinction, posing a risk to human well-being: UN report

Around the world, nature is in unprecedented decline, a sweeping new report has found. That trend that can be reversed, it says, but only with a co-ordinated international effort and “transformative change” to the way we draw food, water, energy and resources from the planet.

It’s the first global assessment by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the international body tasked with pulling together information on the current state of environmental degradation and the risk it poses to humans.

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It paints a stark portrait: an estimated one million species of plants and animals are facing extinction, many within a matter of decades.

Police investigated whether victim of serial killer Bruce McArthur was targeted by Luka Magnotta

Toronto detectives probing the disappearance of one of the victims of serial killer Bruce McArthur initially investigated whether the missing man might have been targeted by another infamous murderer, Luka Magnotta.

The revelation is contained in a 185-page police affidavit, among nearly 6,000 pages of court papers unsealed today by Justice Cathy Mocha at the request of several media outlets, including The Globe and Mail.

Years before Mr. McArthur became a suspect, police investigated whether one of the missing men, Skandaraj Navaratnam, had been murdered by Alex Brunton, a self-proclaimed cannibal. Investigators noticed “circumstantial links” between Mr. Magnotta and Mr. Brunton, the affidavit says.

China’s bid for global economic supremacy has hit a stumbling block: productivity

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The ability of Chinese political and corporate leaders to wring more productivity out of their economy is fundamental to the country’s bid for global economic supremacy and to its desire to improve domestic living standards.

But what University of Toronto economics professor Loren Brandt has found is that “China’s problem is a productivity problem.”

His research suggests not that there is a problem with the innovation of Chinese companies or the ambition of its entrepreneurs – but that something structural has gone amiss, a problem rooted largely in the persistence of the state in the halls of private industry.

Separately, China was in the headlines earlier today after U.S. President Donald Trump promised a sweeping hike of tariffs on Chinese goods ahead of the latest round of trade talks between the two countries. The threats and subsequent plunge in Chinese equities shook global markets, but stocks in North America largely recovered before the close.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

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Meghan and Harry welcome baby boy: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry became parents today, after she gave birth to a healthy baby boy weighing 7 pounds, 3 ounces. The young British royal’s name has yet to be announced.

Toronto home sales surge in April: Toronto home sales roared ahead in April, climbing almost 17 per cent from last year’s sluggish sales level as detached houses saw a sales leap.

Remains of missing Calgary mother, toddler found: Police say they have found the remains of Calgary’s Jasmine Lovett and daughter Aliyah Sanderson, who disappeared last month. A suspect has been taken into custody and charges are pending.

Maximum Security owner to appeal disqualification: Gary West, whose horse Maximum Security became the first in history to be disqualified from the Kentucky Derby for an on-track infraction, said he would file an appeal with the state racing commission.

Did Jon Snow order a flat white? Eagle-eyed Game of Thrones viewers last night spotted a takeout coffee cup on the table during a celebration, with some concluding on Twitter that it came from Starbucks. GoT fans can find Barry Hertz’s take on last night’s action here (spoiler alert).

MARKET WATCH

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Stocks around the world slid today after U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff threat to China, triggering an investor exodus from risky assets (for subscribers). On Wall Street, stocks dropped initially but indexes pared much of their losses as the day wore on, as investors were not convinced Mr. Trump would follow through.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 66.47 points to 26,438.48, the S&P 500 lost 13.17 points to end at 2,932.47 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 40.71 points to 8,123.29.

Canada’s main stock index finished flat, erasing early losses. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed down 0.97 points at 16,493.46.

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TALKING POINTS

Why conservatives secretly love the carbon tax

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“This fight isn’t really about constitutional law. It’s about making political hay out of opposition to the tax. And out there on the hustings, especially in rural and suburban Canada, if you’re talking about taxes and gas prices, it’s always a good day for hay.” - Globe editorial

Tampons and pads are a necessity, period

“We are, thankfully, far removed from the challenges of countries where girls and women who are menstruating are denied an education or forced to hide themselves away, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do better.” - André Picard (for subscribers)

After two years, Scheer plans to tell us who he really is

The truth is that Mr. Scheer has an identity problem. It’s not so much who, but what. The average-dad persona might serve as a useful contrast to Mr. Trudeau’s glam – Conservative strategists believe – but he doesn’t have an indelible political identity. - Campbell Clark

Congress is set to move against U.S. Attorney-General Barr – but the path forward remains unclear

“The Trump administration has been scornful of both custom and compromise, which is why the Barr imbroglio is of such significance. And why it has implications far beyond the contemporary contretemps on Capitol Hill.” - David Shribman

The Toronto Raptors must convince Kawhi Leonard to stay. They’re running out of time

“Egoless, preposterously driven, unflappable, a long history of success, freakish physical talent and still only 27, Leonard is about as close as you can get to the perfect basketball player, were such a thing to be designed by a computer. Given that and how things are going, why would he stay?” - Cathal Kelly

LIVING BETTER

Rocky markets such as today’s can fray investors’ nerves. If you’re looking for investing insights and ideas to help protect and grow your money, check out The Globe’s weekly investing digest, posted online every Sunday. This week’s edition includes some real estate investment trust picks and lesser-known ETFs you may want to check out, plus where you can still find GICs with 3-per-cent interest rates (for subscribers).

LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE

Lapata. And the Left Behind: Vancouver exhibition documents the mass enforced disappearances – and devastation – of Sikhs in India

During the 1980s and 1990s, mass enforced disappearances of Sikhs – mostly young men, but also women and children – from Punjab, in northwestern India, broke up untold numbers of families. Thousands disappeared under a state-sponsored system and are believed to have been killed extrajudicially. In many cases, their bodies were never found. Some families received what they were told were the ashes of their loved ones.

Photojournalist Abhishek Madhukar and his team have documented the stories of those left behind in stark black-and-white photos and accompanying interview excerpts. Lapata. And the Left Behind, an exhibition of these haunting works, made its debut in Vancouver on Friday, World Press Freedom Day.

“These are people who are caught in the crossfire and these stories need to be told and retold,” Mr. Madhukar said during a Skype interview from New Delhi. “I hope … to show their grace as Indians, their grief, despair and courage.” Read Marsha Lederman’s full story here.

(Photo by Namdol Tipa)

Abhishek Madhukar/Handout

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