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

Jody Thomas, the national security adviser to the Prime Minister, is leading a Canadian delegation to Saudi Arabia for weekend talks among 40 countries trying to find a peaceful settlement to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Canada is keenly supportive of this peace effort because, among other reasons, the coalition of countries that is coming together includes more than the core Western countries that are ardent backers of Ukraine, a senior government source said. The Globe is granting anonymity to the source because they are not authorized to speak publicly about such matters. China on Friday said it would also send a senior official to Saudi Arabia, a forum that excludes Russia, in a diplomatic coup for Kyiv, the West and the Saudi hosts.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he hoped the initiative will lead to leaders from around the world gathering at a “peace summit” this fall, to endorse the principles for a future peace settlement, based on his own 10-point formula.

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Canada sheds jobs in July, unemployment ticks up to 5.5% as evidence of slowing economy mounts

The Canadian economy unexpectedly lost a total of 6,400 jobs in July and the unemployment rate rose to 5.5 per cent from 5.4 per cent in June, providing further evidence that the economy is losing momentum in the face of higher interest rates. Bay Street analysts were expecting a gain of 21,100 jobs last month, according to Reuters polling.

The cooling labour market may take pressure off the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates again in September. However, the annual growth in average hourly wages – a data point closely watched by the central bank because of its connection with service-sector inflation – reaccelerated to 5 per cent in July compared to 4.2 per cent in June.

Job growth has been exceptionally strong through the first half of the year in defiance of the Bank of Canada, which is intentionally trying to weaken the labour market as part of its fight against inflation.

Organized breast cancer screening for women in their 40s linked to higher survival rates

Canadian women diagnosed with breast cancer in their 40s were more likely to be alive 10 years later if they lived in a province with an organized screening program that permitted women of their age to refer themselves for mammograms, a new study says.

Researchers from Statistics Canada and the Ottawa Hospital concluded that, in provinces they defined as “screeners,” 84.8 per cent of women diagnosed in their 40s survived for at least a decade, compared with 82.9 per cent of women in provinces that make it difficult to get a mammogram before age 50 – an absolute difference of 1.9 percentage points.

The study could not determine whether it was mammogram access or something else that improved survival. (Only a randomized control trial might be able to do so.) It just shows that higher 10-year survival rates correlate with residing in a province where organized breast-cancer screening programs include women in their 40s. The new paper, published Friday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, is the latest salvo in the Canadian mammogram controversy, which is expected to heat up again this fall, when the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care is scheduled to release the first update to its breast-cancer screening advice since 2018.

The Evening Update newsletter will pause on Monday for the long weekend, but will return on Tuesday.


RSV Vaccine: Health Canada has approved the first vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) for adults age 60 and over, but its use may be “limited” during this fall’s respiratory virus season.

Job cuts: Telus is shrinking its global headcount by 6,000 people, the company announced Friday as it reported higher revenue and lower profits during its second quarter.

RBC: Members of RBC’s loyalty rewards program – including those who do not have an Royal Bank of Canada product or service – can register for an opportunity to access a separate presale for Swift’s The Eras Tour in Canada.

Alexey Navalny: A Russian court convicted imprisoned opposition leader Alexey Navalny on charges of extremism and sentenced him to 19 years in prison on Friday. Navalny is already serving a nine-year term on charges he says were politically motivated.

Quiz: This week, the Bank of Canada tried to find answers about the country’s inflation woes. What did the central bank say is not responsible for inflation: Supply chain, profits, bonuses or consumer demand? Take our news quiz


Rotation into resource shares helps TSX pare weekly decline

Canada’s benchmark stock index rose on Friday, recouping some of this week’s decline, as rising optimism that a major downturn in the economy could be avoided bolstered resource and financial shares. But Wall Street closed lower, as investors braced for more possible downside surprises a day after disappointing earnings from Apple.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 115.30 points at 20,236.04.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 150.27 points at 35,065.62. The S&P 500 index was down 23.86 points at 4,478.03, while the Nasdaq composite was down 50.48 points at 13,909.24.

The Canadian dollar traded for 74.88 cents US compared with 74.90 cents US on Thursday.

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There’s a special place in hell for politicians who fail us on the climate crisis

“A troubling case unfolds today in Britain, showing how precarious is the effort to slow environmental destruction – and how flawed are democracies when politicians worry more about their polls than about their souls.” – Tom Rachman

Justin Trudeau’s quandary: to go or not to go

“This is why winning four elections in a row is so difficult to achieve: By this point in any prime minister’s mandate, they’re lugging a whole lot of baggage behind them. The public has had enough and is ready for a new face at the helm, even if that new face doesn’t really excite them – or worse, churns their stomach.” – Gary Mason


The science of boosting your creativity

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Creativity isn’t something that strikes out of nowhere. You have to put in the work to achieve it, experts say.baramee2554

Creativity doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s cultivated.

In a recent meta-analysis published in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, Dr. Paul Hanel and his colleagues found that the most effective methods for boosting creativity were meditation, cultural exposure such as travelling and complex training courses – that is, courses that teach concepts and strategies such as problem-solving and how to identify opportunities and evaluate ideas. Wency Leung has more here.


How to secure Taylor Swift tickets, from a Canadian fan who couldn’t bet on Canadian dates

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Taylor Swift performs during "The Eras Tour," Friday, May 5, 2023, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn.George Walker IV/The Canadian Press

Getting Taylor Swift concert tickets is a near-impossible task. When tickets first went on sale Stefanie Marotta grabbed whatever she could, which meant travelling to Italy.

Marotta walks through Ticketmaster’s debacle last year that drew blowback from Swift herself, the potential rationale behind the initial lack of Canadian dates on The Era’s Tour, why there are only Toronto dates now and how she got her tickets to the Milan show. Most importantly, she gives some guidance for navigating bots, scalpers and sheer volume as you try to snag tickets, for yourself or for your kids, for November 2024.

Evening Update is written by Anna Stafford. 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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