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China has confirmed it has arrested former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig who stands accused of violating Chinese national security. The Beijing News reported that Mr. Kovrig is being held and investigated by Beijing state security, and is “suspected of participating in activities that harm China’s national security. Mr. Kovrig’s employer, the International Crisis Group, released a statement saying they have received no information about Mr. Kovrig from the Chinese government and is concerned for his health and safety.

Mr. Kovrig was arrested shortly after China threatened there would be “severe consequences” for Canada after Canadian authorities arrested, at the request of the United States, Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei and daughter of the company’s founder, Ren Zhengfei. Experts believe the incidents are directly linked, and China arrested Mr. Kovrig in retaliation for Ms. Meng’s arrest in Vancouver.

Julia Garratt, who was arrested four years ago by Chinese authorities, jailed and accused of spying, calls Mr. Kovrig’s arrest “political abduction.” She tells the Globe’s Asia Correspondent Nathan VanderKlippe she thinks it is a "dangerous pattern for countries to behave like this with ordinary citizens.” The Garratts were detained shortly after a Chinese citizen was arrested in Canada at the request of the United States, which sought his extradition on spying charges. She spend six months in prison, her husband Kevin spent two years. “They’re doing it just to get back at Canada. It was the same for us,” Mr. Garratt said.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump today said he might intervene in Ms. Meng’s extradition case if it would help him forge a trade deal with China. Ms. Meng’s arrest was a response to a lawful request from U.S. law enforcement.

Are you looking for background on the Meng Wanzhou extradition case, Huawei’s business interest in Canada, and the latest on Michael Kovrig? We have it all in our explainer: Huawei and Canada: What we know about the company, the arrest and China’s reaction

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Britain’s May survives confidence vote

British Prime Minister Theresa May has won a vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party by 200 to 117. She is now immune from another leadership challenge for a year. Before the vote, Ms. May sought to win over wavering lawmakers by promising to step down before the 2022 election. She now gets back to work on trying to hammer out a deal that will see Britain leave the European Union on March 29 of next year.

Opioid deaths in Canada still alarmingly high: report

The Public Health Agency of Canada today released their annual report on the State of Public Health in Canada and identified opioids as “the most significant public health crisis we’ve seen in this era.” The report found that more than 2,000 Canadians died as a result of opioids in the first half of 2018, bringing the total number of people that have lost their lives to opioid-related causes to more than 9,000 since January, 2016.

Report finds systemic racism at police force in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Ontario’s Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) has found evidence of widespread racism in Thunder Bay’s police force and has recommended at least nine of the force’s sudden-death cases be reopened. The two-year investigation, lead by Gerry McNeilly, the province’s Independent Police Review Director, found “significant deficiencies in sudden death investigations involving Indigenous people that are due, in part, to racial stereotyping.” The report, Broken Trust: Indigenous People and the Thunder Bay Police Service, includes 44 recommendations.

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen sentenced to three years in prison

The man once known as Donald Trump’s loyal advocate and for his tenacious defence of the President shook his head and closed his eyes briefly as U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III pronounced a sentence of 36 months in prison for lying about Mr. Trump’s business dealings in Russia and funnelling hush money to two women. The judge also ordered Cohen to pay US$1.39-million restitution, forfeit US$500,000 and pay US$100,000 in fines.

Manhunt underway in France for suspect in Christmas market attack

Police continued their search through eastern France today for Cherif Chekatt, 29, who is suspected of killing at least two people and critically injuring 13 others in a gun attack on a Christmas market in Strasbourg. The suspected assailant, who was born in Strasbourg, is on an intelligence services watch list as a potential security risk.


The close: Trade talks lead global stocks higher

A gauge of global stock markets rallied along with U.S. Treasury yields on Wednesday as optimism abounded for a trade thaw between the United States and China while sterling bounced on indications UK Prime Minister Theresa May would survive a no-confidence vote. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 158.8 points, or 0.65 percent, to 24,529.04, the S&P 500 gained 14.45 points, or 0.55 percent, to 2,651.23 and the Nasdaq Composite added 66.48 points, or 0.95 percent, to 7,098.31. Canada’s main stock index rose on Wednesday, helped by shares of energy companies despite a fall in oil prices. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up unofficially up 115.23 points, or 0.79 per cent, at 14,783.06.

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Trudeau names four new senators, filling every seat in the Senate

For the first time in about eight years, the Senate has a full complement of 105 senators. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed four new senators, filling every seat in the upper chamber. All in all, he has appointed 49 senators since becoming prime minister and he will have the chance to appoint more in 2019. Five Conservative appointees are schedule to hit the mandatory retirement age of 75 by this time next year, according to the Senate’s website, including three before next October’s federal election.


Quebeckers don’t want to pay for the carbon tax

“... Even though they are prepared under certain circumstances to support the taxing of carbon, only 40 per cent of Quebeckers would be prepared to pay more for a litre of gasoline from this tax. A little less than a quarter of Quebeckers (24 per cent) are ready to pay up to 5 cents more a litre, and less than 9 per cent up to 10 cents. And only 2 per cent of Quebeckers are prepared to pay up to 50 cents more a litre, yet this is the minimum needed for Quebec to fully reach its GHG reduction targets, according to studies.” ― Germain Belzile

Why not let the women and children in the Tijuana camp resettle in Canada?

“What was particularly distressing to the many women in the group was that they had no chance for sanctuary.The Trump administration has specifically excluded domestic or gang violence as criteria for refugee admission to the United States, thus barring women and girls, the obvious victims of such violence, from any consideration. Those volunteering in the Tijuana refugee camps reported that there is a significant number of single women with children in the caravan and the overt discrimination against them is a source of personal trauma for those denied any alternative.” ― Lloyd Axworthy

Time to impeach Donald Trump? Not yet

“Last week’s bombshell, in which federal prosecutors said Mr. Trump directed his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to make illegal payments to buy the silence of two women who claimed they’d had extramarital affairs with him, is the most serious revelation yet. But here’s the thing: It is still not enough to call for the President’s removal.” ― Globe editorial


Digital tools address wait times for mental-health services

For a wide variety of reasons, access to mental-health services is a big problem in Canada, and that’s got some experts thinking about new and innovative ways to deliver care, writes Paul Taylor, a patient navigation adviser at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and former Globe and Mail health reporter. One way is through a website called Big White Wall (BWW), which is a web-based forum where people with depression and anxiety can express their feelings and provide support to each other around the clock.


Open this photo in gallery:

For more than a decade, Kim Hawes of Dartmouth, N.S., suffered from chemical sensitivity, agoraphobia, anxiety and depression, and no doctor could tell her why. Her condition resolved and she was able to return to work after undergoing an innovative form of talk therapy with psychiatrist Allan Abbass, whose methods suggest that unexplained physical symptoms can be caused by unresolved emotional trauma.Darren Calabrese/The Globe and Mail

Their pain is real – and for patients with mystery illnesses, help is coming from an unexpected source

“It’s all in your head” isn’t something many patients love to hear, but for some of those with the least understood and most expensive ailments, it may be true – and a made-in-Canada approach is uncovering new evidence to back that up.

Evening Update was written by Michael Snider. 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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