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

Early this morning, China charged imprisoned Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor with espionage, the latest escalation in the 18-month saga between China and Canada that began with the arrest in Vancouver of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

In China, charges of espionage carry a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Commenting on the charges, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his disappointment and noted that Canada will continue to use a wide range of diplomatic tools to advocate for their release.

As Beijing correspondent Nathan Vanderklippe reports, the two Canadians have undergone 557 days of interrogation and imprisonment in cells where the lights are constantly kept on. To refresh your knowledge of the Meng case, see our explainer here.

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Bolton memoir reveals Trump’s animosity for Trudeau

In his recently released memoir, former national security advisor John Bolton lays out U.S. President Donald Trump’s dislike for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, revealing the President directed his staffers to disparage Trudeau in press appearances following tense interactions during the 2018 Charlesvoix G7 Summit.

Bolton also took aim at Jean Chretien, criticizing the former prime minister for not agreeing to send Canadian troops to join the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and criticizing remarks Chretien reportedly made that Canada should release Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

People hold placards as they take part in an "Abolish the police" sit in to mark Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in Texas, two years after the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves elsewhere in the United States, amid nationwide protests against racial inequality in Toronto, Ontario, Canada June 19, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos OsorioCARLOS OSORIO/Reuters

Juneteenth; a day for celebration, reflection

In North America, June 19th, or Juneteenth marks the day when slaves in Texas were told in 1865 after the end of the Civil War that they were free.

Juneteenth is both a celebratory and somber occasion, especially this year. As Debra Thompson writes, the day is a reminder of “unrealized freedom”.

For photos of Juneteenth celebrations and rallies across North America, see our visual compilation here.

COVID-19 re-openings slow but steady

Today, the Ontario government released tentative plans for how schools will reopen come fall. A mix of in-class and remote learning, with restrictions on class sizes, will mark the return to school, and will depend on virus cases in each school district.

Limiting and heavily monitoring travel between the United States and Canada will be key to avoiding a devastating second wave of the virus, especially as the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continues to climb.

Ready or not, in many parts of the country, Canadians are adapting a “back to usual mentality” - but the Globe’s health columnist Andre Picard warns against complacency.


Tragedy in Thunder Bay: First Nations’ leaders are calling for the provincial government to shut down an “inhumane”, overcrowded prison in Thunder Bay, after the death of 27-year-old Kevin Mamakwa this month, the seventh Indigenous man to die in the jail since 2002.

Billions: Montreal cancer drug developer Repare Therepeutics Inc. debuted this morning on the Nasdaq, in the largest biotech IPO for a Canadian company.

Labelled: Twitter marked a video tweeted by U.S. President Donald Trump with a “manipulated media” label, as calls grow for social media companies to combat “fake news” in the months approaching the November presidential election.

Accusations of bias: While calls for independent investigations into police misconduct against Black and Indigenous people continue to grow, questions are being raised as to the biases of Canadian investigation units overwhelmingly staffed by white former police officers.

Trade spat: Adrian Morrow reports that the Trump administration, under pressure from lobbyists, is considering reinstating tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum


The S&P/TSX Composite Index dipped 0.04 per cent to 15,474.20, slightly lower than yesterday’s close, but indicating a recovery from last week’s precipitous decline.

The Canadian dollar climbed as investors bet on an economic recovery, despite disappointing retail numbers.

In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.8 per cent to 25,871.46. The S&P 500 declined 0.56 per cent to 3,097.74, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.03 per cent to 9,946.12.

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Good riddance Aunt Jemima, and goodbye to Uncle Ben, too

“Since 1889, when Chris Rutt and Charles Underwood of the Pearl Milling Company developed the Aunt Jemima product as the world’s first ready-mix, the Aunt Jemima image has become one of North America’s most enduring racial stereotypes. Quaker Oats offers a timeline of the product on its website, and acknowledges that Aunt Jemima “was brought to life” by using the image of Nancy Green, a Black woman who was formerly enslaved and who became the face of the product in the 1890s.” - Lawrence Hill

Next up? A youth unemployment crisis that should not be inevitable

“The outlook is not encouraging. The World Bank expects the global economy to shrink by 5.2 per cent in 2020, worse than in any year since 1946. It appears we’re entering a new era of mass youth unemployment. Despair could into turn rage – unless jobs return. The Arab Spring, which began in Tunisia in 2010, wasn’t simply a rebellion against dictatorships; it was in good part triggered by a jobs and wealth-disparity crisis that enraged the young and the poor.” - Eric Reguly

100 Days of Solitude: 18 experiences of isolation during the pandemic

“As we mark 100 days since most Canadians began to self-isolate, we asked 18 people – writers, artists, educators, health care workers – to share their COVID-19 lockdown experiences and their hopes for our postpandemic world.” - Globe Opinion


For those looking to get away within Canada this summer, figuring out what types of accommodation are safe is top of mind. For hotels that focus on sustainability, balancing green initiatives with health and safety protocol presents both a challenge, and an opportunity for innovation.


Andrea Sergeant tries on a graduation cap after winning "most likely to become an Olympic athlete" at a small virtual graduation party with teachers and students. Sergeant will attend York University for psychology in the fall where the majority of her courses are expected to be online.Sarah Mortimer/The Globe and Mail

High school grads reinvent traditions and find new ways to mark their 2020 milestones

For educators, students, and parents, June is always a special month. This year is no less special for graduates, just different.

Virtual cross-Canada proms, drive-thru graduations, and Zoom commencements have sprung up across the country, as educators re-invent the celebrations for modern, pandemic-era times.

Education reporter Caroline Alphonso reports from schools in Ontario, where virtual celebrations have taken place despite provincial recommendations to delay ceremonies until the fall.

The Globe’s visual compilation of graduation in 2020 focuses on the students contemplating the age-old question; “What’s next?”

Evening Update is written by Claire Porter Robbins. 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.