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

China is defending its prosecution of two Canadians for espionage after recent reporting from The Globe and Mail found that that Michael Spavor blames his fellow prisoner Michael Kovrig for their nearly three-year-long detention. Canada denied the charges at the time, saying it was in retaliation for the arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. extradition warrant.

“Recent relevant reports once again prove that the above facts cannot be denied,” China’s embassy in Ottawa said in a statement Sunday. “Canada’s hyping up of so-called ‘arbitrary detention’ by China is purely a thief crying ‘stop thief’ and fully exposes Canada’s hypocrisy.”

Two sources told The Globe that Mr. Spavor is now seeking a multimillion-dollar settlement from Ottawa, alleging he was arrested in China in late 2018 because he unwittingly provided intelligence on North Korea to Mr. Kovrig, which was later shared with Canada and allied spy services without his knowledge.

  • Explainer: What we know about Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig’s time in China

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Egyptian medics stand by with incubators to receive premature Palestinian babies evacuated from Gaza on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip, on November 20, 2023.AFP Contributor#AFP/Getty Images

Group of premature babies born in Gaza evacuated to Egypt

Twenty-eight prematurely born babies evacuated from Gaza’s biggest hospital were taken into Egypt for urgent treatment on Monday, while Palestinian authorities and the World Health Organization said 12 people were killed at another Gaza hospital encircled by Israeli tanks.

Israeli forces seized Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital last week to search for what they said was a tunnel network belonging to Hamas Islamists built underneath. Hundreds of patients, medical staff and displaced people left Shifa on the weekend, with doctors saying they were ejected by troops and Israel saying the departures were voluntary.

Canadians with loved ones trapped in Gaza are still waiting to learn whether anyone connected to Canada was able to make the journey into Egypt via the Rafah land crossing over the weekend.

Also read:

  • In the tight-knit community of Nir Oz, survivors of the massacre mourn those lost and a way of life that may never return
  • Opinion: Vengeance in war is terrible – and nothing new

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The open pit copper mine Cobre Panamá, run by Panamanian Mining company Minera Panamá, a subsidiary of Canada's First Quantum Minerals Ltd., stands in Donoso, Panama, Dec. 6, 2022.Abraham Teran/The Associated Press

First Quantum facing Cobre Panama mine shutdown

Vancouver-based First Quantum Minerals Ltd. is looking to potentially suspend production at its Cobre Panama mine this week because of a port blockade by protesters in Panama.

Panama last month signed a new 20-year contract on the mine into law. But as the contract was making its way through the legislature, thousands of activists took to the streets in protest against the Canadian miner.

A referendum was planned for December on whether to repeal the law that legalized its latest mining contract. Panama instead indicated it would let the country’s Supreme Court decide on the constitutionality of Cobre Panama. Starting on Friday, the court will be in session and sit until there is a resolution.


Technology: OpenAI has been thrown into turmoil since Microsoft hired its ousted CEO and many more employees threatened to follow him in a conflict centred in part on the safest way to build artificial intelligence.

Justice: The case of Cameron Ortis, a former high-ranking civilian member of the RCMP who allegedly shared classified information with the subjects of international criminal investigations, is now in the hands of a jury.

EVs: MPs and unions raise alarm over Windsor EV battery plant’s plan to bring in foreign workers, cutting into promised employment for Canadians.

Cities: Faced with growing homeless encampments, London, Ont., tries hospitality instead of hostility.

Listen to The Decibel: Health Canada approved the sale of Zonnic, a nicotine pouch that you pop into your mouth. Health reporter Carly Weeks explains the regulation of this product and why it’s different from other trends.

British politics: Boris Johnson, the former British prime minister, struggled to come to grips with much of the science during the coronavirus pandemic, his chief scientific adviser said Monday.


Stocks advance as Microsoft hits record high; Canadian inflation data on tap

Major North American stock indexes closed higher on Monday, with Nasdaq’s 1% rally leading the charge as heavyweight Microsoft hit a record high after it hired prominent artificial intelligence executives. The Nasdaq boasted its highest closing level since July 31 while the S&P 500 registered its highest close since Aug. 1. The S&P/TSX Composite index closed at its highest level since Sept. 18.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 203.76 points to 35,151.04, the S&P 500 gained 33.36 points at 4,547.38 and the Nasdaq Composite added 159.05 points at 14,284.53.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended up 70.70 points at 20,246.47.

The loonie was trading nearly unchanged at 1.3720 to the greenback, or 72.88 U.S. cents, after trading in a range of 1.3690 to 1.3749.

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Campbell Clark: “Politicians don’t usually need to be told to focus on the short term, but Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is facing a public demand for urgency. She has said the mini-budget she will present Tuesday will focus on housing and affordability. But the question many will be asking is when – when will the government’s affordability measures make a difference?”

Jordan Jacobs: “At its heart, OpenAI has a problem which is not just about how much attention to pay to safety (that is, the alignment with human values) and thus how fast or slow to go in commercializing its products. The tensions at the board level that resulted in Mr. Altman’s ouster reflect a misalignment between the organization’s stated mission and the subsequent commercial execution that created ChatGPT and a company worth tens of billions of dollars.”

Kelly Cryderman: “The Alberta Premier has long spoken for the people who opted not to immunize themselves against COVID-19 and couldn’t work, travel or see loved ones during the pandemic. And at the heart of Mr. Manning’s sprawling report on governance lessons from the public health emergency is her years-long pushback against the mainstream media, cancel culture and traditional Canadian deference to authority.”


Do natural cold and flu remedies work?

With the flu, RSV and COVID circulating, it can be tempting to reach for a pill, drink or superfood that promises to supercharge immunity. Generally speaking, claiming that a particular food or supplement can significantly prime your immune system to fend off infection, however, is simplistic and misleading. Still, there’s a multitude of supplements and foods often recommended to treat – or prevent – upper respiratory infections.

We take a closer look at vitamin C, zinc, probiotics, chicken soup and honey: This is what the science says about some of these popular immunity foods.


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Eric Steig retrieves an ice core from storage at the Canadian Ice Core Laboratory in Edmonton, Alberta on October 27, 2023.Kelsey McMillan/The Globe and Mail

Back in the lab, glaciologists search for clues of B.C.’s climate past

Eric Steig has spent more than 20 years on a quest to reveal the climate history recorded in B.C.’s southern glaciers. But the ice at Mount Waddington – like glaciers around the globe – is deteriorating. Dr. Steig, a professor and chair of the University of Washington’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences, and his fellow researchers, are racing to collect these records before it is too late.

This is the third of a three-part series following glacier researchers from British Columbia’s Coast Mountains to the lab as they try to unearth climate history. In chapter 1 and this episode of The Decibel, reporter Justine Hunter explains how the researchers collect, store and analyze ice-core samples. In chapter 2, she explores how climate change is accelerating the erosion of glaciers.

Evening Update is written by Sierra Bein. 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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