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

China’s diplomatic mission in Vancouver has actively interfered in the city’s politics, using proxies in diaspora community organizations and grooming politicians to run in last fall’s municipal election, according to Canada’s spy agency.

A Jan. 10, 2022, Canadian Security and Intelligence Service report viewed by The Globe and Mail outlines how China’s then-consul-general, Tong Xiaoling, discussed mentoring – or as the report quoted her, “grooming” – Chinese-Canadian municipal politicians for higher office to advance Beijing’s interests.

Tong sought to elect pro-Beijing politicians to city council in the October, 2022, municipal election in which incumbent mayor Kennedy Stewart lost to Ken Sim by margin of nearly 37,000 votes. During his term as mayor, Stewart drew criticism from the Chinese government for suspending meetings with its diplomats after it put sanctions on Canadian MP Michael Chong, a friend of his and critic of Beijing, and strengthening ties with Taiwan, a self-ruled province that Beijing wants to annex.

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Left: Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart, Monday October 22, 2018. Darryl Dyck/The Globe and Mail; Right: Tong Xiaoling, Deputy Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.DARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail

Credit Suisse shares jump as Swiss central bank’s emergency loan eases confidence crisis

Credit Suisse shares climbed after the Swiss central bank launched an effective rescue plan that appeared aimed not just in shoring up investor confidence in the bank itself but also buying the deteriorating global financial services company some time to find buyers.

Credit Suisse is still thought to be losing clients and deposits in spite of the Swiss central bank’s commitment to provide it with massive amounts of emergency liquidity. Its credit default swaps, a form of bond default insurance, remained at distress levels even though their prices fell on Thursday. JPMorgan analysts said in a note that the status quo at Credit Suisse “was no longer an option” and that the “option of a takeover [is] the most likely scenario.”

Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS Group, reportedly is seen as a possible buyer of some parts of Credit Suisse, likely the Swiss banking unit itself. The financially sound and expansion-minded Canadian banks have also thought to be potential contenders. The sale of some or all of the bank could be announced by next week, according to executives who are close to Credit Suisse.

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The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen on March 16, 2023 at its Oerlikon office building in Zurich, Switzerland.ARND WIEGMANN/Getty Images

Pentagon releases footage of what it says is Russian aircraft dumping fuel on U.S. drone

The Pentagon released a declassified video on Thursday showing a Russian military jet intercept a U.S. drone downed over the Black Sea two days ago, rare footage that highlights the risks of a direct clash between the world’s leading nuclear powers. The United States has said Tuesday’s incident showed Russia was behaving irresponsibly in international airspace, while Moscow accused Washington of trying to escalate tensions near Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula it forcibly annexed in 2014.

Meanwhile, on the battlefield in eastern Ukraine, Kyiv’s forces continued to withstand Russian assaults on the now-ruined city of Bakhmut. Reuters reporters about 1½ kilometres from the front line heard a constant rumble of artillery on all sides.

Onboard footage from a U.S. Air Force MQ-9 drone as it is approached the first time by a Russian SU-27 aircraft jettissoning fuel, over The Black Sea on March 14, 2023.HANDOUT/AFP/Getty Images

Pornhub owner MindGeek acquired by Ottawa-based private equity firm

MindGeek, the parent company of adult entertainment site Pornhub, is being acquired by an Ottawa-based private equity firm in a deal that includes the complete exit of the pornography company’s controversial long-time owners and majority shareholders – Feras Antoon, David Tassillo and Austrian investor Bernd Bergmair.

Ethical Capital Partners, a newly formed private equity company set up by criminal defence lawyers and a former law enforcement agent with ties to the Canadian cannabis industry, announced Thursday that it had bought MindGeek in its entirety, which includes a large portfolio of adult entertainment producers and distributors beyond just Pornhub.

The offices of MindGeek seen in Montreal, Dec. 9, 2020.Christinne Muschi/The Globe and Mail

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Two Edmonton police officers shot and killed early Thursday after responding to domestic dispute: At a news conference held later in the morning, Edmonton Police Chief Dale McFee identified the two constables as 35-year-old Travis Jordan and 30-year-old Brett Ryan.

MPs move to summon Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook plans to end news sharing under C-18: Liberal MPs want to summon Mark Zuckerberg, the head of Meta, to testify before a Commons committee over its plans to block Canadians’ ability to view and share news on Facebook if Ottawa’s online news bill becomes law.

Couche-Tard to buy more than 2,000 European service stations from French energy giant TotalEnergies: Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has struck a deal to buy more than two thousand service stations in the heart of Europe from French oil giant TotalEnergies SE.

France uses article 49.3 to push through controversial pension reform without vote: France’s Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne used a special procedure to push an unpopular pensions bill through the National Assembly without a vote on Thursday, triggering boos and shouts in rare chaotic scenes in the French parliament.

Empire says cost of Sobeys cybersecurity breach higher than initial estimates: Sobeys parent company Empire Co. Ltd. says that the cost of a cybersecurity breach in November will be larger than previously estimated, representing approximately a $32-million hit to the company after insurance recoveries.

As Japan invests in defence, Canada is becoming more important than ever to Tokyo: Japan’s National Security Strateg identifies Canada as a key Japanese partner in building networks to strengthen deterrence and maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific region.


Markets in Canada and the U.S. climbed steadily Thursday in yet another reversal during a volatile week, with tech helping drive strength as well as some signs of recovery in embattled financial stocks.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 160.17 points to 19,539.01.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 371.98 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 32,246.55. The S&P 500 index was up 68.35 points, or 1.8 per cent, to 3,960.28, while the Nasdaq composite was up 283.33 points, or 2.5 per cent, to 11,717.28.

The Canadian dollar traded for 72.76 cents US compared with 72.58 cents US on Wednesday.

The April crude contract was up 74 cents at US$68.35 per barreland the April natural gas contract was up eight cents to US$2.51 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was down US$8.30 at US$1923.0 an ounce and the May copper contract was up two cents to US$3.86 a pound.

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This is really not the time to weaken Ottawa’s lobbying guidelines

“If there is the risk of a perception that people who work on campaigns have special access to the candidates they help elect to office, then it is perfectly reasonable for the government to put limits in place to preserve faith in the system. And if someone is going to decide that the four-year cooling-off period is too restrictive, it should be the courts, not the lobbying commissioner.” – The Editorial Board


Mediterranean, MIND diets may protect the brain from Alzheimer’s dementia, study shows

Healthy dietary patterns, including the MIND and Mediterranean diets, have been associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline and protection against Alzheimer’s disease.

MIND is short for Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. The eating pattern includes elements of the Mediterranean and blood-pressure-lowering DASH diet, as well as specific foods and nutrients linked to optimal brain function.

Leslie Beck reports on a study from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago that suggests that both dietary patterns can prevent the buildup of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain, a hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s disease.


Five things to stream this weekend: Netflix’s Money Shot: The Pornhub Story offers skin-deep look at internet’s dirtiest little secret

Siri Dahl in Money Shot: The Pornhub Story.Netflix

Do you feel like you’re drowning … but you haven’t even left your couch? Welcome to the Great Content Overload Era. To help you navigate the choppy digital waves, here are The Globe’s best bets for weekend streaming.

Evening Update is written by Emerald Bensadoun. 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.