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Conservatives rewrite a fundraising video attacking Trudeau’s handling of two detained Canadians in China

The federal Conservative Party has removed the names and photos of the two Canadians detained in China from a video accompanying a fundraising pitch to supporters following complaints from one of the imprisoned men’s families.

The e-mailed appeal to Conservative supporters, targeting what the party considers Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “blunders abroad,” includes mention of the Liberal government’s failure to secure the release of former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor. It was first sent out last week.

A video enclosed with the e-mail pitch featured Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor as examples of how the Liberals have allegedly screwed up while in power.

They are the two Canadians taken into custody by Beijing shortly after Canada arrested a senior executive from one of China’s flagship companies, Huawei Technologies. They are charged with spying in what is widely seen as retribution and a form of “hostage diplomacy" by China.

A Toronto man who lost his family in the Ethiopian Airlines crash says that the aircraft approval process must be strengthened

Paul Njoroge’s three children, wife and mother-in-law were killed when a Boeing 737 Max jet crashed in Ethiopia in March – the second deadly incident involving that airplane model in six months.

Following the Ethiopian Airlines crash, the Boeing 737 was grounded globally.

Today Njoroge, who lives in Toronto, accused the airplane maker of wrongful conduct and told a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee that the process to approve aircraft must be strengthened.

Minutes before the start of the hearing, Boeing announced that it will dedicate half of a US$100-million fund it created to address the two deadly crashes to financial relief for the families of those killed.

The Indigenous Services Minister is facing calls to visit Attawapiskat First Nation during state of emergency

Seamus O’Regan, the Indigenous Services Minister, is facing calls from the federal NDP to visit the northern Ontario community of Attawapiskat First Nation, where, earlier this month, a state of emergency was declared over concerns about chemical levels in tap water.

NDP MP Charlie Angus, who represents the federal riding encompassing the reserve, says O’Regan needs to see the impacts of the issue first-hand, including that community members are worried about being able to safely bathe their children.

Yesterday, Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, wrote in The Globe and Mail that “the federal government must end its discriminatory and inequitable funding of all public services on reserves, including education, health care, child welfare and basics such as water and sanitation.”

Alberta health officials have declared a province-wide syphilis outbreak

After rates of syphilis increased last year to levels not seen since 1948, Alberta health officials declared a province-wide outbreak of the sexually transmitted infection .

Alberta Health Services says a total of 1,536 cases of infectious syphilis were reported in 2018 compared with 161 in 2014, which is almost a tenfold increase.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer, says syphilis rates jumped 187 per cent between 2017 and 2018, and that they expect higher numbers for this year.

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Record venture-capital investment in Saskatchewan tech company: Vendasta, a seller of software tools used by small businesses, announced it has raised $40-million in venture capital, the largest such investment ever for a Saskatchewan tech company and exceeding what all startups in the province raised in 2017 and 2018 combined.

Ron Taverner’s concussion delays tribunal: The final stages of a tribunal examining allegations of sexual harassment within the Toronto Police Service have been delayed again after a key witness, Superintendent Ron Taverner, suffered a concussion. The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has been probing allegations of sexual harassment and a toxic work environment aired by Constable Heather McWilliam since 2014.

‘El Chapo’ sentenced to life in prison: The Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was sentenced to life behind bars in a U.S. prison, a humbling end for a drug lord notorious for his ability to kill, bribe or tunnel his way out of trouble.

Sudanese military council and protesters sign power-sharing document: Sudan’s pro-democracy movement and the ruling military council signed a document that outlines a power-sharing deal, but the two sides are still at work on a more contentious constitutional agreement that would specify the division of powers. The signing marks an important step in the transition to civilian rule following the military overthrow of long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir amid mass protests in April.

Musk’s new venture aims to link mind and machine: Neuralink, a company in which Elon Musk has invested US$100-million, wants to develop a “sewing machine-like” robot that can implant ultrathin threads deep into the brain as part of a system that will eventually be capable of reading and writing vast amounts of information.

WHO declares Ebola outbreak in Congo a global health emergency: The deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo is now an international health emergency, the World Health Organization announced after the virus spread this week to a city of two million people. More than 1,600 people have died since August in the second deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.


Canada’s main stock index was pushed lower today by weakness in the industrials and energy sectors, despite the impact of gold futures hitting a new six-year high. The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 18.21 points at 16,484.21.

South of the border, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 115.78 points at 27,219.85. The S&P 500 index was down 19.62 points at 2,984.42, while the Nasdaq composite was down 37.59 points at 8,185.21. U.S. stock indexes fell as weak results from CSX Corp stoked concerns that the protracted trade war between the United States and China could hurt corporate earnings.

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Alberta’s worst nightmare: a Liberal minority come October

“Should Mr. Trudeau need the help of [Green Party Leader Elizabeth May] and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to prop up a minority government, it would obviously come at a cost. And that cost is almost certainly going to be in the area of the environment. Yes, we are talking about a state of affairs that would be Jason Kenney’s worst nightmare. Because if the Alberta Premier thinks Mr. Trudeau is a raving, oil-hating tree-hugger now, he hasn’t seen anything yet.” – Gary Mason

What is a real American, President Trump?

“Make no mistake about it, the message behind Donald Trump’s tweets telling four American congresswomen of colour to “go back” to their countries was about so much more: It was ultimately a statement about who are seen as real American citizens: white people. And what does it mean to be an American citizen in the United States as a person of colour under the Trump presidency? If you are not American in the way that President Trump narrowly defines what an American is, your patriotism and love of country is immediately called into question.” Kevin Cokley, University of Texas distinguished teaching professor and director of the Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis at the University of Texas at Austin.

Ottawa has big plans to lift the fog around dementia. But are they set up to fail?

“Canada’s first national dementia strategy, laid out by Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor in June, is an important step forward. But it remains unclear whether there will be as much success implementing it. As a mounting public-health crisis in our country, we can no longer afford to forget about dementia … The amount of financial investment must match the magnitude of the strategy’s objectives, so in this case, we have to ask: is $50-million over five years, the funding announced for the strategy in the most recent federal budget, enough to meet the scale of the challenge ahead?” Paula Rochon and Jaimie Roebuck. Rochon is a geriatrician, the vice-president of research at Women’s College Hospital and the Retired Teachers of Ontario Chair in Geriatric Medicine. Roebuck is a communications specialist at Women’s College Hospital.


Online password overload making your head explode? A cyberfraud expert has the answer

“Technology’s most epic fail of the past two decades is arguably that passwords are still being used for internet security,” writes Rob Carrick. “We have more passwords than ever to keep track of it, and they’re getting harder to remember.”

One cyberfraud expert says simplicity and security comes in the form of a password manager, which is a secure virtual vault where you store the login and password for all your online accounts on all your devices. You can create the most brutally complex password ever for your password manager because it’s the only one you’ll need to remember.

There are some security risks to a password manager, but compared to overly simple, repetitive, or auto-filled passwords – it’s a big step up.


The life-changing magic of making do

“Making do is a deeply pragmatic philosophy. It means asking of our things the only question we should ever ask of them: ‘Can you fulfil your intended use for me?’ The answer – if we can be honest, and resist a moment of discomfort, inconvenience or boredom – is, extraordinarily often, yes,” writes Benjamin Leszcz. “Making do is about taming the reflex to discard, replace or upgrade; it’s about using things well, and using them until they are used up.”

“If Marie Kondo delights in discarding, making do is about agonizing over it, admitting that we probably should not have bought that thing in the first place.”

Evening Update is written by Jack Denton. 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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