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

“Warner just broke decathlon’s sound barrier”

That’s The Globe’s Cathal Kelly’s take on Damian Warner’s victory today in the Olympic decathlon. As Kelly writes, Warner didn’t just become the first Canadian to win the Olympics’ most difficult event – he also becomes just the fourth person in history to score above 9,000 points – he ended with 9,018 – and the first to do it at an Olympics.

Driven by several incredible showings – most notably, a long jump that would have won him a bronze medal in the individual competition – Warner posted one of the highest scores in the history of the discipline.

“It’s one of those moments where, like, all the dreams you had as a kid finally come true,” Warner said.

Dreams were also achieved by two other Canadian athletes on Thursday: Laurence Vincent-Lapointe won silver in the first-ever Olympic women’s canoe sprint and Lauriane Genest claimed bronze in women’s keirin.

Read more:

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Quebec to introduce vaccine passport

The Quebec government said Thursday the province will introduce a vaccine-passport system following a recent rise in COVID-19 cases.

At a joint news conference about child care with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier François Legault said Health Minister Christian Dubé will announce details in the coming days about how the system will work and when it will begin.

“People who have made the effort to get their two doses should be able to live a somewhat normal life, having access to all activities, including non-essential ones,” Legault said. Quebec health officials have reported an average of 160 new daily cases over the past seven days, compared with an average of 74 the previous week.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Ottawa won’t share details on Afghan refugees for security reasons: Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino says the federal government must protect the evacuees and the security of the operation. Mendicino says the government is dealing with urgent and volatile circumstances in Afghanistan as the international coalition forces led by the U.S. continue to withdraw from the country and the Taliban gain ground. The first planeload of refugees who supported the Canadian military and diplomatic mission in Afghanistan arrived in Toronto yesterday and more planes are expected to arrive in the next days and weeks.

Penn National Gaming to acquire Score Media in US$2-billion deal: The Toronto-based company, often known as theScore, provides sports news and information to users of its mobile app, which has about four million monthly active users. Since 2019, it has been focused on building its sports-betting product ScoreBet, which is available in four U.S. states.

Walt Disney Animation to open new studio in Vancouver in 2022: Company says the new studio would focus on long-form series as well as special projects created for the Disney+ streaming platform. In a release, Disney says the Vancouver studio’s work will begin with the musical series Moana.

Biden to offer temporary ‘safe haven’ to Hong Kong residents in U.S.: Move will allow them to extend their stay in the country in response to Beijing’s crackdown on democracy in the Chinese territory. The U.S. President is expected to sign a memorandum directing the State and Homeland Security departments to grant Hong Kong residents in the United States an 18-month “deferral of removal.”

Masai Ujiri reportedly signs new deal with Toronto Raptors: A video released by the team on social media Thursday has Ujiri saying he is “here to stay” with the team and also lays out the philanthropic work he aims to continue doing. The team did not immediately confirm the details of Ujiri’s deal or the title he would be assuming.

MARKET WATCH

North American markets rose on Thursday, as Canada’s main stock index benefitted from higher crude oil prices and continued strong earnings reports for the second quarter of 2021.

The S&P/TSX composite index gained 45.75 points at 20,375.48.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 271.58 points at 35,064.25. The S&P 500 index was up 26.44 points at 4,429.10, while the Nasdaq composite was up 114.59 points at 14,895.12.

The Canadian dollar traded for 80.02 cents US compared with 79.71 cents US on Wednesday.

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TALKING POINTS

The U.S. and China aren’t ready to call it quits just yet

“It is clear that both sides still value the relationship and do not want to see it marred by conflict. China should realize that it is not possible for the United States to stop its criticism on issues, even if they’re “internal” issues. Rather, Beijing should accept that candid and free comment can be the basis of a sincere and honest relationship.” – Frank Ching

LIVING BETTER

Form follows function for Noren Studio founders and their fine jewellery

Fine jewellery is a family affair for Noren Studio founders Keith Lau and Josephine Liu. Liu is a formally trained goldsmith who studied at Vancouver Community College, while Lau spent much time in his childhood in the workshop of his father, a master goldsmith who apprenticed under a Shanghainese master in 1960s Hong Kong.

With Noren, the aesthetic is guided by the principles of industrial design, where form follows function. The result is an elegant simplicity Lau says is inspired by anything from the ergonomics of cutlery to the austerity found in some contemporary architecture.

TODAY’S LONG READ

Paw Patrol goes Hollywood: How Toronto’s Spin Master plans to become film industry’s top dog

Foreground: Chase (voiced by Iain Armitage) and Ryder (voiced by Will Brisbin). Background left to right: Skye (voiced by Lilly Bartlam), Rocky (voiced by Callum Shoniker), Rubble (voiced by Keegan Hedley), Zuma (voiced by Shayle Simons), and Marshall (voiced by Kingsley Marshall) in Paw Patrol: The Movie from Paramount Pictures.Courtesy of Spin Master / Paramount via Elevation Pictures

Globe arts writer Barry Hertz has mixed feeling about Paw Patrol, the Canadian children’s television series that premiered in 2013.

As Hertz writes, Paw Patrol’s adventures provide caregivers and parents with “much-needed sanity breaks,” especially during the pandemic. On the other hand, Paw Patrol is, well, annoying.”

This month, Paw Patrol: The Movie will be released – a big step for the franchise, and a huskie-sized leap for Spin Master Corp., the Toronto-based company that created the genuine cultural phenomenon. With the movie, Spin Master now hopes to turn itself into a major Hollywood power player, competing in the cutthroat animation industry with the giants - Pixar and Illumination.

Read Hertz’s full story here.

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