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

Erin O’Toole wins federal Conservative Party leadership race

In the early hours of this morning, after three ballot counts, Ontario MP Erin O’Toole beat out Conservative heavyweight Peter MacKay to become party leader. Toronto lawyer Leslyn Lewis, who is relatively new to politics, came third.

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The results were announced hours later than planned because thousands of ballots had been sliced by a dysfunctional mail-opening machine.

John Ibbitson writes on what the new leader must do next: “O’Toole must welcome Lewis and her followers into the Conservative tent without becoming captive to the pro-life or anti-LGBTQ brigade. One solution is for the new leader to declare his position on these issues without apology or ambiguity and stick to it. If he does that, reasonable people will move on.”

Meanwhile, Asia correspondent Nathan VanderKlippe reports that the Conservative Party’s selection of O’Toole brings to the opposition helm a politician who advocates a far more skeptical approach to China at a time when relations between Ottawa and Beijing are already strained.

More opinion: The Conservatives’ new leader scores an overtime goal – and captures the team’s spirit - Andrew MacDougall

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Hong Kong researchers report first documented coronavirus reinfection

A Hong Kong man who had recovered from COVID-19 was infected again 4½ months later in the first documented case of human reinfection, researchers at the University of Hong Kong say.

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The findings indicate the disease, which has killed more than 800,000 people worldwide, will continue to spread through the global population despite herd immunity, they said.

The 33-year-old male was found to have contracted a different coronavirus strain – after returning from Spain via Britain on Aug. 15 – from the one he had previously contracted, and he remained asymptomatic for the second infection.

In Canada: Mask exemption cards in Edmonton and other cities have underscored how governments across Canada are struggling to balance the benefits of widespread mask use with the needs of a small number of people with legitimate reasons and human-rights considerations for not wearing them. Edmonton’s program was shut down within days amid concerns that the cards were being abused after roughly 6,000 were handed out.

In U.S. politics: Kellyanne Conway to exit White House, Trump secures nomination and more

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway has said she will be leaving the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump at the end of August, citing the need to focus on her family. She is leaving at a crucial time for Trump, as his approval rating sinks on his pandemic response just months before the election.

In a separate statement, her husband, George Conway, said he was stepping back from a project he co-founded. Their decisions come after their 15-year-old daughter, Claudia, said on Twitter that she was seeking “emancipation.” Claudia has previously been outspoken on social media against her parents’ views.

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Meanwhile, as the Republican National Convention gears up and after Trump received enough votes to formally win his party’s nomination, he spoke at an unscheduled appearance, warning without evidence that he could face a “rigged election” in November.

Separately, a new book set for release tomorrow by CNN media reporter Brian Stelter, Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth, reveals the extent of internal unease at the network. The author says several people at Fox privately expressed worry to him about the growing power of prime-time opinion hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham at the expense of Fox’s news operation.

Opinion: The infinite contest over the Republican Party’s soul marches on - David Shribman

Kyle Lowry diagnosed with left ankle sprain as Raptors prepare for Celtics series

The Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry has been diagnosed with a left ankle sprain after he stepped on the foot of a Brooklyn Nets player in the Raptors’ 150-122 series-clinching rout last night. The team said it will update Lowry’s condition as appropriate.

The Raptors next play the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday.

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Opinion: Without Kawhi Leonard, the Toronto Raptors are so good they’re boring - Cathal Kelly

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

WTO largely backs Canada on lumber: Canada largely won a case before the World Trade Organization today in a long-running dispute with the United States over U.S. duties imposed on Canadian softwood lumber exports. A panel determined that the duties, designed to counter Canadian subsidies, breached global trading rules because Washington had not shown that many prices paid by Canadian companies for timber on government-owned lands were artificially low.

Iran’s report on downed airliner criticized: Transport Minister Marc Garneau and Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne say they expect more answers from Iranian officials about an air strike that downed a passenger plane earlier this year, killing everyone on board, including many Canadians. They say Iran’s preliminary report from the plane’s data recorders provides only “limited and selected information.”

Kremlin critic poisoned, hospital says: Tests conducted on Russian dissident Alexey Navalny at a German hospital indicate that he was poisoned, but doctors said they do not believe his life at immediate risk. The Charité hospital said doctors have found in his system the presence of “cholinesterase inhibitors, ” a broad range of substances that are found in several drugs, but also in pesticides and nerve agents. The long-time opponent of President Vladimir Putin collapsed on a plane Thursday.

MARKET WATCH

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North American stocks rose today, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq reaching new record closing highs as optimism over potential medical advances in the war against the coronavirus pandemic pushed the three major U.S. stock indexes higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 378.13 points or 1.35 per cent to 28,308.46, the S&P 500 gained 34.12 points or 1 per cent to 3,431.28 and the Nasdaq Composite added 67.92 points or 0.6 per cent to 11,379.72.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 108.79 points or 0.66 per cent at 16,626.64 as the energy sector rallied 4.30 per cent. Financials also had a strong session, rising 1.67 per cent ahead of the big banks’ reporting their latest earnings this week.

Looking for investing ideas? Check out The Globe’s weekly digest of the latest insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and what investors need to know for the week ahead. This week’s edition includes new dividend all-stars, renewable energy stock picks and safe GIC alternatives.

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TALKING POINTS

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In B.C., the tone has shifted from a soft urging to ‘do the right thing’ to stern, fearful COVID-19 warnings

Left unchecked, B.C. will be forced, once again, to shut down entire business sectors. And that would be an economic disaster our province simply can’t afford.”- Adrienne Tanner

The Mike Milbury mess shows hockey’s inherent problems are still prevalent

“This is exactly the sort of distraction the NHL doesn’t need during its marquee event, reminding both current and potential fans how far it still has to go before it finally becomes a sports league that can be taken seriously as a cultural force.” - Simon Houpt

TODAY’S LONG READ

Dr. Gelareh Zadeh

Kate Dockeray/The Globe and Mail

Gelareh Zadeh speaks about the first time she observed a brain operation the same way one might describe discovering a precious jewel. As a medical student in the early 1990s, she recalls being mesmerized by a skillful neurosurgeon delicately working on the unruly snarl of blood vessels of an arteriovenous malformation.

“It was so tantalizing,” she says, explaining how the experience put her on the path to choosing it as her specialty. “Technically, it’s really a beautiful field.” A mentor sealed it for her. “He said to me: ‘We need more women in this field. We need to have a kinder field and we need more gentle people – and you need to go into neurosurgery.’ "

Almost three decades later, Zadeh is shaping the future of the medical specialty in this country. On Sept. 1, she steps into the role of the Dan Family Chair of neurosurgery at the University of Toronto, becoming the first woman to helm one of the largest neurosurgical programs in the world and the first female neurosurgery chair in Canada. Read Wency Leung’s full story here.

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