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Canada Evening Update: Four dead in Fredericton shooting, suspect in custody; Canada’s good-news, bad-news jobs report

Good evening,


Two officers among four dead in Fredericton shooting, suspect in custody

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Fredericton police say two officers were among four people who died in a shooting this morning in a residential area on the city’s north side. A 48-year-old man was in custody, being treated for serious injuries, they said, and there was no further threat to the public.

Police Chief Leanne Fitch says the victims include Const. Robb Costello and Const. Sara Burns, 43, and two civilians – a man and a woman – who remain unidentified. “This is the worst moment for any chief of police in any police agency to have to deliver this news,” she told a news conference.

A Fredericton hospital “is currently treating multiple victims of today’s shooting,” the local health authority said at midday.

David MacCoubrey said he awoke in his Brookside Drive apartment at 7:07 a.m. to the sound of gunshots “10 metres from my bed.” He said three gunshots woke him up, and as many as 17 more were fired between that time and around 8:30 a.m. Here are images from the scene.

The good news, bad news in today’s jobs report

Canada posted a net gain of 54,100 jobs in July, Statistics Canada reports, dropping the national unemployment rate to 5.8 per cent. But that came with a surge in less-desirable, part-time positions – 82,000 – while the country lost 28,000 full-time jobs. The public sector made the biggest contribution with 49,600 new jobs, while the private sector added 5,200 positions.

Ontario government to introduce plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

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The Ontario government will soon introduce a regulatory plan for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, but won’t commit to achieving reductions in line with Canada’s targets under the Paris climate agreement, Shawn McCarthy writes. Environment Minister Rod Phillips said the Progressive Conservative government will replace the cap-and-trade system with a series of measures, including regulations, aimed at tackling emissions while avoiding burdensome costs on consumers and businesses. But he did acknowledge the regulations will come with a price tag. (for subscribers)

UN committee accuses China of turning Uyghur-dominated region into ‘no-rights zone’

A United Nations committee delivered a sharp rebuke to China today for its treatment of Uyghurs, Nathan VanderKlippe writes, accusing Beijing of turning its sprawling western Xinjiang region into “a no-rights zone.”

Gay McDougall, vice-chair of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, said she is “deeply concerned” by reports that China, under the guise of combating religious extremism, “has turned the Uyghur Autonomous Region into something that resembles a massive internment camp.” Some Uyghurs – a largely Muslim ethnic minority – “are being treated as enemies of the state based solely on their ethno-religious identity,” she says.

Her comments are among the most strongly worded condemnations to date by an international body of the situation in Xinjiang, where internment camps for political indoctrination have proliferated since 2017.

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The Toronto Stock Exchange and Wall Street fell today as a deepening economic crisis in Turkey rocked the markets and kept investors on the hunt for safer investments. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX fell 90.47 points to 16,326.51, led lower by the health care, consumer staples and utilities sectors. In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 196.09 points to 25,313.14, the S&P 500 lost 20.3 points close at 2,833.28 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 52.67 points to 7,839.11.

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Whale experts continue to monitor a grieving orca that has stayed with the lifeless body of her newborn calf for more than two weeks, but don’t plan on intervening for fear of putting a critically endangered population at greater risk. The extended mourning by the mother orca, called J35, is now 17 days and counting – the longest such display documented among southern resident killer whales. While it is not uncommon for orcas to mourn their young, to do so for more than a few days is rare.


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As social media skeletons are dragged into the light, we have to learn when to forgive

“Holding people to account for past behaviour is never a bad thing. But as we settle in for the long term in the age of social media, we would do well to remember that we were never meant to have a record of every comment we’ve made in poor taste. I’m not convinced our brains are wired to confront such a record, to live with every ill-advised past thought in accessible memory. In real life, we get to look back with regret. Or better yet, we can (eventually) forget. Online, the whole archive of cringe-worthy moments exists, unsorted, as though we endorse all of it. What a nightmare. But if we must live with all these past selves so readily available, then let’s do it with a measure of mercy and reason.” - Elamin Abdelmahmoud, writer and curation editor for Buzzfeed News

The day I met a serial killer

“The day I met a serial killer, I was 21 years old, an art student living in Halifax. It was late on the afternoon of Saturday, June 1, 1996. I know that date for certain because he was arrested a few hours after I met him and charged with three counts of first-degree murder. I have seen him described as both a serial killer and a spree killer, and there are varying definitions for both. You could certainly call him a spree killer, since the murders he committed all happened one after another on a single night. I’ve always thought of him as a serial killer, because of how he targeted certain victims, and because the murders were so intentional and specific. I call him a serial killer because, by the time I met him, 12 days after the murders, he’d acquired a new gun and a knife and several cartridges of ammunition. I call him a serial killer because I’ve always believed that when he walked up to my friend Trina and me on the street in Halifax that day, he was looking for more victims. We, unwittingly, told him exactly where to find them.” - Jana G. Pruden

Why we must see the world for ourselves, now more than ever

“The state of the world today suggests that countries are farther apart than ever before. I’m not confident my neighbours in California really know much about Syria or Pakistan, however much we hear about them. And who has ever seen a rendition of her community online that begins to correspond to the place she knows and loves? Travelling to Yemen and Iran and North Korea makes me think that the places we see most on screens are, in fact, the ones we’re most distant from in life. The more we glimpse surfaces, the remoter the depths too often become.” - Pico Iyer, author

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Should you use an EpiPen after its best-before date? The question has become more urgent for allergy sufferers as the life-saving medicine is in short supply. EpiPens typically have a shelf life of about 18 months, and the medicine doesn’t suddenly become useless once the expiry date has been reached. So while it’s generally not recommended to drugs that have expired, this supply problem has prompted Health Canada to take the unusual step of advising patients to use an expired EpiPen – if that’s all they have.


David Sedaris on death, mortality and other lighthearted ideas

The Globe interviewed author David Sedaris during his recent book tour. Here’s what he said when asked whether he feels sure of himself when writing about something hard:

"I do now. That doesn’t mean everything I write works, but I was saying to someone the other day: that story about the last time I saw Tiffany [his sister who died by suicide]. That wasn’t in the first 12 drafts of that story. It just hit a wall every time. And I thought, ‘I’ll throw away the last page that I’ve got here and take a different path.’ And then all of a sudden I was writing about shutting the door in her face the last time I saw her, and I thought, ‘Am I really doing this? Am I really admitting this?’ And then it felt like I didn’t have a choice. It would be dishonest not to.

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"And every [time] when I read that, I think ‘I can’t believe this is who I am. I can’t believe I’m the man who shut the door in his sister’s face.’ I think, who are you? What kind of a monster are you? And I feel the audience thinking too. I feel the audience thinking, ‘Oh, you’re the kind of monster I am.’ ” (for subscribers)

Locals in Ontario’s cottage country prepare for battle with big-city home buyers

Real estate agents say properties in Haliburton County, and other cottage country areas with proximity to Toronto, have become increasingly scarce in recent years, Nadine Yousif writes. The big push in what is now becoming a challenging real estate market in cottage country is not only the product of families looking for vacation properties, but families looking to relocate there permanently. Those planning for retirement have taken up purchasing a cottage property in which to spend the rest of their years, said Andrew Hodgson, a realtor from Haliburton County. Other buyers include millennials who were driven out of the real estate market in Toronto, but are still looking to own a property they can afford.

Evening Update is written by S.R. Slobodian. 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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