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

‘Existential crisis’ led to urgent management shakeup at Hockey Canada, says former judge who conducted review

Hockey Canada faced an existential crisis this fall after its handling of sexual-assault allegations exposed a series of governance failings at the top of the organization, a former Supreme Court judge told federal hearings on Tuesday.

The need for an orderly transition of management, including the resignation of its entire board of directors, became evident to ensure the organization didn’t suffer long-term damage, former justice Thomas Cromwell told a parliamentary committee investigating Hockey Canada.

Yesterday, a selection committee announced a list of nine proposed new directors that will be voted on Saturday by Hockey Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial associations.

Read more: As Hockey Canada settles sexual-assault claims, seriously injured players have to fight for compensation

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Fusion breakthrough could be climate, energy game-changer

Scientists for the first time have produced more energy in a fusion reaction than was used to ignite it – a major breakthrough in the decades-long quest to harness the process that powers the sun.

Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California achieved the result, which is called net energy gain, the U.S. Energy Department said today. Net energy gain has been an elusive goal because fusion happens at such high temperatures and pressures that it is incredibly difficult to control.

The breakthrough will pave the way for advancements in national defence and the future of clean power, officials said.

Explainer: Could fusion energy help fight climate change?

Ukrainian Foreign Minister warns of fresh Russian offensive in new year

Russia is preparing to mount a major offensive in the first couple of months of 2023 while it continues to attack Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, the country’s Foreign Minister said as Western governments pledged to help repair the country’s shattered power systems.

Speaking to reporters from a bomb shelter in central Kyiv today, Dmytro Kuleba said Russia has been unable to regain momentum after Ukrainian forces took back control of Kherson in November. But Kyiv believes Russian President Vladimir Putin will insist on a breakthrough shortly.

Meanwhile, Canada is helping to finance the rebuilding of Kyiv’s war-damaged electrical grid with a $115-million donation, which comes from a 35-per-cent tariff that Ottawa levied on imports from Russia and its ally Belarus earlier this year.

Hoping to attract new doctors to Canada, recruiters abroad are hobbled by licensing rules at home

Olu Aoko, a Nigerian-born gastroenterologist, talks at a job fair in Dublin with Rebecca Gill, PEI’s director of health recruitment and retention.Lorraine O'Sullivan/The Globe and Mail

Canada’s system for assessing and integrating physicians who were trained outside of the country is plagued by barriers and chokepoints, and the country is increasingly losing physicians to other places as a result.

While fewer graduates of international medical programs are applying to train in Canada, nearly two-thirds of the foreign physicians who came here as immigrants aren’t practising medicine in part because of licensing hurdles.

Those trying to find solutions to the crisis in Canadian health care say the country needs to do a better job of putting foreign physicians to work.

Read more: Canadian doctors trained at international medical schools increasingly giving up on their home country for work

Morocco’s shocking World Cup success is sparking debates across Africa

Tomorrow’s World Cup match between Morocco and France will see the first African country ever to reach the semi-finals pitted against its former European colonizer in a classic underdog-against-champion showdown.

But while Morocco’s historic achievement has sparked a wave of excitement and support across Africa, it is also generating conflicted feelings. At issue is the long-standing Moroccan occupation of the disputed territory known as Western Sahara, which many Africans consider to be the last colony on the continent.

Today’s action: Two goals by striker Julian Alvarez and a Lionel Messi penalty gave Argentina a 3-0 victory over 2018 runners-up Croatia in the first World Cup semi-final.


Military sexual misconduct testimony: Retired Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour has accused military leaders of dragging their feet when it comes fighting sexual misconduct in the ranks, even as Defence Minister Anita Anand staked her reputation on their success or failure.

Jimmy Lai’s trial postponed: A landmark national security trial in Hong Kong has been postponed until September, 2023, after the government requested Beijing’s intervention to block pro-democracy tycoon Jimmy Lai’s choice of lawyer.

FTX founder indicted: U.S. prosecutors have charged Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange, with a host of financial crimes and campaign finance violations following his arrest in the Bahamas yesterday, alleging he played a central role in the rapid collapse of FTX and hid its problems from the public and investors.

U.S. inflation up slightly: Consumer prices in the United States barely rose in November as the cost of gasoline and used cars declined, leading to the smallest annual increase in inflation in nearly a year.

Sousa wins by-election: Former Ontario finance minister Charles Sousa is headed to Ottawa after winning the federal by-election in the Ontario riding of Mississauga-Lakeshore yesterday.

Pickup trucks recalled: Chrysler parent Stellantis is recalling 1.4 million pickup trucks worldwide - including 120,000 in Canada - because tailgates may not latch properly and could open while driving.


U.S. stocks closed higher today after a surprisingly small consumer price increase buoyed optimism that the Federal Reserve could soon dial back its inflation-taming interest rate hikes, but concerns remained the central bank could stay aggressive. Canada’s main stock index was flat, with a rally in the energy and materials sectors mostly offset by a drop in heavyweight financials.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 103.60 points or 0.3 per cent to 34,108.64, the S&P 500 added 29.09 points or 0.73 per cent to end at 4,019.65 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 113.07 points or 1.01 per cent to 11,256.81.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced 3.76 points or 0.02 per cent to 20,023.46. The loonie traded at 73.81 U.S. cents.

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Our national housing program is an obtuse black hole of spending

“It’s appalling. I mean, you have a program intended to build homes for people. Wouldn’t you think that somewhere there is someone keeping tabs on that spending; that somewhere, someone is chronicling where these homes are being built and who is getting to live in them?” - Gary Mason


So you’re done binge-watching White Lotus - now what? For your consideration, film editor Barry Hertz offers his list of the 10 most overlooked, underrated and unfairly dismissed movies of 2022, and how to watch them now.

If you’re more into music than cinema, check out Brad Wheeler’s look at documentaries, concert films, books and podcasts about bands and musicians.


Concerns raised over heritage official steering flagship bills through Parliament

Owen Ripley leaves the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in Ottawa on Dec. 6, 2022.Spencer Colby/The Globe and Mail

Two of the federal government’s flagship bills seem to rely on just one man: the talented and ubiquitous Owen Ripley. He’s the official tasked with shepherding the bills through marathon parliamentary committee stages – simultaneously.

One minute, the courteous public servant is answering MPs’ questions about clauses in the online news bill, C-18, in the Commons Heritage committee. Tune in 10 minutes later on a parliamentary TV channel and there he is again, this time at the Senate transport and communications committee, explaining slowly and clearly, in French and English, the intricacies of the online streaming bill, C-11.

After months of zooming between the Senate and the Commons, Ripley is beginning to look a little frazzled. Some legislators were beginning to worry about the welfare of the public servant last week as both committees reached the end of their clause-by-clause marathons. Read Marie Woolf’s full story.

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