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Good evening and happy holidays,

Evening Update is taking a break for the next two days, returning Dec. 27.

Let’s start with today’s top stories:

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Hong Kong police fire tear gas at protesters as rallies escalate in shopping malls

Residents dressed for Christmas festivities react to tear gas as police confront protesters on Christmas Eve in Hong Kong on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019. (Associated Press)

The Associated Press

Hong Kong riot police fired rounds of tear gas at thousands of protesters, many wearing masks and reindeer horns, after scuffles in shopping malls and in a prime tourist district as pro-democracy rallies escalated into Christmas Eve chaos. Protesters inside the malls threw umbrellas and other objects at police who responded by beating some demonstrators with batons, with one pointing his gun at the crowd, but not firing.

Prince Philip leaves hospital, joins Queen for Christmas

Prince Philip was discharged from a London hospital Tuesday and immediately taken by helicopter to join the Queen and other senior royals at their Sandringham Estate for Christmas Eve festivities. Three royals who won’t be at Sandringham this year are Prince Harry, his wife Meghan and son Archie, who are spending the holidays in Canada instead.

On Christmas Day, the Queen’s pre-recorded message will be broadcast. On Tuesday, Buckingham Palace released excerpts. The Queen hints at Brexit, Prince Andrew and the rift between her grandchildren, Prince William and Prince Harry, in acknowledging that both Britain and her family have endured a “bumpy” year.

Thousands of Christians celebrate Christmas in West Bank town of Bethlehem

Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, blesses worshippers ahead of Christmas Eve mass at the Church of the Nativity in the biblical West Bank city of Bethlehem on December 24, 2019. (Musa Al Shaer/AFP/Getty Images)

MUSA AL SHAER/AFP/Getty Images

Visitors converged on the town’s large Christmas tree in Manger Square, near the spot believed to mark Jesus’ birthplace. Uniformed Palestinian scouts wearing yellow and gold capes paraded past assembled visitors, the sound of drums and bagpipes filling the cool, clear air. Vendors hawked snacks and holiday gifts, adding to the festive atmosphere.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Jeremy Roenick suspended by NBC: The former National Hockey League player-turned-commentator was suspended indefinitely by NBC Sports on Monday for his inappropriate comments about coworkers. On a podcast, Roenick discussed a vacation to Portugal with his wife and fellow hockey broadcaster Kathryn Tappen where he made repeated references to the NBC Sports anchor’s appearance and joked about the possibility of the three of them having sex together.

Trudeau’s Christmas message: In his annual address, the Prime Minister says it’s the season for giving, and for giving back. He says one of the greatest holiday traditions is taking care of each other – something Canadians do all year round.

U.S. is prepared to ‘deal with’ North Korea’s ‘Christmas gift’: U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday brushed off North Korea’s warning of a “Christmas gift”, saying the United States would “deal with it very successfully,” amid U.S. concerns that Pyongyang might be preparing a long-range missile test.

MARKET WATCH

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Canada’s main stock index showed some pre-Christmas spirit, with a modest gain and a record close ahead of a two-day holiday. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 51.44 points at 17,180.15 at 1 p.m. ET.

The index is trading near all-time highs hit earlier this week on hopes of an end to the bruising U.S.-China trade war and was on course for its best annual gain in a decade.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 36.08 points to close at 28,515.45. The S&P 500 index was down 0.63 points at 3,223.38, while the Nasdaq Composite was up 7.24 points at 8,952.88.

All four markets closed three hours early for the holiday. The U.S. markets reopen Thursday after Christmas Day but the Toronto Stock Exchange remains closed until Friday.

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TALKING POINTS

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We need critics now more than ever

Sylvia Stead: “A Vancouver restaurant, clearly unhappy with a review by The Globe and Mail’s B.C. food critic Alexandra Gill, purchased an ad in Saturday’s Globe slamming her personally and professionally. And unfortunately, The Globe published it due to human error, a complete failure of the advertising vetting procedure.” Sylvia Stead is The Globe’s public editor.

Everyone turns to lawyers for #MeToo advice, but the legal community needs its own reckoning

Elaine Craig and Jocelyn Downie: “A professional culture that tolerates, even celebrates, men who engage in harmful sexual behaviour makes it almost impossible for women to speak out about their experiences. Law societies need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”

Are Canadians ready to confront racism?

Michael Adam and Lilian Ma: “Most jarring perhaps for a country that prides itself on diversity is the number of racialized Canadians who feel they sometimes need to keep their identities hidden. Across all racialized groups, three in 10 say they consciously downplay being someone of their race, at least from time to time. The figure is even higher (39 per cent) for those who identify as Indigenous.”

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HOLIDAY READS

She wasn’t very good at being a mom, but one Christmas she nailed it

“It was December, 1950, and I was four years old. I was living in Birchtown, a little village on the south shore of Nova Scotia, with my mother, my baby brother and the old man who owned the house we shared,” begins Holly Kritsch in this First Person essay. “… This was one of the final years I would be living with my mother and brother, but I didn’t know that then. It was the Christmas season, but I didn’t know that either.”

Five positive travel trends of 2019

The past year brought plenty of distressing headlines for travel: heat waves, airplane disasters and the ravages of overtourism. But from ditching single-use plastics to re-examining animal tourism, the tourism industry showed signs of heading in some positive directions. Here are five trends that we hope will continue in 2020.

The Globe’s annual Christmas painting: Lake O’Hara by J.E.H. MacDonald

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J.E.H. MacDonald. Lake O'Hara, Rockies, 1926. The Thomson Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Photo © Art Gallery of Ontario

Handout

Lake O’Hara, in Yoho National Park in British Columbia, is perhaps the most picturesque spot in the Canadian Rockies: a sparkling alpine tarn set in a bowl of rock carved by glaciers. Painter J.E.H. MacDonald, of the Group of Seven, travelled there regularly in the 1920s and made this small oil sketch, Lake O’Hara, in 1926.

“If it is possible to make reservations in Heaven, I am going to have an upper berth somewhere in the O'Hara ranges of Paradise," he said of his attraction to the place.

This now 25-year tradition of reproducing a painting from the Thomson Collection in The Globe and Mail on Dec. 24 continues with this sketch, which hangs in the Art Gallery of Ontario beside a larger, finished version from 1930.

Evening Update is written by Jordan Chittley. 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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