Good evening and happy Friday, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Hundreds feared trapped in North Carolina as Hurricane Dorian heads for Nova Scotia
Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the U.S as a Category 1 storm Friday, flooding homes on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Sheriff’s officials sent medics and rescuers to an island amid reports of people being forced to retreat to their attics after defying mandatory evacuation orders.
The storm is expected to remain a hurricane as it moves up the eastern seaboard and is forecast to reach Nova Scotia Saturday. The Canadian Hurricane Centre has put a hurricane watch in effect for all of Nova Scotia and tropical storm watches are also in effect for southern New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, the Magdalen Islands and western Newfoundland.
A Canadian woman is one of 30 people who have been confirmed dead after Dorian pounded the Bahamas and obliterated entire neighbourhoods. Alishia Sabrina Liolli, 27, grew up in a small town near Windsor, Ont., and moved to the Bahamas in 2013 to volunteer with a school that helps children with autism. Her husband and the couple’s four children, including a 17-month-old boy, survived.
Robert Mugabe’s death in a Singapore hospital symbolized Zimbabwe’s economic collapse
Former Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe, an ex-guerrilla chief who took power when the African country shook off white minority rule and presided for decades while economic turmoil and human rights violations eroded its early promise, has died in Singapore. He was 95.
The Globe and Mail’s Africa Bureau Chief Geoffrey York writes that in his dying days, Mugabe was cocooned in luxury medical care at an exclusive Singapore hospital, insulated from the economic misery and decaying health system that his policies had left behind in Zimbabwe. The deep gulf between Zimbabwe’s ruling elite, who could afford medical treatment abroad, and the vast majority of ordinary people, who suffered from the collapse of the country’s health system and other public services, helps explain why so many Zimbabweans felt an ambivalent reaction to the death of their former liberation hero on Friday.
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U.S. Open tennis: Canada’s Bianca Andreescu defeated Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic Thursday night in the semi-final. She will face Serena Williams in the final on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET. If she wins, it would be the first Grand Slam singles title by a Canadian.
TIFF: The Toronto International Film Festival kicked off with premieres and parties Thursday night. Dev Patel and Hugh Laurie were some of the bigger names seen on the first night – both were out at the Weslodge for a party ahead of the premiere of their film, The Personal History of David Copperfield. Nolan Bryant breaks down the party scene and who was where. TIFF runs through Sept. 15.
Canadian economy gains jobs: It gained a larger-than-expected 81,100 net jobs in August, largely driven by increases in part-time work, Statistics Canada data showed on Friday. The national unemployment rate held steady, as expected, at 5.7 per cent in August, while wages for permanent employees increased 3.8 per cent year-over-year.
Drug prices: The pharmaceutical industry is ratcheting up its fight against the Trudeau government’s efforts to lower prescription-drug prices, launching a second legal challenge to try to block an overhaul of the agency that controls those prices. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to bring drug prices down, partly as a precursor to a national pharmacare proposal that is expected to be a key feature of the Liberals’ re-election pitch this fall.
Brexit: British opposition parties said Friday they would block Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s second bid to call an early general election in mid-October, setting up a showdown with the government over delaying Brexit.
Maximum compensation for First Nations children: The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has awarded more than $2-billion in compensation Friday to First Nations children and their families who were separated by a chronically underfunded welfare system. In a ruling this morning, the tribunal says the federal government “wilfully and recklessly” discriminated against Indigenous children living on reserves by not properly funding child and family services.
Chick-fil-A protest: Dozens of protesters crowded a downtown Toronto sidewalk Friday morning to voice their opposition to the opening of the first franchised Chick-fil-A fast-food restaurant in Canada over the chain owner’s record on LGBTQ issues.
Pence in Ireland: U.S. House Democrats have launched an investigation into Vice-President Mike Pence’s stay at a hotel owned by President Donald Trump during a visit to Ireland this week, two committees said on Friday. Pence stayed at the Trump International Golf Club in Doonberg during his visit, though it was 300 kilometres away from his meetings in the capital, Dublin.
Hong Kong protests: Hong Kong police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray on Friday to clear protesters outside a subway station on the densely populated Kowloon peninsula. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced measures this week to try to restore order in the Chinese-ruled city, including the formal withdrawal of a bill that triggered the demonstrations. But the demonstrations, which began in June, had long since morphed into a broader calls for more democracy.
Canada’s main stock index sat flat on Friday as resource stocks weighed and strong domestic jobs data in August dampened hopes of an interest rate cut next month. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 39.48 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 16,535.33.
Wall Street advanced on Friday and Treasury yields pared their losses as upbeat remarks from Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell and a Chinese economic stimulus package helped investors shrug off a weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 69.31 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 26,797.46, the S&P 500 gained 2.72 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 2,978.72 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 13.75 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 8,103.07.
The Amazon’s forest fires are a global peril – but so are Canada’s
“If the international community is going to start enlisting eco-warriors to save the planet’s trees in the name of fighting climate change, Canada had better get ready to be invaded too.” - Arno Kopecky
Why you should befriend the employees of your local supermarket
“How do you trust the food you eat when you don’t know the people you’re buying it from? Over the years, that’s been my response whenever people ask me how to ethically source the food they eat, whether it’s the most sustainable option, whether it’s the best of seasonal produce available or how to get a cut of meat not presented in the display case.” - Corey Mintz
‘Never Again’ faces its biggest test in Europe
"Treating these parties (but not their voters) as a social disease appears to be the more effective approach. Mainstream conservative parties that invite them into coalitions or bend too far to regain their voters tend to become poisoned. " - Doug Saunders
As September begins, the theatres in Canada’s urban centres wake up from their summer slumbers and kick off their 2019-20 seasons with a flurry of new productions. Theatre critic J. Kelly Nestruck has a coast-to-coast look at the major plays, musicals and history-making theatrical events that You Oughta Know about between now and December. (Oh, plus one Alanis Morissette musical south of the border.)
LONG READ FOR THE WEEKEND
Who is the real Justin Trudeau? Two new books paint vastly different pictures of the Prime Minister. In National post columnist John Ivison’s Trudeau: the Education of a Prime Minister, Trudeau is a political prodigy who never measured up to expectations, and who fundamentally misunderstands the country he leads.
In CBC writer Aaron Wherry’s Promise and Peril: Justin Trudeau in Power, Trudeau and his team have sought to achieve “big things, hard things, things that can shape a country.” If at times they fell short, it was not through want of trying.
John Ibbitson has read both and writes confirmation bias will likely mean Trudeau supporters will pick Wherry’s book, while those who oppose the leader will pick Ivison’s. But, if you read them together, they offer a rewarding study of strengths and weaknesses of Trudeau and those around him, by two of the best journalists on the Hill.