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

The Israeli military has taken control of the Rafah border crossing, the main corridor for humanitarian aid into Gaza from Egypt. Meanwhile, Israel’s invasion of Rafah – where more than a million displaced people have accumulated – gained steam.

A UNRWA spokesperson said that almost no aid was reaching the Gaza Strip as a result of the takeover. Last week, World Food Programme director Cindy McCain said the northern Gaza Strip was experiencing a “full-blown famine.” Today, WFP said it had enough food in stock to supply the centre and south of Gaza for between just one and four days if border crossings were not reopened.

The Rafah invasion has moved forward despite Hamas’s acceptance earlier this week of a Qatari and Egyptian-brokered ceasefire deal that reportedly would see the group eventually release all the hostages in phases in exchange for an end to the war and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza.

Today, families of some of the hostages took part in a protest outside Israel’s military headquarters in Tel Aviv, calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to accept the ceasefire offer.

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Palestinians inspect the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on May 7, 2024.Hatem Khaled/Reuters

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Ottawa approves B.C.’s request to prohibit use of illicit drugs in public

Ottawa has approved British Columbia’s request to again prohibit possession of illicit drugs in public spaces, in a significant policy reversal of the province’s drug decriminalization pilot project.

The three-year pilot began Jan. 31, 2023, and permitted British Columbians aged 18 and older to carry up to a cumulative total of 2.5 grams of illicit opioids, crack and powder cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA without risk of arrest or criminal charges.

The change to B.C.’s exemption from the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act means possession of small amounts of illicit drugs will again be illegal in public places, but not in private residences or places where someone is legally sheltering, or at overdose prevention and drug checking sites.

Security guard at rapper Drake’s home hospitalized after shooting outside

A shooting overnight outside the Toronto home of rapper Drake sent a security guard to hospital with serious injuries, police say. Inspector Paul Krawczyk said he could not confirm whether Drake was home at the time of the shooting, which happened shortly after 2 a.m. in the city’s posh Bridle Path neighbourhood. He said police were in contact with the rapper’s team and that they were cooperating.

In a late morning briefing, Krawczyk said that police had video of the shooting. But he offered no information about the number of shots, the number of suspects or the vehicle in which they fled.

The victim’s name and age were not provided. A publicist representing Drake declined to comment. The incident coincided with the artist’s continuing rap feud with L.A.-based Kendrick Lamar. Krawczyk says police are aware of the disagreement but cannot comment on its relevance to the incident this early in the investigation.

Italian soldiers will gun down wild boars that can spread African swine fever

As many as 1.5 million boars are thought to be running wild in Italy, having infiltrated every part of the country, and their numbers are expanding.

The animals can disrupt traffic and terrorize children, pedestrians and bikers. And add to that the danger of African swine fever. The boars can spread the viral disease, killing otherwise healthy farm pigs, though swine fever is harmless to humans.

The government of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni this week responded to the outbreak by ordering the Italian military to take up arms and kill as many of the animals as it can. Their goal is to eliminate 80 per cent of them over five years.

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Health authorities in the Lazio region around Rome are moving to contain the potential spread of African Swine Fever among the city's wild boar population.Antonio Masiello/AFP/Getty Images


The accused in Nijjar murder face B.C. court: Three Indian nationals accused of murdering Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar have appeared by video in a British Columbia court, with scores of Sikh community members inside and outside the hearing.

  • ICYMI: The Globe reported that India refused to let Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plane land in Punjab during a visit in 2018 unless he and his defence minister agreed to meet with a government official to air grievances about Sikh separatists in Canada, including Hardeep Singh Nijjar, according to a source with direct knowledge.

Stormy Daniels testifies: The porn actor took the witness stand today at Donald Trump’s hush money trial, describing for jurors a sexual encounter that Daniels says she had with him in 2006 that resulted in her being paid off to keep silent during the presidential race 10 years later.

Ukraine thwarts plot to assassinate Zelensky: Ukrainian counter-intelligence investigators have foiled a Russian plot to assassinate Ukraine’s president and other top military and political figures, Ukraine’s state security service said today.

Writers Guild of Canada averts strike: The union representing 2,500 English screenwriters has reached an agreement with Canadian screen producers that would avoid a countrywide strike if its members choose to ratify the new deal.


The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P/TSX Composite Index clung onto gains to close higher on Tuesday, extending recent winning streaks fueled by renewed expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this year.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 31.15 points at 22,290.62. The S&P 500 index was up 6.96 points at 5,187.70, while the Nasdaq composite was down 16.69 points at 16,332.56.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 31.99 points at 38,884.26.

The Canadian dollar traded for 72.97 cents US compared with 73.20 cents US on Monday.

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The crisis in health care staffing is no secret – so don’t try to hide the gruesome data

“A health system without adequate staffing is no health system at all. Canadians are living this reality every day. The public – in Ontario, and elsewhere – deserves to know how bad the situation is, and how much worse it could get.” – André Picard

The uneasy intersection of oil and climate

“Oil profits are a sort of dirty engine to fuel a rapid transition to a greener economy.” – The Editorial Board


How to overcome “savings guilt” when you’re living paycheque to paycheque

With a higher cost of living crunching household budgets, many find themselves struggling to save at the end of the month. A December Coast Capital study showed more than a third of Canadians felt financial shame, and half of survey respondents said their mental and emotional well-being was affected by the finances. Experts share tips on how to break the cycle of shame when it comes to not saving enough, including: taking advantage of employee benefits and matching plans and diversifying income streams.


Ethiopia razes a historic Addis Ababa neighbourhood, as PM’s drive to modernize draws criticism

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A woman walks past debris from houses during a planned demolition in the historical Piazza neighbourhood of Addis Ababa on March 14, 2024.MICHELE SPATARI/Getty Images

Dozens of historic buildings are being demolished in Addis Ababa, sparking criticism from heritage experts. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is trying to attract foreign investors by building modern skyscrapers, wide roads, museums, parks and bicycle paths. But in the process, he is destroying much of the city’s unique history.

The most sweeping wave of demolitions has targeted an old enclave known as Piassa, built around a marketplace more than 120 years ago and given an Italian name when it was further developed during the Italian occupation in the 1930s. Nearly 2,000 buildings in Piassa have been demolished with bulldozers and sledgehammers in recent weeks, and an estimated 11,000 people have been forced to leave their homes and businesses with little warning. Read the full story.

Evening Update is written by Prajakta Dhopade. 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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