Skip to main content

Good evening,


Italy highway bridge collapse kills dozens in Genoa

The collapse of the elevated Genoa highway bridge during a severe storm today has killed at least 35 people, according to Italy’s ANSA news agency citing fire brigade sources, Eric Reguly writes. The official body count has climbed to 26. .

The bridge, known as the Morandi Viaduct, fell shortly before noon local time, sending about 20 vehicles plunging about 80 or 90 metres into the industrial zone below. The death toll seems likely to rise, since enormous chunks of concrete may have struck inhabited structures. Here’s a look at the scene.

Shortly after the bridge collapsed, the Italian media reported that an engineer had warned two years ago that the 1960s structure had a troubled maintenance history and often required hefty repair jobs.

Meanwhile, a couple of Canadian travellers narrowly escaped tragedy when their train was delayed after an unscheduled stop at a station in Genoa. Speaking from the train shortly after the bridge collapse, Tamar Bresge, 23, said she and her friend Melissa Light, 22, both of Toronto, were still processing what had happened. “Our train would have gone under it in minutes, like less than five minutes,” Ms. Bresge said. “We just missed it, like just missed it.”

B.C.’s Trinity Western University drops mandatory covenant forbidding sex outside heterosexual marriage

British Columbia’s Trinity Western University has dropped a requirement that students follow a community covenant that, among other things, prohibits sex outside heterosexual marriages, Wendy Stueck writes. The decision follows a legal battle over the Langley-based Christian university’s proposed law school, which law societies in B.C. and Ontario refused to accredit over concerns the covenant discriminates against LGBT students. The Supreme Court of Canada issued a ruling in June that upheld the right of provincial law societies to reject the graduates of Trinity Western.

The university issued a statement today that the covenant will no longer be mandatory for students as of the 2018-2019 academic year. It said the school’s overall mission had not changed.

Hydro One names new board after mass resignations

Hydro One Ltd. has unveiled its new of board of directors after the utility’s previous board resigned and its chief executive officer retired under pressure from Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Many of the 10 new directors have deep Bay Street connections, Tim Kiladze writes, and a number have held senior positions at investment banks. Interim board chair Tom Woods, who was appointed by the province, spent nearly four decades at CIBC. During Ontario’s provincial election this spring, Mr. Ford took aim at Hydro One’s executive compensation. (for subscribers)

Canadian hospitals scramble as Saudi medical graduates withdraw from duties ahead of Aug. 31 deadline

Some Saudi Arabian medical graduates training at Canadian hospitals are withdrawing from their clinical duties ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline, Carly Weeks writes, leaving hospitals scrambling to fill the gaps.

The early departures are the latest development in a chaotic situation that’s having a “destabilizing effect” on parts of Canada’s health-care system, said Richard McLean of Hamilton Health Sciences Centre. It’s unclear how many Saudi medical trainees are asking to be relieved of their duties, but Dr. McLean said he expects many more will be “stepping away from the workplace” in the coming weeks as they make arrangements to leave the country.

More than 1,000 Saudi medical graduates working at Canadian teaching hospitals must leave the country by Aug. 31 as the result of a diplomatic row between Canada and the Middle East kingdom.

The challenge for Canada is what to do next, Colin Robertson writes. “Are there sanctions we and our allies should be taking against the Saudis for their human-rights abuses, including treatment of women, oppression of religious freedoms and their intervention in Yemen? And why not invite its Foreign Minister to Canada? Perhaps he could join Ms. Freeland for a walk through our splendid Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg.”

This is the daily Evening Update newsletter. If you’re reading this online, or if someone forwarded this e-mail to you, you can sign up for Evening Update and all Globe newsletters here. Have feedback? Let us know what you think.


World stock markets rebounded today as Turkey’s lira pulled out of a recent nosedive. After three weeks of heavy pounding, the lira recovered some ground, up almost 8 per cent from the previous day’s close.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index rose 79.92 points to 16,330.67, on strength in the financial sector. But marijuana producers dropped after Ontario announced plans to delay private-sector sales, leading health care stocks lower. Canopy Growth lost 8.3 per cent, while Aurora Cannabis finished down 9.8 per cent.

Wall Street’s three major indexes rose with the S&P 500 posting its strongest gain in three weeks as a string of healthy earnings boosted investor optimism. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 112.22 points to 25,299.92, the S&P 500 gained 18.03 points to close at 2,839.96 and the Nasdaq Composite closed at 7,870.89, adding 51.18 points.

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop.


The Toronto International Film Festival announced today the historical drama Outlaw King, starring Chris Pine as 14th-century Scottish Robert the Bruce, will kick off the 2018 edition. The move marks the first time a film from streaming giant Netflix has opened a major international film festival. Justin Kelly’s Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy will close the festival on Sept. 16. Based on a true story, Laura Dern plays an author who writes under a fictionalized persona, a young queer man named JT LeRoy.


Should patients with anorexia be force-fed to save their lives?

“When death is seen as a better alternative to eating, isn’t that just the illness talking? Do we let civil rights trump the duty to provide care? Perhaps some patients are untreatable. But what is not discussed often enough in these tragic cases are the missed opportunities. If we fail to offer treatment while there is still hope for recovery are we not ensuring that there will be more hopeless cases? That is a deadly ethical and legal failure that we need to reflect on – and act on.” – André Picard

The Democrats are self-destructing again

“So here’s my free advice to Democrats. Give the culture wars a break. Forget about transgender bathroom rights. Stop identifying everyone by the intersectional boxes they tick off. Start calling out the campus radicals – on all sides. Start talking up the United States for a change, instead of condemning it as some sort of racist hellhole. Act as if you care as much for struggling Americans as you do for unauthorized immigrants. Play down the socialists. And please, please find a mainstream candidate for 2020 that ordinary people can relate to. Is that too much to ask?” – Margaret Wente

It’s time for the Trudeau government to move past its errors and post some wins in foreign policy

“There is the Liberals’ high-minded promotion of human rights internationally, which at times has harmed this country’s national interests. Canada’s insistence on including labour, gender and environmental issues as part of trade negotiations with China caused China to walk away from those talks. Members of the new Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement are still fuming over Canada’s last-minute demands, which included new environmental and cultural provisions. And now, we have the Saudi imbroglio. People in the Prime Minister’s office appear to be receiving bad advice from officials at Global Affairs, or ignoring good advice – the latter seems more likely – leading to gaffes and embarrassments. Remember the trip to India?” - John Ibbitson


It’s a traveller’s nightmare: Your flight is cancelled - now what do you do? Keep calm and avoid the urge to rush the service desk. Call customer service instead, where an agent can talk you through all the options. Be polite, but do speak up: Food and hotel vouchers are usually offered for passengers stuck overnight, but airline staff might overlook these details when they’re under a lot of pressure. After you’ve unpacked from your trip, tell the airline how your plans were disrupted - you might get a voucher or even cash compensation. Remember: A happy customer is a returning customer. Play that to your advantage.


Fuzzy numbers: How math instruction varies widely for teachers-to-be across Canada

For four years now, an Ontario teachers’ college has administered a Grade 6- and 7-level math test to new students during orientation week, one that includes converting a percentage into a fraction and multiplying a decimal number by a whole number. About one-third of teacher candidates scored at or below 70 per cent, the provincial standard, Caroline Alphonso writes.

This fall, student teachers at the University of Toronto will learn fractions, percentages and other basic arithmetic in a new 24-hour mandatory course on top of another 54 hours focusing on math pedagogy and research. At Nipissing University in North Bay, primary-school teacher candidates will spend 36 hours learning how to teach math, while student teachers at the University of Ottawa will spend more than 100 hours on courses that teach concepts, but focus mostly on integrating math with other subjects.

The disparities in training are significant amid growing concern around math knowledge among Canadian students, dropping test scores and the search for where the fault lies.

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.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe