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

It’s election day - here’s what you need to know

The campaign is over, and polls are open across the country. You can check back here for the live results, expected to start at about 7:30 p.m. EDT.

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If you haven’t voted yet and are still undecided, here’s our definitive guide to the issues and party platforms.

Final polling figures last night from Nanos Research had the race too close to call, with the Conservatives led by Andrew Scheer and Liberals led by Justin Trudeau at 32.5 per cent and 31.7 per cent respectively. They’re followed by Jagmeet Singh’s New Democrats at 20.8 per cent, Yves-François Blanchet’s Bloc Québécois at 7.2 per cent, Elizabeth May’s Green Party at 6 per cent and Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada at 1.5 per cent.

The federal party leaders are back in their home ridings today, after most spent the campaign’s final weekend targeting strategic B.C. ridings and warning Quebeckers against a potential Bloc resurgence.

In Photos: Canadians vote in the country’s 43rd general election.

Opinion:

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Hudson’s Bay agrees to be taken private after Baker group improves its bid

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A group led by Hudson’s Bay executive chairman Richard Baker has raised its takeover offer for the department store chain by $100-million and won approval for the bid from members of the company’s board of directors.

Now he and his backers must persuade the majority of HBC’s remaining shareholders to take their cash, rather than continuing to own a stake in Canada’s 350-year-old retailer.

Baker, a group of private equity funds and an arm of WeWork Companies boosted their offer for the 43 per cent of HBC they do not own to $10.30 a share, up from an opening bid of $9.45 per share in June.

Northern Ireland lifts ban on abortion and same-sex marriage

Northern Ireland is set to drop its long-standing ban on nearly all abortions and permit same-sex marriages.

Northern Ireland’s abortion law will be repealed as of tomorrow, ending one of the most restrictive regimes in Europe. The maximum punishment is life in prison for any woman seeking the procedure and any doctor performing it. It’s not clear yet what will replace the law and officials have six months to come up with new regulations for the delivery of abortions.

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Same-sex marriages will be allowed as of January, bringing Northern Ireland in line with the rest of Britain, which changed its marriage laws five years ago.

Syrian Kurds throw potatoes at departing U.S. forces as end of ceasefire looms

After a five-day ceasefire, Turkey is expected tomorrow to resume a military offensive aimed at creating a 30-kilometre deep “buffer zone” – free of Kurdish fighters – across its border with Syria.

The action was enabled by U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from the region, effectively abandoning Kurds who had been allies for more than 16 years, first against former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and more recently against Islamic State

Syrian Kurds in the town of Qamishli, which is within the zone the Turkish offensive seeks to capture, displayed their anger today by throwing potatoes at a line of departing U.S. Humvees.

In this frame grab from video provided by Hawar News, ANHA, the Kurdish news agency, residents who are angry over the U.S. withdrawal from Syria hurl potatoes at American military vehicles in the town of Qamishli, northern Syria, on Oct. 21, 2019. (The Associated Press)

The Associated Press

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

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Andreescu and Shapovalov in the spotlight: Teenage phenom Bianca Andreescu has become the highest-ranked Canadian tennis player in WTA Tour history, rising one spot to No. 4. She had previously tied the Canadian record at No. 5 set by Eugenie Bouchard in 2014.

And fresh off his first career ATP Tour title at the Stockholm Open this past weekend, Denis Shapovalov has been named to the Canadian team for the Davis Cup Finals. He’ll join Felix Auger-Aliassime, Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil in Madrid next month.

New blow to Johnson’s Brexit plans: Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to lead Britain out of the European Union at the end of this month hit another roadblock today when the Speaker of the House of Commons rejected his attempt to hold a new vote on his Brexit deal.

Ontario Premier reorganizes three cabinet portfolios: Ontario Premier Doug Ford has changed the responsibilities of three of his cabinet ministers, he says, to focus on job creation and small business supports.

UN report blasts housing conditions for Indigenous people: A United Nations report is highlighting the role “abhorrent” housing conditions play in the poverty and exploitation that Indigenous people face in Canada and around the world.

Greta Thunberg mural defaced: A mural of Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg that recently appeared in Edmonton has been defaced. The eyes on the portrait were blacked out, and a slur and a message telling Thunberg to leave Canada were written over top in French.

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Factional split in South Africa’s opposition: Factional feuding in South Africa’s largest opposition party has triggered the resignation of one of its top leaders, Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, in a fresh blow to its ambitions of challenging the long-ruling African National Congress for control of the country.

Tornado rips through Dallas area: Crews searched through the rubble of homes and businesses torn apart by a tornado that ripped through the Dallas area last night, and one person was killed by a falling tree in Arkansas as the storms moved to the northeast.

MARKET WATCH

World stock indexes rose today as hopes for resolving the U.S.-China trade war bolstered investor optimism. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 57.44 points to 26,827.64, the S&P 500 gained 20.52 points to end at 3,006.72 and the Nasdaq Composite added 73.45 points to close at 8,162.99.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index rose 41.33 points to 16,418.45, as energy stocks increased 1 per cent despite a decline in oil prices and tech stocks gained 1.7 per cent.

Looking for investing ideas? Check out The Globe’s weekly digest of the latest insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and what investors need to know for the week ahead. This week’s edition includes Algonquin Power’s new share offering, Boyd Group Income Fund’s conversion and top 10 year-end tax tips.

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TALKING POINT

Europe should support a lawful, democratic Brexit

“Granted, Brexit is driving everyone mad. We Brits owe all our European friends a sincere apology, a bottle of whisky and complimentary tickets to a Royal Shakespeare Company performance. For Britain is now Hamlet, forever agonizing over whether Brexit is to be or not to be.” - Timothy Garton Ash, professor of European studies, Oxford University

LIVING BETTER

While research suggests that following the Mediterranean diet has general health benefits, two recent studies show it’s good for the brain too. The Mediterranean diet involves a daily intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils and nuts. The principal fat is extra virgin olive oil, high in monounsaturated fat. Animal products are consumed in moderation. It’s thought that the Mediterranean diet protects the brain by providing nutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals that reduce inflammation and protect cells from free radical damage.

LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE

At Secret Path Live benefit concert, comedian Bruce McCulloch poignantly remembers Gord Downie

"We became friends, first awkwardly, then profoundly. I later moved to Los Angeles, so we became men of letters and e-mails.

"A few years ago I sent him a book I’d written to get a quote for the back cover. He said he was leaving the next morning and would be off the grid for two weeks. I replied, joking: ‘Not to worry, I bet Jim Cuddy would like to do it.’

"Back came, ‘No, I am the ferocious reader of the musical elite. I will read your book tonight.’ Which he did. My whole book.

"He was struck by a line I had written in it: ‘The love you are given will pour right through you if you don’t know who you are.’

“He put it into a song on his next record and wrote me a long, long letter, talking about the world, family, how people are important to other people without really knowing it. Love. I should have suspected then what I later knew. Gord was sick.”

You can read the edited transcript of Bruce McCulloch’s speech here.

Bruce McCulloch at the Secret Path Live benefit concert. (Photo by Brendan Albert)

BRENDAN ALBERT PHOTOGRAPHY/Handout

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