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

Turkey launches a military operation against Kurdish fighters in Syria

Turkey launched air strikes and fired artillery aimed at crushing Kurdish fighters in northern Syria today after U.S. troops pulled back from the area, paving the way for an assault on forces that have long been allied with the United States.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of the campaign, which followed an abrupt decision Sunday by U.S. President Donald Trump that American troops would step aside to allow for the operation.

Trump defended himself against fierce criticism over his decision, aligning himself with anti-war voices in the Republican Party and calling Erdogan’s offensive “a bad idea.”

Background: Catch up on the issues and events so far with this explainer.

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Liberal candidate Judy Sgro apologizes for 'insensitive’ blackface comments, plus more from the campaign trail

Liberal candidate Judy Sgro has apologized for saying the black community has “more love” for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau because he wore blackface. In a brief statement, the MP who is running for re-election in a Toronto riding, called her remarks to a radio station “insensitive.”

Trudeau had admitted to wearing blackface or brownface at least three times from the 1980s to 2001 after Time Magazine published an article featuring him with darkened skin while dressed as Aladdin at a gala. He has since declined to say how many times he has worn blackface or brownface, but has apologized.

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Elsewhere on the campaign trail: Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer says he plans to release a fully costed platform in the next few days that will include a path to balancing the books within five years. Economists have suggested the promises he has made to date would lead to a $15-billion deficit in 2024-25.

Scheer also went near Quebec’s Roxham Road border crossing, where he pledged to close the loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement, which bars asylum seekers from claiming refugee protection in Canada if they arrive at an official border crossing from the United States. It does, however, permit them to make such claims if they’re already in Canada.

Opinion: “When leaders promise pharmacare, or free tuition, or seriously increased taxation of natural resources or other big business enterprises, all of which have key aspects under explicit provincial jurisdiction, how do they intend to put these into place?” - Hugh Segal, former chief of staff to Brian Mulroney

Read more: Company co-founded by Scheer’s campaign manager receiving Tory and oil group contracts for election ads

In case you missed it: NDP’s Jagmeet Singh responds with unsinkable optimism in a campaign weighed down by the politics of race

China’s message to NBA and other companies: love of country comes first

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China’s hostile reaction to Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong is showing the power of nationalistic sentiment in the country.

The NBA is so popular in China that it has sold broadcast rights for 10-figure sums, The Globe’s Asian correspondent Nathan Vanderklippe reports. Last season, online partner Tencent counted more than 500 million viewers for streamed games. Shanghai-born Yao Ming, a former Houston Rockets star, is a national hero.

But today, the state-run China Daily published an editorial that lashed out at NBA commissioner Adam Silver for upholding the league’s commitment to free speech.

Chinese celebrities and sponsors have responded by abandoning the league, while the country’s online shopping giants have been scrubbed of Rockets gear. The Shanghai Sports Federation has cancelled an NBA fan event.

A man with his head wrapped in a Chinese national flag is seen near a building with a partly-removed banner advertising an NBA China game between Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers, in Shanghai. (Photo by Aly Song/Reuters)

ALY SONG/Reuters

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Shooting outside German synagogue: A heavily armed assailant tried to force his way into a synagogue today in Germany on Yom Kippur, and two people were killed as he fired shots outside the building and into a kebab shop, authorities and witnesses said. A suspect has reportedly been arrested.

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Matt Lauer accused of rape: Brooke Nevils, who worked with NBC at the Sochi Olympics, claims she was raped by former anchor Matt Lauer at a hotel there, an encounter the former Today show host says was consensual. Her account appears in Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill, reports Variety, which has attained a copy of the book set for release on Oct. 15.

Pot prices drop: The average cost of a gram of cannabis fell 6.4 per cent in the third quarter as the legal price fell for the first time, but illicit weed continued to be cheaper, Statistics Canada says.

TransUnion Canada’s data breach: TransUnion Canada says the personal information of about 37,000 Canadians may have been compromised between June and July after data was accessed through the fraudulent use of one if its legitimate business customer’s login credentials.

Canadian cyclist wins Italian race: Canada’s Michael Woods held off Spain’s Alejandro Valverde at the line to win the 100th edition of the Milan-Turin cycling race. The victory comes just days before Woods and fellow Canadians Hugo Houle and Alex Cataford compete in the Tour of Lombardy, the season’s final one-day classic in a group known as the Monuments.

(Photo by Marco Bertorello/AFP via Getty Images)

MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images

MARKET WATCH

North American stock markets gained today on a report that China could yet agree to a partial trade deal with the United States despite recent tensions. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 181.97 points to 26,346.01, the S&P 500 gained 26.34 points to 2,919.40 and the Nasdaq Composite added 79.96 points to close at 7,903.74.

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In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index closed up 85.92 points at 16,379.87, with eight of Canada’s main stock index’s 11 major sectors trading higher.

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TALKING POINTS

Is Jason Kenney destined for a return to federal politics?

“Alberta Premier Jason Kenney certainly seemed to enjoy himself during his weekend campaign blitz through Toronto-area swing ridings. Too much, perhaps, for the comfort of some federal Conservatives who fear the contrast between Kenney and Leader Andrew Scheer could work against their party on Oct. 21.” - Konrad Yakabuski

The government’s new tax plans are well-intentioned, but could have unintended consequences

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“The federal government, should it survive the Oct. 21 election, plans to cap the value of options that large, established companies can award to top executives. The real question is which companies to define as large and established.” - Loui Anastasopoulos, president of capital formation, TMX Group

LIVING BETTER

If you’re looking to make a buck with ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft, you should know there are some challenges, including vehicle wear and tear, insurance, varying rates of pay and dealing with customers. Consider some key factors in turning a profit:

  • Timing: Demand for rides may rise during rush hour, on weekends after clubs and bars close and near the holidays.
  • Location: Do some research on what is going on in your city to decide where to go to pick up customers near concerts, sports matches or festivals as they end.

LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE

Probe into 1961 United Nations plane crash uncovers new information from Canadian documents

An investigation into one of the Cold War’s oldest mysteries, the plane crash in Northern Rhodesia that killed the then-United Nations secretary-general Dag Hammarskjold, has uncovered new information from Canadian records to suggest that three mercenaries were in the region at the time of the crash – and that secret tactics by British mining interests may have played a role.

Canada was one of 14 countries asked to search their historical records for any documents that could help solve the riddle of the plane crash that killed Mr. Hammarskjold in 1961 while he was on a peace mission in Congo.

For decades, there have been unconfirmed allegations that the Swedish diplomat was deliberately killed by attackers who shot down his chartered DC-6 near Ndola in what is now Zambia. Fifteen others also died in the crash. Read Geoffrey York’s full story here.

In 1961, the plane carrying Dag Hammarskjold, seen here in 1953, may have been downed by an external attack. (Photo by AP)

The Associated Press

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