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Canada Evening Update: NAFTA breakthrough, UN suggests Myanmar military should be tried for genocide

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U.S., Mexico reach NAFTA breakthrough, clearing way for Canada’s return

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The Trump administration reached a trade agreement with Mexico on Monday as the U.S. President threatened to hit Canada with 25-per-cent tariffs on auto imports if Ottawa doesn’t reach a deal to overhaul the 24-year-old North American free-trade pact. President Donald Trump said he might split NAFTA into two new pacts and do “a separate deal with Canada” apart from the agreement with Mexico. However, his administration has not done any actual work to make this happen.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is rushing to Washington on Tuesday to get back to the negotiating table. The deal with Mexico overhauls content rules for the automotive sector in a bid to move more auto jobs into the U.S. and away from Mexico. (for subscribers)

Myanmar military leaders should be tried for genocide against Rohingya: UN

Some of the most senior members of the Myanmar military should be investigated and prosecuted for “gross human rights violations” a United Nations fact-finding mission said on Monday, unveiling a report that individually names officers it says should be placed under scrutiny for “genocidal intent.” This is renewing calls for action against Myanmar, including an arms embargo and criminal proceedings.

The commission spread blame broadly, but specifically faulted Aung San Suu Kyi for failing to use her position, or her “moral authority, to stem or prevent the unfolding events, or seek alternative avenues to meet a responsibility to protect the civilian population.”

Months after coverage of the Rohingya crisis has died down, thousands of refugees are still displaced and living in difficult conditions with no end in sight. Canadian photojournalist Renaud Philippe traveled to Bangladesh to document life in the refugee camps. Amidst the hilly, sprawling and crowded camps he saw endless trauma, but also saw the Rohingya experiencing new-found freedom.

Chrystia Freeland appeals for German support in diplomatic spat with Saudi Arabia

Speaking at an annual gathering of German ambassadors in Berlin Monday, Ms. Freeland called for German support in Ottawa’s campaign to promote human rights around the world. She didn’t specifically mention Saudi Arabia, but said Canada would always stand up for human rights “even when we are told to mind our own business … and even when speaking up brings consequences.” She added: “We count on and hope for Germany’s support.”

Why most commuters can’t get cellphone service on the Toronto subway

Cellular service became available in parts of Toronto’s subway more than three years ago, but only customers of Freedom Mobile can use the service. None of the dominant carriers, including Rogers, Bell and Telus, has signed on to give their subscribers service on the subway. Bell, the only national carrier to comment in any detail for this story, suggested the reason for the delay was because it wasn’t able to build the underground network itself. An Australian-based company won the contract from the TTC in 2012 to wire up the subway.

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A broad-based rally pushed U.S. stocks higher Monday, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closing at record highs for the second consecutive session as investor sentiment was buoyed by a trade agreement reached between the United States and Mexico.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 259.29 to 26,049.64, the S&P 500 gained 22.05 points to close at 2,896.74 and the Nasdaq Composite ended at 8,017.90, 71.92 points higher.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX rose 88.34 points to 16,444.39, led higher by cannabis, consumer discretionary and metals stocks.

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High-income earning Canadians paid $4.6-billion less in taxes in 2016 despite a higher rate for the top 1 per cent, meaning the change failed to produce billions in new revenue as promised. The Liberal’s platform said the new top tax bracket would raise nearly $3-billion a year, but the latest available tax records show that revenue for Canadians in the fourth and highest tax brackets dropped by $4.6-billion in 2016, the first full year the changes were in effect.

Since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made his government’s mandate letters public in 2015 as part of a move toward greater accountability, nearly every province has followed suit releasing the traditionally secret documents. Now, Ontario’s government is bucking the trend as Premier Doug Ford’s documented instructions to his ministers have been designated a cabinet secret.

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New research concludes there is no safe level of alcohol. But look beyond the alarmist headlines

“Where the authors of the new research went astray was with the suggestion that public health officials should promote abstinence. There is no justification for that recommendation in the data. It is gratuitous moralism. No one drinks alcohol because they think it’s good for their health (the “red wine is good for you”crowd notwithstanding.) They drink because it’s sociable, relaxing and fun.” - André Picard

Take off the rose-coloured glasses – and the world’s still a lot rosier

“Mr. Rosling doesn’t want us all to go through life whistling a merry tune. He is as awake as anyone to the monumental problems still facing the world, from climate change to deadly conflict in places such as Syria to the continuing plight of people in the world’s poorest countries. He is saying that ‘things can be both bad and better.’ He is onto something there.” - Marcus Gee

Doug Ford is failing on the education file

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“The horse named Innocence has left the barn. And it’s not such a bad thing. In its place, we have schools where kids can show up with two Mums or two Dads without fear of outright persecution. Where kids aren’t forced to identify as male or female if they don’t feel like it. Where, rather than being taught the fine art of leg-clenching, girls are taught that they have the right to say no.” - Naomi Buck


A back-to-school guide to nut-free butters

For many parents who will soon be packing school lunches again, it can be a real challenge to pack something that is healthy, their kids will eat and adheres to the school’s peanut and nut restrictions. But, as Leslie Beck writes, there is good news. There are many nutrient-packed substitutes for nut butters that make tasty companions for sliced bread including sunflower seed butter, pumpkin seed butter and pea butter. And they don’t just have to go on bread, these butters can be stirred into oatmeal, blended into smoothies or whisked into salad dressing.


Death of a Calgary titan: The spectacular rise and tragic fall of George Gosbee

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In many ways, Mr. Gosbee epitomized the wealth and swagger of the Calgary oil patch boom years, taking risks and making both friends and enemies. He was a skillful deal maker who founded two mid-size independent investment banks, owned an NHL team and had a voracious appetite, whether it was for red meat, fine wines or mountaineering books. He had a hyena-like laugh, bragged about his kids, and revelled in the kind of rugged adventure found at the bottom of the world.

Federal Treasury Board President and friend Scott Brison says the fact that Mr. Gosbee accomplished so much in such a short life is evidence of his energy, drive and intelligence. “This guy had more ideas in the morning before he shaved than some people have their entire lifetimes,” Brison says.

Why would someone who was so successful, with a loving family, so many important friends and so much exuberance for life, suddenly decide to end it? (for subscribers)

The Globe was only able to produce this article because some of Mr. Gosbee’s friends and family wanted people to understand that Mr. Gosbee didn’t choose his demons, they chose him. And they wanted some good to come out of a terrible tragedy. ROB Magazine editor Duncan Hood looks at what we can learn from Mr. Gosbee’s suicide.

Gosbee's younger sister, Jean Marks, holds a photo of her brother on a mountaineering expedition in the Rockies

‘It’s just freedom’: How wheelchair users are setting sail

On Toronto’s steamy nights, there’s something addictive about escaping onto the lake, with the wind in the hair and water in the face. But sailing can be pricey and typically requires full use of all limbs. Not so with a donation-funded group at harbourfront. A fleet of specially-designed boats allow skippers to sit low and steer with a joystick. The ropes are laid out so one person can do everything without changing positions and the boats can’t capsize. Rick Watters, a 56-year-old quadriplegic, says, “It’s an opportunity to get out of the wheelchair and do something that makes you feel more normal, like everybody else.”

Evening Update is written by Jordan Chittley and 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.

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