Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
The federal government is poised to announce it has reached a $100-million deal with Google over Bill C-18, staving off a threat to block Canadians from being able to search for news on the tech giant’s platform.
Sources say Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge has sealed the deal on an agreement with Google about supporting the news industry after months of fraught negotiations over the Online News Act. Under the agreement, Google will inject $100-million a year into the news industry, indexed to inflation.
The agreement will be widely welcomed by the news industry, whose advertising revenue has migrated to tech giants, leading to the closing of local papers and newsrooms across the country.
U.S. investigation into alleged plot to kill Sikh activist in New York finds ties to Canadian slaying of Hardeep Singh Nijjar
U.S. authorities have uncovered apparent links between the slaying of British Columbia Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey earlier this year and their investigation into an alleged plot to kill a Canadian-American Sikh activist in New York.
A criminal indictment unsealed in New York on Wednesday says a man accused of arranging the killing-for-hire of Sikhs for Justice legal counsel Gurpatwant Pannun told an undercover officer less than two weeks before Mr. Nijjar’s death that there was a “big target” in Canada. A few days before Mr. Nijjar’s death, the same man – identified by U.S. prosecutors as Nikhil Gupta – said “we will be needing one good team in Canada,” according to the indictment filed by U.S. prosecutors.
The alleged U.S. plot echoed claims by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this year that the Indian government was involved in the killing of Mr. Nijjar, a Sikh separatist leader who was shot outside a temple in Surrey in June.
Cervical cancer now fastest increasing cancer among women in Canada
Canada is at risk of missing its ambitious target to eliminate cervical cancer by 2040 as the disease becomes the fasting increasing cancer among women, according to experts calling for renewed focus on its prevention.
Faltering vaccination rates, barriers to screening and lack of primary care providers are key challenges standing in the way.
A report released in November by the Canadian Cancer Society shows that the incidence of cervical cancer has been rising nearly 4 per cent every year since 2015, the most significant increase in nearly 40 years. The organization estimates that 1,550 people will be diagnosed with the disease in Canada this year. Most cases occur in people under the age of 50.
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ALSO ON OUR RADAR
COP28 host UAE hopes summit will embrace low-carbon future that includes fossil fuels: Delegates from nearly 200 countries will convene this week for the COP28 climate summit in the United Arab Emirates, where the conference host and OPEC member hopes to sell the vision of a low-carbon future that includes, not shuns, fossil fuels.
Mediators aim to extend Israel-Hamas truce in Gaza as last planned hostage releases begin: International mediators on Wednesday worked to extend the truce in Gaza, encouraging Hamas militants to keep freeing hostages in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners and further relief from Israel’s air and ground offensive. The ceasefire will otherwise end within a day.
‘Salmon parks’ in traditional First Nations territory aim to save habitats by stopping old-growth logging: Backed by a $15.2-million commitment from the federal government, a First Nations community on the west coast of Vancouver Island intends to buy out forestry tenures to stop old-growth logging in selected watersheds around Nootka Sound.
Ottawa set to award surveillance-aircraft contract to Boeing despite Bombardier appeals: Ottawa is poised to award a sole-source contract for new military surveillance aircraft to U.S. giant Boeing Co., despite appeals from rival Bombardier Inc. and other domestic aerospace players, who have vowed to fight the decision in court.
Bank of Canada says potential digital dollar wouldn’t pay interest or require identification: The Bank of Canada said any digital currency it might issue in the coming years would not pay interest and would not require users to disclose private information to access the payment system.
Listen to Stress Test: Can you really afford a dog?
In this episode, The Globe’s Roma Luciw speaks to Shawn Morey, the executive director of the Peterborough Humane Society. We’re also joined by two people that became first-time pet owners in their 20s.
Canada’s main stock index posted a small gain Wednesday, led higher by financials and battery metals, while U.S. markets were mixed.
The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 79.43 points at 20,116.20.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 13.44 points at 35,430.42. The S&P 500 index was down 4.31 points at 4,550.58, while the Nasdaq composite was down 23.27 points at 14,258.49.
U.S. markets started off in the green thanks to an easing in bond yields, said Greg Taylor, chief investment officer at Purpose Investments, though the modest gains faded somewhat into the afternoon.
Yields have been coming off as more comments come from U.S. Federal Reserve officials that indicate the central bank is on pause, Taylor said.
“It seems like the expectation for central banks now has moved from when the next hike is to when the next cut is,” he said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. economy grew at an annual pace of 5.2 per cent from July through September, the government said, up from a previous estimate of 4.9 per cent. Consumer spending also rose 3.6 per cent during that period.
At COP climate summits, Canada can’t keep setting emission goals only to miss them
“Twenty-five years since Canada signed the Kyoto Protocol – and 25 COP gatherings later – the embarrassing gap between Canada’s environmental ambitions and national performance has only become more glaring. It’s time for Canada to rethink its climate strategy and build a serious plan to deliver on its international climate commitments.” – Kevin Krausert
The authenticity trap: 2023′s word of the year speaks to our complex cravings for real experiences
“This has always been a problem when authenticity is applied to people and not, say, Picasso drawings, Champagne, Stilton or Rolex watches. “Authentic” seems like a powerful character descriptor, a kind of Holy Grail of genuineness; and yet, it cannot escape the whiff of a Ponzi scheme or bitcoin bandwagon. What we want to be a rock-solid guarantor of value turns out to be, most of the time, another form of status performance, a self-serving display of specialness.” – Mark Kingwell
Geert Wilders may have shock value, but he harbours an ‘outsider’ rage we’ve seen before
“Mr. Wilders may not be a fascist, but his obsession with sovereignty, national belonging, and cultural and religious purity has a long lineage among outsiders.” – Ian Buruma
Eight bottles of wine and whiskies to give (or spoil yourself with)
Shoppers for wine and spirits during the holiday season are faced with an overwhelming selection. There are glittering displays of novelty bottles and collectible packages to consider among the jolly abundance of red, white and sparkling wines and merry miscellany of distilled spirits from around the world. In the coming weeks, liquor stores aren’t hospitable places for anyone shopping without a game plan in mind.
As the holiday season approaches, Christopher Waters suggests good red wines and whiskies more than anything else, so that’s the focus for this week’s recommendations. He also took the liberty of adding a Champagne because it’s too delicious to wait and share with you for New Year’s Eve.
TODAY’S LONG READ
Myanmar’s democratic rebels are preparing for victory, with the civil war having reached a “tipping point” after a series of defeats for the military junta, the head of the Southeast Asian country’s democratic parallel government said this week.
National Unity Government acting-president Duwa Lashi La spoke with The Globe and Mail in an exclusive interview from an undisclosed location in Myanmar, where he has been leading the resistance to the State Administration Council, the junta that seized power in a coup in February, 2021, plunging the country into civil war.
The junta has been on the back foot for a month now, after an alliance of northern ethnic militias that had previously sat out the war launched a surprise attack on Oct. 27, seizing control of a large part of Shan State, on the border with China. The success of the 10.27 Offensive, as it has become known, has emboldened other anti-junta forces across the country, leading to a wave of assaults and dramatically changing the dynamic of the previously stalemated conflict.