Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Canada joins allies in denouncing China for global Microsoft cyberattacks
Canada has joined the United States and other allies, including NATO, in collectively condemning China for masterminding a sophisticated hack of Microsoft services in early 2021 – but they stopped short of imposing sanctions against Beijing.
The coalition, which also includes Britain, the European Union, New Zealand and Japan, says state actors affiliated with the People’s Republic of China were responsible for gaining access to computer networks around the world.
Western governments said today they are highly confident that hackers under the control of China’s Ministry of State Security breached the security of Microsoft Exchange, an e-mail server, affecting 400,000 servers worldwide.
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The latest COVID-19 developments: Border reopening, school plans for September and more
Canada will start allowing fully vaccinated U.S. visitors into the country on Aug. 9 for non-essential travel, and visitors from other countries on Sept. 7, the federal government says. Officials say the 14-day quarantine requirement will be waived as of Aug. 9 for eligible travellers currently residing in the United States who have received a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada.
In Ontario, students should return to schools that look more normal in the fall – as long as there isn’t a significant spike in severe cases of COVID-19 requiring hospital admission in the community. That’s according to a new report from Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table and the province’s major pediatric hospitals that recommends schools stay open for in-person learning “barring catastrophic circumstances.” The report strongly encourages vaccination, but does not suggest making it mandatory for students or staff.
In business, Canada’s big banks are embracing flexible working arrangements as they plot a broad return to offices this fall, emphasizing to staff that hybrid work is here to stay – but so are bustling offices. The banks are aiming to reopen many of their offices and start bringing back a majority of staff as early as September. For many employees, that will mean returning to offices for two to four days a week.
In England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “freedom day,” ending more than a year of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, was marred today by surging infections, warnings of supermarket shortages and his own forced self-isolation.
Opinion: Don’t want to get vaccinated? Maybe you need to find another line of work - Globe editorial
- From the profound to the profane, the Quarantine Hotline captures pandemic thoughts that are rarely spoken aloud
- Fitness rules to live by as lockdowns finally lift
At the Tokyo Olympics, Japan is spending a fortune and risking a lot. What does it hope to gain?
The decision to proceed with the Olympics this summer after postponing in 2020 was controversial, not least among a Japanese public that remains deeply opposed to holding such a large event in the midst of a pandemic, Nathan VanderKlippe writes. As the opening ceremony draws near, here’s a look at what’s at stake in an Olympics almost certain to be remembered as the COVID Games.
Official Olympics sponsors are facing an especially fraught environment, Simon Houpt writes, with large swaths of the globe still paralyzed by the pandemic and enormous uncertainty over how receptive people will be to traditionally upbeat marketing messages that tap into nationalistic sentiments.
Canada today revealed its flag-bearers for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics: basketball player Miranda Ayim and rugby sevens player Nathan Hirayama.
Opinion: No one seems bothered that COVID-19 has arrived at the Tokyo Olympics - Cathal Kelly
Subscribe to our Olympics newsletter: Tokyo Olympics Update features original stories from Globe reporters in Canada and Tokyo, will track Team Canada’s medal wins, and looks at past Olympic moments from iconic performances.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Millions of travellers tested in Toronto: In an effort to identify potential deportees, the federal government quietly tested facial recognition technology on millions of unsuspecting travellers at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport in 2016.
Haiti’s acting prime minister stepping down: Claude Joseph, the prime minister who immediately took control of Haiti’s government after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse this month, is stepping down, the country’s minister for elections said in a text message.
Non-confidence vote over Green Party’s Annamie Paul on hold: The Green Party has confirmed a planned non-confidence vote against leader Annamie Paul is off the table until at least the next general meeting of members. Meanwhile, former leader Elizabeth May has told The Globe and Mail that she is avoiding comment on the turmoil because Paul has asked her not to talk to media about the issue.
Capitol rioter sentenced: Paul Allard Hodgkins, a Florida man who breached the U.S. Senate chamber carrying a Trump campaign flag, has been sentenced to eight months behind bars, the first resolution for a felony case in the Capitol insurrection.
Ben & Jerry’s to stop selling in Palestinian-sought territories: Ben & Jerry’s is going to stop selling its ice cream in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and contested East Jerusalem, saying the sales in the territories sought by the Palestinians are “inconsistent with our values.”
NHL prospect comes out as gay: Luke Prokop, a 19-year-old Canadian who is a Nashville Predators prospect, has come out as gay before his first NHL camp, intent on leading an “authentic life.”
Risk-aversion ruled the markets today as a surge in worldwide coronavirus cases sank bond yields and left stocks facing their longest losing streak since the pandemic first hit global markets 18 months ago.
The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 259.09 points or 1.3 per cent to 19,726.45.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 725.81 points or 2.09 per cent to 33,962.04, the S&P 500 fell 68.67 points or 1.59 per cent to 4,258.49, and the Nasdaq Composite slid 152.26 points or 1.06 per cent to 14,274.98.
Blood on their hands: The current battle between the U.S. all-news channels
“[Tucker] Carlson and other Fox News personalities are, in general, against mask wearing, dubious about vaccines, loathe the idea of lockdowns and despise vaccine passports. You’d get the impression they want the pandemic to go on and on, which may be their point.” - John Doyle
Today’s episode of The Decibel podcast - Who Canada left behind in Afghanistan: As the United States continues to pull its troops out of Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of fighting, the Taliban is taking back more and more territory. Parliamentary reporter Janice Dickson has been speaking to drivers, senior officers and others who worked for the Canadian government in Kabul about the severity of their situations and what help they need.
TODAY’S LONG READ
“Worst it has ever been”: Increase in eating disorder cases among teens overwhelms Ontario’s pediatric hospitals
A sharp increase in eating disorder cases is overwhelming Ontario hospitals, necessitating transfers to other hospitals, changes to treatment and higher admission standards that doctors fear are leading to poorer outcomes for young patients.
Admissions for eating disorders at the province’s five pediatric hospitals jumped to as much as 223 per cent above capacity in June as teens have struggled amid the pandemic with isolation, a lack of routine, the loss of extracurricular activities and negative social media influences.
Patients being admitted to hospital are sicker and with more intense mental-health issues. The severity of the disorders has increased along with the rate of readmission, as patients are waiting longer for outpatient services or being treated in beds outside the special units with staff trained to manage eating disorders. There has also been an unprecedented number of transfers to other hospitals as doctors try to get high-risk patients into specialized programs. Read the full story here.