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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The federal government is prepared to consider a proposal to ban handguns

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But Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says a change to handgun laws would require a “significant remodeling of the Criminal Code.” In the wake of the Toronto shooting on Sunday that left two victims dead and 13 more injured, Mayor John Tory raised the possibility of restrictions to gun ownership: “Why does anyone in this city need a gun at all?” he asked. For his part, Goodale said a similar proposal was brought forward earlier this year by people affected by the 2017 Quebec mosque shooting – and that he’s “prepared to consider their arguments.” There is no known link between the Toronto shooting suspect and national security concerns, Goodale added.

Toronto city council is weighing anti-gun violence measures

Mayor John Tory is pushing for funding to double the number of surveillance cameras and adopt a system called ShotSpotter, which would place microphones across the city to track the sound of gunshots. Police and the company say the system can pinpoint within seconds where a gun goes off; right now it can take a minute and a half for officers to get word of 911 calls about gunshots, Chief Mark Saunders said. But critics have raised concerns about privacy and stigmatization of neighbourhoods where the system would be installed. A 2016 investigation of San Francisco’s use of ShotSpotter said 20 per cent of its alerts sent police to the wrong location.

Here’s Denise Balkissoon’s take on responses to gun violence: “It’s often hard for longer-term measures to receive funding because the causes and effects aren’t straightforward, or fast. Eliminating weapons – particularly handguns, which are designed to do nothing but murder people – has the immediate effect of less murder. That’s the place to start.”

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The U.S. is planning to give farmers $12-billion in aid to offset trade-war pain

China has targeted U.S. agricultural exports in its tit-for-tat trade spat with the Trump administration. Those levies have hit farm states that voted for Trump in the 2016 election, and Republicans have expressed concerns about the impact of the tariffs on the midterm elections in November. Meanwhile, Trump tweeted today that “Tariffs are the greatest!” while threatening to impose further penalties on countries that don’t negotiate a “fair deal” with the United States. Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is in Mexico this week to continue North American free-trade agreement discussions.

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TIFF’s initial 2018 lineup has been unveiled

Among the most highly-anticipated films coming to Toronto this September are A Star is Born, co-starring Lady Gaga; the Julia Roberts-led Ben Is Back, about the opioid crisis; the sci-fi High Life, with Robert Pattinson; and crime thriller Widows, from 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen. There are also plenty of high-profile flicks with Canadian connections: Montreal-born Jason Reitman’s political drama The Front Runner, starring Hugh Jackman; The Sisters Brothers, an adaptation of Canadian author Patrick deWitt’s novel; and Through Black Spruce, an adaptation of Joseph Boyden’s 2008 novel that’s expected to spark controversy.

MARKET WATCH

Canada’s main stock index fell on Tuesday as a decline in industrial stocks countered a modest rise in industrial stocks. The S&P/TSX composite index fell by 0.19 per cent to 16,390.13.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 ended the session at its highest level since February, boosted by Alphabet’s strong earnings and optimism of a robust earnings season: the index gained 0.48 per cent to 2,820.32. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.78 per cent to 25,240.86, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.01 per cent to 7,840.77.

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WHAT’S TRENDING ON SOCIAL

Ivanka Trump is closing her fashion line

Ivanka Trump said she’s shutting the line down to focus on advising work in her father’s presidential administration. Her company’s licensing contracts won’t be renewed and those already in place will run their course. The Ivanka Trump fashion brand, which sells women’s clothing, shoes and accessories, has been criticized for relying on overseas manufacturing despite the U.S. President’s calls for more domestic manufacturing.

TALKING POINTS

Liu Xia may be free, but China has her on a tight leash

“Finally, after frantic appeals from around the world and much suspense, the Chinese Communist Party has agreed to let Liu Xia, the 57-year-old widow of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, leave the country and go to Europe. Liu Xia, painter, poet and photographer, arrived in Berlin on July 10, exactly three days before the anniversary of the death of her husband. She had never been charged with any crime, but she lost her freedom when her husband won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. Liu Xia’s unofficial, and illegal, house arrest lasted for eight years. … She arrived in Germany days before a memorial for Liu Xiaobo held at the Gethsemane church in Berlin. While hundreds of supporters, including many influential German figures, took part, Liu Xia did not attend. The reason was clear: The Chinese authorities still hold her brother as a hostage in Beijing.” – Frank Ching, Hong Kong-based journalist

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Is it Tea Party time for the Democrats?

“[Democrats] are moving left, eagerly so. The question is how far? To hear some of them talk you would think Canada’s New Democratic Party had stormed across the border. Some are even suggesting it is going be Tea Party time on the left. An insurgency to topple the old establishment is in the making. The party’s hardcore, as with the Republicans a decade ago, will take over. It’s not just the much publicized success of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that has created the new dynamic. Bounding in from the ideological fringe, the 28-year-old Latina knocked off a 10-term party kingpin, Representative Joseph Crowley, for the party’s nomination in the Bronx. … A rash of other strong left candidates have been doing well in nomination fights for the midterm elections by touting a similar agenda. Donald Trump has energized the Democratic Party, particularly the youth. If they’re not motivated by the outrage-a-day President, they never will be.” – Lawrence Martin

The premiers blow it on interprovincial trade, again

“On July 1, 2017, federal, provincial and territorial leaders announced to great fanfare the official start of the Canada Free Trade Agreement. A year later, the pact has done next to nothing to eliminate internal trade barriers. Likewise, at last week’s gathering of the Council of the Federation – it was New Brunswick’s turn to host the annual meeting of premiers and territorial leaders – there was talk of a deal to increase the amount of beer, wine and booze Canadians can take across provincial and territorial lines. In the end, the leaders couldn’t even agree on that and instead settled on a vague promise to think about the question again in the future. The premiers talk a good game about liberalizing trade within Canada – which is at least partly the point of having a country – but when the moment comes to shift their protectionist postures, it happens at a pace so sloth-like as to be imperceptible.” – Globe editorial

LIVING BETTER

How to survive long family drives without screens

First, get moving before you leave. Some morning exercise can help burn off some energy, which makes naps more likely. And while pit stops can slow down your trip, they can also help fuel family conversation once you’re back in the car. Car singalongs and group games like I Spy are also a great way to run the clock.

LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE

Spouses of those with dementia face radically altered marriages

The day Clair called the RCMP on her husband, David Kirkpatrick, was one of the hardest in their marriage. At just 66, Clair had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She’d grown wary around Kirkpatrick, her recognition of him coming and going. That particular day, Clair mistook her husband for an intruder in the home and called police.

This is a disease that is often hardest on the family, experts say. Perhaps no one feels the pain more acutely than spouses. As they transform into caregivers, husbands and wives face complete uncertainty in their radically altered marriages, Zosia Bielski reports.

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