Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Holocaust joke and new COVID-19 cases latest troubles for Tokyo Olympics: ‘It’s embarrassing’
The Tokyo Olympics faced fresh issues today: In the latest scandal, the organizers dismissed Kentaro Kobayashi, the director of the opening and closing ceremonies, after a video surfaced of a 1998 comedy act in which he joked about the Holocaust.
Meanwhile, organizers have sought to play down the number of COVID-19 cases among Olympic participants, which is surging toward the triple digits - 87 and counting. But those cases are from 32,000 arrivals and 96,000 screening tests – “an extremely low ratio,” said Hidemasa Nakamura, the main operations centre chief for the Games.
Today’s episode of The Decibel podcast: Senior writer Grant Robertson discusses what he learned about Swimming Canada’s data project, how it crafted training strategies for some of our medal hopefuls, such as Penny Oleksiak, and why data proves you can’t always trust your eyes when it comes to judging the fastest person in the pool.
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.
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The latest COVID-19 developments: ‘Pingdemic’ in Britain causing chaos, food shortages and public-transit delays
A surge in COVID-19 infections in Britain has led to what’s being dubbed a “pingdemic,” which is causing food shortages and public-transit delays, and left some police departments scrambling to respond to calls.
The chaos stems from a rapid rise in alerts - more than 618,000 last week - sent through the National Health Service’s COVID-19 app, which warns users that they have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. Anyone pinged by the app is supposed to self-isolate for 10 days.
The number of pings has risen four-fold in the past month as Britain copes with a wave of infections arising from the Delta variant. With so many workers forced to stay at home, many businesses and public services have struggled to keep operating.
- Businesses that promote staff vaccinated against COVID-19 targeted by online attacks, fake reservations
- Pandemic and rising stress levels put strain on young women’s employment prospects, survey says
- Opinion: The downsides of vaccine passports have been exaggerated
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Trudeau addresses Islamophobia: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called out federal security and tax agencies during a national summit on Islamophobia, saying they must do more to put an end to anti-Muslim sentiments in Canada.
Fourth Canadian found in collapsed condo: Remains pulled from a collapsed condominium building in South Florida have been identified as belonging to Anastasia Gromova from Montreal.
Widespread internet outages: Many websites - including The Globe and Mail’s - were briefly down in an outage sparked by a glitch in Akamai Technologies Inc.’s systems, the second major disruption linked to the cloud company in about a month.
Annamie Paul says “small group” behind court case: Green Party of Canada Leader Annamie Paul is framing a legal challenge from her own party as the work of a “small group” of outgoing executives that amounts to a “one-sided attack.”
Closing arguments begin in Linda O’Leary trial: A lawyer for Linda O’Leary has argued that evidence showing another vessel’s lights were off at the time his client crashed into it is too strong to find her guilty in a fatal boat collision north of Toronto in 2019.
No Prime Day for Canada: Amazon has cancelled its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year, citing the impact of COVID-19 on its operations.
Big tech pushed Wall Street to a higher close today, modestly building on a two-day rally as lackluster economic data and mixed corporate earnings sent investors back to growth stocks. Canada’s main index, where growth and tech stocks have less weighting than U.S. indexes, ended in the red in a fairly broad-based decline.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 25.35 points or 0.07 per cent to 34,823.35, the S&P 500 gained 8.79 points or 0.20 per cent to 4,367.48 and the Nasdaq Composite added 52.65 points or 0.36 per cent to end at 14,684.60.
In Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite Index slipped 12.53 points or 0.06 per cent to 20,097.52.
Canada-U.S. border may be reopening, but relations between the countries are far from normal
“Although Canada will soon begin letting Americans come here, Canadians not on essential business remain barred from entering the United States via the land border until at least Aug. 21. That’s okay. Some of us don’t feel like visiting right now.” - John Ibbitson
Toronto’s parks are no place to house the homeless
“Toronto is removing the encampments because they are unneeded, unsafe for the people living in them, and unfairly prevent other residents from enjoying the city’s parks. But it is doing so as a justifiable measure of last resort, after going to extraordinary lengths to find better alternatives.” - Globe editorial
During the pandemic and especially in lockdown, many of us found comfort and a creative outlet in cooking. But after year and a half, you may be deep in a kitchen rut. Here are 130 quick and easy recipes for hearty meals, lighter fare and desserts, including vegetarian and vegan options.
TODAY’S LONG READ
Rembrandt in Amsterdam exhibit layers colonization and slavery over artistic achievement
Anyone who thought the National Gallery of Canada would return from the COVID-19 closures with a conventional and comforting display of historic European masterworks was dead wrong. At the heart of the gallery’s new Rembrandt exhibition, half a dozen 17th-century portraits of fine ladies in black dresses with white collars confront a collection of everyday stainless-steel teaspoons recently assembled by the Canadian-Congolese artist Moridja Kitenge Banza.
What’s going on with the portraits and the teaspoons? Well, it’s complicated – and that is rather the point.
On the surface, Rembrandt in Amsterdam: Creativity and Competition is a traditional museum show. It’s a study by Queens University art historian Stephanie Dickey of Rembrandt’s middle years – how he built his career in tandem with the city’s economic expansion in the early 1600s. This is not a Rembrandt blockbuster: Rather, it is a carefully considered assembling of far-flung loans from Europe, the United States and Canada, with the help of Frankfurt’s Stadel Museum, which co-organized the show. It then uses these portraits, biblical scenes and landscapes by the artist and his contemporaries to track the social, economic and cultural context of his art. Read Kate Taylor’s full review here.