Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed back today on the Chinese government’s assertion that the arrest of Meng Wenzhou was unrelated to China’s detention of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.
“It has been obvious from the beginning that this was a political decision made by the Chinese government and we deplore it and have from the very beginning,” Trudeau said.
Adding to the calls, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in his strongest statement on the matter yet, called the arrests “politically motivated and completely groundless.”
Earlier a Chinese journalist commented, in now deleted tweets, that “People often fail to note that Meng is worth 10 Kovrig & Spavor, if not more.” His comments have prompted questions among Canadian expatriates in China about their status as potential bargaining chips for the Chinese government.
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Under increasing scrutiny and pressure, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki rallied police forces in a recently posted video in the face of “raw and profound” criticism of police conduct in Canada.
While Commissioner Lucki initially denied the existence of systemic racism within the Mounties, the video reflects a reversal in messaging.
On Saturday, a 62-year old Mississauga man was shot by Peel police, another high-profile death of a mentally ill individual during a “wellness check.”
The family of Ejaz Choudry, a Pakistani immigrant and father of four who had schizophrenia, called a non-emergency line with hopes that Mr. Choudry might be taken to hospital for psychiatric care.
His death has furthered calls by activists to reform the way in which Black, Indigenous, and people of colour are treated by law enforcement during wellness checks. For some parents, including writer Philip Moscovitch, it has made them question to whom they can turn for help when their child is experiencing a mental health crisis.
COVID-19 surges worldwide, as Canada reopens
According to the World Health Organization, cases of COVID-19 are spiking in Latin America, and particularly in Brazil, which has frequently recorded more than 1,000 deaths a day over the past month. Brazil joins China, Italy and the United States as the countries most affected by COVID-19.
In Canada, the Ontario government has announced that Toronto and Peel Region will move into Stage 2 of reopening slightly ahead of time. Outdoor patios, bars, hair salons, shopping malls and more will be allowed to open beginning Wednesday.
The constant thirst for information about COVID-19 has led to several scandals involving health and science journals, says The Globe’s health columnist, Andre Picard. Cutting corners won’t do the public any justice, even in a pandemic, he writes.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
International court restrictions: Canada is in discussions with the U.S. government about President Donald Trump’s potential travel sanctions on staff and the families of those employed by the International Criminal Court.
Corruption probe: A Toronto police constable is facing organized crime charges related to a car rental agency and tow truck company he owned on the side.
Making space: CTV host Ben Mulroney is stepping down from his on-air duties at celebrity news show etalk in the wake of allegations that his wife, Jessica Mulroney threatened influencer Sasha Exeter over her comments on anti-Black racism in Canada. Mulroney will stay on at CTV’s Your Morning.
Ancient discovery: The discovery of a two-kilometre wide circle of shafts surrounding an ancient settlement near Stonehenge has reinvigorated debate about the origins and purpose of the mysterious historical site.
Missing money: Triggered by a whistle-blower’s fraud accusations, Wirecard, the European payments company, admitted on Monday that €1.9-billion it had booked in its accounts likely never existed.
Opening up the market this week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 151.58 points, or 0.59%, to 26,023.04, the S&P 500 gained 20.42 points, or 0.66%, to 3,118.16 and the Nasdaq Composite added 110.35 points, or 1.11%, to 10,056.48.
Due to a jump in shares of Apple, the Nasdaq closed at an all-time high, while the TSX eked out gains from a rise in materials stocks and gold prices.
Looking for investing ideas? Check out The Globe’s weekly digest of the latest insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and what investors need to know for the week ahead. This week’s edition includes a portfolio mix for right now, under-the-radar tech stock and where to put money during the pandemic.
Let’s hold the kleptocrats to account
“Now, corruption is not limited to developing countries. Its insidious taint is seen worldwide. But some of the most notoriously corrupt governments are among those that are most likely to receive the lions’ share of pandemic-related aid. Two recent and innovative proposals might help. Each of them is designed to deal with political corruption: to deter it, to detect it, and to punish it.” - Lloyd Axworthy and Allan Rock
So Confederation is sticking it to Alberta, right? Not so fast
“Aggravation over equalization is a national pastime, played for personal gain by various provinces at different times. In Alberta, it’s a bipartisan sport. The previous NDP government claimed the program ‘doesn’t work for Alberta.’ But Mr. Kenney wields this resentment as a weapon, playing to the base of his United Conservative Party. His panel leaned in to the incendiary, demanding action or else ‘support for secession will only grow’ " - Globe Editorial Board
As temperatures rise, physically distant happy hours and backyard hangouts call for something a little special. The Globe’s wine columnist Christopher Waters recommends mixing it up with these two classic, sparkling wine cocktails – equal parts refreshment and nostalgia.
TODAY’S LONG READ
Ukrainian President praises relationship with Trudeau but mum on support for Security Council seat
Six years after the annexation of Crimea, Canada remains one of Ukraine’s strongest allies. Yet even so, in an interview this weekend with Mark MacKinnon, The Globe’s international correspondent, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declined to say whether Ukraine voted for Canada in last week’s United Nations’ Security Council seat vote.
Zelensky expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his firm statements rejecting the possibility of allowing Russia back into the G7.
U.S. President Donald Trump has floated the idea of permitting Russia to attend September’s G7 meetings, more than six years after Russia was kicked out of the group for its actions in Crimea.
While Canada and other NATO countries continue to insist that Russia withdraw from Crimea, applying sanctions and providing aid to Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin continues unconcerned, seemingly more powerful with each passing year.
In the first part of his deep dive into the machinations of Putin, Mark MacKinnon reflects on Russia’s 20-year pivot to a “combative new role on the international stage.”
The second part of MacKinnon’s series will be released tomorrow morning.