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Good evening, let’s start with today’s top coronavirus stories:

Ontario new COVID-19 cases hit daily record at 700; Quebec poised to set new restrictions

Premier Doug Ford says Ontario is experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 as the province reported 700 new cases today - its highest daily tally recorded - and all options are on the table to combat the surge in cases. Ford and public health authorities have also rebuked the hundreds who participated in a car rally at Wasaga Beach over the weekend, breaking safety protocols.

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In a developing story, Quebec reported another 750 COVID-19 cases today as the province was poised to move the Montreal and Quebec City regions to its maximum alert level. Premier François Legault announced he would hold a 5:30 p.m. ET news conference, one day after his health minister told a talk show that the two hard-hit regions would soon enter the red level under the province’s COVID-19 colour-coded system.

Opinion: Hospitalizations and deaths are indeed lower than in the spring; that’s a good thing. But that can’t be an excuse to let cases spread wildly, to resist imposing stronger public health measures to rein in this spike, or to throw caution to the wind with economic reopening.- André Picard

Read more: Rome airport hopes its 30-minute COVID-19 tests will end quarantines

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Huawei executive Meng back in B.C. court fighting extradition to U.S.

Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou returned to a B.C. court today to fight her extradition to the United States. In the first of five scheduled days of hearings, her lawyers argued she only needs to show supporting evidence to add a new allegation of U.S. abuse of process to the case.

Meng was arrested on Dec. 1, 2018, on a warrant from the United States charging her with bank fraud for misleading HSBC about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran and causing the bank to break U.S. sanctions law. Ten days later, in apparent relation, China detained two Canadians, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor, charging them with espionage. They have been jailed for 658 days.

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Trump plays down report on income taxes, debt

Following a New York Times report saying Donald Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017, after years of reporting heavy losses from his business enterprises, the U.S. President took to Twitter to respond. In a series of tweets today, he said he paid “many millions of dollars in taxes” but was entitled to depreciation and tax credits. He also said he was underleveraged, having more assets than debt.

More headlines:

Meanwhile, the first presidential debate between Trump and former vice-president Joe Biden is set for tomorrow night. Congressional Republicans are fast-tracking Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, setting up a Senate confirmation vote just days before a presidential election that could be decided by the bench.

Opinion:

  • Sorry, Democrats – Trump has every right to fill Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat - Clifford Orwin
  • The presidential debate won’t be a game changer - David Shribman

Separately, Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale was hospitalized yesterday after he threatened to harm himself, according to Florida police and campaign officials. He had been demoted from the campaign manager’s post in July but remained part of the campaign, helping run its digital operation.

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World News Day is today: Here’s how to watch the live webcast

Tune in tonight at 7 pm ET for the free live webcast delving into issues of press freedom and integrity, and how journalists cover a wide array of topics. Esteemed speakers will include Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Maria Ressa, the embattled co-founder and executive editor of the Filipino news site Rappler now facing imprisonment. Participating in the event are Globe and Mail Asia correspondent Nathan VanderKlippe and columnist Tanya Talaga.

Opinion: Why real news matters amid the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and fake news Warren Fernandez, president, World Editors Forum

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Ford workers accept deal: Ford Motor Company of Canada says its workers represented by Unifor have voted in favour of a new contract that runs through 2023 and includes a $1.8-billion investment to build electric vehicles at the company’s plant in Oakville, Ont. The agreement is expected to set the tone for coming contract talks with Fiat Chrysler, which start this week, and General Motors.

NBA, MLB playoffs: The Toronto Blue Jays return to the baseball postseason tomorrow for the first time since 2015, playing the Tampa Bay Rays after securing a berth last week. Over the weekend, the teams were set for the NBA finals - the Miami Heat vs. the L.A. Lakers - with the first game on Wednesday.

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Read more: The Blue Jays regular season wraps, and what a short, strange, sweet trip it was

MARKET WATCH

Stocks rallied to close sharply higher today as investors sought bargains among sectors hardest-hit by the coronavirus recession, including energy and financials. All three major U.S. stock indexes made solid gains on the heels of the longest weekly losing streak in over a year for both the S&P 500 and the Dow, with Canada’s TSX along for the ride.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 410.1 points or 1.51 per cent to 27,584.06, the S&P 500 gained 53.14 points or 1.61 per cent to 3,351.60 and the Nasdaq Composite added 203.97 points or 1.87 per cent to 11,117.53. The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 177.46 points or 1.1 per cent cent to 16,242.81.

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 pandemic defensive moves, three REIT picks and overlooked value stocks.

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at tips@globeandmail.com. Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop.

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TALKING POINTS

The federal Liberals have a problem in Ontario as the Ford factor is no more

“In the next election campaign, whenever it comes, Justin Trudeau won’t have Doug Ford to kick around any more.” - John Ibbitson

Canada faces its third great postwar battle

“The Throne Speech is right that this is not time for austerity. But it largely fails to see that, as deficits and debt rise, the government has no choice but to get down to the serious building of a more competitive private-sector economy in a less globalized world to help manage that debt.” - William A. MacDonald, corporate lawyer turned consultant

LIVING BETTER

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Healthy eating is a priority for many people, perhaps more so now during the pandemic. Dietitian Leslie Beck suggests packing your meals with six nutrient-dense ingredients and offers ways to incorporate them into your food. They include:

  • Hemp seeds: Get a full day’s worth of plant-based omega-3 fats by adding two tablespoons to hot cereal, smoothies or salads.
  • Pumpkin purée: One-half cup carries a day’s worth of vitamin A, and can be mixed into soups, curries or pasta sauces.

TODAY’S LONG READ

Out of my way! I’ve had it with cyclists who ride on the sidewalk

Might be held up for 10 seconds by a streetcar? Looking for a street address? Just going two doors down? Or, horrors, have to cross the street on foot to reach the cycling lane going in your direction? Hell, no! So many cyclists just whiz past those foot-bound nuisances (like me) cluttering up the sidewalk landscape.

And when one of those foot-bound nuisances (like me) points to the lovely, purpose-built, empty cycling lane running parallel to the sidewalk and says something like, “Young man, please walk on the sidewalk, ride on the road,” I receive one of the following: a blank look, the middle finger or, more commonly, a verbal riposte. The favourite? “Shut up, you f-----g fat-a---d b---h.” (For help decoding, ask any woman.)

I’ve been threatened verbally and physically. Yes, actually pinned with a bicycle against the wall of a building on Parliament Street in Toronto by a strong young man who demanded to know who I thought I was to tell him he couldn’t ride on the sidewalk. After all, there were cars on the road! Read Marion E. Raycheba’s full essay here.

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