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

The latest developments in the war in Ukraine

Missiles rained down on Ukrainian energy facilities today, as Russian forces stepped up attacks in the eastern part of the country, reinforced by troops pulled from Kherson, which Kyiv recaptured last week.

Explosions resounded in cities including the capital Kyiv, the southern port of Odesa, the central city of Dnipro and the southeastern region of Zaporizhzhia.

A deal aimed at easing global food shortages by facilitating Ukraine’s agricultural exports from its southern Black Sea ports was extended for 120 days, though Moscow said its own demands had yet to be fully addressed.

Read more: Polish village sealed off for probe into missile blast

Opinion: Polish missile crisis is sharp reminder of threat posed by Russia’s invasion - John Ibbitson

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Deputy Finance Minister describes race to prevent economic damage from border blockades

Michael Sabia, the Finance Department’s most senior public servant, told the Emergencies Act inquiry today that he and others were engaged in a race against time to find ways of preventing the escalating economic damage created by the February border blockades.

While estimates of the impact of the blockades were circulating in the media and within government, he said projections of daily economic damage underestimated the fact that the scale of harm would increase significantly the longer the blockades continued.

With U.S. lawmakers weighing Buy America provisions that could have cut Canada out of future electric vehicle manufacturing, Sabia said Canada’s reputation as a reliable trading partner was at risk and the concern had risen to the level of discussions between U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Read more: Brenda Lucki vows to keep top RCMP job amid cabinet discontent

Nancy Pelosi won’t seek leadership role, plans to stay in Congress

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced that she will not seek a leadership position in the new Congress, making way for a new generation after Democrats lost control of the House to Republicans in the midterm elections.

In a speech on the House floor, she said she will step aside after leading Democrats for nearly 20 years and in the aftermath of the brutal attack on her husband, Paul, last month in their San Francisco home.

  • Analysis: Change ordinarily refreshes a democracy. Nobody feels that’s the case in today’s America - David Shribman
  • Opinion: Trump wants the presidency back, but the midterms show America has already moved on - Lawrence Martin

Laurentian should have opted for provincial aid, not insolvency, Ontario’s Auditor-General says

Laurentian University made the damaging decision to take creditor protection when it was in a perilous financial situation after years of poor strategic decisions and weak board oversight, according to a new report from Ontario’s Auditor-General, Bonnie Lysyk.

Laurentian declared insolvency in February, 2021, becoming the first Canadian public university to file for creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), which is designed for private sector entities. As a result, 116 faculty and 79 staff lost their jobs.

“Laurentian’s leaders made a bad situation worse by declining government assistance, circumventing obligations to work with faculty and staff and opting to file for court protection,” Lysysk said in her report.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Trudeau-Xi aftermath: China’s foreign ministry said Chinese President Xi Jinping was not criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after Xi was seen confronting him at the G20 summit over alleged leaks from an informal meeting they had on Tuesday.

Terrorism charge for Quebec man: The RCMP say a 51-year-old resident of Levis, Que., has been charged with planning a terrorist act to overthrow the Haitian government of Jovenel Moise.

Holmes’s sentencing hearing: A federal U.S judge will decide tomorrow whether disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes should serve a lengthy prison sentence for duping investors and endangering patients while peddling a bogus blood-testing technology.

RIP Robert Clary: The French-born survivor of Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War who played Cpl. Louis LeBeau in the improbable 1960s sitcom Hogan’s Heroes, has died at 96.

Globe publisher receives Order of Canada medal

Phillip Crawley at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Nov. 17, 2022.Dave Chan/The Globe and Mail

Phillip Crawley, publisher and CEO of The Globe and Mail, received his Order of Canada medal at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa today. He had been named a member of the order in 2020 for his contributions to the Canadian journalism industry, along with his philanthropic work.

We’ve launched a new weekly newsletter Great Reads – a curated collection of provocative, inspiring or delightful stories sent on Saturday mornings. Sign up here.

MARKET WATCH

North American stock indexes closed lower today as hawkish comments from a U.S. Federal Reserve official and data showing the U.S. labour market remained tight led some investors to worry about more aggressive interest rate hikes. Canada’s main stock index was dragged lower by energy, materials and tech sectors.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 7.51 points or 0.02 per cent to 33,546.32, the S&P 500 lost 12.23 points or 0.31 per cent to end at 3,946.56 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 38.70 points or 0.35 per cent to 11,144.96.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index slid 73.38 points or 0.37 per cent to 19,884.58. The loonie traded at 75.04. U.S. cents.

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TALKING POINTS

We likely need more evidence before the Bank of Canada slows its interest rate hikes

“Even if you look at what CPI has done over the past three months, a measure that a growing number of economists have been focusing on, the pace inched up in October after slowing steadily since spring.” - David Parkinson

Throwing stuff at art won’t save the planet

“I have some news for any copycat vandals-with-a-cause: We are already talking about the climate emergency. There has been a lot of coverage. And these actions are only distracting from that urgent conversation.” - Marsha Lederman

LIVING BETTER

Canadians are about to get a small consolation prize for suffering through soaring living costs. The annual contribution limit for the tax-free savings account is set to rise to $6,500 in 2023, up from $6,000 in 2022. That extra $500 in contribution room is the result of adjustment for inflation.

TODAY’S LONG READ

Qatar is spending billions to ensure the World Cup is a success – and to change its global reputation

David Beckham may have not played professional football for almost a decade, but he’s everywhere in Doha ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Whether appearing in press conferences, on billboards or hosting a 30-minute travel spot for the country’s tourism board, Qatar is eking out all the value it can from the reported tens of millions paid to Beckham to be a cultural ambassador.

His contract is just a rounding error, however, when it comes to the billions spent in getting Qatar ready for the tournament. As well as the official budget of about $10-billion, Qatar has pumped a further $290-billion into infrastructure projects in the past decade, building new roads, shopping malls and subway stations.

But the tournament is nonetheless a major test, both of Qatar’s ability to host the kind of big events that it wants to occur more regularly, and to convince millions to travel to this tiny, arid peninsula sticking out into the Persian Gulf, which is better known for hosting the Taliban than foreign tourists. Read James Griffiths’s full story.

Ahead of the Game podcast: The World Cup kicks off Sunday. Here’s what you need to know.

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