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

Though a Papal apology for atrocities committed against Indigenous peoples by the Catholic Church may not come until the Pope visits Canada, delegates to the Vatican today said Pope Francis received them openly.

In the morning, Pope Francis met with a Métis delegation, and in the afternoon with an Inuit delegation, each for about an hour. On Thursday, First Nations delegates are scheduled to hold their own private meeting with the Pope, who is to hold a general audience with all three Indigenous groups on Friday.

Métis National Council president Cassidy Caron said the Pope did not speak a lot during the Métis meeting; he was apparently absorbed by the stories of the delegates and the residential-school survivors.

“I hope that he takes the time between now and then [Friday] to translate those words from his head into his heart,” said Ms. Caron, speaking with reporters after crossing St. Peter’s Square following the meeting.

Inuit leader Natan Obed, president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), said he asked the Pope to intervene personally in the case of an Oblate priest, Johannes Rivoire, who was accused of sexually assaulting children in Nunavut.

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Putin doesn’t appear ready for compromise in upcoming peace talks with Ukraine

A day before peace talks between Russia and Ukraine were set to resume in Turkey after more than two weeks, hopes for progress were already being lowered. A U.S. official said Russian President Vladimir Putin does not appear willing to compromise on his demands, while representatives of Ukraine warned not to expect any kind of breakthrough.

The total exodus of refugees from Ukraine now stands at 3.87 million, according to the latest tally announced Monday from UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, with a deceleration noted in recent days. The mayor of Mariupol, meanwhile, says 160,000 civilians remain trapped in his city without heat or power, calling it a humanitarian crisis that can only be alleviated if the civilians are allowed to leave.

Local resident and shoemaker Gennady, who didn't give his full name, carries belongings from his destroyed house in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 28, 2022.ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO/Reuters

In Russia, the country’s leading independent newspaper suspended operations Monday after pressure from Russian authorities, a move that comes less than six months after its editor won the Nobel Peace Prize for his paper’s courageous reporting under difficult circumstances.

Opinion: Will Smith’s slap of Chris Rock shows toxic masculinity is still alive under Hollywood’s glossy sheen

Chris Rock may or may not still be feeling the sting of Will Smith’s open-hand smack at the Oscars last night, but Hollywood certainly appears to be. As Johanna Schneller writes, Rock’s joke about Jada Pinkett Smith was tasteless, but when Smith chose violence over words in defending his wife, he turned himself into the embodiment of toxic masculinity.

This afternoon, Smith’s assault was condemned by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which also said it was launching a review of the incident.

Canadian gymnasts call on Ottawa to launch probe into what they say is sport’s toxic culture

A group of more than 70 current and former elite Canadian gymnasts are calling on the federal government to investigate abusive practices and a toxic culture inside their sport.

The athletes say concerns over sexual, physical and emotional abuse have not been properly addressed by the sport’s governing body for several years. They want Ottawa to hold an independent investigation, with the findings and any subsequent recommendations made public.

Gymnasts who spoke to The Globe and Mail said they don’t have confidence that problems reported inside Gymnastics Canada are investigated properly, fairly, and that athletes have the ability to speak up without fear of retribution.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Lockheed Martin wins Canadian F-35 contract: The Canadian government has selected Lockheed Martin Corp., the American manufacturer of the F-35 fighter jet, as its preferred bidder in a $19-billion search for a new warplane.

Could April bring daycare relief in Ontario? In confirming his agreement to sign on to Justin Trudeau’s nationwide program to reduce the average cost of child care to $10 a day, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said parents will begin to see the benefits of the deal starting next month.

Judge suggests Trump broke the law: Donald Trump engaged in “a coup in search of a legal theory,” U.S. District Judge David Carter wrote in a ruling that will allow a House of Representatives committee probing the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot to see e-mails to one of the former president’s lawyers.

MARKET WATCH

Wall Street closed higher today, as a sharp climb in shares of Tesla overshadowed weakness in energy and bank stocks, while Russia and Ukraine were poised to hold their first face-to-face peace talks in more than two weeks. A drop in the energy and materials sectors pushed Canada’s main stock index slightly lower.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 94.65 points or 0.27 per cent to 34,955.89, the S&P 500 index climbed 32.46 points or 0.71 per cent to 4,575.52 and the Nasdaq composite added 185.60 points or 1.31 per cent to end at 14,354.90.

The S&P/TSX composite index slid 28.11 points or 0.13 per cent to 21,977.83. The loonie was trading at 79.41 U.S. cents.

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TALKING POINTS

Women and girls have the right to education and equality – in Afghanistan and around the world

Sheema Khan: “Denying education to women and girls is abhorrent. Forcing them to choose between their faith and their education, their participation in sports or their profession is oppression, plain and simple. In all of these instances, authorities have aimed to erase the agency of women and girls. And yet, they refuse to back down.”

Canada can do great things, but the sensible centre mustn’t be distracted by the fringes

Daniel Veniez and Rick Peterson: “Our current political culture is a result of wedge politics, amped up on social media steroids, feeding off of division and conflict. This ultimately erodes confidence and respect for the institutions at the very heart of our democracy. It fosters small-minded thinking, timid policy and short-term tactics instead of a broad vision for our country.”

LIVING BETTER

A spring classical concert round-up: The world premiere of Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 13 and more

On Wednesday, Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra arrives at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall for the world premiere of Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 13, his ode to freedom of the press. Part of the thematic program Truth in our Times, the piece by the great American composer was commissioned by the NAC Orchestra as a tribute to the late Canadian-born journalist Peter Jennings.

TODAY’S LONG READ

Drone footage of the coastal area of Pantai Mutiara, North Jakarta, cordoned off with dikes, with the view of Regatta condominiums.Joshua Irwandi/The Globe and Mail

How to move a capital city: An exclusive look at Indonesia’s plan to replace sinking, polluted Jakarta

An array of environmental problems in Indonesia’s current capital, Jakarta, prompted the government in 2019 to announce a plan to move the centre of government more than 1,000 kilometres away, at a cost of nearly $US35-billion. The transition to Nusantara, a newly designed “forest city” located in East Kalimantan, will begin as early as 2024 and construction is expected to continue up to 2045, finishing to coincide with the country’s 100th anniversary of independence.

While the expense is great, so are the consequences of staying put. Jakarta is sinking and vulnerable to floods, which have occurred nearly every year for the past two decades. Significant floods happened in 2002, 2007, 2013, 2015 and 2020, with the most recent causing an estimated loss of US$70-million. The government says 144 people have been killed in the past 20 years of floods.

But the process of building a new capital – touted as a beacon of environmental responsibility – is fraught with complications, from the displacement of rural populations to the damming of a nearby river and the environmentally sensitive efforts to clear industrial forest land for the city and surrounding region.

Read the visual feature by Joshua Irwandi.


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