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

Canada moving some troops out of Iraq for security

Canada is temporarily moving some soldiers out of Iraq “to ensure their safety and security” as Western allies gird themselves for fallout from the U.S. drone strike that killed senior Iranian military commander, General Qassem Soleimani.

General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff, did not specify how many of the 500 soldiers in Iraq will be moved to Kuwait, where Canada already has a presence. He also assured families of soldiers that Canada is stepping up security measures to protect the troops.

At least 56 killed at funeral for Gen. Soleimani

A stampede broke out at the funeral for Gen. Soleimani, and at least 56 people were killed and more than 200 were injured as thousands thronged the procession, Iranian news reports said. Gen. Soleimani’s burial was delayed, with no new time given, because of concerns about the massive crowd that had gathered, the semi-official ISNA news agency said.

U.S. Defence Secretary Mark Esper defends U.S. airstrike

Washington says it killed Gen. Soleimani in self-defence, aiming to disrupt his plans to attack U.S. personnel and interests.

Defence Secretary Mark Esper defended the intelligence signalling an “imminent threat” from Soleimani that he and other senior U.S. officials have cited to justify the strike, saying it was persuasive.

Esper also said the United States wants to de-escalate tensions with Iran, but the country is ready to finish any war that could be started.

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Newcomers to Canada struggle amid Toronto’s housing crisis

Settlement agencies say the crisis has left their clients stuck in crowded, poorly maintained units or, in the most extreme situations, out on the street. Families seeking subsidized housing face waiting lists that can be more than a decade long.

In their first year, government-assisted refugees receive funds to cover their most basic costs – shelter and food – and private sponsors provide refugees with similar support. After that first year, some find work or transition to welfare. Many families rely on the child tax benefit just to pay rent.

Sakainah Biluch, a single mother and refugee from Afghanistan by way of Turkey, sits in her basement apartment in Scarborough with her son, Arshia Gholezadeh, 10, Thursday, December 19, 2019. (Galit Rodan/The Globe and Mail)Galit Rodan/The Globe and Mail

RCMP poised to enforce injunction order against Coastal GasLink protesters in B.C.

RCMP will be cleared by the end of this week to enforce a court injunction against protesters who are opposed to TC Energy Corp.'s $6.6-billion Coastal GasLink pipeline project in northern B.C.

Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders will likely have until late Thursday or early Friday to remove any obstacles that would prevent workers from getting to their construction sites on one section of the route.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Boeing recommending simulator training for pilots before resuming 737 Max flights: In a separate statement, the regulatory Federal Aviation Administration said it “will consider Boeing’s recommendations for flight crew simulator training.”

Former Trump adviser Michael Flynn deserves up to six months in prison, Justice Department says: The department is reversing its earlier position that Flynn was entitled to avoid prison time because of his extensive co-operation with prosecutors.

Australia’s leaders unmoved on climate action after devastating bushfires: Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his emissions reduction minister, Angus Taylor, say Australia does not need to cut carbon emissions more aggressively to limit global warming, even after a three-year drought and unprecedented bushfires.

MARKET WATCH

Canada’s main stock index rose on Tuesday as tensions between the United States and Iran seemed to ease with no escalation on either side. In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index was unofficially up 62.59 points at 17,168.06.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 120.04 points to 28,583.34, the S&P 500 lost 9.13 points to 3,237.15 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.88 points to 9,068.58.

Oil prices fell almost 1 per cent, surrendering some of the gains of recent days as investors weighed the likelihood of immediate supply disruptions in the Middle East.

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TALKING POINTS

Reviving Energy East pipeline first step to independence in uncertain times

Rita Trichur: “It’s time for the Trudeau government to show real leadership on the energy file by reviving Energy East, providing regulatory certainty and putting an end to interprovincial bickering over pipelines”

Is discriminating against workers who smoke okay?

André Picard: “Workers should be judged on their skills, competency and productivity, not based on what they put into their bodies.”

LIVING BETTER

The Toronto Zoo's new Terra Lumina night walk explores humankind's relationship with nature through interactive displays, light, sound, scenography, music and video projection. CREDIT: Courtesy of Moment FactoryCourtesy of Moment Factory

International and domestic travellers are exploring the Great White North in record numbers. No wonder so many new exhibitions, hotels, thrill-rides and other unique diversions are planned for the new year. Whether you’re looking for family fun, rest and relaxation, or the great outdoors, there’s plenty of new things in store for 2020 travellers. Check out The Globe and Mail’s round up of the best new things to see and do in Canada in 2020.

LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE

Illustration by Luca RomeoLuca Romeo

Winter books preview: 36 reads to get you through till spring

A mix of returning big names and highly anticipated debuts make up the bulk of this season’s new fiction and poetry, while non-fiction leans toward some of the big questions we’ll be facing in the decade ahead.

Becky Toyne previews what’s coming this season.

Evening Update is written by Sierra Bein. If you’d like to receive this newsletter by e-mail every weekday evening, go here to sign up. If you have any feedback, send us a note.

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