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

Police have charged a 19-year-old man with six counts of first-degree murder after a mass killing in an Ottawa neighbourhood left a 35-year-old mother and her four children, including a 2½-month-old baby, dead. An acquaintance of the family was also killed and the father was sent to hospital, where he was in stable condition.

The attack occurred in a townhouse located in the Barrhaven neighbourhood about 20 kilometres south of Ottawa’s downtown core. The victims and suspect were Sri Lankan, police said, with the suspect believed to be in Canada as a student.

Police described a “horrific scene” after the attack with what was described as an edged weapon, and said it was believed to be the largest homicide case in the city’s history.

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Police officers hold up a sheet as members of the coroner's office remove a body at the scene of a homicide where six people were found dead in Ottawa on March 7, 2024.PATRICK DOYLE/The Canadian Press

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Biden to announce temporary Gaza port for humanitarian aid

As hopes for a ceasefire deal before Ramadan begin to fade and more countries try to figure out how to get more aid into Gaza, U.S. President Joe Biden will announce a plan today for the U.S. military to help establish a temporary port on the Gaza coast to increase the flow of aid into the territory.

The U.S. move provides one more layer to the extraordinary dynamic that’s emerged as the U.S. has had to go around Israel, its main Mideast ally, and find ways to get aid into Gaza, including through airdrops that started last week.

Aid groups say people in Gaza are facing a widening humanitarian crisis that has forced many to scramble for food to survive and has begun leading to deaths from malnutrition.


Just for Laughs owes over $22-million: The company that runs the Just for Laughs comedy festival owes nearly $22.5-million to creditors, court documents show. Groupe Juste pour rire Inc. announced this week that it was seeking creditor protection and cancelling this year’s events in Montreal and Toronto.

Ontario school mourns family killed in plane crash: Students and staff at a private school north of Toronto are “completely distraught” as they deal with the loss of a family of five killed in a plane crash, a school administrator said. Forty-three-year-old Victor Dotsenko, his 39-year-old wife Rimma Dotsenko and their three children, 12-year-old David, 10-year-old Adam and seven-year-old Emma, were killed Monday as their single-engine plane crashed alongside a highway near downtown Nashville.

Sweden joins NATO: Two years after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted it to rethink its national security policy, Sweden formally joined NATO today. The accessions of Sweden and Finland last year are the most significant additions in decades to the military alliance and deals a blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has tried to stop any further strengthening of NATO.

Calgary Stampede banned from Pride parade: The Calgary Stampede has been banned from participating in this year’s Pride parade because of the decades of abuse some of its members experienced at the hands of a former staffer at the Young Canadians School of Performing Arts, which is operated by the Calgary Stampede Foundation. Calgary Pride said the ban is not necessarily permanent, adding the survivors need to receive apologies and reparations.

Last month was hottest February recorded: Global heat records have been obliterated for the ninth consecutive month – with February, the winter as a whole and the world’s oceans setting new high-temperature marks, according to the European Union climate agency Copernicus.


Canada’s main stock index gained almost 1 per cent, driven by materials and technology stocks. The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 0.93 per cent at 21,794.56. The Canadian dollar traded for 74.22 US cents compared with 73.92 US cents on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 posted a record closing high with huge boosts from technology and growth stocks, and on investor optimism about possible interest rate cuts from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The S&P 500 gained 1.04 per cent to end at 5,157.99 points, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.51 per cent to 16,273.41. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.33 per cent to 38,788.63.

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Why Canada spends so much on health care and still has a crisis

“Canadian governments want industry and academic institutions to undertake health research without providing them sufficient resources. One result is that Canada is ‘a country of perpetual pilot projects’ in health research – seldom are projects proved to be effective and put widely into practice.” – Nigel Rawson and John Adams

Saskatchewan’s fight against Ottawa pits lawlessness against intransigence

“Saskatchewan is breaking the law. Ottawa is digging in. And instead of months of fireworks on carbon pricing, expect a federal-provincial stalemate of epic proportions to set in – an impasse that won’t halt a grinding decline of political support for the current Liberal version of carbon taxes in Canada.” – Kelly Cryderman


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Ten cases of measles have been confirmed in the Greater Montreal area over the past few weeks, while five cases have been reported in Ontario, and at least one in both B.C. and Saskatchewan.Eric Risberg/The Associated Press

How to check if you need a measles vaccine, as cases occur in Canada

Measles cases in several provinces have spurred public-health concerns about the virus. Preventing the spread of measles requires 95 per cent of the population to be vaccinated, but vaccination coverage has dropped below that mark in Canada. If you want to find out whether you’ve been vaccinated or need a dose, here’s a handy explainer.


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Will Sunday go down as the night that saved Hollywood, or the last great gasp of an industry on fire?Illustration by Steven P Hughes

Oscars and the apocalypse: Why Barbenheimer might mark the last great gasp of Hollywood

This year’s Oscars will likely be the most box-office-friendly Academy Awards in a generation, all because of Barbenheimer. Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is widely expected to snag best picture and several other awards, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie will probably win one or two awards at least. This is how you do an awards show, writes Barry Hertz.

Evening Update is written by Omair Quadri and Maryam Shah. 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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