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

Texts about using military during convoy protests were a ‘joke,’ Justice Minister Lametti says

Two senior cabinet ministers exchanged text messages suggesting they call in the military and use tanks in Ottawa during the first week of the convoy protests in February, comments Justice Minister David Lametti defended as jokes in testimony Wednesday.

The exchange between Lametti and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino came on the sixth day of the protests against the government and COVID-19 measures that gripped the capital. By that point, local police were overwhelmed and it was unclear how the protests that left downtown Ottawa gridlocked for weeks would end, report Marieke Walsh and Marsha McLeod.

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Russian missiles hit water, power infrastructure, leaving much of Ukraine freezing and in the dark

Russia launched a fresh wave of attacks on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, knocking out electricity, heating and water systems across the country Wednesday, in an attempt to weaponize winter nine months into its war.

As night fell and temperatures plunged below freezing, the entire Kyiv region, home to almost five million residents, had only sporadic power and running water, reports Mark MacKinnon. And nearly every major centre – from Kharkiv in the east of the country, to Odesa in the south and Lviv in the west – reported power outages and water cutoffs.

Canadian-Israeli teen killed as twin blasts shake Jerusalem

Two explosions went off near bus stops in Jerusalem during rush hour Wednesday morning, killing a Canadian-Israeli teenager and wounding at least 18, in what police said were attacks by Palestinians.

Aryeh Schupak, 15, the victim, was heading to a Jewish seminary when the blast hit, according to a notice announcing his death. Schupak was also a Canadian citizen, according to Canada’s Ambassador to Israel, Lisa Stadelbauer.

Barrick Gold faces Ontario lawsuit for alleged killings and abuses at Tanzanian mine

Two law firms are taking Barrick Gold Corp. to court in Ontario on behalf of 21 Tanzanians who allege they or their family members were killed, injured or tortured by police guarding a Barrick gold mine.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday morning, is the first to be pursued against Barrick in Canadian courts for alleged violations of human rights at its mines abroad. It was filed after a landmark 2020 ruling from the Supreme Court allowing a Vancouver-based mining company to be sued in British Columbia for alleged abuses in Eritrea.

Barrick says it does not supervise or control the police who patrol outside the mine, and it denies responsibility for their actions.

CALLOUT: What’s the best gift you’ve ever given or received that didn’t cost a lot? The Globe wants to know. Whether it was a kind gesture from a neighbour or a creative handmade present from a child in your life, we want to hear your stories and memories to celebrate the magic of the holiday season.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Measles now an imminent global threat, CDC and WHO say: A record high of nearly 40 million children missed a measles vaccine dose in 2021 because of hurdles created by the COVID-19 pandemic, a joint report from the two organizations said. Measles is almost entirely preventable through vaccination, but requires 95-per-cent vaccine coverage to prevent outbreaks.

Virginia Walmart manager shoots co-workers: The gunman opened fire on fellow employees gathered in the store’s break room, killing six, police and a witness said.

U.K. Supreme Court rules against plan for Scottish independence vote: Scotland can’t hold a new referendum without the British government’s consent, the top court ruled, dealing a setback to the Scottish government’s campaign to cut ties with the United Kingdom.

Canada loses first World Cup game: Canada lost its first match at the men’s World Cup in 36 years, falling 1-0 to Belgium in both teams’ Group F opener.

CUPE workers to begin voting Thursday on tentative deal: Education workers across Ontario will vote whether to ratify the four-year agreement with Queen’s Park. Results will be released Dec. 6, the day after the voting period ends.

MARKET WATCH

Canada’s main stock index rose on Wednesday to its highest closing level in five months, lifted by technology and industrial shares as the Federal Reserve signaled it could slow the pace of interest rate hikes. Wall Street also gained ground.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 95.96 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 34,194.06, the S&P 500 gained 23.68 points, or 0.59 per cent, at 4,027.26 and the Nasdaq Composite added 110.91 points, or 0.99 per cent, at 11,285.32. The S&P/TSX composite index ended up 62.25 points, or 0.3 per cent, at 20,282.26, its highest closing level since June 9.

The Canadian dollar traded for 74.67 cents US compared with 74.65 cents US on Tuesday.

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TALKING POINTS

A ceasefire in Ukraine today will mean more war tomorrow

“Letting Mr. Putin rebuild his war machine will not only lead to a more brutal campaign in Ukraine in the spring, but it also will see more brutality from Russian contractors in the Middle East and Sahel; it will mean more money and supplies for the Mullahs in Iran as they crack down on dissidents at home and in Kurdistan; it will continue to feed North Korea’s aggression; it will be a green light for Xi Jinping’s ambitions in Taiwan.” Justin Ling

Under the cover of the housing crisis, Ontario is pushing for more sprawl

“Stripping municipal voters of effective representation, removing once and for all the barrier to development in the Greenbelt, sidelining conservation authorities, transferring more infrastructure costs from developers to municipal taxpayers, and encouraging endless sprawl are not what any reasonable person had in mind when they called for a fix to the nation’s housing shortage.” – Editorial board

LIVING BETTER

Is it still a good time to ask for a raise, with a recession looming?

Before you march into your boss’s office asking for a raise to deal with inflation, remember there’s a recession looming. While it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask, your pitch needs to be researched and realistic. In the latest Stress Test episode, Rob Carrick speaks to compensation expert Manny Campione about how to effectively negotiate your salary.

TODAY’S LONG READ

What the future of African safaris looks like

Jeffrey Solomon (front right) with family and friends on a pilot safari for same-sex families.Handout

Sherwin Banda wants the LGBTQ community abroad to know that Africa is ready to welcome them. “Change is happening, and our guests are able to travel there confidently and safely,” says Banda, the president of African Travel, a luxury tour company which operates bespoke excursions to the continent.

The South African native, who identifies as gay, Jewish and Black, is wearing a traditional Dashiki shirt on the afternoon of an interview with The Globe and Mail. When he speaks in his lilting Afrikaans-inflected accent, his love of the continent, and the work he is doing to open pathways to travellers, is evident.

When asked to reflect on his childhood in his country, during which there was apartheid, Banda says it was “probably the most tumultuous time of my life … growing up all I wanted to do was leave and escape.” But today, South Africa is the most progressive on the continent in terms of the legislated rights and freedoms of the LGBTQ community – to the extent that it is now known as the Rainbow Nation. Read the full story.

Evening Update is written by Beatrice Paez. 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.