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Latest developments from the Middle East

Palestinians living in the heart of Gaza’s largest city reported seeing and hearing Israeli ground forces closing in from multiple directions, accelerating the exodus of thousands of civilians as food and water become scarce and urban fighting between Israel and Hamas heats up.

Earlier in the day, thousands of Palestinian civilians fled south during a window of opportunity announced by Israel, which extended the daily window to use the main highway going south to five hours. Over 70 per cent of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million have already left their homes since the war began but the number fleeing the north has dramatically accelerated.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the number of civilians killed in the Gaza Strip shows that there is something “clearly wrong” with Israel’s military operations against Hamas. “There are violations by Hamas when they have human shields. But when one looks at the number of civilians that were killed with the military operations, there is something that is clearly wrong,” Guterres told the Reuters NEXT conference. Palestinian officials said 10,569 people have now been killed in Gaza, 40 per cent of them children.

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Bank of Canada governing council split on whether interest rates may need to move higher

The Bank of Canada’s governing council is divided on whether more interest-rate increases may be needed to bring inflation back under control, according to a summary of the discussions that took place ahead of the central bank’s latest rate decision. The bank held its policy rate steady at 5 per cent on Oct. 25 for the second rate announcement in a row, but warned that it could hike again. The summary of deliberations, published today, shows Governor Tiff Macklem and the bank’s five deputy governors remain concerned that high inflation is becoming entrenched and unsure whether they’ve tightened monetary policy enough.

New massacre reported in Darfur as Sudan crisis escalates

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Children cross the border on their donkeys from Sudan to Chad on Tuesday.EL TAYEB SIDDIG/Reuters

Dozens of civilians, possibly hundreds, have been massacred in a town in Darfur as paramilitary forces sweep across the war-ravaged region of western Sudan, with further atrocities widely feared in the coming days, according to Sudanese media and rights activists. The massacre is the latest chapter in an unfolding catastrophe across Sudan, where nearly six million people have been displaced by the fighting between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group with strong backing from the United Arab Emirates, and the Sudanese army since April. Africa bureau chief Geoffrey York reports.

  • Escalating war in Sudan displaces millions, aid agencies struggle for funds as global focus shifts away

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Health: A new report shows how tobacco-control efforts initiated decades ago and improvements in treatment are paying off today, with lung cancer mortality rates dropping. Kelly Grant tells us more.

Ukraine: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed a recommendation by the European Union executive today to invite Kyiv to begin membership talks as soon as it meets final conditions, marking an important milestone on Kyiv’s road to Western integration.

Tax season: The interest rate on overdue taxes will soon rise to 10 per cent, experts say. Until last year, the rate on unpaid taxes was low enough that it was not always a top financial priority, several accountants told The Globe and Mail. But that’s changed in recent months.

U.S. elections: Democrats had some good news to celebrate in yesterday’s off-year election and more evidence that they can win races focused on the national debate over abortion. The wins won’t be enough to make them feel secure heading into next year’s presidential election.

Trump in court: Ivanka Trump testified today about documents central to the civil fraud trial that could reshape Donald Trump’s family business, saying that she had no role in her father’s personal financial statements.

Somalia: The worst flooding to hit Somalia in decades has killed 29 people and forced more than 300,000 to flee their homes, the National Disaster Management Agency said today, following heavy rains that have inundated towns across East Africa on the heels of the region’s worst drought in 40 years.

Stress Test: In this episode, we hear from first-time homebuyers in Vancouver and Kingston who are now spending more than half their income on housing. Listen here.

Movies: Hit video game “The Legend of Zelda” is going to become a live-action film, according to Nintendo.

Books: The Governor General’s $25,000 literary award for fiction goes to Anuja Varghese, for her debut short story collection “Chrysalis,” which blends elements of Hindu folklore with modern diasporic life. Founded in 1936, the award is one of Canada’s oldest literary honours.

MARKET WATCH

Canada’s main stock index fell today for a third straight day as a drop in commodity prices weighed on resource shares. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended down 45.38 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 19,530.21, after posting declines on Monday and Tuesday.

U.S. stocks closed barely changed today as investors weighed Federal Reserve officials’ recent comments for signals on the path of interest rates and focused on the direction of Treasury yields.

The S&P 500 gained 4.4 points, or 0.1 per cent, to end at 4,382.78 points, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 10.55 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 13,650.41. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 40.33 points, or 0.12 per cent, to 34,112.27.

The Canadian dollar traded for 72.48 cents US.

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TALKING POINTS

Biden and Trudeau are both facing calls to step aside. The consequences would be very different

“Both are centre-left leaders at a time when the right seems everywhere in the ascendant. Each is grappling with similar issues: lingering inflation, mounting public debt, immigration, housing, the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East. Still, it is the differences that are more striking.” - Andrew Coyne

Canada has a duty to do more for innocent civilians in Gaza

“Israel’s response to the Hamas attacks has included practices that are inconsistent with the most fundamental precepts of international humanitarian law, including the principles of distinction, precaution, and proportionality.” - Cesar Jaramillo

The foreign interference inquiry can’t shy away from revealing sensitive truths

“It is true that much information held by national security agencies cannot be made available to the public for fear of disclosing sources and methods or damaging foreign relations. But it is equally true that the Canadian government suffers from an epidemic of overclassification: much information that is classified could be released with little or no damage.” - Thomas Juneau

Once again, Jews are feeling very much alone

“Denying the Jewish people the right to its narrative is an echo, however unconscious, of the ancient Christian doctrine of “supersessionism,” which regarded the Jews as interlopers in the biblical story they had created.” - Yossi Klein Halevi

LIVING BETTER

A tour operator who knows Canada has more to offer than the usual go-to spots

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One of Entrée Destinations travel packages will take guests to Torngat Mountains Base Camp in Labrador, which is owned by the Nunatsiavut government (it is on their traditional territory) and positioned near Saglek, and is marked by some of the most dramatic and largest fjords on Earth.Handout

Vancouver luxury tour operator Marc Telio wanted to create and sell something totally original. More importantly, he wanted to shine a spotlight on the myriad places in Canada that rarely get visitors because people don’t know they exist. Discover more here.

TODAY’S LONG READ

Daniel left his home in Indonesia to work on a Chinese fishing vessel. He died on the other side of the world

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In this undated photo, crew members work on the squid-fishing lines on the deck of the Chinese squid-fishing boat, the Zhen Fa 7.Ferdi Arnando via Facebook/Handout

Ian Urbina reports on Daniel Aritonang from Indonesia, who worked hard to secure himself a position on board a Chinese fishing vessel. The rate of unemployment in his native country was high, and climate change has made matters worse, with many of Indonesia’s 17,000 islands are sinking. But after being at sea for a year and a half, Mr. Aritonang died in Montevideo, Uruguay, after being dumped dockside, barely conscious.

Evening Update is written by 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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