WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
British PM May’s leadership hangs in balance as three cabinet ministers resign over Brexit plans
British Prime Minister Theresa May is scrambling for her political life after a day of high drama that saw three cabinet ministers resign, her Brexit strategy unravel and questions mount about her continued leadership, Paul Waldie writes. The drama started around midnight Sunday with the sudden resignation of David Davis, who had been leading the government’s Brexit talks with the European Union. In a letter to May, Davis said he could no longer support her Brexit strategy, calling parts of it “illusory.” Steve Baker, a junior cabinet minister in the Brexit department, quit Monday morning. Hours later, May was dealt an even bigger blow with the resignation of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Johnson and Davis were strong Brexit backers and their resignations leave May facing a growing revolt within her Conservative Party caucus, which is bitterly divided between those who favour a hard Brexit and a complete break with the EU, and those who want the country to keep some economic ties to the EU, including remaining in the customs union.
“There were suggestions on Monday that Ms. May’s government could be on the verge of collapse – an event that would trigger the third election in three years,” Doug Saunders writes. “But Ms. May is unlikely to depart soon, either by an internal Conservative Party leadership challenge or by a parliamentary confidence vote, in part because no popular figures within her own party seem willing or able to step up to the plate, and because the rest of her MPs fear the prospect of a loss to the Labour Party, itself almost terminally divided over Brexit.”
Eighth boy rescued from Thai cave as officials race to free rest of group
Eight of the 12 boys trapped with their soccer coach in a flooded cave complex in Thailand have been rescued, authorities said today, and added that the time for rescuing the others will depend on the weather. The mission that started Sunday is a race against the clock with heavy rain expected this week, which would again flood the tunnels with fast-flowing, rising water. Foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALS guided four boys on Sunday and another four today through narrow, submerged channels from deep inside the Tham Luang cave, where they had been stranded for more than two weeks.
Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the rescued boys. Some of the parents say they have not been told who has been rescued and that they were not allowed to visit the hospital where the boys were taken. Narongsak Osottanakorn, head of the mission, said the rescued boys have not been identified out of respect for the families whose sons are still trapped, adding that the rescued boys were being kept away from their parents due to fear of infection. Medical teams previously said concerns included hypothermia and an airborne lung infection known as “cave disease,” which is caused by bat and bird droppings.
Greyhound cancels most routes in Western Canada
Greyhound will stop running buses in almost all of Western Canada this fall, citing a sharp decline in ridership. The company is pulling out entirely from Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, Oliver Moore writes. It will no longer operate in British Columbia, except for the Vancouver to Seattle route served by its U.S. counterpart, and it will stop running buses in northwestern Ontario. Routes in the rest of Ontario and in Quebec will continue. The cuts are set to take effect at the end of October and mean job losses for 415 people.
Bombardier CEO addresses corruption allegations
Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare has broken his silence on allegations that the company’s employees were involved in bribery and other wrongdoing, Nicolas Van Praet writes. “Honestly, we don’t have a systemic issue here,” Mr. Bellemare said in an interview. This is the first time Bombardier’s top executive, who took the helm in 2015, has addressed in any significant way the allegations of impropriety.
Among the alleged ethical problems involving Bombardier, prosecutors in Sweden continue to pursue a corruption case against a former sales manager and several other associates working for the company’s train business in Europe. (for subscribers)
Though Bellemare declined to discuss specific cases, he emphasized the seriousness with which he is taking the claims. He has mandated Bombardier staff to look into the claims and he’s hired outside expertise to bolster that work. “We are not trying to brush things off. We are tackling allegations smack on, head on,” the CEO said.
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Global stocks hit a two-week high today. Bank shares led the drive higher ahead of earnings reports from the biggest U.S. lenders later in the week, while sterling took a hit after another British cabinet resignation. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 80.56 points at 16,452.34. The Canadian dollar was trading 0.2 percent lower at $1.3113 to the greenback, or 72.26 U.S. cents.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 320.22 points to 24,776.7, the S&P 500 gained 24.37 points to 2,784.19 and the Nasdaq Composite added 67.81 points to 7,756.20.
WHAT’S TRENDING ON SOCIAL
Starbucks says it will begin phasing out plastic straws globally at its 28,000 locations by 2020, giving environmentalists a sizable victory in their campaign to convince restaurants to abandon plastic utensils. The plastic straws will be replaced by new recyclable strawless lids and alternative material straws. Last month, McDonald’s announced plans to transition to paper straws at its outlets in Britain and Ireland, but did not extend the move to its other global restaurants. In Canada, companies that have committed to phasing out plastic straws include A&W and Recipe Unlimited (formerly Cara). Recipe Unlimited operates Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s and St-Hubert, among other chains.
Supreme Court nomination will touch off most important battle of Trump era – with Democrats at big disadvantage
“What follows the 9 p.m. televised event will be a conflict for the ages – quite literally so, for the decisions of the the American high court have implications for generations. In this battle, Mr. Trump and most of his Republican allies have the advantage. The fate of the President’s nominee in the confirmation vote later this year, however, depends on whether Mr. Trump has all, or merely most, of his fellow Republicans in his corner, and whether some Democrats, wary of their own survival in the November midterm elections, defect and support the Trump nominee.” - David Shribman
We must not treat data like a natural resource
“Privacy is a human right, not just a consumer interest, and takes its place within a broader set of human rights that we also need to talk about. As we create smart buildings and smart transit, as we embed sensors in infrastructure and through wearable technologies, and as we embrace artificial-intelligence technologies that can recognize our faces and predict our behaviour, we need a richer vocabulary than privacy to address the impacts. This includes freedom of expression, freedom of association and non-discrimination.” - Lisa Austin
Take shelter investors: Trump is not a bluffer on trade and all indications now suggest big trouble ahead for stocks
“There is one thing the markets need to understand about Mr. Trump. When he proclaims ‘America first‘ - he means it. He is not interested in win-win scenarios. He does not give a damn about the damage he inflicts on other countries, even his closest neighbours, Canada and Mexico. He is only interested in winning at whatever cost. That’s why we need to pay close attention to his rhetoric. When he says he will escalate the trade war with China if they retaliate (which they have done) he means it. If he blusters about imposing crippling tariffs on car imports, he means it. He’s convinced he’s right, even if his actions fly in the face of all economic logic.” - Gordon Pape (for subscribers)
Fun in the sun, especially sports activities, bring the risk of dehydration for both kids and adults. The key to preventing dehydration is knowing how much – and what – to drink before, during and after exercise, Leslie Beck writes. Know the warning signs: They include fatigue, loss of appetite, flushed skin, light-headedness, muscle cramps, rapid heartbeat and breathing, confusion, irritability and fainting. Weighing yourself before and after exercise can give you more information about your rehydration needs. For every pound lost during activity, drink 500 to 750 ml of water. Most physically active children (and adults) don’t need sports drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade. But they can benefit kids who exercise for one hour or longer, participate in same-day sessions of strenuous exercise or sports, or who exercise vigorously in hot weather.
LONG READS FOR A LONG COMMUTE
In Prince Edward County, building a house is the first step to another life
Here’s the thing. It’s not about the house. The house is just the first step, Fred Ni writes. The story is really about trying to escape the urbanity of artisanal beards and authentic knee-ripped jeans and, in the end, somehow finding a place where one walks out the front door into brush fields and young woods and spring swamps. This place, it instills a sense of longevity of land and provokes feelings of stewardship. Here, a hike through prickly ash and wild rose, through viscous muck and soft moss will reveal little discoveries about untamed things and things that live in the night and other things with teeth and claws. How near they are when Ni stands in total darkness, seeing nothing at all, only hearing the rise and fall of croaks and chirps and howls of life all around.
Could your diabetes medication be the next anti-aging pill?
The most common treatment for type 2 diabetes – a generic drug called metformin – may do a lot more than just regulate insulin levels. Scientists studying its potential as an anti-aging pill say the drug slows the “burn rate” in living cells in ways that increase longevity, Adriana Barton writes. Derived from a plant called French lilac, metformin costs pennies a pill. Studies in animals suggest the drug could delay the onset of chronic diseases, such as cancer and dementia, by “targeting the biology of aging,” said Dr. Nir Barzilai, director of aging research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. “You give it to nematodes [microscopic worms], you give it to rats, to mice – they all live longer.” But worms and rodents are short-lived creatures. Could metformin have the same effect in humans?