Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
The latest COVID-19 developments: Toronto schools closing to in-person learning tomorrow and more
Toronto schools will be closed to in-person learning starting tomorrow, with classes moving to online until April 18, when spring break ends. As with the similar announcement from Peel Region yesterday, an extension may be considered at the time.
The move comes as Ontario reports 3,065 new cases of COVID-19 today, and says people aged 50 and older who live in COVID-19 hot spot neighbourhoods in 13 health units will be able to get their vaccines in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, Prince Edward Island’s chief medical health officer, Heather Morrison, says she and her regional counterparts will advise premiers in the region next week about reopening the Atlantic travel bubble.
Nationwide, young, healthy people are ending up in intensive-care units more often, says chief public health officer Theresa Tam, as the more contagious and deadlier variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 take over.
Internationally, New Zealand and Australia will create a “travel bubble” from April 19 that is free from quarantine and COVID testing, after effectively eradicating the virus by closing borders last year and stringent lockdowns.
Opinion: “It didn’t have to be like this. There were ways to confront this disease that ultimately wouldn’t have been nearly as painful as the path most governments in this country chose to go down.” - Gary Mason
- Top scientists propose moving pandemic warning system outside government
- Alberta outbreak of P.1 COVID-19 variant linked to traveler
- U.K. reopening plan includes rapid testing for all, access to major sporting events for vaccinated
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Trudeau open to discussions after Yellen calls for global minimum corporate tax rate
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he’s open to talks on global tax reform after U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called this week for a global minimum corporate tax rate.
Yellen said she is urging her Group of 20 nation colleagues to support the move as a way of ending a “race to the bottom” on corporate taxes as countries around the world steadily lowered rates over the past few decades in the hunt for a competitive edge.
Finance ministers and central bankers of the Group of Seven and G20 are meeting virtually this week.
Myanmar could slide into civil war, pro-democracy forces warn
Pro-democracy forces in Myanmar say that without international pressure on the military regime, which seized power on Feb. 1, the country could soon slide into civil war.
A senior member of the opposition’s shadow government – made up of parliamentarians deposed by the coup – told The Globe’s Mark MacKinnon this week that pro-democracy forces were in the process of building a national unity army that might challenge and eventually replace the country’s existing military, known as the Tatmadaw.
The new army would comprise ethnic militias already fighting the military regime in Myanmar’s border regions, along with Tatmadaw units the opposition believes are willing to defect.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Chauvin trial continues: The Minneapolis Police Department’s co-ordinator on the use of force told jurors today the neck restraint applied by former policeman Derek Chauvin in the deadly arrest of George Floyd was unauthorized and that officers are trained to use the least amount of force necessary.
Archegos fallout at Credit Suisse: Credit Suisse says it will take a US$4.7-billion hit from dealings with hedge fund Archegos Capital Management, prompting it to overhaul the leadership of its investment bank and risk divisions. It is also slashing its dividend by two-thirds.
Jordan issues gag order: Jordan has imposed a sweeping gag order on coverage of its palace feud after a recording indicated that authorities tried to silence Prince Hamzah over his meetings with critics, a sign officials are increasingly nervous about how the rare public rift in the royal family is being perceived.
Dave Grohl pens memoir: Grammy Award-winning musician Dave Grohl is set to release a memoir on Oct. 5, titled The Storyteller, reflecting on everything from his childhood to his years with Nirvana and Foo Fighters to times spent with Paul McCartney, David Bowie and many others.
Canada’s main stock index advanced today to close at another record high, thanks to an uptick in the energy and materials sectors. Wall Street lost ground, pulling back from yesterday’s record closing highs, as investors trained their focus on the approaching earnings season and the Federal Reserve’s economic outlook.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 77.35 points or 0.41 per cent at 19,104.14.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 96.95 points or 0.29 per cent to 33,430.24, the S&P 500 lost 3.97 points or 0.10 per cent to end at 4,073.94 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 7.21 points or 0.05 per cent to 13,698.38.
Mark Carney would be a welcome addition to a Canadian political class that needs all the talent it can find
“He is superbly qualified for public office. He has views on the role of markets and governments in combatting climate change. If he wants to enter the arena, good on him.” - John Ibbitson
Bring the vibrant colours of spring indoors all year round by learning how to make paper flowers at the latest Globe Craft Club event. Join host Jana G. Pruden and Chantal Larocque, the New Brunswick artist behind Paper and Peony, next Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET live on Facebook and at tgam.ca/craftclub. Find out here what materials to have on hand, and catch up on other activities in our Facebook group.
TODAY’S LONG READ
I didn’t just cover the Humboldt Broncos’ bus crash – I lived it alongside the rest of the city
Becky Zimmer is an editor and journalist based in Humboldt, Sask.
I was standing in the basement of a community hall, holding a tray of Rice Krispies squares, when I learned about the crash. It was April 6, 2018 – a Friday. I was volunteering at youth night, waiting for the kids to arrive, when someone came in with the news: The Humboldt Broncos’ bus had been involved in an accident on the way to a playoff game in Nipawin, Sask. It was my night off as editor of the Humboldt Journal, the weekly newspaper where I’d worked for the past three years, but I soon received a call from reporter Christopher Lee, who had heard the news as well. We got to work.
Chris and I shortly wound up at the Humboldt Uniplex Jubilee Hall, a left turn away from the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos. People had started to gather, seeking comfort alongside their neighbours and leaving flowers and mementoes on the stairs leading up the stands that surrounded the ice. Restaurants and businesses dropped off food and coffee in advance of what we feared would be a long, difficult night. It was quickly becoming apparent that the bus crash was not going to result in just minor scrapes and bruises.
I remember looking out at tables filled with high-school students awaiting news about friends and classmates; city officials making the rounds; first responders, grief counsellors and Victims Services volunteers lending support any way they could; groups of Broncos fans, sometimes entire families, crying and hugging as they waited for news. The talk-radio station out of Saskatoon played in the corner, in case they had some news people hadn’t heard through gossip or, even worse, unverified social media. Read the full story here.