Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
The laws of war – particularly those that prohibit the targeting of civilians – have been repeatedly broken during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has seen Ukrainian cities devastated by seemingly indiscriminate Russian bombardment. Evidence from towns and villages that fell under Russian occupation at the start of the war points to a campaign of extrajudicial executions and sanctioned rapes in those areas.
With Russian forces now making slow progress in the east – and Russian President Vladimir Putin still intent on conquering more Ukrainian territory – Oleksiy Danilov, head of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, said his country was preparing for more rules to be broken, including the biggest taboos: the use of chemical, biological or even tactical nuclear weapons. “We are ready for any scenario,” he said.
Meanwhile, the European Union’s executive arm recommended putting Ukraine on a path to membership Friday, and in another show of Western support, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv to offer continued aid and military training.
- Russian gas flows to Europe fall short, threaten storage buildup
- Ukrainian art in Canada reflects the war and our responses to it
- The show must go on: Ukrainian ballet dancers, now refugees in Paris, vow to keep dancing for their country
Trump weighs another presidential run as Jan. 6 hearings underway
Trump is making his first public appearance today since the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection began to lay bare his desperate attempts to remain in power by challenging American democracy. But, at least for now, the harrowing footage and searing testimony in the panel’s hearings, including accounts from Trump’s close associates and members of his family, appear to have done little to dampen his interest in another campaign.
Indeed, Trump is actively weighing when he might formally launch a third presidential run, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The hearings themselves, writes David Shribman, have managed two substantial accomplishments.
They have given the answer on what Trump knew about the Capitol riot and when, and they have provided perspective on the real danger growing out of Jan. 6 – not the damage to the building, which was easily repaired, but the potential damage to the constitutional scaffolding of the United States, which when fragmented is not easily restored. Read his full analysis.
How should children learn to read? In Canada, two schools of thought struggle for supremacy
Learning to read is arguably at the heart of school success, but the way children are taught has swung wildly between two approaches over the decades.
On one side is a phonics-based program. Students are explicitly taught the sounds and letters of the alphabet, and carefully decode each letter as they form a word. Whole-language champions, however, liken learning to read to how children learn oral language. Proponents say that by immersing children in spoken and written language, through classroom read-alouds, they will discover how to read and the words on the page will become more meaningful. Critics say children should be given methodical, explicit instruction that integrates oral language, reading and writing, and includes phonics, phonological awareness, fluency and vocabulary.
The debate around learning to read is being renewed at a critical point in public education. Parents, educators and policymakers are worried about the gaps in foundational skills that young children face after more than two years of pandemic-related upheaval – and how that disruption will affect their future schooling.
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ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Mélanie Joly’s office missed e-mail alerting them to Russian embassy party: Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly’s office staff did not read an e-mail that said her department was sending a representative to a Russian embassy party – missing a chance to avert an incident that has embarrassed Canada at home and abroad, two senior government sources say.
Toronto’s 1922 housing crisis was rooted in policies that still make homes unaffordable in 2022: On May 14, 1912, motivated by moral concerns, the City of Toronto passed By-Law No. 6061, which meant no apartment buildings could be built on the majority of the city’s residential streets. Experts say the city is still grappling with the bylaw’s effects on its urban fabric and zoning.
F1 returns to Montreal for the first time since 2019: The event returns amidst the popularity of Drive to Survive, a reality-doc series on Netflix that has become a surprising pop-culture force in fuelling newfound fans of F1 racing.
Health Canada to drop COVID Alert contact-tracing app immediately: Health Canada said Friday it would shut down its two-year-old COVID Alert contact-tracing app after changes to testing rules in many provinces rendered it useless to many Canadians.
Children’s hospitals across Canada reporting high rates of admissions as viruses return: Hospitals across the country are seeing a record number of children visiting emergency departments, and the reason has everything to do with the particular moment we are in during the pandemic, health experts say.
A tumultuous week on Wall Street, which began with stocks plunging into a bear market for the second time during the pandemic, ended with a small gain Friday.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 73.58 points, or 0.4 per cent, at 18,930.48, its lowest closing level since March, 2021.
The S&P 500 ended up 8.07 points, or 0.22 per cent, at 3,674,84. The Dow was down 38.29 points or 0.13 per cent, ending at 29,888.78 points. The NASDAQ gained 152.25 by market close, or 1.43 per cent, ending at 10,798.35 points.
The Canadian dollar traded for 76.72 cents US compared with 77.35 cents US on Thursday.
Cabinet has lots of explanations, but no answers, for why it invoked the Emergencies Act
“Cabinet members’ appearances before the committee make clear that they have no real intention of actually providing evidence to their parliamentary colleagues – never mind to Canadians – to justify their decision to invoke the act.” – Robyn Urback
Quebec nationalism’s latest surge: it did not begin here, and it will not end here
“In carving Quebec out of the Canadian constitutional order, the Legault government has also been hollowing out the idea of Canada.” – Andrew Coyne
The CAF’s sexual misconduct crisis is not reason enough to dispense with Canada’s military colleges
“But there is a legitimate reason that all serious armed forces in the world have military academies: They not only cover academics but also train young officer candidates in the military skills that will prepare them to serve as officers.” – Lawrence Stevenson
Nine wine and spirit selections for Father’s Day weekend
Many liquor stores present Father’s Day as a one-size-fits-all occasion where dear old dad is sure to love scotch, premium wine or craft beer. However, a meaningful gift should represent his tastes and interests, otherwise it’s just another bottle from the display at the end of the aisle.
The better strategy: Rely on a thoughtful sip that recalls a memorable occasion or travel adventure. Wine expert Christopher Waters shares his suggestions for if a well-made wine or scotch happens to be on your shopping list.
TODAY’S LONG READ
Hong Kong’s last British governor, Chris Patten, reveals in new diaries how he battled London and Beijing over handover
In 1999, Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, was in New York representing the European Commission. At the United Nations, he met with China’s foreign affairs minister, Tang Jiaxuan, who told him: “This time, Governor Patten, we must co-operate.”
Mr. Patten replied, “But that is what I wanted to do last time.”
Later this month, Mr. Patten will publish his private diaries from his time running Hong Kong – 1992 to 1997. Early on, he notes, “I don’t want to be seen as Beijing’s man in Hong Kong, nor as somebody whose principal concern is British commercial interests.
“I have to be seen as somebody who is prepared to stand up for Hong Kong both with Beijing and with London.”
Doing so would prove his greatest challenge, writes The Globe’s James Griffiths. Read the full story.