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

The Canadian government is deploying up to 225 Canadian soldiers to Britain, where they will train new recruits that have signed up to defend Ukraine from Russia’s military assault.

Defence Minister Anita Anand announced today the first contingent of about 90 Canadian soldiers, from 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Edmonton, will head to southeast England next week. There, they will teach front line combat, including weapons handling, battlefield first aid, fieldcraft and patrol tactics. Britain’s Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace praised this move, saying that it will act as a “further boost” to the British program.

Later in the day, Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada testified on her government’s opposition to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to circumvent sanctions against Russia.

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U.S. government declares monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency

The United States has declared monkeypox a public health emergency, in a move anticipated to free up additional funding and tools to fight the spread of the disease. There are currently more than 6,600 reported cases of monkeypox in the U.S.

The World Health Organization has also declared monkeypox a “public health emergency of international concern,” its highest alert level. The WHO declaration last month was designed to trigger a co-ordinated international response and could unlock funding to collaborate on sharing vaccines and treatments.

New York, California, and Illinois have also declared the disease a public health emergency. On Aug. 2, Biden appointed two top federal officials to co-ordinate his administration’s public health response.

Russian court rules WNBA star Brittney Griner is guilty of drug possession, smuggling

A Russian court sentenced U.S. basketball star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner to nine years in prison after finding her guilty of deliberately bringing cannabis-infused vape cartridges into Russia, where they are illegal.

The sentencing could prompt a U.S.-Russia prisoner swap, which would include Griner and an imprisoned Russian who was formerly a prolific arms dealer.

Russian police detained Griner at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on Feb. 17 after vape cartridges containing hashish oil were found in her luggage. She pleaded guilty, but said she had neither intended to bring a banned substance to Russia nor to hurt anybody.

“I made an honest mistake and I hope that in your ruling, that it doesn’t end my life here,” Griner said in court.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Former Supreme Court judge Thomas Cromwell to lead Hockey Canada review: The review will begin immediately, according to Hockey Canada, and is anticipated to give interim recommendations prior to the organization’s annual general meeting in November.

U.S. cuts softwood tariffs as trade dispute continues: The U.S. Department of Commerce will decrease the tariffs for the majority of Canadian lumber producers to 8.59 per cent from the current 17.91 per cent.

China fires missiles near Taiwan in drills after Pelosi visit: According to Taiwan, China fired 11 Chinese Dongfeng ballistic missiles in nearby waters for the first time since 1996. The Chinese military plans to continue running exercises in six zones until noon on Sunday.

Toronto and Vancouver home sales tumbled further in July as interest rates rose: Sales and home prices fell for another month as securing mortgages became more difficult and buyers waited to see how low prices can go.

‘Leadership is about showing up,’ Jean Charest says, as Pierre Poilievre, Leslyn Lewis skip final Conservative debate: The former premier of Quebec said attendance is a sign of respect for party members voting for their next leader. Pierre Poilievre and Leslyn Lewis both skipped the debates, saying they preferred to engage directly with members.

MARKET WATCH

Canada’s main stock index nudged slightly higher Thursday as investors took a “wait and see” approach in advance of highly anticipated new employment data coming Friday.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 31.10 points at 19,577.04. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 85.68 points at 32,726.82. The S&P 500 index closed down 3.23 points at 4,151.94, while the Nasdaq composite closed up 52.42 points at 12,720.58.

The Canadian dollar remained unchanged at 77.80 cents US.

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TALKING POINTS

Emergency departments are in crisis. Supporting nurses must be our immediate priority

“After 2½ years of hearing that our health system is under threat, both governments and the public have responded with indifference to the current crisis. But our new reality is beyond sobering – for the first time, we are facing the spectre of preventable deaths in our emergency rooms. The same focused crisis response seen early in the pandemic is now needed again.” – Tahara Bhate and Kevin Wasko

Businesses and community organizations need to come together to fight poverty

“Long-term systemic change requires a fundamental shift in how we approach solutions. It requires leaders across private, public and community sectors to come together and collaborate. The key is in an inclusive approach because everyone – regardless of who they are or where they live – has a role to play.” – Daniele Zanotti and Darryl White

The Conservative Party is about to become Pierre Poilievre’s personal property

“But the years of conservative rift and reunion, of Reformers and Progressive Conservatives and the Canadian Alliance and the reunited Conservative Party are ancient history. None of it matters any more. The Conservative Party is about to become the personal property of Pierre Poilievre.” – John Ibbitson

LIVING BETTER

Why we should celebrate financial wins like paying off a mortgage

It’s typical to mark graduations, weddings and baby showers with celebrations. But some big financial wins can be just as life-changing, and it’s worth taking a minute to tell yourself or someone close to you: “Congratulations, you made it.” Read this story on the significance of recognizing your financial milestones, and taking joy from working toward your long-term money goals.

TODAY’S LONG READ

For Ukraine’s landmarks, Russian bombs and resentment of Soviet architecture are a double threat

Employees remove the statue of Ukrainian philosopher Hryhoriy Skovoroda after a Russian bombing hit the Hryhoriy Skovoroda Literary Memorial Museum, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Skovorodynivka village near Kharkiv, Ukraine, May 7, 2022.RICARDO MORAES/Reuters

The statue of Hryhoriy Skovoroda stared upward from the ruins of the museum. On the night of May 6, an institution dedicated to the work of the late Ukrainian poet had been hit by a Russian shell, local officials said. The walls and roof were reduced to rubble.

Would Russia deliberately target this small institution near Kharkiv? Many Ukrainians believed it had, and saw the attack as part of a systematic effort to destroy Ukraine’s identity. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky cited the incident in a speech a few days later. The Russians, he said, “believe their missiles can destroy our philosophy.”

In the Ukraine-Russia conflict, cultural sites have become a front of their own. With its offensive, Russia is challenging the very existence of a Ukrainian culture and nation. But even before the conflict, Ukrainians were debating how to think of their own history and of buildings from the Soviet era. Today, some of Ukraine’s historic places face immediate threats and an uncertain future.

Evening Update is written by Emily Fagan. 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.