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

Two scientists at Canada’s high-security infectious disease laboratory – Xiangguo Qiu and her husband, Keding Cheng – provided confidential scientific information to China and were fired because they were “a realistic and credible threat to Canada’s economic security” and engaged in clandestine meetings with Chinese officials, documents tabled in the House of Commons reveal.

The two infectious-disease scientists had their security clearances revoked and were escorted out of the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg in July, 2019. They were fired in January, 2021.

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The National Microbiology Laboratory is shown in Winnipeg on May 19, 2009.JOHN WOODS/The Canadian Press

Former members of 2018 Canadian world junior hockey team elect jury trial in sexual assault case

Five former members of Canada’s 2018 world junior hockey team who are facing sexual assault charges in connection to an alleged attack on a woman in a hotel room have elected to have a trial by jury.

The players, who will be tried together as a group, were granted their request during a court appearance Tuesday in London, Ont. It will likely be several more months before a trial date is scheduled.

Last month, London police charged Michael McLeod, Dillon Dubé, Carter Hart, Cal Foote and Alex Formenton with sexual assault. All five are current or former NHL players. Each has denied the accusations and promised to vigorously defend themselves in court.

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A compilation image of Alex Formenton, Cal Foote, Michael McLeod, Dillon Dube, and Carter Hart.Matt Slocum, Noah K. Murray, Pau/The Canadian Press

Alberta to ban renewables on prime land, declare no-build zones for wind turbines

Changes, set to be announced Wednesday by Premier Danielle Smith and Utilities Minister Nathan Neudorf and obtained by The Globe and Mail, will ban swaths of land in Alberta from hosting renewable power projects, under sweeping new rules that will govern the industry.

The changes are the culmination of a ban on renewable approvals that lasted almost seven months. Under the changes, Alberta will ban renewable electricity projects from private property deemed to have excellent or good irrigation capability according to the province’s land classification system, and land deemed “fair” if it can host specific specialty crops.

Exemptions will be allowed only if a project proponent can demonstrate that crops or livestock can co-exist on the site alongside the renewable generation project.

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TransAlta wind turbines are shown at a wind farm near Pincher Creek, Alta., March 9, 2016.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Hamas raises stakes in Gaza truce talks by calling for Ramadan march

Hamas has raised the stakes in negotiations for a truce in Gaza by calling for Palestinians to march to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque at the start of Ramadan.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh made the call after comments by U.S. President Joe Biden that an agreement could be reached between Israel and Hamas as soon as next week for a ceasefire during the Muslim fasting month expected to start this year on March 10.

Israel and Hamas, which both have delegations in Qatar this week hammering out details of a potential 40-day truce, have said there is still a big gulf between them, and the Qatari mediators say there is no breakthrough yet. Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem’s Old City, one of the world’s holiest sites for Muslims and the most sacred for Jews, has long been a flashpoint for potential violence, particularly during religious holidays.

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Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, speaks in a pre-recorded message shown on a screen during a press event for Al Quds International Institution in Beirut, Lebanon, Feb. 28, 2024.Mohamed Azakir/Reuters

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Air Canada’s executive bonuses fly higher after a profitable year: Air Canada, whose stock performance lag its peers last year, gave its top executives bigger bonuses for 2023 after the company blew past its internal profit targets.

Canadians regularly shortchanged in banking and investment disputes, analysis contends: Canadians mistreated by financial firms routinely accept less compensation than independent mediators say they deserve, according to a coalition of investor and consumer advocates.

Mitch McConnell to end 17-year tenure as top U.S. Senate Republican: Top U.S. Senate Republican Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday he will step down this year from his leadership role, ending a record-setting tenure and ceding more influence to Donald Trump and the hard-liners who have come to define the party.

AtkinsRéalis tries to rally Canadians around a new nuclear future: AtkinsRéalis is playing to Canadians’ sense of patriotism as it attempts to reposition this country as a leader in nuclear technology by building the first new CANDU reactors in decades.


Canada’s main index moved lower Wednesday, led by weakness in base metals, while U.S. markets also continued to move down from last week’s highs.

The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 75.13 points at 21,243.77.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 23.39 points at 38,949.02. The S&P 500 index was down 8.42 points at 5,069.76, while the Nasdaq composite was down 87.56 points at 15,947.74.

The Canadian dollar traded for 73.67 cents UScompared with 73.96 cents US on Tuesday.

The April crude oil contract was down 33 cents at US$78.54 per barrel and the April natural gas contract was up eight cents at US$1.89 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was down US$1.40 at US$2,042.70 an ounce and the May copper contract was down a penny at US$3.84 a pound.

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Canada needs to better understand extremists to detect terrorist actions sooner

“Ideologically motivated violent extremism – a category of extremism that includes incel-motivated violence, white supremacist and white nationalist violence, and anti-authority violence – is a growing concern for many Western countries, Canada included. In fact, this form of extremist violence has killed more people in Canada than any other type of political, ideological, or religiously motivated violence, with the exception of the Air India attack in 1985.” – Jessica Davis

Fed up with economic issues, many young voters are moving to the right

“Frustration over housing affordability, interest rates, inflation and declining real wages have powered a massive swing toward the Conservatives among younger Canadians.” – John Ibbitson


This Riviera Maya resort feels like White Lotus but offers guests so much more

At Maroma, Zosia Bielski discovers the revamped Belmond hotel blends local culture, history and fine living – which is missing at nearby Mexican resorts.


All hands on deck as Toronto’s library system begins great reshelving after cyberattack

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Staff member Ramani Jeyarajan prepares holds for library patrons in a back room of the Cedarbrae branch of Toronto Public Library on Feb. 23, 2024.Laura Proctor/The Globe and Mail

Four months after ransomware hobbled the Toronto Public Library network, services are coming back after a mammoth shipment and reshelving of items from storage.

Evening Update is written by Emerald Bensadoun. 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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