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Joe Biden formally accepted the Democratic nomination for president yesterday, casting himself as a conciliator who could end the United States’ “season of darkness.”

His speech wrapped up four nights of a Democratic National Convention that has aimed to bridge the gaps between different wings of the party and position Biden as the moral opposite of Donald Trump. Biden accused Trump of having “cloaked America in darkness for far too long” and vowed to tackle the four major problems plaguing the U.S.: The COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crisis, systemic racism and climate change.

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Biden’s critiques of Trump were not as robust as those heard earlier in the convention from former president Barack Obama or vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris, but effectively pitched himself as running to be the nation’s president while serving as the nation’s pastor.

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Ottawa announces $37-billion in new income support measures

The federal government said it will be extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit until Sept. 26, while easing eligibility rules for Employment Insurance and creating three new income-support programs to prepare for the end of CERB.

The government is lowering the minimum number of hours of work required to qualify for EI. Previously, an individual must have worked between 420-700 the year prior; the number is now down to 120. This means that someone who was laid off after working about 3½ weeks over the past year could qualify for EI payments of at least $400 per week for at least 26 weeks.

There will also be three new income-support programs: the Canada Recovery Benefit for self-employed workers or people who are not eligible for EI, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit for workers who are ill or must self-isolate due to COVID-19 and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit for people who are unable to work because they are caring for a dependent due to school or daycare closures.

Second time in eight years a coup in Mali has been led by a U.S.-trained soldier

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The military coup that took place in Mali this past week was led by Colonel Assimi Goita, a military officer who has been trained by the United States. This makes him the second U.S.-trained soldier in eight years to lead a coup in the West African nation.

The revelation of Goita’s involvement and his background has intensified questions in Canada over the federal government’s continued support of Mali. Canada regularly sends military trainers to Mali and supported U.S.-led training missions in the country.

Thousands of soldiers and police in Mali have been trained by European and North American military and police forces, including those of Canada. But critics say this training sometimes fails to teach democratic values and therefore contributes to coups such as the ones that have destabilized Mali.

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DISPATCH FROM GLOBE CLIMATE

This week’s Globe Climate newsletter is spotlighting Kyla Gilbert, a visual artist who is creating environment and wildlife focused art.

“It’s important to initiate change from where you’re situated, to start from your own body, your own community, the things you can touch, and expand outwards. This is why I love sculpture. It allows an idea to be physicalized outside of its creator.” — Kyla Gilbert

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Do you know an engaged young person pursuing change in the country? E-mail us at GlobeClimate@globeandmail.com to tell us about them and sign up for our Globe Climate newsletter to see more profiles of youths making waves.

Kyle Gilbert's "Senescene has its purpose"

Handout


ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Emergency alert for missing Indigenous teen: Nova Scotia RCMP have issued an emergency alert for Molly Martin, a 14-year-old girl from We’koqma’q Mi’kmaq First Nation, who her family says was lured away from her home a week ago. Community residents and advocates have criticized the RCMP for not issuing an Amber alert, but police said the case didn’t meet alert guidelines because the child had appeared to leave willingly.

Toronto gets safe supply pilot project: The federal government announced a $1.5-million, one-year project yesterday to prescribe pharmaceutical-grade opioids at two Toronto harm-reduction clinics. It also allows a hotel the city has been using as an isolation centre for homeless individuals to open a supervised injection site. The moves came amid rising overdose deaths and Canada’s step toward decriminalizing drug possession.

Toronto votes on elementary school plan: The Toronto District School Board has voted to focus teaching resources on schools in neighbourhoods hardest hit by COVID-19. In those areas, kindergarten classes will be capped at 15 students and other elementary grades capped at 20.

Crown seeks to appeal Matthew McKnight sentencing: The Alberta Crown has filed a notice of appeal over the former Edmonton nightclub employee’s eight-year sentencing, calling it “demonstrably unfit.” He was accused of sexually assaulting 13 women ranging in age from 17 to 22 between 2010 and 2016, but was convicted on five counts.

Flooding overruns neighbourhoods in China: The reservoir held in place by the Three Gorges Dam — the world’s largest dam — has reached a historic high, as flood waters overran neighbourhoods and threatened ancient landmarks across the southern reaches of China.

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MORNING MARKETS

Global stocks struggle higher as PMIs weigh: Global stock markets enjoyed cautious gains on Friday, taking their cue from Wall Street tech shares, but tepid economic data and lofty valuations reined in the advances in the wake of a huge rally that has wiped out coronavirus losses. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.14%. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.35% and 0.24%, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended up 0.17%. New York futures were mostly weaker. The Canadian dollar was trading at 75.75 US cents.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Trudeau’s cynical prorogation is like Harper’s, with a smile

Robyn Urback: “Maybe the Liberals’ promise back in 2015 should have simply been: Justin Trudeau will not be Stephen Harper when he resorts to legislative tricks. At least that would have been a promise the Liberals could actually keep.”

As Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland’s toughest job will be dealing with Justin Trudeau

The Editorial Board: “What is certain is Ms. Freeland is well qualified for the job. Her career has been defined by a critical, outsider eye on the worlds of politics, finance and trade, and her accomplishments compare easily with those of her successful forebears. Now she has her toughest assignment yet.”

Ending fatphobia isn’t enough – we need to stop pathologizing obesity

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Michael Orsini and Deborah McPhail: “The trouble with the guidelines – and other efforts to encourage so-called ‘healthy living’ – is that they seek to sensitize others to the dangers of stigma but cling to a model that pathologizes obesity as a disease.”

In Belarus, the spirit of freedom might finally topple Europe’s last dictator

Jillian Stirk: “When the people have had enough, they will mobilize to secure their freedom. That is the message from Belarus, a former Soviet republic at the heart of Europe.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

Ai Weiwei’s scorching new film Coronation goes inside Wuhan as COVID-19 swept across China

Directed from abroad, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s new film Coronation observes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as it swept through the Chinese city of Wuhan last spring, including interviews with the locked-down, the angry and the bereaved. Read his e-mailed discussion of the film with The Globe and Mail here.


MOMENT IN TIME: AUGUST 21, 1952

Lobbycard for Alfred Hitchcock film, "I Confess", starring Anne Baxter, Montgomery Clift, 1953.

LMPC via Getty Images

Alfred Hitchcock begins filming in Quebec City

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As far as the legacy of Alfred Hitchcock goes, I Confess is not the film that most admirers would be quick to mention. In fact, the early 1950s noir remains one of the iconic director’s worst-reviewed efforts, with The New York Times calling it “obviously padded” and Variety lamenting that the work was “short of the suspense one would expect.” But the movie was the first one that Hitchcock not only filmed in Canada, but that explicitly took place in the country, too. On this day, 68 years ago, Hitchcock began shooting in Quebec City. Reworking Paul Anthelme’s early 20th-century French play Our Two Consciences, the movie focuses on a priest (played by Montgomery Clift) who, as things tend to happen in Hitchcock movies, is blamed for a murder – but can’t clear his name without breaking the holy seal of the confessional. While the movie may not have enticed critics or audiences – maybe Hitchcock should have realized during the film’s eight-year development period that it was a project worth abandoning – I Confess does boast some beautiful shots of Quebec City, including the Château Frontenac and the Lévis Ferry crossing the St. Lawrence River. Barry Hertz

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