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Good morning,

Joe Biden has chosen California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, marking a historic nomination that will put the first woman of colour on a presidential ticket.

Harris, 55, is a former California attorney-general and the mixed-race daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants. Part of Biden’s calculation in choosing Harris could be her potential to generate excitement among younger and non-white voters, particularly as discussions around racial justice are taking place in the United States.

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However, Harris also has faced criticisms in the past for her record as a career prosecutor, including her support for capital punishment in California. Some Biden supporters have also voiced concerns over her previous attacks on him when they faced off during the Democratic primaries.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), then a candidate for president, campaigns in Los Angeles on Oct. 4, 2019. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumpive Democratic presidential nominee, selected Harris as his vice-presidential running mate on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020.

JENNA SCHOENEFELD/The New York Times News Service

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Trudeau insists he has full confidence in Finance Minister Bill Morneau

A day after The Globe and Mail reported that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was not committed to keeping Bill Morneau as finance minister, the Prime Minister’s Office has released a statement saying Trudeau has “full confidence” in Morneau.

The Globe reported Monday that Trudeau and Morneau had clashed on various aspects of the federal government’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan. Since then, the PMO has been under intense media scrutiny and released the statement yesterday to clarify that no decision to remove Morneau had been made. However, the statement did not indicate whether Morneau would continue as finance minister if Trudeau decides to shuffle cabinet.

Read more on Morneau:

Nursing homes with multibed wards left residents vulnerable to coronavirus

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Long-term care homes in Canada have been vulnerable to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, but a new Globe and Mail analysis has found that these vulnerabilities are worse in facilities with multibed wards, as opposed to single-bed rooms.

In Ontario, 104 of the province’s 633 nursing homes have been responsible for 55 per cent of the province’s COVID-19 deaths in long-term care. More than 1,000 of those deaths were in older facilities with multibed wards. In those homes, many of the residents sleep in the same room and share bathrooms with two or three others.

Current design standards ban such multibed wards, but almost 40 per cent of nursing homes in the province do not meet this standard. Premier Doug Ford has announced plans to fast-track construction of new nursing homes to solve the issue of overcrowding.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Criticisms of Hong Kong spark concern over impact on detained Canadians in China: Human rights activists are urging the Canadian government to do more than release statements censuring Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong. However, Liberal MP Peter Fragiskatos is worried that further action would endanger Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who are detained in China.

Lebanon’s leaders were warned in July about risk of explosion: Lebanese security officials warned the country’s top leaders in July that the 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate being stored in the city’s ports posed a security risk and could destroy Beirut if it exploded. A little more than two weeks later, their warnings came to pass as a massive blast obliterated large parts of the city and killed at least 163 people.

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Protests continue in Belarus despite top opposition candidate leaving country: Days after authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected president in Belarus, protests have continued questioning the legitimacy of his election even as the top opposition candidate, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, left the country yesterday.

In this image made from video, residents move through floodwaters on foot and using donkey carts in Afgoye, Somalia Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020. Severe flooding continues to displace thousands of people in Somalia and the government in recent days has issued new warnings to communities living along the Jubba and Shabelle rivers.

The Associated Press

Thousands of people displaced by severe flooding in Somalia: Somalian President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is appealing for emergency relief in the wake of severe flooding that has displaced more than 100,000 people since June. The United Nations says at least four displaced people have died, while residents say several people have been swept away.

Global coronavirus cases surpass 20 million, doubling in just over six weeks: While it took six months for the world to reach 10 million coronavirus cases, it has only taken six weeks since that milestone for case counts to double. More than half of the world’s 20 million COVID-19 cases are in the United States, India and Brazil.

Portland arrest of leading activist Demetria Hester galvanizes Black Lives Matter: Authorities say leading BLM activist Demetria Hester won’t be charged after her arrest in Portland on Monday. She was booked on suspicion of disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer during a protest. Her arrest drew sharp rebuke from BLM groups across the United States.


MORNING MARKETS

Global stocks shake off stimulus doubts: Europe’s stock markets held their own on Wednesday after doubts emerged about fresh U.S. stimulus, while it was shaping up to be another wild day for gold and silver and Turkey’s troubled lira. Around 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.78 per cent. Germany’s DAX slid 0.15 per cent while France’s CAC 40 gained 0.26 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended up 0.41 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.42 per cent. New York futures were higher. The Canadian dollar was trading at 75.22 US cents.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

How to get kids back in school, and keep the risks low

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The Editorial Board: “Parents are going to be watching closely. Every bit of alarming news will be a cause for anxiety and anger. Our governments have promised that the return to school is safe. Now they have to deliver.”

Canada’s economy does not need a new guru. But its government might

Andrew Coyne: “What are we to make of all this? The significance of these stories is usually less the substance than the provenance: not what was said but who said it, and why. The Prime Minister’s people would not be talking to the press in this way without his authority. Which means Mr. Morneau is probably headed for the door, notwithstanding the PMO’s belated expression of ‘confidence’ in him.”

If Beijing isn’t careful, Ottawa will deploy its scathing finger-wag

Robyn Urback: “In sum: We have failed to act on our principles and done little to aid persecuted populations or Hong Kongers resisting Beijing’s incursion, and yet are still subject to threats of retaliation and the Michaels remain in prison. It’s lose-lose-lose.”

It’s not me, it’s you: Trump’s aluminum tariffs are a byproduct of his re-election woes

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Colin Robertson: “The world is meaner and messier. If we have learned anything from the Trump experience, it is that the U.S. is no longer prepared to, as John F. Kennedy said in his 1961 inaugural address, ‘pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty.‘ ”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

cartoon

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

The new Aeroplan loyalty program has been revealed, and it’s a complete overhaul

When Air Canada announced it was launching its own loyalty program, many travellers were worried about a devaluation coming to existing points in the current Aeroplan program, but the changes coming should get you excited to fly again. After a slight delay due to the global pandemic, the new loyalty program has been revealed, and it’s a complete overhaul.


MOMENT IN TIME: August 13, 2009

Les Paul performed at Carnegie Hall in New York during a celebration of his 90th birthday in 2005. Paul, the guitarist and inventor who changed the course of music with the electric guitar and multitrack recording and had a string of hits, many with wife Mary Ford, died on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2009. He was 94.

JENIFER TAYLOR/The New York Times

Death of guitarist Les Paul

Les Paul never made it to his 95th birthday party at a New York nightclub in 2010, but he would have been delighted by the tribute. Before Irish star Imelda May sang the 1950 hit, How High the Moon, she summed up his influence: “Without him, we wouldn’t be making the music we’re making today.” Paul was the integral pioneer of solid-body electric guitars and multitrack recording. Early hollow-bodied electrics often howled with uncontrolled feedback. Paul developed a single-cutaway solid-body (manufacturer Gibson named the model after him) that’s been used by 1960s British Invasion stalwarts and guitar heroes ever since. Paul also began multitracking – recording one part, playing along with it and painstakingly adding more layers. New technology made it easier, and with his first wife, Mary Ford, the couple had a string of pop hits with cascades of harmony vocals and guitars in the 1950s. Unlike other pioneers, Paul was honoured often in his life – most prominently by the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. One touchstone for decades: his weekly nightclub gig in New York. Still sporting his swept-back 1950s haircut, he chatted cheerily with all visitors. His playing was quick, clean and never overpowered fellow performers. Some talents are truly timeless. John Daly

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