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The Morning Update newsletter will pause on Friday for Canada Day, but will return Monday.

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Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair says he never linked government gun-control measures to the investigation into the mass killings in Nova Scotia during frequent conversations with RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki.

Blair, who was public safety minister when a gunman killed 22 people in April, 2020, told reporters on Wednesday he “gave no directions” to Lucki to bolster the Liberal government’s gun-control agenda by releasing details about the weapons used, reports The Globe’s Robert Fife.

Two members of the RCMP have said Lucki told a group of investigators in a conference call on April 28, 2020, that releasing the information would help advance the Liberals’ campaign promise to ban certain types of firearms.

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Tim Hortons suspending World Juniors sponsorship over Hockey Canada’s response to sexual assault allegations

Tim Hortons is suspending its support of the IIHF World Junior Championship and plans to re-evaluate its sponsorship of Hockey Canada, over the organization’s response to allegations that eight Canadian Hockey League players sexually assaulted a young woman in 2018 after a Hockey Canada gala.

The decision by the high-profile Canadian brand adds to a growing backlash from Hockey Canada’s corporate partners, after it paid an undisclosed sum last month to settle the allegations, The Globe’s Susan Krashinsky Robertson and Marty Klinkenberg report.

Imperial Oil Canada also joined the fast-food chain on Wednesday in distancing itself from the organization, announcing its Esso brand will not appear as a sponsor of the junior championship tournament, which is slated for August. One day earlier, Bank of Nova Scotia said it would “pause” its Hockey Canada sponsorship, and Canadian Tire and Telus also pulled their support from the World Junior event.

Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair speaks with reporters as he arrives for a caucus meeting on Parliament Hill on June 22, 2022.PATRICK DOYLE/The Canadian Press

Supreme Court to rule on privacy protections for sexual-assault complainants

Canada could be poised to see a rollback of the biggest expansion to privacy protections for sexual-assault complainants in a quarter-century when the Supreme Court rules Thursday on whether it infringes on the right of an accused to a fair trial.

Lower-court judges have said that privacy expansion “ruptures the foundation” of the criminal trial process and dangerously undermines the traditional right to cross-examination, Sean Fine reports.

Since 2018, a defendant in a sexual-assault trial who possesses a complainant’s e-mails, texts, diaries or other personal records must obtain the permission of a judge in a pretrial hearing to use them for their defence. The law establishing the new process also for the first time granted complainants the right to play a direct role in the hearings to argue that their privacy interest outweighs the importance of the records to the defence.

Russia targeting commodities in its war with Ukraine to create food shortages, break West’s resolve

The day after a Russian missile struck a Canadian-owned vegetable oil terminal in this southern Ukrainian city, police sealed off the surrounding streets, fearing the Russians might strike it again.

Forty-eight hours after the June 22 attack, the police were gone, and local residents rushed to fill plastic jugs from the shallow stream of vegetable oil that was mixing with dirt and trash in a gutter behind the facility, writes The Globe’s Mark MacKinnon. The scene outside the Viterra terminal was a grim snapshot of the worsening global food crisis.

Russia’s strategy in hitting sites such as the Viterra facility is obvious to Danylo, an eighth grader who lives just 300 metres from the facility. “The Russians want to create food shortages, like they did in Mariupol,” said the 14-year-old, who was home at the time of the attack.

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Also on our radar

In Nunavut, medical staff saw signs of a devastating TB outbreak. The government didn’t: Through interviews and documents, a Globe investigation reveals how the territorial government failed to curb the spread of TB last summer – when declaring an outbreak sooner and deploying more front-line staff to the Baffin Island community might have mitigated the public-health crisis.

Purdue Canada reaches a settlement: Ottawa and provincial governments have struck a $150-million settlement with the opioid manufacturer to recover health care costs associated with what they allege are deceptive marketing practices the company used to sell opioid medications.

Air Canada reducing summer flights: Citing “unprecedented strains” on the industry as travel rebounds, the airline says it’s cancelling 154 flights per day in July and August, or 15 per cent of its schedule.

China’s Xi Jinping heads to Hong Kong for 25th anniversary of handover: The Chinese president’s visit will be the first time he has left mainland China since the onset of the pandemic.

Analysis: Canada’s stellar unemployment rate has been a boon for banks, housing market – but no one seems to notice: Though the prospect of a recession is on the radar of every central banker, beneath it all is an undeniably positive development that is being overlooked: For all the economic chaos, unemployment in Canada has fallen to a record low.

Israel’s parliament dissolves, sets fifth election in four years: On Thursday, Israel’s parliament voted to dissolve itself, collapsing the government and marking the end of a year-old experimental coalition government. Yair Lapid, Israel’s foreign minister and architect of the outgoing coalition government, will become the country’s caretaker prime minister just after midnight on Friday. New elections will be held on Nov. 1.

Russian forces withdraw from Ukraine’s strategic Snake Island: Russia’s defence ministry confirmed troops had withdrawn from the island Thursday, claiming Russia was not impeding U.N. efforts to organize a humanitarian corridor. A first cargo ship left the Russian-occupied Ukrainian port of Berdyansk after Russia said the port had been de-mined and was ready to resume grain shipments.

Morning markets

Stocks slide: As central banks voice their commitment to pin down runaway inflation, the world market is seeing the worst first half of the year for global share prices on record. Around 6:10 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 1.74 per cent. France’s CAC 40 dropped 2.26 per cent, and Germany’s DAX declined 2.29 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 1.54 per cent and 0.62 per cent, respectively. U.S. futures were lower. The Canadian dollar was trading at 77.43 U.S. cents.

What everyone’s talking about

The U.S. has demolished abortion rights. This is how it got here

“The shift came during the 2016 presidential campaign. Donald Trump began wooing white evangelical Christians by promising to appoint conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, which could give them their long-sought holy-grail victory over Roe v. Wade. At the time, much of the national press treated Mr. Trump’s claims as gimmicky. Those who did warn that the Republican nominee’s promise was possible, even likely – especially Black abortion-rights activists in the South, where I live – were often deemed hysterical.” - Rosemary Westwood

A stunning portrait of presidential depravity has Trump near the tipping point

“[Cassidy Hutchinson] weaved a portrait of a White House-turned-madhouse, of unparalleled presidential depravity. Of an enraged Donald Trump demanding to join an armed mob attack on Capitol Hill that, he was warned, could kill his vice-president. He was bent on actually participating in the overthrow of American democracy on the basis of his deranged belief that the election was stolen from him.” - Lawrence Martin

Today’s editorial cartoon

Brian GableBrian Gable/The Globe and Mail

Living better

What is the anti-inflammatory diet plan?

It’s well established that low-grade inflammation is a contributor to chronic illnesses such as heart disease, Type-2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

It’s also known that the foods you eat have the potential to either accelerate or diminish inflammation in the body.

Here’s what to know about an anti-inflammatory diet.

Moment in time: June 30, 1953

First Corvettes roll off assembly line

Handout via The New York Times

America was a weird, dark place in 1953. Elvis hadn’t been invented yet, the Cold War was in full swing and senator Joseph McCarthy had everyone looking over everyone else’s shoulder. So it’s all the more remarkable that against that joyless, paranoid backdrop, Chevrolet would begin production of a sports car that spoke to the sunny side of the American psyche. The brainchild of General Motors styling chief Harley Earl, who saw that GIs returning from Europe were bringing back lovely British and Italian roadsters, the first Corvettes were all white with red interiors. The two-seater convertibles seemed to thumb their tastefully chromed noses at the sensible sedans and station wagons on U.S. highways. And while most American cars were known for their, um, avoirdupois, the Corvette was a sleek little number clad in a new, lightweight material: fibreglass. So cool! So futuristic! It was almost a disaster, of course. The car was undeniably sexy, but many of its mechanical bits had been pilfered from GM sedans. The 1953 limited run of 300 cars sold slowly, and GM considered dropping the model. But the addition of an optional V-8 in 1955 spiced things up, and the nameplate survives to this day. Massimo Commanducci

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