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China’s military scientists target Canadian universities

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Canadian academics have collaborated on dozens of projects with Chinese military researchers – some of whom appear to have obscured their defence ties – raising concerns that Canada is inadvertently helping China modernize its armed forces, The Globe and Mail has found. The academic exchanges, jointly advancing technologies such as secure communications, satellite image processing and drones, include the enrolment of Chinese defence scientists as graduate students and visiting scholars at Canadian universities. A Globe survey found that scholars with at least nine Canadian institutions have conducted research in partnership with Chinese military scholars.

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Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect in court as vigils held in Montreal, Toronto

Robert Gregory Bowers, who has been accused of killing 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday, was released from a hospital and turned over to federal authorities for a court appearance Monday. Bowers was charged with 11 state counts of criminal homicide, six counts of aggravated assault and 13 counts of ethnic intimidation. He was also charged in a 29-count federal criminal complaint that included counts of obstructing the exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death – a federal hate crime – and using a firearm to commit murder. Federal prosecutors will be seeking the dealth penalty against Bowers. He was ordered held without bail and his next hearing was scheduled for Thursday.

In Montreal, hundreds of members of the city’s Jewish community, politicians and other mourners filled a synagogue to remember the victims. Leaders of a mosque in Quebec City that was the site of a 2017 mass murder carried sent condolences to Pittsburgh’s synagogue. Toronto’s Mel Lastman Square was also crowded on Monday evening with members of the Jewish community who sang traditional songs and later stood for a moment of silence. Among those gathered were 20 family members of Joyce Fienberg, a 75-year-old who died in the shooting and had previously lived in Toronto. The first funeral – for Cecil Rosenthal and his younger brother, David – was set for Tuesday.

New Mexican trade secretary fears USMCA could face opposition in next U.S. Congress

Luz Maria de la Mora, Mexico’s incoming trade chief who will handle the trade portfolio when Andres Manuel Lopez-Obrador takes office as Mexico’s new president on Dec. 1, says the new trilateral trade pact with the United States and Canada is far from a done deal. De La Mora is concerned the new agreement will not be passed in the U.S. Congress, as the political divide heightens with the U.S. midterm elections next week. The text must be approved in all three countries to supersede the current North American free-trade agreement. (for subscribers)

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Ottawa launches national pay equity legislation and Department for Women and Gender Equality

The federal government is launching national pay equity legislation and a new department for women and gender equality as part of a wide-ranging, 850-page budget bill tabled late on Monday. The omnibus bill includes the new Pay Equity Act, which gives affected employers with at least 10 employees three years to come up with a pay equity plan and establishes the Department for Women and Gender Equality, which will replace Status of Women Canada. The federal government promised new pay equity legislation in the February budget, which focused on taking action to benefit women and increase their participation in the work force.

Calgary to consider cancelling 2026 Olympic bid after coming council committee vote

Calgary’s bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics could end this week after a council committee votes on whether to walk away from the effort amid a deepening dispute over who would pay for the Games. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi threatened to cancel the Olympic bid on the weekend, and negotiators from all three levels of government scrambled to find enough money to cover the expected $3-billion public cost of the Games. The first mail-in ballots have already been cast for a Nov. 13 plebiscite on whether to continue the bid. Joe Magliocca, a member of the council’s Olympic committee, said he will put forward a motion at a meeting on Tuesday morning to withdraw the city from negotiations and cancel the plebiscite, adding the full city council could vote on the motion on Wednesday.

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Merkel’s power is waning and could leave a dangerous void in Europe

German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to step down as chair of the Christian Democratic Union party Monday. Her decision came after poor showings in two regional elections, and opens the door wide for a leadership competition as the centrist German parties fight to keep their relevance in a highly fragmented political landscape. Ms. Merkel, who is in her fourth term as Chancellor, gave no indication that she would also step down as head of government. She has said she fully intends to see out her term, which will end in 2021. She said she will not seek a fifth term. As The Globe’s Eric Reguly writes, Europeans are watching the upheaval in Berlin with glee, or horror (for subscribers).


Markets mixed

European shares slipped back into the red and China’s yuan hit a 10-year low on Tuesday, as the prospect of another escalation in the U.S.-Sino trade war compounded the recent gloom in global markets. Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 1.5 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite 1 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.9 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.3 per cent by about 6:40 a.m. ET, with Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were each down by just over 0.1 per cent. New York futures were up. The Canadian dollar was just above 76 US cents.


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Anti-Semitism isn’t back. It never went away

"Staring down anti-Semitism is not enough. We must also wage a war against xenophobia more broadly. In the age of Trump, these terrible forces feed off one another, just as they go hand in hand with racism, Islamophobia and transphobia. And as we’ve seen, these terrible forces are gaining traction. When I was young, I believed that anti-Semitism had all but ebbed in North America. At that time, I had heard the word “kike,” but I thought that this horrible epithet that Mr. Bowers would later use to describe my people was a relic from the past. Anti-Semitism, I believed, was on its way to being extinguished. But clearly, I was blissfully ignorant about how others around me were growing up, since Mr. Bowers is exactly my age.” – Mira Sucharov, columnist at Haaretz and The Forward and an associate professor of political science at Carleton University

The U.S. nears its boiling point

"When a Canadian novelist fantasizes about Mr. Trump being assassinated, the United States tearing itself apart, and all the nice Americans moving to Canada, it’s better to avert your gaze. Same drill when a marine turned talk-show host calls for red states to secede if a future Democratic administration comes for their guns, or when a New York progressive with fishy Russian connections argues for Californian secession. But when my colleague at the Hoover Institution, historian Victor Davis Hanson, warns that we are “at the brink of a veritable civil war,” we all need to pay attention. I also take seriously the work of Peter Turchin, who has been arguing for some time that several leading indicators of political instability (notably inequality) are set to peak around 2020, making the United States “particularly vulnerable to violent upheaval.” – Niall Ferguson, Milbank Family senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford (for subscribers)

Mexico shouldn’t do Trump’s dirty work on migration

“Mexico has its own security problems and agenda and should not adopt Mr. Trump’s call to police the caravan. Instead, the protection of human rights and an attitude of solidarity, empathy and respect is needed. Rather than sending enforcement to the southern border of Mexico and spending significant resources on this effort, Mexican authorities should design policies that focus on special zones to develop social and productive projects, including for those who continue to transit or who have been deported from the United States. These people have enormous challenges in their assimilation and reintegration to our country (200,000 every year since 2007). Mexico must also adopt a leading position in Central America to defend regional interests and people.” – Eunice Rendon, professor at Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico

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How much Halloween candy should kids eat?

With Halloween just a day away, you may be thinking about how much candy will soon be in your home. How much sugar is too much? According to dietitian Leslie Beck, while gorging on candy for one day isn’t going to cause harm, a steady surplus of added sugar is linked to health problems in kids, as well as adults. For a seven-year-old moderately active boy who needs around 1,500 calories per day, he should have no more than 19 g (4.5 teaspoons) of free sugars per day. If you’re worried about your child’s candy intake (because Halloween may be one day a year, but the sugary treats last for weeks), Beck recommends deciding in advance how much candy can be eaten on Halloween night, as well as during the week or two afterwards.


The ballpoint pen is patented, 1888

ONE-TIME USE ONLY WITH STORY SLUGGED NW-MIT-BALLPOINT-PEN-1029 -- 3396588 BALLPOINT PENS, 1888 Close-up view of samples of the rolling-pointed fountain marker, considered the first ballpoint pen, patented in 1888 by John J. Loud of Weymouth, Massachusetts. Credit: Granger / Bridgeman Images

Granger / Bridgeman Images

The first American patent for a ballpoint pen was issued on this date in 1888, for tanner John Loud’s roller ball that could write on leather. A pocket protector full of variations followed — including the Reynolds Rocket, whose debut in the fall of 1945 required 50 New York city policemen to control the frantic crowd outside Gimbels department store. The Rocket was the iPhone of the postwar space age, and similarly expensive: US$12.50, or about $130 in today’s money. But like its predecessors, the Rocket was useless: when its ink wasn’t fermenting or exploding, it leaked, and from both ends. To recover and catch on bigtime, the ballpoint required the decade-long refinements of Hungarian inventor Laszlo Bíró (capillary action and glycol-based ink) and the machining and marketing genius of Frenchman Marcel Bich (better ink, carbon-tungsten ball, clear plastic hexagonal (i.e. pencil-like) barrel). By 1956, the 41-year-old Bich (a future baron) was selling 82-million Bic pens a year. The individualism of the fountain pen had been replaced by the standardizing, portable efficiency of the ballpoint — “a boon for democracy,” Biro later wrote. “The bastions of privilege based on money have fallen.” How wrong he was. Click. – Ian Brown

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