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Russia has claimed that more than 1,000 Ukrainian marines have surrendered in the southern city of Mariupol, but there were competing views about whether the devastating seven-week battle for control of the strategic port on the Sea of Azov was continuing.

Ukraine did not confirm the surrender yesterday and said that two units of its forces still in the city had instead managed to link up. Mamuka Mamulashvili, the commander of the Georgian Legion, a battalion of volunteer fighters, told The Globe and Mail that his unit had troops “near Mariupol” who were still fighting.

Mariupol has been the scene of some of the worst civilian suffering of the war since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion on Feb. 24.

While more than half the city’s prewar population is believed to have fled, humanitarian aid organizations say about 160,000 people have been trapped in the city – and have gone without regular supplies of food, water or electricity since mid-March.

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An armed serviceman of Donetsk People's Republic militia walks past a building damaged during fighting in Mariupol, Ukraine, April 13, 2022.Alexei Alexandrov/The Associated Press

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Bank of Canada announces 0.5% interest rate increase, the first oversized hike in decades

The Bank of Canada has raised its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point, the first oversized rate hike in decades and an aggressive step forward in its campaign to tackle runaway inflation.

The bank’s governing council agreed yesterday to increase the policy rate to 1 per cent from 0.5 per cent, and said that more rate hikes will be needed to prevent inflation expectations from spiraling upwards. It typically moves in quarter-point increments, and has not announced a half-point hike since May, 2000.

This puts the central bank on track for the quickest monetary policy tightening cycle in decades, which could push borrowing costs for Canadian households and businesses above prepandemic levels by the end of the year.

Study that found viruses at fish farms released, 10 years later

For ten years, Kristi Miller-Saunders could not fully disclose the results of her study that showed a virus spreading among fish-farmed salmon in British Columbia.

The federal Fisheries Department in the government of Stephen Harper would not release the 2012 report into open-net fish farms, a position that continued with the Trudeau government.

In March, the federal Information Commissioner ordered the Fisheries Department to release the information that found pathogens among open-net fish farms in the province.

Dr. Miller-Saunders, who was a key author of the 2012 report, expressed frustration that it took until March of this year for the findings that fish-farmed salmon suffered from jaundice and anemia to finally surface.

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Taliban blocking thousands of Afghan refugees from coming to Canada, Minister says: Immigration Minister Sean Fraser says thousands of Afghans have been approved for refugee resettlement in Canada, but the Taliban is preventing them from leaving the conflict zone. Nearly nine months after the Liberal government began offering a series of special resettlement measures for Afghans, including those who supported Canada’s military and diplomatic mission in the country, just one quarter of the 40,000 refugees Canada committed to help have arrived.

Manitoba hit with massive spring storm: Winnipeg was inundated with snow yesterday, while howling winds made visibility an enormous challenge in a city well-accustomed to winter weather, even when it hits in April. Much of southern and central Manitoba remains under a storm advisory, according to Environment Canada, and wind gusts of up to 70 kilometres an hour are expected with snowfall accumulation anywhere between 30 and 50 centimetres.

Tanenbaum group’s bid for top U.K. soccer club highlights MLSE links: With four deep-pocketed suitors preparing to submit bids for Premier League soccer team Chelsea, one group is using Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment chair Larry Tanenbaum’s sporting and community credentials to burnish its pitch.

Laurentian University refused financial help, setting off creditor protection: Laurentian University made a strategic decision to opt for creditor protection rather than work with the Ontario government to right its finances, the province’s Auditor-General says in a preliminary report, leading to nearly 200 job losses, millions in added costs and damage to the postsecondary institution’s reputation.

In Georgia, Donald Trump’s allies try to wrest control of the voting process: Since Donald Trump’s election loss, Republicans in several key swing states have passed laws making it harder to vote. Now, candidates backing Trump’s fraud claims are trying to oust governors and other state-level officials who refused to overturn the 2020 results. And they are taking over local elections boards in charge of running the polls and counting the ballots.


European markets await ECB decision: Major European stock markets wavered on Thursday ahead of a European Central Bank meeting that could herald tighter policy. Just after 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.15 per cent. Germany’s DAX slid 0.02 per cent while France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.31 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.22 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng finished up 0.67 per cent. New York futures were muted. The Canadian dollar was trading at 79.71 US cents.


Robyn Urback: “[Pierre Poilievre] does have an edge in at least being able to channel the angst of young Canadians who have been priced out of buying a home, and calling out the absurdity of a housing market that has been off the rails for years. He may or may not turn that into actual policy, but for now, his polemics will be enough to win him broad support.”

Konrad Yakabuski: “The result is that no party in the [Quebec] National Assembly stands up for Canada. That is bound to matter, sooner or later.”


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Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


Thinking of travelling this summer? Here’s what you should know

After two years of cancelled plans, postponed trips and the overall anxiety of living in a pandemic, Canadians are itching to get away this summer and visit someplace new. But there are some things to keep in mind – act fast because popular destinations are booking up, get insurance for unforeseen developments that could affect your travel itinerary and don’t expect to find a deal as prices are surging because of pent-up demand.


Open this photo in gallery:The advertisement includes a number of illustrations and photographs: Setters Arriving By Train; Settlers Trekking from the Western States.

Advertisement published in 1901 edition of The Christmas Globe [magazine]: "Free Farms: Thousands of Free Grant Homesteads (160 Acres) Still Await Settlers in Western Canada".The Globe and Mail

Dominion Lands Act established

Canada set out its plans to survey and settle the Prairies with the passage of the Dominion Lands Act on this day in 1872. Rejecting the Métis traditional river-lot system, Ottawa adopted the American grid pattern based on six-square-mile townships of 36 equal sections. Anyone, except members of First Nations, who wanted to file for a homestead (160 acres) had to be male, 21 years old and prepared to become a British subject, if not one already. Women were only eligible to apply if they were widows or divorcees with dependents. Prospective homesteaders had to visit the nearest Dominion Lands office, select their quarter-section and pay a $10 registration fee. To secure title, or “patent,” homesteaders had to meet certain basic requirements, including clearing land and erecting a house, by the end of three years. During the life of the program (until 1930), two out of every five homestead applications were cancelled. Perhaps author W.C. Pollard put it best in his book Pioneering in the Prairie West: Homesteading was “a gamble in which the entrant bet 10 bucks with the Government against 160 acres of land that he can stay on it … for three years without starving.” Bill Waiser

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