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Thousands of people were ordered to leave their homes in Fort McMurray yesterday as a wildfire in northern Alberta advanced toward the community, reigniting memories of the 2016 blaze that forced the entire city to flee and flattened some neighbourhoods.

Jody Butz, director of emergency management for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, said the evacuation order applies to roughly 6,000 people living in four neighbourhoods, some of the same communities that suffered extensive damage in the fire eight years ago.

But he stressed that this fire is different because it is burning through the wreckage of its predecessor, which means it does not have as much access to fuel and is crawling along the ground rather than torching the forest’s crown. The fire had burned more than 10,000 hectares by yesterday afternoon.

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Smoke and flames are seen from the fire in Fort McMurray on May 14, 2024, as residents from the area of Abasand Heights evacuate the area.KOSAR/Getty Images

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Sikh Canadian separatist leader says India cracking down on Khalistan supporters

Sikh Canadian separatist leader Gurpatwant Pannun says the Indian government is cracking down on some of his secessionist colleagues after Canada earlier this month arrested and charged several men with the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in B.C.

Punjab’s director-general of police Gaurav Yadav announced via X yesterday that three men were arrested after pro-Khalistan slogans were written on walls in public places. He alleged the accused in at least one instance sent photos and videos of their handiwork to Pannun, whom he described as their “New York-based mastermind.”

Pannun was the target of an assassination attempt by India, according to a criminal indictment unsealed in New York last November.

Alice Munro’s short stories wove intense tales of human drama from small-town life

Canadian author Alice Munro died on Monday night at the age of 92 at her care home in Ontario, according to her family. She had been suffering from dementia for at least a dozen years.

Tributes to the writer poured in from the Canadian literary community, while the city of Victoria remembered Munro’s time in the city in the 1960s.

Munro’s stories introduced U.S. readers to the folkways of rural Ontario and, as her fame grew, attracted fans to Huron County to visit her birthplace of Wingham. Readers relished her earthy humour and ability to extend her sympathy to every character, even those who were slightly ridiculous, not very bright or had committed murder.

The majority of her short stories first appeared in The New Yorker magazine, then went on to be published in 16 story collections that received high praise from critics.

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Also on our radar

Committee to consider launching probe of TD Bank: As U.S. regulators and law enforcement continue a lengthy investigation into TD Bank, a House of Commons committee is considering probing failures in the bank’s anti-money-laundering practices.

Michael Cohen faces cross-examination in Trump trial: Michael Cohen was portrayed as “obsessed” and out for revenge during cross-examination at former president Donald Trump’s hush-money trial. Trump’s former fixer testified for his second day at the trial, describing an Oval Office meeting in February, 2017, at which Trump confirmed details of reimbursing him for paying off porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

Report urges TikTok ban in Canada: A new report by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute is calling on Ottawa to follow Washington’s lead on how it is dealing with TikTok – giving parent company, ByteDance, one year to divest from the app or face a ban. The report says the social media app can be used to serve Beijing’s goals by spreading misinformation campaigns and interfering in Canadian affairs.

Israelis mark subdued Independence Day: Israelis usually celebrate Independence Day with barbecues in parks across the country, but this year, the parties were smaller and quieter. Israelis grappled with their desire to mark Independence Day as the country is facing war in Gaza and one of its most difficult tests in decades.

Ukrainians call for simplified pathway to permanent residency: Ukrainians who fled the war and are now living in Canada are urging the federal government to create an easier pathway to permanent residency, saying that they do not qualify for many of the existing programs.

Morning markets

Global shares rose while the U.S. dollar retreated after a hot reading of U.S. wholesale inflation set a nervous tone for trading ahead of the consumer price report that could prove decisive in when the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates.

The MSCI All-World share index traded at a record high, up 0.15 per cent on the day while Wall Street futures were broadly flat.

In early European trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.35 per cent. Germany’s DAX advanced 0.55 per cent. France’s CAC 40 gave back 0.12 per cent.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed marginally higher at 38,385.73, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.22 per cent to 19,073.71.

The Canadian dollar traded at 73.38 U.S. cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Editorial: “The lack of decorum and civility during Question Period, the name-calling on social media, the deliberate spreading of misinformation and half-truths, the divisive language that sorts Canadians into camps that can no longer converse with each other … If Canadians are becoming more rancorous in their exchanges with politicians, it could be because politicians aren’t providing much of an example to do otherwise.”

Marsha Lederman: “... plastic is intertwined into pretty much every aspect of our lives. Reducing its use to improve human life will affect our way of life, and everyday sacrifices will need to be made. Beginning each morning, perhaps, with your cup of coffee and its plastic lid – the material that’s really deserving of our politicians’ anger.”

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Illustration by David Parkins

Living better

Don’t eat dairy? Add these five calcium-rich foods to your diet

Dairy products are excellent sources of bone-building calcium, but some of us don’t eat dairy for a range of reasons, including lactose intolerance, milk allergies, plant-based eating and animal welfare concerns. The good news is it’s entirely possible to get the calcium you need from other foods.

Here’s a guide to calcium’s health benefits, your daily requirement and how to get what you need from plants and other non-dairy foods.

Moment in time: May 15, 1885

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Louis Riel, a prisoner in the camp of Major-General F.D. Middleton, in Batoche, N.W.T., May 16, 1885.JAMES PETERS/The Canadian Press

Louis Riel surrenders after defeat at the Battle of Batoche

It was a war that pitted Canadian authorities against a force of First Nations and Métis peoples. A crush of Canadian soldiers from Ontario were summoned to the Prairies in what is now Saskatchewan. Their mission: to collapse the armed revolt led by Louis Riel, who sought to defend his people’s rights and identity, especially from the government of Canada and its sphere of influence. There had already been a bloodbath; hundreds had died in the North-West Rebellion’s many bursts of violence prior to the last skirmish. But in the small town of Batoche, a decisive battle took place that May. Dozens more were killed. Eventually, the greater numbers and superior firepower of the nearly 800-strong force against Riel found his roughly 300 fighters overwhelmed. So, on this day, 139 years ago, Riel surrendered. His defeat also ended the ad hoc provincial government he formed, which had included parts of present-day Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The result was the permanent enforcement of Canadian law in the West and the subjugation of Indigenous peoples there. Riel, recognized today as the Father of Manitoba, was hanged in November of that year for treason. Temur Durrani

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