Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland called for urgent action from Canada’s telecommunications regulator, after politicians in Nova Scotia raised concerns that poor cellular service had prevented residents from receiving emergency alerts in an area of the province where four people were swept away by catastrophic flooding last weekend.
The three victims whose bodies have been recovered are six-year-olds Natalie Hazel Harnish and Colton Sisco, and 52-year-old musician Nick Holland. Natalie’s father, Nick Harnish, said that cellular service was not a factor in Natalie and Colton’s deaths. The group fled their home about 30 minutes before the province issued its first emergency alert, at 3:06 a.m., asking people to shelter in place. Still, he said cellular service is “definitely an issue out there.”
Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston told reporters on Thursday that he is unhappy with the lack of progress on addressing cellular dead zones in the province. He said he will be seeking answers in the coming days about how well the alert system functioned during the floods.
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July forecast to be warmest month on record as scientists seek to understand ‘alarming’ summer heat
July is on track to become the warmest month on record for planet Earth, according to the European Union climate monitor.
Last month, the planet experienced its hottest June since records began in 1850. And the odds are rising that 2023 will end up displacing 2016 as the hottest year. At the moment, the eight warmest years on the books are the past eight.
Forecasters are warning we’re in store for more high temperatures in coming years, too, stoked by the continuing emissions of heat-trapping gases and compounded by El Nino, the recurring climate pattern typically associated with hotter conditions in many regions. Still, a climate scientist and statistician at the University of California in Los Angeles said this level of extreme temperature increase raises questions about whether other factors are at play. More research will be needed to dissect all the factors that could be contributing to the unusual heat.
Planned NATO facility in Poland expected to raise tensions with Russia
Canadian and Polish officials with direct knowledge of the matter have confirmed to The Globe and Mail that there is a plan to build a new NATO facility in Rzeszów, Poland. They said it will be more of a repairs and logistics centre as opposed to the large-scale military base the city’s mayor, Konrad Fijolek, had hinted at last month.
The Canadian official said there was “no intent to have a large Canadian presence,” adding that the facility’s main role will be repairing Ukrainian tanks and other armoured vehicles. NATO has supplied Ukraine with hundreds of main battle tanks and other fighting vehicles, many of which have been damaged over the course of the Ukrainian counteroffensive. A statement from the NATO media office in Brussels read in part, “we are significantly strengthening deterrence and defence for all Allies, enhancing our resilience against Russian coercion, and supporting our partners to counter malign interference and aggression.”
Rzeszów has been rapidly transformed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Its prewar population of 200,000 surged with the influx of about 30,000 Ukrainian refugees and surrounding highways are clogged with trucks carrying everything from bridge-building equipment to recently trained Ukrainian recruits. It has also caught the attention of the Kremlin. In March, Poland said it had dismantled a network of pro-Russian spies who were monitoring the airport with the suspected intent of sabotaging the delivery of military aid to Ukraine.
Also on our radar
Origin of Indo-European languages: New findings support the picture of an early origin of the Indo-European language family in Turkey, but also points to the Steppe becoming a “second homeland” from which Indo-European speakers carried the forerunners of Italic, Celtic and Germanic languages westward into Europe.
Donald Trump: Former U.S. President Donald Trump faced new charges Thursday in a case accusing him of illegally possessing classified documents, with prosecutors alleging that he asked a staffer to delete camera footage at his Florida estate in an effort to obstruct a federal investigation.
Cabinet shuffle: Following his massive cabinet makeover, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is stoking anger and fear without offering solutions. Poilievre blamed government spending and Trudeau’s carbon-pricing plan for ballooning the cost of everything from gas to groceries on Thursday.
Calgary Stampede: A Liberal MP from Alberta is demanding Ottawa stop funding the Calgary Stampede after the organization reached a settlement agreement tied to allegations its officials failed for decades to protect boys in one of its marquee youth programs from a sexual predator.
Business and investing quiz: Test your knowledge of the stories making the headlines, from interest rates to electric vehicle sales.
World markets pause: Global shares paused for a breath on Friday as investors digested monetary policy steps from Japan and inflation data on both sides of the Atlantic in the hope of more evidence to persuade central banks to end their rate hiking cycle. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.18 per cent while Germany’s DAX slid 0.13 per cent and France’s CAC lost 0.47 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei finished down 0.40 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.41 per cent. New York futures were modestly positive. The Canadian dollar was slightly lower at 75.60 US cents.
What everyone’s talking about
The Trudeau cabinet doesn’t need new faces. It needs new ideas
“The sole apparent criterion for losing one’s seat at what must be a 12-metre-long table was being selected to take the fall for something that embarrassed the Liberal government (hello/goodbye Marco Mendicino, former minister of not being briefed on serial-killer transfers).” - The Editorial Board
Canada must rethink its friendship with Israel
“In this context, Canada should publicly state that it refuses to deal with the more extremist ministers in the Netanyahu government. It should vocally express its opposition to the proposed reforms and freeze or reduce co-operation with Israel on some issues. Ottawa should also boost its support for Palestinian civil society and increase pressure on the Palestinian Authority to reform itself and organize fresh elections.” - Thomas Juneau
Today’s editorial cartoon
Eight appealing cabernet sauvignons to buy now
Christopher Waters guides you through eight cabernet sauvignons to stock up on. His picks are below. And here’s why he picked them.
- Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 (United States), $39.95
- La Mascota Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 (Argentina), $18.95
- Plume Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 (United States), $39.95
- Raymond Family Classic Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 (United States), $19.95
- Rowen Cooley Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (United States), $100
- Ringbolt Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 (Australia), $24.95
- Santa Rita 120 Reserva Especial Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 (Chile), $12.55
- Scattered Peaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 (United States), $54.95
Moment in time: July 28, 1945
‘Elevator girl’ Betty Lou Oliver survives falling 75 storeys
Betty Lou Oliver survived a plane crash and a 75-storey plunge, all on the same day. The 20-year-old was working as a lift operator in New York’s Empire State Building on this day in 1945, when a B-25 bomber pilot took a wrong turn on a foggy day and smashed into the tower. The pilot, two crew members and 11 people in the building died in the fiery crash. Ms. Oliver, at work on the 80th floor, was thrown from her elevator and suffered a broken back and pelvis, and severe burns. But she was alive. Rescue workers put her on a stretcher and into an elevator on the 79th floor to be taken to the ground and rushed to hospital. That’s when the elevator’s suspension cables, damaged in the crash, snapped. The car and Ms. Oliver plummeted 305 metres down the shaft. Still, she lived, the elevator’s plunge slowed by air pressure and cushioned by the pile of damaged cables at the bottom. After being cut from the wreckage, Ms. Oliver would live another 54 years. The story of her toughness and luck – both bad and good – is preserved in the Guinness Book of World Records as the survivor of the longest elevator fall. Eric Atkins