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Israeli forces conducted another ground raid in Gaza in advance of an expected invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory. U.S. warplanes, meanwhile, struck targets in eastern Syria after attacks on U.S. forces by Iran-backed fighters, adding to regional tensions fueled by the three-week-old Gaza war. Follow our live coverage.

The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees told The Globe and Mail that some of Gaza’s two million people will soon be dying from Israel’s siege of the territory, not just from the relentless bombardments that have reportedly killed thousands.

“Civil order is breaking down,” he said. “People are just completely desperate,” said Philippe Lazzarini. Water, food, fuel and medicine are all nearly exhausted.

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This picture taken on October 26, 2023 shows an installation consisting of pillars of light erected by the Jerusalem municipality as a tribute for hostages abducted during the October 7 attack.AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images

Israel grapples with new realities and traumatic memories

Almost everyone in Israel knows someone who was killed, injured, abducted or displaced by the Hamas attack.

On television and social media, in vigils and protests, at press conferences and seemingly endless funerals, in meetings with diplomats and dignitaries, and in dozens of temporary shelters for the 200,000 people who have been displaced from the massacre sites, the stories of death and disappearance have become the collective trauma that has galvanized the country.

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The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre operations room in Larnaca, Cyprus is photographed Oct. 26, 2023.Nathan VanderKlippe/The Globe and Mail

Canada prepares for evacuation, seventh Canadian confirmed dead

A seventh Canadian was killed, and two are still missing, as a result of the Hamas militant group’s attack on Israel more than two weeks ago. Two Canadians are also believed to be among the hostages taken by Hamas.

Canada is among 20 countries who have sent people to Cyprus to prepare for an evacuation if war spreads to Lebanon. In total, more than 300 soldiers have been deployed, with orders to be ready to respond. However, to date, no evacuation has been called, and it’s not clear on what grounds one would begin.

If Lebanon is once again thrust into war, 2023 could mark the largest evacuation in Canadian history, eclipsing the 2006 total, Stefanie McCollum, Canada’s ambassador to Lebanon, said in an interview.

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Immigration Minister acts to combat international student fraud

Marc Miller is set to unveil a package of reforms designed to combat fraud in international student admissions and stop bad actors from preying on those students for financial gain, and to fast-track study-permit applications at colleges and universities that meet high standards.

Among the new measures will be a multilayered authentication system for ensuring letters of acceptance from universities and colleges are genuine. The move follows an investigation this year by an IRCC task force, which was assembled after students from India were found to have fake admission letters.

Canada’s CF-18 fighter jet force ‘in crisis’

A new study funded by the Department of National Defence says Canada’s CF-18 fighter aircraft force “is in crisis” and suffering from low morale, high rates of departure among instructor pilots and a shortage of maintenance technicians, impairing its ability to meet defence obligations to allies.

The report, by Justin Bronk, a researcher at the Royal United Services Institute, a 192-year-old British think tank, points to a number of underlying causes.

Also on our radar

Crime: A teenage drug dealer was one of dozens who sat by as 14-year-old Carson Crimeni grew delirious at a Langley, B.C., skatepark after taking a fatal dose of MDMA. He supplied the boy with the drugs – triple the amount he was originally seeking.

Government contracts: Two software entrepreneurs warned MPs of potential corruption and extortion in the federal government’s contracting practices, as they described working with outsourcing firms and the public servants who sign off on millions of dollars in federal IT spending.

Climate: The federal government is increasing the rural rebate on carbon pricing and exempting home heating oil from the levy, in a significant rollback to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s marquee climate policy.

Maine mass shooting: Police searched the woods, waterways and towns of Maine for a U.S. Army reservist wanted in connection with the mass shootings that killed 18 people and wounded 13 more the previous night at a bowling alley and a bar in Lewiston.

Policy: Ottawa is telling the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission not to regulate personal podcasts as part of the Online Streaming Act, after fears were raised they would be brought within the scope of the legislation.

Indigenous ancestry: Legendary singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie took to social media on Thursday to address allegations questioning her Indigeneity. “I know who I love and who loves me and I know who claims me. And to those who question my truth, I say with love: I know who I am.”

Morning markets

Global shares rose today after data showed the U.S. economy was growing robustly and traders awaited a U.S. core inflation report later in the session that may show price pressures are continuing to abate. MSCI’s all-country equity gauge rose 0.2 per cent.

In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan bounced 0.9 per cent after hitting a fresh 11-month low on Thursday. Tokyo’s Nikkei rose 1.2 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 2 per cent.

European shares were mixed in early trading, with Britain’s FTSE 100 up 0.2 per cent, Germany’s DAX 0.5 per cent higher and France’s CAC 40 down 0.3 per cent.

The dollar traded at 72.47 U.S. cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Bill Browder and Ratna Omidvar: “As Russia has continued its unnecessary, illegal and brutal war in Ukraine, new tools are necessary to hold it to account and make it pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine – now and not some vague time in the future.”

John Loeppky: “Now that you’ve identified a gap in your knowledge – one that a lot of disabled people have too, by the way – it is your responsibility, and indeed our collective responsibility, to address that gap and ensure that the voices of disabled people are included at every turn. Parents and caregivers are often wonderful, but they’re not the experts on disabled experience. The people living in these situations are.”

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Illustration by David Parkins

Living better

Seven year-end tax planning ideas for retirees

If you can relate to being forgetful because of your age, let Tim Cestnick remind you of some clever year-end tax planning ideas for retirees. Here are his top seven.

Also read

Moment in time: Oct. 27, 1960

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R&B singer Ben E. King poses for a portrait in circa 1961 in New York, New York.Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Ben E. King records Spanish Harlem and Stand By Me

Recorded on this day in 1960 by Ben E. King, Stand By Me is considered a pop-soul standard. Ironically, the love song about unwavering faith had little support or love initially. Mr. King came up with a version of it as a member of the Drifters, but the group’s manager wasn’t interested. Later, as a solo artist, Mr. King had studio time left over after recording the song Spanish Harlem. Only then did Stand By Me fully come into being, with help from the illustrious songwriting duo of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The lightly grooving ballad is essentially a gospel number, secularized by the urgently crooned “darlin’, darlin’, stand, by me” in the chorus. Released on April 24, 1961, Mr. King’s Stand By Me was a Top 10 hit on the pop chart that summer, and was again in 1986 as the theme song for the River Phoenix-starring film of the same name. The song has been covered hundreds of times (by everyone from Otis Redding to John Lennon to Muhammad Ali), making it one of the top royalty earners of its era. Brad Wheeler

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