You can win a new car, or maybe even an apartment, if you cast a ballot in the referendum on whether President Vladimir Putin, who has already ruled the country for more than 20 years, can remain in office until 2036. Though Russia has ended its novel coronavirus lockdown just in time to vote – even as the country continues to record thousands of new positive tests a day – opposition campaigning is banned. His purpose for staying in the Kremlin are thought to be two-fold.
His successor could dismantle the path he’s set the country on. And there are worries about his own fate – Russian leaders have left office in one of two ways: They were forced out or they died.
Barring a shocking turn of events, Putin will soon rule Russia indefinitely. But what happens after that? Senior foreign correspondent Mark MacKinnon has the story.
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Extradition hearing for Meng Wanzhou to start in August
The next phase of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case is scheduled to begin this summer and will stretch into next spring. A B.C. Supreme Court judge approved the scheduling on Tuesday, which was jointly submitted by Meng’s lawyers and Crown lawyers on behalf of the United States.
Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne announced on Tuesday that he has paid off two mortgages held by the Bank of China, which initially had a combined value of $1.7-million. Champagne said he did so to avoid any distractions.
Read more stories on China:
- ‘Failure to act now is tantamount to a historic betrayal’: Kovrig’s father says Ottawa must do everything in its power to free his son
- Opinion (Andrew Coyne): The minister has the power to free Meng. That doesn’t mean he should
Saskatchewan failing to do regular background checks on foster families, Auditor-General finds
Child-welfare agencies and the foster care system, which is overrepresented by Indigenous children, are facing renewed scrutiny as the country struggles to address issues of systemic racism. Saskatchewan’s Auditor-General found that the province has failed to conduct regular regular reviews and criminal record checks of foster families. Such delays could put foster children at risk if they are placed in homes that have not been vetted.
In Manitoba, the province is similarly working on its policies to do with child-welfare agencies. On Tuesday, the province announced that it would be cancelling a controversial practice that allowed hospitals to alert child-welfare agencies if they believed an expectant parent was high risk. The practice has long been criticized for targeting Indigenous families, especially considering that 90 per cent of Manitoba’s children in care are Indigenous.
Read more race-related stories:
- RCMP Commissioner faces grilling on systemic racism
- The woman who is fighting racism in hockey
- ‘Frank Oliver’s actions are not honourable’: Edmonton neighbourhood named after cabinet minister wants new name
- Opinion (Jaren Kerr): Renaming Dundas Street, or other landmarks, won’t help Black people
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Rising rates of COVID-19 in children, adolescents spark concerns about back-to-school plans: Younger Canadians are making up a larger proportion of total outbreaks, prompting concerns over the spread of the disease as daycares and schools plan to reopen.
COVID-19 outbreaks at meat plants build demand for mobile butchers: With coronavirus outbreaks slowing meat plants, more people are looking to buy meat directly from farmers despite health regulation concerns.
Ontario updates elementary math curriculum: The new curriculum comes as standardized test scores have stagnated or fallen, which stirred debate as to how the subject was taught.
Private funeral service held for Rayshard Brooks at historic Atlanta church: Mourners paid their final respects at the Atlanta church where Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. used to preach, taking part in a funeral that was also a remembrance of the long list of Black people who have been killed by police in recent years.
Gold shines as coronavirus surge unnerves investors: Gold prices surged to their highest in nearly eight years on Wednesday, while global shares cooled as signs of an acceleration in coronavirus cases kept investors on edge. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 2.36 per cent just after 6 a.m. ET. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were down 2.19 per cent and 1.97 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished 0.07 per cent lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended down 0.50 per cent. New York futures were weaker. The Canadian dollar was trading at 73.73 US cents.
WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
It’s time to bring more Indigenous voices into newsrooms
Megan Fowler and Rachel Pulfer: “The stories of discrimination echoing across social media in 2020 represent an urgent call to move media forward toward a truly non-discriminatory representation of Indigenous experiences in Canada. Success will require efforts at all levels, particularly from decision makers in the media.”
Quebec risks falling back into a deficit trap
Konrad Yakabuski: “Instead of cutting taxes in advance of the 2022 election, [Eric] Girard may face pressure to raise them if this year’s ‘temporary’ deficit becomes structural in nature.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Today at 1:00 p.m. EST
Join The Globe’s personal finance team and Stress Test podcast hosts Rob Carrick and Roma Luciw for an Instagram Live where they’ll answer your questions about housing and your personal finances amid the coronavirus.
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MOMENT IN TIME: June 24, 1880
Chant National/O Canada first sung
After Confederation, French Canadians wanted to show loyalty to their country, but there were few symbols of nationalism that they could rally behind. God Save the Queen was just too … English. In January of 1880, a clergyman suggested a competition to write a national anthem in time for June’s St. Jean Baptiste festivities. By April, a lyricist – Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier – and a composer – Calixa Lavallée – were chosen. The 28-bar anthem, written as a march with 4-4 time, was stirring. And on this day in 1880, before a group of 500 distinguished guests at a St. Jean Baptiste banquet at the skaters’ pavilion in Quebec City, Chant National, as the song was known, was performed by three bands conducted by Joseph Vézina. It sounded like poetry: O Canada! Terre de nos aïeux, Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux! The crowd loved it and the song became hugely popular in French Canada. However, the anthem didn’t catch on elsewhere until years later. The English-language version, by Robert Stanley Weir, didn’t arrive until 1908 and has been revised a few times; the French lyrics are mostly unchanged. Yet it wasn’t until 1980 that O Canada was proclaimed as the country’s official national anthem. Philip King