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Israel launched an hours-long ground raid into northern Gaza overnight into Thursday, the military said, striking militant targets in order to “prepare the battlefield” ahead of a widely expected ground invasion after more than two weeks of conflict. Follow our live updates.

Israel also said it had carried out about 250 airstrikes across Gaza in the last 24 hours, targeting tunnel shafts, rocket launchers and other militant infrastructure.

During the overnight raid, soldiers killed fighters and destroyed militant infrastructure and anti-tank missile launching positions, the military said. It said no Israelis were wounded and there was no immediate confirmation of Palestinian casualties.

The raid came after the UN warned it is on the verge of running out of fuel in the Gaza Strip, forcing it to sharply curtail relief efforts in the territory, which has also been under a complete siege since Hamas’ bloody rampage across southern Israel ignited the war earlier this month.

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Palestinians gather at the site of Israeli strikes on houses, as the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, October 26, 2023.MOHAMMED SALEM/Reuters

‘Anywhere we go, war is following us’: Those who fled Ukraine face a new conflict zone in Israel

Dozens of Jewish-Ukrainian children in a youth centre outside of Tel Aviv are recovering after fleeing war for the second time in two terrifying years.

On Feb. 24, 2022, the children, who were living in a group home in northern Ukraine, were awakened by explosions as Russia began its invasion. With enemy troops attacking their country from three directions, a plan was quickly developed to evacuate the more than 100 kids and the group home’s staff to what seemed like the safety of Israel.

But on Oct. 7, 40 of those children would live through a nightmare again when air-raid sirens screamed over their new home in the southern Israeli port city of Ashkelon as Hamas fighters poured into Israel, killing and kidnapping men, women and children.

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Bombardier Inc. president and CEO Eric Martel is seen in front of the Global 7500 business jet in Montreal on March 29, 2022.CHRISTINNE MUSCHI/Reuters

Ottawa’s plans to buy Boeing jets based on ‘flawed’ information, Bombardier CEO says

The federal government’s plan to buy $10-billion worth of new military surveillance aircraft from Boeing, a U.S. company, is based on “highly flawed and invalid information,” Eric Martel, chief executive officer of Bombardier, said in an interview with The Globe and Mail.

Martel said Ottawa seems to have made up its mind on purchasing the jets from Boeing in a sole-source contract without a formal request for proposals. The move is short-sighted and will hurt the country as Bombardier and other domestic players try to build out their defence potential in the years ahead, he says.

Bombardier and several other Canadian manufacturers have been pushing for an open competition to supply the government’s Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft project, which aims to find a replacement for the military’s CP-140 Aurora planes. The contract, estimated to be worth $6-billion to $10-billion, is one of the largest military procurements in years.

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Bank of Canada holds rate steady, trims growth forecast as inflation risks rise

The Bank of Canada held its benchmark interest rate steady at 5 per cent yesterday but left the option open to further increases, as its latest forecast showed both weaker economic growth and more-persistent inflation.

After 10 rate hikes since March, 2022, higher borrowing costs are having their intended effect as Canadian consumers are pulling back on spending, unemployment is up and economic growth has slowed to a crawl. This means supply and demand in the Canadian economy are “now approaching balance,” the central bank said in its rate announcement.

But the negative growth outlook doesn’t mean inflationary pressures have disappeared. The bank increased its near-term forecast for inflation, highlighting a rise in housing costs and energy prices, as well as a risk that the conflict in Israel and Gaza will escalate and push global oil prices even higher.

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Also on our radar

At least 16 dead in Maine shooting: A man opened fire at a bowling alley and a bar in Lewiston, Maine yesterday killing at least 16 people and wounding dozens as the city was engulfed in chaos. The suspect remained at large as authorities ordered residents and business owners to stay inside and off the streets.

Freeland to meet with provinces over CPP: Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said she will meet with her provincial and territorial counterparts to discuss the future of the Canadian Pension Plan, as Alberta considers pulling out of the CPP while saying that the province would be entitled to more than half the plan’s assets.

Agency paid millions to IT firms after complaints: Three IT companies were paid more than $17-million by the Canada Border Services Agency even after the agency received allegations accusing the businesses of contracting misconduct.

Alberta on the hook for tens of millions in medication: Alberta is unlikely to receive most of the children’s pain-relief medication it procured from Turkey because Health Canada says it won’t approve further shipments at this time after resolving the unprecedented drug shortage. Only 30 per cent of the 5 million units of medication paid for by the province was ever shipped to Alberta and even less has actually been used.

India resumes processing visas for Canadians: The government of India has resumed processing visa applications by Canadians after suspending the service in response to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s accusation of India of being behind the slaying of Hardeep Singh Nijjar this past June in British Columbia.

Shooter had history of domestic violence, police say: The gunman who shot and killed a woman and three children in Sault Ste. Marie this week before killing himself had previously been the subject of domestic violence complaints, police confirmed yesterday.

Morning markets

High yields pressure stocks: U.S. Treasury yields were heading back towards 5% on Thursday, dragging shares around the world to multi-month lows in the middle of a busy week for corporate earnings, with an ECB meeting and the release of U.S. GDP to come later in the day. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.55 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 slid 1.05 per cent and 0.66 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished down 2.14 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.24 per cent. New York futures were negative. The Canadian dollar was fairly steady at 72.50 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Campbell Clark: “Mr. Trudeau’s entourage tells Liberal MPs there is still time to turn things around, but there are few forces in politics more potent than a groundswell for change. And polls say even a lot of Liberal voters want him to go. But then there’s another question: Are there any viable candidates for the Liberal leadership who represent change from Mr. Trudeau’s government? If the party is stuck with being Trudeau Liberals, is there anyone better to sell it than Justin Trudeau?”

Lawrence Martin: “Aside from attacking Mr. Trudeau, Mr. Poilievre mainly offers generalities on his own intentions. That may be okay in normal times, but these are far from normal times. Before long, he could be making decisions on whether Canada goes to war, decisions like those made around Iraq and Afghanistan. With the world aflame, Canadians need a better idea of his thinking on China, Ukraine, India, the Middle East, our existing climate agreements and our commitment to NATO to spend 2 per cent of our GDP on defence.”

Cathal Kelly: “If the Jays thought Moreno wasn’t worth keeping, they must know what they’re talking about, right? These guys never shut up about the NASA-level science they are applying to player evaluation and development. They couldn’t get something this basic about a player they had seen every day for many years wrong, could they? Moreno was a good, though not spectacular, player for Arizona during this regular season. A promising beginner with a strong defensive bent. Once the playoffs started, he became Johnny Bench. Moreno is hitting like a metronome, as well as holding down the Diamondbacks’ wobbly pitching staff.”

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Editorial cartoon by David Parkins, Oct. 26, 2023.Illustration by David Parkins

Living better

There’s no shame in loving all things pumpkin spice

The pumpkin spice latte turned 20 this season. Pumpkin spice has generated an exceptional level of ire, representing for some big-box consumerism and cultural vapidity. But there’s enough guilt and shame associated with what we eat. Let people have their small pleasures and their affordable traditions that bring comfort and help them feel grounded in an unstable world, wherever they can find them. Here’s a great recipe for pumpkin spice mini doughnuts.

Moment in time: Oct. 26, 1908

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Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier on the campaign trail in Niagara Falls, Ont. on September 15, 1908.The Globe and Mail

Wilfrid Laurier’s Liberals win fourth majority

It was one of the nastiest federal elections in Canadian political history. In October, 1908, the Liberals, seeking a fourth consecutive mandate, tried to campaign on what they had accomplished during their 12 years in office and the need to let Wilfrid Laurier finish the job. But the Conservatives could smell blood. In the lead-up to the election, opposition leader Robert Borden and his front bench had hammered away at rumoured Liberal corruption in what became known as the “scandal sessions.” Once the writs were issued, the Conservatives amplified their attack by unleashing a steady barrage of open-ended accusations of fraud and graft – even if they lacked supporting evidence. When Laurier publicly bemoaned the muckraking tactics, suggesting that the Conservatives had nothing else to offer, they responded, “But who made the muck?” The Conservative charges were not enough to topple the Liberals, not even deny them another majority win, even though the popular vote was close. Laurier was returned to power this day with 135 seats to the Conservative 85. A Montreal newspaper, in assessing the results, complained “the Liberals have not even got the scare they should have had.” Bill Waiser

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