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A prominent Vatican cardinal from Quebec, long considered a top candidate for the papacy, is one of dozens of clergy members facing allegations of sexual assault as part of a class-action lawsuit against his former diocese.

The cardinal, Marc Ouellet, a former archbishop of Quebec City and a member of Pope Francis’s inner circle, is accused of inappropriately massaging and touching a woman’s lower back over the course of several public events between August, 2008, and February, 2010. She was an intern at the time, serving as a pastoral agent in the diocese.

Her allegations are contained in a statement of claim made public Tuesday as part of the class-action lawsuit. The plaintiffs allege that at least 85 members of the Quebec City diocese committed sexual assaults from the 1940s onward against more than 100 victims, most of whom say they were minors when the attacks took place. The allegations have not been tested in court.

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Canadian cardinal Marc Ouellet walks in St Peter's Square before an afternoon meeting of pre-conclave at the Vatican, March 7, 2013.VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images

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Falling gas prices fuel drop in inflation, but rising cost of groceries, rent put pressure on households

Canadian inflation slowed in July as consumers paid less for gasoline, but prices for many everyday items grew at faster rates, showing how cost-of-living pressures remain a threat to household budgets.

The Consumer Price Index rose 7.6 per cent in July from a year earlier, Statistics Canada said yesterday. That was down from 8.1 per cent in June, the highest inflation rate in nearly 40 years. On a monthly basis, the change in CPI was the smallest since December, 2021.

Gas prices, while still much higher than last year, fell 9.2 per cent in July from June, making the biggest contribution to lower headline inflation. Other details in the report were less encouraging. Groceries rose at an annual rate of 9.9 per cent, up from 9.4 per cent in June. Rents increased 4.9 per cent, the most since 1989. And natural gas prices jumped by a whopping 43 per cent, which Statscan attributed in part to the Ontario Energy Board’s approval of rate increases.

Vancouver will host world’s most celebrated physicists to discuss quantum gravity

In October, 1927, a group of academics assembled outside the Solvay International Institute for Physics in Brussels for what has since been called the most intelligent picture ever taken.

Among those in attendance were Albert Einstein, Neils Bohr and Marie Curie, along with 26 other leading physicists, more than half of whom had already won or were on their way to winning a Nobel prize. They were there to discuss quantum mechanics – then a revolutionary new theory of matter and light – and its troubling discordance with Einstein’s description of gravity, known as general relativity.

Almost 95 years later, the same puzzle is motivating another meeting of minds under way this week in Vancouver, where organizers hope to renew the push to unite quantum mechanics with general relativity and create an overarching mathematical framework that explains all known phenomena.

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Also on our radar

Mounties stand by political-interference allegations against RCMP commissioner: Nova Scotia Mounties have told Parliament that RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki put politics ahead of policing after Canada’s deadliest mass shooting when she pressed her investigators to make disclosures about firearms in a bid to reinforce the Liberal government’s gun-control agenda.

Anti-terror laws hinder humanitarian work in Afghanistan, organizations say: Humanitarian groups say the federal government should exempt their on-the-ground work in Afghanistan from its anti-terror law, warning that Ottawa’s current policies are preventing them from delivering crucial aid to people in desperate need. The law also hinders the work of groups helping evacuate Afghans to Canada.

Training program could boost mental-health support in Nunavut: In Nunavut, where most providers of front-line mental-health services are English-speaking Southerners, Our Life’s Journey, or OLJ, trains Inuit to provide talk therapy delivered in Inuktitut and rooted in Inuit values. Now the federal and territorial governments, have tapped the program to train a new work force of Inuit counsellors for the Nunavut Recovery Centre, the first residential addictions and trauma treatment facility in the territory.

Questions raised about LaFlamme’s departure from CTV News: Before her ouster as anchor of CTV National News this week, Lisa LaFlamme presided over one of the most-watched newscasts in Canada, whose ratings significantly outpaced competitors – raising questions about the rationale presented by CTV’s parent company, Bell Media, which referred to the abrupt change as a business decision.

Liz Cheney loses Wyoming Republican primary to Trump-backed candidate: Liz Cheney was trounced in her congressional renomination bid yesterday, as Wyoming Republicans gave their tacit endorsement to Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

How Taiwan’s semiconductor dominance might protect it from invasion: Beijing considers Taiwan part of its sovereign territory, and it has not ruled out seizing the island by force. While an invasion is by no means imminent, the vanishing prospect of Beijing achieving its goal peacefully suggests war seems inevitable at some point. Any conflict over Taiwan would be devastating for the Taiwanese people and the rest of East Asia – but also for the global economy, not least because of the island’s stranglehold on semiconductor manufacturing.

Morning markets

Inflation, U.S. retail earnings offer direction for global markets: World shares edged up on Wednesday taking comfort from strong U.S. retail earnings even though the U.K.’s highest inflation since 1982 and a rate hike in New Zealand reminded investors of the challenges facing the global economy. Just after 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 slid 0.18 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.47 per cent and 0.29 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei jumped 1.23 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.46 per cent. New York futures were modestly lower. The Canadian dollar was trading at 77.65 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Andrew Coyne: “It should not need explaining why it’s a bad idea for governments to abandon the rule of law. Without the law, there is no order, and without order there is no freedom, but only a war of all against all. If the government claims the right to ignore some laws, what’s to stop it from ignoring others? If it is all right for the provincial government to pick and choose which laws to obey, why may not others assert the same right?”

Rita Trichur: “Instead of deriding them as the TikTok generation, Gen Z deserves our respect. These young workers have a self-awareness that is strikingly absent in their workplace elders. We should all learn from them.”

Today’s editorial cartoon

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David Parkins/The Globe and Mail

Living better

Fall travel guide: Four cheap U.S. destinations to visit during the off-season

There’s plenty to see across the U.S. this fall, and the season is a great time to visit destinations that are prohibitively hot in the summer or extremely busy in the winter. Here are four U.S. destinations to put on your to-visit list.

Moment in time: Aug. 17, 1960

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The Beatles, from left, Roy Young, guest pianist, drummer Pete Best, singer-guitarist John Lennon, singer-bassist Paul McCartney and guitarist George Harrison, perform at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany.K & K Ulf Kruger OHG/Redferns / Getty Images

Beatles first performance

The history of the Beatles is filled with firsts. The first British tours that sparked Beatlemania. The first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show that catapulted the band to international superstardom. But before all of that, there was Hamburg. The band – pre-Ringo Starr and still including Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe – played its first live show as the Beatles at the seedy Indra club in the St. Pauli district of Hamburg, Germany. The band was inexperienced and had failed to find much success in Britain. In Hamburg, the Beatles honed their skills playing hundreds of times over two years: Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Little Richard – anything the crowds could dance to. “It was Hamburg that did it,” John Lennon would later say in The Beatles Anthology retrospective project. “That’s where we really developed.” Mr. Sutcliffe left the band in 1961 and died soon after. Mr. Best was fired the next year and replaced by Mr. Starr, finalizing the lineup two years after the first Hamburg show. The band’s growing reputation and skill led to music producer George Martin and their debut album Please Please Me in 1963. The rest is rock and roll history. Tahmeed Shafiq

Read today's horoscopes. Enjoy today's puzzles.

Editor’s note: An earlier version identified George Martin as the Beatles’ manager. He was, in fact, the group’s music producer.

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