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A court transcript obtained by The Globe and Mail reveals that delays in the RCMP’s remote-work policy led to the collapse of a criminal case against a former Agriculture Canada scientist who was accused of taking illegal payments from China.

Yantai Gan was arrested in November, 2019, and charged with fraud, possession of stolen property, and breach of trust by a public official. His trial was expected to take place this spring, but a Saskatchewan court dismissed the case saying prosecutors did not complete their case within 30 months.

The Crown said an RCMP officer who had been tasked with gathering around 900 documents for disclosure to the defence was under orders to work from home at the time, and couldn’t access the force’s secure files.

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Agriculture and Agri-food Canada Headquarters in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

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Ottawa eyes ‘departure assistance’ from allies to get trapped Canadians out of Sudan

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said yesterday that Canada has military transport standing by to help people flee the growing conflict in Sudan, but it’s unclear if Canada will fly into the country to rescue its citizens or if the transport is for those Canadians who have already fled to neighbouring countries.

Germany and the United States have airlifted out Canadian citizens and diplomats in recent days as countries around the world race to extract their citizens from a conflict that UN Secretary-General António Guterres said could have wider repercussions.

What a Quebec family saw travelling the world before children lose eyesight

Thirteen countries, three continents and countless memories. That’s what Edith Lemay and Sébastien Pelletier saw and brought back home to Quebec with their four children after a year-long world tour.

The reason for the world trip was for the children to see the world before they lose their eyesight. Three of the four children have been diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare and incurable genetic condition that will eventually leave them blind. A specialist told the parents it would be a good idea to fill their children’s minds with visual memories, and they took the advice seriously.

Lemay documented the trip on social media for friends and family, but to her surprise, more than 100,000 people now follow their adventures on Instagram. The family has received proposals for a book, a movie and to give talks, but nothing is firm. Nothing except a six-week trip this summer.

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Also on our radar

Biden makes 2024 election run official: President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he will seek a second term in 2024. If successful, 80-year-old Biden will be the oldest ever U.S. president in the White House. In a slickly produced video released by his new campaign team, Biden said he wanted to finish the “battle for the soul of America.”

Teck scrambles to secure shareholder vote: With its biggest shareholder, China Investment Corp., not yet casting its vote and back-office problems, Teck’s plan to split the company in two and stave off a hostile takeover is uncertain, a source says.

Federal workers add new picket lines: The union representing federal public servants said yesterday that it had added 12 new picket lines, including at the Port of Vancouver and the Windsor border crossing, as there were no signs that the two sides are near a deal.

Female athletes say minister can no longer delay inquiry: Female athletes called on Sport Minister Pascale St-Onge to set up a public inquiry into abuse in Canadian sports, saying protection for whistle-blowers is needed so athletes don’t face repercussions for speaking out. Soccer, boxing and fencing athletes warned a committee of MPs yesterday that delays will lead to more athletes being harmed.

Premier says involuntary treatment ‘last resort’: Facing intense backlash from critics and health advocates, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said yesterday that involuntary treatment for people with severe drug addictions would be a “last resort,” but that her government is still looking at legislation that would expand the circumstances for such interventions.

Insurers report growing number of underwater loans: Falling house prices over the past year has chipped away at home equity and a rising number of Canadian homeowners now owe more than their homes are worth, according to financial disclosures from the country’s three major mortgage insurers.

Morning markets

Earnings dominate: World stocks fell on Tuesday, while the U.S. dollar got a lift as investors prepared for corporate earnings and macro data this week to paint a clearer picture of the health of the global economy. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.24 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 slid 0.13 per cent and 0.69 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.09 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.71 per cent. New York futures were negative. The Canadian dollar was lower at 73.66 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Editorial: “At the NATO meeting in July, promise that Canada will reach the 2-per-cent floor within a specified (and short) number of years. That would be a dramatic shift in spending priorities, and one that would require the Prime Minister to make a convincing case to the Canadian public. Mr. Trudeau should do so; it is his job. That is the test of effective leadership: to turn never into perhaps, and perhaps into concrete action.”

Barry Hertz: “But diminishing Carlson’s Fox News legacy to merely ‘controversial’ is offering a disservice to the historical record. He was not so much a product of political and cultural malfeasance as one of its chief purveyors. He was a pox on the many systems that we all too often take for granted, and while it might seem easy, even pleasurable, to try to forget him, it will be immensely difficult to rid his poisonous influence off the Western psyche.”

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Editorial cartoon by David Parkins, April 25, 2023.Illustration by David Parkin

Living better

Need a reason to cut back on sugar? Here are 45

Researchers in China and the United States have released a comprehensive evaluation of past studies on the effects of excessive consumption of sugar. Nutrition columnist Leslie Beck highlights what we need to know about the 45 harmful health effects of eating too much sugar.

Moment in time: April 25, 2021

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Chloe Zhao, winner of the awards for best picture and director for "Nomadland," poses in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, Pool)

Chloe Zhao poses in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station in Los Angeles.Chris Pizzello/The Associated Press

Chloé Zhao became the first person of colour to win the Academy Award for best director

When indie filmmaker Chloé Zhao won the Academy Award for best direction for Nomadland, starring Frances McDormand, she became the first woman of colour, the first woman of Asian descent, and only the second woman in Oscar’s (then) 93-year history to earn that distinction. The first was Kathryn Bigelow, who took home the gold statue for the war drama, Hurt Locker, in 2010. When Ms. Zhao made her acceptance speech, many Hollywood insiders thought the Chinese-born filmmaker might address the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science’s dismal track record of recognizing women directors. Instead, Ms. Zhao focused only on the positives: “This is for anyone who has the faith and the courage to hold out to the goodness in themselves and to hold out to the goodness in each other, no matter how difficult it is to do that.” The optimism carried through the following year when Jane Campion won best director for The Power of the Dog. Unfortunately, that momentum stalled in 2023 when the Oscars failed to nominate any women for directing, snubbing several viable contenders including Canadian Sarah Polley (who did win best adapted screenplay). Gayle MacDonald

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