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The Amstor shopping mall that had long been the commercial heart of the city of Kremenchuk, Ukraine, was reduced to a smouldering mess yesterday after it was struck by a pair of Russian missiles. At least 16 people were killed, a number that was expected to continue to rise as an unknown number of shoppers were believed to be buried beneath the wreckage of the shopping centre’s roof, which collapsed on top of them as they tried to escape the blazing mall.

Hours after the attack on Kremenchuk, smoke was still rising from the twisted metal and broken cement that once was a collection of dozens of smaller shops under the Amstor roof: among them a popular grocer, a trendy jeans store, a pet shop and a jeweller. On one clothing rack that somehow remained upright after the blast, an “Air Jordan” Nike sweatshirt still hung, blackened by soot.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that as many as 1,000 people were in the mall at the time of the attack, and that it was “impossible to even imagine the number of victims.” In his evening video message, Zelensky said, “This is not an accidental hit, this is a calculated Russian strike exactly onto this shopping centre.”

Walking through the wreckage of the mall, Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the country’s Interior Minister, said, “A large number of people have died. Almost everyone who was inside. How can we know how many?”

Rescuers move the debris of Amstor mall in Kremenchuk, Ukraine on June 27, 2022.Anton Skyba/The Globe and Mail

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Pope Francis’s visit to former residential school in Alberta sparks mixed emotions

Chief Wilton Littlechild has heard more than 7,000 testimonies from residential school survivors who stress the need for survivors to have a meaningful, personal apology from the Catholic Church for the abuse they suffered.

Next month, after years of effort by Littlechild and others, Pope Francis is expected to extend that apology in person on First Nations territory, when he visits a former residential school site in Maskwacis, south of Edmonton. It will be the Pope’s only visit to a former residential school site in Canada.

For Littlechild, an international chief and former member of Parliament from Maskwacis, who spent 14 years in residential school, this is a moment of mixed emotions. He said he received the news of the Pope’s visit with joy and gratitude, “but also with a sense of great responsibility to the students, survivors who went ahead on their spirit journey” and are not alive to hear the apology.

Louisiana, Utah judges temporarily block ‘trigger’ abortion bans

State courthouses have become a new legal battleground for those seeking to maintain pregnancy termination services in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wadewith Louisiana and Utah the first to order a temporary reversal of local bans.

Courts in both states said trigger bans – laws that made abortion largely illegal after the Supreme Court rescinded a constitutional right to the procedure – would be lifted pending further legal scrutiny. In Utah, a district judge issued a 14-day temporary restraining order, citing “irreparable harm” to women from the state’s abortion ban. In Louisiana, a district judge ordered an injunction on the abortion ban until another hearing on July 8, and abortion providers in the state plan to reopen today.

Health care providers and advocates elsewhere have filed suit in state courts to block local laws following the Supreme Court’s decision to leave abortion legislation to state discretion. Researchers say 26 states are either certain or likely to ban abortion in most instances.

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Also on our radar

NATO to boost number of high-alert soldiers eightfold to 300,000 to protect eastern flank from Russia: On the eve of a crucial summit in Madrid, NATO announced yesterday that it will boost its rapid-reaction forces almost eightfold, to 300,000 troops. NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called this decision the “biggest overhaul of collective defence and deterrence” since the Cold War ended.

46 dead, 16 hospitalized after trailer of migrants found in south Texas: A tractor-trailer rig was found in southwest San Antonio containing suspected migrants, 46 of whom died in what may be the deadliest attempt to cross the U.S. border from Mexico in recent decades.

Jan. 6 committee calls surprise hearing for Tuesday to present recently obtained evidence: The surprise hearing at 1 p.m. ET today is anticipated to bring new bombshells, as it was scheduled abruptly this week by the House Jan. 6 panel to present what they say is recently obtained evidence.

Critics need to accept change in the Conservative Party: Elmer MacKay Responding to comments made by former Conservative senator Marjory LeBreton and prime minister Brian Mulroney about the direction of the Conservative Party in the current leadership race, veteran cabinet minister Elmer MacKay said that the party had not lost its direction, but was evolving.

How the world’s ‘most high-profile kleptocracy case’ didn’t stop the sale of this Hong Kong penthouse: Inside some of Hong Kong’s swankiest property developments lies a secret: funds from dubious sources can be stored and laundered through a web of companies selling these expensive penthouses. The sale of a particular $68.4-million penthouse, discovered by The Globe and Mail during a review of land registry documents, is being reported for the first time.


Morning markets

World market edges up: China announced easing quarantine requirements for international travellers, moving global shares into the green as optimism strengthened in the world’s economic recovery from COVID-19 restrictions. Around 5:45 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 1.09 per cent, and Germany’s DAX grew 0.99 per cent. France’s CAC 40 advanced 1.06 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.66 per cent and 0.85 per cent, respectively. U.S. futures were higher. The Canadian dollar was trading at 77.91 U.S. cents.


What everyone’s talking about

André Picard: “It is a fallacy to say that abortion is unregulated in Canada. There are many rules. All the more reason we don’t need rigid laws. No criminal law is needed to determine who is eligible for a prostate cancer surgery or a vasectomy, and none should exist to determine who can get a tubal litigation or an abortion.”

Fahad Razak, Arthur Slutsky and David Naylor: “Combatting these negative narratives is important for two reasons. A difficult fall looms, with multiple respiratory viruses likely to be circulating, and policy-makers need to find new strategies to improve Canada’s vaccine uptake of the essential third dose for adults (currently 59 per cent), and second-dose vaccinations for children age five to 11 (currently 42 per cent). Any strategy must sustain outreach to marginalized groups, and include family doctors, who are trusted front line sources of expertise.”


Today’s editorial cartoon

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


Living better

From amateur to master in 19 months: All it takes is discipline to excel at chess

At 19 years old, Isaac Wiebe of Winnipeg took on a radical experiment. In the span of 19 months, the average chess player with a class C rating set about studying 200 tactical chess combinations and puzzles to boost his skills. His hard work came with a big payoff: In a little over a year, Wiebe gained 700 official rating points and vaulted into master status with the Chess Federation of Canada. To those interested in emulating his path to chess success, he says it’s doable. Here’s what Wiebe had to say about his road to success – along with an opportunity to try your hand at studying Wiebe’s skills firsthand.


Moment in time: June 28, 1934

On June 28, 1934, an Edmonton Journal photographer snapped a picture of Abram and Elizabeth Fehr and their seven children, one of them a three-month-old baby in his mother’s arms, stranded in front of their car and trailer in Edmonton’s Market Square.My Epic Journey/Facebook

Fehr family photograph is taken

They were the poster family of the “Dirty Thirties” in Western Canada. On this day in 1934, an Edmonton Journal photographer snapped a picture of Abram and Elizabeth Fehr and their seven children, one of them a three-month-old baby in his mother’s arms, stranded in front of their car and trailer in Edmonton’s Market Square. Just two years earlier, the Fehrs, Mennonites from Neuanlage north of Saskatoon, had sold everything they owned, bought an old car and headed for the promise of a new start in Alberta’s Peace River Country. But life in northern Alberta was barely better, and they decided to return to Saskatchewan in the late spring of 1934. By the time the Fehrs reached Edmonton, they were hungry, broke and destitute. Several of the children were barefoot. Two policemen in the city found the family – the most pitiful case they had ever encountered – and took them to the station, where the Salvation Army attended to their needs before they continued their way home. Since then, the Fehr photograph has been regularly featured in Canadian history textbooks. It’s a poignant reminder of how Prairie families somehow managed to get through those bleak years – an experience they never forgot. Bill Waiser


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