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Rival NBA teams boycotted their playoff games on Wednesday in a bold and united protest against police brutality and racial injustice.

After news of another Black citizen – Jacob Blake – being shot by police in America, the Milwaukee Bucks decided to boycott Game 5 of their first-round series against the Orlando Magic Wednesday afternoon. Other teams slated to play their Game 5s on Wednesday quickly followed suit, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets, the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers. The boycotts come a day after the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics said they might sit out Game 1 of their highly anticipated Eastern Conference semi-final series on Thursday night.

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Teams in other sports leagues — including the WNBA, MLB and MLS — also followed. Tennis player Naomi Osaka pulled out from Western & Southern Open shortly before the tournament’s organizers decided to postpone today’s matches entirely.

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Aug 23, 2020; Florida, USA: Toronto Raptors and head coach Nick Nurse kneel for the national anthem before game four of the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at The Field House.

Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

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Quebec forges ahead with controversial school reopening plan

Despite being hit hard by COVID-19, Quebec is pushing forward with mandatory in-person learning, except for those with a medical note. The government believes that physical schooling can be done safely, pointing somewhat to the partial reopening this spring when the province only saw a few dozen cases of infections in schools.

With anxiety spiking among parents, Montreal lawyer Julius Grey filed a legal challenge last week on behalf of those who want the option of enrolling their kids in online learning courses without a doctor’s note. That option is available in Ontario, the next hardest-hit province.

More on back-to-school news

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Liberals falling down on fixing solitary confinement, critics say

Prison watchdogs say they are disappointed by the unravelling of an expert panel that the Liberals convened a year ago to assure the public that the government could live up to its promises to do away with solitary confinement.

In 2019, the Liberal-led Parliament passed a prison-reform law that created structured intervention units (SIU) as a more humane alternative to the solitary-confinement practices that Canada’s courts have long condemned. But the volunteer panel submitted a report in July to the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) saying the members had no real insights into the new system because the CSC had spent months denying them the data they needed.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Police watchdog clears Toronto officers in Regis Korchinski-Paquet’s death: After a three-month investigation, Ontario’s police watchdog has decided against criminally charging the six Toronto Police officers who were present during the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a Ukrainian-Afro-Indigenous woman who fell from her 24th-floor balcony. Her family said they are “totally disgusted” with the investigation’s outcome.

Champagne optimistic about consular services for Kovrig, Spavor: Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne expressed cautious optimism that consular services may be restored for Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, two Canadians charged with espionage and imprisoned in China. This came after a lengthy and surprising meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Italy.

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Saudi Arabia detains another relative of former intelligence official: Khalid Aljabri, a physician trained in Canada, says Saudi Arabia arrested his brother-in-law, Salem Almuzaini, without charge or justifiable cause on Aug. 24. They are related to Saad Aljabri, a former top Saudi counterintelligence chief who has faced assassination attempts from the regime.

Catholic diocese failed to protect against abuse: A B.C. Supreme Court judge has awarded $844,000 to a woman who was repeatedly sexually assaulted by her Catholic priest in the 1970s and failed by the local church leadership, which ignored rumours of the man’s sexual misconduct with other parishioners before the woman joined the community.

Hyperloops not yet realistic: Hyperloops “may fall short” as an option to transport Canadians from city to city, says a new report commissioned by Transport Canada. The report came a day after Alberta and a Toronto-based hyperloops developer announced a MOU to study the commercial application of this futuristic transportation mode, which aims to carry passengers in levitating tubes at 1,000 kilometres an hour.


MORNING MARKETS

European shares fall: European shares opened lower on Thursday as investors focused on the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair’s speech at the virtual Jackson Hole conference later in the session. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.44 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.43 per cent and 0.67 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.35 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.83 per cent. New York futures were lower. The Canadian dollar was trading at 76.04 US cents.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Despite its blatant hypocrisy, the Republican convention could be a springboard to Trump’s comeback

Lawrence Martin: “Initially it looked like this might be a convention aimed at appealing only to Mr. Trump’s base. Advisers however appear to have convinced him he has to broaden his appeal. Hence the effort to soften his image with his attempted outreach to female voters and minorities.”

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Canada needs to walk the talk on migrant rights

Lea Matheson: “Canada has been a leader in establishing international standards on migration, but our country’s treatment of migrant workers runs counter to its international commitments and threatens to damage its global reputation.”

A legal reckoning in the gig economy is good news for workers

Editorial board: “Last year, this page made the case that low-skill and low-income people have it hard enough in the new economy without it also robbing them of basic rights and forcing down their wages. There should be an answer that allows the convenient offerings of app-based companies to continue, without the costs being shouldered by the workers who most need protection.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

Margaret Atwood introduces Graeme Gibson’s Perpetual Motion and Gentleman Death

Margaret Atwood: “The protagonist, Robert Fraser, is a man of enthusiasms, like Graeme, and his frustrations and crackpot obsessions have at least a cousinly relationship to Graeme’s. So do the black flies and thunderstorms and recalcitrant cows that plague him.”

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MOMENT IN TIME: AUGUST 27, 1953

Alex Lifeson, left, and Geddy Lee on stage in 1975 from "RUSH: BEYOND THE LIGHTED STAGE", an Alliance Films release.

Courtesy of Alliance Films

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson is born

When Rush signed a five-album record deal in 1973, “We thought, ‘We’re going to be making records for five years! This is unbelievable!’” guitarist Alex Lifeson says. It was just a beginning. As Lifeson celebrates – or acknowledges – his 67th birthday, he’s marked the 40th anniversary of several albums in recent years. The renowned Toronto trio put out 20 studio LPs, stretching to 2012, and Rush toured worldwide until 2015 (drummer and lyricist Neil Peart contracted brain cancer and died this past January). Unlike artists who have only a brief creative flurry, Rush kept pushing themselves. Permanent Waves (1980) and Moving Pictures (1981) were a transition from full-blown 1970s progressive rock to shorter songs. “We made that commitment to become more economical,” Lifeson says. Yet, in many ways, the music and lyrics got more challenging. Bassist and vocalist Geddy Lee played more synthesizer, and as the music kept evolving, the three still performed it onstage by themselves. That required them to work foot pedals, electronic sequencers and other gear, as well as play their core instruments through three-hour shows. “I had to get my right knee replaced.” Lifeson says. Age sometimes brings aches and pains – as well as satisfaction and acclaim. John Daly

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