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Good morning,

There’s some news going on with China

On the trade front

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Canada has shelved the idea of a free-trade agreement with China, setting aside a priority that once dominated Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s bid to reset relations with the world’s second-largest economy.

Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne said a trade agreement with Beijing is no longer worth pursuing, but even though the talks have been stalled for several years, the move signals a less friendly posture toward Beijing.

A different kind of trade

More than 100 former diplomats have asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to intervene in the extradition case of high-profile Chinese tech executive Meng Wanzhou and allow her to return home.

The ex-foreign service officers suggest Trudeau should negotiate a swap for Canadian former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor, who have been incarcerated in China for 648 days in return for the daughter of Huawei’s founder.

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016.

Damir Sagolj/Reuters

This is the daily Morning Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for Morning Update and more than 20 more Globe newsletters on our newsletter signup page.

As demand for virus testing spikes, officials look for new methods

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Children in B.C. can now skip the deep-nasal swab and spit into a tube instead, an advance that comes as other parts of Canada grapple with a massive spike in demand for COVID-19 testing.

Hours-long lineups at assessment centres have prompted some experts to demand an overhaul of how Canada tests for the virus.

Alberta, the first province to allow anyone who wanted a test to get one, has already started with reserving tests for people who are sick or have come into contact with a confirmed case.

Globe analysis: Ontario families living in more racialized neighbourhoods less likely to send children back into classroom

The Globe analyzed the percentage of remote learners for hundreds of schools across the Greater Toronto Area, identifying patterns related to income, race, density of housing and COVID-19 cases.

School districts in Toronto, Peel, York Region and Hamilton-Wentworth represent more than a quarter of the student population in the province. The data reveals regional differences, suggesting the government’s back-to-school approach of offering a choice between online learning and in-class instruction could be forcing people with the fewest resources into unfamiliar learning environments.

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Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop


U of T law dean denies offering scholar job and caving to pressure: The dean of the University of Toronto’s law school is denying allegations that he rescinded a job offer to an international scholar because of political interference from a judge on the Tax Court of Canada, over the scholar’s work on Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Family outraged by decision to downgrade charges in death of Anishinaabe woman: The sister of Barbara Kentner who was hit with a trailer hitch as she walked down a Thunder Bay street says she was blindsided by the Crown’s plan to drop a second-degree murder charge against the man accused of killing her sibling.

McMaster professor embroiled in White House controversy over reports he attempted to muzzle scientists: Paul Elias Alexander demanded the power to edit COVID-19 documents from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and accused CDC staff of attempting to “hurt” U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trudeau urged to end arms exports to Saudi Arabia after Canada cited for fuelling Yemen war: Combat vehicles of the kind that Canada’s federal government brokered to be sold to Saudi Arabia have been spotted in the Yemeni conflict, in which Riyadh is leading a fight against Houthi rebels believed to be supported by Iran.

As cases rise, B.C. unveils $2-billion economic-recovery plan: The province will invest more than $2-billion in an economic-recovery plan that aims to avert additional job losses owing to the pandemic.

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A cautious mood prevailed in trading on Friday, with stocks struggling due to concern about the coronavirus and central banks' muted signals on economic stimulus. In choppy trade, European stock markets were 0.2% lower, with travel & leisure stocks leading losses.

The U.S. dollar extended overnight losses and was down 0.1%, set for a weekly loss, while the yen stayed close to a seven-week high and the yuan gained 1% for the week on a strong winning streak.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.5%. Stocks in China made their strongest gains in three weeks, with the CSI300 index adding 2.2%, a move led by financial companies. The U.S.-heavy MSCI world shares index was up 0.1%, heading for its first weekly gain in three weeks, signalling a stemming of Thursday’s losses on Wall Street.


Cuties is an unnecessarily exploitative film – but it’s also a victim of our impossible zeitgeist

Robyn Urback: Cuties might have been a poorly conceived, kind-of-gross film with a warmed-over message in the best of times, but promoted within the current zeitgeist, it’s a symbol of everything wrong with humanity.”

Chrystia Freeland should heed debt warnings before it’s too late

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Konrad Yakabuski: “With the federal deficit already hurtling toward $400-billion this year, or nearly 20 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, Canadians risk a rude awakening once the pandemic subsides and financial markets begin once again focusing on economic fundamentals.”


Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


Who owns and uses your wellness spaces?


Wellness has been exclusionary and it’s starting to show.

The industry’s stars – including Goop’s Gwyneth Paltrow and Fabletics' Kate Hudson – are overwhelmingly white, and mainstream wellness companies rarely target Black, Indigenous and people of colour, likely because of the perception that they can’t, or won’t, spend money in these spaces.

But the idea that wellness isn’t for these folks ignores their spending power and the fact that many of these practices, from yoga to nutrition, were appropriated from other cultures in the first place.

MOMENT IN TIME: Sept. 18, 1899

Scott Joplin is granted copyright for Maple Leaf Rag

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Sheet music cover for "Maple Leaf Rag" by Scott Joplin (John Stark & Son, c.1899).

Library of Congress

What may seem today to be a quaint musical relic was a raging phenomenon in its time. A song that appears as simply gleeful and good-timey is actually an elegant, genre-setting piece in A-flat major. The elite syncopation of Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag (possibly named for a short-lived social club in Sedalia, Mo.) changed the composer’s life and had a profound effect on American music. The term “rag” is short for ragtime, a bouncy pianistic style notable for its spry or “ragged” rhythm. Although peppy, ragtime music was made for listening, not dancing. Maple Leaf Rag was not Joplin’s first published rag, but it was the first big success for the son of a former slave, topping the million mark in sales of sheet music, according to some reports. The rag was certainly at the vanguard of a bona fide worldwide trend; a major newspaper at the turn of the century declared, “Paris has gone ragtime wild.” Unlike many fads, ragtime and its iconic masterpiece was in fashion for years. Joplin’s goal of creating distinctly American works that would be both popular and classic was realized. Brad Wheeler

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