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Toronto’s death toll from gun-related violence reached 25

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Police announced Wednesday that a man shot over the weekend had died in hospital, bringing Toronto’s death toll from gun violence to 25 this year. Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders and Mayor John Tory believe the majority of shootings to be gang-related. According to Paulos Gebreyesus, executive director of the Regent Park Community Health Centre, this weekend’s shootings are “interconnected,” and the product of “geographic conflicts” between neighbourhoods in Toronto that date back decades.

Here’s our editorial board’s take: “no amount of special police task forces will ever put an end to gang violence in Toronto, because the problem is far more complex than the number of officers on the street, the number of raids and arrests that are carried out, and the number of people who are carded. What is needed, what has always been needed, is for the city to address the abundant and self-evident social issues that lead young people to participate in gangs.”

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At least 17 have died in Quebec due to a week-long heat wave

Montreal prepares for its seventh day of dangerous heat on Thursday, with humidity expected to make the already high temperatures feel like the mid-40’s C. Twelve of the 17 victims were found in Montreal, while five died in other regions across the province. All of the victims were in vulnerable social positions: all lived in apartments without air conditioning, most lived alone, and many had underlying conditions such as mental illness or heart and lung disease. Intense heat has also swept Southern Ontario and Atlantic Canada, but neither region has reported any deaths. Montreal, unlike other jurisdictions, has a heat-response plan. David Kaiser, specialist with Montreal’s public-health department, says this has “allowed us to work better” than in 2010, when a heat wave caused more than 100 deaths in the city.

Canadians are prepared to boycott U.S. brands in retaliation against Trump’s trade war

A new poll by Nanos Research finds that over seven in ten Canadians are likely or somewhat likely to boycott U.S.-made goods in response to the tariffs Donald Trump placed on Canadian aluminum and steel (for subscribers). Nearly three in four Canadians are likely or somewhat likely to stop travelling to the U.S. for the same reason. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the trade war a threat to Canada’s national security, and has urged citizens to “discover our extraordinary country, to take vacations here at home, to continue to buy Canadian.”

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Purdue Pharma announced that it has stopped marketing opioids in Canada

After the federal government called on all drug companies to suspend marketing and advertising activities associated with opioids, the pharmaceutical giant’s CEO, David Pidduck, announced that it ceased promotion “relating to our prescription opioids” on June 20. The company triggered an overdose epidemic across North America with the creation and marketing of its prescription pain pill OxyContin in 1996. While the drug was pulled from the market in 2012, a range of other drugs have since taken its place, including fentanyl, which appeared on the streets that same year. In 2017, more than 4,000 Canadians died from opioid-related overdoses. Purdue is one of five drug companies to make this move in response to the federal government’s request.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Two British citizens fell ill to nerve agent used to poison a former Russian spy

After visiting Salisbury, a town where the spy and his daughter were struck in March, britons Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess, were critically sickened by Novichok, a nerve agent that authorities believe presents an unpredictable threat to the public. A witness to the victims’ poisoning says he saw Ms. Sturgess exhibit symptoms like pinpoint pupils, seizures, frothing at the mouth and hallucinations. Though police do not know whether the recent attack is connected to the one in March, the government of Britain has accused the Russian government of committing the attack. Neil Basu, Assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police says “the Counter Terrorism Policing Network is now leading the investigation into this incident,” with approximately 100 detectives currently working on the case.

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MORNING MARKETS

Markets mixed

European shares headed for a third day of gains on Thursday, as reassuring economic data from Germany and a report that its big car makers could be spared from U.S. tariffs offset another gloomy session for Asia. Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.8 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 0.2 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite 0.9 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were up by between 0.3 and 1.1 per cent by about 5:40 a.m. ET. New York futures were up. The Canadian dollar was holding steady at about 76 US cents. Oil fell after U.S. President Donald Trump demanded OPEC cut crude prices.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Profit vs. prudence: Food sector prepares for edible cannabis

“All it takes is one child eating a cannabis-infused product, and the damage to that food company would be irreversible. It is critical that a regulatory framework be put in place, which would include proper labelling of edibles, complete with THC content and intoxicant warnings, to assure both the public and industry that edibles and humans can co-exist safely. “ - Sylvain Charlebois

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Justice is not blind for Indigenous youth

“To correct its unjust youth justice system, Canada must shift responsibility for its philosophy and program delivery to Indigenous professionals. Its ultimate vision should be to have select institutions led by Indigenous professionals in every region, with a mandate to decolonize and heal Indigenous young offenders. This idea has been successful in places such as New Zealand, fed up with high Indigenous incarceration rates. When youth learn where they come from, understand how and why colonization happened and how it affects them today, and are supported in charting a better path for themselves, they have more chances to break cycles of crime.” - Max FineDay

In the tariff wars, VW’s build-cars-everywhere strategy now looks clever

“Most auto executives have zero interest in Rwanda and probably couldn’t find it on a map. And why would they? One of the smallest and poorest countries in Africa, it has no car industry and almost no car sales. The few who can afford cars pick up imported, second-hand bangers and drive them into the ground. Rwanda wasn’t too small to escape the attention of Volkswagen, which vies with Toyota for status as the world’s biggest – and most globalized – auto maker. Late last month, VW opened Rwanda’s first car plant in Kigali, the capital, where it will assemble a cheapo version of the small Polo hatchback. … If the tariff battle evolves into a global tariff war – there is no telling where it will go as tariffs breed retaliatory tariffs – VW no doubt will shift production to sites where tariffs can be avoided.” – Eric Reguly (for subscribers)

LIVING BETTER

A parent’s airplane etiquette rules – for other adults

Flying can be stressful. Flying in a seat next to someone who has little knowledge of airplane etiquette won’t help. From heavy sighers to in-air groomers, there are a few classic archetypes of impolite plane neighbours. Here’s what they look like, and how to avoid becoming one.

MOMENT IN TIME

Historical status requested for birthplace of hip hop

When Clive Campbell, known as DJ Kool Herc, was turning tables at 1520 Sedgewick Ave. in August, 1973, he had no idea that the Bronx apartment building would later be recognized as the birthplace of hip hop – much less that he’d be given credit for it. Trying out a new sound at his sister’s back-to-school party, he began “breaking” – emphasizing the percussive beat – and scratching his record so people could dance longer, while fellow performer Coke La Rock began rapping over the music. Thus, the sound that defined hip hop was born. But it wasn’t until July 5, 2007, that the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation requested that the building be deemed a historical entity. It was granted a few weeks later. Located along the Cross Bronx Expressway, a major freeway that displaced many residents, the building became known as an emblem of the affordable housing crisis in New York. After a struggle to keep it out of the hands of local real estate developers, it was purchased by Workforce Housing Group in 2011, which renovated the building and kept it as affordable housing. – Audrey Carleton

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