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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discounted the effectiveness of Chinese election interference and questioned the reliability of intelligence by Canada’s spy agency about Beijing-directed influence operations during testimony at the public inquiry into foreign meddling.

Trudeau was the final witness in the first phase of the foreign-interference inquiry that was set up last September after concerted pressure from the main opposition parties as well as media stories outlining a sophisticated Chinese operation to influence the 2019 and 2021 elections.

He played down the reliability of information gathered by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, including notes for a Feb. 21, 2023, briefing to the Prime Minister’s Office that was tabled at the public inquiry Tuesday. That document said Beijing had “clandestinely and deceptively interfered” in both the 2019 and 2021 general elections.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau testifies before the Commission on Foreign Interference in elections and democratic institutions in Ottawa on April 10, 2024.ASHLEY FRASER/Getty Images

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Under constant threat of Hezbollah fire, residents of Israeli town welcome wider war as path to peace

After six months of brutal war, Shlomi, like much of Israel, stands at a precipitous crossroads. The town close to the border with Lebanon is caught between a yearning for peace, an eagerness to vanquish enemies – and a fear of revenge from Iran and the heavily armed surrogates it has amassed around Israel’s borders. Nathan VanderKlippe reports on the rising rhetoric from Iran and Israel about strikes and counterstrikes as tensions run high near the border of Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Israeli aircraft has killed three sons of Hamas’s top political leader in the Gaza Strip, striking high-stakes targets at a time when Israel is holding delicate ceasefire negotiations with the militant group. Hamas said four of the leader’s grandchildren were also killed.

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Marina Rwshrwsh and Etti Elihai clean streets in Shlomi, a town in northern Israel on the border with Lebanon that stands largely empty after six months of war on April 10, 2024.Nathan VanderKlippe/The Globe and Mail

Alberta tables bill aimed at blocking funding deals between Ottawa, cities

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has rolled out legislation designed to give the province veto power over funding deals between the federal government and provincial entities such as municipalities, extending her government’s jurisdictional battle with its federal counterpart.

The governing United Conservative Party on Wednesday introduced a bill requiring entities under Alberta’s purview, including universities, school boards, housing agencies and health authorities, to obtain the province’s consent before entering, amending, extending or renewing agreements with Ottawa.

Smith, speaking to reporters before the legislation was tabled, said the proposal is about defending Alberta’s constitutional jurisdiction and stressed the province has authority over municipalities such as Calgary and Edmonton.

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Alberta Premier Danielle Smith introduces legislation addressing agreements between the federal government and provincial entities in Edmonton on April 10, 2024.JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

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Also on our radar

Ontario government will support bill declaring intimate partner violence an epidemic: Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government has agreed to support a bill from the opposition New Democrats that declares intimate partner violence an epidemic in the province, almost a year after Premier Doug Ford rejected such a move.

2024 Gairdner Award recipients paved way for revolutions in cancer treatment, genomics and global health: Among the eight awardees are researchers whose pioneering work produced an effective mode of cancer immune therapy, powered a revolution in DNA sequencing and led the charge against one of the world’s most prevalent childhood infections.

Bank of Canada holds rate steady, says June rate cut a possibility: The Bank of Canada kept its policy interest rate steady for the sixth consecutive time but opened the door to monetary-policy easing in the coming months, with Governor Tiff Macklem acknowledging that a June rate cut is on the table.

Higher gas and rents keep U.S. inflation elevated in March, likely delaying Fed rate cuts: Consumer inflation remained persistently high last month, boosted by gas, rents, auto insurance and other items, the government said Wednesday in a report that will likely give pause to the Federal Reserve as it considers how often – or even whether – to cut interest rates this year.

Survey of accounting firms suggests costs for bare trusts: Accountants and their clients may have spent almost $1-billion trying to comply with controversial new reporting rules for bare trusts before the Canada Revenue Agency announced a last-minute decision not to enforce them for the 2023 tax year, a survey of Canadian accounting firms suggests.

Morning markets

Stocks were steady ahead of a European Central Bank meeting today, after stubborn U.S. inflation numbers triggered the biggest global market selloff in months.

European markets opened broadly flat in line with MSCI’s main global index. In early trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.15 per cent, Germany’s DAX slid 0.37 per cent and France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.08 per cent. U.S. stock futures were little changed.

Overnight, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.3 per cent, paring some earlier losses. Japan’s Nikkei dropped 0.35 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 0.26 per cent.

The dollar traded at 73.05 U.S. cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Social media is designed to be addictive – and it is threatening our children’s well-being

“It’s imperative that we, as a society, demand more from social-media companies – not just in terms of content moderation but in the fundamental design of their platforms. The initial promise of social media was to connect us to friends and family, to let us build and join communities, and to bring us together. This experience was replaced by individual echo chambers meant to keep us engaged but dangerously isolated.” – Viviane Poupon and Jean-François Lavigne

Justin Trudeau owes the premiers a meeting

“Climate change is indeed a problem that has been pushed off for decades, as the Prime Minister says. But a coherent climate plan requires people to be on board. He hasn’t brought the disparate regions of the country along with him, and that’s coming back to bite him.” – Kelly Cryderman

Today’s editorial cartoon

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David Parkins/The Globe and Mail

Living better

One-pot pastas are quick, easy and family-friendly. Plus: A recipe for orzo with spinach and peas

One-pot meals – dishes cooked in one skillet, pot or sheet pan – have become this generation’s casserole, minus the 9x13 Pyrex and tins of cream of mushroom soup. Though forms of all-in-one dishes have technically existed for thousands of years, casseroles were the culinary trend of the seventies and eighties, as processed convenience foods increased in popularity and work and extracurricular schedules put a time crunch on dinnertime. Many things have changed from generation to generation, but not the pressure to get dinner on the table every night, nor the desire to have something quick and easy in your back pocket that isn’t a frozen pizza. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Moment in time: April 11, 1961

The trial of Adolf Eichmann begins in Jerusalem

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The 1961 file photo shows Adolf Eichmann standing in his glass cage, flanked by guards, in the Jerusalem courtroom during his trial in 1961 for war crimes committed during World War II. A seven-man Mossad team seized Eichmann in Buenos Aires and brought him to Israel for trial. The Mossad, long shrouded in mystery and mythology, is legendary in international intelligence circles for being behind what are believed to be some of the most daring covert operations of the past century.The Associated Press

Only two Jewish witnesses testified against Nazi leaders at the 1945-46 Nuremberg trials. That was not for a lack of people affected by the systematic murder of six million Jews; it was because the chief prosecutor felt their shocking testimony could be undermined by accusations of bias or faulty recollection. Things were different when Adolf Eichmann – a chief operator of the Nazis’ so-called “Final Solution” who had been abducted from Argentina by Mossad agents the year before – took a seat in the dock at 8:55 a.m. 63 years ago to face 15 criminal charges, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against the Jewish people. Over the next month, beginning with Zyndel Grynszpan, whose family was deported to Poland in 1938, and ending more than 100 witnesses later with Aaron Silbermann, whose brother-in-law died in Auschwitz, Jewish Holocaust survivors were heard and, in a historic first, broadcast internationally. The trial shed light on a horror that had yet to be truly reckoned with, exposed the antisemitism that fuelled it, and inspired Hannah Arendt’s “banality of evil”: the still-timely idea that ordinary people can thoughtlessly do extraordinary harm. Eichmann was hanged on June 1, 1962. Adrian Lee.

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