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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has prorogued Parliament until Sept. 23, capping off a dramatic few days in Canadian politics that included the resignation of long-time finance minister Bill Morneau and the subsequent appointment of Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland into the role.

Trudeau said yesterday that he needs a Throne Speech to launch a new recovery plan. He insisted that his party was not misusing the procedural move his party criticized in 2008 when former prime minister Stephen Harper used it to survive confidence votes.

The prorogation could also halt an opposition probe into the WE Charity controversy, just as Trudeau released thousands of pages of documents to the House of Commons finance committee that show bureaucrats were nudged by certain Liberals to look at the charity for the student service grant program.

The prorogation could also end a special committee investigating the crisis in Canada-China relations. The Liberals had initially voted against the creation of the committee. The decision to prorogue Parliament shuts down all committee activity and could delay its resumption come September.

Chrystia Freeland is sworn in as Canada's Finance Minister during a cabinet shuffle at Rideau Hall August 18, 2020 in Ottawa. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tapped Chrystia Freeland to be Canada's first female finance minister on Tuesday as an ethics scandal that clipped her predecessor's wings reverberates through the government. Freeland received a standing ovation after being sworn in at a small ceremony at Rideau Hall, the official residence of Governor General Julie Payette in Ottawa.SEAN KILPATRICK/AFP/Getty Images

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GOP-led Senate panel details ties between 2016 Trump campaign and Russia

After three years of investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election, a Republican-controlled Senate panel has released a report detailing a web of contacts between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

The panel concluded that the Russian government did disrupt the election to help Donald Trump become President. The panel also found that Russian intelligence services viewed members of the Trump campaign as easily manipulated, and that some advisers in turn were eager for Russian help.

Mali’s president resigns hours after rebel soldiers detain leaders

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita resigned yesterday hours after he and prime minister Boubou Cissé were detained by mutinying soldiers in an apparent coup. Thousands of people cheered in the streets of Mali’s capital, Bamako, as rebel soldiers drove through the city.

The country has been rocked by instability since 2012, when an earlier coup ignited insurgency by Islamic radicals and other militia forces. Protests have been taking place in Bamako since June over corruption, a weakening economy and worsening armed conflicts.

Because of the instability in the country, Mali has been the recipient of large amounts of international aid from Western and African countries. Canada has given Mali nearly $1.6-billion in aid over two decades.

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Party leaders blend past with future at DNC convention: The second night of the Democratic National Convention saw the party try to bridge different factions with speeches from leaders of the past and present. Speakers included former president Bill Clinton and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

New video footage shows sheriff’s deputy shoving Masai Ujiri at NBA Finals: New body camera and security footage released by Ujiri’s lawyers shows the Toronto Raptors president being forcefully shoved by a sheriff’s deputy as he attempted to enter the court after last years NBA Finals. The videos are part of an ongoing lawsuit filed by the deputy against Ujiri.

One Hezbollah suspect found guilty in 2005 car bombing: The United Nations-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon has found 57-year-old Salim Ayyash guilty of the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. Ayyash and three others were tried in absentia. The court acquitted the other three accused and said there was not enough evidence to link the bombing to Hezbollah leadership.

WHO blasts ‘vaccine nationalism’ in last-ditch call for global pact: The World Health Organization is pleading for wealthier countries to join its “COVAZ Global Vaccines Facility,” which is designed to share vaccine hopefuls with developing countries. The final push comes as European countries and the United States are striking their own deals for prospective vaccines, which risks excluding poorer nations.

Read more on COVID-19:

Belarusian opposition supporters gather for a protest rally in front of the government building at Independent Square in Minsk, Belarus, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, with a Soviet era sculptures in the foreground. Workers at more state-controlled companies and factories took part in the strike that began the day before and has encompassed several truck and tractor factories, a huge potash factory that accounts for a fifth of the world's potash fertilizer output and is the nation's top cash earner, state television and the country's most prominent theater.The Associated Press

More workers in Belarus join widening strike: Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko remains defiant in the face of growing protests calling for his resignation. The authoritarian leader has faced harsh criticism since winning a presidential election in early August that the opposition says was rigged.

Mauritius arrests captain of Japanese ship that spilled oil: Captain Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar has been arrested after his ship, the Wakashio, ran aground a coral reef off the coast of Mauritius and spilled 1,000 tonnes of oil on Aug. 6. He has been charged with “endangering safe navigation”; the ship’s first officer was also detained and charged.

Haida Gwaii fishing resorts in jeopardy after B.C. bans non-essential travellers: Two fishing resorts were forced to close after a long struggle with the Haida Nation over their reopening. The nation, which has inhabited the islands for thousands of years, had banned tourism in late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The resorts ignored that ban until the B.C. government enacted a similar ban on July 30.


European shares edge higher: European stocks edged up on Wednesday as a record high for U.S. stocks outweighed simmering worries over a resurgence in coronavirus cases that could undermine a nascent recovery. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.13 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 gained 0.31 per cent and 0.29 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended up 0.26 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed down 0.74 per cent. New York futures were higher. The Canadian dollar was trading at 76.04 US cents.


Freeland just inherited the hardest job in Canada. How long can she keep it?

Konrad Yakabuski: “Ms. Freeland may find herself having to decide which comes first: fealty to her boss, or credibility with the credit-rating agencies. It is unlikely she can have it both ways.”

Morneau sells one last story in service to the Trudeau machine

Robyn Urback: “Even in his exit, Mr. Morneau was swallowed by the Trudeau machine: delivering a story the listener knows the speaker doesn’t believe, in preservation of a brand for which his job was mostly to conform.”

In cutting down Bill Morneau, the Trudeau government has diminished itself

The Editorial Board: “In a Trudeau cabinet of spokesmodels – men and women who dutifully recite whatever script is handed them – Mr. Morneau was one of the few who offered something more. There aren’t many like that in this government, and today there’s one fewer.”


Brian GableBrian Gable/The Globe and Mail


I’m not getting any younger, and it was time to travel on my own

“At your age?” There was only one answer to this rebuke: “I won’t be younger next year.” I have embarked on a campaign called “Embracing 80,” doing 80 new things before I reach that venerable age. The occasion of my 78th birthday seemed an ideal time to visit Churchill. And just in case – Churchill has comprehensive hospital facilities.

MOMENT IN TIME: August 19, 1819

Artist's recreation of James Watt inventing the separate condenser for the steam engine, c. 1765. Painting by James Eckford Lauder: "James Watt and the Newcomen Engine" (1855, oil on canvas).Christie's Images / Bridgeman Images

James Watt dies

While James Watt may be remembered for the unit of power that bears his name, his most significant contribution was improving the steam engine that helped spur the Industrial Revolution. Born in Scotland in 1736, Watt was the son of a shipwright and spent his early years tinkering with instruments in his father’s workshop. Watt moved to London to be an apprentice in mathematical instrument-making. By the age of 19, he established his own workshop near the University of Glasgow. In the 1760s, while attempting to repair a Newcomen engine (used commonly at the time), Watt realized that it was inefficient and lost large quantities of steam. Watt invented a chamber to condense the steam, making it much more efficient, and patented it in 1769. Several years later, Watt partnered with Matthew Boulton to found the Boulton & Watt Co. Together, they were able to manufacture a steam engine that would become widely used in factories with rotary machines, such as those in cotton, flour and iron mills. For his contributions to the world of engineering, the unit of power known as the “watt” was named after him. Watt passed away on this day in 1819. Cherise Seucharan

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