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A grand jury laid four charges against Donald Trump yesterday, accusing the former U.S. president of orchestrating a plot to overturn his 2020 election loss and inciting a mob of supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol.

The indictment lands as Trump vies for the Republican nomination and tries to reclaim the presidency, throwing the United States into the unusual situation of prosecuting a top presidential contender for seeking to overthrow the constitutional system.

The 45-page indictment accuses Trump of putting pressure on state officials, the Department of Justice and then-vice-president Mike Pence to help him throw out Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election victory. The scheme revolved around assembling “fraudulent” slates of Republican electors in states won by Biden. When the plot failed, Trump triggered the insurrection in Congress.

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Nadine Seiler holds a banner outside federal court Aug. 1, 2023, in Washington.Jose Luis Magana/The Associated Press

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Federal agency releases snapshot of national health care system – with notable gaps

The Canadian Institute for Health Information released its first report yesterday on national health care, and where federal, provincial and territorial governments can improve health care in four shared priority areas.

But data from Quebec are absent from the report, underlining the fact that it is the only jurisdiction that hasn’t signed a bilateral health care deal with Ottawa.

The CIHI report provided a snapshot of data in four priority areas: expanding access to primary care; increasing the supply of health workers and decreasing backlogs in care; improving access to mental-health and substance-use services; and modernizing health information systems.

Ottawa too secretive with government contracts, business groups say

Business groups are criticizing Ottawa for a lack of transparency in federal contracts, saying it erodes public trust and makes it harder for startups to compete with larger rivals.

Many businesses use the federal access-to-information system to request procurement documents so they can better understand what the government is looking for before the start of a bidding process or to understand why a rival won a contract. But business groups say these documents are often heavily redacted, which makes it hard to know how public money is being spent.

A Globe and Mail audit of more than 250 public-sector entities found that governments, as well as many agencies that report to them, are not meeting their legal obligations to release information.

This story is part of The Globe and Mail’s Secret Canada series, an investigation into Canada’s freedom of information systems.

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

Also on our radar

Inflation not caused by corporate profits, report says: A new study from economists at the Bank of Canada is challenging the idea that price-setting by retailers led to high inflation over the past three years. The research shows the growth in price markups slowed in 2021 and declined in 2022 as inflation soared to a four-decade high.

Life goes on in B.C. town as wildfire looms: Residents of Sparwood, B.C., are on evacuation alert as wildfires creep closer to the town. The steep, rocky terrain and high elevation of Sparwood make it too dangerous for firefighting crews on the ground and in the air. And so residents carry on, despite the fire burning in their collective backyard.

Canadians still waiting for answers on cannabis: Nearly five years after Canada legalized recreational cannabis, the federal government has not made good on its promise to fund research into the drug. The research would give Canadians better knowledge about how the use of cannabis affects their bodies.

A quest to map every cell in the human body: Canadian scientists are part of an ambitious international effort to build an atlas of all the cell types in the human body. The Human Cell Atlas is already shedding light on how our cells divide the job of keeping us alive.

Morning markets

U.S. downgrade hits stocks: Global shares tumbled and Treasury yields dipped on Wednesday after ratings agency Fitch unexpectedly downgraded the United States’ top-tier sovereign credit rating. Just after 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 1.35 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 lost 1.3 per cent and 1.17 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei slumped 2.3 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 2.47 per cent. New York futures were negative. The Canadian dollar was lower at 75.10 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

Andrew Coyne: “Getting the platforms to take responsibility for what appears on their sites has been an uphill battle. It has been complicated further by the seeming alternative: government regulation. I can think of only one thing worse than the social media we have at present, and that is state-supervised social media.”

Vass Bednar: “Canada is dancing around mechanisms to tame corporate power and finally reviewing an outdated and toothless Competition Act. But Canadian families need some stability now. These grocery companies have returned enormous value for their shareholders. It’s time to return some of that value to everyday people by crafting public policy that helps keep money in people’s pockets.”

Today’s editorial cartoon

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Editorial cartoon by David Parkins, Aug. 2, 2023.Illustration by David Parkins

Living better

Flight delayed or cancelled? It pays to know your rights under EU and U.S. rules

If you’re planning to travel to Europe or the U.S. this summer, you’re probably shopping around for affordable flights and wondering whether you should fly with a Canadian, American or European carrier. Taking into consideration where the airline is based when choosing flights could make a difference if you experience travel disruptions, personal finance reporter Erica Alini says.

Moment in time: Aug. 2, 1701

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Huron-Wendat Chief Kondiaronk.Handout

Huron-Wendat Chief Kondiaronk dies

In the early morning on this day in 1701, in an armchair at Montreal’s Hôtel-Dieu hospital, Huron-Wendat Chief Kondiaronk died. Hours earlier, he spoke before a council of First Nations leaders gathered in Montreal to end the Beaver Wars: a series of battles between the French, Kondiaronk’s people and the Iroquois. Until the Montreal meeting, his business had always been conflict, ensuring the Huron-Wendat came out on top. Known as Le Rat, Kondiaronk was cunning and ruthless. His 1688 ambush of an Iroquois delegation obliterated their peace treaty with the French. In 1689, he worked with the Iroquois to plot the destruction of Ottawa. But on Aug. 1, he urged First Nations to lay down arms. The 1697 Treaty of Ryswick had ended the war with England, an ally to some tribes. They needed alliances, among themselves and with the French. Feverish and weak from an epidemic that was sweeping Montreal, Kondiaronk could not stand that day. He sat in an armchair drinking wine but nonetheless delivered a stirring two-hour speech, convincing even the most resistant factions. Hours after delivering the speech, he died. Two days later, the French and First Nations signed the Great Peace Treaty of Montreal. Kate Helmore

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