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Unfounded rates start to fall in cities across Canada

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In the wake of a Globe investigation, police forces in 62 jurisdictions are reporting double-digit declines in the number of sexual assault cases dismissed as baseless, as wide-ranging reforms to investigations begin to show results.

North Bay, for example, reported one of the sharpest drops in sexual-assault unfounded rates in the country - down from 44 per cent to 16 per cent. Other cities that produced dramatic declines were: Saint John (51 per cent to 11 per cent), Sudbury (33 per cent to 9 per cent), Hamilton (30 per cent to 9 per cent), Halton Region in Ontario (also 30 per cent to 9 per cent) and Laval, Que., (22 per cent to 8 per cent).

The Globe used freedom-of-information requests to collect unfounded statistics from 873 police jurisdictions — this represented 92 per cent of the country — for the years 2010 to 2014.

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Ontario targets federal carbon tax with second legal challenge

Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government has filed a constitutional challenge against the federal government over the carbon-tax plan that would tax most industries in Ontario for about 20 per cent of their average carbon emissions.

Ontario’s Attorney-General, Caroline Mulroney, said that the province will spend up to $30-million to challenge the federal government’s carbon tax plan.

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Critics of Mr. Ford’s court challenge contend that it has little chance of success. Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government previously sought a legal opinion on federal carbon pricing, which concluded that Ottawa very likely has the authority to impose a carbon tax.

The Globe’s editorial board writes that the challenge is nothing more than a partisan waste of money.

Toronto region home sales, prices rebound in July

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) said 6,961 homes were sold in the Greater Toronto Area in July, up 18.6 per cent from July last year. The improvement came off a particularly weak base a year ago, however, when sales were down 40 per cent after the province’s introduction of a foreign-buyers tax as part of its Fair Housing Plan.

The average GTA home sold for $782,129 in July, an increase of 4.8 per cent from a year earlier.

White House asserts effort to protect elections

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The White House says U.S. President Donald Trump has directed a “vast, government-wide effort” to protect U.S. elections, after wide-ranging criticism that the government lacked a clear national strategy to safeguard this cornerstone of American democracy.

The message comes weeks after Trump publicly undermined the conclusions of American intelligence agencies regarding Russian interference. After suffering a bipartisan outcry, Trump later said he accepted those findings.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Apple hits $1-trillion stock market valuation

Apple Inc. became the first U.S.-based company with a market value of $1-trillion, four decades after it was co-founded by Steve Jobs in a Silicon Valley garage and later revolutionized the worlds of computing, music and mobile communications.

MORNING MARKETS

Stocks drift

World stocks drifted lower on Friday as the latest exchange of trade threats between the United States and China dampened risk appetite, while Italian bonds and shares in the country’s banks sold off on signs of renewed government tensions in Rome. Tokyo’s Nikkei was slightly higher while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.14 per cent. The Shanghai Composite was down 1.00 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.50 per cent and Germany’s DAX 0.59 per cent. The Paris CAC 40 was up 0.31 per cent at about 6 a.m. ET. New York futures were flat. The Canadian dollar was at 76.81 US cents.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

The Trudeaus vs. the Manuel family: Another generation fights over Indigenous rights

“Political dynasties draw both respect and derision – to some, they’re evidence of icky, unearned nepotism while to others, they demonstrate a noble handing down of public responsibility. In either case, they can lend needed personality to the bureaucratic bog of policy making, so take a minute to consider the Trans Mountain pipeline debate through the lens of a well-entrenched family feud.” - Denise Balkissoon

Filipino domestic workers deserve equitable employment

“As the Canadian population ages and parents struggle to meet the increasing costs of childcare, we urge policy makers not to treat migrant caregivers as a source of disposable labour but rather to invest in their training, education and compensation. Much in the way that Canada recruited nurses from the Philippines to address a nursing shortage in the 1970s, we can and should lay the social foundations for equitable employment through recognizing childhood educators and medical attendants as the educated professionals that they are.” - Evelyn Calugay and Kimberley Manning

The hot and increasingly bothered Summer of Trump

“As a general rule, when one is under investigation it is best not to publicly and loudly engage in behaviour that raises suspicions. U.S. President Donald Trump must not have received this elementary advice from his increasingly erratic personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani. Or maybe he’s just ignoring it.” - Globe editorial

LIVING BETTER

Your designer needs, all in one place

Choose from pink glass grinders, oil infusers, or gold rolling papers. Whether you’re entertaining high-flying friends or on a solo mission, Caitlin Agnew rounds up the latest in stylish cannabis accoutrements to take your sessions to the next level.

MOMENT IN TIME

On Aug. 3, 1829, composer Gioachino Rossini’s William Tell premiered, performed by the Paris Opera at the Salle le Peletier theatre. The last of Rossini’s 29 operas, the original, full-length version of the show clocked in at about four hours. When a fan told Rossini he’d seen the opera, one anecdote goes, the composer replied, “What? The whole of it?” (Subsequent performances have usually been abridged versions.) Even if you’re not familiar with the opera’s story line, which follows a famed Swiss marksman as he leads a rebellion against Switzerland’s Austrian oppressors, you almost certainly know the overture. The beginning of Rossini’s 12-minute work may not be recognizable, but by the time you reach the last three minutes, you’ll know it – that galloping, brassy passage is one of the most well-known melodies of all time. Titled The March of the Swiss Soldiers, it’s the part of the opera when the Swiss wrest their country back from the Austrians. Today, it’s better known as the theme song for The Lone Ranger, the score for various antics of Bugs Bunny, Fred Flintstone and Mickey Mouse, and, as critic Henry Stewart wrote in Opera News magazine, “Every unimaginative music editor’s go-to for chase scenes.” – Jacqueline Houston

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