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Altice USA Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. have tabled an unsolicited $10.3-billion offer to acquire Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Communications Inc., but are facing stiff opposition from the companies’ controlling shareholder and Quebec Premier François Legault.

The U.S. cable company Altice approached Toronto-based Rogers to initiate the bid, according to a source The Globe and Mail is not identifying because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. The proposal would give Altice Cogeco’s U.S. assets, while Rogers, a long-time shareholder of Cogeco, would acquire the Canadian side of the business for $4.9-billion.

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However, the deal does not have the support of Gestion Audem Inc., a company controlled by the members of the Audet family that holds 69 per cent of the voting rights at Cogeco. Nor does it have the support of Legault, who is against letting the Montreal-based Cogeco leave the province. The opposition from Legault could lead to an intervention by the province’s Investissement Québec investing arm.

The French version of the COGECO website is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, September 2, 2020. Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Communications Inc. are facing a $10.3-billion offer that would see its U.S. business scooped up by a New York cable company and its Canadian assets head to long-time shareholder Rogers Communications Inc.

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

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Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny was poisoned with nerve agent from ‘Novichok group,’ Germany says

The German government said yesterday that Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was poisoned with the same type of Soviet-era nerve agent used in 2018 against former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England. Germany’s findings have provoked outrage from Western leaders who demanded an explanation from Moscow.

Navalny has long been one of President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critics, and leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the poisoning was attempted murder meant to silence opposition to Putin. Navalny is still being treated in Berlin and remains on a ventilator, though his condition is improving.

Colleges, universities expecting large financial losses from drop in international students

International students are crucial to university finances as they represent half of all tuition revenue in Canada. Therefore, with anticipated drops in international enrolment due to COVID-19, colleges and universities are bracing for possibly billions of dollars of losses.

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While the Canadian government has taken steps to make it easier for students to study online from abroad, postsecondary institutions say that the losses are still likely to be significant, and are lobbying the government to provide more funding. International students contribute nearly $22-billion a year to the Canadian economy, according to government estimates.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

The recipe for a COVID-19 vaccine? Science with a healthy dose of nationalism: Nationalism is spurring the global race to find an effective vaccine for COVID-19, but experts worry that not only could this exclude poor nations but could also lead to quickie approvals for weak or dangerous vaccines.

Read more on COVID-19 treatments:

Quebec City karaoke bar COVID-19 outbreak linked to cases in three schools: In an outbreak that illustrates the perils of going back to school, at least 40 adults were infected with COVID-19 at Bar Kirouac in Quebec City. Those people then infected at least 10 family members, including students at three different schools.

Trudeau says focus is on safe supply, not decriminalization as overdose deaths spike: Addressing the spike in overdose deaths across the country, Justin Trudeau side-stepped the issue of decriminalization yesterday, even as calls for alternatives to criminal penalties increase. Instead, the Prime Minister said his government is focused on ensuring a safe supply of pharmaceutical alternatives.

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Artist's impression of binary black holes about to collide.

Mark Myers, ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav)/Handout

Largest celestial collision ever detected reveals a new kind of black hole: The collision of two black holes, recorded on May 21, 2019, is the largest and most distant emitter of gravitational waves ever detected, as well as the first evidence for the existence of intermediate-mass black holes.

U.S. imposes sanctions on ICC chief prosecutor, one of her aides: The Trump administration imposed sanctions on the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and the court’s head of jurisdiction Phakiso Mochochoko. Human-rights groups and others immediately condemned the move as a political manoeuvre to obstruct investigations against Americans.

India bans 118 Chinese apps after Indian soldier killed on disputed border: Amid escalating tensions between the two countries, India banned multiple popular Chinese apps, including the video game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which has over 50 million players in India. Blocking apps from accessing India’s huge domestic market is one way the country is striking back against China.


MORNING MARKETS

World markets gain: Europe kept record high world share markets marching forward on Thursday, while the U.S. dollar was in fightback mode and government bonds steadied after European Central Bank efforts to tame the euro. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.56 per cent. Germany’s DAX gained 1.24 per cent and France’s CAC 40 rose 1.7 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished up 0.94 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.45 per cent. New York futures were flat. The Canadian dollar was trading at 76.40 US cents.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Trump’s political violence is a fire that can’t be contained

Elizabeth Renzetti: “The violence flaring in the U.S. is not going to magically disappear in the months leading up to the presidential election, especially if one of the contenders considers the chaos politically valuable. As Zack Beauchamp wrote this week in Vox, ’It seems that stoking conflict and raising the salience of street violence has become a core part of [Trump’s] reelection strategy.’ ”

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The message for Democrats from Kennedy’s defeat? AOC calls the shots

Lawrence Martin: “Since her election not even two years ago as the youngest congresswoman ever, she has developed a mammoth following. She captures the zeitgeist in so many ways. She is an American woman of colour – young, smart, charismatic, eloquent. She is a daring and witty woman with vision – a package liberals could only dream of. No young man in the Washington political firmament comes close.”

In rebuking John A. Macdonald protesters, Trudeau undermines his claims of allyship

Erica Ifill: “Unfortunately for the Prime Minister, his ability to deliver on promises of transformational change has long been in dispute. Now, he has condemned protesters on the destruction of property more than he has the RCMP, for the gratuitous violence against Black and Indigenous people.”

Alberta might have one last oil boom. Will it make the same mistakes?

The Editorial Board: “Alberta has for decades spent most of its oil and gas money as it came in, on everything from education and health care to new infrastructure. If there is indeed one last boom, prudence will be necessary. To plan for the future, Alberta needs to look to its past.”

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TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

Brian Gable

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

Toronto’s Canadian Stage reboots its fall season with an in-person, outdoors dance festival

The Toronto not-for-profit performing arts company has, with sadness, suspended its entire originally planned 2020-21 season – and put together a new fall mini-season centred on a pandemic-defying festival of contemporary dance to partly take its place.


MOMENT IN TIME: September 3, 1944

This is 1942 portrait of Anne Frank when she became 13 years old. 1995 marks the 50th anniversary of Anne's death at the German Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. While the exact date of her death has never been firmly established, the Anne Frank House, keeper of her hiding place, believes Anne was killed during a typhus epidemic during the last two weeks of March in 1945.

The Associated Press

Anne Frank is sent to Auschwitz

The red-checked diary was a gift for Anne Frank’s 13th birthday. She named it Kitty. It was one of the few things Anne took when she, sister Margot, 16, and their parents Otto and Edith – Jews in Nazi-occupied the Netherlands – went into hiding weeks later. They were joined by four others in the secret space atop Otto’s Amsterdam office, the entry disguised with a hinged bookcase. Anne decorated her room with photos of movie stars. She could never have imagined that she would become far more famous than any of them. When she heard about interest in publishing accounts of the occupation after the war, she began editing. “Just imagine how interesting it would be if I were to publish a novel about the Secret Annex,” she wrote. On Aug. 4, 1944, the group was discovered and arrested by the German SS. They were sent to Westerbork, a transit camp. On Sept. 3, 1944, on Westerbork’s last transport out, they were all deported to Auschwitz. Their arrival in that hell was the last time Otto, the only survivor, saw his family. Margot and Anne were later transferred to Bergen-Belsen and died in February, 1945. Anne was 15. Her words live on. Marsha Lederman

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