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Iran is vowing to break its nuclear promise as the U.S. sends more troops to the Middle East

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Tensions between Washington and Tehran continue to escalate days after the U.S. accused Iran of attacking two oil tankers near the Persian Gulf.

Iran says it will break a limit on uranium stockpiles established in a 2015 nuclear agreement (the photo above, from 2015, shows the view from outside an Iranian nuclear facility). President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from that pact, but his administration nevertheless said Tehran’s new action amounted to “extortion.”

The U.S. responded to Iran’s action by announcing it was deploying an additional 1,000 military personnel to the Middle East for surveillance and intelligence gathering, a move in part aimed at ensuring key shipping lanes in the region are maintained.

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The Raptors victory parade: Celebrations, and a shooting, in Toronto

Kawhi Leonard celebrates during the parade. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Hundreds of thousands packed city streets yesterday to embrace the players and organization as the NBA’s Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy made its way north of the border for the first time. Here’s a rundown of what happened:

The shooting: Four people were injured after gunshots were fired near Nathan Phillips Square, interrupting speeches and sending a section of the crowd into a stampede with people screaming and hiding. Police arrested three people and recovered two firearms. It’s unclear how many were shot. “We heard gunshots behind us and we just got trampled over,” said Matthew Weintraub, who was in the crowd.

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A view of the scene after the shooting incident. (Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports)

Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

The celebration: Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard was the star attraction as Mayor John Tory presented him with a key to the city. Leonard wore a T-shirt with his catchphrase, “Board Man Gets Paid,” and sent the crowd into a tizzy when he joked about his famous laugh: “Now we got a championship, so thank you, enjoy this. And have fun with it, aha, ha, ha.”

The view from our columnists

Marcus Gee: “Monday’s parade in Toronto was more than just a joyous celebration of the Raptors’ victory. It was a glimpse of today’s Canada. The throngs that gathered to cheer their team were the image of the country’s future: youthful, full of life, energy and hope, stunningly diverse.”

Cathal Kelly: “The question now is – do the Raptors have the personnel, the will, the juice and the longevity to build [a dynasty]? And the definitive answer is, ‘Maybe.’ All of this is dependent on Kawhi Leonard and the choice he will be free to make come July 1.” (He was tight-lipped when asked about it yesterday.)

A lawsuit has been filed challenging Quebec’s new religious-symbols ban

A day after Quebec passed the controversial law, a Muslim student launched a court challenge arguing Bill 9 is a blatant violation of fundamental civil rights. Ichrak Nourel Hak filed the suit with the backing of a number of groups, including the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, to ask Quebec Superior Court to suspend the law.

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Nourel Hak, a practising Muslim who wears a hijab, is studying to be a French teacher and expects to graduate in 2020. “The law is stealing my dream and sending a clear message I am not a valued part of Quebec society,” she said in a statement.

The grounds for the challenge: The lawsuit doesn’t contend that the law is an attack on freedom of religion, since François Legault’s government included the notwithstanding clause to protect against that argument. Instead, the challenge says it invites arbitrary application, excludes minorities from certain professions and encroaches on federal jurisdiction. These are failings are an attack on the Constitution that enforce methods of religious observance, the filing says.

Our editorial board’s take: “It is monstrously unjust that a Muslim woman or Jewish man is now forced by the Quebec state to choose between their employment and their personal beliefs, while a person with government-approved beliefs about the sanctity of laicity is exempt from such a dilemma. This is a terrible day for Quebec, and for Canada.”

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A Senate committee’s planned probe of the Mark Norman affair is on hold. The group had originally planned to invite Vice-Admiral Norman, Defence Staff Jonathan Vance and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan to testify before the Senate adjourned for the summer on June 20. It has now changed the report date to Aug. 1, but the extension still needs approval from Senate leadership.

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Donald Trump says U.S. authorities will begin removing millions who are in the country illegally. In a tweet, the President said: “They will be removed as fast as they come in.” There are an estimated 12 million in the U.S. illegally. Mexico recently agreed to take in Central American migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. until their cases are heard.

An Ontario police chief has turned to the courts to restore his leadership. Paul Martin, the police chief for the Durham Region, east of Toronto, has seen his authority revoked as the province’s police commission investigates allegations that senior officers engaged in cronyism and misconduct. Martin has filed a notice of appeal saying he hasn’t been informed of the specific allegations, leaving him no chance to respond.


Stocks rise

European shares rallied and the euro took a sharp hit on Tuesday in a knee-jerk reaction to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s comments indicating a possibility of new rate cuts or asset purchases. Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.7 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.1 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were up by between 0.6 and 1.1 per cent by about 6 a.m. ET. New York futures were up. The Canadian dollar was at about 74.5 US cents.

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Wanted: A new leader for Hong Kong

Frank Ching: “Before assuming office in 2017, Chief Executive Carrie Lam was criticized for being so removed from Hong Kong’s reality that she didn’t even know where to buy toilet paper. Now, it turns out, she doesn’t understand the most basic sentiments of the people she is supposed to represent.” Frank Ching is a Hong Kong-based journalist.

Desperate for lifesaving insulin, Americans head to Canada

André Picard: “There’s a new kind of drug runner in town – American mothers of children with Type 1 diabetes who cross into Canada in minivans to buy life-saving insulin at a fraction of the cost they would pay at home. ... In a rational world, insulin, a drug that is as essential to survival as water for some, would cost next to nothing.”

On cannabis edibles, Health Canada takes a risk-averse stance over potential rewards

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Sylvain Charlebois:By isolating edibles from other products in the manufacturing, selling and promotion of food, it is clear that this government considers cannabis edibles to be a drug instead of consumable fare. Health Canada is targeting industry – as it should – but its heavy-handed approach could end up generating more risks for consumers eager to try these new cannabis products.” Sylvain Charlebois is senior director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University.


(Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail)

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


Two new national plans have been revealed by the Liberals

Canada’s first national food policy will emphasize the importance of access to health and nutritious food. The initiatives include $50-million to support local projects like greenhouses, food banks and farmers markets as well as $15-million toward addressing food insecurity in northern and isolated communities.

A long-awaited national dementia strategy lays out a roadmap for tackling a costly and growing public health concern. Between 2015 and 2016, more than 419,000 adults aged 65 and over were living with a form of dementia, and an estimated 78,600 new cases are diagnosed every year.


Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly across the Atlantic

Amelia Earhart making a sea landing in Burry Port, Wales, after crossing the Atlantic Ocean by plane. (De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images)

DE AGOSTINI PICTURE LIBRARY/De Agostini Picture Library / Getty Images

June 18, 1928: U.S. aviator Amelia Earhart lowered herself onto the cramped seat of the seaplane in the waters off Trepassey, Nfld., and flew into history. Earhart was a passenger in the three-engine Fokker Friendship, and landed almost 21 hours later on this day in 1928 in Burry Port, Wales, to become the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. The trip made a celebrity of Earhart, already a seasoned pilot who held many firsts, before and after her transatlantic trip. She was feted in ticker-tape parades and photographed in pants and the sturdy gear of an aviator, projecting a daring, world-beating image that fuelled the public’s imagination in the early days of air travel. Her cockpit feats set an example for others, and were backed by her push for women’s rights at a time suffrage was new and unevenly applied. Among her accomplishments, in 1932, she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. She vanished in 1937 while flying around the world, aged 39. “Women must try to do things as men have tried,” she wrote to her husband before her last flight. “When they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others.” – Eric Atkins

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