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Good morning,

Internal Revenue Service filings reveal that WE Charity spent more than US$600,000 on U.S. political consultants, including a firm co-founded by Republican Party strategists. WE officials did not say why the charity hired the consultants.

In 2018 and 2019, Republican operatives wrote a number of articles to discredit Canadaland, a news outlet that has investigated WE’s initiatives on child labour. According to Canadaland publisher Jesse Brown, a WE Charity lawyer also hired private investigators to look into two of its journalists’ backgrounds. During their testimony this week, WE founders Craig and Marc Kielburger declined to answer whether private investigators were hired to do so.

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More on WE Charity

  • Ethics Commissioner expands WE probe for Finance Minister Bill Morneau
  • Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Katie Telford, his chief of staff, will be testifying about the now-cancelled WE contract in front of the House of Commons finance committee. Catch up on how we got here.
  • John Ibbitson: The Liberals are bleeding political capital and Trudeau’s testimony may heal the wound

Getty Images, The Canadian Press

This is the daily Morning Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for Morning Update and more than 20 more Globe newsletters on our newsletter signup page.

Auditor-General to probe lapse in country’s pandemic-warning system

A recent Globe investigation revealed that a key part of the Global Public Health Intelligence Network — Canada’s pandemic alert system — went silent on May 24 last year, leaving Canada unaware and unprepared for the impending COVID-19 outbreak. The system issued more than 1,500 alerts over the past decade about potential outbreaks including MERS, H1N1, avian flu and Ebola, before stopping issuing alerts.

Now, Canada’s Auditor-General is planning to investigate lapses in the country’s pandemic alert system. A major finding from the investigation is the directive to shift the unit’s focus from its original international pandemic surveillance mandate to more domestic projects.

Should young children wear face masks? Health experts are divided

As back-to-school season draw nears, Ontario’s pediatric hospitals have failed to agreed on whether young children should wear masks when they return to school.

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The hospitals’ report said that 61 per cent of the experts agreed that elementary students should not be required to wear masks, while a “significant minority” supported mask-wearing when physical distancing is not possible. Mask-wearing is recommended for high-school and perhaps even middle school students when facing difficulties physical distancing.

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at tips@globeandmail.com Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop


ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Ottawa urged to probe forced-labour camps in Xinjiang: Canada is being urged to probe forced labour camps operating in China’s Xinjiang province, as research shows goods from global brands are being produced in these factories. Last week, more than 180 advocacy groups and labour unions called on global retailers to stop sourcing goods from Xinjiang.

Ontario announces new plan for child-welfare system: Ontario’s new child welfare system will focus on building community-based prevention services designed to keep children safe in family environments and improving the quality of residential care. But the province didn’t mention funding in the Wednesday announcement.

Ontario’s commission into long-term care to deliver report by April: A judge-led independent commission into COVID-19′s spread in Ontario’s long-term care homes is expected to deliver its findings by April 30. But critics and families of pandemic victims are calling for a full public inquiry.

A woman lays a flower at an event honourin victims of COVID-19 hosted by SEIU healthcare, a frontline workers union, outside Orchard Villa retirement home.

Melissa Tait/The Globe and Mail

Most students will be back in B.C. classrooms in the fall: Most students in B.C. will return to full-time, in-class learning this September. B.C. Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry said students will be grouped into cohorts to mitigate potential COVID-19 spread and ensure quicker contact tracing.

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Former ambassador optimistic about Canada-China relations: In a remark to a major Chinese immigration company, former ambassador to Beijing John McCallum said unlike the hostility between China and the U.S., Canada’s troubles with China are temporary.


MORNING MARKETS

Global stocks fall as Fed’s pledge relief rally fades: Global shares fell on Thursday as the Federal Reserve’s pledge to use all its tools to support the U.S. economy failed to reassure investors uneasy about a stalemate on fiscal support and rising coronavirus cases. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 1.52 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were down 2.31 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended down 0.26 per cent. New York futures were mostly weaker. The Canadian dollar was trading at 74.51.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Canada can lead on climate change, if leaders match words with deeds

Mary Robinson: “Canada enjoys a historic reputation for environmental leadership. But unfortunately, this credibility risks being undermined by a reluctance to meet words with ambitious decision-making.”

With his VP pick, Joe Biden has the pleasure of a tough choice

Konrad Yakabuski: “Ms. Harris and Ms. Rice, both of whom are 55, are above-average vice-presidential timber who could make mincemeat out of Mike Pence, the current Vice-President, in any debate. ... Mr. Biden is lucky to have such a difficult choice before him.”

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TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

David Parkins/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

Aging well: These eight wines are here for a good time or, should you choose, a long time

While some wines benefit from aging, others not at all. As The Globe’s wine writer Christopher Waters notes that aging can be “one of most mystifying aspects” of wine-drinking, he offers a quick guide to decoding the feature and eight recommendations for wine that can be enjoyed both now and later.


MOMENT IN TIME: July 30, 1976

It was at the Montreal Olympics in 1976 that Caitlyn Jenner won gold in the decathlon, becoming an overnight American celebrity.

Annie Leibovitz /Vanity Fair/AP for Olympic photo

Caitlyn Jenner wins gold at 1976 Olympics

It was at the Montreal Olympics in 1976 that Caitlyn Jenner won gold in the decathlon, becoming an overnight American celebrity. Jenner’s story was irresistible: The athlete was an underdog, competing during the Cold War against Soviet powerhouse Mykola Avilov, the world record holder in decathlon and 1972 Olympic champion. Jenner started the second day of the event, on July 30, in third place, but finished with a gold medal and a world record. Everyone seemed surprised but Jenner: All of the athlete’s strongest events took place on Day 2.

After winning gold, a zealous fan handed the athlete an American flag. Jenner, who later admitted to being unsure what to do with it, took a victory lap holding it high. It started a now-familiar practice at the Olympics of athletes carrying flags in victory. The move helped Jenner become an immediate sensation, and the athlete later translated that celebrity into a career of endorsements, acting – and, of course, reality television. Jenner became even more famous in 2015, after announcing to the world that she was Caitlyn, a trans woman. Noreen Rasbach

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