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Applications for asylum in Canada for Syrian White Helmets stalled over security concerns

Nearly a year after an international rescue whisked 422 Syrians to safety in neighbouring Jordan, at least 10 members of Syria’s White Helmets and their families are still living in a refugee camp in the Jordanian desert with their applications for asylum in Canada stalled over security concerns.

The White Helmets are a volunteer group that gained fame trying to save victims of Syria’s civil war. Their rescue last July was a triumph for Ottawa, with Canadian diplomats – including Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland – heralded for helping make it happen. Nearly a year later, however, Ms. Freeland finds herself still trying to resolve the fate of the 10 families who remain in Jordan’s Azraq refugee camp, long after the Jordanian government had promised they’d be resettled to one of Canada, Germany or Britain.

Four sources with direct knowledge of the situation, who were granted anonymity by The Globe and Mail because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said the 10 families were rejected by Canada over security concerns that were uncovered by Canadian officials who travelled to Jordan to interview them. Canada, the sources said, was now trying to find another country or countries willing to accept the families.

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Final report of MMIW inquiry attributes tragedy to genocide

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The National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is preparing to release its findings on Monday in a 1,200-page report called “Reclaiming Power and Place” that calls on all Canadians to speak out against racism wherever it occurs.

Chief among its findings is that the violence being perpetrated against the First Nations, Inuit and Métis “amounts to a race-based genocide of Indigenous peoples.”

The inquiry, which was called by the federal government in 2016 after years of demands by Indigenous groups and others, received information from more than 2,380 people and heard the stories of 468 family members of victims and survivors.

In the end, the commissioners concluded the murders and disappearances are the product of a Canadian society that has eroded the rights of Indigenous women. Their final report calls for a national action plan and better police response to violence.

Toronto Raptors lose Game 2

It’s 1-1 now. The Golden State Warriors stole a white-knuckle road victory and evened up the series on Sunday. Historically, the team that’s won Game 3 of the Finals has won the trophy more than 80 per cent of the time, writes Cathal Kelly. Golden State hasn’t lost a game at home since April. That’s some tough math. If this Finals began with skirmishing, it’s a war now.

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After the Raptors beat the Warriors 118-109 in Game 1 on Thursday night, Canadians started coming out of the woodwork in droves in the Bay Area to organize dozens of viewing parties at bars and homes, scrambling to buy game tickets that start at US$750 each and asking family back home to send them Raptors gear. The Canadian consulate in San Francisco is helping to organize a “We the North” watch party for Game 3 after hearing from Canadians planning to travel to the region.

Among the team’s sponsors, advertisers, the broadcasters that air the games and others – it has tipped off a mad scramble to make the most of the celebrations and capitalize on the Raptors’ success.

A select group of Toronto’s corporate elite get to watch the game courtside. It’s one of the toughest tickets to score in professional sports, an opportunity to watch the NBA Finals with your feet on the parquet. The face value of a ticket to the finals is $11,054, but as the ads say, these tickets are really priceless.

Canada issues new guidelines for organ donation after medical assistance in dying

The first set of national guidelines for organ donation after medical assistance in dying in Canada will be published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). The guidelines tackle a slew of ethical and practical issues that have made some organizations reluctant to pursue organs from people who die with the help of a physician.

So far, only 30 patients have donated organs after medical assistance in dying, or MAID, since the procedure became legal three years ago, while at least 6,749 Canadians have undergone MAID deaths.

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“Initially, organ-donation organizations really wanted to stay away from organ donation after medical aid in dying," said James Downar, lead author of the new guidelines. “I think most people felt this was a fairly controversial issue.”

The concern, Dr. Downar said, was that any hint of inappropriate pressure on a patient considering MAID could undermine the organ-donation movement in a country where 242 people died waiting for transplants in 2017, the most recent year for which figures are available.

B.C. regulator orders a stop to underground mortgage broker

An unlicensed mortgage broker accused of forging documents to help secure more than half a billion dollars in mortgages over the past decade is being ordered to stop his business immediately by the provincial regulator.

The regulator, the Acting Registrar of Mortgage Brokers, said in a cease-and-desist order issued last week that the office is also investigating more than 20 registered submortgage brokers and realtors that partnered with Jay Kanth Chaudhary.

Mr. Chaudhary’s actions raised concerns his unlicensed business could distort the housing market and, if allowed to continue, could put more lenders at risk, acting registrar Chris Carter said.

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“This particular activity is of a size and scale that represents significant risk to the integrity of the real estate and the financial services marketplace.”

The order alleges he produced falsified documents to inflate the income of clients and continued to do so even after investigators raided his office on Feb. 12 this year as part of an ongoing investigation.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

In the hot seats: Who’s sitting courtside (or close to it) to watch the Toronto Raptors in the NBA finals

For a select group of Toronto’s corporate elite, the only place to be for a basketball game is courtside. It’s one of the toughest tickets to score in professional sports, an opportunity to watch the NBA finals with your feet on the parquet. The face value of a ticket to the finals is $11,054, but as the ads say, these tickets are really priceless.

There are approximately 110 courtside slots in the arena – the number drops during the playoffs as seating is revamped to squeeze in additional TV broadcasters. From this perch, CEOs, entrepreneurs and celebrities of various flavours become part of the game.

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In 1989, China extinguished Tiananmen’s protests – but lit the spark for a religious revival

Chinese authorities have for 30 years mounted an intense effort to eradicate the memory of the Tiananmen crackdown, purging it from the country’s internet and maintaining an authoritarian vigilance of students, workers and activists to ensure protests never again sweep the country.

But the spark of spiritual interest that spread following 1989 has been one of the more lasting legacies of the student uprising, religious historians argue, a change that has altered the country despite the government’s ambition to condemn Tiananmen to the forgotten past.

Alberta wildfire evacuees will be allowed to go home on Monday

Rain and cooler temperatures have aided efforts to control wildfires burning out of control in northwestern Alberta, but provincial and local officials are still advising caution, even as mandatory evacuations are lifted in some areas.

Officials said 5,000 residents would be allowed to return home on Monday morning after being under mandatory evacuation for two weeks. However, the area will remain under an evacuation alert, and residents are being advised to remain stocked with emergency supplies and gas, and be prepared to leave again if necessary.

Bonds ‘on fire’ as flight to safety gathers momentum

Investors sought the safety of government bonds, the yen, the Swiss franc and gold on Monday, as rising trade tensions dented stocks again and pushed oil close to bear market territory. After a torrid May that wiped US$3-trillion off global equities, the worsening trade and broader economic backdrop made for a jarring start to June. Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.9 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped marginally, and the Shanghai Composite shed 0.3 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were down by between 0.2 and 0.4 per cent by about 5:30 a.m. ET. New York futures were down. The Canadian dollar was at about 74 US cents.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Lest they forget: D-Day will fade from memory if we don’t teach the youth

Jerry Amernic: “We all know the words Lest we forget, but I fear that young people today know little, if anything, about D-Day and the Second World War. This became obvious to me when I taught college. They just don’t know. But when the last combatant is gone, knowing what happened and why it happened will be crucial.”

NDP’s climate policy is serious but not radical

Campbell Clark: “Mr. Singh is making it sound like he has taken a radical green turn, but it wasn’t there in black and white. It’s missing. He has had trouble picking one climate policy. He wants to tell the country he has a bold environmental direction, but he hasn’t provided a sense of how he’d get the Canadian economy there.”

Europe’s populists play fox in the EU henhouse

Konrad Yakabuski: “The National Rally and its populist allies in the European Parliament now aim to undermine the EU from within. After winning a record number of seats in Sunday’s vote, they vow to use their clout to press for changes that would weaken the powers of the EU and enhance those of national governments on issues such as border control, migration, public spending and the environment.”

TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

By David Parkins

David parkins/The Globe and Mail

LIVING BETTER

Gut feelings: How microbes may affect your mental health

A growing body of research suggests that what’s happening in the gut may also have an impact on the brain. In a study published in February, for instance, Belgian scientists reported that two types of gut bacteria tend to be depleted in people with depression. The significance of this study is still open to debate. Even so, the results are intriguing and add support to earlier studies that demonstrated mood and behaviour could be altered by manipulating the gut’s microbial contents. Some of this groundbreaking research – done in lab mice and small groups of patients – was performed at McMaster University in Hamilton.

MOMENT IN TIME

Canada. Dept. of National Defence

Canadian soldiers preparing for D-Day, 1944

For much of the early spring in 1944, Canadian soldiers in England trained repeatedly for an amphibious assault everyone knew was coming, even if they had no idea where or when. This photo captures the moment everyone realized it was here and it was now. As the HMCS Prince Henry approached Juno Beach in the dawn of June 6, some of the Canadians aboard included these men of the Royal Canadian Engineers. Within minutes, they knew that they would be charging straight at Nazi machine-gun nests, and that many of them would die. Seeking solace, soldiers turned to army chaplain Captain Robert Seaborn, at left, who offered prayers and words of support. Capt. Seaborn, carrying a backpack full of medical supplies, later won the Croix de Guerre, the French medal for bravery, for helping evacuate the wounded while under enemy fire. Ken Carriere

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