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Good morning,

While the cumulative deaths per million in the U.S. over the course of the pandemic is still nearly double Canada’s, that gap is gradually eroding as our daily death rates steadily converge.

Data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control show a clear trend: Daily U.S. deaths per million were between five and six times higher than Canada’s during the first days of April; three times higher by the middle of the month; about a third higher at the start of May; and just 14-per-cent higher by this week.

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But what do these numbers mean, and are they reliable?

Read more on U.S.-Canada news:

by John Sopinski

The Globe and Mail

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.

China-Canada relations: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending his ambassador to China for saying Beijing’s heavy-handed diplomacy is alienating foreign countries and injuring its goodwill abroad. Dominic Barton’s comment represents a bluntly worded departure from the diplomatic tone that the Canadian government has adopted toward China

“I think it’s totally normal that we be asking questions about how different countries are behaving, including China,” the Prime Minister said.

Relief: Ottawa opened up its latest financing program for small- and medium-sized businesses, offering partly forgivable loans through Canada’s six regional development agencies. The $962-million program, now known as the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, was announced last month , but Ottawa unveiled how it would allocate the money yesterday

  • Opinion (David Parkinson): Why Canada’s emergency benefits are the right tool for this economic downturn

Tanzanian hospitals overwhelmed by dramatic rise in secret COVID-19 cases, U.S. says

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An unusual U.S. embassy warning was issued yesterday after weeks of growing rumours about a wave of hidden deaths in Tanzania. The country stopped issuing any official updates on the coronavirus in late April after a surge of new cases.

President John Magufuli, unlike many other African leaders, has refused to close churches, bars or restaurants to stem the spread of the virus. Instead, he has advocated prayer, hot steam and herbal remedies such as an unproven beverage from Madagascar. The secrecy has sparked a flood of rumours about deaths and illness, with some health care workers saying that hundreds have died.

More world news:

  • As new clusters emerge, WHO warns coronavirus may be here to stay
  • Some outdoor recreational activities resume as Britain begins to ease coronavirus lockdown

A picture taken on May 5, 2020, shows a truck driver preparing an Iftar, the evening meal which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fasting, beside his truck as he has been waiting for five days to be tested for coronavirus before entering to Kenya as its mandatory for all drivers at Namanga, northern Tanzania. (Photo by Filbert Rweyemamu / AFP)


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


World Economic Forum calls out Canada for slow move to sustainable energy: The decision marked the first time that Norway’s US$1-trillion wealth fund, which operates under ethical guidelines set by the country’s parliament, used excessive greenhouse-gas emissions as a reason to divest.

Kenney delays part of economic relaunch in Calgary, Brooks as rest of province reopens: Alberta flagged May 14 as the earliest day it may ease restrictions for most businesses such as restaurants and daycares, but did not confirm its plan until yesterday, giving businesses less than a day’s notice.

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Congress of Aboriginal Peoples files court application over federal funding levels during COVID-19: In its filing in Federal Court, CAP takes issue with the $250,000 funding allocation under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, saying it constitutes a deprivation of security of the person and potentially life.

Legault hopes Quebeckers ‘make a habit’ of wearing masks, but won’t make it mandatory yet: Quebec is the first Canadian jurisdiction where the idea of mandating the use of masks in public, to curb the spread of the virus, has been discussed in such explicit detail.

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to sign deal that entrenches their governance system in B.C.: Hereditary chiefs will hold a virtual meeting with the B.C. and federal governments to sign a memorandum of understanding that outlines an expedited process to implement rights and title over the Wet’suwet’en’s traditional territory, known as their “yin tah.”


World stocks drop for third day as recovery hopes falter: World stock markets fell for a third day running on Thursday after a sobering warning from the World Health Organization that the coronavirus may never go away. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 2.29 per cent. Germany’s DAX fell 1.54 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished down 1.74 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.45 per cent. New York futures were mixed. The Canadian dollar was trading around 71 US cents.


A COVID-19 surge has exposed Singapore’s migrant-worker blind spot

Michael Bociurkiw: “These workers need to be recognized for who they are – as critical contributors to Singapore’s success story.” Bociurkiw is a global affairs analyst, formerly based in Southeast Asia.

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Stephen Harper strikes back with a warning about big government

Konrad Yakabuski: “The dilemma now facing the Harper-less Conservatives is whether to align themselves with their former leader’s hard-line stand on fiscal policy when most Canadians appear to support (and even like) the big-government policies of Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.”

‘Obamagate’? Nice hashtag, Mr. Trump. Dream on.

Lawrence Martin:So now, with Mr. Trump beaten up for having made America sick again through his shaky handling of the coronavirus pandemic, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that in trying to deflect attention from the crisis, he would target Mr. Obama – yet again.”


By Brian Gable

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


All about dates

Dates are hidden in many things we eat. They are a staple in energy bars, used in stews to add sweetness, and the main ingredient in sticky toffee pudding. They’re also a part of Middle Eastern food culture, especially in Muslim celebrations like Ramadan.

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Lucy Waverman writes that when purchasing dates, look for ones that have a shiny, smooth skin and avoid those that appear shriveled or have sugar crystals on their surface. She also freezes them, as a high sugar content keeps them slightly soft. They defrost in 5 minutes.

Check out her recipe ideas for roasted dates with ham, stuffed dates with tahini and almond, or even a date salsa.


Oil wells Dingman No. 1 and No. 2, Turner Valley, 1914. Credit: Provincial Archives of Alberta, P1304

Provincial Archives of Alberta

Dingman No. 1 well sets off Calgary oil boom

The Calgary Petroleum Products Co. had been drilling for oil in Alberta’s Turner Valley for a year when crews struck a gasoline-like substance that instantly turned the city into an energy capital and established Western Canada’s first commercial oil field. Heralded at the time as crude oil, the Dingman No. 1 well – named after Archibald Wayne Dingman, who started the company – actually tapped into a form of petroleum known as unrefined condensate. The discovery set off a frenzy in Calgary, where hundreds of oil companies sprouted up overnight and millions of dollars poured into the industry. Crowds gathered to see the well, whose output was used to fill up automobiles to make the return trip to Calgary. The boom was short-lived, largely ended by the First World War. Of the hundreds of oil companies that formed in the excitement that followed Dingman No. 1, only 19 ever drilled any wells and just six were completed. Calgary Petroleum Products went bankrupt in 1920 and later became Royalite Oil Co., a division of Imperial Oil. The industry continued in fits and starts until 1947, when the Leduc No. 1 well south of Edmonton struck crude and marked the start of the province’s modern oil industry. James Keller

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