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Busy day? Here are five stories popular with Globe readers to help you catch up.

A row of cows wait while they are milked during the morning routine at Harcroft Dairy Farm north of Fergus, Ontario on Oct. 24, 2013. (Peter Power/The Globe and Mail)

Milk surplus forcing Canada's dairy industry to dump supply

Canadian dairy farmers are experiencing an excess of milk, forcing them to turn growing volumes into low-cost pig-feed and sometimes dump it on farms or in sewage systems, Barrie McKenna reports.

The head of the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) acknowledged in a recent letter to farmers that it has been forced to get rid of quantities of unwanted liquid skim milk.

The immediate crisis is triggered by"unprecedented" demand for butter and cream mixed with inadequate dairy processing capacity and flat demand for fluid milk, according to DFO officials. This results in a surplus of liquid skim milk - the remainder after most butterfat has been removed.

Ontario farmers have produced 5.4 million litres of excess skim milk in the past month, according to DFO spokesman Graham Lloyd. Since late May, roughly 800,000 litres of milk has been poured into farm manure pits, called “lagoons.”

Mr. Lloyd explained that farmers will get nothing for the milk being sold as low-cost animal feed, valued at $500,000.

In a free market, surpluses would typically lead to lower consumer prices, but that isn’t the case in Canada because prices are fixed, explained Martha Hall Findlay, a former Liberal MP and fellow at the University of Calgary School of Public Policy. “The system can’t accommodate fluctuations in demand,” she said.

Faced with a stagnant domestic market, Montreal-based Saputo Inc. and other major Canadian dairy producers have been investing heavily outside the country, where growth opportunities are better.
Noah Nicolaisen kneels down near a makeshift memorial at the scene of a shooting, in Charleston, S.C., June 18, 2015. (TRAVIS DOVE/NYT)

Charleston shooting reopens America’s most enduring wound

A church massacre in the heart of the Old South has reopened the most enduring wound in American life: the legacy of slavery.

The mass murder of nine worshippers in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church Wednesday evening has struck an especially deep chord because it recalled a past of church burnings, killings and kidnappings that terrorized Southern blacks well into the civil rights era, Marcus Gee writes.

“The fact that this took place in a black church obviously also raises questions about a dark part of our history,” a grim President Barack Obama said Thursday.

Known locally as Mother Emanuel, the Gothic Revival church is home to the oldest black congregation south of Baltimore. Throughout U.S. history, black churches have often been targeted by white supremacists.

The events of the recent past – from the Florida killing of teenager Trayvon Martin to the upheaval in Ferguson, Mo., to the demonstrations in Baltimore – have cast a shadow over the progress that black Americans have made in everything from high school graduation rates to political representation, writes Gee.

Following is a list of some of the more serious or notorious hate crimes in the United States:

  • Feb. 10, 2015: Three young Muslims were gunned down at an apartment near the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill.
  • April, 2014: Three people were fatally shot to death outside two Jewish centres in Overland Park, Kan.
  • August, 2012: White supremacist Wade Michael Page walked into a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., and fatally shot six worshippers.
  • February, 2011: A group of white men ambushed and beat James Craig Anderson, a 47-year-old black man, in Jackson, Miss., who died after one of the men ran him over with his truck.

Maple Leafs rebuild turns sights to Kessel, Phaneuf and a flawed core

The Toronto Maple Leafs have just two weeks to chart the course of their franchise and to overhaul a roster that has failed for years, James Mirtle writes.

The Leafs made news Thursday for three minor house-keeping reasons: they allowed fringe winger Brandon Kozun to sign with Jokerit in the KHL, they moved into the lead in pursuit of free agent Nikita Zaitsev and they elected for salary arbitration with goaltender Joseph Bernier.

With the NHL draft a week from Friday in South Florida, trade talk has begun to heat up, and there are at least four Leafs in those conversations.

Even with coach Mike Babcock in the mix, the Leafs have to clean house. They have eight players signed until 2018 and a management team with a vastly different way of looking at roster building than the last regime.

After an almost complete reconstruction of the front office and coaching staff, the Leafs are finally about to use some of that new brain power to pull apart and reshape the roster.

Following is a list of the Maple Leafs' top trade candidates:

  1. Dion Phaneuf: Leafs captain is 30 years old and has six years left on a contract with a $7-million (U.S.) cap hit
  2. Phil Kessel: Leafs’ top scorer turns 28 in October and is coming off an ugly finish to his season, which was the first of a new eight-year, $64-million deal
  3. Jonathan Bernier: A restricted free agent, Bernier is expected to command in the $4.5-million range on a new deal
  4. Tyler Bozak: The Leafs top-line centre has three years left on a deal that pays him $4.2-million but has been only a 50-point player despite big minutes, top power-play duty and playing with Kessel
  5. Joffrey Lupul: Lupul has missed a considerable amount of time because of injury and has three years left on his $5.25-million deal and has a limited no-trade clause (14 teams)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras speak at an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 19, 2015. (Mikhail Klimentyev/AP)

Russia willing to help Greece as Tsipras pleads for EU leniency

Russia said it would consider financial aid to effectively bankrupt Greece, a Russian official said before Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras addressed Russia’s showcase economic forum on Friday.

The overture came as the Greek crisis escalated to the point the European Central Bank agreed to give more emergency funding to Greece’s banks, which are losing deposits at an alarming rate, Eric Reguly reports.

The Greek banks are in danger of collapsing after a steady run on deposits that began after the election of Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras's radical left Syriza government in January.

On Friday at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Greece and Russia signed a deal to extend a pipeline that would carry Russian gas to Europe through Turkey and Greece. If the pipeline is built, Greece would receive hundreds of millions of dollars in transit payments.

In a short speech at SPIEF, Mr. Tsipras made another plea for leniency from the European Union as Greece faces default on its bailout loans and possible exit from the euro zone.

While a small loan or investment would not fix Greece’s predicament, it would send the signal that Greece is willing to move closer to the Russian orbit if Greece were to leave the euro zone.

How Canada’s wireless prices compare with international rate

A new report is giving Canadians a glimpse at how the prices they pay for cellphone plans have changed in recent years as well as how those prices compare with what Americans and Europeans pay, Christine Dobby reports.

The report from Ottawa consulting firm Wall Communications Inc. covers both domestic prices as well as international comparisons for wireless, high-speed Internet and landline telephone services – plus the price of bundled packages.

The federal government likes to cite figures from the Wall report to prove its policies on the wireless industry have led to lower prices since 2008.

However, it is difficult to draw particular conclusions from the study because the 89-page report breaks the services down into"basket levels" based on the type of use - such as the five levels of use in the case of wireless prices.

Mobile wireless prices in 2015 are “generally higher than last year,” Gerry Wall, president of Wall Communications, said in a news release. But he added that prices for talk and text plans are 20 per cent lower than in 2008, while higher-volume plans with talk, text and data have come down 24 per cent since then.

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