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Evening Update: Canada sanctions Venezuelans; Russia calls for calm between North Korea and U.S.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during his weekly broadcast "Los Domingos con Maduro" (The Sundays with Maduro) in Caracas, Venezuela September 17, 2017.

HANDOUT/REUTERS

Good evening and happy Friday,

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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Canada sanctions 40 Venezuelans with links to political, economic crisis

Canada is sanctioning 40 senior Venezuelan government officials and individuals who it says are playing a key role in the political and economic crisis in the South American country. The Canadian sanctions target President Nicolas Maduro, members of his cabinet and officials from Venezuela's military, Supreme Court and National Electoral Council. In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the sanctions are meant to put pressure on the Maduro regime to restore constitutional order and respect the democratic rights of the Venezuelan people. Canada did not have any Venezuelans on its sanctions list until Friday's announcement.

U.S. admits it felt 'challenged' by North Korea as Russia urges calm

Russia's foreign minister urged "hot heads" to calm down on Friday as the United States admitted it felt "challenged" by North Korea's warning that it could test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific, and U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un traded more insults. Trump called the North Korean leader a "madman" on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him "a mentally deranged U.S. dotard" who would face the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history." This came in retaliation for Trump saying the U.S. would "totally destroy" North Korea if it threatened the U.S. or its allies. "We have to calm down the hot heads," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters at the United Nations, where world leaders gathered this week for the annual UN General Assembly. "We continue to strive for the reasonable and not the emotional approach … of the kindergarten fight between children."

McCain to vote against Obamacare repeal in likely blow to bill

U.S. Senator John McCain announced that he was in opposition to the Republican Party's latest attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, former president Barack Obama's signature health-care program. Mr. McCain joins all 48 Democrats and independents in the U.S. Senate in opposition, as well as his Republican colleagues Rand Paul and Susan Collins. 51 votes against a bill is enough to ensure that it doesn't pass in the Senate.

Tim Hortons' parent company taking legal action against group of franchisees

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The clash between the parent company of Tim Hortons and some of its restaurant owners is intensifying, with both sides vowing to take legal action amid a dispute about franchisee profitability. Daniel Schwartz, chief executive officer of Restaurant Brands International Inc., told an internal Tim Hortons all-franchisee conference call this week it has taken legal action against a group of restaurant owners over confidential information it says was leaked, and "negative" comments about Tim Hortons. (for subscribers)

MARKET WATCH

Canada's main stock index ended flat on Friday, but was up on the week as financial stocks gained ground, countering a weak performance by telecom shares. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index unofficially closed down 0.69 points at 15,454.23. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 ended the session slightly higher as investors brushed off concerns about U.S. health-care legislation and tensions with North Korea. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.04 per cent to end at 22,349.59, the S&P 500 gained 0.06 per cent to end at 2,502.21 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.07 per cent to end at 6,426.92.

WHAT'S TRENDING

The Invictus Games begin in Toronto tomorrow and will bring together more than 500 competitors from 17 countries in 12 sports. The Games, which were created by Prince Harry, feature athletes who are injured veterans or military personnel. All eyes will be on the competitors, as well as the Prince and his girlfriend, actress Meghan Markle.

TALKING POINTS

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Forget North Korea – the Mueller probe is Trump's explosive threat

"Mr. Trump has been strangely quiet the last few weeks about the Mueller probe. Don't expect that to last for long. Things are getting too hot." Lawrence Martin

Making a home on native land: Adrienne Clarkson on the welcoming way to be Canadian

"Those of us who came to Canada like me, a refugee, or those who chose to leave their birth countries and chance something different, something more, have risked that we can go somewhere and be taken in. In Canada, we are in a position to take people in." Adrienne Clarkson

Jose Bautista: An ode to Toronto's unapologetic star

"Bautista had his weaknesses – vainglory, a tendency to overplay his hand – but they were all extensions of a towering self-belief that was his greatest strength. Even now that he's on his way out, Bautista remains unbowed. He's leaving Toronto the same way he came in – with an 'I'll show you' sneer." Cathal Kelly

LIVING BETTER

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Especially if a baby is watching. A new study says children around 15 months old can become more persistent in pursuing a goal if they've just seen an adult struggle at a task before succeeding. "Showing children that hard work works might encourage them to work hard too," researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology concluded in a report released Thursday by the journal Science.

LONG READS FOR THE WEEKEND

Scenes from the wildest real estate frenzy Canada has ever seen

Something crazy happened to the Toronto real estate market in the first few months of 2017. Sales shot up, prices spiked and buyers who hesitated a single day could end up paying an extra $100,000. And then, everything changed. Meet some of the characters who lived through what just might have been the wildest real estate frenzy Canada has ever seen. (for subscribers)

Inside the Liberals' controversial tax changes: What's proposed, why they're doing it and what comes next

The federal government has launched an ambitious effort to reform Canada's tax system. On Parliament Hill and across the country, the changes have become a heated source of debate. Organized campaigns are protesting the proposal and urging the Liberals to back down. Prominent economists and labour leaders say that the government's proposals are the right thing to do. We've broken down everything you need to know about the changes, why the government has decided to tackle the tax code and what happens next. (for subscribers)

Evening Update is written by Kristene Quan, Mayaz Alam, Dianne Nice and Omair Quadri. If you'd like to receive this newsletter by e-mail every weekday evening, go here to sign up. If you have any feedback, send us a note.

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