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Marijuana plants are pictured during a tour of Tweed Inc. in Smiths Falls, Ont., on Thursday, January 21, 2016.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Good evening and Happy New Year,


Federal government targets black – and grey – markets with legal cannabis

In the push to legalize recreational marijuana in Canada, the federal government is hoping to curtail the black and grey markets for the product. Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and former Toronto Police chief Bill Blair, the Liberal MP in charge of the cannabis legalization file, say that the government's goal is to displace the existing process by which products are sold in the country. Ms. Petitpas Taylor acknowledged that the framework for legal use, which is being developed by both levels of government, will take some time before the displacement occurs. "The system is not going to be perfect in July, 2018," she said. "With respect to the black market, we certainly want to make a dent in it. Do we think it will happen overnight? Absolutely not."

André Picard writes that Canada can learn a lot from California as it prepares for marijuana legalization: "Allowing existing outlets to expand beyond the medicinal market to the recreational one will give California a smoother transition to legalization. By contrast, some provinces, like Ontario, have declared war on dispensaries. That will benefit state-run cannabis stores, but not consumers, especially younger ones, who will be driven by the cost and lack of selection to the black market. In fact, the most important lessons Canada can take from California revolve around how to cater to consumers of cannabis." (for subscribers)

What's happening in Iran? A guide to the protests

Nationwide demonstrations against economic malaise and the nation's leadership have led to deadly violence and a crackdown from the government in the Islamic Republic. At least 21 people are dead and hundreds have been arrested. In his first comments since the protests began on Dec. 28, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's supreme leader, pointed the finger at "enemies of Iran" for the demonstrations. We've built a primer how they began, what's at stake and how they compare with previous unrest in 2009, which came after a disputed presidential election.

H.A. Hellyer writes that the West's support of Iranian protests should not be conditional: "As a rule, the right of citizens to peacefully protest without threat of violent retribution should always be recognized, and Iranians who protest should thus see international signs of solidarity. But when we support that right selectively, we hold no moral high ground; we merely open ourselves to the accusation that we're hypocritical."

Trump forecast for 2018: Chaos with a steady stream of unpredictability

What can we expect from the political year ahead as we approach Year Two of the Trump administration? In most cases, the second year of a presidency brings steadiness as Washington adjusts to the new person in charge. But this isn't just any presidency. David Shribman writes that we should be expecting a cloudy outlook and much stormy weather because, with a U.S. President who pays no mind to the conventional patterns of presidential behaviour, the new year will almost certainly be much like the past year.

As multi-ethnic population in Canada rises, complications arise

The number of Canadians who identify as mixed-race or multi-ethnic is on the rise, according to data from the 2016 Census. But with the increase in mixed-identity Canadians come a host of potential problems to navigate, ranging from the political and sociological to the health-related. The Globe and Mail's Dakshana Bascaramurty draws on the latest figures and speaks with multi-ethnic individuals and mixed-ethnicity families on what the implications are of a more hyphenated Canada.

Ex-hostage Joshua Boyle charged with sex assault, assault, forcible confinement: lawyer

Joshua Boyle, the Canadian man who was held hostage by the Taliban-linked Haqqani network in Afghanistan, has been arrested and faces at least a dozen charges, including sexual assault, assault and forcible confinement. Mr. Boyle and his wife, American Caitlan Coleman, were taken hostage in 2012 and were freed in October along with their three children, who were born in captivity.

This is the daily Evening Update newsletter, a roundup of the important stories of the day and what everyone is talking about that will be delivered to your inbox every weekday around 5 p.m. ET. If you're reading this online, or if someone forwarded this e-mail to you, you can sign up for Evening Update and all Globe newsletters here. Have feedback? Let us know what you think.


Canada's main stock index notched a record high on Tuesday as marijuana stocks climbed and energy and gold miners rallied. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 0.62 per cent at 16,309.99. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at record highs on investor optimism that the bull market will continue in 2018. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.42 per cent to 24,824.01, the S&P 500 gained 0.83 per cent to 2,695.79 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.5 per cent to 7,006.90.


Two top executives at Vice Media, president Andrew Creighton and chief digital officer Mike Germano, are being investigated by the company after allegations of sexual misconduct emerged in recent weeks.

Since The New York Times' Harvey Weinstein investigation in October, 2017, we've been tracking the list of powerful public figures accused of sexual misconduct. You can read the full list here.


I'll start 2018 by recognizing my white privilege

"I can't be a classical liberal any more, because there simply isn't a level playing field – not in terms of race, educational opportunities, economic resources and so many other factors – that ensures the best ideas are recognized and that effort is fairly rewarded with economic success. To act like there is is cruel – and self-serving for those already advantaged. If I can distill my change in outlook and behaviour into a general principle, I now err on the side of not presuming my experience is like others' experiences. I try to default to compassion and self-awareness. Only five years ago, I might have said "all lives matter"; "not all men"; "everything is up for debate"; "I'm a free speech absolutist"; and "students need to be prepared for the real world." Now I say, based on facts and not just emotion, "black lives matter"; "I believe women"; "I don't get to debate the existence of others"; "free speech often benefits the already powerful"; and "marginalized students have already seen more of the real world than I ever will." That's my paradigm shift." – Matthew Sears

Mandatory minimum sentencing should be Trudeau's first resolution

"It's been a bit more than two years since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to 'completely implement' the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 calls to action. Many of these require joint action and spending. They take time. The 32nd call to action, however, only requires a simple amendment to the Criminal Code. It called "upon the federal government to amend the Criminal Code to allow trial judges, upon giving reasons, to depart from mandatory minimum sentences and restrictions on the use of conditional sentences." In other words, judges who have heard all of the facts about the case and the offender should decide the correct sentence. One size does not fit all." – Amanda Carling, Emily Hill, Kent Roach and Jonathan Rudin

How to play North Korea's Olympic game

"The best solution would be for North Korea to take part in the Winter Games, and for the U.S. to agree to South Korea's request to postpone their joint military exercises. It's too soon, though, to ease the sanctions on North Korea. It will be enough for now to see Mr. Kim behave during the Olympics, for his country and South Korea to reopen talks, and for the U.S. to reward North Korea by agreeing to delay its war games while there is an opening for dialogue. If the Games go off without a hitch, Mr. Kim's surprise request for talks could result in a substantial easing of tensions. But Mr. Kim could have something else up his sleeve. Nothing can be taken for granted. As in sports, you can't be sure of the outcome before the final buzzer." – Globe and Mail Editorial Board


Globe and Mail reporter Dave McGinn is a self-proclaimed born quitter. At the first sign of adversity, he usually folds like a chair. But in a race that's just as much mental as it is physical, he was able to find a way to persevere, drawing on advice from experts and friends. He shares how he found the willpower to finish his first marathon and how the lessons he learned are applicable to motivation in general.


How Bombardier's 'success fees' gave the transport giant an inside track to deals around the world

The price of success. Bombardier and its rivals call them 'success fees' – millions of dollars that need to be paid to middlement to win lucrative overseas contracts. A year-long Globe and Mail investigation spanning four continent reveals a pattern of middlemen, 'success fee' payments – and allegations of corruption. Mark MacKinnon, Geoffrey York and Nathan VanderKlippe report

Getting to know the people of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside

When many Canadians hear about Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, they often think about drug use and poverty, overlooking the people who live there. Stories from the neighbourhood paint a different picture. The Globe's Andrea Woo spoke with six community members about life in a place most Canadians only hear about through bleak headlines and grim statistics.

Evening Update is written by Mayaz Alam 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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