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Canada's Tessa Virtue and Canada's Scott Moir compete in the ice dance short dance of the figure skating event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 19, 2018.MLADEN ANTONOV

Good evening,


Ontario school data shed light on effects of math-class divisions

The math test scores of high-school students in Ontario are holding steady, but improvements at dozens of schools show that efforts by teachers and principals can make a difference, says one of the authors of this year's Fraser Institute report card on the province's high schools. For years, it has underlined the severe achievement gap between students in the academic and applied math streams. More than 80 per cent of Grade 9 students in the academic math stream meet the provincial standard, but only 44 per cent of students enrolled in applied math reach that level. Research reveals that students in lower-income neighbourhoods are more likely to be enrolled in applied classes, including in math and that black students are twice as likely than other groups to be enrolled in applied classes.


Canada's Justin Kripps and brakeman Alex Kopacz tied with the German team for gold in the men's two-man bobsleigh Monday. After four runs, the two team had the exact combined time down to the hundredth of a second. Mr. Kripps joins Pierre Lueders, who took gold at the 1998 games in Nagano, Japan – also in a tie – as the only Canadians to top an Olympic podium in the two-man bobsleigh.

Cathal Kelly writes on why a tie is somehow sweeter: "Though the disappointment of loss can never be eliminated, a draw softens it. Especially in a sport this inconstant, it is the closest opponents can come to a shared romance."

Flag bearers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir broke their own record in the short dance and are going into the free dance in first place. Following closely behind the Canadians are the French team, who also happen to train with Ms. Virtue and Mr. Moir. In the short dance, French skater Gabriella Papadakis experienced a wardrobe malfunction and appeared unfazed as commentators gasped and rival skaters winced in sympathy. The two teams head into the free dance in practically a dead heat. It begins at 8 p.m. ET.

The women's hockey team defeated the Russians, 5-0, to advance to the finals against the U.S., who beat Finland 5-0 in the other semifinal game. The only time Canada hasn't taken the women's gold medal was when the U.S. won in Nagano in 1998, the first year women's hockey was played on Olympic ice.

Men's hockey wasn't supposed to matter at these Olympics because NHL players are competing. But then the Russians played the Americans and suddenly it was the 1980s again. It was NHL-fast, it was dirty and it was inspired, a certain kind of inspired that international hockey hasn't seen in a while. The Russians made a point with a rough win over the U.S. and, as Grant Robertson reports, welcome to hockey in the era of Trump.

Cathal Kelly writes that for Canada's Olympic medal-winning machine, curling does not compute. "For forever and a day, Canada has believed it should win at curling just because. Just because it's ours and we care about it more than everyone else. But it's exactly when you start to take that for granted that you find the business has changed around you and you're obsolete. You're not doing anything different, but everyone else is."

Medal Count (Gold, Silver, Bronze, Total)

  • Norway: 11, 9, 8, 28
  • Germany: 10, 6, 4, 20
  • Canada: 6, 5, 6, 17
  • Netherlands: 6, 5, 2, 13
  • United States: 5, 3, 2, 10

Coming up on Day 11 (All times Eastern)

  • 7:05 p.m. Feb. 19: Curling (Men’s round robin)
  • 8:00 p.m. Feb. 19: Figure skating (Ice dancing free dance featuring Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir)
  • 8:30 p.m. Feb. 19: Freestyle skiing (Women’s freestyle halfpipe final featuring Canada’s Cassie Sharpe, who finished in the top spot in qualifying)
  • 12:05 a.m. Feb. 20: Curling (Women’s round robin)
  • 5:00 a.m. Feb. 20: Short track speed skating (Men’s 500m heats, Women’s 1000m heats, Women’s 3000m relay finals)
  • 6:15 a.m. Feb. 20: Biathlon (Mixed relay)
  • 6:50 a.m. Feb. 20: Bobsleigh (Women’s runs 1-2)

Trump backs efforts to bolster gun background checks: White House

President Donald Trump offered support Monday for an effort to strengthen the federal gun background check system as he hunkered down at his private Florida golf course not far from last week's deadly school shooting. Mr. Trump spent much of the holiday weekend (It is President's Day in the U.S.) watching cable television news and grousing to club members and advisers about the investigation of Russian election meddling.

In the absence of meaningful action by lawmakers, schools are attempting to chart their own path forward. That boils down to asking a series of questions that should not have to be asked: What is the best way to prepare children without scaring them? How many resources should be devoted to training and how many to equipment? Is it ever appropriate to arm school staff? Joanna Slater looks at how schools across the U.S. are struggling to respond to mass shootings.

Trudeau to meet Indian politician behind Sikh separatist controversy

An Indian politician who publicly accused members of Justin Trudeau's cabinet of being connected to the Sikh separatist movement will meet the Prime Minister this week. Mr. Trudeau says the details of the meeting are still being worked out, including whether any cabinet ministers will attend. On Monday, Mr. Trudeau was in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat, where the streets are hung with banners bearing his picture.

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.

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The brutal cold snap that kicked off this winter in Toronto took its toll on more than just people. Along with a swan, the Toronto Wildlife Centre has taken in some 30 bats, a whole bunch of frostbitten opossums, a northern shrike with a busted wing and hundreds of other sick or injured animals in the past few months alone. Jesse Winter sees how the creatures and caregivers are coping.

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Can we ever kick our smartphone addiction? Jim Balsillie and Norman Doidge discuss

The former founder and co-CEO of Research in Motion and a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and author discuss by phone and e-mail how we've become dependent on our digital devices: Writes Mr. Doidge: "Another teacher there reported the same loss of eye contact. At first it seemed to them like these kids might have Asperger's, which is on the rise, and involves a discomfort with eye contact. But as the teachers watched the parents picking those kids up, they saw they were constantly on their smartphones, not looking at their kids – or the teachers, either, for that matter. As cute as these people's own kids were, in the moment, the kids couldn't compete with an entire virtual reality engineered to keep their parents distracted."

Youth pay the price for British Columbia's real estate crisis

"When we hear Mr. Horgan talk like Ms. Clark about earned equity, we should all be asking how someone has "earned" a 75-per-cent appreciation in property value over three years. Most real estate economists would tell you that someone earns an average appreciation of 2 per cent to 3 per cent a year by paying their mortgage. The other 66 per cent to 69 per cent is purely a lottery win." – Raymond Wong

The XXX generation: How porn is hurting our kids

"Here's a question. Why are feminists and other liberals so indifferent to – and in denial about – the malign effects of porn? Why are people so censorious of crude, misogynous male behaviour in real life, but so reluctant to draw a link between that behaviour and the ubiquitous availability of the crudest kind of porn? Why are they so quick to assert that endless images of men ejaculating onto women's faces are completely harmless? The answer is that feminists and other liberals would rather be caught dead than be caught on the same side as Christians, conservatives, and other social reactionaries." – Margaret Wente


Soup is the ultimate comfort food on a cold winter day, but is a soup cleanse good for losing weight? "Souping" is a recent fad that involves eating blended soups, usually plant-based, for a certain number of days to increase energy, boost mood, improve complexion and banish body fat. Leslie Beck writes that, depending on your usual diet, you may lose a few pounds on a soup cleanse. However, she doesn't recommend following a low-calorie soup cleanse for more than a few days and explains why a short-term diet isn't a long-lasting solution to weight control.


Quitting for the win: Why letting your kids give up might build their resiliency

Every parent wants their children to have the grit to work through hardship rather than give up when things get difficult. But quitting activities is often essential for children, resiliency experts say: Refusing to let them do so can sometimes do more harm than good and possibly damage their self-esteem and dampen their willingness to try new things. As Dave McGinn reports, the important thing is to know when to let a child quit.

The ultimate sustainable furniture – mushroom lamps and flax seed chairs

Until recently, the only way style-conscious enviro-obsessives could appease their ethical standards, while still meeting their high criteria for nice stuff, was to buy items that were either recycled or upcycled or, better yet, both. But, very often, that still entailed products produced from plastics, damaging dyes or other harmful synthetics that would, one day, inevitably, end up in a garbage dump. Now, a new crop of ecologically minded designers in Canada and abroad are innovating sustainable materials that are so non-toxic you could just as easily eat them as showcase them in a picture-perfect living room. As Matthew Hague writes, they are not only using pine needles, but mushrooms, flax seeds, algae and other natural materials to make light fixtures, chairs, purses and more.

Evening Update is written by Jordan Chittley. 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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