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From left, actors Diana Bentley, Hannah Miller, Kristin Booth and Patricia Fagan, attend a press conference at law firm Levitt LLP on Jan. 4, 2018.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Albert Schultz resigns from Soulpepper amid sexual harassment allegations

His resignation as artistic director, which is effective immediately, "will allow Soulpepper to focus on its core mission: to provide a safe community for its exceptionally talented group of professionals," the theatre company said in a statement. Earlier today, four actors, Ted Dykstra, Stuart Hughes, Michelle Monteith and Rick Roberts, resigned in support of colleagues who have made claims of sexual assault and abuse by Schultz. By resigning, their goal is that the allegations will be taken seriously. Patricia Fagan, Kristin Booth, Diana Bentley and Hannah Miller have launched civil lawsuits against Schultz and Soulpepper, alleging decades of sexual harassment and assault, both on and off stage. The eight spoke to media at a press conference Thursday.

As The Globe reported Wednesday, Mr. Schultz, who is the founder of one of Canada's best-known theatre companies, was forced to step down following the allegations. In separate suits, the women are seeking damages totalling $4.25-million from the theatre company and $3.6-million from Mr. Schultz – who is described as a "serial sexual predator" in their statements of claim. Soulpepper's board of directors said they are investigating the allegations.

Schools, businesses shuttered as Atlantic Canada braces for 'weather bomb'

An eerily calm Thursday morning transformed into high winds, pounding rain and ice, power outages and school closures as a powerful weather bomb made landfall in Nova Scotia. More than 50,000 customers are affected by power outages in the province as the storm begins to unleash on Atlantic Canada. Some regions have been forecast to see hurricane-force wind gusts of up to 180 km/h, parts of New Brunswick will be hammered with more than a metre of snow and flooding is expected for coastal regions of Nova Scotia. By tomorrow morning, the worst should be over for much of the Maritimes.

Other parts of Canada are being hit by a cold snap. Residents of more northern Canadian cities may mock Torontonians for being ill-adjusted to the cold, but temperatures are set to sink below -25 C on the weekend. Here are 14 cold, hard facts that show just how cold it is in Toronto.

Wynne says Tim Horton's heirs are 'bullying' employees over benefit cuts

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has accused Tim Horton's heirs of bullying their employees after Ron Joyce Jr. and Jeri Horton-Joyce notified workers in a letter of cuts to paid breaks and worker benefits as a result of the province's minimum wage hike. In a statement released today, Ms. Wynne called on Mr. Joyce Jr. to reverse his decision to cut benefits. Mr. Joyce Jr. and Ms. Horton-Joyce own two Tim Hortons restaurants in Cobourg, Ont., and told staff that they would be taking the actions in response to changing provincial labour laws, including a $2.40 increase in the hourly minimum wage.

GTA home prices cap tumultuous year with meagre gain in December

The Toronto Real Estate Board reported the average price for all homes sold in 2017 was $822,681, a gain of 12.7 per cent from 2016. However, the average price of homes sold in December was up just 0.7 per cent from the same month in 2016. The healthy year-over-year gain was due to a boom in the first four months of 2017, but by May prices began falling after the Ontario government announced a package of measures to cool the market, including a foreign buyers tax. Since August, the GTA has seen a shaky recovery. (for subscribers)

According to a poll of analysts, Canadian home prices are expected to grow by 1.9 per cent in 2018 as tighter mortgage rules come into effect.

Security flaws put virtually all phones, computers at risk

Security researchers disclosed flaws Wednesday that they said could let hackers steal information from nearly every modern computing device containing chips from Intel Corp, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and ARM Holdings. The bugs are called Meltdown and Spectre. One is specific to Intel but the other affects laptops, desktops, smartphone tablets and internet servers alike. Intel and ARM insisted the issue wasn't a design flaw, but it will require users to download a patch and update their operating system to fix. Google says the vulnerability is actually a threat to smartphones and tablets as well.

Here's how a researcher exposed "one of the worst CPU bugs ever found."

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.

MARKET WATCH

Canada's main stock exchange, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index, rose again today, adding to its record high. It closed at 16,412.94, up .25 per cent. Earlier in the day it hit an all-time intraday high of 16,421.42. The index was buoyed by financials and five of the ten main groups ended higher. In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke 25,000 for the first time today and ended the day at 25,073.54. The gains accounted for a 0.61 per cent increase. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite also increased on the day, with the former gaining 0.40 per cent to end at 2,723.92 and the latter adding 0.18 per cent, to finish at 7,077.92.

WHAT'S TRENDING

Thousands are expected to visit the town of Windsor for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle so the local council leader is saying beggars need to be cleared by police from the streets before the wedding. He says it is because their "detritus" is presenting the picturesque town in a poor light. The comments drew criticism from Prime Minister Theresa May and homeless organizations, with the Windsor Homelessness Project manager calling them "sickening."

TALKING POINTS

What will it take for Trudeau to split from Harper?

"Mr. Trudeau is far more assertive than his Conservative predecessor on the need to combat global warming. But the government has only committed itself to meeting the targets set by the Conservatives. On defence procurement, foreign aid and relations in the Middle East, the rhetoric has changed, but the policies remain substantially the same." – John Ibbitson

Now, more than ever, we need to solve Ontario's health-care crisis of capacity

"No one, least of all the political leaders about to run a provincial election, want to face this reality. But the numbers are clear: Our health-care system is simply too lean. Ontario needs more hospitals, more rehab facilities and more long-term-care beds. We need health-care professionals to staff all these new sites, plus ease shortages at the ones we already have. This will mean money." — Jon Dwyer

Minimum wages can make for maximum consternation

"Minimum hourly wages should rise over time, but is ramping them up in unpredictable jumps, largely for political gain, the best way to help low-income earners? Are there other forms of support that might be as effective, but with fewer economic costs? Serious governments should ask these questions before barrelling ahead." — Globe editorial

LIVING BETTER

Since mid-November, dozens of people have become ill and two people have died in Canada and the U.S. as a result of infection with E. coli 0157:H7, which has been linked in this country to contaminated romaine lettuce. The bacteria normally live in the intestines of healthy people and are typically harmless, but this strain can cause severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. The Public Health Agency recommends washing potentially contaminated romaine lettuce, but one microbiologist advises not to eat it. Here's a primer on how the contamination occurs and what you can do.

LONG READS FOR A LONG COMMUTE

Corals pummelled by repeated hits caused by climate change

As recently as the early 1980s, "bleaching" events – when ocean temperatures spike and exceed the heat threshold of the organisms that build the reefs – occurred once every 25 to 30 years. The long intervals allowed time for living corals to recolonize reefs that were killed off by bleaching. An international team of researchers that looked at decades worth of data from reefs around the world found the time between bleaching events has now shrunk to less than once every six years. As Ivan Semeniuk reports, climate change, which causes an increase in ocean temperature, means a major loss of coral reefs.

Inner peace and inner turmoil

Publicly Michael Stone appeared to be the picture of health and wellness. The 42-year-old husband and father, who lived on Pender Island, dedicated himself to Buddhism and yoga becoming an internationally renowned author and teacher of the practices. But privately, he grappled with bipolar disorder. He was not known to use illicit drugs, but late one night was found in downtown Victoria, the victim of a drug overdose with a preliminary toxicology test suggesting he had ingested illicit drugs including fentanyl. As Andrea Woo writes, the death came as a shock to his followers.

Evening Update is written by Jordan Chittley and Mayaz Alam. 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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