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Morning Update newsletter: Kyle Miller makes golf history; study tests full-day kindergarten outcomes

Members of the Canadian armed forces erect tents to house asylum seekers at the Canada-United States border in Lacolle, Que. Wednesday, August 9, 2017.



Golfer with cerebral palsy set to make history

On Thursday, Kyle Miller will become the first golfer with cerebral palsy to compete at a PGA Tour-sanctioned event. Miller, who also works as a professional instructor, will play at the ATB Financial Classic in Calgary. "What kept me going was that I always reminded myself that if I ever achieved my dreams and goals, I was going to inspire however many thousands of people behind me," says Miller.

As asylum seekers flock to Quebec, Canadian agencies pitch in

Approximately 100 members of the Canadian armed forces have built a camp at a border crossing in Quebec. The personnel installed 25 large tents that can provide shelter for about 500 asylum seekers. Last month, the border crossing at Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle processed nearly 150 asylum seekers a day who had used an unofficial crossing nearby. Today, says Jean-Pierre Fortin, national president of the Customs and Immigration Union, that number can be closer to 400 to 600. Currently, more than 2,500 asylum seekers are living in temporary housing in Montreal.

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Ontario children gain learning benefits from full-day kindergarten: study

Students attending Ontario's full-day kindergarten program are outperforming half-day kindergarten peers at the end of Grade 2, according to a study from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. The study, which is tracking nearly 600 children through primary school, has found that students in full-day kindergarten are "significantly ahead" in a range of key academic metrics. Introduced in the fall of 2010, the rollout of full-day kindergarten was met with criticism from some who painted it as government-subsidized daycare.

Texas billionaire brothers bet big on Canadian fracking

Wilks Brothers LLC, owned by Farris and Dan Wilks, has increased its stake in Calgary-based Calfrac Well Services Ltd. The firm boosted its total interest in the hydraulic fracturing company to nearly 14.5 per cent. Some analysts see the move as a play on the downturn in the energy sector. "We definitely have a positive view on Canadian pressure pumping, and I think this particular investor probably does as well," says Ben Owens, an analyst for Royal Bank of Canada.


Global stocks fell for a third day on Thursday and investors moved again into the Swiss franc, yen and gold, prompted by the war of words between the United States and North Korea. Tokyo's Nikkei lost less than 0.1 per cent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slumped 1.1 per cent, and the Shanghai composite 0.4 per cent. In Europe, London's FTSE 100, Germany's DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were down by between 0.5 and 1 per cent by about 5 a.m. ET. New York futures were also down, and the Canadian dollar was down to almost 78.5 cents (U.S.). Oil prices rose, lifted by a sustained decline in inventories and as Saudi Arabia prepared to cut crude supplies to its prized Asian customers.


Trump has threatened himself – and the rest of us – into a corner

"But, beyond its goosebump-raising aura of chaotic incompetence, this showdown does carry much more frightening implications. Mr. Trump has now blustered himself into a mortal paradox in which his threats may jeopardize any hope of a North Korean solution, while a failure to carry through on those threats could jeopardize his own position." – Doug Saunders

Is Macron's presidency already falling apart?

"It turns out that "Jupiter," as the new President is also nicknamed, does not walk on water. Not yet 100 days into office, Mr. Macron has seen his popularity plummet faster than almost any other modern French leader. Even his two immediate predecessors, François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, had higher approval ratings at this point in their presidencies. And both ended up as one-term presidents." – Konrad Yakabuski

Tech leaders must stop treating humanity like computer code

"But despite this obvious fact, the manifesto does ring true in one way: It represents the tech world's too-common, incredibly reductive view of humanity that tries to think of humans are just like computer code itself, a complex, but predetermined series of input and output. This view itself leads to a blind faith in a hyper-rational world dictated by metrics, competitive bro culture and faux notions of meritocracy." – Navneet Alang


Tweaking your stride can make running more difficult: study

A new study says that beginner and experienced runners alike tend to land on a running stride that works best for them. Scientists at Brigham Young University recruited 19 competitive runners and 14 people from other sports. Over the course of two days, researchers tweaked the runners' strides by having them keep pace with a metronome. The study, published in the International Journal of Exercise Science, found that altering the preferred stride of a runner actually made the act of running physically more difficult. Although the scope of the study was limited, the results offer a hopeful message: Your body knows best.


The St. Lawrence Seaway project begins

Aug. 10, 1954:
Construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway – one of Canada's largest and most impressive feats of engineering – began on this day in Cornwall, Ont., not long after premier Leslie Frost and Ontario Hydro chair Robert Saunders shook hands with local Indigenous leaders. Stretching from Montreal to Lake Ontario, the 306-kilometre system of locks, channels and canals allows ships to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. Months earlier, when the final U.S. court case against the project was rejected, residents held a spontaneous parade to celebrate a long-time dream becoming a reality. The project entailed flooding 15,400 hectares of land – relocating highways, railroads, 525 homes and 6,500 people, leading to the disappearance of nine so-called "Lost Villages." At its peak, the Seaway handled 70-million tonnes of cargo, but today, only 35-million tonnes travel through the locks.

Morning Update is written by James Flynn. If you'd like to receive this newsletter by e-mail every weekday morning, go here to sign up. If you have any feedback, send us a note.

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