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The Hong Kong government says it is open to talking to the pro-democracy protesters who have demonstrated in the nation’s streets for months.

But an adviser to the government says not all the demands are going to be met.

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“You can’t start a dialogue when you’re in the middle of a war,” Bernard Chan, a close adviser to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, told The Globe and Mail’s Nathan VanderKlippe. "So you kind of need to have a reasonably good state of mind for both sides to sit down.”

Mr. Chan said Ms. Lam will make a major policy speech in October that will address some of the protesters’ concerns. Other demands are a non-starter, Mr. Chan said, including Ms. Lam’s resignation and amnesty for people arrested at the demonstrations.

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that, with the benefit of hindsight, he would have done things differently in the SNC-Lavalin affair. (Our explainer on what happened.) However, he disagrees with Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s suggestion that something criminal could have gone on. Former attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould said she was approached by the RCMP in the spring, after The Globe and Mail first broke the story. The RCMP said they are reviewing what went on, but said they were limited in what could be commented on publicly.

Jack Letts, a Canadian man who is trapped in Syria because he allegedly travelled there to join the Islamic State, told Britain’s ITV that he would like to move to Canada. Mr. Trudeau, when asked by reporters if Canada should take back Mr. Letts, would not answer the question directly. “It is a crime to travel internationally with a goal of supporting terrorism or engaging in terrorism," Mr. Trudeau said. "And that is a crime that we will continue to make all attempts to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Ottawa on Thursday to meet with Mr. Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, in advance of the G7 leader’s summit next week. On the agenda are a number of international issues, such as China’s detention of two Canadians and the ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

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Elections Canada is standing by its warning that environmental charities will have to register and be beholden to certain limits if they want to advertise about the issue of climate change during the election.

Unifor, one of the largest unions in Canada, says it will campaign against the Conservative Party in the federal election – something leader Jerry Dias acknowledges has created misgivings among the journalists represented by the union. (The union represents 12,000 media workers, including journalists at The Globe and Mail.)

The president of a Progressive Conservative riding association is warning Ontario Premier Doug Ford to be careful about his close ties with lobbyists.

The European Union has rebuffed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s first attempt to reopen the Brexit deal.

And researchers say there are serious holes that need to be filled in how Canadian agencies track cases of domestic violence. “Nobody talks about it. Nobody ever thinks, ‘It’s going to be me.’ The reality is it can be anybody,” said Racha El-Dib, whose sister was killed by an ex-boyfriend.

Gary Mason (The Globe and Mail) on Elections Canada’s edict on environmental advertising: “While I’m not so sure that Elections Canada is wrong in its interpretation of the current statute, it doesn’t make this situation any less absurd. Scientific fact should not be considered partisan, whether it aligns with a particular party’s views or not. It is a scientific fact that vaccinations help prevent illness. If a person against vaccines took over the leadership of a political party in Canada, it’s ludicrous to think health groups that have charitable status would be prevented from promoting public campaigns during a writ period that urged families to get their children inoculated.”

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John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on the Conservatives dropping a proposal for a private-school tax break: “But beyond the philosophical question of to what extent public funding should support independent schools, there is a major problem with the tax credit: It would mark a new and dangerous intrusion by the federal government into an area of provincial jurisdiction.”

Chris Selley (National Post) on what could have happened to Jack Letts under the old law: “Canada would be no better off at this point with the Conservative-era law in place: It only applied to dual citizens, and Letts is no longer one of those. From a hawk’s perspective, the best-case alternative scenario would be that we had denationalized Letts first, leaving Britain holding the bag. This would arguably be fairer, but surely a never-ending game of terrorist tag with our foreign allies — You’re it! No givebacks! — is a pretty lousy excuse for a national security strategy.”

Christian Leuprecht and Todd Hataley (The Globe and Mail) on what could happen to Jack Letts if the law changed again: “However, there is already a precedent that can be modified to deal with those hoping to return to Canada but suspected of participating in or supporting a terrorist organization. Upon Omar Khadr’s release from jail in Canada, he resided with a person who took responsibility for his performance of an undertaking – known as a surety – and was required to abide by conditions of recognizance.”

Rita Trichur (The Globe and Mail) on corporate titan Robert Prichard and his role in the SNC-Lavalin affair: “There’s nothing wrong with having clout. Let’s face it, perky self-promotion is one way to navigate Bay Street’s cliquish corporate culture. But by sitting on so many major boards, Mr. Prichard has unwittingly entangled Canada’s oldest bank in the SNC-Lavalin affair. Regulators should be paying attention. Mr. Prichard’s story is a cautionary tale about the hazards that arise when individuals take on too many directorships or occupy those roles for too long.”

Paul Wells (Maclean’s) on Anne McLellan’s advice to Justin Trudeau about the role of the attorney-general: “Now here’s the thing about the McLellan protocol: its author assures us that it is a general set of rules that doesn’t specifically reply to the SNC-Lavalin mess, but in every particular it proposes measures that would have made the SNC-Lavalin mess impossible. If McLellan’s rules had been in place last autumn, the incessant piling-on of Ben Chin and Mathieu Bouchard and Elder Marques and Michael Wernick and Gerald Butts and Katie Telford against Jody Wilson-Raybould and her chief of staff would not have been possible.”

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