Evening Update: Using guile and grit to safeguard a Ukrainian children’s hospital

Evening Update: Using guile and grit to safeguard a Ukrainian children’s hospital

Updated: 16 days, 16 hours, 16 seconds ago

Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:

Staff at Kherson children’s hospital used guile and grit to keep patients safe from Russian occupiers

Mark MacKinnon reports on how doctors, nurses and other staff at the Kherson children’s hospital continued to deliver care to sick children while thwarting the Russians at every opportunity.

The hospital was isolated – cut off from the rest of Ukraine. Russia supplied only basic vitamins and anti-flu pills. So began an “underground railroad” as a network of volunteers risked their lives to make sure children had the necessary medicine. As well, hospital staff would frequently brave shelling and go into surrounding villages to retrieve babies born during the conflict and bring them to the neonatal ward.

Former Ukrainian president urges Zelensky to share Polish explosion intel with allies

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s predecessor, Petro Poroshenko, says the incumbent should share any intelligence with allies to support his position that a deadly explosion in Poland was not caused by Ukrainian weaponry. He adds that Ukraine should make Russia’s acceptance of Ukrainian membership in NATO a precondition before any peace talks with the Kremlin.

Also: Russian missile strikes have crippled almost half of Ukraine’s energy system, and authorities in Kyiv warned that the city could face a “complete shutdown” of the power grid as winter sets in.

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Climate talks at COP27 extended through Saturday in attempt to break deadlock

Negotiations are now due to go through Saturday, and possibly Sunday, as COP27′s Egyptian presidency scrambles to avoid the embarrassment of a climate summit that makes little or no progress, Eric Reguly reports.

Delegates had said that the summit faced collapse unless breakthroughs were made in the launch of the so-called loss-and-damage fund and the effort to ensure that any final agreement calls for the phase-down of all fossil fuels, not just coal – both crucial sticking points pushed by developing countries.

By early Friday morning, however, there was some hope that at least once of the two issues – progress on the loss-and-damage fund – could be overcome.

Reguly also reports on climate-related migration in California. Oakland sent a small delegation to COP27 in Egypt and considers itself at the forefront of the continental climate crisis. In America, the urge to flee appears especially acute in California, which alone in 2020, during a record heat wave, had 8,000 wildfires – a few of them deadly.

Qatar bans alcoholic beer sales at World Cup stadiums

Just days before Sunday’s opening game, Qatar has banned the sale of beer at World Cup stadiums, breaking a deal that the conservative Muslim emirate made to secure the soccer tournament. The move was the latest sign of the tension of staging the event, and raises questions about how much control FIFA retains over its tournament.


Health Canada says foreign supply of children’s pain medication is on the way

Relief is on the way as Health Canada announced Friday that a large foreign supply of children’s fever and pain medication is expected to start showing up on pharmacy and retail shelves next week. One million bottles of children’s medication will have been distributed to hospitals, pharmacies and retailers after next week.

Toronto Star co-owner says ‘quick divorce’ best option amid asset arbitration

Jordan Bitove, co-proprietor of the Toronto Star, said yesterday that it’s too late to resolve his differences with business partner Paul Rivett, as the two engage in arbitration to see who will ultimately own the newspaper, along with other assets.

“We have a different approach to what we think is important, and so the best thing is a quick divorce,” remarked Bitove during a panel discussion Thursday after the screening of a documentary about the Toronto Star.

After Elon Musk’s ultimatum, Twitter employees start exiting

After a Thursday deadline from Twitter owner Elon Musk that staffers sign up for “long hours at high intensity,” or leave, hundreds of employees are estimated to have decided to quit the beleaguered social media company. Musk earlier fired half of the work force including top management, and is changing the culture to emphasize long hours and an intense pace.

Quebecor did not want Shaw Mobile’s “heavily subsidized” customers in deal to acquire Freedom Mobile

Quebecor Inc. didn’t want Shaw Mobile’s customers included in its $2.85-billion deal to acquire Shaw Communications Inc.’s wireless business, because they did not fit the company’s business model, according to an executive for Quebecor’s Videotron Ltd. subsidiary.

Earlier this year, Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw agreed to sell Shaw’s Freedom Mobile in an attempt to win regulatory approval of their proposed merger. Despite an agreement to sell Freedom to Videotron, the Competition Bureau is seeking to block the proposed merger of Canada’s two largest cable companies in its entirety.

Special counsel in Trump cases vows independent judgment

Attorney General Merrick Garland has named a special counsel to oversee the Justice Department’s investigation into the presence of classified documents at former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate as well as key aspects of a separate probe involving the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and efforts to undo the 2020 election. Garland said the appointment would allow prosecutors to continue their work “indisputably guided” only by the facts and the law.


Canada’s main stock index rose, helped by gains for the financial and industrial sectors, as investors grew hopeful that the market’s recent rally could be sustained. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended up 96.33 points, or 0.5%, at 19,980.91. For the week, it was down 0.6%. Still, it has rallied 11.8% since hitting in October its lowest intraday level in 20 months.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index ended higher in a choppy trading session, as gains in defensive shares overshadowed energy declines, and investors shrugged off hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials about interest rate hikes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 199.37 points, or 0.59%, to 33,745.69, the S&P 500 gained 18.78 points, or 0.48%, to 3,965.34 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.11 points, or 0.01%, to 11,146.06.

The loonie was trading at 74.65 cents (U.S.), off a third of a cent from Thursday.

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On Chinese election interference, the Trudeau government is talking loudly and doing nothing

Editorial: “Canada is a place where proxies for foreign governments can funnel money into election campaigns with little scrutiny, and zero legal consequence.”

Without Rupert Murdoch on his side, Donald Trump’s 2024 chances look grim

Konrad Yakabuski: “After standing by his man through thick and thin (mostly thin) since Mr. Trump first won the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, Mr. Murdoch seemed to go from Tammy Wynette to Henry VIII after the midterms.”

Dear Hockey Canada: Remember, the game belongs to those who play it

Ken Dryden: “Canadians want to know that somebody is looking out for this game. Your name is “Hockey Canada.” It must be you.”


The best books to gift this year

Looking for a book for those special people in your life? Whether they’re adventurers at heart or true crime aficionados, whether they’re bibliophiles or culture vultures – we can guide you to that perfect gift.


Photographer Stephen L. Starkman turns his lens inward to capture his journey through cancer treatment

Photographer Stephen L. Starkman was diagnosed in 2021 with a rare, fast-spreading cancer with a very low survival rate. Instead of taking photos of others around the world, he trained his camera on his own life, wanting to capture his emotions, his shifting perceptions of the world around him, the isolation of both terminal illness and the pandemic.

This fall, his book, The Proximity of Mortality: A Visual Artist’s Journey Through Cancer, will showcase 45 of these photos. Starkman spoke to The Globe and Mail’s Dakshana Bascaramurty about five of them.

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