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

At least 13 people were dead and more than 40 wounded in a Russian missile strike Monday on a crowded shopping mall in Ukraine’s central city of Kremenchuk, Ukrainian officials said.

The number of victims was “unimaginable,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a Telegram post, citing reports that more than 1,000 civilians were inside at the time of the attack. Images from the scene showed giant plumes of black smoke from a shopping centre engulfed in flames, as emergency crews rushed in and onlookers watched.

The Ukrainian military said the shopping centre was hit by missiles fired by Russian Tu-22M3 long-range bombers from the skies over Russia’s western Kursk region. The secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiy Danilov, said that one missile hit the shopping centre and another struck a sports arena in Kremenchuk.

The attack came as Russia was mounting an all-out assault on the city of Lysychansk, the last Ukrainian stronghold in eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk province.

Western leaders, meanwhile, pledged steadfast and continued support for Kyiv. NATO will agree to deliver further military support to Ukraine – including secure communication and anti-drone systems. The alliance also signalled a return to its Cold War posture by revealing it will boost its rapid-reaction forces almost eightfold, to 300,000 troops. It did not say when the number would reach that level, how much it would cost to build and maintain such a large presence or where exactly those soldiers would be stationed.

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Murderers push for chance at early release after Supreme Court strikes down life-without-parole law

Several men convicted of multiple murders are pressing claims for early chances at parole, after the Supreme Court struck down Canada’s life-without-parole law, retroactive to the legislation’s 2011 enactment.

This is only the second time the court has declared a punishment it found unconstitutional to be open to retroactive legal challenges. Those challenges are possible even when an offender has exhausted all their appeals and their case was considered closed. Even convicted killers who accepted their sentences without fighting them, or who made plea bargains, are among those seeking shorter waits for parole hearings.

In all, 23 people who committed multiple murders – of their own parents, intimate partners, small children and, in one case, RCMP officers – are eligible for potential reductions in their waiting periods for parole hearings.

For abortion rights advocates in Ohio, fury over end of Roe v. Wade collides with political realities

The handwritten messages held aloft at the Ohio Statehouse – much like the other signs used by protesters against the Supreme Court decision to overturn constitutional rights to abortion – were laced with fury.

But in Ohio, like many of the states that moved quickly against abortion following the overturn of Roe v. Wade, anger over the abortion decision has only served to underscore a Republican command of political power that will not be easily challenged.

Ohio was once America’s political bellwether, but that is longer the case. Ohio twice voted in large numbers for Donald Trump and has become a firmly held conservative domain. “Republicans own everything in Ohio,” said Mark Weaver, a political consultant in the state.

The states angriest about the Supreme Court decision are those with Democrats in power, with abortion rights protected. Ohio, meanwhile, moved within hours of the Supreme Court decision to activate a 2019 law that bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. Tighter restrictions could be coming, like for example the Human Life Protection Act, a bill that would ban nearly all abortions, without exemptions for rape or incest.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Canada’s response to COVID-19 pandemic lauded: Research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on Monday credits Canada’s strong performance to restrictive and persistent public-health measures as well as a successful vaccination campaign.

B.C. sees spike in critical injuries to youth in government care during pandemic’s first year: The total number of critical injuries was 1,064 between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, an increase of 164 or 18 per cent compared to the previous year, the data show.

Anger, despair in South Africa after 21 teens likely accidentally poisoned in tavern: Investigating authorities ruled out an earlier-touted notion of a stampede and said the youths were probably accidentally poisoned by something they ate, drank or smoked.

Suspect in deadly shooting at LGBTQ nightclub in Norway jailed, refuses to talk to investigators: Zaniar Matapour, a 43-year-old Norwegian citizen originally from Iran, was ordered to be held Monday in pre-trial detention for four weeks – two of them in solitary confinement.

Globalive chairman asks Ottawa to block sale of Freedom Mobile to Quebecor: Globalive Capital chairman Anthony Lacavera is urging Ottawa to block the sale, arguing that Globalive would be a stronger competitor and is the only bidder willing to also pick up 450,000 Shaw customers in Western Canada who receive discounted wireless services.

MARKET WATCH

Canada’s main stock index rose on Monday to its highest level in nearly two weeks, aided by gains in resource-linked shares and an upbeat mood in global equities, although Bombardier Inc tumbled to its lowest in 15 months. U.S. equities ended modestly lower.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended up 195.41 points, or 1 per cent, at 19,258.32, its highest closing level since June 15.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 62.42 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 31,438.26, the S&P 500 lost 11.63 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 3,900.11 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 83.07 points, or 0.72 per cent, to 11,524.55.

The Canadian dollar traded for 77.60 cents US compared with 77.32 cents US on Friday.

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TALKING POINTS

The PMO wields too much power in Ottawa

“The government is drifting, its most talented members biding their time while dancing with more or less enthusiasm to the PMO’s tune. There is no rigour, there is no fiscal discipline and there is no obvious thinking about anything beyond the next press conference or media opportunity.” – Richard French

Canada has handled COVID better than its peers, but we can’t rest on our laurels

“But governments also need a new storyline – one that celebrates the effects of vaccines in preventing serious disease and death, while acknowledging the declining marginal yields of repeated administration of current vaccines when it comes to preventing infection with later variants.” – Fahad Razak, Arthur Slutsky and David Naylor

Gymnastics Canada has a culture of cruelty – and nothing will change if that isn’t reformed

“Too many gymnasts say they had nowhere to turn when the abuse was happening. Police seem ill-equipped to handle abuse in sport, even if the criminal-case threshold is met. And the fear of negative repercussions, including being publicly humiliated by coaches and losing friendships, have a chilling effect on reporting.” – Kim Shore

LIVING BETTER

Studies reveal the ‘small change approach’ is effective in weight gain prevention

It’s estimated that adults gain, on average, one to two pounds a year. For some people, this gradual creep could lead to overweight or obesity. Even modest annual weight gain in adults with overweight and obesity has been linked to an increased risk of chronic illness, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Studies have shown that cutting 100 to 200 calories a day by eating less, exercising more or a combination of the two – could be all that’s needed to lose weight. Read the full story by Leslie Beck.

TODAY’S LONG READ

Dry cleaners, hair stylists and suit retailers welcome the return of weddings and office workers

Tracey Crawley, owner of Crowning Glory Hair Studio works on a hair relaxing treatment for a client in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia on June 24, 2022.Carolina Andrade /The Globe and Mail

The pandemic was hard for Moluk Fard, a tailor who runs her own clothing-alterations business, Needle & Thread, in midtown Toronto. With events shuttered and so many of her customers working from home, there were stretches when she wasn’t sure if she could make rent.

But that started to change this spring, in a big way. Businessmen began to bring in suits in preparation for big meetings. Bridesmaids brought in dresses for long-delayed weddings. And, starting in late May, she saw a surge in high-school students bringing in their outfits for prom.

Businesses like Ms. Fard’s alterations shop – such as dry cleaners, hair stylists and suit retailers – have struggled during the pandemic, as demand for their services dropped and many business owners decided to close or move into other fields.

But those who have continued say that, whether or not revenue is back to where it used to be, things have gotten a whole lot better in recent weeks and months.

Evening Update is written by Prajakta Dhopade. 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.