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On Friday, Ukrainian prosecutors began the grisly process of exhuming a sprawling site outside the recently liberated city of Izyum and trying to understand what happened to those buried there. Mark Mackinnon reports they discovered 445 bodies, which could represent the biggest mass gravesite in Europe since the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

One grave at a time, teams of criminal investigators dressed in plastic blue overalls dug up the loose brown soil and lifted the body out with their gloved hands, searching the pockets for any documents. Most were unidentifiable: After pulling a corpse out of grave 124, investigators zipped it into a white body bag and simply wrote “woman” on it.

More than half a year into an invasion that has seen Russian troops repeatedly commit war crimes against civilians, the investigators already believe that what happened in Izyum belongs in the same category as the atrocities inflicted on cities such as Bucha and Mariupol.

Izyum locals bewildered

For months, Russian propaganda was this city’s only connection to events outside. When Ukrainian forces came, they had to convince locals they were friends and not foes – work that continues as relief efforts get under way.

No one, including the Ukrainian generals who planned the 10-day-old counteroffensive that has liberated Izyum along with almost all of the country’s eastern Kharkiv region, could have predicted how swiftly the Russian army would collapse. Nor was it foreseeable that the Russians would easily abandon this strategically important city, built on rare high ground overlooking the plains of Eastern Ukraine. Izyum is seen as a key to the fighting in both Kharkiv and the neighbouring Donbas region.

Germany in crisis

Meanwhile, Germany is bracing itself as the country’s energy crisis continues. Cheap Russian energy helped to turn Germany into Europe’s greatest industrial power, and one of the world’s top three exporters. Today, that same energy – or lack of it – threatens to unravel decades of German industrial progress and push the country into recession. Germany’s energy-intensive industries are getting hit the hardest. Some companies are paying as much for electricity and natural gas in a single month, post-Russian invasion, as they did for all of last year.

Germany has been thrust into its biggest and most damaging energy crisis since the Second World War, one that is already slowing output and putting employees on the dole. If the crisis endures – Germany is preparing for possible energy rationing and rolling blackouts as winter approaches – the government might have to rethink the country’s entire economic model, which has centred for decades on delivering massive amounts of subsidized energy to heavy industries such as chemicals and steel.

On Friday, Germany took control of a major Russian-owned oil refinery, risking retaliation from Moscow as Berlin strives to shore up energy supplies and meet its European Union commitment to eliminate Russian oil imports by the end of the year.

Read more coverage related to Russia’s war in Ukraine:

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Crosses on the graves of victims of people who died as a result of airstrikes in Izyum early March, taken Sept. 16, 2022.Anton Skyba/The Globe and Mail

Lineup for Queen Elizabeth’s lying in state intermittently paused as hundreds of thousands gather

Hundreds of thousands of people have been descending on London to pay their respects to the Queen, whose coffin is resting in Westminster Hall.

By Friday morning, the line to view the casket stretched more than eight kilometres and the waiting time was around 14 hours. So many people were lining up that just before 10 a.m. local time, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which is overseeing the lying-in-state arrangements, stopped people from joining the queue.

Funeral arrangements under way

London’s Metropolitan Police force is planning its largest operation ever as dozens of world leaders gather at Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s funeral on Monday.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy said Friday that 20,000 officers have already been on duty for various mourning ceremonies since Queen Elizabeth died on Sept. 8. He wouldn’t estimate how many officers will be deployed on Monday, but he said it would be an unprecedented operation.

Nearly 500 dignitaries are expected to attend the funeral, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who will be among a delegation of 19 Canadians that also includes Governor-General Mary Simon and the leaders of three groups representing Indigenous people. U.S. President Joe Biden has also been invited, along with heads of state from across Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

Read more:

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People wait in a queue in front of Tower Bridge to pay their respect to the late Queen Elizabeth II during the Lying-in State, in Westminster Hall, London, Sept. 16, 2022.Markus Schreiber/The Associated Press

The making of Pierre Poilievre, conservative proselytizer

Pierre Poilievre preaches small-government conservatism while digging both hands into the mucky trenches of partisan politics, ruthlessly pushing aside questioners as Liberal unbelievers. He has spent decades whittling free-market economist Milton Friedman into accessible phrases for main street.

There can be no doubt now that Mr. Poilievre has struck a chord with the Conservative Party base and beyond. He has become a social-media and viral-video personality. Hundreds of thousands signed up to back his leadership campaign, handing him a landslide first ballot victory.

Clark Campbell asked those who know him what makes him tick.

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Canadian Union of Postal Workers accuses Uber of violating Ontario’s labour laws: The Canadian Union of Postal Workers has accused Uber Canada Inc. of violating Ontario’s labour laws for a controversial deal it struck earlier this year with the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW Canada) that saw both parties enter into an exclusive agreement with one another about the rights of Uber workers.

Ottawa won’t say if CSIS operative who trafficked teens to Islamic State militants is now in Canada: An operative for Canada’s spy agency who once trafficked three British teens to Islamic State militants has been released from a Turkish prison, and the federal government will not say if he has been relocated to Canada.

Legault casts himself as moderate defender of Quebec in first debate as opposition leaders accuse him of being out of touch: Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader François Legault presented himself as a moderate defender of Quebec taxpayers and the French language in the first debate of the province’s election campaign on Thursday. In the five-way race defined by cost-of-living and identity issues, Mr. Legault has remained the decisive front-runner.

Unions begin negotiating work-from-home clauses into collective agreements: This year, the Public Service Alliance of Canada union is fighting hard for something new: enshrining the right to work remotely into the collective agreement, so if workers are forced back to the office even when they believe they can do their jobs from home, they have the formal right to grieve it.

Shopify to launch ‘Flex Comp’ software, giving employees choice in mix of cash and equity paid: Shopify Inc. is launching a compensation scheme to give employees more choice in the mix of cash and equity they are paid, as the Ottawa-based e-commerce company continues to address challenges posed by its fallen stock.


North American markets ended the trading week in the red, with Canada’s main stock index down more than 170 points and U.S. stock markets falling amid inflation worries and a stark warning from FedEx about worsening trends in the economy.

The S&P/TSX composite index was down 174.28 points at 19,385.88.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 139.40 points at 30,822.42. The S&P 500 index was down 28.02 points at 3,873.33, while the Nasdaq composite was down 103.95 points at 11,448.40.

The Canadian dollar traded for 75.27 cents US compared with 75.76 cents US on Thursday.

The November crude contract was up 11 cents at US$84.76 per barrel and the October natural gas contract was down 56 cents at US$7.76 per mmBTU.

The December gold contract was up US$6.20 at US$1,683.50 an ounce and the December copper contract was up two cents at US$3.52 a pound.

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Religious schools can be good – but they shouldn’t get public funds

“It’s great that they’re getting this wonderful education, but the rest of us should not have to pay for it. Not for any religious school – or private school, period. That money should be going into the public system, to be accessed by any child in this country.” – Marsha Lederman

Pierre Poilievre’s path to a broader Conservative tent runs through the 905

“Mr. Poilievre’s blowout win means there will be no attempt to integrate beige foods into the Conservative Party’s offerings. Those who weren’t aligned previously can either get with his program, or leave the party, as Quebec MP Alain Rayes opted to on Tuesday. Like it or not, the Conservative Party is now the Poilievre party: right-wing, abrasive, anti-establishment and unapologetic.” – Robyn Urback

People might not want a monarch, but they did not like to lose a queen

“I dread the moment at which King Charles’s face begins to crowd my palm in a handful of coins. This is, again, less about King Charles as a person (dorky shirtless polo hunk/pitiable boarding school student/unfeeling husband to Diana, an image I’ve cobbled together entirely and unreliably from pop culture) and more about the feeling I get when I think about yet another omnipresent reminder of yet another male ruler.” – Lisan Jutras


Ultraprocessed foods tied to colorectal cancer risk, study finds

Plenty of large studies conducted over long periods of time have shown that consuming a diet with lots of ultraprocessed foods increases the risk of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, depression and early death.

Most of these highly processed foods – e.g., soft drinks, sweet and salty packaged snacks, margarine, mass-produced breads, instant noodles, sausages, hotdogs, precooked/ready-to-heat meals, ice cream, cookies, pastries, cake mixes, sweetened yogurt – are high in calories, unhealthy fats, added sugars and sodium, while being low in fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Now, a study published Aug. 31 in The BMJ, has linked a high intake of ultraprocessed foods to a greater risk of colorectal cancer in men. The findings also suggest that attributes of these foods – beyond poor nutrient quality – are responsible for their harmful effects.

Leslie Beck writes about what to look for and what you can do to lower your risk.


TIFF 2022′s best (Viola Davis!), worst (Ticketmaster!) and weirdest (People’s Joker!) moments

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Jessica Chastain greets fans as she arrives on the red carpet of The Princess of Wales Theatre for the film, The Good Nurse during the Toronto International Film Festival, Sept. 11, 2022.Cole Burston/The Canadian Press

Read on as the Globe and Mail’s film festival writers present the highs, lows and all the moments in between from this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, which wraps up this weekend.

Evening Update is written by Emerald Bensadoun. 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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