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Community cut off by Newfoundland forest fires is running out of food, deputy mayor says

The deputy mayor of a southern Newfoundland town says his community’s food supply is running low as it remains choked off from the rest of the island because of the worst forest fires the province has seen in more than 60 years.

Roy Drake said Monday the three grocery stores in Harbour Breton, N.L., are likely to be out of food within the next day or two. Drake said he owns one of those stores – the smallest of the three in the town of about 1,600 people – and already, there’s not a jug of milk or a loaf of bread left on any of his shelves.

For the past two weeks, forest fires have forced officials to intermittently shut down a remote, 200-kilometre-long route that connects the main highway across Newfoundland with the island’s Connaigre Peninsula, which is home to the towns of Harbour Breton, Hermitage and Conne River.

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In Ukraine’s Bucha, officials struggle to identify victims of war

The Kyiv suburb of Bucha has become synonymous with the worst atrocities of Russia’s war on Ukraine, and it’s only now that city officials are getting close to determining how many people died and who they were.

But even as they released a summary of the latest death toll Monday, officials said more bodies were still being found and 30 corpses had yet to be identified, reports The Globe’s Paul Waldie from Bucha. Five had been burned so badly that they couldn’t tell if they were male or female, and investigators are analyzing a collection of body parts that could result in many more confirmed deaths.

Myhailyna Skoryk, Bucha’s deputy mayor, told a news conference Monday that a total of 458 people died during the Russian occupation of the suburb, which lasted from Feb. 27 to March 31.

But establishing who was directly killed by Russian forces and who died as a consequence of the occupation has not been easy and poses a dilemma for officials trying to piece together what happened and considering the pursuit of criminal charges.

Privacy watchdog says his office learned of RCMP’s spyware use from media, calls for stronger laws

Canada’s privacy commissioner says his office learned about the RCMP’s use of spyware through the media, and he wants Parliament to strengthen and modernize privacy laws.

Philippe Dufresne appeared before a parliamentary committee that is investigating the use of technology that that can be covertly and remotely installed on computers and cellphones to monitor messages and even turn on cameras and microphones.

He told MPs Canada’s laws should be changed to include “privacy by design” and create a section in the Privacy Act that requires organizations and departments to conduct a privacy impact assessment when new technology is introduced that could affect the public’s right to privacy.

The privacy commissioner’s office was not notified when the RCMP began its assessment and Dufresne said he is not sure whether it’s complete or if he will get a copy of it when he gets a briefing later this month.

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

BioNTech expects Omicron-adapted vaccine deliveries this fall: The company says it expects to start delivering two Omicron-adapted vaccines as soon as October, pending regulatory approval.

Parliamentary committee to probe airport delays: The House of Commons transport committee voted unanimously to launch an investigation into the flight cancellations, baggage delays and lengthy lineups plaguing Canada’s busiest airports, including Pearson International.

Canadian Blood Services calls on people to donate: The organization is urging donors to book and keep appointments as its supplies dwindle. The COVID-19 pandemic, heat-related weather issues and the return of prepandemic activities that have left many people with less time to donate are all factors contributing to the shortage, the Canadian Blood Services says.

Actor Olivia Newton-John dead at 73: The British-born singer and Grease actor “passed away peacefully” at her ranch in California, according to a post on her Instagram account. A four-time Grammy winner, Newton-John soared to the top of pop music charts in the 1970s and 1980s with such tunes as I Honestly Love You and Physical.

Bill Graham, former Liberal cabinet minister, has died: Graham served as foreign affairs minister when Canada decided against joining the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. He was first elected as a Liberal MP for the riding then known as Toronto Centre-Rosedale in 1993, after two unsuccessful runs.

MARKET WATCH

U.S. stock indexes closed little changed on Monday after blockbuster jobs data last week reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve will crack down on inflation. Stocks retreated from earlier highs as last week’s blowout labor market report was initially seen as a sign the economy could withstand aggressive interest rate hikes by the Fed to tame inflation running at four-decade highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose just 0.09 per cent on the day, while the S&P 500 lost 0.12 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.1 per cent. The S&P/TSX composite index was up 49.04 points at 19,669.17.

The Canadian dollar traded for 77.78 cents US compared with 77.32 cents US on Friday.

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TALKING POINTS

Russia’s military is failing because of bad planning

“... The most important factor is not technological, but rather Russia’s failure to plan. Militaries that do not train and practice the way they fight will not be able to use even the most high-tech equipment effectively. A failure to engage in combined arms operations – that is, fighting in such a way that brings different military capabilities together into one efficient system – has ultimately undermined President Vladimir Putin’s goal of occupying the whole of Ukraine. If Russian officials thought their experience in Syria had provided such training, they did not anticipate the significant differences between propping up the Bashar al-Assad regime and taking over a geographically large country.” - Stephanie Carvin

Trump’s truest believers have made the former president a messiah

“The key is that Mr. Trump, like all skillful demagogues, gives people who feel powerless a sense of collective power. He fires up a warm feeling of ‘us’ against ‘them.’ ” - Ian Buruma

LIVING BETTER

How dinnerware designer Amy Burstyn Fritz sets a summer table: Pieces with personality

Amy Burstyn Fritz, the co-founder of Misette, an artistic dinnerware company, comes by her love of dinnerware honestly. For Burstyn Fritz, meals at home “were special and setting the table was part of the experience.”

It’s no surprise, then, that Burstyn Fritz and her sister, Sarah Pecaut – both of whom have backgrounds in art and design – would launch a dinnerware brand with plates so pretty you can either eat off them or hang them on the wall, writes Beth Hitchcock.

Burstyn Fritz says table settings are an expression of self: “I believe you should style your table the way you’d style your outfit; it’s all about pieces with personality.”

TODAY’S LONG READ

Ottawa’s pledge to plant two billion trees is proving difficult to execute

Tree planting in Middlesex County.Courtesy of ALUS

Standing atop an old landfill, Francis Allard is in his element.

Mr. Allard is co-founder of Ramo, whose business is planting willows and poplars to help remediate landfills, mines and marginal land. At the Ste-Sophie Landfill north of Montreal, the company is growing willows to treat leachate from areas of the facility that were closed decades ago. Ramo harvests the trees every few years, weaving them into a variety of products, including fences and noise barriers. It’s also establishing a plantation in northern Quebec, to supply soil amendments for reclamation at nearby mines.

But Mr. Allard’s mood darkens back at Ramo’s new $7-million willow nursery nearby. Half of it was paid for using funding from the federal government’s 2 Billion Trees program (2BT for short). An early believer in the program, Mr. Allard scaled up Ramo’s capacity to meet the anticipated surge in demand.

He’s grateful for the support. But he’s nervously waiting for Ottawa’s response on planting projects for 2023 that Ramo proposed in February. The clock is ticking: To prepare plantations properly, he says, he’ll need to hear back by summer’s end at the latest. Read the full story by Matthew McClearn.

Evening Update is written by Beatrice Paez. 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.