Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
The U.S. Supreme Court released its decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion ruling this morning, restoring individual states’ ability to ban the procedure entirely.
The 6-3 decision upheld the central Mississippi law which bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy and was powered by the court’s conservative majority. The rulings are a major win for Republicans and conservative religious leaders who have long sought to limit or ban abortion rights.
In their ruling – a draft of which was leaked in May – the justices determined that the initial 1973 Roe ruling was wrongfully decided as the U.S. Constitution makes no specific mention of abortion rights. The initial ruling allowed abortions performed before a fetus would be viable outside the womb – between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined other international leaders speaking out against the ruling, with Trudeau saying calling the decision a “devastating setback” and vowing to defend abortion rights both in Canada and internationally. U.S. President Joe Biden also released a statement calling the decision a “sad day” for America.
The ruling will likely see abortion bans return in 26 states, including 13 states which have so-called trigger laws to ban abortion with Roe overturned.
- Explainer: What’s happening to Roe v. Wade and U.S. abortion rights? The Supreme Court decision explained
- Trudeau pledges to defend abortion rights around the world amid ‘devastating setback’
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N.S. mass murder inquiry demands to know why Ottawa withheld allegations against RCMP Commissioner
A public inquiry is demanding to know why the federal government withheld notes containing allegations that RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki acted on political direction in the Nova Social mass shooting investigation.
Reports emerged earlier this week alleging Lucki pressured Mounties to disclose the weapons used in the April, 2020, mass murder to help advance the Liberal government’s gun-control legislation. The allegations stemmed from the notes of a senior Mountie which record that Commissioner Lucki berated him when he refused to release the type of weapons used in the shooting, telling her officers she had promised the “Minister of public safety and the Prime Minister’s Office.”
The Mass Casualty Commission tasked with investigating the murders is now demanding to know why these notes were not initially disclosed by the federal government. They are also seeking assurances that Ottawa is not omitting other information from the commission.
Their demands come a day after MPs voted to hold a hearing next month into the allegations against Lucki, calling the Commissioner to testify.
Canadian ERs experiencing record wait-times amid labor shortages and virus resurgences
Canadian emergency rooms are reporting extreme wait times as they face major staffing shortages, a post-mask-mandate resurgence of viruses and a lack of beds.
According to online estimates, the wait to see a doctor at some Canadian emergency departments Thursday morning could stretch from more than four hours at Calgary’s Peter Lougheed Centre to nearly nine hours at Vancouver General Hospital.
While health care professionals say the problems causing the extended wait times are not new, the COVID-19 pandemic has inflamed the situation – as doctors and nurses continue leaving the profession because of the unsustainable conditions they were forced to endure during the pandemic. Those left are working longer hours and covering for colleagues who fall sick with COVID-19 or one of the other viruses back in circulation after the lifting of mask mandates.
“Just a little bit of added volume and a little bit of less resources can have a really big impact on the system,” said Tara Kiran, a family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto who conducts research on health system improvement. “What we’re seeing here is an exacerbation of the hallway medicine that existed already.”
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
NATO confronts new security world order with war-monger Russia and rise of China at Madrid summit: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s three-day Madrid summit begins next week and will, for the first time, address China’s potential role as a strategic competitor and label Russia as a clear and present danger to Europe. The summit is also expected to expand NATO’s combat-ready presence in eastern Europe.
Congress sends landmark gun violence compromise to Biden: The U.S. House of representatives approved the most wide-ranging gun violence bill Congress has passed in decades Friday. The bipartisan bill seeks to toughen requirements for young people to buy guns, deny firearms from more domestic abusers and support local authorities temporarily confiscating weapons from people judged to be dangerous. It would also bolster mental health supports in some schools which have been the targets of past shootings.
Rogers and Shaw heading to mediation with Competition Bureau over contested $26-billion takeover: Rogers Communications Inc.’s contested $26-billion takeover of Shaw Communications Inc. will enter mediation next month, as parties seek to avoid a tribunal hearing. The Competition Bureau is contesting the merger, claiming the deal would lead to higher prices, poorer service and fewer choices for consumers.
By-election losses and resignation of party co-chair renew questions over Boris Johnson’s leadership: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative party lost both seats in a pair of by-elections this week and saw the sudden resignation of a cabinet minister who served as the party’s co-chair – causing renewed questions about Johnson’s leadership.
Wall Street’s main indexes jumped sharply on Friday in a broad rally as signs of slowing economic growth and a recent pullback in commodity prices tempered expectations for the Federal Reserve’s rate-hike plans.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 345.79 points or 1.85 per cent to 19,062.91.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 823.32 points, or 2.68 per cent, to 31,500.68, the S&P 500 gained 116.01 points, or 3.06 per cent, to 3,911.74 and the Nasdaq Composite added 375.43 points, or 3.34 per cent, to 11,607.62.
The Canadian dollar traded for 77.32 cents US, compared with 77.03 cents US on Thursday.
Mistakes were made: Why Germany may freeze in the dark this winter
“Russia is reducing gas supplies to the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which goes from Russia to Germany, by about 60 per cent. The pipeline is the main source of imported gas to Germany, Europe’s industrial powerhouse. Germany would go into deep recession without that gas. The freeze-in-the-dark scenario is no longer out of the question.” – Eric Reguly
What the Jan. 6 hearings have revealed about the state of democracy in America so far
“The hearings have laid bare the efforts of Donald Trump to hold onto power in defiance of the country’s voters, courts and state officials. They have also exposed the fragility of the tendons of nationhood that are being strained in the country today. The first threat to U.S. democracy ended with the confirmation of Joe Biden’s election. The second threat persists.” – David Shribman
Food programs should be part of school
“Improved school-food programs could boost nutrition and learning, and ease strains on parents, especially during this time of rapidly rising food costs. School food can also support climate change goals by offering foods that are nourishing for growing bodies, local communities and the planet.” – Jennifer Black and Rachel Engler-Stringer
Nine crisp wines to match with what’s on the grill
These are the days of quick grilling and simply prepared dishes that don’t monopolize your time or keep you housebound. That change of pace in the kitchen should be mirrored in the wine you’re drinking. Crisp and delicious whites and rosés are always in demand during these fleeting weeks of summer, but I’ve come to enjoy a glass of slightly chilled red as well – something with more stuffing than those mouth-watering, lighter styles can deliver.
TODAY’S LONG READ
The Keith Haring renaissance is right on time
I was 11 years old when I had my first Keith Haring encounter. It was 1986 and I spotted him on MuchMusic, peeping a cameo appearance in Grace Jones’s video, I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect For You). I remember how confident he looked sporting Dwayne Wayne spectacles while painting thick, black tribal patterns across a massive swathe of white fabric. The video’s last scene, however, took my attention span hostage: it’s a moment where Jones transforms from mere mortal to super diva by donning Haring’s painted cloth. Jones exuded glamour and androgyny, and in the last few seconds on film, she’s headlining at a nightclub, wearing and living art simultaneously.
At that age, I didn’t grasp the gender puréeing, Afrofuturism or feminist fashion statements at work but looking back, that video was a lifejacket. After seeing the video, I started asking questions and found some answers: Haring was gay and he was cool and he was working with cool people. That simple equation offered a queer Catholic schoolboy an alternative to the church sermons I heard that demonized homosexuality on a weekly basis.
In its own way, with Jones looking as she did – Black, butch and gorgeously styled in Haring’s, spectacular art – the pair became a salve from the tyrannical rules surrounding masculine and feminine roles running rampant on the playgrounds I found myself in. In her 2015 memoir, Jones wrote, “Keith understood me … [he] knew that I belonged at all points in time, not only in Studio 54 or an MTV video.” Most important, these images offered a hopeful tonic for something I couldn’t define or identify at the time: oppression.
Almost four decades later, Haring’s vision is more prescient and powerful than ever. This month alone, the work of the Pennsylvania-born artist has managed to cross-pollinate popular culture, fashion and the art world in profound ways.