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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 whether he has been relocated to Canada.

A source with direct knowledge of the situation told The Globe and Mail that the man, Mohammed al-Rashed, a Syrian human smuggler for the Islamic State who was recruited to spy for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, was freed from prison on Aug. 5. He had been incarcerated in Turkey since 2015 on terrorism and smuggling charges, The Globe’s Robert Fife reports.

A sign for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service building is shown in Ottawa.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

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Former PMs, Canadian celebrities join delegation for Queen’s London funeral

Former governors-general and prime ministers will join their successors in representing Canada at the Queen’s funeral on Monday, in a delegation that will also include Indigenous leaders and celebrities.

As a member of the realm, Canada was granted a larger delegation than other countries sending representatives to the Queen’s state funeral.

U.S. President Joe Biden and hundreds of other world leaders will be in attendance, as will members of Europe’s royal families. The leaders of Russia, Myanmar, Belarus, Syria, Venezuela and Afghanistan were not invited to the funeral, but the Royal Family’s decision to send an invitation to China has rankled some British members of Parliament, reports Marieke Walsh.

Read more:

Darryl Burns speaks at a Sept. 8 event at James Smith Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. Mr. Burns's sister, Gloria Burns, was killed days earlier in the stabbing rampage at the First Nation and in nearby Weldon.Heywood Yu/The Canadian Press

How four days of horror unfolded in James Smith Cree Nation, where everyone lost someone

As word of the attack began to spread, residents of James Smith gathered at Diamond Country Convenience, across from the Bernard Constant Community School. The gas bar, which acts as a grocery store, coffee shop and meeting place, was in this case a safe haven and refuge.

The James Smith Cree Nation is a close-knit community, with families and lives deeply intertwined. There are about 190 houses on the First Nation. Most in the community share just a handful of surnames. As the names of the dead trickled in one by one, people broke down, over and over again.

Everybody had lost someone. Most had lost multiple friends and family members at once. One woman at the gas bar had lost an auntie, a cousin, a son-in-law and her former partner, the father of her children, Nancy Macdonald and Jana G. Pruden write.

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Also on our radar

‘Russia is leaving death behind’: Ukrainian authorities found a mass grave containing 440 bodies in a northeastern city recaptured from Russian forces, calling it proof of war crimes carried out by the invaders in territory they had occupied for months.

Judge rules for Trump in Mar-a-Lago probe: A U.S. federal judge on Thursday refused to let the Justice Department immediately resume reviewing classified records seized by the FBI from Donald Trump’s Florida estate in a continuing criminal investigation.

Death toll in Pakistan floods rises: Record-breaking floods that have submerged huge swaths of Pakistan have killed nearly 1,500 people, data showed on Thursday, as authorities said hundreds of thousands of people were still sleeping in the open air after the disaster.

CREA cuts Canadian home price forecast for year: Its new forecast comes as home values dropped for the sixth straight month in August, with smaller Ontario cities shouldering the largest drops.

Conservatives apologize for automated text: Quebec MP Alain Rayes says an apology from the Conservative Party for trying to get his constituents to demand his resignation falls short because it was not directed to him personally.

Roger Federer to retire from professional tennis: The Swiss tennis star says he’s made the “bittersweet decision” to retire and will close out his career at next week’s Laver Cup in London.

  • Cathal Kelly: Roger Federer, the tennis legend who turned sport into art

Morning markets

European markets extend losses: European stocks dipped on Friday and Europe’s benchmark German 10-year bond yield hit its highest since mid-June as investors braced for a U.S. rate hike while warnings from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund fanned fears of a slowdown. Just after 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.05 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 lost 1.64 per cent and 1.41 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed down 1.11 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.89 per cent. New York futures were negative. The Canadian dollar was trading at 75.31 US cents.

What everyone’s talking about

The UN needs to address China’s abuse of Uyghurs, without further delay

“A formal UN investigation into the abuses would create an umbrella under which UN member states could work together that would be essential to blunting Beijing’s threats, while strengthening the very system of multilateralism currently under attack. Co-ordinated and sustained international concern is also critical to challenging the Chinese government’s seeming expectation of impunity for itself and its allies, just because of its diplomatic and economic might.” - Tirana Hassan

Education, not hardware, is what made the Ukrainian military dangerous

“There are many reasons behind this remarkable operational and tactical reversal, but one stands out. It’s not the bright and shiny ‘wonder weapons’ flowing into Ukraine from NATO countries, though they are important. It’s the NATO education and foreign training that Ukrainian officers and senior-enlisted ranks have been receiving since Russia’s attack on Crimea in 2014 that has allowed them to out-think and outmanoeuvre their inflexible Russian adversary.” - Ken Hansen

Today’s editorial cartoon

Brian GableBrian Gable/The Globe and Mail

Living better

Fall books preview: 64 books to keep you warm as the weather cools

This fall brings the expected parade of Big Books, the 500-plus pagers, which, in the following list, includes fiction from heavy hitters Barbara Kingsolver, John Irving, Ann-Marie MacDonald and Orhan Pamuk, as well as meaty non-fiction from Siddhartha Mukherjee, Gabor Maté, Jann S. Wenner, Pekka Hamalainen, J. Bradford DeLong and Maggie Haberman.

Moment in time: Sept. 16, 1979

The Sugarhill Gang releases Rapper’s Delight

The Sugar Hill Gang receive their gold record for Rapper's Delight.Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Released by the Sugarhill Gang on this day in 1979, the landmark song, Rapper’s Delight, was hip hop’s dawning. Though rap music is pop’s dominant form today, in the late 1970s it was a nascent genre built for live performances and geared to Black audiences. Some of the musicians hired for the session that produced Rapper’s Delight even had to have rap explained to them. “I’ve got these kids who are going to talk real fast over [the music],” Sugar Hill Records co-founder Sylvia Robinson said. After Black radio began playing the original 15-minute-long version of the record, a subsequent seven-minute version served as a rap initiation for white listeners. The song, which owes its rhythm to Chic’s disco hit Good Times, was self-aware of its introductory nature. “Now what you hear is not a test: I’m rappin’ to the beat, and me, the groove and my friends are gonna try to move your feet.” It really was a test though. A Top 40 song in the United States and a No. 1 hit in Canada, Rapper’s Delight was a harbinger of hip hop’s commercial possibilities. Brad Wheeler

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