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Canada Morning Update: A Canadian link to Sudan’s military vehicles; a call to train doctors on prescribing the abortion pill

Good morning,

These are the top stories:

The Canadian maker of military vehicles for Sudan is operating beyond Ottawa’s reach

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Armoured vehicles being deployed by Sudan’s new military regime were manufactured by a Canadian-owned company, according to experts who reviewed photos taken by The Globe in Khartoum.

While Guerman Goutorov is Canadian, his company, Streit Group, manufactures the vehicles in the United Arab Emirates. Even new federal rules covering Canadian “arms brokers” might not halt the export of Streit vehicles. “It’s possible to avoid Canadian law if you have a foreign subsidiary do the work,” said Toronto trade lawyer Cyndee Todgham Cherniak.

This is just the latest case of a Canadian company providing support to Sudan’s military: The Montreal-based lobbyist Dickens & Madson inked a $6-million contract that includes a promise to help obtain funds and equipment for the armed forces.

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Canada’s physicians regulator rejected an offer to train doctors on prescribing the abortion pill

Despite major access gaps to Mifegymiso, the College of Family Physicians of Canada turned down a national abortion group’s request to provide a one-day training course at a major conference.

The Canadian head of the National Abortion Federation says she was informed that the college doesn’t allow outside training, a policy advocates say is contributing to a situation that is forcing women in rural areas to travel hundreds of kilometres to get a prescription for the pill.

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Most prescribing happens at abortion clinics in urban centres, even though family doctors can write prescriptions. Clinic directors have told The Globe that some physicians don’t do so because they believe the care involved in prescribing Mifegymiso is too complex.

Social-media use and TV viewing are being linked to teen depression

A new study of more than 3,800 Montreal-area teens found that those who increased the amount of time they spent watching TV or on social media had higher levels of depressive symptoms.

Video games not a factor: Playing video games was the only one of four areas studied not associated with depression. Experts say this shows interactive gaming can be beneficial and even has the potential to improve attention and executive functioning.

Democratic congresswomen are criticizing Donald Trump for ‘xenophobic bigoted remarks’

Backlash is building over the U.S. President’s tweets where he said four Democratic women of colour should “go back” and fix the “crime infested places from which they came.”

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But Trump is doubling down on his comments, saying criticism – including from some Republicans – “doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was among the world leaders to denounce Trump, saying: “That is not how we do things in Canada. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.”

In a column, Lawrence Martin asks: “How much more evidence do people need in order to come to grips with the staggering reality that the President of the United States is a white supremacist?”

And our editorial board says Trump’s tweets “were aimed at helping rivals he’s very happy to have, and who he hopes will prosper.”

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at tips@globeandmail.com Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

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New offer for notorious Vancouver hotels: A charitable organization has put forward unsolicited offers for two shuttered buildings owned by Vancouver’s Sahota family. Heritage Charitable Foundation wants to turn the Regent and Balmoral hotels into low-cost rental units, saying it could move faster and cheaper than the city’s planned expropriation of the buildings.

No Huawei decision before election: A call on whether to bar the Chinese firm’s equipment from 5G networks won’t come ahead of the fall vote, The Canadian Press reports. Federal security experts are currently conducting a review of Huawei amid strained relations with Beijing.

MORNING MARKETS

Stocks mixed

Global stocks struggled to cling to recent gains on Tuesday and the U.S. dollar lingered with markets awaiting U.S. data and a slew of corporate and bank earnings for a fresh readout on the health of the world’s largest economy. Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.7 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite shed 0.2 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.2 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 and the Paris CAC 40 were up by between 0.2 and 0.3 per cent by about 6:30 a.m. ET, with Germany’s DAX little changed. New York futures were little changed. The Canadian dollar was above 76.5 US cents.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

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Increasingly, we understand: Press freedom matters. Now what?

Rachel Pulfer: “Without free media, there is no real government oversight. Without oversight, it’s a slippery slope from democracy to demagoguery. And unfortunately for democracy, free media is in crisis.” Rachel Pulfer is the executive director of Journalists for Human Rights.

Chinese-Canadians aren’t all Chinese – and that nuance must not be elided

Bill Chu, Thekla Lit and Victor Ho: “Despite a recent University of Hong Kong survey that found only 11 per cent of Hong Kong people identify themselves as Chinese, China has been only too happy to use Canada’s expansive definition of ‘Chinese’ as a beachhead to establish China’s influence in Canada, which comes in handy when putting pressure on Ottawa.” Bill Chu is the founder of Canadians for Reconciliation Society. Thekla Lit is founder and president of B.C. Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WWII in Asia (ALPHA). Victor Ho is co-founder of Vancouver-based Media Analytica Inc.

Health-benefits fraud happens every day — and it has real consequences

Stephen Frank: “It was recent front-page news that a leading hospital in Toronto fired 150 employees for a massive health-benefits fraud scheme. ... While this grabs headlines, the unfortunate reality is health and benefits fraud in Canada occurs daily and costs the system hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Equally unfortunate is how misunderstood it is.” Stephen Frank is chief executive officer of the non-profit Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association.

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TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

By Brian Gable

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail

LIVING BETTER

What you need to know about Canada’s new air passenger rights

New rules are now in effect that mandate compensation for fliers under a slew of circumstances.

Bumping: You’re entitled to anywhere from $90 to $2,400 if you’re bumped from a flight, with the payout figure dependent on how late you arrive at your destination.

Baggage: Passengers can file an expense claim of up to $2,100 for lost or damaged bags.

Coming soon: Starting Dec. 15, you’ll also be guaranteed anywhere from $125 to $1,000 for delays of three hours or more – if the cause of the delay is within the airline’s control.

Pushback: Air Canada, Porter Airlines and 17 other applicants are challenging the rules in court, saying they violate international standards.

MOMENT IN TIME

Martha Stewart sentenced, says ‘I’ll be back’

(Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press)

BEBETO MATTHEWS/The Associated Press

July 16, 2004: Standing on the courthouse steps, Martha Stewart vowed that she’d return. Crowds of the devout faithful hoisted “save Martha” signs and cheered her on; but others may have been more skeptical. The lifestyle business deity had just been sentenced to five months in prison, along with house arrest and a US$30,000 fine, for lying to securities investigators about a suspiciously well-timed stock sale. Over her six-week, high-profile trial, she’d resigned as chief executive of her own empire, her name had been stripped from Martha Stewart Living Magazine and advertisers had abandoned her programs and publications. And yet, the homemaker extraordinaire’s recipe for a comeback had perhaps already begun: Martha Stewart Omnimedia stocks actually rose upon news of her sentencing. Before she’d even finished house arrest, she’d signed a deal to publish a business advice book, with another cookbook, a home-economics-themed version of The Apprentice and a new daytime television show to follow. In an interview with The New York Times just more than a year after her sentencing, Ms. Stewart snacked on a chocolate chip cookie and remarked, “Sometimes I even scratch my head and try to think of exactly what I was charged with.” She was back. – Jacqueline Houston

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