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Evening Update newsletter: Canadian, family rescued after years in captivity; Trudeau arrives in Mexico on mission to save NAFTA

FILE - In this June 4, 2014, file photo, mother's Linda Boyle, left and Lyn Coleman hold photo of their married children, Canadian citizen Joshua Boyle and American citizen Caitlan Coleman, who were kidnapped by the Taliban in late 2012, in Stewartstown, Pa. Pakistan's military says soldiers have recovered five Western hostages held by the Taliban for years. Pakistan's army did not name those held, only saying it worked with U.S. intelligence officials to track down the hostages and free them after discovering they had been brought into Pakistan. (AP Photo/Bill Gorman, File)

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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'Horrible ordeal' over for Canadian man, family rescued after years in captivity

Canadian Joshua Boyle, 34, his American wife Caitlan Coleman, 31, and their three children have been freed after being held hostage by a Taliban-linked network for years. The couple went missing five years ago while in Afghanistan. Ms. Coleman was pregnant when they were captured and the couple had three children while in captivity.

Pakistan's High Commission in Ottawa said Thursday the country's army rescued five Western hostages from terrorist custody after a shootout that resulted in the deaths of the captors. However, there were conflicting reports as to whether the hostages were freed via a negotiated handover or after a shootout. American intelligence agencies had been tracking the hostages and alerted Pakistan when they crossed the border Wednesday. An attempt was previously made to rescue the family by including them in a deal to exchange them and a captive American soldier, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, for Taliban detainees, but that fell through and Sgt. Bergdahl alone was released in 2014.

Trudeau in Mexico: What's on his agenda, and what's at stake for NAFTA? A guide

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Mexico Thursday on a mission to save the North American free-trade agreement, which U.S. President Donald Trump had threatened to tear up the day before. Mr. Trudeau's first official visit to Mexico includes a meeting with President Enrique Pena Nieto, a gala dinner and a tour of Mexico's recovery efforts after two major earthquakes. The trip to Mexico comes after Mr. Trudeau met with Mr. Trump in Washington Wednesday. Shortly after the meeting, Mr. Trudeau acknowledged for the first time the trade deal between the three counties could fall apart. Here's a primer on the fourth round of NAFTA talks.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto wrote a piece for The Globe today. Here is his take on the partnership: "Canada and Mexico are going through one of the best moments of our relationship. The ties that link us, as well as the values and principles we share, make it stronger every day. This year, we celebrate 73 years of diplomatic relations, and we are witnessing a historical moment characterized by both countries' political willingness to further strengthen our ties and deepen our strategic dialogue under a renewed perspective."

GM plans to increase Equinox production in Mexico amid strike at Ontario plant

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General Motors is facing declining inventories of the Chevrolet Equinox, one of its most popular vehicles, as workers strike at a plant in Ingersoll, Ont. In response, the company is looking to increase output of the Equinox by turning to two factories in Mexico. Earlier this summer, GM shifted production of the GMC Terrain, a similar vehicle, from the Ontario plant to Mexico. The strike is now in its fourth week and is deadlocked because of job security concerns. (for subscribers)

Sears landlords face major vacancies amid a changing retail landscape

Landlords of Sears face the spectre of more empty spaces as the company prepares to close 131 stores by early next year. The closings come as landlords are still struggling to find tenants to replace Target, after it closed all of its 133 Canadian stores in 2015. Sears will ask the Ontario Superior Court on Friday to approve its total liquidation, a move that is forcing landlords to find new tenants, reconfigure and break up their stories for new uses or tear them down in part or entirely. (for subscribers)

As part of closing all 131 stores, 12,000 people will be out of work. Since 2009, the number of department store employees in Canada has tumbled 30 per cent. We look at the change in department store workers versus the overall workforce since 2001.

MARKET WATCH

Canada's main stock index closed down 0.37 per cent at 15,742.20. Energy companies were pushed lower as a result of falling oil prices. Seven of the 10 primary sectors in the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index retreated. On Wall Street, U.S. stocks were dragged down by banks and media companies. The Dow Jones Industrial average fell by 0.14 per cent to close at 22,841.01, the S&P 500 lost 0.17 per cent to close at 2,550.93 and the Nasdaq Composite finished the day at 6,591.51, down 0.18 per cent.

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Rob Carrick on your portfolio: "Ten-year return data shows the Canadian stock market has underperformed the U.S. and international markets for most timeframes. Canada has some catching up to do, and Canadian investors are no doubt eager to catch the wave. One thought on how to do this without over focusing your equity holdings on banks and energy: Add some exposure to Canadian equity funds that don't track the S&P/TSX composite index." (for subscribers)

WHAT'S TRENDING

Bombardier informed the Toronto Transit Commission that it will deliver 65 vehicles by the end of the year, short of its original target of 70, due to supply chain issues. TTC chairman Josh Colle and CEO Andy Byford are calling the delivery shortfall "extremely disappointing and frustrating." They said there should be 146 new streetcars in service, instead of just 45.

TALKING POINTS

Why the CRA thought it could take a bite of your free lunch

"The question of where to draw the line – what's a big enough breach to be taxed and what's peripheral enough to be better off left alone – comes down to whether the benefit to society of that extra dollar in tax revenue outweighs the costs imposed on taxpayers in collecting it. That's the equation the Liberals have to consider as they refine their small-business tax proposals." — Tony Keller

Anti-seal hunt rhetoric ignores facts and suppresses Indigenous culture

"It's time that Canadians stop telling Indigenous peoples what's good for them – or for the animals that are at the heart of their cultural and spiritual lives – and actually start listening. Reconciliation without action is meaningless. A good place to start would be for Canadians to begin actively supporting the Inuit hunters, designers and craftspeople who make a living from and depend upon seal." — Aylan Couchie and Ian Mosby

Sabia's Caisse can't shake questions of independence

"The Caisse remains unique among Canadian institutional investors in that it has a dual mandate, entrenched in law, to achieve an optimal return on capital 'while at the same time contributing to Quebec's economic development.' It is that latter clause, underlined in the U.S. Department of Commerce preliminary decision slapping countervailing duties on Bombardier's C Series aircraft, that continues to raise doubts about the Caisse on Bay Street and beyond." (for Subscribers) — Konrad Yakabuski

LIVING BETTER

In a recent report, Canada ranked fourth-worst out of 37 countries for work-life balance. Between work and kids and taking care of the house, it's hard enough to deal with all the responsibilities bearing down, let along find time to take a walk or go out to dinner with friends. Family therapists say a lack of individual free time is one of the most prominent complaints they encounter, and couples who ignore the problem for too long risk seeing their marriages end over it. But even small changes, such as open and honest communication and scheduling personal time, can vastly improve each person's happiness and the overall quality of marriage.

LONG READS FOR A LONG COMMUTE

DNA deepens mystery of Newfoundland's lost Beothuk people

For the first time researchers have managed to sequence DNA retrieved from the remains of several Beothuk individuals, a now-vanished Indigenous people of Newfoundland, in addition to DNA from an older, prehistoric culture that existed in Newfoundland thousands of years earlier. They learned the two groups aren't closely related and the last common ancestor of the Beothuk probably lived 10,000 years ago, when humans were first spreading across the Americas.

Winnipeg at a crossroads: Is now the time to finally fix Portage and Main?

The intersection of Portage and Main in Winnipeg is the "crossroads of Canada." It has been feted in song, memorialized on a stamp and on the Canadian version of the board game Monopoly. But for pedestrians, it is one of the most unwelcoming intersections in the country. For nearly four decades pedestrians have been banned from crossing it. Every attempt to change that has failed due to the potential impact on traffic. But, advocates for change are gaining momentum, backed by a mayor who made this a campaign promise. For Mayor Brian Bowman, the pressure if on to show some progress before he runs for re-election.

Evening Update is written by Jordan Chittley and Mayaz Alam. 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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