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Morning Update: Brazil welcomes foreign aid to fight Amazon fires;…

Good morning,

These are the top stories:

Brazil open to accepting foreign aid to combat Amazon wildfires after initial rejection

Brazil says it welcomes foreign aid to help fight the Amazon wildfires after initially rejecting international assistance, but it is not clear if it will accept the $15-million and water bombers Canada has offered.

A spokesperson for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said the country would only accept the aid if it could control how it will be spent.

Mr. Bolsonaro previously rejected a US$20-million aid package from G7 countries to help fight fires ravaging the Amazon rain forest, saying it was a colonialist move.

Purdue Pharma offers US$10-billion to US$12-billion to settle opioid claims

Drug maker Purdue Pharma LP and its owners, the Sackler family, are seeking to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits against the company for between US$10-12 billion, sources said Tuesday.

Purdue is among several drug makers that have been sued for their role in the opioid crisis in the United States. The lawsuits have accused the Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma of aggressively marketing prescription opioids while deceiving consumers about risks from their extended use. Purdue has denied the allegations.

Meanwhile, more Canadian provinces have joined in a class-action suit against opioid makers. A national working group on the issue now has participation from Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Quebec.

Wynne aides received enhanced severance packages after losing 2018 election

The Ontario Liberal cabinet approved more than $450,000 in enhanced severance packages for two top staffers in the premier’s office shortly after the party lost the 2018 election.

Details about the severance paid to former premier Kathleen Wynne’s top aides, Andrew Bevan and Mary Rowe, were released to The Globe and Mail under a Freedom of Information request. The provincial list with public salaries showed Mr. Bevan and Ms. Rowe were paid significantly more in 2018 than the year before, despite only working for five months before the Liberals were voted out.

However, there appears to be no formal process for increasing severance after an election loss, something critics say needs to change to ensure fairness.

Lakehead University names non-Indigenous law dean

The appointment of an Indigenous woman as the first dean of a law school in Canada was supposed to be a watershed moment for Lakehead University. But it’s been nearly 18 months since Angelique EagleWoman resigned and subsequently sued the institution, alleging systemic racism at the Thunder Bay university.

Now, Lakehead’s fraught search for a replacement has concluded with a non-Indigenous person being chosen as dean, beating out a First Nations man for the job.

The turmoil at Lakehead’s law school is a microcosm of the wider Thunder Bay community’s struggles with racism and reconciliation with First Nations peoples.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Rona Ambrose disagrees with Scheer’s assertion that Trudeau caved to Trump on NAFTA: The former Conservative leader says Canada made some concessions to get the deal but it also made some important gains.

Ontario ends Ring of Fire deal with First Nations: Greg Rickford, the Minister of Mines, said that the new approach will mean the government can address specific community opportunities while speeding up development of the mining project.

Accusers testify weeks after Jeffrey Epstein’s death: Sixteen women who say the wealthy financier sexually abused them detailed their accusations less than three weeks after Epstein killed himself.

Manitoba Liberals plan virtual addictions centre to deal with meth crisis: Leader Dougald Lamont says people would access the centre by phone or online so they can get help when they need it.

MORNING MARKETS

Stocks mixed

Global stocks nudged down on Wednesday as deepening inversion of the U.S. bond yield curve a day earlier threw up reminders of looming recession risks, sending investors towards safe havens such as the Japanese yen and precious metals. Tokyo’s Nikkei was up 0.1 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.1 per cent and the Shanghai Composite was down 0.2 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.3 per cent while Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were both down 0.6 per cent at 6:15 a.m. ET. New York futures were up. The Canadian dollar was at 75.17 US cents.

WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Catherine McKenna’s carbon-tax gaffe gives the Conservatives a gift

Gary Mason: “Now, the carbon-tax discussion will be entirely framed around a Conservative narrative that the Liberals are lying about what they intend to do with the tax. That the fee is part of a “secret” government plan to rob Canadians of their hard-earned money to fund a dubious strategy to save the environment. It will serve as a cover for a party that has no credible climate plan itself. And that is the real problem here.”

A primary challenge should be a primary concern for Trump

Lawrence Martin: “Joe Walsh doesn’t stand a chance of beating the destabilizer-in-chief. Nor does William Weld, who entered the race in April; or Mark Sanford, the ex-South Carolina governor who is expected to jump in this weekend … But the question is not whether they can win or not. It’s whether, in taking on Mr. Trump from within, they can make re-election more difficult for him.”

Donald Trump once again stood alone at the G7

David Shribman: “At the recent Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, the political energy on the pressing matters of the burning Amazon forests, the dying Iran nuclear deal and Russia’s threat to the West, sprang from the French and Canadian leaders – and not from Mr. Trump.”

TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

By David Parkins

David Parkins/The Globe and Mail

LIVING BETTER

A few years ago, Menno Versteeg saw a therapist for the first time. A 20-year veteran of the music industry, both as frontman for indie-rock band Hollerado and as head honcho at Toronto’s Royal Mountain Records, Versteeg had long bought into the conceit of the tortured artist – that great art needs to be suffered for. But when he finally reached out to a therapist, the results were miraculous.

So when his record label, which oversees over 25 artists, including breakout acts Mac DeMarco and Alvvays, finally turned a small profit, Versteeg vowed to make a difference. Now, he’s creating a first-of-its-kind mental-health fund, combining profit and donation to support his label roster’s well-being.

MOMENT IN TIME

Margaret Dunseith, seen at what is now known as Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto in December, 1953, helped shift the narrative for women in Canada when she became the first female air-traffic controller.

John Boyd/The Globe and Mail

Aug. 28, 1952

Margaret Dunseith had worked as an assistant air-traffic controller for years, including with the RCAF in the Second World War, when the federal Department of Transport changed its regulations to allow women to hold the top job. On this day in 1952, she started work as Canada’s first female air-traffic controller. Being first meant she was a popular topic in the media. The Imperial Oil Review magazine called clearing and landing planes a “man-size job” in 1958, even as Ms. Dunseith was shifting that narrative. She was reportedly calm in the face of the tension-filled job. “You can only land one plane at a time,” she told The Star Weekly that same year, “so there’s no point in getting excited.” After 28 years, Ms. Dunseith retired in June of 1980. She arrived at her own surprise party in style, in a helicopter, and strolled in to find a standing ovation from more than 200 fellow controllers. In 1989, the airport (which celebrates 80 years next month) named its new, $3.2-million control tower the Margaret R. Dunseith building. Ms. Dunseith was a trailblazer but today, NAV Canada reports that only 17 per cent of Canada’s air-traffic controllers are women. Samantha McCabe

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