Giorgia Meloni praised Mussolini, now she’s Italy’s new leader; anger over latest Eglinton LRT delay

Hello. This is the Tuesday, September 27 edition of First Up, the Star’s daily morning digest. Sign up to get it earlier every day, in your inbox.

Here’s what you need to know because vaccines targeting Omicron are now available for all adults.

Here’s the latest on Italy’s new far-right leader, the end of Canada’s pandemic travel restrictions and the public reaction to another Eglinton LRT delay.


‘Christian mother’ Giorgia Meloni is Italy’s first far-right leader since Mussolini

Giorgia Meloni leads a party with neo-fascist roots and once praised fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. She is now set to become Italy’s first female prime minister after her Brothers of Italy party struck a campaign pact with right-wing and right-wing centrists. The group dominated national elections this month, vowing to crack down on crime and immigration, reports Joanna Chiu. Meloni also signaled that she would be tough on China. Here’s what experts say his victory could mean for Europe and the world.

  • The context: The snap election comes as Europe faces energy and cost of living crises that are set to intensify. As Italy shifts to populism and the far right, a eurosceptic party will lead a founding member of the European Union and its third-largest economy.
  • After: The far-right leader’s views are summed up in a chant from a 2019 rally: « I’m a woman, I’m a mother, I’m Italian, I’m a Christian… No one will take that away from me. »

Analysis: Justin Trudeau bows to health advice, public pressure and politics as pandemic restrictions end

Accepting a unanimous recommendation from a Cabinet committee on COVID-19, Trudeau agreed to end pandemic travel measures – which had been denounced by the tourism and travel industry, border mayors, the business community and many medical experts. Tonda MacCharles explains why some infectious disease specialists believe the move was overdue.

  • Wait what? Effective October 1, Ottawa will end all border requirements for travelers entering Canada and mask requirements on airlines, trains and cruise ships (although it “strongly” encourages the use of the mask).
  • After: One of four specialists who analyzed the medical literature compared Canada’s response to that of other countries and concluded that « the restrictions introduced during the Omicron wave were largely ineffective and should not be maintained or reintroduced ».

Anger over latest Eglinton LRT delay prompts calls for public inquiry

After more than a decade of construction, the Eglinton Crosstown light rail line is facing another delay – and those in the area who have struggled with noise, traffic and rats for years are frustrated. Metrolinx announced Friday that the LRT would not be ready in time for its final fall deadline, pushing it even further past its planned 2020 completion without offering a new schedule. As a councilor calls for a public inquiry, here’s why endless construction has residents and business owners fed up.

  • By the numbers: Since 2018, the cost of the Eglinton Line has increased by more than $550 million.


Municipalities are making developers wait longer, according to a new study of homebuilders. Here’s how it affects prices.

This couple bought a house in Guelph with an inheritance and are making a total of $100,000. Here’s how they can upgrade when they start a family.


Ismael Abdulle is interviewed in April 2019, in Mogadishu in a scene from Michelle Shephard's forthcoming documentary, "The perfect story."

Ismael was only 17 when a reporter from the Star told the story that made him a hero in the eyes of the world. Years later, he made a shocking revelation.


Pakistani health workers fumigate to kill mosquitoes in an effort to prevent an outbreak of dengue fever, in Islamabad, Pakistan on Monday.

PAKISTAN: Devastated by floods, Pakistani health workers are fumigating to kill mosquitoes in a bid to prevent an outbreak of waterborne infections in Islamabad on Monday. Here’s how much the United States is increasing its aid.

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