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

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

Here’s what you need to know, as Omicron-targeted vaccines are now available to all adults.

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


“Christian Mother” Giorgia Meloni Is Italy’s First Far-Right Leader Since Mussolini

Giorgia Meloni leads a party with neo-fascist roots and the once acclaimed fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Now she is on the cusp of becoming Italy’s first female prime minister after her Brothers of Italy party forged a campaign pact with right-wing and right-wing centrists. The group topped the national elections this month and pledged to crack down on crime and immigration, reports Joanna Chiu. Meloni has also indicated that she will be tough on China. Here’s what experts say her win could mean for Europe and the world.

  • context: The snap elections come as Europe faces energy and cost of living crises that are about to intensify. As Italy moves towards populism and the far right, a Eurosceptic party will lead one of the founders of the European Union and its third-largest economy.
  • More: 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 from me.”

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

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

  • Wait what? Effective October 1, Ottawa will end all border requirements for travelers entering Canada and drop mask requirements for airlines, trains, and cruise ships (though it “strongly” encourages the use of masks).
  • More: 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 Eglinton LRT’s latest delay sparks calls for public inquiry

After more than a decade of construction, the Eglinton Crosstown light rail line is facing yet another delay – and those in the area who have been dealing 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 target of 2020 completion without offering a new timeline. As a councilor calls for a public inquiry, here’s a look at why the endless construction residents and business owners are 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, says a new study for home builders. Here’s how that affects prices.

This couple bought a house in Guelph with an inheritance and made $100K together. Here’s how to upgrade when they start a family.


Ismael Abdulle is interviewed in Mogadishu in April 2019 in a scene from Michelle Shephard's soon to be released doc, "The perfect story."

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


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

PAKISTAN: Devastated by flooding, Pakistani health workers disinfected to kill mosquitoes in a bid to prevent an outbreak of waterborne infections in Islamabad on Monday. This is how much the US is ramping up aid.

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