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In today's Morning Brief, as Iran executed a second anti-regime demonstrator in a week, protests continued inside the country unabated. Medical professionals, who are among those facing the greatest personal risk, are being helped by colleagues overseas, including Canada.

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How Canadian doctors are helping Iranian colleagues document brutality of regime

As the Iranian government continues to crack down on its opponents — even executing two protesters in the past week — doctors inside and outside of the country are joining together to document horrific injuries inflicted by the regime.

"The number of people who oppose the regime is very big — perhaps more than 80 per cent or 90 per cent of my colleagues," said a trauma doctor in Iran who has been treating ghastly injuries inflicted on protesters by the regime's security forces.

CBC News has agreed not to identify him or reveal any other details about his work, as doing so could compromise his safety.

WATCH | Iran regime's brutality documented by network of doctors: 

Iran regime’s brutality documented by network of doctors

6 months ago
Duration 3:23

"I have seen injuries on the legs, hips and face resulting from shotgun pellets," he said in an interview.

"There have been several cases where they hit them in the forehead — and there was one case in our hospital where a young child was shot in the face and lost both of his eyes."

Getting even basic information out of the country has been difficult, as authorities have attempted to disrupt messaging service platforms such as WhatsApp and Telegram. 

Despite that, doctors who have treated patients have still managed to share details of the injuries they've been seeing with colleagues outside of the country, including doctors in Canada.

"We try to be their voice," said Dr. Saeed Zavareh, a Vancouver internal medicine specialist, who tries to stay in contact with colleagues inside Iran. Read more on this story here.

On to the final

(Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images)

Argentine forward Lionel Messi celebrates after his team defeated Croatia 3-0 in their Qatar 2022 World Cup soccer semi-final match on Tuesday. Argentina will take on the winner of Wednesday's semi-final between France and Morocco.

In brief

A friendship society in Richmond, B.C., has become a focus in an RCMP investigation into allegations of secret Chinese "police" stations operating in Canada. Officers visited the Canada Wenzhou Friendship Society on Saturday and conducted interviews with people who live nearby in the suburb south of Vancouver. CBC spoke with neighbours who confirmed RCMP officers spoke with them, asking if they'd seen anything suspicious, and a marked cruiser was parked outside the building on Tuesday. The police activity comes after the Spanish human rights group Safeguard Defenders published a report revealing the existence of two additional Chinese "police service stations" being operated within Canada, including one in the Vancouver area. Another three stations in the Toronto area are already under police investigation. Read more here.

Thomas Hartle says his first psychedelic trip was life-changing. In the summer of 2020 the Saskatoon man became the first person in Canada to legally try psilocybin — the active ingredient in what are commonly known as "magic mushrooms" — after an exemption from then-Minister of Health Patty Hajdu. Hartle, 54, was diagnosed with Stage 4 terminal colon cancer in 2016 and says the drug helped him face his anxieties about dying. Hartle was able to do three sessions in 2020, but his federal exemption was only good for the year. He applied to renew it in October 2021 and has been waiting 440 days for an answer from Health Canada. Read the full story here.

As rising rental prices strain many tenants' budgets, some low-income renters can now apply for a one-off $500 payment from the federal government to help ease their housing costs. But tenant advocates say the payment will offer very limited relief for people whose monthly budgets are continually stretched by the rising cost of living amid a lack of affordable housing. Read more here on who can get the one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit, and how to apply

Hockey Canada says it will release its audited financial statements following a review that found oversight and transparency problems at the organization. Retired Supreme Court justice Thomas Cromwell was commissioned by Hockey Canada in August to review its governance amid public outcry over its use of controversial reserve funds to settle sexual assault allegations. One of Cromwell's recommendations in his report was that Hockey Canada make its audited financial statements public going forward — a call Cromwell repeated to the Commons heritage committee on Tuesday. Asked by CBC News if it would follow through on the recommendation, Hockey Canada confirmed for the first time that it will. Hockey Canada said it would publish its 2021-22 financial statements on its website. The audited statements are up for approval on Saturday at Hockey Canada's annual general meeting. Read the full story here.

The U.S. Department of Energy on Tuesday announced a breakthrough in nuclear fusion, a method of producing clean energy, that has many people hopeful for the future. The achievement was reached by scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. Nuclear fusion may be a new concept to many, but scientists have been working on it since the 1940s. However, they have faced a tough challenge: how to produce more energy than it takes to create it. It almost seemed like an insurmountable challenge. Read more here from CBC science writer Nicole Mortillaro.

WATCH | Bob McDonald explains nuclear fusion: 

Bob McDonald explains nuclear fusion

6 months ago
Duration 6:16

Now here's some good news to start your Wednesday: It's a Santa Claus parade composed of a single pickup truck and a double-trailer float, but it's been bringing Christmas cheer to the community of Melville, Sask., since 2020. When the small city, about 140 kilometres northeast of Regina, paused its annual Santa Claus parade in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, some families in the community of about 4,500 still wanted to do something to spread the magic of Christmas. And if the city's residents couldn't line the streets to watch, they reasoned, the parade would come to their neighbourhoods. Read more here.

Opinion: When we donate to food banks, we don't really solve hunger

Sure donating makes people feel good, but it's a temporary fix because we're not addressing the root issue, writes Lourdes Juan. Read the column here.

Front Burner: AI art and text is getting smarter, what comes next?

Today on Front Burner, AI image generators and chatbots are flooding social media feeds. They're fun — but also a hint at how powerful AI is becoming and how it may transform the way we work, for better or worse.

Today in history: December 14

1911: Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his team become the first people to reach the South Pole. 

1962: The U.S. satellite Mariner II makes the first close-up observation of Venus.

1989: Former opposition leader Patricio Aylwin is elected president in Chile's first national election in almost 20 years. He took office in March 1990, ending the 16-year dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

1998: Finance Minister Paul Martin rejects proposed mega-mergers of Canada's four biggest banks, citing concerns raised by a Competition Bureau report that the mergers would result in the unacceptable concentration of economic power in the hands of fewer, very large banks.

With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters

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