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In today's Morning Brief, one of two men leading the anti-Taliban resistance in Afghanistan has made a direct appeal to Canadians — and by extension the West — not to give up on his country or its people.

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Don't surrender to the 'darkness' and give up, former Afghan vice-president urges Canada

The self-proclaimed president of Afghanistan and one of two men leading the anti-Taliban resistance has made a direct appeal to Canadians — and by extension the West — not to give up on his country or its people.

Amrullah Saleh, a Tajik leader and vice-president in the democratically elected government of President Ashraf Ghani, delivered a recorded speech to an Ottawa-based think-tank, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. 

The audio remarks and transcript were released early Friday.

From his hiding place in the remote Panshir Valley, 125 kilometres north of Kabul, Saleh issued a direct appeal to the Canadian government not to abandon the pluralistic country and society it has tried to help build in Afghanistan.

"The solution is not abandonment," said Saleh, a former Northern Alliance commander who opposed the Taliban two decades ago when they were last in power.

"The solution is not losing hope. The solution is not surrendering to darkness. The solution is standing tall, believing that no force, no force on earth can and should be allowed to subdue humanity, to crush it."

WATCH | The political impact of the Afghanistan crisis | At Issue:  

The political impact of the Afghanistan crisis | At Issue

10 months ago
Duration 15:46

Saleh, who had served as vice-president since February 2020, proclaimed himself president after Ghani fled the country following the surrender of Kabul. He has vowed to fight the Taliban and joined forces with Ahmad Massoud, the son of the late Ahmad Shah Massoud, who led fierce resistance against the Taliban until he was assassinated by al-Qaeda in September 2001.

Saleh has given several interviews to media in southeast Asia, and his recorded statement appears aimed at rallying Western support for his resistance movement. Read more on this story here.

Track cyclist Kate O'Brien, judoka Priscilla Gagné get silver medals at Tokyo Paralympics

(Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Canada may still be hunting for its first gold medal of the Tokyo Paralympics, but it added two more medals to its haul on Friday. Priscilla Gagné of Sarnia, Ont., seen here in white competing against Algeria's Abderrahmane Chetouane, got silver in the -52kg women's judo competition at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo. Earlier, Kate O'Brien of Calgary took silver in the women's C4-5 500-metre time trial at the Izu Velodrome in Shizuoka, Japan. Check out the full roundup of how Canada fared on Day 3.

In brief

A small-but-growing body of research suggests the highly contagious delta variant raises your risk of serious illness, but it's tough to know for sure if it's the root cause of more severe COVID-19, both researchers and outside experts say. The latest findings out of Singapore, published this week in the peer-reviewed medical journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, involve a comparison between 829 hospitalized patients infected with one of three variants of concern — including delta — and 846 patients admitted to hospitals with the original coronavirus strain in early 2020. "After adjusting for age and sex, [delta] was associated with higher odds of oxygen requirement, ICU admission, or death," the research team wrote. The findings of the study are similar to what was seen in both a broad analysis of Singapore's national-level data and a detailed study of patients with severe outcomes, the paper continued. The conclusions also echo other international studies, including one out of Scotland and another from a team in Ontario, which both found a heightened risk of severe outcomes following infection with the delta variant. Read more on the delta variant here.

WATCH | Delta may continue striking younger age groups, physician warns: 

Delta may continue striking younger age groups, physician warns

10 months ago
Duration 0:42

Ryerson University's board of directors has voted to change the Toronto school's name over concerns about the man the institution is named for and his links to Canada's residential schools. In a post on the school's website Thursday, president and vice-chancellor Mohamed Lachemi announced the change is forthcoming as part of 22 recommendations made by the university's Standing Strong (Mash Koh Wee Kah Pooh Win) Task Force. Egerton Ryerson is considered one of the primary architects of the residential school system and, in recent years, staff and students had been calling for both the removal of his statue and for the university to change its name. The statue of Ryerson that once stood on the school's campus was toppled earlier this year, amid the discovery of unmarked grave sites on the grounds of former residential schools. In response to the growing controversy, the university formed the task force to reconsider the school's name, Egerton Ryerson's legacy and other commemorative elements on campus. Read more on the name change.

The group representing more than 2,000 municipalities is asking for billions of dollars from the federal government to help cities and towns protect themselves from climate-related events as wildfires, floods, heat waves and droughts increase in intensity. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities told CBC News the large sum would help communities become more resilient, reducing property damage and saving lives. "There is a sense of urgency. So I think being very ambitious is what we need," said Joanne Vanderheyden, FCM president and mayor of the municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc in Ontario. "Municipal leaders really turn federal investments into jobs and outcomes people can see and feel. It's urgent that we get this right and we get it done now." Read more on what the municipalities are seeking.

When the election was called earlier this month, Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole was ready for his close-up. His party had even built its own studio for it. Fred Delorey, Conservative national campaign director, said getting the studio up and running was all about being "prepared if we have to have a full virtual campaign, a pandemic election." The Conservative team is taking a very different approach to this election than it has to previous ones. While the other parties are respecting pandemic protocols and keeping their own studios on standby, their leaders are more or less sticking to the traditional election model — long days on the road, criss-crossing the country, holding in-person whistle stops and rallies. "That's an outdated way to do campaigning," Delorey told CBC News. Read more on the Conservatives' campaign strategy.

If you have a question about the federal election, send us an email at We're answering as many as we can leading up to election day. Today: Don't want to miss the chance to vote? Mark these key dates on your calendar. There are many options for voters to cast their ballots, but each comes with a deadline. If you want to vote in-person, the election day of Sept. 20 is a possibility, but you may also choose to vote at an advance polling station between Sept. 10‒13, or at an Elections Canada office from now through Sept. 14. If you wish to vote by mail, you should apply for this process by Sept. 14, and have your vote delivered to the return address printed on your mail-in voting kit by Sept. 20. Read more here on the dates you need to know,

Ontario's transport ministry was warned about visibility issues while the Ford government was testing its now-discontinued blue licence plates and given clear recommendations to improve the readability, which weren't acted on, documents obtained by CBC News show. The plates were pulled after they were widely criticized by police officers and the public alike after people realized they were nearly impossible to read in some light conditions. CBC News first filed freedom of information requests about the bungled rollout in February of 2020. Full responses weren't provided until this summer, and those new documents showed the government should have known the plates would cause problems before they hit the road. Those warnings included messages from 407 ETR, which runs the major toll highway that runs across the Greater Toronto Area, and the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police. The government also failed to send test plates to the Canada Border Services Agency until after the plates were released to the public on Feb. 1, 2020, according to the documents. Read more on the licence plates here.

Now for some good news to start your Friday: Michael Sima is officially a practising lawyer on Prince Edward Island and he's believed to be the first Indigenous person openly identified to be called to the bar on the Island. Sima, who is Mi'kmaw, has been working as an articled clerk with Pamela Large-Moran (PLM) Law in Charlottetown, and was called to the bar Tuesday afternoon.  He was surrounded by family, friends and colleagues in what was a historic, unique and emotional ceremony from start to finish. Sima said he's thankful, and humbled by the support shown by the dozens who came to congratulate him and share the day. "The message that I have is that it's our resilience that we can get through many things in life, get supports and we can succeed in any goal that we have," he said. Read more on Sima's story here.

Front Burner: Where the major parties stand on housing affordability

Housing affordability is a huge issue for many Canadian voters in the upcoming federal election. All the major parties have released platforms addressing the issue.

Today on Front Burner, Jayme Poisson speaks with senior director at the Smart Prosperity Institute Mike Moffatt about what the Liberal, Conservative and NDP platforms say, and what impact they might actually have on helping Canadians buy or rent a home.

Today in history: August 27

1883: The largest explosion in recorded history occurs when the volcano on the Indonesian island of Krakatoa erupts. The explosion, which was heard 5,000 kilometres away, hurled rock 26 kilometres into the air and obliterated the tiny island, leaving behind a 300-metre cavity in the ocean floor. The blast caused tidal waves that killed more than 36,000 people. 

1939: The world's first jet-propelled plane, the Heinkel He 178, makes its first flight at the Rostock-Marienehe Airfield in northern Germany.

1980: The Ottawa Journal and Winnipeg Tribune are shut down with a loss of 745 jobs, as Canada's two largest newspaper groups, Southam Inc. and Thomson Newspapers Ltd., took measures to cut financial losses. The simultaneous closings prompted the federal government to launch a royal commission on newspaper ownership.

2003: Perdita Felicien wins gold at the women's 100-metre hurdles at the world athletic championships near Paris, setting a Canadian record of 12.53 seconds and becoming the first Canadian woman to take home a medal from the championships since the event was first held in Helsinki in 1983.

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

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