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In today's Morning Brief, we have the story of a Canadian woman with terminal cancer who can't reunite with her American fiancé due to COVID-19 restrictions. We also look at protests that took a violent turn in several U.S. cities over the weekend.

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Canadian woman dying of cancer can't reunite with American fiancé due to COVID-19 restrictions

Canadian Danielle Larocque has terminal uterine cancer, and her one wish is to reunite with her American fiancé, Charles Emch, before it's too late. But the couple remains apart because Canada has banned foreigners from entering for non-essential travel to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

On top of that, the U.S. land border is closed to Canadian visitors. Canadians can still fly to the U.S., but Larocque, 67, can't, due to her ill health. That leaves daily Facetime calls as the couple's only solace. "We want to be together," said Emch, 81, who lives in Pompano Beach, Fla. He said he will take a coronavirus test and is fully prepared to self-isolate for 14 days if he's allowed into Canada.

Canada's travel restrictions have caused heartache for many cross-border couples who remain separated during the pandemic. The federal government recently revised its rules to allow foreigners to visit immediate family in Canada, including spouses and common-law partners — but that doesn't help unmarried couples like Larocque and Emch, who can't meet the criteria.

To qualify as common-law, couples must have lived together for at least one year and prove it with documentation showing a shared residence. Larocque and Emch say they have been together for five years, but have split their time between each of their own homes in Ottawa and Pompano Beach — so they have no paperwork showing a shared address. The couple did get engaged — by phone — earlier this month, but they can't get married until they're reunited.

"I'm heartbroken, I'm outraged," said Larocque's daughter, Tara Vidosa, about her mother's situation. Earlier this month, Vidosa contacted Larocque's MP, Liberal Marie-France Lalonde, requesting a special exemption for Emch to enter Canada. Lalonde told CBC News she's trying to help the couple, but a spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Bill Blair gave no indication that the government is working on a solution.

Vidosa wants the government to widen its list of who qualifies for immediate family exemptions to enter Canada. That would help not only her mother, but also the many other Canadians still separated from their loved ones, she said. The Public Health Agency of Canada told CBC News it's aware of concerns raised by family members still separated from their loved ones. As a result, the agency said it's reviewing its definition of immediate family, while still keeping in mind the risks posed by international travel during the pandemic. Read more about the couple's situation here.

Civil rights icon John Lewis crosses Selma bridge one last time

(Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

The casket of U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, was carried over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., on Sunday. The bridge became a landmark in the fight for racial justice when Lewis and other civil rights marchers were attacked by police there in 1965 on Bloody Sunday.

In brief

Some anti-masking groups are joining forces with anti-vaccination proponents and adopting their techniques to spread misinformation and amplify their message as more regions across the country adopt mandatory masking policies in an effort to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. Although many Canadians who don't want to wear masks aren't opposed to vaccines, the fact that anti-vaccination groups are involved in the relatively new anti-masking movement is concerning to many health experts. Despite well-established evidence that vaccines are safe and effective, anti-vaccination groups have become savvy at spreading misinformation that leads people to distrust medical guidance — something that can have dire consequences during a pandemic. The similarities between organized anti-masking and anti-vaccine movements are striking, said Maya Goldenberg, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Guelph specializing in vaccine hesitancy. Mistrust of government and scientific authorities are key characteristics among both anti-vaccination and anti-masking advocates, Goldenberg said. Read more about the situation here.

Protests took a violent turn in several U.S. cities over the weekend. Notably, demonstrators squared off against federal agents outside a courthouse in Portland, Ore., forced police in Seattle to retreat into a station house, and set fire to vehicles in California and Virginia. The unrest Saturday and early Sunday stemmed from the weeks of protests over racial injustice and the police treatment of people of colour that flared up after the May 25 killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Thousands of people gathered in Portland on Saturday evening for another night of protests over Floyd's killing and the presence of federal agents recently sent to the city by U.S. President Donald Trump. Protesters breached a fence surrounding the city's federal courthouse building, where the agents have been stationed. Police declared the situation to be a riot; by early Sunday morning, federal officers and local police could be seen attempting to clear the area and deploying tear gas. However, protesters remained past 2:30 a.m. local time, forming lines across intersections and holding makeshift shields. Multiple arrests were made, but it wasn't immediately clear how many. Read more about the protests here.

WATCH | Seattle protests declared riots by police:

Seattle protests declared riots

2 years ago
Duration 7:36
CBC News Network's Michael Serapio speaks with Mimi Sanchez, a protester from Seattle.

The Royal Canadian Navy's deputy commander responded to a series of online posts criticizing the military's plan to drop the term "seaman" by warning that there is no place in the force for sailors who subscribe to "hateful, misogynistic and racist" beliefs. Rear Admiral Chris Sutherland issued the admonition in a Facebook post over the weekend as sailors and members of the public are being asked to vote on a new title for the navy's most junior members by replacing "seaman" with a more gender-neutral term. Navies around the world have described their junior sailors as "seamen" for decades if not centuries, but those terms are being replaced in Canada as the navy — which is short hundreds of sailors — charts new waters to become more diverse and inclusive. Navy officers have said the move is also designed to ensure junior members feel safe and proud of their ranks and jobs. While the move has been applauded by some as long overdue, there has also been varying degrees of criticism online as some have blasted what they see as an overabundance of political correctness and others decrying a loss of tradition. Read more about the term change here.

In recognition of Emancipation Day, CBC is airing special programming over the next week, which began Sunday with the hour-long special Being Black in Canada and an encore broadcast of the acclaimed CBC original miniseries The Book of Negroes. Emancipation Day commemorates the abolition of slavery across the British Empire on Aug. 1. The special programming comes ahead of Monday's launch of CBC's expanded Being Black in Canada website. Being Black in Canada is a CBC-wide project highlighting the stories and experiences of Black Canadians from across the country in one digital space. Unlike any other mainstream major media space, the website offers a window into the struggles and celebrations of marginalized Black communities. In addition, the new Black Stories Collection, showcasing Black creators and stories from Canada and around the world, is now available on the free CBC Gem streaming service. Read more about the programming here.

WATCH | Activist and poet Keosha Love on being Black in Canada:

Activist and poet Keosha Love on being Black in Canada

2 years ago
Duration 2:08
Toronto activist and poet Keosha Love uses her art, words and connection to community to amplify Black voices. She says we need to dismantle the systems that prevent Black people from feeling safe or heard.

A Christian charity facing a multimillion-dollar class-action lawsuit launched in Nova Scotia has filed for creditor protection, arguing that the pandemic and the negative publicity from $170 million in claims against it have led to a decline in donations. For 35 years, Gospel for Asia, or GFA, has operated in Canada as a not-for-profit corporation. It collects donations for specific things such as wells, goats and chickens, as well as missionary work and child sponsorships. The charity, which also operates in the United States, promises that the money will help people living in poverty in India and surrounding countries. In 2015, it brought in the equivalent of more than $43,370 a day from Canadians. However, a CBC News investigation found dozens of former donors, GFA staff and board members had concerns about how the organization was actually spending the money it accepted. They believe hundreds of millions of dollars intended for the poor in Asia were "missing." In February, plaintiff Greg Zentner of Woodburn, N.S., launched a class-action lawsuit that alleges the charity "defrauded or made negligent misstatements" to donors. The class action has not yet been certified. Read more about the situation here.

Now for some good news to start your Monday: Imagine taking a sip of sparkling rosé and then finding out it was made from grapes grown on the roof of Montreal's convention centre. That's not the central goal behind the urban wine project Vignes en Ville (Vines in the City), but it is an exciting by-product of the research being done by Montreal's Urban Agriculture Laboratory. The project, started by Véronique Lemieux in 2016, began as a way to study the use of crushed glass from a local recycling centre as a replacement for sand in soil mixtures. Lemieux told CBC Radio's Let's Go that some research shows crushed glass might even work better than sand in the growing of grapes because it reflects sunlight. "Vines were the ideal candidate for this kind of experiment," she said, noting that the project is also a green initiative. The Vignes en Ville project has expanded in recent years after the SAQ came on board as a sponsor, and there are now four rooftop vineyards across the city. Read more about the project here.

Front Burner: 2020 on track to be Canada's worst year for police killings

D'Andre Campbell. Ejaz Choudry. Chantel Moore. Those are just some of the names of people killed by police in Canada this year. Until now, there hasn't been a national database to keep track of these deaths. CBC recently made one called "Deadly Force." It goes back 20 years, and it found what many people have been saying: Black and Indigenous people are disproportionately killed by police. CBC's Mark Kelley discusses those numbers and why 2020 is on track to be a particularly deadly year.

D'Andre Campbell. Ejaz Choudry. Chantel Moore. Those are just some of the names of people killed by police in Canada this year. Until now, there hasn't been a national database to keep track of these deaths. The CBC recently made one called "Deadly Force." It goes back 20 years, and it found what many people have been saying: Black and Indigenous people are disproportionately killed by police. Today on Front Burner, the CBC's Mark Kelley on what those numbers tell us and why 2020 is on track to be a particularly deadly year.

Today in history: July 27

1866: The laying of the first successful transatlantic cable is completed with the landing of the 3,034-kilometre cable at Heart's Content, N.L. The achievement marked the establishment of instantaneous communication between North America and Europe. The first cable, laid in 1858, failed three weeks after it was complete.

1921: Insulin is discovered by Frederick Banting and Charles Best at the University of Toronto. The discovery and the demonstration of insulin's beneficial effects on diabetes are considered one of the great medical achievements of the 20th century and earned Banting the Nobel Prize in 1923.

1940: Bugs Bunny makes his debut as Warner Brothers released the animated short A Wild Hare.

1953: The three-year Korean War ends with the signing of an armistice in Panmunjon. During the conflict, 500,000 United Nations and South Korean troops were killed, wounded, or missing in action. The dead included 516 Canadians. Despite the armistice, Korea remains sharply divided along the heavily fortified 38th parallel.

1979: The first of 10 military flights bringing Vietnamese refugees to Canada arrives in Vancouver.

1996: A homemade pipe bomb explodes at the Atlanta Olympics. One person is killed, 111 are injured and a Turkish cameraman rushing to the scene in Centennial Olympic Park dies of a heart attack. Convicted serial bomber Eric Rudolph was later convicted of that attack and two other bombings and sentenced to life in prison.

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

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