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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged Wednesday night that a photo TIME magazine published of him wearing brownface at an "Arabian Nights" party in 2001 was racist, as he apologized for his actions.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Why it matters: Trudeau, who has celebrated Canada's diversity throughout his tenure as prime minister, recently triggered a general election scheduled for Oct. 21. It will effectively be a referendum on Trudeau's first term, Axios' Dave Lawler notes.

  • An ethics scandal and unfulfilled expectations mean it's far from certain he'll win a new term. Polls show his Liberals neck and neck with the opposition Conservatives.

What he's saying: While taking reporters' questions, Trudeau repeatedly said he's "pissed off" at himself and sorry to Canadians.

I dressed up in an Aladdin costume and put makeup on. I shouldn’t have done it. I should have known better, but I didn’t and I’m really sorry."
— Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau's comments to reporters
  • When asked if it was the only time he'd done something like this, Trudeau responded: "When I was in High School I dressed up at a talent show and sang "Day O" with makeup on."
    • "Day O" is a song by Harry Belafonte.
  • When asked if the photo was racist, Trudeau responded: "Yes."
    • He added that he "didn't consider it a racist action at the time," but has since realized he was wrong.

The big picture: The photo that Time published earlier Wednesday taken at the Arabian Nights gala appeared in the school's yearbook. Trudeau was 29 at the time and a teacher at the private school where the event was being held. The now-prime minister can be seen wearing a turban, robes and makeup to darken his skin.

  • The school, West Point Grey Academy, ranges in tuition from $22,000 to $23,000 annually — making it one of the "most expensive private day schools in Vancouver," according to TIME. During his first campaign, Trudeau played down his role at the school, opting instead to tout his time teaching at a public school.
  • While the photo was previously unreported, TIME notes it has been the "subject of gossip within the West Point Grey community."

Go deeper: The Gridiron Club's blackface past

Editor's note: This article has been updated with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's comments

Go deeper

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Editor's note: This story is developing and will be updated.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.

Officials warn 5 key tech sectors will determine whether China overtakes U.S.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. intelligence officials responsible for protecting advanced technologies have narrowed their focus to five key sectors: artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, semiconductors and autonomous systems.

Why it matters: China and Russia are employing a variety of legal and illegal methods to undermine and overtake U.S. dominance in these critical industries, officials warned in a new paper. Their success will determine "whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors."