A look at how the survivor of a brain injury negotiates life during the pandemic, including those who help her through the challenges.
A look at how the survivor of a brain injury negotiates life during the pandemic, including those who help her through the challenges.
Toronto reported a new daily high of 643 COVID-19 cases on Monday.Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city's medical officer of health, told reporters that 249 people are in hospital in Toronto with the novel coronavirus. Of those hospitalized, 48 are in intensive care units. A total of 1,603 people have died of COVID-19 in the city."Please keep your guard up," de Villa said at a city hall news briefing.De Villa noted that the 643 number is a "big number, the highest I have reported to you," and said it must be thought about not only carefully but also in context. She said the city had 331 new cases last Monday. In the last week, case counts fluctuated from that low of 331 to the high of 643, but generally the number ranged between the high 400s and mid- 500s, she said."The case counts are concerning in any measure but quite variable from day to day," she said.De Villa said it takes time for the virus to incubate and for symptoms to appear. Toronto has only been in the grey lockdown zone for a week, restrictions are in their early stages, and residents have only just recently reduced their contacts because of those measures.She said it will take at least 14 days, or one incubation period, for the new measures to be reflected in daily case counts.De Villa added that testing also plays a role in case counts, and in the last couple of days, the province's network of labs has completed about 55,000 tests per day.De Villa said it is important that residents continue to follow public health measures."By making smart choices about where we go, who we see and what we do and by renewing our commitment to doing all we can do limit the spread of the virus, we can prevent infections," she said.'Staying apart works,' medical officer says"Distance works. Masks work. Handwashing works. Staying apart works. We are at lowest risk in our own homes with the people we live with every day and for the foreseeable future those are the people we should see the most."De Villa said the city can bring down its high case counts."I know there is a real awareness of what we can do on an individual basis to play our part, as I know many, many people are doing. And I'm confident that we are going to see good results if we do just that," she said.Her comments came after Toronto Mayor John Tory gave an update on COVID-19 in the city. Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg also spoke at the news conference.Earlier on Monday, Ontario reported another 1,746 cases of COVID-19, including 622 in Toronto. Provincial numbers usually differ as the city's are more up to date.Shop online with local stores, mayor urges residentsTory, for his part, urged residents ahead of the holidays to shop online with local stores or shop in a way that allows them to take advantage of curbside pickup. He noted that 40 per cent of small independent businesses make all of their sales for the entire year during the holiday season."Never has it been more important to shop locally and to shop independent," Tory said at the news conference.The mayor said the city is trying to encourage curbside pickup by reopening registration for the CurbTO program and it received dozens of applications over the weekend that will be reviewed as quickly as possible.The program creates temporary parking pickup zones outside of main street businesses and allows people to park for 10 minutes to pick up items purchased from retailers.On Monday, the mayors and chairs of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Areas met for their weekly meeting and Tory said they agreed that residents should be urged to stay at home as much as possible and to leave home only for essential reasons. These include grocery shopping, going to work or school, or getting exercise.The mayors and chairs are also urging residents not to engage in "region hopping" to avoid restrictions, he added.16 non-essential businesses chargedPegg, meanwhile, told the news conference that city bylaw enforcement officers inspected 130 restaurants and bars on the weekend and found that 98.5 per cent were in compliance with provincial restrictions.Only two were found to be not in compliance and investigating officers took action, he said.Bylaw enforcement officers laid 16 charges against businesses deemed non-essential for violations of the Reopening Ontario Act. Hair salons, restaurants and furniture stores were among the businesses charged.No malls inspected on the weekend had violated the act, he added.About 15 bonfires along the Toronto waterfront, including two left unattended, were extinguished on the weekend. One in Prince of Wales Park in Etobicoke had to be extinguished by Toronto Fire Services."I want to thank the vast majority of residents and businesses who continue to do the right thing to help stop the spread of COVID-19, to save lives, prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and prevent the health-care system from becoming overwhelmed," Pegg said.
LONDON — Dave Prowse, the British weightlifter-turned-actor who was the body, though not the voice, of arch-villain Darth Vader in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, has died. He was 85.Prowse died Saturday after a short illness, his agent Thomas Bowington said Sunday.Born in Bristol, southwest England, in 1935, Prowse was a three-time British weightlifting champion and represented England in weightlifting at the 1962 Commonwealth Games before breaking into movies with roles that emphasized his commanding size, including Frankenstein’s monster in a pair of Hammer Studios horror films.Director George Lucas saw Prowse in a small part in “A Clockwork Orange” and asked the 6-foot-6-inch (almost 2-meter) actor to audition for the villainous Vader or the Wookie Chewbacca in “Star Wars.”Prowse later told the BBC he chose Darth Vader because “you always remember the bad guys.”Physically, Prowse was perfect for the part. Yet his lilting English West Country accent was considered less than ideal and his lines were dubbed by James Earl Jones.Prowse donned Darth Vader's black armour and helmet for “Star Wars” (1977), “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980) and “Return of the Jedi" (1983).He expressed some regret that, thanks to Vader's mask, “I can walk around with complete anonymity."“All actors crave recognition and I’d like to have some like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo,” he told The Associated Press in 1980. “Fortune tends to follow fame.”Lucas said Prowse “brought a physicality to Darth Vader that was essential for the character.”“He made Vader leap off the page and on to the big screen, with an imposing stature and movement performance to match the intensity and undercurrent of Vader’s presence," the director said in a statement on the official “Star Wars” website.“David was up for anything and contributed to the success of what would become a memorable, tragic figure. May he rest in peace.”Prowse also worked as a trainer for other actors, helping Christopher Reeve prepare to be the Man of Steel in hit 1978 film “Superman.”Prowse was also known to a generation of British children as the Green Cross Code Man, a superhero in road safety advertisements during the 1970s and '80s.Prowse suffered from arthritis for many years and campaigned to raise money for research into disease. In 1999 he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to charity and road safety.He was a regular at “Star Wars” fan events but was banned from official conventions by Lucas in 2010 after the pair fell out.Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the “Star Wars” films, tweeted that Prowse was “a kind man & much more than Darth Vader.” Hamill said the actor "loved his fans as much as they loved him. RIP.”“Shaun of the Dead” director-writer Edgar Wright also paid tribute to Prowse on Twitter.“As a kid, Dave Prowse couldn’t be more famous to me; stalking along corridors as evil incarnate in the part of Darth Vader & stopping a whole generation of kiddies from being mown down in street as the Green Cross Code man,” he wrote. “Rest in Peace, Bristol’s finest.”Prowse is survived by his wife Norma and their three children.Jill Lawless, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — The co-author of the million-selling “Game Change” has a book of his own coming about the 2020 election. Simon & Schuster announced Monday that John Heilemann is working on a “dramatic, first-hand account” of Joe Biden's victorious campaigns over his Democratic Party rivals in the primaries and over President Donald Trump in the general election. Heilemann had collaborated with Mark Halperin on “Game Change,” about the 2008 race, and on “Double Down,” about 2012. Halperin has since faced multiple allegations of sexual harassment. He was dropped by Showtime, where he and Heilemann hosted the political series “The Circus,” and a planned book by the two authors on the 2016 campaign was cancelled by Penguin Press. Heilemann's new book, currently untitled, draws on three decades of covering the former vice-president, who was Barack Obama's running mate in 2008 and 2012. The publication date is not yet scheduled. “I first met Joe Biden in 1986 when I was in college and he was getting ready to run for president the first time, and I’ve been following his ups and downs, his triumphs and tragedies, ever since,” Heilemann said in a statement. “The story of how, against all odds and against the apocalyptic backdrop of America in 2020, Biden rallied in the winter of his life to defeat Trump — and, in the eyes of many, to save the country — is one of the great political tales of this or any age, and I’m thrilled to have a chance to tell it.” Screen rights have been acquired by Showtime, where Heilemann still hosts "The Circus." The HBO adaptation of "Game Change" won five Emmys and three Golden Globe awards. Heilemann is national affairs analyst for NBC News and MSNBC and co-founder of the political video platform The Recount. He is also the author of “Pride Before the Fall: The Trials of Bill Gates and the End of the Microsoft Era,” which came out in 2001. His current project adds to the list of books expected on the 2020 race, which includes works by Maggie Haberman of The New York Times and by Ryan Lizza of Politico and co-writer Olivia Nuzzi of New York magazine. Hillel Italie, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — On Dec. 31, China reported a cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown origin to the World Health Organization. By Jan. 31, WHO declared an outbreak of a novel coronavirus a global health emergency. Come March 11, the world was facing down the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents sat children down to explain what a pandemic is. Related terms usually restricted to medicine and science stormed into everyday conversation. Over time, we were pandemic baking and pandemic dating and rescuing pandemic puppies from shelters. All of which led Dictionary.com on Monday to declare “pandemic” its 2020 word of the year. Searches on the site for the word spiked more than 13,500% on March 11, senior research editor John Kelly told The Associated Press in an interview ahead of the announcement. “That's massive, but even more telling is how high it has sustained significant search volumes throughout the entire year. Month over month, it was over 1,000% higher than usual. For about half the year, it was in the top 10% of all our lookups.” Another dictionary, Merriam-Webster, also selected pandemic as its word of the year earlier Monday. Kelly said pandemic beat out routine lookups usually intended to sort more mundane matters, such as the differences between “to, two and too.” “That's significant,” Kelly emphasized. “It seems maybe a little bit obvious, and that's fair to say, but think about life before the pandemic. Things like pandemic fashion would have made no sense. The pandemic as an event created a new language for a new normal.” Lexicographers often factor out routine lookups when evaluating word trends. The pandemic, Kelly said, made us all worthy of watercooler chatter with Dr. Anthony Fauci as our knowledge grew about aerosols, contact tracing, social distancing and herd immunity, along with the intricacies of therapeutic drugs, tests and vaccines that can help save lives. “These were all part of a new shared vocabulary we needed to stay safe and informed. It's incredible,” said Kelly, who works with a team of lexicographers to come up with words of the year based primarily on site traffic. Asymptomatic, furlough, non-essential, hydroxychloroquine and a host of other pandemic-related words saw massive increases in lookups as well. Jennifer Steeves-Kiss, chief executive officer of Dictionary.com, said one key ingredient in the hunt for the site's word of the year is sustained interest over time. Pandemic met that standard. “This has affected families, our work, the economy,” she said. “It really became the logical choice. It's become the context through which we've had dialogue all through 2020. It's the through line for discourse.” The word pandemic has roots in Latin and the Greek pandemos, meaning “common, public.” Breaking it down further, “pan” means “all” and “demos” means “people.” As evidenced in a medical text by a Dutch-born physician, Gideon Harvey, pandemic entered English in the 1660s in the medical sense, Kelly said. He noted that “demos” is also the basis for the word democracy. A pandemic is defined by Dictionary.com as a disease “prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world; epidemic over a large area.” Its broader sense, as evidenced in its roots, can be used thusly: “A pandemic fear of atomic war.” Dictionary.com also noted other worthy search trends beyond the pandemic. After the May 25 death of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, words around racial justice experienced spikes, including fascism, anti-fascism, defund and white fragility. “There was no way for us to leave that out of the conversation this year,” Kelly said. Leanne Italie, The Associated Press
BRUSSELS — With nothing on their agendas for months to come, music festival organizers in Belgium want to use their know-how to help the country's coronavirus vaccination campaign.The Belgian government has set a goal of vaccinating about 70% of the country's population, about 8 million people, when approved COVID-19 vaccination shots become available.As the vaccines are expected to arrive in multi-dose vials for shots to be administered all on the same day, Belgium health authorities are planning to vaccinate people in groups as much as possible. The task will pose many logistical challenges, including the creation of vaccination centres that festival organizers say they can help set up.Enjoying a strong reputation in the music world, Belgian festival experts have proven experience in both building huge pop-up structures and in crowd management.With the music industry hit hard by the pandemic's economic, several festivals in the French-speaking region of Wallonia and the Brussels area have created a federation to better defend their interests. They have a large network of technicians who are currently unemployed and are ready to help out.“Our sector has been at a standstill for many months, and our many staff are eager to bring their creativity and dedication to the fight against coronavirus," said federation president Damien Dufrasne.One of the hardest-hit countries in Europe, Belgium has reported some 577,000 confirmed cases and more than 16,500 deaths linked to the virus.Last week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said COVID-19 vaccinations could start in the European Union's 27 nations before the end of December. The commission, the EU’s executive arm, has agreements with six potential vaccine suppliers and is working on a seventh contract. The deals allow it to purchase over 1.2 billion doses, more than double the population of the EU.___Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreakThe Associated Press
From the bench on her front porch, Jan Jang had a perfect view of the small cove just over the bank from her St. Chad’s home. The home, originally from the nearby Flat Islands, was floated to the area in the 1950s. From her perch, the British Columbia resident could trace the likely path the house took when it entered the cove. It would have likely entered the cove pulled by a singular boat and around Damnable Island in the centre before being hauled out of the water and eventually into its current place. Jang and her husband Ed purchased the property shortly after a vacation to the province some 12 years ago. "We saw the view and we knew immediately,” she said. Saltbox in design with white siding and black trim, the home sits in the middle of a gravel road. On a nearby hill, there is a flagpole, a cracked concrete foundation holding it in place. The back of the property has a small garden and wooden archway covered in overgrown vines. “That is the common house (of the time),” said 85-year-old former Flat Islands resident Everett Saunders. “I didn’t know what a bungalow looked like until I left.” The Flat Islands were amongst the earliest reported settlements in Bonavista Bay, with the first mention of residence recorded in 1806. The community was made up of four islands, Flat Island, Coward Island, North Island and Berry Head. Families with the surnames Hallett, Dyer, Morgan, Samson and Saunders, amongst others, built a life there, 21 miles from Bonavista in the middle of Bonavista Bay. There were two churches — a Church of England Church on Flat Island and the Methodist Church on North Island. Each island had a school, while there was a post office with a wireless telegram and a nurses station on Flat Island. The fishery ruled on Flat Islands as people made their living at the height of the Labrador fishery. There were often 25 to 30 schooners in the nearby waters. In the 1920s, the islands had some 900 full-time residents. Resettlement began in 1954 when the first home was floated to Glovertown. Others were disassembled, moved and then reconstructed at their destination. The collapse of the Labrador fishery forced families to move to the mainland for steady work. By 1957, most of the population was preparing to leave. Saunders left in 1958 and headed for St. John’s. In 1979, he moved to Eastport and he has been going back to the island ever since. His parents moved to Eastport, while others made lives in places like Glovertown, St. Chad’s, Burnside and St. John’s. “There was a lot of living on the island,” said Saunders, who left when he finished school at the age of 17. “It was quite different.” It was Thanksgiving weekend when the Jangs happened across the place that would become their longtime summer home. They were frequent visitors to the province and spent their time renting places while travelling around the island. It got to the point when they were visiting so frequently they decided it would be in their best interest to buy a summer home. They had finished a stay in St. John’s and were headed towards Lark Harbour on the west coast when Jan had the impulse to go to the Eastport Peninsula, where they had visited before. There, they stumbled upon St. Chad’s and fell in love with a quaint home along the shore of a secluded cove. It had a faded ‘House For Sale’ sign on the lawn. “We looked at each other, we looked at the view and we looked at the house,” said Jan, recalling the moments before their decision to buy. After some renovations, they were ready to make it their five-week Newfoundland home every summer for a dozen years. The house was built by Stephen Hallett in the early 1900s, although Jan isn’t sure of the exact date. It was 1958 when it was floated from Flat Island across Bonavista Bay and into St. Chad’s. A picnic table dedicated to The Dickers sits on the site. Several years ago, Saunders took the Jangs out to see where the house had been. For a couple of years, Saunders showed off his boyhood home while running a tour boat business out of the Eastport. His family home is gone now, but he still routinely makes day trips to the area for berry picking or just to walk around. When he ties his boat to the old family wharf and takes his first steps on the island, the world he knew plays out in front of him. He knows the location of every rock and the beginning of every path. He remembers Mr. Decker, his apple tree and how he'd get angry when Saunders and his friends would swipe an apple or two. If someone asks to head out, Saunders is sure to take them for a run to the islands. Lately, people have requested passage to the islands as they seek to say goodbye to loved ones. Saunders figures there have been three or four occasions where he's accompanied people as they scatter the ashes of those who once called the Flat Islands home. Saunders understands their wishes. “It was a great place," he said. "I'm so contented when I'm out here." The Jangs knew that type of contentment in St. Chad’s, but they sold their home earlier this fall. It wasn’t something they wanted to do, but health issues had made it increasingly difficult to travel the long distance between British Columbia to Newfoundland. It was a bittersweet decision, but one they felt was necessary. They’ll miss their Newfoundland haven. “We loved the house,” said Jan Jang. “It was a dear little house.” Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
Six new cases of COVID-19 were reported in New Brunswick on Monday.The new cases, which bring the total number of active cases to 120, are:Moncton region (Zone 1): * Two cases, 20 to 29.Saint John region (Zone 2) * one individual 20 to 29; and * one individual 30 to 39.Bathurst region (Zone 6) * One individual 40 to 49.All of these people are self-isolating and their cases are under investigation.The province has conducted 1,305 COVID-19 tests since this time Sunday, bringing the total number of tests to 125,188.So far, New Brunswick has had 501 cases during the pandemic and seven deaths.Outbreak at Dieppe adult residential facility is overPublic Health has declared the COVID-19 outbreak at Oasis Residence, an adult residential facility in Dieppe, officially over.An outbreak was declared at Oasis Residence, which has 66 residents and 38 employees, on Nov. 19 following a confirmed COVID-19 case there. The outbreak never grew larger than that one case.All staff and residents of the Oasis were retested several times to confirm the end of the outbreak, which has been officially declared over by Dr. Mariane Pâquet, regional medical officer of health, Public Health said Monday.1 confirmed case at Moncton schoolAnother school announced a positive COVID-19 test as the province recorded 18 new cases over the weekend.Anglophone School District East told parents on Sunday that a case has turned up at Harrison Trimble High School in Moncton.It's the first Moncton-area school to report a COVID-19 case. Eleven New Brunswick schools have had cases this year, six of them this month.In a letter to parents, the district did not say whether the case was a student or staff member at the school."We are working with Public Health officials to identify any students and school personnel who may have been in contact with the case," wrote district superintendent Gregg Ingersoll.Nursing homes increase restrictionsNursing homes in the province's three orange zones are now starting to restrict visitors, hoping to reduce the risk of an outbreak at a home.With increasing COVID-19 cases in the province, the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes says stress levels among staff and residents are increasing."The last 10 months have been incredibly challenging for homes right across the province, needing to adapt very quickly to, you know, very rapidly evolving information," said Jodi Hall, the executive director of the association. "But overall, the homes really have done an amazing job and have done everything that they can to support the residents," Much of the province is the yellow phase of recovery, but recent cases in the Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton health regions have been pushed those zones back to the orange phase, where there are more restrictions on gatherings. As a result, nursing homes have had to adopt restrictions as well. Fredericton's York Care Centre, for instance, has barred normal visitors from the facility until the region goes back into yellow.Some outsiders are still being let in, including members of the designated care program, which sees residents linked with one family member who can come in to assist with care on a set schedule.Still, Lori McDonald, the centre's vice-president of care and research services, said those designated caregivers have to be aware of increased COVID-19 protocols."We've developed an orientation program that each of these caregivers would have to go through before they're allowed access as a caregiver," said McDonald. "And during those orientation time frames we teach them the importance of staying safe when you're outside our facility."Out of the centre's 218 residents, only 50 have a designated caregiver, but McDonald expects that number will increase as regular visiting is no longer allowed.Hall said a lot of work has gone into preparing for possible outbreaks at nursing homes, and how to avoid them, and she expects more lessons will become apparent when the pandemic is over."I think when this is done we will be sitting down and doing a very intense debrief for all that we have learned," she said. "And I think there are some aspects of infection control and even how long-term care facilities are designed for the future that will have a lasting impact."Travel restrictions and spot checksNow that the Atlantic bubble is gone, the province is reminding people about the rules for entering the province.New Brunswick now requires people coming into the province from elsewhere in Atlantic Canada to register with the travel registration program.The online program will collect the information and the province will determine if that person can enter and whether self-isolation is required.Those exempt from self-isolating include people who live in one province but have to travel daily to work or go to school in another.Jacques Babin, the executive director of the Department of Justice and Public Safety's inspection and enforcement branch, said people travelling like this can apply for regular traveller passes that are good for several weeks. These people are expected to travel to work or school and back only."The expectation is that they go directly to work and return home with no stops," said Babin.Non-frequent travel that is allowed includes travel for medical appointments, travel for custody arrangements and some compassionate travel approved by Public Health.And while the province isn't resuming the border checkpoints seen earlier in the pandemic, people still have to register and may get caught if they don't."We intend to do some spot checks to make sure that people that are entering are registering as required," said Babin. "If not, they can be turned around to return to Nova Scotia or there's also penalties available."Potential public exposure warnings for Fredericton, Saint John, MonctonNew Brunswick Public Health has warned of the following possible exposures to COVID-19 in Moncton and Saint John, including gyms, stores, bars, restaurants and on flights.Anyone who visited these places during the identified times should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days.Anyone who develops any COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate and take the self-assessment online to schedule a test.Fredericton area * The Snooty Fox on Nov. 18 and 19, 66 Regent St., between 8:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. * GoodLife Fitness Fredericton on Nov. 18 at 1174 Prospect St. between 10:20 a.m. and 11:20 a.m. Nov. 19 between 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. * The YMCA of Fredericton on Nov. 17 at 570 York St. throughout the evening. Saint John area * Vito's Restaurant on Nov. 16, 111 Hampton Rd., Rothesay, between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. * Cora Breakfast and Lunch on Nov. 16 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (39 King St., Saint John). * Goodlife Fitness McAllister Place on Nov. 16 between noon and 1 p.m. and on Nov. 18 between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (519 Westmorland Rd., Saint John). * NBCC Grandview campus on Nov. 16, 17, and 18 between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. (950 Grandview Ave., Saint John). * Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio on Nov. 19 between 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. (47 Clark Rd., Rothesay) * Big Tide Brewing Company at 47 Princess St. on Nov. 16, between 12:30 to 2 p.m. * Java Moose at 84 Prince William St. Nov. 16, between 2 to 2:30 p.m.Flights into Saint John:Public Health identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18 while on the following flights: * Air Canada Flight 8421 on Nov. 17 and 18 from Kelowna to Vancouver, arrived at 8 p.m. * Air Canada Flight 314 on Nov. 17 and 18 from Vancouver to Montreal, arrived at 07:11 a.m. * Air Canada Flight 8792 on Nov. 17 and 18, from Montreal to Saint John arrived at 9:22 p.m.Moncton * RD Maclean Co. Ltd. on Nov. 16, 17 and 18 at 200 St. George St., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. * GoodLife Fitness on Nov. 21 at 555 Dieppe Blvd, Dieppe, between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. * Keg Steakhouse and Bar at 576 Main St. on Nov. 17, between 7:45 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.Flights into Moncton: * Air Canada Flight 178 on Nov. 19 from Edmonton to Toronto, arrived at 5:58 a.m. * Air Canada Flight 404 on Nov. 19 from Toronto to Montreal, arrived at 10:16 a.m. * Air Canada Flight 8902 on Nov. 19 from Montreal to Moncton, arrived at 4:17 p.m.What to do if you have a symptomPeople concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: * A fever above 38 C. * A new cough or worsening chronic cough. * Sore throat. * Runny nose. * Headache. * New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. * Difficulty breathing.In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.People with one of those symptoms should: * Stay at home. * Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. * Describe symptoms and travel history. * Follow instructions.
The P.E.I. government has provided funding for a Summerside group that hopes to learn more about the challenges faced by French-speaking women when dealing with family violence.Actions Femmes I.P.E. was founded in the 1970s to support Acadian and French-speaking women on the Island. It was recently given $10,000 for a project that will not only consult survivors of violence about their experiences, but also share those voices.Group executive director Johanna Venturini said the province's Acadian and French-speaking populations are largely in rural areas, and that can create challenges beyond any language barriers."When you are in a very small rural community, everyone knows each other. Sometimes it can be helpful but we know that sometimes people can talk a lot and gossip can circulate very quickly," said Venturini."If you are experiencing violence, you don't really want that everyone knows about it. So it can be sometimes why a victim will prefer to hide in a situation and not want to leave her home."By talking to survivors of violence, Actions Femmes hopes to learn more about how to help Acadian and French-speaking women on the Island.By sharing their stories, the group intends to let people know that domestic violence can happen even in small communities, and it is everyone's business to help stop it.There are a number of avenues for women experiencing domestic violence to seek help, said Venturini. * 911 for immediate emergencies. * P.E.I. Rape and Sexual Assault Centre. * Family Violence Prevention Services. * 211 for help navigating the services available.While primarily English, these services do have bilingual staff available. Actions Femmes wants to learn how these services are helping French-speaking women, as well as any ways they might be failing them.More from CBC P.E.I.
People travelling from Toronto and Peel regions to visit inmates at jails and prisons in other areas across the province are a real concern for the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers. Rob Finucan, union president for Ontario, said the union would like in-person visits with inmates to be suspended, including at Warkworth Institution medium-security federal prison, southeast of Peterborough. Finucan said in-person visits were prohibited at the start of the pandemic, when case numbers were far less than they are now. “I know visits in person are important, but during this time, they do have the ability to do video visits,” he said. Government and health officials in Toronto and Peel regions have been asking residents to travel only if it’s absolutely essential, Finucan said. “And then we’re allowing them to come for visits to our areas … so that’s our main concern is that it’s going to come into our institutions through visits,” he said. While keeping workers and inmates in institutions COVID-free is important, keeping community members where intuitions are located safe is also crucial, Finucan said. “Obviously when people are coming from Toronto or Peel into our communities, especially the small communities like Warkworth, they’re probably going to stop for gas, maybe stop for something to eat, and so there’s that chance of community spread also,” he said. The union doesn’t expect in-person visits to be stopped indefinitely, but until the number of cases start to decrease, especially in the hot spot regions, Finucan said it’s ludicrous that those visitors are still allowed into institutions. Currently, the health and safety measures in place are allowing fewer visitors than usually permitted into the visiting area at once and visitors must socially distance from both workers and inmates. Some visits last longer. “The private family visits (PFVs), they come in for three days and then the inmate has to self-isolate for 14 days after the PFV before they go back into the institution,” Finucan said. Although there have been cases within institutions across the country, Grand Valley Institution for Women located in Kitchener has been the only Ontario facility to have a COVID-19 case, Finucan said. There have been 85 inmates at Warkworth Institution medium-security federal prison who have been tested for the virus, with 84 testing negative and one awaiting test results, Correctional Service Canada reported Friday. Health measures There are measures in place to protect the health of staff, inmates and visitors at Canadian correctional facilities. Masks provided for inmates, if required; Self-screening and temperature checks for staff; Increased cleaning measures; Testing of inmates provided by health units; New inmates isolated for 14 days and tested before joining general population; Expanding use of temporary absences; Visitor access must be confirmed in advance and are by appointment only; Health screening required for visitors. Visitors with symptoms will not be permitted to visit; Masks required and must be supplied by visitors; Professional visits, including legal counsel, will continue with additional screening.Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner
Toronto’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa responded to questions about the COVID-19 outbreak at Swansea Junior and Senior Public School, saying “there is very little that demonstrates transmission within the school,” adding that what they are seeing is COVID-19 cases “that are associated with cases from their own household.”
Homicide investigators have identified the man who was shot and killed in front of a busy mall in the Fleetwood area of Surrey, B.C., on Sunday evening.The RCMP's Integrated Homicide Investigation team said Riyad Rasheed, 29, was shot in front of the Evergreen Mall at the corner of 152 Street and Fraser Highway just after 7:40 p.m. PT. He died of his injuries on scene.The mall was open at the time of the shooting, with shoppers having dinner or running errands when shots were fired. The bullets left holes in the front windows of a Shoppers Drug Mart, which was open at the time."Part of what makes this crime egregious ... this was a risk to the public as it unfolded," said Surrey RCMP Cpl. Elenore Sturko said during a news conference Monday."To have a shooting like this take place in such a public place at a time where there were individuals in the area shopping, going about their day, is very disturbing," Sturko continued. "Not only did a person lose their life last night, but it also damaged people's feeling of safety and security in their neighbourhood."RCMP said one of Rasheed's family members was with him when he was shot.IHIT Sgt. Frank Jang said Rasheed was known to police. His death is believed to be targeted and "linked to the ongoing Lower Mainland gang conflict," Jang said.Officials believe there was more than one suspect involved.Around 9 p.m., a vehicle was found burning near Cambie Road and No. 7 Road. Jang said the car, a dark-coloured sedan, is considered to be the vehicle the suspects used to escape after the shooting.Anyone who saw the shooting or who has relevant video or dashcam footage is asked to call the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-4448 or, if they wish to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Nearly 4,000 BC Hydro customers on the South Coast and Vancouver Island are still without power at the tail end of a rainy, windy overnight storm that brought gusts of up to 100 km/h to coastal areas of B.C.The outages affect customers across the southern and northern ends of Vancouver Island, in the Lower Mainland and on the Sunshine Coast. Earlier Monday, the number of customers without power had approached 20,000.Wind warnings were in effect for much of the day in Greater Victoria, which has been bearing the brunt of a Pacific coastal front. Winds between 70 and 90 km/h were in the forecast for areas of southern Vancouver Island near the Juan de Fuca Strait.At the Sand Pebbles Inn in Qualicum Beach, the wind caused heavy branches and an overhang in the parking area to collapse, crushing the roof of Todd Milligan's car.Weather warnings for other parts of the island were lifted early Monday afternoon, though a special weather statement remains in effect for Metro Vancouver. Gusts sent a large tree crashing into Vancouver's Commercial Drive late Monday morning, downing a number of power lines as it went.BC Ferries cancelled several early morning sailings between the mainland and Vancouver Island due to the weather. Normal ferry sailings have since resumed.Simon Fraser University announced it was closing some buildings and cancelling some services due to the power outage.Earlier wind warnings for western Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast were lifted before 10 a.m. PT.The weather is expected to ease Monday except for Haida Gwaii and the North Coast, where high winds are expected to continue through Tuesday night.
This year for her birthday, three-year-old Isla Winter Qapuk Kirk went all out - she had a personal drive-in movie theatre created in Iqaluit for her family and friends. "We weren't expecting a shutdown to happen again right before her birthday," Miranda Kirk, Isla's mom said. "And Isla loves birthdays so I thought this would be important for her - to make it special for her," said Kirk. When asked what movies she watched, Isla started singing the Baby Shark song from Youtube before trailing off in a fit of giggles. Kirk said she had the idea for the event just a day before the party, but it was a community effort to pull it off. Thanks to family and friends, the drive-in theatre had a screen set up among seacans, a projector and an FM transmitter so that people could hear the movie through their car radios. "Everything was no contact, because of COVID[-19] right now. So I was sending messages to everyone from my phone. And at the end of the movie everybody honked their horns to say happy birthday," Kirk said. The young mom added that it's especially important to find ways to celebrate and share positivity during the lockdown. "It's good to get creative, think outside the box," said Kirk. "Continuing on with our lives but following proper protocol and restrictions put in place for health reasons, and just trying to keep some positivity in our daily lives," she said. It's a message that other Nunavummiut may have to take to heart as the lockdown continues: Do like Isla does and find safe ways to celebrate.
Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case of COVID-19 on Monday, a woman in the Eastern Health region between 20 and 39 years old and a close contact of a travel-related case.Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald also announced that public health officials can now say a case announced Sunday with an unknown source was in fact travel-related.The province's total number of cases is now 338, with 36 active cases, as there has been a new recovery in the Eastern Health region. It's the first day since Nov. 18 the province's active caseload hasn't gone up. Premier Andrew Furey said the daily increase of cases in Newfoundland and Labrador over the last two weeks, as well as in other parts of the country, may increase anxiety."But it's going to be OK. Please don't panic. Take a deep breath and stay calm," he said."We are focused on avoiding a full lockdown here in Newfoundland and Labrador. This is where you come in and have a big part to play. You have to follow the rules, no matter who you are, and you have to focus on what you and your family are doing as opposed to what others are doing. That's how we avoid turning into a COVID-19 hot spot."Tuesday marks the beginning of December, and Fitzgerald said her countdown to Christmas is "a little more apprehensive" as residents begin to return home for the holidays."Inevitably we expect to see more cases of COVID as a result of travel into the province," she said. "For travellers and their families welcoming them home, please remember that travellers must adhere to the 14-day self-isolation requirement."Watch the full Nov. 30 update:Fitzgerald once again warned the public this holiday season should be very different. Christmas parties and New Year's Eve parties can set up the "perfect condition" for community spread to happen in Newfoundland and Labrador. Fitzgerald said employers need to do their part by not having staff parties, but should instead find another way to recognize workers.Government regulations for gatherings are set at 50 people for informal gatherings, if space allows, and 100 people for organized events. However, over the last number of weeks Fitzgerald has said groups should be limited to 20.Asked if official changes will come for gathering sizes, Fitzgerald said more information will be provided in the coming days. To date, 62,521 people have been tested for the virus across the province, an increase of 359 in the last 24 hours. There have now been 298 recoveries and four deaths. "We continue to hold steady and avoid the COVID trajectory that has taken a hold across our country. This is not luck. It's a result of layers of protection that we've built from travel restrictions, self-isolation requirements, distancing, masking, staying home if you're sick and following personal public health measures," said Fitzgerald. New forms for travelThe provincial government says clarifications for travel will be available to people on its COVID-19 website on Tuesday, with the site outlining the reasons someone may enter Newfoundland and Labrador, and what documentation they'll be required to have. Essential workers will also have to provide more information, including what sector they work in, their worksite and contact information for their employer.Fitzgerald said they're the same criteria the province has been applying all along, but moving the forms online will make things easier for travellers, as well as the provincial government's exemption team and the border officials meeting people at entry points."I think it facilitates the whole process for everybody, and it helps us keep track of things in a very efficient way." Isolation with othersFitzgerald also noted the recommendation has always been for rotational workers to isolate away from members of their household, but under some circumstances it's not possible. If a worker isolates at home with family members, she said, the whole family must isolate for the full 14 days. Provinces such as Nova Scotia have similar guidelines in place. "I think in some situations people weren't isolating because they weren't required to, and then in other situations sometimes people weren't aware that they needed to isolate," said Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald said people isolating in a house that includes other people should use a separate bathroom and bedroom if possible. If using a separate bathroom is not possible it must be disinfected after each use, she said. Common touchpoints, such as doorknobs, should also be disinfected after each use. Those in isolation must also stay six feet apart from those not in isolation with them. "Ideally you should be in a completely separate area of the home, and not be in common areas of the home. This may mean having meals delivered to your door," said Fitzgerald. "No visitors should enter a home where someone is self-isolating, and if someone in the house becomes symptomatic everyone in the house must self-isolate."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
A company has started selling the first blood test to help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, a leap for the field that could make it much easier for people to learn whether they have dementia. It also raises concern about the accuracy and impact of such life-altering news.Independent experts are leery because key test results have not been published and the test has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — it's being sold under more general rules for commercial labs. But they agree that a simple test that can be done in a doctor’s office has long been needed.It might have spared Tammy Maida a decade of futile trips to doctors who chalked up her symptoms to depression, anxiety or menopause before a $5,000 brain scan last year finally showed she had Alzheimer’s.“I now have an answer,” said the 63-year-old former nurse from San Jose, California.If a blood test had been available, “I might have been afraid of the results” but would have “jumped on that” to find out, she said.More than 5 million people in the United States and millions more around the world have Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. To be diagnosed with it, people must have symptoms such as memory loss plus evidence of a buildup of a protein called beta-amyloid in the brain.The best way now to measure the protein is a costly PET brain scan that usually is not covered by insurance. That means most people don’t get one and are left wondering if their problems are due to normal aging, Alzheimer’s or something else.The blood test from C2N Diagnostics of St. Louis aims to fill that gap. The company's founders include Drs. David Holtzman and Randall Bateman of Washington University School of Medicine, who headed research that led to the test and are included on a patent that the St. Louis university licensed to C2N.ABOUT THE TESTThe test is not intended for general screening or for people without symptoms — it’s aimed at people 60 and older who are having thinking problems and are being evaluated for Alzheimer’s. It’s not covered by insurance or Medicare; the company charges $1,250 and offers discounts based on income. Only doctors can order the test and results come within 10 days. It's sold in all but a few states in the U.S. and just was cleared for sale in Europe.It measures two types of amyloid particles plus various forms of a protein that reveal whether someone has a gene that raises risk for the disease. These factors are combined in a formula that includes age, and patients are given a score suggesting low, medium or high likelihood of having amyloid buildup in the brain.If the test puts them in the low category, “it’s a strong reason to look for other things” besides Alzheimer’s, Bateman said.“There are a thousand things that can cause someone to be cognitively impaired,” from vitamin deficiencies to medications, Holtzman said.“I don’t think this is any different than the testing we do now” except it’s from a blood test rather than a brain scan, he said. “And those are not 100% accurate either.”ACCURACY CLAIMSThe company has not published any data on the test’s accuracy, although the doctors have published on the amyloid research leading to the test. Company promotional materials cite results comparing the test to PET brain scans — the current gold standard — in 686 people, ages 60-91, with cognitive impairment or dementia.If a PET scan showed amyloid buildup, the blood test also gave a high probability of that in 92% of cases and missed 8% of them, said the company’s chief executive, Dr. Joel Braunstein.If the PET scan was negative, the blood test ruled out amyloid buildup 77% of the time. The other 23% got a positive result, but that doesn't necessarily mean the blood test was incorrect, Braunstein said. The published research suggests it may detect amyloid buildup before it's evident on scans.Braunstein said the company will seek FDA approval and the agency has given it a designation that can speed review. He said study results would be published, and he defended the decision to start selling the test now.“Should we be holding that technology back when it could have a big impact on patient care?" he asked.WHAT OTHERS SAYDr. Eliezer Masliah, neuroscience chief at the U.S. National Institute on Aging, said the government funded some of the work leading to the test as well as other kinds of blood tests.“I would be cautious about interpreting any of these things,” he said of the company’s claims. “We’re encouraged, we’re interested, we’re funding this work but we want to see results.”Heather Snyder of the Alzheimer’s Association said it won't endorse a test without FDA approval. The test also needs to be studied in larger and diverse populations.“It’s not quite clear how accurate or generalizable the results are,” she said.___Marilynn Marchione can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MMarchioneAP.___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.Marilynn Marchione, The Associated Press
Les skieurs et planchistes se sont rués vers les abonnements de saison aux stations de ski Mont Sutton et Bromont, montagne d’expériences. Alors que la saison est encore loin de se dessiner, les abonnements tout temps, pour les deux destinations, se sont écoulés. À Bromont, il reste seulement quelques abonnements pour les soirées tandis qu’à Sutton les seuls abonnements encore disponibles sont les Passes 5 jours. Par prudence, ne sachant pas comment se déroulerait la saison avec la pandémie de COVID-19, les deux stations ont choisi de vendre une quantité limitée d’abonnements et elles ne rendront disponibles que quelques billets journaliers. «C’est une question de choix d’entreprise. Si on vend trop d’abonnements, ce n’est pas mieux, on va être obligé de rembourser les gens», souligne Charles Désourdy, président de BME, qui espère que les premières pistes soient ouvertes à la mi-décembre. L’entreprise a mis de 10 à 15 % moins d’abonnements en vente, mais se garde l’option d’en vendre davantage une fois la saison bien lancée, selon le déroulement des activités. «On avait un bon rythme de prévente par rapport à l’an passé, mais avec la distanciation et les restrictions aux remontées mécaniques qui limitent nos capacités, on doit mettre fin à la vente d’abonnements pour se garder un peu de marge de manœuvre pour la saison, confie Jean-Michel Ryan, PDG de Mont-Sutton. Il faut commencer la saison correctement. Ensuite, on verra.» «Un privilège d’avoir une saison» «C’est un phénomène qu’on retrouve dans la plupart des stations, note M. Ryan. On sent que les gens veulent être dehors, qu’ils veulent skier et profiter de l’hiver. C’est un privilège cette année de pouvoir avoir une saison, alors il faut en profiter.» Il n’y aura donc pas d’excès de prudence cette année pour éviter tout risque de fermeture en raison de la pandémie de coronavirus. Les usagers seront mis à contribution pour que la saison se déroule rondement. «On parle de responsabilité conjointe. Il faut tout faire pour avoir une belle saison tout le monde ensemble», ajoute le PDG de Mont Sutton. Au jour le jour Le nombre de billets journaliers dépendra de l’achalandage à la station. Il se pourrait qu’il n’y en ait pas du tout à Bromont au début de la saison. Chose certaine, il faudra l’acheter en ligne en choisissant la date de visite. Pour rendre l’expérience plus agréable et peut-être accueillir plus de détenteurs de billets journaliers, les deux stations ouvriront le plus de versants possible au début de la saison, même si ce ne sont que quelques pistes qui seront skiables. Ainsi, les usagers seront dispersés dans les différentes remontées mécaniques. En temps normal, un versant ouvre lorsqu’un nombre précis de pistes sont prêtes. Manger dehors En plus de limiter les remontées mécaniques à une bulle familiale ou une personne par chaise, les stations doivent prévoir une capacité d’accueil de 50 % dans les chalets. Ceux-ci seront uniquement utilisés pour se réchauffer. Il ne sera pas permis d’y manger ni d’y laisser des effets personnels. Les bottes devront être chaussées à la voiture. Les skieurs et planchistes pourront tout de même se sustenter... en restant dehors. À Bromont, des camions de rues seront disposés sur le site pour offrir nourriture et boissons chaudes. À Sutton, un service de restauration extérieure se prépare. Cynthia Laflamme, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix de l'Est
Un dessinateur d’Alma, Charles Lapointe, se lance un impressionnant défi. Le jeune homme de 20 ans, reconnu sur les réseaux sociaux pour ses portraits très réalistes de célébrités, veut établir le nouveau record du monde du plus gros dessin réalisé au crayon de bois. Il a d’ailleurs déjà choisi sa muse pour ce défi, l’Américaine Kylie Jenner, qui a déjà partagé une oeuvre de l’artiste régional à ses 200 millions d’abonnés. Charles Lapointe a commencé le dessin il y a bientôt six ans. Les seuls cours qu’il a suivis sont des cours d’arts plastiques à l’école. Au secondaire, il a dû réaliser une reproduction à l’échelle du jeu Grand Theft Auto (GTA), ce qu’il a adoré. Il a ensuite étudié en art et en technologie de l’informatique au Collège d’Alma, avant de quitter pour la métropole, il y a un an, avec l’ambition de vivre un jour de son art. Son créneau est le photoréalisme au crayon de bois. Si, au début, il prenait des commandes pour faire des portraits de tout un chacun, il s’est rapidement lassé et préfère se concentrer sur ce qui l’inspire vraiment : les célébrités. Charles Lapointe partage de nombreuses photos et vidéos de ses oeuvres, en plus de montages illustrant le temps investi à la création, sur les réseaux sociaux. Il est particulièrement actif sur Facebook (Charles Lapointe Art), Instagram (@charleslapointeart) et TikTok (@charlesdrawings). Sur Instagram, il rejoint environ 6400 personnes, alors que son TikTok compte plus de 57 000 abonnés. Certaines de ses vidéos, sur cette plateforme, ont été visionnées à plus d’un million de reprises. C’est d’ailleurs un récent dessin de Kylie Jenner, vedette de la téléréalité, femme d’affaires et influenceuse, réalisé au cours des derniers mois qui a le plus retenu l’attention sur ses différentes plateformes. L’Almatois y a consacré plus de 1200 heures, soit un an et demi de travail. Lorsque la jeune femme d’affaires a partagé l’œuvre de Charles Lapointe sur son compte Instagram, ses réseaux ont été inondés. L’Américaine est tout de même la cinquième personne la plus suivie sur Instagram, avec plus de 201 millions d’abonnés. Comment a-t-il pu se faire remarquer par l’entrepreneure ? Il admet compter sur le soutien d’admirateurs de Kylie Jenner et animateurs de comptes lui étant dédiés, en profitant de l’engouement autour de ses œuvres. « J’ai vraiment voulu augmenter la hype autour de mon oeuvre. Ça m’a pris un an et demi avant de la publier. Je dévoilais toujours des petits détails à mes abonnés et j’ai gardé la couronne, un élément important du dessin, qui m’a pris le plus de temps, pour la fin. Mes abonnés avaient hâte de voir le dessin complété. Plus le temps avançait, plus leur nombre montait », a-t-il indiqué, dans un entretien par visioconférence avec Le Progrès. Kylie Jenner n’est pas la seule vedette qui a été dessinée par Charles Lapointe. De nombreuses vedettes québécoises et américaines sont passées sous sa mine. Entre autres, il a réussi à attirer l’attention avec ses œuvres de l’influenceuse Lysandre Nadeau, de l’animateur et humoriste Jay Du Temple et du rappeur XXXTentacion. Des dessins de l’Almatois ont également été présentés à l’émission Vlog, et la mère de Paris Hilton l’a même contacté pour des commandes personnelles ! Cinq ans de travail ! Charles Lapointe se lance dans un nouveau défi : de réaliser un défi ultra réaliste de Kylie Jenner, d’une hauteur de neuf pieds. « Je suis assez fou. Le record Guinness du plus gros dessin au crayon de bois de couleur est de sept pieds. Quand j’ai vu ça, je me suis tout de suite dit que j’allais en faire un, mais de neuf pieds ! », raconte-t-il. Il a choisi de refaire Kylie Jenner, un choix qui en surprendra peut-être plusieurs, mais qui est très réfléchi pour l’Almatois. « Je n’ai pas le choix de la refaire sous un autre angle. J’ai eu beaucoup de demandes », affirme-t-il. Le dessin n’est pas commencé, mais les démarches de création le sont. Charles Lapointe a dû faire affaire avec le photographe de la vedette de téléréalité pour recevoir sa photo de référence. Il est aussi à la recherche de commanditaires pour ce projet qui prendra, selon lui, environ cinq ans à compléter ! Amélie LegendreLe Progrès vous a présenté une collègue d’école de Charles Lapointe, Amélie Legendre, il y a deux semaines. Les deux jeunes, qui se connaissent assez bien, ont tous les deux une passion pour le dessin de célébrités. À la suite de la parution de l’article du Progrès, le compte Instagram de la jeune femme a eu plus de 4000 nouveaux abonnés, en seulement quelques jours. « Je ne m’attendais vraiment pas à autant d’attention. Je suis vraiment contente », a-t-elle indiqué au Progrès. Elle a également reçu plusieurs demandes de dessins et, à son tour, a été contactée par l’équipe de l’émission Vlog.Myriam Arsenault, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
The value that Wall Street places on access to billions of bytes of data, rather than old-school stock picking, became abundantly clear Monday as two of the biggest providers of such information become one in the biggest takeover of the year.S&P Global announced that it would acquire IHS Markit, based in London, for about $44 billion in an all-stock deal.Data collection has become pivotal on Wall Street as algorithms and high-speed trading drive global markets. And growth has been explosive for the companies that can provide that information instantly and in bulk.IHS and Markit merged just four years ago to create a $13 billion company. The company has almost tripled in value since then, and is now worth close to $37 billion.The size of the deal announced Monday eclipsed Nvidia's acquisition of rival chipmaker Arm Holdings for $40 billion in September, and Nippon Telegraph & Telephone acquisition of a subsidiary for nearly that much in the same month.The newcomer IHS Markit is being acquired by a company with roots dating back to the 19th century, when Henry Varnum Poor published the History of the Railroads and Canals of the United States to provide transparency for investors.IHS Markit has more than 50,000 business and government customers, including 80% of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions.Each share of IHS Markit common stock will be exchanged for a fixed ratio of 0.2838 shares of S&P Global stock. Current S&P Global shareholders will own approximately 67.75% of the combined company, while shareholders of IHS Markit, based in London, will own about 32.25%.The transaction puts IHS Markit's enterprise value at $44 billion, including $4.8 billion of debt.The combined company will be headquartered in New York, where S&P Global is based, with a substantial presence in key global markets across North America, Latin America, EMEA and Asia Pacific.Douglas Peterson, the CEO of S&P Global, will hold that title at the combined company. Lance Uggla, Chairman and CEO of IHS Markit, will become a special advisor to the company for a year after the deal closes.The transaction is expected to close in the second half of next year. It needs the approval of both companies' shareholders.Shares of IHS Markit rose more than 7% at the opening bell Monday. S&P Global's stock was essentially flat.Michelle Chapman, The Associated Press
LONDON — British singer Rita Ora apologized Monday for breaking lockdown rules by holding a birthday party, saying it was “a serious and inexcusable error of judgment.”The Sun newspaper ran photos of Ora and others, including models Cara and Poppy Delevingne, arriving at the Casa Cruz restaurant in London’s Notting Hill area on Saturday.Under lockdown rules that end Wednesday, all pubs and restaurants in England must close except for takeout and delivery, and people are barred from meeting indoors with members of other households.Ora said on Instagram that she had held “a small gathering with some friends to celebrate my 30th birthday.”“It was a spur of the moment decision made with the misguided view that we were coming out of lockdown and this would be OK,” she wrote.Ora, whose hits include “Anywhere” and “I Will Never Let You Down,” said she now realized “how irresponsible these actions were and I take full responsibility.”Reports of the party attracted widespread criticism.Asked about the event, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, Jamie Davies, said it was “important that everybody in society sets an example by following the rules. That is for every member of the public, including celebrities.”(backslash)Britain has Europe's worst coronavirus death toll, at over 58,000 people.___Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreakThe Associated Press
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes fell for the second consecutive month as lack of available homes continues to stifle house hunters.The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its index of pending sales fell 1.1%, to 128.9 in October, down from a reading of 130.3 in September. An index of 100 represents the level of contract activity in 2001.Thanks to a red-hot summer, contract signings are still 20.2% ahead of where they were last year after lagging in spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. Contract signings are a barometer of finalized purchases over the next two months.Three out of four regions saw declines in contract signings, with only the South logging a small gain.Historically low interest rates are drawing prospective buyers into the market, but home prices have risen significantly the past year as supply remains near all-time lows.Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac reported last week that the average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate home loan remained at a record low 2.72%.The median price for an existing single-family home reached $313,000 in October up almost 16% from October 2019. The median price of a new home sold in October was $330,600, according to the Commerce Department.Matt Ott, The Associated Press