While on one of his daily strolls, Ronnie the bull terrier meets a tiny foal for the very first time. Thy instantly like each other and start playing. Cuteness overload! @englishbullterrierireland
While on one of his daily strolls, Ronnie the bull terrier meets a tiny foal for the very first time. Thy instantly like each other and start playing. Cuteness overload! @englishbullterrierireland
WASHINGTON — Disputing President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr declared the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.Barr's comments, in an interview Tuesday with the The Associated Press, contradict the concerted effort by Trump, his boss, to subvert the results of last month's voting and block President-elect Joe Biden from taking his place in the White House.Barr told the AP that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they’ve received, but “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”The comments, which drew immediate criticism from Trump attorneys, were especially notable coming from Barr, who has been one of the president's most ardent allies. Before the election, he had repeatedly raised the notion that mail-in voting could be especially vulnerable to fraud during the coronavirus pandemic as Americans feared going to polls and instead chose to vote by mail.More to Trump's liking, Barr revealed in the AP interview that in October he had appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as a special counsel, giving the prosecutor the authority to continue to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe after Biden takes over and making it difficult to fire him. Biden hasn't said what he might do with the investigation, and his transition team didn't comment Tuesday.Trump has long railed against the investigation into whether his 2016 campaign was co-ordinating with Russia, but he and Republican allies had hoped the results would be delivered before the 2020 election and would help sway voters. So far, there has been only one criminal case, a guilty plea from a former FBI lawyer to a single false statement charge.Under federal regulations, a special counsel can be fired only by the attorney general and for specific reasons such as misconduct, dereliction of duty or conflict of interest. An attorney general must document such reasons in writing.Barr went to the White House Tuesday for a previously scheduled meeting that lasted about three hours.Trump didn't directly comment on the attorney general's remarks on the election. But his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and his political campaign issued a scathing statement claiming that, "with all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance” of an investigation into the president's complaints.Other administration officials who have come out forcefully against Trump's allegations of voter-fraud evidence have been fired. But it's not clear whether Barr might suffer the same fate. He maintains a lofty position with Trump, and despite their differences the two see eye-to-eye on quite a lot.Still, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer quipped: “I guess he’s the next one to be fired.”Last month, Barr issued a directive to U.S. attorneys across the country allowing them to pursue any “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities before the 2020 presidential election was certified, despite no evidence at that time of widespread fraud.That memorandum gave prosecutors the ability to go around longstanding Justice Department policy that normally would prohibit such overt actions before the election was certified. Soon after it was issued, the department’s top elections crime official announced he would step aside from that position because of the memo.The Trump campaign team led by Giuliani has been alleging a widespread conspiracy by Democrats to dump millions of illegal votes into the system with no evidence. They have filed multiple lawsuits in battleground states alleging that partisan poll watchers didn’t have a clear enough view at polling sites in some locations and therefore something illegal must have happened. The claims have been repeatedly dismissed including by Republican judges who have ruled the suits lacked evidence.But local Republicans in some battleground states have followed Trump in making unsupported claims, prompting grave concerns over potential damage to American democracy.Trump himself continues to rail against the election in tweets and in interviews though his own administration has said the 2020 election was the most secure ever. He recently allowed his administration to begin the transition over to Biden, but he still refuses to admit he lost.The issues they've have pointed to are typical in every election: Problems with signatures, secrecy envelopes and postal marks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost.But they've gone further. Attorney Sidney Powell has spun fictional tales of election systems flipping votes, German servers storing U.S. voting information and election software created in Venezuela “at the direction of Hugo Chavez,” – the late Venezuelan president who died in 2013. Powell has since been removed from the legal team after an interview she gave where she threatened to “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” court filing.Barr didn't name Powell specifically but said: “There's been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that.”In the campaign statement, Giuliani claimed there was “ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined.”“We have many witnesses swearing under oath they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud. As far as we know, not a single one has been interviewed by the DOJ. The Justice Department also hasn’t audited any voting machines or used their subpoena powers to determine the truth,” he said.However, Barr said earlier that people were confusing the use of the federal criminal justice system with allegations that should be made in civil lawsuits. He said a remedy for many complaints would be a top-down audit by state or local officials, not the U.S. Justice Department.“There’s a growing tendency to use the criminal justice system as sort of a default fix-all," he said, but first there must be a basis to believe there is a crime to investigate.“Most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct. ... And those have been run down; they are being run down,” Barr said. “Some have been broad and potentially cover a few thousand votes. They have been followed up on."___Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro and Eric Tucker contributed to this report.Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
Rappelons qu’en 2010 la Ville de Sept-Îles a vendu une vingtaine de terrains sur les rues Roméo-Vachon, Joséphat-Méthot et Comeau qui ont été endommagés par un affaissement du sol. Par la suite, une cinquantaine de maisons ont été suivies de près, afin de voir si leurs structures ne seraient pas endommagées également par un tel affaissement. Maître Luc Dion, du cabinet Besnier, Dion et Rondeau est mandaté afin de coordonner les expertises finales. Le directeur général de la Ville Patrick Gwilliam mentionne qu’un expert en sol est prêt à se prononcer et s’engager professionnellement afin de dire que ces maisons ne bougeront plus dans le futur. Il y aura tout de même certaines vérifications, mais le tout semblerait très positif. Certains terrains ont été surveillés lors de ces expertises, et à la lumière de ces années de suivi, quelques-uns pourraient être vendus prochainement.Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Wed. Dec. 2, 2020.There are 383,468 confirmed cases in Canada._ Canada: 383,468 confirmed cases (66,369 active, 304,888 resolved, 12,211 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.There were 5,329 new cases Tuesday from 97,680 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 5.5 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 41,024 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 5,861.There were 81 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 593 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 85. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.23 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 32.49 per 100,000 people. There have been 11,573,322 tests completed._ Newfoundland and Labrador: 339 confirmed cases (33 active, 302 resolved, four deaths).There was one new case Tuesday from 324 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.31 per cent. Over the past seven days, there has been 16 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.77 per 100,000 people. There have been 62,844 tests completed._ Prince Edward Island: 72 confirmed cases (four active, 68 resolved, zero deaths).There were zero new cases Tuesday from 760 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of three new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 60,683 tests completed._ Nova Scotia: 1,315 confirmed cases (142 active, 1,108 resolved, 65 deaths).There were 10 new cases Tuesday from 3,165 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.32 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 88 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 13.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.69 per 100,000 people. There have been 146,919 tests completed._ New Brunswick: 508 confirmed cases (116 active, 385 resolved, seven deaths).There were seven new cases Tuesday from 1,065 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.66 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 58 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is eight.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.9 per 100,000 people. There have been 101,550 tests completed._ Quebec: 143,548 confirmed cases (12,264 active, 124,200 resolved, 7,084 deaths).There were 1,177 new cases Tuesday from 8,376 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 14 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 9,218 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,317.There were 28 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 197 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 28. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.33 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 83.49 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,194,452 tests completed._ Ontario: 118,199 confirmed cases (14,524 active, 100,012 resolved, 3,663 deaths).There were 1,707 new cases Tuesday from 33,508 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 5.1 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 11,689 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,670.There were seven new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 144 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 21. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.14 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 25.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,103,234 tests completed._ Manitoba: 17,107 confirmed cases (9,066 active, 7,713 resolved, 328 deaths).There were 282 new cases Tuesday from 2,201 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 13 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,549 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 364.There were 16 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 80 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 11. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.83 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 23.95 per 100,000 people. There have been 349,309 tests completed._ Saskatchewan: 8,745 confirmed cases (3,819 active, 4,875 resolved, 51 deaths).There were 181 new cases Tuesday from 1,444 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 13 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,862 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 266.There were four new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 14 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.17 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 4.34 per 100,000 people. There have been 262,262 tests completed._ Alberta: 59,484 confirmed cases (16,628 active, 42,305 resolved, 551 deaths).There were 1,307 new cases Tuesday from 27,600 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 4.7 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 9,948 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,421.There were 10 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 59 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is eight. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.19 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 12.6 per 100,000 people. There have been 1,473,584 tests completed._ British Columbia: 33,894 confirmed cases (9,663 active, 23,774 resolved, 457 deaths).There were 656 new cases Tuesday from 18,967 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 3.5 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,546 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 792.There were 16 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 99 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 14. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.28 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 9.01 per 100,000 people. There have been 802,376 tests completed._ Yukon: 47 confirmed cases (17 active, 29 resolved, one deaths).There were zero new cases Tuesday from 170 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of nine new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.45 per 100,000 people. There have been 5,336 tests completed._ Northwest Territories: 15 confirmed cases (zero active, 15 resolved, zero deaths).There were zero new cases Tuesday from 42 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 6,397 tests completed._ Nunavut: 182 confirmed cases (93 active, 89 resolved, zero deaths).There was one new case Tuesday from 58 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 1.7 per cent. Over the past seven days, there has been 38 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is five.There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 4,300 tests completed.This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Dec. 2, 2020.The Canadian Press
Hong Kong pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam have been sentenced to jail on charges related to an unauthorized anti-government protest last year at the city’s police headquarters. Wong, who pleaded guilty to organizing and participating in the protest, received 13 1/2 months behind bars. Chow, who also pleaded guilty to participating in the protest and inciting others to take part, received 10 months, while Lam received 7 months after pleading guilty to incitement. The protest took place on June 21 last year, and saw thousands surround the police headquarters as they demonstrated against excessive force by police against protesters, as well as a now-withdrawn extradition bill that would have allowed suspects to be extradited to mainland China. Zen Soo, The Associated Press
In mid-August, the laboratory doing COVID-19 testing at St. Paul's hospital in Vancouver was facing a problem: the reagent required to carry out the tests was in short supply. "There was a lack of availability," said Dr. Daniel Holmes, director of pathology and laboratory medicine at the hospital. "Without the reagent — the chemicals that go into it — it's like having a car without gasoline."So Holmes and his team at the lab turned to a trick used in virology; they began working on a way to pool test samples together.The idea was to combine the samples from four patients — a number determined by the positivity rate they were finding at the St. Paul's lab, between three and seven per cent."If you have a whole bunch of samples and most of them test negative for a disease, you can mix all of the samples together, and if the mix tests negative, then you can infer that all of the samples that went into the mix must be negative," explained Holmes.The idea was simple enough, but the task of automating the process with a robotic machine and computer code took a while.Holmes said it wasn't until Sept. 20 that the system was ready for its first live run — just as the second wave of the pandemic began to ramp up."The robot ... scans all the barcodes, it tells the server which specimens are in which well, and in the end, it reports out all the negatives," he said.The four samples in the pools that test positive have to then be tested individually, so if the positivity rate increases, the method becomes inefficient.Holmes said he was getting anxious as positivity rates climbed in recent weeks, but so far they've been able to continue mixing samples at St. Paul's.The technique has eased the workload on staff at the lab, as well as getting four times as many tests out of the reagent used for the pooled samples, said Holmes, noting that the lab typically does about 40 per cent of its daily tests — which range from 1,000 to 1,700 per day — using the pooling technique.As well as effectively reducing the required resources, mixing samples hastens the time it takes to process most patients' tests, though Holmes said there's a three-hour wait if a pool needs to be tested again as individual samples."If they are one of the people who's fortunate enough to have a negative test, their result is going to come back to them, somewhere between three and 10 hours earlier," he said.Do you have more to add to this story? Email email@example.comFollow Rafferty Baker on Twitter: @raffertybaker
ATLANTA — Former Atlanta City Council member Kwanza Hall won a special runoff election Tuesday for a brief term in Congress and will succeed the late civil rights legend John Lewis. The 49-year-old Hall defeated fellow Democrat Robert Franklin, 66, in the Atlanta area district and will only hold the seat for a few weeks through Jan. 3. Hall and Franklin were the top vote getters in a September special election after Lewis, a civil rights titan, died in July following 34 years in Congress. Neither candidate won a majority, though, forcing a runoff that leaves the winner with only about a month to serve in Congress. Lewis’ long-term replacement will be state senator and state Democratic Party chair Nikema Williams, who easily defeated Republican Angela Stanton King in November for a full two-year-term starting in January. Williams and King didn’t run in the special election. The 5th Congressional District includes most of the city of Atlanta, as well as some suburban areas of Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton counties. About 22,000 people voted, less than 5% of the district's registered voters. Also Tuesday, Sonya Halpern beat Linda Pritchett to replace Williams in the state Senate in District 39, covering parts of Fulton County. Voters in Clarke and Oconee counties chose Democrat Deborah Gonzalez as district attorney over nonpartisan candidate James Chafin. Lewis died at age 80 from pancreatic cancer. He was the youngest and last surviving speaker from the 1963 March on Washington, when Lewis led the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He was best known for leading protesters in the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where he was beaten by state troopers. Hall and Franklin both contended that they could get something accomplished during a short stay in Congress. Voting on a temporary federal budget could be the most significant act that the winner takes, although there are still fading hopes of additional COVID-19 relief legislation. Hall touted his experience on the Atlanta City Council and the Atlanta school board, saying he would make the most of his limited time working on COVID-19 relief and other issues. He linked his effort to Lewis in a statement after his win, noting that his father and Lewis had both worked with Martin Luther King Jr. “This win tonight allows me to continue that fight and to work every day of this term," Hall said in a statement. Franklin and Hall shared similar positions on issues, but Franklin, formerly president of Morehouse College and now a theology professor at Emory University, also touted his moral leadership. He pledged to support Hall in a concession call. “Although not the outcome we had wanted, I am pleased that our district will have voice and vote in the critical days ahead,” Franklin said in a statement texted to The Associated Press. Franklin raised $282,000, including $65,000 he loaned his campaign, while Hall raised $194,000. Jeff Amy, The Associated Press
The Greater Sudbury Police Service Explosive Disposal Unit has removed improvised explosive devices from the scene of a Gore Bay shooting that claimed the lives of an OPP officer and a civilian on Nov. 19. “The (Explosive Disposal Unit) is assisting in ensuring the scene is safe as there were IEDs located at the scene,” said Kaitlyn Dunn, the corporate communications officer for Greater Sudbury Police. “Members of our (unit) are taking the necessary precautions to ensure officer safety and community safety.” Police were called to a property on Hindman Trail in Gore Bay on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 19, to investigate a complaint about the presence of an unwanted man. Soon after arriving, police located the man in a trailer. After a short interaction, there was an exchange of gunfire. OPP Const. Marc Hovingh and a 60-year-old man later identified as Gary Brohman were both struck. Both men were transported to the hospital, where they succumbed to their injuries. Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, invoked its mandate and is investigating the incident. Greater Sudbury Police is also assisting with the investigation. The SIU is now actively investigating two separate incidents that occurred on Manitoulin Island following the death of a 43-year-old man by a gunshot wound in Little Current on Nov. 27. The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government. firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @SudburyStarColleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star
Pfizer and BioNTech say they've won permission Wednesday for emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine in Britain, the world’s first coronavirus shot that’s backed by rigorous science -- and a major step toward eventually ending the pandemic.The move makes Britain one of the first countries to begin vaccinating its population as it tries to curb Europe’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak.Other countries aren’t far behind: The U.S. and the European Union also are vetting the Pfizer shot along with a similar vaccine made by competitor Moderna Inc.Pfizer said it would immediately begin shipping limited supplies to the U.K. -- and has been gearing up for even wider distribution if given a similar nod by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a decision expected as early as next week.But doses everywhere are scarce, and initial supplies will be rationed until more is manufactured in the first several months of next year.Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla called the U.K. decision “a historic moment.”“We are focusing on moving with the same level of urgency to safely supply a high-quality vaccine around the world,” Bourla said in a statement.While the U.K. has ordered enough Pfizer vaccine for 20 million people, it’s not clear how many will arrive by year’s end and adding to the distribution challenges is that it must be stored at ultra-cold temperatures.Two doses three weeks apart are required for protection. First in line, the U.K. government says, are frontline health care workers and nursing home residents, followed by older adults.British regulators also are considering another shot made by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. But Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned “we must first navigate a hard winter” of restrictions to try to curb the virus until there’s enough vaccine to go around.Every country has different rules for determining when an experimental vaccine is safe and effective enough to use. Intense political pressure to be the first to roll out a rigorously scientifically tested shot colored the race in the U.S. and Britain, even as researchers pledged to cut no corners. In contrast, China and Russia have offered different vaccinations to their citizens ahead of late-stage testing.The shots made by U.S.-based Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech were tested in tens of thousands of people. And while that study isn’t complete, early results suggest the vaccine is 95% effective at preventing mild to severe COVID-19 disease. The companies told regulators that of the first 170 infections detected in study volunteers, only eight were among people who’d received the actual vaccine and the rest had gotten a dummy shot.“This is an extraordinarily strong protection,” Dr. Ugur Sahin, BioNTech’s CEO, recently told The Associated Press.The companies also reported no serious side effects, although vaccine recipients may experience temporary pain and flu-like reactions immediately after injections.But experts caution that a vaccine cleared for emergency use is still experimental and the final testing must be completed. Still to be determined is whether the Pfizer-BioNTech shots protect against people spreading the coronavirus without showing symptoms. Another question is how long protection lasts.The vaccine also has been tested in only a small number of children, none younger than 12, and there’s no information on its effects in pregnant women.___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.Lauran Neergaard, The Associated Press
Voici le message qu’il a décidé de partager ce matin sur les réseaux sociaux : Kuei kassinu etshiek Bonjour a vous tous, Toute une semaine d’émotions, pour ma part, j’ai été testé positif à la covid 19. Je fais partie de ses 6 cas au centre administratif. Ce fut tout un choc pour moi, car selon l’enquête épidémiologique des premiers cas du centre administratif, cela touché le secteur où nos bureaux sont, j’étais un contact significatif à degré Faible. Mais je me suis malgré tout mis en isolement pour protéger les gens et ma famille. Je suis allé passer le test malgré que j’avais aucun Symptôme. Ça m’a pris 72h avoir d’avoir mon résultat, 3 jours a penser au oui ou non j’étais porteur du virus et pendant ses trois jours-là. Aucun symptôme, alors je pensais que j’étais négatif mais hélas non. Ce que l’on récent lorsque tu es positif, c’est la honte, la peur et la culpabilité. Vous savez, personne veut attraper ce virus, même moi car ma belle-mère a eu de gros traitement de chimio et radio pour combattre un cancer alors même si nous restons à LTQ jamais nous voyageons, les seul places que nous faisons en ville c’est l’épicerie, pharmacie et CT. Le reste du temps nous étions à la maison.pour justement protéger nos êtres chers. Ma famille viendra tjrs en tête de liste. Mais comble de malheur, j’ai attrapé le Virus à Wemotaci et non en ville alors nous ne somme pas à l’abri du virus. Moi, je n’en veut a personne d’avoir eu la covid c’est comme ça et c’est tout. Ce n’est pas le temps de faire la chasse aux sorcières mais plutôt d’être Solidaire entre nous. Merci aux anges gardiens de Wemotaci, vos tisane et médecine traditionnelle m’ont aidé a passé vers cette douloureuse épreuve de confinement. Le plus dur pour moi été d’être isolé de ma famille mais c’était pour le bien. Pour ce qui est de ma santé, je suis asymptomatique. Je n’ai eu aucun symptôme depuis le début. C’est pour ça que je suis heureux d’avoir passer le test, sinon jamais j’aurais su que j’avais la Covid car j’aurais peut-être pu infecté plus de gens mais je prends tous les précautions possible, Masque, lavages de mains régulier et être à 2 mètres. Hier, nous avons eu le dernier résultat de mes contacts significatifs. Ma belle-mère est négatif, vous ne pouvez pas savoir comment ça me soulage. Aujourd’hui, comme depuis le jour 1, je suis asymptomatique et je ne suis pas un faux positif. J’ai attrapé la Covid-19 et je veux que mon message sert a quelque chose. C’est de dire aux gens de faire attention à eux et d’appliquer le plus possible les mesures sanitaires. Je pries pour les malades car des gens ont des complications et sont hospitalisé. À partir de samedi, ma levée d’isolement sera effectif. Je suis a la fin de mon isolement et contamination!! Selon les infirmiers de santé publique, je serais immunisé pour 3 mois!! Mais dans la vie, nous ne contrôlons pas grand chose, dieu a décidé que je devais passer par cette épreuve. Je l’accepte et surtout je veux que mon cas serve à quelques choses. Faites attention Tsheneskemetnau kassinu etshiekKarine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
Joshua Wong, 24, one of Hong Kong's most prominent democracy activists, was jailed on Wednesday for more than 13 months over an unlawful anti-government rally in 2019, the toughest and most high-profile sentence for an opposition figure this year. Wong's sentence comes as critics say the Beijing-backed government is intensifying a crackdown on Hong Kong's opposition and chipping away at wide-ranging freedoms guaranteed after the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997, a charge authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong reject. Reacting to the court ruling, Britain's foreign minister Dominic Raab urged Hong Kong and Beijing authorities to stop their campaigns to stifle the opposition.
In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kick-start your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Dec. 2 ... What we are watching in Canada ... The Manitoba government has signed a pay agreement that will allow nurses to be shifted to priority areas in the fight against COVID-19. It says the agreement with the Manitoba Nurses Union will allow nurses to be redeployed in personal care homes, intensive care units and designated COVID-19 units. Health Minister Cameron Friesen says it will allow for changes to work assignments, locations, schedules and shifts to support the changing needs of hospital patients and care home residents. He says nurses affected by these changes, including those already working in facilities dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks, will get extra pay. The agreement also establishes a COVID-19 northern allowance for staff redeployed to the north, as well as an allowance for current northern nurses who work in one community but pick up additional shifts elsewhere in the region. Union president Darlene Jackson says the deal will help keep nurses on the job and give them some security and recognition. --- Also this ... Nunavut's two-week lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to end today as the territory continues to see a drop in new cases. Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut's chief public health officer, said earlier this week that schools, businesses and workplaces could reopen. Restrictions are to lift in all communities except Arviat, which has 76 active cases and will remain shut down for at least two more weeks. Patterson says that's because his team hasn't determined if community transmission there is ongoing. Nunavut had 93 active infections and 89 recovered cases on Tuesday for a total of 182. The territory had not had any cases at all until early November. --- What we are watching in the U.S. ... Disputing U.S. President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr declared the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election. Barr's comments, in an interview Tuesday with the The Associated Press, contradict the concerted effort by Trump, his boss, to subvert the results of last month's voting and block president-elect Joe Biden from taking his place in the White House. Barr told the AP that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they’ve received, but “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.” The comments, which drew immediate criticism from Trump attorneys, were especially notable coming from Barr, who has been one of the president's most ardent allies. Before the election, he had repeatedly raised the notion that mail-in voting could be especially vulnerable to fraud during the coronavirus pandemic as Americans feared going to polls and instead chose to vote by mail. More to Trump's liking, Barr revealed in the AP interview that in October he had appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as a special counsel, giving the prosecutor the authority to continue to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe after Biden takes over and making it difficult to fire him. Biden hasn't said what he might do with the investigation, and his transition team didn't comment Tuesday. --- What we are watching in the rest of the world ... Pfizer and BioNTech say they've won permission Wednesday for emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine in Britain, the world’s first coronavirus shot that’s backed by rigorous science -- and a major step toward eventually ending the pandemic. The move makes Britain one of the first countries to begin vaccinating its population as it tries to curb Europe’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak. Other countries aren’t far behind: The U.S. and the European Union also are vetting the Pfizer shot along with a similar vaccine made by competitor Moderna Inc. Pfizer said it would immediately begin shipping limited supplies to the U.K. -- and has been gearing up for even wider distribution if given a similar nod by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a decision expected as early as next week. But doses everywhere are scarce, and initial supplies will be rationed until more is manufactured in the first several months of next year. --- On this day in 2006 ... Liberal delegates chose Quebec MP Stephane Dion as their new federal leader at a Montreal convention. --- Holiday news ... The Canadian Christmas Tree Growers Association says people planning to buy a live Christmas tree this season should start shopping now and expect to pay more. Farmers anticipate 2020 will be a record sales year. Association head Larry Downey says it's simple supply and demand: a shortage of trees coupled with a greater appetite from people hoping to liven up their living spaces amid widespread stay-at-home orders. “Personally, we don’t see COVID affecting us,” says Downey, whose family farm in Hatley, Que. sells up to 30,000 Christmas trees each year. Most wholesale farmers Downey has spoken this year with have already reached sales records, he adds, with much of the demand coming from vendors in the United States. Retailers typically place their orders for trees as early as June, Downey says. The Christmas tree market is still feeling the effects of the Great Recession, which put many U.S. growers out of business and led others to reduce planting. Since saplings take eight to 10 years to reach the size of a typical Christmas tree, the effects of the lower supply have only recently emerged. In entertainment ... Experts believe the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies such as Netflix will go up under a taxation plan the government wants to put in place next year, Ottawa says in its fiscal update released Monday it will require multinationals to collect GST or HST on digital products and services, which it said would add up to $1.2 billion over five years. Sometimes labelled a "Netflix tax," the measure would also apply to other services such as Amazon.com Inc.'s Prime Video or the Spotify audio streaming service, as well as digital products such as software applications. The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales, so it's only fair that foreign multinationals should do the same. KPMG tax partner Joe Micallef says it's likely Canadians will end up paying the taxes collected for the government by foreign multinationals. "Right now, the way in which they're delivering their services, they're not responsible for the collection," Micallef says. "And so, effectively, it would mean that these charges would be appearing on (their) invoices." Dwayne Winseck, a media industry researcher at Carleton University in Ottawa, also expects companies will add the price of the tax to the total sale price. --- ICYMI ... The Oscar-nominated Canadian star of the film "Juno" has come out as transgender. The Halifax-raised Elliot Page, formerly known as Ellen Page, has made the announcement in a powerful post on social media. The star of the Toronto-shot Netflix series "The Umbrella Academy" says his preferred pronouns are he/they. Page's letter thanks those who have supported him along the journey, and addresses the trauma trans people face from discrimination, hateful acts, and a lack of rights. He says it feels remarkable "to finally love" who he is enough to pursue his "authentic self." And he's been "endlessly inspired by so many in the trans community." "Thank you for your courage, your generosity and ceaselessly working to make this world a more inclusive and compassionate place. I will offer whatever support I can and continue to strive for a more loving and equal society," Page says.. "I also ask for patience. My joy is real, but it is also fragile. The truth is, despite feeling profoundly happy right now and knowing how much privilege I carry, I am also scared. I'm scared of the invasiveness, the hate, the 'jokes' and of violence." --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020 The Canadian Press
Le Bloc québécois a défendu l’adoption du projet de loi C-216 pour la protection de la gestion de l’offre dans les futures négociations commerciales la semaine dernière. Le regroupement politique se réjouit donc d’apprendre que les producteurs concernés seront dédommagés pour les embûches créées par la mise en place des deux derniers accords de libre-échange. Le projet de loi C-216 du Bloc québécois vise à empêcher le gouvernement d’affaiblir la gestion de l’offre lorsqu’il conclut des ententes internationales avec ses partenaires. Et à la suite des pressions répétées des députés pour le versement de l’ensemble des compensations aux producteurs et aux transformateurs sous gestion de l’offre, la députée Michaud se dit soulagée que le gouvernement annonce enfin une partie de l’aide promise. En effet, la ministre Marie-Claude Bibeau a annoncé samedi qu’une certaine forme d’indemnité sera offerte à ces producteurs et transformateurs qui ont grandement été affectés par les brèches faites au système agricole québécois à travers les concessions des trois derniers accords commerciaux. En effet, ils recevront les reste des versements dus en trois ans. Kristina Michaud, qui prend le dossier à cœur, a pu s’entretenir avec le président des producteurs de lait du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gabriel Belzile, à la suite de l’annonce. « Je représente une circonscription rurale où l’agriculture est extrêmement importante », a-t-elle expliqué. « J’ai rencontré de nombreux producteurs depuis mon élection il y a un peu plus d’un an et je sais à quel point cette nouvelle était attendue. Les producteurs de lait, œufs et volaille pourront enfin obtenir des indemnisations même si aucune compensation ne permettra de rétablir l’équilibre qui avait été acquis. » Mme Michaud renchérit que « c’est un bon pas, mais plusieurs détails restent à venir ». De plus, les transformateurs de l’ensemble des secteurs ont été complètement écartés par l’annonce d’Ottawa, sans compter qu’il n’y a toujours aucune compensation pour l’ACEUM (ancien ALENA). La députée craint que la promesse du gouvernement de n’accorder aucune autre concession dans de futurs accords ne soit encore que des paroles en l’air. « Pour véritablement tenir parole, le gouvernement et tous les partis d’opposition doivent adopter le projet de loi C-216 déposé par le Bloc Québécois. Ce sont des gestes concrets tels que celui-ci qui vont réellement protéger nos producteurs », a ajouté la bloquiste. En attendant, Kristina Michaud et ses collègues persisteront aux côtés des gens du milieu agricole pour qu’ils puissent obtenir « la juste part des compensations qui leur est due et qu’ils ne soient plus tributaires des futures ententes internationales », d’après les dires de la députée fédérale.Claudie Arseneault, Initiative de journalisme local, Mon Matane
UK Health Minister Matt Hancock announced that the country is the first to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.View on euronews
The Rainbow District School Board reported a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the preschool room at the daycare at Algonquin Road Public School on Tuesday. All staff and the parents/guardians of children who are required to self-isolate have been notified, and Public Health Sudbury & Districts will follow up directly with close contacts. “Public Health has advised the service provider that there is no evidence of transmission at this time,” said the Rainbow District School Board in a letter to parents. “The daycare remains open and the before and after school programs continue to operate. Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting will take place throughout the school, including the daycare, before classes begin this morning.” Although the school does not operate the daycare, the school board wanted to inform parents/guardians of the situation. At this time, there has been no Public Health direction related to the school as a result of the confirmed case at the daycare. Parents/guardians are reminded to screen their children daily for symptoms of COVID-19 using the screening tool on the school board's website at www.rainbowschools.ca. Anyone who is sick must stay home. It is also important to continue to follow COVID-19 prevention measures. This includes washing your hands often with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoid touching your face, practice physical distancing, and wear a face covering, especially when physical distancing cannot be maintained. For more information about COVID-19 or the measures taken to address COVID-19, visit www.phsd.ca/COVID-19 or contact Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705-522-9200 ext. 524. “As always, we will monitor our school population closely for any signs of COVID-19, remain vigilant, and follow any guidance that we may receive from Public Health,” said the school board. “Thank you for working together to keep everyone safe.” Also Tuesday, Public Health Sudbury & Districts reported two new cases of COVID-19 in its service area on Tuesday. Both cases are located in Greater Sudbury, and the individuals are currently self-isolating. One of the individuals was a close contact of a confirmed case, and the other one’s exposure category was not specified because the information is either pending or missing. No other information about the confirmed cases was provided. Two more cases have now been resolved in Public Health’s service area, bringing the total number of active cases to 9. There are two active COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care homes in Sudbury. An outbreak was declared at Extendicare Falconbridge on Nov. 23 and Extendicare York on Nov. 24. Visit www.phsd.ca/COVID-19 for more information or call the health unit at 705-522-9200. The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government. email@example.com Twitter: @SudburyStar Colleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star
Le conseil municipal a autorisé hier soir une dépense de 7,2 M$, taxes incluses, pour l’acquisition de 66 % du site du musée Armand-Frappier, situé au 520, boulevard des Prairies. Le terrain appartenant désormais à la municipalité correspond à «toute la bande riveraine», a indiqué le maire Marc Demers lors de l’assemblée. Le parc municipal que la Ville y aménagera donnera sur 320 mètres de berges en bordure de la rivière des Prairies. D’une superficie de 27 715 mètres carrés, cet espace public équivaut à 17 patinoires de la Ligue nationale de hockey, illustrait M. Demers dans un communiqué publié en fin de soirée. Avec la marina Le Commodore, dans Pont-Viau, le terrain boisé adjacent à la berge des Baigneurs, dans Sainte-Rose, et les deux grandes îles de l’archipel Saint-François, ce terrain en rive de Laval-des-Rapides porte à quatre le nombre d’acquisitions aux fins d’aménagement de parcs et d’espaces verts ou de conservation depuis le printemps. Maison des aînés Le parc riverain voisinera avec la première maison des aînés que le gouvernement Legault implantera sur le territoire lavallois. L’annonce avait été faite la veille par la ministre responsable des Aînés et des Proches aidants, Marguerite Blais. Il s’agira d’un complexe de huit bâtiments climatisés de 12 places chacun, totalisant 96 chambres individuelles. Un projet évalué à 52 M$, dont la mise en chantier n’a toutefois pas été précisée. L’Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) a ainsi vendu le dernier tiers du terrain au ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux afin de répondre aux besoins du CISSS de Laval en matière d’hébergement. La transaction globale, qui s’est conclue le 18 novembre, s’élève à 15,34 M$. Le Ministère aurait donc payé 8,5 M$, avant taxes, pour 34 % du terrain, soit 1,66 M$ de plus que la Ville qui met la main sur un terrain deux fois plus grand, incluant le bâtiment patrimonial qui abrite le Musée. «Par la vente de ce terrain situé sur le campus de notre établissement de recherche universitaire, nous sommes heureux de contribuer à la réalisation des projets structurants de la Ville de Laval, du CISSS de Laval et du ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux», a déclaré par communiqué le directeur général de l’INRS, Luc-Alain Giraldeau. L’administration Demers convoitait ce terrain depuis 2014, avait laissé savoir le maire à la séance du conseil de juillet 2018 lorsqu’un citoyen du secteur, Raymond Lamothe, était venu proposer à la Ville d’en faire l’acquisition. Même que les pourparlers entre la Municipalité et l’INRS étaient déjà engagés, précisait Marc Demers. M. Lamothe rêvait de ce parc riverain que le corridor vert piétonnier du boulevard Armand-Frappier relie au centre-ville. En octobre de la même année, le conseil municipal avait adopté à l’unanimité la proposition formulée par le conseiller de l’opposition officielle, Claude Larochelle, à l’effet d’entreprendre «des démarches urgentes auprès du propriétaire»… avant qu’un promoteur immobilier ne flaire la bonne affaire. L’espace vert sera baptisé du nom de Parc Armand-Frappier en l’honneur de ce pionnier de la recherche en microbiologie et de la médecine préventive au pays. Rappelons qu’en 1938, s’inspirant du modèle de l’Institut Pasteur, Dr Armand Frappier (1904-1991) fondait à Laval l'Institut de microbiologie et d'hygiène de l'Université de Montréal. Trente-quatre ans plus tard, en 1972, cette institution devenait une des constituantes de l'Université du Québec, puis un des quatre centres de recherche de l'Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) en 1999. C’est autour de l’Institut Armand-Frappier que se déployait en 1989 le Parc scientifique et de la haute technologie et, en 2001, la Cité de la biotechnologie et des sciences de la vie au Québec.Stéphane St-Amour, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
UNALASKA, Alaska — An Alaska city that is home to one of the nation’s busiest fishing ports has included wastewater testing among the mitigation efforts that could help maintain a low number of coronavirus infections. Unalaska began testing its wastewater in July for traces of COVID-19, Alaska’s Energy Desk reported Monday. The island community of about 4,500 year-round residents located on Dutch Harbor, 800 miles (1,287 kilometres) from Anchorage, has recorded 107 coronavirus cases, including 85 from a single factory trawler. Despite the island’s first case of community spread two weeks ago, any virus in Unalaska’s waste remains below the detection level. “If somebody has COVID-19, they’re shedding this virus in fragments,” said Karie Holtermann, lab manager at Unalaska’s wastewater treatment plant. “It’s in their GI tract, they’re shedding it into their feces, into their urine. And so we’re trying to pick that up in our testing here.” The plant processes about 350,000 gallons (1,325 kilolitres) of waste and greywater daily, equating to about 70 gallons (265 litres) per Unalaska resident per day. Sewage testing has been successfully used as an early detection method for other diseases such as polio, Holtermann said. A Netherlands-based study concluded wastewater serves as an early warning system for coronavirus spread by detecting the virus in people who have not been tested or who have mild or no symptoms, Holtermann said. “What they’ve all seen is that wastewater monitoring can predict an outbreak a week before showing up at the clinic,” Holtermann said. “And once it is shown that COVID-19 is in a community, it’s able to show the beginning, the tapering and the resurgence of an outbreak.” If the virus levels increase with an influx of winter fishing season workers, the wastewater tests could pinpoint the part of town where the cases are focused, she said. Holtermann takes two to three wastewater samples during peak flow times, dipping a bucket hanging from a rope at some of the 10 lift stations on the island. “We go all around the clock,” she said. “So, at midnight, three o’clock in the morning — it’s a very interesting view of Unalaska.” For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The Associated Press
Ethiopia and the United Nations agreed on Wednesday to channel desperately-needed humanitarian aid to the northern region of Tigray, where a month of war is believed to have killed thousands of combatants and civilians. Federal troops have been battling the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and have captured the regional capital Mekelle, and the pact announced by U.N. officials will allow relief into government-controlled areas of Tigray. The Ethiopian conflict has forced more than 45,000 refugees to flee into Sudan, displaced many more within Tigray and worsened suffering in a region where 600,000 people already depended on food aid even before hostilities broke out on Nov.4.
More than two weeks after a ransomware attack caused the City of Saint John to shut down its online systems, the city is still not sharing any details about how the attack happened, which systems were targeted, what information was possibly compromised and what exactly it's doing to respond.At Monday night's council meeting, city manager John Collin said the city "will not provide details that inform the criminals who attacked us on their effectiveness or lack thereof.""Nor will we comment on our strengths or limited vulnerabilities, since we have no intention to provide a roadmap to any future attackers or scammers," Collin said.A ransomware attack on Nov. 13 forced the city to take its network offline. That allowed it to "isolate [its] networks from the outside world and to contain and then eradicate the virus," Collin said.Collin said he expects a return to normal within the coming weeks, but noted "we will not reactivate any of our network or reconnect to the outside world until we are sure that it is safe to do so."In the meantime, Collin said, the city will provide information "that is important to our community," including impact to services and whether any private data was compromised.He said the city has not confirmed any personal data leaks, but it hasn't made a final determination on that. Residents are advised to watch for any irregular activity on their bank accounts and credit card statements in the meantime.Ali Dehghantanha, a cybersecurity expert at the University of Guelph, said he doesn't believe that releasing more information about the attack would tip off attackers. Dehghantanha said it's likely the attackers know what information they're holding hostage.He said there's benefit in telling the public what information could be out there, and giving guidance about changing passwords and other precautions.> I don't like that we, people, the public, are being kept in the dark, because there could be a lot of help we can offer. - Ali Dehghantanha, cybersecurity expertDehghantanha said he's seen other cities in similar situations share more information."I don't think releasing the reasons they believe people need to check their banking information would cause any harm," he said. "They need to tell us."The city should also explain what other information is at risk, he said."What about other private information that usually is not protected as much as bank information?"Not sharing information publicly also means the cybersecurity community can't help as much as it potentially could, Dehghantanha said."I don't like that we, people, the public, are being kept in the dark, because there could be a lot of help we can offer." The city is using a gmail address to communicate with media, and many city employees still don't have access to email or phones. This includes the Saint John Police Force, whose spokesperson Jim Hennessy declined to comment on the attack other than to say police and fire are responding normally.The city said that because of the network shutdown, its website, some phone lines, email and online payments are not working.It's not clear whether some or all of these services are offline because the city shut down its network or because they were directly affected by the attack.No legal obligation to share detailsCollin said the cyberattack is being investigated by police, but did not specify which police force.University of New Brunswick cybersecurity expert Dr. Ali Ghorbani said the city is under no legal obligation to share any details about the attack, except personal data leaks.He said organizations affected by ransomware should not disclose information that exposes the major vulnerability or weakness that created this problem, how the attack happened, and what technology was used to to make the attack successful. "So as long as they stay away from disclosing their infrastructure problems and ... the complexity of what has happened, the rest of the information, I think, should be communicated to those who have been affected."Ghorbani said the longer the shutdown goes on, the more difficult it will be to bounce back from the attack.
This column is an opinion from Rebecca Haines-Saah, a health sociologist at the University of Calgary. Last week, I became someone I might study. My job is to research how health-related stigma affects people and communities. Yet, as I listened to my supportive, non-judgmental doctor confirm their diagnosis that I have high blood pressure, I felt deep shame and self-blame. I've been working too much. I don't manage my stressors. I fuss over my family. I should have been more active, cut out all alcohol and the late-night snacks. I should have said no to committees, working groups and new projects. I need to quit Twitter. I should really lose 10 pounds. I've written extensively about how health is not just shaped by individual actions and access to health care. It's promoted by communities that provide belonging, fairness, supports and safety for all their members. I know very well the evidence showing that health is socially and structurally determined, shaped by the society in which we work and live. Yet, in that moment in my doctor's office, I forgot everything I've learned about public health and attributed everything about the diagnosis to my behaviour. My failures. That's why the move this week to list the presence or absence of comorbidities for each COVID-19 death in Alberta was a punch to the gut for a newly diagnosed person like me, and for the many who've been living with pre-existing conditions throughout the pandemic. An incorrect message Intended or not, there's a loud and clear (and incorrect) message: Those who died from COVID-19 died because of their own risk factors; the "otherwise healthy" person is safe. The attention to comorbidities shifts focus from the fact that every death from COVID-19, including those among older people and those with chronic illnesses, is wholly preventable. Left ineffectively checked, Alberta's exponential growth in cases threatens everyone. Dangerously, people who are "otherwise healthy" (and those who assume they are) may be emboldened to ignore public health restrictions or take them less seriously, assuming death from COVID-19 is near impossible and that recovery from the virus would be without complications. It's easy to blame people for their "unhealthy lifestyles," but 800,000 Albertans — about one in five — have a chronic condition. We are not exactly a small minority. That the incidence of diagnoses like asthma, diabetes and heart disease are higher in Alberta than the national rates suggests there's something about living here, something Albertan, if you will, that is contributing to our ill health. After all, health is shaped by where we live. By including comorbidities with Alberta's reports on recent deaths from COVID-19, the province is weaponizing the idea of "protecting the most vulnerable among us," perversely assuring everyone else they're not at risk. This contributes to chronic disease stigma by inferring that the dead, to borrow a term from the premier, bear "personal responsibility" for their deaths. It also neglects how the government's inadequate policy response has failed to protect all people and communities. But maybe that's the whole point. This column is an opinion. For more information about our commentary section, please readour FAQ.
It's not going to be a very merry Christmas this year for a handicraft workshop in Islamist-run Gaza that has been an unlikely source of gifts for the holiday. Coronavirus lockdowns have made it difficult for the Zeina Cooperative Association to export its hand-crafted Christmas gifts from Gaza to Europe and to the Palestinian town of Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. About 24 Palestinian Muslim women, many of them veiled, work at the facility, making miniature Christmas trees, red-and-white puppets and Santa Claus marionettes.