On the eve of his funeral, a royal historian says there has been a ‘fresh appreciation of Prince Philip,’ his accomplishments and his role. It’s also brought on thoughts of the Queen’s mortality and a sense of sadness that the monarch is alone.
On the eve of his funeral, a royal historian says there has been a ‘fresh appreciation of Prince Philip,’ his accomplishments and his role. It’s also brought on thoughts of the Queen’s mortality and a sense of sadness that the monarch is alone.
N'DJAMENA (Reuters) -Chad's military claimed victory on Sunday in its weeks-long battle with northern rebels that led to the death of President Idriss Deby on the battlefield. However, the rebel group Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) said it was not aware of an end to the fighting. The group "will comment when it has reliable and credible information," said FACT spokesman Kingabe Ogouzeimi de Tapol.
OTTAWA — Canada is scheduled to receive two million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week as provinces continue to ramp up their immunization efforts. The two million shots represent the only expected shipments in what should be a comparatively quiet week of vaccine arrivals after Moderna delivered one million doses ahead of schedule last week. The next shipment of Moderna jabs isn't due until next week, while the federal government has not said when Canada will receive more doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Johnson and Johnson vaccines. The arrival of more Pfizer-BioNTech shots comes as British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec are set to expand the list of people eligible for vaccines over the next seven days. The expansions are due largely to the steady supply of vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech, which are slated to deliver two million doses a week through the month of May before increasing the weekly figure to 2.4 million in June. Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military officer overseeing the federal government's vaccine distribution effort, said last week that Canada was expecting another 650,000 AstraZeneca shots from the COVAX initiative. The exact delivery schedule, however, has yet to be finalized. Canada has also been in negotiations with the United States for more AstraZeneca doses after President Joe Biden suggested last month that Washington may release some of its unused stockpile. Those talks come amid questions about the AstraZeneca shot, which has been linked to a new and very rare vaccine-induced blood clotting syndrome. Twelve cases had been confirmed in Canada after about two million doses given as of Friday. Three people have died. The AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines use a similar technology, while the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots use a new technology dubbed mRNA. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization last week recommended that Canadians who aren’t at high risk from COVID-19 may want to wait until a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna is available. That prompted allegations that NACI was sowing the seeds of confusion and vaccine hesitancy. Alberta and other parts of Canada remain mired in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as hospitalization rates have started to tick downward in provinces such as Ontario and Quebec. Many parts of the country face tight restrictions, with schools closed across Ontario and Alberta and patios shut down in Montreal, Toronto and — as of this Monday — Calgary. Provinces reported 265,509 new vaccinations administered on Sunday for a total of 15,917,555 doses given. Nationwide, 1,248,931 people or 3.3 per cent of the population had been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 41,999.627 per 100,000. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2021. Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
Strict public health measures are returning to Quebec's Eastern Townships on Monday as authorities respond to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases. The Quebec government had eased public health restrictions in the Townships in mid-March, allowing restaurant dinning rooms, gyms and bars to reopen. But earlier this weekend, the region's public health director, Dr. Alain Poirier, said a significant and sustained increase in cases, and outbreaks, prompted authorities to return the Townships to red-zone status. "The number of cases has been gradually increasing toward red for several weeks," Poirier said, adding that about half of new transmissions are in homes. The new restrictions will include closing restaurant dining rooms, gyms and bars. They also forbid gatherings of people from different households on private property, inside or outside. People living alone can pair up with one household while the region is under red-zone measures. The curfew will remain in effect between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. 93% of new cases are variants The Townships are now averaging more than 50 new cases daily. The vast majority, 93 per cent, are variants. "We might as well say that we only have variants," Poirier said. Dr. Alain Poirier, director of public health for the Eastern Townships, says most of the new cases in the region are variants.(Radio-Canada) Despite the higher infection rates, nearly 40 per cent of the region's residents have received their first dose of vaccine. That's more than 200,000 people. Of those, 88 per cent of people over the age of 60 have received a first dose — a level of protection that wasn't available in the first and second waves. "Vaccinations are progressing, so maybe our period in the red will be shorter," Poirier said. On Friday, the region reported 86 new cases. That brings its active caseload to 554, a rate of 111.5 per 100,000 people. But within the Townships, some sectors have been harder hit than others. The area in and around Lac-Mégantic, known as Le Granit, has more than 200 active cases, a rate of 962 per 100,000 people, the highest rate in the province. All high schools and non-essential businesses in Le Granit have been shut at least until May 17, and the curfew was rolled back to 8 p.m. Restaurant business loses with short notice, owner says The Eastern Townships was among several regions in Quebec where the government decided to ease public health measures in mid-March, despite warnings from experts about the dangers of more contagious variants. Cases quickly spiralled in the others. Quebec City, Chaudière-Appalaches and Outaouais — all were returned to red-zone measures, with some municipalities requiring added emergency restrictions. Now that the Townships will also be a red-zone, businesses owners are facing renewed uncertainty. Simon Gaudreault, co-owner of the Brasserie Dunham brew-pub, said the switching back-and-forth is both stressful and expensive for the pub-side of his businesses. He was fully stocked, serving customers, when the order came down. It's difficult for the restaurant staff, Gaudreault said. Many will have to find another job to keep earning a living. "It's hard because it is on such short notice," he said. "It's not even 48 hours in advance that we have to stop working. We have to call everyone and say, 'Hey, you're not working next week.'"
A 63-year-old New Minas woman has died after being stuck in a parking lot earlier this week. The woman was using a marked crosswalk in a lot on Commercial Street in New Minas when she was hit, suffering life-threatening injuries, said RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Joyce. The incident happened Tuesday afternoon around 4 p.m. Police said she was airlifted to hospital in Halifax, where she died on Saturday. The 43-year-old driver of the car was not hurt. Joyce said police are still investigating, and charges have not yet been laid. The cause of the collision is also under investigation. "We're all aware, I would hope ... to be aware in parking lots, people are getting out of cars, people are coming out of businesses, people are walking between cars," Joyce said. MORE TOP STORIES
AMMAN (Reuters) -Jordan urged Israel on Sunday to stop what it described as "barbaric" attacks on worshippers in Jerusalem's al Aqsa mosque and said it would step up international pressure. Jordan, which has custodianship of Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem, said Israel should respect worshippers and international law safeguarding Arab rights.
Following a week of contradictory advice over whether Canadians should wait for "preferred" mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, Health Minister Patty Hajdu maintains the first vaccine offered remains the best, but she added that Health Canada continues to adapt its analysis of different types and would stop use if necessary. "Health Canada continues to evolve their analysis based on the data that's accumulating in Canada, based on the data that's accumulating internationally," Hajdu said in an interview that aired Sunday on Rosemary Barton Live. "We wouldn't hesitate to cease or pause the use of a product if it was shown to not have value, safety or effectiveness." The "first is best" approach has been a constant refrain from Canada's political leadership this year, but the mantra was shaken this week after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization indicated there may be "preferred" vaccines. WATCH | Health Minister Patty Hajdu says 4th wave 'is in all of our hands': The advisory group indicated Canadians not at high risk of contracting COVID-19 could wait until they had access to an mRNA vaccine — those developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — instead of a viral vector dose, such as those developed by AstraZeneca-Oxford or Johnson & Johnson. That advice prompted confusion and controversy over the potential for increasing vaccine hesitancy and "buyer's remorse" from those who had already received an AstraZeneca-Oxford shot. But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Hajdu have maintained the first vaccine offered to Canadians is the one they should take. The mixed messages come at a key time in the pandemic, when daily new cases are declining across the country from their peak, but per-capita rates in some provinces are near or reaching record highs. Manitoba's per-capita case rate is the second highest in the country, behind Alberta, and the province reported 531 cases Sunday, just shy of its record high from November. At a news conference Sunday afternoon, Manitoba's chief provincial public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, was asked whether discussions were ongoing between medical officers of health across the country over whether to pause the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine altogether, given the influx of mRNA vaccines. "That's been discussed at many levels, and certainly discussed at our provincial program right now," Roussin replied. But he went on to reiterate the current advice that given the risk of COVID-19, Manitobans should get the first vaccine offered to them. Help for any province that asks Hajdu told CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton that she plans to speak with her counterpart in Manitoba next week about potential federal support. "I'll be offering that minister as much support as we have to Ontario," she said. Everything from sending in the Red Cross to help with vaccination clinics is on the table, added Hajdu. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, shown on May 4, says it is still best to get the first shot offered so that as many Canadians can get vaccinated as quickly as possible.(Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press) The health minister said vaccination is a major tool in fighting the pandemic and avoiding another spike in cases. "I think the fourth wave, so to speak, is in all of our hands," she said. "We can't take this virus likely. We cannot assume that we're out of the woods." Several provinces have experienced major protests against ongoing or renewed public health measures, including one in Alberta on Saturday, when hundreds gathered, leading to one arrest and dozens of tickets. "Heartbreaking is the word" Hajdu said. She urged community leaders to pull together and help guide people toward the "finish" line, adding the Canada could see a "better summer." Hajdu also responded to a question on border controls by saying the topic had been discussed by G7 health ministers, and "every G7 country is struggling with this question." She said she was primarily looking at the situation in Canada, but was keeping an eye on other countries as well. "The world is struggling with it, not just Canada." You can watch full episodes of Rosemary Barton Live on CBC Gem, the CBC's streaming service.
The Russian president spoke at the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the Second World War’s conclusionView on euronews
PHOENIX — Joshua Matthew Black said in a YouTube video that he was protecting the officer at the U.S. Capitol who had been pepper sprayed and fallen to the ground as the crowd rushed the building entrance on Jan. 6. “Let him out, he’s done," Black claimed to have told rioters. But federal prosecutors say surveillance footage doesn’t back up Black’s account. They said he acknowledged that he wanted to get the officer out of the way — because the cop was blocking his path inside. At least a dozen of the 400 people charged so far in the Jan. 6 insurrection have made dubious claims about their encounters with officers at the Capitol. The most frequent argument is that they can't be guilty of anything, because police stood by and welcomed them inside, even though the mob pushed past police barriers, sprayed chemical irritants and smashed windows as chaos enveloped the government complex. The January melee to stop the certification of Joe Biden's victory was instigated by a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump who have professed their love of law enforcement and derided the mass police overhaul protests that shook the nation last year following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. But they quickly turned on police in one violent encounter after another. “We backed you guys in the summer,” one protester screamed at three officers cornered against a door by dozens of men screaming for them to get out of their way. “When the whole country hated you, we had your back!” The Capitol Police didn't plan for a riot. They were badly outnumbered and it took hours for reinforcements to arrive — a massive failure that is now under investigation. Throughout the insurrection, police officers were injured, mocked, ridiculed and threatened. One Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick, died after the riot. Officers who spoke to The Associated Press said police had to decide on their own how to fight them off. There was no direction or plan and they were told not to fire on the crowd, they said. One cop ran from one side of the building to another, fighting hand-to-hand against rioters. Another decided to respond to any calls of officers in distress and spent three hours helping cops who had been immobilized by bear spray or other chemicals. Three officers were able to handcuff one rioter. But a crowd swarmed the group and took the arrested man away with the handcuffs still on. Still, some rioters claim police just gave up and told them that the building was now theirs. And a few — including one accused of trying to pull off an officer’s gas mask in a bid to expose the officer to bear spray — have claimed to be protecting police. Matthew Martin, an employee for a defence contractor from Santa Fe, New Mexico, who has acknowledged being inside the building, claimed police were opening doors for people as they walked into the Capitol. Dan Cron, Martin’s attorney, said a photo filed in court by authorities shows an officer using his back to hold a door open for people. No police barriers were in place when Martin walked into the Capitol area, nor was there anyone telling people they weren’t allowed in the building, Cron said. “He thought that was OK,” Cron said, adding that his client was inside the Capitol for less than 10 minutes and didn’t commit any violence. “He doesn’t know what the policies and procedures at the Capitol are,” Cron said. “He had never been there.” On the surface, images taken of officers who appear to step aside as the mob stormed the building could be beneficial to the rioters' claims. In the days after Jan. 6, those images fueled rumours that police had stood by on purpose, but they have not been substantiated. Experts caution against drawing conclusions. “The context will be very important in claiming officers welcomed in a crowd,” said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson. “They were trying to control a fast-developing, difficult, potentially explosive situation. So I don’t think it’s enough to say, ‘The officer didn’t tackle me.’” Authorities say Michael Quick of Springfield, Missouri, claimed that he didn’t know at the time that he wasn’t allowed in the Capitol when he and his brother climbed in through an open window. He believed police were letting people in, despite seeing officers in riot gear. Attorney Dee Wampler, who represents Michael and Stephen Quick, said he doesn’t currently have proof for the claim the officers were letting people into the building, but he pointed out that he has thousands of documents from prosecutors still left to review. “If this case was tried, the evidence would be that there was a fairly large number of officers that were standing around when my clients entered, and they didn’t try to stop the Quicks,” Wampler said, adding that his clients didn’t commit any violence inside the Capitol. But the argument did not work for Jacob Chansley, the Arizona man who sported face paint, a furry hat with horns and carried a spear during the riot. Chansley's lawyer said an officer told his client that “the building is yours” and that he was among the third wave of rioters entering the Capitol. In rejecting a request two months ago to free Chansley from jail, Judge Royce Lamberth said it wasn’t clear who made the comment and concluded Chansley was unable to prove that officers waved him into the building, citing a video that the judge said proves that the Phoenix man was among the first wave of rioters in the building. The judge noted that rioters were crawling in through broken windows when Chansley entered the Capitol through a door. Chansley's attorney, Albert Watkins, still insists that his client was in the third wave of rioters in the building and said it shouldn’t shock the public that rioters who were hanging on to Trump’s every word and believed the election was stolen legitimately believed they were allowed in the building. “It’s what’s in their hearts and minds,” Watkins said. In all, Joshua Black made two claims that he helped officers at the Capitol. Before encountering the officer he claimed to have protected at a Capitol doorway, Black said, police shot him in the cheek with a plastic projectile as he tried to keep another officer from being “bootstomped” by other rioters while outside the Capitol. But prosecutors say surveillance video doesn’t depict an officer on the ground, nor is Black shown trying to help an officer. Black’s attorney, Clark Fleckinger II, didn’t return a phone call and email seeking comment. ___ Associated Press writer Colleen Long in Washington contributed to this report. Jacques Billeaud, The Associated Press
The Saskatchewan Medical Association's new president — and former vice-president — hails from rural Saskatchewan and intends to make that part of his focus representing the organization for the next year. On Friday at a virtual event, the association that represents some 2,400 physicians in Saskatchewan elected Dr. Eben Strydom, a physician currently working in Melfort, Sask., as its 55th president. Strydom is taking over as president of the Sask. Medical Association amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On the front lines he said he's heard a lot of worry and fatigue from physicians. "The system has been strained significantly over the last year basically," he said. "The variants of concern have a significant impact and it looks like the peak that it's causing now, it's more difficult to contain." Intensive care unit patients, he said, are getting younger, showing up sicker and staying longer than they have before, which is contributing to the concern physicians are feeling. Strydom said as long as the province showed flexibility and a willingness to introduce stricter measures if and where needed, he was cautiously optimistic about the possibility of bringing an end to the pandemic. Two milestones need to be reached and three weeks needs to pass before the province moves into its reopening strategy. Vaccinations will open to anyone over the age of 18 on May 18 — when the 16 and above category becomes eligible — and Saturday's COVID-19 update said nearly 70 per cent of those over the age of 40 received their first dose of vaccine. Once those benchmarks are reached and sustained, Step 1 of the provincial plan comes into effect. The number of COVID-19 patients receiving intensive care would also be considered before the province moves into the next step of the reopening plan, Premier Scott Moe said last week. On the flip side of the coin, the rules within the province's reopening plan are subject to change should the laid-out vaccination targets not be met. Access to rural health care a priority Pandemic aside, Strydom also wants to look into increasing access to rural health care in Saskatchewan. Strydom grew up in rural southwest Africa — now Namibia — where he said he became more aware about issues around rural access to healthcare. He arrived in Canada in 2003 after working for five years in Paarl Hospital in South Africa, where he trained as a generalist and obtained post-graduate diplomas in anesthesiology and obstetrics. Strydom practised as a family doctor for two months in Redvers before moving to Melfort, where he provides a full-service family practice and his work includes anesthesia, surgery and palliative care services. The mixed bag of services he can provide is part of what keeps him in rural Saskatchewan, but it also allows him to have an impact on people's lives in other ways. "[It's also] the connection we have with rural outpatients, the cradle-to-grave medicine, the fact that we can make a big difference," Strydom said in an interview with CBC News. "It's a lot of work and it's long hours but it's very satisfying." He plans to focus on supporting rural healthcare as the association's president through doing what he can to make working rurally attractive to doctors. Strydom said part of doing so is finding fair compensation for doctors who work rurally, which he said from his experience and that of his peers often comes with quite a heavy workload. The other part attracting doctors to rural Saskatchewan, he said, comes in ensuring the proper tools are in place to develop, enhance and maintain doctors' skills and support capabilities in rural areas to provide quality care to their patients. Strydom is to serve a one-year term as the medical association's president and replaces Dr. Barb Konstantynowicz, a doctor from Regina.
The joy of Komal Garg's first Mother's Day has been tempered with fear and frustration as she awaits the green light to start enjoying family life in the Toronto home she hasn't seen for months. She and her husband Hari Gopal Garg are stranded in India, where they flew earlier this year to adopt their first child and have since been held up as the country buckles under a tidal wave of COVID-19 infections. Baby Kaveri's first birthday came and went under a cloud of pandemic-related anxiety in March, coupled with an unrelated hospital stay for the little one around that time. The family had been looking forward to celebrating both that milestone and Mother's Day in the comfort of their Canadian home. But the federal government banned incoming flights from India just days before they were due to return to Toronto, leaving them to mark another occasion that's lost much of its festive feel. "We are really scared and just want to go back home as soon as possible," Komal Garg said. "We're desperate to go back and start our life there." The family's eventual return will mark the end of a four-year-long saga. It's taken that long for the couple to realize their dream of adopting a child from India, finally taking custody of Kaveri last December. The couple said they realized that COVID-19 infections in India were rising rapidly, but the wheel of bureaucracy turns slowly. Paperwork to return to Canada was completed on April 21, they said, and they were scheduled to fly home to Toronto on April 25. But Canada suspended all flights from India the day after the paperwork was completed, they said, leaving them with no option but to ride the pandemic out in a country with some of the highest infection rates in the world. "We don't have any option to go back home," Gopal Garg said. "We are stuck." Like many with family in India, they've experienced the loss associated with the pandemic first-hand. Three family members have died of COVID-19 over the last three weeks alone, they said. But the tragedy surrounding them, and the inconvenience associated with adjusting to family life far from home, hasn't dimmed Garg's delight in her new daughter. "You can't even imagine because me and my husband, we've been married for 20 years," Garg said. "I can't express in words my first Mother's Day. I cannot. I cannot." That occasion has been a far cry from the celebration the family intended to hold in Toronto. Garg said the new family intends to lie low in Punjab for the sake of Kaveri's health. Gopal Garg said the family had hoped to celebrate with a bit more pomp, but had to shelve those plans when it became clear they wouldn't be able to return to Canada. "We wanted to get a nice meal or order some food at home," he said. "So that we could feel that it's special — together. Be a family. And we wanted to cherish that and celebrate that at home, which is Toronto." But still, their small immediate family tries to keep some semblance of normalcy, spending quiet days together and not leaving the house for anything but grocery shopping. They're watching their daughter mark her first baby milestones as they await word they can finally go home. Kaveri took her first steps in March, and has now started to talk. "She says some little tiny words like baba, dada, mama," Garg said. Gopal Garg said the new family is now looking ahead to future holidays and hoping they can unfold at home. "We were hoping that we could start a family in Canada," he said. "We hope we'll be there for Father's Day." This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 9, 2021. Hina Alam, The Canadian Press
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A gunman opened fire at a birthday party in Colorado, slaying six adults before killing himself Sunday, police said. The shooting happened just after midnight in a mobile home park on the east side of Colorado Springs, police said. Officers arrived at a trailer to find six dead adults and a man with serious injuries who died later at a hospital, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported. The suspected shooter was the boyfriend of a female victim at the party attended by friends, family and children. He walked inside and opened fire before shooting himself, police said. The birthday party was for one of the people killed, police said. Neighbour Yenifer Reyes told The Denver Post she woke to the sound of many gunshots. “I thought it was a thunderstorm,” Reyes said. “Then I started hearing sirens.” Police brought children out of the trailer and put them into at least one patrol car, she said, adding that the children were “crying hysterically.” Authorities say the children, who weren’t hurt in the attack, have been placed with relatives. Police on Sunday hadn't released the identities of the shooter or victims. Authorities say a motive wasn't immediately known. “My heart breaks for the families who have lost someone they love and for the children who have lost their parents,” Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski said in a statement. It was Colorado's worst mass shooting since a gunman killed 10 people at a Boulder supermarket March 22. “The tragic shooting in Colorado Springs is devastating,” Gov. Jared Polis said Sunday, “especially as many of us are spending the day celebrating the women in our lives who have made us the people we are today.” Colorado Springs, population 465,000, is Colorado's second-biggest city after Denver. In 2015, a man shot three people to death at random before dying in a shootout with police in Colorado Springs on Halloween. Less than a month later, a man killed three people, including a police officer, and injured eight others in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in the city. The Associated Press
A 28-year-old man was shot and killed Sunday at Vancouver International Airport in what police believe was a gang-related killing. The shooting, which occurred mid-afternoon outside the departures terminal, was the latest in a spate of gang-related violence across B.C.'s Lower Mainland, police said. Sgt. Frank Jang with the Lower Mainland's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), said the victim was known to police. Richmond RCMP responded to reports of a shooting at around 3 p.m. local time. Police intercepted the getaway vehicle — an SUV — and were shot at by the suspects, who are still at large, said Jang. At a media briefing at the airport Sunday night, Jang and Chief Superintendent Will Ng, who is in charge of Richmond RCMP, said they're frustrated the latest violence occurred in a public area with innocent bystanders. "They will stop at nothing to target rivals, even if it's at an international airport in broad daylight on Mother's Day, and putting everyone at risk, including shooting at a police officer, which indicates to me these people have no care whatsoever," Ng said. Police called off car chase Added Jang: "There are just no further words, please don't kill one another, please stop the violence. "Enough is enough," he said. Officers weren't hurt when they were fired upon. They did not not fire back and stopped the pursuit because they were concerned people in the busy area would be hurt, Ng said. Police are looking for at least two suspects. An RCMP officer works at the scene after a shooting at Vancouver International Airport on Sunday.(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press) There's been a string of shootings in Metro Vancouver over the last several days, including the murder of a prison corrections officer in the parking lot of a busy Delta, B.C., shopping mall. Delta's police chief said last week all police departments in B.C.'s Lower Mainland were working on the shootings. At the airport, traffic cones blocked off a section of the international and Canadian departure areas and police erected white screens in front of an entrance way. Inside the terminal, yellow police tape restricted the same doorway and most of the shops in the area were closed. On Sunday evening, the Vancouver Airport Authority said in a statement that the airport was open and safe for airport workers and those who need to travel. It said the safety and security of its employees, community and passengers remains its priority and it is fully co-operating with RCMP to support the investigation. The incident disrupted major traffic routes near the airport and police asked people to stay away from the area. Police say they are still searching for one or more suspects related to the shooting. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press) The Alex Fraser and Queensborough bridges, as well as the Massey Tunnel, were temporarily closed but have since reopened, according to DriveBC. RCMP said it appears the airport shooting is connected to a burned-out vehicle that was found in nearby suburban Surrey, in the 9700 block of Princess Drive at 3:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Jang said police are looking for dashcam video from those who were in the area Sunday between the airport and the location where the vehicle was found on fire to help with their investigation. Both Jang and Ng called for a coordinated response between law enforcement agencies to solve the gang shootings and make arrests. Ng said police will use "next-level strategies," to target gang members, which include efforts to try and keep people from joining gangs. Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in a statement on Twitter that the shooting was disturbing news. "My thoughts are with the communities in the Lower Mainland who have been impacted by gun and gang violence far too often, particularly over the last week,'' Blair said.
Large Canadian cities, usually major tourist destinations, have have experienced drastic declines in tourists and tourism spending while some regional hotspots have been overwhelmed with visitors.
NEW YORK — The cyberextortion attempt that has forced the shutdown of a vital U.S. pipeline was carried out by a criminal gang known as DarkSide that cultivates a Robin Hood image of stealing from corporations and giving a cut to charity, a person close to the investigation said Sunday. The shutdown, meanwhile, stretched into its third day, with the Biden administration saying an “all-hands-on-deck” effort is underway to restore operations and avoid disruptions in the fuel supply. Experts said that gasoline prices are unlikely to be affected if the pipeline is back to normal in the next few days but that the incident — the worst cyberattack to date on critical U.S. infrastructure — should serve as a wake-up call to companies about the vulnerabilities they face. The pipeline, operated by Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline, carries gasoline and other fuel from Texas to the Northeast. It delivers roughly 45% of fuel consumed on the East Coast, according to the company. It was hit by what Colonial called a ransomware attack, in which hackers typically lock up computer systems by encrypting data and then demand a large ransom to release it. The company has not said what was demanded or who made the demand. However, the person close to the investigation, speaking on condition of anonymity, identified the culprit as DarkSide. It is among ransomware gangs that have “professionalized” a criminal industry that has cost Western nations tens of billions of dollars in losses in the past three years. DarkSide claims that it does not attack medical, educational or government targets — only large corporations — and that it donates a portion of its take to charity. It has been active since August and, typical of the most potent ransomware gangs, is known to avoid targeting organizations in former Soviet bloc nations. Colonial did not say whether it has paid or was negotiating a ransom, and DarkSide neither announced the attack on its dark website nor responded to an Associated Press reporter’s queries. The lack of acknowledgment usually indicates a victim is either negotiating or has paid. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Sunday that ransomware attacks are “what businesses now have to worry about,” and that she will work “very vigorously” with the Homeland Security Department to address the problem, calling it a top priority for the administration. “Unfortunately, these sorts of attacks are becoming more frequent,” she said on CBS’ “Face the Nation." ”We have to work in partnership with business to secure networks to defend ourselves against these attacks.” She said President Joe Biden was briefed on the attack. “It's an all-hands-on-deck effort right now,” Raimondo said. “And we are working closely with the company, state and local officials to make sure that they get back up to normal operations as quickly as possible and there aren’t disruptions in supply.” The person close to the Colonial investigation said that the attackers also stole data from the company, presumably for extortion purposes. Sometimes stolen data is more valuable to ransomware criminals than the leverage they gain by crippling a network, because some victims are loath to see sensitive information of theirs dumped online. Security experts said the attack should be a warning for operators of critical infrastructure — including electrical and water utilities and energy and transportation companies — that not investing in updating their security puts them at risk of catastrophe. Ed Amoroso, CEO of TAG Cyber, said Colonial was lucky its attacker was at least ostensibly motivated only by profit, not geopolitics. State-backed hackers bent on more serious destruction use the same intrusion methods as ransomware gangs. “For companies vulnerable to ransomware, it’s a bad sign because they are probably more vulnerable to more serious attacks,” he said. Russian cyberwarriors, for example, crippled the electrical grid in Ukraine during the winters of 2015 and 2016. Cyberextortion attempts in the U.S. have become a death-by-a-thousands-cuts phenomenon in the past year, with attacks on hospitals forcing delays in cancer treatment, interrupting schooling and paralyzing police and city governments. Tulsa, Oklahoma, this week became the 32nd state or local government in the U.S. to come under ransomware attack, said Brett Callow, a threat analyst with the cybersecurity firm Emsisoft. Average ransoms paid in the U.S. jumped nearly threefold to more than $310,000 last year. The average downtime for victims of ransomware attacks is 21 days, according to the firm Coveware, which helps victims respond. David Kennedy, founder and senior principal security consultant at TrustedSec, said that once a ransomware attack is discovered, companies have little recourse but to completely rebuild their infrastructure, or pay the ransom. “Ransomware is absolutely out of control and one of the biggest threats we face as a nation,” Kennedy said. “The problem we face is most companies are grossly underprepared to face these threats.” Colonial transports gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and home heating oil from refineries on the Gulf Coast through pipelines running from Texas to New Jersey. Its pipeline system spans more than 5,500 miles, transporting more than 100 million gallons a day. Debnil Chowdhury at the research firm IHSMarkit said that if the outage stretches to one to three weeks, gas prices could begin to rise. “I wouldn’t be surprised, if this ends up being an outage of that magnitude, if we see 15- to 20-cent rise in gas prices over next week or two,” he said. The Justice Department has a new task force dedicated to countering ransomware attacks. While the U.S. has not suffered any serious cyberattacks on its critical infrastructure, officials say Russian hackers in particular are known to have infiltrated some crucial sectors, positioning themselves to do damage if armed conflict were to break out. Iranian hackers have also been aggressive in trying to gain access to utilities, factories and oil and gas facilities. In one case in 2013, they broke into the control system of a U.S. dam. ___ Bajak reported from Boston. AP Writers Alan Suderman in Richmond, Virginia, and Martin Crutsinger and Michael Balsamo in Washington contributed to this report. Mae Anderson And Frank Bajak, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — The Royal Canadian Air Force is hoping Canada will open its doors to military pilots from other countries as it seeks to address a longstanding shortage of experienced aviators. In an interview with The Canadian Press, RCAF commander Lt.-Gen. Al Meinzinger says the military is working with Canada's immigration department to streamline the enrolment of pilots from overseas. The move comes amid some signs of progress in the military's search for more pilots to fly the air force's helicopters and planes. Part of that success has come from a reorganization designed to keep pilots in cockpits rather than behind desks. Yet Meinzinger says about 10 per cent of the air force's 1,500 pilot positions remain unfilled, even as COVID-19 has restricted recruitment and training efforts across much of the military. And while there had been hopes that some former air force pilots laid off by commercial airlines due to the pandemic would flock to the military, Meinzinger says only about 15 have made the jump. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 9, 2021. The Canadian Press
ROME — A magistrate slain by mobsters in Sicily and praised by two popes has been beatified by the Roman Catholic church on Sunday in the last formal step before possible sainthood. Rosario Livatino was gunned down on a Sicilian highway outside Agrigento as he drove to work in 1990. Three years later, during a pilgrimage to Sicily, Pope John Paul II hailed him a “martyr of justice and, indirectly, of the Christian faith.” Livatino was beatified in a ceremony in a cathedral in Agrigento. Hours later, Pope Francis at the Vatican said Livatino worked to judge “not to condemn, but to redeem.” As an investigative magistrate, Livatino, 37, had been leading probes into the Mafia and corruption when he was slain. He was known for praying daily before entering court. Francis also praised Livatino as a “martyr of justice and of the faith,” noting that the magistrate “always put his work ‘under the protection of God,'” a reference to Livatino's motto. Describing Livatino as a “witness of the Gospel until his heroic death,'' Francis expressed hope that his example would inspire others to be ”loyal defenders of legality and of liberty." Shortly after meeting with Livatino's parents in Agrigento, John Paul II became the first pontiff to publicly decry the Mafia. In improvised remarks on May 9, 1993, at an outdoor Mass in the ancient Valley of the Temples, John Paul thundered against mobsters, demanding they repent their murderous ways. Four gunmen shot at Livatino's car as he drove without bodyguards. The alleged masterminds and attackers were eventually arrested and convicted. The Agrigento area is a power base for the Stidda, a group of mobsters who rival Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian Mafia with its main stronghold in the Palermo area across the island. Helping in the prosecution was description from a northern Italian businessman who was driving by and witnessed the shooting. For the beatification, Livatino's blood-soaked shirt was taken from investigators' evidence deposits and put into a glass-enclosed reliquary, a holder of relics for faithful who want to venerate those beatified. The Vatican has been considering developing a doctrine about excommunicating Catholic mobsters. That drive followed a visit by Pope Francis in 2014 to the southern Italian region of Calabria, the stronghold of the ‘ndrangheta crime syndicate, which is one of the world’s biggest cocaine traffickers. Francis met with the father of a 3-year-old boy slain in the region’s drug turf wars and declared that all mobsters are automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church. The Vatican’s commission on human development on Sunday said that to honour Livatino a working group was set up to study “excommunication for mafias,” an initiative which will involve bishops worldwide. Frances D'Emilio, The Associated Press
NEW DELHI/BENGALURU (Reuters) -Calls grew for India to impose a nationwide lockdown as new coronavirus cases and deaths held close to record highs on Monday, increasing pressure on the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The 366,161 new infections and 3,754 deaths reported by the health ministry were off a little from recent peaks, taking India's tally to 22.66 million with 246,116 deaths. As many hospitals grapple with an acute shortage of oxygen and beds while morgues and crematoriums overflow, experts have said India's actual figures could be far higher than reported.
Several provinces are gearing up to tighten public health measures once again as COVID-19 infection rates remain stubbornly high in parts of Canada. Beginning at midnight, bars and restaurants in Alberta must shut their patios to in-person dining and personal wellness services such as hair salons and tattoo parlours have to close as the final group of rules announced last week by Premier Jason Kenney come into effect. Manitoba has also banned in-person restaurant dining, closed churches and some businesses and dropped capacity at retail stores to 10 per cent as of today after a recent spike in cases. The Quebec government is tightening measures in the Estrie region east of Montreal as of Monday, even as it is set to lift emergency lockdown measures in the greater Quebec City region and parts of the Outaouais. Canada's chief public health officer said on Twitter that infection rates remain high in many parts of the country, and is urging people to maintain public health measures even if they've been vaccinated. Ontario, meanwhile, reported 3,216 additional people have been infected with COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, and 47 more people have died. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 9, 2021 The Canadian Press
REGINA — Saskatchewan is setting May 30 as the target date for the first step of its COVID-19 "Re-opening Roadmap." Premier Scott Moe is citing vaccinations and co-operation with public health measures as reasons the province can move forward. An announcement from the province issued Sunday says restaurants and bars will be allowed to operate on the target date with a maximum of six to a table, with distance between other tables. The limit now is four, except in Regina where in-person dining is not currently allowed. Places of worship will be able to hold services with 30 per cent capacity, with no more than 150 people, and group fitness classes can resume with three metres distance between participants. Gathering limits will rise, although current protocols for schools and post-secondary will remain in place, and the province-wide mask mandate will stay in effect. "We are able to move forward with Step 1 of the Re-Opening Roadmap because so many Saskatchewan people are doing their part and getting vaccinated, and because we are all following the public health orders and guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19," Moe said in a news release. New case numbers in Saskatchewan are still high. The province's daily pandemic update noted there were 177 new COVID-19 infections, but there were no new deaths. New vaccinations, however, set a record on the weekend, with 13,651 new injections reported Sunday. The province says more than 70 per cent of Saskatchewan residents age 40 and older have received their first shot of COVID-19 vaccine, surpassing the threshold for Step 1 of the reopening plan. The other threshold for Step 1 was that all adults 18 and over would have access to vaccines by the target date, and the province says that goal is anticipated to be reached by May 30. "The road back to normal runs right through our vaccination clinics and pharmacies," Moe said. Current restrictions will remain in place for retail, personal care services, event facilities, casinos, bingo halls, theatres, art galleries, libraries and recreational facilities. Dance floors and buffets in restaurants and bars will remain closed, although VLTs may reopen. Physical distancing between households must be maintained in places of worship. The announcement says the Ministry of Health will continue to monitor health system capacity. To date, Saskatchewan has administered 518,133 vaccine doses. On Friday the government said all residents who are 12 and older will be eligible for the first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine by May 20. The eligible age for adults to get vaccinated dropped to 32 on Saturday and will go down every second day until May 20, dependent on vaccine supply. If deliveries are delayed, officials said the schedule would be revised. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 9, 2021. The Canadian Press
Call him Dr. Kyle Lowry. Philadelphia-born star guard of the Toronto Raptors became an honorary doctor of humanities at Acadia University's virtual spring convocation ceremony on Sunday. Acadia bestowed the honour on Lowry for his role in rallying the country during the Raptors' 2019 run the NBA title, the first for the franchise, and for establishing the Lowry Love Foundation with his wife, Ayahna Cornish-Lowry. Lowry's foundation is committed to improving the lives of disadvantaged people in Toronto and Philadelphia. Nova Scotia's two top public health officials were among seven people to receive honorary degrees from the university in Wolfville, N.S. Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer or health, and Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed, the deputy chief medical officer of health for the province, were bestowed honorary doctor of science degrees. In a news release, the university said the degrees were being given to recognize "the amazing work of the entire Nova Scotia Public Health department." The release said Strang and Watson-Creed had shown "outstanding leadership" in helping Nova Scotia deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Robert Strang accepted his degree on behalf of all public health professionals in Nova Scotia(Acadia University) In a video response, Strang said the pandemic has shown us that unity is important in times of crisis. "The way we get through all of these things is ... that we put each other first, and we come together as communities." Former prime minister Paul Martin delivered the keynote address by video. He was awarded an honorary doctor of civil laws. Rev. Malcolm Card, Nancy McCain and retired justice Murray Sinclair also received honorary degrees. MORE TOP STORIES