France ordered the temporary closure of a mosque outside Paris on Tuesday, part of a crackdown on Muslims who incite hatred after the decapitation of a teacher who showed his class caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad. The Grand Mosque of Pantin, a low-income suburb on the capital's northeastern outskirts, had shared a video on its Facebook page before the attack that vented hatred against history teacher Samuel Paty. Police plastered notices of the closure order outside the mosque as the authorities promised a tough response against the disseminators of hate messages, preachers of radicalised sermons and foreigners believed to pose a security threat to France.
In April, in the midst of a nationwide coronavirus lockdown in Poland, Katarzyna found out that the baby she was carrying had a severe genetic disorder and would probably die before birth or shortly after. "I knew how difficult it can be to get a legal abortion in Poland, so I chose to be stubborn," said 38-year-old Katarzyna, who lives in a small town in central Poland and already has two daughters, one of them disabled. "I don't think I could survive this sense of helplessness and the contempt from the medical community if something went wrong again," she said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the subject of abortion is largely taboo in Poland.
A coalition of advocacy groups in Chinatown is calling on the City of Vancouver to keep the historic neighbourhood thriving through the pandemic.Susanna Ng, co-owner of New Town Bakery and Restaurant, says business at the eatery has changed drastically since the start of the pandemic. While Ng says they are surviving with a contingent of loyal customers, most neighbourhood seniors who used to hang out in the cafe have stayed away."We haven't seen them since we re-opened in May," Ng said. Other establishments have reduced hours or shuttered completely, like Goldstone Bakery, a beloved community hub.Michael Tan, the co-chair of the Vancouver Chinatown Legacy Stewardship Group, says struggling businesses can pull the neighbourhood into a "vicious cycle." "When you have stores starting to close or, you know, reduce their hours, it's a negative effect because ... there's less traffic, there's less foot traffic, less people visiting," Tan told host Michelle Eliot on CBC's The Early Edition.According to information Tan's group obtained from city staff, 17 per cent of Chinatown businesses are empty compared to the citywide average of 10 per cent."We're hurting a little bit more than most neighbourhoods in Vancouver," he said.That's why Tan's group has written a letter to Vancouver city council asking for measures to help support Chinatown businesses and arts organizations.These measures include reducing street parking rates, opening up a city-owned parking lot to free parking, temporarily widening curbs, increasing street cleaning and investing in the community stewards program. Tan says his group has received positive feedback from a number of councillors on the measures. "What they've indicated to us thus far is they are ready to take some of these measures to city council in the next month or so. So we are expecting very quickly for them to move," he said. He says these measures are urgently needed to help these business survive, and also preserve the less tangible community connections inherent to the neighbourhood."It's not just about those goods and services," he said. "It's the conversations that take place, [it's] that living culture and when we lose places like that, that's losing that cultural heritage."
Self-trained English actor Archie Leach pulled off the role of a lifetime: becoming Hollywood legend Cary Grant. In the most entertaining and enlightening star biography in years, writer Scott Eyman poignantly notes the realities behind Grant’s remarkable subterfuge while exploring his phenomenal career. Despite a heyday more than a half-century ago, his best films wear so well because the appeal of Cary Grant defies time — screwball comedies like “Bringing Up Baby” and “His Girl Friday,” romances like “The Philadelphia Story” and “An Affair to Remember,” the adventure “Gunga Din” or any of his four Alfred Hitchcock films, particularly “Notorious” and “North By Northwest.”
Some American travellers may have been targeted during an overnight stop in Haines Junction, Yukon, last week.Americans travelling through Canada to Alaska have reported being harassed because of the licence plates on their vehicles.There have been ongoing complaints from Canadians who say Americans should not be allowed into the country during the COVID-19 pandemic or that some are not following the rules.Todd Fuhrmeister and his partner are now in Alaska after driving up from Utah. He was transferred to a military base there.They stopped in Haines Junction Thursday night where they checked into the Raven's Rest Inn, he said.They parked their SUV and trailer with a car on it alongside the access road in front of the hotel.Fuhrmeister said when his partner went out to the vehicle in the morning, she saw the back window of the SUV had been smashed.He said nothing was stolen. He wasn't going to call police, but said the hotel owner did. An RCMP officer spoke with Fuhrmeister and took some information. The hotel owner also arranged for some construction workers to tape down a plastic covering over the smashed window, Fuhrmeister said. He said they did a great job."I didn't expect it to last, but it will be like this until I get moved in my new house and can get a new one from the junkyard," he said.He and his partner followed the rules for travelling through Canada, he said, and wore masks when around other people.The people they talked to along the way were all pleasant to them. And he said the Yukon government employees at the checkstop outside Watson Lake were "very polite."The RCMP officer in Haines Junction mentioned there had been similar incidents targeting vehicles with American plates in Whitehorse, Fuhrmeister said.He said he doesn't blame Canadians for what happened."My guess is someone who is ignorant about the situation saw an opportunity to express their anger," said Fuhrmeister."It's the actions of an individual, or small group of people that don't represent anyone else."The RCMP says it is investigating the incident.
MONTREAL — Nurses and other health-care workers blocked two major bridges in Montreal and Quebec City Monday, escalating pressure tactics to push the province to address working conditions they say have worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Quebec continues to report more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, and Nancy Bedard, president of the Federation interprofessionnelle de la sante du Quebec, said many nurses are taking sick leave, retiring or quitting. "It was already extremely difficult before the pandemic," Bedard said in an interview. "(But COVID-19) came and exasperated health-care professionals even further." Members of the union, which represents about 76,000 health-care workers, blocked traffic Monday morning on Montreal's Jacques Cartier Bridge and on the Quebec Bridge in the provincial capital. The union is negotiating a new collective agreement with the province. The protests came amid growing concerns around whether Quebec's health-care network will be able to withstand the pressure of a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Quebec reported 1,038 new cases of COVID-19 as well as six more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus Monday, bringing the total to 94,429 cases and 6,044 deaths since the pandemic began. Hospitalizations also increased by five compared with the prior day, for a total of 532, and 92 of those patients were in intensive care, an increase of four. The effects of the pandemic are being felt in hospitals, long-term care homes and in other health-care facilities across the province, some of which were already struggling with staffing shortages before COVID-19 hit. Jason Harley, an assistant professor in the department of surgery at McGill University, conducted a survey of 64 nurses and 55 physicians in the McGill University Health Centre network in August, comparing their stress levels before and after the pandemic began. Harley said the survey, completed with fellow McGill professor Tina Montreuil and funded by the McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity, found significant increases of stress, anxiety, depression and burnout among the workers. Fifty per cent of nurses and 20 per cent of physicians surveyed were considering quitting, while they said difficulties finding a work-life balance and keeping up with management strategies to manage the pandemic were among their biggest stressors. "There's no question that our health-care professionals, they need support," Harley said. "It's critical for our society that . . . our health-care system, is able to continue to function, especially in this period of time when it's under extra strain and in turn, the people who are providing us with care are under additional strain." Gatineau Hospital in the Outaouais region was forced to temporarily close its intensive care unit last month due to a nursing shortage. Patrick Guay, president of the local health-care workers' union, said at the time that the closure marked the culmination of months of problems. "If one (nurse) leaves to go eat, that means a single nurse must take care of four patients. It's unthinkable and unsafe," he said. Meanwhile, the health agency for the Quebec City region said in an email Monday it is currently looking to fill 948 jobs across its network. That includes 172 vacant nursing and 120 auxiliary nursing positions, 66 vacancies in food services and 60 others in housekeeping, spokesman Mathieu Boivin said. Ahead of their protests on Monday, Quebec health-care workers said they wanted smaller patient-to-caregiver ratios and more stable and complete work teams. Bedard said 1,700 workers have quit since March 1. "There are people quitting every day," Bedard said. "The way the government has treated health-care professionals during the pandemic has really been the final straw for many of them." Treasury Board President Sonia LeBel said she was "disappointed" the health-care workers chose to protest the way they did, adding that contract talks will continue. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2020. Jillian Kestler-D'Amours, The Canadian Press
Ambulance New Brunswick has been paid millions of dollars for hitting performance targets that are biased against rural areas and that conceal lower response times to those remote communities, according to New Brunswick's auditor general.Kim Adair-MacPherson says in a scathing audit that the existing system for measuring ambulance response times has concealed problems that, in some cases, would have seen ANB miss out on performance payments.The system creates "a bias toward achieving high performance in areas of greater population density, to the detriment of rural or remote communities where 911 calls occur less frequently," she writes in her report released Tuesday morning.Medavie Health Services New Brunswick Inc., a private company Adair-MacPherson refers to as MHSNB, runs the ambulance service under a contract with EM/ANB Inc., a provincial Crown corporation.The company gets extra payments if it responds to 90 per cent of calls within nine minutes in urban areas and within 22 minutes in rural areas.But Adair-MacPherson's audit found 19 of 67 remote, rural communities saw response times far below the 90 per cent threshold.The lowest was Belledune, with 69 per cent. Another example was Port Elgin with 79 per cent.But because the response rates in those communities were blended with urban response rates in the same areas, the Medavie service can perform well in larger centres, hit its overall 90 per cent target and still receive bonus payments.The arrangement "put rural and remote communities at a disadvantage by reducing the emphasis on achieving performance expectations in these areas," the audit says."In this way, MHSNB is given the opportunity to focus resources on urban areas while having decreased performance in outlying communities and without impacting its performance-based payments," it says of the Medavie operation. MSHNB gets an additional $650,000 per year if it hits the response rate targets 90 per cent of the time. The amount increases if the response rate is better, up to 92 per cent.'Excessive' use of exemptionsAdair-MacPherson also says the ambulance response rates have been distorted by the "excessive" use of exemptions, which are supposed to be used for circumstances "beyond the control" of the ambulance service.By using the exemptions, Medavie can say a particular slow response time doesn't count against its 90 per cent success rate. Any exemptions have to be approved by the Health Department.The report says 5,500 such exemptions were approved in the two years audited, from April 2017 to March 2019.The level of exemptions improved the response rate from below 90 per cent to above 92 per cent, allowing MHSNB to collect its full performance payment in both years.Adair-MacPherson says one type of exemption, a "full deployment exemption," has become routine in Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton and should be curtailed.A full deployment exemption can be used when the number of ambulances available falls below what's needed to respond to emergency calls.The report says falling below that threshold happens frequently enough in the three cities that it has become predictable.That means it can be addressed with better planning by MHSNB "and, therefore, cannot be considered beyond its control."Adair-MacPherson identifies another issue with the ambulance service: she says the contract allows Medavie to make more money when paramedic positions are left vacant — a frequent and high-profile issue in recent years.The Department of Health funds EM/ANB, the Crown corporation, but it's the private Medavie company that manages the money and the ambulance system. If it achieves a surplus in a given year, MHSNB keeps 50 per cent of it.The audit says year after year, payroll costs were "over-budgeted," calculated based on a full workforce of paramedics with no vacancies. Given chronic vacancies — 96 positions were not filled in 2019 — "it was unlikely this method accurately predicted labour costs."The vacancies made it easier for the ambulance company to achieve surpluses that it was entitled to keep. Over 10 years, the company pocketed $8.8 million out of surpluses related directly to vacancies."In our view, calculating labour cost based on full utilization of ambulances within the budget provided the means for inappropriately paying MHSNB," Adair-MacPherson says."This provided an incentive to MHSNB to overestimate the paramedic requirement or maintain low staffing levels while still meeting performance obligations."The audit also faults the governance structure in place for the ambulance service. The EM/ANB Crown corporation's board is made up of officials from the Department of Health and the two regional health authorities.That means some board members report to other board members in their regular civil service roles, Adair-MacPherson says."Under this arrangement, it may have been difficult for individual board members to question or challenge other members of the board."More to come ...
Officials preemptively shut down a wedding scheduled to take place at the Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar for fear of it becoming a superspreader event.
After nearly half the town's population voted on a new moniker, Asbestos, Que., is starting the process to change its name to Val-des-Sources."We are living in a truly historic moment," says the town's mayor, Hugues Grimard, in a statement issued Monday.As officials looked to transition the town away from the name of a toxic mineral, voters also had the option of choosing L'Azur-des-Cantons, Jeffrey-sur-le-Lac or Larochelle.Nearly 2,800 residents cast their votes between Oct. 14 to 18.An extraordinary council meeting was then held Monday to make it official with a vote by municipal politicians.The next step is to send a resolution to the Commission de toponymie, a provincial body that makes place names official. The commission will have 60 days to give its opinion of the new name, the town's statement says.Once the commission has evaluated Val-des-Sources, the municipality will request an official name change from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.That's when citizens will be able to challenge the name, by submitting their opposition to the ministry before a decision is made final.If all goes smoothly, the name will officially change in December, the statement says.
Some issues at the centre of a violent dispute over a First Nation lobster fishery in Nova Scotia date back to a decision about treaty rights made 20 years ago. The National’s Andrew Chang talks to Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack and Colin Sproul, who heads the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen's Association.
Lennon House, a temporary home for people recovering from addictions and co-occurring mental health disorders, welcomed its first male residents last week.The registered charity opened in late April, but up until now has only provided services to women. There are 12 women and three men now living there. It has a staff of 15.Residents have been getting help with relationships, education and preparing for work and housing, said Dianne Young, director of Lennon House.The men have rooms on a different floor than the women, and some of the programming is separate as well, Young said.> It's amazing to watch, really. — Dianne Young, Lennon House"We just wanted to be really comfortable and have a good, sound foundation under us before we added males to the mix."Young said the community support has been amazing. A local teacher has volunteered to tutor some residents to help them get their GED."What we want to do is prepare them for the world, basically getting them ready to be employed," Young said.Young said the centre is making a difference in their lives."It's amazing to watch, really," she said."When they first come, they're quite broken, really hard on themselves, full of guilt, full of shame, they haven't taken care of themselves, they haven't seen a dentist in a number of years, they haven't been eating healthy," she said.More from CBC P.E.I.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday that B.C. is in the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, as she confirmed 499 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths over the weekend.The new numbers bring B.C.'s active case total to 1,639."One can say that we are in our second wave," Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters Monday.There have been more than 150 cases per day since Friday, with the largest single day total at 174 from Sunday to Monday.Despite the increase in cases, Henry was quick to point out that the province is not seeing "exponential growth" and that most people in B.C. are doing everything right.A total of 11,687 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began and 253 have died from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.There are 67 people in hospital, 19 of whom are in critical care. The province is actively monitoring 4,028 people who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. The health care system is not yet overwhelmed, Henry said.Most cases are in young people who are not needing hospitalization, she said. The province is also seeing transmission happen within family groups and small clusters, with larger clusters happening in essential workplaces, she added.That could change quickly if behaviours change, Henry said. "It is possible that we could go into one of those rapidly increasing curves or waves," she said. "We are in a tricky place right now."'We've managed to relatively control our community spread'There continues to be transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 across B.C. but the province is not recording new infections at the same rate as other parts of Canada, according to Henry.The total number of COVID-19 cases in Canada has passed 200,000, four months after the country reached the 100,000-case threshold.On Monday, federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the Canada-U.S. land border would remain closed to all non-essential travel until at least Nov. 21."Here in B.C. we've managed to relatively control our community spread," Henry said. Clusters of cases are associated with essential services like grocery stores and food processing plants and contact tracers are working "around the clock," Henry said.WATCH: Despite a second wave, Dr. Bonnie Henry says 'we have control over what that wave looks like'On Sunday, Fraser Health declared new outbreaks of COVID-19 at a meat processing facility in Surrey, B.C., and at two long-term care homes. A staff member at Zion Park Manor, a long-term care facility in Surrey, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently isolating at home.Enhanced cleaning and control measures are in place at the facility and Fraser Health is working to identify anyone who may have been exposed.School safety measures working, Henry saysSix weeks into the school year, there has been limited transmission and no widespread outbreaks of COVID-19, a sign that safety measures taken in schools are working, Henry said. Henry reiterated the importance of following public health guidelines, like keeping groups small and wearing masks, and said businesses need to continue following their COVID-19 safety plans.'The vast majority of people have taken this to heart," she said. Henry is also encouraging parents to keep Halloween plans small this year.She said parents should communicate with the neighbourhood to find out which houses will participate — and understand that some people will not want children coming to their homes. Instead of shared candy bowls and homemade treats, she suggests having a candy slide or hanging individual candy packages in a way that children can grab them themselves. "This is not the year that we're going have hundreds of kids going to hundreds of houses in large groups," Henry said."That can't happen this year."
The governing United Conservative Party intends to introduce up to 20 pieces of legislation in the six-week fall legislature sitting which starts Tuesday. Jason Nixon, environment minister and government house leader, said at a news conference on Monday that the priority will be on economic recovery and growth."The fall sitting will focus on legislation that does just that, from setting the stage for geothermal development in the province, to accelerating job creation through new innovations and through the new innovation and employment incentive," he said.Other legislation will reduce mobility of labour, reduce "red tape" for forestry companies, and establish payment deadlines for contractors. Changes are also coming to child-care legislation to "improve transparency for parents," Nixon said. The government is also amending justice statutes to speed up the forfeiture of assets for victim restitution and compensation. Nixon said the fall sitting will start with a debate on economic recovery which will allow MLAs to question the premier and his cabinet members. MLAs last met on Aug. 27 for a special one-day sitting where the government revealed in its first-quarter fiscal update that Alberta was forecast to end the year with a $24.2 billion deficit and a debt of nearly $100 billion. Alberta is struggling with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and a slump in international oil prices. Meanwhile, active cases of COVID-19 are continuing to climb but Premier Jason Kenney has so far resisted calls to rollback the closure of businesses and services. Heather Sweet, Edmonton-Manning MLA and NDP house leader, said the Opposition's focus will be on jobs — the ones Kenney is cutting and the ones he's not creating. Last week, Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced the government will cut 11,000 positions in Alberta Health Services in an effort to save $600 million. The jobs, mostly in food services, housekeeping and laundry services, will be outsourced to private companies. "Alberta's NDP official opposition will focus on holding Jason Kenney responsible for his self-inflicted job crisis and the chaos he is creating in health care during a pandemic," Sweet said. "All Albertans understand that firing 11,000 people during a jobs crisis and firing the people who clean rooms and change soiled bedding and prepare foods in our hospitals during a pandemic is cruel, irresponsible and downright stupid," she said.Nixon said the UCP government has acted on 75 per cent of the commitments in the election platform. One issue that is still outstanding is recall legislation. A committee of MLAs is currently examining the issue and Nixon said it is expected to report to the legislation in the middle of the fall sitting. He said the government still intends to introduce a law but it likely won't come until the spring.
Wall Street opened higher and the dollar hit a one-week low on Tuesday as investors were hopeful of more relief from Washington with U.S. Senate Republicans preparing to vote on a bill to help small businesses hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will talk again on Tuesday, after a 53-minute telephone conversation on Monday "continued to narrow their differences" about the coronavirus aid package, a Pelosi spokesman said on Twitter. Pelosi has set the end of Tuesday as a self-imposed deadline for reaching a deal on a package.
Evgenii Dadonov sees a bright future in the nation's capital. Dadonov inked a three-year, US$15-million deal with the club in free agency last week following three seasons of at least 25 goals with the Florida Panthers. The 31-year-old Russian is looking forward to meshing with a young core that includes winger Brady Tkachuk, defenceman Thomas Chabot and 2020 No. 3 overall pick Tim Stuetzle after speaking with general manager Pierre Dorion and head coach D.J. Smith.
Police say two men have been charged in connection with the hit-and-run death of a Vancouver Island man more than a year ago.Oceanside RCMP said after a "lengthy, complex" investigation, two people have been arrested and charged for the death of a 32-year-old man found dead on a Parksville street in Aug. 2019.The victim was identified as Spencer Alexander Moore in a 2019 obituary.In a statement, police said Ryan John Grob, 35, has been charged with dangerous driving causing death, impaired driving, failure to remain at the scene of a collision and obstruction of justice. Travis Zackery Taylor, 31, has been charged with obstruction of justice. Police allege Taylor was a passenger in the vehicle Grob was driving.Acting detachment commander Sgt. Stephen Rose said the duration of the investigation shows how much effort is required to propose charges to Crown prosecutors."I am very pleased with the concerted efforts of our team that has resulted in charges being laid in this matter," Rose said in a statement.Police previously said the victim was found in the early morning hours of Aug. 24, 2019, on Hirst Avenue at McMillan Street in Parksville, north of Nanaimo.Police said Taylor has been released on conditions. Grob has been in custody and has a court appearance Monday.'Amazing son, brother and uncle'Moore's obituary described him as a "Parksville boy all of his life.""Spencer grew into a wonderful and much loved young man," the obituary read. "In the short span of 32 years, Spencer touched the lives of many people in such a genuine and loving manner; his loss will be hard to accept."He was called an "amazing son, brother and uncle" mourned by his father, brother, uncle, aunt, nieces and friends.
OTTAWA — Canadians continue to experience mental health difficulties due to the pandemic, with one in four saying their stress level is higher than during the first COVID-19 wave, according to a new poll. The online survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies found that only 19 per cent of Canadians say their mental health is better now than in March and April as infection rates tick up and autumn sets in. However, about 54 per cent said their mental state is about the same as when the coronavirus first struck the country. Participants cited concerns about the length and severity of the pandemic as their biggest source of anxiety, followed closely by social isolation and family health. "If we cannot see extended family during the holidays and rekindle that positive energy that we get from family and friends, it might lead to a long winter," said Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque. "It’s almost like, when is this thing going to end?" Still, the proportion of Canadians who peg their mental health at very good or excellent has remained fairly consistent since March, ranging between 35 and 46 per cent. Last week saw the percentage at 36, according to the survey. "It’s amazing that we did not go through more peaks and valleys," Bourque said. "The number is not that positive, but that trend line seems to be hanging on, as if it's resilience." Canadians proved less upbeat than their American counterparts, of whom 24 per cent said their mental health had improved since the outbreak began while only 16 per cent felt worse off, despite high case numbers across swaths of the United States. Virtually half of Americans surveyed said their mental health was very good or excellent, compared with about one in three Canadians. "I think ideologically there’s a whole segment of America that’s … trying to downplay the pandemic," Bourque said. "Some Americans just seem to think it will just go away. The president himself promised a vaccine in the next few weeks, right?” Conducted Oct. 16 to 18, the online poll surveyed 1,512 adult Canadians and 1,001 Americans. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2020. Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press
SRINAGAR, India — The Indian army said it apprehended a Chinese soldier Monday in the remote Ladakh region, where the two countries are locked in a monthslong military standoff along their disputed mountain border. The soldier, Cpl. Wang Ya Long from China’s People’s Liberation Army, was apprehended inside Indian-controlled Ladakh’s Demchok area and was to be released soon, the army said in a statement. It said the soldier “had strayed” across the de facto border along the eastern section of what’s known as the Line of Actual Control, a loose demarcation separating Indian- and Chinese-controlled areas. “As per established protocols, he will be returned back to Chinese officials at the Chushul–Moldo meeting point after completion of formalities,” the statement said. China did not immediately comment on the soldier’s apprehension. The high-altitude standoff between the Asian giants began in early May with a fierce brawl, and exploded into hand-to-hand combat with clubs, stones and fists on June 15 that left 20 Indian soldiers dead. China is believed to also have had casualties, but has not given any details. China detained at least 10 Indian soldiers, including four officers, following the deadly brawl. They were returned three days later after intense military and diplomatic negotiations. The Indian army statement Monday said the Indian side had received an inquiry from China’s military “about the whereabouts of the missing soldier.” The soldier “has been provided medical assistance including oxygen, food and warm clothes to protect him from the vagaries of extreme altitude and harsh climatic conditions,” the statement said. India and China have each stationed tens of thousands of soldiers backed by artillery, tanks and fighter jets and are bracing for a harsh winter in the cold-desert region, where temperatures can fall to minus 50 degrees Celsius (minus 58 Fahrenheit). The nuclear-armed rivals have accused each other of crossing into rival territory and of firing shots for the first time in 45 years. The sides have held several rounds of talks by military, diplomatic and political officials, including negotiations between their foreign ministers and defence ministers in Moscow last month. Although the standoff has persisted, the talks seem to have calmed the situation along the border, with no new military aggression reported for over a month now. The fiercely contested Line of Actual Control separates Chinese-held and Indian-held territories from Ladakh in the west to India’s eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims in its entirety. It is broken in parts where the Himalayan nations of Nepal and Bhutan border China. India claims the Chinese-controlled Aksai Chin plateau as part of the Ladakh region. According to India, the control line is 3,488 kilometres (2,167 miles) long, while China says it is considerably shorter. The line divides the areas of physical control rather than territorial claims. Relations between the two countries have often been strained, partly due to their undemarcated border. They fought a border war in 1962 that spilled into Ladakh and ended in an uneasy truce. Since then, troops have guarded the undefined border and occasionally brawled. They have agreed not to attack each other with firearms. India unilaterally declared Ladakh a federal territory and separated it from disputed Kashmir in August 2019, ending Indian-administered Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status. It also vowed to take back the Aksai Chin plateau. China was among the first countries to strongly condemn the move, raising it at international forums including the U.N. Security Council. Aijaz Hussain, The Associated Press
Calgary-based Topaz Energy Corp. says it is pricing its initial public offering at the low end of the $13-to-$15 range it announced last month. The subsidiary of Calgary-based Tourmaline Oil Corp. says it expects gross proceeds of about $217.5 million through an offering from treasury of 16.7 million common shares priced at $13 each, the same dollar target it identified in an announcement in September. Tourmaline senior capital markets analyst Jamie Heard says the company decided to reduce its part of the offering because it believes Topaz is worth more than $13 and it's in "no hurry" to sell.
About 3,000 retirees rallied in the Belarusian capital of Minsk for a third straight Monday to demand the resignation of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko as mass protests of a disputed election continue to roil the country. On Monday, the country’s Interior Ministry threatened to use firearms against them “if need be,” saying the rallies “have become organized and extremely radical.”
Party leaders in Saskatchewan are campaigning today in Saskatoon, where the NDP leader plans to cast an advanced ballot for Monday's election. Elections Saskatchewan says there will be five days of advance voting. Meili is to cast his vote in the afternoon, following a campaign stop in Prince Albert to highlight the ways his party believes the city has been let down by the Saskatchewan Party government.
In the crucial battleground of Pennsylvania, suburban white women turned off by U.S. President Donald Trump could swing the balance of power in favour of Joe Biden and Trump knows it.
U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at public health officials, especially infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, over the COVID-19 pandemic as his election campaign enters the final stretch.