White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and his team are headed to Saudi Arabia and Qatar this week for talks in a region simmering with tension after the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist. A senior administration official said on Sunday that Kushner is to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Saudi city of Neom, and the emir of Qatar in that country in the coming days.
The head of a U.S. biotechnology company that is developing one of the most promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates says Canada is not far behind other countries when it comes to receiving doses of its vaccine, despite criticism of the government's procurement plan from the Conservative opposition. "Canada is not at the back of the line," Noubar Afeyan, co-founder and chairman of Moderna, told CBC's Chief Political Correspondent Rosemary Barton on Sunday. Afeyan said because Canada was among the first countries to make a pre-order with Moderna, the country is guaranteed to receive a certain portion of the company's initial batch of doses as long as the vaccine proves safe and effective and is given regulatory approval. "The people who were willing to move early on with even less proof of the efficacy have assured the amount of supply they were willing to sign up to," Afeyan said in an interview on Rosemary Barton Live. "Nothing that happened subsequently can affect that." Moderna's mRNA vaccine is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials and preliminary data released two weeks ago show it appears to be 94.5 per cent effective. Millions of doses procured The federal government secured an agreement on Aug. 5 with Moderna for 20 million doses of its vaccine, with the option to procure an additional 36 million doses. The U.S. announced a deal for up to 500 million doses just days later while the U.K. and European Union inked deals with Moderna only in the past two weeks. In total, Canada has procured some 358 million doses from seven companies — the most per capita of any country in the world, according to research from Duke University's Global Health Institute. WATCH | Federal government pressured on when Canadians will get COVID-19 vaccine Despite that promising news, the Liberal government came under intense pressure this week to lay out a timeline for when Canadians will begin receiving an inoculation as countries like the U.S., U.K. and Germany have all announced plans to begin vaccinating their populations in December. Opposition politicians and some premiers argued Canada was falling behind other countries in its planning after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canadians would have to wait to get vaccinated because the first doses of any vaccine will go to people in the countries where the vaccines are being manufactured. Federal officials said on Thursday that if all goes well as many as three million Canadians — mainly those in "high-priority groups" — could be vaccinated in early 2021. One day later, Trudeau said that Canada is on track to vaccinate nearly every person who wants a shot by September 2021. But officials have provided few details about the government's plan to roll out a vaccine once Health Canada gives one the green light. Conservative critiques At a press conference on Sunday, Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole repeated his view that Canada is behind other countries in procuring a vaccine. "While the Americans and the British are talking about mass vaccination throughout December and January, our government is now talking about getting Canadians vaccinated by September," O'Toole said. "We need to show Canadians that there is a plan for the vaccine." O'Toole said the Trudeau government only turned its attention to pre-ordering tens of millions of vaccine doses from companies such as Pfizer and Moderna in August after its collaboration between the National Research Council and Chinese vaccine maker CanSino collapsed following months of delays. "I would not have put all our eggs in the basket of China," O'Toole said. Regulatory approval pending Companies have compressed the time it normally takes to develop a vaccine by initiating the manufacturing of doses even before studies into their efficacy are completed as part of a global effort to develop COVID-19 vaccines as quickly as possible to bring the pandemic to an end. Moderna is in the process of applying for emergency-use authorization with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Once the company obtains that authorization, Afeyan said it will begin shipping doses to countries that have made pre-orders, including Canada. Afeyan said he expects to start shipping the vaccine to Canada in the first quarter of 2021 and the quantity of shipments should increase through the second quarter and throughout the rest of the year. The company expects to be able to produce a total of 20 million doses by the end of 2020 and between 500 million and 1 billion doses throughout 2021. Moderna submitted early safety and pre-clinical data from Phase 1 and 2 trials with Health Canada last month as part of the regulator's rolling regulatory review process. Health Canada must approve any COVID-19 vaccine before it can be distributed to Canadians. Experts say Moderna's vaccine — which requires two shots taken 28 days apart — will be relatively easy to store and distribute because the vaccine can remain stable at normal fridge temperatures of 2 C to 8 C for 30 days. By contrast, another leading candidate manufactured by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer must be shipped and stored at -70 C. WATCH | Health Minister on how the federal government should address vaccine hesitancy: Health Minister Patty Hajdu said it's difficult to nail down a delivery date at the moment for any of the leading vaccine candidates because of the long list of uncertainties stemming from unfinished clinical trials, ongoing regulatory reviews, and manufacturing and logistical challenges related to distribution. "We're all anxious to get out of this mess as a world, but certainly as a country as well," Hajdu said. "As Canada's health minister, I'm staying focused on Canadians and on our own process, making sure our delivery plans are well laid out and that we have what we need in terms of being able to deliver on the variety of different kinds of vaccines." Hajdu added that her top priority is ensuring that Health Canada has what it needs to make sure the regulatory process proceeds smoothly so that any vaccines that are approved are safe and effective.
GENEVA — A proposal that could have stiffened penalties against companies based in Switzerland if they violate human rights or harm the environment abroad failed in a Swiss referendum on Sunday.The initiative titled “Responsible companies — to protect people and the environment” won a narrow majority of votes, with 50.7% per cent backing it and 49.3% against, but failed because a majority of the country's cantons, or states, came out against it. Support was strongest in urban areas, much of Switzerland’s French-speaking west and Italian-speaking Ticino.Under Switzerland's system of direct democracy, which gives voters a direct say several times each year on a variety of issues, proposals need a majority both of votes cast and of cantons to pass. The Swiss held two other referendums this year, but one in May was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The federal government opposed the plan championed by left-leaning groups and some big civil society organizations, asserting that it went too far. Parliament has proposed a countermeasure that would also boost scrutiny of such companies’ actions.The measure could have made large Switzerland-based companies liable in the country's courts for their flawed operations or those of their subsidiaries and subcontractors in foreign nations, unless they were able to show that they conducted proper due diligence beforehand.It would have required Swiss-based companies to better verify their activities in foreign countries and could have made them more liable for any damage caused. It could potentially have affected multinationals like mining and minerals company Glencore, agribusiness company Syngenta, and cement firm LafargeHolcim — which have at times faced criticism over their activities abroad.Parliament’s alternative, which should now take effect instead, won't require companies to answer to Swiss courts and will focus on issues like mining of minerals from conflict zones or child labour. It also seeks more co-operation among countries on such matters.Another measure that would have banned the financing by the Swiss national bank or pension funds of any weapons for export, from handguns to assault rifles to tanks, also failed Sunday, with a majority of both voters and cantons opposing it.—-Eds: This story corrects an earlier version that had wrongly indicated that the measures on the ballot Sunday had originally been planned for a vote in May.The Associated Press
NEW YORK — An intoxicated driver slammed into Washington Square Park's landmark marble arch on Sunday, injuring a police officer who was parked there to protect it, police said.A Nissan Altima driven by 25-year-old Jeremy Molina, of Queens, crashed into the arch at the northern entrance to the Greenwich Village park shortly before 1:30 a.m., a police spokesperson said.The Nissan then hit a police car that was parked near the arch, police said. The officer in the car was taken to a hospital with neck and back pain. The arch was not damaged.Molina was arrested on charges including reckless endangerment, driving while intoxicated and refusing to take a breath test. It's not clear whether he has an attorney who could comment on the charges.The arch, designed by architect Stanford White and installed in 1892, commemorates the centennial of George Washington’s 1789 inauguration as president.It has been guarded by police officers since June, when its two statues of Washington were vandalized with red paint during weeks of protests against racial injustice.It is a familiar sight to audiences of movies including “When Harry Met Sally" and is a popular tourist attraction.The Associated Press
Pour compenser les pertes engendrées par les accords de libre-échange, les producteurs laitiers recevront le reste des versements dus en trois ans dès cette année et ceux de la volaille se contenteront d’une enveloppe de 691 millions de dollars sur 10 ans selon la ministre fédérale de l’Agriculture, Marie-Claude Bibeau. Les producteurs de lait seront les premiers à passer à la caisse à travers la Commission canadienne du lait qui se chargera de la distribution des fonds. Le gouvernement fédéral leur avait promis l’année dernière une aide de 1,75 milliard de dollars sur une période de huit ans. Selon l’exemple de la ministre Bibeau, un producteur laitier ayant 80 vaches touchera environ 38 000 dollars par an, soit en moyenne 468 millions de dollars pour près de 10 400 fermiers au Canada. Quelque 4800 producteurs de volailles et d’œufs attendent des versements de ce programme d’aide destiné à la mise en marché pour apaiser leurs tensions de trésorerie. L’Accord de partenariat transpacifique (PTPCG), l’Accord économique et commercial global (AECG) et l’Accord Canada–États-Unis–Mexique (ACEUM) ont coûté aux producteurs et transformateurs près de 10 % de part de marché pour le seul secteur laitier selon le député bloquiste Louis Plamondon. Seuls ces producteurs laitiers ont reçu un premier versement pour les deux premiers accords et sont toujours dans l’attente du second chèque pour l’année 2020. Il n’y a pas encore d’échéancier précis pour le nouvel accord Canada-Etats-Unis-Mexique, a précisé la ministre Bibeau en conférence de presse, annonçant des « des compensations pleines et équitables pour le nouvel ALENA. » Elle a réitéré l’engagement du fédéral à protéger le système sous gestion de l’offre afin que la production canadienne exposée à la concurrence internationale ne paie pas trop cher. « Nous avons conclu une entente avec le Royaume-Uni. Comme promis, aucune part de marché sous gestion de l’offre n’a été cédée. Notre engagement est ferme. Aucune autre part de marché sous gestion de l’offre ne sera sanctifiée par notre gouvernement dans les accords commerciaux à venir », a-t-elle soutenu, plaidant pour les communautés rurales et la sécurité alimentaire. « Uniquement pour les producteurs laitiers, ce sont des manques à gagner permanents de l’ordre de 450 millions de dollars par année que les concessions leur coûtent. Pour l’ensemble des productions et de la transformation sous gestion de l’offre, on est clairement au-dessus du demi-milliard de dollars », avait indiqué jeudi le porte-parole du Bloc Québécois en matière d’agriculture, Yves Perron, à l’introduction d’un projet de loi sur les futures négociations commerciales. Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
ATLANTA — Bishop Reginald Jackson stepped to the microphone at a drive-in rally outside a church in southwest Atlanta as his voice carried over a loudspeaker and the radio to people gathered in, around and on top of cars that filled the parking lot.“Let’s keep Georgia blue," Jackson said. “Let’s elect Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock to the United States Senate.” The presiding bishop of more than 400 African Methodist Episcopal churches in Georgia added a pastoral flourish as horns honked and supporters cheered: “If I have a witness, somebody say amen!"As Georgia becomes the nation’s political hotspot this winter before twin runoff elections Jan. 5 that will determine control of the Senate, faith-based organizing is heating up.Conservative Christians are rallying behind Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, while Black churches and liberal-leaning Jewish groups are backing Democratic challengers Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. The Democrats' fates are seen as intertwined in a state that this year turned blue in the presidential election for the first time since 1992 by a razor-thin margin.“These runoffs are critically important,” Jackson said. “We want to make sure there is no decrease in turnout.”Across Georgia, the African Methodist Episcopal Church is implementing a program designed to ensure its members, and Black voters overall, cast ballots in the runoff — focusing on votes by mail and early in-person voting. Pastors at each church remind tens of thousands of congregants every week to apply for an absentee ballot and of early voting dates, Jackson said in an interview. Each local church also follows up with congregants to make sure they have a plan to vote.The New Georgia Project, a nonpartisan voter mobilization group founded by Democrat Stacey Abrams, who ran for governor in 2018, is also preparing to tap the influence of faith communities in stoking turnout.Rev. Billy Honor, director of faith organizing at the group, said the conservative Christian Faith & Freedom Coalition — founded by former Georgia GOP chairman Ralph Reed — has long positioned Georgia “as the home of evangelical fundamentalist types when it comes to the political space."“But the truth is, for a very long time, there has been an active, effective movement of progressive-minded, justice-centred clergy” who have worked in the state on voting rights, health care and other issues, Honor added. He said Warnock was part of that work before his candidacy. Warnock is senior pastor at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, the congregation led by the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.Meanwhile, Loeffler and Perdue can expect to benefit from a conservative Christian base that has long boosted the state’s Republicans. Faith & Freedom made Georgia one of its top three spending targets in a $50 million get-out-the-vote program during the general election and plans increased organizing for the runoffs.The reach of "the evangelical vote in Georgia is very large and very strong,” Timothy Head, the group’s executive director, said in an interview.Head noted that while President Donald Trump kept a strong hold on white evangelical voters this year, Perdue out-performed Trump in Georgia during the general election. President-elect Joe Biden may have won over some evangelicals by contrasting his character with that of Trump, Head said, but he argued that the same sort of case would be harder for Democrats to make against Loeffler and Perdue.Another faith-focused conservative group, the legislative affiliate of the Family Research Council, is holding trainings and pastor briefings before the runoffs. The anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, whose president advised Trump’s reelection campaign on Catholic outreach, has announced a $4.1 million plan to boost Loeffler and Perdue through a partner political action committee.Religious issues already have become a campaign flashpoint in the runoff. The GOP has resurfaced excerpts from past Warnock sermons to assail him as insufficiently supportive of the military as well as anti-Israel. The Democrat signed a letter last year comparing Israel's policy toward Palestinians to “previous oppressive regimes" and criticized it in a 2018 sermon, while also calling for a two-state solution in the region.Warnock pushed back in a recently released television ad, saying the attacks are “trying to scare people by taking things I’ve said out of context from over 25 years of being a pastor.”One group criticizing Warnock as too left-leaning on Israel, the Republican Jewish Coalition, is also mobilizing on behalf of the GOP incumbents.Jewish Democrats in Georgia predicted that the GOP attack on Warnock’s Israel record would fall flat, citing his record of friendship with the Jewish community through his pulpit at Ebenezer.Sherry Frank, president of the Atlanta section of the National Council of Jewish Women, said she sees “no doubt in the Jewish community about (Warnock’s) stance on Israel and anti-Semitism.” Frank's group is conducting nonpartisan voter turnout work for the runoffs.Georgia’s Jewish Democrats also see, in Ossoff and Warnock, candidates whose joint push for the Senate harkens back to a tradition of Black and Jewish leaders working together during the civil rights movement. Warnock has a bond with a prominent Atlanta rabbi whose predecessor at the synagogue was close with King.Warnock is viewed “as the inheritor" of King’s legacy, said Michael Rosenzweig, co-chair of the Georgia chapter of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, which has endorsed both Democrats. “And to the extent that Jews were supportive of the civil rights struggle and supportive of (King), I think they look supportively on Rev. Warnock.”Ossoff, who is Jewish, has defended Warnock against GOP criticism over Israel and fondly recalled his own connection to the late Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia civil rights leader who endorsed Ossoff before his death in July. In October, Ossoff said he and Lewis talked during their first meeting about “the bond between the Black and Jewish communities, marching alongside rabbis and young Jewish activists in the mid 1960s ... and how important it was that these communities be brought together."___Schor reported from Washington.___Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through the Religion News Foundation. The AP is solely responsible for this content.Elana Schor And Ben Nadler, The Associated Press
L'entraide, l'affect ou encore l'adaptation face aux procédures peuvent en limiter les effets tout en maintenant une bonne ambiance au sein des équipes.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said on Sunday that his “top priority” is a plan for COVID-19 vaccines, adding “there is no plan for the economy if we don’t have rapid testing and vaccines as swiftly as possible.”
A resident in a Victoria assisted living facility says the return to stringent COVID-19 prevention measures is leading to increased anxiety and isolation for the seniors who live there. Judith Hodgson lives with her husband, Camil Dufort, at Ross Place Retirement Residence, where she says everyone has been asked to stay in their suites. "Our meals come to the door in boxes, not always warm," she said. "Many of us have no 'essential visitor,' and many of us will not see family or a friend at Christmas. But we all hope this will help COVID numbers to go down."Hodgson's concerns echo those raised in two separate reports released this month by the B.C. Care Providers Association and by British Columbia's Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie.Terry Lake, CEO of the B.C. Care Providers Association, says there have been no cases to date of visitors bringing COVID-19 into long-term care. Mackenzie urged easing visitor restrictions after a survey by her office found the restrictions were harming the health of long-term care home residents. In an interview with CBC On the Island host Gregor Craigie, Hodgson said that over the summer months, when COVID-19 cases declined and restrictions eased, residents enjoyed increased freedom and renewed social connections."We went back to the dining rooms. There were only two at a table," Hodgson said. "We resumed some exercises in hallways and some people went out to visit with families and friends."Those days of relative freedom ended with the arrival of B.C.'s second wave of COVID-19. Meanwhile, Hodgson worries about the loneliness of her fellow residents. Many are in their 90s or older and are missing the ability to visit with family members. Others are heartbreakingly alone.Hodgson said neighbours in the building try to support each other through phone calls, elbow bumps when they meet in the hallway, and small, distanced happy-hour dates. But she said it's hard to summon the energy and optimism that helped get her through the first wave of the pandemic. The couple is also coping with a non-COVID-related health setback, after Dufort, 88, suffered a small stroke. "For three days I haven't been out except to pick up my mail and I'm kind of a social person. And so I'm finding it really difficult," she said. "All I want for Christmas is a hug." She would also like to talk to an anti-mask protester."We just want to meet one of these people who refuses to wear a mask and talks about their personal freedom, and bring them in to live in a facility for a week and see what they would think," Hodgson said. "They are thinking about their freedom," she said. "Well, I think my rights end where yours begin, I'll put it that way."To listen to the full interview with Judith Hodgson, tap the link below: With files from CBC Radio On The Island
La situation en Algérie montre à quel point les modes de fonctionnement dans l’entreprise participent à l’éducation du citoyen et à sa demande de démocratie.
York Region Public Health says 11 confirmed COVID-19 cases are linked to the playing of soccer indoors at a Vaughan sports centre in mid-November.In a public notice issued on Sunday, the public health unit said the cluster of cases emerged after a group of people played soccer at the TRIO Sportplex and Event Centre, 601 Cityview Blvd., on Nov. 11 and Nov. 15. An investigation has found that 20 to 25 people in all were there."While the group wore masks during play, masks were not worn in the change rooms," the public notice said.The public health unit was told about the first confirmed case on Friday, and since then, a total of 11 cases have been confirmed. These include: 8 cases from Toronto; one case from York Region: one case from Simcoe-Muskoka Region; and one case from Peel Region.All of the people who played soccer over the two days are considered high-risk and all have been advised to go into isolation for 14 days. People who develop symptoms are urged to get tested and to continue to isolate until they obtain their test results.York Region Public Health says it is tracing the contacts of the 11 people who have tested positive.On Monday, Nov. 16, York Region moved to the province's red-control zone, which means team sports cannot be practised or played except for training.
If citizens disbelieve the institutions that count ballots and the organizations that accurately report on those results, it will impossible to agree on what a legitimate election looks like.
The pandemic is forcing charitable organizations to find new ways to fundraise for the holidays, bringing a challenging year to an end in New Brunswick.It's the 25th year for the Lions Club annual food and toy drive in New Maryland, about 10 minutes south of Fredericton.Any other year, volunteers would spend three consecutive nights parading through the village with Santa Claus collecting donations from residents. The donations would later be distributed to families in the area. The fundraiser is a holiday favourite during the leadup to Christmas. It was viewed as the kickoff to the festive season.But, because of the pandemic, there's no parading this year.Instead, organizers spent months finding ways to make the fundraiser work within the pandemic guidelines.Alex Scholten, one of the organizers of the fundraiser, said the event is too important to the community to cancel."We knew that the need was going to be particularly acute this year," Scholten said, adding that the committee started having meetings about the fundraiser back in the spring.Last year, the fundraiser raised enough to provide 233 families with food hampers in the community. Enough toys were received to donate some to organizations outside of the community.Instead of having a parade through the village, the organizers set up a no-contact drive-thru for people to donate to the cause. Scholten said he was concerned that it wouldn't have the same response, but after a few hours on Saturday he was pleased with the efforts from the community."We know that COVID has had a big impact on people's lives, their employment, and it's really heartwarming to see the donations still coming in."There are still two more opportunities for the community to drop off donations through the no-contact setup before the food and toys are distributed on Dec. 12 — also in a drive-thru manner to abide by the pandemic guidelines.Fundraiser challengesThe Salvation Army in Fredericton is also working through changes to its annual fundraisers this season.The organization is working with fewer volunteers and locations for its kettle campaign because of restrictions.In a typical year, there would be 400 people volunteering, but right now there are only 175 volunteers helping out.The campaign is only in eight locations so far this year in the city, but once the Fredericton region goes back to the yellow phase, Maj. Dan Dearing said they will have 15 locations. Dearing said it's been challenging, but the generosity from the community is still there."We have to respect our government protocols," Dearing said. "We have a responsibility to do that in the context of still raising funds to meet the needs of people."Another popular fundraiser for the Salvation Army is the Santa Shuffle five-kilometre run. It is normally held on the first Saturday of December.Last year, 260 people signed up for the event in Fredericton and raised over $12,000. Like many road races this year, the event has gone virtual. Runners can sign up and complete the run between Dec. 5-12.Between the campaigns and efforts from community groups, the Salvation Army in Fredericton is hoping to fundraise $150,000 this year. That is the same as last year's goal.
MAIDGURI, Nigeria — Suspected members of the Islamic militant group Boko Haram killed at least 40 rice farmers and fishermen in Nigeria as they were harvesting crops in the country's northern state of Borno, officials said. One said the death toll could rise to about 60 people. The attack Saturday in a rice field in Garin Kwashebe came on the same day that residents were casting votes for the first time in 13 years to elect local councils, although many didn’t go to cast their ballots. The farmers were reportedly rounded up and summarily killed by armed insurgents in retaliation for refusing to pay extortion to one militant. Malam Zabarmari, a leader of a rice farmers association in Borno state, confirmed the massacre to The Associated Press, saying at least 40 and up to 60 people could have been killed. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari expressed grief over the killings. “I condemn the killing of our hardworking farmers by terrorists in Borno State. The entire country is hurt by these senseless killings. My thoughts are with their families in this time of grief,” he said. Buhari said the government had given the armed forces everything needed “to take all necessary steps to protect the country’s population and its territory.” A member of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Satomi, who represents the Jere Federal constituency of Borno, said at least 44 burials were taking place Sunday. “Farmers and fishermen were killed in cold blood. Over 60 farmers were affected, but we only have so far received 44 corpses from the farms,” the lawmaker said. Boko Haram and a breakaway faction, the Islamic State West Africa Province, are both active in the region. Boko Haram’s more than decade-long insurgency has left thousands dead and displaced tens of thousands. Officials say Boko Haram members often force villagers to pay illegal taxes by taking their livestock or crops but some villagers have begun to resist the extortion. Satomi said the farmers in Garin Kwashebe were attacked because they had disarmed and arrested a Boko Haram gunman on Friday who had been tormenting them. “A lone gunman, who was a member of Boko Haram came to harass the farmers by ordering them to give him money and also cook for him. While he was waiting for the food to be cooked, the farmers seized the moment he stepped into the toilet to snatch his rifle and tied him up,” he said. “They later handed him over to the security. But sadly, the security forces did not protect the courageous farmers. And in reprisal for daring them, the Boko Haram mobilized and came to attack them on their farms.” Insurgents also torched the rice farms before leaving, he said. ___ AP journalist Bashir Adigun in Abuja contributed to this report. Haruna Umar, The Associated Press
COVID-19 continues to force school divisions to make changes in how they deliver education.On Saturday and Sunday, multiple schools in different divisions announced changes ranging from classroom shutdowns to outright school closures. In Regina, one case of COVID-19 was reported in a person at Grant Road School, which will now be closed until Dec. 7. Regina Public Schools said close contacts were informed and given information about isolation.COVID-19 cases were found at École Elsie Mironuck School, Dr. L.M. Hanna School, Ruth M. Buck School and Thom Collegiate. Affected students at École Elsie Mironuck School and Ruth M. Buck School will begin remote learning and will not return to school until Dec. 10. Affected students at Dr. L.M. Hanna School will begin remote learning and will not return to school until Dec. 8. Affected students at Thom Collegiate will begin remote learning and will not return to school until Dec. 4.Two cases in Regina Catholic SchoolsRegina Catholic Schools announced a case of COVID-19 at Miller Comprehensive Catholic High School and a case at Archbishop M.C. O'Neill Catholic High School.The affected classrooms at Miller Comprehensive were closed and students in those classrooms will begin learning remotely. All other classrooms remain open.At O'Neill, the person who tested positive for COVID-19 attended class two days before the school switched to the hybrid model. Students in the affected classrooms were told to isolate until 11:59 p.m. Dec. 2. Classmates of the individual in the hybrid model are to isolate until 11:59 p.m. Dec. 10.All other classrooms at O'Neill remain open.To the north, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools announced two positive cases at Bishop James Mahoney High School, two cases at Bethlehem Catholic High School, one cases at École Sister O'Brien School and two cases at Holy Cross High School.Saturday evening, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools announced one more positive case at the Holy Cross High School and one at St. Joseph High School. The affected cohorts are to switch to online instruction as of Monday.
New HIV infections are at their lowest rate since the disease first hit British Columbia, according to top researcher Dr. Julio Montaner.Last year, on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day, Montaner declared the epidemic of HIV/AIDS over in B.C. because infection rates had fallen so low. This year, despite concerns that COVID-19 restrictions would get in the way, the spread of HIV has declined even further. Montaner is the executive director and chief physician at the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and the head of the HIV/AIDS Program at St. Paul's Hospital.He was instrumental in turning HIV infections from a death sentence to a manageable condition. Now, he is concerned the success he has helped create in B.C. is not happening elsewhere. "The rest of the country and the rest of the world are falling behind," said Montaner. In April, after pandemic restrictions came into place, Montaner and others were concerned. HIV testing rates fell and people struggled to access health care. After four decades of hard work on the AIDS pandemic, to Montaner, it was "unthinkable."Now, he worries, we squandered the opportunity to prepare for the second wave of COVID this past summer, when new COVID infections were low. "We wasted the summer celebrating our success without taking responsibility collectively that we need to be cautious," he said. "I am very concerned that the way things are going with shutdowns and lockdowns and competition for health-care resources."Montaner worries B.C. is not up to speed on contact tracing, hasn't managed to expand testing and implement rapid testing, approaches he calls "game-changers" in controlling HIV."We don't seem to learn from the past," he said. "It's very frustrating."Fight against HIV/AIDS 'in peril'Montaner is hopeful incoming U.S. President Joe Biden will show leadership internationally on HIV/AIDS.He blames the lack of leadership under President Donald Trump, the financial crisis, and now COVID, for stalling the global effort. "We have the threat of COVID today that, unfortunately, has taken all of the oxygen out of the room and made it so HIV services are in jeopardy." said Montaner. He says the next step is to "recapture the imagination" of world leaders who have let HIV/AIDS fall off the agenda. "We know what to do. All we have to do is implement it." To hear the complete interview with Dr. Julio Montaner on CBC's The Early Edition, tap the audio link below:
TEHRAN, Iran — An opinion piece published Sunday by a hard-line Iranian newspaper urged Iran to attack the Israeli port city of Haifa if Israel carried out the killing of the scientist who founded the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program in the early 2000s. Though the hard-line Kayhan newspaper has long argued for aggressive retaliation for operations targeting Iran, Sunday's opinion piece went further, suggesting any assault be carried out in a way that destroys facilities and "also causes heavy human casualties.” Israel, suspected of killing Iranian nuclear scientists over the past decade, has not commented on the brazen slaying of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. A military-style ambush Friday on the outskirts of Tehran reportedly saw a truck bomb explode and gunmen open fire on the scientist, killing him and a bodyguard. U.S. intelligence agencies and U.N. nuclear inspectors have said the organized military nuclear program that Fakhrizadeh oversaw disbanded in 2003. Israel insists Iran still maintains the ambition of developing nuclear weapons. Kayhan published the piece written by Iranian analyst Sadollah Zarei, who argued Iran's previous responses to suspected Israeli airstrikes that killed Revolutionary Guard forces in Syria did not go far enough to deter Israel. He said an assault on Haifa also needed to be greater than Iran’s ballistic missile attack against American troops in Iraq following the U.S. drone strike in Baghdad that killed a top Iranian general in January. Striking the Israeli city of Haifa and killing a large number of people “will definitely lead to deterrence, because the United States and the Israeli regime and its agents are by no means ready to take part in a war and a military confrontation,” Zarei wrote. While Kayhan is a small circulation newspaper, its editor-in-chief Hossein Shariatmadari was appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and has been described as an adviser to him in the past. Haifa, on the Mediterranean Sea, has been threatened in the past by both Iran and one of its proxies, the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Haifa, Israel’s third-largest city, is home to a major port and power plant. Such a strike likely would draw an immediate Israeli retaliation and spark a wider conflict across the Mideast. While Iran has never directly targeted an Israeli city militarily, it has conducted attacks targeting Israeli interests abroad in the past over the killing of its scientists, like in the case of the three Iranians recently freed in Thailand in exchange for a detained British-Australian academic. Israel also is widely believed to have its own nuclear weapons, a stockpile it neither confirms nor denies possessing. Israeli officials remained silent about the scientist's death on Sunday. But Lt. Gen Aviv Kohavi, commander of the Israeli military, travelled to northern Israel for what the army said was a routine visit with commanders along the front with Syria. Earlier this month, Israeli warplanes struck Iranian-linked targets in Syria after Israel uncovered roadside bombs that it said were planted with Iranian guidance. “I came here to evaluate the current state of security, with an emphasis on the Iranian entrenchment in Syria," Kohavi said. “Our message is clear: We will continue to act as vigorously as necessary against the Iranian entrenchment in Syria, and we will remain fully prepared against any manifestation of aggression against us.” The Iranian parliament on Sunday held a closed-door hearing about Fakhrizadeh's killing. Afterward, parliament speaker Mohammad Baqer Ghalibaf said Iran's enemies must be made to regret killing him. “The criminal enemy does not regret it except with a strong reaction,” he said in a broadcast on Iranian state radio. A public session of lawmakers saw them chant: “Death to America!" and "Death to Israel!” They also began the review of a bill that would stop inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The nuclear watchdog has provided an unprecedented, real-time look at Iran’s civilian nuclear program following the country's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. The deal has unraveled after President Donald Trump's unilateral 2018 withdrawal of the U.S. from the accord. Iran’s civilian atomic program has since continued its experiments and now enriches a growing uranium stockpile up to 4.5% purity. That’s still far below weapons-grade levels of 90%, though experts warn Iran now has enough low-enriched uranium to reprocess into fuel for at least two atomic bombs if it chose to pursue them. The proposed bill reportedly also would require Iran’s civilian atomic program to produce at least 120 kilograms (265 pounds) of uranium enriched to 20% — a short technical step to 90%. Iran's 290-seat parliament is dominated by hard-liners who likely would support the bill. It ultimately would have to be approved by Iran's Guardian Council. Khamenei also has final say on all matters of state. Khamenei has called Fakhrizadeh “the country’s prominent and distinguished nuclear and defensive scientist" and has demanded the “definitive punishment” of those behind the killing. Fakhrizadeh headed Iran’s so-called AMAD program, which Israel and the West have alleged was a military operation looking at the feasibility of building a nuclear weapon. The IAEA says the “structured program” ended in 2003. U.S. intelligence agencies concurred with that assessment in a 2007 report. Israel contends Iran is still intent on developing a nuclear weapon. It argues Iran's ballistic missile program and other research could help build a bomb if it pursued one — especially as provisions of the 2015 nuclear deal expire. Iran long has maintained its nuclear program is peaceful. Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence who is now director of the Institute for National Security Studies, a Tel Aviv think-tank , alleged Fakhrizadeh ran “all covert activities with weaponization of the program.” The damage of his death “cannot be measured since nobody knows exactly the scope and the depth what the Iranians are doing covertly,” Yadlin said. “But no doubt that he was the core source of authority, knowledge and organization of this program.” Fakhrizadeh's killing likely complicates the plans of President-elect Joe Biden, who has said his administration will consider reentering Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. It also raises the risk of an open conflict in Trump's final weeks in office, as any retaliation could provoke an American military response, Yadlin said. “I highly recommend to the officials to keep their mouths closed and not leak anything. They’ve already spoken too much,” he said, referring to cryptic remarks by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to his supporters that he could not discuss everything he did last week. “Any more evidence that will help the Iranians to decide on retaliation against Israel is a mistake," Yadlin said. ___ Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press writers Joseph Krauss and Josef Federman in Jerusalem contributed to this report. Amir Vahdat And Jon Gambrell, The Associated Press
TORONTO — Every day virtual court sits, Catherine Riddell wakes up, shakes off the aches, grabs her walker and hops in a cab down to the real courthouse where she steels herself for a long day peering into the mind of the man who tried to kill her. Court has set up a private room for victims and families of those killed in the Toronto van attack to watch the proceedings that are being held by videoconference due to the pandemic. Most days Riddell is alone.But not really, the 70-year-old says, when you consider the two victims services employees she's bonded with, or the helpful court staff. She also feels the love of family, friends and complete strangers — and her 14-year-old cats Kleo and Bootsy.But she's still struggling to understand why she didn't die that day."I'm trying very hard to stay positive because, to me, that's the key to getting back to what you want to be and then really praying that the city will stay positive," Riddell says."I know that it's been very devastating for a lot of people and I'm hoping that they can find the strength to get by."Riddell laughs more now, but her journey has been difficult.She had just left the bank at Yonge Street and Finch Avenue and was walking toward the library at Mel Lastman Square when a van hopped the curb and drove down the busy sidewalk, striking 26 people, killing 10.Alek Minassian was the man behind the wheel.Riddell never saw him coming. She was hit from behind and launched into the air, crashing through a transit shelter, glass shards raining down on her. The crash fractured her spine and broke her ribs, scapula and pelvis. She had massive bruising, internal injuries and a minor brain injury — she had difficulty reading for months afterward as she struggled to focus.She spent two years rehabilitating, from physiotherapy to hydrotherapy to massage therapy. She was depressed for a time, but counselling helped."There were times when I kind of would say to myself, 'you know I wish he'd done a better job of it and then just ended it for me,' and I wouldn't have had to go through all this and everybody would have done their mourning and been through it and moved on with their life," she says. "It didn't happen that way, which is a good thing because I'm quite grateful."It helps that Riddell remembers nothing of the crash and only recalls snippets of the next two weeks while at St. Michael's hospital."At least I don't have those memories to haunt me at night," she says. "In the middle of the night when I'm asleep I don't wake up with the image of what occurred. So in that way I feel like I've been spared a lot."Two weeks after the attack, when she first became alert, Riddell apologized to her brother for crossing the street, thinking it was her fault she was hit. That's when she found out she was involved in one of the worst attacks in Canadian history.Minassian, 28, has admitted in court to planning and carrying out the attack. He has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder, and 16 counts of attempted murder, arguing he is not criminally responsible for his actions due to autism spectrum disorder.Riddell avoided news coverage of the attack and did not learn where she was actually hit until a stranger came up to her at the first-year anniversary to tell her he was by her side right after. She thought she was hit about a 10-minute walk north because that's her last memory. Two weeks ago came her toughest moment — the first day of trial when the prosecution presented in detail how and where all 26 people were hit. The prosecution showed a photograph of the shattered bus shelter where Riddell landed."It just felt so real that's actually when I felt it the most," she says."It was hard seeing what happened to everybody. I cried my eyes out all day, all night."Riddell has worked hard to get to this point, hoping to face the man in the van in person. Yet Riddell is gaining strength. She worked hard to get to the point to go down to court to face the man in the van.The days in court are long. She prefers a regular nap. Up until now, she says, she has not thought much about the man on trial."If you ask me, do I think there's something wrong with him?" she says. "I absolutely do. Do I think he knew the difference between right and wrong? I absolutely do."But she says she's trying to keep an open mind. "If he was really incapable then they got to prove it to me," she says. "That's why I have to be at court every day. I have to hear all of the testimony because if the verdict goes that way I have to be able to cope with that."Riddell says she often thinks about the other victims who lost their lives in the attack."I'm 70 and some of those kids who died are in their twenties," she says. "So I feel compelled to make the very best opportunity I've been given otherwise I should have been one of the ones who passed away." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2020Liam Casey, The Canadian Press
A Sherwood Park teacher is being recognized for an unusual classroom project he created at Salisbury Composite High School. Kristian Basaraba teaches what he calls a "sk8trepreneur" course and one of his recent projects, Exploring Colonialism, Creativity and Reconciliation with Skateboards, combines skateboard design with Indigenous history. The project has just won him the Governor General's History Award for Excellence. "I'm super honoured, it's not really about the award, although, you know it's nice to be recognized," Basaraba said. "I'm more excited about the fact that this project has the potential to bring some of these issues to light on a national stage." Basaraba asked his students to create their own skateboard brands including a logo and purpose for their brand, all with an Indigenous theme. "Then they had to create brand assets, so they had to handmake a skateboard," he said. Basaraba recruited Edmonton-based Cree artist Jon Cardinal and Cree professional skateboarder Joe Buffalo from Maskwacis for their expertise and experience. "My goal was for my students to work with the artist and create skateboard graphics that looked at Canadians' colonial past," Basaraba said. Cardinal has experience as a skateboard designer and Buffalo had attended a residential school so the pair were able to pass on their perspectives to the students, some of whom are indigenous. "We had students whose grandparents attended residential schools and dealt with the effects of that and so they shared some of that story with us," Basaraba said. One design that really stuck out for him was by student Georgia Lantz. "Her image was of a group of Indigenous youth in a classroom being watched over by a clergy person and all of their eyes are blanked out," Basaraba said. "It's a really powerful image." Lantz said she and her fellow students were given creative freedom, even if their design was controversial. "I could really do what I thought was best and most meaningful," the Grade 12 student said. "I wanted to show the loss of identities that kids faced in residential schools and the religious trauma that was forced upon them." Lantz is happy to hear her teacher is being recognized for the unorthodox project. "It's pretty cool," she said. "I know he put a lot of hard work into the class and it really showed." As an added bonus, Basaraba arranged to have the students' designs displayed at Edmonton skateboard shop Local 124. "We had an actual kind of art exhibit and we had it there for five weeks," Basaraba said. "So that was kind of neat, the fact that they actually had their art out in the community." Basaraba believes it's important for everyone to be aware of Canada's past, including the wrongs that were committed, and he's happy to play a role in that. "I think we see with regard to Indigenous culture, a lot of systemic racism that exists and it continues to exist," he said. "By studying the past, we tend not to make those mistakes in the future and so that's in the hands of the youth. "I want people to not sugarcoat it and not push all of those issues under the rug. I wanted to bring them to the forefront and have my students kind of engage in them, and I wanted them to have a voice with regard to where that path to reconciliation will go." The award-winning teacher hopes to keep it rolling into the future. "I think this project is something that can be done annually with a new group of students and just continue that conversation."
P.E.I. has no new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, made the announcement Sunday in the second previously unscheduled briefing of the weekend.On Saturday, two new cases that are unrelated were confirmed.One is a 15-year-old male student at Charlottetown Rural High School. The other is a male between the ages of 10 and 19 who travelled to P.E.I. from Toronto. He is not a student on P.E.I.Morrison said the student has no history of travel outside of P.E.I., and health officials are working to identify the source of the infection."We have been fortunate with all our previous cases in being able to identify a source or linkage giving us confidence that all our previous cases were related to out-of-province travel," she said."Given the amount of testing completed in P.E.I., including 3,000 tests in the past week alone, I am reassured that we do not have widespread community transmission in P.E.I."School will be cleanedCharlottetown Rural will be thoroughly cleaned and will remain open Monday, said Norbert Carpenter, acting director of the Public Schools Branch.Carpenter said the school system is committed to making sure students, staff and parents feel comfortable about going to the school.P.E.I. has had 72 cases of COVID-19. Four remain active. There have been no deaths or hospitalizations.More than 1,100 people on P.E.I. were tested in the past 24 hours, Morrison said. It's the largest number since the pandemic began about eight months ago.About 70 close contacts of the positive cases were tested and must self-isolate for 14 days regardless of a negative test result. Many are students who will be set up for online learning during that period.> I want to assure Islanders that our system responded appropriately and efficiently to this case that involved 353 contacts. — Dr. Heather MorrisonOther "casual" contacts — people who may have been in the proximity of the case — were also tested."I want to assure Islanders that our system responded appropriately and efficiently to this case that involved 353 contacts," Morrison said."Our system is ready to respond to cases when necessary, and the results of our collective efforts in the last 36 hours is further evidence that we continue to be poised to respond and take the necessary steps to contain the transmission of COVID-19 in our province."'Privilege we've earned'Beginning Monday, all high school students in the province will be required to wear a mask at all times while inside school.Premier Dennis King praised the health-care system and thanked Islanders for their co-operation."It's a privilege we've earned because we've followed these protocols," he said.The other Atlantic provinces announced new cases Sunday: 14 in New Brunswick, 10 in Nova Scotia and four in Newfoundland and Labrador.More from CBC P.E.I.