New vaccine shipments and chasing gender equality: In The News for Mar. 8

·5 min read

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Mar. 8 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

OTTAWA - Canada is set to receive more than 900-thousand COVID-19 vaccine doses this week as pharmaceutical companies ramp up deliveries to make good on their contractual obligations by the end of the month.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says the country will receive nearly 445-thousand shots from Pfizer-BioNTech, the same number as last week.

The two pharmaceutical companies had promised to deliver four-million doses by the end of March, but recently upped that commitment to 5.5-million shots.

Major-General Dany Fortin, the military officer overseeing the national vaccine rollout, says Canada will also receive 465-thousand shots from Moderna this week.

Moderna is stepping up its delivery schedule from once every three weeks to once every two and is promising to deliver 2 million doses by the end of March.

The government is not expecting any deliveries of the recently approved vaccines from AstraZeneca-Oxford or Johnson and Johnson until next month.

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Also this ...

OTTAWA - A new poll suggests most Canadians believe there's still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in this country.

The poll results themselves underscore the challenge, with women far more likely than men to say equality remains elusive in a host of fields.

Overall, 63 per cent of respondents to the poll, conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, said equality between men and women has not been achieved.

A majority said equality has definitely or "to some extent" been achieved at home, in social settings, in the media, at work, in sciences and in politics, while just 44 per cent said the same of sports.

However, male respondents were far more likely than women, by as much as 20 percentage points, to say equality has been achieved in those areas.

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What we are watching in the U.S. ...

LOS ANGELES — Oprah Winfrey's wide-ranging interview with Meghan and Harry produced several revelations, from Meghan saying she experienced suicidal thoughts, to Prince Harry saying he felt “trapped” in royal life and the couple revealing that they're expecting a daughter.

The two described painful palace discussions about the colour of their son’s skin, losing royal protection and the intense pressures that led the Duchess of Sussex to contemplate suicide.

Meghan, who is biracial, told Winfrey there were discussions among the royal family about how dark her son's skin would be.

Both she and Prince Harry were critical of the royal family and those who work for them, but both refused to criticize Queen Elizabeth II.

Meghan said the queen has “always been wonderful to me.”

The interview special aired on CBS last night and will be shown today in Britain.

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And this ...

MINNEAPOLIS — The fate of a former Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee into George Floyd’s neck as the Black man said he couldn’t breathe will be decided by 12 residents of Hennepin County who will be picked after extensive grilling about their views.

Jury selection begins today in the trial of Derek Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s death, which ignited global protests.

Picking a jury is expected to take at least three weeks, as prosecutors and defence attorneys try to weed out potential candidates who may have biases.

Legal experts say the key will be finding jurors who can put aside their opinions and decide the case based on the evidence.

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What we are watching in the rest of the world ...

BAGHDAD - Pope Francis today wrapped up his historic whirlwind tour of Iraq that sought to bring hope to the country's marginalized Christian minority with a message of coexistence, forgiveness and peace.

The pontiff and his travelling delegation were seen off with a farewell ceremony at the Baghdad airport, from where he left for Rome following a four-day papal visit that has covered five provinces across Iraq.

At every turn of his trip, Francis urged Iraqis to embrace diversity — from Najaf in the south, where he held a historic face-to-face meeting with powerful Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, to Nineveh to the north, where he met with Christian victims of the Islamic State group's terror and heard their testimonies of survival.

His visit witnessed scenes unimaginable in war-ravaged Iraq just a few years ago.

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Also this ...

TANGON - Myanmar security forces continue to clamp down on anti-coup protesters today, firing tear gas to break up a crowd of around 1,000 people who were demonstrating in the capital, Naypyitaw.

The protesters deployed fire extinguishers to create a smoke screen as they fled from authorities.

Meanwhile, thousands of protesters marching in Mandalay, the country's second-largest city, dispersed on their own amid fears that soldiers and police were planning to use force to break up their demonstration.

Large-scale protests have occurred daily across many cities and towns in Myanmar since the country's military seized power in the Feb. 1 coup, and security forces have responded with ever greater use of lethal force and mass arrests.

On Sunday, police occupied hospitals and universities and reportedly arrested hundreds of people involved in protesting the military takeover.

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In entertainment ...

TORONTO - House music producer Jayda G knows a thing or two about good timing, but she didn’t predict her first Grammy nomination would happen so soon.

The Grand Forks, B.C.-raised DJ says she figured it might take 10 years before her name would be listed among the nominees.

But this year her piano-fuelled ode to classic house, titled “Both of Us,” competes for best dance recording.

It’s an achievement that comes after the DJ left behind a career in environmental toxicology to pursue making club beats.

She says she made the unusual leap after realizing that if she didn’t do it now, she might not ever.

“Both of Us” is up against some of the industry’s biggest names, including Diplo, Disclosure and Montreal-raised Kaytranada. The Grammy will be handed out during Sunday’s pre-broadcast ceremony, which streams online.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Mar. 8, 2021

The Canadian Press