Author: Desk Team

Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario reports 2,759 new COVID-19 cases and 31 deaths; province extends stay-at-home order until June
Business, Conflict, Opinion, Politics, Singapore, World

Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario reports 2,759 new COVID-19 cases and 31 deaths; province extends stay-at-home order until June

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Thursday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available. 7:03 p.m. Alberta has moved to close loopholes people might use as a way to avoid wearing masks in public indoor places, The Canadian Press reports. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, said Thursday that effective immediately, anyone not wearing a mask where required will need to have a medical exception letter, according to CP. Wearing masks remains a “critical public health measure” to help stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus and there are a “limited number of health issues” for which a mask exception is possible, she said. Those include sensory-processing disorders, developmental delay or cognitive impairment
‘Aren’t we human and worth life?’ Palestinian artist’s murals of ‘hope’ destroyed by airstrikes in Gaza
Business, Conflict, Opinion, Politics, Singapore, World

‘Aren’t we human and worth life?’ Palestinian artist’s murals of ‘hope’ destroyed by airstrikes in Gaza

Ismail Matar has been in this position before. Watching his artwork destroyed. Thinking about when it will be safe to paint again. Matar, 23, is a Palestinian student and artist living in Gaza. In recent years, he has gained a following on social media, sharing his art to more than 5,500 followers on Instagram, and earned praise from people around the world, including some in Canada. Last weekend, as Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza, Matar took cover and watched buildings crumble. His murals — like one of a long, blue octopus with arms outstretched representing the trapped feeling under occupation — painted on city and building walls near several refugee camps, turned into piles of dust and rubble. “The house I live in dances with every bombing. Black smoke is rising around us,” Matar wrote
Asian shares advance as investors await US growth data
Asia, Singapore, World

Asian shares advance as investors await US growth data

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets rose Wednesday as inflation fears eased and investors looked ahead to U.S. data that are expected to show economic growth accelerating. Benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul advanced. Overnight, Wall Street’s S&P 500 index slipped 0.2%, giving up some of the previous day’s 1% gain. Investors worry stronger inflation might prompt governments and central banks to roll back economic stimulus. They have been reassured by comments from U.S. Federal Reserve officials that they see no need yet to change course. “Inflationistas look like they might be ready to throw in the towel,” said Edward Moya of Oanda in a report. Investors also have been encouraged by stronger U.S. corporate profits and consumer spending. That has kept the U.S. stock marke
Tensions flare at Israel-Palestinian demonstrations in Montreal, Toronto
Conflict, Opinion, Politics, Singapore, World

Tensions flare at Israel-Palestinian demonstrations in Montreal, Toronto

Tensions ran high at competing demonstrations over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in both Montreal and Toronto this weekend. Police in Montreal confirmed they responded to a conflict that erupted between protesters and counter-protesters at a rally in support of Israel near the city’s downtown Sunday afternoon. People were heard shouting “Free Palestine” as they ran from police, who fired chemical irritants into the air. The pro-Israel rally comes one day after thousands attended a pro-Palestinian march in Montreal to demand an end to Israeli airstrikes over the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, police in Toronto say they’ve laid charges in connection with a pro-Palestinian demonstration that drew more than 5,000 people to Nathan Phillips Square outside City Hall on Saturday night. A 22-year-o
Shorthanded Myanmar in Japan for World Cup soccer qualifiers
World

Shorthanded Myanmar in Japan for World Cup soccer qualifiers

Missing up to 10 players who are boycotting the World Cup qualifier against Japan on Friday has ratcheted up the degree of difficulty for Myanmar against Asia’s top-ranked team. Experienced stars such as defender Zaw Min Tun, striker Kyaw Ko Ko and goalkeeper Kyaw Zin Htet are among the players who are refusing to participate in international matches for Myanmar in protest at February’s military coup. The struggle to assemble a team to face Japan, then Kyrgyzstan on June 11 and Tajikistan on June 15, meant that the national squad had to delay its departure to Tokyo from May 14 to 21. “In these challenging days there are more important issues than football,” Myanmar coach Antoine Hey told the Associated Press. Hey, a German, said while he accepted the feelings of the players who have ma
Fairy Creek crackdown leads to more arrests, protests Thursday
World

Fairy Creek crackdown leads to more arrests, protests Thursday

RCMP unexpectedly arrested a number of old-growth activists with the Fairy Creek blockades inside the control zone near the Caycuse Camp early Thursday morning. Meanwhile, downtown Victoria was plagued by stalled traffic, placards and orange smoke plumes as a large demonstration to support blockaders and protect ancient forests broke out later the same morning. Details of arrests are still emerging from the remote camp out of cell range in the Caycuse watershed on southwest Vancouver Island. However, RCMP confirmed the arrests of seven people at the Caycuse Camp in a statement Thursday afternoon. Six people were detained for breaching the injunction and one was removed from the area with no recommended charges, RCMP said. But RCMP are also seeking charges of obstruction for two arrest...
AP source: Biden picks LA mayor, envoy for ambassador posts
China, World

AP source: Biden picks LA mayor, envoy for ambassador posts

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is expected to announce he is nominating former senior State Department official Nicholas Burns to serve as his ambassador to China and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to be his ambassador to India, according to a person familiar with the matter. With the selections, Biden is turning to a seasoned diplomat and a longtime political ally to serve in two of the country’s highest-profile diplomatic postings. It was not clear when either nomination would be announced, according to the person familiar with the matter, who was not authorized to publicly comment on the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity. The White House declined to comment on either Burns or Garcetti and noted that “no one is final until they’re announced.“ The Associated Press has
A narrative shift on Palestinian experiences is disrupting the status quo
Conflict, Opinion, Politics, Singapore, World

A narrative shift on Palestinian experiences is disrupting the status quo

The final scene of the Oscar-nominated short film, “The Present,” is a simple depiction of an Israeli occupation that is being more widely described as “apartheid” than ever before, including from the hallowed halls of the U.S. Congress, long the bastion of pro-Israeli sentiment. The film fictionalizes the fraught effort of a father and his daughter crossing into a neighbouring town to purchase a fridge. It ends with the little girl pushing the fridge onto the road reserved for settlers, rather than turn back because the checkpoint’s turnstiles are too narrow to fit the appliance through. “The Present” is just one more example of how the experiences of Palestinians are no longer hidden from view, long held hostage by the Israel government’s broad narrative depicting Palestinians as terro
China probes deaths of 21 marathon runners in freak weather
China, World

China probes deaths of 21 marathon runners in freak weather

China probes deaths of 21 marathon runners in freak weather Rescuers were dispatched after extreme weather struck a high-altitude section of the 100-kilometre (62-mile) race held in the scenic Yellow River Stone Forest in Gansu province. BEIJING: An investigation was underway Monday into the deaths of 21 runners during a mountain ultramarathon in northwest China, as harrowing testimony emerged from survivors who battled to safety through freezing temperatures and bone-chilling winds. The extreme weather struck a high-altitude section of the 100-kilometre (62-mile) race held in the scenic Yellow River Stone Forest in Gansu province Saturday afternoon. Provincial authorities have set up an investigation team to look into the cause of the incident, state media reported, as questions swirl...
The Latest: W Virginia steps up prizes for vaccination
Business, China, World

The Latest: W Virginia steps up prizes for vaccination

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia will step up its prizes for vaccines, enrolling all residents who have received a coronavirus shot into a lottery for the chance to win a college scholarship, an F-150 pickup truck or cash rewards. Republican Gov. Jim Justice announced the plan for the new incentives Thursday, but more details are expected to be finalized next week. The governor has aimed to turn around a vaccination drive that drastically slowed down after a strong early start. “We’re going to make a few West Virginians millionaires before this is over,” Justice said. The program is expected to be paid through federal pandemic relief funds. ___ MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: — AMA Journal: 2 China vaccines appear safe and effective — Britain’s Johnson defends virus record after ex-aide