William Lou and Alex Wong believe Toronto can make the second round of the NBA playoffs but this incarnation of the Raptors is not a championship team.
William Lou and Alex Wong believe Toronto can make the second round of the NBA playoffs but this incarnation of the Raptors is not a championship team.
In the latest TV show ratings, Fox’s broadcast of Sunday night’s NFL divisional playoff between the Bucs and Saints averaged 29.3 million total viewers and an 8.1 demo rating. Leading out of that postgame, the freshman comedy The Great North delivered north of eight million total viewers along with a 2.6 demo rating. A special […]
The city is on edge after the riots at the Congress building in which five people died.
Rescuers say at least 12 Chinese workers are alive a week after an explosion blocked the mine's exit.
"The Rest Assured bundle is designed to help us all get on with our lives and put America back to work again."
BERLIN — Swiss authorities say they have placed two hotels under quarantine and ordered all guests and employees to be tested after a new variant of the coronavirus was detected among them in the upscale skiing resort of St. Moritz. Local authorities said Monday they have also closed down skiing schools, regular schools and kindergartens. Officials did not reveal the names of the two affected facilities, but Swiss media said both were luxury hotels. In addition to tests at the hotels, all residents of St. Moritz were being asked to be tested on Tuesday. Authorities ordered all residents to wear protective masks, and asked people to reduce their contacts to prevent the further spread of the virus. “The health office is concerned,” authorities of the Graubuenden canton said in their statement. “The variant of the virus is clearly more contagious than the one that’s currently predominant globally.” Swiss media reported that the variant of the virus detected in St. Moritz was the one first found in South Africa. — THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: — Japan’s prime minister vows to hold the already postponed Olympics this summer as proof of victory over virus — Israel trades Pfizer vast troves of medical data for the continued flow of its hard-to-get vaccine — Brazil approves two coronavirus vaccines, ones by Sinovac and Oxford-AstraZeneca — China's economy grows in 2020 as it rebounds from virus, likely only major economy to expand — Britain vows to give all adults 1st shot of the virus by September — Tennis players find ways to keep fit even during hotel room quarantines in Australia __Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: MOSCOW -- Backers of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V say it has been approved in Turkmenistan, an ex-Soviet nation in Central Asia that hasn’t officially reported any infections so far. The Russian Direct Investment Fund that bankrolled the development of the shot announced Monday that health officials in Turkmenistan approved Sputnik V “under the emergency use authorization procedure.” It wasn’t immediately clear whether Russia would ship the vaccine to Turkmenistan any time soon. The vaccine is still undergoing advanced studies among tens of thousands of people needed to ensure its safety and effectiveness. Nevertheless, the shot last month was rolled out in a large-scale vaccination campaign in Russia. It has also received regulatory approval in several other countries, and immunization with Sputnik V has started in Belarus and Argentina. Turkmenistan, a gas-rich nation of 5.9 million, hasn’t reported any coronavirus infections, but authorities have shut restaurants and non-food stores and recommended that the population wears masks to protect against dust and unspecified infectious agents. However, the British ambassador to the capital, Ashgabat, said last month that he had contracted the virus. —- DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Dubai-based carrier Emirates says it’s offering coronavirus vaccines to all employees, with priority given to front-line workers such as cabin crew and pilots. Parent company Emirates Group said Monday that all of its employees across the United Arab Emirates are now able to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, both of which are available to high-risk groups free of charge in the country. Emirates Group, which employs over 80,000 people, is among the first aviation organizations in the world to launch an inoculation drive for staff. Dubai’s economy is powered by long-haul travel and aviation, industries hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The UAE has rolled out a mass vaccination campaign and ranks second in the world for vaccinations per person, with 19 doses administered for every 100 residents. —- WARSAW, Poland – Some hospitals in Poland have suspended vaccination against COVID-19 after they did not get the expected deliveries of their Pfizer vaccine doses. A government official monitoring the vaccination process, Michal Dworczyk, said Monday that the latest delivery over the weekend was at least 50% smaller than expected, and the government needs to make changes to the national inoculation schedule that began in late December. Of some 1.5 million doses Poland has received, the government has secured half for the second jab for those who have received the first portion. The second round of inoculation should be starting this week. Hospitals in Szczecin region, in the northwest, and in Krakow, in the south, on Monday temporarily halted first vaccinations, saying they have not received the requested doses. THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Doctors in care homes for the elderly and people with disabilities in the Netherlands have begun vaccinating residents against the coronavirus. The health ministry said Monday that the care facilities aim to vaccinate 15,000 residents this week. Health Minister Hugo de Jonge says that with the help of doctors at the care homes “we are now starting to protect our elderly and most vulnerable people. They are the most important group in the vaccination strategy.” A total of 155,000 residents of care homes are in line to be vaccinated in coming weeks. The Netherlands began vaccinating people on Jan. 6, the last European Union country to kick off its inoculations. Since then, 75,000 health care workers have been vaccinated. —- PHOENIX -- Exhausted nurses in rural Yuma, Arizona, are regularly sending COVID-19 patients on a long helicopter ride to hospitals in Phoenix when they don’t have enough staff. The so-called winter lettuce capital of the U.S. also has lagged on coronavirus testing in heavily Hispanic neighbourhoods and just ran out of vaccines. But some support is coming from military nurses and a new wave of free tests for farmworkers and the elderly in Yuma County, which is the hardest-hit county in one of the hardest-hit states. The area’s only acute care hospital has no other facility to turn to nearby as it competes for medical workers nationwide. —- COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Danish police have cracked down on a group of 17 people who were found ice bathing naked in a lake near Roskilde, 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Copenhagen. Everyone in the group, aged between 26 and 51, was charged with violating Denmark’s restrictions that forbid the gathering of more than five people in public. Police said they will all receive a fine. First time offenders get fines of 2,500 kroner ($405). The incident occurred Sunday morning, police said. —- MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin’s top health official, who has led the state throughout the coronavirus pandemic, is leaving for a job with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President-elect Joe Biden. Andrea Palm, secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, has been nominated as deputy secretary of the federal agency. Palm will work to fulfil Biden’s pledge to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines and speed up the rate of vaccinations. —- TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga vowed Monday to get the pandemic under control and hold the already postponed Olympics this summer with ample coronavirus protection. In a speech opening a new Parliament session, Suga said his government will revise laws to make anti-virus measures enforceable with penalties and compensation. Early in the pandemic, Japan was able to keep its virus caseload manageable with non-binding requests for businesses to close or operate with social distancing and for people to stay home. But recent weeks have seen several highs in new cases per day. Japan has confirmed more than 330,000 infections and 4,500 deaths from COVID-19, numbers that have surged recently though they are still far smaller than many other countries of its size. -— COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg says Norway could consider introducing a curfew “if the infection gets completely out of control.” “We still have control over the infection, but we have no guarantees that it will continue to be so,” Solberg told Parliament on Monday. She said that people in the Scandinavian country “must prepare to live with different degrees of infection control measures until the summer, maybe even longer.” Norway has reported 58,651 confirmed infections and 521 deaths. —- GENEVA — The head of the World Health Organization says it’s “not right” that younger, healthier adults in rich countries get vaccinated against COVID-19 before older people in poorer countries. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus kicked off WHO’s week-long executive board meeting -- virtually from its headquarters in Geneva -- on Monday by lamenting that only 25 vaccine doses have been provided in a single poor country, while over 39 million doses have been administered in nearly 50 richer nations. “Just 25 doses have been given in one lowest income country -- not 25 million, not 25,000 -- just 25. I need to be blunt,” Tedros said. He did not specify the country. Tedros, an Ethiopian who goes by his first name, nonetheless hailed the scientific achievement behind rolling out vaccines less than a year after the pandemic erupted in China, where a WHO-backed team has now been deployed to look into origins of the coronavirus. “Vaccines are the shot in the arm we all need, literally and figuratively,” he said. “But we now face the real danger that even as vaccines bring hope to some, they become another brick in the wall of inequality between the worlds of the world’s haves and have-nots.” In some of his toughest public words yet against vaccine makers, Tedros again criticized “bilateral deals” between drug companies and countries that hurt the ability of the WHO-backed COVAX program that aims to get vaccines to all countries based on need. ___ PARIS — France on Monday began a campaign to inoculate people over 75 against coronavirus, as its death toll rose past 70,000 over the weekend. There is increasing concern that delays in delivering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine might hinder the drive to vaccinate in France and beyond. French authorities have already been criticized for the country's slow pace in delivering shots, especially compared to Britain, Germany and Italy. French health authorities have been worried over polls showing that the majority of French people are wary of vaccines against COVID 19, so they may have been surprised by the number of people who have signed for shots, reserved for those 75 and older or with a high health risk. The health agency reported that more than 500,000 appointments scheduled for the first of two shots until Feb.14 have overwhelmed its system. An internet site set up as one other way to make vaccine appointments was receiving up to 20,000 connections a minute, the agency said. ___ BRUSSELS — The new variant of COVID-19 first detected in Britain is now starting to gain a foothold in Belgium, officials say, with cases reported several northern schools on top of an outbreak in a nursing home. “The variant has settled into our country,” pre-eminent virologist Marc Van Ranst told HLN network. “Like in other nations, it is getting traction.” The town of Houthulst in northwestern Belgium shot up to the top of the country's infection rate with 1,207 cases per 100,000 over the past 14 days after a spike in cases at a nursing home this year left over 100 people infected. Tests showed the new variant was to blame. In the Antwerp area, two schools reported cases over the weekend and closed Monday for a week due to the new variant. Authorities said students, teachers and their families should all quarantine for ten days. Belgium has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, seeing 20,435 confirmed deaths. ___ LONDON — Britain is to expand the rollout of its coronavirus vaccine program by offering jabs to those over the age of 70 in areas where those deemed to be the most vulnerable have already received their first dose. More than 3.8 million people across the U.K. — more than 5% of the population — have already received their first dose of vaccine. The early phase of the vaccination program has been focused on the most vulnerable groups — those over the age of 80, residents in nursing homes and their carers, and staff in hospitals. Britain is also opening another 10 mass vaccination centres this week. And a pilot program to provide 24-hour vaccinations will commence in London hospitals by the end of January. Britain’s vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said the normal daytime slots work “much more conveniently” for those over the age of 80 but that nighttime appointments may be handier for those in lower age groups. Britain, which has Europe’s highest virus-related death toll at nearly 90,000, is aiming to have offered a first dose of vaccine to the four groups deemed most vulnerable to COVID-19 by mid-February. ___ BERLIN — Frankfurt airport, Germany’s busiest and one of Europe’s main hubs, saw passenger numbers drop to their lowest level in over three decades last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Operator Fraport said Monday that the airport handled some 18.8 million passengers in 2020, 73.4% fewer than the previous year. Fraport CEO Stefan Schulte said that “passenger volumes dropped to a level last seen in 1984.” But he said cargo traffic reached almost at the same level as in 2019, despite the loss of capacity in passenger planes’ holds. Schulte said that Fraport expects passenger traffic to “rebound noticeably” in this year’s second half as vaccinations lead to the lifting of travel restrictions. But he said it will still be a “difficult year” and passenger numbers in Frankfurt in 2021 are expected to reach only 35 to 45% of the 2019 level. ___ BERLIN — Germany’s health minister says the country will step up its monitoring of coronavirus variants amid concern that some mutant version could spread faster or cause more serious illness. Jens Spahn told reporters in Berlin on Monday that he is ordering laboratories to sequence the genome of 5% of positive samples, or up to 10% if case numbers fall. Spahn noted that Britain, where one apparently more contagious variant was first detected last year, has a very strong surveillance network. German officials have expressed worry about the sharp rise in cases seen in Britain and Ireland in recent weeks. Germany’s disease control agency said there 7,141 newly confirmed cases and 214 deaths in the country over the past day, though numbers reported over the weekend are often incomplete. ___ BEIJING — A Chinese province grappling with a spike in coronavirus cases is reinstating tight restrictions on weddings, funerals and other family gatherings, threatening violators with criminal charges. The notice from the high court in Hebei province did not give specifics, but said all types of social gatherings were now being regulated to prevent further spread of the virus. Hebei has had one of China’s most serious outbreaks in months and it comes amid measures to curb the further spread during February’s Lunar New Year holiday. Authorities have called on citizens not to travel, ordered schools closed a week early and conducted testing on a massive scale. Hebei recorded another 54 cases over the previous 24 hours, the National Health Commission said on Monday, while the northern province of Jilin reported 30 cases and Heilongjiang further north reported seven. Beijing had two new cases and most buildings and housing compounds now require proof of a negative coronavirus test for entry. ___ TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel’s Foreign Ministry says the United Arab Emirates has decided to suspend visa exemptions for Israelis amid surging numbers of coronavirus cases. The measure will make it harder for Israelis to fly to the UAE, where they have travelled in droves recently. The two countries established ties last year and until recently the UAE was one of the few countries Israelis could travel to without having to self-quarantine for two weeks. But both countries have seen their coronavirus infections spike in recent weeks, prompting the change in travel requirements. Dubai has remained open to foreign tourists who came in the tens of thousands to celebrate holidays and New Year’s in the United Arab Emirates, sending coronavirus cases surging to new heights. The UAE has shattered its daily infection record for six consecutive days over the past week. The Israeli Foreign Ministry said Monday that following the change, entry visas to each country will be required for travelling Emiratis and Israelis until July. ___ ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan has started reopening schools in phases after about two months of closure despite a steady increase in infections and fatalities from the coronavirus. Wearing masks, children entered schools on Monday with smiles on their faces, as teachers welcomed them back to their classes. To lower the spread of the virus, students are being kept at a distance from each other in classrooms. Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood wished good luck to students who return to their classes. Pakistan has reported 10,997 deaths from the coronavirus among 521,211 cases since February, when the first case was detected in the country. ___ TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel says it has recorded more than 4,000 coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began as it continues to battle a spiraling outbreak. The Health Ministry said Monday that 4,005 people have died since the beginning of the pandemic. The grim milestone comes as Israel is in its third nationwide lockdown, with schools, shops, malls and other non-essential businesses closed until at least the end of this week. Daily case numbers have continued to rise despite the lockdown, which was tightened last week and could be extended. The lockdown comes as Israel has unleashed a rapid vaccination campaign, with some 2 million people, or more than one in five Israelis, already having received the first dose of the vaccine. The country has identified more than 550,000 total virus cases. ___ MANILA, Philippines — Coronavirus infections in the Philippines have surged past 500,000 in a new bleak milestone, with the government facing criticism for failing to immediately launch a vaccination program amid a global scramble for COVID-19 vaccines. The Department of Health reported 1,895 new infections Sunday, bringing confirmed coronavirus cases in the country to 500,577, the second highest in Southeast Asia. The Philippines has been negotiating with seven Western and Chinese companies to secure vaccines but the effort has been fraught with uncertainties and confusion. ___ BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — Slovakia is launching a project to test almost all citizens for the coronavirus in nine days. The government hopes the nationwide testing will speed up a recovery from the latest wave of the infections, make it possible for students to return to school in February, help the health system and ease restrictions that harm the economy. The nationwide testing is set to start Monday and will be completed on Jan. 26. It’s not mandatory, but all people who want to go to work will need to have a negative test for the coronavirus beginning Jan. 27. Slovakia entered a tough lockdown before Christmas that includes a round-the-clock curfew. The exceptions include necessary trips to work, to do business or see doctors. People are also allowed to do necessary shopping in the stores that are the closest to their homes. Close to 3,500 people have died of the virus in the country of 5.4 million. ___ RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s health regulator on Sunday approved the urgent use of coronavirus vaccines made by Sinovac and AstraZeneca, enabling Latin America’s largest nation to begin an immunization program that’s been subject to months of delay and political disputes. Brazil currently has 6 million doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine ready to distribute in the next few days, and is awaiting the arrival of another 2 million doses of the vaccine made by AstraZeneca and partner Oxford University. On Saturday night, the health regulator Anvisa rejected an application for use of a Russian vaccine called Sputnik V, submitted by Brazilian company União Química. Anvisa said it didn’t evaluate the application because it didn’t meet minimum requirements to start an analysis. Vaccination in Brazil is beginning later than neighbours such as Argentina and Chile despite a robust public health system and decades of experience with immunization campaigns. The process to present and approve the COVID-19 vaccines was fraught with conflict, as allies of President Jair Bolsonaro sought to cast doubt on the efficacy of the Sinovac shot backed by his political rival, Sao Paulo state’s Gov. João Doria. ___ WASHINGTON — Incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain says the coronavirus pandemic will get worse before it gets better, projecting another 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the first five weeks of President-elect Joe Biden’s administration. Speaking to CNN’s “State of the Union,” Klain said Biden was inheriting a dire situation, saying even with vaccines, “It’s going to take a while to turn this around.” Biden has set a goal of injecting 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine in his first 100 days in office, a goal Klain said they were on pace to meet. Klain added he believed there was enough supply of the pair of vaccines currently granted emergency approval to ensure that those who have received their first shot will get the required second. The Associated Press
Belarus has been stripped of the right to co-host this year's ice hockey world championship due to safety concerns over political unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic there, the sport's governing body said on Monday, in a blow to President Alexander Lukashenko. The move deprives Lukashenko, an avid hockey fan, of a stage to host the biggest international event planned in the country since he claimed victory last August in a vote the opposition said was rigged and marred with violations. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) said it had consulted with experts and stakeholders about how the tournament could be held in the Belarusian capital in light of political unrest and lax prevention measures against COVID-19.
MONTREAL — The Boeing 737 Max can return to Canadian airspace beginning Wednesday, officials said, concluding nearly two years of government review after the aircraft was involved in two deadly crashes that saw the planes grounded worldwide. Transport Canada said Monday the planes will be permitted to fly as long as they meet conditions specified by Transport Canada in December, including allowing pilots to disable a faulty warning system that was found to be central to two deadly crashes in 2018 and 2019. “Canadians and the airline industry can rest assured that Transport Canada has diligently addressed all safety issues prior to permitting this aircraft to return to service in Canadian airspace,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said in a statement. The measures go beyond those announced by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in November, which required Boeing to make changes to the computer systems inside the plane and required pilots to undergo training in flight simulators. The planes have been grounded since March 2019 following the crashes of a Lion Air flight near Jakarta on Oct. 29, 2018, and an Ethiopian Airlines flight on March 10, 2019, killing a total of 346 people. Investigators determined that the cause of the crashes was a faulty computer system that pushed the plane’s nose downward in flight and couldn’t be overridden by pilots. Boeing admitted in court filings that two of its technical pilot experts deceived the U.S. FAA about a flight-control system called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, that could point a plane’s nose down if sensors indicated the plane might be in danger of an aerodynamic stall — that it might fall from the sky. The system was not part of previous 737 models. MCAS was added because the Max’s larger engines, which are mounted higher and farther forward on the 737’s low-swept wings, gave the plane a tendency to tilt too far nose-up in some conditions. Boeing downplayed the significance of MCAS and didn’t mention it in airplane manuals. Most pilots didn’t know about it. The Associated Press
The European Union's proposed carbon border charge is essential to the survival of its own industries and the bloc will impose the levy on non-EU competitors unless they commit to lowering their emissions, the bloc's climate policy chief said on Monday. The EU's executive Commission is expected to propose its carbon border adjustment policy before the end of June.
Grandma went to the same Black Baptist church for forty years and walked me to the local polling place in Houston. I wish she'd lived to see this moment
The Tea Market will grow by USD 13.24 bn during 2020-2024
An inaugural rehearsal at the West Front of the Capitol was evacuated Monday because of a nearby fire. The complex inside was briefly locked down.
Production on sixth and final series has finally begun after eight months of delay
Today Emera (TSX: EMA) announced that it will release its Q4 2020 results on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, before markets open. The Company will host a teleconference and webcast the same day at 9:30 a.m. Atlantic (8:30 a.m. Eastern) to discuss the results.
New York, New York--(Newsfile Corp. - January 18, 2021) - The Klein Law Firm announces that a class action complaint has been filed on behalf of shareholders of Qiwi plc (NASDAQ: QIWI) alleging that the Company violated federal securities laws.Class Period: March 28, 2019 and December 9, 2020Lead Plaintiff Deadline: February 9, 2021Learn more about your recoverable losses in QIWI:http://www.kleinstocklaw.com/pslra-1/qiwi-plc-loss-submission-form?id=12232&from=5The filed complaint alleges that Qiwi plc made materially false and/or misleading statements and/or failed ...
Casey DeSmith felt the puck at his feet, looked down to confirm it was indeed the case then exhaled as his Pittsburgh Penguins teammates poured over the bench in the middle of an empty arena to congratulate their backup goaltender, the one hardly playing like a backup. Starting in place of a shaky Tristan Jarry, DeSmith turned aside 20 shots he faced in regulation and overtime then stuffed Washington's T.J. Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin in the shootout as the Penguins picked up their first win of the season with a 4-3 victory on Sunday.
Here's where you can score the look for yourself.
En décembre, Québec a fait passer le taux d’aires protégées de 10 à 17 %, soustrayant près de 100 000 kilomètres carrés de territoire au développement industriel. Pendant ce temps, le Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean a gagné 46 km2 d’aires protégées, soit 0,04 % du territoire, pour plafonner à un taux de protection de 6,2 %. Alors que le ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) a étudié 25 projets d’aires protégées dans la région, dont les projets citoyens du lac Kénogami et de la rivière Péribonka, le compromis interministériel a fait en sorte que ce soit la rivière Belley qui soit protégée. Un territoire traversé par une ligne de haute tension sur près de 10 km, à moins de 500 mètres d’un dépotoir, une décision controversée. « C’est révoltant de voir que le gouvernement a choisi un territoire comme ça quand il existe un consensus pour la protection de la rivière Péribonka », souligne d’emblée Ève Tremblay, porte-parole du Comité de sauvegarde de la rivière Péribonka (CSRP). « C’est évident que le gouvernement a choisi cette aire protégée là pour en ajouter au moins une dans la région, pour se sauver la face », ajoute-t-elle. En constatant que le territoire est traversé par une ligne de haute tension et est à 500 mètres de l’ancien dépotoir de L’Ascension, cette dernière estime que Québec aurait été mieux de ne rien protéger plutôt que de faire ce choix, dit-elle, insultée. Toutes les régions du Québec ont fait des propositions de territoires à protéger. Sur la carte, on peut voir que la très grande majorité des projets proposés (en orange) ont été refusés. À peine quelques projets ont été acceptés (en vert) au sud de la limite de récolte des forêts. Les vastes zones en vert au sud, sont des zones marines. D’autant plus que la rivière Belley est adjacente au territoire proposé par le CSRP. « Notre projet d’aire protégée enlèverait à peine 10 000 mètres cubes à la possibilité forestière, parce que le terrain est trop abrupt pour la récolte », remarque Ève Tremblay, en ajoutant que le projet vise à protéger un couloir de 80 km sur la rivière Péribonka. Selon cette dernière, et plusieurs groupes environnementaux, le ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP) bloque presque tous les projets où l’on retrouve des mètres cubes de bois. On retrouve un milieu humide sur l’aire protégée de la rivière Belley, mais malgré des demandes faites au MELCC, Le Progrès n’a pas pu obtenir d’informations supplémentaires à temps pour justifier ce choix. En tout, 25 autres projets d’aires protégées, de cinq à 409 km2, étaient à l’étude au Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean. Des miettes en forêt commerciale D’après les informations qui sont sorties dans les médias, c’est le premier ministre qui a obligé le MFFP à laisser aller quelques zones où l’on retrouve des forêts commerciales, remarque Louis Bélanger, ingénieur forestier et responsable des dossiers forestiers pour Nature Québec. Au lieu de se braquer dès qu’il existe la moindre possibilité forestière, le MFFP devrait prendre le temps d’analyser quelle quantité de bois on retrouve vraiment dans certains secteurs et déterminer si c’est rentable d’aller le récupérer, estime-t-il. Dans bien des cas, l’exercice démontrerait que la perte de possibilité forestière est négligeable, comme c’est le cas avec le projet d’aire protégée sur la rivière Péribonka. Louis Bélanger cite aussi en exemple le projet d’aire protégée de la Seigneurie Joly, dans Lotbinière, un territoire de 22 km2 faisant partie du corridor écologique de la rivière du Chêne, qui a été ignoré par Québec. « C’est révoltant de voir que le gouvernement a choisi un territoire comme ça quand il existe un consensus pour la protection de la rivière Péribonka », souligne Ève Tremblay, porte-parole du Comité de sauvegarde de la rivière Péribonka. Au début des années 2010, Québec avait demandé aux Conférences régionales des élus (CRÉ) de toutes les régions du Québec de cibler des territoires pour atteindre un taux de protection de 12 %, l’objectif de l’époque. Des propositions d’aires protégées ont donc été faites, donnant naissance à plus de 80 projets d’aires protégées, qui sont depuis étudiés par les différents ministères. La totalité des territoires proposés, et refusés, couvrent une superficie de 19 882 km2, soit 1,2 % du territoire québécois. Une infime partie des projets proposés au sud de la limite forestière ont été acceptés par Québec, comme on peut voir sur la carte préparée par le MELCC. Même s’il salue l’atteinte de l’objectif de 17 % d’aires protégées, Louis Bélanger estime le MFFP n’a pas contribué à mettre en place un réseau représentatif des écosystèmes québécois. Le ministère semblait pourtant plus ouvert à des compromis, au cours des dernières années, notamment avec l’adoption du nouveau régime forestier, mais l’arrivée d’un nouveau sous-ministre, Alain Sénéchal, jadis directeur général de l’attribution des bois et du développement industriel, est venue tout chambouler. « Le MFFP a démantibulé des services qui portaient les dossiers plus environnementaux », déplore-t-il. Louis Bélanger tient à souligner le travail fait avec les Cris pour protéger de larges territoires au nord, mais il s’inquiète pour la protection de la forêt commerciale, qui est aussi le territoire ancestral des Innus, le Nitassinan. « Il y a désormais un grand trou sur le territoire, où il y a très peu d’aires protégées au Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean et sur la Côte-Nord », dit-il. Les Innus de Pessamit travaillaient pourtant sur une aire protégée dans le secteur du Pipmuacan depuis quelques années. L’ingénieur forestier déplore la situation, qui pourrait exacerber la confrontation entre certains groupes environnementaux et l’industrie forestière. Ce dernier estime que la récolte de bois fait partie de la solution pour lutter contre les changements climatiques, mais que l’on doit aussi protéger la biodiversité. « On est capables de produire plus de bois, tout en protégeant la biodiversité, en cultivant mieux nos forêts », affirme-t-il. La stratégie de production de bois présentée par Québec en décembre offre par ailleurs des conditions favorables pour arriver à un compromis, estime Louis Bélanger, en implantant des modèles de plantation socialement acceptable et en ouvrant le dialogue avec la population. « On ne doit pas faire des plantations juste pour produire du bois, mais aussi pour augmenter la biodiversité et s’adapter aux changements climatiques », remarque-t-il, estimant que les décisions du MFFP viennent ternir l’image de la foresterie, en ne favorisant pas la réconciliation.Guillaume Roy, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
Scientists have new biological evidence that the so-called South African coronavirus variant binds more readily and strongly to human cells, making it more infectious, top local epidemiologist Salim Abdool Karim said on Monday. The variant was identified by South African genomics experts late last year. British scientists and politicians have expressed concern that vaccines currently being deployed or in development could be less effective against the South African variant.
Parler, the social media website popular with Donald Trump supporters which was banned on Apple, Google, and Amazon’s platforms, has returned online. While the social media site has not regained full operability, there are now two messages at its URL.
"He was a physician. And he took all the protocols," a family friend of the surgeon said