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Julian Assange’s partner has appealed to US President Donald Trump to pardon him. Stella Moris used Thanksgiving Day to issue a plea to the president after he pardoned ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn. Ms Moris made a personal plea to Mr Trump through Twitter, saying it was the only channel he seems to value.
OTTAWA — Provincial finance ministers have quietly prodded Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to put a pause on planned increases in premiums workers and businesses pay into the Canada Pension Plan.The planned increase on Jan. 1 is part of a multi-year plan approved by provinces and the federal government four years ago to boost retirement benefits through the public plan by increasing contributions over time.The first premium bump was in 2019, another was earlier this year and the next is due at the beginning of 2021.A number of provincial finance ministers on a recent call with Freeland asked her to put a pause on next year's automatic increase because of the COVID-19 pandemic.They argued it isn't a wise economic decision to take more off workers' paycheques and to charge businesses more when many are still struggling.The details are in a letter Saskatchewan's finance minister sent Freeland two days ago, a copy of which was obtained by The Canadian Press.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.The Canadian Press
New coronavirus tiers mean many theatres remain unsure if the festive favourite will now go ahead.
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PARIS — France is resuming collection of a special tax on Big Tech companies like Amazon and Facebook despite the threat of U.S. retaliatory tariffs on French Champagne, cheese, handbags and other goods.The tax brought about 400 million euros to the French budget last year, but the government agreed to suspend it in 2020, in exchange for an American promise to drop the tariff threat pending talks on an international deal on taxing online companies.France was hoping that such an accord could be reached by the end of this year, rendering the French tax moot. But the Trump administration pulled out of the negotiations, led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and no such deal is ready yet.So French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Thursday that France will again levy the tax. Speaking on a visit to Italy, he said: "We naturally hope that the Italian presidency of the G20 will provide the impetus to reach an agreement within the OECD, which could be supported by all European countries, concerning a fair tax on tech giants.”A Finance Ministry official said the French Treasury sent the 2020 tax bills to Amazon, Google and other companies affected by the measure last week, and they have to pay by the end of the year. The ministry expects the tax revenue to total a bit more than last year because big tech companies have had a good year amid the pandemic.France's trade minister told The Associated Press earlier this month that he hopes President-elect Joe Biden's administration rejoins discussions at the OECD for a global deal.Other European countries have imposed similar measures, which are aimed at forcing online giants to pay full taxes in the countries where they do business instead of in tax havens. U.S. officials have argued that the taxes unfairly target successful American companies, though France says its tax is aimed at all big tech companies that make money online.The Associated Press
The latest news on COVID-19 in Canada (all times Eastern):2:10 p.m.Manitoba's top doctor says it's going to be a different kind of holiday season as the province continues to see a surge in COVID-19 infections that's putting pressures on the health-care system.Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, says people should stay home and avoid travel within the province, as well as to other regions in the country.Roussin reported 383 new cases and 10 more deaths Thursday.There are 307 people in hospital with 46 people in intensive care.\---1:50 p.m.New Brunswick is asking anyone entering the province to self-isolate for 14 days.The province also introduced heightened public health measures in the Fredericton area, including single-household bubbles and restricted travel into and out of the area.The new rules were announced as the province reported 12 new cases of COVID-19 today, including three in the Fredericton region. There are now 105 active infections in New Brunswick, with 465 cases confirmed since the onset of the pandemic.\---1:30 p.m.Quebec Premier Francois Legault says his government’s target is to be ready at the beginning of January to begin vaccinating people against COVID-19.Legault told reporters today the government will first vaccinate people in long-term care homes, followed by health-care workers and then the elderly who live outside state-run care homes.The premier says he is waiting on the federal government for news about when the first vaccines will arrive and how many Quebec can expect to receive every week.Legault says news of effective vaccines is bringing hope that the fight against COVID-19 is almost over, but that Quebecers must be careful not to overload the health-care system in December.\---1 p.m.Dr. Supriya Sharma, the chief medical adviser at Health Canada, says Canada's review of the Pfizer vaccine is the most advanced and is being done alongside the reviews in the United States and Europe. She says she expects Canada to approve that vaccine at the same time as the U.S. does, which is expected by mid-December.\---12:45 p.m.Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting three new cases of COVID-19.One is a girl under the age of 19, whose infection is related to a growing cluster in western Newfoundland.The other two cases are travel-related, with one person arriving from East Africa and the other arriving from Nova Scotia before the Atlantic bubble was closed earlier this week.The province now has 28 active COVID-19 infections, with 327 cases confirmed since the onset of the pandemic.\---12:32 p.m.Arianne Reza, with Public Services and Procurement Canada, says purchase agreements with vaccine makers are now final for five of the seven companies involved. That includes Pfizer and Moderna, whose vaccines are expected to be approved first.Reza says negotiations are ongoing to finalize purchase agreements with Johnson & Johnson and Novavax.\---12:10 p.m.Nunavut is reporting no new cases of COVID-19 for the first time since Nov. 6. People have also recovered in Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove, bringing the territory's number of active cases to 150. Chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson says contact tracing is ongoing in Arviat, Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove and public health staff continue to monitor everyone in isolation. Patterson says the infected individuals have mild to moderate symptoms and no one has been hospitalized.\---12:05 p.m.Ontario has logged another 1,478 cases of COVID-19.It's also reporting 21 new deaths.Health Minister Christine Elliott says 572 of those cases are in Peel Region, and 356 are in Toronto -- both of which are in the "lockdown" stage of the province's pandemic protection plan.The numbers also show that 556 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the province, an increase of 33 since Wednesday.\---NoonNova Scotia is reporting 14 new cases of COVID-19, the majority of which were identified in the central zone of the province.The province’s health authority completed 2,253 tests for the disease on Wednesday.Chief medical officer Dr. Robert Strang says the province has seen an increase in asymptomatic testing among Halifax bar staff and patrons at pop-up rapid testing locations.Nova Scotia now has 114 active cases.\---11:10 a.m.Quebec is reporting 1,464 new COVID-19 infections and 32 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including eight that occurred in the past 24 hours.Health officials say hospitalizations have jumped by 20, to 675, and 90 people were in intensive care, a drop of three.The province conducted 33,023 COVID-19 tests on Nov. 24, the last day for which testing data is available.Quebec has reported a total of 136,894 infections and 6,947 deaths linked to the virus.\---10:45 a.m.Ottawa has pledged $19 million to Nunavut as the territory continues to grapple with a COVID-19 outbreak. Most of the money, $11.36 million, will flow to the government of Nunavut to help with its emergency response. The money will fund things like food support for households in isolation, water and sewage services and internet bandwidth for students learning from home. There are 153 active cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut.\---10:05 a.m.The federal COVID Alert app is now linked to the health-care system in the Northwest Territories.The free smartphone app lets people know if they were exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days.Anyone in Canada can download the COVID Alert app, but British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon and Nunavut have not signed on to link it to their health-care systems.\---This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.The Canadian Press
Stop taking Zoom into the bathroom. A New Jersey school board member accidentally broadcast her bathroom break during a board meeting and resigned.
“As the bodies decay, gases can be formed,” a local police spokesperson said of the phenomenon
A U.S. oil executive jailed for three years in Venezuela said all he hopes for is a fair trial so that he can walk free with his name cleared and go home to his family in the United States. In a letter from prison provided exclusively to The Associated Press, Tomeu Vadell said it's especially painful to be separated during the Thanksgiving season from from his wife, three adult children and a newborn grandson he’s never held. “Before living this tragedy, these celebrations were very special times for our family,” Vadell wrote, saying he embraced the traditional American holiday after moving in 1999 from Caracas to Lake Charles, Louisiana, for a job with Venezuelan-owned Citgo.
Developers of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine said on Thursday that AstraZeneca should try combining its experimental shot with the Russian one to boost efficacy. Russia said its Sputnik V vaccine is 92% effective at protecting people from COVID-19, according to interim trial results, while AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine was 70% effective in pivotal trials and could be up to 90% effective. "If they go for a new clinical trial, we suggest trying a regimen of combining the AZ shot with the #SputnikV human adenoviral vector shot to boost efficacy," the developers of the Russian vaccine said on their Twitter account.
The couple began dating in 2018
The co-host formally returned to the Today show on Monday, two weeks after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer
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Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong told a German newspaper he was doing well despite being held in solitary confinement and having trouble sleeping because of bright lights after he was remanded in custody this week. Wong, who on Monday pleaded guilty to charges of organising and inciting an unauthorised assembly near police headquarters in last year's anti-government protests, also said he does not expect a fair trial on Dec. 2.
British wife barred from contact with activist husband, describing his detention as a ‘hostage-taking situation’