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Adidas parts ways with Kanye West

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Adidas parts ways with Kanye West

Herzogenaurach, Germany- German sportswear, Adidas, has parted ways with Ye “Kanye West” due to his antisemitic remarks.

Ye recently made a slew of anti-Semitic remarks, triggering widespread outrage and resulting in his accounts on Twitter and Instagram being restricted.

As a result, Adidas then said earlier this month, that it was reviewing its relationship with Ye after he appeared wearing a White Lives Matter t-shirt at a fashion show in Paris.

“Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful, and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.

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Adidas does not tolerate anti-Semitism and any other sort of hate speech, “ read a statement from the German sportswear.

Earlier this month, Ye tweeted that he was “going death con 3 ON JEWISH PEOPLE” before alleging he wasn’t “Anti-Semitic because black people are actually Jew also”.

In addition, the 45-year-old billionaire said, “You guys have toyed with me and tried to blackball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”

The tweeter rants which are now deleted came after he accused record producer, entrepreneur, and rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs of being controlled by “the Jewish people” in a post on Instagram.

Afterward, he was restricted from posting, commenting, and messaging on Instagram and had his account locked on Twitter.

Nevertheless, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said they welcomed Adidas’ decision.

“It illustrates that anti-Semitism is unacceptable and creates consequences. Without a doubt, Adidas has done the right thing by cutting ties with Ye after his vicious anti-Semitic rants.

In the end, Adidas’ action sends a powerful message that anti-Semitism and bigotry have no place in society,” said Greenblatt.

However, shares of Adidas fell about 5 percent on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Tuesday following the announcement.

Adidas said it would take a short-term hit of US$249 million from its income for this year after deciding to stop the brand’s business with immediate effect.

It is also to end the production of items under Ye’s Yeezy brand and stop all payments to the musician and his companies.

Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, Adidas had faced growing calls from Jewish and rights groups to end its association with West.

Ye has also made several other controversial remarks recently, including suggestions slavery was “a choice” and calling the COVID-19 vaccine the “mark of the beast”.

He recently announced he was buying conservative social media platform Parler, which became a hub and bubble for right-wing and far-right conspiracy theorists who felt censored on more mainstream platforms.

 

 

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China to firmly protect lawful rights of domestic firms following U.S. ban

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China will take necessary measures to firmly uphold the lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies in the wake of the recent U.S. move to ban imports and sales of telecommunications equipment from five Chinese firms, said a Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokeswoman on Thursday.

Shu Jueting, the spokeswoman, made the statement at a press conference in Beijing, responding to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s latest ban on the imports and sales of telecommunications equipment from five Chinese companies under the pretext that these companies pose “an unacceptable risk” to U.S. national security.

The U.S. side has time and again overstretched the concept of national security and abused national power to maliciously suppress Chinese companies, Shu said, adding that China is firmly opposed to such moves.

Such practices on the part of the United States will not only harm the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese firms, but also hurt the interests of U.S. companies and consumers, undermine the international economic order and trade rules, and are of no good to either side and the world at large, Shu said.

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The United States should immediately correct its mistake, stop politicizing and weaponizing economic and trade issues, and treat all enterprises, including the Chinese ones, equally, Shu added.

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Flu surges on heels of RSV, COVID-19 to overwhelm children’s hospitals in Canada

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A flu season that started early, hospitalized far more children than usual and overwhelmed emergency departments has revealed that Canada’s healthcare system is chronically underfunded when it comes to the most vulnerable citizens, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist says.

Dr. Jesse Papenburg, who works at Montreal Children’s Hospital, said a system that was already struggling with a surge of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, on the heels of COVID-19 is now overwhelmed in much of the country.

“Certainly, Ontario and Alberta in particular have been hit very hard with an early and really quite explosive influenza season in pediatrics when it comes to more severe disease requiring complex hospitalization. And we’re also observing in Montreal as well that our influenza admissions are really starting to pick up,” he said.

The last week of November saw the highest number of pediatric hospitalizations for a single week in the past decade, said Papenburg, who is also an investigator for IMPACT, a program that monitors hospitalizations for vaccine-preventable diseases at 12 children’s hospitals across the country.

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A typical flu season sees about 1,000 kids admitted to hospital. Due to pandemic public health measures, he said last season saw only 400 and there were none the season before that.

Up to the end of November, over 700 children had been hospitalized with the H3N2 strain of the flu, which typically takes a toll on older adults. But the season could continue until March or April, Papenburg said of the unexpected epidemic.

“When you’re already stretched to the limit under normal circumstances and there’s something exceptional that takes place, it really has a greater impact on the type of care that we can deliver to Canadian children,” he said. “It’s unacceptable, in my view, that this is happening, that we are having to delay important surgeries for children because we need those resources for dealing with acute respiratory infections.”

While the number of RSV hospitalizations is stabilizing, there’s still a “significant burden of disease requiring complex hospitalization,” he said of the Montreal hospital.

Alex Munter, president of Ottawa pediatric hospital CHEO, said the Red Cross will be helping take some of the pressure off critical-care staff starting this week.

He said two teams of nine people will work rotating overnight shifts and that some will be porters while others get supplies or sit with patients.

“Having these Red Cross teams on-site will allow us to send back redeployed staff to their home base,” he said.

“The test positivity rate last week for flu was 30 per cent compared to 10 per cent at the end of October. That’s a big increase and it’s still climbing so flu hospitalizations are increasing and RSV is plateauing,” Munter said.

CHEO, including its emergency department and urgent care clinic, is also getting help from pediatricians, family doctors and nurses in the community while some patients are being transferred to adult hospitals, Munter said.

“We can’t run our hospital this way in perpetuity. I think the moral of the story here is that we have undersized child and youth health system in Canada.”

SickKids in Toronto continues to see high patient volumes in the pediatric intensive care unit and since November has reduced the number of surgeries so staff can be redeployed to provide care in that unit.

“We have been co-ordinating closely with other hospital partners that have the ability to care for some pediatric patients,” the hospital said in a statement, adding it is not currently seeking staffing support from external organizations.

Dr. Shazma Mithani, an emergency room doctor at both the Stollery Children’s Hospital and Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, said a temporary closure of a pediatric hospice in Calgary is “tragic” as staff are being diverted to a children’s hospital.

“It means that kids who are dying are not getting the palliative and comfort care that they deserve and need, and that acute care is taking priority over that,” Mithani said.

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos has said Ottawa recently gave provinces an additional $2 billion as calls grow for both levels of government to do more to help hospitals facing unprecedented challenges.

Mithani said funding has to be targeted for children’s hospitals and could also go to staffing after-hours clinics, for example.

She said people planning large indoor gatherings over Christmas and for New Year’s Eve should consider scaling back, while schools should transition to temporary online learning if they have a large number of viral illnesses

Health officials also need to make a concerted effort to educate the public on the importance of vaccination amid misinformation on social media, Mithani said.

“The most vulnerable people in our society are suffering as a result of the decisions that adults made. That’s what’s happening here, that kids are suffering from the poor decisions of adult decision-makers who can’t seem to do the right thing in order to protect our kids.”

— With files from Jordon Omstead in Toronto

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2022.

This story is produced with the financial assistance of The Canadian Medical Association. It has no say in editorial choices.

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‘Bumbling and stumbling’: Alberta’s UCP caucus votes for changes to sovereignty bill

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'Bumbling and stumbling': Alberta's UCP caucus votes for changes to sovereignty bill

Alberta‘s governing United Conservative caucus says it wants changes to fix a bill that grants sweeping, unchecked powers to Premier Danielle Smith and her cabinet to pass laws behind closed doors without the scrutiny and approval of the legislature.

Smith, meanwhile, is facing Opposition demands to explain to Albertans whether she is authoritarian or incompetent, given the way her signature sovereignty bill has rolled out.

“She either got caught in her attempt to seize power and is now desperately scrambling to cover that up, or she literally didn’t know what was in her bill and very possibly still doesn’t,” Opposition NDP Leader Rachel Notley said during question period Monday.

“She’s lost people’s trust with this bumbling and stumbling.

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“Her bill is beyond saving. Why won’t she just withdraw it?”

Smith responded that she welcomes the changes.

“I want to make sure that we get this bill right and I’m grateful that my caucus is going to propose amendments to do that.”

Smith said over the weekend that amendments were in the works to reverse provisions of the sovereignty bill that grant her cabinet the unfettered powers.

Smith told her Saturday morning radio talk show that the unchecked powers were never supposed to be in the bill, but she didn’t explain how they got there.

“You never get things right 100 per cent right all the time,” she said on the show.

Smith’s United Conservative caucus said in a news release Monday that it voted to propose an amendment to clarify that any changes cabinet makes to laws under the act can’t be done in secret, but must instead come back to the house for the normal process of debate and approval.

The caucus also voted to change the act to more narrowly spell out when cabinet can take action.

Under the current bill, cabinet has wide latitude to respond to whatever federal law policy or program it deems harmful to Alberta’s interests.

With the amendment, harm would be defined as anything a majority of the legislature deems to be an unconstitutional federal intrusion in provincial areas of responsibility.

“These proposed amendments reflect feedback we’ve received from Albertans who want to see aspects of Bill 1 clarified to ensure it gets across the finish line,” government whip Brad Rutherford said in the release.

The release does not contain suggested legal wording of the amendments and the amendments have yet to be presented to the house.

The bill is now in second reading.

Political scientist Duane Bratt said the proposed amendments represent a major climbdown.

“Both of those were flagged early and often by critics of the bill. Those were two of the most outrageous things in there,” said Bratt, with Mount Royal University in Calgary.

He said the outstanding question is how did these clauses end up in the bill in the first place.

“Either they meant it that this is something they wanted to do … meant it and didn’t think anyone would notice, meant it but didn’t anticipate the backlash or they were just cut-and-pasting legislation and they didn’t think it all through.”

Either way, said Bratt, “it looks incompetent.”

Smith introduced the bill a week ago, characterizing it as a deliberately confrontational tool to reset the relationship with a federal government that she accuses of interfering in constitutionally protected areas of provincial responsibility from energy development to health care.

The bill has been widely criticized by political scientists and legal experts as constitutionally questionable and a threat to the checks and balances that underpin a healthy democracy.

Indigenous leaders have called it a heavy-handed trampling on treaty rights. Business groups, including the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, warn the legal uncertainty surrounding the bill is not good for investment.

Concerns remain over the provision that would grant Smith’s cabinet the right to order provincial entities — municipalities, schools, health regions, city police forces and others — to flout federal laws.

Under the bill as it currently is constructed, once cabinet identifies a federal harm, it would send a resolution to the legislative assembly spelling out the nature of the harm and the remedies to fix it.

If the Legislature gives its approval by majority vote, cabinet takes over and can pass laws and direct provincial agencies.

The current bill says cabinet “should” follow the direction of the house but doesn’t mandate it.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2022.

— With files from Colette Derworiz in Calgary

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