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Canada adds 491 new coronavirus cases, 6 deaths on Friday –



The number of newly-diagnosed coronavirus cases in Canada rose by 491 on Friday, and health authorities announced that the pandemic has claimed six more lives.

As of Friday afternoon, 116,266 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in Canada. Across the country, 8,935 people have succumbed to the illness, according to figures provided by provincial governments

About 87 per cent of those infected have recovered and 4.6 million tests have been conducted.

Read more:
How many Canadians have the new coronavirus? Total number of confirmed cases by region

Also on Friday, federal officials released a new app they say could aid in the fight against the spread of the virus.

The COVID Alert app notifies a user when they have been in close contact with another user who tested positive for the virus. The government describes it as an exposure notification app, not a contact-tracing app, as it does not track personal data.

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“This app does not replace contact tracing — a critical public health function. Contact tracing will continue to be performed manually by local public health authorities,” the government said in a statement.

So far, the app has been released only in Ontario as it undergoes testing.

B.C. saw a significant uptick in new coronavirus cases on Friday. The province added one new death and 45-lab confirmed cases Friday, along with another five diagnoses considered epidemiologically linked.

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Overall, 195 people in B.C. have died due to the coronavirus, and there are 3,609 confirmed cases, plus 32 epi-linked cases.

Alberta’s death toll grew by one on Friday, officials said. There were 127 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the provincial total to 10,843. Overall, 196 Albertans have succumbed to COVID-19.

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University of New Brunswick developing portable COVID-19 diagnostic tests

University of New Brunswick developing portable COVID-19 diagnostic tests

Saskatchewan added 14 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing its case total to 1,319. The number of people who have recovered from the infection has now surpassed 1,000. Eighteen deaths have occurred in the province in total.

In Manitoba, six new cases were announced for a total of 401 lab-confirmed infections. An additional 14 cases are considered probable. The province’s death toll is eight.

Read more:
Canada launches COVID-19 tracking app — but only in Ontario

Ontario reported 134 new COVID-19 cases and three new deaths Friday. The province has seen 39,209 cases overall and 2,775 virus-related deaths.

The overall case count in Quebec rose by 181 to 59,312 on Friday, though only only 169 of those cases are newly diagnosed. The rest reflect a correction the province has made to data released on Thursday.

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The death toll stands at 5,674 after one additional fatality was announced Friday.

Coronavirus: Ontario premier, treasury board president discuss how COVID Alert app works

Coronavirus: Ontario premier, treasury board president discuss how COVID Alert app works

In Atlantic Canada, only one province reported new cases — Nova Scotia. That province’s diagnoses rose by two on Friday for a total of 1,069. Sixty-four people have lost their lives to the virus.

Read more:
Coronavirus cases are rising again in some countries. What can Canada learn?

In P.E.I., the case count stands at 36 as of the province’s latest update on Tuesday. In Newfoundland and Labrador, 266 people have been diagnosed, and three people have died. New Brunswick has seen 170 coronavirus cases overall, along with two deaths.

The territories reported no new cases as well. All but three of Yukon’s 14 confirmed cases have recovered, as of the latest update on Thursday. All five cases in the Northwest Territories have recovered, and no cases have been diagnosed in Nunavut.

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Around the world, cases counts are continuing to soar. According to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University, 17.4 million people have been diagnosed and 675,545 people have succumbed to the illness.

— With files from Katie Dangerfield, Global News

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Egypt upholds death sentence for 12 senior Muslim Brotherhood figures



Egypt’s highest civilian court on Monday upheld death sentences for 12 senior Muslim Brotherhood figures over a 2013 sit-in which ended with security forces killing hundreds of protesters, judicial sources said.

The ruling, which cannot be appealed, means the 12 men could face execution pending approval by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. They include Abdul Rahman Al-Bar, commonly described as the group’s mufti or top religious scholar, Mohamed El-Beltagi, a former member of parliament, and Osama Yassin, a former minister.

Many Muslim Brotherhood figures have been sentenced to death in other cases related to the unrest that followed the military’s ousting of Brotherhood president Mohamed Mursi in 2013, but the Court of Cassation ordered retrials.

Rights groups have documented a sharp rise in the number of executions in Egypt, with at least 51 carried out so far this year according to Amnesty International.

“Instead of continuing to escalate their use of the death penalty by upholding death sentences following convictions in grossly unfair mass trials Egyptian authorities must immediately establish an official moratorium on executions,” Amnesty said in a statement.

Monday’s ruling relates to a mass trial of hundreds of suspects accused of murder and incitement of violence during pro-Brotherhood protests at Rabaa al-Adawiya square in Cairo in the weeks after Mursi’s overthrow.

In September 2018, an Egyptian criminal court sentenced 75 people to death and issued varying jail terms for more than 600 others. Many defendants were tried in absentia.

Forty-four of those sentenced to death appealed to the Court of Cassation. Thirty-one had their sentences changed to life in prison, while death sentences were upheld for 12 others.

A final defendant, the senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam el-Erian, died in prison in Cairo in August 2020. Mursi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, died in prison in 2019.

The court also upheld jail terms for many other defendants including a life sentence for Mohamed Badie, leader of the outlawed Brotherhood, and a 10-year jail term for Mursi’s son Osama, the judicial sources said.


(Reporting by Haitham Ahmed; writing by Mahmoud Mourad; editing by Aidan Lewis, William Maclean and Grant McCool)

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Trudeau says he discussed border with Biden, but no deal



Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday he has spoken with U.S. President Joe Biden about how to lift pandemic-related border restrictions between the two countries but made clear no breakthrough has been achieved.

U.S. and Canadian business leaders have voiced increasing concern about the ban on non-essential travel in light of COVID-19 that was first imposed in March 2020 and renewed on a monthly basis since then. The border measures do not affect trade flows.

The border restrictions have choked off tourism between the two countries. Canadian businesses, especially airlines and those that depend on tourism, have been lobbying the Liberal government to relax the restrictions.

Canada last week took a cautious first step, saying it was prepared to relax quarantine protocols for fully vaccinated citizens returning home starting in early July.

Trudeau, speaking after a Group of Seven summit in Britain, said he had talked to Biden “about coordinating measures at our borders as both our countries move ahead with mass vaccination.” Canada is resisting calls for the border measures to be relaxed, citing the need for more people to be vaccinated.

The United States is ahead of Canada in terms of vaccination totals.

“We will continue to work closely together on moving forward in the right way but each of us always will put at the forefront the interests and the safety of our own citizens,” Trudeau told a televised news conference when asked the Biden conversation.

“Many countries, like Canada, continue to say that now is not the time to travel,” Trudeau added, though he said it is important to get back to normalcy as quickly as possible.


(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Will Dunham)

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Man with 39 wive dies in India



A 76-year-old man who had 39 wives and 94 children and was said to be the head of the world’s largest family has died in north east India, the chief minister of his home state said.

Ziona Chana, the head of a local Christian sect that allows polygamy, died on Sunday, Zoramthanga, the chief minister of Mizoram and who goes by one name, said in a tweet.

With a total of 167 members, the family is the world’s largest, according to local media, although this depends on whether you count the grandchildren, of whom Ziona has 33.

Winston Blackmore, the head of a polygamous Mormon sect in Canada, has around 150 children from 27 wives – 178 people in total.

Ziona lived with his family in a vast, four-story pink structure with around 100 rooms in Baktawng, a remote village in Mizoram that became a tourist attraction as a result, according to Zoramthanga.

The sect, named “Chana”, was founded by Ziona’s father in 1942 and has a membership of hundreds of families. Ziona married his first wife when he was 17, and claimed he once married ten wives in a single year.

They shared a dormitory near his private bedroom, and locals said he liked to have seven or eight of them by his side at all times.

Despite his family’s huge size, Ziona told Reuters in a 2011 interview he wanted to grow it even further.

“I am ready to expand my family and willing to go to any extent to marry,” he said.

“I have so many people to care for and look after, and I consider myself a lucky man.”


(Reporting by Alasdair Pal and Adnan Abidi in New Delhi; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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