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Canada sending up to $5M in humanitarian aid to Lebanon after Beirut explosion

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Canada will provide up to $5 million in humanitarian assistance to help Lebanon and its people recover from the devastating explosion in Beirut’s port.

An initial $1.5 million of that funding will go to the Lebanese Red Cross to provide emergency medical services, shelter and food for those affected.

In an interview with CBC News, International Development Minister Karina Gould said the money represents Canada’s initial commitment and that it could grow in the coming days and weeks as the scale of the disaster becomes more clear.

“This is about saving lives in the next 48 hours and then making sure that people have access to emergency shelter, food, health care and medicine,” Gould said.

The explosion happened Tuesday when 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive chemical used in fertilizers, which had been stored for years at the port, ignited, sending shock waves across the Lebanese capital.

Around 135 people died, about 5,000 were injured and another 300,000 people have been left without a place to live. Hospitals have been overwhelmed by the injured.

Beirut Gov. Marwan Abboud told Al Hadath TV that collective economic losses due to the blast might reach $13 billion to $20 billion, saying the estimate included both direct and indirect losses related to business.

 

 

Other countries have also mobilized to provide help. Germany has dispatched dozens of search and rescue specialists to help find survivors trapped beneath rubble while Russia sent a plane carrying relief teams, doctors and medical equipment.

France is sending two planes with aid and 55 workers, including disaster response experts, emergency nurses, doctors and firefighters.

Gould said it’s possible Canada may provide support in other forms other than humanitarian funding, but wouldn’t say whether Canada’s disaster response team, DART, will be mobilized.

“Nothing is off the table right now in terms of Canada’s response,” she said. “We want to make sure that what we’re sending is indeed what is needed.”

Lebanese government under fire

Experts say the need for rapid assistance and the complexities of Lebanon’s political system — which is characterized by widespread corruption, sectarianism and a weak state — mean that non-governmental organizations like the Red Cross are best placed to provide immediate help.

“There are a lot of local organizations — some small, some really large — who have the capacity to implement significant humanitarian assistance programs and who have the capacity to really help the population with no political manoeuvring, with no political consequences,” said Ruby Dagher, an international development professor at the University of Ottawa who immigrated to Canada from Lebanon.

“We should look at those first for the humanitarian assistance before we turn our attention to working through the government.”

Public anger against the Lebanese government was already at historic highs after months of sustained protests amid a long-running financial crisis intensified by the coronavirus pandemic. That anger has only grown since it emerged that the highly explosive fertilizer that caused Tuesday’s explosion had been stored at Beirut’s port for six years while port officials did nothing about it.

Lama Mourad, a professor at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, said any aid provided through the Lebanese government will help legitimize a ruling class that has lost the trust of its people.

“[The government of Canada would] be effectively supporting a government that has no legitimacy in the eyes of citizens,” Mourad said. “Giving money to this government or any of the ruling elite… will only serve to support and strengthen their power, rather than necessarily go to the people who need it most.”

Rex Brynen, a political scientist at McGill University, said after the immediate humanitarian crisis is over, Canada could play a role in strengthening the capacity of the Lebanese government.

He cited the possible negligence at the Beirut port as a sign that the Lebanese state has a regulatory management problem at the port.

“That’s an issue which in the longer term needs to be addressed in Lebanon and outside partners can play a role in trying to strengthen government capacity,” Brynen said.

Source: – CBC.ca

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While you were sleeping: How Canada performed at Tokyo Olympics Friday, Saturday – Global News

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Canada won its latest swimming medal at the Tokyo Olympics Saturday, while athletes managed to advance to future rounds in multiple track and field events.

Here’s what you may have missed from the day’s events.

Read more:
Olympics medal count: Here’s who won the most medals during the Tokyo Games

Swimming

Kylie Masse won her second silver medal of the Tokyo Games in the women’s 200-metre backstroke, adding to her medal in the 100-metre backstroke.

Taylor Ruck, also swimming for Canada in the backstroke, managed a sixth-place finish.

On the men’s side, Brent Hayden tied for fourth in the 50-metre freestyle semifinal with Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov — and tied his personal best time — but it wasn’t enough to the final.

Athletics

Sage Watson made it through to Monday’s semifinal of the women’s 400-metre hurdles after finishing fourth in her heat. Noelle Montcalm wasn’t so lucky, placing sixth, although she managed a new season best performance.

Marco Arop won his heat in the men’s 800-metres, sending him to the semifinals on Sunday. Brandon McBride won’t join him after finishing sixth in his heat.

Defending bronze medal winner Andre De Grasse finished first in his 100-metre heat, clocking a season best time of 9.91 to qualify for the semifinals.

Fellow Canadians Gavin Smellie and Bismark Boateng failed to qualify for the semifinal, however, after both finishing eighth in their respective heats.


Canada’s Andre De Grasse wins the men’s 100m heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on July 31, 2021.


Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, sprinters Crystal Emmanuel and Khamica Bingham were unable to qualify for the women’s 100-metre final. Bingham finished fifth with a time of 11.22 in the first semi-final, while Emmanuel came in sixth place in the second semi-final, with a time of 11.21.

Diving

Jennifer Abel finished third in the women’s three-metre springboard semifinal, guaranteeing her a spot in the final on Sunday. Abel will be seeking her first medal in the event after finishing fourth at the 2016 Games in Rio.

Pamela Ware, who had been ranking just behind Abel in the first four rounds of the semifinal, fell to 18th place after failing her fifth dive and did not qualify for the final.

Rugby Sevens

The women’s team defeated Kenya 24-10 in its final match of the Games, securing a ninth-place finish in the overall rankings.


Click to play video: 'Women leading Team Canada at Tokyo Olympics'



2:06
Women leading Team Canada at Tokyo Olympics


Women leading Team Canada at Tokyo Olympics

Triathlon

The team of Amelie Kretz, Matthew Sharpe, Joanna Brown and Alexis Lepage managed a 15th-place finish in the mixed triathlon, nearly three-and-a-half minutes behind gold medallists Great Britain.

Golf

Mackenzie Hughes and Corey Conners both bumped themselves up to a tied 17th-place finish after the third round of play, which started for both men at the 10th hole.

Hughes finished with a score of 65, while Conners scored 66.

Sailing

Tom Ramshaw managed a second-place finish in the day’s first race of the men’s one-person heavyweight finn dinghy event, later placing ninth in the second race. He’ll sail his final two races on Sunday.

The men’s 49er skiff team of William Jones and Evan DePaul placed 13th in their first race of the day, 18th in the second and PLACE in the third, ending their run at the Games.

Alexandra Ten Hove and Mariah Millen’s final three races in the women’s 49er FX skiff event saw the team place 13h in the first and 17th in the second and third.

Boxing

Tammara Thibeault lost all five of her rounds in the women’s middleweight quarterfinal to Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands, ending her run at the Games.

Archery

Crispin Duenas was defeated by Germany’s Florian Unruh 6-2 in the men’s individual elimination round — the last round of play before the quarterfinal.

Equestrian

Colleen Loach and her horse Qorry Blue D’Argouges finished 42nd in third session of the team and individual dressage event.

Weightlifting

Broady Robert Santavy finished fourth in the men’s 96-kilogram weight class, narrowly missing out on Canada’s second weightlifting medal after Maude Charron took home gold in the women’s 64-kilogram competition Tuesday.

— with files from Global News’ Saba Aziz


Click to play video: 'Tokyo Olympics: Canada wins gold medal in women’s eight rowing'



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Tokyo Olympics: Canada wins gold medal in women’s eight rowing


Tokyo Olympics: Canada wins gold medal in women’s eight rowing

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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How can Canada avoid a fourth wave of COVID-19? Doctors weigh in – CTV News

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TORONTO —
After federal COVID-19 modelling showed that the fall could bring about yet another surge in COVID-19 cases with the Delta variant spreading rapidly, doctors say that the best way to avoid a fourth wave is to vaccinate, test, trace and isolate.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, released modelling on Friday that indicates cases are beginning to rise as a result of the more contagious Delta variant, but there is still time to flatten the curve.

“There’s no summer vacation for getting second doses and first doses, because we don’t have that leeway,” Dr. Lisa Barrett told CTV News Channel on Saturday.

She added that people who are delayed in getting their shots, first or second, need to make an effort to get it as soon as possible.

“Before we get into all of these back to school and other situations in a respiratory virus season like the fall, we’ve got to keep going,” she said.

While breakthrough cases have happened among vaccinated people, they remain rare and vaccines remain the best defense against COVID-19.

”It very much is that these vaccines are amazing, and the cornerstone of our prevention toolbox, and our control,” said Barrett. “The limiting of virus really, really depends on people getting two doses of this vaccine.”

There are other steps Canadians can take to continue protecting themselves, vaccinated or not, and they’re no different than what’s been urged since early on in the pandemic: masking and testing.

“There’s some simple tools out there, in addition to vaccines, like masking and testing, that would reduce the risk of this being a disease of the unvaccinated,” Barrett said.

While the modelling shows the potential for a fourth wave in the fall, an infectious disease specialist said that models are only as good as the variables put into them, but that the possibility of another surge is possible.

“It’s possible that we could have a sort of fourth wave. I would guess that it could be a muted fourth wave, because unlike previous waves, we do have vaccinated people,” Dr. Ronald St. John, former director-general of the Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response, told CTV News Channel on Saturday.

While provinces begin to loosen restrictions, or in some cases do away with them altogether, one doctor says that it’s the unvaccinated population who will be hit hardest by a fourth wave.

“The fourth wave is certainly going to affect those who are unvaccinated, but I think what we really need to start looking at are, who are these unvaccinated populations?” Dr. Veronica McKinney, director of Northern Medical Services at the University of Saskatchewan, told CTV News Channel on Saturday.

She said that unvaccinated populations need to be identified in order for doctors and experts can work with them, so that they can be comfortable getting vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

“The way that it’s been portrayed is that it’s an individual choice and that people are just being resistant but I really believe that now is the time to look at what are the pieces that have led to this in the system?” she said.

Policies need to change to encourage people to get vaccinated, but also to take time off in the event they do get sick, added McKinney.

“We need to look at those policies that are making it difficult, those people who don’t get sick time, who don’t want to be tested because they don’t want to be off work but also not necessarily trusting what is being presented,” she added.

Even with getting more shots in arms, McKinney said that provinces such as Saskatchewan and Alberta have lifted public health measures necessary to test, trace and isolate in a way to prevent a fourth wave.

“Part of the challenges that our communities are now dealing with is the fact that there are no longer public health orders that we can use to try to help in terms of keeping people isolated if they need be, testing, all of those pieces that were very helpful, but are no longer existent [Saskatchewan],” she said.

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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday – CBC.ca

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The latest:

  • 2 travellers arriving in Toronto from U.S. fined $20K each for fake vaccination documents.
  • Have a coronavirus question or news tip for CBC News? Email: COVID@cbc.ca

In Europe, thousands of people protested France’s special virus pass by marching through Paris and other cities on Saturday. Most demonstrations were peaceful, but some protesters in Paris clashed with riot police, who fired tear gas.

Some 3,000 security forces deployed around the French capital for a third weekend of protests against the pass, which will be needed soon to enter restaurants and other places. Police took up posts along the city’s Champs-Élysées to guard against an invasion of the famed avenue.

With virus infections spiking and hospitalizations rising, French lawmakers have passed a bill requiring the pass in most places as of Aug. 9. Polls show a majority of French support the pass, but some are adamantly opposed. The pass requires a vaccination or a quick negative test or proof of a recent recovery from COVID-19 and mandates vaccine shots for all health-care workers by mid-September.

Tensions flared in front of the famed Moulin Rouge nightclub in northern Paris during what appeared to be the largest demonstration. Lines of police faced down protesters in up-close confrontations during the march. Police used their fists on several occasions.

Protesters face off with riot police in front of Paris landmark Moulin Rouge nightclub on Saturday. (Geoffroy Van der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images)

As marchers headed eastward and some pelted officers with objects, police fired tear gas into the crowds, plumes of smoke filling the sky. A male protester was seen with a bleeding head, and a police officer was carried away by colleagues. Three officers were injured, the French media quoted police as saying. Police, again responding to rowdy crowds, also turned a water cannon on protesters as the march ended at the Bastille.

A calmer march was led by the former top lieutenant of far-right leader Marine Le Pen who left to form his own small anti-European Union party. But Florian Philippot’s new cause, against the virus pass, seems far more popular. His contingent of hundreds marched on Saturday to the Health Ministry.

Among those not present this week was François Asselineau, leader of another tiny anti-EU party, the Popular Republican Union, and an ardent campaigner against the health pass, who came down with COVID-19. In a video on his party’s website, Asselineau, who was not hospitalized, called on people to denounce the “absurd, unjust and totally liberty-killing” health pass.

A protester uses a face covering to protect against tear gas as police move their line during a demonstration in Paris on Saturday. (Adrienne Surprenant/The Associated Press)

French authorities are implementing the health pass because the highly contagious delta variant is making strong inroads. More than 24,000 new daily cases were confirmed Friday night — compared with just a few thousand cases a day at the start of the month.

The government announcement that the health pass would take effect on Aug. 9 has driven many unvaccinated French to sign up for inoculations so their social lives won’t get shut down during the summer holiday season. Vaccinations are now available at a wide variety of places, including some beaches. More than 52 per cent of the French population has been vaccinated.

About 112,000 people have died of the virus in France since the start of the pandemic.


What’s happening in Canada

Workers prepare COVID-19 vaccine shots at a mobile clinic in Montreal on Saturday. (Jean-Claude Taliana/Radio-Canada)

  • COVID-19 modelling group sounds alarm over Alberta’s case trajectory.
  • The end of an order: A timeline from N.B.’s first COVID case to life in green.

What’s happening around the world

As of Saturday, more than 197.6 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 4.2 million deaths had been reported.

People wearing face masks board a train in Tokyo on Saturday. (Kantaro Komiya/The Associated Press)

In Asia, the number of COVID-19 cases reported in Tokyo reached a daily record 4,058 at the mid-point of the Olympics, according to city hall on Saturday.

In Africa, health officials say cases have risen sharply in Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria and elsewhere in the continent’s West amid low vaccination rates and delta variant spread.

In the Americas, the U.S. state of Florida reported 21,683 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the state’s highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic, according to federal health data.

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