China and South Korea reported new coronavirus cases Sunday in outbreaks that threatened to set back their recovery, while U.S. President Donald Trump said he told his government to reduce U.S. testing to avoid unflattering statistics showing rising infections.
Chinese authorities reported 25 new confirmed cases — 22 in Beijing and three in neighbouring Hebei province. It said 2.3 million people have been tested in an effort to contain the outbreak in the capital that led to the closure of its biggest wholesale food market.
In South Korea, authorities reported 48 new cases. Half were in the capital, Seoul. Ten were in the central city of Daejong, suggesting the virus was spreading more widely as anti-disease measures are relaxed.
The head of the World Health Organization warned Friday the virus’s global spread was accelerating after a daily high of 150,000 new cases was reported the previous day.
The new coronavirus has killed more than 454,000 people and infected more than 8.5 million, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The true number is thought to be much higher because many cases go untested.
WATCH | Infectious disease specialist on what we’ve learned about COVID-19
At a campaign rally, Trump said Saturday he has told his administration to slow down virus testing. He said the United States has tested 25 million people, but the “bad part” is that found more cases.
“When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases,” Trump said in Tulsa, Okla. “So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.'”
The campaign of his likely Democratic rival in November’s presidential election, former vice-president Joe Biden, accused Trump in a statement of “putting politics ahead of the safety and economic well-being of the American people.”
WATCH | Trump supporter in Tulsa says she had COVID-19:
Some governments including Spain, Britain and France are relaxing controls and reviving business activity. But case numbers are rising in South Africa, Brazil, the United States and some other countries.
Brazil’s Health Ministry said Saturday the total number of cases had risen by more than 50,000 from the previous day. President Jair Bolsonaro is downplaying the risks despite nearly 50,000 fatalities in three months.
South Africa reported a one-day high of 4,966 new cases on Saturday and 46 deaths. Despite the increase, President Cyril Ramaphosa this week announced a further loosening of one of the world’s strictest lockdowns. Casinos, beauty salons and sit-down restaurant service will be allowed to reopen.
Thousands of new infections in Arizona
In the United States, the state of Arizona reported 3,109 new infections, just short of Friday’s record, and 26 deaths. The state of Nevada also reported a new high of 445 cases.
The outbreak has killed about 120,000 people in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins.
China, where the outbreak began in December, and South Korea, the second country to report a spike in infections, had eased controls on travel and business as new cases fell. They have reimposed monitoring and some other restrictions following their recent jump in infections.
The Beijing health commission gave no details of where the latest cases might have originated. The Chinese capital’s biggest wholesale food market was closed June 13 after dozens of people who worked there tested positive.
The agency in charge of the Ming Tombs, a tourist site northwest of Beijing, said indoor areas will be closed as a safety precaution. Visitors are allowed in outdoor areas but are required to wear masks and be checked for fever.
In South Korea, nearly 200 infections have been traced to employees at a door-to-door sales company in Seoul, which mostly hired people over 60, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 70 infections have been linked to a table tennis club in Seoul whose members also passed the virus at a church.
South Korean officials are reluctant to enforce stronger social-distancing to avoid hurting the fragile economy.
In Middle East, the Palestinian Authority reimposed restrictions in the West Bank after 86 people tested positive on Saturday. Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announced access to the city of Hebron was suspended and residents put under a five-day curfew. Another city, Nablus, is to be isolated for two days.
In Europe, Germany reported 687 new cases, its highest one-day toll in a month, after earlier managing the outbreak better than comparable large European nations.
Spain dropped a 14-day quarantine requirement for British visitors effective Sunday. British travellers provide a big part of Spain’s tourism sector, which has been especially hard-hit.
What’s happening in Canada
As of 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Canada had 101,019 confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, with 63,488 of the cases considered recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial information, regional health data and CBC’s reporting stood at 8,455.
Quebec and Ontario continue to lead other provinces and territories for having the highest daily counts of confirmed infections.
WATCH | Canada surpasses 100,000 COVID-19 cases:
Ontario added 206 new cases on Saturday for a total of more than 33,300. Quebec recorded 124 cases, bringing the province’s total to more than 54,600.
All regions of Ontario except for Toronto, Peel and Windsor-Essex entered Stage 2 of the province’s phased reopening plan on Friday.
The second stage includes restaurant patios, hair salons and swimming pools. Child-care centres across Ontario can also reopen.
Quebec’s finance minister says the pandemic has hit the province hard. Eric Girard delivered an economic update Friday, showing a return to multibillion-dollar deficits.
Just three months ago, he delivered a balanced budget, thanks to a stronger economy and better employment numbers than Quebec had seen in a generation.
Now, gone is his $1.9-billion surplus, spent on measures to keep the economy and private businesses afloat.
Industry, mild winters clear way for white-tailed deer 'invasion' in Alberta's boreal forest – CBC.ca
Herds of invasive white-tailed deer continue to migrate north in Alberta’s boreal forest — bolstered by milder winters and human development that cuts through the vast wilderness, a new study suggests.
The survey, recently published in the journal Nature, used 62 trail cameras to track the movements of white-tailed deer near Fort McMurray, Alta., over three years.
It’s a “deer invasion,” said Jason Fisher, study author and wildlife ecologist at the University of Victoria.
“They’re all over the landscape,” Fisher said. “They’re expanding their range. And because they’re having these negative effects on the ecosystem, they could definitely be considered invasive.”
The cameras captured more than 141,000 images, and white-tailed deer appeared in 80 per cent of them. The survey makes clear that deer are now, by far, the most prevalent large mammal in the habitat, Fisher said.
“We’re kind of feeling around in the dark. But them being there in the numbers they currently are is definitely new, it’s definitely increased, and it’s gotten a lot worse over the last decade.”
‘Deer don’t really belong in that landscape’
Deer are not native to the boreal forest and their populations are thriving, often at the expense of other species, including fragile populations of woodland caribou, Fisher said.
The deer create imbalances in the natural food chain. The herds compete with other animals, devouring the boreal forest’s limited grazing lands. Their presence also draws more predators such as wolves to the area.
It’s like a caribou, white-tailed deer teeter-totter with wolves as the fulcrum.– Jason Fisher
“The deer don’t really belong in that landscape,” Fisher said. “They’re not evolved to move quickly over snow the way that caribou are, and so they’re easy targets for wolves.
“With all these white-tailed deer around, that’s pushing wolf numbers up. With more wolves around, they’re hitting caribou harder.
“It’s like a caribou, white-tailed deer teeter-totter with wolves as the fulcrum. And that’s the big problem.”
Historically confined to the Eastern Seaboard, deer have been expanding their territory across the continent since European colonization. First they followed farmers, occupying open areas created when land was cleared of trees.
In their move north, they followed humans again, taking advantage of open grazing areas created by seismic lines and other industrial developments that cut through the thick bush.
“As agriculture swept across North America, white-tailed deer have come with it,” Fisher said. “The increase we’re seeing here in Alberta now is basically the continuation of that process. Alberta has had deer in the south ever since we’ve had agriculture. But the move north is a pretty recent phenomenon.”
The study area — 3,000 square kilometres of white and black spruce, aspen, Jack pine and muskeg — is marked by extensive oil and gas development, logging roads, off-road trails and seismic lines. Deer have only been in the area for a couple of decades, Fisher said.
Aerial surveys done by the province provide some information on local populations, Fisher said, but his team wanted to better understand the animals in relation to the weather and the landscape.
According to the thousands of images captured by their cameras, deer were most numerous in areas touched by human development, he said.
During the three-year study, the severity of winter fluctuated. Populations would soar after a mild winter, but even after a “biblical” second winter, herd numbers appeared relatively untouched, he said.
‘This isn’t fully a climate-change problem’
Climate change and landscape change are working in tandem to drive the deer invasion, Fisher said. But the loss of mature forest to oil and gas development in the area is the biggest driver, he said.
The altered landscape has given the animals access to new foraging grounds, allowing them to withstand harsh seasons when they might normally starve, Fisher said.
In an ongoing follow-up study he is overseeing in the Richardson Backcountry, an untouched swath of wilderness north of Fort McMurray, deer numbers are sparse.
With milder winters expected and more development encroaching into the boreal habitat every year, white-tailed deer territory will only continue to grow, Fisher said.
“This isn’t fully a climate-change problem,” he said. “As long as there is ongoing disturbance in the landscape without restoration, then the white-tailed deer are going to be there.”
Lunar Eclipse July 2020: Date, Timings, and How to Watch Live Stream – Gadgets 360
July 4 will mark the third lunar eclipse for 2020. People in certain regions will be able to witness penumbral lunar eclipse, also being referred to as a “buck moon” lunar eclipse. It also coincides with the US Independence Day which is good news for US residents as they are among the people who will get to witness this celestial phenomenon. The first lunar eclipse of 2020 was in January, followed by the second in June, making it the third lunar eclipse for the year. Unfortunately, people in India will not be able directly see the eclipse.
Lunar eclipse July 2020: What is a penumbral lunar eclipse?
A penumbral lunar eclipse (upchaya chandra grahan in Hindi) is when the Earth blocks some of the Sun’s light from directly reaching the Moon and the outer part of the Earth’s shadow, called the ‘penumbra’, covers all or part of the Moon. This type of eclipse is harder to spot as the penumbra is fainter compared to the dark core of the Earth’s shadow called ‘umbra’. Because of this, a penumbral lunar eclipse is sometimes mistaken as a full Moon.
As per NASA, as there will be a full moon at 12:44am EDT on July 5 (10:14am IST on July 5) and will be the first full Moon of summer (US), the Algonquin tribes used to call this full Moon the Buck Moon.
When will the lunar eclipse occur?
As per data by TimeandDate, the lunar eclipse will start at 11:07pm EDT on July 4 (8:37am IST on July 5) and reach its peak at 12:29am EDT on July 5 (9:59am IST on July 5). It will last for 2 hours and 45 minutes after which the lunar eclipse will end at 1:52am EDT on July 5 (11:22 am IST on July 5).
Who will be able to witness the lunar eclipse?
Unfortunately, this lunar eclipse of July 4-5 will not be visible in India. However, people in much of North America, South America, South/West Europe, much of Africa, Indian Ocean, Pacific, Antarctica, and Atlantic will be able to witness it.
How to watch the July 2020 lunar eclipse?
The penumbral lunar eclipse, and other such celestial events are often streamed on popular YouTube channels including Slooh and the website Virtual Telescope. If you live in one of the regions where this lunar eclipse will be visible, you should be able to watch it without any special equipment.
WWDC 2020 had a lot of exciting announcements from Apple, but which are the best iOS 14 features for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
B.C. white throated sparrows become trend setters: 20 year study finds birds change tune – CKPGToday.ca
Researchers say they still don’t know what made the new song so compelling to the sparrows mentioning that it is well known that some bird species change their songs overtime but that they usually tend to stay in local populations.
“When I first moved to Prince George in British Columbia, they were singing something atypical from what was the classic white-throated sparrow song across all of eastern Canada.”—Ken Otter, UNBC Professor
In the 1960’s white-throated sparrows across the nation whistled their song which at the time ended in a repeated three-note triplet but come the 1990’s the song had already changed in western Canada, according to Otter.
Otter and his team utilized a large network of citizen scientist birders across North America who had uploaded recordings of the white throated sparrow songs online to track the new ending. Their findings showed that the song wasn’t just popular west of the Rocky Mountains but was spreading quickly east.
“Originally, we measured the dialect boundaries in 2004 and it stopped about halfway through Alberta.”—Ken Otter, UNBC Professor
“By 2014, every bird we recorded in Alberta was singing this western dialect, and we started to see it appearing in populations as far away as Ontario, which is 3,000 kilometers from us,” said Otter.
Otter says that they believed perhaps overwintering grounds were the reason for the song change. “We know that birds sing on the wintering grounds, so juvenile males may be able to pick up new song types if they overwinter with birds from other dialect areas. This would allow males to learn new song types in the winter and take them to new locations when they return to breeding grounds, helping explain how the song type could spread,” Otter says.
Further research found that the overwintering grounds did in fact play a part to the change in tune and that the original tune was completely being replaced by the sparrows new tune.
“In white-throated sparrows, we might find a situation in which the females actually like songs that aren’t typical in their environment. If that’s the case, there’s a big advantage to any male who can sing a new song type.”—Ken Otter, UNBC Professor
Otter and his team are curious to find out if the new tune may be preferred by female birds used to the three note ending song. Otter says that now a new song has appeared in another western sparrow population and are excited to see if this tune to takes over the country.
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