adplus-dvertising
Connect with us

News

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

Published

 on


The latest:

Iran says it will impose a six-day “general lockdown” in cities across the country after being hit by what it describes as its fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, state media reported Saturday.

The lockdown includes all bazaars, markets and public offices, as well as movie theatres, gyms and restaurants in all Iranian cities.

300x250x1

The lockdown will begin on Monday and last through next Saturday.

The national coronavirus task force, which issued the decision, also ordered a travel ban between all Iranian cities from Sunday to Friday.

Iranians wait their turn to be inoculated against the coronavirus at the vaccination centre in the Iran Mall on Saturday. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

Also on Saturday, Iran reported 466 deaths and 29,700 new cases of coronavirus patients in a single day. That brought the total pandemic death toll to 97,208 and total confirmed cases to 4,389,085.

Last week, Iran hit a record in both its single-day death toll and confirmed new cases of COVID-19, with 42,541 new coronavirus cases and a daily death toll of 588.

Iran is struggling to vaccinate its people against the pandemic. Like much of the world, it remains far behind countries such as the United States in vaccinations, with only 3.8 million of its more than 80 million people having received both vaccine doses.

Many front-line medical workers have been vaccinated with Iran’s locally produced shots or the Chinese state-backed Sinopharm vaccine, which may be less effective than other inoculations.

Iran’s government announced that its homemade vaccine provides 85 per cent protection from the coronavirus, without disclosing data or details. Iran also imports Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, as well as the AstraZeneca-Oxford shot through the United Nations-backed COVAX program.

So far, authorities have avoided imposing heavy-handed rules on a population badly equipped to bear them. Iran, which has suffered the worst virus outbreak in the region, is reeling from a series of crises: tough U.S. sanctions, global isolation, a heat wave, the worst blackouts in recent memory and ongoing protests over water and electricity shortages.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, in January slammed shut any possibility of American or British vaccines entering the country, calling them “forbidden.”

For now, the majority of Iranians receiving vaccines rely on foreign-made shots. A Health Ministry spokesperson said that Iran could import Western vaccines “as long as they’re not produced in the U.S. or Britain.”


What’s happening in Canada

WATCH | Alberta delays plans to remove COVID-19 measures as cases rise:

Alberta delays plans to remove COVID-19 measures amid rising cases

18 hours ago

Alberta is walking back its timeline to change more COVID-19 restrictions. The province’s chief medical officer says it’s too soon to remove isolation requirements and testing after hearing weeks of public outcry. 2:04


What’s happening around the world

A general view shows a quiet street in the central business district of Sydney on Saturday, as Australia’s biggest city announced tighter COVID-19 restrictions, including heavier fines and more policing, to contain an outbreak of the delta variant. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

As of Saturday morning, more than 206.3 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported around the world, according to the coronavirus tracker maintained by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.3 million.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Australia’s most populous state reported a daily record 466 new locally acquired COVID-19 infections on Saturday and increased fines for breaches of pandemic restrictions.

Four people had died overnight, bringing the death toll in New South Wales from an outbreak of the delta variant first detected in Sydney in mid-June to 42.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said fines for breaking pandemic rules such as breaching quarantine orders had been increased from 1,000 Australian dollars ($923 Cdn) to AU$5,000 ($4,613). Sydney residents will be restricted to within five kilometres of home, half the distance they were previously allowed.

The government later announced that all of New South Wales would be locked down from 5 p.m. until Aug. 22. Sydney has been in lockdown since June 26, 10 days after the first delta case was detected.

In the Americas, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday issued a state of emergency as hospitals face a surge in COVID-19 cases. Of the state’s 1,567 intensive care unit beds, 689 were filled with COVID-19 patients and just 39 were empty, tying a record low for available ICU beds.

Ivey issued a limited state of emergency aimed at giving medical providers flexibility on staffing and capacity decisions and easier shipment of emergency equipment and supplies. The Republican governor stressed she would not be issuing any closure orders or mask mandates.

Meanwhile, Oregon’s governor said she will deploy up to 1,500 National Guard troops to hospitals around the state, which have warned they are near capacity, to support health-care workers.

WATCH | U.S., Canadian health officials suggest 3rd doses for most vulnerable: 

Canadian and American health officials suggest third doses for most vulnerable

18 hours ago

As a fourth wave of COVID-19 nears, U.S. regulators are suggesting third vaccine shots for the immunocompromised, and Ontario is eyeing a plan for booster shots. 2:03

In Europe, Norway’s government will end some restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it said on Friday, but stopped short of announcing a full reopening of the economy.

The government in April launched a four-step plan to gradually remove most pandemic restrictions and had completed the first three of those steps by mid-June. It had been set to introduce the fourth step in its reopening plan last month but twice postponed the decision because of concerns about the delta variant.

While some measures will now be relaxed, allowing universities to proceed with in-person teaching, for instance, other restrictions will remain until early September, Health Minister Bent Hoeie said.

Measures that will be kept in place include bars and restaurants being limited to table service, limits of 20 people at gatherings in private homes and restrictions on adult recreational sports.

In Africa, Morocco received a shipment of 600,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as it expands its inoculation campaign to younger people following a surge in cases, said Said Afif, a member of the Health Ministry’s scientific committee.

Adblock test (Why?)

728x90x4

Source link

Continue Reading

News

Where trapping is still a way of life, Quebec lithium projects spark fears for future

Published

 on

NEMASKA, QUE. — As Freddy Jolly’s pickup truck travels the dusty roads through the spruce forests outside Nemaska, Que., the one radio station fades in and out, and Jolly fills the gaps between country ballads with conversation.

“There are fewer moose than before due to logging,” Jolly says as he scans the horizon.

This is Eeyou Istchee in northern Quebec, the traditional land of the James Bay Cree, with a surface area equivalent to two-thirds of France. The 65-year-old Cree hunter and trapper knows the land well and has agreed to take a visitor to see sites where lithium mines are under construction.

Inside the pickup truck’s cab lie two rifles, one for small game and one for big game.

300x250x1

If he were to encounter a moose, Jolly would shoot it and share the meat with his community members, in keeping with tradition. He explains that in the fall, in the Eeyou Istchee, every family has moose meat in their freezer. Hunting is a source of food but it also helps maintain the cultural and spiritual values of the Cree Nation.

His parents and grandparents sold furs to the Hudson’s Bay Company, and he sells them to a company in North Bay, Ont., but he fears that this way of life, which many Cree still depend on, will be disrupted by the rush for the new “white gold” — lithium.

Companies planning to develop mines in the region believe it contains some of the world’s largest deposits of spodumene, a lithium-rich mineral.

“There are more and more mining claims. I see more and more people from the south exploring and drilling on traditional hunting areas, and soon, many roads will be built for lithium mines,” Jolly says.

In order to develop mines for lithium and other critical minerals needed for the electrification of transportation, the Grand Council of the Crees and the Quebec government are planning to build hundreds of kilometres of new roads and power lines, a railroad, and a deepwater port in the Eeyou Istchee.

Jolly’s truck stops at kilometre 58 on the EM-1 road on the territory of the Cree community of Eastmain, north of Nemaska.

This is where Critical Elements Corp. plans to empty two lakes after harvesting the fish and donating them to the community. This will allow the development of an open pit lithium and tantalum mine that could produce about 4,500 tonnes of ore per day for 17 years.

The mine will be built directly on the traditional hunting grounds of Ernie Moses, the tallyman or supervisor for the local trapline.

“I’m sad, but there’s not much I can do about this project,” Moses says in an interview near one of the lakes that will be drained.

For several generations, his family has trapped beavers in the lake. The area is home to an abundance of game, fish, and bird species at risk, according to the federal government’s environmental assessment.

Critical Elements Corp., says that in order to extract ore from the ground in this region, which holds “one of the highest purity spodumene deposits in the world,” it will be necessary to destroy wetlands and cut down a significant number of trees.

“What will be left of this land in 20 years?” wonders Moses, adding that when he looks at the lake in front of him, he sees “beavers, but the mine sees dollar signs.”

The trapper made an agreement with the promoter to help him inventory the beavers on the territory so they can be removed before the lake is eliminated, and either relocated or killed for their pelts.

The Eeyou Istchee is divided into 300 family traplines, each large enough to support an extended family. Every one of these traditional traplines is under the responsibility of a tallyman like Moses, who on this day has brought along two of his daughters and his son-in-law to teach them.

“It’s important to pass on this traditional way of life; when I walk on this land, I take the place of my ancestors, they know I’m here,” he said. “Whenever I’m on my trapline, I think about them, I’m filling in for them, and I want this to continue after me.”

Mining exploration projects for various types of metal have more than doubled in the last 15 years in the Eeyou Istchee, going from 174 in 2004 to nearly 400 in 2021. A few dozen kilometres down the road from the soon-to-disappear lakes lies the future site of the Nemaska Lithium mine, in which the Quebec government has invested tens of millions of dollars.

Nemaska Lithium plans to blast the spodumene rocks that contain the precious metal, and to do so, it too will have to eliminate a small lake and a creek, in addition to altering several bodies of water, according to a company progress report.

The mining company estimates there will be between 3,770 and 5,500 square metres of habitat loss for several fish species, but a report from the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada concludes the “anticipated negative residual effects on fish and fish habitat” are much greater — 54,600 square metres of fish habitat.

Louis-Martin Leclerc, a spokesman for the mine, said Nemaska Lithium is working on updating a compensation plan for the loss of fish habitat.

According to the company, 10 species of mammals considered threatened, vulnerable or at risk, including the wolverine and the woodland caribou, can be found in the project’s study area. Nemaska Lithium recognizes that a vast number of activities, during both the construction and operation phases of the mine, will impact wildlife.

However, Leclerc adds that there is no compensation plan for the loss of these mammals’ habitat because, according to its inventories, none of them have been observed on the actual site of the mine.

One of Jolly’s biggest concerns is that a chemical spill or mine tailings will contaminate other bodies of water. The mine site is located in the watershed of the Rupert River, one of the largest rivers in Quebec, which has always been an important source of food for the Cree.

“It would be catastrophic,” the trapper says with a sigh, adding that lithium mining is dividing his community.

Benoît Plante, a water quality expert, led a research project on the site of the future Nemaska mine.

“Zero risk does not exist,” said Plante, a professor at the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. “There are risks of dust, physical stability and water contamination, but we have some of the best legislation, which can minimize these risks and make sure they are acceptable.”

Both the Nemaska Lithium and Critical Elements projects have received approval from federal and provincial authorities as well as Cree band councils in the region.

In Eastmain, band Chief Kenneth Cheezo supports the mining development.

“This is new for us, it’s the first time that a mine will open on this territory,” he said in an interview.

“The company has come into the community, into our schools, to talk to young people about the jobs that will be created, and we’re not just talking about low-level employees; there are job opportunities in engineering, human resources, and several management positions.”

The high school graduation rate has increased recently in Eastmain, and he believes this may be due to the eventual opening of the mine and the jobs that will be offered.

“I like to think that the success of our students over the past few years can be explained, perhaps in part, by the fact that they know, at the end of their studies, that something, a reward, may await them,” he said.

The companies have committed to providing job training in the Cree communities. Furthermore, the communities will receive undisclosed amounts of financial compensation for hosting the mines.

Cheezo says he is confident, based on meetings with Critical Elements Corp. representatives, that the extraction will be done in a way that minimizes environmental impacts.

However, he admits that finding the right balance between the traditional way of life, environmental protection and economic development is a perilous exercise.

“It’s very difficult, because the land is so sacred to us, so it’s painful to give a piece of it, even if it’s just a piece of rock.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 6, 2023.

Stéphane Blais received the support of the Michener Foundation, which awarded him a Michener–Deacon Investigative Journalism fellowship in 2022 to report on the impact of lithium extraction in northern Quebec.

 

Stéphane Blais, The Canadian Press

Continue Reading

News

Majority of Canadians support private options for health care, poll shows – Global News

Published

 on


[unable to retrieve full-text content]

Majority of Canadians support private options for health care, poll shows  Global News

728x90x4

Source link

Continue Reading

News

Canada 'stands ready' to help after deadly earthquake rocks Turkiye, Syria: Trudeau – CTV News

Published

 on


[unable to retrieve full-text content]

Canada ‘stands ready’ to help after deadly earthquake rocks Turkiye, Syria: Trudeau  CTV News

728x90x4

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending