Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has appealed for out-of-state help to fight the state’s third wave of COVID-19.
Abbott on Monday directed the Department of State Health Services to use staffing agencies to find additional medical staff from outside Texas.
He also urged the Texas Hospital Association to request that hospitals postpone all elective medical procedures. In addition, the governor ordered an expansion of COVID-19 vaccine availability in underserved communities.
The developments came as Houston’s two county-owned hospitals raised tents to accommodate their COVID-19 patient overflow. Private hospitals in the county already were requiring their staff to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Hospital officials in Houston said last week that area hospitals with beds had insufficient numbers of nurses to serve them.
Abbott is not lifting his emergency order banning local governments from requiring mask use and physical distancing. He said people are able to make their own decisions on protecting their health.
The Dallas school district announced on Monday that it would require students and staff to wear face masks starting Tuesday. The Houston school district already announced a mask mandate for its students and staff later this week if its board approves.
Also Monday, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins filed a lawsuit asking a judge to strike down Abbott’s mask mandate ban.
The rolling two-week daily average of new COVID-19 cases in Texas has increased by 165 per cent to 8,533, according to Johns Hopkins University research data.
What’s happening in Canada
What’s happening around the world
As of Tuesday morning, more than 203.4 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 4.4 million.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Australia’s most populous state is reporting a new daily high of 356 coronavirus infections. The New South Wales government also reported four more COVID-19 deaths Tuesday.
More than 80 per cent of the state’s 8.2 million people are in lockdown, including the greater Sydney region. The Sydney lockdown began June 26, and hopes are fading that restrictions will be eased as planned on Aug. 28.
In Bangladesh, the government will begin vaccinating Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, a town on the country’s southeast coast, from Tuesday in a walk-in mass inoculation drive.
About 48,000 Rohingyas, aged 55 and above and registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, will be vaccinated between Tuesday and Thursday with the help of the UN agencies, officials said.
In Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the country’s 16 state governors are set to meet Tuesday to decide on how to handle measures against COVID-19 and talk about whether people who have been fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 should have greater freedoms than those who aren’t vaccinated.
While Germany has relatively low numbers of virus cases compared to other European countries, cases are rising again and authorities are fearing that especially young people who are not vaccinated yet may contract and spread the virus in the coming weeks and months.
In the Middle East, Iraqi health authorities have organized a COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the holy city of Kerbala ahead of the upcoming annual religious ritual of Ashura.
The city’s health department launched the campaign that targeted owners of restaurants and its employees who interact with visitors as crowds of Muslim Shias from different countries gather.
In Africa, Nigeria has announced it’s postponing the rollout of its second batch of COVID-19 vaccine due to “unforeseen circumstances,” a setback for Africa’s most populous nation as it faces a major surge in confirmed cases. The rollout was scheduled for Tuesday. Less than two per cent of the country’s 200 million citizens have been vaccinated.
Have questions about this story? We’re answering as many as we can in the comments.
Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have finally landed in Canada – CTV News
Two Canadians who’ve been imprisoned in China for more than 1,000 days have arrived safely in Canada.
Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, detained on espionage charges since Dec. 10, 2018, arrived at the Calgary International Airport early Saturday morning, following an overnight fuel stop in Alaska.
Footage from CTV News on the tarmac shows several passengers greeted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with a hug, though everyone in the footage is wearing a mask.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office told CTV News’ Bill Fortier at the airport that the passengers are indeed the two Michaels. The spokesperson added that it is very emotional moment for both of them and they would not be taking questions.
Later in the day, a smiling Kovrig landed at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, where he was met by his sister and wife. Kovrig briefly spoke to media, where he issued his thanks for the support and said he would have more to say in due time.
“It’s wonderfully fantastic to be back home in Canada,” he told reporters. “I’m so grateful for everybody who worked so hard to bring both of us back home.”
Trudeau announced the two would be returning to Canada in a late-night press conference on Friday, only once the two had left Chinese airspace.
“Welcome home, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor,” Trudeau wrote in a tweet on Saturday. “You’ve shown incredible strength, resilience, and perseverance. Know that Canadians across the country will continue to be here for you, just as they have been.”
News of their release has garnered celebration from across Canada, including from Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, as well as from people who knew the two Canadians.
“It’s hard to describe but I’m just so thrilled for him and his family more than anybody else,” Praveen Madhiraju, a colleague of Kovrig’s, told CTV News Channel on Saturday. “This has been a long time coming and we’re just thrilled for this next chapter.”
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the two Michaels showed “incredible strength” during their detention.
“Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are now home — they, as well as their families, have shown incredible strength, bravery and resilience,” she tweeted on Saturday. “The Canadian government has worked hard to secure their release. We thank everyone involved who helped make it possible.”
The Michaels arrived in Canada just one day after a British Columbia court dropped the extradition case against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou over fraud and conspiracy charges related to American sanctions against Iran.
Meng had earlier Friday pleaded not guilty to all charges in a virtual appearance in New York court, where the judge signed off on a deferred prosecution agreement.
The two Michaels were both convicted of spying in closed Chinese courts earlier this year. Spavor was sentenced to 11 years in Chinese prison, while Kovrig had yet to be sentenced.
The detainment of the two Canadians has largely been seen as retaliation for Meng’s arrest, though China has repeatedly denied any connection between the Michaels and Meng.
Colin Robertson, a former Canadian diplomat, told CTV News Channel on Saturday that the swift release of the two Michaels shows that their detainment was in fact retaliatory.
“Obviously this is the acknowledgment that this was really a retaliatory hostage taking for Meng Wanzhou,”
“I think (this is) a triumph for quiet diplomacy, because this was kept very much to wraps. Nobody knew what was going on. I was as surprised as the rest of Canada.”
With files from The Canadian Press
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Sunday – CBC.ca
The U.S. Travel Association said the ongoing closure of the land borders with Canada and Mexico is costing U.S. businesses an estimated $1.5 billion a month in “travel exports,” which the association defines as spending by foreign residents while visiting the U.S.
Canada reopened its air, land and sea borders to Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 on Aug. 9. However, the ban on non-essential land travel from Canada and Mexico to the United States was extended last Monday for a 19th month, until Oct. 21.
“My constituents are deeply frustrated by this, particularly given the trade and the relationships that people have across the border,” Michigan Sen. Gary Peters said last week during national security hearings with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
“We are very mindful of the economic consequences, and not only the economic consequences but the consequences on family members who haven’t seen one another for quite some time,” Mayorkas replied.
He said the progression of the delta variant of the coronavirus “is not yet where we need it to be” in the U.S., and that there are communities near the U.S.-Mexico border that are also suffering as a result of the closure.
“We are looking at the situation, not only at the ports of entry on our northern border, but also on our southern border,” Mayorkas said.
WATCH | CBC News Network’s business panel looks at proof-of-vaccination policies:
“We have heard similar concerns with respect to border communities on the South and the impact, economic and family impact, of the restrictions. We are looking at what we can do operationally, and we are moving in a very sequential and controlled manner.”
Canada, meanwhile, remains the largest single U.S. export market, accounting for nearly 18 per cent of all American goods sent out of the country last year. The two countries trade $1.7 billion worth of goods and services each day, for a total of $614.9 billion in 2020.
What’s happening across Canada
WATCH | Canada’s top doctor on COVID-19 vaccines for children:
- N.L. reports 14 new case as 80 per cent of eligible residents now fully vaccinated.
What’s happening around the world
As of Sunday morning, more than 231.6 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s case tracking tool, which collects data from around the world. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.7 million.
In Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in mid-September that he would have to spend a “few days” in self-isolation after dozens of people in his entourage fell ill with COVID-19.
The results of his time away from official duties, after he cancelled his trip to Tajikistan for a security summit, could be seen in photos released on Sunday, showing him fishing in Siberia.
Putin has cultivated a macho image, appealing to many Russians, and has previously been pictured riding a horse bare-chested and in sun glasses, as well as carrying a hunting rifle and piloting a fighter jet.
In Asia, China has provided more than 1.25 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to other countries, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday. President Xi Jinping announced recently that China will provide a total of two billion doses of vaccines for the rest of the world by the end of this year.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales recorded 961 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and nine deaths, government data showed on Sunday.
The state’s first dose vaccination rate has climbed to 85.2 per cent of its population over 16 years of age, while 59.1 per cent of the population has had their second doses.
New South Wales is expected to relax harsh lockdown restrictions that have been in place since June, when its population reaches 80 per cent double vaccinated some time in November.
Why some Canadians are ready to travel; landlord boots tenant over tattoos: CBC's Marketplace cheat sheet – CBC.ca
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Ottawa still wants us to stay home. But many travellers are heading to warmer pastures anyway
For many Canadians accustomed to a life of travel, the last year and half has only made their feelings of wanderlust grow stronger.
While the delta variant has complicated plans for a post-pandemic future where it’s safe to travel without reservations, many people are still planning to head south in the coming months.
Air Canada, Air Transat and Sunwing all say the upcoming fall and winter looks promising for travel to sun destinations.
“When looking to the sun market, we are very optimistic about our recovery,” Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick told CBC News in a recent email. He noted the airline is currently “observing demand growth that is above 2019 levels.”
Despite this increased demand, the federal government is still feeling uneasy about people travelling internationally.
In an email to CBC News, Global Affairs Canada said its still advising against non-essential travel outside of Canada and also pointed to practical concerns for those who do choose to go abroad.
“Additional travel restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can suspend or reduce flights without notice. Travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult to return home.” Read more
Can a landlord cancel a lease because of tattoos? It happened to this student
A first-year Western University student who arrived in London, Ont., from Saskatchewan says she had a rental agreement cancelled at the last minute by a landlord who said she didn’t like her tattoos.
Kadince Ball, 18, started school at Western earlier this month and secured an apartment ahead of her move. She’d already signed a lease and paid her damage deposit, but shortly after she met her landlord Esther Lee in person, Lee told her that she couldn’t move in.
“A lease was signed and because I look a certain way, I was denied tenancy,” said Ball. “None of my tattoos are offensive. They are works of art. They are somebody’s works of art on my body.”
Lee told CBC News she moved to cancel the lease because she became “scared” after seeing Ball’s tattoos. The day the two first met in person, it was hot and Ball was wearing a tank top that showed her tattoos, which include a snake wrapped around a flower on her forearm, a cherub on one shoulder and a flower on the other shoulder
“It covered almost 70 per cent of her arm,” said Lee. “That’s why I don’t want to rent it to her because it’s scary, so scary.”
Ball eventually found another apartment. She’s more concerned with her studies than pursuing legal action. But a lawyer at the Community Legal Services Clinic at Western says if she chose to bring the incident to small claims court, she likely would have a case. Read more
How much air pollution is too much? The answer is lower than we once thought
The World Health Organization said earlier this week that the harmful health effects of air pollution kick in at lower levels than it previously thought.
As a result, the WHO is setting a higher bar for policymakers and the public in its first update to its air quality guidelines in 15 years.
Exposure to air pollution is estimated to cause seven million premature deaths and affect the health of millions more people each year, and air pollution “is now recognized as the single-biggest environmental threat to human health,” said Dr. Dorota Jarosinska, WHO Europe program manager for living and working environments.
Air pollution is now comparable to other global health risks such as unhealthy diets and tobacco smoking, WHO said. Read more
What else is going on?
Here’s how the housing landscape could change under a newly re-elected Liberal government
Ottawa looks very similar post-election, but there is optimism about affordability — if promises are kept.
Office vacancies are at a pandemic high. Blame the fourth wave
The vacancy rate rose to 15.7 per cent in the third quarter of 2021, according to CBRE Group Inc., a commercial real estate firm.
The EU wants to push all smartphone makers to use the same charging point. Even Apple
EU wants to cut down on 10,000 tonnes a year of e-waste generated by obsolete tech.
Is your device spying on you? CBC Kids News has the answers
Experts say that’s a bit of a stretch.
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