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Facebook is losing users in the US and Canada – Engadget

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POLAND - 2020/02/17: In this photo illustration a Facebook logo  seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)


SOPA Images via Getty Images

The surge in growth Facebook saw at the start of the coronavirus pandemic appears to be slowing down. User growth in the United States in Canada — the company’s most lucrative ad market — has declined, Facebook reported as part of its third-quarter earnings.

The company now has 196 million users in North America, down slightly from 198 million last quarter. In a statement, the company said the decrease was expected, and could continue through the end of the year.

“As expected, in the third quarter of 2020, we saw Facebook DAUs and MAUs in the US & Canada decline slightly from the second quarter 2020 levels which were elevated due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Facebook wrote in a press release. “In the fourth quarter of 2020, we expect this trend to continue and that the number of DAUs and MAUs in the US & Canada will be flat or slightly down compared to the third quarter of 2020.” 

The company had previously reported a large surge in growth at the start of the year due to widespread coronavirus lockdowns. Facebook isn’t seeing the same slowdown everywhere, though, and the social network is continuing to add new users in Asia and its “rest of world” markets. The company also continued to tout its “family of apps” metrics, which combines Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. That number rose to 2.54 billion “daily active people” in September, according to the company.

The slowdown also doesn’t seem to have affected Facebook’s revenue, which was up to $21.4 billion for the quarter, an increase of 22 percent from last year and better than analyst expectations for the company. Facebook reported more than $18 billion in ad revenue last quarter, despite a well-publicized advertiser boycott.

During a call with analysts, CEO Mark Zuckerberg emphasized Facebook’s work to prepare for the upcoming election, and said he’s worried about the possibility of “civil unrest” after election day. The company has taken numerous steps over the last several weeks and months to prepare for the election, like banning political ads after election day and cracking down on QAnon.

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Oil prices rise on Middle East tensions; crude stock build caps gains – CNBC

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Oil pump under the blue sky with beam pumping unit in the oil field.
Zheng Zaishuru | iStock | Getty Images

Oil prices edged higher on Thursday, supported by tensions in the Middle East, but failed to regain most of the previous day’s losses after a surprise build in crude stockpiles in the United States, the world’s top oil consumer.

Brent crude oil futures rose by 14 cents, or 0.2%, to $70.52 a barrel by 0132 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures increased by 18 cents, or 0.3%, to $68.33 a barrel. Both benchmarks fell by more than $2 a barrel on Wednesday.

Israeli aircraft struck what its military said were rocket launch sites in south Lebanon early on Thursday in response to earlier projectile fire towards Israel from Lebanese territory.

Two rockets launched from Lebanon on Wednesday struck Israel, which initially responded with artillery fire amid heightened regional tensions over an alleged Iranian attack on an oil tanker in the Gulf last week.

The exchange came after an attack last Thursday that Israel blamed on Iran on a tanker off the coast of Oman. Two crew members, a Briton and a Romanian, were killed. Iran denied any involvement.

The U.S. State Department said on Wednesday it believed Iranians hijacked the Panama-flagged Asphalt Princess tanker in the Gulf of Oman but was not in a position to confirm.

Helping check gains, a rise in locally transmitted Covid-19 cases in China, the world’s second largest oil consumer, that has prompted restrictions in some cities and cancellation of flights is threatening demand, analysts said.

Prices also fell steeply in the previous session after the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said crude stockpiles rose by an unexpected 3.6 million barrels last week.

Still, some analysts pointed to a bigger-than-forecast 5.3 million barrel fall in fuel stockpiles.

“The fall in U.S. gasoline stockpiles to the lowest level since November 2020 suggests that fuel demand conditions in the U.S. are still quite resilient,” analysts from Commonwealth Bank of Australia said in a note on Thursday.

The bank expects Brent oil prices to rise to $85 a barrel by the fourth quarter as oil demand outpaces supply growth. 

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Ontario removes one COVID-19 case from Ottawa total Wednesday – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
Ottawa Public Health says five more people have tested positive for COVID-19 but the health unit removed 12 cases from its pandemic total after it was found those individuals did not live in Ottawa.

Cases are sometimes removed from totals for a particular health unit when investigations reveal the individual or individuals who tested positive live in another health region.

“On Aug. 3, 2021, some cases were removed from the OPH dashboard because it was determined that the individuals did not live within the city of Ottawa,” Ottawa Public Health said in a statement. “As such, OPH’s cumulative case count has decreased since the previous report.”

A previous version of this article reported an increase of three new cases and the removal of 10, based on changes in daily figures for total cases by age category. Ottawa Public Health later told CTV News Ottawa the correct figures in terms of daily new cases and cases removed via data correction was five new cases and 12 cases removed. The overall change to the pandemic total remains the same.

The correction brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ottawa down to 27,821, seven fewer than what was reported Tuesday. Eight of the cases removed from Ottawa’s total were considered resolved. The number of confirmed active cases in Ottawa rose by one.

Hospitals and ICUs in Ottawa remain free of COVID-19 patients and there are zero active COVID-19 outbreaks in the city.

Across the province, Public Health Ontario said 139 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 11 more Ontarians have died, while noting that seven deaths are from 2020 and were added following a data cleanup. Another 155 cases are now considered resolved.

Two new cases were reported in the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health region on Wednesday. No other eastern Ontario public health unit reported new COVID-19 infections.

OTTAWA’S KEY COVID-19 STATISTICS

Ottawa is now in Step 3 of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen plan.

Ottawa Public Health data:

  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (July 27 to Aug. 2): 3.8 (down from 4.0)
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa (July 28 to Aug.3): 0.5 per cent (unchanged from July 23-29)
  • Reproduction number (seven day average): 0.95 (down from 1.16)

Reproduction values greater than 1 indicate the virus is spreading and each case infects more than one contact. If it is less than 1, it means spread is slowing.

COVID-19 VACCINES IN OTTAWA

Ottawa Public Health updates vaccine numbers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

As of Monday:

  • Ottawa residents with 1 dose (12+): 768,618 (+1,266)
  • Ottawa residents with 2 doses (12+): 668,736(+6,771)
  • Share of population 12 and older with at least one dose: 83 per cent
  • Share of population 12 and older fully vaccinated: 72 per cent
  • Total doses received in Ottawa*: 1,333,790

**Total doses received does not include doses shipped to pharmacies and primary care clinics, but statistics on Ottawa residents with one or two doses includes anyone with an Ottawa postal code who was vaccinated anywhere in Ontario. 

ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA

There are 43 active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Wednesday, up from 42 on Tuesday.

Ottawa Public Health removed eight resolved cases from its pandemic total on Wednesday. The total number of resolved cases of coronavirus in Ottawa is 27,185. The eight cases were removed upon investigations revealing these individuals did not live in Ottawa.

The number of active cases is the number of total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus the numbers of resolved cases and deaths. A case is considered resolved 14 days after known symptom onset or positive test result.

HOSPITALIZATIONS IN OTTAWA

Ottawa Public Health is reporting zero COVID-19 patients in local hospitals and zero in intensive care.

Local ICUs have been COVID-19 free for more than a month.

These data are based on figures from Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard, which refer to residents of Ottawa and do not include patient transfers from other regions.

COVID-19 CASES IN OTTAWA BY AGE CATEGORY

  • 0-9 years old: Three new cases (2,307 total cases)
  • 10-19 years-old: Zero new cases (3,586 total cases)
  • 20-29 years-old: Three cases removed from total (6,243 total cases)
  • 30-39 years-old: Three cases removed from total (4,251 total cases)
  • 40-49 years-old: One case removed from total (3,662 total cases)
  • 50-59 years-old: Two cases removed from total (3,332 total cases)
  • 60-69-years-old: One case removed from total (1,964 total cases)
  • 70-79 years-old: Zero new cases (1,097 total cases)
  • 80-89 years-old: Zero new cases (856 total cases)
  • 90+ years old: Zero new cases (520 total cases)
  • Unknown: Zero new cases (3 cases total)  

VARIANTS OF CONCERN

Ottawa Public Health data*:

  • Total Alpha (B.1.1.7) cases: 6,834 (-1)
  • Total Beta (B.1.351) cases: 406
  • Total Gamma (P.1) cases: 35 
  • Total Delta (B.1.617.2) cases: 52 (+1)
  • Percent of new cases with variant/mutation in last 30 days: 40 per cent
  • Total variants of concern/mutation cases: 9,154 (+1)
  • Deaths linked to variants/mutations: 101

*OPH notes that that VOC and mutation trends must be treated with caution due to the varying time required to complete VOC testing and/or genomic analysis following the initial positive test for SARS-CoV-2. Test results may be completed in batches and data corrections or updates can result in changes to case counts that may differ from past reports.

COVID-19 TESTING IN OTTAWA

Ottawa Public Health says 525 Ottawa residents were tested for COVID-19 on Tuesday. The daily positivity rate was 0.95 per cent.

The weekly average positivity rate for Ottawa residents for the week of July 28 to Aug. 3 is 0.5 per cent.

CASES OF COVID-19 AROUND THE REGION

  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit: Zero new cases
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health: Two new cases
  • Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health: Zero new cases
  • Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit: Zero new cases
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit: Zero new cases

Correction:

A previous version of this article reported an increase of three new cases and the removal of 10, based on changes in daily figures for total cases by age category. Ottawa Public Health later told CTV News Ottawa the correct figures in terms of daily new cases and cases removed via data correction was five new cases and 12 cases removed. The overall change to the pandemic total remains the same.

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Feds say 82000-plus doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to be sent to Trinidad and Tobago – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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OTTAWA – The federal government has announced it will send more than 82,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Trinidad and Tobago.

International Development Minister Karina Gould said in a release Wednesday that Trinidad and Tobago was selected to receive the excess doses that had already arrived in Canada based on need and the country’s capacity to deploy them immediately.

Gould said the doses will be delivered in the coming days and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago will manage the administration of the vaccines in accordance with manufacturing guidelines and public health best practices.

Last month, the federal government said it would donate nearly 18 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to poorer countries.

At the time, Procurement Minister Anita Anand said after talking to the provinces, the federal government determined these vaccine doses were excess supply, as demand for the AstraZeneca vaccine had been met.

She said Canada would donate 17.7 million doses that were supposed to flow into Canada from the United States through an advance purchase agreement with AstraZeneca and that they would be made available to lower-income countries through the global vaccine-sharing alliance COVAX.

In her statement Wednesday, Gould said vaccinating the world against COVID-19 continues to be the best strategy to end the pandemic.

“By redirecting excess doses we do not need here in Canada, we are supporting global efforts to fight this virus, and ensuring vaccines get to those in need,” she said. “Canadians know that no one is safe until everyone is safe.”

At the G7 meeting in June, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged that Canada would give back at least 13 million doses it was set to receive through a contract with COVAX, on top of millions of dollars already set aside for the global vaccine effort.

Global Affairs Canada said Trinidad and Tobago is a key partner for Canada, with more than 100,000 Canadians with connections to the country, and many thousands of Trinbagonians with connections to Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 4, 2021

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