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Military to 'be in position' Monday to decide where to deploy nurses in Alberta – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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OTTAWA – Public Safety Canada says a contingent from the Canadian Armed Forces is expected to “be in position” Monday to decide where to deploy eight critical care nurses that will help Alberta combat the fourth wave of COVID-19.

The federal agency also says the Canadian Red Cross is planning to provide up to 20 medical professionals, some with intensive care unit experience, to augment or relieve existing staff working in Alberta’s hospitals.

Premier Jason Kenney announced Thursday that the province was finalizing a deal to secure eight to 10 intensive care ward specialists from the military, likely to be based in Edmonton, to help in hospitals.

He also said up to 20 trained Red Cross medical workers, some with intensive care experience, would be deployed in central Alberta.

Alberta is dealing with a COVID-19 crisis that has seen well over 1,000 new cases a day for weeks while filling intensive care wards to almost twice normal capacity.

The province’s health delivery agency has had to scramble and reassign staff to handle the surge of intensive care patients far above the normal capacity of 173 beds.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 2, 2021.

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Canada no longer advising against non-essential travel, first time since March 2020 – CTV News

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TORONTO —
The Canadian government has quietly lifted its advisory against non-essential international travel, marking the first time since March 2020 that the notice has been lifted.  

A travel notice on the Government of Canada website had been advising travellers against all non-essential international travel, but is now replaced with a notice urging all travellers to be fully vaccinated before a trip.

“Be aware that although you are better protected against serious illness if you are vaccinated, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19,” the updated advisory states.

“If you’re unvaccinated, you remain at increased risk of being infected with and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 when travelling internationally. You should continue avoiding non-essential travel to all destinations.”

The updated notice also urges travellers to keep up-to-date on the COVID-19 situation in their destination, to follow the local public health measures and follow the traditional measures, such as wearing a mask, hand washing and physical distancing.

“The Government of Canada will continue to assess available data and indicators—including the vaccination rate of Canadians, the border test positivity rate, and the epidemiological situation globally and in Canada―and adjust advice as needed,” a spokesperson for Health Canada said in an emailed statement to CTVNews.ca.

While the government is no longer advising against international travel, it is still urging against international cruises.

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Biden says United States would come to Taiwan’s defense

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The United States would come to Taiwan‘s defense and has a commitment to defend the island China claims as its own, U.S. President Joe Biden said on Thursday, though the White House said later there was no change in policy towards the island.

“Yes, we have a commitment to do that,” Biden said at a CNN town hall when asked if the United States would come to the defense of Taiwan, which has complained of mounting military and political pressure from Beijing to accept Chinese sovereignty.

While Washington is required by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, it has long followed a policy of “strategic ambiguity” on whether it would intervene militarily to protect Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack.

In August, a Biden administration https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/us-position-taiwan-unchanged-despite-biden-comment-official-2021-08-19 official said U.S. policy on Taiwan had not changed after the president appeared to suggest the United States would defend the island if it were attacked.

A White House spokesperson said Biden at his town hall was not announcing any change in U.S. policy and “there is no change in our policy”.

“The U.S. defense relationship with Taiwan is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act. We will uphold our commitment under the Act, we will continue to support Taiwan’s self-defense, and we will continue to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo,” the spokesperson said.

Biden said people should not worry about Washington’s military strength because “China, Russia and the rest of the world knows we’re the most powerful military in the history of the world,”

“What you do have to worry about is whether or not they’re going to engage in activities that would put them in a position where they may make a serious mistake,” Biden said.

“I don’t want a cold war with China. I just want China to understand that we’re not going to step back, that we’re not going to change any of our views.”

Military tensions between Taiwan and China are at their worst in more than 40 years, Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said this month, adding that China will be capable of mounting a “full-scale” invasion by 2025.

Taiwan says it is an independent country and will defend its freedoms and democracy.

China says Taiwan is the most sensitive and important issue in its ties with the United States and has denounced what it calls “collusion” between Washington and Taipei.

Speaking to reporters earlier on Thursday, China’s United Nations Ambassador Zhang Jun said they are pursuing “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan and responding to “separatist attempts” by its ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

“We are not the troublemaker. On the contrary, some countries – the U.S. in particular – is taking dangerous actions, leading the situation in Taiwan Strait into a dangerous direction,” he said.

“I think at this moment what we should call is that the United States to stop such practice. Dragging Taiwan into a war definitely is in nobody’s interest. I don’t see that the United States will gain anything from that.”

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom in Washington, Michelle Nichols in New York and Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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Alec Baldwin fires gun on movie set, killing cinematographer, authorities say

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Actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on a movie set in New Mexico on Thursday, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza, authorities said.

The incident occurred on the set of independent feature film “Rust,” the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office said in a statement.

“The sheriff’s office confirms that two individuals were shot on the set of Rust. Halyna Hutchins, 42, director of photography, and Joel Souza, 48, director, were shot when a prop  firearms was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 68, producer and actor,” the police said in a statement.

A Variety report https://bit.ly/3nnyldg said the shooting occurred at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a production location south of Santa Fe in New Mexico.

No charges have yet been filed in regard to the incident, said the police, adding they are investigating the shooting.

Baldwin’s representatives did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

 

(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Karishma Singh)

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