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New poll suggests more than half of Canadians are worried about issues at airports

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OTTAWA — Most Canadians believe the country is in a recession and that prices are going to continue to rise for the foreseeable future, according to a new poll.

A wide-ranging survey by Leger asked Canadians and Americans about issues including travel plans, airport delays and inflation.

More than 80 per cent of Canadian respondents said they believe prices will keep going up, and 59 per cent say they think Canada is in an economic recession.

That’s likely not good news for economists or business owners, said Leger vice-president Andrew Enns.

“It’s sort of a proxy question for how you feel about the economy,” he said.

“Between that and the rising inflation and the tightening of household budgets, that probably is not going to be something that’s going to encourage much consumer spending.”

The outlook was similarly bleak south of the border, where 64 per cent said the U.S. is in a recession, while 19 per cent said they didn’t know. But only 66 per cent of Americans feel prices will continue going up, and 16 per cent said things are starting to get better.

The online survey was completed by 1,538 Canadians and 1,002 Americans between July 8 and 10. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because online polls are not considered truly random samples.

Flight cancellations, delays and long lineups have 53 per cent of Canadian respondents concerned about airport travel, while 43 per cent said they’re not concerned and only three per cent said they were unaware of the problems.

A similarly small proportion, four per cent, said they weren’t aware of long lineups and delays in getting passports — likely evidence of how prominent both issues have been in the news in recent months.

Despite the many news stories about passport delays, less than half of Canadians polled said they were concerned about the issue, while 50 per cent said it’s not concerning.

“I think to be really sort of seized by that issue, you have to either have a trip coming up and probably also need to be looking at your passport expiration date,” Enns said.

More than half of Canadians who took the survey said they plan to travel within their own province, and another 28 per cent said they will travel within Canada. Just over a quarter said they’ll be heading abroad, with 16 per cent of travellers going to the U.S.

American respondents weren’t asked about the passport issue, but 45 per cent of them said they were concerned about travel issues. Another 13 per cent said they weren’t aware of the problem.

Just 18 per cent said that’s caused them to significantly change their vacation plans. People under 35 were more likely to say they’re changing their plans, and also more likely to be planning to travel overseas.

Enns said that number — nearly one in five — won’t sit well with the tourism sector.

“If you’re the tourism operator, running the bed and breakfast or the resorts, and finally we’ve got our first summer where we’re free and clear of COVID, you probably aren’t thrilled to see some of these stories,” he said.

There seems to be general agreement about what the problem is, with 68 per cent of Canadians and 54 per cent of Americans saying they think staffing shortages are to blame.

But 38 per cent of American respondents say it’s the airlines that are short-handed, while 43 per cent of Canadians think it’s the airports themselves.

A similar proportion — 18 per cent in Canada and 17 per cent in the U.S. — laid the blame on government COVID-19 restrictions.

People from the Prairies were more likely to believe the pandemic rules are the problem, and those from Atlantic Canada and Quebec were more likely to blame airports.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 12, 2022.

 

Sarah Ritchie, The Canadian Press

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Zimbabwean lecturer develops low-cost sun cream set to help people with Albinism

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Harare, Zimbabwe- Dr. Joey Chifamba, a University of Zimbabwe (UZ) chartered industrial chemist and pharmaceutical nanotechnology expert has developed a low-cost sun cream which is set to help people with Albinism.

According to Dr. Chifamba, the sun cream harnesses zinc and titanium from natural sources as well as indigenous trees and was made using 5th generation emerging technologies including nanotechnology and biotechnology.

Speaking to a local publication, The Herald, Dr. Chifamba said his ground-breaking sun cream will help people living with Albinism who suffer from actinic (solar-induced) skin damage, freckles, sunburn as well as other various skin cancers.

“No product has ever been developed to protect Albinistic persons from actinic damage. The sunscreens that are given to them are designed for white-skinned people and do not take into consideration specific conditions and differences found on Albinistic skins.

This makes them not very effective and not very suitable especially for all-day everyday wear since Albinism is a lifelong condition.

We employ nanosized metallic oxides sunblocks conjugated together with nano-optimized indigenous herbs with antibacterial, antifungal and wound healing effects to create aesthetically pleasing cosmeceutical products for every day all day use by Albinistic persons.

In our innovation we have developed ground-breaking cosmeceuticals which are not only sunscreens but complete actinic damage retarding treatments that consider Albinistic skin differences and deal with various symptoms of actinic damage including wrinkles, premature aging, inflammation, bacterial and fungal infections,” said Dr. Chifamba.

Furthermore, Dr. Chifamba said the products which were developed in consultation with the Albino charity organization of Zimbabwe and other Albino welfare groups, are already available to people living with Albinism who are registered with the charity organization.

People with Albinism have skin that is very sensitive to light and sun exposure. Sunburn is one of the most serious complications associated with Albinism because it can increase the risk of developing skin cancer and sun damage-related thickening of the skin.

Albinism is a rare genetic condition caused by mutations of certain genes that affect the amount of melanin your body produces. Albinism can affect people of all races and all ethnic groups

For most types of Albinism, both parents must carry the gene in order for their child to develop the condition. Most people with Albinism have parents who are only carriers of the gene and don’t have symptoms of the condition.

Other types of Albinism, including one that only affects the eyes, mostly occur when a birthing parent passes the gene for albinism on to a child assigned male at birth.

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Donald Trump loyalist, Alex Jones ordered to pay US$49 million in punitive damages

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Donald Trump loyalist, Alex Jones ordered to pay US$49 million in punitive damages

Austin, United States of America (USA)- A jury in Texas on Friday ordered Alex Jones, a loyalist to former US President Donald Trump, to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages to the parents of a child who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012.

The jury announced its decision a day after awarding the parents more than U$4.1 million in compensatory damages and after testimony on Friday that Jones and Free Speech Systems, the parent company of his media outlet, Infowars, were worth US$135 million to US$270 million.

Prior to Friday’s Court proceedings, Jones told his audience that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax and that the grieving parents of those who died were actors.

The total of US$49.3 million is less than the US$150 million sought by Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis was among the 20 children and six educators killed in the deadliest classroom shooting in US history.

“He stood up to the bully Adam Lanza and saved nine of his classmates’ lives. I hope that I did that incredible courage justice when I was able to confront Alex Jones, who is also a bully. I hope that inspires other people to do the same. This is an important day for truth, for justice, and I couldn’t be happier,” said Lewis.

Before the jurors began deliberating about the punitive damages, Wesley Todd Ball, a lawyer for the family, told the jury that it had the ability to send a message for everyone in the country and perhaps this world to hear.

“We ask that you send a very, very simple message, and that is, Stop Alex Jones. Stop the monetization of misinformation and lies. Please,” said Ball.

Jones, who has portrayed the lawsuit as an attack on his First Amendment rights, conceded during the trial that the attack was 100 percent real and that he was wrong to have lied about it, but Heslin and Lewis told jurors that an apology wouldn’t suffice and called on them to make Jones pay for the years of suffering he has put them and other Sandy Hook families through.

The parents told jurors about how they have endured a decade of trauma, inflicted first by the murder of their son and what followed, gunshots fired at the home, online and phone threats, and harassment on the street by strangers. They said the threats and harassment were all fueled by Jones and his conspiracy theory spread to his followers via Infowars.

Jones who was in the courtroom briefly on Friday but not there for the verdict still faces two other defamation lawsuits from Sandy Hook families in Texas and Connecticut.

Nevertheless, Jones has also claimed, among things, that the Pentagon was using chemical warfare to turn people Gay, that COVID-19 is not real and that September 11 was an inside job perpetrated by the government.

 

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FBI still worried of another attack from Afghan rebel groups

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Washington D.C, United States of America (USA)- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), head, Christopher Wray has expressed grave concerns over another attack from Afghanistan rebel groups such as al Qaeda and ISIS.

His comments come just days after the US killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan via drone strike.

“I am worried about the possibility that we will see al Qaeda reconstitute, ISIS-K potentially taking advantage of the deteriorating security environment, and I am worried about terrorists, including here in the United States, being inspired by what they see over there,” said the FBI director during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Al-Zawahiri was killed in a drone strike, ending a years-long manhunt which placed al-Zawahiri near the top of the FBI’s most-wanted list. The 71-year-old Egyptian national headed up the group after the death of terrorist kingpin Osama Bin Laden in an American raid in 2011 and is thought to have helped plan the 9/11 attacks.

The Department of State also cited it believes there is a higher potential for anti-American violence given the death of al-Zawahiri.

Meanwhile, the FBI is investigating a possible assassination plot against Iranian-American journalist, Masih Alinejad.

According to US news sources, a man was arrested carrying a loaded AK-47 rifle in a possible plot to assassinate her.

Alinejad herself shared security camera footage of the suspect at her front door on Twitter on Sunday, saying, “My crime is giving voice to voiceless people. The US administration must be tough on terror.”

The arrested man was taken in by Police after a traffic stop. They said he ran a stop sign and when they checked his vehicle, they found a gun in the backseat, according to the complaint filed by the FBI.

He was charged with possessing a firearm without a proper serial number. At his Friday (last week) hearing, the Judge ordered him to be held without bail.

The suspect initially claimed that he knew nothing about the weapon and said he was just in the area looking for an apartment, but later he told the investigators that he owned the gun and that he was looking for someone in Brooklyn.

In July last year, US prosecutors charged four Iranian spies with trying to kidnap Alinejad from her home in Brooklyn and taking her to Venezuela. Investigators said that they had also tried to lure her to the Middle East before that.

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