Here’s what you need to know about the impact of Covid-19 to navigate the markets today.
• Federal prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into whether former national security adviser John Bolton mishandled classified information, The Wall Street Journal reports. The federal prosecutors issued grand jury subpoenas to Bolton’s publisher and literary agent, requesting all communications they had with Bolton. Bolton did not receive an individual subpoena, the Journal reports. The Department of Justice previously filed an unsuccessful lawsuit to block the publication of Bolton’s book. However, the judge in that case noted that even if, as Bolton said, his book had been cleared by a Trump administration official, Bolton was still effectively taking a bet that it did not contain classified information. As such, Bolton was exposing himself to criminal liability, but that does not justify blocking the book from being sold.
• The United Arab Emirates has given emergency approval to China’s possible Covid-19 vaccine, making it the first country outside China to do so. China has already given the go-ahead for three vaccines developed in the country to be used on an emergency basis and hundreds of thousands of people, including medical workers, employees at state-owned companies and journalists, have received doses, state-owned
has said. None of the Chinese vaccines have completed Phase 3 trials to prove that they are safe and effective and because domestic cases of the virus are now so low, final trials are being conducted abroad in countries with higher case counts.
• After months of failed negotiations, 50 moderate House Republicans and Democrats will unveil a $1.5 trillion coronavirus stimulus plan today, even as they reportedly concede in private that the package has scant chance of passing. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) reportedly said Tuesday that the House would stay in session until a coronavirus relief deal is reached with the White House and Senate Republicans. “We have to stay here until we have a bill,” Speaker Pelosi reportedly said on a conference call with Democratic representatives. Senate Republicans failed to pass a $500 billion trimmed-down coronavirus stimulus bill last week. The sum of the so-called skinny bill was far less than the $2 billion total Pelosi told White House negotiators she would accept. The Senate’s bill did not include money for state and local governments, either, a sticking point for Pelosi and other Democrats. The House bill from the bipartisan group is expected to include around $500 billion for state and local governments, according to reports. The House Problem Solvers Caucus, the group that is pushing the compromise bill, doesn’t have a good record of brokering large-scale legislative deals and the House currently has no vote on a coronavirus aid package scheduled during its current three-week session.
• Bill Gates thinks that the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have lost some of their hard-earned credibility and wonders whether the FDA’s evaluation of possible Covid-19 vaccines can be trusted, he said in an interview with Bloomberg. “We saw with the completely bungled plasma statements that when you start pressuring people to say optimistic things, they go completely off the rails. The FDA lost a lot of credibility there,” Gates, the billionaire founder of
and philanthropist, said. “Historically, just like the CDC was viewed as the best in the world, the FDA had that same reputation as a top-notch regulator. But there’s been some cracks with some of the things they’ve said at the commissioner level.”
• President Donald Trump blamed forest management and doubted climate science while visiting fire-ravaged California, while former Vice President Joe Biden said in a speech in Wilmington, Del. that fires would be “more common, more devastating, and more deadly” if President Trump won November’s election. “If you give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if we have more of America ablaze?” Biden said.
Write to Ben Walsh at email@example.com
Video: Woman refuses to wear mask, asked to leave Kelowna LUSH – News 1130
KELOWNA (NEWS 1130) — A tense exchange filmed at a Kelowna mall shows a woman arguing with staff at a LUSH Cosmetics store after they told her she had to leave because she wasn’t wearing a mask.
The confrontation in Orchard Park Shopping Centre was filmed and posted to social media by the woman and comes at a time when B.C.’s COVID-19 numbers are still high.
The woman refused to wear a mask when she entered the store, then said staff and security were breaching her human rights by not allowing her to browse.
My daughter got #Karen’d yesterday! A wild Trump-loving-anti-masker came into @lushcosmetics at #OrchardPark mall in #Kelowna , #BritishColumbia #Canada. Let’s make her go viral!! Twitter do your thing! #KarensGoneWild #antimasker pic.twitter.com/YZt2kFAme7
— Jill Cowie (@JillCowie2) September 19, 2020
The woman can be heard in the video speaking to a masked security guard.
“Explain to me how my human rights, with my medical condition, I cannot walk through a store when it’s totally fine for me to walk through a store.”
When asked to provide a medical note, the woman said she didn’t need to and instead said she could show her “puffer,” before saying that was none of the security guard’s business.
While there isn’t a provincial mandate on masks, they are encouraged to slow the spread of COVID-19.
But it is a policy for the store and has been since mid-July.
A spokesperson for LUSH tells NEWS 1130 they support how the staff handled the situation calmly and compassionately, and remain committed to ensuring the policy is followed.
“The health and safety of our staff and community remains top priority as we continue to navigate these challenging times together.”
The camera later pans over slightly to show three staff members, also wearing masks, and the woman accuses them of harassment.
“All I’m doing is looking in LUSH,” she says.
Staff suggest the woman instead shop online, but she refuses, saying “I want to browse here in the store.”
After multiple requests, the security guard says they might have to call the police if the woman doesn’t leave. He reminds her it is private property and she had been told to go.
Once the woman is given the number for the head office, she turns to leave.
Woman refuses to wear mask at LUSH, films altercation
A Lake Country woman claims she was the victim of “commie intimidation” after she was asked to leave Kelowna’s LUSH Cosmetics Thursday for refusing to wear a mask.
In a video that is not publicly available on her Facebook page, Susan Roth Drazdoff Faechner is seen arguing with a security guard and three female employees after she was refused service and told to leave LUSH for refusing to wear a face covering – which is company policy.
In the video, she describes the employees’ conduct as “commie intimidation.”
“I have the right to say no to a mask,” Faechner told Castanet. “I went in for an anniversary present for my husband. I picked up one thing I was going to buy. I turned around, I was ready to go, and security is there asking for my medical information.”
In the video, the security guard asks Faechner for a medical note after she tells him she can’t wear a mask due to her medical condition. When Faechner declines, the security guard explains that it’s store policy for customers to wear a face covering while inside. When Faechner argues the store is “public property to walk on,” the security guard says it is, in fact, private property.
“I know the law, and I know my constitutional human rights,” she says to the security guard.
“I felt like I was under, I don’t want to sound dramatic, but it was like great grievous bodily mental harm,” Faechner told Castanet. “Not that they were going to beat me up, but it was causing me extreme stress. When they came up to me it was like holy cow, I’m under attack and I’m all alone.
“This is like communism like, ‘you get out otherwise we call the police.’ Thats intimidation.”
Faechner says after the video ended she left peacefully as she didn’t want to escalate the situation further.
LUSH Kelowna manager Spence Dagneau says the incident with Faechner was one of the first times a customer has gotten upset about the mask policy.
“[The staff members] were pretty shaken up for the rest of the day but we have a really small, tight-knit group here and they’re all feeling pretty confident again today so its nice to see,” Dagneau said.
All LUSH stores across North America mandated face coverings on July 18, 2020.
“Shoppers who wish to enter a store but do not have their own face covering will be provided with one, or can choose contactless ordering instead by remaining outside the store while staff assist,” the LUSH website states. “The change comes following new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, along with our ongoing commitment to the safety of our customers, staff and overall community.”
Other retailers like Walmart and Real Canadian Superstore have also chosen to mandate the use of masks inside their stores.
But, echoing sentiments from a vocal minority in the community, Faechner says the mask rules infringe on her human rights.
“Masks are a freedom of choice,” she says. “Wear it, or don’t. Know your information, know what you’re talking about. You shouldn’t blindly wear a mask because some organization is telling you to do it.”
Faechner says after the incident she went to a different store in the shopping centre and was given service without a mask. She says she’ll no longer be shopping at LUSH stores.
“I call myself a Christ crusader and people with faith, they don’t just outright lie because they have a creator that they have to answer to at some point,” she says. “I’m not going to outright lie, I just think something’s happened to humans where we’ve just lost our sense of humanity.”
Source: – Kelowna News – Castanet.net
Restaurateurs speak out against anti-mask patrons mistreating staff – CBC.ca
Stephen Deere, owner of Modern Steak, says that when it comes to Calgary’s bylaw mandating face coverings in indoor public spaces, he thinks he jinxed himself.
“I was kind of bragging to my friends in the restaurant community that we’ve had almost no problems, at all,” Deere said. “But the last 24 to 48 hours, things have gotten worse.”
Servers at Modern Steak restaurant wear masks, as mandated by the bylaw. In response, one patron took to social media to attempt to trend #BoycottModernSteak online — but Deere said another incident was much more serious.
“Basically, it’s going to move forward in a legal fashion, that’s how bad it was. I can’t talk about it,” he said.
“But that should sound the alarm … we’re at the point that we’re having discussions, if the last 48 hours continue moving forward, we have to actually consider having security in our restaurants to keep our employees safe.”
Fines can be issued and AHS has the power to close businesses and restaurants for non-compliance.
“We’re in a democracy, and I believe you have the right to have your opinion and you have the right to protest,” Deere said. “But when you’re taking it out on the front-line workers and retail and hospitality, and they’re feeling threatened up to the point that violence could occur, it’s time to ring the alarm.
“We are not making the rules. We are following the rules.”
By and large, Ernie Tsu, owner of Trolley 5 on 17th Avenue S.W. in Calgary, said most issues relating to the bylaw are solved at the door before guests enter the brewpub.
But given his role with the Alberta Hospitality Association, he knows restaurants across Alberta have experienced issues.
“The concerns are related to the bad apples out there that refuse to follow the mandate,” Tsu said. “The people causing issues at restaurants are also the people that are causing issues in malls and any public spaces that they’re deemed to wear a mask in.”
Brett Ireland, CEO of Bear Hill Brewing — which operates establishments in Banff, Jasper, Calgary and Fort McMurray — said most guests have been compliant with local policies.
“We have had a number of guests who choose not to wear them because they have pre-existing conditions,” Ireland said. “That’s what they tell us, and certainly we’re not in a position to make a judgment on that.”
Ireland said whether or not patrons agree with the mask bylaws from a political standpoint, there are other reasons to comply with the bylaw.
“The other way to look at it for me is, it makes other people more comfortable and therefore more likely to participate in the economy,” Ireland said. “I just don’t see how there’s any net negative to it.”
‘Disgusted and utterly upset’
Deere said his restaurant was already having issues with staffing amidst the pandemic, and harassment from customers has exacerbated that struggle.
“In our business, many of our hostesses are younger women that are 18 to 22,” he said. “When a larger, older gentleman is threatening them, they don’t come back to work the next day.”
As a born and raised Calgarian, Deere said he was “disgusted and utterly upset” with the behaviour of some patrons — and urged those who disagreed with the bylaw to take their concerns elsewhere.
“Calgary is better than this. We have been known around the world, and definitely in Canada, as one of the friendliest cities,” he said.
“We help people out, we have a western hospitality spirit, and this is how we’re acting? It’s unbelievable that we’ve gone in this direction.”
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