The Quebec government is coming to the rescue of Cirque du Soleil, pledging to loan up to US$200 million to support the live entertainment giant whose operations remain paralyzed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon says the province will become a creditor of the company under an agreement in principle between Investissement Quebec and Cirque’s three main shareholders — Texas-based TPG Capital, Chinese firm Fosun and the Caisse de depot et placement.
Fitzgibbon suggests that Quebec would also have the option of buying Cirque in the event that shareholders decide to sell their stakes.
In exchange for financial support, the company’s head office must remain in the province and its senior executives have to reside there.
The minister’s announcement followed one by Cirque founder Guy Laliberte Sunday, who said he wants to buy back the 36-year-old circus company that he sold for US$1.5-billion in 2015 after growing it from a troupe of stilt walkers and fire breathers into a global entertainment titan.
The pandemic has forced Cirque — which carries a debt estimated at more than US$900 million — to cancel all 44 shows and lay off about 4,700 employees, the vast majority of its workforce.
On Sunday night, Guy Laliberte, the founder and one-time owner of Cirque du Soleil, said he and a group of investors want to buy back into the circus company.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2020.
Amazon removes racist messages after they appear on some product listings on its U.K. website – The Globe and Mail
Amazon.com Inc said it was removing certain images after messages using extremely strong racist abuse appeared on some listings on its U.K. website when users searched for Apple’s AirPods and other similar products.
The message sparked outrage on Twitter, with the topic “AirPods” trending in the United Kingdom.
“We are removing the images in question and have taken action on the bad actor,” an Amazon spokeswoman told Reuters on Sunday. She did not elaborate more on the “bad actor.”
Screenshots and video grabs of the messages were trending on Twitter, with users sharing the images.
The listings with the abusive messages were no longer visible on the Amazon U.K. website and it was not clear how long they were there for.
In April, several of Amazon’s foreign websites, including the U.K. domain, were added to the U.S. trade regulator’s “notorious markets” report on marketplaces known for counterfeiting and piracy concerns.
Amazon strongly disagreed with the report at that time, describing it as a “purely political act.”
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Alberta records 18 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths – CBC.ca
Alberta recorded 18 new COVID-19 cases and no additional deaths from the illness on Sunday.
The number of active cases in the province continued to drop, sitting at 584 as of Sunday. Hospitalization rates also remained low with 52 people in hospital and six in intensive care.
In total, 6,283 people have recovered from the illness in Alberta. The total number of deaths was 143.
Most active COVID-19 cases continue to be found in the Calgary zone. Here’s a regional breakdown of cases:
- Calgary zone: 440 active cases and 4,330 recovered;
- South zone: 42 active cases and 1,184 recovered;
- Edmonton zone: 69 active cases and 464 recovered;
- North zone: 28 active cases and 202 recovered;
- Central zone: two active cases and 95 recovered;
- Three active cases and eight recovered cases in zones to be confirmed.
To date, 658 cases have an unknown exposure.
So far, 235,415 Albertans have been tested and labs have performed 260,365 tests, with 3,138 tests completed in the last 24 hours. Testing has been made available to any person without symptoms who wants to be tested.
Starting in early June, Albertans will also be able to get four free non-medical masks per person at all A&W, McDonald’s and Tim Hortons drive-thru locations in the province, while supplies last. They can ask for masks without having to purchase anything.
As May comes to a close, Alberta has 584 active cases of COVID-19 and 143 people have died – CTV News
Alberta reported 18 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total number of active cases to 584.
No additional deaths were reported.
There are currently 52 people in hospital; six of them are in intensive care.
The case breakdown across the province is as follows:
- Calgary zone: 440 active cases and 4,330 recovered
- South zone: 42 active cases and 1,184 recovered
- Edmonton zone: 69 active cases and 464 recovered
- North zone: 28 active cases and 202 recovered
- Central zone: two active cases and 95 recovered
- Three active cases and eight recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
There are currently 61 active cases in continuing care facilities in the province, and 659 people have recovered. A total of 109 residents have died.
In total, there have been 143 deaths in Alberta.
In the last 24 hours, there have been 3,138 tests completed.
As of May 31, 6,283 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19.
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