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The Canadian Press

Cloud 9: Djokovic wins 9th Australian Open, 18th Slam title

MELBOURNE, Australia — Maybe, just maybe, the thinking went, Novak Djokovic would be just a tad more susceptible to trouble this time around at the Australian Open. After all, he tore an abdominal muscle in the third round and wasn’t sure he could continue to compete. Entering Sunday, Djokovic ceded five sets in the tournament, the most he ever dropped en route to a major final. And to top it all off, he was facing Daniil Medvedev, owner of a 20-match winning streak. Yeah, right. We’re talking about Djokovic at Melbourne Park, where his dominance is most certainly intact — nine finals, nine championships. Plus, he’s still gaining on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the Grand Slam standings, now up to 18 overall, two shy of the men’s record those rivals share. Djokovic used improved serving, along with his usual relentless returning and baseline excellence to grab 11 of 13 games in one stretch and beat Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 for a third consecutive Australian Open trophy. “Definitely, emotionally, the most challenging Grand Slam that I ever had, with everything that was happening — injury, off-the-court stuff, quarantines,” Djokovic said. “A roller-coaster ride.” When the match ended after less than two hours, Djokovic went to the sideline, lifted his white shirt and peeled pieces of beige athletic tape from his stomach. “I was quite worried,” Djokovic said about the injury. “I did not (think) realistically that I could actually play. I didn’t know until two hours before the fourth-round match.” Dealing with what he called “bearable” pain, Djokovic improved to a combined 18-0 in semifinals and finals on Melbourne’s hard courts. “Probably, it’s not your last one,” Medvedev said. “I have no words to say.” Djokovic, a 33-year-old from Serbia, has won six of the last 10 majors and will stay at No. 1 in the rankings at least through March 8. That will give him 311 weeks there, breaking another mark held by Federer. His goals now are squarely on Grand Slams, even more than before. Put Djokovic’s nine triumphs in Australia alongside five at Wimbledon, three at the U.S. Open and one at the French Open. The math looks good for him: He is about a year younger than Nadal and 6 1/2 younger than Federer. “I do enjoy the success every single time even more,” Djokovic said, “because I know that the longer the time passes, the more difficult it’s going to become.” The No. 4-seeded Medvedev was appearing in his second Slam final; he was the runner-up to Nadal at the 2019 U.S. Open. The 25-year-old from Russia had won 12 in a row against Top 10 opponents, but trying to solve Djokovic in Australia is a unique challenge. “He’s really good (at) reading an opponent’s game,” Medvedev said, “knowing what you will do next, how to beat you.” As things slipped away, Medvedev bounced his white racket off the blue court, then absolutely destroyed it with a full-on spike. He kept looking up at his coach with palms up as if to ask, “What can I possibly do here?” It is a familiar sentiment in this stadium: Federer, Nadal, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem — all Grand Slam champions, all defeated by Djokovic in semifinals or finals in Melbourne. On a cool, cloudy evening, an event delayed three weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic closed with an announced attendance of 7,426 in Rod Laver Arena. Spectators were barred for five days earlier in the tournament because of a COVID-19 lockdown, but they eventually were let back in at 50% capacity. “There are a lot of mixed feelings about what has happened in the last month or so with tennis players coming to Australia,” Djokovic said. “But I think when we draw a line at the end, it was a successful tournament for the organizers.” And for him. Medvedev’s flat, wrap-the-racket-around-his-neck forehand was iffy at first, missing wide, long and into the net in the initial 10 minutes. Djokovic grabbed 13 of the match’s initial 16 points and a quick 3-0 lead. Soon enough, though, it was 3-all, then 5-all. But that’s when Djokovic stepped up, and Medvedev stepped back. Djokovic held at love, then broke to claim the set when Medvedev slapped a forehand into the net just after someone in the crowd called out during the point. Djokovic began the second set with a fault into the net, then shook his left arm and flexed his shoulders. That point ended with him missing a backhand into the net, and he glared at his guest box. Another netted backhand gifted Medvedev a break. But the extreme experience gap showed there. Medvedev immediately relinquished his next two service games. In all, Djokovic broke seven times and made merely 17 unforced errors to Medvedev’s 30. “Masterpiece,” said Goran Ivanisevic, the 2001 Wimbledon champion who is one of Djokovic’s coaches. Medvedev appeared to have a tiny opening at 4-2 in the third, getting to 15-30 on Djokovic’s serve with a forehand winner and waving to the crowd to make noise. As if viewing that as a personal affront, Djokovic took the next three points and the game, then pointed his right index finger to his temple and gritted his teeth. Soon it was over. “Coming to Australia, it always brings that extra dose of confidence to me,” Djokovic said, “because of my record here and because of how I play.” ___ More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press

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COVID-19 in Ottawa: Fast Facts for Aug. 1, 2021 – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
Good morning. Here is the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on Ottawa.

Fast Facts:

  • Pfizer and Moderna vaccines now available at all Ottawa vaccination clinics
  • Ottawa sees single-digit COVID-19 case numbers on Saturday
  • Gee-Gees student-athletes must receive COVID-19 vaccine to compete on teams this season, uOttawa says

COVID-19 by the numbers in Ottawa (Ottawa Public Health data):

  • New COVID-19 cases: Four new cases on Saturday
  • Total COVID-19 cases: 27,815
  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 4.0
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 0.5 per cent (seven day average)
  • Reproduction Number: 1.12 (seven day average)

Testing:

Who should get a test?

Ottawa Public Health says you can get a COVID-19 test at an assessment centre, care clinic, or community testing site if any of the following apply to you:

  • You are showing COVID-19 symptoms;
  • You have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by Ottawa Public Health or exposure notification through the COVID Alert app;
  • You are a resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by Ottawa Public Health;
  • You are a resident, a worker or a visitor to long-term care, retirement homes, homeless shelters or other congregate settings (for example: group homes, community supported living, disability-specific communities or congregate settings, short-term rehab, hospices and other shelters);
  • You are a person who identifies as First Nations, Inuit or Métis;
  • You are a person travelling to work in a remote First Nations, Inuit or Métis community;
  • You received a preliminary positive result through rapid testing;
  • You are a patient and/or their 1 accompanying escort tra­velling out of country for medical treatment;
  • You are a farm worker;
  • You are an educator who cannot access pharmacy-testing; or
  • You are in a targeted testing group as outlined in guidance from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Long-term care staff, caregivers, volunteers and visitors who are fully immunized against COVID-19 are not required to present a negative COVID-19 test before entering or visiting a long-term care home.

Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Ottawa:

There are several sites for COVID-19 testing in Ottawa. To book an appointment, visit https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/shared-content/assessment-centres.aspx

  • The Brewer Ottawa Hospital/CHEO Assessment Centre: Open Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • COVID-19 Drive-Thru Assessment Centre at 300 Coventry Road: Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • The Moodie Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
  • The Ray Friel Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • North Grenville COVID-19 Assessment Centre (Kemptville) – 15 Campus Drive: Open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Centretown Community Health Centre: Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sandy Hill Community Health Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 pm.
  • Somerset West Community Health Centre: Open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday

COVID-19 screening tool:

The COVID-19 screening tool for summer camp children and staff. All campers and staff must complete the COVID-19 School and Childcare screening tool daily.

Symptoms:

Classic Symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath

Other symptoms: sore throat, difficulty swallowing, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, pneumonia, new or unexplained runny nose or nasal congestion

Less common symptoms: unexplained fatigue, muscle aches, headache, delirium, chills, red/inflamed eyes, croup

The city of Ottawa says it has an “ample supply” of both Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines available if you want to get your COVID-19 vaccine this weekend.

Residents 12 and older are invited to walk-in to Ottawa’s four vaccination clinics to receive a first dose or a second dose of the vaccine.

“Certainly, we’ve done really, really well,” said Anthony Di Monte, Ottawa’s general manager of emergency and protective services.

“We’re seeing a slowing down, that’s why we’re shutting down some of our clinics but we’re leaving four open and anybody who hasn’t had a first dose or wants a second dose can just walk in without an appointment. We have both Moderna and Pfizer available, so I’d encourage anybody please come and get vaccinated.”

Ottawa is currently operating four community clinics. You can drop in between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. to get a vaccine at the following locations:

  • Eva James Community Centre
  • Nepean Sportsplex
  • Orleans YMCA
  • Ottawa City Hall

COVID-19 vaccine Ottawa immunization clinic

Ottawa Public Health reported four new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday, one day after the capital saw a double-digit case increase for the first time in three weeks.

No new deaths were reported.

Since the first case of COVID-19 in Ottawa in March 2020, there have been 27,815 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 593 deaths.

In Ottawa, the five new cases comes one day after Ottawa saw double-digit single day COVID-19 case numbers for the first time since July 4.  There were 10 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and eight new cases on Thursday.

University of Ottawa student-athletes must provide proof they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine today to be eligible for the upcoming season..

The university has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy for all Gee-Gees varsity sports for the 2021-22 season.

According to the vaccination policy on the Gee-Gees website, student-athletes are required to have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Aug. 1, 2021. Vaccination verification information will be required to be submitted as part of the annual medical pre-participation form that is submitted by a student-athlete.

All Gee-Gees student-athletes must receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 1.

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'It's nice to see everyone's faces again': N.B. no longer under mandatory order, despite concerns from experts – CTV News Atlantic

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FREDERICTON —
The Boyce Farmer’s Market, a Fredericton favourite, was a busy spot Saturday morning hours after New Brunswick’s mandatory order was lifted, and with it, all of the province’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Capacity limits no longer apply, and neither do mandatory masks. Many were embracing it.

“This is our happy place. We usually come all the time, and for the longest time it was just a weird, uncomfortable vibe,” said Tyler Wood.

“It’s just amazing to see everyone coming out, seeing the big crowds and seeing people hugging and smiling and just really enjoy the day. It’s just amazing to be back and feel normal.”

The end of the mandatory order also means anyone can visit the province, including Canadians who are unvaccinated. The border checks at the Quebec-New Brunswick border are no longer staffed by the department of public safety.

People can also choose to wear a mask.

Brian MacDonald decided to continue wearing one on his market visit “just to err on the side of caution.”

“I kind of have mixed feelings about New Brunswick opening up to the extent that it is with the Delta variant,” he said. “I hope that the masklessness isn’t a disaster.”

Experts are also expressing their concerns with the decision, warning that it will lead to an increase in cases.

“It does seem to be a little quick,” said Dr. Lisa Barrett, an infectious disease specialist in Halifax.

“It is a bit of an experiment, not as much as Alberta, but a bit of an experiment that didn’t need to happen as quickly as it has. Do I anticipate a massive number of hospitalizations all of a sudden? No, but are there going to be some people who get sick and maybe very sick, who didn’t need to? That’s almost a certainty over the next number of weeks. I’m not certain that that’s okay at this point.”

But Premier Blaine Higgs says he’s confident and comfortable with the decision, even though the province hasn’t reached its 75 per cent vaccination target yet.

Higgs also said his government has made the vaccines very accessible, with mobile and after-hours clinics across the province.

“There are those that have no real reason to be unvaccinated and have chosen not to be, and yes, they’re at risk,” he said.

“They will continue to be at risk, so their fate is in their hands in that sense because the opportunity is there. There’s nothing more I can do. We don’t have a mandatory vaccination policy and I don’t see that coming anytime soon.”

Higgs said he’ll be using his own discretion on wearing a mask.

The end of the mandatory order also effectively stops the need for the all-party COVID-19 cabinet committee.

Since last March, the group saw New Brunswick’s four political parties sit at the same table, making pandemic-related decisions together.

 

Higgs said meetings could be scheduled if necessary in the future, but for now, no further meetings are planned.

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Infectious disease expert calls N.B. plan to lift restrictions 'risky' – HalifaxToday.ca

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As of midnight, COVID-19 restrictions will lift in New Brunswick, eliminating mask mandates, provincial border controls and gathering limits in that province.

However, a local infectious disease expert believes the move is coming too soon.

“Clearly we don’t have a lot of cases in the Atlantic right now, but we haven’t quite hit our vaccination targets yet,” said Dalhousie University’s Dr. Lisa Barrett.

“I don’t expect catastrophe, but do I think it’s necessary to get rid of all masks in all places all the time, and to open up with other measures at the same time? It’s probably a little more risky than I was expecting.”

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs had said pandemic restrictions would only lift when 75 per cent of the province’s eligible population had received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine, however as of Friday, only 66.7 per cent of those 12 and older are fully vaccinated.

Barrett says mask requirements are a cheap and easy way to reduce transmission of the virus, and she doesn’t see the advantage of getting rid of them at this stage.

“This really isn’t just a common cold, there are a lot of people who have, even after a mild infection with COVID, some long term side effects,” she told NEWS 95.7 fill-in host Todd Veinotte.

Although Barrett isn’t necessarily expecting cases to surge out of control in our neighbouring province, she said removing restrictions could result in people unnecessarily contracting COVID-19, especially as the more transmissible Delta variant spreads throughout the country.

“We’re not at vaccine targets, vaccines aren’t perfect and we don’t know exactly what the virus does,” she explained. “I just think it’s a little fast, and don’t forget, these experiments, when they go wrong, they’re not cases, they’re people.”

“That means somebody else that’s out there is going to have potentially longer term effects from this or get severely ill,” Barrett added. “So if we have easy things that we can keep doing that still allow us to socialize, and still allow us to go out and still allow the economy to open, why would we get rid of them right away? I don’t understand that part.”

Nova Scotia tracks its vaccination rate differently than New Brunswick. While our neighbours calculate how much of their eligible population has received the shots, we keep count of how many in our overall population have been immunized. COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been approved for those under the age of 12.

As of July 30, 76 per cent of Nova Scotians have had one or more doses, while 62.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Our province’s chief medical officer of health has said more restrictions will be lifted  here once 75 per cent of our entire population has had both doses of vaccine. 

In Nova Scotia, there have been 4,200 cases from March 15 to July 27, 2021. Of those:

  • 28 (0.7 per cent) were fully vaccinated
  • 235 (5.6 per cent) were partially vaccinated
  • 3,937 (93.7 per cent) were unvaccinated

There were 254 people hospitalized. Of those:

  • 2 (0.8 per cent) were fully vaccinated
  • 28 (11 per cent) were partially vaccinated
  • 224 (88.2 per cent) were unvaccinated

Twenty-seven people died. Of those:

  • 1 (3.7 per cent) was fully vaccinated
  • 3 (11.1 per cent) were partially vaccinated
  • 23 (85.2 per cent) were unvaccinated

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