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Tearful Ukrainians in Lviv wait for hours to board trains, fleeing Russian attacks



Thousands of people fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine waited for hours on Friday outside the railway station at the western city of Lviv to board trains heading to Poland.

Lviv, some 60 kilometers (40 miles) from the Polish border, has become a transit point for families fleeing fighting in eastern, southern and central Ukraine.

Families arrived with few belongings. Some were in wheelchairs, others accompanied by pet dogs and cats, uncertain about their fate.

“We do not know. We are going to Poland, to the Polish border, and there we will decide, choose a country that takes in refugees,” said Yana Tebyakina. “All we took with us is the bare necessities. A change of clothes. That’s it. All the rest we left behind, all our lives stayed back at home.”

Olena Pasychnik said she had fled from her 16th floor apartment in Kharkiv, about 1,000 km (620 miles) from Lviv, the largest city in Ukraine’s west.

“There was fighting going on and everything could be seen as if on the palm of a hand,” said a tearful Pasychnik, holding her young son. “He starts shaking when he hears the explosions.”

Darina Veselanska, also from Kharkiv, was exhausted after waiting about six hours at the station. “We cannot sleep, we cannot eat normally because of terrible pain… anxious because of everything in this world,” she said.

Lviv, a city of trams and cobblestone streets, has become a staging area for humanitarian aid and soldiers pouring back into Ukraine’s war zone.

Thousands are thought to have died or been wounded as the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two unfolds, creating 1 million refugees according to the United Nations.

The U.N. refugee agency has said the conflict looked set to trigger Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century.


(Reporting by Natalie Thomas and Anna Dabrowska; Editing by Richard Chang)


Trudeau says Huawei, ZTE 5G ban took longer because government wanted to get it right – CBC News



Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada took longer that its allies did to ban Chinese firms Huawei Technologies and ZTE from Canada’s 5G networks because the government wanted to make sure it was making the right move.

Speaking in Sept-Îles Que. on Friday, Trudeau said the decision will serve to “ensure the safety of Canadians” online.

“We took the time to carefully analyze the situation, look at all sorts of factors, to look very closely at what our allies and partners were doing around the world in regards to telecommunications safety,” he said.

The ban puts Canada in line with key intelligence allies like the United States, which have expressed concerns about the national security implications of giving the Chinese tech giant access to key infrastructure.

Canada is the last member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance — which includes the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand — to impose the ban.

Critics warned that Huawei’s participation in Canada’s 5G networks could give the company an inside look at how, when and where Canadians use internet-connected devices — and that the Chinese government could force the company to hand over that personal information.

The government is also banning ZTE, another Chinese state-backed telecommunications firm. Companies will have until June 28, 2024 to remove or terminate 5G equipment from Huawei and ZTE.

They’ll also have to remove or terminate any existing 4G equipment provided by the companies by Dec. 31, 2027. A government policy statement says Ottawa expects companies to stop purchasing new 4G or 5G equipment from the companies by September of this year.

WATCH | Chinese officials vow to retaliate over Canada’s Huawei ban: 

China reacts to Canada banning Huawei from 5G network

6 hours ago

Duration 2:04

Chinese officials have vowed to retaliate over Canada’s decision to ban Huawei from accessing its 5G network, accusing officials of violating free trade rules and ‘acting in collusion’ with the U.S.

More cyber security initiatives coming: PM

Trudeau said that to ensure Canada’s economy and telecommunications networks are safe, his government is working with financial institutions and companies across the country to boost cybersecurity.

“We’ve continued to invest more and more in cyber defence, in cyber capabilities and we will do more, whether it’s legislation or further investments or better and stronger partnerships,” he said.

The U.S. State Department said Friday it welcomes Canada’s decision to ban Huawei Technologies and ZTE from its next-generation mobile networks.

In a statement, the State Department said it supports efforts around the world to ensure consumers and customers can trust their wireless networks and providers. It said it will continue to collaborate with Canada and other allies to ensure shared security in the 5G era.

The U.S. first began restricting domestic firms from doing business with Huawei back in 2019 and has been waiting for Canada to follow suit ever since.

During his confirmation hearing in September, U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Cohen suggested Washington was growing impatient with the delay.

“We are all waiting for Canada to release its framework for its overall China policy,” Cohen said last year before he was confirmed.

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As COVID-19 begins to diminish, more Canadians are getting sick with the flu – Global News



COVID-19 cases are on the decline, but more and more Canadians are getting sick with the flu across the country, Canada’s top public health officer said Friday.

“We’re seeing influenza activity increasing up to the seasonal threshold despite the opposite trends being expected this time of year,” Dr. Theresa Tam, the nation’s chief public health officer, told reporters during a federal COVID-19 update.

Without many COVID-19 health mandates like masking in effect in most places across the country, cases of the flu have increased, according to Tam.

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“One of the things we’ve learned about the use of public health measures for COVID-19 in the past two years is that they were also effective in reducing the prevalence of other infectious diseases. Our reduced contact rates may have interrupted transmission of other diseases such as influenza,” said Tam.

“Personal protective habits help reduce the spread of COVID-19 as well as other risky transactions during diseases,” she added. “This is a reminder that our efforts are still needed.”

According to a report from the federal government, cases of the flu have sharply increased since the beginning of April.

From May 8 to May 14, 2,121 laboratory detections of the flu were reported. The percentage of visits for influenza-like illness was 1.8 per cent during this time period, exceeding pre-pandemic levels typical of this time of year.

Read more:

Worldwide COVID-19 deaths dropping, but cases rising: WHO

“Now because we don’t have masks, you see this huge increase of flu in the population,” Horacio Bach, clinical assistant professor affiliated with the division of infectious diseases at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine, told Global News.

Bach still recommends the use of masks and continues to double mask when in public.

As of May 20, the seven-day average of daily lab-confirmed cases sits just above 3,564, down more than 60 per cent from the rate seen a month ago.

The number of Canadians seeking treatment in hospital for COVID-19 sits at 4,880 patients, down more than 20 per cent from two weeks ago.

That includes 349 people being treated in intensive care units, a number that has now stabilized after falling through the first half of April.

The country is currently seeing an average of 63 deaths per day. The rate has stayed steady throughout early May after steadily rising over the course of April.

However, newly-confirmed COVID-19 cases have brought the national total to over 3.84 million cases and more than 40,600 deaths. More than 4,800 patients are currently in the hospital with COVID-19 including more than 340 people in intensive care.

As of May 19, more than 84,952,660 doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across Canada.

So far, more than 34,986,036 Canadians have received at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, while 31,356,155 Canadians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with two doses.

Since they were authorized in September 2021, 18,610,469 third “booster” doses have been administered, according to available provincial and territorial data — meaning 48.7 per cent of the Canadian population has received three doses.

As of May 19, 90.4 per cent of eligible Canadians aged five and up have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 86.2 per cent are fully vaccinated with two shots. Vaccinations for children aged five to 11 were approved by Health Canada last November.

In Ontario, 1,412 new cases of COVID-19 and 16 new deaths were reported in the latest update on May 20.

In Quebec, there have been 612 reported new cases of COVID-19 in its latest update on May 20, with 12 new virus-related deaths.

The province has seen 15,312 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Saskatchewan announced 465 new infections and 22 new deaths over seven days in the latest update on May 19 and Alberta reported 3,614 new COVID-19 cases and 61 new deaths over seven days in the latest update on May 18.

Read more:

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In Nova Scotia’s latest update, 2,513 new COVID-19 cases and 24 new deaths were reported over seven days.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported 264 new COVID-19 cases and one new death over five days in the latest update on May 18.

There are currently 14 patients in hospital with COVID-19, up from the last update, with two people in intensive care.

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The Northwest Territories reported 31 new COVID-19 cases over seven days in the latest update on May 16 and Prince Edward Island reported 792 new COVID-19 cases and one new death over seven days in the latest update on May 17.

Although Manitoba has seen a decline in the number of daily cases, it has seen an increase in the number of hospitalizations and ICU admittances over the past week. The same is true for British Columbia.

“This is a reminder that our efforts are still needed,” Tam said on Friday, speaking about elevated hospitalization levels.

As of May 18, Yukon reported four new cases of COVID-19. There have been 4,339 cases to date, 4,290 of whom have recovered. The territory has seen 25 deaths from COVID-19.

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Tam remains “cautiously optimistic” that COVID will continue to reprieve slightly in Canada over the next few months.

“But, anything can happen and we just need to remain vigilant,” she said.

— with files from Sean Boynton

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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US Senate approves US$40 billion military and humanitarian aid package for Ukraine



Washington D.C, United States of America (USA)- The US Senate yesterday overwhelmingly approved a $40 billion emergency military and humanitarian aid package for Ukraine bringing the total aid to US$54 billion in just over two months.

Transfers thus far, have included relatively expensive weapons like the 5 500 Javelin anti-tank guided missiles and 1 400 Stinger antiaircraft missiles given to Kiev, as well as less-costly munitions like the 184 000 155-millimetre shells provided to Ukraine for a protracted artillery battle in Donbass.

“Aid for Ukraine goes far beyond charity, the future of America’s security and core strategic interests will be shaped by the outcome of this fight. Anyone concerned about the cost of supporting a Ukrainian victory should consider the much larger costs should Ukraine lose,” said Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader.

The package includes an increase in Presidential drawdown authority funding from the US$5 billion the Biden administration originally requested to $11 billion. Presidential drawdown authority funding allows the administration to send military equipment and weapons from US stocks. The package also provides US$6 billion in Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funding, another way the Biden administration has been providing Ukraine with military assistance. The funding allows the administration to buy weapons from contractors and then provide those weapons to Ukraine, and as a result, does not draw directly from US stocks.

There will also be roughly US$9 billion to help restock US equipment that has been sent to Ukraine, which comes as many lawmakers have raised concerns about replacing US stocks of weapons the US is giving to Ukraine, especially stingers and javelin missiles. The package also provides US$3.9 billion for European Command operations, which includes mission support, intelligence support, hardship pay for troops deployed to the region and equipment, including a Patriot battery.

To address humanitarian needs, the package will include US$900 million to bolster refugee assistance, including housing, trauma support and English language instruction for Ukrainians fleeing the country.

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