Friday 26 November 2021

Is the mysterious creator of Bitcoin finally about to be unmasked?

RT Channel shows the 1 million BTC question (or multi-billion) that a Miami court case might be about to answer.

Bitcoin's Trial of the Century in Miami Could Reveal the mysterious Founder and Shock the Crypto Market.

Bitcoin was launched in 2009 (a single bitcoin was priced at less than a tenth of a penny). 1 bitcoin is now worth more than $50,000.

Various people claim to have created Bitcoin. The trial is playing out in Miami. The so-called "bitcoin’s trial of the century" will result in showing whether the man who claims to have founded bitcoin had a partner.

It seems that a Miami federal judge could order 1.1 million bitcoins to be split in half - a shocking move for the crypto market.

"It’s many hundreds, thousands of wallets containing 1.1 million bitcoin that have never moved that were mined by Satoshi Nakamoto," said Kurt Wuckert Jr., a so-called Bitcoin historian of CoinGeek.

In the crypto world, Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym used by the person, or people, who created bitcoin back in the late 2000s. Satoshi is estimated to hold up to 20% of all bitcoins and is thought to have written and published bitcoin’s "original plan" and protocol for cryptocurrency. However, the true identity of Satoshi is not known.

The so-called Search for Satoshi tries to find the inventor.

It seems that people cannot find Satoshi Nakamoto. He never showed his true identity. It is also possible that "Satoshi" has been dead for some time.

Will Bitcoin Reach 100K by End of the Year?

"Alessio Rastani" Channel on Youtube talks about whether Bitcoin price will reach 100K by end of the year. Take a look at the charts and graphs. Recent bitcoin surveys show that about 29% of people have a very strong expectation that bitcoin could reach 100K by end of this year, 35% have a moderate expectation of the 100K target for end of 2021 and 34% think that it is unlikely. Consider the seasonality of bitcoin. See interesting discussions.

Stock market drop on COVID-19 variant fear could be 'buying opportunity,' strategist says

"Yahoo Finance" on Youtube shows that ProShares Global Investment Strategist Simeon Hyman joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the outlook on inflation, retail season prospects, and if markets are reacting appropriately to the new COVID-19 variant.

Yahoo Finance shows free stock quotes, up-to-date news, portfolio management resources, international market data, social interaction and mortgage rates that help you manage your financial life.

New COVID variant has negative effect on stock market

Associated Press on Youtube shows that Stocks closed sharply lower on Wall Street Friday, after a coronavirus virus variant from South Africa appeared to be spreading across the globe and the European Union proposed suspending air travel from southern Africa. (Nov. 26)

BC floods: Environment Canada issues red-level alert as province braces for more storms

Global News in Canada shows the possibility of more storms.

Warning Preparedness Meteorologist Armel Castellan at Environment and Climate Change Canada said on Friday that the department issued a red-level weather alert for British Columbia as more storms are expected to hit the province during the weekend and upcoming week.

Castellan said the alert is particularly due to the vulnerabilities on the ground, especially in areas still recovering from previous storms.

The first red-level alert in years is being issued as two back-to-back storms are expected to hit the province. The first storm will bring heavy rainfall on Saturday and Sunday, and the second will strike next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Between 60 and 80 millimetres could fall in Gibson and the areas from Vancouver to the Fraser Valley. Up to 100 mm could fall closer to the mountains in the Lower Mainland, while Squamish could see up to 120 mm.

Canada: Maritimes soaked as "unprecedented" storm drenches Atlantic Canada

Global News in Canada shows the weather going on right now.

Canada is certainly facing extreme weather catastrophes on 2 different coasts, as an unprecedented storm lashes Atlantic Canada while British Columbia prepares for more punishing weather in the wake of a flooding disaster. Ross Lord surveys the destruction from the relentless rain in the Atlantic provinces, which also damaged another section of the Trans-Canada highway.

Despite parts of B.C. still trying bounce back from its really extreme weather disaster, the province is bracing for more damaging storms that could hamper recovery efforts. Mike Armstrong explains how people are preparing, and the calls to add another military base in the province.

COVID-19: Scientists say Omicron could be the worst COVID-19 variant yet

Global News in Canada shows that certain scientists believe the new Omicron COVID-19 variant, also known as B.1.1.529, has dozens of mutations, fueling concerns it could be more transmissible.

The variant has an estimated 50 mutations - most on spike proteins, and many more mutations than the Delta variant. But how do the vaccines stack up against it?

Eric Sorensen looks at what we know so far about Omicron and why scientists are concerned it really could be the worst COVID-19 virus variant yet.

WHO names new virus 'variant of concern' Omicron

The (WHO) World Health Organization released a statement saying that a new Covid-19 variant discovered in South Africa is certainly a "variant of concern." USA stocks unfortunately fell and oil prices plunged more than 10% as the emergence of the new virus variant, named Omicron, really rattled global economic markets.

This is the  SARS-CoV-2 Omicron virus variant in the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the internet, you could certainly find some scientifically accurate atomic models of the external structure of SARS-CoV-2. You could visualize "balls" as atoms.

The so-called Omicron variant, also known as lineage B.1.1.529, is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The first known case was in Botswana, dated 9 November 2021. On 26 November 2021 the World Health Organisation ("WHO") designated it as a variant of concern and named it for the Greek letter Omicron.

Keep in mind, the WHO has assigned simple, easy to say and remember labels for key variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, using letters of the Greek alphabet.

There are 24 letters in the Greek alphabet. The letters of the Greek alphabet are: alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, zeta, eta, theta, iota, kappa, lambda, mu, nu1, xi, omicron, pi1, rho, sigma, tau, upsilon, phi, chi1, psi1, omega.

The Omicron virus variant has an unusually large number of mutations, several of which are novel, and several affect the spike protein used for most vaccine targeting at the time of its discovery. This level of variation has led to concerns regarding transmissibility, immune system evasion, and vaccine resistance. As a result, the variant was rapidly designated "of concern" and travel restrictions were introduced by several countries to limit or slow its international spread.

On 26 November, the WHO's Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution designated B.1.1.529 a variant of concern and gave it the designation Omicron, rather than Nu or Xi which were the next available letters in the Greek alphabet.

The epidemiology of the virus is interesting. The number of cases in the B.1.1.529 lineage is increasing throughout South Africa, mainly in Gauteng. Some evidence shows that this variant has an increased risk of reinfection. Studies are underway to evaluate the impact on transmissibility, mortality, and other factors. Evidence regarding the implications of this variant and vaccine efficacy is under investigation.

In 2020, South African infection rates reached a low on 11 November. Cases peaked in mid-January 2021. Similarly in 2021, cases bottomed out on 11 November, before again rising rapidly, growing 4-fold by 25 November.

On 24 November 2021, the virus variant was first reported to the WHO from South Africa. The first known specimen was collected on 9 November 2021 from Botswana. It was also detected in South Africa; 1 case had travelled to Hong Kong, and 1 confirmed case was identified in Israel in a traveler returning from Malawi, along with 2 who returned from South Africa and one from Madagascar. 1 confirmed case in Belgium had apparently acquired it in Egypt before 11 November.

All 4 initial cases reported from Botswana occurred among fully vaccinated individuals. All 3 initial confirmed and suspected cases reported from Israel occurred among fully vaccinated individuals.

Worry about the potential economic impact of the Omicron virus variant led to a drop in global markets on 26 November, including the worst drop of the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 2021, led by travel-related stocks. The price of Brent Crude and West Texas Intermediate oil fell 10% and 11.7%, respectively. This reaction was described as so-called "overblown" due to the lack of firm conclusions by the medical community.

Canada: Rural Boom: Why more millennials are flocking to small town Canada

Global News in Canada shows the story about the rural boom in Canada.

The twin crises of the pandemic and housing affordability are creating a seismic shift across the country. 

As millennials look to put down roots and start families, they’re saying goodbye to Canada’s big cities and settling in small towns. 

But as Krista Hessey found out for The New Reality, big change brings new challenges, including tensions over whether newcomers will contribute to the local economy and a ripple effect of spiking home prices.

COVID-19: Majority of Canadians support firing of unvaccinated workers

Global News in Canada shows that the majority of Canadians support firing of unvaccinated workers.

COVID-19 vaccines have been available to Canadians since the Spring, but around 85 per cent of people over 12 have received both doses. 
As we slowly return to normal, many people are concerned about being around unvaccinated workers. An Angus Reid study reveals about 70 per cent of Canadians are in support of firing unvaccinated employees. 
Sharmeen Somani reports.

Canada: New federal bill would criminalize anti-vaccination protests at health facilities

CBC News in Canada shows the story about protests. Minister of Labour Seamus O'Regan joins Power and Politics to discuss a new federal bill that provides workers in federally regulated sectors with 10 days of sick pay and makes it illegal to intimidate or obstruct health-care workers and patients seeking care.

COVID-19: Canada enacts travel restrictions for southern Africa over "Omicron" variant

Global News in Canada talks about the new virus variant.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announced Friday that Canada was enacting five COVID-19 travel measures involving seven countries in southern Africa, including Zimbabwe and South Africa, that would see foreign nationals who travelled through these countries barred from entering the country of Canada due to a new variant that had surfaced in the region.

The B.1.1.529 variant, also known as the "Omicron" variant, was certainly first detected in South Africa.

COVID-19: Canada, UK among countries banning travel from southern Africa due to "Omicron" variant

Global News in Canada shows the new virus variant news story.

Canada, the U.K., France and Israel are some of the countries that recently banned air travel from southern Africa after a new variant, known as "Omicron," was recently detected in South Africa and labeled by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a variant of concern.

The European Union's chief executive has also called for the suspension of travel connected to places where the variant has been detected. But WHO is cautioning against the move, asking countries to use a risk-based approach as opposed to a full ban. Cases have already been detected in Belgium and in Hong Kong as well. 

South Africa's own health minister on Thursday spoke about the variant, saying the government would be meeting to determine the implications of the variant.

COVID-19: Provinces across Canada to start vaccinating kids aged 5-11

Global News in Canada shows the virus stories.

It’s going to be a busy week for provincial health authorities, gearing up plans to vaccinate Canada’s youngest cohort yet. 

Parents in Ontario and Saskatchewan can start booking first dose appointments today and a process is already underway in other provinces. 

Jamie Mauracher has more on the latest vaccination efforts for mini-Canadians.

Canada: COVID-19 vaccines for kids: What hesitant Canadian parents should know

Global News in Canada shows the vaccinations stories.

COVID-19 vaccinations are beginning to roll out across Canada for children aged five to 11, and experts say this could be a big help in the country's pandemic fight.

But while Health Canada recommends the vaccine, some parents still have concerns.

Respirologist Dr. Samir Gupta answers questions that hesitant parents might have about the shot.

Monday 15 November 2021

47 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19

Global News shows that in country of the USA, 47 million Americans have been infected with the virus - that’s nearly 15 per cent of the total population. 

New cases are increasing by about a million people every two weeks. And at least 14 states are reporting an uptick in overall hospitalizations. 

On Wednesday the USA began administering Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 to 11, the latest group to become eligible for the shots.

With American Thanksgiving approaching, medical experts say the situation could get even worse. Jennifer Johnson reports.

Coronavirus Worldwide:
Total Cases: 219,456,675
Deaths: 4,547,782
Total doses given: 7,481,935,061
People fully vaccinated: 3,199,153,582 (% of population: 41.1%)

'People fully vaccinated' shows how many people have received the full amount of doses for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Total Coronavirus Cases:

Worldwide 219,456,675
United States 47,036,751
India 34,447,536
Brazil 21,957,967
United Kingdom 9,561,099
Russia 8,918,926
Turkey 8,410,136
France 7,106,147
Iran 6,037,718
Argentina 5,305,742
Germany 5,056,242
Spain 5,047,156
Colombia 5,031,945
Italy 4,860,061 7,565
Indonesia 4,250,855
Mexico 3,844,791
Ukraine 3,369,387
Poland 3,204,515
South Africa 2,925,677
Philippines 2,816,980
Malaysia 2,546,309
Netherlands 2,295,107
Peru 2,214,543
Iraq 2,069,247
Thailand 2,018,410
Czechia 1,890,405
Canada 1,755,074
Romania 1,742,304
Chile 1,736,481
Japan 1,724,893 126
Bangladesh 1,572,501
Belgium 1,484,712

Canada: Caution urged as Ontario’s COVID-19 cases increase

CBC News: The National in Canada shows that experts are urging caution in Ontario after daily cases of COVID-19 have nearly doubled in the past week, which could be linked to increased capacity limits and gatherings at Thanksgiving and Halloween.

In Canada, Ontario reports 666 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and 7 deaths. 88.7% of Ontarians aged 12+ have now had at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

For Vaccinations: 22,712,900 doses have been administered to date. Currently, 88.7 per cent of Ontarians aged 12 or older have received at least one dose of a vaccine, while 85.5 per cent have received double doses.

Countries reach climate deal at COP26, compromise on coal

CBC News in Canada shows that really almost 200 nations attending the UN Climate Change conference in Glasgow accepted a contentious climate compromise aimed at keeping alive a key target to limit global warming, but it contained a last-minute change that some high officials called a watering down of crucial language about coal.

COP26 is the interesting conference. "I wish we had managed to preserve original language on coal," says UK COP26 President Sharma.

"Nevertheless, we do have language on coal, on phase down, and I don't think anyone at the start of this process would have necessarily expected that that would have been retained."

Canada: New COVID-19 restrictions in Manitoba as province hit with highest infection rate in the country

CBC News in Canada shows that Manitoba Health Minister Audrey Gordon joins CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton to talk about the province implementing stronger restrictions to stem rising COVID-19 cases.

The Canada Manitoba Health Minister warns of tougher restrictions soon if Manitoba cannot control COVID-19 case eruptions. 'I could be out next week making changes,' says Audrey Gordon, who's confident new restrictions will work.

Audrey Gordon says she won't hesitate to impose tougher pandemic restrictions on Manitobans, if the latest round of public health orders don't bring down the soaring infection rate.

The health minister is confident the new restrictions targeting religious gatherings and youth sports announced last Friday will be enough.

Manitoba is becoming the hot spot for COVID-19 infections in Canada.

Sunday 14 November 2021

Canada: Vaccinations provide hope as Ontario, Manitoba see COVID-19 cases rise

CBC News: The National in Canada shows that COVID-19 cases are rising in several parts of the country, leading Manitoba to reinstate some restrictions and Ontario pausing plans to lift more capacity limits. But the high vaccination rate and the pending approval of a vaccine for children is giving many hope.

On January 12, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, reported to the WHO on December 31, 2019.

The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003, but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant death toll.

Vaccination for the dangerous virus is important. Health Canada is responsible for approval and regulation of vaccines (and other pharmaceuticals), while the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is responsible for public health, emergency preparedness and response, and infectious and chronic disease control and prevention. Vaccines are authorized by Health Canada, purchased by the Government of Canada and distributed by PHAC to individual provinces and territories in tranches based on various factors such as population size and prioritized peoples. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has also issued recommendations on how vaccines should be distributed.

The National Research Council Canada (NRC) has made investments in the domestic development of vaccine candidates, including candidates by the University of Saskatchewan and Variation Biotechnologies.

COP26 agreement on climate reached, but last-minute change angers

Global News in Canada has the breaking news from Glasgow, Scotland where delegates at COP26 have finally reached an agreement - but a last minute change to the text proposed by India has infuriated many countries and prompted the president of the climate summit to say sorry. "I apologize for the way this process has unfolded and I’m deeply sorry, COP26 President Alok Sharma said. The change weakens the language on the use of coal in the efforts to cut emissions. Redmond Shannon has more.

The climate crisis will also be on the agenda next week in Washington (USA), when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with USA President Joe Biden and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The leaders will attend the first "Three Amigos" summit since 2016. Mercedes Stephenson has been talking to Canada’s ambassador in Washington about the issues.

Climate change threatening Canada’s permafrost

Global News in Canada shows that here’s another piece to the climate change puzzle that Canadians must confront. 
Few countries in the world have permafrost, but Canada has 4 million square kilometres of it.
Warmer temperatures in the Arctic are thawing permafrost -  which accounts for 40 per cent of this country’s surface.
That big melt is releasing carbon that has been locked away for centuries. Not only that - life is being disrupted in these remote northern communities. Eric Sorensen explains more.

Permafrost is defined as ground that continuously remains below 0 °C (32 °F) for 2 or more years, located on land or under the ocean. Permafrost does not have to be the first layer that is on the ground. It can be from an inch to several miles deep under the Earth's surface. Some of the most common permafrost locations are in the Northern Hemisphere. Around 15% of the Northern Hemisphere or 11% of the global surface is underlain by permafrost, including substantial areas of Alaska, Greenland, Canada and Siberia. It can also be located on mountaintops in the Southern Hemisphere and beneath ice-free areas in the Antarctic. Permafrost frequently occurs in ground ice, but it can also be present in non-porous bedrock. Permafrost really is certainly formed from ice holding various types of soil, sand, and rock in combination.

Permafrost frequently contains large amounts of so-called biomass and decomposed biomass that has been stored as methane and carbon dioxide in the permafrost, making the tundra soil a carbon sink. As global warming heats the ecosystem and causes soil thawing, the permafrost carbon cycle accelerates and releases much of these so-called soil-contained greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, creating a feedback cycle that increases climate change.

"Biomass" is plant or animal material (sometimes used as fuel to produce electricity or heat). Examples are wood, energy crops, and waste from forests, yards, or farms. Since biomass technically can be used as a fuel directly (e.g. wood logs), some people use the terms biomass and biofuel interchangeably. More often than not, the word biomass simply denotes the biological raw material the fuel is made of. The word biofuel is usually reserved for liquid or gaseous fuels, used for transportation. The USA Energy Information Administration (EIA) follows this naming practice. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) defines bioenergy as a so-called renewable form of energy. In 2017 the IEA (International Energy Agency) described bioenergy as really the most important source of renewable energy.

The International Permafrost Association (IPA), founded in 1983, has as its objectives to foster the sharing of knowledge concerning permafrost and to promote cooperation among persons and national or international organisations engaged in scientific investigation and engineering work related to permafrost and seasonally frozen ground. The IPA became an Affiliated Organisation of the International Union of Geological Sciences in July 1989.

The Association’s primary responsibilities are to convene International Permafrost Conferences, undertake special projects such as preparing databases, maps, bibliographies, and glossaries, and coordinate international field programmes and networks. The International Conference On Permafrost (ICOP) is regularly held since 1965.

Permafrost or perennially frozen ground is defined as earth material that remains at or below 0 °C for at least 2 consecutive years. As such, upwards of 25% of Planet Earth is underlain to some degree by permafrost and in extreme conditions reaches depths of 1500 meters. Permafrost occurs in the high latitudes and mountains and plateaus of both hemispheres.

Canada's COVID-19 cases rise again as Moderna booster shot approved

Global News in Canada shows that as Canada's COVID-19 cases start rising again, Health Canada approved Spikevax, Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, to be used as a booster shot. Abigail Bimman reports on when Canadian children might finally get vaccinated, and on chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam's advice about keeping the virus out as more people gather indoors.

The deadline for a global climate accord has come and gone at the COP26 climate summit, and still, nearly 200 countries haven't made a deal. Crystal Goomansingh explains the sticking points.

As COVID-19 case rise, be careful in the pandemic this winter. Health Canada has approved Spikevax, Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, to be used as a booster shot. Soon Canadian children might finally get vaccinated. Keep in mind the advice about keeping the virus out as more people head indoors.

There may be bumps in the virus trajectory on the graph over the coming weeks. Daily cases in Canada increased 11 per cent over the past week, and they will probably continue to rise.

The highly contagious so-called Delta virus variant continues to predominate. The risk of surges and disease activity is likely to increase with more time spent indoors. There is more risk with groups of more unvaccinated people.

On Nov. 10, 2020, 4,302 new cases of COVID-19 were reported across Canada, according to data from PHAC.

This year: 2021, on the same day, only 2,601 cases were reported, though they are trending upwards.

What Canada's priorities are during "Three Amigos" summit

Global News in Canada shows that this week on "The West Block," host Mercedes Stephenson is joined by Canada’s ambassador to the United States, Kirsten Hillman, to outline Canadian priorities ahead of the 'Three Amigos' summit. 

Next week, President Joe Biden will host Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador for the first in-person meeting of North American leaders in five years. 

Plus, Green Party MP Elizabeth May shares her critique of Canada’s new climate goals now that COP26 has concluded. 

Finally, "The West Block" brings a special look back at the national Remembrance Day service in Ottawa.

The North American Leaders' Summit (NALS), sometimes called the "Three Amigos Summit" in the popular press, is the trilateral summit between the Prime Minister of Canada, the President of Mexico, and the President of the United States. The summits were initially held as part of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), a continent-level dialogue between the 3 countries established in 2005, and continued after SPP became inactive in 2009.

The most recent North American Leaders' Summit was hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on June 29, 2016 at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Trudeau hosted USA President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. The 3 leaders discussed a shared commitment to LGBT rights (with Trudeau highlighting their importance after the recent attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando), renewable energy development, and free trade. The leaders also announced the creation of a North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership and associated action plan.

During the presidency of Donald Trump from 2017 to 2021, no official summits were held. The leaders of the 3 countries continued to meet at other events, such as the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement during the 2018 G20 Buenos Aires summit.

NAFTA was an interesting agreement. The USMCA took effect on July 1, 2020, replacing NAFTA.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA; Spanish: Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte, TLCAN; French: Accord de libre-échange nord-américain, ALÉNA) was an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States that created a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994, and superseded the 1988 Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Canada. The NAFTA trade bloc formed one of the largest trade blocs in the world by gross domestic product.

The impetus for a North American free trade zone began with USA president Ronald Reagan, who made the idea part of his 1980 presidential campaign. After the signing of the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement in 1988, the administrations of U.S. president George H. W. Bush, Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, and Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney agreed to negotiate what became NAFTA. Each submitted the agreement for ratification in their respective capitals in December 1992, but NAFTA faced significant opposition in both the United States and Canada. All three countries ratified NAFTA in 1993 after the addition of two side agreements, the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC) and the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC).

Passage of NAFTA resulted in the elimination or reduction of barriers to trade and investment between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The effects of the agreement regarding issues such as employment, the environment, and economic growth have been the subject of political disputes. Most economic analyses indicated that NAFTA was beneficial to the North American economies and the average citizen, but harmed a small minority of workers in industries exposed to trade competition. Economists held that withdrawing from NAFTA or renegotiating NAFTA in a way that reestablished trade barriers would have adversely affected the USA economy and cost jobs. However, Mexico would have been much more probably severely affected by job loss and reduction of economic growth in both the short term and long term.

After USA President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, he sought to replace NAFTA with a new agreement, beginning negotiations with Canada and Mexico. In September 2018, the United States, Mexico, and Canada reached an agreement to replace NAFTA with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), and all 3 important countries had ratified it by March 2020. NAFTA remained in force until USMCA was implemented. In April 2020, Canada and Mexico notified the U.S. that they were ready to implement the agreement. The USMCA took effect on July 1, 2020, replacing NAFTA. The new law involved only small-size changes.

COVID-19: USA rushes to vaccinate more Americans as cases rise ahead of holidays

Global News in Canada shows that the United States faces renewed urgency to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19, as cases spike again in many states. 

On average, the daily case rates are almost four times higher than in Canada. And every single day, the USA still records an average of 1,200 COVID-related deaths, which are on track to exceed one million deaths by March. 

Jackson Proskow reports on where infections are multiplying, as millions of people prepare to travel over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The dangerous COVID-19 pandemic in the USA is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Since January 2020, 47,050,502 confirmed cases have been reported with 762,972 deaths, the most of any country, and the 19th-highest per capita worldwide. As many infections have really gone undetected, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that, as of May 2021, there could be a total 120.2 million infections in the country of the United States, or more than a third of the total population. COVID-19 is the deadliest pandemic in USA history; it was the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020, behind heart disease and cancer. From 2019 to 2020, U.S. life expectancy dropped by 3 years for Hispanic Americans, 2.9 years for African Americans, and 1.2 years for white Americans. These dangerous effects have persisted as USA deaths due to COVID-19 in 2021 exceeded those in 2020.

On December 31, 2019, China announced the discovery of a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan. The first American case was reported on January 20, and President Donald Trump declared the USA outbreak a public health emergency on January 31. Restrictions were placed on flights arriving from China, but the initial USA response to the pandemic was otherwise slow, in terms of preparing the healthcare system, stopping other travel, and Covid Virus important testing.

Canada: Here's why car prices are skyrocketing

CTV News in Canada shows that ongoing supply chain issues have led to shortages in new and used cars, driving up vehicle prices with no relief in sight.

A so-called "used car", a pre-owned vehicle, or a secondhand car, is a vehicle that has previously had one or more retail owners. Used cars are sold through a variety of outlets, including franchise and independent car dealers, rental car companies, buy here pay here dealerships, leasing offices, auctions, and private party sales. Some car retailers offer "no-haggle prices," "certified" used cars, and extended service plans or warranties.

In Ontario, Canada, new and used vehicle sales are regulated by the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC). In Alberta, Canada, new and used vehicle sales are regulated by the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC).

A so-called luxury car is a car that provides increased levels of comfort, equipment, amenities, quality, performance, and status compared to regular cars for an increased price. The term is subjective and reflects both the qualities of the car and the brand image of its manufacturer. Luxury brands rank above premium brands, though there is no fixed demarcation between the two.

Traditionally, most luxury cars were large vehicles, though smaller sports-oriented models were always produced. "Compact" luxury vehicles such as hatchbacks, and off-road capable sport utility vehicles, are relatively modern trends.

Canada: Saskatchewan: Health officials are monitoring a new mutation of COVID-19

CTV News in Canada shows that Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer said he’s closely watching a new mutation of COVID-19 in the province.
Derivatives of the Delta variant, called AY.25 and AY.27, have been detected in Saskatchewan.

The dangerous COVID-19 pandemic in the geographical area of Saskatchewan is part of an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19], a novel infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The province of Saskatchewan, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada ranks 6th amongst provinces and territories in terms of overall cases, and 3rd in total cases per-million residents.

The virus timeline is interesting for the province of Saskatchewan in the country of Canada. Chief Medical Officer Saqib Shahab announced the first presumptive case of in the province on March 12, 2020, a person in their 60s that had recently returned from Egypt. A provincial state of emergency was declared on March 18, and the province began to institute mandatory closures of non-essential facilities and lines of business over the days that followed. Saskatchewan reported its first deaths from COVID-19 on March 30. By April 6, the number of new recoveries began to regularly equal or exceed the number of new cases, which also began to steadily drop. On April 23, Premier Scott Moe stated that Saskatchewan's caseload was 70% below the national average per-province, and hospitalizations and deaths were 90% below average.

The province's first major outbreak began in late-April, centred upon the remote northwestern community of La Loche. It was traced to an outbreak at the Kearl Oil Sands Project in northern Alberta, with wider community spread attributed to overcrowded living conditions in local First Nations communities. In June and July, a new outbreak emerged in the western and central regions of the province, centred around communal Hutterite colonies. The province hit a new peak of 332 active cases during the spike, which subsided by late-August. In early-October, the number of new cases in Saskatchewan began to rapidly increase in urban communities, with a gospel outreach in Prince Albert being attributed as a superspreader event, and increasing community spread in Saskatoon - particularly at nightclubs.

Canada: Winter tires affected by supply chain crunch

CBC News: The National in Canada show that as temperatures fall across Canada, winter tires have joined the long list of products that are being affected by a supply chain crunch.

So-called "snow tires", also known as "winter tires", are tires designed for use on snow and ice. Snow tires have a tread design with larger gaps than those on conventional tires, increasing traction on snow and ice. Such tires that have passed a specific winter traction performance test are entitled to display a 3PMSF (Three-Peak Mountain Snow Flake) symbol on their sidewalls. Tires designed for winter conditions are optimized to drive at temperatures below 7 °C (45 °F). Some snow tires have metal or ceramic studs that protrude from the tire to increase traction on hard-packed snow or ice. Studs abrade dry pavement, causing dust and creating wear in the wheel path. Regulations that require the use of snow tires or permit the use of studs vary by country in Asia and Europe, and by state or province in North America.

All-season tires have tread gaps that are smaller than snow tires and larger than conventional tires. They are quieter than winter tires on clear roads, but certainly less capable on snow or ice.

"Snow chains", or "tire chains", are devices fitted to the tires of vehicles to provide maximum traction when driving through difficult snow and ice.

Such important snow chains attach to the drive wheels of a vehicle or special systems deploy chains which swing under the tires automatically. Although named after steel chain, snow chains may be made of other materials and in a variety of patterns and strengths. Chains are usually sold in pairs and often must be purchased to match a particular tire size (tire diameter and tread width), although some designs can be adjusted to fit various sizes of tire. Driving with these so-called chains reduces fuel efficiency, and can reduce the allowable speed of the automobile to approximately 50 km/h (30 mph), but increase traction and braking on snowy or icy surfaces. Some regions require chains to be used under some weather conditions, but other areas prohibit the use of chains, as they can deteriorate road surfaces.

COP26 draft deal lacks details amid push to strengthen targets

Global News in Canada shows that as COP26 nears its end, a draft agreement is setting the stage for the last-minute negotiations underway between 200 participating countries. Crystal Goomansingh reports on how the plan is being criticized and how two of the planet's biggest polluters have now issued their own pledges.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador are set to meet with USA President Joe Biden at the White House on November 18. Jackson Proskow looks at what's expected to be on the agenda for the North American Leaders' Summit, which is being dubbed the "Three Amigos" summit.

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (commonly acronymized as COP26) was the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference, held at the SEC Centre in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, from 31 October to 13 November 2021. The president of the conference was UK cabinet minister Alok Sharma. Delayed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the third meeting of the parties to the 2015 Paris Agreement (designated CMA1, CMA2, CMA3), and the 16th meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP16).

The conference marked the first time since COP 21 that parties were expected to commit to enhanced ambition towards mitigating climate change, because, as outlined in the Paris Agreement, parties are required to carry out a process colloquially known as the 'ratchet mechanism' every 5 years to give new national pledges. As such, the Glasgow Climate Pact, the first ever climate deal with the aim of reducing coal, the worst fossil fuel for greenhouse gases, emerged as a consensus of the representatives of the 197 attending parties. The deal also presses for more urgent emissions cuts and promises more money for developing countries and to help them adapt to climate impacts. Owing to a late intervention from India and China that weakened a move to end coal power and fossil fuel subsidies, the conference ended with the adoption of a less stringent resolution than some people anticipated.

New report shows the weak spot in Canada's COVID-19 response

CTV News in Canada shows that while Canada has done well compared to other developed nations handling the COVID-19 pandemic, it came at a cost to its health-care workers.

Take a look at these results (correct as of 1 October 2021):

Countries with the most COVID-19 deaths per million people:

Peru 5,976.33
Bosnia and Herzegovina 3,249.93
North Macedonia 3,201.67
Hungary 3,133.64
Montenegro 3,061.85

Countries with the fewest COVID-19 deaths per million people:

Laos 2.71
Burundi 3.10
Vanuatu 3.18
China 3.21
Bhutan 3.85

Countries with the most COVID-19 cases per million people:

Seychelles 217,440.10
Montenegro 210,088.03
Andorra 196,783.62
San Marino 159,952.95
Czechia 157,807.23

Countries with the lowest number of cases per million people:

Micronesia 8.60
Vanuatu 12.72
Samoa 14.99
Kiribati 16.48
Solomon Islands 28.41

Canadian man says he’s been getting free COVID tests in the USA

CityNews in Canada shows that some have been deterred from daytrips to the USA because of pricey COVID tests. @RiaRenouf has more from a travel blogger from Quebec who says he hasn’t paid a cent to get tested on the way home to Canada.

COVID-19 testing involves analyzing samples to assess the current or past presence of SARS-CoV-2. The 2 main branches detect either the presence of the virus or of antibodies produced in response to infection. Molecular tests for viral presence through its molecular components are used to diagnose individual cases and to allow public health authorities to trace and contain outbreaks. Antibody tests (serology immunoassays) instead show whether someone once had the disease. They are less useful for diagnosing current infections because antibodies may not develop for weeks after infection. It is used to assess disease prevalence, which aids the so-called estimation of the infection fatality rate.

Individual jurisdictions have adopted varied testing protocols, including whom to test, how often to test, analysis protocols, sample collection and the certain uses of test results. This variation has likely significantly impacted reported statistics, including case and test numbers, case fatality rates and case demographics. Because so-called SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs days after exposure (and before onset of symptoms) there is an urgent need for frequent surveillance and rapid availability of results. Non-symptomatic people can infect others.

Important test analysis is often performed in automated, high-throughput, medical laboratories by medical laboratory scientists. Alternatively, point-of-care testing can be done in physician's offices and parking lots, workplaces, institutional settings or so-called transit hubs.

COVID-19: What to expect when you cross the Canada-USA border

Global News in Canada shows that with the USA border now open to non-essential travel for fully-vaccinated individuals, people can hop across for a 1-day trip or longer if they choose.

But if you're planning to cross, there's a few rules you'll need to be aware of including when you will need a COVID-19 test and how long you might have to wait.

Joe Scarpelli takes a look at what you need to know and what he went through when he made his own trip to the USA and back into Canada.

The global COVID-19 pandemic had a deep impact on the Canadian economy, leading it into a recession. The governments' social distancing rules had the effect of limiting economic activity in the country. Companies started considering mass-layoffs of workers, which was largely prevented by the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. But despite these efforts, Canada's unemployment rate was 13.5% in May 2020, the highest it has been since 1976.

Many large-scale events that planned to take place in 2020 in Canada were cancelled or delayed. This includes all major sporting and artistic events. Canada's tourism and air travel sectors were hit especially hard due to travel restrictions. Some farmers feared a labour shortfall and bankruptcy.

COVID-19 affected certain consumer behaviours. In the early stages of the pandemic, Canadian grocery stores were the site of large-scale so-called panic buying which lead to many empty shelves. By the end of March, most stores were closed to walk-in customers with the exception of grocery stores and pharmacies, which implemented strong social distancing rules in their premises. These rules were also implemented in other Canadian businesses as they began to re-open in the following months.

Wednesday 10 November 2021

Bank of Canada governor says inflation 'transitory but not short-lived'

CTV News in Canada shows that Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem says inflation may be around longer than anticipated.

The Anti-Inflation Act was a Canadian Act of Parliament that was passed in 1975 by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's government to slow down the rapidly increasing price and wage inflation. Among its many controls, it limited pay increases for federal public employees and those in companies with more than 500 employees to 10 per cent in the first year, 8 per cent the next, and 6 per cent thereafter. The price and wage controls were enforced until 1978, and the act was repealed in 1979. A similar program aimed only at the public sector was introduced in 1982.

Prior to 1975, the Bank of Canada had warned the government about the dangers of the current inflation which was roughly 10 per cent a year. In response, the government brought in the Anti-Inflation Act which created the Anti-Inflation Board to set wages and prices.

Trudeau had mocked the idea in the 1974 election. The act proved highly contentious and there was much debate over whether the Parliament of Canada had overstepped its powers in enacting the law. Consequently, the government put a reference question to the Supreme Court of Canada, and in 1976, the court passed down its opinion in Reference Re Anti-Inflation Act, which declared the law constitutional.

New report shows the weak spot in Canada's COVID-19 response

CTV News in Canada shows that while Canada has done well compared to other developed nations handling the COVID-19 pandemic, it came at a cost to its health-care workers.

First look at Canada’s largest solar farm

CBC News: The National in Canada shows that construction is underway on a $750-million solar farm project in Vulcan County, Alta., which promises to provide an economic boost and electricity to power 100,000 homes. There is also hope it will inspire similar farms in the region, which has 320 sunny days each year.

Canada: Concerns upcoming winter will drive up COVID-19 infections

Global News in Canada shows that although most eligible Canadians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, concerns are growing about a surge in cases this winter. Eric Sorensen looks at the worries of lifting restrictions too soon and Canada's pandemic outlook, as more people head indoors.

New Western Canadian virus variant no cause for concern: Hinshaw

CTV News in Canada shows that there are reports of a new western-Canadian variant of COVID-19, but Dr. Hinshaw said it isn't a cause for concern.

It seems that 2 new types of the COVID-19 virus Delta plus variant are emerging in Western Canada.

The warning came during a physician town hall on November 4, when Dr. Jessica Minion, a medical microbiologist with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, told fellow doctors about two new variants of Delta called AY.25 and AY.27.

"This strain likely emerged in the USA, in the Midwest, but then once it came to Canada [...] it was noticeably different and quite separate," Minion said.

"When we say Canada we really mean Western Canada [...]. We warned people that uncontrolled spread is going to lead to evolution of the virus. You give it enough opportunities to pass through enough people you're going to get something unique to western Canada and this is what it is."

Tuesday 9 November 2021

COP26: Canada joins more than 100 countries vowing to end deforestation by 2030

Global News in Canada shows that certainly more than 100 global leaders have pledged to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by the end of the decade, underpinned by $19 billion in public and private funds to invest in protecting and restoring forests.

"I'm told that today 110 leaders have come together, representing over 85 per cent of the world's forest estate to work together to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by 2030," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow on Tuesday.

The promise, made in a joint statement issued late on Monday at COP26, was backed by the leaders of countries including Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which collectively account for 85% of the world's forests.

The Glasgow Leaders' Declaration on Forest and Land Use will cover forests totalling more than 13 million square miles, according to a statement released by the UK prime minister's office on behalf of the leaders.

U.S President Joe Biden said a new USA plan would "help the world deliver on our shared goal of halting natural forest loss" and restoring at least an additional 200 million hectares of forest and other ecosystems by 2030.

"We're going to work to ensure markets recognize the true economic value of natural carbon sinks and motivate governments, landowners and stakeholders to prioritize conservation," Biden said.

Children account for most new COVID-19 cases in Canada

Global News in Canada shows that federal modelling shows new COVID-19 cases among children aged five to 11 are the highest among all age groups in Canada. 

They still aren't eligible for a vaccine, and there's no telling how soon protection for young kids will be available. Abigail Bimman reports on the warnings ahead of flu season.

How a solar storm could leave Canada disconnected

Global News in Canada shows that an epic solar storm may be heading our way, one so big it could knock out power grids, damage satellites, cause internet blackouts, and essentially take down our modern life as we know it. After decades of low activity, researchers say that we are entering what is expected to be an active 11-year cycle for solar storms. 

And a severe event could impact the way we live our digital lives, leaving us disconnected for weeks or even months. 

As Laura Casella reports for The New Reality, we are more vulnerable to these storms in Canada than in other parts of the world.

Map unveils which Canadian cities most at risk of flooding

CTV News in Canada shows Engineering Professor Slobodan Simonovic discusses Canada's first flood-impact map showing how floodplains may become inundated under various climate change scenarios.

Canadians rush in as USA land border reopens to non-essential travel

Global News shows that the United States (USA) finally reopened its land border to non-essential travel on Monday for the first time in nearly 2 years. As Mike Le Couteur reports, pressure is growing on Ottawa to scrap its requirement for anyone entering Canada to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test.