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Ebola Concentrated in Congo Mining Area, Still An Emergency, Says WHO – News18

October 18th, 2019

Geneva: Ebola is infecting and killing people in a gold mining area of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and the “complex and dangerous” outbreak still constitutes an international emergency, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

The virus has infected 3,227 people and killed 2,154 of them since the outbreak was declared in August 2018 and went on to became the world’s second worst outbreak, it said.

The WHO’s Emergency Committee on Ebola reviewed the situation since declaring the outbreak an international emergency on July 17. In a statement on Friday, it said the epidemic is “currently concentrated in the Mandima health zone in the Biakato mine health area”.

“This outbreak remains a complex and dangerous outbreak,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference, adding that he had accepted the independent panel’s recommendation to maintain the emergency status.

“But one thing would like to underline, even if this Ebola ends it may come back, because there is instability in eastern DRC and political instability and lack of security. These are pre-conditions,” he said.

Fifteen new confirmed cases were reported in North Kivu and Ituri provinces in the week to Oct. 13, the WHO said in its latest update. This compared with nearly 130 cases per week at the peak in April.

But insecurity and access issues in parts of Mandima, including the Biakato mines, hamper finding infected people and tracing their contacts, as well as ensuring safe burials, it said.

Thirty-one of the 50 Ebola cases reported in the last three weeks were from or linked to Biakato, WHO figures show.

“I do believe there will be further cases to be found in the Biakato mines area,” said Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme.

“The area is that remote and the communities are that deep in the countryside, that it will be another week to two weeks before we can be sure that there is not undetected transmission

in that zone,” he added.

In Mambasa and most of Mandima, experts have a good handle on the virus’ evolution, Ryan said.

“But in the areas of Lwemba and Biakato mine we still don’t have a full picture as to where the virus may be.

“So we don’t believe we are dealing with a catastrophic situation, the numbers are extremely low compared to before, but we don’t fully understand the dynamics of transmission in the Biakoto mine area,” he said.

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Greta Thunberg Marches With Thousands In Alberta For Climate Strike – HuffPost Canada

October 18th, 2019

EDMONTON — Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg marched into the middle of Canada’s oilpatch Friday to urge people to stop fighting each other, focus on the science and take action.

“We cannot allow this crisis to continue to be a partisan, political question,” Thunberg said in a speech before thousands of people on the steps of the legislature.

“The climate and ecological crisis is far beyond party politics and the main enemy right now should not be any political opponents, because our main enemy is physics.”

Canadian Press

Climate change activists gather for a march and rally with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg at the Alberta Legislature Building in Edmonton on Friday.

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000, but organizers said more than 10,000 people jammed the plaza, parks and empty fountains of the legislature grounds.

The 16-year old from Sweden has taken her protest against climate change into a global movement that has seen her speak plainly to world leaders and forums, chastising them to do something before it’s too late to reverse catastrophic weather changes caused by global warming.

The crowd included children and teens who skipped school.

Thunberg said students want to be in class, but the climate crisis is an emergency that doesn’t allow for the luxury of time.

“We teenagers are not scientists, nor are we politicians. But it seems many of us, apart from most others, understand the science because we have done our homework,” she said. “And if you think we should be in school instead, then we suggest you take our place in the streets.

“Better yet, join us so we can speed up the process.”

Canadian Press

Climate change activists and a few counter-protesters supporting the oil and gas industry gather for a march and rally with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg at the Alberta Legislature Building in Edmonton on Friday.

The event was a cacophony of sights, sounds and smells.

There were thousands of climate change supporters, waving handmade signs ranging from personal (“We Love You Greta”) to profane (“Frack off Gassholes”).

They chanted “Greta! Greta! Greta!” and argued with dozens of counter-protesters, who in turn held up signs proclaiming love for pipelines, oil and gas and a desire to see Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau turfed in Monday’s federal election.

A convoy of pro oil and gas truckers passed by as Thunberg spoke, with the sound of their horns echoing through the plaza.

Canadian Press

Climate change activists and a few counter-protesters supporting the oil and gas industry gather for a march and rally with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg at the Alberta Legislature Building in Edmonton on Friday.

No politicians from Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservative government were spotted. Some windows in the legislature still had “I Love Canadian Oil and Gas” signs posted inside from a previous rally, while windows facing the plaza had the blinds shut.

There was the smell of burning sweetgrass as several Indigenous speakers banged drums and denounced the degradation of the environment.

And there was a heavy police and legislature security presence. A police helicopter also circled overhead.

After the noon-hour speeches, dozens of supporters on both sides squared off in the plaza’s empty wading pool to shout at each other: the climate activists telling oil supporters that their ignorance won’t save them; the other side yelling to stop living in a fantasy world of no conventional energy.

There were earnest talks and a few middle fingers flashed before police waded in to gently break up the standoff.

Canadian Press

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and youth organizers attend a rally at the Alberta Legislature Building in Edmonton on Friday.

On the way to the rally, a crowd of people stretching two city blocks first marched with Thunberg through part of Edmonton’s downtown.

At one point three young men tried to rush the teen, but organizers kept them back, said Joe Vipond with the Calgary Climate Hub. Several climate activists locked their arms around Thurnberg.

“We just want to make sure she’s safe,” said Vipond, who travelled to Edmonton with two busloads of Calgarians to support Thunberg.

“She’s the voice of this generation,” he said. “She’s put herself out there. Can you imagine as a 16-year-old taking all this on? She needs all the support she can get.”

Canadian Press

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks at a rally at the Alberta Legislature Building in Edmonton on Friday.

Others involved in the rally said they like Thunberg’s message.

“We’re so big on oil, gas and pipelines and stuff like that,” said 11-year-old Ingrid Fredrick. “It’s going to be hard for her to convince a lot of people here like she convinced me.”

Zachary Neufeld, 18, works in Fort McMurray and went to the rally with a few friends carrying signs that read, “I Love Canadian Energy.” They said they believe in climate change, but there’s a way to make fewer emissions while keeping jobs.

“It’s really important that we keep those jobs, especially in Alberta, because that’s a lot of our economy,” Neufeld said.

Oil and gas has been central to Alberta’s economy for generations, but the debate has become increasingly divisive in recent years. Demand for action on climate change is increasing while a sluggish petro-economy has seen thousands of Albertans thrown out of work.

Kenney won the spring election, in part, on a platform that paints Alberta as being victimized by a federal Liberal government determined to gut the industry through inaction or harmful regulation.

Kenney has also launched a $30-million war room along with a public inquiry to root out what he says are foreign interests pulling the strings of climate activists to keep Alberta’s core industry down. And his government has gutted a climate change program launched by the previous NDP government, including a consumer carbon tax.

Canadian Press

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks at a rally at the Alberta Legislature Building in Edmonton, on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley

Kenney had said his government didn’t plan on meeting with Thunberg and, during the rally Friday, he visited a power plant near Edmonton that’s switching from coal to cleaner natural gas.

“This is the kind of real, practical, technological solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Kenney said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2019.

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With a close election looming, here are three likely scenarios — and how they would play out – National Post

October 18th, 2019

OTTAWA — As we enter the final days of the 2019 election campaign, polls show a minority government is by far the most likely scenario. But if that does prove true, it still tells us little about what form the next government takes. It all depends on how the seat counts come in.

Will it be the Liberals or Conservatives who emerge with the most seats? Will either the NDP or Bloc Québécois have enough seats on their own to be kingmaker? Will the Greens have enough seats to be a factor? If Maxime Bernier, Jody Wilson-Raybould or Jane Philpott win their races, could they be the deciding vote? This could get a little messy.

Fortunately, the Westminster parliamentary system has a long track record of successfully sorting out messy election situations. Here, then, is your guide to three likely scenarios that may come after election day — with assistance from one of Canada’s foremost experts on government formation, Carleton University professor Philippe Lagasse.

Minority scenario one: Liberals lead in seats by comfortable margin, Trudeau stays on as PM

There are two main rules to keep in mind about our parliamentary system and government formation. First, the ultimate test of whether a party forms government is whether it can hold the confidence of the House of Commons — in other words, whether certain major initiatives (such as the throne speech or the budget) can pass a vote in parliament.

Second, a sitting prime minister stays prime minister unless he or she resigns or loses a confidence vote. So whatever happens on election day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will stay in office (and the Liberals will stay as government) unless and until he decides to step down or attempts to stay on but is defeated by a confidence vote.

With 338 seats, the current threshold for a Commons majority is 170 seats. If the Liberals fall short of that but still have the most seats by a comfortable margin, they’ll have a very strong chance to stay on as government — but it will still depend on the seat counts of the NDP, Bloc and Greens. The more parties needed to get something passed in the Commons, the harder it is to hold on to government.

Similarly, if the Liberals’ margin of victory is small, it becomes harder for them to stay in power. Floor-crossing, resignations, by-elections and other unpredictable events could all change the balance of power quickly.


If the Liberals’ margin of victory is small, it becomes harder for them to stay in power.

Chris Wattie/Reuters/File

This scenario would change dramatically if the smaller parties decided to defeat the Liberals on a confidence matter and negotiate a governing deal with the Conservatives. At the moment, however, this is unlikely given the public positions of the parties. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has already ruled out supporting a Conservative government. The Bloc and the Green Party are potentially more open-minded, but they are both offside with the Conservatives on big issues such as the carbon tax. Furthermore, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said earlier this week that he would not negotiate with the Bloc.

The upshot is that if the Liberals hold the most seats, it is hard to see how the Conservatives would gather enough support to defeat them and take over as government. But it is possible, of course. Political parties do have a habit of making compromises when it comes to gaining power.

Minority scenario two: Conservatives lead in seats by comfortable margin, Trudeau decides to step down

Trudeau is not obligated to resign if the Conservatives emerge from the election with the most seats. As the sitting prime minister, he has the right to stay on and try to govern with the support of the Commons.

However, if the Conservatives have the most seats by a large margin, Trudeau will have a political decision to make: Should he step down as prime minister, given the message from voters? (Resigning as Liberal leader would be a separate decision.)

Scheer has already been arguing Trudeau should indeed step down in this situation. “What I’m saying is that the party that wins the most seats should be able to form the government, and the other convention in modern Canadian politics is that a prime minister who enters into an election and comes out of that election with fewer seats than another party resigns,” he said at a recent campaign stop. This is a common line from an opposition leader during an election; Trudeau said roughly the same thing in a CBC television interview in the 2015 campaign.


“What I’m saying is that the party that wins the most seats should be able to form the government,” Andrew Scheer recently said.

Carlos Osorio/Reuters

It is true that federally, the party with the most seats has almost always formed the government in a minority parliament situation (also called a “hung” parliament). In 2006, as a recent example, Paul Martin resigned as prime minister after his Liberals won fewer seats (103) than Stephen Harper’s Conservatives (124) — despite the fact Martin could have tried to govern with the support of the NDP (29) or the Bloc Québécois (51).

But there are also provincial examples where a party with fewer seats has formed government with the support of a third party. This happened in B.C. in 2017, when the NDP’s John Horgan became premier with the support of the Green Party despite winning slightly fewer seats than Christy Clark’s Liberals.

It all depends on political calculations. Lagasse calls it a custom of Canadian politics that the party with the most seats governs — in other words, it’s become common practice but it’s not a binding rule.

It reflects a certain sense of fair-playing democratic propriety

“It’s a custom with a lot of weight because it reflects a certain sense of fair-playing democratic propriety,” he said. “But the weight of the custom will begin to lessen the closer the margin is between the two leading parties. So if we’re only talking a five-seat difference, or if there’s a major ideological reason why the current party wants to stay on, then that custom falls away.”

If Trudeau decides to resign because the Conservatives have a large plurality of seats, the situation becomes relatively simple. Payette, as governor general, would invite Scheer to form the government, given Scheer’s Conservatives would be by far the largest party and have the best chance to pass confidence votes.

If the seat margin is very close, or if the smaller parties decide to support the Liberals to block the Conservatives from forming government, that’s when things get complicated.

Minority scenario three: Conservatives lead in seats, but Trudeau tests confidence of Commons

Picture a scenario where the Conservatives win 140 seats, the Liberals win 130, and the NDP win 45. Trudeau and the Liberals would only need the support of the NDP to get above the 170 votes needed for a majority in the Commons. As the incumbent prime minister, Trudeau could simply carry on in power if the NDP agreed to support him — and he wouldn’t need Payette’s sign-off.

“If the prime minister does not win the most seats and still chooses to remain prime minister and test confidence of the House, he may inform the governor general what he is doing, and he probably should — it’s constitutional good form — but he does not need her permission to test confidence because he remains her prime minister,” Lagasse said. “And she has no grounds to dismiss him in this scenario. He hasn’t formerly lost confidence and he’s telling you that he’s seeking to secure it.”


It is “constitutional good form” for Justin Trudeau to let Governor General Julie Payette know his intentions after the election.

Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

That (or something similar) is the cleanest scenario where Trudeau stays on as prime minister despite the Conservatives winning more seats. But there are many other scenarios where things get trickier.

If Trudeau needs the support of multiple parties (or independent MPs such as Wilson-Raybould or Bernier) to keep the confidence of the Commons, it becomes much harder to stay in power. It would rely on political negotiations.

Now picture a scenario where Trudeau tries to govern with the support of multiple parties, but it doesn’t work and he quickly loses a confidence vote in the Commons. This is where Payette’s discretion comes in. Even if Trudeau requests that Payette dissolve parliament and hold a new election, she does not have to follow that advice. She may instead see if there’s a different party leader who could hold the confidence of the Commons.

“Her discretion is a bit narrow because it depends,” Lagasse said. “Is there a viable, alternative government out there? What evidence is there that there’s a viable alternative? Is there an opposition leader who has concluded an agreement with somebody to make a government work? Do the numbers add up in the House of Commons that another party could govern and maintain confidence? So her discretion there may be fairly circumscribed depending on the composition.”

It also depends how quickly this all happens after the election. Lagasse said the expectation is that you don’t go immediately back to the voters unless absolutely necessary. The rough guideline is you try to give parliament at least six months to make it work.

“It’s a custom that you should try to make parliament work,” he said. “Number one, there’s just been an election. Number two, the parties are financially depleted. Number three, the population shouldn’t be asked to vote again, they might be fatigued and there might not be a change in circumstances…There has to be a fairly strong alignment of factors that will lead to another dissolution very early.”

• Email: bplatt@postmedia.com | Twitter:


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ALCS Takeaways: ‘Big game’ James keeps Yankees alive – Sportsnet.ca

October 18th, 2019

The New York Yankees took care of business Friday, beating the Houston Astros, 4-1, to force a Game 6 in the American League Championship Series. That contest goes Saturday night in Houston with both teams likely throwing bullpen games. But before we get there, here are your takeaways from a cold night in the Bronx:

Big game James

Here’s how Yankees starter James Paxton’s night began: infield single, passed ball, ground out, walk, wild pitch, run on the board. That’s a frustrating way to begin an evening, but credit Paxton for settling in after a 23-pitch first inning and holding the Astros to only that run through six.

Paxton’s 95-97 m.p.h. fastball was overwhelming, as the Ladner, BC native located it all over the zone, throwing a heater nearly 70 per cent of the time. His cutter and curveball were there when needed, but it was really all about the fastball for Paxton in this one:

Things got a little dicey with one out in the sixth when Paxton issued his fourth walk of the night. He quickly rallied, getting Yordan Alvarez to swing over a curveball for his 9th strikeout. But then Yankees manager Aaron Boone made the slow walk out of the dugout with Tommy Kahnle warming in the bullpen.

Paxton had his argument ready when Boone got there and, in a remarkable moment, the Yankees starter successfully lobbied to stay in the game. Boone went back to the dugout. Paxton started Robinson Chirinos with a slider, his 112th pitch. The Astros catcher lifted the ball high and deep into the cold New York air in left field, where it hung up just long enough to fall into Brett Gardner’s glove on the warning track 373-feet away.

That was a massive leverage point in a tightly contested game. If Chirinos had hit that ball just a little bit farther — if the air had been just a little bit warmer, or perhaps if the regular season balls were being used rather than the deadened post-season ones — it’s a two-run shot and Boone’s being criticized for leaving Paxton in too long. But it ended up just short enough for Boone’s gamble to pay off.

Verlander’s rough start

Astros starter Justin Verlander didn’t look much like Justin Verlander in the first inning Friday, allowing a home run, single, and double — all well struck — to the first three batters he faced. That put a run on the board and two on base for Aaron Hicks, who clubbed this hanging slider off the right field foul pole:

Verlander hung a few sliders like that in the early going when he wasn’t missing way up and out of the zone with his fastball. With the Astros likely looking at a bullpen day in a possible Game 6 on Saturday, the gears had to be spinning awfully quickly in the mind of Houston manager AJ Hinch.

But the thing that separates elite pitchers like Verlander is their ability to make adjustments on the fly. Verlander brought his fastball back in the zone and took his slider off the plate, which helped him retire 10 straight after Hicks’ blast.

Remarkably, he allowed only a soft single over the remainder of his outing, sitting down 17 of 18 Yankees from the second inning through the seventh. It was an utterly dominant performance featuring all the trademark Verlander flash. Fastballs sitting between 95 and 97-m.p.h. Wicked, biting sliders. Twenty-five swinging strikes. Nine strikeouts. He was in peak form for every inning but the first. Unfortunately for him, that’s the one that made the difference.

Still, Verlander saved Hinch’s bullpen for Saturday, when it’ll be needed. The Astros have a few different directions they can go, but it’s safe to say they’ll use a cavalcade of relievers as they try to end the series in six. And if it goes seven, Gerrit Cole will be ready and waiting.

Odds and ends

• The Yankees scored more runs in first inning than they did in any of the first three games of this series.

• Yordan Alvarez has been mired in a series-long slump, but the Astros have opted to stick with him for Game 6. The likely rookie-of-the-year is having a miserable post-season and, after going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts Friday, is now 1-for-19 in the ALCS. His plate appearances in Game 5 were particularly uncompetitive. But he’ll get another try, at least for one game.

• Giancarlo Stanton toughed it out through a quad injury and looked far less than 100 per cent in his three plate appearances, which resulted in two strikeouts and a groundout. It’ll be interesting to see how his leg is feeling Saturday after a four-hour flight to Houston.

• New York’s bullpen was clinical over the final three innings, as Kahnle, Zach Britton, and Aroldis Chapman held the Astros to only a hit and a walk. Their efficiency was crucial. Kahnle threw eight pitches, Britton used 18, and Chapman only 9. That’s huge for Boone, who will almost certainly call on them in Game 6, and potentially again in Sunday’s Game 7.

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Greta Thunberg’s Alberta visit igniting further discussion on climate change – Global News

October 18th, 2019

“We are not doing this because we want to. We aren’t doing it because it’s fun.”

Those series of words from 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg elicited thunderous applause and shouts from the crowd gathered at the Alberta legislature Friday afternoon.

READ MORE: Thousands rally with Greta Thunberg at Alberta legislature for climate strike amid counter-rally

It resonated strongly with the young people in attendance — one of them being 18-year-old student Abigail Thomas.

“I want a world to live in when I’m older and the same for my kids,” she said.

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Thomas was one of about 4,000 people of all ages who packed the legislature grounds to hear Thunberg speak, an opportunity she and others in the crowd were anxious for.

Edmonton marked Thunberg’s second stop in the province this week; she also visited Calgary.

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READ MORE: Climate activist Greta Thunberg heading to Alberta

“We’ve known for a long time that climate change is a real threat to humanity and it’s time for governments to take action,” said Lisa Budney.

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Several protesters carried signs depicting oil being kept in the ground, with chants erupting for immediate climate action.

While Richard Knack agrees with the latter statement, he’s not so keen on the former.

“Climate change is very important,” he said. “We know that there’s 20 to 50 years left with oil energy, we can’t stop it. Yet, we’re trying to so quickly and that’s getting people upset on both sides.”

READ MORE: Alberta oil and gas advocates plan counter-rally amid Greta Thunberg’s visit to Edmonton

A counter-rally was also planned in Alberta on Friday.

United We Roll led a truck convoy of supporters of Alberta’s oil and gas industry, with stops in Red Deer, Nisku and downtown Edmonton to coincide with the climate strike at the legislature.

1:51Teen climate activist’s Edmonton visit met with counter-protest

Teen climate activist’s Edmonton visit met with counter-protest

Zachary Neufeld, 18, works in Fort McMurray and went to the rally with a few friends carrying signs that read, “I Love Canadian Energy.” They said they believe in climate change, but there’s a way to make fewer emissions while keeping jobs.

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“It’s really important that we keep those jobs, especially in Alberta, because that’s a lot of our economy,” Neufeld said.

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Oil and gas has been central to Alberta’s economy for generations, but the debate has become increasingly divisive in recent years. Demand for action on climate change is increasing while a sluggish petro-economy has seen thousands of Albertans thrown out of work.

READ MORE: Kenney says while he believes humans cause climate change, not all UCP members have to agree on that

Kenney won the spring election, in part, on a platform that paints Alberta as being victimized by a federal Liberal government determined to gut the industry through inaction or harmful regulation.

Kenney has also launched a $30-million war room along with a public inquiry to root out what he says are foreign interests pulling the strings of climate activists to keep Alberta’s core industry down. And his government has gutted a climate change program launched by the previous NDP government, including a consumer carbon tax.

READ MORE: Alberta government says its energy war room will launch soon under ‘Canadian Energy Centre’ name

Kenney had said his government didn’t plan on meeting with Thunberg and, during the rally Friday, he visited a power plant near Edmonton that’s switching from coal to cleaner natural gas.

“This is the kind of real, practical, technological solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Kenney said.

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LISTEN BELOW: Bob Layton’s editorial on Greta Thunberg

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One thing most people agree with: Thunberg is igniting discussion.

“She’s sparking a conversation, getting people to start to take this seriously across the globe,” said Budney.

— With files from Dean Bennett and Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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CDC: Youth Suicide Rate Up 56% in Decade, Homicide Rate Up 18% After Decline – Breitbart

October 18th, 2019

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds, after a period of stability between 2000 and 2007, the suicide rate among children and adolescents aged 10-24 increased 56 percent between 2007 and 2017.

The report shows the homicide rate for the same age group was also stable between 2000 and 2007, then dropped 23 percent from 2007 to 2014 and then increased 18 percent between 2014 to 2017.

“For persons aged 10-14, suicide rates increased from 2007 to 2017, while homicide rates declined,” state the authors of the report, Sally Curtin and Melonie Heron, continuing the breakdown for the other age subgroups:

Suicide and homicide death rates for persons aged 15–19 have increased recently during 2000–2017, from 2007 to 2017 for suicide and from 2014 to 2017 for homicide.

Suicide death rates for persons aged 20–24 increased from 2000 to 2017, and homicide rates increased from 2014 to 2017.

The authors note that, in 2017, “suicide was the second leading cause of death for persons aged 10–14, 15–19, and 20–24, and homicide ranked third for persons aged 15–19 and 20–24 and fifth for persons aged 10–14.”

Suicide rates ended up surpassing homicide rates for the entire group aged 10-24 during the latter part of the period between 2000 and 2017.

In 2000, the homicide rate for the age group was 8.7 per 100,000 persons, while the suicide rate was 7.2 and continued to be higher until 2009. However, in 2017, the suicide rate was 10.6 and the homicide rate was 7.9.

The authors summarize:

For persons aged 10–14, suicide rates began increasing in 2010, whereas the homicide rate declined during the 2000–2017 period. In contrast, recent increases were observed for both suicide and homicide death rates among persons aged 15–19 and 20–24, with the increases for suicide rates beginning earlier than for homicide rates. In addition, for persons aged 15–19 and 20–24, suicide rates surpassed homicide rates during the latter part of the period.

During NPR’s Morning Edition on Thursday, Curtin expressed concern, specifically, that “not only is suicide trending upward, but the pace of increase is actually accelerating.”

According to Medscape Medical News, Colleen Carr, MPH, director of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, said better suicide prevention efforts require further research to determine the causes of the increased rates of suicide among adolescents and young adults.

“It is important to recognize that suicide is not caused by one single factor but instead a range of factors that include mental health conditions, but also include important situational factors that many of us will experience in a lifetime — including social, physical, emotional or financial issues,” Carr said.

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Film Review: ‘QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight’ – Variety

October 18th, 2019

In one of the intermittent revealing moments in “QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight,” a documentary about the films of Quentin Tarantino that’s like a familiar but tasty sundae for Quentin fans, we see Tarantino on the set of “Pulp Fiction,” shooting the iconic dance contest at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. As John Travolta and Uma Thurman gyrate to “You Never Can Tell,” staring each other down as they do the twist with that two-fingers-across-the-eyes gesture that I first saw Adam West do, in full cowl and costume, on an episode of “Batman,” Tarantino stands next to the camera, a few feet from his actors, and he’s dancing, too. It’s not some big show-offy director thing. He just seems like an overgrown kid (at 30, he still looked like one), a starstruck bystander who couldn’t help but join in.

Directors tend to be stern taskmasters, and Tarantino is famous for tolerating no nonsense on his sets. Yet in “QT8,” watching him in brief clips during the shooting of his films, you get a sense of the diligent passion that permeates a Tarantino set. The actors interviewed in “QT8” all express great love for him, in no small part because he invites them to take the characters they’re playing and run with them. Christoph Waltz recalls how the extraordinary opening monologue Tarantino wrote for Hans Landa, the twinkly Nazi scoundrel of “Inglourious Basterds,” contained endless ways to interpret it, which were up to the actor. And during the shooting of “Reservoir Dogs,” the script for the ear-torture scene said nothing more than “Mr. Blonde does a maniacal dance.” Michael Madsen, who couldn’t dance, made up his psycho shimmy on the spot; he also improvised the bit where he talks into the cop’s severed ear.

As seen in “QT8,” the Quentin sets are hard-working movie parties where the director’s control mingles with an atmosphere of discovery. Tarantino is always next to the camera, with no video playback apparatus, cracking up at the funny bits in his scenes. Cell phones are banned ­— his way of joining everyone in the same immersion. And the casts become families. During the shooting of “Django Unchained,” Leonardo DiCaprio was feeling uncomfortable about saying the N-word in front of African-American actors he considered his friends. It took Jamie Foxx and Samuel L. Jackson to tell him: Don’t worry, we’re not your friends — this is just another Tuesday to us, so let it rip. DiCaprio did, letting his hand, in a dinner scene, smash down on a glass, which set him to bleeding profusely. But DiCaprio knew that the take was on fire, so he didn’t stop; he just kept acting (and bleeding). When it was over, his non-friends gave him a standing ovation.

“QT8” was directed by Tara Wood, whose one other credit is the 2014 documentary “Richard Linklater: 21 Years,” and this movie, like that one, is an eager, middlebrow, film-by-film piece of fan analysis that touches the bases of its subject’s career without necessarily tapping into its greater mysteries. Louis Black, the co-founder of The Austin Chronicle and SXSW, makes eloquent testimonials to the humanity that underlies Tarantino’s pop sensibility. Yet it’s curious that he’s the only thing approaching a critical voice in “QT8,” because with a filmmaker like Tarantino you want to tap the well of his artistry, the way the deep-diving critical chorus of Ric Burns’ “Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film” did. This movie has no such pretensions. It’s a glancing scrapbook of how Tarantino made his movies, and an infectious survey of their appeal, but it’s no more definitive than an old episode of “E! True Hollywood Story.” Yet even those who already know a great deal about Tarantino will groove on the anecdotes and insights.

Like the fact that Quentin, directing his first feature by using the $20,000 in residuals he made as one of a chorus of Elvis impersonators on an episode of “The Golden Girls” (yes, we see a clip), told everyone to show up on the set of “Reservoir Dogs” dressed in black suits and white shirts. “They gave us the ties,” recalls Michael Madsen. “That was about it. But if you watch the movie, Steve Buscemi has black jeans on.” Or the way Tarantino forced Eli Roth to wait four days, lifting weights and killing time, to shoot the scene in “Inglourious Basterds” where the Bear Jew bashes a Nazi with a baseball bat; by the time Roth came out of that cave, he was ready to kill. Or how, during the “Death Proof” shoot, Tarantino sat with Zoë Bell and watched the extraordinary scene in which she’s strapped to the hood of a speeding car. When he asked her what was missing, she didn’t know. It turned out that you couldn’t see her face because she was so used to keeping it hidden as a stuntwoman. So they had to shoot it again.

The film has great photos of Quentin in his video-store-geek phase, as well as a healthy array of clips that reference all the movies he’s lifted from. Yet you’ll learn precious little about Tarantino’s off-camera life, his complicated relationship with Harvey Weinstein, or the sources of his obsessions. There are a couple of cursory Harvey-the-bully stories that feel like the film’s way of brushing past Weinstein’s more horrendous crimes.

That said, one of the strongest elements of “QT8” is the film’s evocation of the indelible female characters Tarantino has given us. Not just women who kick ass, but women who burn with a serious fire, like Pam Grier’s Jackie Brown or Uma Thurman’s yearning moll in “Pulp Fiction” or Thurman’s dynamo of vengeance in the “Kill Bill” films or the take-no-prisoners vixens who, in the first half of “Death Proof,” do nothing but drive and talk, magnetizing us (or, at least, some of us) the whole while.

The producer Stacy Sher says, perceptively, that “Reservoir Dogs” announced a new sensibility that would shake up the world of movies as powerfully as the French New Wave did. Tarantino’s voice was that free, that rule-breaking, that rooted in a movie past it transformed into the movie future. The day after “Reservoir Dogs” showed at Cannes in a special midnight show, Quentin was strolling the Croisette with his producers, and the people he passed would shout out “Tarantino!” On Mario Kassar’s yacht, Oliver Stone, James Cameron, and Paul Verhoeven were all clamoring to meet him. They could sense a revolution was under way, and Quentin was already a legend.

He was, from the start, creating a universe of his own, held together by its own connective minutiae. It wasn’t just about the Big Kahuna Burgers or the Red Apple cigarettes or the Vega brothers. Tim Roth points out that in “The Hateful Eight,” he’s playing the great-great-grandfather of the Michael Fassbender character in “Inglourious Basterds.” Yet all the connections — and panoramic 70mm imagery — couldn’t make “The Hateful Eight” a good movie, and when “QT8” treats it as “a bookend of ‘Reservoir Dogs,’” due to the combination of its enclosed space and its double-cross drama, it’s a sign of the critical limits of the film’s QT boosterism. The movie stops short of “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” the film that has probably put Quentin at the center of the conversation more than any movie since “Pulp Fiction.” And it reminds you that according to his 10-film master plan, he now has only one more movie to go. Each of them can stand as it its own monument, which makes a documentary like “QT8” at once engaging and redundant. For all its fun facts and behind-the-scenes peeks, it builds up and deconstructs a legend we’ve been building up and deconstructing all along.

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Romeo Dallaire joining lawsuit against government over anti-malaria drug – CTV News

October 18th, 2019

OTTAWA — “I think you are screwing up.” Blunt words from a Canadian military hero, retired general Romeo Dallaire, to the Canadian government and Department of National Defence.

In a W5 exclusive, Dallaire announced that he is joining a lawsuit against the Canadian government and Defence Department over an anti-malaria drug that he, and other soldiers , were forced to take on missions to Rwanda, Somalia and Afghanistan.

Dallaire, who led the international peacekeeping mission in Rwanda in 1994, has become the highest ranking soldier to join an unprecedented legal action by veterans over the use of the anti-malaria drug Mefloquine. He joins nearly 900 other veterans who claim the Canadian government and Department of National Defence “willfully ignored and concealed the risks” of the drug, which is marketed under the brand name Lariam.

Dallaire has been hailed a hero, both for his attempts to stop the genocide in Rwanda, but also for his outspoken admission that he struggles with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In the W5 documentary “The Guinea Pig Soldiers” (airing Saturday night at 7 p.m. on CTV), Dallaire said the drug Mefloquine made it difficult for him to do his job in Rwanda: “It was an impact that I considered serious enough that it was affecting my operational capability.” When the general requested he be taken off the drug, he was threatened: “They told me that if I did not continue to take Mefloquine, it would be perceived as a self-inflected wound. And I could be court-martialed.” That could have meant jail time for a Canadian general leading an international peacekeeping mission.

Veterans of missions to Somalia, Rwanda and Afghanistan allege that the drug has left them with long-term and debilitating side-effects that mimic PTSD but include tinnitus, memory loss, paranoia, extreme rage, suicidal ideation and rage. Lawyer Paul Miller, with the Toronto firm Howie, Sacks and Henry, is leading the legal action and says having Dallaire sign on is a game changer: “If a general is suffering from something like this, then the everyday soldier has confidence to know that they can join. There is credibility to the condition that they are suffering from.”

Watch the full W5 documentary ‘The Guinea Pig Soldiers,’ Saturday at 7 p.m. on CTV

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After her North American tour ends, how is Greta Thunberg getting home? – National Post

October 18th, 2019

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, has been making waves the world over with powerful speeches and appearances in climate strikes.

Since late August, she’s been on a tour of North America, attending rallies, meeting with world leaders, and speaking at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York City. She marched in a climate strike in Edmonton on Friday, Oct. 18.

Thunberg has said she received many requests to speak at events internationally, but declined due to the extensive travel it would require. But she decided to make an exception to attend the UN climate summit as well as a major UN climate change conference in Santiago, Chile, where her trip is scheduled to end.

I don’t know yet how I will get home

Her trip to North America is well-documented — she sailed for 15 days from England to New York on a carbon-neutral racing yacht to avoid the huge impact air travel has on carbon emissions.

But now that she’s finally here, some have begun to wonder: how is she getting back home to Sweden?

Before she left England in August, she said “I don’t know yet how I will get home,” according to the Daily Mail.

For starters, the boat she took to get to New York, the Malizia II, has returned to Europe. Despite trying to avoid carbon emissions, her organization has seen some criticism because the crew returned by plane — her team said the emissions were offset.

Which means that Thunberg is left with either chartering a plane, which she refuses to do, hopping on a commercial cruise line, which she’s also spoken out against because of the emissions, or chartering another carbon neutral boat to come pick her up.

“Greta doesn’t take airplanes so she’ll have to get to both Chile and back to Sweden using other modes of transportation,” a spokesperson for Thunberg’s team told Vox.

“The details are not confirmed yet.”

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Hong Kong protesters defy face mask ban, mock China leaders – The Globe and Mail

October 18th, 2019

Protesters takes selfies while wearing masks during a protest in Hong Kong, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters are donning cartoon/superhero masks as they formed a human chain across the semiautonomous Chinese city, in defiance of a government ban on face coverings.

The Associated Press

Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters donned cartoon character masks and mocked China’s leaders while forming human chains in defiance of a ban on face coverings at public assemblies.

Gathering along the city’s subway lines Friday night, many protest supporters masqueraded as Winnie the Pooh or Guy Fawkes. They help up their phone lights and chanted slogans calling for a “revolution of our times” — a battle cry of the 5-month-long movement that has shaken the semi-autonomous Chinese city with violent confrontations between protesters and police.

Chinese internet users have joked that Chinese President Xi Jinping resembles the talking bear, leading the country’s censors to scrub online references to the character. Fawkes masks have come to represent anti-government protests around the world.

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The protesters were taking a lighthearted approach to oppose the government’s decision this month to invoke colonial-era emergency regulations banning face masks at rallies as it struggles to contain the chaotic protests.

The peaceful event comes ahead of a mass rally that organizers are planning Sunday to press their demands. Police refused to authorize the march, citing risks to public safety and order, but protesters have previously ignored such rejections.

Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam has said the ban on masks, which have become a hallmark of the protests, is aimed at deterring radical behaviour. Offenders can be punished by up to a year in prison.

But the protesters say they wear them out of fear of retribution and concern that their identities will be shared with China’s massive state security apparatus.

This month, two police shootings that injured teenage protesters, the stabbing of a police officer, and the detonation of a small, remote-controlled bomb close to police officers ratcheted up violence to levels unprecedented since the former British colony reverted to Chinese rule in 1997.

Some protesters out Friday assumed the identity of Xi or Hong Kong’s deeply unpopular Beijing-backed leader. Others wore masks depicting Pepe the Frog, a character that has become a symbol for the Hong Kong protesters unaware of its association with far-right extremists in the U.S.

At least one protester parodied NBA basketball star LeBron James. He has been criticized for caving to China’s communist leaders after he suggested free speech can have consequences, following a now-deleted tweet by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in support of the protests that angered Beijing.

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The protesters’ aim was to form human chains extending 40 kilometres (25 miles) across Hong Kong by tracing the city’s subway system, mimicking a similar event in August. It’s unclear if they achieved that. There were gaps in a part of the chain in one downtown location.

Also Friday, Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific said passenger traffic to mainland China last month plummeted 23.2 per cent from a year ago, in the latest sign of the protests’ impact on the city’s tourism industry. The decline contributed to a 7.1 per cent drop in overall passenger numbers.

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