Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Trudeau Adopts a Now-Familiar Tone of Contrition After WE Charity Scandal – The New York Times

July 13th, 2020

After digging in his heels for days, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada changed tack on Monday and apologized for taking part in a decision to award a no-bid government contract to a charity deeply connected to his family.

The apology came four days after it was revealed that the prime minister’s mother and brother had received more than $200,000 over four years to give speeches at events for the development organization, called the WE Charity, which had been awarded a government contract to oversee the disbursement of hundreds of millions of dollars of student grants.

“I made a mistake in not recusing myself immediately from the discussions given our family’s history, and I’m sincerely sorry about not having done that,” said Mr. Trudeau from outside his Ottawa home, during one of the briefings he has given regularly since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

At Monday’s news conference, the virus took a back seat to a sustained grilling from reporters about the charity scandal.

The controversy began brewing earlier this month, when opposition politicians demanded an investigation into the government’s approval of the contract to the charity to distribute about $660 million in grants to student volunteers affected by the weakened economy.

The prime minister, who said Monday that the contract was selected by the country’s civil service, has spoken at many of WE Charity’s events, and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, hosts a podcast connected to the charity.

Then, last Thursday, it was revealed the charity had paid Mr. Trudeau’s mother and brother a total of $207,000, about 282,000 Canadian dollars, for speaking engagements.

The country’s ethics commissioner has already launched an investigation into the affair, marking the third time the prime minister has been investigated for breaking conflict-of-interest rules since coming to power in 2015 on a promise of openness and transparency.

Both previous times, he was found in breach of the rules, which badly damaged his brand. His Liberal Party only narrowly won re-election last year.

“The question is, ‘Does the scandal go away, or does it continue?’” said Shachi Kurl, the executive director of the Angus Reid Institute, a Canadian nonprofit polling firm based in Vancouver. “A lot of that is out of his control. It’s down to what the opposition parties do.”

She noted that the prime minister’s approval rating, which has soared over the past four months because of his perceived deft handling of the coronavirus, had dropped to 50 percent according to data her firm released Monday.

So far, the scandal has not shown signs of abating, as revelations have arisen about other people in Mr. Trudeau’s inner circle with personal connections to the charity.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, whose daughter works in the charity’s travel department, also apologized on Monday. “I did not recuse myself from the discussions on this topic and, given the fact that my daughter works for the organization in an unrelated branch, I now realize I should have in order to avoid any perception of conflict,” he said in a Twitter post.

Craig and Marc Kielburger, who founded the WE Charity together, took out a full-page ad in The Globe and Mail, a national newspaper, on Monday stating they “had made mistake that we sincerely regret” and that the last two weeks had led them to “more closely examine our own internal structures, governance and organization.”

The charity said it would waive all the administrative costs incurred in setting up the program and would return government funds already received. The charity had been slated to receive a total of $14 million for overseeing the program.

Mr. Trudeau has developed a reputation in Canada for delivering contrite apologies, both for historical government transgressions and for his own personal mistakes, including going to parties in blackface and brownface as a student and young teacher.

At Monday’s news conference, Mr. Trudeau said he was most sorry students would not get access as quickly to the aid program, established to award some students up to 5,000 Canadian dollars in grants for doing volunteer work. The government took over the program after the scandal surfaced.

With no election on the horizon, it’s unlikely the scandal will deeply damage Mr. Trudeau, said Lori Turnbull, director of the school of public administration at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

“It’s not a terribly damning apology. It’s quite clever. He’s not saying the decision was wrong, he’s saying he shouldn’t have been at the table for it,” she said. “I think this is very, very low risk for him.”

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Return of North American economy will negate need for tariffs, Trudeau tells Trump –

July 13th, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Donald Trump to think twice Monday before imposing new tariffs on Canadian aluminum, saying the sector is emerging from the pandemic-induced production stance that prompted the White House to consider such measures in the first place. 

Trudeau, who said in a news conference he had spoken to the U.S. president earlier in the day, told him that with the North American economy getting back up to speed, Canada’s aluminum smelters would soon be back producing value-added specialty products for the American auto sector. 

The spectre of new tariffs emerged last month after Canadian producers, unable to shut down production and with their usual customers hamstrung by the impact of COVID-19, were forced to make a more generic form of aluminum and ship it to warehouses in the United States. 

That alarmed certain U.S. smelter owners and operators, who have been urging the U.S. trade representative’s office to slap fresh levies on imports from Canada. 

The pandemic “caused certain disruption in the aluminum sector that is starting to realign itself, given the economies are starting up again and manufacturing is getting going,” Trudeau said after his call with Trump.

“I impressed upon him that it would be a shame to see tariffs come in between our two countries at a time where we’re celebrating NAFTA and at a time where we want our businesses and our manufacturers to get going as quickly as possible.” 

Canada has been on the outside looking in when it comes to the coming into force of NAFTA’s successor, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which took shape in 2017 and 2018 before a backdrop of steadily worsening relations between Trump and Trudeau. 

While Trump welcomed Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to a celebratory event at the White House last week, Trudeau kept his distance, citing the tariff dispute and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic among his reasons. 

A readout from Monday’s call said the prime minister “expressed regret” for being unable to attend.  

The U.S. trade representative reportedly gave Canada a deadline of July 1 to impose export restrictions — the very day the USMCA took effect. 

U.S. cases spike

That deadline has come and gone without a hint from either the White House or U.S. trade ambassador Robert Lighthizer about what happens next. 

Trudeau said he and Trump also discussed the Canada-U.S. border, where non-essential travel has been curtailed since March in an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

The 30-day bilateral agreement to limit discretionary cross-border travel without restricting trade or essential workers has been extended three times and is now set to expire July 21. 

Since the last extension, however, the public health crisis in the U.S. has exploded. More than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases were identified over the weekend, particularly in southern states that reopened early, with Florida emerging as the new epicentre. Canada has had 108,000 confirmed cases in total, compared with more than 3.3 million cases and 135,000 deaths in the U.S. to date. 

A closed border

Hospitals in major urban centres across the United States are again nearing capacity and health care workers face another critical shortage of personal protective equipment like masks and respirators.

Recent polls suggest Canadians remain unequivocally opposed to reopening the border any time soon — a predictable symptom of the accelerating crisis in the U.S., said Kathryn Friedman, a University at Buffalo law professor and Wilson Center global fellow. 

But there could be other lingering foreign-policy irritants at play, she added. 

“I wonder if the United States had treated our dear neighbour, friend and ally a little bit better over the last three-and-a-half or so years, if the reaction would be as harsh,” Friedman said. “Maybe people are just like, ‘Well, too bad, I don’t care if you want to open the border.”‘

Friedman is among several Canada-U.S. experts, border community leaders, northern state lawmakers and others who want to see a plan for when the time comes to lift the restrictions. 

“I think we have to have this conversation,” she said. “I think we have to engage the right people now, so that when the border restrictions are eased, whenever that’s going to be, they are done so responsibly.” 

It’s less a question of when and more a question of how, Friedman said — what sort of controls, testing and screening measures and other tools will need to be in place even after the emergency has passed. 

“I’m more concerned that the climate will change, and some relevant government officials won’t have given any thought to how this border opening is going to take place,” she said. 

“We have to get our act together and really think more clearly about how we’re going to handle these kinds of situations in the future, and really use science-based data — an evidence-based, science-based approach — to health screenings when it comes to border restrictions and border policies.”

Trudeau demurred Monday when asked whether this time, Canada and the U.S. might negotiate a closure that lasts longer than the standard 30-day window. 

“We will be discussing with our American partners what the next steps should be, and I think this is a situation that is evolving rapidly and we need to keep responding to the situation on the ground.”

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Body found in search of California lake where Glee star Naya Rivera went missing –

July 13th, 2020

A body was found Monday at a Southern California lake during the search for Glee star Naya Rivera, authorities said.

The body was discovered five days after the 33-year-old Rivera disappeared on Lake Piru, where her son was found July 8 alone a few hours after the two rented a boat, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said.

Authorities would not immediately say if the person found was Rivera but said the day after she disappeared that they believed she drowned in the lake northwest of Los Angeles. A 2 p.m. PT press conference was scheduled.

The lake, an hour’s drive from Los Angeles, was searched by dozens of divers working in waters with little visibility, with help above from helicopters, drones and all-terrain vehicles.

Rivera played singing cheerleader Santana Lopez for six seasons on the Fox musical-comedy Glee.

Son found on drifting boat

The actor had experience boating on the lake in Los Padres National Forest, authorities said. Surveillance video shows Rivera and her son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, leaving on the rented boat.

When the boat failed to return, its vendor found the vessel drifting in the northern end of the lake late Wednesday afternoon with the boy asleep on board. He told investigators that he and his mother had been swimming and he got back into the boat but she didn’t, according to a sheriff’s office statement.

The boy was wearing a life vest, and another life jacket was found in the boat along with Rivera’s purse and identification. Rivera is believed to have drowned “in what appears to be a tragic accident,” the statement said.

The boy, Rivera’s son from her marriage to actor Ryan Dorsey, was safe and healthy and with family members, authorities said. The couple finalized their divorce in June 2018 after nearly four years of marriage.

The most recent tweet on Rivera’s account, from July 7, read “just the two of us” along with a photo of her and her son.

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Ontario will announce plans today to move forward to Stage 3 – CTV News

July 13th, 2020

TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford will unveil plans to move forward to the next stage of the province’s reopening plan on Monday, CTV News Toronto has learned.

Ford will make the announcement during his daily press briefing at Queen’s Park.

The premier will be joined for Monday’s announcement by Health Minister Christine Elliott, Education Minister Stephen Lecce and Minister of Finance Rod Phillips. will carry the announcement live at 1 p.m. 

It’s also understood that Ontario will enter Stage 3 through a regional approach like it did when entering Stage 2.

According to the government’s framework for reopening the province, which was released in April, Stage 3 would allow for all businesses to reopen and further restrictions eased on the size of social gatherings.

Large public gatherings, such as concerts and sporting events will continue to be restricted for “the foreseeable future.”

What types of businesses could reopen?

Stage 3 could involve the reopening of businesses like movie theatres, gyms, fitness studios, casinos, amusement parks, indoor dining and bars.

They have all been shut since the Ontario government ordered all businesses to close in March.

Ontario entered Stage 1 of the reopening plan in May and then Stage 2 in a staggered approach in June and early July. 

Ontario reported 129 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday as the downward trend continues in the province. The new cases bring the provincial total to 36,723.

“Locally, 27 of Ontario’s 34 public health units reporting five or fewer cases, with 18 of them reporting no new cases at all,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said Sunday. “Hospitalizations, ICU admissions have both decreased with the number of vented patients being relatively stable.”  

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Global Affairs official says giving Meng Wanzhou CSIS documents could hurt Canada –

July 13th, 2020

The director general for Global Affairs Canada in South Asia says disclosing sensitive information from CSIS to Meng Wanzhou as part of her battle against extradition could risk Canadian lives, further damage Chinese-Canadian relations and even compromise the fight against COVID-19.

David Hartman warned against giving the Huawei executive’s lawyers unredacted copies of documents from Canada’s spy agency in an affidavit sworn as part of a proceeding that will be heard in federal court later this month.

The affidavit was filed in late June in support of the attorney general, who is fighting to keep from public view communication about Meng’s arrest between CSIS and the FBI.

“Generally speaking, such disclosure would inflame tensions between the governments of Canada and China, and would, necessarily, provoke a response harmful to bilateral relations and Canadian interests,” Hartman’s affidavit says.

“Given the consular considerations, disclosure could also risk causing harm to individual Canadian lives.”

Hartman served as Global Affairs’ executive director for greater China until August 2017.

He and CSIS intelligence officer Michel Guay both filed affidavits in the federal court case, which will be heard during four days of hearings at the end of the month.

The first day of proceedings will be held in public on July 27; the remaining three days will be behind closed doors.

The fight centres on six heavily redacted CSIS documents the attorney general disclosed to Meng’s lawyers after an order from the B.C. Supreme Court judge overseeing her extradition case.

The U.S. wants the Huawei chief financial officer sent to New York to face fraud charges in relation to an allegation that she lied to an HSBC executive in August 2013 about her company’s control of a firm accused of violating U.S. economic sanctions against Iran.

Prosecutors claim Meng’s alleged lies put the bank in danger of violating the same sanctions themselves, risking prosecution and loss as a result.

Meng’s lawyers plan to argue that the FBI and Canadian authorities mounted a “covert criminal investigation” against their client, sharing technical information about her electronic devices and conspiring to have Canadian border officers detain and question her without a lawyer for three hours before RCMP placed her under arrest.

CSIS released these heavily redacted documents to lawyers for Meng as part of extradition proceedings. The Huawei executive’s legal team is fighting in federal court to have the redactions lifted. (Jason Proctor/CBC)

‘Perception of influence’

The CSIS documents include an email, operational notes, a report and three so-called “situation reports” written before and after Meng’s arrest at Vancouver’s airport on Dec. 1, 2018.

The situation reports state that CSIS received word from the FBI the day before Meng’s arrest and that the U.S. agency would “not be present in an effort to avoid the perception of influence.”

The reports say the RCMP recognized the “highly political nature of the arrest” and predicted from the outset that Meng’s detention would “be of great consequence internationally and bilaterally.”

Large portions of all the documents have been redacted.

In their affidavits, both Hartman and Guay stress that they have not viewed the unredacted portions of the documents themselves, so that they won’t be at risk of inadvertently disclosing sensitive information during the public proceeding.

Michael Spavor, left, and Michael Kovrig are in Chinese custody, both having been charged with spying. (The Associated Press/International Crisis Group/The Canadian Press)

Hartman describes the damage Meng’s extradition case has already caused Canadian-Chinese relations, including the suspension of canola seed imports and the arbitrary detentions of former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor.

Kovrig and Spavor have been held in Chinese prisons since the days immediately following Meng’s arrest. Last month, the Chinese formally charged them with spying. Canada hasn’t had consular access to either man since January.

Souring public opinions

Hartman says the COVID-19 pandemic has only “underlined the necessity” for Canada to engage in bilateral relations with China.

“China has been an important supplier of personal protective equipment and pharmaceutical products in global supply chains and accounted for a significant portion of medical supplies procured by the Government of Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hartman wrote.

He says “Canadian media coverage and public opinion on China has grown increasingly negative, reflecting public opinion trends globally.”

The affidavit traces the change in sentiment to the introduction of a new national security law in Hong Kong, “reports of Chinese intimidation and harassment of human rights defenders in China as well as in Canada” and a “Chinese disinformation campaign around the origins of COVID-19.”

A still from a video of Meng filed as part of a defence application for access to documents. The video was taken during her first few hours in custody. (Court proceedings)

As a result, Hartman says “it is in Canada’s interest to ensure that the management of our necessary but complex engagement with China is not negatively affected even further by the public disclosure of sensitive information.”

Guay’s concerns about the redacted material are related solely to the impact it might have on national security. He writes about the importance of maintaining confidential sources and of the need CSIS has to share information on the understanding it will be kept confidential.

“If foreign agencies were to lose faith in the commitment of the service to protect confidential third party information, there would be significant impact on the willingness of those agencies to provide information to the service in the future,” he says.

‘An ongoing role in her arrest’

In federal court documents, Meng’s lawyers say the unredacted portions of the CSIS documents make it plain that “not only was CSIS involved in communicating with the FBI and others regarding the planning of Ms. Meng’s arrest prior to December 1, 2018, but that CSIS had an ongoing role in the arrest.”

As such, they are also seeking emails, texts, telephone logs and briefing notes from CSIS as well as the identity of the authors of the reports.

Meng’s lawyers hope to use that information in upcoming B.C. Supreme Court hearings to argue that she was the victim of abuses of process and breaches of charter rights so egregious that the extradition proceedings should be tossed.

The 48-year-old’s case is predicted to extend well into 2021. Meng has denied all the allegations against her. 

She has been living under a form of house arrest — trailed by security guards and ordered to wear a GPS-monitoring ankle bracelet — in one of two multimillion dollar homes she owns on Vancouver’s west side, since her release on $10 million bail the week after her arrest. 

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Canadian province of Ontario to announce Stage 3 reopening details Monday – National Post

July 12th, 2020

Article content

TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford will announce details on Monday about the province’s third stage of reopening, his office said on Sunday, a step likely to end most restrictions introduced in March to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Stage 3 will allow “most remaining workplaces and community spaces” to reopen, according to the province’s website, although “large public gatherings will continue to be restricted.”

Canada’s most-populous province and the country’s economic engine laid out a three-stage framework in April for reopening, allowing the whole province into the first stage on May 19. Many regions in the province were able to move to Stage 2 on June 12, which allowed for the reopening of restaurant patios and hair salons.

But harder-hit areas – including densely populated Toronto, and Windsor Essex, a region near the Ontario-Michigan border with clusters of cases among agricultural workers – were not able to graduate to the second stage until late June and early July.

Ontario, with a population of 14.6 million, reported 129 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths on Saturday, according to public health agency data. Ontario has the second-highest number of cases and deaths behind Quebec.

Canada has reported 107,347 cases since the pandemic began, including 8,773 deaths, according to the latest government data. (Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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As police continue to hunt for Martin Carpentier, public asked to stay away from search area –

July 12th, 2020

After a night of searching, sometimes in heavy rain, police are continuing to look for Martin Carpentier, the 44-year-old father of two young girls, Norah and Romy, found lifeless on Saturday in Saint-Apollinaire, 39 kilometres south of Quebec City.

Sûreté du Québec said its officers are monitoring a densely wooded area in  Saint-Agapit—Saint-Apollinaire and have established a 10-kilometre radius perimeter there. Police are asking people to stay away from the site. 

“For the moment, we have not located Martin Carpentier, nor have we seen Martin Carpentier, but everything suggests that we are at the nerve centre of the search,” police spokesperson Sgt. Ann Mathieu said.

Police are asking anyone who has seen Carpentier to call 911 immediately but to steer clear of the area where the search is being conducted.

About 100 well-intentioned citizens showed up in the area Saturday evening to try to help with the search, police said.

“It was really not helpful,” Mathieu said, noting that the noise of about 100 cars made it harder for police to carry out their operation. 

She also asked the public not to post messages on social media encouraging people to get involved in the search.

Norah Carpentier, 11, right, and Romy Carpentier, 6, went missing Wednesday. Their bodies were found Saturday afternoon in a wooded area in Saint-Apollinaire, Que., 39 kilometres south of Quebec City. (Submitted by Amber Alerte Québec)

“We are actively investigating on the ground” Mathieu said.

“The best way to help the police officers is to respect the operation taking place in Saint-Apollinaire, to stay in their own properties, do their daily activities, and if there’s any information, go tell us, but not go on the site where police officers are working.”

Police also recommend residents of the area keep their vehicles locked to ensure Carpentier cannot use them to escape.

Lévis ​​​​​​police and members of the Canadian Armed Forces are working with ​Sûreté du Québec to locate Carpentier. Drones, all-terrain vehicles and SQ helicopters have also been deployed for the search.

WATCH | Search continues for Martin Carpentier:
Police are asking the public to remain vigilant as they continue to look for Martin Carpentier, the 44-year-old father of two young girls, Norah and Romy, found dead in Quebec on Saturday. 3:04

On Saturday, provincial police confirmed the death of Norah Carpentier, 11, and her sister Romy, 6, whose disappearance had triggered an Amber Alert on Thursday. 

After a three-day search, their bodies were found a few minutes apart in a wooded area of Saint-Apollinaire earlier that day.

Autopsies will be performed soon to confirm the exact cause of death, and police are examining the area where the two girls were found to see if there is any evidence that can help explain the circumstances of their death.

‘Incomprehensible tragedy’

Messages of condolence poured in Saturday evening in response to the death of the two sisters.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a tweet Saturday that he was “devastated by the news coming out of Quebec.” He called the incident an “incomprehensible tragedy for any parent” while offering his condolences to family and friends.

Quebec Premier François Legault tweeted his condolences as well, calling the girls’ deaths a national tragedy.

“This is the worst ordeal ever for any parent to have to go through in their life,” said Pina Arcamone, executive director of the Missing Children’s Network.

“This mom will need a lot of support from her family and friends in the community.”

Arcamone said this was the longest Amber Alert in Quebec history. In most cases, she said, it only takes a few hours before a child is found. 

She said her organization will offer support for the girls’ mother and refer her to the appropriate resources.

A vigil for the two sisters was organized Saturday evening in Lévis, Que., their hometown. (Hadi Hassin/Radio-Canada)

Several GoFundMe fundraisers have also been organized to support the mother.

In their hometown of Lévis, Que., a candlelight vigil was organized by two scout leaders in memory of the sisters in Chutes-de-la-Chaudière park. 

Norah was a Cub scout and Romy was about to become a Beaver scout, said Dominique Moncalis, director of communications for the Association des Scouts du Canada. 

Their father was himself a Cub scout leader and had caused no problems in the past, she said.

The sisters were last seen at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday with their father in a convenience store.

About an hour later, Carpentier’s vehicle crashed about 15 kilometres west of the store, on Highway 20, police said. Nobody was found inside the car when officers arrived, and the damaged vehicle was recovered by police for analysis.

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Community mourns as the search continues for suspect in death of two young Quebec girls – Global News

July 12th, 2020

As of Sunday evening, Quebec provincial police said they’re still looking for Martin Carpentier, 44, who is being sought in connection to the death of his daughters Romy Carpentier, 6, and Norah Carpentier, 11.

“He is the suspect in the events that occured,” said Sûreté du Québec spokesperson sgt. Ann Mathieu.

The SQ confirmed the deaths of two missing young girls on Saturday. Police said their bodies were discovered in a wooded area of Saint-Apollinaire.

Police could not provide more details about their deaths, which has brought the days-long search to an end. The Amber Alert, which was issued on Thursday, has since been lifted.

READ MORE: Two missing girls from Quebec confirmed dead as police continue search for father

The SQ is warning residents of Saint-Apollinaire to be vigilant and call 911 with any useful information. Investigators are also asking the public not to approach Carpentier if they see him.

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On Saturday night, police said they ran into trouble with people searching in the woods within the police perimeter.

Police are asking residents not to interfere with the investigation and call authorities if they witness anything.

“Since were doing a criminal investigation, important elements can still be on the site or around the area,” said Mathieu.

Martin Carpentier, 44, went missing with his two girls who were found dead near St-Apollinaire, Quebec.
Martin Carpentier, 44, went missing with his two girls who were found dead near St-Apollinaire, Quebec. Sûreté du Québec (SQ)

The 44-year-old suspect was last seen wearing a grey T-shirt, jeans, and might be wearing glasses. He measures around five feet 10 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. Police believe Carpentier likely abducted his daughters in Lévis, Que.

Information has surfaced that Carpentier and his daughters were members of 128th de Charnay Scouts Canada group. The group posted on its Facebook page on Saturday that a memorial has been set up in honour of the late Romy and Norah.

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“The (memorial) will remain in place for a few days in the little gazebo at the top of the falls. If you want (to), you can write a little word and/or light a candle,” the post indicated.

Mise à jour : Le lieu de recueillement restera en place quelques jours dans le petit gazebo en haut des chutes. Si vous…

Posted by Groupe scout: 128e de Charny on Saturday, July 11, 2020

Members of the community and the Scout group gathered at the memorial in Lévis, Que. to sing songs and mourn the loss of the young girls.

The group said they’re singing for Romy and Norah’s family, as an act of solidarity and love.

In response to citizens critical of the police’s work on social media, the SQ said they verified each of the reports that investigators received.

“(I)t was impossible for them to meet each of the people to inform them of the follow-up of their request,” the force wrote on Twitter. “We invite you not to move around the premises so as not to interfere with the work of the police.”

Forested area in St-Apollinaire, Quebec where the search for suspect Martin Carpentier continues.
Forested area in St-Apollinaire, Quebec where the search for suspect Martin Carpentier continues. Olivia O’Malley / Global News

On social media Sunday morning, the police force said it searched for the suspect overnight and the manhunt carries on today.

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Quebec Premier François Legault gave his condolences to the girls’ mother and their loved ones on social media on Saturday, calling it a “national tragedy.”

“Like all Quebecers, I am overwhelmed, without words. Losing two children, the dearest things we have in life, is incomprehensible,” Legault wrote on Twitter.

Bernard Ouellet, mayor of Saint-Apollinaire, said the event has shocked the province.

“Everyone has tears in their eyes. This isn’t easy for anyone,” he told The Canadian Press on Saturday.

Romy Carpentier, pictured on the left, and Norah Carpentier, pictured on the right were found dead near St-Apollinaire, Quebec on Saturday.
Romy Carpentier, pictured on the left, and Norah Carpentier, pictured on the right were found dead near St-Apollinaire, Quebec on Saturday. Alerte Amber Quebec

READ MORE: Girlfriend of father of two missing Quebec girls pleads for their safety in video

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted about the young girls late Saturday, writing that all Canadians were keeping the family in their thoughts.

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Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante also took to social media on Sunday to express her deepest sympathies to the girls’ family members.

“It’s a (tragedy) of unimaginable pain that strikes Quebec. My heart is broken for young Romy and Norah. All my thoughts go out to family and loved ones.”

— With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise, Olivia O’Malley and The Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Florida sets new record, adds 15,000 coronavirus cases in one day –

July 12th, 2020

Florida reported a record increase of more than 15,000 new cases of COVID-19 in 24 hours on Sunday, as the Trump administration renewed its push for schools to reopen and anti-mask protests were planned in Michigan and Missouri.

If Florida were a country, it would rank fourth in the world for the most new cases in a day behind the United States, Brazil and India, according to a Reuters analysis.

Florida’s daily increases in cases have already surpassed the highest daily tally reported by any European country during the height of the pandemic there. It has also broken New York state’s record of 12,847 new cases on April 10 when it was the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak.

Read more: As Florida’s coronavirus cases surge, some ⁠— including ‘grim reaper’ ⁠— want masks mandated

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The latest rise was reported a day after Walt Disney World in Orlando reopened with a limited number of guests who were welcomed with a host of safety measures, including masks and temperature checks.

Anti-mask activists in several states, including Florida and Michigan, have organized protests against local mandates, arguing that the measures infringe upon individual freedom.

Read more: Disney World reopens despite coronavirus case surge in Florida

Coronavirus infections are rising in about 40 states, according to a Reuters analysis of cases for the past two weeks compared with the prior two weeks. Nationally, the United States has broken global records by registering about 60,000 new cases a day for the last four days in a row, according to a Reuters tally. Hospitalizations and positive test rates are also rising in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas.

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Florida reported a record amount of testing, with nearly 143,000 results announced on Sunday compared with an average of 68,000 for the prior seven days.

Facing a battered economy as he seeks re-election in November, President Donald Trump has pressured states to reopen shuttered businesses and schools.

1:01Coronavirus: Masked guests enter Disney World in Florida for first time in months

Coronavirus: Masked guests enter Disney World in Florida for first time in months

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said on Sunday that her department did not have its own safe reopening plans to promote, and each school district and state must devise their own plans based on their local coronavirus infection rates.

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Health officials have pleaded with the public to wear masks to limit the spread of the virus, but the issue has become politically divisive in the United States unlike many other countries that have seen far lower rates of infection and death.

Seven months into the pandemic, Trump wore a mask for the first time in public when he visited a Washington D.C.-area military medical center on Saturday. He had previously refused to wear a mask in public or ask Americans to wear face coverings, saying it was a personal choice.

Many Americans still refuse to wear a mask, which health experts say help stop transmission of the virus that has killed more than 134,000 Americans.

Anti-mask activists organized a protest on Saturday at a grilled cheese restaurant and bar in Windermere, Florida, which is in Orange County about 19 km from Walt Disney World.

Read more: U.S. sees spike in COVID-19 deaths, as experts predicted

The restaurant, 33 & Melt, has become a focal point of tension after owner Carrie Hudson said she was not requiring customers to wear masks. County officials have mandated the use of masks in public since June 20.

During Saturday’s protest, no customers wore face coverings inside the restaurant. Agents from the state’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco arrived during the rally and served Hudson with a warning, according to a video.

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0:43Coronavirus: Trump wears face mask in public for the first time since pandemic began

Coronavirus: Trump wears face mask in public for the first time since pandemic began

In addition to a record 15,000 new cases on Sunday, more than four dozen hospitals in Florida reported that their intensive care units are full due to a surge in COVID-19 patients.

Hundreds were expected to attend a demonstration at the Michigan state capitol on Sunday afternoon, according to a Facebook event, to protest against Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s order that everyone must wear a mask in public, except when outdoors and able to maintain social distance.

Protesters were also planning to gather outside city hall in Springfield, Missouri on Monday, where the city council was due to vote on a mask mandate in response to rising cases and a more than fourfold increase in Greene County’s COVID-19 hospitalizations in the last month.

© 2020 Reuters

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Police investigate shooting in Dartmouth –

July 12th, 2020

Halifax Regional Police are investigating a shooting in Dartmouth early Sunday morning.

At approximately 1:11 a.m., a 23-year old man arrived at the hospital with a gunshot wound to his leg.

The investigation is in its early stages and officers with the General Investigation Section of the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division are conducting the investigation.  

Investigators believe the shooting occurred in the area of Lahey Road, Dartmouth. 

Updates on the investigation will be provided when available.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call police at 902-490-5016 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling toll-free 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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