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Canada’s two most populous provinces are grappling with whether to extend winter school breaks as Quebec and Ontario continue to set records for COVID-19 infections. Provincial governments have been reluctant to close schools, even temporarily, pointing to the social and emotional well-being of children. Ontario could hit 6,500 COVID-19 cases a day by mid-December, surpassing the rates of growth in European countries that are now in lockdown.

Manitoba is locking down as the virus spreads dangerously out of control. In Alberta, Premier Jason Kenney, who is isolating for the second time, has once again rejected the call for widespread business shutdowns. Instead, the province will impose modest restrictions while hospitals in Edmonton and Calgary are running at overcapacity.

Meanwhile, some are asking: Do provincewide mask mandates work? Everyone should wear a mask when they are indoors in public places.

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A display of masks in shop window in downtown Calgary, Alta., Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, amid a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

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No charges, no justice: Forgotten Guantanamo is a dilemma for Biden

As it nears its 19th birthday, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp has become a fading but unshakable relic of the post-9/11 age.

Once, it housed more than 700 prisoners. Today, only 40 remain, among them the most troublesome cases from Washington’s perspective – those inmates deemed too innocent to convict yet too dangerous to let go. For years, they have sat in limbo, never charged with a crime, their detention coming at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

It’s an embarrassment for the U.S., but acting on the issue appears to have little political upside.

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A guard holds keys to the cells at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on April 17, 2019. Nearly two decades after it was opened to house terrorism suspects and enemy fighters, the U.S. military prison in Cuba remains shrouded in secrecy.Doug Mills/The New York Times News Service

Canada opens the door for young Hong Kongers during China’s crackdown

The federal government is creating new immigration arrangements to help Hong Kongers stay in Canada and a work visa to encourage students to settle here in the face of China’s crackdown on civil liberties in the former British colony.

This includes a three-year open work permit for recent Hong Kong graduates or those with a history of work experience in certain areas, as well as a new pathway to permanent-resident status.

Also read: Canadian-born lawmaker says he will remain and fight for Hong Kong after ouster

  • One of the four Hong Kong lawmakers removed from office this week by the Chinese government is Edmonton-born Dennis Kwok, who relinquished his Canadian citizenship to run for office in the former British colony eight years ago.

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China congratulates Biden on his U.S. election win: China on Friday became one of the last major countries to congratulate Joe Biden on being elected U.S. president. China, along with Russia, avoided joining the throng of governments that congratulated Biden last weekend after he was projected to have secured enough Electoral College votes in the Nov. 3 election to win the White House.

Court given a glimpse into Alek Minassian’s mind via Facebook posts and homework assignments: Minassian is charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder in connection with the Toronto van attack, in which he drove a rented cube van down the sidewalk of busy Yonge Street, through hordes of pedestrians, on April 23, 2018.

Twelve-year-old boy dies in hospital days after Toronto shooting: He was shot while walking home from a Saturday shopping trip with his mother, the innocent victim of an apparent gang skirmish against a backdrop of elevated gun violence in the city.

Keystone pipeline investment a hedge against Trudeau ‘political risk’: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney invested US$1.1-billion of taxpayer funds to gain a stake in the Keystone pipeline expansion project this year because he doesn’t trust Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stick with the completion of the Trans Mountain pipeline Ottawa bought in 2018, he revealed Thursday.


Global shares tread water: Global shares flat-lined on Friday as rising U.S. and European COVID-19 hospitalizations tempered the euphoria over a promising vaccine, though Wall Street looked set for a firmer open on news president-elect Joe Biden was set to cement his election win. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.20 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.40 per cent and 0.50 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.53 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 0.05 per cent. Wall Street futures were higher. The Canadian dollar was trading at 76.23 US cents.


Mary Wollstonecraft is not just another naked lady in the park

Elizabeth Renzetti: “Should she be an everywoman, though? For centuries, the only time women saw themselves represented in public spaces, it was as some amorphous representation of a classical ideal. Justice. Liberty. Motherhood. Suffering.”

COVID-19 has exposed how our health care system fails marginalized people

Rita Trichur: “For starters, we need a national database of race-based health information. Provincial and territorial hospitals should be required to provide this information to Ottawa.”

In the time of plague, we yearn for the protection of a closed border

Derek Lundy: “What do we think about borders in a time of plague? They are still porous, open to ideas and to trade – nothing must stop the ceaseless rush of things we consume. But now, it seems that borders can be closed.”


Open this photo in gallery:

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


Pet parenting in a pandemic

Pet adoptions during the coronavirus pandemic have seriously taken off, with pet rescue groups and breeders across the country reporting demand like never before.

But being home with your pet, new or long-loved, around the clock through various stages of lockdown might also make you reassess the look and function of your space to ensure everybody feels more comfortable.

“When it comes to pets in homes, it all comes down to intentionality,” said Nike Onile, the principal designer at Ode, a multi-disciplinary studio in Toronto. Check out advice from the design world on how to make your living space more animal-friendly.

MOMENT IN TIME: Nov. 13, 1998

Open this photo in gallery:

Justin Trudeau, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Margaret Kemper at memorial service for Michel Trudeau held in Montreal, Friday, November 20, 1998.Owen Egan/The Globe and Mail

Michel Trudeau dies in avalanche

That Michel Trudeau’s final resting place is in British Columbia’s pristine Kokanee Lake may have been destiny, as his oldest brother once said, but his tragic death came far too early. Trudeau, the youngest son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau and Margaret Trudeau, died at 23 on this day in 1998 after he was swept into the glacier-fed lake in B.C.'s Interior, near Nelson, by a freak avalanche. He had been hiking with friends along a path between the lake and surrounding mountains after a backcountry ski trip. The tumbling snow pushed him far from shore and he drowned. His body was never recovered. Ottawa-born Trudeau, regarded as an unpretentious young man who was more at home in the mountains than in his famous family’s spotlight, had relocated to B.C. about a year earlier to work at a ski resort. The tragedy shook the family, but they found solace in knowing Trudeau, whom they called Miche, died in the wilderness he loved. “It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen,” oldest brother Justin Trudeau, now Canada’s Prime Minister, said in 2000. “That’s where he was destined to be.” Jeff Brooke

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