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Extremely rare cases of blood clots are hampering the rollout of two COVID-19 vaccines that Canada has purchased, as the country recorded its first case of the side effect from the AstraZeneca injection and the U.S. suspended use of the Johnson & Johnson version.

Health Canada said a Quebec woman is recovering from a blood clot after she had received the version of the AstraZeneca vaccine that is made in India and sold under the name Covishield.

Also yesterday, the United States temporarily stopped its use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while it investigates reports of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals who received the single-dose shot.

Read more:

What can and can’t you do after your first COVID-19 vaccine dose

Confusion over rollout persists days after Ontario pledged to vaccinate all adults in COVID hot spots

Editorial: Canada’s problem today is a shortage of vaccines. Will tomorrow’s be a shortage of people willing to get vaccinated?

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A senior receives the vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Laval, Quebec, Canada February 25, 2021.CHRISTINNE MUSCHI/Reuters

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‘War is already here’: On the Russian border, Ukrainian troops wait for Putin’s big push

Walking through wooden-walled trenches dug along Ukraine’s northeastern border, Valeriy Vavryniuk, a colonel in the country’s Border Guards, brushes aside a question about whether the massing of Russian troops on the other side means war is coming. “War is already here,” he says solemnly. “The war started seven years ago.”

The Ukraine-Russia border was once casually marked by a few signs and customs booths, but it is now one of the most fortified places in Europe, demarcated on the Ukrainian side by the new battlements, as well as a green metal fence topped with barbed wire and dozens of surveillance cameras.

There are multiplying signs that Russian President Vladimir Putin is contemplating an escalation, after a weeks-long build-up that has brought an estimated 85,000 Russian soldiers to within a short drive of Ukraine’s borders.

Read more:

With Russian troops amassing on Ukraine border, an awful sense of déjà-vu: Is Putin on cusp of invasion?

Ukraine looks to Canada for help with NATO membership as Russian military buildup grows

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Col. Valeriy Vavryniuk inspects the trench on the borderguard station near city of Kharkiv in Eastern Ukraine. Anton Skyba for The Globe and MailANTON SKYBA/The Globe and Mail

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Retail magnate W. Galen Weston dies at age 80: W. Galen Weston, the patriarch of one of the country’s wealthiest families and an architect of modern food retailing in Canada, has died at the age of 80.

Tories push to bar authoritarian states from broadcasting human-rights violations in Canada: The federal Conservatives are proposing changes to the Broadcasting Act that could bar foreign state-controlled TV networks from Canadian channels in the wake of complaints that two Chinese government media networks aired forced confessions in Canada.

Defence Minister won’t commit to future funding of Halifax security forum: Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan wouldn’t commit to continuing to fund an annual security forum in Halifax that has become mired in a controversy over an award it reportedly planned to give to the President of Taiwan.

Also: China warns U.S. ‘not to play with fire’ over Taiwan

What does Air Canada’s deal with Ottawa mean for taxpayers?: Air Canada and Ottawa have finally agreed on terms for the airline’s financial assistance package, but beyond the news that customers will get refunds for flights they never took, it gets pretty technical. Here’s a financial breakdown for taxpayers who are wondering what the government is getting into.

Konrad Yakabuski: Ottawa takes a step toward renationalizing Air Canada


MORNING MARKETS

Global stock markets rose to record highs on Wednesday after data showed U.S. inflation was not rising too fast as the economy reopens. With fears receding for now that a strong inflation reading might endanger the Federal Reserve’s accommodative stance, European shares opened 0.1% higher. Gains were capped after Johnson & Johnson said it would delay rolling out its COVID-19 vaccine to Europe, after U.S. health agencies recommended pausing its use in the country after six women developed rare blood clots. S&P 500 futures pointed to a further 0.1% rise after the S&P 500 closed at record highs on Tuesday.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Gary Mason: “It’s been evident for some time that Dr. Tam’s professional advice no longer carries much weight when it comes to the fight against COVID-19. It’s the provinces who are running the show, for better or worse – and lately it’s been for the worse.”

Robyn Urback: “The charitable interpretation ... is that the [Ontario] government didn’t believe the modelling from its own scientific advisory table, which would merely have been reckless and incompetent. The uncharitable interpretation is that the government wanted the public to see case numbers and ICU occupancy rise before acting on politically unpopular lockdowns and school closures, which would have been reckless, incompetent and ghoulish.”

Rob Carrick: “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought us what could very likely be the best investing conditions we’ll see in our lifetime. Count your gains and plan for leaner times ahead.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

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Brian GableThe Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

A look at Canadians’ domestic and international travel prospects for this summer

As cloudy as the picture remains for the fall and winter of 2021, prospects for the summer are murkier still. In an effort to provide some clarity and inspiration for the busiest travel season, this guide explores Canadians’ summer options and offers tentative new trip ideas.


MOMENT IN TIME: APRIL 14, 1987

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United States Patent: Musical Instrument Support. Date of Patent: April 14, 1987. Inventor: Edward L. Van Halen, Los Angeles, Calif.United States Patent and Trademark Office

Eddie Van Halen files guitar accessory patent

More than one guitarist has been described as “inventive,” but few have the paperwork to prove it. Les Paul, the namesake creator of the solid-body electric guitar, holds numerous patents. Also officially credited for originality is Edward L. Van Halen. The late virtuoso of the California rock band Van Halen dreamed up a support system for stringed instruments designed to allow performance on the instrument at a different angle than a standard guitar strap would allow. The device had a plate which rested on the player’s leg, thus holding the instrument in a flat perpendicular position that enabled “both hands free to explore the musical instrument as never before,” according to Patent No. 4,656,917, which expired in 2005. Of course, Mr. Van Halen did not require a contraption to explore the guitar in new ways. His two hands and bright melodious mind were enough to popularize a heavy-metal soloing technique that involved the fleet tapping of notes on the fretboard. However, while some might call the technique his “trademark style,” the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office does not formally recognize that particular innovation as such. Brad Wheeler

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