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Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced a return to Stage 2 COVID-19 restrictions as the province reported 13,578 new cases. Starting tomorrow, schools will operate online, and indoor dining rooms, gyms and other indoor gathering spaces must close. Personal care services and retail stores will be limited to 50 per cent capacity. Indoor social gatherings will be capped at five people.

New daily hospital admissions have reached “triple digits” in Ontario, Mr. Ford said. Ontario’s public-health experts calculate Omicron could infect hundreds of thousands of people every day, which could crush hospitals.

“We face a tsunami of new cases in the coming days and weeks,” Mr. Ford said.

The province reported 1,232 people hospitalized with COVID-19, with a total of 13,578 new COVID-19 cases on Monday.

The government said the school closing will last until at least Jan. 17 and free child care will be provided for front-line workers with school-aged children.

Parents and children around the country have had to absorb abrupt changes in recent weeks, as provinces bring in new restrictions to thwart the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19. After nearly two years of intermittent pandemic measures, the disruptions are taking their toll.

Read more COVID-19 coverage:

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Sheep and goats stand together in Schneverdingen, Germany, forming a large syringe shape to promote vaccinations against COVID-19, Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. (Philipp Schulze/dpa via AP)Philipp Schulze/The Associated Press

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Deadly surge in U.S. gun violence brings inequities of the pandemic, police violence and firearms laws into sharp focus

Gun violence has plagued the entire United States, which has seen a dramatic reversal from two decades of relative declines in murders. In 2020, homicides rose 30 per cent countrywide, and analyses by criminologists showed further increases in most large U.S. cities in 2021.

Community leaders, police and scholars are struggling to understand why. Some blame the lingering effects of the pandemic, which disrupted work and school, and diverted resources from social programs.

Others point to the country’s reckoning over police brutality, contending that officers have eased up on enforcement out of fear of committing misconduct. And increased mistrust of police in marginalized communities has made it harder to solve crimes.

Wales plans to offer ‘free trees for every household’ to fight climate change. But scientists warn of downsides if planned poorly

The Welsh program to hand out roughly 1.3 million trees in total is the latest in what’s become a global frenzy of tree-planting initiatives. Governments, corporations and individuals see planting trees as a critical, and high-profile, way to meet carbon-reduction targets and contain global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, as set out in the Paris Agreement.

Many climate scientists and environment campaigners, however, have grown increasingly concerned about this rush to plant trees and the effectiveness of such campaigns. Government tree-planting programs also tend to put a premium on fast delivery and pay less attention to long-term maintenance to ensure that the trees actually survive.

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Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes convicted on four counts of fraud and conspiracy: The jury found former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes not guilty on four other counts and were deadlocked on three remaining charges, ending a lengthy trial that has captivated Silicon Valley. Holmes could now face up to 20 years in prison for each count.

Ontario court awards more than $107-million to families of six victims over deadly downing of Flight 752: The decision made public yesterday follows a May ruling that the Iranian military’s missile strikes amounted to an intentional act of terrorism, paving the way for relatives of those killed to seek compensation.

Virginia Giuffre settlement agreement with Jeffrey Epstein made public in Prince Andrew case: The $500,000 deal between Epstein and Giuffre contained a paragraph that said it protects anyone “who could have been included as a potential defendant” from lawsuits filed by Giuffre. In August, Giuffre sued Prince Andrew, saying he had sexually assaulted her multiple times when she was 17.

Haiti’s Prime Minister flees under gunfire: Prime Minister Ariel Henry fled the northern city of Gonaives after a shootout between his security forces and an armed group that had warned the leader not to set foot in the city.

Apple becomes first company to hit US$3-trillion market value: The world’s most valuable company is the first to reach the milestone as investors bet that consumers will continue to shell out top dollar for iPhones, MacBooks and services such as Apple TV and Apple Music.


World shares extend gains: World shares extended on Tuesday their positive start to 2022 with markets from Europe to Asia shrugging off worries the Omicron coronavirus variant could choke the global economic recovery, while the U.S. dollar rose after U.S. bond yields jumped. Around 5:30 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 1.24 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.50 per cent and 1.17 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei added 1.77 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.06 per cent. New York futures were higher. The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.47 US cents.


Vaccine mandates are justified as a matter of community self-defence – and justice

“Vaccine mandates are now being debated all over Europe. Austria, having faced record COVID-19 case numbers in November while having one of the lowest vaccination rates in Western Europe, has decided to make vaccinations compulsory in February. As a matter of law, vaccine mandates are unquestionably legal. In law, the only question is when, not if, they should be introduced.” – David M. Beatty

Canada is an energy superpower – and that doesn’t just mean oil

“It’s time to redefine the term. Canada has vast resources beyond oil and gas. When we say energy, we need to also see solar, water, wind and, yes, uranium. They’re right there. We just have to tap them.” Globe editorial


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Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


Look for these food and nutrition trends in 2022

Functional foods and supplements that support healthy aging, immune health, stress resilience and mental well-being will continue to trend in 2022. Reducing food waste is something companies will continue to address to improve sustainability in 2022. Enter upcycled foods, which incorporate nutritious byproducts that would have otherwise gone to waste. The demand for plant-based foods is another trend that isn’t going away, and we should expect to see an increasing selection of alcohol-free wines, beers and spirts this year. These are among the positive food trends likely to emerge in 2022.

MOMENT IN TIME: Jan. 4, 2010

Burj Khalifa, world’s tallest building, is inaugurated

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Emirati men walk past Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, on Jan. 4, 2010.KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images

Standing twice as high as the Empire State Building at 828 metres into the sky, Dubai officially unveiled the Burj Khalifa with an extravagant fireworks display to celebrate the world’s tallest skyscraper. Dubai put on the grand and glittering show, despite opening the tower in the midst of a deep financial crisis that threatened to shatter the Gulf emirate’s reputation as a global economic power. Work on the massive metal and glass structure began in 2004 at the height of an economic boom and construction was completed in 2009, at a time when the city state was struggling to pay its debts. The architectural achievement was known during construction as the Burj Dubai. But Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, surprisingly renamed the gleaming tower on inauguration day in a nod to the leader of neighbouring Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan. The oil-rich sheikhdom came to the rescue of its troubled neighbour when Dubai’s financial footing was teetering. Billed as a “vertical city” of luxury apartments and offices, the rocket-shaped edifice is a structural engineering feat, holding several world records including the tallest free-standing structure and the tallest man-made structure. Belinda Lloyd

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