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Nursing homes in New Brunswick have been hit hard by the fourth wave of COVID-19, as infections surge in the province to levels not seen since the pandemic began.

The coronavirus has torn through a dozen homes since mid-September. Nine are still battling outbreaks, including one where eight of the 29 residents who tested positive have died. Until last month, not a single resident or staff member in the vast majority of the province’s 71 homes had fallen ill with COVID-19.

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The Maritime province is far from alone in dealing with a recent influx of cases. As of yesterday, 243 seniors homes across the country had outbreaks, according to a Globe and Mail tally.

More:

Third dose the charm? Scientists say it’s too soon for boosters

Ninety-five percent of workers in B.C. long-term care homes have been vaccinated as mandate kicks in

Alberta’s COVID-19 triage plan changed to exclude children

Site manager Lisa Hall, left, and David Horner, deputy operations manager of the New Brunswick Red Cross pose for a portrait outside of the Drew Nursing Home in Sackville, NB, on October 8, 2021. Chris Donovan/The Globe and Mail

Chris Donovan/The Globe and Mail

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IMF cuts global growth forecast, says central banks must be vigilant on inflation

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The International Monetary Fund expects high inflation to recede in most advanced economies by the middle of next year, but warns that there is tremendous uncertainty around the outlook for both economic growth and inflation because of supply chain disruptions that have convulsed the global economy while pushing up consumer prices around the world.

Central banks should be prepared to act quickly if inflation proves to be more persistent than expected, said IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath.

The IMF delivered this message in its semi-annual World Economic Outlook report, which downgraded the fund’s global growth forecast for the year and emphasized the need for a more equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines from wealthy countries to developing and middle-income countries.

Slain teenager Yumnah Afzaal’s school mural a symbol of her legacy – the fight against hate

Go down the stairs of the elementary school that adjoins a mosque in London, Ont., and in the basement you will see a 12-metre-wide wall. It used to be stark and unadorned, but now it is the canvas of a colourful painting that school administrators hope to showcase for decades to come. It was painted by a teenager, Yumnah Afzaal, who spent months on the mural at the London Islamic School.

On June 6, less than a year after she completed the mural, 15-year-old Yumnah was killed alongside her parents and grandmother in an attack by a driver of a pickup truck that also injured her nine-year-old brother. The family of Pakistani heritage was out walking in the southwestern Ontario city they had called home for years.

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And all this is why Yumnah’s painting in the school basement is no longer seen as just a pretty picture. The people who watched her create it say it’s a testament to an exceptional teenager whose art will survive the violence that took her life.

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

U.S. to open border with Canada starting in early November: The United States will open its border with Canada to vaccinated Canadians starting in early November, three U.S. lawmakers said yesterday. The border closures with Canada, which have been in place for 19 months to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, have hit border communities hard and U.S. lawmakers have been pushing the White House to lift restrictions since March 2020.

Judge rejects Dany Fortin’s bid to lead vaccine rollout again: Major-General Dany Fortin’s bid to be reinstated as the leader of the federal government’s vaccine rollout – while still facing a charge of sexual assault – has been quashed by the Federal Court. The case was dismissed based on a question of procedure rather than on the substance of the arguments put forward by Fortin’s legal team.

Supreme Court judge mulls extreme intoxication defence: Getting high on drugs is like walking around with a loaded gun, a Supreme Court judge said in a hearing yesterday, and asked a criminal-defence lawyer why someone who is in a state of self-induced psychosis should not be convicted if the gun goes off.

Campaign targets Canadian practice of holding some asylum seekers in jails: Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are launching a campaign urging Canadian provinces to cancel arrangements with the federal government that let them detain asylum seekers and refugee claimants in provincial jails.

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Most Canadian students’ math skills improving: Ninety per cent of Canadian students performed at or above Level 2 in math, which is considered the level where students demonstrate enough of an understanding of the subject to participate in real-life situations, according to the latest results of a standardized test administered by the Council of Ministers of Education. Only 9 per cent of students performed at Level 4, which is the top level. Students in Ontario and Saskatchewan were the only ones in Canada who did not improve in math over a nine-year-period.


MORNING MARKETS

World stocks steadied around the week’s lows with the mood dampened by inflation worries ahead of U.S. consumer price data later today, with economic recovery in many countries keeping oil prices near multi-year highs. The MSCI world equity index was flat after dropping in the previous three sessions. S&P futures fell 0.4% after the S&P 500 dropped 0.2% overnight on earnings jitters.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Andrew Coyne: “A constitution, it is true, is more than the written text. It depends on a cultural consensus that the constitution is something to be respected, and not ignored, or overwritten, or bent out of shape by interpretation. In Canada, the institutions responsible for upholding that consensus – governments and courts – have repeatedly shown themselves incapable of it.”

Cathal Kelly: “Gruden’s career is temporarily over. I say temporarily because football loves a meathead. As long as Gruden is willing to go on a six-month journey of self-discovery and learning (i.e. a long beach holiday whilst staying off social media), there will be a place for him somewhere in broadcasting.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

Brian Gable

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

Why variable-rate mortgages rule in the pandemic housing market – and maybe afterward, too

You can’t have a housing market as frenzied as ours without some people experiencing buyer’s regret in the months and years to come. Having a variable-rate mortgage would help take the edge off. With a variable rate, the penalty for breaking your mortgage is typically far lighter than with a fixed-rate mortgage. You can change your mind about your house and move without being financially crushed.

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MOMENT IN TIME: OCTOBER 13, 1972

The last eight survivors of the Uruguayan Air Force plane crash in the Andes in South America, huddle together in the craft's fuselage on their final night before rescue on Dec. 22, 1972.

The Associated Press

Flight 571 crashes in Andes

The co-pilot thought he was approaching the airport in Chile. By the time the mountain ridge appeared through the cloud cover, it was too late. The impact tore the wings and tail section off Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, killing 12 of the 45 people aboard immediately. The white fuselage came to rest atop a glacier, making it difficult to spot from above. Many of the survivors were severely injured, they had little food, and nighttime temperatures often approached -30 C. On Day 17, an avalanche killed eight more and almost buried the rest alive inside the fuselage. Starving, surrounded by their dead friends and loved ones, the survivors came to the heart-wrenching conclusion that cannibalism was the only way to carry on. They prayed, then tore strips of flesh off the dead and set them out to dry in the sun. But they had to get out. Roberto Canessa and Nando Parrado spent three days climbing a mountain and another nine hiking down before they were spotted by a man on a mule. They directed rescue helicopters to the crash site, where 14 more were airlifted to safety just two days before Christmas. Massimo Commanducci


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