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Global response to coronavirus puts effectiveness of quarantines to the test

Kent Frasure, an electronic technician from Oregon who was on board the Diamond Princess ship with his wife. They are now stuck in their cabins for the next two weeks, eating the food provided on the ship and spending a lot of time on their electronic devices because 20 of the passengers, including two Canadians, have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is offering to fly out dozens of Canadians stranded in Wuhan who could not be accommodated on a flight chartered by Ottawa. Questions remain about how Canada will evacuate the rest of its citizens from the region.

It all amounts to a sweeping test of the effectiveness of quarantine, a public-health measure that fell out of widespread use after the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1919.

  • Opinion (Tom Koch): New virus outbreaks will become more common. We must evolve our thinking
  • Opinion (Hyo-Jick Choi): We need a better mask to protect us against outbreaks like coronavirus

Journalists gather near the Diamond Princess cruise ship as it docks in Yokohama port on February 6, 2020. (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images)KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images

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Senate votes to acquit Trump of impeachment charges

The Senate found President Donald Trump not guilty on both articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of justice – on near party-line votes of 52 to 48 and 53 to 47, respectively.

This ends the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history and caps a months-long drama that pushed the partisan divisions in American politics to their limits.

The focus of American politics now turns from the halls of the Capitol to the 2020 campaign trail, where both sides are using impeachment to rally their bases.

Read more:

  • Opinion (Konrad Yakabuski): Donald Trump is winning, and Nancy Pelosi knows it
  • Analysis (David Shribman): The impeachment debacle may have actually helped prolong the Trump era
  • Opinion (Clifford Orwin): A wild week in U.S. politics has turned even a historic impeachment trial into yesterday’s news

In this image from video, the vote total, 53-47 for not guilty, on the second article of impeachment, obstruction of congress, is displayed on screen during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020.The Associated Press

McMaster researcher under fire for irregularities in data

A McMaster University scientist is facing scrutiny after two peer-reviewed studies were retracted and collaborators made public statements that data he provided to them contain duplications and other irregularities.

The unfolding controversy has rocked the field of behavioural ecology, in which the scientist, Jonathan Pruitt, an associate professor at McMaster since 2018, is regarded as a star performer.

Retractions have been requested or are pending for five additional studies, while data underlying nine others have been flagged for unusual anomalies, according to a spreadsheet one former co-author is keeping.

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Canada turns to UN agency to press Iran to hand over Flight 752 black boxes: Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne said he and Transport Minister Marc Garneau asked the UN aviation agency for its help in urging Iran to give up the flight recorders, also known as “black boxes,” to France, which has the expertise to analyze them.

Pipeline talks between B.C. government, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs break down: Week-long talks that were intended to de-escalate a dispute over a natural-gas pipeline have failed after just two days.

Montreal to fully ban plastic bags by end of 2020, mayor says: Mayor Valérie Plante told a council meeting that the current measures that limit retailers to selling thicker bags haven’t worked to reduce plastic waste.

Airbnb to limit young Canadians’ ability to book unhosted homes after Toronto shooting: The policy change will prevent users under 25 from booking local listings for entire homes where no host is present, Chris Lehane, the head of global policy for Airbnb, announced on Wednesday.


World stocks gain as China cuts tariffs, investors look beyond virus: Stock markets across the world gained on Thursday, helped by record highs on Wall Street and a move by China to halve tariffs on some U.S. goods as investors bet that the global economy would avoid long-term damage from the coronavirus. Tokyo’s Nikkei rose 2.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng 2.6 per cent, and the Shanghai Composite 1.7 per cent. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were up by between 0.2 and 0.6 per cent by about 5 a.m. ET. New York futures were up. The Canadian dollar was below 75.5 US cents.


Regulations alone won’t fix Alberta’s potential oil-and-gas-well crisis

Grant Bishop: “If the government does not fix the problem, taxpayers and financially healthy oil and gas companies will need to foot the cleanup bill.” Bishop is associate director of research at the C.D. Howe Institute. Benjamin Dachis is director of public affairs at the C.D. Howe Institute.

In its Trans Mountain ruling, court confirms Canada’s veto over Indigenous peoples

Naomi Sayers: “In order for reconciliation to be effective, the question is not what is good for Canada in a free and democratic society; rather the courts must consider the resilient manner in how Indigenous peoples exercise the rights over their lands and have done so since time immemorial, to the benefit of the rest of Canada.” Sayers is an Indigenous lawyer from the Garden River First Nation who has a public-law practice. She is also an adjunct professor at Algoma University.


Brian GableBrian Gable/The Globe and Mail


How do you shuck an oyster?

Shucking oysters can be intimidating, so The Globe’s Lucy Waverman met with Adam Colquhoun, the owner of Oyster Boy restaurant, for a quick lesson. Knowing the types of oysters, how to know what to buy and understanding the tools you need are important, but anyone can master the skill. It is not so much strength that you need, as getting the right spot on the shell. And then, once you’re eating, remember to chew the oyster a little to get the taste of the terroir before letting it slide down your throat.


Canadian singer/songwriter Kate McGarrigle poses for a portrait c. 1973 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ginny Winn/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images).Ginny Winn/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Kate McGarrigle is born

Feb. 6, 1946: Associated with a musical family and revered for sisterly harmonies, Kate McGarrigle nevertheless proved to be a unique folk-music figure, distinguished by a voice that was bell-clear and quietly courageous. She was born in Montreal, reared in Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts and took piano lessons from village nuns. And while she grew up in the era of crooners, the youngest of three daughters raised by entertainer parents was exposed more to French folk songs and Stephen Foster than Frank Sinatra. The principles of Kate & Anna McGarrigle shared DNA but rarely songwriting credits. On the duo’s debut album in 1976, Anna wrote Heart Like a Wheel, a hit for Linda Ronstadt; Kate wrote Go Leave, a trembling but proud send off to her husband at the time, American singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III. Their marriage produced heartbreak and musical offspring Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright. McGarrigle, referred to in the memoirs Mountain City Girls as the “coxswain on the McGarrigle chasse-galerie,” died of cancer in 2010. Anna McGarrigle wrote on their website, “Til we meet again dear sister,” but the music world does not expect to meet Kate McGarrigle’s kind again. Brad Wheeler

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