Canada-U.S. border likely shutting this weekend: PM

[ CTV News ][ Mar 19 17:24 GMT ]

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the Canada-U.S. border is likely to close to non-essential travel by the weekend, though talks are still ongoing to iron out all the details as both sides implement increasingly restrictive measures to combat COVID-19. “We are continuing to work on the fine tuning of the agreement between Canada, the United States. I think it's almost there. My understanding is that the measures will probably come into place in the night between Friday and Saturday, so in about a day and a half,” Trudeau said. [ full story | comments ]

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Halton announces second COVID-19 death in Ontario as province announces 43 new cases; 1,300 new Telehealth lines added Thursday; Canada/U.S. border likely to close Friday night

[ Toronto Star ][ Mar 19 17:22 GMT ]

Halton Region Public Health announces that it has been notified of a death related to COVID-19. The individual, a man in his 50s, is the second known death in Ontario related to COVID-19. The man had an underlying health condition and was being treated at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital and Milton District Hospital. “This is the tragic proof that we need to work together as a community to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing and taking action to protect yourself and those around you,” Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health, said in a statement. “This is a larger community issue and I know that everyone joins me in extending their deepest condolences to his family at this time.” [ full story | comments ]

Rich world pumps aid to fight virus, Britain latest to face lockdown

[ Reuters ][ Mar 19 14:32 GMT ]

The world’s wealthiest nations poured unprecedented aid into the reeling global economy on Thursday as coronavirus cases ballooned in the current epicentre Europe and London became the latest major center bracing for lockdown.With almost 219,000 infections and more than 8,900 deaths so far, the epidemic has stunned the world and drawn comparisons with traumatic periods such as World War Two, the 2008 financial crisis and the 1918 Spanish flu. “This is like an Egyptian plague,” said Argentinian hotelier Patricia Duran, who has seen bookings dry up for her two establishments near the famous Iguazu Falls. “The hotels are empty - tourist activity has died.” [ full story | comments ]

The Single Most Important Lesson From the 1918 Influenza

[ NYT ][ Mar 18 16:11 GMT ]

In 1918, a new respiratory virus invaded the human population and killed between 50 million and 100 million people — adjusted for population, that would equal 220 million to 430 million people today. Late last year another new respiratory virus invaded the human population, and the reality of a pandemic is now upon us. Although clearly a serious threat to human health, it does not appear to be as deadly as the 1918 influenza pandemic. But it is far more lethal than 2009’s H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic, and the coronavirus does not resemble SARS, MERS or Ebola, all of which can be easily contained. [ full story | comments ]

Canada, U.S. closing border to non-essential traffic: Trump

[ CBC ][ Mar 18 14:50 GMT ]

Canada and the United States have reached an unprecedented deal to close the shared border to non-essential travel, as both countries try to restrict the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to U.S. President Donald Trump. "We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected," he tweeted Wednesday morning. "Details to follow!" As reported by CNN on Tuesday night and confirmed by CBC News, Canada and the U.S. were working to finalize a deal last night and into this morning. [ full story | comments ]

Doctors and nurses are on the front lines of the war against COVID-19. They’re digging in for a long fight

[ Toronto Star ][ Mar 18 12:39 GMT ]

The doctor has never done this before. He does anesthetic, and has worked in emergency, in addition to teaching individual event crisis medicine, in addition to a lot of things. He is a good doctor. Now he is trying to figure out how to keep himself and the hospital and its front-line workers safe, because when you intubate someone who has coronavirus — inserting a tube down their throat so they can breathe — the virus becomes airborne. [ full story | comments ]

WestJet says some recent passengers may have been exposed to coronavirus

[ Global News ][ Mar 18 12:30 GMT ]

WestJet Airlines says some of its passengers may have been exposed to people infected with the novel coronavirus on recent flights. The Calgary-based company made the announcement on its website and social media Tuesday, listing the flights and affected rows. It says passengers in affected rows are considered close contacts to those infected and could be at risk of exposure. The airline says that public health officials are recommending people who sat in those rows to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival and monitor symptoms. [ full story | comments ]

In China, life returning to normal as coronavirus outbreak slows

[ AlJazeera ][ Mar 17 20:32 GMT ]

As the number of COVID-19 cases confirmed overseas daily have surpassed those within China, the draconian measures that appear to have quelled the outbreak domestically - particularly outside Hubei - are gradually being relaxed. Even in Hubei, where some 10,000 cases remain, the pressure on front-line medical workers has eased. On March 17, the first batch of nearly 4,000 medical workers who were parachuted into Wuhan to help control the outbreak were able to leave. With so many provinces having downgraded their emergency response levels, China is slowly - and cautiously - returning to normal life. [ full story | comments ]

China Announces That It Will Expel American Journalists

[ NYT ][ Mar 17 17:24 GMT ]

The announcement comes weeks after President Trump limited the number of Chinese citizens who could work in the United States for five state-controlled Chinese news organizations. [ full story | comments ]

PM Trudeau to address Canadians on latest COVID-19 measures

[ CTV News ][ Mar 17 15:30 GMT ]

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be providing Canadians with an update on the federal government’s COVID-19 measures this morning. Speaking once again from self-isolation at Rideau Cottage, PM Trudeau is expected speak to the steps Canadians should be continuing to take to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic that has already prompted some provinces to declare states of emergency. PMO sources tell CTV News that it’s likely a more fulsome support package for Canadian workers and businesses as well as measures to stimulate the economy will be rolled out on Wednesday. [ full story | comments ]

Human Coronavirus Types

[ CDC ][ Mar 17 14:51 GMT ]

Coronaviruses are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface. There are four main sub-groupings of coronaviruses, known as alpha, beta, gamma, and delta.Common human coronaviruses 229E (alpha coronavirus), NL63 (alpha coronavirus), OC43 (beta coronavirus), HKU1 (beta coronavirus)... [ full story | comments ]

Concordia University kicking students out of residence with 4 days' notice

[ CBC ][ Mar 19 14:37 GMT ]

Students living in residence at Concordia University in Montreal have been given four days to find somewhere new to live, according to a notice sent to students. "In light of the current health emergency, and in particular, for the safety of those students living in residence for whom social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, all students are required to move out of residence by the end of the day, Sunday, March 22, 2020," reads the notice. Concordia said it will refund the students for their lease and meal plan for the remaining time between their departure and the end of their lease. Aurélie Garrone, an international student who arrived to study from France in January, said she was shocked when she received the email on Wednesday. [ full story | comments ]

Breaking : Election can’t be held on April 25th

[ News Wire ][ Mar 19 13:38 GMT ]

Sri Lanka General Election can’t be held on the scheduled date of April 25th, Sri Lanka Election Commission announced today. New date of the election will be announced later, it could be either in May or June depending on the Coronavirus Outbreak, EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said. He said that a fresh date will be announced only once the situation is brought under control. “Coronavirus will decide when we can hold the election again. We must eradicate this disease, I urge everyone to focus and support efforts to eradicate the virus” Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said. [ full story | comments ]

China revokes press credentials of US reporters at three major outlets

[ CPJ ][ Mar 18 15:14 GMT ]

“The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns this senseless but entirely predictable retaliation by the Chinese government, which threatens to sharply curtail the reporting operations of major U.S. publications in China,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “Beijing and Washington should negotiate to solve their differences and stop taking measures that cripple news reporting during a global pandemic, when the public’s need for accurate information is greater than ever.” [ full story | comments ]

No coronavirus party: U.S. spring break destinations crack down on revelers

[ Reuters ][ Mar 18 12:40 GMT ]

In Florida, sun-soaked Miami Beach shut down its spring break party this week, declaring it illegal for more than 10 people to gather together and shutting its bars and restaurants in an effort to stymie the spread of the coronavirus. The move there and in nearby Fort Lauderdale was the latest sign of U.S. cities struggling to cope with a pandemic sweeping across the nation. Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale set up barricades blocking access to public beaches. Police cars were stationed behind the dunes and police officers on ATVs and bicycles were out in force to monitor traffic and crowds. The mayors of Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale said they would issue fines for anyone breaking the restrictions and did not rule out the possibility of arrests. [ full story | comments ]

Coronavirus: Need help with mortgage payments? There are options

[ Global News ][ Mar 18 12:35 GMT ]

The coronavirus pandemic is causing workers across Canada to fret for their incomes. Whether you’re worried about the security of your office job, seeing reduced hours or expecting less income from your business or freelancing, the possibility of not being able to make the bills may have crossed your mind. And of all bills, mortgage payments are the ones people are usually most worried about, according to Rob McLister, a Toronto-based mortgage broker and founder of rates-comparisons site RateSpy.com. [ full story | comments ]

Italy says coronavirus lockdown may need to be extended

[ Reuters ][ Mar 18 12:28 GMT ]

An unprecedented lockdown imposed on Italians last week to halt the spread of coronavirus might be extended if the incidence of new cases doesn’t slow, officials said on Wednesday. The government has ordered restaurants, bars and most shops to shut down until March 25. In addition, it has shut schools and universities and told everyone to stay at home unless absolutely essential until April 3. [ full story | comments ]

Death in Ontario Potentially Related to COVID-19

[ ON ][ Mar 17 20:11 GMT ]

Today, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health issued the following statement in response to a death in Ontario potentially related to COVID-19: "It brings me great sadness to report a death in Ontario that is potentially related to COVID-19. The individual was a 77-year old man who passed away on March 11 at the Royal Victoria Hospital. This individual was a close contact of a positive case and COVID-19 was recently identified after death. The coroner's investigation is ongoing and more will be known about the specific cause of death in the days ahead. [ full story | comments ]

Italy rushes to promote new doctors to relieve coronavirus crisis

[ Reuters ][ Mar 17 17:22 GMT ]

Italy will rush 10,000 student doctors into service, scrapping their final exams, in an effort to help the struggling health service cope with the coronavirus onslaught.Some 2,158 people have died of the disease in Italy since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21, while the total number of confirmed cases has surged to 27,980, making Italy the worst-hit country outside of China. The crisis has pushed hospitals to breaking point at the epicenter of the contagion in northern Italy and left other regions scrambling to strengthen their own health networks as the number of infected rises nationwide. [ full story | comments ]

PM says financial supports on the way to help 'millions of Canadians' get through COVID-19 crisis

[ CBC ][ Mar 17 15:03 GMT ]

Justin Trudeau says declaring national emergency not necessary at this time....Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says a suite of financial supports are on the way to help millions of Canadians and businesses get through the COVID-19 crisis, and he isn't ruling out an extension to the tax filing deadline. In an interview with Toronto's 680 News, Trudeau said the government will act fast to put money in the pockets of Canadians, including employment insurance supports and direct income supports for those who don't qualify for employment insurance. [ full story | comments ]

Communication from Sri Lanka for All Airlines (17th March 2020, 1850hrs)

[ News Wire ][ Mar 17 14:43 GMT ]

This is to inform all online and offline carriers that according to instructions received from Sri Lanka Health Authorities all international Airports in Sri Lanka will be closed for operation of inward international commercial passenger flights (i.e arrivals) with effect from 0400hrs on 19 March 2020 (local time in Sri Lanka) until 2359hrs on 25 March 2020 (local time in Sri Lanka). The closure will be reviewed by the Sri Lanka Authorities. [ full story | comments ]


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[Reuters - Feb 14, 2020 16:15:28 GMT]

U.S. blacklists Sri Lankan army commander, cites killings, abuses


[HRW - Jan 15, 2020 11:51:08 GMT]

Human Rights Gains in Grave Peril


[Al Jazeera - Dec 08, 2019 12:31:12 GMT]

Sri Lanka's new leader promises to unite country


[New York Times - Nov 29, 2019 14:48:09 GMT]

Sri Lankan Critics Fear a Crackdown Is Underway, and Some Flee


[The Economist - Nov 29, 2019 14:46:21 GMT]

Sri Lanka’s new president has a worrying past


[Jacobin - Nov 29, 2019 14:34:26 GMT]

The Struggle for Democracy in Sri Lanka


[ProjectSyndicate - Nov 19, 2019 15:14:22 GMT]

Is Sri Lanka the Next Argentina?


[Reuters - Nov 13, 2019 17:48:41 GMT]

After hiatus, Rajapaksa brothers set to dominate Sri Lanka again


[AP - Nov 13, 2019 17:47:03 GMT]

Sri Lankan journalists fear situation may worsen after polls


[BBC - Nov 11, 2019 17:19:09 GMT]

Outrage as Sri Lanka president pardons teen's killer


[WSJ - Nov 08, 2019 15:26:54 GMT]

Sri Lankan Clan With Close China Ties Plots Political Comeback


[BBC - Oct 21, 2019 13:08:01 GMT]

Forgiving the Sri Lanka bombers


[Project Syndicate - Oct 21, 2019 13:06:34 GMT]

The End of Sri Lankan Democracy?


[AP - Oct 21, 2019 13:03:05 GMT]

Sri Lanka presidential hopeful says won't honor deal with UN


[BBC - Oct 03, 2019 13:48:45 GMT]

Sri Lanka attacks: The beach paradise that wants its tourists back