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Today’s coronavirus news: Three employees at Mississauga Longo’s test positive for COVID-19; Blue Jays open temporary home in Buffalo Tuesday night

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The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Tuesday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

9 a.m. Another lawsuit has been filed against a long-term-care home operator in Mississauga.

The negligence and wrongful death lawsuit was filed by Viet Do and seeks $20 million from Schlegel Villages, alleging that the company failed to keep residents and staff safe at its Erin Mills Lodge facility during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Do’s father, Minh Do, 88, lived at Erin Mills Lodge from 2014 until his death on April 24, 2020, according to the lawsuit’s statement of claim. His family was notified that Minh Do developed COVID-19 symptoms on April 23, the claim said.

The claim, which has not been proven in court, alleges that Schlegel didn’t comply with directives issued by the province and health authorities, including not isolating individuals with COVID-19 from non-infected people and failing to provide staff with “proper personal protective equipment in a timely manner.”

“When provided, Erin Mills Lodge directed staff to repeatedly use the same personal protective equipment — despite contamination,” the claim alleges.

8 a.m. The Blue Jays will play their first game at Buffalo, N.Y., Tuesday night when they open a two-game series against the Miami Marlins at Sahlen Field.

The Blue Jays were baseball nomads to start the season after the federal government denied them permission to play games at Toronto’s Rogers Centre due to concerns over players travelling in and out of the country from American states ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

After stadium-sharing deals with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles didn’t come to fruition, the Blue Jays settled on Sahlen Field as a temporary home base for the shortened 2020 season.

But the home of Toronto’s triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, needed some upgrades before being ready for the big leagues, meaning the Blue Jays had to play their scheduled home games in their opposition’s ball park until today.

Toronto enters its home opener with a 5-8 record.

7:19 a.m. The City of Vaughan told York Region Media that it “temporarily” laid off about 1,100 employees due to “shortage of work in some departments” after declaring a state of emergency due to COVID-19.

After these “extraordinary circumstances,” the City said the decision was “difficult but necessary.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic and declared State of Emergency in Vaughan and the Province of Ontario have impacted City services in a number of unexpected ways, including the temporary closure of City facilities to the public and the cancellation of some programs,” it said.

While the City continues to conduct essential services including fire and emergency response, waste collection, water/wastewater services, to bylaw and enforcement services, it says, “As this situation evolves, it will be necessary for the City to continue assessing the operational and financial impacts of these unprecedented times.”

7:16 a.m. Three separate employees at a Mississauga Longo’s grocery store have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Longo’s store tracker.

Management at Longo’s became aware that three employees at their Ponytrail location, on Rathburn Road, had tested positive on Aug. 8.

The employees’ last days of work were Aug. 4, 5 and 6. Each store undergoes a deep cleaning and sanitization once a Longo’s employee contracts the disease.

All employees who may have been in contact with the sick workers have been instructed to stay home and monitor their health for any symptoms. Longo’s claims they pay each employee in full during this time.

Their tracker states that it is not necessary for shoppers who recently visited the Ponytrail location to self-isolate, taking advice from public health officials.

5:46 a.m. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Tuesday that authorities have found four cases of the coronavirus in one Auckland household from an unknown source, the first cases of local transmission in the country in 102 days.

Ardern said Auckland, the nation’s largest city, will be moved to Level 3 from midday Wednesday, meaning that people will be asked to stay at home and bars and many other businesses will be closed.

She said the rest of the country will be raised to Level 2.

4:56 a.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin says that a coronavirus vaccine developed in the country has been registered for use and one of his daughters has already been inoculated.

Speaking at a government meeting Tuesday, Putin said that the vaccine has proven efficient during tests, offering a lasting immunity from the coronavirus.

Putin emphasized that the vaccine underwent the necessary tests. He added that one of his two daughters has received a shot of the vaccine and is feeling well.

Russian authorities have said that medical workers, teachers and other risk groups will be the first to be inoculated.

Russia is the first country to register a coronavirus vaccine. Many scientists in the country and abroad have been skeptical, however, questioning the decision to register the vaccine before Phase 3 trials that normally last for months and involve thousands of people.

3:06 a.m. The number of coronavirus cases topped 20 million on Tuesday, more than half of them from the U.S., India and Brazil.

Health officials believe the actual number is much higher than that tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, given testing limitations and the fact that as many as 40 per cent of those who are infected have no symptoms.

It took six months or so to get to 10 million cases after the virus first appeared in central China late last year. It took just over six weeks for that number to double.

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An AP analysis of data through Aug. 9 showed the U.S., India and Brazil together accounted for nearly two-thirds of all reported infections since the world hit 15 million coronavirus cases on July 22.

Tuesday 3:02 a.m. India reported 53,601 new cases of coronavirus Tuesday as its total infections neared 2.3 million.

The Health Ministry also said 871 deaths were newly reported, raising total fatalities to 45,257.

India has been posting an average of around 50,000 new cases a day since mid-June.

Its total infections are third in the world, behind the United States and Brazil. The three countries account for half of the world’s 20 million cases. The true numbers around the world are thought to be much higher because of factors including low testing and the possibility the virus can be spread by people who don’t have symptoms.

Monday 6:15 p.m. Only two theatres, two drive-ins and an open-air cinema will physically show movies during the Toronto International Film Festival.

The festival announced the limited venues on Monday, which include the TIFF Bell Lightbox, the Isabel Bader Theatre, the Visa Skyline Drive-In at CityView, the RBC Lakeside Drive-In at Ontario Place and the West Island Open Air Cinema at Ontario Place.

TIFF says most festival selections this year will be screened online via its Bell Digital Cinema.

In keeping with physical distancing measures required due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be reduced capacity at the Lightbox cinemas, the Isabel Bader and the outdoor screens.

But TIFF says even the online screenings will have limits.

The digital screenings are geoblocked to Canada and will be viewable on home TV screens using Chromecast or a new TIFF app, which will be available in the Apple App Store on Sept. 9. Digital movies will be watermarked, either “forensically” or visibly, to prevent piracy, the festival says.

5:54 p.m. As of 5 p.m. Monday, Ontario’s regional health units are reporting a total of 42,224 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, including 2,824 deaths, according to the Star’s latest count.

The province-wide increase in the last 24 hours, up 133 reported infections, was the largest single-day count since late July.

Daily cases reports have been falling steadily since the province saw a brief spike late last month, and had been at its lowest rate of new infections since before the pandemic first peaked in Ontario in the spring.

That rate jumped slightly Monday, up to an average of 95 cases per day over the last seven days — still well down from a mid-April peak of nearly 600 daily.

The day saw double digit-case counts in Ottawa, with 20 new cases, Toronto (18 cases), Peel Region, Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent (all at 11 cases) and in Hamilton (10 cases).

Several of Ontario’s health units do not report case data on weekends, which means Mondays can often see higher than normal case counts.

Meanwhile, the province once again reported no new fatal cases Monday.

The vast majority of the province’s COVID-19 patients have recovered; the province lists fewer than 4,000 active cases of the disease.

The Star’s count includes some patients reported as “probable” COVID-19 cases, meaning they have symptoms and contacts or travel history that indicate they very likely have the disease, but have not yet received a positive lab test.

The province cautions its separate data, published daily at 10:30 a.m., may be incomplete or out of date due to delays in the reporting system, saying that in the event of a discrepancy, “data reported by (the health units) should be considered the most up to date.”

Monday: Toronto is more than two weeks into Stage 3, and an ongoing low trend in daily COVID-19 numbers seems to have held steady.

Across Ontario, new reports of the novel coronavirus have slowed, meaning the embattled Windsor-Essex region can finally join the rest of the province in Stage 3. The province might be experiencing a “basement” in cases, one epidemiologist said, meaning that while we might not drive cases any lower than this, we can likely expect an uptick in the fall.

The Star asked two infectious disease experts — Anna Banerji from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Raywat Deonandan of the University of Ottawa — to weigh in on the data the Star has collected on the state of the COVID-19 crisis in Ontario. Read more from reporter Jenna Moon here.

Read more of Monday’s coverage here.



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Entertainers discuss disability representation in Hollywood | World News

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It’s an old cliche that if an actor wants to win an Oscar, he or she should consider playing a character with a disability. And it’s not entirely unfounded advice: 61 actors have been nominated for playing a character with a disability and 27 have walked away winners. But only two of those actors actually had a disability — Marlee Matlin in “Children of a Lesser God” and Harold Russell in “The Best Years of Our Lives.”

That’s just one of the things that needs to change, according to a group of entertainment industry professionals with disabilities including actors Danny Woodburn, “A Quiet Place’s” Millicent Simmonds and “Peanut Butter Falcon’s” Zack Gottsagen. They and other creatives with disabilities, from directors to VFX artists, spoke about the state of representation in front of and behind the camera in series of virtual panels organized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that debuted Monday night. The panels, funded in part by a grant from the Ruderman Family Foundation, coincides with the 30th anniversary year of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“It would be really helpful to have a disabled (Disney) princess,” said actor and comedian Maysoon Zayid, who has cerebral palsy.

Zayid noted that people with visible and invisible disabilities make up about 20% of the American population but a miniscule number of characters on television and in film.

“The message being sent out to disabled kids is you do not belong in this world,” Zayid said. “People with disabilities face enormous amounts of bullying, violence and discrimination. Positive images of disability can stop that.”

Part of that is casting actors with disabilities to play characters with disabilities. Simmonds, who is deaf, said she’s had to go up against non-disabled actors for disabled roles. She recalled that her “A Quiet Place” director John Krasinski had to fight to cast a deaf actor and that producers wanted someone who was hearing.

“Deaf roles should be played by deaf actors,” she said through an interpreter.

At times she’s even taken it a step forward to advocate for herself.

“I’m not above calling directors or producers and suggesting that they have a deaf actress for a particular role,” she said.

But another part of the equation is giving actors rich and nuanced storylines that go beyond the three they usually get: “’You can’t love me because I’m disabled,’ ‘heal me’ or ‘kill me,’” said Zayid.

Woodburn, who has dwarfism, remembers watching actors like Michael Dunn when he was young and seeing only stereotypes and tropes like the “sad little man” or the “devious little man” and storylines that were the same.

There is also the issue of working and how productions can be more accommodating to people with disabilities both on screen and behind the scenes. Many noted that they don’t want to ask for special accommodations.

Zayid remembered being unable to get into her trailer on the set of “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan” and basically had to ask a production assistant to help hoist her up.

“Adam Sandler saw and said, ‘What is happening? Make her trailer accessible!” I said I didn’t want to be high maintenance,” she said. “He said ‘look around, we’re in Hollywood.’”

Jim LeBrecht, who directed the Netflix documentary “Crip Camp,” said it could help if the industry re-thought its own barriers to entry, like starting as a production assistant who has to carry 14 cups of coffee and work 20 hour days to get a foot in the door.

“Instead of asking what you won’t be able to do, ask is there anything I can do to help you do the best work you can,” LeBrecht said. “None of us got to your door by being oversensitive and mad at everybody…we are comfortable with our disability.”

VFX supervisor Kaitlyn Yang said that people with disabilities can be particularly effective in post-production roles. She’s also found a silver-lining in the video conferencing realities of COVID-era filmmaking: She doesn’t have to wonder now if she should address her wheelchair.

“Video conferencing is taking away the uncomfortableness that people might have if I were to take a meeting and roll into the conference room,” Yang said. “It puts us on an equal playing field.”

Talent manager Eryn Brown hopes that disability representation reach the same level of discussion as LGBTQ and racial and ethnic diversity. She said the ingrained stigma around it has even made her reticent to discuss it with her clients.

“A raised awareness in this moment of cultural reckoning is imperative,” Brown said. “Anyone at any moment can become disabled so it’s in everyone’s best interests in the world to be accommodating.”

The film academy, which puts on the Oscars, has been working to increase diversity in its own ranks and in the industry and recently set inclusion standards for best picture nominees.

“As the Academy continues to examine longstanding issues of representation within the film industry, it’s imperative we bring conversations about disabilities to the forefront,” said Christine Simmons, who heads the Academy’s office of representation, inclusion and equity.

___

Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.



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Coronavirus live news: ‘We cannot give up’ warns WHO chief; protests flare in Italy | World news

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Morning, I’m taking over from Helen to update the blog this morning. As ever, please do send me any stories, tips and even any ideas of what you think we should be covering. Email me at nazia.parveen@theguardian.com or follow me on Twitter to send me a DM

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That’s it from me for today. It’s been Very Nice!

Helen Sullivan
(@helenrsullivan)

Kazakhstan has embraced Borat with ads that show tourists hiking with a selfie stick, (“Very nice!”), drinking fermented horse milk (“Mm, that’s actually very nice!”), marvelling at the architecture (“Wow, very nice!”)https://t.co/H0WT26YIDT


October 27, 2020





Summary





Structural racism led to the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, a review by Dame Doreen Lawrence has concluded.

The report, commissioned by Labour, contradicts the government’s adviser on ethnicity, Dr Raghib Ali, who last week dismissed claims that inequalities within government, health, employment and the education system help to explain why Covid-19 killed disproportionately more people from minority ethnic communities:





Police in Italy have fired tear gas to disperse angry crowds in the northern cities of Turin and Milan after protests against the latest round of anti-coronavirus restrictions flared into violence.

As the head of the World Health Organization urged countries “not to give up” in their fight to contain the virus, luxury goods shops, including a Gucci fashion shop, were ransacked in the centre of Turin as crowds of youths took to the streets after nightfall, letting off firecrackers and lighting coloured flares.

Police responded with volleys of tear gas as they tried to disperse the crowds and there were also clashes in Milan, the capital of the neighbouring Lombardy region, an area that has borne the brunt of the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy.

“Freedom, freedom, freedom,” crowds chanted as they confronted police in the city centre:

















Trump to announce plan to cover vaccine costs – report







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Trump and Africa: How Ethiopia was ‘betrayed’ over Nile dam

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“I saved a big war. I’ve saved a couple of them,” he said, shortly after

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abi Ahmed was awarded the prize.

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