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More COVID-19 cases and 'The Kids in the Hall' return; In The News for March 6

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of March 6 ... What we are watching in Canada ...

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of March 6 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

Alberta's first presumptive case of the novel coronavirus involves a woman from the southern part of the province who was on a cruise ship that is being held for testing off the coast of California.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, said it appears the woman who is in her 50s contracted COVID-19 while on board the Grand Princess cruise ship.

The woman returned to Alberta on Feb. 21 and isolated herself at her home in the Calgary region on Feb. 28.

Provincial health officials detected the case on Thursday, although it may take a few days for the national laboratory in Winnipeg to confirm it as the new strain of coronavirus that first appeared in China last year, Hinshaw said.

The patient is expected to make a full recovery, Hinshaw added.

Hinshaw said other Albertans were also on the voyage, and officials are trying to get a list of passengers to contact.

Global Affairs Canada has said 235 Canadians were on the ship's passenger manifest. Princess Cruises said there are currently 237 Canadians onboard — 230 passengers and seven crew members.

Also Thursday, new cases of the virus were reported in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.


Also this ...

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada is scheduled to release its latest reading on the country's job market this morning.

Economists on average expect the agency will report an increase of 10,000 jobs for February, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

The labour force survey showed the job market added 34,500 jobs in January, compared with an increase of 35,700 full-time jobs and a decrease of 1,200 part-time jobs in December.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.5 per cent compared with 5.6 per cent in December, according to the monthly labour force survey.

The Bank of Canada cut its key interest rate on Wednesday by 50 basis points to 1.25 per cent because of concerns about the immediate impact of the novel coronavirus.

Governor Stephen Poloz is leaving the door open to further rate cuts beyond the first one since the summer of 2015 that brought the rate to its lowest level since early 2018.


What we are watching in the U.S. ...

WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders is going hard after his last rival standing for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Vermont senator is blasting former Vice-President Joe Biden for accepting campaign donations from billionaires and accepting the help of a super PAC.

Sanders told thousands of supporters during a rally in Phoenix, "This is a campaign of the working class, by the working the class and for the working class."

Sanders also blasted Biden’s support for the 2003 Iraq war, trade agreements and Wall Street bailouts during the Great Recession.

And he is faulting Biden for supporting the 1996 "don't ask, don't tell" law that barred gays from serving openly in the military and for supporting a ban on federal funding for abortion. Biden later changed his position on both issues.


What we are watching in the rest of the world ...

The number of infections with the new virus is nearing 100,000 and economic consequences are spreading around the globe.

Asian shares are down following a rough day on Wall Street, and halted travel and a broader downturn are threatening to hit already-struggling communities for months to come.

The head of the UN's food agency is warning of the potential of "absolute devastation" as the outbreak’s effects ripple through Africa and the Middle East.

That comes as the outbreak continues to shift away from Asia to Europe, the Mideast and the United States.

The number of new infections is dropping in both the epicentre of China and the other hardest-hit country, South Korea.



Two major coffee chains have stopped serving coffee in reusable cups brought by customers amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Starbucks and The Second Cup Ltd. say they are temporarily halting the environmentally friendly measure, but will continue to honour associated discounts.

"First and foremost, the health and well-being of our partners and customers remains top of mind and our highest priority, and we will continue to act thoughtfully and courageously despite the disruption and uncertainty COVID-19 brings to our daily lives," wrote Rossann Williams, Starbucks executive vice-president.

The coffee chain is also ramping up regular cleaning practices across all stores, modifying or postponing large meetings and providing info to employees on how to respond to suspected cases of the virus.

Second Cup has also temporarily halted personal cup use as of Thursday.

Second Cup, however, will continue to pour drinks into ceramic mugs for in-store use.


Weird and wild ...

HONG KONG — Pet cats and dogs cannot pass the new coronavirus to humans, but they can test positive for low levels of the pathogen if they catch it from their owner.

That's the conclusion of Hong Kong agricultural officials and other experts after a dog in quarantine tested weakly positive for the virus in samples from its nose and mouth.

The agricultural department said it found no evidence that pets were a source of infection or could get sick themselves with the COVID-19 illness.

It suggested, however, that pets from a household of an infected person be quarantined.


Know your news ...

On this day in 1998, the Ontario government reached a settlement with the three surviving Dionne quintuplets. The province promised the sisters $4 million in compensation for being taken from their parents and put on display as a tourist attraction after their births in 1934. In which Ontario city is there a museum dedicated to the lives of the sisters.

(Keep scrolling for the answer)


On this day in 1925 ...

About 12,000 coal miners in Nova Scotia went on strike against the British Empire Steel Corp., forerunner of Dominion Steel and Coal Corp. Churches organized fund drives to help the miners and keep their families from starving during the strike, which ended Aug. 6.


On the stream ...

TORONTO — Bell Media says it is has formed a Canadian partnership with the star-studded, mobile streaming platform Quibi that will roll out next month.

The telecommunications company says Quibi launches in Canada on April 6 with subscriptions priced at $6.99 per month or $9.99 per month for an ad-free version.

Bell Media says CTV News and TSN will produce two daily shows for the platform, which will also carry programming from Steven Spielberg, Idris Elba and Chrissy Teigen.

The Los Angeles-based Quibi bills itself as a mobile-first media platform that will deal in short-form video entertainment from marquee names that's meant to be watched only on smartphones.

Quibi, which is short for quick bites, will feature episodes of shows that clock in at 10 minutes or less.


Entertainment news ...

TORONTO — "The Kids in the Hall" are returning to the small screen.

Amazon Prime Video says it's reviving the groundbreaking Canadian sketch TV show with all of the original cast members for an eight-episode original series.

The Emmy Award-nominated program, which first premiered in 1989, stars Canadian comedians Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson.

Amazon says the cast members will reprise their fan-favourite characters and assume some new ones.

"Saturday Night Live" creator Lorne Michaels, who produced the original Toronto-shot series, is executive producing the new one through his company Broadway Video.


Know your news answer ...

North Bay. The five sisters were born in the tiny community of Corbeil, southeast of North Bay. 


This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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