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 Mar. 15 …
What we are watching in Canada …
OTTAWA – Call it the calm before the storm.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is expecting a smaller-than-normal shipment of COVID-19 vaccines this week, with fewer than 445,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech shots scheduled for delivery over the next seven days.
But that trickle will soon turn into a flood.
This will be the last week in which Canada receives less than 1 million vaccine doses over a seven-day period.
Starting next week, Pfizer and BioNTech are expected to start delivering more than a million weekly doses of their shot. And other pharmaceutical companies are expected to make their own promised deliveries in the next few weeks.
Those include the first shots from Johnson & Johnson as well as more doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which are both expected to start rolling in next month.
Inoculations from Moderna are also due to keep arriving in Canada every two weeks.
Public Procurement Minister Anita Anand has said Canada is on track to receive 7 million vaccine doses from the various companies by the end of April, with a total of 36.5 million to be delivered by the end of June and 118 million before Sept. 30.
Also this …
Sore arm, fatigue, muscle pain and fever are some of the side effects being reported in those receiving COVID-19 vaccines, and experts say that’s mostly a good thing.
Vaccines are supposed to trigger an immune response, they say. That’s how you know they’re working.
“If you have a vaccine that doesn’t produce a reaction in people, the resulting immune response is weaker,” said Earl Brown, a microbiologist with the University of Ottawa.
Brown says vaccines work by stimulating our immune cells to grow and communicate with each other, giving directions on where to set up for an impending attack by the virus. That results in inflammation, with some of those cells traveling to lymph nodes and causing swelling.
The World Health Organization says side effects to COVID vaccines have been mostly “mild to moderate and short-lasting” and include: fever, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, diarrhea and pain at the injection site.
Data from Health Canada shows 0.085 per cent of doses administered in the country from mid-December to March 5 resulted in an adverse reaction, with 0.009 per cent considered serious. Pain, redness and swelling at the vaccination site were the most common effects.
And this …
VANCOUVER – The conduct of Canadian police and border officers is expected to face scrutiny in British Columbia Supreme Court this week as hearings resume in the extradition case of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
Three weeks of arguments in Meng’s case are scheduled to begin today, including allegations that her arrest at Vancouver’s airport in 2018 was an unlawful abuse of process and that the case doesn’t meet the criteria for extradition under international law.
Meng’s lawyers are also expected to ask the judge hearing the case to admit evidence that they say would bolster their arguments.
Meng is wanted in the United States on fraud charges that both she and Huawei deny.
She is accused of misrepresenting Huawei’s control of another company to HSBC, allegedly putting the bank at risk of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Her lawyers say in court documents that the new evidence challenges the assertion that HSBC suffered a real risk of loan loss due to Meng’s alleged actions, and proves that the United States provided an “manifestly unreliable” record of the case to Canadian officials.
A number of Canadians were honoured at last night’s Grammy Awards.
Montreal-raised DJ Kaytranada, who was born Louis Celestin, picked up best dance recording for his song “10%,” featuring Kali Uchis, and best dance or electronic album for “Bubba.”
Justin Bieber won best country duo or group performance for “10,000 Hours,” a hit single recorded with country pair Dan and Shay.
The Stratford, Ont.-raised musician had expressed displeasure ahead of the Grammys over seeing music from his recent “Changes” album nominated in pop categories when he felt it was in the R&B spirit. He didn’t show up at the ceremony, posting on Instagram that he was staying in to watch a movie.
Other Canadian winners included Shawn Everett, who now has six Grammys to his name.
The music engineer, raised in Bragg Creek, Alta., won for Beck’s “Hyperspace,” in the best engineered album, non-classical category. He shared the award with a team of fellow engineers who worked on the album, but it was Beck who accepted the award on their behalf.
Toronto-born guitarist Jim (Kimo) West won the best new age album Grammy for his Hawaiian slack-key guitar album, “More Guitar Stories.”
And a musical adaptation of Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” won best musical theatre album for the main vocalists and producers involved in the project.
What we are watching in the U.S. …
WASHINGTON — U.S President Joe Biden, Vice-President Kamala Harris and their spouses are opening a cross-country tour this week to highlight the benefits of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan.
The road show starts today with Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, heading to Las Vegas while first lady Jill Biden visits Burlington, New Jersey.
Biden plans to stop in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday and he has an appearance with Harris in Atlanta on Friday.
Stops at vaccination sites, businesses, schools and more are meant to educate the public about different aspects of the giant American Rescue Plan.
Also this …
A powerful late winter snowstorm intensified over the central Rocky Mountains with heavy snow and wind leading to airport and road closures, power outages and avalanche warnings in parts of Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska.
The National Weather Service in Wyoming called it a “historic and crippling” winter storm that would cause extremely dangerous to impossible travel conditions through at least early Monday.
Denver International Airport closed its runways just before noon Sunday and the Wyoming Department of Transportation suspended plowing in the Casper area Sunday after several plows went off the road due to low visibility.
What we are watching in the rest of the world …
CANBERRA — Australians are rallying in several cities demanding justice for women and calling out dangerous workplace cultures as the government reels from two rape allegations.
Outside Parliament House, the crowd of hundreds was mostly female and most wore black.
Prime Minster Scott Morrison refused to address the crowd, and organizers said they wouldn’t meet him behind closed doors.
Morrison stands by his attorney-general, who was accused of raping a girl when he was 17.
Separately, the defence minister has been criticized for failing to adequately support a staffer who alleged she was raped in Parliament House.
Brittany Higgins told the crowd in Canberra that her colleagues treated her not as someone who’d suffered trauma but as “a political problem.”
Also this …
YANGON – Myanmar’s ruling junta has declared martial law in parts of the country’s largest city as security forces killed more protesters in an increasingly lethal crackdown on resistance to last month’s military coup.
At least 38 people were killed Sunday and dozens were injured in one of the deadliest days of the crackdown, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an independent group tracking the toll of the violence.
Most of those killed — 34 — were in Yangon.
Since the takeover six weeks ago, Myanmar has been under a nationwide state of emergency, with its civilian leaders ousted and detained and military leaders in charge of all government.
But the announcement on state broadcaster MRTV late Sunday appeared to be the first use of the term martial law since the coup and suggested more direct military control of security, instead of local police.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Mar. 15, 2021
The Canadian Press