Half of Canadians want vaccine ASAP and a rare find: In The News for March 16 News Staff

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 16 …

What we are watching in Canada …

OTTAWA — A new poll suggests about half of Canadians are willing to get immunized against COVID-19 the first chance they get, while one quarter would wait for a vaccine they prefer.

Fifty-one per cent of respondents to the online survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies say they will take whichever of the four COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in Canada is offered to them first.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered reassurances on the safety of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine Monday after Germany joined other European countries pausing its use over reports of blood clots in some recipients.

The poll also found that 41 per cent of respondents say the worst of the COVID-19 crisis is already behind us, while 25 per cent say we are now in the worst period of the crisis. 

Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque says Canadians seem to be feeling that we’re rounding the corner as vaccination campaigns are ramping up across the country.

The online poll of 1,512 adult Canadians was carried out March 12 to 14 and cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based surveys are not considered random samples.

Also this …

OTTAWA — Another newly released poll suggests just over half of Canadians believe the British monarchy is a relic that Canada should dump, following Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Fifty-three per cent of respondents to an online survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies say the British monarchy no longer has its place in 21st-century Canada, while one-third say they would rather preserve this part of our heritage.

Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque says the response to the interview should be considered a blow for the monarchy and those who believe in its importance to Canada.

The poll also found that 59 per cent of respondents sympathize more with Harry and Meghan, while 26 per cent say they held more sympathy for the Royal Family.

Fifty-two per cent say the recent events involving the couple, which included the Duchess of Sussex divulging that a member of the Royal Family had asked how dark her son Archie’s skin might be, speak about a fundamental problem with the institution.

The online poll of 1,512 adult Canadians was carried out March 12 to 14 and cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based surveys are not considered random samples.

What we are watching in the U.S. …

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The jurors seated so far for the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death are a diverse group. 

It’s an element being closely watched in a case where race plays such a central role. 

Nine jurors have been seated through Monday, including five who are white, one who is multiracial, two who are Black and one who is Hispanic. 

Jury selection resumes today and will continue until 14 people are picked, including two alternates. 

Chauvin’s lawyer Eric Nelson has asked for the trial to be delayed, complaining that Friday’s news that Minneapolis will pay $27 million to settle a civil lawsuit by the Floyd family risks tainting the jury.

 The judge didn’t immediately grant the request but said he would consider it.

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

JERUSALEM — Israeli archaeologists announced today the discovery of dozens of new Dead Sea Scroll fragments bearing a biblical text found in a desert cave believed hidden during a Jewish revolt against Rome nearly 1,900 years ago. 

The fragments of parchment bear lines of Greek text from the books of Zechariah and Nahum and have been radiocarbon dated to the 2nd century AD, the Israel Antiquities Authority says. 

They are the first new scrolls found in archaeological excavations in the desert south of Jerusalem in 60 years.  

The new pieces are believed to belong to a set of parchment fragments found in a site known as “The Cave of Horror” — named for the 40 human skeletons found there during excavations in the 1960s — that also bear a Greek rendition of the Twelve Minor Prophets. The cave is located in a remote canyon in the Judean Desert south of Jerusalem.  

The fragments are believed to have been stashed away in the cave during the Bar Kochba Revolt, an armed Jewish uprising against Rome during the reign of Emperor Hadrian, between 132 and 136 AD.  

The artifacts were found during an operation by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Judean Desert to find scrolls and other artifacts to prevent possible plundering. The authority was holding a news conference Tuesday to unveil the discovery.

On this day in 1955 …

 NHL president Clarence Campbell suspended Montreal Canadiens star Maurice Richard for the balance of the season and the playoffs for abusing an official. The decision sparked the “Richard Riot” the next night in Montreal.

In books …

A hockey player who survived the Humboldt Broncos bus crash says writing a book about his experience has been difficult, but has also helped him heal.

Kaleb Dahlgren, who is now 23, was one of 13 players injured in April 2018 when his junior hockey team’s bus and a semi-trailer collided in rural Saskatchewan. 

Sixteen people, including 10 players, were killed.

Dahlgren tells his story with the help of a ghost writer in the book “Crossroads” that was released today.

The collision nearly three years ago left Dahlgren with a traumatic brain injury, neck and nerve damage, a fractured back and multiple other injuries.

He still can’t remember anything from time of the crash until he woke up in hospital four days later.

Despite his lack of memory, Dahlgren says he tried to be open and honest in his book about who he is as a person.

ICYMI …

OTTAWA — More than 70 parliamentarians from all parties are calling for a full criminal investigation into Pornhub’s parent company following testimony from survivors.

The demand was spelled out in a letter yesterday to R-C-M-P Commissioner Brenda Lucki.

It comes two weeks after a similar request by more than 100 victims of exploitive content they say was posted to websites owned by MindGeek.

The lawmakers cite recent evidence by victims and child-protection organizations alleging the Montreal-based company regularly shared child pornography and sexual assault videos as well as content shot or posted without the consent of subjects.

MindGeek has denied all accusations of wrongdoing.

The Montreal-based company says it is a global leader in preventing distribution of exploitive videos and images.

At least five lawsuits have been filed against the company in the U-S and Canada over the past year on behalf of survivors of child abuse, sex trafficking and non-consensual image uploads.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2021

The Canadian Press

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