Canada

Law
Canadian man faces court for traffic endangerment after sleeping in self-driving Tesla
Canadian man faces court for traffic endangerment after sleeping in self-driving Tesla
Credit: unsplash.com / Charlie Deets

Eyewitnesses had noticed a Tesla Model S between Edmonton and Calgary on July 9 this year. The car, according to the police report, appeared at first glance to be driving along Highway 2 without a driver. No one was visible behind the wheel.

It wasn't until police stopped the vehicle that the mystery was revealed. Two people were in the vehicle. However, both the driver. Leran C., as well as passenger had slept and for it the back of their seats completely backward folded. The car, which was traveling at up to 150 km/h, was controlled by the "autopilot" feature of the onboard software.

The incident not only earned the 20-year-old a one-day suspension of his driver's license for drowsy driving, but also a charge of traffic endangerment and speeding.

Regional News • Americas • Canada
Canada approves Moderna Covid-19 vaccine
Canada approves Moderna Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: Health Canada via @brianlilley on Twitter

Health Canada has authorized Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine on December 23.

"Today’s authorization is a critical step in ensuring additional COVID-19 vaccines are available to all Canadians in all parts of the country, Health Canada said in a statement," so the statement. "The different storage and handling requirements of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine mean that it can be distributed to isolated and remote communities, including the territories."

Regional News • World
Karima Baloch, Pakistani human rights activist, found dead in Canada - foul play not ruled out
Karima Baloch, Pakistani human rights activist, found dead in Canada - foul play not ruled out
Credit: @KarimaBaloch via Twitter

The body of 37-year-old Karima Baloch, a Pakistani human rights activist, was found in Toronto, Canada, where she lived for the past five years in exile. Baloch was a critic of the Pakistani military and state and was granted asylum in Canada in 2016 after being threatened by Pakistani authorities.

Police said there were "not believed to be any suspicious circumstances", but her husband, Pakistani activist Hammal Haider, reported that she had received threats prior to her death and that he didn't believe that her death was "an act of suicide".

"I can’t believe that it’s an act of suicide. She was a strong lady, and she left home in a good mood. We can’t rule out foul play as she has been under threats. She left Pakistan as her home was raided more than twice. Her uncle was killed. She was threatened to leave activism and political activities, but she did not and fled to Canada," so her husband.

Regional News • Americas • Canada
Ontario: Hard lockdown after Coronavirus case surge
Ontario: Hard lockdown after Coronavirus case surge
Credit: HickoryOughtShirt?4, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Canadian province Ontario is imposing a hard lockdown before the Christmas holidays. Thousands of lives are at stake, said Ontario’s premier Doug Ford. Northern communities face two weeks of restrictions while densely populated cities in the south will be in lockdown for a month.

What will be closed: Most in-person education, schools, restaurants, bars, malls, entertainment venues, gyms.

Regional News • World
More than 40 countries ban British flights over new Covid-19 strain, EU members discuss co-ordinate response

More than 40 countries have imposed a ban on UK arrivals, include Belgium, Canada, India, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Russia, and Switzerland. On Monday, European Union member states meet to discuss a co-ordinated response and France is planning to establish a protocol "to ensure movement from the UK can resume.

Regional News • World
Canada, Ireland and several other countries also halt flights from UK over new Covid-19 variant
Canada, Ireland and several other countries also halt flights from UK over new Covid-19 variant
Credit: unsplash/Daniel Klein

More countries are banning flights from the UK after the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant that is said to spread much faster. Canada is banning UK travellers for at least 72 hours. Several South American countries followed suit on Sunday, including Argentina, Chile and Colombia. British flights are banned from landing in the Republic of Ireland on Monday and Tuesday. After France suspended travel from and to the UK, both the Eurotunnel and Port of Dover were closed.

Climate & Environment
Report: November 2020 was the hottest on record, by a clear margin
Report: November 2020 was the hottest on record, by a clear margin
Credit: unsplash.com / Eelco Böhtlingk

The surface air temperature in this year's November was higher than any year before on record.

The temperature anomaly was the highest in much of Siberia, the Arctic Ocean and bordering coastal seas, extending into western and northern Alaska, the far north-west of Canada, the Tibetan Plateau and East Antarctica. Temperature records were also broken in parts of Europe and heatwaves were experienced in parts of Australia.

The average temperature from December 2019 to November 2020 is almost 1.3°C above the pre-industrial level defined in the IPCC Special Report on “Global Warming of 1.5°C”.

Climate & Environment
Ocean Panel countries commit to higher level of ocean protection
Manta Ray
Manta Ray Credit: Tchami (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

14 countries worldwide have committed themselves to the sustainable management of their national waters. The "Ocean Panel" is a body for sustainable marine management. A goal is it to place until 2030 a third of the seas under protection.

Involved are countries like Australia, Canada, Ghana, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Norway and Portugal. Together they have a marine area that is about the size of Africa.

Health
Quebec government cancels Christmas gatherings
Quebec government cancels Christmas gatherings
Credit: unsplash.com / Jamshed Khedri

Although the Quebec government was going to wait until December 11th, Legault broke the bad news early, saying that “With the numbers we have, it’s unrealistic to think we will be able to change the situation in time for Christmas." Red zones will not be able to have gatherings, while in yellow zones, ten people will be allowed to gather, in orange zones, six.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Canada: Guelph police can unlock and copy iPhone contents even if encrypted but has no usage policy on the device
Canada: Guelph police can unlock and copy iPhone contents even if encrypted but has no usage policy on the device
Credit: Courtesy of Grayshift

According to a request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act filed by the Mercury Tribune, the Guelph Police Service (GPS) has confirmed that a device called GrayKey has been acquired from the Atlanta-based technology company Grayshift.

The device enables low enforcement to unlock and copy data on iPhones. GPS stated in the letter that the GrayKey device "is used only by our technological crimes detectives" but that the agency has no internal policy or procedural documents and that no usage guidelines have been issued.

Regional News • Americas • Canada
Trudeau government survives confidence vote
Trudeau government survives confidence vote
Credit: Alex Guibord from Toronto, Canada / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The conservative party had demanded a committee to investigate alleged government corruption. During the pandemic, contracts have allegedly been awarded unlawfully to persons close to Trudeau. The government had declared the application a matter of trust and the liberal Canadian government of Prime Minister Trudeau has survived the subsequent vote of confidence.

Science • Space
NASA's Artemis Accords to guide moon exploration signed by eight nations
NASA's Artemis Accords to guide moon exploration signed by eight nations
Credit: NASA

Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America have signed on as founding member nations to NASA's Artemis Accords, an international agreement that "will help to avoid conflict in space and on Earth by strengthening mutual understanding and reducing misperceptions."

"Artemis will be the broadest and most diverse international human space exploration program in history, and the Artemis Accords are the vehicle that will establish this singular global coalition," so NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "With today's signing, we are uniting with our partners to explore the Moon and are establishing vital principles that will create a safe, peaceful, and prosperous future in space for all of humanity to enjoy."

Business • Media & Advertising
Netflix removes free test month in some countries
Netflix removes free test month in some countries
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler – Logo via Netflix (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Netflix, the largest video streaming provider, has cancelled the free trial period in many countries without notice.

Markets, including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and Japan have switched over to a model where the second month is free.

The 30-day trial subscription is no longer available in Germany and France either. In some other countries, nothing has changed yet.

Regional News • Americas • Canada
Trudeau announces Covid-19 vaccines will be made available for free through the health-care system
Trudeau announces Covid-19 vaccines will be made available for free through the health-care system
Credit: Justin Trudeau – Prime Minister of Canada (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

The Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has announced that all Covid-19 vaccines that will be approved in the future by Health Canada will be made available for free to all Canadians through the health-care system.

The government also indicated that first, the most vulnerable and essential workers should have access to a vaccine.

Regional News • Americas • Canada
Trudeau’s Liberal Party has reintroduced a bill to ban "gay conversion therapy"
Trudeau’s Liberal Party has reintroduced a bill to ban "gay conversion therapy"
Credit: unsplash.com/Elyssa Fahndrich

Trudeau’s Liberal Party has reintroduced a bill that would ban "gay conversion therapy", a pseudoscientific practise of trying to alter someone's sexual orientation or gender identity, on Thursday.

The legislation was previously introduced back in March before parliament had to close due to Covid-19.

"Conversion therapy is harmful, degrading, and has no place in Canada … I hope that all parties will do the right thing by supporting this bill," so PM Justin Trudeau on Thursday.

Health
Covid-19 database illegally used by Ontario police, civil rights groups finds

Police forces across Ontario engaged in broad, illegal searches of a now-defunct Covid-19 database, two civil rights groups alleged Wednesday, claiming the use of the portal violated individual privacy rights for months.

Law
Canadian woman accused of writing ricin letters to Trump brought before a US federal court

A Canadian woman, who was arrested after sending a letter containing highly toxic ricin to Donald Trump, has been charged with threatening the US president. The 53-year-old was brought before a federal court in New York on Tuesday.

According to the indictment, the envelope containing the poison contained a letter to Trump in which the woman described the president as an "ugly tyrant clown". She accused him in the letter of "ruining the USA and leading it to disaster".

Law
Packages containing poison ricin addressed to Trump allegedly came from Canada
Packages containing poison ricin addressed to Trump allegedly came from Canada
Credit: Cezary p (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has stated that they are assisting the FBI with an investigation after two letters to the White House that contained poison had been intercepted.

A woman from Canada is currently under investigation for the sending of ricin poison that could potentially cause nausea through to organ failure and death through a collapse in the circulatory system.

Regional News • Americas • Canada
United States border to Canada and Mexico will stay closed over Covid-19 outbreak
United States border to Canada and Mexico will stay closed over Covid-19 outbreak
Credit: unsplash.com / Wojtek Witkowski

According to a Twitter announcement by acting United States Homeland Security Department Secretary Chad Wolf the borders to Canada and Mexico will stay closed for until the 21 of September.

He wrote that "we continue to work with our Canadian and Mexican partners to slow the spread of #COVID19. Accordingly, we have agreed to extend the limitation of non-essential travel at our shared land ports of entry through September 21". The ban does not include air travel as well as trade.

Regional News • Americas • Canada
Canada: Cannabis Record Suspension program with 257 granted pardons in first year
Canada: Cannabis Record Suspension program with 257 granted pardons in first year
Credit: unsplash.com / Matthew Karila

In 2019 Canada has revealed a program to grant Canadians an easy way to be granted a pardon if they have a criminal record for simple possession of cannabis.

Since the creation of the program, 458 people have applied for a pardon at the Parole Board of Canada (PBC). Out of these applications, 194 have been returned because of ineligibility or incomplete files. 257 have been granted and two have been discontinued. Five cases are still in the process.

In 2018 Canada has passed the Cannabis Act legalized and regulated the possession, distribution, consumption and cultivation of marijuana for recreational used.