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Turbulence in Canadian opinion on airlines COVID-19 response: poll

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OTTAWA — A new poll suggests turbulence ahead for airlines seeking public support for their current COVID-19 plans.

Seventy-two per cent of Canadians surveyed say they’re not comfortable flying since decisions by several airlines to relax their own in-flight physical-distancing requirements.

Eighty-five per cent of those surveyed also suggested that they’re not getting on planes any time soon, telling pollsters they have no plans to travel outside the country by the end of the year.

The Leger/Association of Canadian Studies survey polled 1,517 Canadians from July 3 to 5 and can’t be assigned a margin of error because online polls are not considered truly random.

The results also suggest Canadians are largely unhappy with another element of the industry’s COVID-19 approach: a refusal to give refunds for flights cancelled due to the pandemic.

Seventy-two per cent of those polled say they strongly oppose the decision by the federal government not to force airlines to cut cheques.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 7, 2020.

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Daily horoscope for Tuesday, July 7, 2020

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Moon Alert

Caution! Avoid shopping or making important decisions all day today. (Yikes!) The Moon is in Aquarius.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Although this is a lovely day to enjoy the company of others, it’s a poor day to make important decisions or agree to anything important. Restrict your spending to food, gas and entertainment. Postpone shopping until tomorrow.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

You are the financial wizard of the zodiac, so it’s important to know this is a poor day to spend money. (Except for food.) Also — you are high viz. today! People notice you. Be aware of this and don’t volunteer for anything or agree to anything important.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Feelings of escapism are strong today! You want to get outta Dodge! You want stimulation and adventure! Even though this is a poor day for important decisions — it’s a great day for creative thinking! Write down your original ideas and see how they look tomorrow.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

This Moon Alert is in one of your Money Houses. Therefore, even if you are attracted to working with shared property, inheritances and insurance issues – just do your homework. Basic stuff. Don’t sign important papers. Wait until tomorrow to finish the job.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

This is a loosey-goosey day because it’s a Moon Alert all day long. Furthermore, the Moon is opposite your sign. You might be tempted to agree to something or make a promise to a partner or a loved one. Don’t do this. (“Not tonight, Josephine!”)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Issues at work will get bogged down because of the Moon Alert today. Expect delays and shortages. Basically, you feel indecisive and not sure what to do next. On the upside, Moon Alert can encourage creativity. Keep your ideas in mind to reassess again tomorrow. (Don’t spend money.)

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

This is a wonderful, creative day because you are thinking outside of the box and dreaming up imaginative, original concepts! This is also great day to schmooze with others and have fun, especially with kids. Restrict spending to food, gas and entertainment.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

This is a fun day to entertain at home because people are relaxed and not too ambitious. If you have a family discussion, don’t agree to anything important. Don’t volunteer for anything because you will regret it later. Keep things light.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Today you’re thinking is fuzzy and indecisive. You don’t have a clear picture of what you want to do or why. That’s okay because you might have very good creative ideas. Because today is a Moon Alert all day, restrict spending to food, gas and entertainment.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Today is a Moon Alert all day long. This particular Moon Alert is in your Money House! Oops! A bit dangerous. You want to spend money. You want to shop and you want to wheel and deal financially. But these are all bad choices! Restrict spending to food, gas and entertainment. (Just for today.)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

The Moon is in your sign today and it is a Moon Alert all day. But lo! This is a great day to schmooze with others because you will enjoy letting your hair down. Although it’s a poor day for important business decisions or spending money on anything other than food, gas and entertainment – it’s a fun day!

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

This is a laid-back, lazy day. Don’t get embroiled in other people’s business or their happenings. Take it easy. Hide somewhere if you can. (Take good food and drink and chalk this up to a mental health day.) Don’t shop.w

If Your Birthday Is Today

Actor Billy Campbell (1959) shares your birthday today. You are intelligent and spiritually oriented, which is why you love to explore new concepts. You are starting to sense that you are winding up things you began nine years ago because you are letting go of what is no longer relevant and moving on to something new and different. Do not think of this as loss. Au contraire! You are lightening your load to make room for new beginnings!

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Alberta justice minister cleared in ethics case tied to oil funding inquiry

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“It does stretch credibility that Mr. Allan did not consider whether or not there may possibly be a conflict of interest in his engaging of Dentons as counsel for the inquiry,” wrote Trussler.

Allan could not be immediately reached for comment.

Allan’s report was due this week, but was extended by the government until Oct. 30. Also, an extra $1 million was added to the inquiry’s $2.5-million budget.

The inquiry has been the focus of critics, who say it is not fact finding but out to prove a pre-determined conclusion and, in doing so, is harming the reputations of people who legitimately and lawfully question the expansion of oil and gas operations.

Late last year, the environmental law firm Ecojustice launched legal action asking a court to strike down the inquiry, saying the process is politically motivated, prejudges conclusions and is outside provincial jurisdiction.

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

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Federal government won’t say which organizations other than WE Charity it considered to run $900 million student volunteer grant program

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OTTAWA – The federal government claims it considered “various” organizations to administer its $900 million volunteer student grant before handing the contract to WE Charity, but refuses to disclose how many or who they are.

Since the government revealed nearly two weeks ago that the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) would be administered by WE Charity  — an organization with close ties to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family — it has often repeated that the organization was the “best and only one” for the job.

Despite that claim, WE Charity pulled out of the deal last Friday after a week of controversy surrounding both how it received the CSSG contract and its management of the program. Trudeau then announced that the government would take over the grant program that will pay eligible volunteers between $1,000 and $5,000 for work done until October 31, 2020.

But the department responsible for the program, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), refuses to answer repeated questions from National Post about which other organizations were considered.

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New COVID-19 cases in P.E.I. reveal pandemic not over on island: public health

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McNeil said self-isolating travellers will be called each day, and after three unanswered calls, police will be notified.

One of the positive cases on Prince Edward Island is a woman who works at Whisperwood Villa, a seniors’ residence in Charlottetown. Morrison said so far, all staff and residents have tested negative.

“A small number of staff still need to be tested and we are working with Whisperwood Villa to arrange for this testing to occur. All staff and residents will be retested beginning July 8,” she said.

Morrison said the five infected people are doing well self-isolating at home and all their contacts have so far tested negative.

Both New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases of COVID-19 Monday.

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

— By Kevin Bissett in Fredericton.

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For city folk, backcountry camping is a way to get away from it all

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It’s hardly glamorous, but I suppose that’s the attraction. After three months in lockdown, leaving our apartment for a period did seem restorative, even if the conditions were extreme. So I agreed to make a go of it. We started with an expedition to Canadian Tire, where we equipped ourselves with a small fortune’s worth of essentials: air mattress, sleeping bags, headlamps, hammock, folding stools, large plastic cooler. The tent, thank God, we could borrow from Dani and Ashley. Backcountry camping may be rugged. But it isn’t cheap.

The morning of the first day was spent mainly in the car. We drove first to the canoe rental place, where we heaved the ungainly vessels onto the roof and fixed them to the hood with straps. “Don’t drive too fast with these on the car,” the rental clerk, a skinny teenager, advised. “They’re not held in place on the front or the back, so they could slide off.” He charged a deposit to Ashley’s credit card cheerfully. We wondered if we’d get it back.

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J.K. Rowling criticized for comparing hormone treatments to gay conversion therapy

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In response to Rowling’s latest comments, model and trans activist Munroe Bergdorf said the writer was “dangerous” and a “threat to LGBT people.”

“J.K. Rowling is not a scientist. She is not a doctor. She is not an expert on gender. She is not a supporter of our community,” Bergdorf said on Twitter.

“She is a billionaire, cisgender, heterosexual, white woman who has decided that she knows what is best for us and our bodies. This is not her fight.”

Scott Leibowitz, child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus Ohio, said Rowling’s comments sent a worrying message to trans youth, many of whom would have come into contact with the author through her books.

“For a trans young person wanting acceptance from family members, a statement like this can give skeptical parents a reason to reject this aspect of them, thinking they will ‘grow out of it’ because a famous person said so,” Leibowitz said.

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Colby Cosh: Under COVID cover, the Magic Bus is whisked away

Even very vigorous consumers of the news may have missed the item from late June announcing that the Alaska National Guard removed the world-famous “Into the Wild” bus from its location west of the town of Healy. This was the disabled “Magic Bus” around which a confused and inept 24-year-old man, Christopher McCandless, made a botched effort to “live off the land” and ended up dying of starvation sometime in August 1992. Read More

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Ghislaine Maxwell and Kevin Spacey’s game of thrones: The story behind this palace photo

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LONDON — Sitting on the Queen’s throne in Buckingham Palace, Ghislaine Maxwell gives a regal wave for the camera. Seated next to her in the place normally occupied by the Duke of Edinburgh is Kevin Spacey, the Hollywood actor accused but never convicted of multiple sexual offences.

The Daily Telegraph has been told the pair were invited into the throne room on a private tour of the Palace organized by the Duke of York, a close friend of Ms Maxwell’s. Obtained exclusively by The Telegraph, the photo was taken in 2002 and shows Maxwell in a mock royal pose with Spacey pretending to be Prince Philip.

They were larking about on the thrones, doing regal waves

Telegraph source

It is a far cry from Maxwell’s current predicament. Almost 18 years later, she has swapped the privilege and comfort of the Queen’s throne for a police cell in a New York “facility”.

After a year under investigation by the FBI, Maxwell was arrested on Thursday and charged with helping to recruit and groom underage girls for her ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein, the late financier, a friend of the Duke.

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Planned class-action lawsuit alleges illegal strip searches of federal prisoners

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OTTAWA — A proposed class-action lawsuit alleges authorities illegally strip searched Canadian federal prison inmates hundreds of thousands of times over almost three decades.

A statement of claim filed in Ontario Superior Court says the federal Corrections and Conditional Release Act limits suspicionless strip searches to instances when an inmate might have had access to drugs or other contraband.

It accuses federal authorities of conducting such searches when inmates leave a prison or a secure area, enter a family visitation area or undergo a transfer to another prison.

The statement says inmates were forced to remove all clothing, bend over, spread their buttocks, manipulate their genitalia, remove soiled tampons and squat naked while their bodily orifices were inspected.

The court action seeks an end to strip searches not authorized by federal law as well as compensation for the proposed class members.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s Abby Deshman, co-counsel for the class, says strip searches are incredible intrusions on individual liberty that must be clearly authorized and governed by law.

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