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    Category: Cabinet Refacing

    UPDATE: Premier removes Newfoundland MHA Sherry Gambin-Walsh from cabinet – The Telegram - April 6, 2020 by admin

    EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been corrected to remove an incorrect subheading written by an editor. The home of former Service NL minister Sherry Gambin-Walsh was never searched by police and we have retracted that incorrect information. The Telegram apologizes to Ms. Gambin-Walsh for the error.

    Sherry Gambin-Walsh has been removed from the cabinet of Premier Dwight Ball.

    Late Friday, Gambin-Walsh called Ball to inform him of the general warrant issued to her. The warrant is related to allegations of breaches of cabinet confidence. The RCMP executed the warrant, and their investigation continues.

    After the conversation, I took the immediate steps to put in place a new minister, said Ball.

    Finance Minister Tom Osborne was sworn in as acting minister of Service NL at 4 p.m. Saturday.

    The search warrant says the investigation covers timeframe from June 1, 2018 to March 12, 2020. The RCMP are investigating whether Gambin-Walsh committed a breach of trust, which is contrary to section 122 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

    The warrant says officers will be investigating any electronic devices used to communicate, specifically cellphones.

    Ball says given the nature of the allegations, he had to remove Gambin-Walsh from cabinet.

    Any time you get any minister thats under investigation for a breach of cabinet confidence, theres really no choice. As the premier, as the leader, you take the minister the privileges of being a cabinet minister the responsibilities would be removed, said Ball.

    Its up to the investigation to determine the outcome and what that will be.

    Ball says the investigation into Gambin-Walshs conduct will not interfere with governments response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The priority for us is still and remains the pandemic and the COVID-19 crisis, that not only Newfoundland and Labrador is facing, but were facing as a country and a global impact, said Ball.

    Gambin-Walsh remains the MHA for Placentia-St. Marys and remains in the Liberal caucus. He says he will wait for the outcome of the investigation to take further steps if necessary.

    The COVID-19 pandemic continues to move through Newfoundland and Labrador, with one death to date.

    An unprecedented economic crisis also looms over the province, as Brent crude oil remains below $30 per barrel.

    Osbornes full job title is now: minister of Finance; president of Treasury Board; minister responsible for the Human Resource Secretariat; minister responsible for the Public Service Commission; minister responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation; and minister responsible for the Office of the Chief Information Office; acting minister of Service Newfoundland and Labrador; acting minister responsible for the Public Procurement Agency; and acting minister responsible for Workplace NL.

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    UPDATE: Premier removes Newfoundland MHA Sherry Gambin-Walsh from cabinet - The Telegram

    Some European countries begin to plot lockdown exit amid signs of encouragement – The Times of Israel - April 6, 2020 by admin

    Netanyahu: Putin urged me to reach a unity government

    Netanyahu says he spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin and they agreed on cooperation regarding medical supplies.

    He says when he spoke to Putin, he was in the middle of negotiations on a unity government with Benny Gantz, and mentioned to the Russian president that he needed to go deal with coalition talks.

    Putin, says Netanyahu, hinted at his support for a unity government saying, Its very important that you unite forces, for Israels sake.

    I agree with him, Netanyahu says, though its not simple. Some roadblocks remain in the way, he says, but he thinks the sides can reach a coalition deal.

    With good will, and a joint effort, we can get there, he says.

    He says Israels heart is with Bnei Brak, the ultra-Orthodox city that has become a coronavirus hotspot, and condemns terrible incitement in the media and social media against the ultra-Orthodox.

    The story of Passover is one the exodus from Egypt, and of overcoming crisis, he says. In every generation, we overcome crises, he says.

    This time, too, we will overcome Were writing a resonant chapter in the history of our people and our stage.

    This, he says, will be a Passover of exodus from isolation to freedom.

    Read more:
    Some European countries begin to plot lockdown exit amid signs of encouragement - The Times of Israel

    Covid-19 pandemic: Brazilians have greater trust in the Health than in president Bolsonaro – MercoPress - April 6, 2020 by admin

    Saturday, April 4th 2020 - 08:30 UTC Minister Mandetta plays up his background as doctor and health official, but allies say his political savvy also make him an important counterweight in the cabinet.

    Brazilians feeling frustrated with president Jair Bolsonaro are turning to another voice for guidance and reassurance. Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta has emerged from relative obscurity with technocratic daily briefings presenting the latest science, stressing the need for social distancing measures and earning praise from across the political spectrum.

    A former federal lawmaker from the same party as the leaders of both houses of Congress, Mandetta plays up his background as doctor and health official, but allies say his political savvy also make him an important counterweight in the cabinet.

    His rise has not gone unnoticed. Tensions boiled over in a tense meeting at the presidential residence, according to sources, and Bolsonaro was visibly irked by questions about Mandetta. Nobody should forget that Im the president, he said.

    This week, Bolsonaro replaced the Health Ministry briefings, which had been carried live on several TV networks for weeks, in favor of a news conference at the presidential palace where Mandetta is one of a half dozen ministers, often speaking last.

    Mandetta comes out of this crisis much stronger than when he went into it, said Efraim Filho, the head of Mandettas Democrats party in the lower house. Now he has the admiration and the respect of a big slice of society that goes beyond ideological lines.

    Just 35% of Brazilians called Bolsonaros handling of the coronavirus crisis good or great, according to a Datafolha survey released last week, compared to 55% support for Mandettas performance, in line with that of governors.

    He is an important asset for the Bolsonaro government, said Filho, when asked about rising tensions. Any firing or exit of Mandetta would erode support for the president.

    As his public standing has risen, the health minister has more openly contradicted Bolsonaro. He warned of the dangers of chloroquine, an anti-malarial drug that Bolsonaro believes could be a cure for the COVID-19 respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

    Mandetta enjoys the support of various key cabinet ministers including Justice Minister Sergio Moro and Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, according to the sources and press reports.

    Now we are hit by this (coronavirus) wave ... we are under the guidance of Minister Mandetta, Guedes said in a press conference. People can obey Mandettas social isolation orders.

    In a statement, the justice ministry said it had adopted measures to deal with the coronavirus pandemic in accordance with the technical guidelines of the health ministry.

    A former doctor and health secretary for the city of Campo Grande, Mandetta became a federal lawmaker in 2010. Hailing from the soy-producing state of Mato Grosso do Sul, he has strong ties to Brazils powerful agribusiness sector, sources said.

    During his time in Congress, he was most well-known for opposing health policies of the leftist Workers Party government, and in particular its Mais Medicos program which brought Cuban doctors to Brazils most far-flung corners.

    Read more here:
    Covid-19 pandemic: Brazilians have greater trust in the Health than in president Bolsonaro - MercoPress

    Rejoining medical register will allow Varadkar take temperature of health service – The Irish Times - April 6, 2020 by admin

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said his decision to rejoin the medical register will allow him to take the temperature of the health service and understand the challenges being faced by the HSE because of Covid-19.

    Mr Varadkar has also signaled that inward bound travellers to Ireland may be checked on to ensure that they are abiding by a 14 day quarantine.

    Mr Varadkar rejoined the medical register last month and said he is giving one session a week, or a half day, in a telephone clinic.

    It is kind of gesture of support really for all the people who work in our health service and everyone beyond our health service who are contributing to the fight against the covid emergency, he said.

    Also from a personal point of view it gives me a chance to just take the temperature of our health service, to talk least once a week to 10 or 20 people who are working in our health service and get the temperature myself of how things are going and what challenges theyre facing.

    I wont be giving you regular reports on it, there wont be any photo opps it will just be something Ill be doing quietly once a week for the duration of the emergency.

    Mr Varadkar was also asked about Government plans to impose enhanced restrictions on inward bound travellers in order to prevent a potential new wave of cases.

    He indicated that new measures may involve essentially checking in on those who are being asked to quarantine.

    The amount of inbound travel in Ireland is about 5 per cent of what it was a month ago.

    The question is how do we minimise the risk from the 5 per cent that is happening which is mainly our own citizens returning home. We want them to be able to return home and a lot of thats going to be around ensuring that they observe the 14 day quarantine and that also we can contact trace if needs be and thats still being worked on at the moment.

    He said there are regulations on the table ready to sign if we need to to bring in the kind of enforcement powers that exist in other countries.

    However, Mr Varadkar said he does not want to be in a position whereby were criminalising people for going two kilometers away from their home without an adequate excuse.

    The last thing I want is people to come after this emergency with fines and prison sentences and criminal convictions.

    The Labour Party on Monday called for the Government to outline its plans to provide childcare for frontline workers.

    Mr Varadkar said that while the Government is ready to push the button on that, the National Public Health Emergency Team has not yet given to go-ahead.

    I know its taking a long time, its taking much longer than we would like, I do understand peoples frustration around that. But that is now being considered by the National Public Health Emergency team because as always public health has to be the overriding concern. And while were ready to push the button in terms of providing child care to essential workers, we need clearance from the public health team. It is certainly not an issue of money, that is there. Its not an issue of staff being available, theyve said theyll do it. It is now an issue of public health clearance and we havent quite got that yet.

    Mr Varadkar was visiting the Defence Forces Joint Task Force in McKee Barracks in Dublin.

    The military is going to continue to have a central role and crucial role in responding to this emergency. And I think at a time of emergency and in a time of crisis people turn to the State, they turn to the public service and they turn to their Defence Forces for leadership and for action. And thats very much what were seeing here, he said.

    On the issue of government formation, the Taoiseach said Fine Gael are ready to agree a framework document on policy with Fianna Fail this week. He said he hoped to approach other parties after this. Mr Varadkar also said he does not envisage a second general election this year.

    Its not our view that we should try to bully any party in the Government. You know this is a democracy and there shouldnt be any forced marriages in a democracy, only parties that want to serve together that want to work together, that have a mandate to work together should work together.

    Mr Varadkar also said he does not envisage a second general election this year.

    Meanwhile former Fine Gael minister for health and practising GP James Reilly said Mr Varadkar returning to work in the health service was a strong signal of support for healthcare workers in the fight against coronavirus but he welcomed the fact that the Taoiseach would not be having direct contact with possible coronavirus-infected patients.

    It is sensible that he is not putting himself in direct contact with patients as taoiseach as that would be very risky, said Mr Reilly of his former Cabinet colleague.

    Mr Varadkar succeeded Mr Reilly as minister for health in 2014. Mr Reilly is working as a GP from a clinic in a north Co Dublin, meeting patients and giving consultations by phone.

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    Rejoining medical register will allow Varadkar take temperature of health service - The Irish Times

    Coronavirus Shopping List: What to Buy and Skip – Everyday Health - April 6, 2020 by admin

    Energy-Boosting High-Protein Foods

    "Sometimes, fresh or even frozen meat can be less available during an emergency," says Lawder. "Plan in advance to make sure you're still getting quality protein options."

    For example, pair a whole grain like brown rice or whole-wheat pasta with legumes, she suggests, such as PB&J on whole-wheat bread. You can also get protein bars as snacks choose the option with the least added sugar.

    Another handy choice? The must-have of road-trippers everywhere: jerky. Lawder says there are many great varieties now available, including turkey jerky, and several are made without nitrates, a preservative that's been linked to heart issues, according to theMayo Clinic.

    Instead of just snacking on jerky (although that's an option), Lawder suggests adding it to soup or pasta sauce for a protein boost. Those on apescatarian dietcan snag canned tuna, and those on avegetarianorvegan dietcan opt for canned beans for extra protein.

    RELATED:10 Plant-Based Sources of Protein

    Along with some canned options, make the most of your freezer space if frozen food is available, suggestsMcKenzie Caldwell, MPH, RDN, based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    "Fortunately, frozen produce has very similar nutrition profiles to fresh fruits and vegetables, so don't be afraid to add a variety of these to your list," she says. "While you're in the freezer aisle, pick up a few of your favorite frozen proteins as well, like chicken, fish, lean beef, or veggie burgers, since these will last in your freezer for a few months." Reach for unprocessed meats in other words, choose chicken breasts over chicken tenders or nuggets.

    Include some of your go-to favorites for when you're sick, too, such as chicken noodle soup, saltines, and ginger ale. If you do end up coming down with COVID-19 or another bug, youll thank yourself for having these handy.

    RELATED:7 Ways to Boost Your Immune System for Cold and Flu Season

    Another top suggestion is to buy fresh produce and meats or meat alternatives and spend some time prepping your own frozen meals, which can be significantly lower in sodium and preservatives, Caldwell says.

    "This is great to do in advance, because if you do become sick, you'll have these frozen prepared meals on hand as a nourishing option," she notes.

    She suggests plenty of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, to help your body get immune-boostingantioxidants, along with fermented products like yogurt and kimchi to promote gut health.

    RELATED:Processed Foods to Eat and Avoid

    This is a time of incredible stress and uncertainty, and if a few cookies make you feel better, then eat the cookies, says Caldwell.

    "Generally, you want to stay healthy with nutrient-rich options that have thefiberandproteinyou need to maintain energy during a quarantine," she says. "But that doesn't mean you have to skip dessert."

    Don't go overboard and create your own snack aisle, she adds, but have some favorites on hand.

    More here:
    Coronavirus Shopping List: What to Buy and Skip - Everyday Health

    PCT were all going to be suffering from Post-Coronavirus Trauma – The Thaiger - April 6, 2020 by admin


    The sun will rise. All this utter disruption to our lives will come to an end at some time. But the hangover will linger a lot longer than the fairly sudden stop to just everything we were familiar with. Whilst economists will argue whether its a recession or depression, the world will go into a long re-awakening after the social and economic devastation caused by a tiny unseen virus.

    We can be assured that life will continue but things will NOT be the same again. We will all emerge into a battered and bruised new normal.

    What will things be like when this is all over? Will things snap magically back into place? No. How f##ked up will things be and how long will it take for our lives to get back to where they were, if ever?

    We dont know but have been scanning the channels and come up with some general consensus

    Governments are throwing cash into the local economy either as handouts or as business stimulus to prop up the businesses who suddenly have fewer, or no, customers, and the citizens who need cash simply to get through the next day. The situations will be very different around the world but all governments, some already with high debt ratios, will be less capable of stimulating their local economies than before. Remember interest rates, almost everywhere, were at historic lows and the world economic growth, even before all this disruption kicked in, was fragile at best.

    China will be blamed for the pandemic. Whether people feel inclined to point the finger at Chinese officials, people eating wildlife from a wet-market in Wuhan, Chinese doctors or the entire Chinese population, there will be a powerful blame game as western governments, who largely failed to act early after months of clear and present warnings, will try and deflect blame. Their responses will also be reflected in coming elections.

    China has already become introspective. After 50 years of incredible growth and integration if not domination with world trade, theyve closed their borders and looking to contain their own problems whilst showing some good faith and sharing their technology and experiences with other governments. They would be acutely aware of the finger pointing thats on the way and are on a charm offensive, even now, to soften the tsunami of vitriol.

    Meanwhile, the worlds other governments will be focussing on reviving their local economies and less concerned about broader world trade issues. The need to stimulate their own back yard will become an economic necessity and there will be commensurate rises of nationalism and xenophobia to stoke the local fires and spur on national action. Some of this will get ugly.

    Conspiracy theories will abound, theres already plenty of this nonsense circulating.

    We are social animals. But gatherings for watching sport and entertainment, working together in offices, getting together in smaller and larger groups, are all going to be different.

    Whilst many businesses have continued to function with their employees working from home, there will be some that found new efficiencies in that arrangement and will continue to work that way. With so much tech these days to support working from home video conferencing, online checks and screengrab software that allows bosses to monitor work, fast internet that brings everyone together in an instantaneous digital office some businesses will say goodbye to renting expensive offices and put the rent money into better tech, staffing and training.

    Workers will wonder why they spend hours commuting to work when they could get two hours or more of their lives back EVERY DAY to do useful things like spending time with family or doing some extra work. Of course that situation isnt going to work for many businesses, but for many it will, and there will be more people working remotely in the future for sure.

    Up Close and Personal, will be replaced with notions of greater personal space. More people will wear face masks, indeed theyll become a fashion accessory. Being checked for your temperature, routine (and cheap) testing for Covid-19, and greater attention to personal hygiene, will just become new habits.

    Get ready for the I survived Covid-19 T-shirts. The world is going to have yet another way of pigeon-holing people. There will be those who were infected and survived Covid-19 and the plenty of others, the majority, who were able to remain uninfected.

    There will be another opportunity for social stigma, the same way the the HIV patients were shunned in the 80s and 90s, as people approach those who had Covid-19 sort of differently to everyone else. In the early days, as we emerge into this brave post-coronavirus world, there will be lots of unanswered questions about the possibility of infection from those who had the virus.

    It used to be fire fighters and war veterans that attracted our admiration and outbursts of applause. Added to that will be health workers after their toil and sacrifice during the peaks of this outbreak. And, wow, do they deserve it?! Long under-recognised for their skills and crazy work hours, they will now be rightfully remembered and celebrated as true community heroes for staying at the frontline, in harms way, and fighting the good fight.

    The cult of the celebrity chef and celebrity DJs is hopefully over and the world will now admire the doctors, nurses, clinicians, scientists and workers who helped save thousands of lives and had to witness the loss of far too many.

    There will hopefully emerge a much better appreciation for science and the value of scientific methods and the opinion of people who work with facts. Many of the problems were facing at the moment are because governments and decision-makers acted from the perspective of opinions and economic fear and not the safety and health of their populations.

    Its here and and its here to stay. Like some of the other coronaviruses, it may eventually become contained to the extent that there are just smatterings of new infections from time to time. But the genie is out of the bottle and Covid-19 is now part of the rich world biology. It may even move from being pandemic to endemic, where it just gets added to the long list of possible infections that can attack humans.

    A safe and reliable vaccine will eventually be developed and large segments of the world population will become immune so that new hosts for the Covid-19 virus become fewer. But the economic pain and social changes will linger on for years, perhaps decades.

    Covid-25? Covid-30?

    A new pandemic emerges every decade or so. Every time there is an expectation that people and governments have learned fro the mistakes made and a commitment to better readiness next time it happens (and it WILL happen again). The Covid-19 coronavirus has been particularly insidious because it was the right virus at the wrong time. 1) It was very infectious and infectious in people days before they started feeling sick or showing symptoms. 2) It was deadly enough to kill 10-20 times the number of people killed by the seasonal flu, but not so deadly that it killed off its hosts too quickly. 3) The huge increase in global air travel over the past decade made the global transmission of the virus quick and efficient. Global airline passenger growth almost doubled in the past ten years. And fares got cheaper and cheaper, all perfect recipe for a nasty virus.

    Governments will be forced to take the threat of future outbreaks much more seriously and plan for outbreak teams to be able to quickly, efficiently and safely isolate neighbourhoods and communities. They will need reserves of equipment and medical resources to cope if needs be. Countries will need to plan the manufacture and stockpile of lifesaving drugs and equipment without having to depend on other countries. The US has been caught with its pants down in this crisis with most of its drugs they need now being manufactured in. you guessed it China.

    Organisations like the World Health Organisation will also have to become better funded and equipped to monitor and report any of these outbreaks much quicker in the future and all governments will have to commit to open and transparent reporting, non-negotiable. They will also need to rebuild confidence with the world community.

    Through no fault of their own, people are going to emerge from this mess on the better or worse side of the fence. Some businesses and workers will thrive, there will be many whose businesses are decimated from the situation, and some may return to the old normal. But it wont be the same normal as before.

    With a world economy deep in some sort of recession, discretionary spending is going to be way down the list. The nice things people used to splash cash on will be low in their priorities the manicure, the holiday, the new car, the holiday house, the new clothes, the extension on the house, the sparkly jewellery, the new fangled smartphone. Businesses who trade in items of discretionary spend will do poorly in the next few years. Businesses that trade in the essentials will do better. Luxury anything will be less in demand.

    The hit was high-impact and quick. The drops in world markets and business activity were swift. But the recovery is expected to take years. Yes, sorry to say, most economic pundits are talking about slow and ponderous recovery back to economic health nationwide and personal.

    And the virus wont suddenly disappear. Whilst there will be slow re-openings and loosening on restrictions, it will only take a few new cases to emerge for another local lockdown again. Governments will be keen to keep the lid on new outbreaks because theyve experienced the economic pain of widespread outbreaks.

    Impossible to accurately predict and much will depend on how carefully and skilfully governments let people get back to work, restart the engines and monitor any new outbreaks. Even the most optimistic western politicians are admitting a June date at earliest. Other are predicting that the rest of 2020 will just be a long, slow clawing back to normality, albeit a new normal.

    One way or the other, there is still a to to learn and a long way to go before the new normal emerges. But it will.

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    PCT were all going to be suffering from Post-Coronavirus Trauma - The Thaiger

    Who is Boris Johnsons deputy with the Prime Minister in intensive care? – - April 6, 2020 by admin

    Dominic Raab has beencharged with leading the UKs response to the coronavirus crisis after Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care.

    Just hours after stating that the Prime Minister remained in charge of the Government, the Foreign Secretary was asked to take over where necessary in Mr Johnsons absence.

    Speaking after the announcement on Monday, Mr Raab reassured the public that ministers and officials were continuing to carry out instructions issued by the Prime Minister.

    The Government's business will continue andthe Prime Minister is in safe hands with that brilliant team at St Thomass hospital, and the focus of the Government will continue to be on making sure that the Prime Minister's direction, all the plans for making sure that we can defeat coronavirus and can pull the country through this challenge will be taken forward," he said.

    There's an incredibly strong team spirit behind the Prime Minister, and we are making sure that we get all of the plans the Prime Ministers instructed us to deliver to get them implemented as soon as possible.

    And that's the way it will bring the whole country through the coronavirus challenge that we face right now.

    Mr Raab, who as First Secretary of State is the first in the line of succession, had already been entrusted with chairing the daily War Cabinet tasked with coordinating the UKs response to the pandemic.

    In a statement released on Monday, Downing Street said that Mr Raab had been asked to deputise where necessary, suggesting that a full handover may not have taken place yet.

    However, with Mr Johnson remaining conscious, it remains unclear as to whether his most significant powers, such as issues of national security, havebeen transferred to Mr Raab.

    Leading the daily Downing Street press conference on Mondayafternoon, Mr Raab said that a team of ministers and Whitehall officials were working full throttle to carry out the instructions of Mr Johnson from his hospital bed at St Thomass, central London.

    But when asked whether he had taken over Mr Johnsons security responsibilities, Mr Raab declined to comment.

    We are getting on with all of the various strands of work to make sure at home and abroad we can defeat the virus and pull the country through coronavirus and the challenges that undoubtedly we're facing at the moment, headded.

    The UKs chain of command stands in contrast to the United States, where it is set out in the constitution.

    The powers and responsibilities of the US vice president are also clearly defined, whereas in the UK, the office of deputy prime minister has not been used since Nick Clegg entered into the coalition with David Cameron in 2010.

    Even before the Prime Ministers admission to hospital, the confusion had already given rise to reports of infighting among Cabinet ministers, with allies of Michael Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, suggesting that he was next in line.

    As the coronavirus outbreak escalated, Downing Street foresaw the potential constitutional dilemma and began drawing up a designated successor plan with Mr Raab nominated as first recipient.

    But even on Monday night, the extent of his powers remained uncertain, with Dr Catherine Haddon, a senior fellow at the Institute for Government, indicating that some powers could be distributed to a number of Cabinet ministers.

    The power would derive from the Prime Minister saying who he wants ministries to respond to, she told TheTelegraph.

    These could include authority over the UKs national security apparatus, such as control over the UK's nuclear deterrent.

    Certainly in the Cold War and the years after prime ministers would authorise nuclear deputies who were named cabinet ministers, who in the event of something happening would then be called upon if the Prime Minister was in that moment unavailable," Dr Haddon added.

    Its not so much like America where they have to carry the nuclear codes around, its just making sure there is a chain of command if the Prime Minister were not available at that moment.

    Dr Haddon also indicated that oversight of Britains intelligence agencies could become a shared ministerial responsibility.

    MI5 reports to the Home Secretary, MI6 and GCHQ report to the Foreign Secretary, so there are still lines of communication, she said.

    The Prime Minister deals with them all directly and gets daily intelligence briefings, but so do other Cabinet ministers, who also have some degree of oversight powers.

    The Prime Minister is the ultimate authority, but that doesnt mean hes the only one whoengages with them.

    See the original post:
    Who is Boris Johnsons deputy with the Prime Minister in intensive care? -

    Here’s what N.W.T. constituents want during the pandemic, in MLAs’ own words – - April 6, 2020 by admin

    As the Northwest Territories races to prepare for COVID-19, phones have been ringing off the hook for many legislators.

    "I am busier than I've ever been in the four-and-a-half years I've been an MLA," said Yellowknife Centre's Julie Green. "The stakes are really high."

    CBC News asked lawmakers across the territorywhat they're hearing from constituents.

    Many regions share similar issues. In a press release on Thursday, the territory's committee of regular MLAs noted concerns about the pressures on businesses and essential services in the N.W.T. It also recommended that the government stop residential evictions in the territory for three months.

    CBC contacted all 19 MLAs. Some of them respondedand here are their own words condensed and edited for CBC style.

    In alphabetical order:

    People are afraid and they want to know the person [who tested positive for COVID-19]. There are laws [about] privacy.

    Knowing who it is, is not going to change the fact. They're going to do contact tracing, like they do with every case The people who were in contact will be notified that's standard through the Public Health Act.

    A few days ago there was a post going around, saying "can you say all the people you've been around if you've tested positive?"And if you're self-isolating and social distancing you should be able to say that.

    But if you're out and about and not really caring, are you going to remember who you've been around? People need to really take this serious. We have essential staff that need to go to their families at night too. Everybody needs to be limiting the time they're going out so we can stop this in its tracks.

    A lot of parents were reaching out as far as making sure we're doing what we can to address some of the fears or concerns that kids have. I teamed up with Dr. [Sarah] Cook and Minister [Caroline] Wawzonek to make our own little video, and we just posted that on Facebook.

    A lot of kids had questions. I thought it was pretty neat how diverse they were. "Why do I have to stay home? Why does my mom have to stay home from work?"

    It was a lot of questions about how their world has changed, and ... why they are being asked to change their "normal."And I think those are really good questions because adults have the same ones.

    I've been hearing a lot of concerns about community travel, in regards to people flying into the coastal communities Sachs [Harbour], Uluhaktok, Paulatuk[N.W.T.]. We're looking to make sure people travelling in do have a doctor's note that says "COVID-19 free...."I'm really getting a lot of messaging in regards to making sure community travel stops.

    Our communities are more vulnerable.... I've been talking with my mayors every day in regards to the emergency plan. Going through the emergency plan, picking a place in the community where we can put people who get COVID-19 [give them] a safe place, feed them, but make sure they're cared for properly in their own setting.

    Everybody's really on edge now, because we've been waiting for it to hit the [Beaufort] Delta and it's hit Inuvik now. For my home community of Tuktoyaktuk, we're 148 kilometres away ... it's a big scare for everybody.

    We haven't seen anything like this in our lifetime. Right now the concerns come from everything from liquor issues to food, income assistance, housing: those are the main kinds of issues we're facing in my riding.

    A lot of the liquor stores in the territory have reduced hours and we're talking about reducing more if we can. We're talking about also rationing [alcohol], just as a way of curbing bootlegging.

    Our small airlines, Air Tindi, Northwestern Air, Aklak ... they're definitely essential services. We've got to keep our supply chain flowing. People in isolation, they still need to have groceries delivered ... there have been layoffs from each of our airlines because of reduced air traffic and people flying in and out of our fly-in communities ... we're always in discussions with each cabinet minister and our premier and we're all trying to get through this.

    What we're trying to do right now, is minimize exposure to the elders. We're getting the message out to the elders: "It's going to be tough." This social distancing ... it goes against our grain a lot.

    This is the springtime. This is when we have all our carnivals, all our jamborees ... we mingle with each other, we hug, we shake hands, we greet each other; that's how we are as Northerners. This pandemic is a real pest right now ... but patience and discipline is what will get us through this.

    I spent the big chunk of time [on Wednesday] on a guy who was going to be evicted at noon. There was a valid eviction order that was put in place a month ago so, prior to the pandemic. And he has a number of issues to work through with his landlord. So I'm trying to assist him with that, and at the end of the day we had the eviction delayed. Which was a positive thing [for] this family of seven.

    Putting a family on the street is really a disaster in every way, so anything I can do to try to prevent that I'm up for that. We're trying to find more housing at this point for people who are normally homeless so they can self-isolate, rather than making that population bigger.

    I'd say there's more interest at the moment in economic issues than in health-related issues, and I think that reflects some confidence in the way the chief public health officer is handling the health end of things. We do have these two cases (since this interview, the number of confirmed cases in N.W.T.rose to four)but in both cases people followed the advice that was given to self isolate.

    The constituents I'm hearing the most from are our small businesses. There's so many things rapidly changing for them, and in Yellowknife North, there's lots of tourism operators. Their season has rapidly disappeared and I think a lot of small businesses are just trying to find any possible way to not lay off their staff.

    Given the very fragile nature of small businesses in the North, there's definitely more that needs to be done to make sure those businesses can keep people on payroll over the next few months, to weather the storm.

    The big issues I've heard people raise are really around the issues of the border closure. "What kind of information is being collected from people coming in? Where does that information go?Is there follow up in terms of self isolation plans? What happens with complaints and investigations?"

    People are also worried about why the mines continue to operate and what kind of measures are in place to make sure workers that come from the South don't contact Northern workers.

    In Quebec, they've shut down all the mines and mineral exploration.... People are wondering, "why are the different jurisdictions taking different approaches?Why are we not as strict as some other jurisdictions?"And I think those are legitimate questions I have yet to get answers to.

    Initially there was a lot of concerns around communications and information. I think those have been resolved for the most part. I do want to give credit to our Cabinet colleagues for improving communication with the general public.

    Here's what N.W.T. constituents want during the pandemic, in MLAs' own words -

    Take the time to read online – Gateshead Council - April 6, 2020 by admin

    As the coronavirus pandemic continues Gateshead Council is encouraging everyone to use online reading resources to help support their health and wellbeing.

    Libraries across Gateshead closed last month to help prevent the spread of coronavirus however members of the library service can still access thousands of free eBooks andeAudiobooksvia theBorrowboxapp. The digital collection gives24 houraccess to a wide range ofeAudiobooksand eBooks and with more choice than ever before there is something for everyone to enjoy. Members can borrow up to 10 eBooks and 6eAudiobooksat a time for up to 3 weeks.

    Find out more about Borrowbox & join online

    Councillor Douglas, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, said "These are unprecedented times and despite the challenges we're facing it's important that we all take time to look after our general wellbeing. Reading is an activity that has many benefits, which are particularly relevant while we are being advised to stay at home isolated from friends and family. Whether you want to keep children entertained or try reading something newBorrowboxhas something for everyone to enjoy.I personally love using the service and it's fantastic to have so many books readily available.

    "I'm incredibly proud of our library service and how they continue to support our communities despite our buildings being closed. It's great that people have continued to join our libraries over the last couple of weeks and I'd encourage everyone to check out the services available online."

    Via social media Gateshead Council will also be offering other ideas to help people stay creative while in isolation. Library staff will, through the librariesFacebook, twitter andInstagrampages, share poetry, recommend books/authors and have lots of give craft ideas to keep all the family entertained.

    Continue reading here:
    Take the time to read online - Gateshead Council

    Police warn of harsh punishments for curfew violators – The Thaiger - April 6, 2020 by admin

    The UK PM Boris Johnson is now in an intensive care unit after his condition with a bout of coronavirus symptoms worsened. A spokesman said he had been moved on the advice of his medical team and was receiving excellent care.

    The 55 year old prime minister was first admitted to the St Thomas Hospital in London on Sunday night, UK time, for what was described as routine tests. The report said that Mr. Johnson was in good spirits at the time.

    But theres been an apparent change in his health as politicians from all sides voicing their support for his health and recovery. US President Trump has also sent his good wishes.

    Americans are all praying for his recovery.

    President Trump described Mr Johnson as a very good friend of mine and a friend to our nation who is strong and doesnt give up.

    A Downing Street spokesperson says the Mr.Johnson remains conscious and has been moved to the intensive care unit as a precaution, in case he requires ventilation.

    Over the course of this afternoon (Monday), the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital.

    Queen Elizabeth is being kept informed about Mr Johnsons health, according to Buckingham Palace.

    A day earlier the news was much less sombre.During his period of self-isolation, Downing Street had said that Johnsons symptoms were mild, and on Sunday said his hospitalisation was just a precautionary step.

    Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State and the most senior Cabinet minister, said Johnson had asked him to deputise for the leader where necessary.

    Mr Raab said there was an incredibly strong team spirit behind the ailing PM. Hechaired yesterdays regular morning coronavirus briefing and made a televised statement saying that the government will continue in responding to the outbreak.

    Mr. Johnson announced on March 27 that he had been infected and was, at the time, suffering mild symptoms including a cough and fever.

    The news comes as the number of coronavirus hospital deaths in the UK reached 5,373 an increase of 439 in a day.The UK Department of Health and Social Care said there were now 51,608 confirmed coronavirus cases.

    See original here:
    Police warn of harsh punishments for curfew violators - The Thaiger

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