Dallas Stars were outshot and outscored. And they’re still in the Stanley Cup final


The Dallas Stars are the first team to enter the Stanley Cup Final with a negative goal differential in the post-season since the 1968 St. Louis Blues.
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Construction worker in critical condition after hit-and-run on Quebec’s Highway 20
A Sûreté du Québec (SQ) spokesperson told French-language media that a search operation was launched to identify the driver involved in the incident.
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Pedestrian critically injured after being hit by truck in Scarborough
Emergency crews were called to Warden and Lawrence avenues at around 6:20 a.m. Monday.
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Manitoba farmers excited to get back to harvesting with warm weather to end September
Manitoba's farmers are pretty content with the forecast for the next week, after cold temperatures last week stalled a productive first half of the 2020 harvest.
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Manitoba considering allowing restaurants, spas to sell pot products
Manitoba's cannabis authority is holding consultations to potentially authorize on-site service and consumption of edible or ingestible cannabis for local businesses.
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Two dead in Quebec City-area motorcycle crash
Police suspect the driver lost control of the vehicle while trying to negotiate a curve on the road.
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Hit-and-run in Sainte-Eulalie leaves construction worker in critical condition
All local detachments of the Sûreté du Québec have been placed on alert to track down the vehicle.
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Roe v. Wade on the November ballot after Ginsburg’s death
If Trump is able to install his nominee in that seat, both sides agree there’s a better chance than ever that Roe v. Wade could be overturned or gutted.
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EU weighs sanctions on Belarus president over elections, protest crackdown
The European Union has drawn up a list of around 40 people it could hit with asset freezes and travel bans.
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Premiers’ approval ratings on the slide, poll finds: The time is now to call an election
Most Canadian premiers have seen their approval ratings dip since June after skyrocketing in the early days of the pandemic, a new poll states.  The poll, which was conducted by market researcher Maru/BLUE, gauged the opinions of 5,344 Canadians toward  respective premiers between Aug. 28 and Sept. 8 and compared the findings with similar data collected in early June.  The poll includes a margin of error of 1.6 percentage points. With the exception of Manitoba premier Brian Pallister, whose ratings had increased by nine per cent, all provincial leaders saw their ratings dip, some by almost 15 percentage points.   John Horgan, the premier of British Columbia, holds the highest approval rating of 69 per cent, a drop of two percentage points. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney holds the lowest rating at 47 per cent, one percentage point lower than his ratings three months ago.  Only three premiers, including Kenney hold a rating below 50 per cent — Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil, who holds a 49 percent rating after a drop of 14 percentage points, and Andrew Furey, who was elected premier of Newfoundland and Labrador in early August and holds a rating of 48 percent.  Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who won the trust of his residents in the early days of the pandemic for his quick responses to slowing the infection rate and his daily news briefings, currently holds an approval rating of 56 per cent, a six percentage point drop since June. The drop in ratings don’t necessarily spell bad news for the premiers; rather they reflect the public’s changing perspective on their leader’s responses to the pandemic depending on ‘elements of recovery and predictability,” explains John Wright, vice president of Maru/BLUE.  “In the first quarter of the response to the pandemic, the public judged them like the stewards of a lifeboat in a sink or swim environment,” he told the National Post in an email. “And by all accounts every premier won the trust and support of the population they lead.” “By the end of the second quarter, citizens had caught their breath, comprehending the extent of the impact of the virus and feeling some measure of stability and security for the first time,” he added.  As a result, the formula needed to maintain public approval tightened up. Now, premiers are judged based on their ability to steer their provinces towards a “new normal with continuing prudence coupled with economic and personal financial stimulus,” Wright said.  Premier Pallister, he said, caught an “upwards swing” in his approval ratings after his government boosted programs that brought back laid-off workers and increased financial support for businesses.  Pandemic has boosted some premiers' approval ratings by 30 percentage points, Legault benefitting most: poll 'We don’t want conditions': Premiers oppose strings attached to $14B federal COVID-19 aid package While the ratings slid for other premiers, they still “enjoy healthy margins of approval,” reads the study, which could be instrumental to helping them secure a new mandate. New Brunswick Premier Higgs, for example, won a majority in a September election despite an approval rating of 55 per cent, a 16 per cent drop from that recorded in June. In the remaining quarter for the year, Wright predicted that leaders, both provincial and federal, will focus on “retooling the entire fiscal and service provisions” to accommodate the billions of dollars spent to help Canadians survive the pandemic, rather than build the economy. And this retooling could come back as a reckoning for premiers, Wright warned. “F or some premiers, cashing in their approval chips now for a full mandate may be the best strategy they have. It may never be as good as it has been for a very long time to come,” he said. 
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Toddler dies in her sleep after parents are told by doctor she only has the flu
The distraught mother of a two-year-old girl who died in her sleep three days after being told by doctors her daughter only had the flu says she feels the health-care system failed her.
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Religion and its services contribute $67.5 billion to the Canadian economy, calculates new study
Even as the proportion of the faithful in Canada declines, the activities of religious people and organizations account for nearly $67.5 billion of economic activity in Canada each year, according to estimates in a new paper from Cardus, a faith-based Canadian think tank. “There is a broad, wide and overall totally beneficial effect of religion on the lives of everyday Canadians, on our country, on our social safety, and that applies to people not just who are religious,” said Brian Dijkema, vice-president of external affairs at Cardus. “It shows the broader public benefit of religion to Canadian society as a whole.” The report, the first of its kind in Canada to tally up the economic impact of faith, suggests there are hard-dollar contributions to the economy, worth about $31 billion, which considers the revenues of faith-based charities, organizations and congregations. Then there is a further $37 billion in “halo effects,” which tallies up the economic impact of things such as substance-abuse support, or kosher and halal food sales. “Understanding the socioeconomic value of religion to Canadian society is especially important in the present era characterized by disaffiliation from organized religion,” the report, released Monday, says. “Of course, faith has much more value than is represented by a dollar estimate, but such a valuation provides a new way of understanding the contribution of faith to Canadian society.” Of the nearly 38 million people in Canada, roughly half (55 per cent) are Christians of one persuasion or another, according to a PEW study from 2019; a further 29 per cent are some variety of agnostic, up from just four per cent in 1971. A further eight per cent fall among other religions, such as Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist. To come up with its estimates, Cardus trawled through charitable returns, school and religious health-care financial documents and religious publication revenues. Of the direct economic contribution of $31 billion, the lion’s share is publicly funded Catholic schools, which is a total of $14.5 billion. The next most significant economic outlay is congregation revenue at $7 billion, then health care at $4.7 billion. The remainder is made up by independent schools, charities, higher education and religious media. The most important part of the estimate, said Dijkema, involves the “halo effect” of religion. “We’re talking about $35 billion worth of activity that takes place simply because these religious communities are committed to making the lives of their members and their community that much better,” he said. The report catalogues several ways in which religion provides additional economic benefits: religious employees, for example, pay taxes; congregations spend in local economies; churches attract revenue-generating activities such as weddings and provide an “invisible safety net” of social services (Cardus says that 47 per cent of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings happen in churches.) These estimates use modelling from other studies. To come up with its total indirect spending estimate of $37 billion, Cardus assumes congregations spend what they bring in, approximately $7 billion, but that represents only 20 per cent, per the other research, of total congregation activity. COVID-19 Religion: Canadian wage subsidy program to help fund congregations hit by pandemic crunch The Canadian millennials choosing God in a secular world Putting the R-word in politics: How religion has become the sleeper issue of the 2019 election The remaining 80 per cent is broken up among the aforementioned activities, again using percentages from other studies, and then the money is calculated from there, for example, 3.5 per cent, or $1.2 billion for safety net supports. The largest cohort, categorized as “individual impact,” is worth about $13.4 billion, or 38 per cent of the total. That includes the benefits, broadly, of providing support “to individuals, couples, and families,” the report says. “Housing, food banks, care for immigrants and refugees, care for those who are in abusive situations, often it’s people in religious communities who are the first responders to that,” said Dijkema. “Often people, when they think of religion, they think of people praying privately … but I think what this shows is the religious character of many communities in Canada have vast and under-appreciated public effects.” The study doesn’t consider some all potential effects of faith, though. While Christmas, for example, is worth about $10 billion to the Canadian economy, Cardus ignores it, since it is not necessarily directly attributable to faith. As well, Cardus cautions the study doesn’t account for some of the negative influences of religious life. They also say the “most important” limitation is that the estimate of the value of goods and services “is based on the proposition that the findings from other halo-effect studies can be extrapolated up to the national level.” • Email: tdawson@postmedia.com | Twitter: tylerrdawson
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'The biggest issue is lameness': True cost of raising cheap chicken counted in largest study of its kind
Much-hyped chicken sandwiches and $5 rotisserie birds come at a toll beyond their price tags. For fast-growing broilers — chickens raised for meat — cheap food comes at the cost of well-being. As breast yield and growth rate increases, animal welfare worsens, according to a new study by University of Guelph researchers . Slower-growing breeds may fetch a higher price, but could result in improved health and meat quality. The largest and most comprehensive of its kind, the researchers studied more than 7,500 chickens reared at U of G’s Arkell Research Station. Previous studies have compared different genetic strains, but animal welfare scientists Tina Widowski and Stephanie Torrey evaluated an unprecedented 16, which were bred for four growth rates, among other characteristics. “Getting the opportunity to study strains that have never before been available in North America was really exciting for us,” says Torrey, an adjunct faculty member with the Department of Animal Biosciences. “We made it as comprehensive as we could so that we could really take advantage of having those birds with us.” Widowski, an animal biosciences professor who holds the Egg Farmers of Canada Chair in Poultry Welfare, adds: “What’s really unique about our study is we had a large base of genetics. The genetics companies worked with us very closely and we couldn’t have done it without their collaboration.” To satisfy an appetite for ample breast meat at low cost, fast-growing broilers typically reach market weight (roughly two kilograms) in about 35 days, the researchers explain. Raised for their large breast muscles, they have short legs, which impact mobility. Slower-growing breeds, taking at least a week longer to reach market weight, had improved welfare. Because of the Code of Practice — “a consensus-based, scientifically informed document that the industry uses with the minimum and recommended standards for chicken producers” — Torrey says, overall welfare is higher in Canada than it is the U.S. While the industry gets better each year, she adds, there are still improvements to be made, especially in the use of fastest-growing genetics. Impossible Burger, a.k.a. the veggie burger that bleeds, is coming to Canada Diets high in ultra-processed foods linked to premature aging, study finds Celebrity chef David Chang shares struggles with mental illness in new memoir, Eat a Peach “The biggest issue is lameness. There was a recent study from the U.S. on commercial farms that put the prevalence of mild to moderate lameness around 15-30 per cent. And severe lameness, where the birds cannot walk at all, around three to five per cent,” says Torrey. “Given how many birds are produced globally, that would mean millions of birds would not be able to walk. And there are also studies to show that severe lameness is painful. So that means that there are essentially millions of birds that are in pain.” (Canadian producers alone raise more than 700 million broilers each year.) To measure the broilers’ activity levels, the researchers outfitted them with a non-invasive Fitbit-like device, which they strapped around their wings like a backpack. They placed a ten-centimetre-high beam in the middle of the pens for a period of five hours, during which time they counted the number of times the chickens crossed the beam as they travelled between their food and water. “This test has been validated against traditional gait-scoring systems for determining lameness in chickens: The more lame birds are, the fewer times they’ll cross,” says Torrey. “What we found was that the number of crossings decreased as growth rates increased. Compared to the slower-growing strains, the conventional strains crossed about four fewer times.” In addition to identifying differences in mobility and activity levels, the researchers found higher instances of foot lesions and muscle myopathy (defects in the meat) in faster-growing broilers. Slower-growing genetics are promoted in specialty markets, Widowski says, and there’s a trend towards them in Europe. In countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and France, Torrey explains, slow-growing broilers could take between 20 and 50 extra days to reach the same market weight. This additional time has implications for producers — due to the cost of feeding and housing animals for a longer period — and consumers in terms of higher cost. “We were looking at strains that could potentially be viable in the North American market where consumers value breast yield and price as well,” says Torrey. “We had birds that took a week or two weeks longer to get to the same body weight as the conventional strains that are used. And there were some that took a week longer that did OK in terms of welfare outcomes. But as a whole, the growth rate and breast yield related to most of the welfare outcomes that we studied: The faster the growth, the worse the outcomes.” The researchers also found low overall mortality, and fewer instances of bone deformities and cardiovascular problems than were prevalent among broilers 20-25 years ago. Once these traits were identified, breeding companies made changes to their selection schemes. This was encouraging to see, Widowski and Torrey say, because it illustrates how effective selective breeding can be in improving bird welfare. “The trick is also maintaining economic viability, and there are environmental implications as well: If you keep a bird longer in a barn, and there’s more food that goes into them when they’re less efficient, there are other tradeoffs involved that consumers and society in general have to take into account,” says Widowski. The researchers hope their study will inform industry as well as the general public. Awareness of how meat and poultry is produced, Torrey says, is integral to any systemic change. “Consumers want all aspects of animal care and welfare ensured, but at the same time want to buy an inexpensive product. The farmer is the one stuck in the middle who has to be able to provide it, and the farmer can’t be the one paying the difference,” adds Widowski. “Consumers have to understand that to maintain some animal care and welfare standards, there are costs involved — and they have to be the ones to bear it as well.”
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Test reset: Why experts say you shouldn't show up for COVID testing if you are asymptomatic
In the first wave of COVID-19 the goal of testing was to cast the net wide, to find hidden cases and get a feel, Queen’s University’s Dr. Gerald Evans says, “for how broadly based the infection was in our society.” Experts pushed provinces like Ontario to increase testing from an insignificant 5,000 a day to get a better picture of the virus, and how many “susceptibles” remained among us. Alberta and Ontario soon after opened up testing to anyone who would like to be tested, even if they had no symptoms or no known contacts to a confirmed case — the same people now straining overloaded pandemic testing systems. Alberta announced Thursday it’s hitting the reset button, temporarily halting broad asymptomatic testing in anticipation of a fall surge in demand for tests as schools reopen and cold and flu viruses make their annual arrival. Since May 29, Alberta has completed some 233,000 tests on people showing no symptoms, with only 0.07 per cent returning positive — about 163 cases. Alberta tested an average 13,625 people a day over the past seven days, nearly six times the 2,380 people tested per day in March and April. The cost per test? About $74. Labs across Canada tested an average of 47,111 people daily over the past week, with 1.4 percent testing positive. Ontario, meanwhile, will soon be getting “a couple thousand” new COVID-19 test centres at pharmacies for those without symptoms, Premier Doug Ford announced this week. The idea is to ease congestion at COVID assessment sites. The province is going to ramp up testing “like you’ve never seen before,” Ford pledged. Ontario has increased its capacity since the early days, from 5,000 to 25,000 to 30,000 tests per day, with plans to move up to 50,000 daily and beyond. But Evans and other experts say, if anything, Ontario should reel in testing people with no known symptoms and no known contacts. The focus should be on diagnosing people with symptoms, quickly. Evans and others are less interested in the asymptomatic, no-risk contact people, “because they provide less information at this point in the pandemic, and we know we’re going to have lots of people now with common cold symptoms who are going to present for testing, and we need to be able to find the ones that are real COVID so we can control them with contact tracing and isolation.” Ontario wasn't ready for the COVID-19 testing surge, even though it was entirely predictable National Post View: Ontario's COVID-19 testing nightmare Evans, chair of the division of infectious diseases at Queen’s, says the public has been galvanized by the idea that asymptomatic COVIDS accounted for 40 per cent of infections. “We know that absolutely is not true,” Evans said. Truly asymptomatic people with COVID-19 are well below 20 per cent, Evans says, “probably in the range of 10 to 15 per cent of all cases.” People with no symptoms but who have been socially active have a much higher probability of being positive. “The person who has no symptoms who has really been good — no risk contacts — the probability we’re going to find out they’re positive is going to be extraordinarily low,” Evans says, in the ballpark of less than one per cent. Part of the problem is the feedback loop: confirmed cases are increasing, the media report the rising case counts, people worry and start showing up at testing centres. Layered on top of the anxiety are children returning to school and public health rules set up so that every child with a cough or potential symptom of COVID is sent home and tested. All of it is driving enormous traffic through testing centres, and with thousands of new testing sites in Ontario for asymptomatic set to open, there is still the issue of having enough lab capacity to process them. If the new sites still have to use the same methods, the same nasal swabs specimens, the same expensive molecular tests that have to be done at centralized labs, “you’re going to face the same issues in terms of turnaround times, lab capacity, machines running out of reagents,” says Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious diseases physician and associate professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. Until rapid, cheap tests are approved by a federal government that appears in no great hurry to do so, the priority must be people with symptoms and those who have had significant exposure, experts say. “By flooding the system with asymptomatic testing, we jeopardize that response,” says McMaster University infectious diseases specialist Dr. Dominik Mertz. The more bottlenecks, the longer the turnaround times for results, the longer the delay in reacting to a positive test. Alberta will still be offering asymptomatic testing of high-risk groups, including health-care workers, teachers and staff, people living in long-term care and the homeless. B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has resisted testing people with no known symptoms or known contacts, arguing the evidence doesn’t support it. Some say we need to de-emphasize the focus on daily numbers. The current gold-standard swab test used to detect viral RNA, a sticky molecule, can remain positive for weeks after infection. It doesn’t necessarily mean the person is still infectious. Dr. Irfan Dhalla wants more emphasis on the numbers of cases with an unknown source of transmission, the proportion of tests completed in less than 24 hours, and how many contacts identified each day and contacted within 24 hours of identification. In Ontario the source of exposure is “unknown” in about 40 per cent of cases, “so clearly the test, trace, isolate system isn’t working as well as it could,” says Dhalla, of Unity Health Toronto. Still, the number of social contacts a 20-year-old might have in three days is huge, Evans says. And as more cases pop up, we’re overwhelming public health’s capacity to do contact tracing. “Here we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of people who have to be traced. It’s still a bit of an archaic old system of somebody with a telephone and a list, running down names.” While cases are curving upwards, deaths and hospitalizations have remained low. Over the summer, COVID-19 moved into younger, lower risk age groups, where it’s ramping up. “If it were going to stay in that age group, that would be great,” says University of Toronto epidemiologist Dr. David Fisman. “The problem is that it won’t, and we’ve seen this pattern play out now, over and over again — in France, Spain, Florida, Austria. “One of the great tragedies of COVID is our inability to learn from other places.” — With files from the Calgary Herald • Email: skirkey@postmedia.com | Twitter: sharon_kirkey
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‘There is no wrong neighbourhood for a homeless shelter’: How COVID-19 is making tempers flare over housing Toronto’s homeless
COVID-19 has left the city caught between finding suitable spaces for the homeless and residents upset about new interim shelters and makeshift encampments.
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Pattie Lovett-Reid: Survey finds we're saving more during coronavirus, but also worrying more
Pattie Lovett-Reid writes about a new financial survey on CTVNews.ca: While a majority of Canadians have been saving more during COVID-19, and are in better shape financially than they were before the pandemic, that doesn’t mean they’re feeling any less financially stressed.
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Supreme Court set to hear provinces’ appeals over Trudeau’s carbon tax
The Supreme Court of Canada is set to hear appeals in three separate cases to determine if the federal carbon-tax legislation is constitutional or if it encroaches unacceptably on areas of provincial jurisdiction.
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5 things to know for Monday, September 21, 2020
Canada has had more than 143,600 total cases of COVID-19, with more than 9,700 cases still active.
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29-year-old man dead after shooting in Scarborough
Emergency crews were called to Morningside and Sheppard avenues at around 6:06 p.m. for reports of a shooting.
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Throne speech’s usual grandiose ceremony to be paired down amid coronavirus 
The public galleries will be empty, apart from just four reporters who'll be allowed in.
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Ontario’s kids are back to school, let’s get them back to good health
Our health care system is at its breaking point. And while we are rightly focusing on those most vulnerable to COVID-19 — we have neglected to ensure that we were protecting our province’s future.
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Federal, provincial battle over carbon tax to go before Supreme Court
The Supreme Court case could be a make-or-break decision for one of the central pillars of the Liberal climate agenda.
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Gord Downie’s final solo album ‘Away is Mine’ set for October 2020 release
The project was laid down at the Tragically Hip's studio in Bath, Ont., in July 2017, three months before Downie died from glioblastoma, an incurable and rare form of brain cancer.
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Police investigating after 53-year-old man shot in Oakville
The victim was taken to the hospital for non life-threatning injuries.
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What they’re saying about us: Canadian comedy series Schitt’s Creek sweeps Emmys with record-breaking 7 wins
The Canadian comedy series domindated Sunday night’s Emmy Awards, raking in best comedy series and awards for its stars, including Catherine O’Hara, and father-son Eugene and Daniel Levy.
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Projet Montréal hired private consultants then billed taxpayers for it
Expenses that councillors claimed for "research and support" are "very worrisome," opposition leader Perez says.
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Allison Hanes: Threats to politicians are a threat to us all
Lately, the tone of public discourse has taken a nasty, shameful and alarming turn in Quebec.
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Gurus gone bad: Is it time for reform in the self-help and wellness industry?
Family of woman who died at a retreat say it’s important to look for red flags.
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The many COVID-19 challenges facing Brampton
Our community’s pandemic picture arises from a complex interplay of underlying factors, some within the control of the immediate response, and others driven by disparities that existed well before COVID-19.
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Heather Mallick: My garden is my pandemic pleasure
Nothing in the past seven months has given me more pleasure and comfort, although we all have high hopes for U.S. election day on Nov. 3.
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Rapid Tests: They do more. They cost less. It’s that simple.
The way we test now is overkill. It is like using a sledgehammer to break eggs. We don’t need a sledgehammer but something less powerful that only tests positive if someone is infectious, not just infected.
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Billionaires get richer while millions struggle. There’s a lot wrong with this picture
There’s no good future that includes ever-growing and obscenely vast income disparities.
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Romeo Dallaire: A radical change in how we view humanity
I speak from experience when I say that what is required for the achievement of peace is an entirely new conceptual framework based not in resolving conflicts, but in preventing them.
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Tropical Storm Beta expected to hit Texas, Louisiana late Monday
Forecasters said Beta was not expected to bring the same amount of rainfall that Texas experienced during either Hurricane Harvey in 2017 or Tropical Storm Imelda last year.
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Today’s coronavirus news: CDC says coronavirus spreads mainly in the air, through respiratory aerosols and droplets; India records nearly 87,000 new virus cases
Meanwhile, Britain’s top medical advisers are set to give a sobering assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic to the public on Monday, amid expectations the government is preparing to announce new measures to control rising infection rates.
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