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Police, fire and ambulance services across Canada hit by staff shortage due to COVID-19

Emergency departments in many major Canadian cities face staff shortages due to an increase in COVID-19 cases across the country, with police, ambulances and firefighters all scrambling to redeploy and strengthen their ranks.

For example, many police departments report higher levels of frontline officers absent due to illness or isolation caused by COVID-19.

“There is a lot of concern and it is having an impact,” said Tom Stamatakis, National President of the Canadian Police Association.

In Winnipeg, the city’s police chief on Wednesday said he was declaring a “state of emergency” for the Winnipeg Police Department as it now faces “real challenges ahead.”

“The current COVID-19 situation has had a significant impact on our personnel resources,” Chief Danny Smyth said in a statement.

WATCH Omicron Surge Disrupting Workforce Across Country:

Omicron disrupts workforce across country

Of the approximately 1,900 police service employees, there are currently 90 active COVID-19 cases with 170 staff on leave related to COVID-19, Smyth said. The declaration of a state of emergency gives him more latitude in the redeployment of officers to strengthen the ranks of the general patrol.

In Calgary, the police department currently has the highest number of coronavirus infections among employees since the start of the pandemic, said Susan Henry, head of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency.

“To minimize disruption to emergency services, Calgary Police have started redeploying officers from other areas of the organization to support frontline workers who are already stretched before this wave of COVID-19,” said she said on Wednesday.

In Edmonton, Edmonton Fire Department Chief Joe Zatylny said yesterday nearly five percent of the force’s frontline firefighters are currently on sick leave due to COVID-19. Zatylny said they would replace staff by using staff on leave to ensure “we can meet our demands for basic services.” Read more about this story here.

Go for a tumble

TOPSHOT – French driver Guerlain Chicherit and his co-driver Alex Winocq crash their buggy during stage 4 of the Dakar 2022 between al-Qaysumah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia on January 5, 2022. (Franck Fife / AFP / Getty Images)

(Franck Fife / AFP / Getty Images)

The French team of driver Guerlain Chircherit and his co-driver Alex Winocq crashed their buggy during stage 4 of the Dakar 2022 between al-Qaysumah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. The teammates were able to get away from the accident.

In short

The Ontario government has asked hospitals and healthcare professionals to stop all non-emergency surgeries and procedures in order to preserve critical care capacity and human resources. The directive entered into force on Wednesday. Alexandra Hilkene, spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Health, said in an email on Wednesday that the province is reinstating what she calls “Guideline # 2” in response to the growing spread of the Omicron variant of COVID -19. “Although it was not an easy decision, this time-limited measure will help preserve and increase the capacity of hospital beds by making between 1,200 and 1,500 acute / post-acute care beds available depending on the requirements. needs, ”said Hilkene. The directive signed by Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, says action is needed due to the spread of the highly transmissible variant of Omicron. Read more about this story here.

The federal government risks hitting Canada’s fragile supply chains with yet another shock wave if it issues a planned vaccination mandate for truckers, say federal Conservatives and industry groups. Ottawa will begin requiring proof of vaccination for all truckers effective January 15. Some warn the mandate will sideline thousands of workers in an industry that already suffers from a shortage of drivers. “There will be serious consequences for the supply chain if this policy remains in place,” said MP Melissa Lantsman, Conservative transport critic. Those worried about the government’s plan to require vaccines for truckers say the loss of more drivers could threaten the movement of essential supplies, like food and building materials, and make it difficult for small businesses to deliver their products to customers. The Canadian Trucking Alliance, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters have all called on the federal government to eliminate or postpone the mandate. The Liberal government has not indicated whether it intends to change or delay the mandate. Read the full story here.

As the second anniversary of the destruction of Flight PS752 approaches, families of the victims say the RCMP are not sharing evidence quickly enough with Ukraine, the only country to conduct a criminal investigation into the tragedy. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps fired two surface-to-air missiles at the Ukraine International Airlines flight on January 8, 2020, shortly after takeoff in Tehran. All 176 people on board died. Most had ties to Canada. The RCMP has resisted calls to launch its own criminal investigation. Instead, the police chose to help Ukraine’s efforts. More than 120 RCMP members participated in the effort and conducted 58 interviews, the RCMP told CBC News. But Hamed Esmaeilion, spokesperson for the association representing the families of the victims in Canada, said the prosecutor’s office and the Ukrainian government told him “the cooperation has not been excellent.” Esmaeilion said Ukrainian officials told him his testimony was not shared by the RCMP. Read more here.

WATCH | The families of the victims of flight PS752 frustrated by the role of the RCMP in the Ukrainian investigation:

Families of victims of flight PS752 frustrated by RCMP role in Ukrainian investigation

Six days before Canadian military combat engineer Patrik Mathews was arrested by the FBI in January 2020, he was providing military training to members of a neo-Nazi group. On recordings made by an anti-fascist activist who infiltrated the base, Mathews can be heard discussing how he would organize a paramilitary training event in Michigan, teaching members of the organization the skills he had learned in the Canadian army. He offered to train the members in “guerrilla warfare, reconnaissance patrols and how to use the terrain so they can maximize their impact.” The man who recorded the conversation is called Tradian and is an anti-fascist activist who has infiltrated The Base since its inception in the summer of 2018. When he left in February 2020, Tradian took with him 80 gigabytes of screenshots. ‘screen, videos and audio recordings. Most of the tapes – around 100 – were of male screening sessions asking to become members of The Base. Tradian donated to CBC The fifth state and researchers have access to its material. Learn more about this story of The fifth state here.

Australian border officials have denied tennis star Novak Djokovic entry into the country after receiving a controversial medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination requirements to play in the upcoming Australian Open. Defending men’s champion Djokovic landed in Melbourne on Wednesday night after securing exemption from the Victoria state government to play in the tournament, which begins on January 17. However, the Australian Border Force issued a statement saying that Djokovic did not meet the entry requirements. Health Minister Greg Hunt said the visa cancellation followed a review of the player’s medical exemption by border officials who examined “the integrity and the evidence behind it.” Australian media reported that legal action has been taken in Federal Court against the visa cancellation. Djokovic is believed to be in a government detention hotel, pending a court ruling on his deportation on Monday. Read the full story here.

WATCH | Novak Djokovic refused entry to Australia after vaccine exemption:

Novak Djokovic refused entry to Australia after vaccine exemption

Now, some great news to start your Thursday: For many people, a polar dip in the dead of winter is enough for the year. Maybe even for a lifetime. But not for Kathryn Maguire, her sister, Susan Ingraham, and her niece, Tanya Horgan. The women of the Saint John area took their first polar dive in the freezing waters of the Bay of Fundy last January and immediately agreed two things: the experience was freezing and they couldn’t wait to do it again. Since then, the three women have kept that pact, taking road trips to southern New Brunswick and visiting a different beach in the Bay of Fundy each month. Learn more about the polar trio.

Front Burner: dozens of people die in detention after arrests while intoxicated

“Alcoholism is a disease, it is not a crime, and it certainly should not be punished with death.” This is a message from Jeannette Rogers, whose son, Corey, died in custody in Halifax in 2016.

He is one of 61 people who, according to a CBC investigation, have died after being detained for public drunkenness or a related offense since 2010.

In many cases, the investigation found that those arrested were not being properly monitored or that their deteriorating state of health was not taken into account.

Today, CBC investigative reporter Kristin Annable shares some of the stories of those who have died and explains how deaths like these could be prevented.

21:09Dozens of people die in custody after public arrests while intoxicated

Today in History: January 6

1936: Barbara Hanley becomes the first woman in Canada to be elected mayor when she wins the general election in the town of Webbwood, in northern Ontario.

1974: The Global Television Network, Canada’s third-largest English-language television network, begins programming in southern Ontario.

1978: The Sun Life Assurance Company sparked a storm of controversy in Quebec when it announced its intention to move its head office from Montreal to Toronto.

2012: Prime Minister Stephen Harper appoints seven new senators, including Betty Unger, the first woman elected to run for the upper chamber. Unger, who filled a vacant position in Alberta, was selected by more than 300,000 people for a Senate seat in a 2004 poll in that province.


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As Covid policies divide America, Ontario doubles (again)

The verdict of the health experts: Too little, too late, told you.

Public health experts across the country had warned for weeks that Omicron’s outsized transmissibility would fuel a surprising new wave of infections at a time when Covid-tired families – boosted or not – were planning to come together.

Sabina Vohra-Miller, health advocate and co-founder of the Vohra Miller Foundation, was among those who sounded the alarm and called for advice and restrictions.

“We know people are going to get together over the holidays. And it’s going to cause exponential growth. I mean, there is already exponential growth,” she told POLITICO on December 15.

“We have to be proactive, not wait for things to get out of hand. It’s so much harder to take back control when it’s already past that point.”

At the time, Ontario had registered 1,808 new cases. Two days before Christmas the number rose to 5,790. On New Year’s Eve it reached 16,790.

Hints of a January crackdown, the kind of which seemed unthinkable just a month ago, have sprung just before the holidays. Canadians have been advised not to travel abroad. The schoolchildren were ordered to bring everything home.

The Liberals and New Democrats in the House of Commons shortened their in-person seats in mid-December, adopting a hybrid configuration as they warned of a dangerous new variant spreading like wildfire. The same parties quickly banned MPs from traveling abroad during the holidays.

In a nation obsessed with hockey, players of all skill levels have become canaries in a coal mine.

The December epidemics hit most of Canada’s NHL teams, whose games have been postponed. The annual World Junior Tournament, held just after Christmas in Edmonton and Red Deer, was called off after a handful of positive tests on multiple teams. The biggest youth hockey tournament on the planet, the annual Bell Capital Cup in Ottawa, was next on the chopping block.

Duty free shops have been reduced to ghost towns. “I’ve heard in some stores that they would make one or two sales a day,” said Barbara Barrett, executive director of the Frontier Duty Free Association. She blamed federal travel advisories for reduced traffic and “dismal” morale among its members.

Meanwhile, millions of Americans – and Canadians too – tuned in to dozens of college and pro football games attended by tens of thousands of unmasked fans – none were put off by the record number of daily cases across the country. (Ontario’s shutdown includes a cap of 10 on outdoor gatherings, down 66,829 from last weekend’s Orange Bowl.)

Innovative Research Group pollster Greg Lyle found in a december poll that Canadians were losing confidence in governments’ handling of Covid. But as fears of the virus escalated, respondents were “more likely to view provincial public health restrictions as too loose (34%) than too strict (23%).”

Lyle’s conclusion: “Clearly the pressure was on governments to do something, and something would include tighter restrictions. “

In Quebec, Premier François Legault has imposed his province’s second curfew against the pandemic – a last resort attempt to slow the skyrocketing spread that has unfolded like a lead ball among civil liberties advocates.

Quebec also called on the military to help with a booming vaccination campaign. Federal Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair confirmed Monday that members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been deployed to the province.

Most provinces are facing peaks in similar cases. Many have delayed the return to in-person learning. Alberta and British Columbia have postponed the trials. Newfoundland and Labrador reduced the capacity of gymnasiums and restaurants.

Prime Minister Trudeau’s response echoes what he has told Canadians since the start of the pandemic: “We support you. “

The PM has organized dozens of appeals with premiers since March 2020. He won an election in part by offering vaccine warrants for the federal public service and travelers on planes and trains.

Top federal ministers spent time on Monday tweeting eligibility information for lockdown support programs approved by Parliament in the final hours before a six-week winter break that ends Jan.31. Canadians who cannot work due to capacity restrictions can request weekly payments of C $ 300 – a revamped and targeted version of an old benefit of C $ 2,000 per month.

Trudeau’s critics say these measures do not address capacity issues in provincial health systems. The federal government gave billions to the provinces last year in the form of an expanded Canada health transfer, but premiers complained that a one-time increase was not enough. They called for sustained increases in annual funding to the tune of C $ 35 billion.

Provinces have fought hard against testing capacity limits. Ontario distributed millions of rapid antigen tests in December through its network of government-owned liquor stores, but government-administered PCR tests are harder to find. They are now reserved for symptomatic people at high risk. Anyone else who experiences symptoms is presumed positive.

Trudeau Liberals insist they are constantly buying and delivering rapid tests across Canada – a total of 112 million of them, according to the latest data available. But the provinces are always hungry for more. Alberta recently requested 30 million over three months.

Federal-provincial disputes over how to manage a pandemic often turn into disputes over jurisdiction and who is responsible for what.

The so-called Team Canada approach, in which Premiers mainly held their tongue instead of attacking Ottawa, lasted much of the first two years of the Covid era. But this wave of high-stakes infections is a test of tenuous relationships.

The skyrocketing number of cases and limited testing capacity virtually everywhere has sparked debate over whether the number of base cases should even guide decisions about the new restrictions. Amid the early data suggesting that most Omicron infections are relatively mild, there’s an open question around dinner tables: If it’s next to impossible to avoid Omicron, is it even that bad?

A key indicator is the number of hospitalizations, but even that produces asterisks. More Covid-positive patients are popping up in hospital beds for unrelated reasons and adding to the total – a gap that official Ontario calculators will soon be able to accommodate. Hospitalizations also lag behind infections, meaning the disease is still ahead of the data.

The real mark of Omicron’s impatience will likely be found in the intensive care units. Most civil servants are cautiously optimistic, the variant is significantly smoother than Delta, although their inevitable caveat is that a prolonged spike in cases could still overwhelm most health systems.

Ontario’s new restrictions take effect Wednesday. The province’s health advisers say they believe the wave will peak later this month. “We anticipate a very short, rapid and rapid approach to this epidemic and its impact on the health system,” Chief Medical Officer of Health Kieran Moore said on Monday.

A crumbling healthcare system is the worst-case scenario for any province, and Ford’s desperate appeal could save lives. But there is another factor at play.

Ontario voters go to the polls in June. The measure that matters most to the Prime Minister that day is at the ballot box. A disastrous wave of infections that leaves a helpless province searching for a culprit could spell the end of the Ford era after just one term.

While Ford’s shutdown saves lives, it could save its own skin, too.


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YESTERDAY AND TODAY: Statenborough still stands on Peel St.

Built in the 1860s, it was once the home of millionaire William H. Wright, who died there in 1951

This ongoing series from Barrie Historical Archives Curator Deb Exel shows old photos from the collection and one from today, along with the story behind them.

Statenborough – 55 Peel Street

With its sprawling and mixed architectural style, Statenborough, located at 55 Peel Street, is another Wellington Street Ridge mansion that still stands, along with its neighbors Ardtrea and Carnoevar.

It was built in the 1860s for Henry RA Boys, who was Simcoe County Treasurer. Boys was replaced by Assistant Treasurer Sidney M. Sanford in 1884. Sanford did not remain in office very long: he died the following year. His son Sidney James Sanford bought Statenborough in 1886.

Jim Sanford enlarged the house by adding a wing to the west side of the house to host a ballroom. Jim was also responsible for the construction of Barrie’s Grand Opera in 1895. He had some trouble with funding his initiatives and moved to South America. My colleague Mary Harris details her escapades in Part 1 and Part 2 here.

Statenborough was also the home of millionaire William H. Wright.

Wright was born in 1876, in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England. At 21, he joined the British Army, surviving the Siege of Ladysmith during the Boer War from 1899 to 1902.

In 1907 he joined his sister Frances and her husband, Ed Hargreaves, in northern Ontario. Later moving to Cobalt, the two men attempted prospecting, discovering gold in 1911. The claims they staked became the heart of three large mines.

Although almost 40 years old (and wealthy), Wright enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1916 and served overseas until the end of the war, refusing several ongoing promotions. road. He later returned north and made the Wright-Hargreaves gold mine one of Canada’s first mines, operating from 1921 to 1965.

When the Hargreaves lost their home in Haileybury to a fire, Wright bought Statenborough for the two families to live there.

Shortly after purchasing Statenborough in 1922, Wright purchased the Brookdale farm from the Dyment family. A racetrack, located on 47 acres west of rue Anne between Victoria and Brock streets, was the site of the 1873 Queen’s Plate, held in Barrie that year on July 1.

Nathaniel Dyment then purchased the track for training from his Brookdale stables, until Wright took over the farm in 1925.

A fire in 1949 destroyed the stable where the five Barrie King’s Plate winners were bred. Later, in 1953, the land where the former Dyment / Wright farmhouse once stood was annexed to the Township of Vespra to become part of Barrie.

Along with his successes in mining and racing, Wright founded the Globe and Mail newspaper in 1936. He continued to support the community in which he lived through his generous donations to the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Barrie Arena.

Urban legend has it that, despite his wealth, Wright always kept a backpack and a prospecting kit handy: if he lost everything, he was ready to return to the bush.

William Wright died in 1951 in Statenborough.


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Prepare for America’s right-wing dictatorship before 2030, urges Canadian scholar

A Canadian political scientist urged his country’s government to prepare for the possibility of the United States becoming a right-wing dictatorship before 2030.

In an editorial published in The Globe and Mail Thomas Homer-Dixon, executive director of the Cascade Institute at Royal Roads University in British Columbia, on Friday warned his country had to prepare for the worst-case scenario.

“By 2025, America’s democracy could crumble, causing extreme domestic political instability, including widespread civil violence,” Homer-Dixon wrote.

“By 2030, if not sooner, the country could be ruled by a right-wing dictatorship. We should not rule out these possibilities just because they seem ridiculous or too horrible to imagine.

“In 2014, the suggestion that Donald Trump would become president would have struck almost everyone as absurd as well. But today we live in a world where the absurd regularly becomes real and the ugly banality.”

The scholar added: “The [U.S.] is becoming more and more ungovernable, and some experts believe it could escalate into civil war. “

Three retired U.S. military generals last month warned of the possibility of civil war if the 2024 presidential election results are not accepted by sections of the military.

In November, more than 150 U.S. academics wrote a public letter supporting the Freedom to Vote Act, which deals with voter registration and access, and has yet to be passed. These researchers warned that “democracy advocates in America still have a slim window of opportunity to act. But time is running out and midnight is approaching. “

In the editorial, Homer-Dixon detailed the reasons for what he called the “ongoing crisis” in the United States, writing that there had been multiple “warning signs” and the reasons for a changing political landscape.

Among them, he cited “stagnant middle-class incomes, chronic economic insecurity and growing inequality,” and a broadcaster such as the late Rush Limbaugh who he said had “hammered” the “moral authority of political institutions. American “.

He also pointed to “right-wing ideologues” stoking fears of a white “replacement”, the refusal of the rich and powerful “to pay taxes, invest in public services or create opportunities for vertical mobility” .

The editorial made reference to former President Trump, his administration and “Trumpism” 28 times.

At one point, Homer-Dixon wrote that “if Mr. Trump is re-elected, even under the most optimistic scenarios, the economic and political risks to our country will be innumerable. “

News week has contacted Trump’s rep for comment.

Discussing the “big lie” – Trump’s false claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen – Homer-Dixon said that if Trump were re-elected in 2024, the GOP leader would have “only two goals: justification and revenge “.

“A terrible storm is coming from the south and Canada is absolutely unprepared,” wrote the political scientist.

“Over the past year, we have turned our attention inward, distracted by the challenges of COVID-19, reconciliation and the accelerated effects of climate change. democracy in the United States.

“We must begin by fully recognizing the extent of the danger.”

Homer-Dixon advised the Canadian government to create a permanent, non-partisan parliamentary committee to “receive information on the state of democracy in the United States and make recommendations.”

The American flag flies in front of the dome of the United States Capitol on September 10, 2021 in Washington, DC. A Canadian political scientist has warned that his country should prepare for the possibility of an American dictatorship by 2030.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images


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Battle Creek receives approximately $ 60 million from the National Defense Act

Signing of the National Defense Act sends tens of thousands of people to Michigan.

Maintaining our armed forces is one of the most important aspects of national security. Especially since countries like China and Russia continue to try to expand their reach. This military investment does not stop with the fortification of military infrastructure, it also includes a salary increase for members of the military service and civilian employees of the Ministry of Defense.

The law also includes a 3-year pilot program that allows Beneficiaries of TRICARE receive their medications from a network retail pharmacy rather than having to obtain them from drugstores on military bases or depending on the postal service, while creating a basic needs allowance to help military families low-income to feed themselves.

Here’s where most of Michigan’s $ 144 million goes:

  • $ 28 million in improvements to Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Macomb County
  • $ 23 million to support the infrastructure of the Alpena Combat Readiness Center in Alpena County
  • $ 16 million in facility improvements at Camp Grayling Maneuver Readiness Center in Crawford County
  • $ 10 million in facility upgrades at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base in Calhoun County
  • Shadow of the camp will also receive $ 5.7 million under the Energy Conservation and Resilience Investment Program
  • The bill also provides $ 12 million to build an Army Reserve Center at Southfield
  • $ 49.09 million for a new naval operations support center at Battle stream

The annual budget, which stands at $ 768.2 billion, authorizes an additional $ 9.9 billion for defense needs outside the bill’s traditional jurisdiction, bringing the overall price to $ 777 billion.

In addition, the bill includes $ 476 million to address PFAS contamination, including environmental remediation and restoration, establishment of a PFAS task force, establishment of ” a mandatory report to be submitted to Congress describing efforts to address PFAS exposure at 50 sites across the country. A portion of these funds will be used to remedy PFAS chemicals that were found at the Battle Creek Executive Airport at Kellogg Field.

WATCH: 100 Years of American Military History

14 rock stars who served in the U.S. military

A tribute to the veterans who served their country.


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Number of NWT exhibition flights increases to 17, including Norman Wells

Ollie Williams Last modification: December 29, 2021 at 7:07 p.m.


The territorial government on Wednesday added three flights to its list of Covid-19 exposure, including two from Inuvik to Norman Wells.

The three flights added on Wednesday were operated by Canadian North. They join 14 other flights reported by the territory as possible exhibition sites since mid-December.

The latest flights affected are From Inuvik to Norman Wells on Christmas Eve, the same flight on Tuesday December 28, and Canadian North’s Edmonton-Yellowknife flight on December 28.

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For a list of affected lines and instructions, see the Exhibition notifications web page.

Meanwhile, the Territory has declared a workplace Covid-19 outbreak at the Raven Pub in Yellowknife. (After this article was first published, the owner of the Raven disputed the GNWT’s statement of such an outbreak, saying no one working at the pub had tested positive and public health had not been in contact. to notify of an outbreak.)

There were two more new exposure warnings for Yellowknife on Wednesday. Check the exhibit notifications page if you were at Anytime Fitness between 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve or at the Salvation Army Men’s Shelter between 6:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Christmas Day.

Earlier Wednesday, the government of the Northwest Territories said there were now 87 active cases of Covid-19 across the territory. Of these, 72 are in the Yellowknife area.

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Antonov introduces the first An-178-100R and the certification process begins

Today, December 28, Antonov State Enterprise, part of Ukroboronprom, presented the first An-178-100R №001 military transport aircraft designed for certification testing. Experts and senior army officers participated in the completion of construction and testing of the aircraft.

The An-178 military transport can be used for personnel transport, delivery of weapons and light military equipment by grounding and parachuting methods, as well as for the transport of goods.

“Tomorrow will be exactly a year since we gathered at this workshop to sign a historic contract with the direct support and participation of the President, launching new planes into the skies for our Army and our Armed Forces.”

“Today we are seeing the first results of this contract: the aircraft which will soon take to the skies and serve our Armies. A year ago, very few people were convinced that we were capable, that we were ready, and that we would do it. Today, we are confirming not only the capacity but also the ambitions of new contracts: military contracts for the Armies, for the Ministry of Infrastructures, the Ministry of the Interior. ”

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“So I am convinced that we have a lot of work ahead of us. And may the new year 2022 bring us a lot of new contracts, a lot more work, a lot of new planes. This year, Ukroboronprom’s production figures have increased by more than 20%, mainly due to the construction of planes. That is why I would like to sincerely thank them for their work – Glory to the Antonov State Enterprise, Glory to all employees of this legendary factory, and Glory to Ukraine! », Said Yuri Gusev, general manager of Ukroboronprom.

Foreign suppliers from Europe, America and Canada are also involved in the equipment of the aircraft. Much work has been done during the implementation of the An-178 program to ensure a new qualitative level of all aircraft systems, including hydraulic system, aircraft control systems, power supply electric, air conditioning, etc.

“It’s a very emotional moment. Many of us dreamed of being pilots when we were kids. But the most difficult task is to build an aircraft, which will then be used by the pilots. In my opinion, it is symbolic and significant that Ukraine demonstrates its defense capabilities through synergy and joint efforts. Today the ceremony takes place in the presence of representatives of the relevant parliamentary committee, which is fully supported by the armed forces, representatives of the Ukrainian armed forces, the air force command, the leadership of Ukrobornprom and factory, Ministry of Strategy and Ministry of Defense. I am sure that this synergy is the key to our success. And there will not only be three of these planes, but there will also be more. We have proven that we know how to build, fly and defend ourselves. Thank you very much for that, ”Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said.

“I sincerely thank the Antonov employees for showing, demonstrating on metal that we are a team doing everything possible to improve our armed forces. Believe in the Armed Forces, believe in Ukraine! Said Oleksandr Zavitnevych, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada committee on national security, defense and intelligence.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Yevhen Moisyuk stressed: “The Ukrainian Armed Forces need modern military equipment that will increase our capabilities and strengthen national stability. I am sure that this aircraft, the AN-178, in the skillful hands of our pilots will bring victory to Ukraine. “

Mykola Oleshchuk, Air Force Commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said: “The Air Force has been waiting on board the Ukrainian Army for thirty years. And it is good that it is a Ukrainian-made aircraft – An-178!

“We still have to go through a difficult path: preparing the flight personnel, specialists in the aeronautical engineering service, so that we can control this aircraft, repair it and carry out combat missions with quality.”

In his speech, the Ukrainian First Deputy Minister of Strategic Industries, Denis Sharapov, underlined that with the creation of the Ministry of Strategic Industries, the state has focused much more on aircraft construction.

As a result, the official said that the ministry, together with stakeholders, has drawn up a state scientific and technical program for the development of the aviation industry for 2021-2030, which has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. from Ukraine last fall.

“The implementation of the program both to promote and create new aeronautical technologies and materials, new jobs in Ukraine. Aircraft manufacturing should become a locomotive for many sectors of our economy, ”said Denis Sharapov.

Changes were made to the design of the aircraft to ensure the functionality of landing passengers and cargo, as well as to perform other tasks of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

The state order for the construction of three planes was received at the end of December 2020 with the support of Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine.

Construction of aircraft to meet the needs of the armed forces is carried out according to plans. Construction of the glider for the first of the three aircraft ordered has been completed. The fuselage, wing and tail of the second An-178-100R were assembled ahead of schedule, and fuselage assembly for this aircraft has begun.

Today’s event was made possible by the coordinated work of the Antonov team. It is certain that this work was dedicated because it did not stop even during the growing pandemic. Our sincere thanks to all the employees of the company and to our partners! There is a lot of work ahead of us, but I am sure that together we will accomplish all the tasks aimed at equipping the Armed Forces of Ukraine with new transport planes! », Said Serhiy Bychkov, general manager of Antonov.


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BTS Fans Celebrate V’s Birthday By Donating To Charities, Adopting

The end of December doesn’t just bring the holidays, it also brings V‘the birthday of!

December 30, BTS member — whose real name is Kim taehyung– turns 26e birthday and ARMY all over the world celebrate alongside him. From adopting tigers to building elementary schools, BTS fans are going out of their way to ‘Snow Flower’ the big day of the act.

Check out how ARMY is celebrating V’s birthday below.


Ahead of V’s birthday, the Malaysian military adopted a white tiger from Ampang Zoo Negara to celebrate the singer. They also collect donations to take care of the tiger, which they named “Kim Taehyung”. This is one of the many anniversary projects that fanclub Taehyung Malaysia has organized this year.

Billboards are a must for any K-pop birthday party, and ARMY certainly didn’t disappoint for V.’s birthday. From a special doll exhibit called TaeTae Land in Seoul to the large murals in Uruguay to city ​​bus, fans spread birthday joy everywhere!

In line with BTS vision to empower young people, Chinese BTS fans, in partnership with Chinese Foundation for Youth Development, organized fundraisers to build the Taehyung Hope Primary School to provide education to young children in rural China.

The project started in July 2020 for the singer’s 25th birthdaye birthday. Following the success of the project, the Chinese fanclub Baidu V bar are about to build another school in the name of V.

What is a birthday without gifts? But, instead of gifts to V himself, ARMY gives gifts to those in need.

From helping underprivileged and homeless children and supporting people with disabilities, to raising funds for animal shelters, fans have organized a series of charity projects to celebrate the BTS member.

The Canadian ARMY has a project up to ‘Winter bear’ alley of the act. Title The Taehyung Grove, this fan project raises funds to plant trees in northern British Columbia to help provide shelter for animals.


BTS are currently on “official extended rest period” following the success of their sold-out sale Permission to dance on stage in LA concerts earlier this month.

Check out V’s latest track “Christmas Tree” here:




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Save the Children workers go missing after the massacre of 30 villagers by Burmese troops | Burma

Two members of the international humanitarian group Save the Children are missing after Burmese government troops round up villagers, some believed to be women and children, shot dead more than 30 and burned bodies, witness and others say reports.

Alleged photos of the aftermath of the Christmas Eve massacre in Moso, a village in the east of the country, just outside of Hpruso township in Kayah state where refugees were sheltering from an offensive by the army, spread on the country’s social networks, fueling outrage against the army which seized power in February.

The accounts could not be independently verified. The photos showed the charred bodies of more than 30 people in three burned-out vehicles.

A villager who said he visited the scene told The Associated Press that the victims fled fighting between armed resistance groups and the Burmese army near the village of Koi Ngan, which is just outside Moso, Friday. He said they were killed after being stopped by soldiers on their way to refugee camps in the western part of the commune.

Save the Children said two of its employees who were returning home for the holidays after carrying out humanitarian response work in a nearby community were “overtaken by the incident and are still missing”.

“We have confirmation that their private vehicle was attacked and set on fire,” the group added in a statement. “The army reportedly forced people out of their cars, arrested some, killed others and burned their bodies. “

The government has not commented on the allegations, but an article in the state daily Myanma Alinn on Saturday said fighting near Moso erupted on Friday when members of the ethnic guerrilla forces, known as the National Party. progressive Karenni, and those opposed to the military drove “suspicious” vehicles and attacked the security forces after refusing to stop.

The newspaper said the seven vehicles they were traveling in were destroyed in a fire. He gave no further details about the murders.

The witness who spoke to the PA said the remains were burnt to the point of being unrecognizable and children’s and women’s clothing was found along with medical supplies and food.

“The bodies were tied with ropes before being set on fire,” said the witness, who requested anonymity because he feared for his safety.

He did not see the moment they were killed, but said he believed some of them were Moso villagers who were allegedly arrested by troops on Friday. He denied that those captured were members of locally organized militias.

Myanmar’s independent media reported on Friday that 10 Moso villagers, including children, were arrested by the military. Four members of a local paramilitary group who went to negotiate their release were reportedly tied up and shot in the head by the military.

The witness said villagers and anti-government militia groups left as military troops arrived near Moso as bodies were being prepared for cremation. The fighting was still intense near the village.

“This is a heinous crime and the worst incident of Christmas. We strongly condemn this massacre as a crime against humanity, ”said Banyar Khun Aung, director of the Karen Human Rights Group.

Earlier this month, government troops were also accused of rounding up villagers, some believed to be children, of tying them up and slaughtering them. Opposition leader Dr Sasa, who uses only one name, said civilians were burned to death.

Video of the aftermath of the December 7 assault – apparently in retaliation for an attack on a military convoy – showed the charred bodies of 11 people lying in a circle in the middle of what appeared to be the remains of a hut.

Fighting resumed on Saturday in a neighboring state bordering Thailand, where thousands of people have fled to seek refuge. Local officials said the Burmese military had launched airstrikes and heavy artillery on Lay Kay Kaw, a small town controlled by ethnic Karen guerrillas, since Friday.

The military’s action prompted several Western governments, including the United States Embassy, ​​to issue a joint statement condemning “the serious human rights violations committed by the military regime across the country.”

“We call on the regime to immediately cease indiscriminate attacks in Karen State and throughout the country, and to ensure the safety of all civilians in accordance with international law,” the joint statement said.


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Unfazed by pandemic and supply chain issues, Santa prepares for his annual flight

DENVER, Dec.24 (Reuters) – Undeterred by pandemics, supply chain problems and labor shortages plaguing overland commerce, Santa Claus was due to launch his reindeer sleigh on Friday for giving Christmas gifts to good girls and boys around the world, according to military officials who track his flights.

“Santa has been doing this for centuries, he’s a professional,” said Canadian Army Captain Alexandra Hejduk, spokesperson for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

NORAD, a joint US-Canadian military command based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is responsible for monitoring air defenses and issuing aerospace and maritime warnings across North America.

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NORAD’s Santa Claus tracking practice originated in 1955, when a Colorado Springs newspaper misprinted the phone number of a local department store so young people could call and talk to Santa, mistakenly listing the number of what was then called the Continental Air Defense Command. A duty officer took the calls and assured the children that Santa Claus, also known as Kris Kringle or Saint Nicholas, was aware of their wish lists and was on his way.

The annual tradition has continued for 66 years and is now part of NORAD’s mission.

Followers of the Merry Old Elf can get real-time updates on his whereabouts by logging into noradsanta.org or through various social media platforms, or they can call a NORAD-sponsored Santa Hotline to talk with a live operator.

Other US government agencies were also preparing for Santa’s visit.

The US secret service, which is responsible for protecting the president, also ensures the safety of Santa Claus, the agency said in a statement posted on Twitter, accompanied by a video showing its agents preparing for the duties of protecting Santa Claus. .

“The Big Red Protective Detail is selected, assembled and ready to fulfill its seasonal mission,” the statement said. “The American public can be assured that MS Claus here from the North Pole will travel safely throughout his tour of the United States.”

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Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver; Editing by Steve Gorman and Leslie Adler

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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