La Palma volcano eruption shows no sign of slowing down 4 weeks in, officials say

WATCH: La Palma volcano: Lava engulfs cement factory forcing new lockdowns

There is no sign that a volcanic eruption on the Spanish island of La Palma is coming to an end, four weeks after it began, officials said Sunday.

The volcano on one of the Canary Islands off northwest Africa has so far destroyed more than 1,800 buildings, mostly homes, though prompt evacuations have helped avoid casualties on the island of some 85,000 people.

Canary Islands President Angel Victor Torres said scientists monitoring the eruption that began Sept. 19 have seen no indications that the eruption is abating, as rivers of lava continue flowing slowly toward the sea.

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“We are at the mercy of the volcano,” Torres told reporters. “It’s the only one who can decide when this ends.”

Some 7,000 people have had to leave their homes.

The volcano has produced a constant rumble and roar, with dozens of minor earthquakes most days, and has covered a wide area with volcanic ash. The ash plume is several kilometres high.

Airlines have sporadically canceled flights to the islands, including 56 flights over Saturday and Sunday, due to the ash.

The latest satellite imagery showed the molten rock has covered 754 hectares, most of it countryside and farm land.

Almost 60 kilometres of roads have also been ruined.

The island lives mainly from tourism and banana plantations. The government has pledged millions of euros (dollars) to help rebuild damaged infrastructure.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

At least 18 dead in south India as heavy rains trigger landslides, flood villages

WATCH: Cyclone Tauktae: At least 16 dead as India’s west coast hit with torrential rain, wind blasts

At least 18 people have died a day after torrential rains swept through villages and flooded roads in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

Officials said rescuers recovered the bodies in two of the worst-hit districts, Kottayam and Idukki, where the heavy downpours triggered massive landslides, according to the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency.

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The National Disaster Response Force and the Indian Army deployed teams to help with rescue efforts as several are still feared to be missing.

On Saturday, when the heavy rains began, television reports showed people wading through chest-deep waters to rescue passengers from a bus that was nearly submerged by the torrents flooding the roads.

The state chief minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, urged residents on Sunday to exercise extreme caution even though the intense rainfall has since subsided. Over a 100 relief camps have been set up, he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he spoke to the chief minister and added that authorities were working to rescue those affected. “I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being,” he said in a tweet.

In 2018, Kerala suffered catastrophic floods when heavy downpours amid the monsoon season killed 223 people and drove hundreds of thousands from their homes.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Ontario reports under 500 new COVID-19 cases for 7th straight day

As the province rolls out its new COVID-19 proof-of-vaccination QR code, some businesses are citing concerns over how they will police the measures and say there hasn't been enough support from the government. Brittany Rosen has more.

Ontario reported 443 COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 594,862.

It also marks a full week where cases were below 500.

Of the 443 new cases recorded, the data showed 231 were unvaccinated people, 20 were partially vaccinated people, 155 were fully vaccinated people and for 37 people the vaccination status was unknown.

According to Sunday’s report, 58 cases were recorded in Toronto, 80 in Peel Region, 32 in York Region, and 31 in Ottawa.

All other local public health units reported fewer than 30 new cases in the provincial report.

The death toll in the province has declined to 9,813 as a death was removed from the total number recorded.

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As of 8 p.m. on Saturday, 23,011 vaccines (7,712 for a first shot and 15,299 for a second shot) were administered in the last day.

There are more than 10.7 million people fully immunized with two doses, which is 83 per cent of the eligible (12 and older) population. First dose coverage stands at 87.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, 581,151 Ontario residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19.

Active cases in Ontario now stand at 3,898.

The government said 27,395 tests were processed in the previous 24 hours. There are 9,440 tests currently under investigation.

Test positivity hit 1.4 per cent on Sunday.

Ontario reported 155 people in general hospital wards with COVID-19 (down by 87 from the previous day) with 164 patients in intensive care units (unchanged) and 93 patients in intensive care units on a ventilator (down by 10.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Malboeuf stops 27 shots, Hamilton Bulldogs earn another 4-0 win over Niagara Ice Dogs

Different goaltender, same result for the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Tristan Malboeuf stopped 27 shots in his Ontario Hockey League debut Saturday night, leading Hamilton to a 4-0 victory over the Niagara Ice Dogs.

The previous night, Marco Costantini made 36 saves as the Bulldogs got past Niagara by an identical 4-0 score.

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Elsewhere, it was: London Knights 5, Sarnia Sting 4 (OT); Owen Sound Attack 5, Soo Greyhounds 3; Kingston Frontenacs 3, Peterborough Petes 1; Barrie Colts 2, Mississauga Steelheads 0; and Erie Otters 4, Saginaw Spirit 2.

George Diaco led the way offensively for Hamilton (4-0) with two goals. Ryan Humphrey had a goal and two assists while Logan Morrison added a goal and an assist.

Tucker Tynan stopped 20 shots for Niagara (2-2).

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Forge FC down Atlético Ottawa 2-0

Forge FC swept their season series against Atlético Ottawa with a 2-0 win Saturday afternoon at Tim Horton’s Field.

The Hamilton-based side got second half goals from Omar Browne and Elimane Cisse to seal the victory.

Forge’s 13th win of 2021 puts them second overall in the Canadian Premier League, tied with Calgary’s Calvary FC.

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Forge are just two points behind Pacific FC for top spot.

Ottawa’s latest loss eliminates the club from playoff contention. Ottawa have won just five games and lost 14 in 2021.

Forge will now take on Costa Rica side Santos de Guápiles F.C. on Wednesday in the first leg of the quarterfinals in CONCACAF League play.

 

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Indigenous knife found on Parliament Hill set to be returned to Algonquin nations

WATCH: Outrage after Indigenous art in Calgary covered up with brick wall

An ancient Indigenous knife unearthed during the renovation of Centre Block will be the first artifact found on Parliament Hill to be returned to the stewardship of the Algonquin people who live in the Ottawa region.

Archeologists say the return of the stone knife, which is estimated to be 4,000 years old, is a historic move that officially recognizes Indigenous Peoples inhabited the land – considered unceded territory – that is now the site of Parliament Hill.

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The Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, an Algonquin First Nation based about 130 kilometres north of Gatineau, Que., and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, about 150 kilometres west of Ottawa, are to share ownership of the artifact.

It will be displayed on Parliament Hill when the refurbishment of Centre Block finishes and the building reopens, which is not expected to happen until at least 2030.

Until then, it will be shown in Indigenous communities, including schools, according to Doug Odjick, a member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg council.

The knife, shaped from Onondaga chert quarried in Ontario or New York state thousands of years ago, is not the first Indigenous artifact found in the parliamentary precinct. Shards of pottery and a shell bead were found on Parliament Hill in the 1990s.

However, Ian Badgley, manager of the archeology program at the National Capital Commission, said the knife’s discovery had prompted a new approach by the federal government to returning First Nations artifacts.

“It’s the first time that the government of Canada has accepted a pre-contact artifact as indicating use of Parliament Hill by the Indigenous population,” said Badgley, who is also archeological consultant to the two First Nations who will take stewardship of the knife.

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“It’s one artifact, but it is really remarkable how it has spawned an interest in the Canadian government in working with the Anishinaabe Algonquins.”

Jeremy Link, a spokesman at Public Services and Procurement Canada, said: “Discussions are ongoing on how to transfer joint ownership of this artifact to the communities.”

The knife’s discovery, by archeologists working on the revamp of Centre Block, coincided with the capital’s first archeological field school, aimed at training First Nations archeologists. The field school, which this year excavated the site of an Algonquin camp in Ottawa, will now be an annual event near the capital.

There are plans to establish field schools across Canada to train First Nations archeologists and give Indigenous Peoples greater control over their own excavations.

For many thousands of years, the Ottawa Valley was a trading hub for First Nations from across North America, because of its location at the confluence of rivers, which made travel by canoe easier. This has made the capital region a rich seam for archeologists.

They have dug up pre-contact artifacts originating from across North America, including shell beads and alligator teeth, and knives and other tools made from stone found far from Ottawa. These were likely passed on as trade goods by different Indigenous communities over many seasons.

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“The things that have been found in and around Ottawa have come from places as far as New York, to Hudson’s Bay to the West Coast as far as California,” said Odjick, who is responsible for the education, culture and language portfolio on the band council.

“The knife that was found on Parliament Hill still has a point. It’s about two-and-a-half inches long and it kind of looks like a spearhead. It definitely had a handle. It was from the early Woodland to late Archaic period, 2,500 to 4,000 years old.”

The two First Nations who will share the knife are in talks with the federal government about “showing it off,” said Odjick. “We would like it to be at the main entrance of Parliament.”

The refurbished Centre Block is to have more Indigenous elements, including carvings by Indigenous people who are being recruited to work there, according to Public Services and Procurement Canada which is in charge of the renewal project.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Most past vaccine reactions don't warrant exemptions to COVID-19 shots: experts

WATCH: Doctor facing investigation over medical exemptions

Dr. Mariam Hanna noticed an uptick in requests for allergy assessments in her Burlington, Ont., clinic after the province began implementing COVID-19 vaccine certificates last month.

Whether people have held off on getting vaccinated because of a past reaction, or are seeking an exemption to inoculation mandates, Hanna said a previous allergic response doesn’t mean you can’t get your shots.

Allergists across the country have safely inoculated most patients who come into their clinics, regardless of allergy history, she said.

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“Be it as an excuse or a misunderstanding or some miscommunication there, we are certainly getting a lot of referrals because of (vaccine rules),” said Hanna, an assistant clinical professor at McMaster University.

“Most of the time, it isn’t reason for exemption.”

Hanna said many of the patients she assesses are concerned about previous reactions to non-COVID-19 vaccines. But because the mRNA jabs from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are different from typical inoculations, those past reactions usually don’t come up again.

Other patients are concerned about receiving a second mRNA dose if they had an adverse reaction to the first. But she said many patients mistake common non-life threatening reactions — including rash or swelling at the injection site — for an allergy.

“It’s only the very, very few patients that have had a systemic reaction, typically within 15 to 20 minutes of receiving the first dose, that we want to be careful about,” Hanna said. “Most of the side effects that we expect with a vaccine, those are not contraindications for exemption.

“And sometimes you need an allergist to help clarify it.”

Allergists assess patients in their specialized clinics, taking a full history to determine the severity of the previous allergy experience — and whether it was an allergic reaction at all.

The assessment can sometime include skin tests, where an ingredient of the vaccine is smeared on a small patch of skin, but Hanna said every patient’s appointment will be different.

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Dr. Samira Jeimy, a clinical immunology and allergy expert with Western University, said even those who experienced what they perceived to be strong allergic reactions could be mistaken.

Some non-allergic reactions can include anxiety-related events that mimic allergic responses, she said, including hyperventilation, fainting and even symptoms that look and feel like anaphylaxis — a severe, potentially life-threatening reaction where blood pressure drops and airways narrow making it hard to breathe.

“Things that mimic anaphylaxis are far more common than actual anaphylaxis,” Jeimy said. “One example is vocal cord dysfunction, where somebody could actually have their vocal cords slammed shut (when) nervous.”

The Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology says the risk of systemic allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, is extremely rare. Studies suggest the estimated annual rate of anaphylaxis in Canada is approximately 0.4 to 1.8 cases per one million doses of vaccines administered.

According to Health Canada’s review on adverse vaccine reactions, 307 cases of anaphylaxis have been reported in the country — out of more than 56 million COVID-19 doses administered.

Jeimy said her London, Ont., clinic has been able to vaccinate “about 99 per cent” of people coming in with allergy concerns. That includes those who have had real, severe reactions to a first COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Allergists work around this by giving someone with a confirmed allergy small amounts of the dose, separated by 15- to 30-minute observation periods, until dosing is done.

Jeimy said it can take hours to complete a graded administration for extreme cases.

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“If I think the patient is at a moderate risk of reaction, I’ll divide the vaccine up into three or four doses,” she said. “If the patient is at a higher risk, I’ll make the dosing even longer.”

Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization says COVID-19 vaccines shouldn’t be offered “routinely” to those who had severe allergic reaction following the first dose. If a risk assessment deems the benefit of vaccination outweighs allergy risks, NACI says a different vaccine than the one that caused the initial reaction — either AstraZeneca’s viral vector jab or the mRNA products — may be used to complete the two-dose series.

Jeimy said that her clinic carries doses of AstraZeneca for emergency situations but she hasn’t had to use them. Instead, most people can safely complete a two-dose mRNA series.

Jeimy said allergists aren’t certain which component of the mRNA vaccines cause severe allergic reactions in a small number of people. But PEG, or polyethylene glycol, is “currently thought to be the culprit.” She added PEG allergies on skin tests don’t necessarily “correlate to vaccine tolerance,” however.

PEG is a common ingredient in cosmetics, skin-care products and some medications, including Tylenol and cough syrup, Jeimy said. So people with PEG allergies likely know they have it long before getting an mRNA vaccine.

NACI says a COVID-19 vaccine “should not be routinely offered to individuals who are allergic to any component” of the jab.

Jeimy urges people to ask a doctor for clarification before swearing off COVID-19 shots.

“I don’t think it’s helpful to preemptively avoid things because of a fear of a reaction,” she said. “You have a far greater risk of COVID-19 infection.”

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Woman pulled from Mississauga house fire dies in hospital: police

A woman in her 70s who was pulled from a house fire in Mississauga has died of her injuries, Peel police say.

Emergency crews were called to a home in the Credit Woodlands and Flanagan Crescent area just after 4:30 p.m. for reports of a fire.

Police said an elderly woman was pulled from the home and rushed to hospital in life-threatening condition. In an update Saturday evening, police said she died of her injuries.

Fire services said five others were in the home at the time but were able to get out.

An investigation is underway as to the cause of the fire.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Father of suspect in British MP's slaying 'traumatized' as police continue questioning

WATCH: Terrorism being linked to British lawmaker's fatal stabbing

The father of a man held for the fatal stabbing of a British lawmaker during a meeting with local voters has told British media that he was shocked and “traumatized” by his son’s arrest, as police continued questioning the suspect under terrorism laws.

Harbi Ali Kullane, a former adviser to Somalia’s prime minister, said counter-terrorism police had visited him, according to the Sunday Times.

Read more:
U.K. politicians pay tribute at church where MP David Amess was killed

“I’m feeling very traumatized. It’s not something that I expected or even dreamed of,” he was quoted as saying.

British authorities have not released the name of the suspect in the killing of 69-year-old Conservative lawmaker David Amess Friday, but British media reported the suspect was Ali Harbi Ali, 25, believed to be a British citizen with Somali heritage.

Amess, a long-serving lawmaker, was stabbed multiple times during a regular meeting with his constituents at a church in Leigh-on-Sea, a town about 40 miles (62 kilometers) east of London.

The Metropolitan Police has described the attack as terrorism and said early investigations suggested “a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism,” without giving details.

It is unclear what, if any, the suspect’s connection to Amess was.

Police have been granted extra time to question the suspect, who was arrested on suspicion of murder but has not yet been charged. The BBC and others reported that the suspect was referred to a government program aimed at preventing people from supporting extremism some years ago, but said he was not a formal subject of interest for security services.

Many in the seaside town of Leigh-on-Sea have laid flowers in tribute to Amess, a father of five who has served in parliament since 1983 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2015. A church service in the town is planned for later Sunday. In north London, police investigating the killing continued to search an apartment and another address, as officers stood guard outside.

Friday’s killing renewed concern about the risks politicians run as they go about their work. The attack came five years after Labour lawmaker Jo Cox was killed by a far-right extremist in her constituency in West Yorkshire.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said Sunday that officials are reviewing security arrangements for lawmakers, and the measures being considered include police protection during regular meetings, known as “surgeries,” between lawmakers and their constituents.

But Patel added that she did not believe that the killing of Amess should change the relationship between lawmakers and their voters.

Read more:
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“This should never, ever break that link between an elected representative and their democratic role, responsibility and duty to the people who elected them,” she told Sky News on Sunday.

Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, said he was working closely with the Home Office and the police to identify ways to improve lawmakers’ safety. But, like Patel, he said “we should not hide away.”

“The very essence of being an MP (Member of Parliament) is to help and be seen by our constituents. They are the people who elected us to represent them, so surely making ourselves available to them is the cornerstone of our democracy?” Hoyle wrote in The Observer and Mail on Sunday newspapers.

The Council of Somali Organizations, which works with Somali communities across the U.K., condemned the killing, saying it was an “affront to all of our values and our democratic society itself.”

© 2021 The Canadian Press

17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti, religious group says

WATCH: Homeland Security secretary says U.S. has determined Haiti is able to receive expelled migrants

A group of 17 U.S. missionaries including children was kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, according to a voice message sent to various religious missions by an organization with direct knowledge of the incident.

The missionaries were on their way home from building an orphanage, according to a message from Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries.

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“This is a special prayer alert,” the one-minute message said. “Pray that the gang members would come to repentance.”

The message says the mission’s field director is working with the U.S. Embassy, and that the field director’s family and one other unidentified man stayed at the ministry’s base while everyone else visited the orphanage.

No other details were immediately available.

A U.S. government spokesperson said they were aware of the reports on the kidnapping.

“The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State,” the spokesperson said, declining further comment.

Haiti is once again struggling with a spike in gang-related kidnappings that had diminished after President Jovenel Moise was fatally shot at his private residence on July 7, and following a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck southwest Haiti in August and killed more than 2,200 people.

Gangs have demanded ransoms ranging from a couple hundred dollars to more than $1 million, according to authorities.

Last month, a deacon was killed in front of a church in the capital of Port-au-Prince and his wife kidnapped, one of dozens of people who have been abducted in recent months.

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At least 328 kidnapping victims were reported to Haiti’s National Police in the first eight months of 2021, compared with a total of 234 for all of 2020, according to a report issued last month by the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti known as BINUH.

Gangs have been accused of kidnapping schoolchildren, doctors, police officers, busloads of passengers and others as they grow more powerful. In April, one gang kidnapped five priests and two nuns, a move that prompted a protest similar to the one organized for this Monday to decry the lack of security in the impoverished country.

“Political turmoil, the surge in gang violence, deteriorating socioeconomic conditions – including food insecurity and malnutrition – all contribute to the worsening of the humanitarian situation,” BINUH said in its report. “An overstretched and under-resourced police force alone cannot address the security ills of Haiti.”

On Friday, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to extend the U.N. political mission in Haiti.

The kidnapping of the missionaries comes just days after high-level U.S. officials visited Haiti and promised more resources for Haiti’s National Police, including another $15 million to help reduce gang violence, which this year has displaced thousands of Haitians who now live in temporary shelters in increasingly unhygienic conditions.

Among those who met with Haiti’s police chief was Uzra Zeya, U.S. under secretary of state for civilian security, democracy, and human rights.

“Dismantling violent gangs is vital to Haitian stability and citizen security,” she recently tweeted.

AP reporter Evens Sanon in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, contributed to this report.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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