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Biden closes in on Oval Office and a rare case swine flu: In The News for Nov. 5

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what’s on the radar of our editors for the morning of Nov. 5 …

What we are watching …

With his room to manoeuvre rapidly dwindling, U.S. President Donald Trump is lashing out with threats of legal action as Joe Biden closes in on the Oval Office.

The Trump campaign is mobilizing supporters and lawyers alike in battleground states where the process of counting votes plodded late into the night Wednesday.

After claiming the 26 electoral votes in Wisconsin and Michigan, Biden was well within striking distance of the 270 electors needed to claim the presidency.

That prompted a flurry of Republican lawsuits in those two states as well as all-important Pennsylvania, where Trump supporters were expected to stage protests today.

Tense protests erupted at various locations where election officials were counting votes Wednesday, including Detroit and Philadelphia.

Media reports suggest the Trump team is also considering legal action in Nevada and Arizona, two other critical pieces of the electoral puzzle.

Also this …

Experts say it is essential for the Trudeau government remain silent in the face of Donald Trump’s bombastic declarations of victory in the U-S presidential election and his threat to take his re-election fight to the Supreme Court.

Trump followed through Wednesday on his plan to declare victory even though mail-in votes were still being legally counted, a process that could take days.

Michael Bociurkiw, a Canadian who worked for the Organization for Security Co-operation in Ukraine for two years following Russia’s invasion of its Crimea region in 2014, says Trump’s declarations sound more like something that would have come from Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

But he is recommending silence from Canada and its allies for now because dictators and democrats alike are watching the aftermath of the U.S. voting.

Stephen Pomper, senior director of policy for the Washington-based International Crisis Group, says foreign leaders should express their support for the democratic process and hold back on any congratulations until the election is decided.

What else are we watching in Canada:

Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government is set to unveil its first pandemic-era budget today.

The province has said the budget will lay out the details of the next stage of its COVID-19 response.

That includes the new standard for long-term care announced earlier this week, which would see nursing home residents receive an average of four hours of direct care every day.

The Tories put off delivering a full fiscal plan earlier this year, citing the economic uncertainty caused by the global health crisis.

The fiscal update it gave in March instead initially included $17 billion in COVID-19 relief, though that projection was updated to $30 billion by the end of 2020-21.

The province also originally predicted a deficit of $20.5 billion, which was later raised to $38.5 billion because of the added spending.

On this day in 2002 …

Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s control over his government suffered a body blow when 56 Liberal MP’s, including former finance minister Paul Martin, defied him to support a controversial opposition motion to elect Commons committee chairs by secret ballot, giving the Canadian Alliance a 174-87 victory in the House.

ICYMI …

Canada’s first case of a rare swine flu variant has been found in a patient from central Alberta, but the province’s chief medical officer of health says it seems to be isolated.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw says the Influenza A H1N2v case was detected in mid-October after the patient showed up at an emergency department for medical care.

“This currently appears to be one isolated case,” Hinshaw says. “It is also the only case of influenza that has been reported so far this flu season.

“Influenza viruses that normally circulate in pigs, including H1N2, can infect people — although this is not common.”

When cases appear in humans, they are called ‘variant’ viruses and a ‘v’ is added to the end of the name.

Hinshaw says it’s the first reported case of H1N2v in Canada since 2005 when reporting became mandatory. There have been only 27 cases reported globally, she said.

“All have been linked to direct or indirect contact with swine and none of the previously reported cases have caused sustained human-to-human transmission.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 5, 2020

The Canadian Press

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