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Election vote count enters Day 3 and a star of the lockdown: In The News for Nov. 6

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 Friday, Nov. 6:

What we are watching …

PHILADELPHIA — His back against the wall, a frustrated Donald Trump is lashing out, spinning an elaborate conspiracy theory as he tries to maintain his grasp on the presidency.

Convinced that Democrats and so-called deep-state forces are conspiring against him, the American president is vowing to take his fight against “illegal votes” all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

He claims, contrary to the facts, that he won the election on Tuesday and that the ongoing efforts to count mail-in ballots are little more than a bid to steal his victory. 

Those ballots, which thanks to the pandemic have slowed the 2020 election to a crawl, were slowly eating away at the president’s re-election hopes. 

In Philadelphia, Trump supporters were kept apart from a raucous, celebratory crowd of Joe Biden fans outside the convention centre where votes were being counted. 

Pennsylvania is worth 20 electoral college votes — must-haves for Trump, who is lagging Biden in the race to the 270 needed to claim the presidency. Biden, who is within easy striking distance of the magic number, has many other pathways to victory. 

Also this …

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada will say this morning how the country’s job market fared in October, with experts expecting the pace of gains to slow from September.

Job growth in Canada accelerated rather than slowed down in September, as the economy added 378,000 jobs coming out of the summer.

That brought overall employment to within 720,000 of pre-pandemic levels, or about three-quarters of the three million jobs lost at the outset of the pandemic in Canada.

The gains also dropped the unemployment rate to nine per cent.

The country is expected to get a little closer to recouping the losses with the figures for October.

Financial data firm Refinitiv says the average economist estimate is for a gain of 100,000 jobs in October and an unemployment rate of 8.8 per cent. 

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

BERLIN — German police have raided the homes and businesses of four men linked to the Islamic State sympathizer who carried out a deadly attack in Vienna this week. 

Federal police said Friday that officers, including members of the anti-terrorism unit GSG9, searched premises in Osnabrueck, Kassel and Pinneberg county.  

Police said that while the men aren’t currently suspected of involvement in Monday’s shooting, there is evidence that they had links to the attacker.  

Four people and the gunman were killed in the attack, and 20 people including a police officer were wounded.  

German federal prosecutors said that two of the men are believed to have met the attacker in Vienna this summer. 

A third man had contact to him online, while the fourth had no direct contact to the attacker but was in touch with people who knew him.

On this day in 1861 …

The inventor of basketball, Dr. James Naismith, was born in Almonte, Ont.

In entertainment …

Calgary pop singer Tate McRae is finding global success by thinking outside the box, even if COVID-19 has forced her to live in one.

While she’s hardly left the bubble of her family’s home in Western Canada over the past several months, the 17-year-old performer has become a bona fide star of the lockdown, propelled by her moody single “You Broke Me First.”

The song rose to No. 3 on the United Kingdom’s official Top 40 chart last month, fuelled by a music video she filmed in the early days of the pandemic by strapping her iPhone to her mom’s car and recording herself singing underneath the Calgary Tower. 

Her clip inspired thousands of TikTok users to vamp their own interpretations of the song and helped McRae rise onto Spotify’s Top 100 most-streamed artists worldwide, currently ranking at No. 97.

The reality hasn’t quite set in yet for the singer, because she’s living her new-found celebrity mostly through a webcam and occasionally performing inside cavernous studio spaces.

When she sings at the virtual edition of MTV’s European music awards, which air Sunday on MTV in Canada, she won’t be in the company of fellow artists Sam Smith, Doja Cat and Alicia Keys. McRae shot her part in Toronto under COVID-19 precautions.

ICYMI …

EDMONTON — An infectious disease expert at the University of Alberta says it’s shocking to hear about Canada’s first human case of a rare swine flu variant, but she expects it’s likely a one-off.

Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an associate professor in the department of medicine, wrote on Twitter “what fresh hell is this” when she first heard about the case in central Alberta.

She added, however, that it’s not likely to be a major issue.

“Most of the avian and swine influenza strains aren’t all that good at spreading between people,” Saxinger explained Thursday in an interview with The Canadian Press. 

“It’s usually a one-off situation where a person has gotten it from a bird or a pig source and that’s usually the end of it. But everyone is always worried about it because occasionally those strains can turn out to spread from person to person, so there’s always a cautious approach when such a thing happens.”

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said Wednesday that the variant Influenza A H1N2 case was detected in mid-October after a patient showed up with mild flu-like symptoms in an emergency department.

Hinshaw said it appears to be an isolated case and the only one of influenza so far this flu season. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 6, 2020

The Canadian Press

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