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Bracing for hospital protests and last week of campaigning: In The News for Sept. 13

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 Sept. 13 ... What we are watching in Canada ...

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 Sept. 13 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

Some high-ranking Ontario politicians and prominent health-care organizations are issuing warnings ahead of a number of protests expected to take place at hospitals across Canada today. 

An organization calling itself Canadian Frontline Nurses posted notices of "silent vigils" expected to take place in all 10 provinces, saying they're meant to critique public health measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Prospective locations include the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre, Toronto General Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. 

Organizers say they want to take a stand against what they call "tyrannical measures and government overreach," adding that they are not encouraging nurses to walk out on their shifts or abandon patients. 

But Ontario Premier Doug Ford, whose province was among those targeted by similar past protests after he announced plans for a proof-of-vaccine system, condemned the latest round on Sunday in a tweet describing such events as "selfish, cowardly and reckless."

The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and Ontario Medical Association issued a joint statement "strongly condemning" the planned disruptions and calling for designated safe zones around health-care facilities to protect staff and patients -- a proposal the province's New Democrats have also floated.

"Nurses, doctors and other health-care workers have been working around the clock on the front lines of the pandemic for 18 months helping to keep our communities safe," Sunday's joint statement reads. "These COVID-19 heroes need the resources and supports to continue the battle – now in the thick of a fourth wave. They cannot and must not be distracted, or worse, discouraged by protests at the doorsteps of their workplaces."


Also this ...

The three main federal party leaders are focused on Ontario and British Columbia today as the election campaign heads into its final week.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is returning to Vancouver to make an announcement this morning.

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole, meanwhile, will open the day in the rural Ottawa suburb of Carp.

Later in the day, he'll hold a pair of virtual town halls with residents of Ontario and B.C. at the Ottawa hotel he's adopted as his headquarters during the campaign.

The NDP's Jagmeet Singh, meanwhile, will be in northern Ontario for the second day in a row.

He'll open the day in the northwestern community of Sioux Lookout before moving on to Neskantaga First Nation.


And this ...

TORONTO — Two titans in the theatre business head to court in Toronto today in what could well be a multi-billion dollar test case for pandemic-era litigation.

Toronto-based Cineplex is seeking to recoup $2.18 billion in damages from Cineworld Group PLC after the U.K. theatre giant scrapped its planned purchase of the Canadian cinema chain. 

Cineworld walked away from the December 2019 takeover deal amid strict economic lockdown measures in June 2020, alleging material adverse effects and breaches by Cineplex.

For its part, Cineplex has called Cineworld's decision to terminate the deal "nothing more than a case of buyer’s remorse," and the company's statement of claim shows it will argue that Cineplex fulfilled all of its obligations.

The legal battle will hinge on Cineworld arguing it had the right to terminate the agreement without payment because Cineplex strayed from "ordinary course," when it deferred its accounts payable by at least 60 days, reduced spending to the "bare minimum" and stopped paying landlords, movie studios, film distributors and suppliers at the pandemic's start.

The case, which is being heard by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, won't change Cineworld's decision to scrap the Cineplex deal, but legal and entertainment experts say it will offer a window into the future of Canadian movie-going and may inspire further suits.


What we are watching in the U.S. ...

LOS ANGELES — In a blitz of TV ads and a last-minute rally, California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom urged voters Sunday to turn back a looming recall vote that could remove him from office, while leading Republican Larry Elder broadly criticized the media for what he described as double standards that insulated Newsom from criticism and scrutiny throughout the contest.

The late-summer weekend was a swirl of political activity, as candidates held rallies, continued bus tours and cluttered the TV airwaves with advertising offering their closing arguments in advance of the election that concludes Tuesday.

Newsom — who is expecting President Joe Biden today for a capstone get-out-the-vote rally in Long Beach — was in a largely Hispanic area on the northern edge of Los Angeles, where he sought to drive up turnout with the key voting bloc.

Elder also was in Los Angeles, where he was joined by activist and former actress Rose McGowan, who repeated her claims from recent days that Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, attempted to persuade her in 2017 not to go public with her allegations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Siebel Newsom’s office described the allegations as a “complete fabrication.” In a brief interview with The Associated Press, Newsom characterized McGowan’s claims as a “last-minute classic hit piece” from one of Elder’s supporters.

The governor called Elder desperate and grasping, saying McGowan’s claims about his wife “just shows you how low things go in campaigns these days.”


What we are watching in the rest of the world ...

BEIJING — Flights and train service were being canceled in Shanghai, China's largest city, as typhoon Chanthu moved up the mainland coast Monday after bringing heavy rain and wind to Taiwan.

Local media reported all flights would be suspended from Shanghai’s two airports as of 3 p.m. (0700 GMT) Monday. Some subway lines were shut down, while classes and many offices and shops were closed for the day.

The typhoon was in waters off Shanghai by mid-afternoon, with maximum winds of 151 kilometers per hour, the China Meteorological Association said.

Chanthu drenched Taiwan with up to 13 centimeters  of rain on Sunday as the storm’s center passed the island’s east coast with winds of 162 kph and gusts up to 198 kph, before heading north to Shanghai.

After dumping rain on Shanghai, Chanthu is forecast to head a bit farther north and then tack northeast toward South Korea and Japan.

The storm grazed the island of Luzon in the Philippines last week, but no flooding or damage was reported.

Typhoons are called hurricanes in the North Atlantic, central North Pacific and eastern North Pacific, but are the same weather phenomenon.

Typhoon In-fa made landfall south of Shanghai in late July, disrupting flight schedules and prompting evacuations for about 330,000 residents of Fengxian District on the city's southern edge.

Torrential rains and flooding in July caused the deaths of at least 292 people in Zhengzhou, a major city in the central province of Henan, including some trapped in the city's subway tunnels.


Also this ...

JERUSALEM — Israeli aircraft struck a series of targets in the Gaza Strip early Monday in response to rocket launches out of the Hamas-ruled territory. It was the third consecutive night of fighting between the two sides, even as Israel’s foreign minister sought to dangle incentives for calm.

Tensions have risen after last week's escape from an Israeli prison by six Palestinian inmates, as well as struggling efforts by Egypt to broker a long-term cease-fire in the wake of an 11-day war last May.

The Israeli military reported three separate rocket launches late Sunday and early Monday, saying at least two of them were intercepted by its rocket defenses. In response, it said it attacked a number of Hamas targets. There were no reports of casualties on either side.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Sunday called for a new approach to end the cycle of fighting with Hamas, describing a plan of international investment in Gaza's infrastructure in exchange for pressure on Hamas to halt its military buildup and preserve calm.


In Entertainment ... 

Lil Nas X won video of the year at Sundays MTV VMAs on a night that Canadian mega-pop star Justin Bieber triumphantly returned to the stage as a performer and as winner of the artist of the year.

Much of the early show belonged to Bieber, who for his first VMAs performance in six years rappelled from the ceiling of the Barclays Center at the start of the show for an energetic performance of “Stay” with Kid LAROI and then his single “Ghost.” 

The VMAs celebrated MTV's 40th anniversary, mixing moments between early network stars like Cyndi Lauper and show opener Madonna with high-octane performances by newer stars like Olivia Rodrigo, Lil Nas X, Camila Cabello and Chloe.

Bieber was the leading nominee going into the ceremony. He took home the best pop honor for “Peaches,” a song that featured Daniel Caesar and Giveon - who accompanied him onstage.

Sporting baggy clothes and a hoodie, Bieber showed his appreciation for the awards being in-person and thanked his wife, Hailey, for supporting him.

Opening the show, Madonna told the screaming crowd: “They said we wouldn’t last. But we’re still here.”

Moments after Olivia Rodrigo performed her hit “good 4 u,” she collected the night's first award for her massive hit song “Drivers License.” She later won best new artist. 



TORONTO — Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve says he's relieved to see many rave reviews for his sci-fi epic "Dune" on the festival circuit, but the real test will be how it performs in theatres next month.

The highly anticipated adaptation of Frank Herbert's 1965 novel had a world exclusive IMAX screening at the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday after its recent premiere in Venice.

The sprawling interstellar story of warring families stars Timothée Chalamet as the protagonist antihero and Rebecca Ferguson as his mother.

Oscar Isaac plays his father, who oversees a dangerous desert planet containing the most valuable item in the universe.

As of Sunday afternoon, "Dune" had an 88 per cent approval rating from critics on movie review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.

Villeneuve says he's seen the positive reaction but doesn't want to celebrate until he hears the box-office results when "Dune" hits Canadian and U.S. theatres on Oct. 22.

"I know that there are great reviews out there. It's a relief in a way," the Montreal writer-director, whose previous projects include "Arrival" and "Blade Runner 2049," said in an interview Sunday.

"As much as I'm happy because of the way the movie has been received so far, I will say that the test will be to see how people are excited enough to go back to the theatre and live the big-screen experience — what cinema is meant to be."

The theatrical turnout is doubly important to Villeneuve because he created the film specifically for the IMAX experience and wants audiences to see it on the big screen.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 13, 2021

The Canadian Press

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