The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world on Friday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.
9 am As inflation rates reach levels not seen in decades, Steven Del Duca wants to give Ontario families tax relief on their prepared meals.
The Liberal leader promises to eliminate the 8% provincial portion of the harmonized sales tax on fast food that costs up to $20 if he overthrows Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives in the June 2 election.
It also promises to “remove corporate taxes for small businesses deeply affected by the pandemic for two years.”
Read the full story of Robert Benzie and Rob Ferguson from The Star
8:37 According to Statistics Canada, real gross domestic product rose 1.1% in February to post its largest monthly increase since March 2021.
The agency also says its first estimate for March pointed to a 0.5% gain for that month.
8:30 am Nevada casinos reported near-record house gains in March, while Las Vegas airport reported passenger traffic almost as high as pre-pandemic levels and tourism officials marked another big increased visitor volume.
The state’s gaming control board reported Thursday that the $1.35 billion that casinos statewide raked in was just short of the best monthly mark of $1.36 billion set in July. latest.
Clark State and County set all-time records for house slot machine winnings, while the Las Vegas Strip recorded the third highest monthly slot machine winnings, said Michael Lawton, senior board analyst.
7:20 am South Korea will relax its outdoor mask mandate starting next week as COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations continue to decline.
From Monday, people will only be required to wear a mask outdoors when attending gatherings of more than 50 people or attending sporting and cultural events with potentially large crowds, health authorities said. during a Friday briefing. The mask requirement for indoors and public transport will also remain in place.
Health workers have diagnosed a daily average of around 63,000 new cases in the past seven days, including 50,568 in the past 24 hours – a drop from mid-March when the country was reporting hundreds of thousands infections each day at the height of an omicron-driven outbreak. As hospitalizations and deaths slow, less than 30% of the country’s 2,800 intensive care units designated for COVID-19 patients are occupied.
5:50 Inflation has hit a new high for the 19 countries that use the euro, as soaring fuel prices spurred by the war in Ukraine are placing further strains on household finances and weighing on the slowing economic recovery from the recent COVID-19 outbreaks.
Annual inflation hit 7.5% in April, the highest since records began in 1997 and the sixth consecutive record, surpassing the old record of 7.4% in March, the statistics agency reported on Friday. of the European Union Eurostat.
Energy prices jumped 38%, a testament to how war and the accompanying global energy crisis are affecting the eurozone’s 343 million people.
5:35 Once silenced by the pandemic, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival opens Friday for the first time in three years – a long-awaited 2022 revival that echoes 2006 when the annual celebration of music and culture continued even after Hurricane Katrina.
The two-weekend production draws tens of thousands to the city’s Fair Grounds Race Course, where up to 80 musical acts perform daily on more than a dozen stages, complemented by art exhibits and crafts and an array of stalls featuring foods from Louisiana and beyond. .
5:40 am US vaccine maker Moderna is due to announce plans today to build its promised Canadian production facility in Montreal.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel and Quebec Premier Francois Legault are due to attend a Friday morning health care announcement in the city.
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante confirmed the news on Thursday, but Moderna would just say it was still finalizing a deal to build a biomanufacturing plant in Canada.
Read more from The Canadian Press.
5:30 Black and Hispanic Americans remain far more cautious in their approach to COVID-19 than white Americans, recent polls show, reflecting differing preferences on how to deal with the pandemic as federal, state and local restrictions fall to the ground. side of the road.
Despite the majority preference among U.S. adults overall for measures like mask mandates, public health experts have said divided opinions across racial groups not only reflect the pandemic’s unequal impact on people of color, but also the apathy of some white Americans.
Black Americans (63%) and Hispanic Americans (68%) continue to be more likely than White Americans (45%) to say they are at least somewhat worried about themselves or someone in their family. their family infected with COVID-19, according to an April survey from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Read more from the Associated Press.
5:15 a.m. Over the next two days, Canada’s capital is set to host what could become a familiar scene: a nationwide movement that will bring hundreds of horns to the city’s downtown core.
The event, known as “Rolling Thunder Ottawa”, could see more than 500 participants arriving in the city on motorcycles by Friday evening, in addition to an additional wave of participants showing up on foot.
Participants plan to stay in the capital throughout the weekend, hold several rallies on Parliament Hill, an event honoring veterans at the National War Memorial, a procession through the streets of the city and a local church service.
But the protest has also raised concerns about its links to the so-called “freedom convoy” that paralyzed Ottawa for three weeks and led to the historic invocation of the federal Emergencies Act.
Learn more about The Star’s Raisa Patel.
5 a.m. Classes suspended. Buildings and communities cordoned off. Mass screening of residents. A rush to stock up on food, just in case.
Beijing, China’s sprawling capital, is starting to look like other Chinese cities battling the latest wave of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Authorities are moving quickly to try to prevent a massive COVID-19 outbreak that could trigger a citywide lockdown like the one that paralyzed Shanghai for more than three weeks. The political stakes are high as the ruling Communist Party prepares for a major congress this fall in which President Xi Jinping seeks a third five-year term to reassert his position as China’s undisputed leader.
Xi and the party’s top decision-making body, the Politburo, on Friday reaffirmed their commitment to a “zero-COVID” policy, putting China at odds with much of the world. While many countries are dropping restrictions and trying to live with the virus, China is keeping its international borders largely closed and closing entire cities to all but essential travel.
Read more from the Associated Press.
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