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Marking Remembrance Day and U.S. COVID-19 surge: In The News for Nov. 11

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. 11 ... 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 Nov. 11 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

Canadians are being encouraged to stay home this morning while they mark the service and sacrifice of those who have given their lives to defend the country.

The solemnity of Remembrance Day is butting up against the threat posed by COVID-19.

The Royal Canadian Legion is explicitly discouraging Canadians from attending Remembrance Day ceremonies in person this year and instead asking people to watch on TV or online.

The legion is promising to include many of the traditional elements of the ceremonies, such as the playing of the Last Post, the singing of In Flanders Fields, and flybys of military aircraft.

There will also be a special emphasis on the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War after many commemorations planned for earlier this year in Europe and elsewhere were cancelled because of the pandemic.


Also this ...

While Remembrance Day services will look much different this year, Canada's Air Force hopes its efforts will help honour war veterans.

The Royal Canadian Air Force says it will conduct flybys in several locations across Canada.

A statement from National Defence says the RCAF encourages Canadians to mark Remembrance Day from their homes to the greatest extent possible, while watching the aircraft in accordance with public health guidelines.

The RCAF says all its aircraft will pass at minimum altitudes over each community, although weather and flying conditions will affect each of the flights.


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

NEW YORK — The U.S. hit a record number of coronavirus hospitalizations Tuesday and surpassed 1 million new confirmed cases in just the first 10 days of November amid a countrywide surge of infections that shows no signs of slowing.

The new wave appears bigger and more widespread than the surges that happened in the spring and summer _ and threatens to be worse. But experts say there are also reasons to think the nation is better able to deal with the virus this time around.

"We're definitely in a better place" when it comes to improved medical tools and knowledge, said William Hanage, a Harvard University infectious-disease researcher.

Newly confirmed infections in the U.S. were running at all-time highs of well over 100,000 per day, pushing the total to more than 10 million and eclipsing 1 million since Halloween. There are now 61,964 people hospitalized, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

Several states posted records Tuesday, including over 12,600 new cases in Illinois, 10,800 in Texas and 7,000 in Wisconsin.

Deaths — a lagging indicator, since it takes time for people to get sick and die — are climbing again, reaching an average of more than 930 a day.

Hospitals are getting slammed. And unlike the earlier outbreaks, this one is not confined to a region or two.

"The virus is spreading in a largely uncontrolled fashion across the vast majority of the country," said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-disease expert at Vanderbilt University.

Governors made increasingly desperate pleas for people to take the fight against the virus more seriously.


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

Hong Kong has moved to disqualify four pro-democracy legislators, after Beijing passed a resolution that would allow the local government to remove lawmakers from their positions if they’re deemed to threaten national security.

The disqualification came after the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, which held meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, passed a resolution to disqualify those who support the city’s independence or refuse to acknowledge China’s sovereignty over the city, as well as commit acts that threaten national security or ask external forces to interfere in the city’s affairs, according to the state-owned Xinhua News Agency.

The four lawmakers — Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki and Kenneth Leung — confirmed that they were disqualified in a news conference with the press.

“In terms of legality and constitutionality, obviously from our point of view this is clearly in breach of basic law and our rights to participate in public affairs, and a failure to observe due process,” said Kwok.

On Monday, 19 lawmakers from the pro-democracy camp said they would resign en masse if Beijing moved to disqualify any pro-democracy lawmakers.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam is expected to hold a news conference to address the disqualifications.


On this day in 1918 ... The First World War officially ended on Armistice Day and hostilities ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.


In entertainment ...

Brian Bigger, the Mayor of Greater Sudbury, Ont., remembers meeting Alex Trebek in 2015 when the late "Jeopardy!" host returned to his hometown to film an episode of "Amazing Race Canada."

Bigger was awed by Trebek's presence. And at the same time, surprised by it.

"He was so soft-spoken and humble," Bigger says. "For someone who made a living as a game show host, he didn't take over the room. He let others speak. He made everyone feel comfortable.

"I think that's what a lot of people who had the opportunity to meet him felt."

Trebek, who was born in Sudbury to a Ukrainian immigrant father and a French-Canadian mother, died Sunday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80.

Plans are in the works to honour Trebek in the city of 165,000, Bigger says, but a decision on how to do that has yet to be made.

While Trebek hadn't lived in Sudbury since he was a child, Bigger says the loss was felt deeply all over the northern Ontario city.

"I've seen so many comments on social media from many people in the community saying: I'm proud to be able to say that I come from the same place that Alex Trebek came from,'" Bigger says. 

"So I think a lot of people in Sudbury made that connection with him and were supporters."



An Asian giant hornet has been found near Langley, B.C., about five kilometres away from where another so-called murder hornet was discovered last week.

The provincial Agriculture Ministry says in a release that both findings are thought to coincide with a phase in the hornets' life cycle where they leave their nests looking for mates.

It says five of the giant, invasive hornets have been found in the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland since 2019 as a result of public reports, while a nest was destroyed in Nanaimo last year.

The first nest to be discovered in the United States was also destroyed last month near Blaine, Wash., not far from the border with B.C.

The B.C. Agriculture Ministry is urging beekeepers and the public to continue reporting any sightings of the hornets, which can reach up to five centimetres in length with a wingspan of four to seven centimetres.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 11, 2020

The Canadian Press