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Calgary music VJ killed in crash on Sarcee Trail

Calgary’s music community is mourning the loss of Mike Bezzeg, who died following a car crash on Monday.

The 66-year-old died in hospital Tuesday following a collision between a postal truck and a Dodge minivan at Richmond Road and Sarcee Trail near his home, according to police and his family.

“Mike is a very giving individual,” said friend David Veitch, who knew him for 35 years, on Wednesday.

“He would regularly find out what people needed and he would make sure that they got it. On the day of his death, he had heard of a friend that returned from Cuba, who was self-quarantining, and he dropped off food at that person’s doorstep, then was going over to see his brother.”

Bezzeg was known for talking about music on his show “FM Moving Pictures,” which aired in Calgary on cable access 10 from 1979 to 1984, according to Veitch. In a time without MTV or MuchMusic, the show brought new bands to the local screen — ones people had never heard before.

“He really was the first VJ in Canada,” he said.

“They played music and talked about music that wasn’t being played on mainstream radio.”​

Friend Judy Cook said he was an awesome person who “knew stuff nobody else knew.”

“He was so knowledgeable in music, in the study of music and every genre. You could speak to him about anything and he was open-minded about it,” she said.

“He was a man before his time… He was very much a man who had a vision and wanted to introduce new music to Calgary and he did it.”

Veitch said that besides music, Bezzeg’s real passion was his family, adding that he leaves behind his wife and two children, ages 18 and 20.

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B.C. opens new pathway to ‘safe supply’ for drug users amid coronavirus pandemic

B.C. has introduced new clinical guidance that could make it easier for people struggling with addictions to get access to safe drugs.

The measure, announced Thursday, is intended as an emergency stopgap amid two public health emergencies in the province: the opioid overdose crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this week, advocates for drug users warned the pandemic had cut the supply of illegal street drugs, making them both harder to find and more expensive.

That raised concerns both of a spike in overdoses and in possible COVID-19 transmission as drug users hit the streets to try and find a hit.

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Mexicans fear looting spree as shops robbed, online messages incite theft

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexicans on Wednesday feared measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak would lead to widespread looting after criminals robbed stores that were closed and posted calls on social media for people to ransack businesses.

Police in Mexico City arrested 10 people on Tuesday night who tried to rob shops in four neighborhoods, the city’s security ministry said in a statement.

Authorities have tried to reassure residents that this is not the beginning of a wave of looting, saying the supply of supply of food and medicine is guaranteed.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said at a news conference on Wednesday that authorities are conducting “permanent surveillance of social networks in case there are any calls” to loot and explained that the thieves targeting shops to steal televisions and the like “has nothing to do with” poverty.

That did little to assuage the fears of some shopkeepers as criminals organized heists on social networks and instant messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp. (FB.O)

“In the middle of this pandemic in Mexico, it’s incredible people are still organizing looting,” a shop owner in populous Mexico state, which neighbors capital Mexico City, said online.

“I ask authorities to vigilant because many business owners are afraid of being attacked by looters.”

The public security ministry of Mexico state said that on Tuesday it detected 29 Facebook accounts inciting residents to ransack stores that had closed due to the pandemic, which has so far infected 405 and killed five people in Mexico.

The head of the public security ministry of Mexico state, Maribel Cervantes, told local television station Milenio that the authority was coordinating with the Mexican retailers’ association ANTAD to beef up security.

In the southeastern state of Quintana Roo, home to tourist hotspot Cancun, police chief Alberto Capella took to Twitter to warn alleged looters plotting on WhatsApp that authorities were onto their scheme.

“We are watching you, along with the other members of your WhatsApp chat. After identifying you, we will charge you,” Capella said, directing his message to the administrator of the group.

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City of Ottawa bracing for revenues, workforce to shrink as coronavirus spreads

The City of Ottawa is exploring how to limit its spending and perhaps shrink its operations to only essential services as the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak threatens its finances, workforce and ability to rally resources to respond to the pandemic.

The city’s carefully-planned revenues are “already declining at a rapid pace”, according to the city manager, who said Wednesday that the spread of COVID-19 has thrown senior city staff into unchartered waters.

“This is the first time I can remember, in the 25 years I’ve been involved in emergencies, that it’s very difficult to project what the circumstances are going to be to be able to mitigate and what steps we have to take to be able to recover,” Steve Kanellakos said.

“It’s changing day-to-day and we’re trying our best to look forward and focus on the right things.”

The top bureaucrat’s remarks came soon after Mayor Jim Watson declared a state emergency on the City of Ottawa over the novel coronavirus during council’s first virtual meeting.

Two major resources the city is mobilizing to protect in the face of COVID-19 are the city’s cash flow and its workforce, Kanellakos said on Wednesday. Revenues from multiple sources — ranging from transit fares to income from renting city facilities — are decreasing as people follow health officials’ orders to stay home and away from other people.

Wendy Stephanson, the city’s chief financial officer, said she’s already started a “deep dive” into the city’s expenses to see where spending can be trimmed, stopped or deferred to a later date.

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The city has also struck a “business continuity” task force made up of “key senior leaders” to work the “longer-term view” for Ottawa — namely financial forecasts, schedules for staff work rotations and supports for essential city services and emergency needs.

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U.N. rights expert welcomes Turkish indictments, urges US to release Khashoggi file

GENEVA (Reuters) – The U.N. human rights investigator who led an international probe into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Wednesday welcomed Turkey’s indictment of 20 Saudi nationals, saying it was needed as a “counter balance to the travesty of justice at the hands of Saudi Arabia”.

In a statement to Reuters, Agnes Callamard, U.N. rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, urged U.S. authorities to release their findings on responsibility for the death of the Washington Post columnist in October 2018, “including the responsibility of Saudi Arabia crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman”.

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American sailors contract deadly coronavirus while at sea

The sailors were on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt when they tested positive for the virus.

Navy officials announced that the members had contracted it while at sea.

The ship has 5,000 members and crew, leading to concerns about the health of the navy fleet.

Helicopters airlifted the trio of infected sailors from the aircraft carrier.

USS Theodore Roosevelt was located in the Pacific Ocean when the infection became apparent.

They’re the first sailors to fall ill from the virus while at sea.

The incident has raised questions about the spread of the contagious disease.

Strain on military operations has started to become apparent since the outbreak.

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The pentagon has canceled major war-training exercises because of the virus.

It’s also quarantined thousand’s of troops and closed its recruiting centres due to the risk of spreading the heavily contagious disease.

Remaining troops have been assisting with curbing foreign and domestic travel.

They’ve also been assisting with on the ground operations in the US, delivering supplies to states.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper acknowledged Tuesday that the US’ military readiness has been affected by coronavirus. 

Several major training operations have been canceled since the pandemic swept around the globe.

He says however that The Pentagon remains capable of meeting threats.

On Monday, he said in a press conference that the military “can’t meet everybody’s needs.”

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Admiral Michael Gilday said that officials onboard the Roosevelt are investigating any contact the sailors may have had to see if the disease spread further.

The Roosevelt had been at Danang, Vietnam, 15 days ago for a port visit. 

The trio of sick sailors have been flown from the ship to a military hospital in the Pacific region.

Gilday declined to say how many others had been in contact with the ill sailors, saying he did not want to signal vulnerability to adversaries. 

America have struggled to contain the outbreak of coronavirus over the last week.

As of Tuesday the number of cases reached 52’671.

Just under half of those were in New York State, which has confirmed 25’665 cases.

The death toll from the disease in the US reached 682.

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Ryan Reynolds pokes fun at celebrities in coronavirus message

Hours after making a nationwide address on Monday from Rideau Cottage, a self-isolating Justin Trudeau enlisted some of the country’s biggest celebrities to help spread the word of his own #PlankTheCurve movement.

The movement, which Trudeau is promoting on Twitter, asks Canadians to share videos of themselves staying home in an attempt to combat the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

While also calling upon Michael Bublé to partake, the prime minister’s request was met first by one of Marvel‘s most beloved heroes, Deadpool or, at least, the Vancouver-born actor who plays him — in a very comedic way.

On Monday evening, Ryan Reynolds took to Twitter, not only supporting Trudeau’s message to “stay home” and “spread the word, not the virus,” but also to jokingly call out the irrelevancy of celebrities — including himself — in the midst of a life-threatening global pandemic.

“Thank you, Prime Minister Trudeau,” said Reynolds, 43, in the video. “We need to work together to flatten the curve and fight off COVID-19. In times of crisis, I think we all know that it’s the celebrities that we count on most.”

Reynolds then nominated Seth Rogen, ex-Barenaked Ladies singer Steven Page and Terry Reynolds — a constable for the RCMP — to join in on the challenge. Instead of highlighting Rogen’s lengthy film career, however, Reynolds jokingly recognized him as a member of the “Point Grey Rogens.”

“Another important message from an important celebrity,” the self-deprecating actor wrote on the video post, adding the hashtag #StayAtHomeSaveLives.

Hours later, Rogen, 37, joined the trend with his own brief Twitter video, asking fans to “spread the message,” “stay inside” and “not get sick.”

“Hello, this is Seth Rogen. I’m in my bunker, where I’ve emptied out all my hoarded toilet paper and Purell to record this message,” said the Pineapple Express star. “Stay inside, wash your hands, just don’t leave the house. There are worse things you could be asked to do.”

After being one of the three people nominated by Rogen, How to Train Your Dragon star Jay Baruchel followed suit with his own one-minute video.

“Hi there, gang, it’s you’re old pal, JB — Jay Baruchel — coming to you from the hull of the… HMS Baruchel,” the Ottawa-born actor said.

The actor-comedian later highlighted the importance of social distancing to slow the spread of the virus.

“The point is: stay home,” said Baruchel, 37. “Social distancing is very important, and hopefully we can get this thing over with very quick.”

 

Additionally, Reynolds announced Tuesday that all sales of Aviation, the Portland, Ore.-based gin brand, would donate 30 per cent of all proceeds from sales to bartenders who have temporarily being laid off as a result of COVID-19.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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Taiwan's coronavirus cases top 200 for first time

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s government on Tuesday announced 20 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total to 215.

All new cases were imported, with the patients having traveled to countries including Britain, Ireland, Turkey and Indonesia, the government said in a statement.

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Coronavirus: Family apologizes after getting fined for selling masks in Port Coquitlam park

The family accused of “pandemic profiteering” at a Port Coquitlam park over the weekend is apologizing to the community.

The family member has asked not to be identified for fear of retribution.

In a statement to Global News, however, he said he now recognizes it was a poor decision.

“Over the weekend my family and I set up a table in McLean Park to distribute masks to our family and friends in the area. The masks were sent to me by a family member overseas,” reads the statement.

“I recognize this was a bad decision and I want to apologize to the community for my poor judgement. “

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Vernon, B.C. supportive housing facility concerned Interior Health care aides don’t have masks

The manager of a Vernon housing facility for low-income seniors is concerned that Interior Health supplied care aides coming into the facility aren’t wearing masks.

The manager of the Vernon Restholm Association, Jerry Tellier, said the non-profit society plans to start providing a mask to each of the care aides that come to assist residents multiple times a day.

“The only way I’m going to allow those care aides into our place now is by having them wear a mask and hope that I don’t run out before I get more,” Tellier said.

“Our average age is 87 years of age. They are the critical mass that if this comes into our building, I don’t even like to think of what could happen to them.”

Tellier said the Vernon Restholm is currently in a lockdown mode due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Tellier, residents can only leave the building to walk the grounds and only medical personnel are allowed to visit.

However, the health authority said there is no need for staff to wear masks during all interactions with clients and it is taking numerous precautions.

Interior Health said in a statement that its community health workers have been “advised” on how to provide care while preventing the spread of COVID-19 and on how to deploy personal protective equipment.

But the health authority added that “masks are only required for specific procedures with patients/clients.”

Interior Health stressed that staff with symptoms of illness won’t be going to work and that “staff receive daily updates on COVID-19 precautions, including the use of hand sanitizer, washing their hands…and social distancing where possible.”


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