Inflation figures, COVID rates peak in some provinces: In the news for January 19

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TD economist Ksenia Bushmeneva says the wave of the pandemic caused by Omicron is likely to exacerbate supply chain problems and drive up prices in the short term.

The Bank of Canada is expected to make a rate announcement next week and update its outlook for the economy.

Survey data released by the central bank on Monday suggests consumers expect inflation rates to be high for longer.

RBC senior economist Nathan Janzen said the Bank of Canada’s comments next week will be watched closely on whether it plans to raise its key rate in March or April from its lows. 0.25%.

Also this…

The fifth wave of the Omicron-fueled COVID-19 pandemic appears to be peaking in some provinces, while others say the worst is likely yet to come.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority says it is bracing for a surge in COVID-19-related hospitalizations and absenteeism among workers through mid-February, while Alberta says hospitalization rates are rising to levels not seen since mid-October.

The rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Prince Edward Island has prompted the province to reduce the size of gatherings and close gymnasiums and restaurant dining areas until at least the end of the month.

Even as they both set new records for hospitalizations, officials in Ontario and Quebec say the daily rate appears to be falling slightly, though they warn the health care system remains under enormous pressure.

There are 3,417 COVID patients in Quebec hospitals, while Ontario has 4,183, including 580 people in intensive care.

British Columbia has recorded 1,975 cases of COVID-19 with 854 people hospitalized, as the province’s top doctor described his decision to allow gyms and other fitness facilities to reopen on Thursday as a ‘cautious step’ to lift restrictions related to COVID-19.

Dr Bonnie Henry said a proof of vaccination card will still be required to use gyms, and facilities will need to operate within capacity limits and provide seven square meters for each person exercising.

And that …

The former lawyer for an airman disciplined for refusing an anthrax shot says service members who won’t be vaccinated against COVID-19 are set to fight harder.

Jay Prober defended Michael Kipling who in 1998 was charged with disobeying an order for refusing to be vaccinated against anthrax while serving in Kuwait; he was eventually acquitted.

At the time, Kipling argued that the vaccine was not licensed in Canada, that he had felt ill after a previous injection, and feared the vaccine was linked to an unexplained illness that other veterans said they had suffered.

Prober says there’s a big difference between his former client’s case and the military today refusing to get a COVID-19 shot: Kipling’s decision only affected himself.

The lawyer says it’s different from COVID-19 vaccinations, which help prevent the disease from spreading to other people.

Because of this, Prober says it will be more of an uphill battle for members today to justify their refusal to get vaccinated.

What we’re watching in the US…

NEW YORK _ The New York Attorney General’s office told a court on Tuesday evening that its investigators had uncovered evidence that US President Donald Trump’s company used “fraudulent or misleading” asset valuations to obtain loans and tax advantages.

The court filing says state authorities have yet to decide whether to take legal action in connection with the allegations, but investigators are to interview Trump and his two eldest children as part of the investigation. .

In court papers, Attorney General Letitia James’ office gave its most detailed account yet of its investigation into allegations that Trump’s company repeatedly misrepresented the value of assets to secure loan terms. favorable or reduce its tax burden.

The Trump Organization, she said, had overstated the value of land donations made in New York and California on documents submitted to the IRS to justify several million dollars in tax deductions.

The company misreported the size of Trump’s Manhattan penthouse, saying it was nearly three times its actual size _ a difference in value of about $200 million, James’ office said, citing testimony from testimony from longtime Trump finance chief Allen Weisselberg, who was indicted last year on tax evasion in a parallel criminal investigation.

James’ office detailed its findings in a lawsuit seeking to force Trump, his daughter Ivanka Trump and son Donald Trump Jr. to comply with subpoenas demanding their testimony.

Investigators, according to court documents, had “developed significant additional evidence indicating that the Trump Organization used fraudulent or deceptive asset appraisals to obtain a multitude of economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage and tax deductions.

Trump’s legal team sought to block the subpoenas, calling them an “unprecedented and unconstitutional move.” They say James is wrongfully trying to obtain testimony that could then be used in the parallel criminal investigation, overseen by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

What we watch in the rest of the world…

MOSCOW — Russian officials have said Moscow is sending an unspecified number of troops from the far east of the country to Belarus for major joint military exercises.

The deployment will significantly reinforce around 100,000 Russian troops already amassed near Ukraine in what the West fears could be the prelude to an invasion. Russia denied intending to attack.

But Moscow has demanded guarantees from the West that NATO will not expand into Ukraine or other ex-Soviet countries or plant weapons there. These demands were rejected last week by Washington and its allies.

The United States again underlined its concern on Tuesday, with White House press secretary Jen Psaki describing the movement of Russian forces into Belarus as part of an “extremely dangerous situation”.

A series of talks last week between Russia, the United States and NATO failed to ease tensions over Ukraine. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Friday in a new attempt to defuse the crisis.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday it had received a shipment of anti-tank weapons from the United Kingdom, noting that they will help “strengthen our defense capability”.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said joint exercises with Belarus would involve practicing a joint response to external threats. Fomin said it would take until Feb. 9 to fully deploy weapons and personnel for Allied Resolve 2022 exercises, which are scheduled to take place Feb. 10-20.

Amid tensions, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday it was accelerating efforts to form reserve battalions that would enable the rapid deployment of 130,000 recruits to expand the country’s 246,000 military.

On this day in 1943…

Princess Margriet of the Netherlands was born in an Ottawa hospital. Crown Princess Juliana, who became queen in 1948, and her two eldest daughters fled the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in 1940 and eventually arrived in Canada.

In entertainment…

LOS ANGELES — The 2022 Grammy Awards will move to an April show in Las Vegas after the ceremony was recently postponed due to growing concerns over the rise of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The awards will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 3, according to a joint statement released Tuesday by the Recording Academy and CBS, which broadcast the ceremony.

The show postponed its original January 31 date at the new Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles after organizers’ voice said there was ‘too much risk’ regarding the spike in cases of variants.

The Grammys’ decision has created another change for upcoming awards shows – the CMT Awards will move from its originally scheduled ceremony date of April 3 to later this month.

The Grammys were attempting a back-to-normal show with a live audience, but the decision to postpone the ceremony came after “extensive review and analysis with city and state officials, health experts and safety, the artist community and our many partners”.

This is the second year in a row that the Grammys have been postponed due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Last year, like most major awards shows, the Grammys were postponed due to virus concerns.

The show was moved from late January to mid-March and ran with an open audience of mostly nominees and their guests in and around the Los Angeles Convention Center, adjacent to its usual home, the then-known arena as the Staples Center.

Multi-talented Jon Batiste is the main nominee for this year’s honors, garnering 11 nods in a variety of genres, including R&B, jazz, American roots music, classical and music video. Canadian Justin Bieber, Doja Cat and HER are tied for the second most nominations with eight each.

ICYMI…

NEW YORK (AP) _ Andre Leon Talley, the former creative director and editor of Vogue magazine, has died. He was 73 years old.

Talley’s literary agent, David Vigliano, confirmed Talley’s death to USA Today on Tuesday evening, but no additional details were immediately available.

Talley was an influential fashion journalist who worked for Women’s Wear Daily and Vogue and was a regular on fashion shows in New York and Europe. At 6ft 6in tall, Talley cut a commanding figure wherever he went, with his stature, considerable influence in the fashion world and bold looks.

In a 2013 Vanity Fair spread titled “The Eyeful Tower”, Talley was described as “perhaps the industry’s most important link to the past”. Designer Tom Ford told the magazine that Talley was “one of the last great fashion editors who has an incredible sense of fashion history. He can see through everything you do to the original reference, predict what was on your inspiration board.

Designer Diane von Furstenberg praised Talley on Instagram, writing, “no one saw the world more glamorously than you, no one was grander and more moving than you.”

Her relationship with Vogue began at Duke University, where her grandmother cleaned the dorms; Talley would travel to campus as a youth to read the magazine.

After stints with Interview magazine and Women’s Wear Daily, Talley was hired at Vogue in 1983 by editor Anna Wintour and was named creative director in 1988.

Talley was also a familiar figure to viewers, serving as a judge on “America’s Top Model” and appearing on “Sex and the City” and “Empire.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on January 19, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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