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Adapting to climate change, COVID hospitalizations : In The News for May 16

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 May 16 ... What we are watching in Canada ...
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St Mary’s Road, which runs between Winnipeg and St Adolphe, Man., is closed due to Red River flooding south of Winnipeg, Sunday, May 15, 2022. Dozens of experts advising the government on adapting to climate change say Canada's new adaptation strategy must move faster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

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 May 16 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

Dozens of experts advising the government on adapting to climate change say Canada's new adaptation strategy must move faster.

They say the government must shore up infrastructure against the threats of extreme weather and help Canadians recover from natural disasters faster.

The number of natural disasters hitting Canada has climbed from about 30 per decade in the 1960s to more than 100 a decade now.

Canada is again facing a summer with higher than average risks from forest fires and floods across much of the country.

The Liberals are promising an adaptation strategy by the end of the year to make the country's health system, economy and built environment more resilient to extreme weather.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault later today will launch the second and last development phase in making that strategy.

The first phase saw five expert panels submit advice to the minister and all say a lot needs to be done before the end of this decade.

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Also this ...

A new study offers a closer look at possible factors that may lead to some hospitalized COVID-19 patients being readmitted within a month of discharge.

At roughly nine per cent, researchers say the readmission rate is similar to other ailments, but socio-economic factors and sex seem to play a bigger role in predicting who declines further after leaving hospital.

Research published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal looked at more than 46 thousand adults hospitalized for COVID-19 in Alberta and Ontario during the first part of the pandemic. 

About 18 per cent died in hospital between January 2020 and October 2021, which was higher than the norm for other respiratory tract infections.

Among those sent home, about nine per cent returned to hospital within 30 days of leaving, while two per cent died.

Co-author Dr. Finlay McAlister of the University of Alberta says returning patients tended to be male, older, and have multiple comorbidities and previous hospital visits and admissions.

He says a scoring system used by hospitals to predict readmission was more accurate when it included a patient's sex and socio-economic background.

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

LAGUNA WOODS, Calif. _ A man opened fire during a lunch reception at a Southern California church on Sunday, killing one person and wounding five senior citizens before being stopped and hog-tied by parishioners in what a sheriff's official called an act of "exceptional heroism and bravery.''

Four of the five people wounded suffered critical gunshot injuries during the violence at Geneva Presbyterian Church in the city of Laguna Woods, Orange County Sheriff's Department officials said.

The suspect in the shooting, an Asian man in his 60s, was in custody and deputies recovered two handguns at the scene, Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said. A motive for the shooting wasn't immediately known but investigators don't believe the gunman lives in the community.

The majority of those inside the church at the time were believed to be of Taiwanese descent, said Carrie Braun, a sheriff's spokesperson.

Between 30 and 40 members of the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church were gathered for lunch after a morning church service at Geneva when gunfire erupted shortly before 1:30 p.m., officials said. When deputies arrived, parishioners had the gunman hog-tied and in custody.

"That group of churchgoers displayed what we believe is exceptional heroism and bravery in intervening to stop the suspect. They undoubtedly prevented additional injuries and fatalities,'' Hallock said. "I think it's safe to say that had people not intervened, it could have been much worse.''

The wounded victims were four Asian men, who were 66, 75, 82 and 92 years old, and an 86-year-old Asian woman, the sheriff's department said. Authorities originally said only four of the five surviving victims had been shot. Information about the person who was killed was not immediately released.

The shooting came a day after an 18-year-old man shot and killed 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

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

KYIV, Ukraine _ With its military bogged down in a grinding conflict in eastern Ukraine, Russia also lost diplomatic ground over the weekend as two more European nations moved closer to joining NATO.

Finland announced Sunday that it was seeking to join the alliance, saying Russia's invasion of Ukraine nearly three months ago had changed Europe's security landscape. Several hours later, Sweden's governing party endorsed a bid for membership, which could lead to an application in days.

Those moves would be a serious blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has called NATO's post-Cold War expansion in Eastern Europe a threat and cited it as a reason for attacking Ukraine. NATO says it is a purely defensive alliance.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, meeting with top diplomats from the alliance in Berlin, said the war "is not going as Moscow had planned.''

"Ukraine can win this war,'' he said, adding that NATO must continue to offer military support to Kyiv.

Meanwhile, Russia inflicted damage but failed to make significant territorial gains in eastern Ukraine, the focus of its war effort since its forces failed to seize the capital, Kyiv.

Russian and Ukrainian fighters are battling village-by-village for Ukraine's eastern industrial heartland, the Donbas. Ukrainian soldiers have fought Moscow-backed separatists there for eight years.

On Sunday, a Ukrainian battalion in the Kharkiv region reached the Russian border and made a victorious video there addressed to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The video posted on Facebook by Ukraine's Ministry of Defense shows a dozen fighters around a post covered with blue and yellow, Ukraine's colors.  One said the unit went "to the dividing line with the Russian Federation, the occupying country. Mr. President, we have reached it. We are here.''

Other fighters made victory signs and raised their fists.

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On this day in 1871 ...

British Columbia was authorized to become Canada's sixth province.

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In entertainment ...

TORONTO _ Canada's biggest night in music welcomed back its live audience with open arms, as the Juno Awards were handed out last night.

Napanee, Ontario's pop-punk princess Avril Lavigne -- who has been enjoying a renaissance of sorts with the release of her 2022 album "Love Sux" -- performed a medley of her biggest hits before returning to hand Shawn Mendes the TikTok fan choice award.

Mendes also pocketed a special international achievement award for his global impact on music.

Other Canadian stars got their moments too, including Montreal singer-songwriter Charlotte Cardin, who emerged the biggest winner of the year with a total of four trophies.

She picked up album of year for "Phoenix" on the broadcast after the project won pop album of the year at an industry event on Saturday, and was also named artist of the year and earned single of the year for "Meaningless" at the pre-telecast event.

Other winners included Hamilton rock act Arkells for group of the year, and Haviah Mighty who became the first woman to receive the rap album or EP of the year for "Stock Exchange.''

Deborah Cox was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame by former Toronto Raptors player Chris Bosh, who told the crowd how her hit "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here'' left a lasting impression on him.

"Shang-Chi" star Simu Liu hosted the event at Toronto's Budweiser Stage, opening the ceremony with a nod to his Marvel persona before launching into his own version of Molson's famous "I Am Canadian'' pledge, telling the crowd he "grew up on ketchup chips, roti and Jamaican beef patties."

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Did you see this?

The Prince of Wales is set to be greeted by a sheepish figure when he arrives in Canada tomorrow: his own "woolly doppelgänger."

Prince Charles will be introduced to a life-size, hand-needle-felted bust of his own visage as he meets with Canadian wool enthusiasts in St. John's, N.L., at one of the first stops on his three-day cross-country tour alongside his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. 

But the CEO of the Campaign for Wool in Canada says that's not even the "pièce de résistance" of the prince's woolly welcome.

Matthew Rowe says the non-profit industry association will also present its royal patron with a wool sculpture of his mother, the Queen.

Manitoban artist Rosemarie Péloquin says she spent hundreds of hours on each of the busts, using a barbed needle to sculpt the fine details of the royals' faces.

Péloquin says she feels like she got to know the prince over the course of his wool double's creation, and she's excited to see his real-life counterpart's face when the two meet.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2022.

The Canadian Press