Tag Archives: ‘planned

More Pfizer shots will arrive in 2nd quarter than originally planned: Trudeau

Canada stands to receive more Pfizer doses in the next quarter than expected; a promising development for a country that has been grappling with vaccine shortages for weeks, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today.

The pharmaceutical giant will deliver 10.8 million shots between April and June as the manufacturing supply chain stabilizes after a shaky start to the year, the prime minister added. That’s 2.8 million more shots in this period than the government had originally forecasted.

Trudeau said Pfizer deliveries previously earmarked for the fourth quarter of 2021 have also been shifted earlier, meaning the New York-based company will be able to flow more shots to Canada over the summer months. 6.2 million more doses than planned will be deployed between July and August.

“We will soon share the schedule with provinces and territories so they can prepare to get all those doses into people’s arms,” Trudeau said. “We’ve been continuing to work every single day on getting as many doses as possible, as quickly as possible, into Canadians’ arms. Better days are ahead of us.”

The federal government has also agreed to purchase four million more doses of the Moderna product, Trudeau said, for a total commitment of 44 million shots. Those additional doses will be “arriving over the summer,” he said.

Pfizer and Moderna, the two leading suppliers of vaccines, have been fine tuning their operations in recent weeks to meet insatiable global demand with new COVID-19 variants taking hold.

With these developments, Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said 23 million vaccine doses of these two products — enough to fully vaccinate 11.5 million people — will be delivered by the end of June. “More Canadians will be vaccinated more quickly,” Anand said.

The government has already said it expects 3 million people to be vaccinated with the two-dose regime by the end of March. Based on this revised delivery schedule, up to 14.5 million people could get both shots by Canada Day.

In total, 84 million doses of Moderna and Pfizer shots will be delivered by the end of September, up from previous estimates.

The vaccination numbers could be higher still because Health Canada regulators are still reviewing other promising vaccine candidates, including those developed by AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical division, Janssen and Novavax.

WATCH: Trudeau provides an update on Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine supply

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on Canada’s Pfizer and Moderna vaccine supply. 1:51

Anand said the 20 million doses that Canada has ordered from AstraZeneca will be delivered in the second and third quarters, pending regulatory approvals. Those shots will be shipped from a factory in the U.S.

As procurement agents await Health Canada’s authorization, Anand said Canada is already “negotiating the precise weekly delivery schedule” with AstraZeneca.

Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada’s chief medical adviser, said this week the review is in the final stages.

Canada also stands to receive up to up to 1.9 million AstraZeneca shots in the second quarter from Covax, a global vaccine-sharing initiative jointly co-ordinated by the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance. Those shots will come from a factory in South Korea.

3M people vaccinated in first quarter

The federal government has long promised that it would have 6 million vaccines in country by the end of March.

Pfizer is on track to deliver its promised four million doses while Moderna continues to make “assurances” that it will hit its target of two million shots in Canada by the end of March, Trudeau said.

“We will, of course, continue to follow up directly with the company to make sure that we can get those doses as soon as possible,” Trudeau said of Moderna.

Roughly 1.4 million doses of both shots have been delivered so far.

While Pfizer deliveries have been limited over the last month, owing to plant upgrades at its site in Belgium, the company has said it will send hundreds of thousands of doses to Canada weekly for the foreseeable future.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander leading vaccine logistics, said more than 400,000 shots will arrive next week.

According to the University of Oxford-based Our World in Data, Canada now ranks 47th globally in terms of vaccines administered — well behind allies like the United States and the United Kingdom and some middle-income countries like Turkey and Serbia.

Canada’s vaccination effort has also been outpaced so far by those in Bahrain, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and the United Arab Emirates, among dozens of others.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said Trudeau has failed to adequately address ongoing vaccine delays and cancelled deliveries, which, he said, has led to Canada’s poor showing globally.

“Canadian businesses continue to shutter, and families are forced apart. Canada needs the government to succeed in getting COVID-19 vaccines, that’s why Canada’s Conservatives will continue to advocate for greater transparency and a real plan to get needles in the arms of Canadians,” he said in a statement.

The Opposition Conservatives have been pushing the government to release the contracts it signed with manufacturers. Anand has rejected these demands, saying it would violate confidentiality clauses.

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CBC | Health News

International ski and snowboard bubble planned for Calgary cancelled

A proposed Calgary snow bubble is no longer going forward. 

On Wednesday morning, the international governing body for skiing and snowboarding (FIS), in consultation with Freestyle Canada and Canada Snowboard, decided not to continue with plans to host the 2021 world championships proposed for Calgary.

Countless hours had been spent planning and putting forward proposals to host the 2021 freestyle ski, snowboard and freeski world championships, as well as a number of World Cup events, that were going to be held starting Feb. 24 and running until the middle of March.

The events were going to include dozens of athletes from across Canada and around the world — one of the sticking points was having a large number of international athletes coming into the country. 

“While we are gutted, the safety and health of our athletes, coaches, volunteers and staff is, and always will be, our top priority. COVID-19 continues to evolve globally, and we believe this decision is in the best interest of our broader sport community at this time,” said Peter Judge, chief executive officer of Freestyle Canada.

Canada’s snowboard and freestyle organizations had been working with Canadian authorities at all levels to obtain the necessary approvals. Significant planning focusing on the health and safety of athletes, team members, host venue staff and the public had been completed. 

“We were endeavouring to give our fans watching at home a much-needed respite from the current climate.  But at this point — and as the situation continues to rapidly change — the right thing to do for our athletes and broader community, is to pause.” said Dustin Heise, executive director of Canada Snowboard. 

“While this is disappointing, we will now turn our focus to applying that work to bringing the world back to Canada next season in an effort to help our athletes fully prepare for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.”

2 Canadian snowboard delegates test positive

The announcement comes just a day after two members of Canada’s snowboard delegation preparing to compete at an international event in Switzerland tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the entire Canadian men’s slopestyle team to miss the event. 

They have been put into isolation and will not be competing in the annual Laax Open — an event that has massive Olympic qualifying ramifications this year.

Canada’s top snowboarders were there to compete in the event — Mark McMorris, Seb Toutant and Max Parrot are all part of Canada’s men’s slopestyle team and are in Switzerland. 

They had been posting to their social media in recent days about preparing for the event. They are all now in isolation. 

It’s a massive blow to Canadian skiers and snowboarders, who were hoping to use these events as crucial qualifying opportunities for the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

It’s an especially challenging situation for Canada’s men’s slopestyle team, who is not only missing out on this weekend’s event in Switzerland, but these events that were scheduled for Calgary as well. 

WATCH | Heroux, Jones break down Calgary curling bubble:

Devin Heroux is joined by six-time Scotties medallist Colleen Jones to discuss the announcement of the Calgary curling bubble. 5:34

Calgary curling bubble moving forward — for now

This all comes as curling officials and teams across the country are moving forward with events in a Calgary bubble.

As of now, health officials at all levels are allowing the curling bubble to move forward.

There are six major curling events planned for the Calgary curling bubble starting with the Scotties on Feb. 20. That will then lead into the men’s national championship beginning of March 5.

Following these two events, the mixed doubles championship will take place all leading to the men’s world curling championship, set to begin in early April.

The final two events held inside the bubble include two Grand Slam of Curling bonspiels. 

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CBC | Sports News

Hong Kong’s future thrown into doubt with planned Beijing legislation

Hong Kong activists called on Friday for people to rise up against Beijing’s plans to impose national security legislation in the city, prompting alarm that the new laws could erode freedoms through “force and fear.”

A proposed march at noon in the central financial district did not materialize after online calls were heeded only by a handful of activists and as riot police made their presence visible on the streets.

But new calls have emerged for flash mobs at night across the territory. The Canadian Consulate there has warned of a “heightened possibility of demonstrations in Hong Kong this weekend,” advising Canadians to monitor local media for any developments.

“This is a great moment to reboot the protest,” said university student Kay, 24, who participated in last year’s mass scale and often violent anti-government and anti-Beijing protests, which this year entered a lull due to the coronavirus.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will “fully co-operate” with the Chinese parliament to complete the legislation, which she said will not affect rights, freedoms or judicial independence.

Members of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party hold a banner and placards during a protest in front of the Chinese central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong on Friday. (Kin Cheung/The Associated Press)

The security law plan hit financial markets on Friday, due to concerns the semiautonomous city’s status as a global financial hub was at risk. Hong Kong stocks were sold off as China’s parliament sat to discuss the new law.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 5.6 per cent to a seven-week low.

Foreign diplomats are urgently seeking more details, fearing the statement could formalize and expand the presence of mainland security and intelligence services in Hong Kong. Currently they can take no enforcement action in the city.

More U.S. friction expected

The proposed legislation could heighten tensions between Beijing and Washington, whose relationship is already frayed by trade disputes and reciprocal accusations over the pandemic.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that Washington would react “very strongly” if Beijing went ahead with the security law, and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a condemnation a day later.

There was also bipartisan condemnation in Washington. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, called the development “deeply alarming.”

“Attempting to circumvent the [Hong Kong] legislature shows a complete disrespect for the rule of law,” Pelosi said on Twitter.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri said he would introduce a resolution in the chamber on Friday, “condemning this attempted crackdown and [to] call on all free nations to stand with Hong Kong.”

In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada was concerned about the situation.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with reporters on Friday. 1:00

“We have 300,000 Canadians who live in Hong Kong and that’s one of the reasons why we want to ensure that the ‘one country, two systems’ approach continues for Hong Kong,” said Trudeau. “We have long called for a de-escalation of tensions and genuine dialogue between Hong Kong citizens and Beijing, and we continue to call for that.”

Trudeau did not address a reporter’s question as to whether the government was considering a diplomatic rebuke of China or any kind of sanctions.

Laws could characterize protest as subversion, or terrorism

Speaking on Friday in his annual report to the Chinese parliament, Premier Li Keqiang said China will establish a “sound” legal system and enforcement mechanisms to ensure national security in Hong Kong and Macao, its other semi-autonomous city.

The proposed legislation for Hong Kong requires the territory to quickly finish enacting national security regulations under its mini-constitution, the Basic law, according to a draft seen by Reuters.

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong reacts:

The document said the laws will tackle secession, subversion and terrorism activities, as well as foreign interference. It says it will safeguard the central government’s “overall jurisdiction” as well as Hong Kong’s “high autonomy.”

“When needed, relevant national security organs of the Central People’s Government will set up agencies” in Hong Kong to safeguard national security, the draft said.

U.S. President Donald Trump is shown with China’s President Xi Jinping in June 2019 at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan. Trump has repeatedly praised Xi in the past, but the coronavirus pandemic and the planned Hong Kong legislation could further damage relations between the superpowers. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

A previous attempt to adopt similar legislation in 2003 was met with a protest that drew around half a million people onto the streets and was eventually shelved.

Pro-democracy activists and politicians have for years opposed the idea of national security laws, arguing they could erode the city’s high degree of autonomy, guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” handover agreement, which China says it is undermined by protesters.

Assets, talent could leave

Hong Kong competes fiercely with Singapore to be considered Asia’s premier financial centre. Global private banks including Credit Suisse and UBS, as well as Asian wealth managers, have their regional operations in the two hubs.

Rule of law is widely seen as a major factor for global financial institutions that make the former British colony their regional home but the legislation could lead to the flight of capital and executives from the Asian financial hub, bankers and headhunters said on Friday.

WATCH l The National report:

The Chinese government is about to impose harsh new security measures on Hong Kong, which could further rile up the pro-democracy movement instead of tamp it down. 2:03

“We have had instances where clients were considering establishing a presence in Hong Kong … but due to the pro-democracy protests in 2019, they decided to set up a presence in Singapore instead,” said Rahul Sen, London-based partner for wealth management headhunting and consulting firm Boyden.

The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Hong Kong urged Beijing to spell out more details, saying in a statement the enactment of the law could “jeopardize future prospects” for international business.

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Democracy activists arrested in Hong Kong ahead of more planned weekend protests

Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong was among three pro-democracy figures arrested on Thursday and Friday, ahead of another weekend of planned protests in the Chinese-ruled region which is grappling with its biggest political crisis since its handover to Beijing more than two decades ago.

Wong was “suddenly pushed into a private car on the street,” on Friday, according to the official Twitter account of his political party, Demosisto, which advocates for greater democracy in Hong Kong. 

The party said Wong had been taken to the police headquarters in Wan Chai — a busy commercial area — and that its lawyers were working on the case.

Wong, the face of Hong Kong’s push for full democracy during protests in 2014 that paralyzed parts of the city for 79 days, was released from jail in June after serving a five-week term for contempt of court.

Wong’s last tweet reiterated the protesters’ five demands. 

Demosisto later reported that another member of the group, Agnes Chow, was also detained on Friday. 

The Hong Kong Free Press reported that Andy Chan, the leader of the banned pro-independence Hong Kong National Party, had been detained at the airport on Thursday while trying to board a flight to Japan. 

The newspaper cited a police spokesperson who said Chan was arrested on suspicion of rioting and assaulting a police officer.

Hong Kong police later said Wong and Chow were were arrested for role in a June 21 police station protest. Both face potential charges of participating in the demonstration and inciting others to join it. Wong also is being investigated on suspicion of organizing it.

Police also confirmed the arrest of Demosisto member, Agnes Chow. (Issei Kato/Reuters)

Police have refused permission for a pro-democracy march on Saturday and an appeal by organizers to allow the demonstration to proceed was turned down on Friday.

The Civil Human Rights Front, the organizer of previous mass protests, said it would comply with the order and cancel the march from Hong Kong’s central business district to Beijing’s main representative Liaison Office in the city.

Unrest in Hong Kong escalated in mid-June over a now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial in Communist Party-controlled courts.

It has since evolved into calls for greater democracy under the “one country, two systems” formula, which guarantees freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland, including an independent judiciary.

On Thursday, China brought fresh troops into Hong Kong in what it described as a routine rotation of the garrison.

Andy Chan, founder of the Hong Kong National Party, seen here in August 2018, was reportedly detained at the airport Thursday while trying to board a flight to Japan. (Paul Yeung/Reuters)

Chinese state media stressed the troop movement was routine and Asian and Western diplomats watching the People’s Liberation Army forces in the former British colony had been expecting it.

Chinese soldiers stationed in Hong Kong are not there merely for symbolic purposes and they will have “no reason to sit on their hands” if the situation there worsens, an editorial in the China Daily newspaper said on Friday.

Police have refused permission for a pro-democracy march on Saturday, but organizers have appealed against the decision.

The protest would mark five years since Beijing ruled out universal suffrage for Hong Kong and comes as Hong Kong faces its first recession in a decade, with all its pillars of growth under stress.

Protesters are planning to rally again this weekend. On Thursday, China brought new troops into Hong Kong in what it described as a routine rotation of the garrison. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

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CBC | World News

Beyond Hardware: AMD’s Planned Software Improvements For Navi, GCN

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We’ve been covering AMD’s Ryzen and Navi announcements at E3 throughout the week, with one more aspect of the situation left to discuss. While we’ve discussed Navi and its RDNA architecture, we haven’t talked about any of the software improvements AMD intends to offer with its next GPUs. Some of these gains will also be available to GCN cards as well.

Let’s talk about some features and improvements.

First up, there are the general quality-of-life gains baked into AMD’s Radeon Software. With Navi, the system will automatically drop your TV into its low-latency game mode if the display supports one. You’ll be able to save settings to a separate file and re-import them if you need to install the driver completely from scratch or are reinstalling your entire OS. There are also some improvements baked into how WattMan reports its results.

AMD’s Link streaming application now supports streaming to TV boxes, including Apple and Android TV. Wireless VR streaming is now supported as well. These improvements are not gated to any specific GPU.

Radeon Chill is AMD’s technology to reduce GPU power consumption when gaming. The software can now set frame rate caps on 60Hz displays to reduce the number of frames rendered when you aren’t actively controlling your character due to being afk.

Click to enlarge. Don’t try to read this as-is. What is WRONG with you?

AMD’s footnote on Radeon Chill is worth reading. Under the right circumstances, it can significantly reduce GPU power consumption, though this does impact frame rate, and the total size of the gain varies from title to title. Any GPU that previously used Radeon Chill can take advantage of these improvements.

Next up, Radeon anti-lag. According to AMD, it has invented a method of reducing the length of time between when you hit a button in a game and when you see the results of doing so. This is accomplished by delaying some CPU work to ensure it occurs simultaneously alongside the GPU rather than being completed in advance.

I cannot honestly say that I observed a difference between having Radeon Anti-Lag enabled versus disabled. AMD demonstrated that the effect was working using custom-built latency monitors clipped to displays, and I believe the company that the monitor I tested had slightly better latency. I’m at an age where motor reflexes have already begun to decline, and if I’m being honest, I was never a particularly good twitch gamer to start with.

Best-case, this feature shaves a few milliseconds off your total latency. If you’re a good enough gamer to compete in these spaces to begin with, that might genuinely be worth something. It’s not something I feel capable of commenting on.

Anti-lag is supported in DX11 on all AMD GPUs. Support for DX9 games is a Navi-only feature. DX12 games are not currently supported due to dramatically different implementation requirements in that API.

Radeon Image Sharpening is a feature that pairs contrast adaptive sharpening with the use of GPU upscaling techniques to improve overall image quality above baseline without requiring the penalty of native 4K rendering. The following slides compare RIS on versus RIS off.

RIS is off in the slide above.

RIS is on in this slide. The effect is very subtle. You may want to open both of the images above in separate tabs, zoom in carefully, and then compare the final product. While there’s a definite IQ improvement in the “ON” image, it’s a small one.

Still, small improvements to IQ are generally welcome. RIS was also designed by Timothy Lottes, who worked on FXAA at Nvidia. There’s no expected performance impact from using the feature (estimated performance hit is 1 percent or less). RIS is a Navi-only feature and is only supported in DX12 and DX9.

Finally, there’s FidelityFX.

FidelityFX is AMD’s new addition to GPUOpen, and is a capability it’s releasing to any developer that wants to take advantage of it. The Contrast Adaptive Sharpening tool can be used on any GPU if developers want to do so.

A Few More Navi Details

A few more hardware details on Navi that didn’t make it into earlier stories but probably should’ve (blame a frenetic briefing schedule and some jumbled note-taking):

AMD plans to keep GCN GPUsSEEAMAZON_ET_135 See Amazon ET commerce in-market to handle HPC workloads. The AMD engineer we spoke with compared GCN with an enormously effective broadsword if swung properly, but as being relatively cumbersome to use, while RDNA was more of a lightsaber in terms of focusing on elegance and economy of motion. GPUs like the MI50 and MI60 also offer far more memory bandwidth and larger memory pools than any of the Navi cards coming to market in the near future.

RDNA is expected to eventually replace GCN in this space and has some fixes for slow-path quirks that GCN suffered from. Irregular performance with certain texture formats has been fixed, for example, and RDNA has larger caches to prevent pipeline bubbles. Overall performance should be more predictable with RDNA-derived GPUs than it was with GCN.

There’s nothing super-new in these details, but I thought I’d include them for completeness’ sake. This concludes our E3 coverage.

Now Read:

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ExtremeTechGaming – ExtremeTech

Joe Jonas Celebrates Bachelor Party in Ibiza Ahead of Second Formal Wedding to Sophie Turner Planned for June

Joe Jonas Celebrates Bachelor Party in Ibiza Ahead of Second Formal Wedding to Sophie Turner Planned for June | Entertainment Tonight

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Travis Scott Pledges to Donate Music Fest Merch Profits to Alabama Planned Parenthood

Travis Scott Pledges to Donate Music Fest Merch Profits to Alabama Planned Parenthood | Entertainment Tonight

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Police 'strongly believe' suspected Christchurch gunman planned to attack 3rd mosque

As the first funerals were held for some of the 50 victims in the Christchurch mosque attacks, New Zealand police announced that they believed the accused shooter was on his way to attack a third target when his vehicle was rammed by police officers and he was arrested.

"We strongly believe we stopped him on the way to a further attack, so lives were saved," New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said Wednesday.

Bush would not say what the third target was, but in a 74-page manifesto posted online and sent to government and some media outlets just minutes before the attack, the alleged shooter pointed to a mosque in Ashburton, a community 90 kilometres southwest of Christchurch.

Police arrested and charged 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant with murder, but additional charges are expected in the coming days.

Tarrant, who is a citizen of  Australia, had been living in Dunedin, New Zealand, and had frequented the Bruce Rifle Club.

Pete Breidahl, a 40-year-old hunter and former member of the New Zealand military, says he visited the club on a number of occasions and told the police he was alarmed by some of the conversations taking place there.

"These guys aren't hunters," he told CBC News.

"These are guys that have combat-based fantasies."

He said he was particularly disturbed by one member who spoke about the mass shooting in Port Arthur, Tasmania, in 1996. The shooter, Martin Bryant, was convicted of 35 counts of murder.

"They were talking about what Martin Bryant did, and how he could have done it better or differently."

Breidahl says he complained to the police, but was told they were "silly old duffers" and not to worry.  

Police say Tarrant had five guns when he attacked the two mosques in Christchurch, including two semi-automatic weapons.

Such guns can be purchased legally and — while owners are not supposed to have a magazine with more than seven rounds of ammunition — there is nothing to prevent them from loading it with 30 rounds.

Gun laws to change

The New Zealand government is poised to introduce stricter regulations on Monday, but John Hart, a farmer and Green Party candidate, decided not to wait and turned in his semi-automatic rifle at a police station.

He'd owned the weapon for about a decade and had been using it to help control the wild goats and pigs that sometimes frequent his property.

"I was effectively wanting to trade off the convenience, against the possibility of other people losing their lives and for me that trade off didn't make sense anymore," he says.

"It became a really easy decision."

While the government has promised swift action on guns, an inquiry is underway to examine whether border officials, police and New Zealand's intelligence agencies missed any red flags that could have alerted authorities before the mosques were attacked.

WATCH | CBC's Adrienne Arsenault reports, where many families are still waiting to bury their dead.

The minister responsible for New Zealand's intelligence services told news outlets that over the past nine months the government has specifically been looking at the rise of alt-right extremists, as the movement has manifested itself in other countries.

Last Friday's attack wasn't the first time the Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch had been targeted. In 2016, a group of neo-Nazis turned up with a pig's head.

Aliya Danzeisen with the Waikato Muslim Association says she and others spent nearly a year trying to get a group, claiming to be from New Zealand, kicked off Facebook for threatening posts which included talk of burning Muslims in cages.

"We have had times, especially in the last five to six years, feared for our children and feared for ourselves," Danzeisen says.  

She is adamant the community has seen a rise in what she calls nationalism and white supremacy.

Some immigrants describe the discrimination as persistent and real, even though they have been living in Christchurch for years.

Heaven Ikahsay immigrated to New Zealand from Sudan 10 years, and is the neighbour of one of the victims still recovering hospital. (Glen Kugelstadt/CBC)

"I am not saying everyone is bad, there are good people," says Heaven Ikahsay a young mother who immigrated from Sudan to New Zealand ten years ago.

"But there are haters as well, people who don't like immigrants and who don't like us being here."  

She feels the attack didn't have anything do with religion, but rather immigration.

Ikahsay spoke with CBC News on the way into the Christchurch Hospital where she was visiting her neighbour who remains in critical condition after being shot at the Al-Noor mosque.  

She said he'd been through four surgeries since the shooting and was still unconscious.

More than 30 people remain in hospital, while a team of 120 work to identify the all those who were killed, by examining fingerprints, DNA and dental records.

Police, meanwhile, said they are working "relentlessly" to formally identify all of the victims and release the bodies to families, saying it would be unforgivable to return the wrong body to a grieving family.

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CBC | World News

Suspect in Jayme Closs case meticulously planned abduction, killings, prosecutors say

Jayme Closs's 88-day nightmare began in the bathroom of her family home near Barron, Wis. It was there that the teen hid with her mother, terrified as they listened to Jayme's father being shot to death.

Moments later, the washroom door flew open and a masked man entered. He tied Jayme's hands and ankles, then shot and killed her mother. He took Jayme outside and dumped her in the back of a car.

So began the 13-year-old's first few minutes in captivity, according to a criminal complaint filed by prosecutors on Monday.

Jayme's more-than-12-week ordeal ended last Thursday, when she escaped from her alleged kidnapper's cabin. 

The complaint, which charged 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson with Jayme's kidnapping and the killing of her two parents on Oct. 15, says Patterson methodically planned the crimes.

According to prosecutors, Patterson told investigators he was driving to his job at a cheese factory one day when he stopped behind a school bus and watched Jayme get on. At that moment, he told investigators, "he knew that was the girl he was going to take," the complaint says.

Police allege Patterson stole licence plates to replace his own, checked out the Closs home twice, purchased a black ski mask and shaved his head to avoid leaving any hairs at the crime scene.

Hidden under a bed

Once at Patterson's isolated cabin, the complaint says, Jayme would be kept under a bed for hours at a time, whenever he left the house or had friends over. The complaint says Patterson told investigators that when his father visited him on Saturdays, he would turn up the radio in his room to cover any noise she might make.

Patterson warned Jayme that "bad things could happen to her" if anyone knew she was there, the complaint says. It also alleges he would stack totes, laundry bins and barbell weights around her while she was under the bed so she couldn't move without him noticing.

According to the court filing, Jayme escaped on Thursday, after Patterson told her he'd be away for five or six hours — giving her the chance to steal a pair of his shoes and a make a break for it. A woman out with her dog spotted the girl as she walked along a road near Gordon, a town about an hour's drive north of Jayme's hometown of Barron, and recognized her immediately.

Jayme Closs was first reported missing on Oct. 15, after her parents were found fatally shot at their home in Barron, Wis. (The Associated Press)

The woman said the girl begged her for help and told her how Patterson had been hiding her in a nearby cabin and that she had escaped when he left her alone.

Neighbours called 911, and officers arrested Patterson within minutes. He has no criminal history in Wisconsin, and was described by people who knew him as a quiet person and good student who participated in quiz bowl in high school.

On Monday, Judge James Babler set Patterson's bail at $ 5 million US. Patterson's defence attorneys, Charles Glynn and Richard Jones, said they believe Patterson can get a fair trial, but they're not sure where.

"It's been an emotional time for this community and a difficult time for this community. We don't take that lightly. But we have a job to do in protecting our client," Jones said.

Months of searching

Police collected more than 3,500 tips following Jayme's disappearance, but no hard leads emerged.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said he met Jayme for the first time Sunday, and that she had an "awesome" smile on her face. She showed him her room at her aunt's home in Barron.

"It was a moment I'll never forget," Fitzgerald said.

The New York Post published photos of Patterson's cabin on Monday. They show a shabby living area with a couch, refrigerator and old television set. The ceiling is unfinished. Exterior photographs show a lean-to loaded with firewood, a three-car garage and an empty box of adult female diapers in a trash can. A sign over the cabin's front door reads "Patterson's Retreat."

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald speaks during a news conference on Oct. 17, shortly after Jayme Closs's disappearnce. Fitzgerald said Friday it was remarkable the 13-year-old was found, and called it one of the happiest moments of his life. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune/Associated Press)

Investigators say there's no evidence of any online interactions between Patterson and Jayme. Her family insists they don't know the man. Her grandfather, Robert Naiberg, told The Associated Press that Jayme told FBI agents she didn't know Patterson at all.

Charging documents in Wisconsin typically contain at least a partial narrative of what happened at a crime scene as prosecutors try to prove there's probable cause to support the allegations.

Glynn and Jones issued a statement Saturday saying they are relying on the court system to treat Patterson fairly.

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CBC | World News

Turkey beefs up military presence at Syria border in wake of planned U.S. pullout

Turkey is massing troops near a town in northern Syria held by a U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led force, a war monitor said, as Turkish media reported Sunday on new Turkish reinforcements crossing the borders.

The Turkish buildup comes even though Turkey said it would delay a promised offensive in eastern Syria in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw his country's troops earlier this week.

Trump tweeted on Sunday that he had a "long and productive" call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which they discussed "the slow & highly coordinated" pullout of U.S. troops from the area. This is the two leaders' second phone conversation in 10 days. U.S. military officials are scrambling to come up with a schedule for the withdrawal of an estimated 2,000 troops.

A statement from the Turkish presidency said the two leaders agreed to co-ordinate militarily and diplomatically to ensure the U.S. pullout from Syria does not lead to an "authority vacuum."

Trump's decision, announced last week after a call with Erdogan, surprised his allies and his own experts, sparking the resignation of two of his top aides. He had asked for an immediate withdrawal, but experts convinced him that they needed time to work out a timetable.

The Turkish IHA news agency reported that a convoy of Turkish troops — a commando unit — had been sent into Syria overnight.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the reinforcements were sent to the front line with Manbij, where U.S. troops have been based. The Observatory said 50 vehicles crossed into Syria — carrying troops and equipment.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seen in Istanbul on Sunday. Erdogan has vowed to dislodge the U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG fighters from along its border with Syria. (Presidential Press Service via AP)

A Turkish military official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government protocol, said the military reinforcements were dispatched to the areas administered by Turkey in northern Syria, without elaborating.

The spokesperson for the Kurdish-led Manbij Military Council, Sharfan Darwish, said Turkish reinforcements have arrived in the area. "We are taking necessary measures to defend ourselves if we are attacked," he said without elaborating.

U.S. troops based around Manbij patrolled the town and surrounding area on Sunday and were photographed speaking with the residents.

Turkey has welcomed Trump's decision. Ankara views the Syrian Democratic Forces — led by the mostly Kurdish YPG militia — as an extension of the insurgency within its borders. Erdogan has vowed to dislodge the U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG fighters from along its border with Syria.

France 'deeply regrets' U.S. withdrawal

Also Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron said he "deeply regrets" Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria and warned it could have dangerous consequences.

Macron showered praise on U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, who quit in the wake of Trump's unexpected move. "An ally should be reliable, co-ordinate with other allies. Mattis understood this," Macron said during a trip to Chad.

Macron said that the troop withdrawal endangers Kurdish fighters, who were instrumental in the U.S-led coalition's fight against ISIS militants.

"We should not forget … what we owe to those who died on the ground fighting terrorism," he said, referring to the SDF. "The SDF is fighting against the terrorism that fomented attacks against Paris and elsewhere … I call on everyone not to forget what they have done."

Macron did not say what France's military will do next in Syria. Kurdish officials met with a French presidential adviser Friday, and one asked France to play a larger role in Syria following the American withdrawal.

Ankara-Washington relations soured 

The U.S. has since 2014 partnered with the Syrian Kurdish militia to drive out ISIS, a partnership that soured relations between Ankara and Washington.

Turkey's fears about Kurdish militia were partly allayed by a deal reached in June over Manbij. According to the deal, the Kurdish militia would withdraw from Manbij and U.S. and Turkish troops would patrol the area, as a new administration for the mixed Arab-Kurdish town is elected.

But Ankara says the U.S. and the Kurdish YPG fighters didn't live up to their end of the deal and that it would start an offensive in eastern Syria to drive out the militia. Turkey already has troops in northwestern Syria and has backed Syrian fighters there to clear towns and villages of ISIS militants and U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG fighters.

Watch: U.S. begins pulling troops out of Syria as Trump claims victory over ISIS

U.S. President Trump has begun what will be a total withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, declaring on Wednesday they have succeeded in their mission to defeat Islamic State and were no longer needed in the country. 2:39

After Trump's decision, Erdogan said he would delay the eastern Syria offensive and would work on plans to clear out ISIS from the region.

A spokesperson for the Turkey-backed Syrian opposition fighting group said the continued Turkish and allied forces buildup is to prevent Syrian government troops from taking advantage of the tension in the area to seize territory.

Youssef Hammoud, spokesperson for the Syrian opposition fighters, accused the U.S.-backed Kurdish militia of reaching out to the Syrian government to replace U.S. troops if they withdraw.

Darwish dismissed the claims as "untrue," calling them "old accusations" from the rival Syrian groups.

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