Tag Archives: Thousands

Eruption of La Soufrière volcano in St. Vincent forces thousands from their homes

La Soufrière volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent erupted on Friday after decades of inactivity, sending dark plumes of ash and smoke billowing into the sky and forcing thousands from surrounding villages to evacuate.

Dormant since 1979, the volcano started showing signs of activity in December, spewing steam and smoke and rumbling away. That picked up this week, prompting Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves to order an evacuation of the surrounding area late on Thursday.

Early on Friday it finally erupted. Ash and smoke plunged the neighbouring area into near total darkness, blotting out the bright morning sun, said a Reuters witness, who reported hearing the explosion from Rose Hall, a nearby village.

Smaller explosions continued throughout the day, Erouscilla Joseph, director at the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre, told Reuters, adding that this kind of activity could go on for weeks if not months.

“This is just the beginning,” she said.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which has a population of just over 100,000, has not experienced volcanic activity since 1979, when an eruption caused approximately $ 100 million in damages. An eruption by La Soufriere in 1902 killed more than 1,000 people. The name means “sulfur outlet” in French.

The eruption column was estimated to have reached 10 kilometres high, the seismic research centre said, warning other explosive eruptions could occur. Ash fall could affect the Grenadines, Barbados, St. Lucia and Grenada.

“The ash plume may cause flight delays due to diversions,” the centre said on Twitter. “On the ground, ash can cause discomfort in persons suffering with respiratory illnesses and will impact water resources.”

Local media have in recent days also reported increased activity from Mount Pelee on the island of Martinique, which lies to the north of St. Vincent beyond St. Lucia.

‘In a frenzy’

Some 4,500 residents near the volcano had left their homes already via ships and by road, Gonsalves said at a news conference on Friday.

Heavy ash fall had halted evacuation efforts somewhat due to poor visibility, according to St. Vincent’s National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO).

“The place in general is in a frenzy,” said Lavern King, 28, a shelter volunteer. “People are still being evacuated from the red zone, it started yesterday evening and into last night.”

Gonsalves said that depending on the extent of the damage, it could be four months before evacuees could return home.


An emergency official ensures all evacuees are safe before giving approval to the driver to depart following the eruption of La Soufrière volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. (Robertson S. Henry/Reuters)

Welling up with tears, he said neighbouring islands such as Dominica, Grenada and Antigua had agreed to take evacuees in and cruise lines could ferry them over — as long as they got vaccinated first.

Though that could prove to be a challenge, according to opposition senator Shevern John, 42.

“People are very scared of the vaccine and they opt out of coming to a shelter because eventually they would have to adhere to the protocol,” she said.


The eruption column from the volcano was estimated to have reached 10 kilometres high, the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre said. (Zen Punnett/AFP/Getty Images)

Shelters are also having to limit the number of evacuees they take in due to COVID-19 protocols.

John said people would have to wait for further scientific analysis to know what steps to take next.

“It can go for a few days or a few weeks,” she said. “At the moment, both ends of the island are covered in ash and very dark.”

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Landslides, floods kill at least 41 in Indonesia, displace thousands

Landslides and flash floods from torrential rains in eastern Indonesia killed at least 41 people and displaced thousands, the country’s disaster relief agency said Sunday. More than two dozen others were still missing.

Mud tumbled down from surrounding hills onto dozens of homes in Lamenele village shortly after midnight on Adonara island in East Nusa Tenggara province. Rescuers recovered 35 bodies and at least five injured, said Lenny Ola, who heads the local disaster agency.

Flash flooding killed at least six people elsewhere, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency. Relief efforts were hampered by power cuts, blocked roads covered in thick mud and debris as well as the remoteness of the area surrounded by choppy seas and high waves, said the agency’s spokesperson, Raditya Jati.

Seasonal downpours cause frequent landslides and floods, killing dozens each year in Indonesia, a chain of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains.

Indonesia’s disaster agency lowered the death toll late Sunday to 41 — down from 44 — after search and rescue team reverified victims’ data. At least 27 people were still missing.

The bodies of three people were recovered after being swept away by floods in Oyang Bayang village, where 40 houses were also destroyed, Ola said. Hundreds of people fled submerged homes, some of which were carried off by the floodwaters.

In another village, Waiburak, three people were killed and seven remained missing when overnight rains caused rivers to burst their banks, sending muddy water into large areas of East Flores district, Ola said. Four injured people were being treated at a local health clinic.


People inspect damaged buildings at a village hit by flash flooding in East Flores. (Ola Adonara/The Associated Press)

Hundreds of people were involved in rescue efforts, but distribution of aid and relief was hampered by power cuts, blocked roads and the remoteness of the area that’s surrounded by choppy waters and high waves, said the National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson, Raditya Jati.

Authorities were still collecting information about the full scale of casualties and damage in the affected areas, Jati said.

Photos released by the agency showed rescuers and police and military personnel taking residents to shelters, bridges cut while roads were covered by thick mud and debris.

Severe flooding also has been reported in Bima, a town in the neighbouring province of West Nusa Tenggara, forcing nearly 10,000 people to flee, Jati said.

In January, 40 people died in two landslides in West Java province.

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Thousands of Toronto hospital staff haven’t got their COVID-19 shots, memo reveals

Thousands of staff at a Toronto hospital network have still not been vaccinated against COVID-19, prompting an internal email from its president, which has been obtained by CBC News, urging them to get immunized.

Roughly 4,000 employees of University Health Network (UHN) had not registered for their shots by Monday, according to the email sent that day by UHN president and CEO Dr. Kevin Smith.

“While our overall rate of uptake is very good, there are areas and programs where vaccination remains below 50 per cent of people,” Smith wrote.

“We must change this immediately.”

Smith also said he’s worried the hospital network’s supply of vaccines will be greatly reduced in the days ahead as Ontario “expands its list of priorities.”

The plea was made to staff at some of the highest risk for encountering the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the workplace, according to UHN spokesperson Gillian Howard, including those working in the emergency department, intensive care units, inpatient units and COVID-19 units.

Since the email was sent out, Howard said, around 1,000 more UHN workers had registered for their vaccinations, bringing the total to just over 18,000 people who will be vaccinated.

The network has set up a phone line and “vaccine ambassadors” to answer questions from staff, she said.

It was not immediately clear why some employees were slow to register.  

UHN includes multiple hospitals, including Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital and Princess Margaret Cancer Hospital.

Early access

It’s not clear how many staff at other health-care networks and hospitals in the Toronto area have been vaccinated or signed up for their shots.

Women’s College Hospital, a separate facility from UHN, told CBC News around 664 of some 929 eligible staff members, about 71 per cent, have been vaccinated so far.


Toronto General Hospital is one of several sites that belongs to the network. (Sue Reid/CBC)

“However, this number is constantly changing as staff numbers fluctuate and we have many who are awaiting appointments in the coming weeks,” said spokesperson Jen Brailsford in an email. 

“This is also likely an underestimate as these numbers are based on self-reporting to occupational health.”

Toronto-area hospital sites had early access to the province’s vaccination rollout, with thousands of doses given to front-line workers and other staff in recent months.

Despite that, hospital outbreaks have continued. UHN alone is currently reporting three, affecting a handful of staff and patients. 

CBC News has also previously reported on how an estimated one-third of long-term care workers — who have been eligible since December — have not yet gotten their shots. 

A memo from the Ontario Ministry of Long Term Care dated March 8 revealed an estimated 67 per cent of staff in nursing homes across the province have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to over 95 per cent of residents.


UHN’s Dr. Susy Hota says the lack of vaccine uptake during the pandemic’s third wave is disappointing. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

According to public health ethics researcher Alison Thompson, an associate professor at the University of Toronto, hesitancy among health-care workers can lead to “tricky” ethical issues in the workplace, particularly in a hospital setting.

“It basically boils down to a matter of protecting patients and their right to having a safe space for care, and their colleagues being protected … versus their individual charter right to not have to be subjected to some kind of medical intervention against their will and consent,” she said.

‘Not a good track record’ 

Dr. Susy Hota, medical director of infection prevention and control at UHN, said the lack of vaccine uptake during the pandemic’s third wave is disappointing.

But she stressed that while these are medical professionals, they’re also dealing with the vaccine hesitancy that’s increasingly common among the general population.

“My hospital is huge. We’re like a community in ourselves, like a little village or town,” she said. 

“And there’s a diversity of different roles that people play here. And people come from different backgrounds, and different cultures and have had different past experiences.”

Hota says, from an infection control perspective, figuring out how to combat this hesitancy among health-care workers can be difficult.

“We haven’t been successful in mandating vaccinations in the past; there’s not a good track record,” she continued.

Could mandatory masks or other personal protective gear for unvaccinated workers be an option? It’s not that simple, Hota says.

For one thing, most infections in hospitals are thought to occur when workers aren’t conducting patient care and no longer wearing masks; like chatting in a break room. 

“Masking versus vaccination was tried for influenza, and that didn’t succeed,” Hota added.

Thompson agrees. If each individual employer tries to implement that kind of policy, it’s much less likely to be successful, she said.

“It’s much more effective, probably, if the provincial government were to mandate that vaccines have to be administered for health-care workers, with legitimate exemptions,” she said.

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Report: Stadia Missed Active User Targets by Hundreds of Thousands

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Google launched its Stadia cloud gaming service in late 2019, but already the bloom is off the rose. A series of increasingly concerning tales from Google’s game division has come to light in the weeks since Google killed its internal studio, and the latest tidbits are perhaps the most damning. According to a report in Bloomberg, Google blew millions of dollars to get games like Red Dead Redemption 2, but it still missed active user targets by hundreds of thousands of units. 

Stadia is similar to platforms like Amazon Luna and Microsoft xCloud, but both of those services have rolled out more gradually. Google tried to hit the ground running after testing the streaming technology with Project Stream. According to Bloomberg’s sources, Stadia management took a game console approach rather than starting small, but the service’s poor game library and traditional pay-per-game model didn’t catch on. 

Many of the sources interviewed for the Bloomberg report say this approach was flawed from the start. Several members of the team urged the company to launch Stadia as a beta — both Gmail and Maps Navigation were in beta for years after launch, allowing Google to tune the services based on how people used them. But Stadia manager Phil Harrison wanted the service to duke it out with consoles right away. 

The Stadia app as seen on Android in early 2021.

Google is said to have dropped huge sums of money to get AAA titles like Assassin’s Creed and Red Dead Redemption 2 to further this goal — we’re talking tens of millions for each game. That’s enough to develop a new game from scratch, but a handful of premium games isn’t going to hack it when gamers on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox get hundreds of new games every year. The result was a substantially smaller player base than Google expected, to the tune of hundreds of thousands. The resultant oversupply of Stadia controllers is allegedly why Google was giving them away so readily late last year. 

While Google was paying out the nose for AAA games, the company’s Stadia Games and Entertainment division was working on games that could only happen in the cloud. Sources claim they were building experiences that transcended the memory and processing limits of local hardware, but then Google got cold feet. That’s when the company pulled the plug on SG&E early this month. Without exclusive content, Stadia’s future as a distinct platform is in doubt. Google hinted that it might license Stadia’s tech to other companies — that might be Stadia’s destiny.

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Myanmar generals shut down internet as thousands protest coup

Myanmar’s junta shut down the internet in the country on Saturday as thousands of people took to the streets of Yangon to denounce this week’s coup and demand the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

In the first such demonstration since the generals seized power on Monday, activists in the country’s largest city chanted, “Military dictator, fail, fail; Democracy, win, win” and held banners reading “Against military dictatorship.” Bystanders offered them food and water.

Many in the crowd wore red, the color of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) which won Nov. 8 elections in a landslide, a result the generals have refused to recognize claiming fraud.

The protesters largely dispersed in the afternoon, but several hundred remained sitting on the road in a standoff with police, residents said. Another group of around 100 were blocked by police from reaching the main demonstration.

As the protest swelled and activists issued calls on social media for people to join the march, the country’s internet crashed.

Monitoring group NetBlocks Internet Observatory reported a “national-scale internet blackout,” saying on Twitter that connectivity had fallen to 54 per cent of ordinary levels. Witnesses reported a shutdown of mobile data services and wifi.


Members of the crowd shouted ‘Military dictatorship should fall’ and ‘Down with dictatorship.’ (Ye Aung Thu/AFP via Getty Images)

The junta did not respond to requests for comment. It extended a social media crackdown to Twitter and Instagram after seeking to silence dissent by temporarily blocking Facebook, which counts half of the population as users.

Norwegian mobile network provider Telenor ASA said authorities had ordered all mobile operators to temporarily shut down the data network, although voice and SMS services remained open.

Many activists had sidestepped the Facebook ban by using virtual private networks to conceal their locations, but the more general internet disruption will severely limit their ability to organize and access independent news and information.


Many wore red, the colour of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), which won Nov. 8 elections in a landslide, a result the generals have refused to recognize, claiming fraud. (The Associated Press)

Myanmar civil society organizations appealed to internet providers and mobile networks to resist the junta’s orders, saying in joint statement they were “essentially legitimizing the military’s authority.”

Telenor said it had stressed to the authorities that access to telecom services should be maintained. However it added it was bound by local law and its first priority was the safety of its local workers.

“We deeply regret the impact the shutdown has on the people in Myanmar,” it said in a statement.

Amnesty International’s deputy regional director for campaigns, Ming Yu Hah, said shutting down the internet amid a coup and the COVID-19 pandemic was a “heinous and reckless decision.”

International fallout

Army chief Min Aung Hlaing seized power alleging fraud, although the electoral commission says it has found no evidence of widespread irregularities in the November vote.

The junta announced a one-year state of emergency and has promised to hand over power after new elections, without giving a timeframe.

Suu Kyi, 75, has been charged with illegally importing six walkie-talkies, while ousted President Win Myint is accused of flouting coronavirus restrictions. Neither has been seen since the coup, although their lawyer said they were being held in their homes.

Sean Turnell, an Australian economic adviser to Suu Kyi, said in a message to Reuters on Saturday he was being detained.

Without naming Turnell, Australia said it had summoned the Myanmar ambassador to register “deep concern” over the arbitrary detention of Australian and other foreign nationals in Myanmar.

“In particular, we have serious concerns about an Australian who has been detained at a police station,” Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a statement.

Saturday’s protest is the first sign of street unrest in a country with a history of bloody military crackdowns on protesters. There were also anti-coup protests in Melbourne, Australia, and the Taiwanese capital Taipei on Saturday.

A civil disobedience movement has been building in Myanmar all week, with doctors and teachers among those refusing to work, and every night people bang pots and pans in a show of anger.


Police blocked the main roads into the city centre in Yangon. (The Associated Press)

The coup has sparked international outrage, with the United States considering sanctions against the generals and the United Nations Security Council calling for the release of all detainees.

It has also deepened tensions between the United States and China, which has close links to Myanmar’s military. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken pressed top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in a phone call on Friday to condemn the coup, the State Department said.

The generals have few overseas interests that would be vulnerable to international sanctions, but the military’s extensive business investments could suffer if foreign partners leave — as Japanese drinks company Kirin Holdings said it would on Friday.

Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi spent 15 years under house arrest after leading pro-democracy protests against the long-ruling military junta in 1988.

After sharing power with a civilian government, the army began democratic reforms in 2011. That led to the election of the NLD in a landslide victory four years later.

The November election was meant to solidify a troubled democratic transition after the generals agreed to share power under a constitution guaranteeing the army a major role in government.

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Thousands rally in Russia to demand Alexei Navalny’s release

Thousands of people took to the streets Sunday across Russia to demand the release of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, keeping up the wave of nationwide protests that have rattled the Kremlin. Hundreds were detained by police.

The authorities mounted a massive effort to stem the tide of demonstrations after tens of thousands of people rallied across the country the previous weekend in the largest and most widespread show of discontent the country has seen in years.

Police so far have detained over 260 participants in protests held in many cities across Russia’s 11 time zones, according to the OVD-Info, a group that monitors arrests.

In Moscow, introduced unprecedented security measures in the city centre, closing several subway stations near the Kremlin, cutting bus traffic and ordering restaurants and stores to stay closed.

The 44-year-old Navalny, an anti-corruption investigator who is the best-known critic of President Vladimir Putin, was arrested on Jan. 17 upon returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin. Russian authorities have rejected the accusations.


Police detain another participant of Sunday’s rally in Moscow. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

Navalny’s team called for Sunday’s protest to be held on Moscow’s Lubyanka Square, home to the main headquarters of the Federal Security Service, which Navalny claims was responsible for his poisoning.

As part of a multipronged effort by the authorities to block the protests, courts have jailed Navalny’s associates and activists across the country. His brother Oleg, top aide Lyubov Sobol and three other people were put under two-month house arrest Friday on charges of alleged violations of coronavirus restrictions during last weekend’s protests.

Prosecutors also demanded that social platforms block the calls for joining the protests on the internet.

The Interior Ministry has issued stern warnings to the public not to join the protests, saying participants could be charged with taking part in mass riots, which carries a prison sentence of up to eight years. Those engaging in violence against police could face up to 15 years.

Nearly 4,000 people were reportedly detained at demonstrations on Jan. 23 calling for Navalny’s release took place in more than 100 Russian cities, and some were given fines and jail terms. About 20 were accused of assaulting police and faced criminal charges.

Just after Navalny’s arrest, his team released a two-hour video on his YouTube channel about an opulent Black Sea residence purportedly built for Putin. The video has been viewed over 100 million times, helping fuel discontent and inspiring a stream of sarcastic jokes on the internet.

Putin has said that neither he nor any of his close relatives own the property, and on Saturday, construction magnate Arkady Rotenberg, a longtime Putin confidant and his occasional judo sparring partner, claimed he owned the property.

Navalny fell into a coma on Aug. 20 while on a domestic flight from Siberia to Moscow. He was transferred to a Berlin hospital two days later. Labs in Germany, France and Sweden, and tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established that he was exposed to the Novichok nerve agent. Russian authorities have refused to open a full-fledged criminal inquiry, citing a lack of evidence that he was poisoned.

WATCH | Putin touts stability amid protests over Nalvany’s arrest:

Russian authorities are bracing for another round of protests amid outrage over the arrest of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Despite that, President Vladimir Putin made a rare appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, saying it was business as usual in Russia. 2:06

When he returned to Russia in January, Navalny was jailed for 30 days after Russia’s prison service alleged he had violated the probation terms of his suspended sentence from a 2014 money-laundering conviction that he has rejected as political revenge.

On Thursday, a Moscow court rejected his appeal to be released, and another hearing next week could turn his 3½-year suspended sentence into one he must serve in prison.

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Alexei Navalny’s wife among thousands arrested at anti-Kremlin protests

Police detained more than 2,500 people and used force to break up rallies across Russia on Saturday as tens of thousands of protesters ignored extreme cold and police warnings to demand the release of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

Navalny had called on his supporters to protest after being arrested last weekend as he returned to Russia from Germany for the first time since being poisoned with a nerve agent he says was applied to his underpants by state security agents in August.

The authorities had warned people to stay away from Saturday’s protests, saying they were at risk from COVID-19, as well as prosecution and possible jail time for attending an unauthorized event.

But protesters defied the ban and, in at least one case in temperatures below –50 C, turned out in force. Leonid Volkov, a Navalny ally, called on them to do the same next weekend to try to free Navalny from what he called “the clutches of his killers.”

In central Moscow, where Reuters reporters estimated at least 40,000 people had gathered in one of the biggest unauthorized rallies in years, police were seen roughly detaining people, bundling them into nearby vans.


Law enforcement officers push people during a rally in support of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

The authorities said just some 4,000 people had shown up, while the Foreign Affairs Ministry questioned a crowd estimate from Reuters.

“Why not just immediately say 4 million?” it suggested sarcastically on its official Telegram messenger channel.

Ivan Zhdanov, a Navalny ally, put turnout in the capital at 50,000, the Proekt media outlet reported.

Some protesters chanted “Putin is a thief,” “Disgrace” and “Freedom to Navalny!”

U.S., EU condemn ‘harsh tactics’

Navalny’s wife, Yulia, said on social media that she had been detained at the rally. Navalny’s mother, Ludmila, was also at the protest.

Some of Navalny’s political allies were detained in the days before the protest, others on the day itself.

At one point, protesters surrounded a sleek black car with a flashing light used by senior officials, throwing snowballs at it and kicking it. A group of police officers was also pelted with snowballs by a much bigger crowd.


A demonstrator holds a placard reading ‘One for all, all for one’ during a rally in support of Navalny in Omsk, Russia, on Saturday. (Alexey Malgavko/Reuters)

The OVD-Info protest monitor group said that at least 2,250 people, including 855 in Moscow and 327 in St. Petersburg, had been detained at rallies in nearly 70 towns and cities.

The United States condemned what it described as “harsh tactics” used against protesters and journalists and called for Navalny’s “immediate and unconditional” release.

“We call on Russian authorities to release all those detained for exercising their universal rights,” U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.


The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said in a tweet that he deplored the “disproportionate use of force” by authorities, while Britain’s foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, condemned the “use of violence against peaceful protesters and journalists.”

Navalny, a 44-year-old lawyer, is in a Moscow prison pending the outcome of four legal matters he describes as trumped up. He accuses President Vladimir Putin of ordering his attempted murder. Putin has dismissed that, alleging Navalny is part of a U.S.-backed dirty-tricks campaign to discredit him.

Some protesters marched on the prison, where police were waiting to arrest them.

Images of protesters with injuries such as bloodied heads circulated on social media.


A large protest supporting Navalny was also held in St. Petersburg. (Dmitri Lovetsky/The Associated Press)

The scenes were reminiscent of the months-long unrest in Russia’s neighboring ally Belarus, where anti-government protests flared last August over allegations of voter fraud.

One Moscow protester, Sergei Radchenko, 53, said: “I’m tired of being afraid. I haven’t just turned up for myself and Navalny but for my son, because there is no future in this country.”

He added that he was frightened but felt strongly about what he called an out-of-control judicial system.

Protests across Europe

There was no immediate comment from the Kremlin, which had previously called the protests illegal and the work of “provocateurs.”

State prosecutors said they would look into alleged violence against police officers by protesters.

In Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, nearly 1,000 people demonstrated against Navalny’s arrest. Small demonstrations were also held in Bulgaria, and some 200 to 300 people protested in Paris.


Navalny supporters demonstrate in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Saturday. (Omer Messinger/Getty Images)

Police in Siberia’s Yakutsk, one of the coldest cities in the world, where the temperature was –52 C on Saturday, grabbed a protester by his arms and legs and dragged him into a van, video footage showed.

In Moscow, some journalists covering the protests were detained, drawing a rebuke from the U.S. Embassy.

“Russian authorities arresting peaceful protesters, journalists,” spokesperson Rebecca Ross said on Twitter. “Appears to be a concerted campaign to suppress free speech, peaceful assembly.”

WATCH | Bill Browder calls on Canada and its allies to sanction Russian officials:

Bill Browder, head of the Global Magnitsky Justice Campaign, is calling on the international community to take action following the arrest and jailing of outspoken Putin critic Alexei Navalny in Russia. 1:45

There were outages on mobile phone and internet services, the monitoring site downdetector.ru showed, a tactic sometimes used by authorities to make it harder for protesters to communicate among themselves.

Britain’s Foreign Office said it was “deeply concerned by the detention of peaceful protesters.”

‘Putin’s palace’

In a push to galvanize support ahead of the protests, Navalny’s team released a video about an opulent palace on the Black Sea they alleged belonged to Putin, something the Kremlin denied. As of Saturday, the clip, with the words “Putin’s palace” in the title, had been viewed more than 69 million times.

Navalny’s allies hope to tap into what polls say are pent-up frustrations among the public over years of falling wages and economic fallout from the pandemic.

But Putin’s grip on power looks unassailable for now, and the 68-year-old president regularly records an approval rating of more than 60 per cent, much higher than that of Navalny.

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Thousands forced to flee after volcano erupts in eastern Indonesia

A volcano in eastern Indonesia erupted Sunday, sending a column of ash as high as 4,000 metres into the sky and forcing thousands of people to leave their homes.

Nearly 2,800 people from at least 28 villages fled from the slopes of Mount Ili Lewotolok, which is located on Lembata island of East Nusa Tenggara province, as the volcano began erupting, said Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Raditya Jati. There were no reports of deaths or injuries from the eruption.

The Transportation Ministry said a flight warning had been issued after the eruption and a local airport had been closed as ash rained down on many areas of the island.

Mount Ili Lewotolok has been erupting off and on since October 2017. The Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center raised the volcano’s alert level to the second-highest level on Sunday after sensors picked up increasing activity.

The 5,423-metre volcano is one of three currently erupting in Indonesia along with Merapi on Java island and Sinabung on Sumatra island.


The 5,423-metre volcano is one of three currently erupting in Indonesia. (Muhammad Ilham/Reuters)

They are among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines around the Pacific Ocean.

After the eruption, the Disaster Mitigation Agency advised villagers and climbers to stay four kilometres from the crater and be aware of the peril of lava.

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Clashes in Paris as thousands protest bill that would outlaw filming police officers

·Photos

Tens of thousands of critics of a proposed security law that would restrict the filming of police officers protested across France on Saturday.

Violence erupted nearby as small groups of protesters clashed with riot police

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Tearful thousands bid farewell to Maradona in Argentina

Tens of thousands of fans, many weeping but eager to honour Diego Maradona, filed past the coffin of Argentina’s most iconic soccer star on Thursday, some confronting police who tried to maintain order at the country’s presidential mansion.

Fans blew kisses as they passed Maradona’s wooden casket in the main lobby of the presidential Casa Rosada, some strike their chests with closed fists and shouting, “Let’s go Diego.”

The casket was covered in an Argentine flag and the No. 10 shirt he famously wore the national team. Dozens of other shirts of different soccer teams tossed in by weeping visitors were scattered on and around the casket.

Maradona died on Wednesday of a heart attack at age 60 in a house outside Buenos Aires where he had been recovering from a a brain operation on Nov. 3.

WATCH | CPL’s John Molinaro remembers the life and legacy of Maradona:

Legendary soccer player Diego Maradona has died at the age of 60. John Molinaro joins CBC Sports to discuss his legacy on and off the field. 3:44

Open visitation, started at 6:15 a.m. after a few hours of privacy for family and close friends. The first to bid farewell were his daughters and close family members. His ex-wife Claudia Villafane came with Maradona’s daughters Dalma and Gianinna. Later came Veronica Ojeda, also his ex-wife, with their son Dieguito Fernando.

Jana, who Maradona recognized as his daughter only a few years ago, also attended the funeral.

Then came former teammates of the 1986 World Cup-winning squad including Oscar Ruggeri. Other Argentine footballers, such as Boca Juniors’ Carlos Tevez, showed up, too.

Some fans grew impatient as police tried to maintain order, throwing bottles and pieces of metal fencing at police outside the presidential offices in the heart of Buenos Aires. Officers at one point used tear gas to try to control them.

Shortly before noon Argentina President Alberto Fernandez arrived and placed on the casket a shirt of Argentinos Juniors, Maradona’s first club as a professional.

WATCH | Diego Maradona’s famed ‘Hand of God’ goal:

In Mexico City during a quarter-final match against England, Argentine striker Diego Maradona scores “the goal”. 0:50

In tears, Fernandez also laid two handkerchiefs of the human rights organization Madres de Plaza de Mayo, who wore them for years to protest the disappearance of their children under the Argentina’s military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983.

Maradona, an outspoken leftist who had an image of Argentine Revolutionary Che Guevara tattooed on one bicep, was a friend of the Madres and of other human rights organizations.

The lines started forming outside the Casa Rosada only hours after Maradona’s death was confirmed and grew to several blocks. Among those present were the renowned barrabravas fans of Boca Juniors, one of his former clubs.

The first fan to visit was Nahuel de Lima, 30, using crutches to move because of a disability.

“He made Argentina be recognized all over the world, who speaks of Maradona also speaks of Argentina,” de Lima told The Associated Press. “Diego is the people. … Today the shirts, the political flags don’t matter. We came to say goodbye to a great that gave us a lot of joy.”

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Maradona’s soccer genius, personal struggles and plain-spoken personality resonated deeply with Argentines.

He led an underdog team to glory in the 1986 World Cup, winning the title after scoring two astonishing goals in a semifinal match against England, thrilling a country that felt humiliated by its loss against the British in the recent Falklands war and that was still recovering from the brutal military dictatorship.

Many deeply sympathized with the struggles of a man who rose from poverty to fame and wealth and fell into abuse of drug, drink and food. He remained idolized in the soccer-mad nation as the “Pibe de Oro” or “Golden Boy.”

Lidia and Estela Villalba cried near the exit of the lobby. Both had a Boca Juniors shirt and an Argentinian flag on their shoulders.

“We told him we love him, that he was the greatest,” they said at the same time.

Those waiting for enter the Casa Rosada were mostly wearing masks because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they struggled to keep social distancing.

Social worker Rosa Noemi Monje, 63, said she and others overseeing health protocols understood the emotion of the moment.

“It is impossible to ask them to distance. We behave respectfully and offer them sanitizer and face masks,” she said. Monje also paid her last tribute to Maradona.

“I told him: to victory always, Diego,” Monje said as she wept.

A huge mural of Maradona’a face was painted on the tiles that cover the Plaza de Mayo, near the Casa Rosada, which was decorated with a giant black ribbon at the entrance.

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CBC | Sports News