Bill Maher Reheats Beef With Barbie

You may have heard comedian Bill Maher marred Canada’s image in a recent entry to the long list of rules for living like Bill Maher.

A new “Real Time With Bill Maher” New Rule segment opens with the host making fun of the notion America could learn a thing or two from other civilized nations, saying: “If we want to save our country, we should follow the advice good liberals have given for decades and learn from other countries.”

This was met with deafening silence from the audience, likely worried he was going to start talking about Russia or offended by the very idea the US has room for improvement, prompting him to clap his hands encouragingly for a “please applaud” moment that would’ve made Jeb! blush.

Robyn beat me to the punch and dove deep into the many things he and his writers got wrong in the eight-minute diatribe pushing the rightwing narrative that America’s hat has become the Great Woke North under Justin Trudeau.

I’ll wait.

No One Is Pushing Bill Maher Right, He Got There All On His Own

These days, I usually do my best to avoid Bill Maher. Alas, this weekend I happened to catch a clip of his show from Friday going around social media, and because I am a pathologically curious person with a slight masochistic streak, I had to see what people were talking about…

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6 days ago · 136 likes · 353 comments · Robyn Pennacchia

But one of the throwaway jokes about Canada’s current affordable housing crisis jumped out and IMHO deserves, as more affable late-night TV host Seth Meyers would say, a closer look:

If Barbie moved to Winnipeg, she wouldn’t be able to afford her dream house, and Ken would be working at Tim Hortons.

This was a weird flex for a number of reasons. The most expensive house currently on the market in Manitoba’s capital is listed at roughly $8 million, and Barbie could surely find this under her sofa cushions after the busty doll’s live-action film debut grossed nearly $1.5 billion. There’s even a special Arctic Barbie released in the ‘90s who would surely feel right at home after it’s painted pink.

Nipples don’t chafe in the cold when you don’t have any (Wikimedia Commons)

Barbie star Margot Robbie herself has an estimated worth of $60 million and could no doubt flat-out buy the place in cash if she wanted, although it’s hard to imagine the Aussie actress relocating there. She got pretty good at ice skating while shooting I, Tonya though, so maybe it would be a fit.

Even director Greta Gerwig would probably qualify for the mortgage.

Going with Winnipeg for the laugh rather than hellaciously expensive cities like Toronto or Vancouver was an odd choice as it’s way cheaper due to being basically Hoth with an intermission for flooding, mosquitos, and now wildfire smoke. It regularly gets to minus 40, a temperature so cold the difference between Celsius and Fahrenheit is moot. Nobody dreams of someday moving to Winterpeg, including the 1.3 million immigrants last year he’s so worked up about, even those from what he’d consider “good” countries with white people accustomed to chillier climates.

And name-dropping Tim Hortons was just easy pandering with a stereotype viewers are hopefully familiar with, although it’s actually kind of sweet to suggest Ken would be willing to punch the clock at a minimum-wage gig to be a good supportive partner. Working there is no day at the beach.

(If unfamiliar with the franchise, Timmy Ho’s is a ubiquitous doughnut donut chain in Canada owned by a Brazilian multinational and named for a hockey player who died drunk driving that has persuaded people into thinking is a crucial component of the national identity. Even Quebec has a bunch of them. It’s like if the expression was “as American as Krispy Kreme” instead of apple pie. Ryan Gosling would probably prefer a location in his home province of Ontario though.)

This isn’t the first time the dude has taken aim at the Mattel moneymaker, and he offered his personal review of the film on the dying microblog owned by a recent guest on the program.

OK, “Barbie”: I was hoping it wouldn’t be preachy, man-hating, and a #ZombieLie – alas, it was all three. What is a Zombie Lie? Something that never was true, but certain people refuse to stop saying it (tax cuts for the rich increase revenues, e.g.); OR something that USED to be true but no longer is, but certain people pretend it’s still true. “Barbie” is this kind of #ZombieLie.

He yadda-yaddas on at length because he’s a blue checkmark who can exceed the new 280-character limit but you get the gist. New Rule: Life in plastic ain’t fantastic, no matter what Aqua tells you. The rambling tweet suggests he also might’ve been deep into the weed at the time, and he seems to have somehow missed the not-so-new rule you only use a hashtag once.

But if the latest dig seems a bit personal, it’s because it may well be.

Last month the career contrarian fired his longtime talent agents at CAA (Creative Artists Agency, not the Canadian Automobile Association) after they couldn’t score him an invite to a big Oscars party hosted at CEO Bryan Lourd’s own dream home/mojo dojo casa house.

The Hollywood Reporter first got the scoop:

Maher, according to sources, was furious that he was snubbed for the event — which was scheduled opposite the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s Night Before bash. The party at Lourd’s home drew the likes of J.J. Abrams, Barry Diller, Kamala Harris, Margot Robbie [emphasis ours], Bob Iger, Alan Bergman, Dana Walden, Brian Robbins, Jason Blum, Brian Grazer, Donna Langley, Pam Abdy and such CAA clients as Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston, among others, according to industry newsletter Puck.

And just who were the toast of La La Land at this year’s Academy Awards? The cast and crew of Barbie, even if it wasn’t reflected in the hardware handed out, and both Robbie and Gerwig were criminally overlooked in their respective categories.

Gee, it’s sure hard to guess why an increasingly irrelevant crank pushing 70 wasn’t welcome among all the A-listers and industry heavy-hittters after taking a big ol’ dump on one of the year’s biggest movies!

You’d think he’d be grateful after the agency recently negotiated a two-year extension for his weekly gabfest until 2026, which will make “Real Time” HBO’s second longest-running series after “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” went off the air in December after 29 seasons. The lucky guy currently earns $10 million a year hosting the show, or at least one Winnipeg mansion per annum, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

“Every night is boys’ night,” was one of Ken’s memorable lines in the movie, accompanied by a perfect double-sunglasses gag à la Captain Rex Kramer in the cult classic Airplane!

My apologies for the mansplaining but this was clearly meant as a jab at the patriarchy, not fodder for a potential new rule moving forward.

[Hollywood Reporter / Celebrity Net Worth]



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‘I burn for it’: Canucks’ Miller savours shot to step up in playoffs

VANCOUVER — The irony in the evolution of J.T. Miller is that his best years in the NHL have been spent until now without the playoff hockey required to test and validate the better version of himself.

But that’s the problem with wisdom, isn’t it? Its arrival is unpredictable and very often late.

The poorer version of Miller, when he was preoccupied with points and ice time and, in his words, “knew nothing” about the Stanley Cup Playoffs, was with the New York Rangers in the first half of his 20s. Miller was part of a Rangers organization that played 12 playoff rounds in five seasons and in 2014 lost the Stanley Cup Final.

In the five years since his 2019 trade to the Vancouver Canucks, which acted as an accelerant in Miller’s metamorphosis from the “before” to the “after” stage of himself, the power forward from East Palestine, Ohio, is 11th in NHL scoring with 402 points in 364 games.

Only five Canucks — none of them since 2011 — have posted more points in a season than the 103 Miller amassed this year before sitting out Game 82 on Thursday in Winnipeg. And yet, the All-Star centre who turned 31 in March has not played a playoff game in front of fans during these peak years.

“We had really good hockey teams,” Miller said of his formative seasons with the Rangers, who traded him in 2018 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. “But my mindset was still about me and ice time. And if you looked at my track record, my playoff stats . . . were very poor. I think that a lot of that had to do with my attitude.

“I’d play in the top-six or top-nine throughout the year, and then I get to the playoffs and didn’t play the right way, so I’d go down to the fourth line. It was kind of immaturity. You learn to grow up at some point. But weirdly enough, since I feel like I’ve learned a lot about my game, I haven’t been back to the playoffs. I haven’t been there since I was 26. That’s like 40 per cent of my career, 50 per cent of my career. That’s a big deal.”

So is the first-round series starting Sunday for the Canucks, whose core players younger than Miller have experienced only bubble hockey in the fan-less pandemic playoffs of 2020.

When they skate out into the semi-darkness and deafening roar of Rogers Arena before Game 1 against the Nashville Predators, it will be the Canuck franchise’s first home playoff game since 2015. The longest-tenured Canuck, 27-year-old winger Brock Boeser, hadn’t even been drafted when Vancouver was upset by the Calgary Flames in that year’s opening round.

As a 22-year-old, Miller logged 19 playoff games that spring for the Rangers and contributed one goal. In his first 61 playoff games, all before his 27th birthday, Miller scored three times.

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“The last four years, I just feel like my brain has kind of switched to my priorities in life,” Miller told Sportsnet. “Not getting to the playoffs has driven a lot of my frustration. I don’t think anybody on this team has played a playoff game here in this building.

“We’ve done so many good things as a team this year, but it really only matters in the playoffs. And I just want to play in those games so bad, and I know everybody’s thinking the same thing.”

Miller has transformed himself since Rick Tocchet became head coach 15 months ago.

Not only has he elevated his game, he has become dependable as a player and leader. Largely gone are the tantrums and negative body language, the self-indulgent penalties and lazy plays. Miller has learned to manage his famously volatile emotions, channeling his superpowers as a player towards good.

The concept of Canuck fans chanting “J.T. Miller! J.T. Miller!”, as they have several times in recent games, would have been inconceivable two years ago unless the mob was also holding pitchforks.

But the Stanley Cup Playoffs have not seen this version of Miller.

“I try to preach best by how I play,” he explained. “But at the same time, I’m a vocal guy. Everything that I say, the things that piss me off as a leader and the things that I want to explain to the team, are all based on how it’s going to be in the playoffs.

“It’s not that the regular season is easy; it’s just that the playoffs, there is no room and it takes a mindset and (courage) to win pucks and go to the net and just get hit by people and sticks. These were things I didn’t really care about when I was younger. Now I know that if you do those things more than the other team, you’re going to win games more times than not. And the players that do that are my favorite players in the league.

“I mean, I’m obviously not comparing myself to them, but guys like (Sidney) Crosby and (Anze) Kopitar and Ryan O’Reilly — you know, those hard-nosed centremen that take a beating but do whatever it takes. I grew up watching that, watching Joe Thornton when he was with the Sharks, Jamie Benn. I love those players. As a competitor, I revered them. Those are the players I want to become.”

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Miller will be playing against O’Reilly this series.

Led by O’Reilly, Filip Forsberg, Gustav Nyquist, Roman Josi and Ryan McDonagh, Nashville has far more experience than Vancouver at the top of its lineup.

Miller has played 78 playoff games. But the only post-season experience for Boeser, Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes and Thatcher Demko was in the Edmonton bubble. Defenceman Filip Hronek has never logged an NHL playoff game of any kind. Dakota Joshua has played one.

Playoff inexperience is one of the Canucks’ few evident disadvantages in this series, and how they navigate it and handle the rocket-blast of emotions and ferocious intensity of playoff hockey is likely to be paramount to the outcome.

“I’m excited because I know what’s coming,” Canuck assistant coach Adam Foote, who logged 170 playoff games as a player and won a pair of Stanley Cups, told Sportsnet. “But the waves are not as high as you feel sometimes when you can just be calm. You can survive it if you stick to your staples. I know it sounds corny, but (the waves) are going to come, it’s going to happen. When you get nervous, just stick to what you do well and it will all sort itself out.”

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The key is to play the same, sound way you have all season when every instinct amid the emotional typhoon of playoff hockey is to do things differently.

Miller said every single play matters. And all of those plays, no matter how little, determine success.

“Windows won’t last forever,” he said. “And I’m not getting into the window game and what that means, but when you look at the core here and how young they are, they’re not even in their prime yet. We can do something special here and we have to realize that. For the most part, teams . . . get their crack for only a couple years. And, again, I’m not labelling this group (limiting the window). But we’ve got a chance to win this year. We have a special team. We have our expectations, and we’re still building.

“I just love the playoffs. And the older I get, the more I love them because your mindset changes. And I guarantee you it will change for every single guy in here. Once you get a taste of it one time — the city, the crowd, the away crowds . . . I burn for it. It’s the greatest feeling ever.”

And you never know how long you may wait to feel it again.



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(W.E. Talk) Portraying the Beauty of Chinese Culture Through Translation


By Shi Yuanfeng and Wan Shuyan from CNS

Karl-Heinz Pohl, a renowned German Sinologist, taught at the University of Trier in Germany until his retirement in 2010. He was the dean of the Faculty of Literature and Media at the university and head of its Department of Sinology, as well as a former professor of Chinese literature and philosophy at the University of Tübingen. His research interests include the history of Chinese philosophy, ethics and modern Chinese aesthetics and cross-cultural communication and dialogue between China and the West. He is the author of several monographs such as Chinese Aesthetics and Literary Theory (in German and Chinese translation), Chinese Thought in a Global Context, Intercultural Dialogue with China (in Chinese), and Discovering China: Tradition and Modernity (in German and Chinese translation). Prof. Pohl translated Peach Blossom Spring—The Poetry of Tao Yuanming and eminent philosopher Li Zehou’s The Path of Beauty into German.

Though Sinology in Europe started only 200 years ago, European translations of Chinese literature appeared much earlier in the sixteenth century. Karl-Heinz Pohl feels that despite the role played by Sinology and translations in creating exchanges between China and the West, there is still an “asymmetry” due to the “hegemonic discourse” of the West, which has many misunderstandings and prejudices about China. However, translations can convey the “beauty” of Chinese culture to the West, remove misunderstandings and help both to hold exchanges and learn from each other.

CNS: You have been studying Chinese philosophy and modern aesthetics for years, and you have also translated many Chinese classics and published academic monographs. How did you become interested in Chinese culture?

Karl-Heinz Pohl: I became interested in Chinese culture through (Chinese author, philosopher and translator and Harvard scholar) Lin Yutang’s inspiring book The Importance of Living, which I read in high school. It shows the fascinating differences between Chinese and Western cultures. Later, I read a book on Zen—a classic by British-American philosopher Alan Watts, The Way of Zen, which was equally amazing. The book claims that Zen is more of a Chinese philosophy than Japanese, as it is a fusion of Indian Buddhism and Chinese Taoism. I am a Catholic, and my encounter with Zen was inspiring and broadened my worldview considerably. It also led me to switch from geophysics to Sinology studies at the University of Hamburg in Germany more than five decades ago.

 

CNS: Has studying Chinese culture been a spiritual journey? How has Chinese culture impacted you? How do you introduce it to the West?

Karl-Heinz Pohl: First, I studied the rich history of ancient Chinese thought. Although my interest began with Buddhism, I soon became interested in Confucianism and Taoism as well. I learned that these worldviews were not mutually exclusive, but complemented and influenced each other. Today, I find each of these three schools of teachings equally fascinating. I then studied modern Chinese history, particularly the impact of European colonialism and Japanese militarism on China, historical incidents such as the Opium Wars, the Boxer Uprising and the War of Resistance against Japan, and I began to understand how this history has influenced the mindset of the Chinese today. When I teach or write about Chinese culture, I first try to explain the characteristics of the Chinese language and then the influence of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism on the everyday life of the Chinese. I also talk about Chinese history that spans several thousand years, unique in the world for its long existence. Finally, I try to explain how to understand Chinese behavior through Chinese culture.

 

CNS: You translated Peach Blossom Spring—The Poetry of Tao Yuanming and Li Zehou’s The Path of Beauty: A Study of Chinese Aesthetics into German. How did you handle the “untranslatability” of translation?

Karl-Heinz Pohl: In 1982, I did my doctoral dissertation at the University of Toronto in Canada on Zheng Banqiao, 18th-century poet, painter and calligrapher. To do my research, I made my first trip to China in 1981, staying in Nanjing for two months, where I was mentored by a calligrapher. That was a great experience and gave me a better understanding of Zheng Banqiao’s background.

On that trip, I developed a keen interest in Chinese poetry. When I returned to Germany from Canada, I decided to translate the entire collection of Tao Yuanming’s poems into German. In the process, Chinese aesthetics captivated me more and more. After Li Zehou’s The Path of Beauty (on the philosophy of Chinese art and literature) was published, I translated it with my students. I invited him to Germany, and he spent six months at the university where I worked. Later I invited him again and kept in touch with him until he passed away (in November 2021).

Translations are sometimes difficult because of the differences between Chinese and Western thought, but they can be overcome. Translating writings in the classical style is more difficult as the language is extremely rich in meaning and esoteric, and not always easy to understand, even for Chinese scholars. The Zhou Yi (Book of Changes), an ancient Chinese divination text, for example, has been interpreted differently by different Chinese scholars.

Poetry is the most difficult to translate because of its form. As the saying by Robert Frost goes, “poetry is what gets lost in translation.” The form cannot be fully reflected by translation, such as the tone patterns in (Tang Dynasty poet) Du Fu’s poems. Therefore, the translation of a Chinese poem into German can only convey its content, but hardly the beauty of its form.

 

CNS: How similar or different are Chinese and Western aesthetics? What are the characteristics of the communication between modern Chinese and Western aesthetics? Where can they learn from each other?

Karl-Heinz Pohl: Western aesthetics is a sub-discipline of philosophy. In the West, it is not considered a significant area anymore. In Chinese history, on the other hand, aesthetics is considered to be a unique “Chinese way” of exploring artistic and literary creativity, and the essence of poetry, calligraphy and painting. Chinese aesthetics is also closely related to cultural identity. When Western thought was introduced in China about 150 years ago, the Chinese believed that Chinese culture was shaped by aesthetics, while Western culture was shaped by Christianity. Cai Yuanpei, an influential Chinese philosopher and politician, advocated “aesthetic education instead of religion.” Thus, aesthetics is important to the discussion and understanding of a “Chinese identity.” The “aesthetics fever” in China in the 1980s (a cultural trend accompanying the economic reform and opening up of China), which was influenced by Li Zehou’s writings, would never occur in the West. We Westerners need to have a better understanding of the importance of aesthetics to the Chinese identity.

 

CNS: Cross-cultural communication and dialogue between China and the West is also your field of study. What do you consider to be the origins of the Chinese and Western value systems? How can intercultural dialogue be carried out between China and the West?

Karl-Heinz Pohl: The Western value system originated in Christianity. Although today the influence of religion has greatly diminished and is not so obvious, it is important to understand this background. This is why I call Western values post-Christian values. The origin of the Chinese value system is Confucianism, which has been the core of traditional Chinese culture and forms the moral foundation of the Chinese society. The Chinese values today still retain the Confucian precepts of “benevolence, righteousness, etiquette, wisdom and trust.”

Cross-cultural dialogue should be conducted with mutual respect and willingness to learn from each other. Both sides should try to understand each other’s point of view and the other’s civilization by thinking the way the other thinks.

 

CNS: How can translation inspire communication between China and the West today?

Karl-Heinz Pohl: Cultural development relies heavily on translation, just like the Bible, which was translated from Hebrew into Greek, from Greek into Latin, and from Latin into English… not to mention the translations between English, French, German, Spanish and other languages. In China, translations of Indian Buddhist scriptures once had a great impact on Chinese culture, and translations of Karl Marx’s works also had a profound impact on modern China.

As for translations between Chinese and Western languages, a main problem is the “asymmetry”: The Chinese have translated almost all the Western classics into Chinese, but Westerners know very little about China. Although Sinologists have played a critical role in promoting cultural exchange and mutual understanding between China and the West, it is far from sufficient.

This is because of the position of the West for centuries. Western ideas and perspectives have become the norm, the so-called “hegemonic discourse,” and Western views and ideas have influenced the entire world. China has also learned a lot from the West.

This “asymmetry” can be rectified only when China shows more cultural confidence on the global stage. It will then also make the West want to understand more about China.

 




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The week that life in Dubai ground to a halt – Egypt Independent

Dubai, UAE CNN  — 

The scenes from Dubai this week seemed apocalyptic to residents who are more used to the tranquil nature of the sunny metropolis in the desert.

This city hadn’t witnessed a natural disaster of such magnitude since records began, and the destruction it left behind only became apparent after the storm cleared.

The United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is part, saw the heaviest rainfall in at least 75 years, with more than a year’s worth of precipitation in 24 hours. Life for many in the glitzy tourism and financial hub came to a near halt.

Emergency services worked round the clock, and no deaths in the city were reported, although a 70-year-old man died after flooding swept away his vehicle in neighboring Ras Al-Khaimah emirate.

The chaos that ensued was short-lived, but it showed the city’s vulnerability to natural disasters.

As runways went underwater, flights were canceled at one of the world’s busiest airports. Flashy malls were soaked with rain seeping through ceilings, and elevators stopped functioning in skyscrapers, forcing residents to climb stairs up dozens of floors. Unable to return home, some motorists slept in their cars due to blocked roads.

The images were shocking for the hi-tech city, a leading international tourist destination which boasts a world-class infrastructure, some of which gave in to natural disaster. Rain is scarce in the Persian Gulf region and urban planning does not account for the possibility of major storms.

Dubai has a unique demographic model. Of its 3.5 million people, 92% of are foreigners who come from 200 countries to live and work in the city, lured by its tax-free status and relaxed lifestyle.

It is the world’s second-best tourist destination, according to one report, with more than 17 million visitors arriving last year, drawn by year-round sunshine, gourmet eateries and luxury shopping.

The disruptions this week impacted almost everyone, from tourists and migrant workers to the minority citizen population and Western expatriates.

The authorities called on people to stay home, but many ventured out anyway, only to find themselves unable to return due to waterlogged streets.

“The scary part is that there was nowhere you can go,” said Sofie, an expatriate resident who declined to provide her last name. She ended up stranded by the submerged roads for nearly 12 hours, some of which were spent sleeping in her car.

On Sheikh Zayed Road, a 16-lane thoroughfare in Dubai lined with gleaming glass skyscrapers, motorists reported near-complete blockage in some areas, with cars going against the traffic to escape the gridlock. In the financial district, home to the regional operations of some of the world’s top banks, luxury cars were seen almost entirely underwater as the streets turned into lakes. In the man-made Dubai Marina, a popular destination for Western and Russian visitors, furniture from nearby restaurants and coffee shops was swept away by the current.

When the waters receded, streets were left strewn with debris. Images in local media showed highways with lanes of abandoned cars; in some neighborhoods, they had yet to be removed by Thursday morning.

The economic damage from the storm could go into billions of dirhams, with significant impact to vehicles, properties and infrastructure, said Avinash Babur, chief executive of InsuranceMarket.ae, an insurance broker in the UAE (1 dirham is equivalent to $0.27).

“The current damage is significant, with notable effects on both public and private properties, including key infrastructure,” he told CNN. “While Dubai has experienced storms in the past, the unique intensity of this event has posed new challenges.”

The volume of calls and enquiries for insurance companies has jumped tenfold, he said, with a surge in demand for home insurance.

As some residents became trapped in their houses without electricity and unable to leave due to flooding outside, some opted to swim through swamps to escape. With landline use becoming increasingly rare, those without electricity relied on power banks to use their smartphones.

For many, the confinement was reminiscent of Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020.

Heavily reliant on foreign visitors and capital, Dubai was one of the first cities to come out of lockdowns as tourist numbers dwindled and property prices fell, and the UAE was among the first countries to achieve 100% vaccination in November 2021.

Babur said the current situation presents an opportunity for Dubai “to showcase its resilience and rapid recovery capabilities, similar to its effective management during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

With food apps suspending deliveries during and after the storm, some residents had to resort to canned food, or whatever was left in their fridges, for sustenance. Those without electricity used barbeques to cook frozen food left thawing in freezers. Some fared even worse, with homes inundated with water, sometimes up to the waist, according to videos shared in local media, with belongings, furniture and appliances destroyed.

The UAE has one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world, at 96% (the United States is at 90%, while China is at 72%). Residents rely heavily on home deliveries for everything from groceries and car fuel to ice cream and pedicures at the tap of a screen, a phenomenon that took off during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

On a normal day, the city’s streets are teeming with bikers rushing to make deliveries for companies that promise a 20-minute dispatch for groceries and 40 minutes for food. But early this week, most weren’t delivering. That forced people to venture out on foot, leading to large crowds in neighborhood eateries and supermarkets, with hours-long lines for food in some cases. Some restaurants stayed open until the early hours to accommodate the demand. Residents reported seeing empty shelves for some items in supermarkets the day after the storm, including frozen food and ready meals. The delivery apps started resuming services by Thursday, but were still facing long delays.

Ali Salem, a 55-year-old retired Emirati, told CNN on Thursday that he had been trapped in his house in Dubai’s upscale Jumeirah district since the storm hit on Tuesday due to waterlogging on his street. The home has been without water or electricity since then, he said, and he was told by the utility agency on Tuesday that he’d have to wait two days for the issue to be resolved. Electricity was finally restored on Friday.

“Lesson learned,” he said. “A generator would be useful in the future.”

The rain, however, wasn’t as miserable for the young. Schools moved to distance learning for the rest of the week, but some pupils with no electricity in their homes were delighted to take a holiday, unable to power their computers.

Then the memes started, with residents finding joy and humor in the inconvenience of a once-in-75-years phenomenon. One viral social media video showed fish swimming in a pool of water on a pavement next to an overflowing manmade lake. Several videos on social media showed a festive atmosphere, with children hopping on dinghies as their neighborhoods turned into ponds. One video showed migrant workers playing volleyball in ankle-deep water; in several others, residents could be seen wakeboarding in flooded streets.

Another video showed boys jet skiing at full speed in a residential neighborhood, with the caption: “Only in Dubai.”



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In chance for Trump, youth at rally see him as answer to economic woes By Reuters

By Nathan Layne and Tim Reid

GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (Reuters) – Thin with a boyish face and earrings in both ears, 23-year-old Isayah Turner does not look like a stereotypical Trump supporter, who tend to be middle aged or older.

Nevertheless, Turner drove two hours from his home outside Milwaukee on a recent Tuesday to see Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, one of a contingent of young voters there that some opinion polls suggest could be a growing and important demographic for Trump.

For Democratic incumbent Joe Biden, who overwhelmingly won the youth vote in 2020, an erosion of his support among young voters could potentially dampen his hopes of a second term.

Turner, who runs a dog breeding business with his mother, voted for Trump in 2020. He supports Trump’s pro-oil drilling stance, his opposition to gun control – Turner owns several firearms – and his pledge to crack down on illegal immigration.

“I cannot think of one thing that Trump did that upset me while he was in office. And now with Biden in office there are countless things I disagree with,” Turner told Reuters. “A lot of my friends are on the same page as me.”

A Reuters/Ipsos poll in March showed Americans age 18-29 favoring Biden over Trump by just 3 percentage points – 29% to 26% – with the rest favoring another candidate or unsure of who if anyone would get their vote.

If Trump, 77, stays close to Biden, 81, in this demographic all the way to Election Day on Nov. 5 it would be a major gain compared to 2020, when Biden won the youth vote by 24 points.

Concerns about Biden’s age and his support of Israel in its war against Hamas in Gaza have fueled the erosion of his support among young voters at a time he is also losing Hispanic voters.

There are also signs young people are slowly warming to the Republican Party, despite Biden’s efforts to keep them on side by trying to cancel student debt, expand affordable housing and reverse curbs on abortion rights.

The share of Americans between 18-29 who identify as Republicans has ticked higher, from 24% in 2016 to 26% in 2020 and 28% so far this year, Reuters/Ipsos polling shows.

Despite a mixture of cold winds, sleet and rain, some 3,000 Trump supporters lined up outside a Green Bay convention center on April 2 to see Trump. The crowd skewed older, as usual, but there were hundreds of young people as well.

Reuters interviewed 20 people under the age of 30 to understand their support. The most common reason given for backing the former president was inflation and the perception the economy was not working for them, underscoring how the rise in prices for daily staples is more salient for some than high stock prices and low unemployment during the Biden years.

“I make decent money and I can’t afford a home on the salary I make now,” said Steve Wendt, 26, a security guard at a nearby hospital. “It’s time to get a man back into office that is going to lower our prices.”

At the same time, a majority said they agreed with Trump’s reticence about aiding Ukraine in its war with Russia, an isolationist stance at odds with Biden’s foreign policy agenda.

Collin Crego, 19, a history student, said funds spent overseas would be better used to tackle domestic issues like drug addiction.

“I don’t really like what we are doing with Ukraine,” Crego said. “When I hear him (Trump) talk, he’s very patriotic, very ‘America First’ and I like that.”

Of the 20 people Reuters interviewed, 15 cited inflation or other economic concerns for why they support Trump, while a dozen said his plan to restrict immigration was important to them.

All said they were unbothered by the four criminal cases Trump is facing, or the idea that his efforts to overturn the 2020 election made him a threat to democracy. One was Black, the other 19 were white. Eight will be casting their first presidential ballot this year.

Caitlyn Huenink, 20, said being a young Trump supporter can be hard because left-leaning young people tend to frown on her views. She said, however, that she has recently seen changes among her peer group at University of Wisconsin–Green Bay.

“They’re more open to the way I think and more of my friends are becoming Republican,” she said.

‘MAKING ENDS MEET’

To be sure, a group of young people willing to brave inclement weather to see Trump are not a representative sample of the broader electorate, and polling this early in the cycle could prove off. Younger people vote less frequently than older Americans, making them especially difficult to predict.

Moreover, some opinion surveys indicate that Biden is holding on to his significant advantage with the youth.

An Economist/YouGov poll conducted last week showed 51% of voters under 30 picking Biden, versus 32% for Trump, while the Harvard Youth Poll, released Thursday, put Biden’s lead over Trump among likely young voters at 19 points.

“Donald Trump is not winning the youth vote,” John Della Volpe, director in charge of the Harvard poll, told Reuters.

The Biden campaign is not sitting still. In March it launched a $30 million ad buy across digital platforms and announced a project to reach students and recruit volunteers in high schools and on college campuses. It is working to inform younger people of the administration’s investments in green energy and efforts to protect abortion access.

“That’s why the campaign is working tirelessly to earn the votes of young voters — investing earlier than ever and leveraging every opportunity to connect with young voters,” said Eve Levenson, the campaign’s youth engagement director.

The latest Marist College poll was nevertheless a red flag for Biden. Conducted in March, it showed Trump 2 points ahead among Millennial and Gen-Z voters, with 61% of 18-29 year olds saying they disapprove of the job Biden is doing as president.

The Trump campaign sees young people as a demographic for potential gains in 2024, a campaign adviser told reporters last month. He said the economy and overseas conflicts — Trump often claims Russia’s attack on Ukraine would not have happened on his watch — were key topics to message about to this group.

“Like many Americans, young people can’t afford rent, gas, or groceries, and they’re struggling to buy a home because real wages have plummeted,” said Anna Kelly, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee.

Kelly also pointed to a finding in the Harvard poll – that only 9% percent of young Americans think the U.S. is on the right track – as proof that some were turning to Trump.

Among young voters, Trump appears to be doing better with males. The Harvard poll put Biden’s lead among young men at just 6 percentage points, down 20 points from 4 years ago. Trump’s deficit with women was 33 points, largely unchanged.

Della Volpe says that gender gap likely reflects several factors. One is that young men feel they are losing the right to speak frankly due to progressive views they believe are imposed on them about political correctness and toxic masculinity. These concerns are reinforced by Trump and podcasters like Jordan Peterson, popular with young men.

Trump has attended several Ultimate Fighting Championship events this election cycle, which are favored by young men. He also showed up at a Philadelphia sneaker convention where he put his golden “Never Surrender High-Tops” up for sale.

It was the kind of campaign stop meant to resonate with voters like Turner, a sneaker aficionado who was wearing a $400 pair of Nikes when Reuters spent an afternoon with him at his dog business two days after the rally.

Turner talked about the challenges of operating a business. He said gasoline was a major expense as he frequently drives to breeders hours away.

Turner said it was his Trump-loving mother, a former backer of President Barack Obama, who got him interested in politics.

Like other young people Reuters met at the rally, Turner said it was Trump’s way of speaking without care for the political consequences that made him attractive. He said some of Trump’s dehumanizing rhetoric bothers him, but he believes – as Trump has claimed – that Biden is the true threat to America.

“Some of it is extreme,” Turner said of Trump’s speech. “But at the same time if it means the country is going to do phenomenally better… and it’s still going to be a free country I can take my feelings getting hurt in exchange for that.”



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Criminalization of Indigenous land defenders on the rise, says UN report

Indigenous leaders and their water-protector allies set up camp to protest a pipeline in front of the Minnesota Capitol Building. Michael Nigro/AP

This story was originally published by Grist as part of the Global Indigenous Affairs Desk, an Indigenous-led collaboration between Grist, High Country News, ICT, Mongabay, Native News Online, and APTN. It is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. 

When around 70,000 Indigenous Maasai were expelled from their lands in northern Tanzania in 2022, it didn’t happen in a vacuum. For years, the Tanzanian government has systematically attacked Maasai communities, imprisoning Maasai leaders and land defenders on trumped-up charges, confiscating livestock, using lethal violence, and claiming that the Maasai’s pastoralist lifestyle is causing environmental degradation—a lifestyle that has shaped and sustained the land that the Maasai have lived on for centuries. This rise in criminalization, especially in the face of mining, development, and conservation, is being noted in Indigenous communities around the world and was the key focus of a report released this week at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), the largest gathering of Indigenous activists, policymakers, and leaders in the world.

“It’s a very serious concern because the Indigenous people who have been resisting the taking over of their lands and territories, they are the ones who most commonly face these charges and criminalization,” Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples told a packed panel on the topic on Tuesday. “There is a need to focus on criminalization because this is what brings fear to Indigenous communities, and it is also what curtails them in their capacity to assert their right to self-determination.”

The report “Criminalization of Indigenous Peoples’ human rights” lays out the mechanisms by which Indigenous Peoples around the world are increasingly facing criminalization and violations of their rights with impunity. Indigenous land, subsistence, and governance rights are often poorly implemented if at all, leading to violations when they intersect with government and third party interests, especially in extractive industries and conservation. In addition to historical discrimination, a lack of access to justice for Indigenous rights holders—including environmental and human rights defenders, journalists, and communities—leads to higher rates of arrests and incarcerations. The report provides recommendations for UN bodies, states, and other relevant actors to better address this growing threat.

The use of criminal law to punish and dissuade people from protesting or speaking out is typically the way people understand criminalization, said Fergus Mackay, a Senior Legal Counsel and Policy Advisor to Indigenous Peoples Rights International, an organization that works to protect Indigenous Peoples rights defenders. But the bulk of criminalization Indigenous Peoples face actually stems from the inadequate recognition or non-recognition of their rights by governments. “The lack of recognition of Indigenous rights in national legal frameworks is at the heart of this issue,” Mackay said.

This is especially prevalent when those rights intersect with public or protected lands, or areas that overlap with extractive interests, conservation, or climate mitigation measures. For example, in Canada, First Nations Fishermen are being arrested and harassed by federal fisheries officers for fishing–rights protected by treaty. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Baka Indigenous peoples have been beaten, imprisoned, and prevented from using their customary forest by eco-guards hired to protect wildlife. A 2018 study estimated that more than a quarter million Indigenous peoples have been evicted due to carbon-offset schemes, tourism, and other activities that lead to the creation of protected areas.

“The criminalization of Indigenous People could also be considered the criminalization of the exercise of practicing Indigenous rights,” said Naw Ei Ei Min, a member of Myanmar’s Indigenous Karen peoples and an expert UNPFII member at Tuesday’s panel.

Defamation and smear campaigns through social media are often used in the lead-up to false criminal charges, especially when Indigenous peoples speak up against government-supported private companies investing in large-scale projects on their traditional lands, said Tauli-Corpuz. Berta Cárceres, the renowned Indigenous Lenca environmental defender who opposed the development of the Agua Zarca dam in Honduras, had previously been detained on fabricated allegations of usurpation of land, coercion and possession of an illegal firearm before she was killed in 2016. Tauli-Corpuz, the former Special Rapporteur, along with around 30 other Indigenous leaders, was herself placed on a terrorist list in 2018 by the Philippine government, a move that was criticized harshly by the UN.

Criminalization comes with serious consequences. In 2021, of the 200 land and environmental defenders killed worldwide, more than 40 percent were Indigenous. According to Indigenous Peoples Rights International, an organization founded in part to address the growing concern over criminalization of Indigenous Peoples, despite representing only 6 percent of the global population, Indigenous defenders suffered nearly 20 percent of attacks between 2015 and 2022 and were much more likely to experience violent attacks.

The UN report also pointed to the high rates of incarceration of Indigenous People, and their disproportionate risk of arrest. In Canada, dozens of members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, who have long protested the creation of the Coastal GasLink pipeline that will cross their unceded territory, have been arrested and await trial in Canada. That trial is currently on hold because of allegations of excessive force and harassment of the police

In countries like New Zealand and Australia, Indigenous peoples are already massively overrepresented in prisons. In Australia, despite making up only 3 percent of the population, Aboriginal Australians make up almost 30 percent of the incarcerated population. “This really speaks about the racism and discrimination that exists, which is the foundation for filing the criminalization cases against them,” said Tauli-Corpuz.

Indigenous journalists were included in this year’s report as being increasingly at risk of criminalization. In 2020 Anastasia Mejía Tiriquiz, a Guatemalan Kʼicheʼ Mayan journalist, was arrested and charged with sedition after reporting on a protest against the municipal government. And just this year, Brandi Morin, an award-winning Cree/Iroquois/French journalist from Treaty 6 territory in Alberta, was arrested while covering an Indigenous-led homeless encampment in Edmonton.

Indigenous Peoples are also affected by the growing use of criminal law to deter free speech and protests. Since the Indigenous-led protests against the Dakota Access pipeline on the Standing Rock reservation in 2016, lawmakers in two dozen states in the US have taken up bills that ratchet up penalties for pipeline protesters. Globally, laws targeting everything from anti-terrorism, national security, and free speech only add to the ability for states to lay criminal charges on Indigenous activists. 

Olnar Ortiz Bolívar, an Indigenous Baré lawyer from Venezuela who works to defend the rights of Indigenous communities, has been the target of both physical violence and harassment for his work in the Amazon, an area where illegal miners, criminal organizations, and the government are competing for control of resources, especially gold. He has been an outspoken critic of the government-designated mining area in southern Venezuela known as the Orinoco Mining Arc. Now he fears that a new bill introduced by the Maduro regime into congress, that effectively turns dissent against the government and protesting into a criminal act, will severely affect his ability to continue to speak out against such projects.

“It’s a contradiction because we have rights in theory, but we don’t have the right to practice those,” he said. “What they are doing is taking away the freedom of expression of Venezuelans and, evidently, of the Indigenous People, who are increasingly vulnerable.”

As countries attempt to reach their goals of protecting 30 percent of their lands and waters by 2030 along with growing demand for transition minerals, criminalization of Indigenous Peoples is likely to grow, say experts. A survey of more than 5,000 existing “energy transition mineral” projects found that more than half were located on or near Indigenous Peoples’ lands; for unmined deposits, that figure was much higher. 

The report set forth a series of recommendations to counteract criminalization, emphasizing the importance of revising national laws, improving measures to protect Indigenous human rights defenders and access to justice, and promoting efforts to prevent, reverse, and remedy criminalization and its consequences.

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‘Thank You America!’: Ukraine’s Zelensky and Israel’s Netanyahu hail House passage of $95 billion foreign aid package – Egypt Independent

Kyiv CNN  — 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu have thanked US lawmakers after they voted in favor of new aid packages for their countries worth billions of dollars.

“Thank you, America!” Zelensky wrote on his Telegram on Saturday, shortly after the House of Representatives passed the long-delayed Ukraine Security Supplemental Appropriations Act by a vote of 311-112.

The bill was part of a wider $95 billion package providing foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific region. It provides nearly $61 billion to help Ukraine and others in the region fight Russia, while the House also passed funding worth $26.4 billion for Israel and $8.1 billion to counter China’s actions in the Indo-Pacific.

Zelensky said the decision would keep “history on the right track.”

“Democracy and freedom will always have global significance and will never fail as long as America helps to protect it. The vital US aid bill passed today by the House will keep the war from expanding, save thousands and thousands of lives, and help both of our nations to become stronger. Just peace and security can only be attained through strength,” Zelensky added.

Meanwhile, the House passed the Israel Security Supplemental with a vote of 366-58.

“Thank you friends, thank you America!” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a post on social media, adding that the bill demonstrates “strong bipartisan support for Israel and defends Western civilization.”

However, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the spokesperson for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, condemned the aid package for Israel, describing it as a “dangerous escalation” and act of aggression that would lead to more Palestinian casualties in Israel’s war on Hamas.

The measures still need approval from the Senate, which could begin voting on them as soon as Tuesday.

US President Joe Biden said the House passage of the foreign aid bills sent a “clear message” about America’s leadership to the globe, and urged the Senate to “quickly send this package to my desk so that I can sign it into law.”

The passing of the measures for Ukraine following months of resistance by some Republicans is seen by some as a potential turning point in the country’s fight against Russia’s invasion.

Ukraine’s foreign minister told CNN the risk of a larger war in Europe had fallen following the vote.

“This is a historic day, when not only Ukraine got a boost of hope, but also the United States and all of the free world,” Dmytro Kuleba said.

Ensuring Russian President Vladimir Putin is defeated in Ukraine would protect the security and prosperity of Americans, he added.

“Enabling Ukraine to push back Russian aggression is equal to preventing a larger war in Europe and averting the risk of all wannabe aggressors plunging our world into chaos,” Kuleba said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova criticized the move, insisting to CNN in a statement Saturday that the aid package would only increase tensions.

“The allocation of US military aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan will exacerbate global crises: military aid to the Kyiv regime is direct sponsorship of terrorist activity, to Taiwan is interference in China’s internal affairs, and to Israel is a direct path toward escalating unprecedented aggravation in the region,” the statement read.

Three Ukrainian servicemen told CNN the vote provided a much-needed shot in the arm — and all three fighters were clear on the weapons they now need from the United States.

“We thought that our partners had forgotten about us,” an intelligence officer with the call sign Bankir, currently serving in the Zaporizhzhia region, said in a phone conversation. “This news gives us a sense of support and understanding that we have not been forgotten.”

An artillery reconnaissance commander with the 110th mechanized brigade, who spent two years defending the industrial town of Avdiivka before it fell to Russia in February, had a similar message.

“When we feel support from the outside, it motivates us. After all, the military knows it cannot win with sticks and bows and arrows,” the commander, using his call sign Teren, told CNN. “For people who want to defeat the enemy, this news is a great morale booster.”

He went on: “To win, we need ammunition … we really need artillery shells because we have an artillery hunger. We also need drones, both reconnaissance and attack drones.”

Another soldier, Dmytro Kurylovich, fighting in eastern Ukraine with the National Guard, identified air defense and artillery as top priorities.

“First of all, we need air defense systems and artillery shells […] All big cities need air defense systems. Artillery is needed so that we can conduct a counter-offensive and fight back. If we have enough artillery, we will be able to liberate our territories faster and change the situation at the front,” he said in an audio message to CNN.

“Morale changes depending on whether there is ammunition,” he added, throwing into sharp relief the impact on Ukraine’s soldiers of being outgunned by Russian forces ten to one – a ratio recently reported by Ukraine’s president in an interview.

The intelligence officer Bankir also described how frontline soldiers would feel more secure knowing the rest of the country was better protected from Russian missile strikes.

“We need air defense systems. Here at the front, we need to be sure that our families in the back are protected and safe. Then we can fight,” he said.

People in Kyiv told CNN they were grateful for the vote but some were also sanguine about what it said about Ukraine’s dependence on outside help to survive.

Yulia, 32, thanked US lawmakers for their support but said delays had resulted in unnecessary deaths on the front lines as well as in the country’s major towns and cities. She also highlighted a widespread concern among Ukrainians that conflicts in other parts of the world have put Ukraine’s plight in the shadows.

“It is essential that the issue of assistance to Ukraine does not become secondary to the war in Israel, meaning we fade into the background. It is important that the aid does not stop, important that it continues,” she said.

Roman, 49, was even more circumspect, describing his frustrations with Ukraine’s reliance on Western support. He referenced a decision taken in 1994, shortly after independence, when Kyiv gave up the nuclear weapons stationed on its territory during Soviet times – now seen by many Ukrainians as a calamitous mistake.

“It seems to me that this [vote on military aid] should not have taken this long. Back in the day, Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons under pressure from the United States, and it was under US pressure that we destroyed all our aviation and handed some of it over to Russia. It is these aircraft that are now launching missile strikes against our country – missiles that we handed over to Russia,” he said, adding that US pressure back then meant Washington should feel an obligation to help Ukraine now.

“The war has taught us not to trust anyone. We became realists and fatalists a long time ago. I will believe that there is aid when it actually enters Ukraine,” he added.

Hanna, 42, was more upbeat.

“At last! We have been waiting for this for so long. The last six months have been very difficult, we lacked everything – equipment, ammunition, weapons. This is not only Ukraine’s war. It is a war of the entire world,” she said.

Danylo, 23, also struck a more positive note, saying the entire country felt relief knowing US military aid would likely start flowing again after the House vote.

“All Ukrainians have been waiting for this bill to finally pass. Ukraine has been without American aid for a long time. Without US assistance, Ukraine has little chance of success on the battlefield,” he said.

“We hope that after the adoption of this law, Ukraine will seize the initiative and save as many human lives as possible and finally be able to liberate our lands from Russian occupation.”

An expression of Ukrainian relief also came at Kyiv’s National Palace of Arts on Saturday evening. In a break between songs at a concert given by popular singers Oleksandr Ponomariov and Mykhailo Khoma, the event emcee took to the stage to announce the result of the US House vote.

The news triggered cheering among the three thousand plus audience and a sustained round of applause.

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Canadian farmers take precautions as bird flu outbreaks hit U.S. dairy cattle | CBC Radio

The Dose19:04What’s going on with H5N1 bird flu?

H5N1 is in the news again, and this time it has spread to cattle in several U.S. states. It has even infected a dairy worker in Texas. Global health epidemiologist Raywat Deonandan explains how avian flu is spreading, how transmissible it is, what vaccines are available, and why we shouldn’t be too worried just yet.

Beef cattle farmer Raquel Kolof of Gibsons, B.C., says she’s extremely concerned about recent outbreaks of a dangerous form of bird flu — also known as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) — in dairy farms across at least eight U.S. states.

Though she says protections are in place to prevent similar outbreaks from taking place north of the U.S. border, and there have been no confirmed cases of bird flu in Canadian cattle to date, she says she’s still worried “that it’s coming up here.”

“Cattle do move around … and 85 per cent of our beef market is handled in south Alberta, through massive, massive factories,” said Kolof, the owner and founder of Hough Heritage Farms. “They all conglomerate, they spread to each other and then it spreads from there.”

Despite that unease, experts say there’s no cause for alarm right now thanks to national food safety standards and steps being taken by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to ensure that food producers adhere to necessary biosecurity measures.

What is bird flu? 

HPAI is a strain of influenza that causes “severe disease and high mortality in infected poultry,” according to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

HPAI typically spreads between birds and has a high mortality rate for avian species, according to Genevieve Toupin, the national veterinary program manager with the CFIA, whose team is responsible for the agency’s ruminant and swine programs. 

Genevieve Toupin is the national veterinary program manager with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Her team is responsible for the agency’s ruminant and swine programs. (Submitted by Genevieve Toupin)

She says the virus currently infecting U.S. cattle is the same that’s been circulated by migratory birds flying along the Pacific-Central Flyway for approximately the past two years.

Thirty-two herds across eight U.S. states so far have been affected by HPAI infections since government agencies made the announcement almost four weeks ago. It’s still not clear how the virus is spreading to and between dairy cattle.

While the virus’s name implies it only affects birds, other animals — including mammals — can catch H5N1. 

“In fact, we’ve detected H5N1 in polar bears, sea lions, penguins, foxes, and the presumption there is they’re getting it from eating dead birds,” said University of Ottawa global health epidemiologist Raywat Deonandan, speaking with Dr. Brian Goldman, host of The Dose.

Symptoms among infected cattle include a sudden decrease in milk production, thicker milk, decreases in appetite and dry manure or constipation, according to the CFIA.

Can humans catch bird flu? 

Humans are susceptible to HPAI, though cases are rare and there has been no confirmed human-to-human transmission. 

Since 2003, nearly 900 people worldwide have been infected with H5N1, according to the World Health Organization. Canada has seen only one confirmed case, in 2013.

Infection occurs if the virus gets into a person’s eyes, nose or mouth, or is inhaled, according to the CDC. Symptoms in humans resemble influenza, including cough, shortness of breath, fever and body aches. 

In serious cases, people can experience severe respiratory illness, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, as well as neurological changes, and multi-organ failure. 

An estimated 52 per cent of known human cases result in death

“It’s not the typical seasonal flu that we’re all used to,” said Deonandan.

“However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are likely instances of people getting it and not even knowing it, because their symptoms were so poor, in which case the actual fatality rate will drop considerably.”

A man smiles at the camera.
Raywat Deonandan is a global health epidemiologist and associate professor at the University of Ottawa. (Submitted by Raywat Deonandan)

Some estimates suggest the true fatality rate for humans infected with bird flu is “probably around 14 per cent to 30 per cent,” he said.

In comparison, during the height of the SARS outbreak in 2003, the disease had a case fatality rate of roughly 11 per cent

A Texas dairy worker in early April reportedly caught a case of bird flu from an infected mammal — likely a cow.

“The person in Texas … reported eye redness, or conjunctivitis, as their only symptom and is recovering,” according to the CDC.

WATCH | Bird flu is spreading in cows. Are humans at risk? | About That: 

Bird flu is spreading in cows. Are humans at risk? | About That

For the first time ever, avian influenza, or H5N1 bird flu, was detected in roughly a dozen dairy cow herds across the U.S. About That producer Lauren Bird explores why scientists and public health officials are concerned about the cross-species transmission and whether humans are now at higher risk.

This was only the second-ever recorded case of a human infected with bird flu in the U.S. The first was a Colorado inmate who caught the virus while working on a poultry farm as part of a pre-release employment program. 

So far, nearly all human cases have been from direct contact with infected poultry, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, with no evidence of any sustained transmission between people.

Deonandan says he’s especially worried about bird flu mutating, infecting a pig, and subsequently infecting a human in a form that would let it spread.

“What we’re concerned about is [bird flu] will share DNA with a flu that is adapted to live in humans and learn how to live in humans, in which case it will move from person to person, with presumably the same alacrity with which the seasonal flu moves from human to human,” he said. 

How are food producers monitoring their livestock? 

For her part, Kolof says she and other livestock producers already adhere to stringent safety standards to prevent the spread of infection and disease. 

“One of the beauties of being a small-scale farmer is that I interact with my herd multiple times a day,” she said. 

“I know and can see a change instantly.”

A woman leans on a goat while smiling the camera. Also in the frame is an alpaca.
Hough Heritage Farms owner Raquel Kolof primarily raises beef cattle, but she also raises goats, sheep and pigs. (Submitted by Raquel Kolof)

Toupin with the CFIA says working with stakeholders across the farming industry to coordinate the national response.

Cattle farms are being advised not to introduce any new animals into a herd, and to quarantine new animals for 21 days just in case the animal is incubating disease. 

WATCH | Sask. scientists developing avian flu vaccines: 

Sask. scientists developing avian flu vaccines

A team of scientists in Saskatchewan are part of the global push to create vaccines for avian flu. They’re trying to protect birds now and humans later if the virus mutates.

Farmers should also minimize contact between livestock and wild birds.

“We’re monitoring the situation closely,” she said. “I think that it’s not something that we should worry too much about [right now.]”

The Canadian Cattle Association declined an interview request to discuss this story. 

Canadians can also continue consuming beef, milk and egg products, though experts agree that food should be properly cooked. Pasteurization, a specialized heating process, also kills any harmful pathogens if they were to show up in milk or milk products.

Deonandan says he’s drawing attention to bird flu to contextualize the threat it poses to humans. 

“COVID-19 has shown us that there is a deep distrust of the so-called experts, deep distrust of authority,” he said. “By getting ahead of the narrative, by laying out the facts as we know them, maybe we can buy some more trust.”

 

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Punjab Kings vs Gujarat Titans, IPL 2024: Predicted Playing XIs Of Both Teams And Impact Substitutes | Cricket News

Punjab Kings (PBKS) will take on Gujarat Titans (GT) in the 37th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 at the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh Cricket Stadium in Mullanpur on Sunday. Having won only two games out of seven, Punjab Kings are languishing ninth in the IPL 2024 standings. On the other hand, Gujarat Titans are currently placed eighth in the IPL 2024 standings with six points on the board after winning three matches out of seven matches.

Ahead of this exciting clash, we look at the predicted XIs of both sides.

PBKS Predicted XI

Atharva Taide

Young Atharva Taide is expected to start for PBKS in this match against GT in place of the injured Shikhar Dhawan. Atharva scored 15 off 12 balls in his last outing and will aim to capitalise on his opportunity against GT.

Rilee Rossouw

Rilee Rossouw failed to produce runs against MI. However, the South African batter made 209 runs in his nine outings last season. On Sunday, PBKS will be counting on Rossouw to perform well and demonstrate his full batting talent.

Sam Curran

England all-rounder Sam Curran will be the stand-in captain in place of Dhawan. Apart from his leadership, PBKS will need Curran to contribute with both bat and ball. Curran has picked up 10 wickets and scored 132 runs in seven games so far.

Liam Livingstone

Flamboyant all-rounder Liam Livingstone has been an integral member of Punjab Kings since 2022. The hard-hitting batter has shown good form in IPL 2024, having scored 105 runs in five games at an average of 35 and a strike rate of 156.72. He has also bagged one wicket with his off-spin.

Shashank Singh

Shashank Singh has grabbed the limelight with his impressive batting performances this season. Shashank has already amassed 187 runs in seven matches at an average of 62.33 and a strike rate of 179.81. He will aim to continue his scintillating form.

Jitesh Sharma

Jitesh Sharma, the swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batter, showed signs of returning to form in the game against RR. Batting in the middle-order, Jitesh hit 29 off 24 balls to help PBKS reach a respectable total, and he will be hoping to have a bigger impact against GT as well.

Ashutosh Sharma

Ashutosh Sharma has been one of PBKS’ most consistent performers this season. The 25-year-old has scored 156 runs in four matches, with a strike rate of 205.26 and an average of 52. He nearly won the game for PBKS against MI by scoring 61 off just 28 balls. He could be a game-changer against GT at home.

Harpreet Brar

Left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar has been economical for the Kings in IPL 2024. Apart from bowling with an economy of 7.17, Brar has also scalped four wickets in seven matches and will look to add to his tally in Mullanpur.

Harshal Patel

Right-arm pacer Harshal Patel has provided key breakthroughs for PBKS in IPL 2024. Bowling in the middle and death overs, Harshal has claimed ten wickets in seven matches and will look to restrict the GT batters in their upcoming fixture.

Kagiso Rabada

Kagiso Rabada has been one of the leading wicket-takers for the Kings this season so far. The South African pacer has already bagged 10 wickets in seven games at an economy of 8.32. He will aim to provide early breakthroughs against GT.

Arshdeep Singh

Left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh was not at his best against Mumbai Indians but will look to bounce back after he finished with figures of 0/35 in his 3 overs. While Arshdeep has conceded a few runs in the death overs, he has picked up nine wickets.

Impact Sub

Prabhsimran Singh/Harpreet Singh Bhatia

GT Predicted XI

Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper)

Gujarat Titans’ wicketkeeper-batter Wriddhiman Saha has played five matches and scored only 78 runs. Though his wicket-keeping ability is exceptional, he still needs to deliver with the bat, and this is an excellent opportunity for him.

Shubman Gill (Captain)

GT captain, Shubman Gill will look to continue his good form in the ongoing IPL. The stylish right-handed batter has amassed 263 runs in seven games at a strike rate of 151.14 while also maintaining an average of 43.83.

Sai Sudharsan

Sai Sudharsan has been one of the standout batters for GT in IPL 2024 so far. The 22-year-old southpaw has scored 238 runs in seven matches at an average of 34 and a strike rate of 127.96. He will aim to score big on Sunday.

David Miller

Hard-hitting David Miller could play a key role in Gujarat Titans’ playing XI against Punjab Kings. The South Africa middle-order batter is due for a big score after accumulating just 79 runs in four matches this season. Apart from his batting credentials, Miller also adds value to any team with his brilliant fielding skills.

Abhinav Manohar

Abhinav Manohar has played only two IPL games this season but did not perform well enough. The hard-hitting batter has scored 615 runs in 35 T20s at a strike rate of 152.60 and will look to impress against the Kings to cement his place in the Titans’ XI.

Rahul Tewatia

Rahul Tewatia has been one of the standout finishers in the IPL over the last few seasons. Batting in the lower middle-order, Tewatia has once again produced a few blitzkrieg cameos in IPL 2024 and has made 113 runs at a strike rate of 132.94.

Rashid Khan

Star leg-spinner Rashid Khan has been a match-winner for the Titans since 2022. The Afghanistan cricketer has scalped seven wickets in just as many matches at an economy of 7.81. He also played a match-winning cameo of an 11-ball 24 against RR.

Mohit Sharma

Mohit Sharma has been the leading wicket-taker for GT in IPL 2024. The 35-year-old right-arm pacer has picked up eight wickets in seven matches and is expected to play a key role on Sunday.

Noor Ahmad

Noor Ahmad has been an integral member of Gujarat Titans since last season. The 19-year-old left-arm spinner has picked up 19 wickets in 18 matches at an economy of 7.88 and an average of 26.95 in the IPL.

Spencer Johnson

Spencer Johnson has provided variety to Gujarat Titans’ bowling department. The Australian left-arm pacer has claimed four wickets in five matches this season and could trouble PBKS’ batting line-up.

Sandeep Warrier

Indian fast bowler Sandeep Warrier replaced Umesh Yadav in Gujarat Titans’ playing XI in their previous outing. Playing in his first IPL 2024 game against Delhi Capitals, Warrier dismissed Prithvi Shaw and Abishek Porel to finish with figures of 2/40. The 33-year-old will look to make an impact against PBKS in Mullanpur.

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Shahrukh Khan

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