In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Jan. 30 ...
What we are watching in Canada ...
Canada's chief public health officer says it will likely take at least a year before a vaccine is developed to protect people against the new coronavirus that is spreading around the globe.
In the meantime, Dr. Theresa Tam says government and public health authorities should plan on having to manage the outbreak for some time to come.
More than 7,700 people in China have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus and 170 of them have died.
There are three confirmed cases in Canada.
Ontario public health officials reported Wednesday that a presumptive case of the new deadly strain of coronavirus reported earlier this week has been confirmed by the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, bringing the number of confirmed cases in that province to two.
A presumed case in British Columbia was also confirmed by the national lab on Wednesday. Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, said officials are in regular contact with the individual who is in isolation at home.
All three of the Canadian cases are linked to recent travel in China.
Tam, who updated members of the House of Commons health committee on the outbreak, said the risk of catching the virus in Canada remains low.
Also this ...
Environment Canada is releasing scientific evidence today to back up the government's bid to ban most single-use plastics next year.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last June the government was getting ready to prohibit the production and sale of single-use plastics in Canada, such as drinking straws, takeout containers and plastic cutlery. The first step in the process requires a scientific assessment under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.
Today, Environment Canada officials will release the results of that work.
A recent audit of Canada's plastic production and recycling industries done for the department found less than 10 per cent of the plastic products used in Canada are recycled.
In 2016, 3.3 million tonnes of plastic ended up in the trash — 12 times the amount of plastic that was recycled.
A small amount of plastics is burned for energy at five Canadian waste-to-energy plants.
Almost 90 per cent of the plastic recycled in Canada is from packaging.
Canada's domestic recycling industry is quite small, with fewer than a dozen companies. Most of Canada's plastics destined for recycling end up overseas, where tracking what happens to them is difficult. Many end up being burned or thrown into trash piles somewhere else.
The audit found it is usually cheaper and easier to produce new plastic and throw it away than it is to recycle, reuse or repair it.
What we are watching in the U.S. ...
In a striking shift from President Donald Trump's claims of "perfect" dealings with Ukraine, his defenders asserted at his Senate trial that a trade of U.S. military aid for political favours — even if proven — could not be grounds for his impeachment.
Trump's defence spotlighted retired professor Alan Dershowitz, a member of their team who said that every politician conflates his own interest with the public interest. Therefore, he declared, "it cannot be impeachable."
The Republicans are still hoping to wind up the impeachment trial with a rapid acquittal. Democrats are pressing hard for the Senate to call additional witnesses, especially Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton. Bolton's forthcoming book contends he personally heard Trump say he wanted military aid withheld from Ukraine until it agreed to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden — the abuse of power charge that is the first article of impeachment.
As Chief Justice John Roberts fielded queries in an unusual question-and-answer session, Texas Republican Ted Cruz asked, Does it matter if there was a quid pro quo?
Simply, no, declared Dershowitz, who said that many politicians equate their reelection with the public good.
What we are watching in the rest of the world ...
The European Union grudgingly let go of the United Kingdom with a final vote at the EU's parliament that ended the Brexit divorce battle and set the scene for tough trade negotiations in the year ahead.
In an emotion-charged session at the session in Brussels, lawmakers from all 28 EU countries expressed their love and sadness, while some, notably from Britain's Brexit Party, their joy.
Some even cried and many held hands during a mournful rendition of the Auld Lang Syne farewell song that contrasted sharply with hard-headed exhortations that Britain won't find it easy in the talks that will follow the country's official departure on Friday.
"We will always love you and we will never be far," said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Britain will leave the EU after 47 years of membership. It is the first country to leave the EU and for many in Europe its official departure at 11 p.m. London time on Friday, Jan. 31 is a moment of enormous sadness and reduces the number in the bloc to 27.
ICYMI (In case you missed it) ...
GJOA HAVEN, Nunavut — Betty Kogvik must have one of the most unusual jobs in all Nunavut. In a land of naked rock and treeless tundra, she's a gardener.
"I never grew plants before in my life," she says from her home high above the Arctic Circle. "It's so relaxing."
Kogvik and her husband, Sammy, are helping run Naurvik, a project jointly funded by the federal government and the Arctic Research Foundation. Naurvik — Inuktut for "growing place" — consists of two sea cans outfitted to grow vegetables that proponents hope will help ease northern food costs.
"The idea is to work with the community and train local technicians in the many different ways of growing plants in this system," said foundation head Adrian Schimnowski.
Naurvik, so far, is two windowless sea cans outfitted with hydroponics and full-spectrum lights.
Between a windmill and a solar array, it's about three-quarters powered by renewable electricity even during the Arctic night. Schimnowski said the power will be completely green once the days get longer.
It also addresses questions far beyond anything on Earth. One of the partners in the program is the Canadian Space Agency, which is using it to study how food can be grown in closed conditions and how people can best work together in those situations.
Weird and wild ...
WINNIPEG — A city police officer is accused of deleting records related to his own speeding ticket.
Manitoba's Independent Investigation Unit says Patrol Sgt. Sean Cassidy was driving a private vehicle when photo radar caught him speeding last October.
He was on duty at the time.
Investigators allege the officer returned to his office and used the police computer to stop the speeding ticket from being issued.
He has been charged with unauthorized use of a computer, fraud and obstructing justice.
Know your news ...
On Jan. 30, 1996, Los Angeles Lakers guard Magic Johnson returned to the NBA, five years after his positive test for the AIDS virus. How long did his comeback last? Hint: the answer is the same number of games as his age when he made his return.
(Keep scrolling for the answer)
On this day in 1991 ...
The Hudson's Bay Company announced it was getting out of the fur business, on which it was founded in 1670. The Bay cited declining sales.
On the stream ...
TORONTO — February is stocked with tantalizing streaming TV options, from a young woman's superpower spectacle to an FBI agent who uncovers a Big Mac conspiracy.
"I Am Not Okay With This" is a traditional coming-of-age story that gets an offbeat comedic twist when a high schooler (Sophia Lillis) discovers her pent-up anxiety manifests itself in unpredictable superpowers. (Netflix, Feb. 26).
"McMillions" is an unbelievable six-part documentary about a former police officer who scammed millions of dollars out of the McDonald's Monopoly game promotion. (Feb. 3, Crave/HBO, weekly episodes)
There's also the return of drug-war drama "Narcos: Mexico" (Netflix, Feb. 13) and the final season of spy thriller "Homeland" (Crave, Feb. 9, weekly episodes) to keep viewers on their toes.
The games we play ...
WINNIPEG — Samira Jahmoun had no idea what curling was when she and her family arrived in Canada in 2016 from Syria via Jordan.
Jahmoun, her sister and a brother stepped on curling ice for the first time in their lives earlier this month at Winnipeg's Granite Club.
The Winnipeg Newcomer Sport Academy and Curl Manitoba arranged a learn-to-curl session for people from Syria, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast and Eritrea.
"I think the thing about curling is it is a fun sport to try, especially if they come to Canada new, they will know what people play in the winter," Jahmoun says. "I think curling, if we try it, I think we know more about Canada."
CurlManitoba's executive director wants to keep Jahmoun and others like her interested.
"Where some of these kids come from, it's about being invited into a program," Craig Baker says.
The national governing body of curling also wants to attract new Canadians, but doesn't have a program that specifically targets them.
Curling Canada's Danny Lamoureux encourages curling clubs to reach out to ethnic community centres and extend invitations for an afternoon of learning to curl.
Know your news answer ...
Thirty-six games. Magic Johnson retired for good when the Lakers were eliminated from the 1996 NBA playoffs. He was 36.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30, 2020.