Canada: Trudeau’s wife tests positive for new coronavirus

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau was felling well and would remain in isolation. (AFP)
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Updated 13 March 2020

Canada: Trudeau’s wife tests positive for new coronavirus

  • Trudeau’s wife issued a statement thanking those who have reached out
  • Justin Trudeau did cancel an in-person meeting with Canada’s provincial premiers

TORONTO: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife has tested positive for the new coronavirus, his office announced Thursday night.
It said Sophie Grégoire Trudeau was felling well and would remain in isolation.
“The Prime Minister is in good health with no symptoms. As a precautionary measure and following the advice of doctors, he will be in isolation for a planned period of 14 days,” the statement added.
His office said the doctor’s advice to the prime minister is to continue daily activities while self-monitoring, given that he is exhibiting no symptoms himself.
“Also on the advice of doctors, he will not be tested at this stage since he has no symptoms. For the same reason, doctors say there is no risk to those who have been in contact with him recently,” the statement said.
The office said he would resume his duties Friday.
Trudeau’s wife issued a statement thanking those who have reached out.
“Although I’m experiencing uncomfortable symptoms of the virus, I will be back on my feet soon,” she said. “Being in quarantine at home is nothing compared to other Canadian families who might be going through this and for those facing more serious health concerns.”
The couple have three children, but Trudeau’s wife is the only member of the family with symptoms, the prime minister’s office said.
Though self-quarantining himself, Trudeau is spending the day in briefings, phone calls and virtual meetings from home, including speaking with other world leaders and joining a special Cabinet committee discussion on the coronavirus. Trudeau spoke with US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
But Trudeau did cancel an in-person meeting with Canada’s provincial premiers.
Opposition NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was also working from home after feeling unwell. Singh said he had been in contact with a doctor and they do not believe he has the virus but was advised to limit contact with the public until he feels better.
Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, is closing schools until April 5.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault is asking all people returning from travel abroad to self-isolate for 14 days. The measure will be mandatory for all government employees.
He is also asking organizers to cancel all indoor events attracting crowds of more than 250 people and all other large gatherings that are not considered essential. Alberta and British Columbia are also urging all events with more than 250 people be canceled.
British Columbia’s health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said the province is “strongly advising” people to not travel outside Canada, including to the U.S, and said anyone who chooses to do so should self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
“That means no trips to Disneyland, no trips to Paris or Berlin or Boise,” British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix said. “Anyone who chooses to travel outside of Canada must stay away from work or school or 14 days upon their return. That responsibility is what we owe to our fellow citizens.”
Henry said there has not been widespread community transmission of the virus in Canada, unlike in the US
“We’ve been watching what’s happening in Washington state and have been in contact with our colleagues in Washington state. What became apparent to me over the last 24 hours is the extent of the community spread in many, many, many different communities in the US,” Henry said.
Canada has more than 140 confirmed cases, with one death — an elderly nursing home resident in British Columbia. The United States has had 40 deaths, with more than three-fourths of them in Washington state. As of Thursday afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported about 1,260 US illnesses.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney also asked people to self-isolate if they are returning from overseas.
“We are now recommending that anybody over the age of 65 to avoid traveling outside the province if they can avoid it,” Kenney said.


Ethiopia says suspects confessed to killing popular singer

Updated 10 July 2020

Ethiopia says suspects confessed to killing popular singer

  • Hachala Hundessa became a symbol of the Oromo struggle during years of anti-government protests that swept Abiy to power in 2018
  • Though Abiy is Ethiopia’s first Oromo head of state, Oromo nationalists accuse him of insufficiently championing their interests since taking office

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia’s attorney general said Friday that two men had confessed to killing a popular singer from the Oromo ethnic group as part of a plot to topple Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government.
Hachala Hundessa became a symbol of the Oromo struggle during years of anti-government protests that swept Abiy to power in 2018.
His shooting death last week sparked days of protests and ethnic violence that killed 239 people, according to police figures.
“The assassination was intended to be a cover to take power from the incumbent by force,” attorney general Abebech Abbebe said in a statement Friday aired on state television, without providing details.
Though Abiy is Ethiopia’s first Oromo head of state, Oromo nationalists accuse him of insufficiently championing their interests since taking office, a complaint echoed by many protesters last week.
Abebech said that along with the two men who have allegedly confessed to the crime, the government has identified a third suspect who remains on the run.
One of the men in custody identified the masterminds of the alleged plot as members of a rebel group the government believes is affiliated with the opposition Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) political party, Abebech said.
The OLF, a former rebel movement, returned to Ethiopia from exile after Abiy took office and has repeatedly disavowed any links to armed insurgents.
The Internet remained shut off Friday for an 11th consecutive day, though Addis Ababa remains calm and Abiy’s office issued a statement saying the surrounding Oromia region had “returned to calm and citizens have resumed normal activities.”
In her statement, however, Abebech said unnamed agitators were calling for additional protests and road blockages in the coming days.
“There are those that have hidden themselves in nice places but are calling on Ethiopian youth to fight each other, close roads and to cease working as part of a rebellion call,” Abebech said.
“Above all we call on our people to disobey this rebellion call and to thwart it.”