Joe Biden Inaugurated on January 20

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Three months after winning the US presidential election, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President at the US Capitol. Kamala Harris was sworn in as Vice-President. Declaring that there is “no time to start like today”, he signed 15 executive orders on the first day: everything from enforcing mask mandates to halting construction on Trump’s Mexican border wall. [NPR] [By KEVIN WANG] 

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Russian Dissident Alexei Navalny Detained for 30 Days

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Immediately after landing in Moscow 17 January, Alexei Navalny was arrested by the authorities, who claimed that he violated his terms of parole from an earlier 2014 embezzlement case. A court ruling later that day ordered him to be held in jail for 30 days. The opposition leader had been flying back from Germany, where he was recovering from an assassination attempt using the nerve agent Novichok the previous August.

[CBC] [By KEVIN WANG] 

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Julie Payette resigns as Governor General on January 21

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In July, CBC published a report in which Payette’s employees claimed she’d bully and belittle them. As a result, the Privy Council hired Quintet consulting to conduct a review on their claims and found evidence to support them. On 21 January Governor Julie Payette resigned from her position as Governor General, which she has held since 2017. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Richard Wagner will be the acting Governor General until a replacement can be found.[CBC] [By Miranda] 

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50,000 flights reservations cancelled

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On January 7, 2021, Canada introduced a new rule requiring all travellers over the age of five to produce proof of a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding a flight to Canada. Airlines have seen at least 50,000 flight reservations cancelled since the new requirements were released. The government was facing pressure from premiers, especially Ontario’s Doug Ford, to stricten international travel rules in an effort to reduce the risk of importing COVID-19 from other countries. Canadian airlines lobbied unsuccessfully against the rule which delayed the rollout by two weeks. [CBC] [By Anirudh Goel] 

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Deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine to drop by 50% over the next four weeks

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Canada’s vaccination campaign hasn’t had the best of starts so far. The news that deliveries of the Pfizer COVID vaccine will be reduced dramatically over the next month has severely set back the national rollout. Pfizer is currently dealing with an unprecedented international demand for its vaccine against the deadly novel coronavirus. Although the company planned to roll out 1.3 billion vaccines this year, they have to upgrade to 2 billion vaccines to meet the insatiable demand. The company won’t have enough vials to meet its previously promised delivery schedule. As a result, Canada’s deliveries will be reduced by 50% over the next four-week period. Pfizer retools its production facility in Puurs, Belgium to boost capacity. [CBC] [By Anirudh Goel]