The Russia-Ukraine Frontline Report
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his troops to halt attempts to take over the final Ukrainian stronghold in the southern port city of Mariupol which has been under siege for more than seven weeks.
Putin says he wants to protect the lives of Russian troops.
About two-thousand Ukrainian soldiers are said to be occupying the sprawling steel works, which is honeycombed with tunnels.
Instead, Putin has ordered a cordon be thrown around the site so no one can escape.
As many as one-thousand civilians are said to be sheltering with Ukraine’s troops.
Meantime, efforts to evacuate more civilians from the devastated city collapsed again yesterday, with only four busloads of people making it out.
Attempts will continue today.
The Queen is 96!
Queen Elizabeth celebrates her 96th birthday today.
But the celebrations will be muted, as the Queen continues to cut back on her activities.
She’s now living almost permanently at Windsor Castle, and conducts most of her work by video appearances.
The Queen is still recovering from a bout of COVID-19 earlier this year.
She also celebrates 70 years on the throne this year….and, to mark the occasion, a Barbie doll in her likeness is being issued.
Evidence of graves at Saskatchewan First Nation
A First Nation in Saskatchewan says it’s found evidence of graves at the site of a former residential school.
Officials at the George Gordon First Nation just north of Regina, says evidence of 14 graves has been located at the former Anglican-run school.
Chief Byron Bitternose says they’ll continue to search until the entire property has been scanned.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission called the school one of the worst in the entire residential school system.
The COVID numbers
The scientific director of Ontario’s Science Advisory Table says we can expect to see a bump in the number of new COVID-19 infections, due to gatherings during Easter, Ramadan, and Passover.
But Doctor Peter Juni says the sixth wave appears to be reaching a plateau due to the high levels of vaccination and immunity caused by the latest wave of infections.
Juni says the actual number of new infections is now likely 20 times higher than is being officially reported.
That would put the number of new cases yesterday alone at more than 33-thousand.
Ford and handguns
Premier Doug Ford says it’s unlikely he’d bring in a ban on handguns in the province.
Such a ban has been promised by Liberal leader Stephen Del Duca if his party is elected to government in June’s provincial election.
Ford says the key to battling handgun violence is to continue investing in police, so they can arrest those using the weapons illegally.
He adds more needs to be done at our borders, to stop the flow of handguns from the United States.