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1. Quels pays célèbrent Noël et quand le font-ils?

Plan panoramique du marché, avec ses stands, ses manèges et ses lumières.Un marché de Noël, à Francfort, en Allemagne. Photo : Getty Images / Thomas Lohnes

La grande majorité des pays soulignent la fête de Noël. Ce sont généralement ceux qui ont une présence chrétienne importante, mais pas nécessairement majoritaire. Toutefois, cette fête n’a pas lieu partout en même temps, en raison des schismes intervenus au sein de la chrétienté.

Par Bernard Barbeau

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2. Au Yémen, mourir d’une maladie chronique, faute de soins

Une femme est branchée à l'équipement de dialyse.Une patiente reçoit un traitement de dialyse dans un hôpital de Sanaa, au Yémen, le 1er avril 2018. Selon la Croix-Rouge, environ 4000 Yéménites atteints d’insuffisance rénale risquent de mourir si les centres de dialyse encore fonctionnels au pays ne reçoivent pas plus d’équipement et si le personnel médical n’est pas payé. Photo : Getty Images / MOHAMMED HUWAIS

Il y a bien sûr les tirs et les bombes. Il y a aussi les conséquences secondaires de la guerre, comme l’effondrement du système de santé. Voici le témoignage d’un responsable de Médecins sans frontière qui revient du Yémen.

Par Danielle Beaudoin

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3. Des virus espionnent des bactéries pour savoir quand passer à l’attaque

Représentation en trois dimensions d'un virus bactériophage.Un virus bactériophage Photo : iStock / extender01

Pour la première fois, des chercheurs ont montré que des virus sont capables d’écouter les messages de leurs proies afin de frapper au moment le plus opportun. Cette découverte pourrait être exploitée pour s’attaquer à certaines bactéries dangereuses.

Par Renaud Manuguerra-Gagné

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4. Acheter durant les soldes d’après Noël, est-ce vraiment une bonne affaire?

Imposante file devant le Best Buy pour profiter des soldes d’Après-Noël.Environ 2,5 millions de Québécois prévoient profiter des soldes d’après Noël cette année. Photo : Radio-Canada / Camille Simard

Le 26 décembre, les consommateurs sont de plus en plus nombreux à se ruer dans les commerces ou en ligne afin de profiter des ventes d’après Noël qu’offrent la plupart des détaillants. Mais épargnent-ils vraiment?

Par Joëlle Girard

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5. Des chats vikings révèlent que nos félins de salon sont de plus en plus grands

Un chat se fait caresser sur le dessus de la tête.Le chat domestique vit en compagnie des humains depuis au moins 9500 ans. Photo : iStock

Les chats ont une place assez unique parmi les animaux qui côtoient les humains. Rois des salons et des réseaux sociaux, ils semblent aussi évoluer à l’inverse d’autres espèces domestiquées en devenant de plus en plus imposants.

Par Renaud Manuguerra-Gagné

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6. L’avez-vous vu? Bienvenue au Parc pléistocène, et créer des personnes qui n’existent pas

Représentation artistique de mammouths.Représentation artistique de mammouths. Photo : iStock / Aunt_Spray

Le projet de parc d’animaux disparus, tel le mammouth, avance en Russie, et grâce à des algorithmes d’apprentissage automatique, des scientifiques créent les portraits plus que réalistes de gens qui n’existent pas. Voici quelques nouvelles que vous auriez pu manquer dans les derniers jours.

Par Alain Labelle

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Bonne lecture et Joyeuses Fêtes!

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List of Tourist Attractions Open Now in Ottawa

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With Ontario now in Step 3 of 2021 three-step plan for reopening, museums and other indoor attractions are allowed to reopen with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors.

Here is a list of Ottawa attractions you can visit starting July 16th.

Do remember to wear masks and buy tickets in advance.

Parliament Hill

Parliament’s Centre Block and Peace Tower are closed for renovation.

You can join for tours of the Senate of Canada Building (2 Rideau Street), House of Commons at West Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill, and East Block at East Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill.

When: Grounds open; guided tours of Parliament are suspended through the summer of 2021.
Where: 111 Wellington Street, Downtown Ottawa

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Ottawa performer leapfrogs from gymnastics to Broadway to TV

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A new AppleTV+ series set in a magical town that’s stuck in a neverending 1940s musical includes a pair of Ottawa siblings in the cast. 

Warren Yang and his sister, Ericka Hunter, play two of the singing, dancing residents of the village portrayed in Schmigadoon!, a small-screen series that takes its cues from classic musicals like Brigadoon, Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music, and skewers them with the offbeat comedic mastery of Saturday Night Live. 

In fact, you’ll recognize many of the names from SNL, starting with executive producer Lorne Michaels, creator of the late-night, live-comedy sketch show. Schmigadoon! also stars SNL cast member Cecily Strong and comedian Keegan-Michael Key, who hosted SNL in May. They play a New York couple who get lost on a hike and stumble into a strange town where everyone sings and dances. 

For Yang, a relative newcomer to show-biz, the series marks his television debut. For Hunter, the younger of his two older sisters, it’s the latest in a career path that began with dance lessons as a child more than 30 years ago. She attended Canterbury High School, Ottawa’s arts-focused secondary school. 

“Her dream was always to perform,” said Yang, 34, in an interview. “But that was never the path I thought was an option for me.” 

While his sister studied dance, Yang did gymnastics. He was an elite gymnast throughout his youth, ultimately leaving Merivale High School at 16 to train in Montreal, finishing high school through correspondence courses. He was a member of the Canadian National Team and received a scholarship to study at Penn State, majoring in marketing. 

A few years after graduation, Yang was working at an advertising agency in Toronto when he got a call from a Manhattan number. To his astonishment, they asked if he would be interested in auditioning for a Broadway revival of Miss Saigon.

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COVID-19: uOttawa to require vaccination for students living in residence

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Vaccination will be mandatory for students who want to live in residence at the University of Ottawa this year, with proof of vaccination and at least one dose required before move-in, or within two weeks of doing so if they can’t secure a shot before arriving.

Those who can’t receive a vaccine for “health-related reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code” will be able to submit a request for accommodation through the university’s housing portal, according to information on the university’s website.

Students with one dose living in residence will also have to receive their second dose “within the timeframe recommended by Ottawa Public Health.”

People who haven’t been granted an exemption and don’t get vaccinated or submit proof of having done so by the deadlines set out by the school will have their residence agreements terminated, uOttawa warns.

“Medical and health professionals are clear that vaccination is the most (effective) means of protecting people and those around them,” reads a statement provided to this newspaper by uOttawa’s director of strategic communications, Patrick Charette.

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“It is precisely for this reason that the University of Ottawa is requiring all students living in residence for the 2021-2022 academic year to be fully vaccinated. The University recognizes that some students may require accommodations for a variety of reasons and will be treating exceptions appropriately.”

Faculty, staff and students are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, the statement notes.

“Ensuring a high vaccine coverage in all communities is critical to ensuring an ongoing decline in cases and ending the pandemic. This will be especially important with the return of students to post-secondary institutions in our region in the fall of 2021.”

Neither Carleton University nor Algonquin College is currently mandating vaccination for students living in residence, according to the websites for both schools. But uOttawa isn’t alone in its policy – Western University, Trent University, Durham College and Fanshawe College have all implemented similar requirements. Seneca College, in the GTA, is going even further, making vaccination mandatory for students and staff to come to campus, in-person, for the fall term.

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