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Head of UN ceasefire monitor visits Yemen’s Hodeidah port | Yemen News

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The head of the United Nations team tasked with monitoring a fragile ceasefire in Yemen’s flashpoint city of Hodeidah has visited its lifeline docks, according to a port official.

Patrick Cammaert, retired Dutch general, called on Yemen’s Saudi-backed government forces and Houthi rebels to respect the hard-won truce, Yehya Sharafeddin, Hodeidah port deputy director, said on Monday.

“The [UN] official promised us that the war will end,” Sharafeddin told AFP news agency by phone after Cammaert visited the docks, through which the majority of imports and humanitarian aid enter Yemen.

“He said the Yemen war had been forgotten for years, but that the international community is now adamant about ending it,” he said.

Cammaert is heading a joint committee, which includes members of the government and the Houthi rebels, in charge of monitoring the truce in Hodeidah and its surroundings that began on December 18.

Cammaert arrived in the Red Sea city from the rebel-held capital Sanaa, after meeting with government officials in Aden.

Yemen’s warring sides agreed on the ceasefire to halt a devastating offensive by government forces and an allied Saudi-led coalition against rebel-held Hodeidah at peace talks in Sweden this month.

According to the UN, Cammaert will chair a meeting of the joint committee on Wednesday.

That meeting will be “one of the priorities” of Cammaert’s mission, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Sunday.

“General Cammaert is encouraged by the general enthusiasm of both sides to get to work, immediately,” he added.

The UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution authorising the deployment of observers to Hodeidah to monitor the truce.

Sharafeddin said that Cammaert “stressed the importance of implementing the agreement” and will visit “battlefronts [in the city] at a later time”.

Shaky truce

The ceasefire, the result of intense diplomatic efforts led by the UN, has remained shaky, with both sides accusing each other of violations in Hodeidah province.

Coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki said on Monday that the Houthi rebels have violated the truce agreement 138 times since it came into effect.

The latest Security Council resolution on Yemen “puts the Houthi militias under international pressure”, he said during a press conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

The UN monitoring team aims to secure the functioning of Hodeidah port and supervise the withdrawal of fighters from the city.

The text approved by the Security Council “insists on the full respect by all parties of the ceasefire agreed” for Hodeidah.

It authorises the UN to “establish and deploy, for an initial period of 30 days from the adoption of this resolution, an advance team to begin monitoring” the ceasefire, under Cammaert’s leadership.

About 10,000 people have been killed since the coalition intervened in 2015, according to the World Health Organization, although rights groups say the death toll could be five times higher.

The conflict has unleashed a major humanitarian crisis and pushed 14 million Yemenis to the brink of famine.

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Driver in satisfactory condition following head-on Gatineau collision

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One person was in hospital in satisfactory condition following a head-on collision between two vehicles in Gatineau on Saturday.

According to Gatineau police, the crash occurred around 1:30 p.m. on Montée Paiement, between Saint-Thomas and Saint-Columban roads.

Each of the vehicles had only one occupant at the time of the incident.

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Ottawa military family alleges bad faith eviction by Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat in Canada

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An Ottawa military family alleges their former landlord — Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat in Canada — acted in bad faith when he gave them a notice of eviction, claiming he intended to move into their Vanier rental home with his own family.

The home is now listed for sale for $950,000, two months after Vivian and Tim Funk moved out with their two young children.

In documents filed with the Landlord and Tenant Board, the Funks detailed how their landlord, Sulaiman AlAqeel, acted to end their tenancy by allegedly pretending he was moving in himself. This was preceded by an attempt to market the house to new tenants for significantly more money when the Funks had not given notice indicating they would be leaving, the documents alleged. “The landlord’s representative,” according to the documents, allegedly told the Funks they needed to accept a $500 monthly rent increase and a new lease if they wanted to continue living in the rental property, which wouldn’t be legal under the Residential Tenancies Act.

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Ottawa COVID-19 hospitalization data showing half of cases coming from community, not just long-term care

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With local data showing 50 per cent of COVID-19 hospitalizations coming from the community, long-term care residents aren’t the only one vulnerable to severe illness from the virus, Ottawa’s Board of Health reports.

Despite the majority of deaths having happened in older adult age groups in long-term care homes, residents shouldn’t think institutions are the only settings that are vulnerable to outbreaks that lead to serious illness from the virus.

“[Ottawa Public Health] continues to expand our understanding of the types of settings and situations that have the most impact on COVID-19 transmission in our community and is seeking academic partners to better explore exposure risks as well as a broader assessment of the harms from different public health measures,” OPH outlined in its document, to be present at the Board of Health on Monday.

At the same time, however, OPH says it is working closely with partners on “processes to strengthen and streamline responses.” This includes weekly meetings across agencies to address issues and concerns to ensure a strong collaboration, ongoing communications with facilities, preventative visits and phone calls to review infection prevention and control.

In situations where OPH identified failings at an LTCH or concerns of compliance have been raised, OPH has been quick to issue letters of expectation that outline the deficiencies and timelines fo compliance.

It is unclear how many letters have been issued through both waves of the virus.

And while outbreaks in LTCH during wave two have recorded a higher number of LTCH outbreaks than in wave one, the overall morbidity and mortality has been lower. This means fewer cases, fewer deaths and a lower average duration of outbreaks.

OPH contributed this to building on lessons learned from early COVID-19 outbreaks in LTCH in Ottawa.

https://www.ottawamatters.com/local-news/ottawa-covid-19-hospitalization-data-of-severe-illness-shows-half-of-cases-coming-from-community-not-just-long-term-care-homes-3136152

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