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Quebec puts four more regions under alert as Legault warns of lockdowns

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QUEBEC — Premier François Legault hardened the tone Tuesday, slapping a COVID-19 pre-alert status on four more regions and warning parts of Quebec are close to the next more critical level, which will mean closing bars and restaurants.

Warning there is a now “a real risk” of a second wave that would mean the return of various levels of lockdowns, Legault said he does not understand why some people are still ignoring warnings — even holding fall barbecues and corn boils with large groups or gathering in restaurants.

In the long run, the community virus spread that ensues will mean more hospitalizations, more overcrowding, more disruptions in people’s lives and ultimately more deaths.

“The situation is critical, it is worrisome,” Legault said at a pandemic news conference as the National Assembly resumed sitting.

“Today I am making an appeal for the solidarity. Please think of vulnerable people, think of those waiting for surgery, think of those working in the health system, think of our children.

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West Kelowna RCMP urge high alert after three attempted child lurings

RCMP in West Kelowna have reported a third case of potential child luring in the last week.

The RCMP is warning of “stranger danger” after a third youth in a week was approached by a male driver in West Kelowna and invited to get inside a vehicle.

But because the descriptions of the vehicles and drivers involved differs in each case, there is no evidence the cases are connected at this time, a police spokeswoman said.

“RCMP are reminding parents to reinforce the safety principles surrounding stranger danger with their children,” Const. Lesley Smith of the Mounties’ Kelowna detachment said.

“We’re approaching this case by case. Because of the different vehicles involved we do not feel they are connected at this time.”

The latest warning was issued after a 15-year-old male was asked by a male driver on Sunday evening if he wanted to get in the back of a red late-model mini van in a parking lot in the 1700-block of Ross Road in West Kelowna.

The teen declined and the man drove off. He is described as Caucasian, in his 30s with a full beard and no moustache. He was wearing a black baseball hat.

“West Kelowna RCMP would like to speak with this male in hopes to clarify what events transpired,” Smith said.

Officers at the West Kelowna detachment and with the General Investigation Section continue to investigate, she said. A sketch artist is drawing likenesses based on victim descriptions and the RCMP is looking at any video tape that may help them gain more information.

The first incident occurred on Nov. 29 at 3:50 p.m. when an 11-year-old girl who was walking along Cougar Road in West Kelowna was approached by a lone male in a blue, four-door sedan with rusted rims and squeaky brakes.

The driver pointed to the backseat, encouraging the girl to get inside the car, and she turned and ran home. He was described as tanned, possibly bald, mid-40s, heavy build, white bearded chin and wearing small, circular silver glasses.

The next incident occurred on Dec. 1 at 3:05 p.m. on Pritchard Drive near Barona Beach in West Kelowna.

A 10-year-old girl was offered a ride by a man in a silver or grey vehicle. She said no and ran up the street to where her older sister was waiting. The sister witnessed the vehicle drive away at a high speed.

That driver was described as being about 30, having dark skin with a possible South Asian accent, dark hair, bushy eyebrows, large nose, beard and moustache.

In light of the three incidents involving suspicious vehicles and possible child luring, Smith said the RCMP would like to remind parents and youth to be extremely cautious of their surroundings and stay alert.

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Weather forecast: Severe cold alert issued by Met Office as Arctic blast nears | Weather | News

The Met Office has warned cold weather is closing in on the UK. The weather agency issued a cold weather alert on Wednesday, warning of a “80 percent probability” of “severe cold weather” in parts of England.

The alert states the freezing temperatures are likely between midnight on Friday and 9am on Monday, December 2.

This weather could “increase the health risks to vulnerable patients” and “disrupt the delivery of services”, it warned.

The alert reads: “Change to colder condition overnight into Friday and through the weekend, with some very cold overnight temperatures and widespread frosts likely across the northern half of England.

“Daytime temperatures also remaining in the low single figures of Celsius, especially across rural parts.

READ MORE: The ONE thing which will stop you going to the doctor this cold season

“Mostly places dry, although a few very isolated wintry showers are possible across northeastern coasts.

“Overnight mist and freezing fog patches are possible across central England, leading to a cold day Saturday.

“Across the far south and southwest, temperatures could recover a little Saturday, with a small chance of rain.

“Staying cold, but dry for most Sunday and into Monday.”

According to bookies Ladbrokes, December could be the coldest ever recorded.

With a polar freeze set to wreak havoc across the UK, the bookies have cut offs from 6/1 to just 3/1 on next month being the coldest on record.

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “We’re strapping ourselves in for a bitter December with record-breaking temperatures potentially on the way.”

  • December 2019 to be coldest on record – 3/1

How to stay safe in cold weather

Prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for older people, those with underlying health conditions, and young children.

If you’re able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support.

Stock up foods and medicines so you don’t have to go out too much when it’s cold or icy.

When indoors, stay warm, heat homes to at least 18°C, and keep up-to-date with the weather forecast.

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6.1 magnitude quake rocks off eastern Indonesia, no tsunami alert issued

A shallow and strong earthquake measuring 6.1 magnitude struck off eastern Indonesia’s West Papua province on Saturday evening, but no tsunami alert was issued, the meteorology and geophysics agency said, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

The quake jolted at 7:11 p.m. Jakarta time (1211 GMT) with the epicenter at 280 km northeast Tambrauw of the province and a depth of 10 km under sea bed, official in charge at the agency Abdul Rosid said.

“There (is) no potential of tsunami from happening so that we did not issue a warning,” he told Xinhua over phone.

Indonesia is prone to quake for its position on the quake-impacted zone so-called “the Pacific Ring of Fire.”

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