After a surprisingly strong showing in the recent federal parliamentary election, Quebec separatists have suddenly begun fighting among themselves over strategies to win independence for the province. \nThe new struggle over tactics to form a Quebec state -- after defeats in two independence referendums since 1980 and the electoral loss of the separatist provincial government last year -- is emerging as the crucial issue for the Parti Quebecois as it opens a potentially bitter process to choose a new leader. \nJacques Parizeau, the former Quebec premier, began the first public challenge to current party strategy this week by calling on the party to run in the next provincial parliamentary election pledging to form a new government that would prepare for speedy independence without first holding a referendum. \nIn an essay published on Monday in the Montreal daily La Presse, Parizeau argued that the Parti Quebecois should try to write a provisional constitution and create a separate Quebec citizenship as soon as it retook the provincial government. Only then would a referendum be held to ratify the national constitution. \n"Many sovereigntists have concluded that the game is not playable under the current conditions and that we need to find another way," wrote Parizeau, whose forces were narrowly defeated in the last separatist referendum in 1995 but who remains an influential force in the party. \nThe next provincial election is expected to be in three years, and the separatists believe they have a strong chance of defeating Jean Charest, the unpopular Liberal premier. \nThe separatist cause seemed to be strengthened during the June federal parliamentary election when the Bloc Quebecois, a close ally of the Parti Quebecois won 49 percent of the Quebec vote and 54 of 75 seats that the province holds in the House of Commons. \nBernard Landry, the former Quebec premier who is struggling to hold on to Parti Quebecois leadership after his landslide defeat last year, immediately announced his opposition to the Parizeau plan. He said a retreat from a referendum would deny a Quebec state the "legitimacy and dignity" it would need. \nLandry and some other Parti Quebecois leaders have soft-peddled the separatist issue in recent elections in an effort to win moderate swing voters.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
LIFELONG LOSS: Jiro Hamasumi, who was not quite born when an atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, lost his father and other relatives, but said he thinks about his father daily As Japan marks 75 years since the devastating attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the last generation of nuclear bomb survivors is working to ensure their message lives on after them. The “hibakusha” — literally “person affected by the bomb” — have for decades been a powerful voice calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. There are an estimated 136,700 left, many of whom were infants or soon to be born at the time of the attacks. The average age of a survivor now is a little over 83, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health, lending an urgency as they share their testimonies