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In the news today: Ukrainian president set to address Parliament

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today...
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena Zelenska arrive at the Ottawa airport for a visit to Canada, on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today...

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy set to address Parliament Friday

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is in Ottawa for his first official visit since Russia launched a full-scale invasion last year. 

Zelenskyy arrived late last night and is set to address Parliament today. 

He and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are also planning to sign an agreement to strengthen economic ties between the two countries. 

Zelenskyy is expected to ask for more help with the war against Russia. 

Canada has already contributed more than 4.9-billion dollars in financial aide and another 1.8-billion in military support for Ukraine. 


Here's what else we're watching ...

Mayor's chief of staff testifies at convoy trial

The chief of staff for former Ottawa mayor Jim Watson is expected to continue his testimony in the trial of two "Freedom Convoy" protest organizers today before the court takes a two-week break.

Serge Arpin was involved in the mayor's deal with convoy organizers Tamara Lich and Chris Barber to move trucks off of residential streets last year. 

Arpin and the mayor hoped the deal would result in some 400 trucks moving out of residential neighbourhoods and onto the street along Parliament Hill as the protest went on for weeks. 

Lich and Barber are on trial for alleged mischief and counselling others to commit mischief, intimidation and other offences during the protest.


London attack accused's trial continues today

Jurors at the trial of a man accused of murdering four members of a Muslim family in Ontario are set to hear more evidence today. 

Nathaniel Veltman is accused of deliberately hitting five members of the Afzaal family with his truck while they were out for a walk in London, Ont. 

Prosecutors have alleged his actions in June 2021 amount to an act of terrorism and have argued he was motivated by white nationalist beliefs. 

Veltman has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

Jurors watched a video of Veltman earlier this week telling a detective he had been motivated by white nationalist beliefs that he had kept private in order to avoid detection by authorities.


AI helps medical students practise with patients

A Calgary medical student has developed an app that allows future doctors to work on their diagnostic and communication skills before they set up their practices.

Eddie Guo, a second-year student at the University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine, says one of the challenges in medical school is becoming better at interacting with patients.

He says students do get to see standardized patients, played by actors, but it's expensive and the time is limited.

Guo says as a result, he created an app that features a variety of different patients who can be interviewed on the computer.

He says the A-I patients can answer different questions and make suggestions for improvement.


Why doctors say you should get another COVID shot

Public health officials say the number of COVID-19 infections is climbing again — just in time for respiratory virus season in the fall and winter, when respiratory syncytial virus and influenza also come on the scene. 

Health Canada recently authorized an updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, manufactured by Moderna, that targets the XBB.1.5 Omicron subvariant circulating now. 

The federal government is sending the new vaccine out to the provinces and territories, which are in charge of rolling it out to the public. 

But it's clear that many Canadians are tired of getting COVID-19 vaccines, even as the incidence of COVID-19 has started to creep back up.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says only 22 per cent of people five years and older got the bivalent booster dose, which offered protection against the Omicron variant in addition to the original coronavirus strain.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2023.

The Canadian Press