Coronavirus: What’s happening in Canada and around the world Friday

The latest:

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority is allowing evictions to resume across the United States, blocking the Biden administration from enforcing a temporary ban that was put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The court’s action ends protections for roughly 3.5 million people in the United States who said they faced eviction in the next two months, according to Census Bureau data from early August.

The court said late Thursday in an unsigned opinion that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reimposed the moratorium Aug. 3, lacked the authority to do so under federal law without explicit congressional authorization. The justices rejected the administration’s arguments in support of the CDC’s authority.

“If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it,” the court wrote.

The three liberal justices dissented. Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the three, pointed to the increase in COVID-19 caused by the delta variant as one of the reasons the court should have left the moratorium in place. “The public interest strongly favours respecting the CDC’s judgment at this moment, when over 90 per cent of counties are experiencing high transmission rates,” Breyer wrote.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration was “disappointed” by the decision and said U.S. President Joe Biden “is once again calling on all entities that can prevent evictions — from cities and states to local courts, landlords, Cabinet Agencies — to urgently act to prevent evictions.”

Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., who had camped outside the Capitol as the eviction moratorium expired at the end of last month, said Congress must act to reinstate the protections.

U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, a Democrat, who fought for a ban on residential evictions, is seen thanking demonstrators on Capitol Hill earlier this month. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

The earlier versions of the moratorium, first ordered during Trump’s presidency, applied nationwide and were put in place out of fear that people who couldn’t pay their rent would end up in crowded living conditions like homeless shelters and help spread the virus.

The new moratorium temporarily halted evictions in counties with “substantial and high levels” of virus transmissions and would cover areas where 90 per cent of the U.S. population lives.

The Biden administration argued that the rise in the delta variant underscored the dangers of resuming evictions in areas of high transmission of COVID-19. But that argument did not win broad support at the high court.

-From The Associated Press, last updated at 7 a.m. ET


What’s happening across Canada

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What’s happening around the world

A health-care worker waits during a 3rd dose vaccination drive at the Belgrade Fair vaccination centre in Belgrade, Serbia, earlier this week. (Zorana Jevtic/Reuters)

As of early Friday morning, more than 214.6 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 case tracker. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.4 million.

In the Americas, Argentine prosecutors have charged President Alberto Fernandez with allegedly breaking a mandatory quarantine, local media reported, when he and his partner hosted a birthday party last year with friends.

In Africa, COVID-19 vaccine inventor BioNTech said on Friday it was looking into building malaria and tuberculosis vaccine production sites in Rwanda and Senegal, narrowing down its search for African locations.

Like its Comirnaty-branded shot to prevent disease from the coronavirus, the future malaria and tuberculosis vaccines would be based on the so-called messenger RNA technology, it said. Building on its success with Partner in COVID-19 shots, BioNTech said in July it would seek to develop a vaccine for the mosquito-borne illness malaria, eyeing production in Africa.

A police officer wearing a face mask patrols along Nakamise shopping street on Thursday in Tokyo, where COVID-19 cases have been rising. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

In the Asia-Pacific region, a contaminant found in a batch of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines delivered to Japan is believed to be a metallic particle, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported, citing sources at the health ministry.

In the Middle East, Iran on Thursday reported 36,758 new cases of COVID-19 and 694 additional deaths.

In Europe, Russia on Friday reported 798 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours as well as 19,509 new cases, including 1,509 in Moscow. Official case numbers have been gradually falling since a surge of infections blamed on the highly contagious delta variant peaked in July.

-From The Associated Press, Reuters and CBC News, last updated at 7:40 a.m ET

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