'You can run a G7 country from home': Canada's Trudeau relies on phone lines and Lego
By Steve Scherer OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in quarantine since his wife tested positive for the coronavirus last week, is pulling the levers of power from an old brick mansion with a stockpile of Legos to help keep his three kids busy.
By Steve Scherer
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in quarantine since his wife tested positive for the coronavirus last week, is pulling the levers of power from an old brick mansion with a stockpile of Legos to help keep his three kids busy.
Canada has recorded more than 300 cases and one death. With the outbreak accelerating, Trudeau drafted measures to ramp up the battle against the virus from his ground-floor study. To maintain social distancing, he held a press conference in his garden with reporters lobbing questions from afar.
Trudeau has been forced to chair cabinet meetings by teleconference and field calls with world leaders from the 22-room Rideau Cottage, a 150-year-old house on the wooded grounds of the governor general's residence near downtown Ottawa.
"You can run a G7 country from home," a senior government official who has participated in calls with the prime minister told Reuters.
As schools close and more people are working from home, Trudeau's situation is a snapshot of what is yet to come for many, perhaps even for other world leaders. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's wife has also tested positive.
On Friday when Trudeau emerged from his front door to speak to the media, promise a major stimulus package and encourage Canadians returning from abroad to isolate themselves, he had formatted and printed his remarks from his desktop computer, the source said.
Being in quarantine was "an inconvenience and somewhat frustrating," Trudeau said: "We're all social beings after all. But we have to do this."
Trudeau, who said he has displayed no symptoms so far, does have help with logistics. His office has a switchboard that patches through important phone calls, including the two he has had with U.S. President Donald Trump since isolating himself.
"He's often not in his office when he fields calls. He could be traveling or anywhere, and those calls get patched in," the source said.
The quarantine began on Wednesday when Trudeau's wife, Sophie, came down with a fever after returning from a speaking engagement in London. Trudeau said he has displayed no symptoms so far.
With the kids forced to stay home, Trudeau "arranged for a very large box of Legos to be safely delivered to the house," Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland told Reuters.
She said Trudeau was "setting an example" by self-isolating, adding that it was "the right thing to do to protect your health, but also to protect the health of all the other Canadians."
Cut off from the official photographers who normally document the prime minister's day, his daughter Ella-Grace, 11, stepped in to help out.
The prime minister tweeted a picture she snapped of her father working in his study, phone at his ear and computer perched on an old, wooden desk.
Referring to the children, Freeland said: "For them, it's a little bit of exposure really to the intensity of the job of the prime minister at a time like this."
(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Dan Grebler)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police used teargas and water cannon to disperse people who had gathered in central Athens on Saturday to protest against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 4,000 people rallied outside the Greek parliament for a third time this month to oppose mandatory inoculations for some workers, such as healthcare and nursing staff.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Two Turkish soldiers were killed and two were wounded in an attack on their armoured vehicle in northern Syria, and Turkish forces immediately launched retaliatory fire, Turkey's defence ministry said on Saturday. "Our punitive fire against terrorist positions is continuing," the statement on Twitter on said. It did not specify where the attack occurred, but media reports said it was in the al-Bab area.
By Marcelo Rochabrun SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Protesters took to the streets in several Brazilian cities on Saturday to demand the impeachment of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, whose popularity has fallen in recent weeks amid corruption scandals against the backdrop of the pandemic. This week, news broke that Brazil's defense ministry told congressional leadership that next year's elections would not take place without amending the country's electronic voting system to include a paper trail of each vote. Bolsonaro has suggested several times without evidence that the current system is prone to fraud, allegations that Brazil's government has denied