Omicron 'variant of concern' has arrived in North America

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2 cases of Omicron variant detected in Canada, government says
At least two cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, first detected in Southern Africa last week, have been confirmed in Canada, provincial health officials said on Sunday.

The cases were reported in two people who recently traveled to Nigeria, the Ontario government said in a statement.

The detection of Omicron has triggered global alarm as governments around the world scramble to impose new travel restrictions and markets sold off, fearing the variant could be resistant to vaccinations and upend a nascent economic reopening after a two-year global pandemic.

On Friday, Canada closed its borders to foreign travelers who have recently been to seven Southern African nations in the preceding two weeks to help stop the spread of the newly identified variant of COVID-19.

“Today, the province of Ontario has confirmed two cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Ottawa, both of which were reported in individuals with recent travel from Nigeria. Ottawa Public Health is conducting case and contact management and the patients are in isolation,” the statement said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible than other variants, or if it causes more severe disease. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON OUR TOP STORY.

In other developments
– Omicron – LIVE UPDATES
– Omicron variant: Swiss voters give green light to COVID restrictions as cases rise
– Omicron variant: European country bans Christmas markets, public drinking in bid to combat COVID-19 wave
– WHO criticizes travel bans on southern African countries
– ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ guest worries omicron variant could hurt Biden’s economic ‘progress’
– Rand Paul blasts Fauci: ‘Astounding and alarming’ to declare ‘I represent science’
– NIH Dir. Collins: COVID vaccines will ‘most likely‘ protect against omicron variant, but too soon to tell

Waukesha parade attack: 7 children still recovering in hospital one week after deadly ambush
The city of Waukesha asked residents to light a blue light outside their homes and share a moment of silence at 4:39 p.m. CT on Sunday, exactly one week after the Christmas parade attack that left at least six people dead and dozens more injured.

Businesses and city council members gave out blue lights to residents, who were asked to keep them illuminated outside of their homes through the holidays.

Mayor Shawn Reilly, who led the moment of silence with other city officials, told Fox News “blue is the color of unity.”

The city of about 70,000 people held a candlelight vigil on Monday and set up a memorial for the victims in Veterans Park, just blocks away from where 39-year-old Darrell Brooks allegedly broke through barricades in a red SUV and plowed through a crowd at a Christmas parade.

At least 62 people were injured in total and seven children are still in the hospital, according to Children’s Wisconsin. Three of the hospitalized children are in serious condition, while three are in fair condition and one is in good condition.

One of those children, 11-year-old Jessalyn Torres, was hit so hard by the SUV she had marks from the vehicle’s grille across her chest.

“She told them, ‘Just glue me back together,'” Ryan Kohnke, Jessalyn’s uncle and a Waukesha resident who attended the parade, told Fox News Digital. “For her to crack a joke and have that type of human moment was big. My sister and I both kind of chuckled. We thought that was funny.” CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

In other developments
– Waukesha restaurant donates all of day’s sales to help parade victims, raises about $15,000
– Arizona university students demand administration to ‘withdraw’ Kyle Rittenhouse: ‘killer off our campus’
– Gowdy: ‘Six body bags later,’ country is waking up to the dangers of the Left’s bail reform initiative
– CNN roasted for tweet saying Waukesha parade attack was caused by ‘a car’ that drove through parade
– Waukesha parade tragedy: Child released from hospital Saturday, 8 remain

Bipartisan lawmakers urge SEC to review Unilever filings over Ben & Jerry’s Israel boycott
A bipartisan group of House lawmakers is urging the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to assess whether the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s should amend its regulatory filing to reflect potential risks to shareholders over the company’s Israel boycott.

The group, led by Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., sent a letter Friday to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler asking him to take action to ensure Unilever, the ice cream company’s parent company, is in compliance with SEC rules.

“In the interests of shareholders, consumers, and public policy, we believe it is appropriate for the SEC to take steps to ensure the full disclosure of all information necessary to make Unilever’s filings in compliance with the rules and regulations of the United States’ SEC,” the letter stated, Jewish Insider reported.

“Unilever is a widely held company with a current market capitalization of $135 billion, which places in jeopardy the manifold United States institutions, pension funds, and endowments which hold its shares on behalf of its beneficiaries,” the letter continued, the New York Post reported. “We believe that these actions require the SEC to request that the regulatory filings of Unilever be amended to disclose the material risk factors.”

Reps. Andrew Garbarino, R-N.Y., Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., joined Torres in signing the letter.

Ben and Jerry’s announced in July that it would no longer sell its products in disputed territories including the West Bank, which the company called “Occupied Palestinian Territory.” The decision came amid an escalating conflict between Israel and Gaza, and Ben & Jerry’s said in a statement that selling products in those areas would be “inconsistent with” Ben & Jerry’s “values.” CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

In other developments:
– Duke University pro-Israel group denied recognition by student government, admin overrules
– Israel to close border, airports to non-citizen international travelers for 14 days due to omicron variant
– Ben & Jerry’s Israel boycott: Missouri leads 12 states urging parent company Unilever to reverse decision

TODAY’S MUST-READS:
– China’s deploys aircraft to Taiwan’s buffer zone that ‘significantly changes‘ the game, report says
– Matthew McConaughey announces whether he’s running for governor
– Royal bombshell in new book prompts swift reaction from Buckingham Palace
– Arizona police officer uses Taser on man holding knife, causing him to fall over and stab his neck
– Top Kansas Democrat call for representative to step down after arrest on suspicion of DUI
– Oklahoma loses recruits in immediate aftermath of Lincoln Riley’s departure
– Massive snowstorm strands 61 at pub for third night, ‘plenty of beer available’

THE LATEST FROM FOX BUSINESS:
– Pennsylvania braces for huge energy price hikes as winter looms
– Warning over latest variant derailing economic recovery will shake you
– WHO criticizes travel bans on southern African countries
– Turks abandon the lira for dollars as currency crisis deepens
– Australia to introduce new laws to force media platforms to unmask online trolls
– Alibaba empowers business units to be more agile as challenges mount

SOME PARTING WORDS

Former U.S. attorney and Fox News contributor Andy McCarthy on Sunday commended the recent jury decisions behind the Kyle Rittenhouse and the Ahmaud Arbery trials.

“I think they’re absolutely the right verdicts,” McCarthy said on “Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy.”

“We put 12 people with common sense in the box. And if they need expert testimony, the idea is they get to hear from an expert who can give them some experience or some expertise in some area that’s material. In the end, we trust the common sense of the community to make the decision,” McCarthy added. “We need to be a lot more honest about the situations that we’re in, and a lot less of a mind that we have to be on one side or another.”

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Fox News First was compiled by Fox News’ David Aaro. Thank you for making us your first choice in the morning! We’ll see you in your inbox first thing Tuesday.

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