Crime Pastor Arrested for Lockdown Violations to Appear in Court After Week in Jail

06:50  23 february  2021
06:50  23 february  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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So much so that a pastor was arrested on Tuesday for failing to restrict his church’s attendance to 15 percent capacity. James Coates, a pastor at GraceLife Church in Edmonton, turned himself in to police upon learning of their intention to arrest him, as reported by CBC. Later, upon learning that two separate members of the church had contracted the disease, GraceLife made it clear they took every possible precaution — through internal contact tracing, testing and a temporary shift back to virtual sermons for two weeks . “When it was evident that no further spread had taken place, we resumed our

City and even nationwide lockdowns and mask-wearing mandates have been justified using the argument that even asymptomatic individuals could spread the disease and inadvertently overwhelm health services. However, many have argued that the social and economic costs of lockdowns far outweigh any purported benefits, and have pointed to evidence that asymptomatic people are not Back in June, the World Health Organization (WHO) backtracked after stating that asymptomatic people rarely infect others with Covid-19, saying that there wasn’t enough evidence to back up the claim.

A Canadian pastor who was arrested for violating pandemic lockdown measures will appear in court on Wednesday after spending a week in jail.

A judges gavel rests on top of a desk in the courtroom of the newly opened Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum February 3, 2009 in Miami, Florida. © Joe Raedle/Getty A judges gavel rests on top of a desk in the courtroom of the newly opened Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum February 3, 2009 in Miami, Florida.

On Sunday February 14, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Alberta Health Services visited Pastor James Coates' GraceLife Church in Parkland County, located west of Edmonton. There, they determined that the church was defying COVID-19 restrictions, which requires places of worship to be operated at 15 percent capacity and mask-use for congregants.

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He appeared in court for the appeal inside a glass cage for defendants, wearing a plaid shirt, smiling and flashing the V for victory symbol. In a closing address that often broke from his usual sarcastic tone, Navalny referenced the Bible and said he had no doubts about his decision to return to Russia. He also quoted a character in the Harry Potter books, saying it was 'important not to feel alone' because that was what the series' villain Voldemort wanted. At the hearing the judge decided to count the six weeks Navalny was under house arrest as part of the time served, so he will now be imprisoned for

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Two days later, on February, 16, Coates turned himself in to authorities and was charged with two counts of contravening the Public Health Act and one criminal charge. Following a bail hearing, Coates was to be released on conditions, but he refused to agree to those conditions and has since remained in custody. An RCMP spokesperson confirmed to Newsweek that Coates was still in custody on Monday evening.

As Coates continued to refuse the conditions of his bail, "a Judge's Order was issued compelling him to attend court on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021," the RCMP said in a statement. Coates is expected to remain in custody until the court hearing.

"We've been consistent in our approach of escalated levels of enforcement with Pastor Coates, and we were hopeful to resolve this issue in a different manner," said Inspector Mike Lokken, detachment commander of the Parkland RCMP. "The Pastor's actions, and the subsequent effects those actions could have on the health and safety of citizens, dictated our response in this situation."

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Some 240 people have been arrested as unrest spread to at least 10 municipalities across the Netherlands, with riot police using water cannons, batons, dogs and horses to break up unauthorized anti- lockdown gatherings and riots. While most of the demonstrators were peaceful, some sitting on a field with their banners, authorities declared the entire gathering was illegal under the current Covid lockdown rules, and police forcefully dispersed it using water cannons and batons.

Navalny has been jailed for 30 days after he allegedly breached the terms of a three-and-a-half year sentence, suspended for five years, when he lost contact with prison service authorities last autumn. He had been transferred to Berlin’s Charite hospital in a comatose state after what his supporters say was a state-sponsored assassination attempt with the nerve agent Novichok. The Kremlin has denied, and even mocked, these claims, with President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, adding that Navalny has a “persecution complex” and allegedly compares himself to Jesus.

He added: "To be very clear, the RCMP's objective is not to interrupt church services, prohibit services, nor deny peoples' right to practice their religion—merely to ensure that public health restrictions are adhered to while doing so."

The church has been accused of repeatedly holding in-person services beyond the designated capacity. The RCMP told Newsweek that their investigation into GraceLife Church was ongoing as of Monday.

Coates has been allegedly violating COVID-19 lockdown measures since December, when the RCMP first issued the pastor with a violation ticket. The RCMP and Public Health Inspector attended a service on February 7 and found that the premises was "over double the current restricted capacity level," according to a press release.

Authorities did not disrupt the church proceedings, but afterward, they arrested Coates and released the pastor with a court appearance date.

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People opposing the Danish government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic marched through the capital in a fresh protest on Saturday. Unlike some previous events, this week ’s gathering remained peaceful and prompted no arrests . The protest was organized by the ‘Men in Black’ group, who are unhappy with Denmark’s partial lockdown and the looming rollout of a digital system which will track vaccinations and issue certificates confirming people’s inoculation status. The passports are to be used for international travel and potentially to give access to public venues in Denmark itself.

Funke Akindele together with her husband got arrested and had their courth session today and they were charged. Naira marley is yet to turn himself in to

Upon returning to the church to check for compliance, the RCMP on February 14 determined that GraceLife Church was still not following lockdown measures. Coates was also found to have flouted his undertaking release conditions.

James Kitchen, Coates' attorney, claims that his client had never agreed to the February 7 undertaking to adhere to public health measures. Coates actions were "not about just wanton rebeling," he said, according to CBC News. "It is about doing what is intelligent to them and what maintains their freedoms, but most importantly what is ultimately honouring to their god that they believe in."

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Fauci Hints at Relaxed Rules; U.K. Airlines Soar: Virus Update .
Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, suggested that the U.S. may soon issue guidance easing public health protocols for people who are fully vaccinated. And the U.S. might be looking at a surge in vaccine availability next month. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he’s “very optimistic” that England’s restrictions on social contact will end in June, and airline bookings have started to surge in Britain. Meanwhile, the U.K.’s finance minister is planning more economic aid after pandemic curbs pushed up unemployment.Thailand may waive quarantines for vaccinated visitors to help revive tourism.

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