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Over 100 Ennahdha Members Resign Amid Tunisia’s Political Crisis | Tunisia News


Senior party members cited Ennahdha’s failure to face what they called “imminent tyrannical danger”.

More than 100 prominent members of Tunisia’s Ennahdha party have resigned in protest at the leadership’s performance, denouncing its failure to form a united front against what they see as an attempted coup by President Kais Saied.

In a statement released on Saturday, 113 senior officials from Tunisia’s largest party announced their resignation due to its inability to cope with what they called “an imminent tyrannical danger”.

The group blamed Ennahdha for his failure to form a united front to oppose Saied’s takeover, which began with the decision to sack the government and suspend parliament on July 25.

In the last presidential decree said on Wednesday, the former law professor has strengthened presidential powers to the detriment of the government and parliament, ignoring parts of the constitution and changing Tunisia’s political system.

Among the signatories to Ennahdha’s declaration were eight lawmakers and several former ministers, including former health minister Abdellatif Mekki, who said in a Facebook post that he was deeply saddened by the decision but that he considered inevitable.

“I have no choice,” he said. “We must face the coup for the sake of Tunisia.”

Some Ennahdha officials had called for the resignation of their leader Rached Ghannouchi, the speaker of parliament, due to the party’s response to the political crisis.

Ennahdha reiterated that he viewed Saied’s decision to suspend parliament and sack the prime minister as “unconstitutional,” but took a conciliatory approach, calling on the president to reverse the measures.

Rabeb Aloui, a freelance journalist in Tunis, told Al Jazeera that tensions within the party have been simmering for some time.

In September 2020, 100 members of Ennahdha opposed the nomination of Ghannouchi for a third term at the head of the party, which he has dominated since 1991.

“I think this is the biggest crisis the Ennahdha party has experienced,” Aloui said, referring to Saturday’s resignations.

“It was expected since the start of the tensions a year ago,” said Aloui, adding, however, that the scale of the mutiny had taken many observers by surprise.

Ennahdha is Tunisia’s most powerful party since the 2011 revolution, playing a role in supporting successive coalition governments.

In the days following July 25, Ghannouchi called on MPs and supporters to organize a sit-in in front of Parliament to denounce the president’s “coup”. He then moved to a position of containment rather than opposition, after the turnout was lower than expected.

The president said his decision was necessary to end the government’s mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis, the country’s economic stagnation and internal political struggles.

He was greeted with jubilation by large sections of the Tunisian population. The flags of the Ennahdha party were burned and party offices were targeted in parts of the country.



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Seven dead in suicide bombing near Somali presidential palace


Security officers patrol the site of a car bomb in Mogadishu.

A car bomb that exploded near the presidential palace in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday killed at least seven.

District police chief Mucawiye Ahmed Mudey told reporters that at least eight other people were injured.

In a brief statement, the militant Islamist group Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.

A witness told AFP that the bomb exploded when police stopped the driver for a security check.

“Normally, they stop to check and clean vehicles before they can pass the checkpoint. This car was stopped by security guards and left with several other cars and people passing on the nearby road. I saw wounded and dead being transported, “Mohamed Hassan told the news agency.

The attack targeted a busy checkpoint near the presidential palace. Eyewitnesses told the BBC that seven cars and three auto-rickshaws were destroyed.

The explosion comes just hours after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive near the Somali army headquarters in the capital, claiming no casualties.

Many in the country have criticized Somali politicians for the deteriorating security situation in the country, saying they are distracted by a very delayed electoral process and a growing dispute between president and prime minister.

Al-Shabab, which means youth in Arabic, is an extreme Islamist group which has been fighting government troops supported by the UN for more than a decade.

The jihadists controlled the capital Mogadishu until 2011 when it was driven out by African Union troops, but it still holds territory in the countryside and launches frequent attacks against government and civilian targets in Mogadishu and elsewhere.

He advocates the strict Saudi-inspired Wahhabi version of Islam, while most Somalis are Sufis. He imposed a harsh version of Sharia law in areas under his control, including stoning to death women accused of adultery and amputating the hands of thieves.

Government officials blamed the group for some of Somalia’s deadliest terrorist attacks. Last year, analysts from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project estimated that Al-Shabab was responsible for the deaths of more than 4,000 people since 2010.



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Germany to vote in most unpredictable election in years | Angela Merkel News


For the first time in more than a decade, German voters will enter voting booths for federal elections on Sunday with no clear idea of ​​which party will win, the next chancellor or the governing coalition that will be formed.

Only a razor’s edge separates the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) from the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its sister Bavarian party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), according to the latest poll from the Allensbach Institute, which puts rivals at 26 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

Other polls published in recent days place the SPD’s lead at two to four points, with a margin of error of around 3%.

Experts called for caution when interpreting poll data due to the uncertain influence of a historically high number of undecided voters, as well as an expected increase in postal voting.

Exit polls will be released after voting ends at 6:00 p.m. local time (4:00 p.m. GMT) on Sunday, and the results will be released overnight.

Unpredictable campaign

Angela Merkel’s decision to step down as Chancellor after 16 years has turned German politics upside down and led to the most unpredictable race in years. At different times during the campaign, the SPD, CDU / CSU and the Greens each led the polls.

Climate change has dominated party programs and televised debates more than any other issue.

More than 100,000 protesters joined a Fridays for Future protest outside the German parliament building in Berlin on Friday, where activist Greta Thunberg told the crowd that “no political party is even doing enough” to avert a climate catastrophe.

Other points of debate included spending on social protection and increasing the minimum wage, overhauling Germany’s shaky digital infrastructure, and the country’s role in the NATO alliance.

The success and failure of the campaign was largely determined by the party leaders’ ability to present themselves as the natural heirs of Merkel, who remains Germany’s most popular politician.

The blunders of CDU leader Armin Laschet have seen her approval ratings rise, while allegations of resume padding and plagiarism have sidetracked green candidate Annalena Baerbock’s race.

Finance Minister and SPD candidate Olaf Scholz has showcased his reputation as a boring and pragmatic centrist.

A recent poll found that 47% of voters preferred him as chancellor, compared to 20% for Laschet and 16% for Baerbock.

“The question of succession has perhaps become the most important issue of the campaign,” Kai Arzheimer, professor of politics at the University of Mainz, told Al Jazeera.

“Voters are more worried or more interested in who would be more competent, and who would be best able to manage Germany and the future of Germany. Personalities have therefore become a major focus of this campaign.

How the election works

A total of 60.4 million voters over the age of 18 can vote on Sunday. Polling stations will open at 8:00 a.m. (06:00 GMT) on Sunday and close at 6:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. GMT).

In the German electoral system, voters voted twice for the Bundestag, the federal parliament, which has a base number of 598 seats.

The first is for a candidate to represent one of the 299 German constituencies, which is determined according to a first past the post system in British style.

The second is for a party. These votes are distributed according to proportional representation to each party that passes a 5 percent threshold, which has chosen 299 additional candidates from the internal lists to represent them.

A certain number of “redundant” seats are created if there is an imbalance between a party’s directly elected seats and its share of voters, a characteristic which has inflated the size of the Bundestag.

In 2017, the total number of seats increased to 709, and that number is expected to increase further this year.

The Länder of Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern will also hold simultaneous national elections. Berliners will receive another ballot for a referendum to expropriate the capital’s biggest landlords and state nearly a quarter of a million homes.

Germany’s federal returning officer told local media that the number of votes submitted by mail would be at least 40 percent, potentially doubling from 28.6 percent in 2017.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not expected to reduce turnout, he added, noting that regional elections earlier this year did not see a significant drop.

Form a coalition

In the weeks and months to come, the German parties will negotiate among themselves to form a coalition capable of governing with a majority in the new Bundestag.

There is little appetite to renew Merkel’s favorite “grand coalition” of the SPD and CDU / CSU, so polls suggest three parties will be needed.

There are no formal rules governing coalition talks, which will last until MPs vote in a new government and elect a new chancellor.

The CDU and SPD have indicated that they will seek to lead a coalition even if they don’t come out in the first place.

The most likely options, taking their names from the party colors, are a so-called “traffic light” combination of the SPD, the Greens and the Free Democratic Party (FDP); or a “Jamaica” coalition of the CDU / CSU, the Greens and the FDP.

The pro-business FDP wants a strict fiscal control on finances, which complicates a marriage with the SPD and the Greens, who have staked their campaigns on increasing spending on social protection and climate protection.

“It could be a really big deal whether or not we have more taxes or higher taxes,” said Ursula Munch, director of the Tutzing Political Education Academy.

“The Free Democrats, they promised their constituents to get a tax cut.”

A left-wing coalition of the SPD, the Greens and the Left Party could be mathematically possible if the latter crosses the 5% barrier to enter parliament. The left’s program has more in common than the FDP, but its opposition to NATO is a major obstacle for the major parties.

“It will take a long time,” Munch said. “It is impossible to form a coalition before November and we will be happy if we have one in February.”

If Merkel remains acting Chancellor until December 17, she will make history by overtaking her mentor, former CDU chief Helmut Kohl, as the longest-serving post-war German leader.



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Wole Soyinka is not going anywhere


Sometimes the hot temper takes attention away from the writing. To its long-time editor, Erroll McDonald, however, they coexist. “They feed off each other,” he said. “It is impossible to think of one without the other.” And Soyinka the activist seems to continue to provide material to Soyinka the writer.

Notably for his latest book, “Chronicles From the Land of the Happiest People on Earth”, his first novel in nearly 50 years, which Pantheon will publish in the United States on Tuesday. His career twists and turns, fiery characters, and sinister themes – a company that sells human body parts, a false prophet who uses elements from different religions to meet his needs – may seem improbable, but they are less so to anyone. ‘one in an intimate relationship with Nigeria.

Intimate and stormy.

Born in Ibadan, Soyinka was raised by loving Christian parents and a grandfather who, Soyinka said, confirmed he was a child of Ogun, the Yoruba deity of poetry, blacksmiths and palm wine. . Ogun is Soyinka’s muse.

He studied in Britain, the country that colonized Nigeria, and when he returned on New Years Day 1960, he was in the process of becoming independent. He embarked on the exploration and growth of his new free home.

But it wasn’t long before his new politicians let him down, and he got wind of electoral fraud in western Nigeria. Forcing the radio host to read a post exposing the gun fraud was his first dramatic attempt to hold the country’s politicians to account, but it was only the start of a lifelong struggle.

“He’s almost untouchable, because he’s paid his price, and he’s also internationally recognized,” said Austen-Peters. “He has a lot going for him. “

On several occasions, Soyinka had to leave Nigeria and go into exile, his life in danger because he spoke out against the politicians of the time. (Once he sneaked in Nigeria from neighboring Benin.)



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UK considers visa change to ease drought for truckers amid gasoline race


LONDON (AP) – In a U-turn, the UK government is expected to ease visa rules for truck drivers to help tackle supply chain issues that have triggered long queues at stations -service and some pumps closed.

The government said on Friday evening that it “was considering temporary measures to avoid any immediate problems.” He said any action he would take would be “very strictly limited in time.”

The road transport industry says the UK is short of tens of thousands of truckers, due to a perfect storm of factors including the coronavirus pandemic, an aging workforce and an exodus of foreign workers after the departure of Great Britain from the European Union.

Post-Brexit immigration rules mean EU citizens can no longer live and work visa-free in Britain, as they could when the UK was a member of the trade bloc. Trucking companies have urged the Conservative government to relax immigration rules so that drivers can be more easily recruited across Europe.

Britain’s agriculture and agri-food industries, which lack fruit pickers and meat packers, have made similar demands.

The government resisted, saying British workers should be trained for the jobs. He stressed that Britain has no shortage of fuel, but that hasn’t stopped motorists lining up at gas stations to refuel just in case.

Sporadic supply chains in supermarkets and other stores that started several weeks ago have also been attributed to a lack of delivery drivers.

BP and Esso closed a handful of their stations in Britain this week because there weren’t enough truckers to get gasoline to pumps. EG Group, which operates around 400 service stations in the UK, said it was limiting purchases to 30 pounds ($ 41).

In a statement, the government said Britain had “sufficient stocks of fuel”.

“But like countries around the world, we are suffering from a temporary shortage of COVID-related drivers needed to get supplies across the country,” he said, not acknowledging Brexit as a factor.

Confederation of British Industry chief Tony Danker said the driver shortage was in part “a Brexit hangover”.

“We brought in several drivers home that we would not have wanted to go home, and I think there is this more important issue of the immigration system, and it’s complicated,” he said. told the BBC.

Danker said easing visa rules would be “a huge relief.”

“It’s a shame the government needed lines at the pumps to move, but I hope I hope and it will help,” he said.



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Hong Kong: Tiananmen Watch Group Dissolves After Police Investigation | Human rights news


The Democracy group is the last of dozens of civil society organizations to pull back over the past year under pressure from the government.

A Hong Kong group that holds an annual vigil on June 4 to remember protesters killed in China’s Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989 says it is disbanded after facing “national security” charges.

The Democracy Group is the last of a dozen civil society organizations to break up over the past year – from a key union group to the largest teachers’ union – after Beijing imposed a radical law on national security in the city.

“I think Hong Kong people, whatever their ability, will continue to commemorate June 4 as before,” Richard Tsoi, secretary of the Hong Kong Alliance for the Support of Democratic Patriotic Movements in China, told reporters on Saturday.

A same-day vote for dissolution was supported by 41 of its members with four opposing, Tsoi said.

Authorities froze HK $ 2.2 million ($ 283,000) in the group’s assets this month after it was charged with inciting subversion under the new law.

The activist group Student Politicism, which had four current and former members indicted this week, will also close its doors, it announced Friday on its Facebook page.

Hong Kong authorities have repeatedly denied restricting human rights and freedoms, saying law enforcement is evidence-based and has nothing to do with background, profession or belief policies of those arrested.

An authoritarian cold masks most aspects of life in the former British colony after the new law, which prescribes sentences of up to life in prison for anything China considers subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

Since the introduction of the new law, most Democratic politicians and activists have been imprisoned or fled abroad.

Leung Kam-wai, an arrested member of the group, is escorted by police on September 9 [File: Tyrone Siu/Reuters]

Probe against the group

Alliance leaders Albert Ho and Lee Cheuk-yan, already jailed for major anti-government protests in 2019 that rocked the city, were also accused with incitement to subversion, as well as another of its officials, Vice President Chow Hang Tung.

Group members Tang Ngok-kwan, Leung Kam-wai, Chan To-wai and Tsui Hon-kwong have been accused of failing to provide information requested by police by the September 7 deadline.

Police requested details of the group’s members, finances and activities in a letter sent to reporters in August.

The letter accused the Alliance of being “a foreign forces agent“and said failure to meet the deadline could result in a fine of 100,000 Hong Kong dollars ($ 13,000) and six months in prison.

Earlier this month, police raided the premises of the closed June 4 museum dedicated to the victims of Tiananmen.

In August, the group said the museum, which closed on June 2 following an investigation into the authorization by authorities, reopened online as the independently run “8964 Museum”.

Hong Kong traditionally holds the world’s largest annual June 4 vigil, although police have banned the latter two events due to coronavirus concerns. Mainland China bans commemorations and heavily censors the subject.

China has never provided a full account of the 1989 crackdown. Authorities gave a death toll of around 300 days after, but human rights groups and witnesses say thousands people may have been killed.

Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 on a “one country, two systems” formula that guaranteed its freedoms and independent legal system. China denies interfering with its way of life.



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Des baleines si proches que vous pouvez les toucher : une aventure familiale au Canada


Le sentier menant à notre yourte était étroit, boueux et parsemé de minuscules céramiques et plastiques gnomes, fées et ours. Ma fille de 8 ans, serrant sa girafe en peluche et évitant avec précaution les racines noueuses, a repéré un tigre miniature, accroupi au pied d’un pin.

Elle était trop fatiguée pour lui offrir autre chose qu’un signe de tête décontracté alors qu’elle marchait péniblement derrière son père et son frère de 11 ans, alourdie par son sac à dos rose à paillettes et les six heures et demie que nous avions passées à la route de Montréal pour arriver ici, à une ville appelée Sacré-Coeur qui longe la rivière Saguenay dans la région de la Côte-Nord au Québec.

C’était fin juin 2019 et nous étions venus ici à la recherche de baleines, voyageant à environ 300 milles au nord-est de Montréal, traversant le Saguenay par traversier, et conduire le dernier kilomètre sur un chemin de terre pour rencontrer notre aubergiste, qui avait hâte que nous terminions cette dernière étape de notre voyage avant la tombée de la nuit.

Nous étions à environ 10 milles de Tadoussac, une ville pittoresque où le Saguenay rencontre le fleuve Saint-Laurent. Le cours d’eau fait partie de un parc marin protégé où environ six espèces de baleines peuvent être régulièrement observées depuis Mai à fin octobrer comme ils se nourrissent dans les eaux profondes et riches en nutriments de l’estuaire du Saint-Laurent, ce qui en fait un endroit spectaculaire pour observer les baleines.

J’avais réservé le voyage sur un coup de tête, trouver une annonce sur Airbnb, et construire des vacances en famille autour de l’idée de dormir dans une tente suralimentée. À l’époque, le voyage était comme le début d’un nouveau chapitre pour notre famille. Nos enfants vieillissaient et pouvaient tolérer de longs trajets, des plans lâches et des randonnées alourdies par les bagages. Nous pourrions explorer des coins du monde ensemble.

Maintenant, en repensant à cette époque, après un an et demi passé à traverser une pandémie et à voyager très peu, je ne vois plus ce voyage comme un début. Je le vois plutôt comme notre dernière aventure sans encombre, une où nos soucis se limitaient à attraper des ferries, à éviter les moustiques et à repérer les créatures marines.

Le mois dernier, le Canada a rouvert ses frontières aux voyageurs américains entièrement vaccinés, rendant un tel voyage à nouveau possible. Avec une preuve de vaccination et un test Covid-19 négatif, une famille pourrait répéter cet itinéraire relativement sûr contre Covid, bien que certaines attractions puissent être fermées ou seulement partiellement ouvertes, et enfants de moins de 12 ans non vaccinés doit respecter les exigences canadiennes en matière d’essais et de sécurité. Pourtant, pour moi, cette option semble encore ténue. Ma fille, maintenant âgée de 10 ans, n’est pas éligible pour le vaccin, et comme les cas augmentent à nouveau, j’hésite à parcourir une si grande distance avec elle. Les Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considèrent Canada niveau 3, risque élevé destination, et conseille aux citoyens non vaccinés d’éviter les voyages non essentiels là-bas. Je me demande quand nous pourrons à nouveau voyager aussi librement. Et donc, l’aventure que nous avons vécue ressemble à celle d’un monde que je ne peux plus atteindre, un peu comme regarder l’eau, en attendant qu’une baleine se dresse.

Nous avons commencé le voyage en conduisant de chez nous dans le New Jersey, en passant par New York, jusqu’à Montréal, où nous sommes restés quelques jours. Nous avons ensuite continué vers la Côte-Nord, où nous avons passé trois nuits entourés de la forêt boréale et des spectaculaires fjords du Saguenay à la recherche de baleines à bosse, de petit rorqual, de rorqual commun, de béluga et de rorqual bleu.

Alors que nous gravissions une crête ce premier soir, la vue du tunnel forestier s’ouvrit, révélant notre yourte de toile blanche surplombant le Saguenay à des centaines de pieds plus bas, et les majestueux fjords, une partie de lae Parc national des Fjords du Saguenay. De la terrasse à l’extérieur de notre yourte, nous avions une fenêtre dégagée et privée sur cette merveille.

Notre aubergiste nous a dit de surveiller un couple de bélugas qui avaient joué dans l’eau toute la matinée. La proximité Sainte-Marguerite Bay est leur terreau et leur pépinière. Contrairement aux autres baleines qui ne font que traverser, les bélugas, principalement une espèce arctique, vivent ici toute l’année. De cette distance, nous a-t-il dit, ils pourraient ressembler à des casquettes blanches sur l’eau.

Les enfants ont immédiatement inspecté leur nouveau logement, s’émerveillant du poêle au propane, du filet d’eau courante d’un évier de cuisine et des toilettes sèches pleines de sciure de bois. (Un bois étonnamment charmant la dépendance à quelques mètres de la yourte était destinée aux grandes salles de bain.) L’espace circulaire comprenait deux chambres, un mur de fenêtres donnant sur les fjords et un plafond en verre en forme de dôme pour voir les étoiles. Nous étions arrivés trop tard pour trouver un marché pour réapprovisionner notre épicerie en baisse, et nous avons donc terminé ce que nous avions pour le dîner – quelques tranches de fromage et de salami sur du pain de mie. Les enfants se plaignirent du repas décevant.

Cette nuit-là, mon mari nous a lu un extrait d’un livre qu’il avait apporté avec lui : “Le rêve de Champlain», à propos de l’explorateur français. Pendant 8 000 ans, le confluent des deux fleuves a été un carrefour et un lieu de rencontre pour Tribus des Premières Nations. Le passage qu’il a lu relate une rencontre que Samuel de Champlain a eue en 1603 avec plusieurs tribus autochtones qui s’étaient rassemblées pour célébrer, construisant un camp d’été sur le Saguenay, non loin du port de Tadoussac et près de l’endroit où nous avons dormi.

Nous nous sommes réveillés le lendemain matin avec une vue imprenable sur les fjords, recouverts de brouillard. Il n’y avait pas de bélugas en vue, mais beaucoup de moustiques, énormes, déterminés et prêts à attaquer. Nous avons enfilé des manches longues et nous nous sommes dirigés vers la voiture, les trépointes se formant déjà. J’avais réservé une croisière aux baleines au départ de Tadoussac et j’avais hâte de reprendre le bateau.

Tadoussac, village de 800 personnes fondé en 1600, est aujourd’hui une pittoresque destination touristique maritime, surplombant la baie du Saint-Laurent. La région attire 1 million de visiteurs par an, les rues de Tadoussac regorgent donc de boutiques, de restaurants et d’auberges. Mon mari était particulièrement curieux de connaître la réplique du Poste de traite Chauvin, construit en 1600, et le premier centre de traite des fourrures au Canada. Surplombant la baie est le grand Hôtel Tadoussac, avec un toit rouge, un bardage blanc et des volets verts. Reconstruit en 1942 après la démolition de l’hôtel d’origine de 1864, il possède une vaste pelouse et des jardins avec des chaises Adirondack face à l’eau.

Nous sommes passés devant l’hôtel et nous sommes descendus jusqu’au quai, où le bateau nous attendait, avec des autobus remplis de touristes de Québec, à environ trois heures et demie de route. (La compagnie de croisière nous avons utilisé des voyages disponibles cette saison jusqu’à la mi-octobre.) Il est inhabituel de voir des espèces géantes comme la baleine bleue nager dans une rivière, à des centaines de kilomètres de l’océan. Pourtant, ils viennent s’alimenter dans l’estuaire, parcourant les eaux profondes du Saint-Laurent Canal Laurentien et se mêlant à d’autres espèces plus petites, comme le béluga.

Sur le pont supérieur du navire, les passagers se sont déplacés pour se positionner alors que le capitaine annonçait des observations – des rorquals communs avaient été repérés au nord. J’ai tendu le cou au-dessus des autres passagers, traquant l’eau sombre avec mes jumelles. A l’horizon, j’apercevais les panaches grisâtres de leurs évents saupoudrant l’air. Leurs dos ont émergé, des disques lisses mieux vus avec des jumelles. Ma fille, à peine capable de dégager la balustrade, ne pouvait rien voir. Mon fils, sa vue bloquée par les autres passagers, s’appuya contre un poteau, frustré et ennuyé.

La croisière s’est terminée et je craignais que nous ayons trop promis aux enfants – les baleines n’apparaissent pas sur commande et il était possible que nous terminions nos vacances sans jamais en apercevoir de près. En rentrant en ville, nous nous sommes arrêtés dans un magasin de crème glacée pour nous consoler, puis nous avons pris un dîner léger, assis à l’extérieur dans un microbrasserie surplombant la baie. La brasserie était animée ce soir-là avec des clients qui bavardaient en français. Nous avons partagé une pizza et un plateau de charcuterie et avons profité de la brise fraîche de l’été.

Le lendemain matin, je me suis réveillé déterminé à voir des baleines. Nous avons parcouru environ 30 milles au nord sur la route 138 jusqu’à un centre nature (ouvert jusqu’à mi-octobre) aux Escoumins, limite nord du parc marin. L’avant-poste avait un centre éducatif, une base de plongée sous-marine et des rochers où l’on pouvait s’asseoir sur les rives du Saint-Laurent. Un guide a suggéré que nous retournions dans un autre centre, Cap-de-Bon-Désir, avec un phare rouge et blanc, également ouvert jusqu’à la mi-octobre. Minkes y avait été aperçu plus tôt dans la journée et il pensait que nous aurions peut-être plus de chance là-bas. Arrivés au Cap-de-Bon-Désir, nous avons suivi un chemin bordé de bouleaux jusqu’aux berges rocheuses. Quelques autres familles étaient là aussi, assises sur les rives rocheuses de la rivière.

Les enfants jouaient dans de petits bassins d’eau sur les rochers. Ils étaient pleins de zooplancton, la nourriture qui rend cette eau si nutritive. La rivière avait l’air massive et paisible, mais je n’ai vu aucune baleine.

Mon fils et mon mari se sont éloignés pour trouver une salle de bain. Je me suis penché près de ma fille, qui veillait sur une abeille que mon fils avait sauvée de l’eau. Alors que je m’agenouillais à côté d’elle, j’ai senti un swoosh à ma gauche. J’ai levé les yeux pour voir, s’élever de l’eau à quelques mètres au-delà de ma portée, un petit rorqual si proche que je pouvais voir les balanes sur sa peau et entendre son souffle lourd expirer. J’ai haleté lorsque cette créature géante de la mer a fait surface, presque en train de faire une brèche. Et puis il avait disparu, s’évanouissant dans la profonde tranchée d’eau froide et riche.

Mon fils et mon mari sont revenus quelques instants plus tard pour apprendre ce qu’ils avaient manqué. Donnez-lui 15 ou 20 minutes, nous a dit un guide qui était sur les rochers, et le minke reviendrait prendre l’air. Ils étaient au moins deux, dit-elle, peut-être trois. Et donc nous avons attendu. Alors que nous étions assis sur le sol rocailleux, ils ont émergé, un à la fois, leur souffle un gémissement profond, leur dos glissant. Parce que l’eau tombe presque immédiatement au large, les minkes sont connus pour se rapprocher de la terre. Et ils l’ont fait, levant la tête si haut que nous pouvions voir leur bouche. À d’autres moments, ils faisaient surface au loin, ne nous offrant qu’un aperçu de leur dos et de leur nageoire dorsale. Entre les visites, nous scrutions l’immobilité, attendant, cherchant un signe. Mon fils sursautait et pointait du doigt s’il en voyait un en premier, et nous ferions tous claquer la tête alors qu’il émergeait brièvement d’un monde que nous pouvions à peine comprendre. Et puis ils sont partis, pour se nourrir ailleurs.

Ce soir-là, de retour au Sacré-Cœur, nous nous sommes rendus à un restaurant au quai appelé La Caste des Fjords, qui sera ouvert cette saison jusqu’à la première semaine d’octobre, en fonction du tourisme. Minuscule, avec des tables en bois, des murs à clin et une terrasse patinée surplombant les fjords, le propriétaire parlait peu anglais, alors je suis tombé sur le français que je n’avais pas parlé depuis des années pour commander une salade et des linguines au homard et aux crevettes nordiques. Le repas était bon, la vue encore meilleure. Nous avons regardé la rivière et tout ce que nous ne pouvions pas voir en dessous et avons imaginé d’autres voyages à venir — peut-être la péninsule gaspésienne ou le Cap-Breton en Nouvelle-Écosse. À ce moment-là, le monde semblait vaste. Ce voyage serait le premier d’une longue série.

Maintenant, alors que le monde rouvre de façon hésitante, avec des voyages compliqués par des tests de coronavirus, des dossiers de vaccination et des règles de distanciation sociale en constante évolution, nous nous retrouvons plutôt à concocter des itinéraires pleins d’espoir pour les années à venir, à planifier de petites aventures pour l’automne, ou peut-être de plus grandes au printemps prochain. . Peut-être que d’ici là, nous l’espérons, le monde fera à nouveau signe.



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