TORONTO -- Public health experts are warning that a global pandemic of COVID-19 is likely as outbreaks continue to surge in Europe and the Middle East. Here's what else you need to know to start your day.

1. Virus spread: Public health officials are urgently warning that COVID-19 could gain ground in North America, while the Canadian doctor who led a team in China to study the virus says the world "is simply not ready" for a potential pandemic.

2. Rail blockades: Several blockades in support of hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en Nation halted traffic for hours along public transit routes in southern Ontario as the protests continue to grow.

3. Canadian politics: Support for the Liberals appears to be weakening amid economic concerns, pipeline disputes and Indigenous land rights issues, with a new Nanos poll showing the governing party surpassed by the Conservatives.

4. Sex trafficking investigation: Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard has announced that he is stepping down as chairman of his company following an FBI raid on his New York headquarters over sex assault allegations.

5. Hockey sensation: Emergency backup goalie David Ayres visited North Carolina to celebrate "David Ayres Day" and receive an honorary residency from the state for his show-stopping performance on the ice.

One more thing…

Dairy consumption: New evidence suggests that women who drink as little as one cup of dairy milk per day could increase their risk of developing breast cancer by up to 50 per cent.

Organic milk