From The Matrix 4 to Baz Luhrmann's Elvis biopic, here are the 5 biggest films coming out in 2021.
From The Matrix 4 to Baz Luhrmann's Elvis biopic, here are the 5 biggest films coming out in 2021.
WASHINGTON — Members of President Donald Trump’s failed presidential campaign played key roles in orchestrating the Washington rally that spawned a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol, according to an Associated Press review of records, undercutting claims the event was the brainchild of the president's grassroots supporters. A pro-Trump non-profit group called Women for America First hosted the “Save America Rally” on Jan. 6 at the Ellipse, an oval-shaped, federally owned patch of land near the White House. But an attachment to the National Park Service public gathering permit granted to the group lists more than half a dozen people in staff positions for the event who just weeks earlier had been paid thousands of dollars by Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign. Other staff scheduled to be “on site” during the demonstration have close ties to the White House. Since the siege, several of them have scrambled to distance themselves from the rally. The riot at the Capitol, incited by Trump’s comments before and during his speech at the Ellipse, has led to a reckoning unprecedented in American history. The president told the crowd to march to the Capitol and that “you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.” A week after the rally, Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives, becoming the first U.S. president ever to be impeached twice. But the political and legal fallout may stretch well beyond Trump, who will exit the White House on Wednesday before Democrat Joe Biden takes the oath of office. Trump had refused for nearly two months to accept his loss in the 2020 election to the former vice-president. Women for America First, which applied for and received the Park Service permit, did not respond to messages seeking comment about how the event was financed and about the Trump campaign’s involvement. The rally drew tens of thousands of people. In a statement, the president’s reelection campaign said it “did not organize, operate or finance the event.” No campaign staff members were involved in the organization or operation of the rally, according to the statement. It said that if any former employees or independent contractors for the campaign took part, “they did not do so at the direction of the Trump campaign.” At least one was working for the Trump campaign this month. Megan Powers was listed as one of two operations managers for the Jan. 6 event, and her LinkedIn profile says she was the Trump campaign's director of operations into January 2021. She did not respond to a message seeking comment. The AP’s review found at least three of the Trump campaign aides named on the permit rushed to obscure their connections to the demonstration. They deactivated or locked down their social media profiles, removed tweets that referenced the rally and blocked a reporter who asked questions. Caroline Wren, a veteran GOP fundraiser, is named as a “VIP Advisor” on an attachment to the permit that Women for America First provided to the agency. Between mid-March and mid-November, Donald J. Trump for President Inc. paid Wren $20,000 a month, according to Federal Election Commission records. During the campaign, she was a national finance consultant for Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee between the president’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee. Wren was involved in at least one call before the pro-Trump rally with members of several groups listed as rally participants to organize credentials for VIP attendees, according to Kimberly Fletcher, the president of one of those groups, Moms for America. Wren retweeted messages about the event ahead of time, but a cache of her account on Google shows at least eight of those tweets disappeared from her timeline. She apparently removed some herself, and others were sent from accounts that Twitter suspended. One of the messages Wren retweeted was from “Stop the Steal,” another group identified as a rally participant on a website promoting the event. The Jan. 2 message thanked Republican senators who said they would vote to overturn Biden’s election victory, including Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas. She also retweeted a Jan. 1 message from the president promoting the event, as well as promotional messages from one of the president’s son, Eric Trump, and Katrina Pierson, a Tea Party activist and a spokesperson for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Wren did not return messages seeking comment, and locked her Twitter account after the AP reached out to her last Monday to ask her about her involvement in the Trump rally and the tweets she had removed. Several days later, she blocked the AP reporter. Maggie Mulvaney, a niece of former top Trump aide Mick Mulvaney, is listed on the permit attachment as the “VIP Lead.” She worked as director of finance operations for the Trump campaign, according to her LinkedIn profile. FEC records show Maggie Mulvaney was earning $5,000 every two weeks from Trump’s reelection campaign, with the most recent payment reported on Nov. 13. Maggie Mulvaney had taken down her Twitter account as of last Monday, although it reappeared after an AP reporter asked her about the account’s removal. On Sunday, the same day the AP published this report, she blocked that AP reporter on Twitter. Maggie Mulvaney retweeted several messages on Jan. 6, including one from the president that urged support for the Capitol Police. Trump's Twitter account has been suspended, but the message could be seen in a cache of her Twitter account captured by Google. She also retweeted a message from her uncle, urging Trump to address the nation. Maggie Mulvaney did not respond to messages seeking comment. The insurrection at the Capitol prompted Mick Mulvaney to quit his position as Trump’s special envoy to Northern Ireland. He told CNBC a day after the assault that remaining in the post would prompt people to say “‘Oh yeah, you work for the guy who tried to overtake the government.’” The leaders of Women for America First aren’t new to politics. Amy Kremer, listed as the group’s president on records filed with Virginia’s state corporation commission, is “one of the founding mothers of the modern day tea party movement,” according to her website. Her daughter, Kylie Jane Kremer, is the organization’s treasurer, according to the records. The IRS granted Women for America First tax-exempt status as a social welfare organization a year ago, with the exemption retroactive to February 2019. The AP requested that the group provide any tax records it may have filed since then, but received no response. In a statement issued the same day rioters attacked the Capitol, Amy Kremer denounced the assault and said it was instigated after the rally by a “handful of bad actors,” while seeming to blame Democrats and news organizations for the riot. “Unfortunately, for months the left and the mainstream media told the American people that violence was an acceptable political tool,” she said. “They were wrong. It is not.” The AP reviewed social media posts, voter registrations, court files and other public records for more than 120 people either facing criminal charges related to the Jan. 6 unrest or who, going maskless during the pandemic, were later identified through photographs and videos taken during the melee. The review found the crowd was overwhelmingly made up of longtime Trump supporters, including Republican Party officials, GOP political donors, far-right militants, white supremacists, off-duty police, members of the military and adherents of the QAnon myth that the government is secretly controlled by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophile cannibals. Videos posted on social media in the days following the Capitol attack shows that thousands of people stormed the Capitol. A Capitol Police officer died after he was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher as rioters descended on the building and many other officers were injured. A woman from California was shot to death by Capitol Police and three other people died after medical emergencies during the chaos. Trump’s incendiary remarks at the Jan. 6 rally culminated a two-day series of events in Washington, organized by a coalition of the president’s supporters who echoed his baseless accusations that the election had been stolen from him. A website, MarchtoSaveAmerica.com, sprung up to promote the pro-Trump events and alerted followers, “At 1 PM, we protest at US Capitol.” The website has been deactivated. Another website, TrumpMarch.com shows a fist-raised Trump pictured on the front of a red, white and blue tour bus emblazoned with the words, “Powered by Women for America First.” The logo for the bedding company “My Pillow” is also prominent. Mike Lindell, the CEO of My Pillow, is an ardent Trump supporter who’s falsely claimed Trump didn’t lose the election to Biden and will serve another four-year term as president. “To demand transparency & protect election integrity,” the web page reads. Details of the “DC PROTEST” will be coming soon, it adds, and also lists a series of bus stops between Dec. 27 and Jan. 6 where Trump backers can “Join the caravan or show your support.” Kimberly Fletcher, the Moms for America president, said she wasn’t aware the Trump campaign had a role in the rally at the Ellipse until around New Year's Day. While she didn’t work directly with the campaign, Fletcher did notice a shift in who was involved in the rally and who would be speaking. “When I got there and I saw the size of the stage and everything, I’m like, ‘Wow, we couldn’t possibly have afforded that,’” she said. “It was a big stage. It was a very professional stage. I don’t know who was in the background or who put it together or anything.” In addition to the large stage, the rally on the Ellipse featured a sophisticated sound system and at least three Jumbotron-style screens projecting the president's image to the crowd. Videos posted online show Trump and his family in a nearby private tent watching the rally on several monitors as music blared in the background. Moms for America held a more modest “Save the Republic” rally on Jan. 5 near the U.S. Capitol, an event that drew about 500 people and cost between $13,000 to $14,000, according to Fletcher. Justin Caporale is listed on the Women for America First paperwork as the event’s project manager. He’s identified as a partner with Event Strategies Inc., a management and production company. Caporale, formerly a top aide to first lady Melania Trump, was on the Trump campaign payroll for most of 2020, according to the FEC records, and he most recently was being paid $7,500 every two weeks. Caporale didn’t respond to requests for comment. Tim Unes, the founder and president of Event Strategies, was the “stage manager” for the Jan. 6 rally, according to the permit paperwork. Unes has longstanding ties to Trump, a connection he highlights on his company’s website. Trump’s presidential campaign paid Event Strategies $1.3 million in 2020 for “audio visual services,” according to the campaign finance records. The company declined to comment for this story. Another person with close ties to the Trump administration, Hannah Salem, was the rally’s “operations manager for logistics and communications,” according to the permit paperwork. In 2017, she took a hiatus from the consulting firm she founded and spent three years as senior White House press aide, “executing the media strategy for President Trump’s most high-profile events,” according to her company bio and LinkedIn profile. Last week, within minutes of an AP reporter sending her a LinkedIn message asking about her involvement in and understanding of what happened on Jan. 6, Salem blocked the reporter and did not respond to questions. ___ Smith reported from Providence, Rhode Island. ___ Associated Press researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York and Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report. Richard Lardner And Michelle R. Smith, The Associated Press
Southeast Asian ride-hailing and food delivery giant Grab is exploring a listing in the United States this year, encouraged by robust investor appetite for IPOs, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The IPO could raise at least $2 billion, one of the sources said, which would likely make it the largest overseas share offering by a Southeast Asian company. Singapore-based Grab declined comment on the potential IPO.
The world is on the brink of a "catastrophic moral failure" on distributing vaccines, the head of the World Health Organization said, urging countries and manufacturers to share COVID-19 doses more fairly. For example, more than 39 million doses of vaccine have been administered in 49 higher-income countries whereas in one poor country, just 25 doses have been given, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. China's economy picked up speed in the fourth quarter, with growth beating expectations and poised to expand further this year even as the global pandemic rages unabated.
SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — Billionaire Samsung scion Lee Jae-yong is heading back to prison after a South Korean court sentenced him to two and a half years over his involvement in a 2016 corruption scandal that spurred massive street protests and ousted South Korea’s then-president. In a much-anticipated retrial on Monday, the Seoul High Court found Lee guilty of bribing then-President Park Geun-hye and her close confidante to win government support for a 2015 merger between two Samsung affiliates that helped strengthen his control the country’s largest business group. Lee’s lawyers had portrayed him as a victim of presidential power abuse and described the 2015 deal as part of “normal business activity.” It wasn’t immediately known whether he would appeal. Prosecutors had sought a nine-year prison term for Lee. Lee helms the Samsung group in his capacity as vice-president of Samsung Electronics, one of the world’s largest makers of computer chips and smartphones. Lee, 52, was sentenced in 2017 to five years in prison for offering 8.6 billion won ($7 million) in bribes to Park and her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil. But he was freed in early 2018 after the Seoul High Court reduced his term to 2 1/2 years and suspended his sentence, overturning key convictions and reducing the amount of his bribes. Park and Choi are serving prison terms of 22 years and 18 years, respectively. In 2019, the Supreme Court returned the case to the high court, ruling that the amount of Lee’s bribes had been undervalued. It said the money that Samsung spent to purchase three racehorses used by Choi’s equestrian daughter and fund a winter sports foundation run by Choi’s niece should also be considered bribes. The Associated Press
Sunday's Games (All Times Eastern) NHL Pittsburgh 4 Washington 3 (SO) Florida 5 Chicago 2 Dallas at Tampa Bay, ppd. --- NBA New York 105 Boston 75 Chicago 117 Dallas 101 Utah 109 Denver 105 New Orleans 128 Sacramento 123 L.A. Clippers 129 Indiana 96 Philadelphia at Oklahoma City, ppd. Cleveland at Washington, ppd. --- NFL Playoffs Divisional Round Kansas City 22, Cleveland 17 Tampa Bay 30 New Orleans 20 --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published January 17, 2021. The Canadian Press
Small groups of right-wing protesters — some of them carrying rifles — gathered outside heavily fortified statehouses around the country Sunday, outnumbered by National Guard troops and police brought in to prevent a repeat of the violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol. As darkness fell, there were no reports of any clashes. Security was stepped up in recent days after the FBI warned of the potential for armed protests in Washington and at all 50 state capitol buildings ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday. Crowds of only a dozen or two demonstrated at some boarded-up, cordoned-off statehouses, while the streets in many other capital cities remained empty. Some protesters said they were there to back President Donald Trump. Others said they had instead come to voice their support for gun rights or decry government overreach. “I don’t trust the results of the election,” said Michigan protester Martin Szelag, a 67-year-old semi-retired window salesman from Dearborn Heights. He wore a sign around his neck that read, in part, “We will support Joe Biden as our President if you can convince us he won legally. Show us the proof! Then the healing can begin.” As the day wore on with no bloodshed around the U.S., a sense of relief spread among officials, though they were not ready to let their guard down. The heavy law enforcement presence may have kept turnout down. In the past few days, some extremists had warned others against falling into what they called a law enforcement trap. Washington State Patrol spokesman Chris Loftis said he hoped the apparently peaceful day reflected some soul-searching among Americans. “I would love to say that it’s because we’ve all taken a sober look in the mirror and have decided that we are a more unified people than certain moments in time would indicate,” he said. The security measures were intended to safeguard seats of government from the type of violence that broke out at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, when far-right Trump supporters galvanized by his false claims that the election had been stolen from him overran the police and bashed their way into the building while Congress was certifying the Electoral College vote. The attack left a Capitol police officer and four others dead. More than 125 people have been arrested over the insurrection. Dozens of courts, election officials and Trump’s own attorney general have all said there was no evidence of widespread fraud in the presidential race. On Sunday, some statehouses were surrounded by new security fences, their windows were boarded up, and extra officers were on patrol. Legislatures generally were not in session over the weekend. Tall fences also surrounded the U.S. Capitol. The National Mall was closed to the public, and the mayor of Washington asked people not to visit. Some 25,000 National Guard troops from around the country are expected to arrive in the city in the coming days. The roughly 20 protesters who showed up at Michigan’s Capitol, including some who were armed, were significantly outnumbered by law enforcement officers and members of the media. Tensions have been running high in the state since authorities foiled a plot to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last year. At the Ohio Statehouse, about two dozen people, including several carrying long guns, protested outside under the watchful eyes of state troopers before dispersing as it began to snow. Kathy Sherman, who was wearing a visor with “Trump” printed on it, said she supports the president but distanced herself from the mob that breached the U.S. Capitol. "I’m here to support the right to voice a political view or opinion without fear of censorship, harassment or the threat of losing my job or being physically assaulted,” she said. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, said he was pleased with the outcome but stressed that authorities "continue to have concerns for potential violence in the coming days, which is why I intend to maintain security levels at the Statehouse as we approach the presidential inauguration.” Utah's new governor, Republican Spencer Cox, shared photos on his Twitter account showing him with what appeared to be hundreds of National Guard troops and law enforcement officers standing behind him, all wearing masks. Cox called the quiet protests a best-case scenario and said many ”agitating groups" had cancelled their plans for the day. At Oregon's Capitol, fewer than a dozen men wearing military-style outfits, black ski masks and helmets stood nearby with semiautomatic weapons slung across their bodies. Some had upside-down American flags and signs reading such things as “Disarm the government.” At the Texas Capitol, Ben Hawk walked with about a dozen demonstrators up to the locked gates carrying a bullhorn and an AR-15 rifle hanging at the side of his camouflage pants. He condemned the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and said he did not support Trump. “All we came down here to do today was to discuss, gather, network and hang out. And it got blown and twisted completely out of proportion,” Hawk said. At Nevada's Capitol, where demonstrators supporting Trump have flocked most weekends in recent months, all was quiet except for a lone protester with a sign. “Trump Lost. Be Adults. Go Home,” it read. More than a third of governors had called out the National Guard to help protect their capitols and assist local law enforcement. Several governors declared states of emergency, and others closed their capitols to the public until after Biden's inauguration. Some legislatures also cancelled sessions or pared back their work for the coming week. Even before the violence at the Capitol, some statehouses had been the target of vandals and angry protesters during the past year. Last spring, armed protesters entered the Michigan Capitol to object to coronavirus lockdowns. People angry over the death of George Floyd under a Minneapolis police officer's knee vandalized capitols in several states, including Colorado, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. Last last month, crowds in Oregon forced their way into the Capitol in Salem to protest its closure to the public during a special legislative session on coronavirus measures. Amid the potential for violence in the coming days, the building's first-floor windows were boarded up and the National Guard was brought in. "The state capitol has become a fortress,” said Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat. “I never thought I’d see that. It breaks my heart.” ___ Associated Press writers Farnoush Amiri in Columbus, Ohio; Gillian Flaccus in Salem, Oregon; Mike Householder and David Eggert in Lansing, Michigan; Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina; Rachel La Corte in Olympia, Washington; Sam Metz in Carson City, Nevada; Marc Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Paul Weber in Austin, Texas, contributed to this report. David A. Lieb And Adam Geller, The Associated Press
Mobile games developer Huuuge Inc. expects to raise up to $150 million from a new share issue as part of its planned initial public offering (IPO) in Warsaw, the U.S.-registered company said on Monday. Huuuge, with a significant base in Poland, adds to a list of companies that have targeted IPOs as restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus crisis prompt more people to go online for entertainment, shopping and other needs. Polish parcels locker firm InPost announced its IPO plans in Amsterdam as more shoppers order online.
East Ferris residents opposed to a rezoning application for a light industrial operation on MacPherson Drive can’t be blamed if they started to smile when first reading a municipal update Friday. Greg Kirton, manager of planning and economic development, wrote that Paige Engineering has withdrawn its applications. While still on the Planning and Advisory Committee agenda for Wednesday, the presentations for and against won't take place. “These files have been closed and will not proceed any further with the Planning Advisory Committee or Council,” he said, referring to the contentious issue that was set for a second public hearing. Numerous letters of opposition were gathered since the last meeting Dec. 16 and a new petition, urging the municipality to help the business find a better-suited location, is nearing 100 signatures. See: Industrial rezoning application deferred into 2021 See: New petition opposes industrial rezoning request See: Residents oppose industrial rezoning on MacPherson Drive The PAC deferred a decision until Paige Engineering figured out how a tractor-trailer could safely unload occasional deliveries at the 382 MacPherson property. Concerns about traffic and pedestrian safety were among those raised last month because the garage is situated at the beginning an ‘S’ curve on a rural road with little shoulder, no sidewalk and not much of a parking area. Other issues raised included the big gap between the existing Official Plan designation of agricultural to land for economic development and the rezoning from rural residential is a leap to light industrial. Paige Engineering wants to outfit trucks and equipment with explosive storage and delivery components it designs for mining and construction clients, both domestic and international. Most of the heavy fabrication work is contracted out before its delivered for assembly. No explosives are permitted on site, John Paige told the PAC. Looming subdivision plans east and west have the potential of adding more than 75 homes plus individual lot development, a pressure of change fuelling comments about the changing character of the area. The withdrawal of the applications would have been rare good news in the middle of a pandemic as the province endures another strict lockdown. The next paragraph wiped those smiles away. “However, Paige Engineering would like to make the committee aware of their intention to re-apply for a Temporary Use By-law under section 39 of the Planning Act,” Kirton wrote in his letter to the PAC, while also circulated to nearby residents and those who registered to speak and receive updates. “A Temporary Use By-Law is implemented in the same way as a Zoning By-Law Amendment under section 34 of the Planning Act; but is limited to a 3-year duration,” he said, noting the East Ferris Official Plan covers such things in section 9.17. “The intention of Paige Engineering Limited is that, if approved, they will use this 3-year temporary approval in order to explore permanent options elsewhere in the community.” Sylvie Hotte, who lives adjacent to the subject property, was not impressed with the change in tack, especially after spending most of the last month before and after the holidays organizing opposition twice already. Her first petition had more than 130 signatures but she was told it was not specific enough and it is unclear if the 'temporary use' application might require a third specific to it. Time will tell if letters of opposition gathered from residents might also need to reference the new application terms, even though fighting a three-year operation doesn’t change the chief concerns for Hotte. Traffic hazards and all other impacts will be the same, she said, and there is no certainty of another change of mind in three years. “This kind of ‘trust me’ and incremental approach is unacceptable,” she stated in her most recent communication to the municipality. Hotte said they are not being told important details, such as environmental protection plans, parking configuration, drainage, and water services, etc. because they are determined during the site plan control stage that doesn’t include public input. Hotte maintains it doesn’t make sense to cause so much disruption in so many lives when East Ferris is planning to develop a 22-acre industrial park on its Callander Bay Drive border. "The residents of this area are furious," she said Friday. "No industrial in our neighbourhood means 'No' ... it does not conform." Brian and Debbie Callahan, who live on the other side of MacPherson Drive, are among the residents who submitted letters of opposition. “We have lived across the street from this location for over 20 years and have come across several problems with traffic on this section of MacPherson Drive,” Callahans wrote. “When our children were younger, they were transported to school in North Bay by school bus. Due to traffic travelling towards Centennial Crescent, the school board deemed it unsafe to have the bus pick up our children at the end of our driveway due to a very sharp corner affecting the safe flow of traffic,” he wrote. “Instead, our children had to walk to Woodcliffe Road to catch the bus. Traffic does not slow coming around the sharp corner, posing unsafe conditions in front of our residence as well as the property in question.” The Callahan's said this kind of change to the Official Plan would give those considering investment in East Ferris a reason to reconsider because property owners don’t know what will be approved next. “We recently found out that a couple that we know from North Bay have been contemplating buying the property near the aforementioned property to build a permanent residence on. They changed their minds when they found out about the proposed Zoning By-law Amendment,” they said. Also worrisome to them was “continuous hammering and construction taking place at the property in question” in recent weeks. “The noise is very noticeable and annoying even though the doors to the building are closed,” their letter states. “The big problem is the prospect of having the doors open during the summer with manufacturing taking place inside. So much for a quiet residential area." Dave Dale is a Local Journalism Reporter with BayToday.ca. LJI is funded by the Government of Canada. Dave Dale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca
Search and rescue crews near 100 Mile House, B.C., are commending the actions of a 17-year-old who dug a snow cave to stay warm and safe after getting lost snowmobiling. The teen became separated from the three family members he was snowmobiling with in a popular designated area about an hour and half from 100 Mile House at around 4 p.m. PT on Saturday. He had driven his snowmobile down steep terrain but was unable to climb back out of the area to rejoin his family. Val Severin, search manager with South Cariboo Search and Rescue, said what happened next contributed to the teen being safely found and reunited with his family. 'He didn't panic' "His choices definitely were quite mature," she said. "He didn't panic and lose track of the situation. He understood just the right thing to do." After realizing he couldn't drive out of the area he was in, the teen, who search and rescue is not naming, parked his machine in an open and visible area, dug a snow cave and hunkered down with food and water to await rescue. Severin said digging a deep pit in the snow was the right thing to do. "His body heat would keep him warm and comfortable in there," she said. "He had food and water and was just set up for the night." Reunited with family within hours His family connected with other snowmobilers in the area and did a limited search for the missing teen, but after not finding him within two hours, they used the GPS systems they had with them to connect with SAR and ask for help. South Cariboo Search and Rescue volunteers were able to find the teen by about 10:30 p.m. and reunited him with his family at midnight. "He was quite calm and very, very thankful," Severin said. "Very appreciative of everybody's efforts and he couldn't stop thanking us enough." Servin said the incident is a good example of snowmobilers in the back country being prepared and having survival skills in case something goes wrong.
VICTORIA — Using a jackhammer and other home repair tools to save a cat stuck in a tiny drainpipe ranks as the strangest rescue call one Victoria firefighter can recall responding to in his 20-year career. Capt. Tim Hanley said Sunday he and three other firefighters spent more than two hours using sledgehammers and a jackhammer to break through Victoria homeowner Emma Hutchinson's concrete basement floor to free Willow, a nine-month-old kitten. "It came in as a call about a kitten stuck in a pipe," said Hanley. "We didn't know what that entailed and when we got there the woman led us to her basement." He said Hutchinson called firefighters earlier in the week pleading for help after discovering her cat had somehow become stuck in a drainpipe with a 10-centimetre diameter in her basement. She said she knew her cat was stuck in the pipe because she used a portable drain camera and could see the feline, said Hanley. "We got the camera and slid it down and sure enough we could see the cat, but it wasn't making any sounds or anything," he said. Hanley said the firefighters attempted to break open the floor near the pipe, but the concrete appeared to be more than 15 centimetres thick. Luckily, Hutchinson had numerous home renovation tools available for the firefighters to use for the rescue, including a concrete cracking jackhammer, sledgehammers, shovels, buckets, drills and the drain scope, he said. The firefighters used Hutchinson's jackhammer and sledgehammers to break through the concrete floor and dig an area to expose the pipe where the cat was trapped more than a metre down, said Hanley. "As soon as we drilled a hole in the pipe I guess it let in enough light that the cat could see it and it started crying, making some sounds, so we knew it was in there still and knew it was alive," he said. "So I said, 'let's make a cut right here before it moves.' " Hutchinson was too distraught to watch the rescue effort from the basement, but when the cat was pulled from the pipe she was overcome with emotion, Hanley said. "When we got the cat out to her she was just so overjoyed with laughing and crying," he said. "She quickly had phoned a vet and before we we were even cleaned up and out of there, she jumped into her car and took off to the vet to get it looked at." Hutchinson described the rescue as a "miracle" and the efforts of the firefighters as "heroic." "My cat is very important to me," she said. "They were at it for a good couple of hours and they were going to get it out." Hutchinson said Willow was extremely dirty when rescued but was pronounced healthy after being treated for dehydration by a veterinarian. "This is my 20th year and, yes, that's probably the strangest (call) so far," Hanley said. Hanley said Hutchison told the firefighters she will be using her tools to repair the hole in her basement. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021. Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
Selena Gomez is in talks with Facebook, and is not afraid of them.
WASHINGTON — So what does a 50-50 Senate get President-elect Joe Biden? Washington has barely had time to process the implications of Democratic control after two Georgia runoff elections that are delivering the Senate to Democrats. Hours after the races were decided, a mob of zealots ransacked the U.S. Capitol and reshaped the national and political landscape. The unexpected new balance of power giving Democrats only the barest control of Congress has big consequences for the president-elect — easy confirmation of his Cabinet most importantly — but the road ahead for his ambitious legislative agenda remains complicated and murky. Republicans remain poised to block most of Biden's proposals, just as they thwarted much of President Barack Obama's efforts on Capitol Hill. But 50/50 control permits action on special legislation that can't be filibustered, and momentum for the popular parts of COVID-19 relief could easily propel an early aid bill into law. What 50-50 really gets — and doesn't get — Biden as he takes office: ___ WHAT BIDEN DOES GET NOMINATIONS With Democrats chairing committees in the Senate and only needing a majority to win floor votes on nominations, Biden is now assured of sealing confirmation of his Cabinet and judicial picks — including potentially for the Supreme Court. It also means controversial choices such as Neera Tanden, Biden's pick for budget director, can look ahead to assuming their posts. Republicans can slow but not stop nominations. BUDGET ‘RECONCILIATION’ Democrats also have the opportunity to pass special budget-related legislation by a simple majority, an often-arcane process that enabled Obama to finish his 2010 health care bill and gave President Donald Trump's GOP allies a failed chance to repeal “Obamacare” and passage of a tax overhaul bill. Biden could use this so-called budget reconciliation process to pass more controversial elements of COVID-19 relief with only Democratic votes, repeal some of Trump's tax cuts or make federal health care programs more generous, for example. SETTING THE AGENDA Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer — he'll be majority leader once the two new Georgia senators and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris are all sworn into office — now has the opportunity to bring legislation to the floor and force votes. That could permit passage of $2,000 direct COVID-19 relief payments and other aid, for instance, and could mean debates on issues like police reform, immigration and climate change. But passage of such legislation would require support from Republicans, which gives the minority party enormous leverage. ____ WHAT BIDEN DOESN'T GET ELIMINATION OF THE FILIBUSTER Before the November election, pressure had been mounting from the Democratic left to eliminate the filibuster, leading Republicans to charge that Democrats would pack the Supreme Court or give statehood to Democratic strongholds such as the District of Columbia. Moderate Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia says he'll block any attempt to eliminate the filibuster, so party progressives may be wasting their breath on this topic now. BIPARTISANSHIP Unified control of the government by one party almost invariably drives the two sides apart. Recent events — hard-won passage of a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill and a sweeping override of Trump's veto of the annual defence bill — have been evidence that the vanishing congressional middle can help drive outcomes on Capitol Hill. But issues like increasing the debt limit instantly become partisan, and the political incentives for many Republicans heading into the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential election are to vilify Biden and Democrats controlling Congress. Expect a short honeymoon for Biden. PROGRESSIVE MESSAGING PRIORITIES A 50-50 Democratic Senate and bare control of the House grant virtually any individual Democrat the ability to gum up the works. That means impossible-to-pass ideas like “Medicare for All” and a Green New Deal aren't going to be the focus of Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. That could, over time, frustrate liberals and cause them to issue demands related to bills that actually can pass like infrastructure spending and budget reconciliation proposals. Andrew Taylor, The Associated Press
Global stock markets wavered on Monday as soaring COVID-19 cases offset investor hopes of a quick economic recovery, even after data showing that the Chinese economy rebounded faster-than-expected in the fourth quarter of 2020. European stocks as measured by the STOXX 600 index struggled for direction, last trading 0.1% higher as of 1446 GMT, after failed merger talks between French retailer Carrefour and Alimentation Couche-Tard pulled the gauge lower at the open.
It is all that is left of a programme, funded by some of the world’s biggest oil and chemical companies, that they said could solve a runaway ocean plastic waste crisis which is killing marine life - from plankton to whales - and clogging tropical beaches and coral reefs. The closure of Renew Oceans, which has not previously been reported, is a sign that an industry whose financial future is tied to the growth of plastic production is falling short of its targets to curb the resulting increase in waste, according to two environmental groups. The Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a Singapore-based nonprofit group set up two years ago by big oil and chemical companies, said on its website in November 2019 that its partnership with Renew Oceans would be expanded to the world’s most-polluted rivers and “ultimately could stop the flow of plastic into the planet’s ocean.”
Two communities in the Northwest Territories' Dehcho region asked visitors to stay away as concern grew over a cluster of COVID-19 cases in Fort Liard. Fort Liard, which now has three confirmed cases of the disease, is under a containment order that effectively shuts down many activities in the hamlet, including all gatherings, until January 30. While territorial officials have said there is no exposure risk in Dehcho communities, leaders in Sambaa K’e and Jean Marie River said turning away visitors was necessary to protect residents, particularly Elders, from the threat of COVID-19. Jessica Jumbo, a youth counsellor and council member in Sambaa K’e, said chief and council had ruled out visitors and asked residents of the small community – home to fewer than 100 people – to isolate for at least two weeks when returning even from other parts of the N.W.T. Jumbo said only essential inbound traffic like mechanics, fuel trucks, and grocery deliveries would be permitted – with approval issued in advance. Sambaa K'e is only accessible by road in winter. Jumbo said that played a part in the decision. “The winter road season always has more traffic and transportation from those small communities that don’t get out, so we just wanted to tighten it up for extra protection – we can control it better,” she said. “We’re such a small community with so few Elders left, and it does seem to have a high death rate with the older people. That’s really who we’re protecting right now. “If something like that comes through any kind of small community, it could end up wiping out a whole generation. We lose more than just the family members.” Chief of the Jean Marie River First Nation Stanley Sanguez said a sign outside the community now states: “Due to COVID-19, no outside visitors.” Sanguez said stopping in the community for gas would, however, remain permissible for the time being. Those looking to do so will be monitored by staff to make sure they go nowhere else and leave after filling up. “We’re checking to make sure they’re only here for gas and then they’re out of here,” he said. Sanguez said he will work to ensure community members wear masks both within Jean Marie River and when they travel elsewhere for supplies and groceries. “When you go out to Fort Simpson or somewhere like Hay River, use your mask,” he said. “You’ve got to use your mask, keep wiping your hands down, and trying to wipe things down when you do things in your vehicle, especially if you do travel.” On Monday, Sanguez said, contact information will be added to the sign so people can reach community leaders with questions or concerns. Rumours on social media suggesting people in a range of N.W.T. communities had contracted COVID-19 were rejected by territorial leaders on Sunday. Minister Shane Thompson, MLA for the Nahendeh region that includes many Dehcho communities, said on Facebook there was "no exposure risk identified in Fort Simpson or Nahanni Butte in the course of the investigation at this time." Thompson urged people to follow pandemic health guidelines and promised updates if anything changes. He said there was no evidence to suggest anyone should be worried about having worked at or shopped in the same community stores as anyone with COVID-19. “The direction to everyone in the territory is to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, stay home if they’re feeling unwell, and contact their local health centre to get a COVID-19 test at the first sign of any illness,” Thompson wrote. At a news conference on Sunday, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola reiterated that message, saying the territorial government had a “good grasp” on close contacts from the three Fort Liard cases to date. “There is no scenario where there is an unidentified case in another community or an unidentified close contact in another community that hasn’t been made aware,” she said. Kandola said there are currently about 50 people isolating in connection with the three confirmed cases. Establishments in Fort Simpson ramped up cleaning protocols on the weekend, many of them closing for deep cleaning or changing their store hours. Muaz Hassan, owner of the village’s Unity Store, said masks were now mandatory inside the building. The Nahanni Inn is open for takeout only and asked residents to wear a mask when picking up orders. The Icebreaker Lounge will be closed until further notice. Pandaville will open on Tuesday for takeout only, with patrons required to wear a mask when coming to pick up orders. Beauty Mark Salon will be closed until further notice with appointments being rescheduled. Fort Simpson Beverages and Gardens, the village’s liquor shop, is keeping its regular hours and said it would continue its existing sanitizing and cleaning protocols. The village’s recreation centre will be closed until at least Monday, at which point staff will evaluate whether to reopen. The fitness centre will remain open due to a low number of users, though masks are now mandatory at all times within the facility. “Security cameras will be checked daily and users caught not wearing a mask will have their key fob suspended for one month,” Andre Bolduc, the village’s recreation coordinator, posted to Facebook. Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
Rudolf Neufeld, or Rudy as he liked to be called, was an active man and a jokester who never took himself too seriously. "He would be anyone's No. 1 cheerleader. He just was always optimistic. No matter what the situation was, he could find something positive to say or something sarcastic or smartass to say to sort of break the monotony of the negativity," said Paula Neufeld, his elder daughter. Neufeld, who had lived for decades in North Vancouver, B.C., in a house he helped build, carried that optimism and thirst for life with him even after he was diagnosed with dementia in his early 70s, when he still went to the gym three times a week. He died two days before Christmas from multiple organ failure after he became infected with COVID-19. He was 81. Neufeld's family had checked him into the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C., in November for what they thought would be a short stay to monitor his reaction to new medication. Instead, he contracted COVID-19 during an outbreak at the hospital, leaving him bed bound and isolated. After weeks of limited interaction, his family says his health deteriorated and they were left with just 15 minutes to say goodbye. They hope that sharing his story makes others think of real people — seniors who are isolated from their families during the pandemic — instead of numbers when statistics are released on COVID-19 cases and deaths. 'A wonderful, wonderful human being' Neufeld was an avid cyclist, kayaker and cross-country skier who enjoyed travelling with his wife of more than 50 years, his daughter said. At parties, he could often be found with a glass of Chardonnay in hand, mingling with the crowd. "He would always acknowledge the odd wallflower sitting alone at a party, go over and make sure they didn't feel left out in a group. He was a wonderful, wonderful human being," Paula Neufeld said. He leaves behind his wife, two daughters and two grandchildren. WATCH | Paula Neufeld says losing a loved one to COVID-19 leaves a gaping hole in the lives of family and friends: About eight years back, Neufeld was diagnosed with vascular dementia after a procedure and later developed Alzheimer's disease. Neufeld continued living at home with his wife and daughter, so when he began acting up after he was prescribed new medication, his family felt they had no choice but to get him admitted to hospital. He was checked into Lions Gate Hospital on Nov. 18, 2020, and the family expected he'd remain there for a few days. But two days later, a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at the hospital. Neufeld says her family received a phone call from staff saying the facility was locked down and no one was allowed in or out. "My dad was basically stuck in there," Paula Neufeld said. 'It was a waiting game for 13 days' She said her father received limited interaction and was confined to his bed. Later, after the family complained, he was confined to a wheelchair instead, she said. He then developed a fever and a COVID-19 test came back positive. "They said palliative care only and basically said, 'He is going to die from this,'" Neufeld said. "Basically, it was a waiting game for 13 days." Neufeld died on Dec. 23. The outbreak at Lions Gate Hospital was declared over the next day. In total, 59 people were infected, including 31 patients. In total, 13 people died. Paula Neufeld says she struggles with the fact her father caught COVID within the hospital and says she is frustrated with a "lack of support" from Vancouver Coastal Health. She wants to know why the hospital didn't test all the patients after the first case was detected, why others weren't moved out from that wing, and why her father had to stay in the hospital until the outbreak was over. "To me that increases the chances of getting COVID," she said. "The whole time, I was worried about him going into care getting COVID ... the frustration for me is that he caught it while in hospital," she added. 'Devastated by the loss of life' In a statement, Vancouver Coastal Health said it can't speak to the specifics of the case due to patient privacy. However, it said patients were not required to stay in the hospital and could self-isolate at home, but patients who were in the unit affected by the outbreak were not able to transition into long-term care. The health authority also said that prior to the outbreak being declared, all patients on the affected unit were tested for the virus and a number of those tests came back positive. "When a COVID-19 outbreak is declared in an acute care setting, our immediate priority is to initiate our outbreak response," the heath authority said in the statement. That response includes early identification and prompt isolation of cases, testing and monitoring of all staff and patients, infection prevention and control, and direct communication with families, it said. "We are saddened by the impact of COVID-19 on residents and staff and are devastated by the loss of life and impact on families," the statement said. 'We will never know how much longer we had with him' Regardless of age, every person who dies from COVID-19 leaves a gaping hole in the hearts of loved ones, Paula Neufeld said. "These numbers are people and these people are loved by other people and are a significant part of other people's lives. Someone [who] is higher in age, doesn't mean their quality of life is worth less than anyone else," she said. "My father had the right to live his life until Alzheimer's decided he doesn't, and COVID cut that short, and we will never know how much longer we had with him."
WASHINGTON — Presidential traditions are usually known for their solemnity and carry the weight of future historical significance. This one began with cartoon turkeys and a reference to lunch. As he was preparing to leave the White House in January 1989, President Ronald Reagan wanted to leave a note for his successor, George H.W. Bush, and reached for a pad emblazoned with a cartoon by humorist Sandra Boynton under the phrase, “Don’t Let the Turkeys Get You Down.” It featured a collection of turkeys scaling a prone elephant, the symbol of both men's Republican Party. “Dear George, You’ll have moments when you’ll want to use this particular stationary. Well, go to it,” Reagan scrawled. He noted treasuring “the memories we share” and said he'd be praying for the new president before concluding, "I’ll miss our Thursday lunches. Ron.” Thus was born the tradition of departing presidents leaving a handwritten note in the Oval Office for their successors. The missives' contents start off as confidential, but are often eventually made public by archivists, references in presidential memoirs or via social media after journalists and others filed requests to obtain them. The 32-year tradition is in peril this year. President Donald Trump has refused to accept the results of November’s election and vowed not to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. That makes it doubtful Trump will leave behind any handwritten, friendly advice for Biden. Presidents often write reflectively at the end of their time in office, including George Washington, who stated that he was “tired of public life” in recording why he wasn't seeking a third presidential term. But historians say Reagan's is likely the first instance of a personal letter being passed between presidents as they left and entered office. “It was a sort of a revelation that a note like this was left,” said Jim Bendat, author of “Democracy’s Big Day: The Inauguration of Our President." “We’ve come to expect them. It’s a great tradition. It’s one of those new traditions. And the traditions for Inauguration Day are like that — they often evolve through the years.” The notes are striking in their simplicity given just how big the job of the presidency is. But they are also notable in their camaraderie and common purpose — especially since the handoff of power is often an unhappy one: Reagan to Bush was the last time the country had one president from the same party succeed another. Despite losing to Bill Clinton in the bitter 1992 election, Bush followed Reagan's lead, this time on more stately, White House stationary. “I leave a note on the desk for Bill Clinton. It looks a little lonely sitting there," Bush recalled in his book "All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings.” “When I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know you will feel that, too,” Bush wrote in the note, adding, "I wish you great happiness here. I never felt the loneliness some presidents have described." He continued, "I’m not a very good one to give advice; but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course,” before concluding, “Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you. Good luck — George.” Those words were so touching that the new president’s wife, Hillary, later recalled they made her cry. “It speaks not only to his grace, but ultimately what the presidency should be all about, which is thinking about your country first,” said Mark K. Updegrove, a historian and CEO of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, who has written about the Bush family. “Though he had been soundly defeated by Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, as a good American, was wishing the new president well.” Writing to that president’s son, incoming President George W. Bush in 2000, Clinton noted that the “burdens you now shoulder are great but often exaggerated” and that the “sheer joy of doing what you believe is right is inexpressible.” In his own letter to President Barack Obama eight years later, the younger Bush advised that "critics will rage. Your ‘friends’ will disappoint you,” but ”no matter what comes, you will be inspired by the character and compassion of the people you now lead.” Bush’s twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara, were 27 at the time. They wrote a sort of kids' guide to the White House for Malia and Sasha Obama, then 10 and 7. It included such advice as “slide down the banister of the solarium" and "when your dad throws out the first pitch for the Yankees, go to the game.” In his letter to Trump in 2017, Obama wrote, “This is a unique office, without a clear blueprint for success, so I don’t know that any advice from me will be particularly helpful.” But Obama did offer some words that now appear prophetic given Trump's impeachment for inciting the deadly mob violence at the U.S. Capitol. “We are just temporary occupants of this office," he wrote. "That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions — like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties — that our forebears fought and bled for.” “It’s up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them," Obama continued. Updegrove said even if the note tradition stops with Trump, it could easily start again when Biden leaves office. He has already been vice-president and spent 36 years in the Senate, where tradition and bipartisan congeniality are strong. “There’s no doubt in my mind that he would do it graciously," Updegrove said. Will Weissert, The Associated Press
TORONTO — An enforcement blitz that uncovered numerous violations of COVID-19 prevention protocols across big-box retailers in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas will broaden its scope to include the rest of the province in the weeks ahead, the province's labour minister said Sunday. Monte McNaughton said the initial wave of inspectors combing retailers for those eschewing masks and ignoring physical distancing guidelines found only 70 per cent of sites they visited were adhering to the public health measures intended to curb the spread of the virus. He called the results disappointing, pledging to expand the enforcement efforts to other parts of the province as well as additional industries at risk from COVID-19 outbreaks. "We'll be expanding that in the days and weeks to come across the whole province," McNaughton said in a telephone interview. "We're going to continue targeting bad actors and we'll continue issuing fines and close them down if we have to." The initial blitz involved 50 inspectors fanning out across Toronto, Hamilton and surrounding municipalities to observe the scene at multiple big-box retailers, which are among the businesses allowed to keep their doors open under Ontario's current stay-at-home order. McNaughton said big-box stores would remain a key target during the provincewide expansion. The ministry issued a document late last week saying inspections would also involve workplaces which reported COVID-19 outbreaks and businesses focused on manufacturing, warehousing, distribution centres and food processing. Word of the expansion comes amid growing pressure to quell soaring COVID-19 case counts across Ontario, which showed little sign of abating over the weekend. The province reported 3,422 new cases of COVID-19 and another 69 deaths on Sunday, up more than 10 per cent from levels recorded the day before. The bulk of the most recent diagnoses remain in Toronto and nearby Peel Region, where 1,035 and 585 new infections were identified in the past 24 hours. Windsor-Essex County, York Region and Niagara logged another 254, 246 and 186 cases respectively. Meanwhile, the City of Hamilton announced the province had told it to temporarily cease administering first doses of both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to most people. The city said only residents, staff and essential caregivers at long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes would continue to get their initial shots after Pfizer-BioNTech announced it was delaying international shipments of its vaccine while upgrading facilities in Europe. Those who have already received an initial dose will receive their booster, it said. A spokeswoman for the Minister of Health did not say how many regions received a similar directive or why first doses of the Moderna vaccine were also being paused. And as the vaccine rollout continues at a slightly slower pace, McNaughton said he was hopeful the weekend enforcement blitz would help reign in numbers of new infections. The inspectors visited 110 retailers on Saturday alone and found 31 violations of COVID-19 protocols, he said, noting that amounts to a compliance rate of just over 70 per cent. They issued 11 formal warnings and 11 tickets, he added. McNaughton said he'd hoped the compliance rate would be much higher. "Every business, every supervisor and every worker out there has to do more today than at any point during this pandemic to keep people safe and to be vigilant," he said. The blitz, which continued Sunday, is part of an array of measures the province unveiled in recent days to toughen its approach to COVID-19. Ontario recently ordered people to only leave their homes for groceries, medical appointments, exercise and work that can't be completed remotely. Stores selling non-essential goods have been forced to temporarily close and operate solely through e-commerce and curbside pickups. The most common violations inspectors found big box stores contravening were linked to screening of customers and staff, masking protocols and physical distancing problems, McNaughton said. The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development says it has conducted more than 34,000 COVID-19 related workplace inspections and halted unsafe work 55 times throughout the pandemic. It is in the process of hiring an additional 100 health and safety inspectors and doubling the number of phone lines at the provincial Health and Safety Contact Centre, where violations can be reported. Individuals found violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act can be fined up to $100,000 and imprisoned for as long as a year, while corporations can be fined up to $1.5 million per charge. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021. Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version carried an incorrect spelling of Monte McNaughton's first name.
HONOLULU — Three shots behind with six holes to play, Kevin Na birdied three straight holes and finished with an up-and-down birdie from behind the 18th green for a 5-under 65 and a one-shot victory in the Sony Open. Na won for the fifth time in his PGA Tour career, and this one looked unlikely when he three-putted for bogey on the 12th hole at a time where there was no room for mistakes. He answered with birdie putts of 15, 10 and 6 feet, and the winning shot was out of the right rough on the par-5 closing hole at Waialae and ran just over the back of the green. He chipped to tap-in range for his last birdie. Na finished one shot ahead of Joaquin Niemann and Chris Kirk, and only one of them got a consolation prize. Abbotsford, B.C. native Nick Taylor finished in a three-way tie for 11th place at 17-under par. Taylor fired a 3-under 67 in his final round. Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., shot a 4-under 66 to end his tournament in a six-way tie for 19th place at 15-under. Brights Grove, Ont. native and 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir finished in a tie for 47th place. Niemann chipped in for birdie from 55 feet on the par-3 17th and got up-and-down with a long bunker shot on the 18th hole for a 66. Even so, he was runner-up for the second straight week in Hawaii. The 22-year-old from Chile was 45-under par in two events without a trophy to show for it. Kirk closed with his fourth straight round of 65 — that wasn't enough to win on a soft Waialae with no wind — and his tough pitch from below the 18th for birdie proved to be massive. Kirk stepped away from golf in May 2019 citing alcoholism and depression, a bold move that is paying off. He was given a medical extension to make up for lost time, and this was the final event for him to regain full status. Needing nearly 150 FedEx Cup points at the Sony Open, his tie for second was worth 245 points. As for Brendan Steele, it was another year of disappointment in paradise, this one more of a slow leak. Steele last year had a two-shot lead with two to play and wound up losing in a playoff. This time, he made an 18-foot eagle putt on the ninth hole to take a three-shot lead into the back nine. He three-putted the easy 10th hole from nearly 80 feet, and his game was so tentative the rest of the way that he didn't have a birdie chance inside 30 feet until the 17th hole. That was from 10 feet to tie for the lead, and he missed that. Steele also failed to birdie the 18th and closed with a 69. Na won for the fourth consecutive season, and he attributed the late surge to being happy at home with his wife and two children. He looked comfortable even when the Sony Open appeared to be slipping away. Once he made the 15-footer on the 13th hole, he started walking them in. “I knew there was a lot of birdie holes left,” Na said. “I was having fun out there.” Webb Simpson matched the low score of the final round with a 64 and tied for fourth along with Steele and Marc Leishman, shot shot 30 on the back nine. Na finished at 21-under 259 and is assured of returning to Hawaii for two weeks next year, starting with the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua. That course can be too big for him. Waialae proved to be a perfect fit. Doug Ferguson, The Associated Press
Toronto police say a male is dead after a shooting that took place in North York Sunday evening. Police say they were called to the area of Duncanwoods Drive and Finch Avenue West, east of Islington Avenue. A male victim was found shortly after suffering from gunshot wounds, police said. Police said life-saving measures were performed on the victim, but he was pronounced dead on scene. The homicide unit has since taken over the investigation. Police say they are looking for one suspect last seen wearing a mask and a red jacket, who ran into a ravine in the area.