For those people wishing the Hilaria Baldwin controversy would just go away — namely the yoga instructor and her husband, Alec Baldwin — Tuesday offered little reprieve.
For those people wishing the Hilaria Baldwin controversy would just go away — namely the yoga instructor and her husband, Alec Baldwin — Tuesday offered little reprieve.
WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers and conservative groups opposed President-elect Joe Biden's forthcoming immigration plan Tuesday as massive amnesty for people in the U.S. illegally, underscoring that the measure faces an uphill fight in a Congress that Democrats control just narrowly. In a further complication, several pro-immigration groups said they would press Biden to go even further and take steps such as immediate moratoriums on deportations, detentions and new arrests. Coupled with the discomfort an immigration push could cause for moderate Democrats, liberals' demands illustrated the pressures facing Biden as four years of President Donald Trump's restrictive and often harsh immigration policies come to an end. “It simply wouldn't have happened without us," Lorella Praeli, co-president of the liberal group Community Change, said of Biden's victory. “So we are now in a powerful position." Biden plans to introduce the legislation shortly after being inaugurated Wednesday, a move he hopes will spotlight his emphasis on an issue that's defied major congressional action since 1986. Its fate, as written, seemed in doubt. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who will become Senate majority leader this week, said Trump's impeachment trial, confirmation of Biden's Cabinet nominees and more COVID-19 relief will be the chamber's top initial priorities. “I look forward to working together with him" on the measure, Schumer said — a choice of words that might suggest changes could be needed for it to pass Congress. Biden's proposal would create an eight-year pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants, set up a processing program abroad for refugees seeking admission to the U.S. and push toward using technology to monitor the border. The measure was described by an official from Biden's transition team who described the plan on condition of anonymity. With an eye toward discouraging a surge of immigrants toward the U.S.-Mexico boundary, the package's route to citizenship would only apply to people already in the U.S. by this past Jan. 1. But it omits the traditional trade-off of dramatically enhanced border security that's helped attract some GOP support in the past, which drew criticism on Tuesday. “A mass amnesty with no safeguards and no strings attached is a nonstarter,” said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. "There are many issues I think we can work co-operatively with President-elect Biden, but a blanket amnesty for people who are here unlawfully isn’t going to be one of them,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., often a central player in Senate immigration battles. “Total amnesty, no regard for the health or security of Americans, and zero enforcement," Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who like Rubio is a potential 2024 GOP presidential contender, said in a Monday tweet. That view was shared by Mark Krikorian, executive director of the conservative Center for Immigration Studies, which favours curbing immigration. “Past proposals at least accepted the concept of turning off the faucet and mopping up the overflow. This is nothing but mopping up and letting the faucet continue to run," Krikorian said. Rosemary Jenks, top lobbyist for NumbersUSA, which also wants to limit immigration, said the measure seems likely to fail in the Senate. It would need at least 10 Republicans to join all 50 Democrats to overcome a filibuster that would kill the measure. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said, “Moving an immigration reform bill won’t be easy, but I think it’s possible." He cited a 2013 massive overhaul that narrowly passed the Senate, only to die in the GOP-run House. Menendez and Rubio were part of a bipartisan “Gang of 8" senators that helped win Senate approval. Under Biden's legislation, those living in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021, without legal status would have a five-year path to temporary legal status, or a green card, if they pass background checks, pay taxes and fulfil other requirements. From there, it’s a three-year path to naturalization if they pursue citizenship. For some immigrants, the process would be quicker. So-called Dreamers, the young people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children, as well as agricultural workers and people under temporary protective status could qualify more immediately for green cards if they are working, are in school or meet other requirements. Biden is also expected to take swift executive actions, which require no congressional action, to reverse other Trump immigration actions. These include ending to the prohibition on arrivals from predominantly Muslim countries. The legislation represents Biden's bid to deliver on a major campaign promise important to Latino voters and other immigrant communities after four years of Trump's restrictive policies and mass deportations. It provides one of the fastest pathways to citizenship for those living without legal status of any measure in recent years. Biden allies and even some Republicans have identified immigration as a major issue where the new administration could find common ground with the GOP to avoid the stalemate that has vexed administrations of both parties for decades. That kind of major win, even if it involves compromise, could be critical for Biden. He'll be seeking legislative victories in a Congress where Republicans are certain to oppose other Biden priorities, like rolling back some of the GOP’s 2017 tax cuts and increasing federal spending. Democrats will control the 50-50 Senate with Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris' tiebreaking vote. Democrats currently control the House 222-211, with two vacancies. ___ Barrow reported from Wilmington, Delaware. AP writer Elliot Spagat in San Diego also contributed to this report. Alan Fram, Lisa Mascaro And Bill Barrow, The Associated Press
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times eastern):1:50 p.m.Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting zero new COVID-19 infections today.The province is dealing with five active reported cases.One person is recovering in hospital with the disease.The province has reported a total of 396 infections and four deaths linked to the novel coronavirus.---1:40 p.m.Manitoba is reporting 111 new COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths. With numbers decreasing in recent weeks, the government is proposing to ease several restrictions on business openings and public gatherings by the end of the week. The possible changes, subject to public consultation, include allowing non-essential stores, hair salons and barbershops to reopen with capacity limits. Another proposed change would ease the ban on social gatherings inside private homes to allow two visitors at a time.---1:30 p.m.Quebec Premier Francois Legault is calling on the federal government to ban all non-essential flights to Canada.Legault says he's worried that people travelling to vacation destinations will bring new variants of COVID-19 back to the province.While the premier says it may be difficult to determine which flights are essential, he says it's clear that flights to sun destinations are non-essential.---12:45 p.m.Procurement Minister Anita Anand says she has spoken to Pfizer and does not expect any more interruptions to its Canadian deliveries after mid-February.Anand says Pfizer is contractually obligated to ship four million doses to Canada by the end of March.Canada expects its shipments from Pfizer to be larger than previously expected from the middle of February until the end of March to make up for smaller shipments over the next month.---12:25 p.m.Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin says Canada will get no doses of vaccine from Pfizer at all next week.Fortin, the vice-president of operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, says this week's shipment is almost one-fifth smaller than expected.That means only 171,093 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will arrive over the next two weeks, instead of the 417,300 doses previously expected.Fortin says the deliveries over the first two weeks of February have yet to be confirmed, but Pfizer is still expected to meet its contractual obligation to ship four million doses to Canada by the end of March.---11:20 a.m.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says any Canadians who still have international trips planned need to cancel them.The variants of the novel coronavirus identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil could change the situation rapidly and he warns that Canada could impose new restrictions on the border at any time, without warning.---11:15 a.m.Quebec is reporting a significant drop in new COVID-19 infections today with 1,386 new cases.The province also reported 55 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including 16 that occurred in the prior 24 hours.Health officials say hospitalizations rose by nine, to 1,500 and 212 people were in intensive care, a drop of five.Quebec has reported a total of 245,734 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 9,142 deaths linked to the virus.---10:50 a.m.Prince Edward Island is reporting two new cases of COVID-19 today.Chief medical officer of health Dr. Heather Morrison says the new cases involve a woman in her 40s who is a contact of a previously reported case, and a woman in her 20s who recently travelled outside Atlantic Canada.There are now seven active reported cases in the province.P.E.I. has reported 110 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.---10:35 a.m.Ontario is reporting 1,913 new cases of COVID-19 today, likely under-reported due to a technical error in Toronto.Health Minister Christine Elliott says that Toronto is reporting 550 new cases of the novel coronavirus.Over the past three days, Toronto reported 815 new cases, 1,035 new cases and 903 new cases.There were 46 more deaths linked to the virus in Ontario.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2021. The Canadian Press
En intégrant le « taxi squad » des Penguins de Pittsburgh, le défenseur chamblyen de 21 ans, Pierre-Olivier Joseph, alias « P.O. » pour les intimes, flirte avec la Ligue nationale de hockey (LNH) et joue dans l’anneau de glace des grands. La saison 2020-21 de la Ligue nationale de hockey (LNH) a été entamée le 13 janvier dernier et réduite à 56 matchs en raison de la pandémie. Les contraintes amenées par la COVID-19 ayant généré beaucoup d’incertitudes, la LNH permet aux équipes de s’allier avec une escouade de six joueurs supplémentaires, le « taxi squad ». Ils accompagnent alors l’équipe et sont substituables aux joueurs réguliers en cas de problème sanitaire. Un début dans la LNH L’équipe des Penguins de Pittsburgh a donc annoncé, le 11 janvier dernier, qu’elle accueillait six nouveaux joueurs en tant que membres de son escouade de secours, qui s’entraîneraient indépendamment des 23 membres réguliers de la formation, mais qui seraient d’un soutien valorisé. Parmi les six joueurs, on compte quatre québécois, dont Pierre-Olivier Joseph comme seul défenseur. « C’est un avant-goût de ce qui m’attend dans les prochains mois et années; c’est vraiment un bon ‘’step’’! », confie Pierre-Olivier, qui se réjouit également de la chimie qui s’opère déjà entre lui et les autres. « Ça se passe très bien, on passe pas mal de temps ensemble et je peux dire que ce sont de bons compagnons de vie. Dans le squad, on est quatre Québécois, et ça fait du bien des fois de pouvoir parler français aussi entre nous. Je connaissais déjà plusieurs d’entre eux, dont l’attaquant Frédérick Gaudreau, avec qui j’ai joué au golf il y a quelques étés. » Le défi réel Bien que l’expérience soit très emballante, elle n’exclut pas d’avoir à composer avec certaines difficultés, « comme le fait de devoir créer des liens avec l’équipe tout en maintenant une distance appréciable afin de limiter les risques de contagion », explique le jeune homme. Pierre-Olivier est reconnu pour sa constance et sa fluidité sur la glace. Questionné à savoir comment il décrirait ses forces, il répond : « Je pense que je suis un défenseur avec un bon QI. » Il raconte qu’il espère faire officiellement partie de la LNH cette année, car « ce serait un rêve de jeunesse exaucé ».Chloé-Anne Touma, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Journal de Chambly
HURON-PERTH – Over the weekend, the number of COVID-19 cases at Caressant Care in Listowel reached 65. As of Jan. 18, in the long-term care are there have been 40 cases, 27 in residents and 13 in staff. On the retirement home side of the facility, there have been 25 cases, 19 residents and six staff. Two staff cases have resolved, there was one COVID-19-related death of a long-term care resident and the rest of the cases are still active. “Within Huron-Perth there is an established structure that wraps around facilities that may be facing challenges and that has happened in Cedarcroft, it happened in Exeter Villa and it’s currently happening in Caressant Care in Listowel,” said Karl Ellis, CEO of the Listowel Wingham Hospitals Alliance. “We have several staff and leaders at Caressant Care today helping work through some of the challenges they have … staffing is one of the greatest challenges and one of the things we do have working for us is the health care partners in Huron-Perth are working together to stabilize the staffing there, but it is the biggest challenge we currently have.” Stuart Oakley, marketing and communications manager for Caressant Care said the focus is on caring for their residents and getting the virus under control. “We’re working through it – making sure that the deep cleaning is happening regularly, making sure we have the appropriate PPE in place for our staff and … we’ll be looking forward to the larger vaccination program which will be coming soon, so I think we’re doing everything we can and we appreciate the community support.” Oakley mentioned that staffing continues to be a challenge. “We’re working towards ensuring we have the appropriate staffing in place,” he said. “We’re pleased we have a couple of staff who have been resolved so we’re hoping that’s going to continue.” The cumulative total for Huron-Perth has reached 1,032 positive cases, 126 cases are active and five residents are in hospital due to COVID-19. The is one active hospital outbreak in the surgery unit of Stratford General Hospital and 10 active outbreaks in long-term care and retirement homes. “On Jan. 16 Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, stated the delay in the delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine due to work being done to expand the European manufacturing facility,” said Dr Miriam Klassen, Huron-Perth medical officer of health. “Production of the COVID-19 vaccine will be impacted for a few weeks and deliveries will be temporarily reduced to all countries, including Canada.” In Ontario, vaccinations of long-term care and retirement home staff and residents will continue with a goal of having the first dose administered no later than mid-February. Klassen said Huron-Perth is planning to have them complete well before that time. News of the UK variant of the COVID-19 being detected in London is concerning, said Klassen. “Locally, we are looking for people who might be at high risk of some of those variants so we can perhaps alert the lab to check the samples for those strains,” she said. “I think it is something that should concern us all because as anyone can see the cases in Huron-Perth continue to be very high … if we have an added strain that transmits even more easily then it’s going to be even more difficult to bend the curve so we all must continue to adhere to all the Public Health measures to minimize our contacts.” Klassen discussed why it is important to continue following Public Health measures even while people are being vaccinated. “That’s because the studies have shown that at the endpoint the vaccine prevents is clinical infection, so people developing cough and fever … hospitalization,” she said. What she said was unclear was whether people vaccinated people can be asymptomatic and continue to pass it on. “It keeps them from becoming sick which is a good thing but … maybe it doesn’t prevent them from spreading it,” said Klassen. “That’s not normally how vaccines work when they prevent infection so it’s not necessarily that the vaccine doesn’t prevent asymptomatic infection, at this point, we don’t know … we need to have further research to understand whether that is the case. We don’t want to be wrong about that so at this time we continue to assume all Public Health measures are needed.” Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner
Rank, Book Title by Author Name, ISBN, Publisher 1. Bridgerton Collection Volume 1 by Julia Quinn - 9780063045118 - (Avon) 2. Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn - 9780062424105 - (Avon) 3. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn - 9780062424037 - (Avon) 4. The Scorpion’s Tail by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child - 9781538747292 - (Grand Central Publishing) 5. The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn - 9780062424075 - (Avon) 6. To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn - 9780062424112 - (Avon) 7. An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn - 9780062424082 - (Avon) 8. When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn - 9780062424136 - (Avon) 9. Daylight by David Baldacci - 9781538761687 - (Grand Central Publishing) 10. The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher - 9781488076749 - (Graydon House Books) The Associated Press
The Trump administration has determined that China has committed "genocide and crimes against humanity" by repressing Uighur Muslims in its Xinjiang region, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday, in an embarrassing blow to Beijing a day before President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office. Pompeo said he made the move - which is certain to further strain already frayed ties between the world's top economies - "after careful examination of the available facts," accusing the Chinese Communist Party of crimes against humanity targeting the Uighurs and other Muslim minorities since at least March 2017.
Quebec Premier François Legault says no exemption from the province's mandatory overnight curfew will be given to people who really are homeless, despite calls to do so from advocates and Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante. In a news conference Tuesday, Legault said he's concerned an official exemption could encourage people to "pretend" to be homeless. He said police forces have already been told to use their judgment when it comes to fining homeless people and said he fully trusts they are being fair. "Right now, the police are doing a very good job," said Legault. "They're using their judgment and if we change the rule and say 'you cannot give tickets to somebody who says they are homeless,' you may have some people that will pretend to be homeless." Legault was responding to calls made by Plante earlier today. She said the curfew has added unnecessary stress to already struggling homeless shelters in the city. "The [curfew] has a direct impact on the homeless ecosystem, both on those who are homeless and on those who work with them," said Plante. "I want people to feel safe in Montreal. I don't want to exacerbate their vulnerability." Plante's pleas come just days after the death of Raphaël André, a homeless Innu man whose body was discovered in a portable toilet in the Plateau, Sunday morning. André, 51, had spent Saturday evening at The Open Door, a Montreal drop-in centre just steps away from where his body was found, but couldn't stay as the shelter was forced to close at 9:30 p.m. following an outbreak of COVID-19 last month. It used to be open 24/7. "Like many Montrealers, I'm deeply shocked by what happened to Raphaël André," Plante said. Plante claims the city offered to work with the shelter from the start, and was willing to help build extra walls to better separate clients. It offered to help get the shelter larger cleaning crews. But according to John Tessier, an intervention worker at the Open Door, that simply isn't true. Tessier says the shelter added physical barriers to the shelter, hired extra security and implemented new measures to make sure clients could keep two metres apart weeks ago, but he says public health officials have yet to respond to their calls and emails and to give the green light to reopen the shelter at night. "We've invited them in to come see what's been done. We've sent them pictures and we've had no response to any of that," said Tessier. "The fact that somebody passed away within a stone's throw from our building is traumatic, it's disheartening and if it was up to us, we would just stay open right now." In a statement, the CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal said it had provided the Open Door with training sessions on public health regulations last month. The regional health authority said it will continue to work with the centre so that it can reopen at night. "We are happy that the Board of directors of the Open Door has decided to take a few weeks to implement these measures before opening again at night," the statement says. "The CIUSSS West-Central Montreal, [Montreal Public Health] and the Service régional de l'itinérance will continue to assist the organization during that period." Mourning a 'good friend' Annisee Papialuk has been a client at the Open Door for some 13 years now. For her, the shelter's overnight closure coinciding with the province's mandatory curfew has been next to impossible to navigate. "When it closes down during the night, it's really hard for us to find a place. We end up sleeping on the street and workers kick us out so it's hard," said Papialuk. "If there was a place for us homeless people, I would love to go." André was a friend of Papialuk's and she says her anxiety over staying in the streets at night has been worse since his death. "He was a good friend, a tender man, never argued with anybody. He didn't deserve to be seen like that," she said. Legault unrealistic about police, advocates say Upon hearing Legault's claims that police forces have been acting fairly in giving out the curfew fines, Jessica Quijano, co-ordinator of the Iskweu project at the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal, grew frustrated. "That's just not the reality. … Police do not have a positive relationship with the homeless community," said Quijano. Quijano said Montreal's homeless population already deals with racial profiling on a regular basis and the introduction of this curfew has only made matters worse. She said the city and province have both been too slow to provide homeless people with the resources they need during the pandemic, and she says André's death last weekend is just one example of that. "We warned public health. We warned the mayor. We knew people would die," said Quijano. "The non-action is sending a message that those people's lives don't matter." More shelter spaces coming, Plante says Plante said that while the city and province have added hundreds of beds in homeless shelters in recent months, there is still work to be done. "There are a lot of beds but there are nights where there are no beds, so we need to work to create more options," Plante said. "I want people to have access to a bed, a place where it's warm, where there's food, where there's services for them." Plante said the city will be announcing the addition of 100 more beds in the next few days.
Mono Council once again had to deal with the ongoing debate as to who is responsible for enforcing regulations in the matter of resident Mark Bates’ request to have Council enforce the Town By-law concerning lighting interfering with a neighbours enjoyment of their property. This issue was previously discussed at the last Council Meeting, where the consensus was that, as the issue involved neighbours in a condominium complex, the condominium board should be responsible to enforce their own regulations regarding the matter. At Tuesday’s Mono Council meeting, Mr. Bates returned and indicated that the board was unwilling to enforce the regulations and asked Council to enforce the Town by-law to correct the problem. CAO Mark Early, at that meeting, said that he would refer the matter to the Town solicitor for a legal opinion. Subsequently, the opinion provided indicated that the issue should be dealt with according to Provincial regulations, by the condominium board and not the Town. However, as the issue was not dealt with, Mr. Bates had once again con-tacted the councillors and Councillor Fred Nix raised the question to the CAO. Upon hearing the solicitors response, Mr. Nix appeared satisfied though he stated that they were still receiving emails from Mr. Bates.The latest of these emails was presented to Council during the Public Question Period and in it, he requested that as the neighbour was still in non compliance, could Council please notify the condominium board of the solicitors response and request that they deal with the issue. Mayor Ryan referred the question to the CAO and Mr. Early replied that the condo-minium board had been made aware of all of Councils discussions and decisions on the matter but that he could certainly notify them of the solicitors and Councils latest response. Councillor Nix then asked what the solu-tion would be should there be a conflict between the Town rules and by-laws and the condominium rules, who should pre-vail? Mr. Early responded that based on his understanding and the solicitors response, it would be the condominiums responsibility to resolve the matter so that there was con-sistency within their subdivision. Peter Richardson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Citizen
The United States swore in its 46th President on Jan. 20, 2021. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris attended their inauguration in Washington, D.C. with a slew of distinguished guests, but few onlookers as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a need for social distancing.Several past presidents were in attendance, including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George Bush Jr., however the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, did not attend. Trump flew to his golf club in Florida earlier in the day. Outgoing Vice President Mike Pence did attend the ceremony with his wife.For all the latest on the U.S. inauguration, click this link for live updates.
Whether it's a slight cough or a scratchy, sore throat, some may be tempted to dismiss mild symptoms as "just the flu" amid a serious global pandemic. But experts say a drastic drop in the circulation of the influenza virus this season means signs of flu are more likely to be COVID-19 than another respiratory virus. A FluWatch report from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) released last week shows laboratory-confirmed incidents of flu are exceptionally rare this season, despite "elevated testing" for it during the pandemic. Experts say a confluence of factors are playing a role in the abnormally light flu season, including public health measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 and the reduction of international travel. Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, an infectious disease expert in Mississauga, Ont., says the low prevalence of flu underscores the need to get tested for COVID if people develop symptoms. "You can't tell by looking if somebody has influenza or COVID," he said. "And right now, depending on where they live, if someone has acute viral symptoms, the chances of it being COVID over other things is much higher." PHAC's report shows there have been 51 influenza detections in Canada to date this flu season — significantly lower than the nearly 15,000 cases averaged by this point in the past six seasons — and there were zero lab-detected cases (from 13,000 tests) over the first week of 2021. Chakrabarti expects there to be more cases of influenza than what PHAC's data shows, since not everyone with flu-like symptoms is tested for that virus. But in the segment of the population that is getting tested — typically older adults seeking medical care — influenza isn't coming up. People admitted to hospital with symptoms are given respiratory multiplex tests that can detect multiple viruses at once, Chakrabarti said. "And we've picked up very little in the way of other viruses. So if you're seeing a reduction in those cases, it suggests that the overall amount of flu in the community has dropped." While experts assumed public health measures like mask-wearing and physical distancing would also lessen flu prevalence, the level of drop-off has been surprising, says Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious disease specialist with McMaster University. He believes travel restrictions have likely played a significant role. Whereas COVID-19 can continue to spread easily because the virus is already entrenched here, Chagla says influenza is usually brought in each winter from tropical climates. A population confined largely indoors due to cold weather helps it spread. "Border restrictions, quarantine rules, that probably limits the amount of influenza coming in in the first place," Chagla said. "And the odd case that does come in, it's harder to spread because people aren't congregating." Raywat Deonandan, an epidemiologist with the University of Ottawa, agrees that a reduction in international travel likely explains the light flu season more than just the implementation of public health measures. He says places in South America are also seeing dips in flu numbers even though mask-wearing hasn't been as widespread there. A level of immunity to influenza may also be contributing to the stifling of the virus, he added. "More people got a flu vaccine this year," Deonandan said. "That can't be underestimated." Chagla says other respiratory viruses also seem to have decreased this season. While there was an uptick in the common cold rhinovirus in the fall — usually correlated with children going back to school — PHAC data shows it's been dropping since. Hand-washing and sanitizing high-touch areas may be playing a role in controlling viruses that are more transmissible on surfaces, experts say. Chagla says cold or flu-like symptoms should raise a red flag for anyone right now, and he worries about people mistaking COVID signs for another virus. "In years past you could say: 'this is just a cold,' doctors would say: 'don't even come in,'" Chagla said. "And now we have to switch the mentality to say: 'actually, no, go get tested.'" Chakrabarti warns the "just the flu" mentality also diminishes the significance of influenza, which can lead to serious disease in vulnerable people too. So there's need for caution, even if symptoms are from the flu virus. "A lot of people say 'it's the flu, who cares? I get it all the time,'" he said. "This is going to sound familiar, but the reason it matters is because you can spread it to somebody else." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2021. Melissa Couto Zuber, The Canadian Press
Merritt City Council has voted unanimously to join the Canadian Municipal Network on Crime Prevention. The CMNCP is active across Canada as a network of communities who seek to share the best practices and build capacity to reduce and prevent crime, as well as fostering community safety and well-being. In Dec. 2020, the Merritt Community Policing Office requested that the City make a request to join the CMNCP. The fee, which amounts to approximately $650 for communities with populations under 500,000, will be paid for by the City. This network includes major centres such as Vancouver and Montreal, but also includes smaller communities such as Williams Lake, in total representing an estimated 40% of the Canadian population. Because the City of Merritt would be the official member of CMNCP, a resolution from council is required to join. The decision came at the regular council meeting of Jan. 12, where council voted to write a letter of recommendation for Merritt to join the CMNCP and pay the membership fee, the funds for which would be drawn from the unused 2020 conferences budget. “This membership will allow us to share ideas and best practices with many communities in Canada,” said Marlene Jones, Community Policing Officer Coordinator. “In the past our crime prevention partnerships were primarily with BC organizations, but we believe that there are many great programs throughout the country. Our team and subsequently our community can benefit from these shared ideas, training, and contributing to the conversations.” Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald
Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart addressed the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) Board of Directors at the first TNRD board meeting of 2021, which took place on Jan. 15. Tegart reflected on the past year, which she acknowledged has been a rollercoaster for many, not excluding those in office. “What a difference a year makes,” Tegart began. “I thought about going into the house last year in February, where our biggest challenge was the protestors at the front of the building, and the fact that we couldn’t get in for the Throne Speech. Then coming home for our March break, and we never went back until the summer. We did a short summer session and then in October we had a snap election and had a short session in December.” The lack of time spent in the Legislature translated to some frustrating times for Tegart, particularly when it comes to providing assistance to small businesses and communities. “We have issues around supports for businesses, and we look at the hospitality industry, lots of requests for a very comprehensive recovery plan coming out of COVID. I think many of us who have small communities are recognizing our mom-and-pop operations are in crisis, and how do we make sure that the programs provided by both federal and provincial government are actually getting to the people who need them? I think that those voices in tandem, our voice and yours at the provincial level are incredibly important.” Tegart touched on a few projects that are in the works for her riding, mainly regarding tourism and infrastructure. “We’ve got some exciting things happening in Fraser-Nicola, over the last year,” said Tegart. “Certainly, we will continue our work on the ‘Wake up the Fraser Canyon’ project, in partnership with the Village of Lytton and all the other stakeholders down the corridor, and we are reconnecting with the new ministers and making sure that they’re well aware of the project. And we are in the final throes of a tourism masterplan for the corridor section between Yale and Lytton, and we are excited about the project. Making sure that we have shovel ready projects for money that is going to become available, I believe this spring, as part of the recovery. Of course, the Ashcroft terminal is quite an exciting project, and when we look at the region that will bring significant employment opportunities and some challenges around how we house people and provide services for them.” Tegart opened up about how difficult it has been for her to serve in the MLA role while maintaining social distance and staying home rather than being out visiting communities and businesses and engaging with people face to face. “It’s tough in the MLA role to not be on the road and not be in communities and not meeting with groups,” Tegart said. “We miss that. That and the energy that you get in order to do this job sometimes when you’re pretty tired. I really encourage you all to be in touch and I’ll reach out when needed because it’s our job to keep that enthusiasm and that hope out there for our citizens. It’s been a long year and we’ve had incredible tragedies as we look at the death toll during COVID, and we’ve got some challenges around what the data is telling us and what kind of services we’re providing, and I think we all need to be open to look in a critical way about what we’re doing in community and in services provided and how we can improve that. We’ve learned a lot during COVID.” Tegart also touched on the fact that the provincial budget could be delayed until the end of April. “I’d be very interested to hear from the TNRD, as you take a look at the impact of that bill delaying the budget for two months, what impact that will have on you,” queried Tegart. “I’m sure you are well aware of the bill being passed, and we ask the questions about the unintended consequences. We’ve had a lot of organizations that will be affected with the uncertainty of what a two-month delay in the budget presentation means.” Tegart also encouraged anyone on the TNRD board to reach out to her if they had any questions or concerns regarding education, which she would address in her role as Opposition Critic for Education. “If there are issues within your communities or in your region that you want questions asked at estimate, please feel free to get in touch with me, because that is our opportunity to get answers from the Minister,” explained Tegart. “So, if you need new schools or are concerned about anything that’s happening within the education field, our one opportunity to get real answers is during estimate and I would encourage you to be in touch so that we can make sure that those questions are asked.” Tegart concluded her update by thanking the TNRD board for the work they had done during COVID, and her appreciation for the working relationship which all levels of government need to have, referring particularly to democratic strife Canadians are witnessing south of the border. Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald
LONDON — A collection of teeter-totters that briefly allowed children on both sides of the US-Mexico border wall to play together has won a prize from London’s Design Museum. The three hot-pink seesaws were installed through the slats of the wall, with one seat in the El Paso, Texas suburb of Sunland Park, New Mexico, and the other in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The artwork was put up on July 28, 2019, and removed from the politically charged border barrier after less than an hour. The Design Museum named the project Tuesday as the overall winner of the Beazley Designs of the Year competition for 2020, which considered 74 projects by designers from around the world. Teeter-Totter Wall was designed by California architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello with help from Colectivo Chopeke, an artists’ collective in Juarez. “It encouraged new ways of human connection and struck a chord that continues to resonate far beyond El Paso in the USA and Juarez in Mexico,’’ museum director Tim Marlow said in announcing the prize. “It remains an inventive and poignant reminder of how human beings can transcend the forces that seek to divide us.” The teeter-totters were installed amid the heated debate over U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the almost 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. “We thought this would be a moment to show to the world a very important reality of the border, which is that the border isn’t a desolate place where no one lives,” Rael, a professor of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, told a university publication in 2019. “This is a world where women live and children live and that we can use play as a kind of vehicle for activism.” Danica Kirka, The Associated Press
The annual Tongue on the Post music festival is going to happen, it’s just a matter of when. The festival is booked and ready to be livestreamed next week, but organizers are still waiting on an official green light to OK the festival. “We’ve talked to every level of government and we’re still waiting,” said festival organizer Rob Pape. “We’re stuck sitting in limbo with an entire festival booked and arranged. We even have the tepee rented to display colours to show appreciation for our volunteers. “Thursday is another deadline for restrictions to be lifted and we’re now waiting on that.” The festival happens every year at Medalta and will still be held there this year. The 2021 festival will not host crowds, as it will be streamed to different social media platforms. “We have the go-ahead for everything except for the Medalta portion of the festival,” said Pape. “Since it’s a museum, Medalta is still under restrictions. “Medalta is a big part of our festival and they need people booking out their space.” The festival is scheduled for Jan. 25-30 and Pape says it is just a matter of when, not if the festival will happen. “We’ll go ahead with the festival when we’re able to do it,” he said. “We hope that is next week, but we will have to wait and see.” Pape says announcements can be found on on the Medicine Hat Folk Music Club Facebook page. Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News
B.C.'s provincial health officer declared the COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place long-term care in Oliver officially over. Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the end of the outbreak, which claimed the lives of 17 McKinney Place residents, Monday during the province's regularly scheduled press conference in Victoria. A total of 23 staff members and 54 of the 59 residents who lived at McKinney Place at the beginning of the outbreak had tested positive. "We are very thankful that McKinney place has been under control. That was a very challenging outbreak in Interior Health and we know 17 people in the McKinney Place community lost their lives to COVID in that outbreak," Henry said. Interior Health announced residents at both McKinney Place and Sunnybank Retirement Centre received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Jan. 8 Minister of Health Adrian Dix touched on the end of four outbreaks in long-term care across the province Monday, including McKinney Place. "I can tell you from my own experience and the experience of every family member, every resident in long-term care, that the day an outbreak is declared is a very, very difficult day indeed and the day that it is declared over is a day of some relief," Dix said. "Not that the pandemic is over, but that this period, this moment in the pandemic has changed. I'm thinking of everybody who has lost someone at those care homes, everyone who has been through that experience even if they were not diagnosed positive with COVID-19, everyone who works in those care homes, we are thinking of them today on what is I would say a better day in all of those places, a day when those outbreaks have been declared over." An outbreak is declared over when two incubation periods, or 28 days, have passed from the last onset of symptoms in a resident. “I want to thank our staff for their commitment and dedication during this challenging outbreak at McKinney Place long-term care,” said Susan Brown, Interior Health president and CEO. “Everyone stepped up to ensure the people living at McKinney Place received the best possible care, and on behalf of everyone at Interior Health, we send our condolences to the families who lost a loved one during this difficult time.” All eligible residents and staff at McKinney Place have been offered their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. Additional death at Sunnybank Interior Health reported Monday an additional death at Sunnybank Retirement Centre, marking the second COVID-19 related death at the facility. Sunnybank now has 34 cases: 26 residents and eight staff. Interior Health sees 257 new cases in three days The province reported on new cases over a three-day period Monday. From Jan. 15 to 16 there were 584 new cases province-wide, from Jan. 16 to 17 there were 445 new cases and in the last 24 hours 301 new cases have been diagnosed. Of the new cases, 257 are in the Interior Health region. Across B.C. there are 4,326 active cases of COVID-19, 343 in hospital, 68 of whom are in intensive care. There are 6,865 people under active public health monitoring province-wide. Over the last three days, 31 people died from COVID-19, four of whom in the Interior Health region. A total of 1,078 people have died from COVID-19 in B.C. since the pandemic began, a majority of which are seniors in long-term care. Dale Boyd, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Times-Chronicle
ATCO began the process of changing out all of the town’s streetlights to LED lights last week as per their agreement with the Town of Swan Hills. There isn’t an exact date available for the end of this project, but it will more than likely take a couple of months to accomplish. The streetlights would usually be switched out when they had to be replaced, but this process is generally haphazard and could take a few years until all of the streetlights in town had been changed out. The Town of Swan Hills entered into the agreement with ATCO to change all of them out at once to avoid having a random spattering of LED streetlights here and there amongst the traditional streetlights for an extended period of time. Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
Qu’est-ce qui provoque la marée ? Et où va l’eau ?
The World Health Organization has raised "concerns" about the unequal distribution of coronavirus vaccines in the country.View on euronews
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Tiger King" star Jeff Lowe, the former business partner at the private wildcat zoo featured in the hit Netflix series, has been ordered to surrender his cubs and their mothers after the death of two young tigers in his care. Lowe and his wife Lauren were also ordered not to put animals on public exhibit without a license in a federal court ruling issued in Oklahoma last week, according to a U.S. Justice Department statement on Tuesday. "The Lowes have shown a shocking disregard for both the health and welfare of their animals, as well as the law," Jonathan Brightbill at the Justice Department's Environmental and Natural Resources Division, said in the statement.
Four people have been arrested in connection with the death of Amber Dawn Wood, 38, of Bienfait, Sask. Justin Julien Englot, 29, and Jayden Marie Sanford, 25, both of Regina, have been charged with accessory after the fact to murder and possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000. Sanford and Englot made their first appearance in Regina provincial court Tuesday morning. Two other people, both males, are also in custody. They haven't been charged, but police say an investigation is continuing. Wood died after being severely injured Saturday morning at a home on the 700 block of Athol St., police said. Police were called to the scene following a report someone had been shot. Wood was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead. It was the city's first homicide of 2021.