Here's the latest for Tuesday, December 29th: Sen. McConnell blocks push for $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks; Boeing 737 Max returns to service in US; Vice President-elect Kamala Harris gets virus vaccine; Pierre Cardin dead at 98.
Here's the latest for Tuesday, December 29th: Sen. McConnell blocks push for $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks; Boeing 737 Max returns to service in US; Vice President-elect Kamala Harris gets virus vaccine; Pierre Cardin dead at 98.
There was no distribution plan for the coronavirus vaccine set up by the Trump administration as the virus raged in its last months in office, new President Joe Biden's chief of staff, Ron Klain, said on Sunday. "The process to distribute the vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals out into the community as a whole, did not really exist when we came into the White House," Klain said on NBC's "Meet the Press." Biden, a Democrat who took over from Republican President Donald Trump on Wednesday, has promised a fierce fight against the pandemic that killed 400,000 people in the United States under Trump’s watch.
Guyana said late on Saturday that a Venezuelan navy vessel detained two vessels that were fishing in Guyana's exclusive economic zone, the latest dispute in a long-running border conflict between the two South American nations. Caracas says much of eastern Guyana is its own territory, a claim that is rejected by Georgetown. The conflict has flared up in recent years as Guyana has started developing oil reserves near the disputed area.
CORNER BROOK, N.L. — A 24-year-old man from Fort McMurray, Alta., is facing numerous charges including failing to self-isolate, following a traffic stop early this morning in Corner Brook, N.L. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary says they stopped a vehicle shortly before 4 a.m. and the driver fled on foot. In a release, they say the driver was quickly apprehended and now faces charges of impaired operation of a motor vehicle, refusal, and obstructing a peace officer. He is also charged with failing to self-isolate after arriving in the province on Jan. 22. He has been ordered to appear in court on on February 9. Police say the driver was also given a 90 day driving suspension and the vehicle was impounded. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
A 20-year-old woman was killed in a two-vehicle collision near Lacombe, Alta. on Saturday evening. At about 5 p.m., Blackfalds RCMP were called to the collision at Highway 815 at the intersection of Township Road 412, northeast of Lacombe. An early investigation showed a southbound pickup truck collided with an eastbound car, according to a police news release. The woman driving the car was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver and a passenger in the truck suffered minor injuries. Local RCMP and a collision analyst are continuing to investigate. Lacombe is about 30 kilometres north of Red Deer.
LONDON — Tammy Abraham scored three times as Chelsea beat Luton 3-1 while Leicester had to rally against another second-tier club before ousting Brentford by the same score to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday. Abraham scored twice in a seven-minute span in the first half. Jordan Clark profited from the struggling Kepa Arrizabalaga’s latest goalkeeping error to reduce the deficit to 2-1 on the half-hour before Abraham struck again in the 74th minute, his 11th of the season. Timo Werner missed a late penalty in a frustrating end to his afternoon. Chelsea will play another lower-league club, Barnsley, in the round of 16. This victory was crucial for under-pressure manager Frank Lampard after five losses in the past eight Premier League games. LEICESTER COMEBACK Brentford, which beat four Premier League teams on its way to this season’s League Cup semifinals, threatened another shock when it took the lead through Mads Bech Sorensen’s sixth-minute goal against Leicester. But Leicester turned it around within six minutes at the start of the second half. James Maddison weaved through the Brentford defence to the edge of the area before teeing up Cengiz Under, who powerfully fired in the equalizer. Youri Tielemans was tripped in the area by Tariqe Fosu and the Belgium midfielder netted from the penalty spot. Maddison killed it off in the 71st minute when he tapped in the rebound after Harvey Barnes’ shot was saved. BURNLEY ADVANCES Jay Rodriguez struck twice for Burnley in a 3-0 win at Fulham — the 31-year-old striker's first goals since July. With just under 10 minutes left on the clock, Rodriguez turned provider for Kevin Long for the third. A week after they drew in the Premier League, Manchester United and Liverpool meet again in the FA Cup with Jürgen Klopp’s side struggling in its Premier League title defence. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
For two Virginia police officers who posed for a photo during the deadly U.S. Capitol insurrection, the reckoning has been swift and public: They were identified, charged with crimes and arrested. But for five Seattle officers the outcome is less clear. Their identities still secret, two are on leave and three continue to work while a police watchdog investigates whether their actions in the nation's capital on Jan. 6 crossed the line from protected political speech to lawbreaking. The contrasting cases highlight the dilemma faced by police departments nationwide as they review the behaviour of dozens of officers who were in Washington the day of the riot by supporters of President Donald Trump. Officials and experts agree that officers who were involved in the melee should be fired and charged for their role. But what about those officers who attended only the Trump rally before the riot? How does a department balance an officer's free speech rights with the blow to public trust that comes from the attendance of law enforcement at an event with far-right militants and white nationalists who went on to assault the seat of American democracy? An Associated Press survey of law enforcement agencies nationwide found that at least 31 officers in 12 states are being scrutinized by their supervisors for their behaviour in the District of Columbia or face criminal charges for participating in the riot. Officials are looking into whether the officers violated any laws or policies or participated in the violence while in Washington. 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 was shot to death by Capitol Police and three other people died after medical emergencies during the chaos. Most of the officers have not been publicly identified; only a few have been charged. Some were identified by online sleuths. Others were reported by their colleagues or turned themselves in. They come from some of the country’s largest cities — three Los Angeles officers and a sheriff’s deputy, for instance — as well as state agencies and a Pennsylvania police department with nine officers. Among them are an Oklahoma sheriff and New Hampshire police chief who have acknowledged being at the rally, but denied entering the Capitol or breaking the law. “If they were off-duty, it’s totally free speech,” said Will Aitchison, a lawyer in Portland, Oregon, who represents law enforcement officers. “People have the right to express their political views regardless of who’s standing next to them. You just don’t get guilt by association.” But Ayesha Bell Hardaway, a professor at Case Western Reserve University law school, said an officer’s presence at the rally creates a credibility issue as law enforcement agencies work to repair community trust, especially after last summer's of protests against police brutality sparked by the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Communities will question the integrity of officers who attended the rally along with “individuals who proudly profess racist and divisive viewpoints,” she said. “It calls into question whether those officers are interested in engaging in policing in a way that builds trust and legitimacy in all communities, including communities of colour.” In Rocky Mount, a Virginia town of about 1,000, Sgt. Thomas Robertson and Officer Jacob Fracker were suspended without pay and face criminal charges after posting a photo of themselves inside the Capitol during the riot. According to court records, Robertson wrote on social media that the “Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government who is the problem … The right IN ONE DAY took the f(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) U.S. Capitol. Keep poking us.” Attempts to contact the pair were unsuccessful and court records do not list lawyers. Leaders in Rocky Mount declined to be interviewed. In a statement, they said the events at the Capitol were tragic. “We stand with and add our support to those who have denounced the violence and illegal activity that took place that day,” said Police Chief Ken Criner, Capt. Mark Lovern and Town Manager James Ervin. “Our town and our police department absolutely does not condone illegal or unethical behaviour by anyone, including our officers and staff.” On the other side of the county, five Seattle officers are under investigation by the city’s Office of Police Accountability. Two officers posted photos of themselves on social media while in the district and officials are investigating to determine where they were and what they were doing. Three others told supervisors that they went to Washington for the events and are being investigated for what they did while there. Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said his department supports officers’ freedom of speech and that those who were in the nation's capital will be fired if they “were directly involved in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.” But police leaders need to evaluate more than just clear criminal behaviour, according to Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a policing research and policy group. They must also consider how their actions affect the department credibility, he said. Officers' First Amendment rights “don’t extend to expressing words that may be violent or maybe express some prejudice,” Wexler said, “because that’s going to reflect on what they do when they’re working, when they’re testifying in court.” Through the summer and fall, Seattle police — along with officers elsewhere — came under criticism for their handling of mass protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd. The city received more than 19,000 complaints against officers, most for excessive use of force and improper use of pepper spray. Andrew Myerberg, director of the Seattle Office of Police Accountability, said none of the officers now under investigation were involved in those cases. But Sakara Remmu, cofounder of Black Lives Matter Seattle/King County, said the officers should be fired regardless. Their public declarations of solidarity with Trump fosters not just community distrust, but terror of the entire department, she said. “It absolutely does matter when the decorum of racial peace cracks and racial hatred comes through, because we already have a documented history and legacy of what that means in this country,” Remmu said. In Houston, the police chief decried an officer who resigned and was later charged in the riot. A lawyer for Officer Tam Pham said the 18-year veteran of the force "very much regrets” being at the rally and was “deeply remorseful.” But many chiefs have said their officers committed no crimes. “The Arkansas State Police respects the rights and freedom of an employee to use their leave time as the employee may choose,” department spokesman Bill Sadler said of two officers who attended the Trump rally. Malik Aziz, the former chair and executive director of the National Black Police Association, compared condemning all officers who were in Washington to tarring all the protesters who took to streets after the killing of George Floyd with the violent and destructive acts of some. A major with the Dallas Police Department, Aziz said police acting privately have the same rights as other Americans, but that knowingly going to a bigoted event should be disqualifying for an officer. “There’s no place in law enforcement for that individual,” Aziz said. Martha Bellisle And Jake Bleiberg, The Associated Press
Saskatchewan's premier says the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline isn't over yet. In a recent interview with CBC's Rosemary Barton, Premier Scott Moe says conversations around the TC Energy project are ongoing, despite U.S. President Joe Biden's recent cancellation of the pipeline's permit by executive order. "I wouldn't say this project is over by any stretch. There is a lot of conversation to have on KXL," Moe said in an interview on Rosemary Barton Live. The 1,897-kilometre pipeline would have carried 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from oilsands in Hardisty, Alta., to Nebraska, connecting to the original Keystone pipeline running to the U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. A portion of the project would have crossed into southern Saskatchewan. Moe, along with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Ontario Premier Doug Ford, has pushed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal government to take action against the pipeline's halt. That could include economic sanctions, Moe suggested — a possibility also raised by Kenney. "I haven't said that we should go to sanctions and sanctions should be utilized first," Moe said in his interview with Barton. "But sanctions are always on the table in any conversation or any challenge that we may have with our trading relationship with our largest partner." The project, originally blocked by U.S. President Barack Obama, was then approved by President Donald Trump, who wanted to negotiate the terms of the project, before ultimately being blocked again by Biden in the first days of his presidency. Federal Opposition leader Erin O'Toole has also expressed frustration over the cancellation of the project, saying in a statement it "will devastate thousands of Canadian families who have already been badly hurt by the economic crisis." Trudeau's government has repeatedly said that it supports the project and has made that clear to the new U.S. administration, but both the prime minister and Canada's ambassador to the U.S. have said it is time to respect the decision and move on. Speaking on Friday morning, Trudeau reiterated his disappointment with the cancellation and said he would raise the issue during his phone call with Biden scheduled for later in the day. "Obviously the decision on Keystone XL is a very difficult one for workers in Alberta and Saskatchewan who've had many difficult hits," he said. "Over the past years we have been there for them and we will continue to be there for them and I will express my concern for jobs and livelihoods in Canada, particularly in the West, directly in my conversation with President Biden." Trudeau stressed he and the new president are on the same wavelength on fighting climate change and middle-class job creation, as well as the "values of Canadians." Moe called the cancellation a "devastating blow to North American energy security," and said in the interview with Barton he'll continue to advocate for the pipeline, which he says has both economic and environmental benefits for Canada.
Canada Post says 350 employees and contractors who work on the same shift at a Mississauga, Ont. facility were told to leave the workplace on Friday and go into isolation for 14 days. Phil Legault, spokesperson for the Crown corporation, said Peel Public Health recommended the "precautionary measure" late Friday to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus. Employees who work on that shift but who were not at work on Friday have been told not to return to work for 14 days starting on the last day of work, he said. The facility is Gateway East, located at 4567 Dixie Rd. Workers affected by the move include union members, team leaders, managers, support teams and cleaners on contract. "We understand this situation has been hard on employees at the facility and we will continue to follow the guidance of Public Health and keep them informed," Legault said in a statement on Saturday. "Given the significance of the Gateway facility within our processing network, we are evaluating and adapting our existing contingency plans to manage the impact on customers." Canada Post is pledging to conduct rapid COVID-19 testing at the site next week of employees who have been working on another shift at Gateway East. The Crown corporation said employees who refuse to be tested will need to go into isolation for 14 days. Legault said Canada Post will enforce all safety protocols, with an increased focus on washrooms, lunchrooms and locker rooms. COVID-19 outbreak having an impact on mail delivery Canada Post has been offering voluntary testing to all other employees at the facility and that testing is set to resume on Sunday. It said employees who develop symptoms outside the workplace must get tested at an assessment centre and follow instructions. Rapid testing at the facility, done by the Crown corporation and Peel Public Health, has resulted in a total of 42 positive tests from Tuesday last week to Sunday, Canada Post says. Canada Post has had 190 positive cases at the facility since Jan. 1. Legault has said the corporation has been told by Peel Public Health that it can continue its operations at Gateway East despite the outbreak. In an interview last week, he said: "The Gateway facility is central to our entire national delivery and processing network, and the COVID safety measures we have implemented nationwide are having an impact on our delivery service." Union members sent home will be paid while in isolation The Canadian Union of Postal Workers says it has taken steps to ensure that management is respecting quarantine line provisions in its collective agreement. That means union members who are sent home will be paid while in isolation and away from work. Jan Simpson, national president of CUPW, said in a news release on Sunday that measures to curb the outbreak should not come at a cost to workers. "Workers should not be penalized for needing to isolate and protect themselves, their families, their coworkers and their communities," Simpson said in the release. "Unions have always fought for the health and safety of workers, and the pandemic has brought this issue to the forefront of society. In order for us to ensure safe workplaces, this must be a priority for everyone." Of the precautionary measure to send workers home, Simpson said: "We are pleased that public health authorities have finally made the right call, listened to the Union, and prioritized the health and safety of workers." "Postal workers are on the front lines, helping people stay home and flatten the curve, but it should not be at the expense of their health and well-being." CUPW said it continues to work with Canada Post and Peel Public health to make sure health and safety protocols are adequate and enforced to prevent future outbreaks. That means the union is helping to ensure that the highest level of cleaning is done in the facility, proper protective equipment is available to all workers, and physical distancing is respected. More than 4,500 people work at the facility.
CHICAGO — The Chicago Teachers Union said Sunday that its members voted to defy an order to return to the classroom before they are vaccinated against the coronavirus, setting up a showdown with district officials who have said such a move would amount to an illegal strike. The nation's third-largest school district wanted roughly 10,000 K-8 teachers and other staffers to return to school on Monday to get ready to welcome back roughly 70,000 students for part-time in-school classes starting Feb. 1. No return date has been set for high school students. The teachers union, though, opposed the plan over concern for the health of its members and called on them to continue teaching from home in defiance of the district's plan. The roughly 355,000-student district, which turned to full-time online instruction last March because of the pandemic, has gradually welcomed students back. The parents of thousands of pre-K and special education students chose this month to resume in-person learning, and teachers who didn't return to their classrooms were punished. The union’s collective bargaining agreement, which was approved after a 2019 strike, prohibits its roughly 25,000 members from striking and bars district officials from locking them out. District officials have said a union vote to disobey the order to return to schools on Monday would violate the contract. Union officials, though, say returning to in-person instruction before its members are vaccinated would put them at greater risk of contracting the virus. They argue that if the district tries to punish teachers for staying home Monday, then the district would be responsible for a work stoppage. The district on Friday said it would begin vaccinating teachers and staff starting in mid-February and that the process would take months. A union lawyer told the Chicago Sun-Times that the union wants to let teachers and other staffers continue working from home until they are vaccinated, with individuals returning to school after receiving the first of their two vaccine shots. The vote comes at a time of great uncertainty in the U.S. about how and when schools should resume in-person instruction. President Joe Biden has pledged to have a majority of schools reopened within his first 100 days in office. He is promising new federal guidelines on school opening decisions, and a “large-scale” Education Department effort to identify and share the best ways to teach during a pandemic. Sophia Tareen, The Associated Press
Parks Canada is warning skaters who take to frozen lakes to monitor lake thickness very carefully after four skaters fell through the ice at Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park over a two-day period. According to the government agency, three of the skaters were able to self-rescue, while one required a rescue response. Russ Geyer, deputy chief of the Banff Fire Department, said the department responded on Saturday to a report of two people who had fallen through the ice at Lake Minnewanka. Geyer said a female in her 20s fell through the ice while skating. "She was trapped out on the thin ice, was probably there for 30 minutes in the water, or partially in the water," he said. "Then, a male that was with her in his 20s tried to rescue her, and he ended up breaking through thin ice." People have been skating on areas near shore on Lake Minnewanka for a month, Geyer said. "Unfortunately, further out in the lake, some of that water is open," Geyer said. "People are venturing further and further out and that ice is definitely not safe enough further out. And that's unfortunately what the consequence was when they skated out there." The female was taken to Banff Mineral Springs Hospital with hypothermia and the male was examined and released on scene. No information on the other skaters was immediately available. Parks Canada said skaters should understand that ice thickness varies considerably over short distances. The recommended minimum thickness for ice skating is 15 centimetres, or six inches of solid ice. Skaters should have equipment like ropes, PFDs or ice picks available for self-rescue, the agency said.
WASHINGTON — As the House prepares to bring the impeachment charge against Donald Trump to the Senate for trial, a growing number of Republican senators say they are opposed to the proceeding, dimming the chances that former president will be convicted on the charge that he incited a siege of the U.S. Capitol. House Democrats will carry the sole impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection” across the Capitol late Monday evening, a rare and ceremonial walk to the Senate by the prosecutors who will argue their case. They are hoping that strong Republican denunciations of Trump after the Jan. 6 riot will translate into a conviction and a separate vote to bar Trump from holding office again. But instead, GOP passions appear to have cooled since the insurrection. Now that Trump's presidency is over, Republican senators who will serve as jurors in the trial are rallying to his legal defence, as they did during his first impeachment trial last year. “I think the trial is stupid, I think it’s counterproductive,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.. He said that "the first chance I get to vote to end this trial, I’ll do it” because he believes it would be bad for the country and further inflame partisan divisions. Trump is the first former president to face impeachment trial, and it will test his grip on the Republican Party as well as the legacy of his tenure, which came to a close as a mob of loyal supporters heeded his rally cry by storming the Capitol and trying to overturn Joe Biden's election. The proceedings will also force Democrats, who have a full sweep of party control of the White House and Congress, to balance their promise to hold the former president accountable while also rushing to deliver on Biden's priorities. Arguments in the Senate trial will begin the week of Feb. 8. Leaders in both parties agreed to the short delay to give Trump's team and House prosecutors time to prepare and the Senate the chance to confirm some of Biden’s Cabinet nominees. Democrats say the extra days will allow for more evidence to come out about the rioting by Trump supporters, while Republicans hope to craft a unified defence for Trump. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday that he hopes that evolving clarity on the details of what happened Jan. 6 “will make it clearer to my colleagues and the American people that we need some accountability.” Coons questioned how his colleagues who were in the Capitol that day could see the insurrection as anything other than a “stunning violation” of tradition of peaceful transfers of power. “It is a critical moment in American history and we have to look at it and look at it hard,” Coons said. An early vote to dismiss the trial probably would not succeed, given that Democrats now control the Senate. Still, the mounting Republican opposition indicates that many GOP senators would eventually vote to acquit Trump. Democrats would need the support of 17 Republicans — a high bar — to convict him. When the House impeached Trump on Jan. 13, exactly one week after the siege, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said he didn’t believe the Senate had the constitutional authority to convict Trump after he had left office. On Sunday, Cotton said “the more I talk to other Republican senators, the more they’re beginning to line up” behind that argument. “I think a lot of Americans are going to think it’s strange that the Senate is spending its time trying to convict and remove from office a man who left office a week ago,” Cotton said. Democrats reject that argument, pointing to a 1876 impeachment of a secretary of war who had already resigned and to opinions by many legal scholars. Democrats also say that a reckoning of the first invasion of the Capitol since the War of 1812, perpetrated by rioters egged on by a president who told them to “fight like hell” against election results that were being counted at the time, is necessary so the country can move forward and ensure such a siege never happens again. A few GOP senators have agreed with Democrats, though not close to the number that will be needed to convict Trump. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said he believes there is a “preponderance of opinion” that an impeachment trial is appropriate after someone leaves office. “I believe that what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offence,” Romney said. “If not, what is?” But Romney, the lone Republican to vote to convict Trump when the Senate acquitted the then-president in last year’s trial, appears to be an outlier. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, said he believes a trial is a “moot point” after a president's term is over, “and I think it’s one that they would have a very difficult time in trying to get done within the Senate.” On Friday, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close Trump ally who has been helping him build a legal team, urged the Senate to reject the idea of a post-presidency trial — potentially with a vote to dismiss the charge — and suggested Republicans will scrutinize whether Trump’s words on Jan. 6 were legally “incitement.” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who said last week that Trump “provoked” his supporters before the riot, has not said how he will vote or argued any legal strategies. The Kentucky senator has told his GOP colleagues that it will be a vote of conscience. One of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nine impeachment managers said Trump’s encouragement of his loyalists before the riot was "an extraordinarily heinous presidential crime." Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pennsylvania., said "I mean, think back. It was just two-and-a-half weeks ago that the president assembled a mob on the Ellipse of the White House. He incited them with his words. And then he lit the match.” Trump’s supporters invaded the Capitol and interrupted the electoral count as he falsely claimed there was massive fraud in the election and that it was stolen by Biden. Trump’s claims were roundly rejected in the courts, including by judges appointed by Trump, and by state election officials. Rubio and Romney were on “Fox News Sunday,” Cotton appeared on Fox News Channel's “Sunday Morning Futures” and Romney also was on CNN's “State of the Union,” as was Dean. Rounds was interviewed on NBC's “Meet the Press.” ___ Associated Press writer Hope Yen contributed to this report. Mary Clare Jalonick And Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
A family-owned grocer in Calgary is giving back to support neighbouring businesses hurting from the pandemic. Darren Hollman, owner of the European Deli and Produce Market, says because his business is essential, he hasn't faced the same struggles a restaurant or retailer might. "We're an essential business and people have to eat, [so] we haven't been affected nearly as bad as some of the other places have been. We've been operating at 15 per cent [capacity] but we feel we can give back so that's why we're doing it," he said. This weekend, the store is offering some staples like apples, potatoes and carrots at "pay-what-you-can" prices — customers decide what the want to pay, and 100 per cent of the proceeds will go toward supporting Platoon Fitness, Crolux Tailoring and Marco's Kitchen, all businesses impacted by public health restrictions. "The customers have been very receptive to it and have done a lot to help — like giving over and above which is nice to see," he said. Shopper Elena Khomiak said she was picking up apples, even though she doesn't need any, as a chance to support local. "We'll pay, I don't know, $50 or $100, the most expensive apples I've ever had," she said with a laugh. The fundraiser will run until 6 p.m. Sunday.
Airbus said on Sunday about 500 of its staff had gone into quarantine after 21 workers at its aircraft factory in Hamburg tested positive for the new coronavirus. The company said the staff had been asked to stay at home as a precautionary measure and it was examining whether the measures would impact production at the site. Health officials were still investigating what caused the outbreak, a spokesman of the Hamburg health authority said.
Nova Scotia had a single new case of COVID-19 to report Sunday along with two recoveries, bringing the total of known active cases to 19. The new case is in the central health zone and is a student at Dalhousie University. According to a provincial news release, the student lives off campus, is from Nova Scotia and is self-isolating. Public health is investigating. In the news release, Premier Stephen McNeil is quoted saying the low number of cases is encouraging, "but we are seeing that some of the recent cases are more complex than others." "It's another reminder that we need to stay vigilant to contain the virus — limit our social contacts, keep a social distance, wear a mask, stay home if feeling unwell and follow all the other public health measures," McNeil said. Restrictions easing Monday Starting Monday, sports teams will be able to play games, but with limits on travel and spectators, and there can be no games or tournaments involving teams that would not regularly play against each other. Art and theatre performances can take place without an audience. The province will also allow residents of adult service centres and regional rehabilitation centres to start volunteering and working in the community again. Also starting Monday, mental health and addictions support groups can meet in groups of 25, up from 10, with physical distancing. Drop-in testing in Wolfville Late Friday, Nova Scotia's health authority said it would hold a pop-up testing clinic in Wolfville this weekend after an Acadia University student tested positive for COVID-19. The student tested positive after completing their 14-day self-isolation. They are self-isolating again, but did attend class Jan. 18-20. Drop-in testing will be available at the Acadia Festival Theatre on Sunday until 5 p.m. Individuals may visit the clinic if they have no symptoms of COVID-19, are not a close contact of a person with the virus and are not isolating because of travel outside of Nova Scotia, P.E.I. or Newfoundland and Labrador. Atlantic Canada case numbers MORE TOP STORIES
GREEN BAY, Wis. — An 85-year-old Green Bay Packers fan who has never missed a playoff game at Lambeau Field thought her streak was coming to an end this week until two charitable brothers heard her story. Fritzie Neitzel, of Green Bay, went to her first Packers game with her father in October 1945, when she was 10. “When I was born they didn’t put red blood in me. I got green in one side and gold in the other,” Neitzel said. As longtime season ticket holders, her family tried buying seats for the NFC championship game once they went on sale Wednesday. They were unsuccessful. That's when Neitzel heard about the Spirit of Wisconsin Booster Club led by Steve Ewing, of Milwaukee, and Neal Ewing, of Green Bay. Organized in 2015, the Spirit of Wisconsin Booster Club has been asking people to send the Ewings their most compelling stories and explain why they’re deserving of the opportunity to attend playoff games. Neitzel was this week's recipient of two tickets to Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Packers said all tickets on cellphones are nontransferable, with no exceptions. So Steve Ewing drove from Milwaukee to Green Bay on Saturday to hand off the phone with the tickets. “Still a total mess, to tell you the truth. It’s just, I keep pinching myself. I’m thinking, am I dreaming or is this real?” Neitzel told WITI-TV. Said Neal Ewing: “There’s no comparison to the reward of the joy because it’s bigger than money. It’s bigger than any of the other things people chase around." ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL The Associated Press
Officials in President Joe Biden's administration tried to head off Republican concerns that his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief proposal was too expensive on a Sunday call with Republican and Democratic lawmakers, some of whom pushed for a smaller plan targeting vaccine distribution. "It seems premature to be considering a package of this size and scope," said Republican Senator Susan Collins, who was on the call with Brian Deese, director of the White House's National Economic Council, and other top Biden aides.
Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc says the Privy Council Office plans to advise Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the coming week on replacing the governor general.
Sarnia Police Service, Sarnia Fire and Lambton Paramedics responded to a call related to a deceased woman on Saturday evening, according to a Sunday media release. Emergency responders arrived at a residence in the 200 block of Essex Street at around 6:20 p.m. where they found a dead woman — now identified as Sue Elin Lumsden, a 66-year-old Sarnia resident. "Members of the Sarnia Police Service Criminal Investigations Branch have since taken over the investigation and are treating it as a homicide," the statement reads, making it the third death treated as a homicide in the city this month. The investigation is still preliminary and the residence is currently being held as a crime scene. Police urge residents to keep their windows and doors locked and secured. Residents in the area who have video surveillance are asked to contact Sarnia Police Service. Anyone with information is asked to call the Criminal Investigations Branch Information Line at 519-344-8861, ext. 5300, or Sarnia Lambton Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Parts of New Brunswick are reporting fewer cases of COVID-19 recently, but numbers remain high in the Moncton and Edmundston health zones. The province announced 20 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, mostly in those areas. Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer, said there have been about 48 cases in the Moncton area, or Zone 1, in the last seven days. Of those cases, 12 are related to travel and many others are close contacts. There are five people hospitalized with the virus across the province with two in intensive care. The latest numbers bring the total number of active cases to 334. The Moncton region (Zone 1) confirmed 10 new cases, which include: four people 19 and under. an individual 20-29. an individual 30-39. an individual 50-59. two people 60-69. an individual 70-79. The Edmundston region (Zone 4) reported nine new cases: two people 19 and under. an individual 20-29. an individual 40-49. three people 50-59. an individual 60-69. an individual 80-89. The Miramichi region (Zone 7), reported one new case: an individual 50-59. All of the new cases are self-isolating and under investigation. New Brunswick has confirmed 1,124 total cases of COVID-19 and 776 recoveries. There have been 13 deaths. Public Health has conducted 185,936 since the start of the pandemic, including 3,000 since Saturday's update. More schools to close Schools in the Edmundston zone are now closed as part of the lockdown. But on Sunday, the province also announced that five schools in neighbouring Zone 3 will also move to learn-from-home models. In Perth-Andover: Andover Elementary School. Perth-Andover Middle School. Southern Victoria High School. In Plaster Rock: Donald Fraser Memorial School. Tobique Valley High. The province said those schools are closing due to "operational challenges as a significant portion of the school community lives within Zone 4." Staff in Zone 4 will work from home, while staff in Zone 3 will continue to work from their schools. A device-loaning program will be available for families of students in grades 3-8 who do not have access to technology at home. Two new deaths at Shannex Shannex Parkland in Saint John posted an update on its website Sunday saying two residents of Lily Court who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 died last week. One resident died on Thursday and the other on Friday. The province has not announced any new COVID related deaths in recent days. In an email, a government spokesperson said "without getting into too many specifics and breaking confidentiality, a person who is positive for COVID-19 can die from other circumstances." In its release, Shannex said reporting on whether a resident has died as a result of COVID-19 is sometimes complicated because of multiple health-care partners involved. "Communicating openly with our residents, families and employees is a priority at Shannex and we understand that the delay in communicating the details may create some confusion, and we apologize for this." Workplace transmission in Moncton A diaper manufacturing plant in Moncton confirmed a contracted worker tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. Irving Personal Care confirmed the case on Thursday, according to a statement. "Contact tracing was completed and submitted to Public Health and we are co-operating fully with the province," said Stephen Donaher, vice president of operations. "On Thursday, we shut down operations and completed a full sanitization and disinfection of our entire plant." Employees required to self-isolate continue to be paid, a practice which has been in place since the start of the pandemic, the company said. The plant reopened Friday, according to a release. Russell said transmission is still being detected in workplace settings. "It really is important that people hear the message around testing," she said in an interview. There are now 90 total active cases in the Moncton region. RCMP say several people were ticketed at a demonstration outside of Moncton City Hall on Saturday. Staff Sgt. Jeff Johnston couldn't confirm the number of tickets handed out or the number of arrests, or the reasons for the arrests or tickets. "The tickets that were issued were in relation to the Emergency Measures Act," he said. Rapid tests less accurate Irving Personal Care said it conducted rapid testing on 150 employees at the diaper facility following the positive case. The company said all the results returned negative and it plans to conduct another round of tests next week. But Russell said rapid tests or antigen tests have a lower reliability for asymptomatic people, as they are designed for people experiencing symptoms. "If people test negative it's not really reassuring," she said. Public Health is not using rapid antigen tests to prevent false positives. Russell said testing has increased in Zone 3 with a new site in Perth-Andover to gain a better picture of the situation. "We can't get all the right information unless all the people who have symptoms are getting tested," she said. Russell said if testing capacity grows, it will make it easier to determine if some regions can return to orange and yellow levels. Zone 4 lockdown begins The Edmundston and Grand Falls region (Zone 4) entered full lockdown on Saturday, which is expected to last for a minimum of two weeks. Most non-essential businesses have been forced to close, and schools are switching to virtual learning on Monday. Cathy Pelletier, executive director of Edmundston Regional Chamber of Commerce, said she's really concerned about the tourism industry. "Being in a lockdown right now, nobody can come here and no one can come out," she said. "Basically the hotels are empty right now." Grocery stores, pharmacies, NB Liquor stores and Cannabis NB stores will remain open. Veterinary clinics can also stay open with animals dropped off at the curb. Libraries will open to allow internet access. Regulated health-care professionals, such as dentists, can continue to operate. The province said early childhood education facilities can also continue to operate, with the help of a $3 hourly wage boost for employees who work during the lockdown. Edmundston faces few hospital beds Health-care workers in northwest New Brunswick are concerned about the availability of intensive care beds as case numbers climb. The Edmundston Regional Hospital only has 11 beds for intensive care. With case numbers in Zone 4 surging, there are worries those beds could fill up. The health region began a full lockdown on Saturday and has 144 active cases of COVID-19. Dr. Laurie Malenfant said there are COVID-positive patients at the hospital. "We have some who are even fighting for their lives," she told Radio-Canada. "It makes the environment a little stressful because we know they won't be the last patients to come with what is happening in the community." The province announced 17 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, including 10 in the Edmundston and Grand Falls region. Nine more new cases were announced for the region on Sunday. The region is also grappling with cases inside long-term care homes. Manoir Belle Vue, a special care home in Edmundston, has confirmed 20 positive cases. Public Health has also declared outbreaks at Le Pavillon Le Royer, another long-term care home in Edmundston, and Foyer Ste-Elizabeth in nearby Baker Brook. Malenfant said while health-care workers have the situation under control, things could change rapidly. The beds in the Edmundston hospital's intensive care unit are not solely for those with COVID-19. "Other illnesses continue to enter, we need to be able to provide good service to everyone, not just to people who will have contracted the virus," Malenfant said. There are fears that health-care workers could become infected, leading to a reduction in staffing capacity. "Employees who are certified to work with people in critical care situations, we have a limited number," said Malenfant.
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund plans to double its assets to 4 trillion riyals ($1.07 trillion) by 2025, Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Sunday, a move that would make it one of the world's biggest sovereign wealth funds. The fund would invest 3 trillion riyals in new sectors over the next 10 years, said the prince, who is Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler and chairs the fund's board. A new five-year plan would make the fund "the leading catalyst for Saudi Arabia’s economic transformation and diversification," the prince added in a speech on state TV.