Here's the latest for Friday November 27th: Trump says he'll leave if he loses the Electoral College; Fire danger prompts Southern California blackouts; Small private funeral for Diego Maradona; Shorter-than-usual lines expected for Black Friday.
Here's the latest for Friday November 27th: Trump says he'll leave if he loses the Electoral College; Fire danger prompts Southern California blackouts; Small private funeral for Diego Maradona; Shorter-than-usual lines expected for Black Friday.
WASHINGTON — Three new senators were sworn into office Wednesday after President Joe Biden's inauguration, securing the majority for Democrats in the Senate and across a unified government to tackle the new president's agenda at a time of unprecedented national challenges. In a first vote, the Senate confirmed Biden's nominee for Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines. Senators worked into the evening and overcame some Republican opposition to approve his first Cabinet member, in what's traditionally a show of good faith on Inauguration Day to confirm at least some nominees for a new president's administration. Haines, a former CIA deputy director, will become a core member of Biden’s security team, overseeing the agencies that make up the nation’s intelligence community. She was confirmed 84-10. The new Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urged colleagues to turn the spirit of the new president’s call for unity into action. “President Biden, we heard you loud and clear,” Schumer said in his first . “We have a lengthy agenda. And we need to get it done together.” Vice-President Kamala Harris drew applause as she entered the chamber to deliver the oath of office to the new Democratic senators — Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock and Alex Padilla — just hours after taking her own oath at the Capitol alongside Biden. The three Democrats join a Senate narrowly split 50-50 between the parties, but giving Democrats the majority with Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote. Ossoff, a former congressional aide and investigative journalist, and Warnock, a pastor from the late Martin Luther King Jr.'s church in Atlanta, won run-off elections in Georgia this month, defeating two Republicans. Padilla was tapped by California’s governor to finish the remainder of Harris’ term. “Today, America is turning over a new leaf. We are turning the page on the last four years, we’re going to reunite the country, defeat COVID-19, rush economic relief to the people,” Ossoff told reporters earlier at the Capitol. “That’s what they sent us here to do.” Taken together, their arrival gives Democrats for the first time in a decade control of the Senate, the House and the White House, as Biden faces the unparalleled challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and its economic fallout, and the nation's painful political divisions from the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol by a mob loyal to Donald Trump. Congress is being called on to consider Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion COVID recovery package, to distribute vaccines and shore up an economy as more than 400,000 Americans have died from the virus. At the same time, the Senate is about to launch an impeachment trial of Trump, charged by the House of inciting the insurrection at the Capitol as rioters tried to interrupt the Electoral College tally and overturn Biden’s election. The Senate will need to confirm other Biden Cabinet nominees. To “restore the soul” of the country, Biden said in his inaugural speech, requires “unity.” Yet as Washington looks to turn the page from Trump to the Biden administration, Republican leader Mitch McConnell is not relinquishing power without a fight. Haines' nomination was temporarily blocked by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Okla., as he sought information about the CIA's enhanced interrogation program. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is holding back the Homeland Security nominee Alejandro Mayorkas over Biden's proposed immigration changes. And McConnell is refusing to enter a power-sharing agreement with Senate Democrats unless they meet his demands, chiefly to preserve the Senate filibuster — the procedural tool often used by the minority party to block bills under rules that require 60 votes to advance legislation. McConnell, in his first speech as the minority party leader, said the election results with narrow Democratic control of the House and Senate showed that Americans “intentionally entrusted both political parties with significant power.” The Republican leader said he looked forward working with the new president “wherever possible.” At her first White House briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden’s desire to have his Cabinet confirmed and in place is “front and centre for the president,” and she said he was hoping to have his national security nominees in place Thursday or Friday. Psaki said the president will be “quite involved” in negotiations over the COVID relief package, but left the details of the upcoming impeachment trial to Congress. The Senate can “multitask,” she said. That’s a tall order for a Senate under normal circumstances, but even more so now in the post-Trump era, with Republicans badly split between their loyalties to the defeated president and wealthy donors who are distancing themselves from Republicans who back Trump. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to soon transmit to the Senate the House-passed article of impeachment against Trump, charged with incitement of insurrection, a step that will launch the Senate impeachment trial. Meantime, the power-sharing talks between Schumer and McConnell have hit a stalemate. It’s an arcane fight McConnell has inserted into what has traditionally been a more routine organizing resolution over committee assignments and staffing resources, but a power play by the outgoing Republican leader grabbing at tools that can be used to block Biden’s agenda. Progressive and liberal Democrats are eager to do away with the filibuster to more quickly advance Biden’s priorities, but not all rank-and-file Senate Democrats are on board. Schumer has not agreed to any changes but McConnell is taking no chances. For now, it will take unanimous consent among senators to toggle between conducting votes on legislative business and serving as jurors in the impeachment trial. The House last week impeached Trump for having sent the mob to the Capitol to “fight like hell” during the tally of Electoral College votes to overturn Biden’s election. __ Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report. Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
JOHANNESBURG — South Africa's trailblazing Black food writer Dorah Sitole's latest cookbook was widely hailed in December as a moving chronicle of her journey from humble township cook to famous, well-travelled author. The country's new Black celebrity chefs lined up to praise her as a mentor who encouraged them to succeed by highlighting what they knew best: tasty African food. Now they are mourning Sitole's death this month from COVID-19. She was 65. In “40 Years of Iconic Food,” Sitole engagingly described how she quietly battled South Africa's racist apartheid system to find appreciation, and a market, for African cuisine. Her book became a holiday bestseller, purchased by Blacks and whites alike. Sitole's career started in 1980 at the height of apartheid when she was hired by a canned foods company to promote sales of their products by giving cooking classes in Black townships. She found that she loved the work. In 1987, Sitole became the country's first Black food writer when she was appointed food editor for True Love, one of the few publications for the country's Black majority. The magazine, and its competitor Drum, were known for giving Black writers, photographers and editors the freedom to write about the Black condition and experience. With stories that were about much more than food, Sitole described how traditional African dishes brought pleasure to families and communities in troubled times. She was known for her distinctive takes on well-known recipes and tips on how to make them on a budget. She won an avid readership and became a household name, even as South Africa's townships were roiled by anti-apartheid violence. When apartheid ended and Nelson Mandela became president in 1994, Sitole found new opportunities. She trained as a Cordon Bleu chef and got a diploma in marketing. She travelled across Africa to learn about the continent's cuisine, producing the book “Cooking from Cape to Cairo.” In interviews, she pointed out her East African fish dish with basmati rice that she developed while travelling through that region, and the seafood samp recipe, which is basically a paella using chopped corn kernels instead of the traditional rice. In 2008, Sitole's success was acknowledged when she was appointed True Love's editor-in-chief. Sitole's warmth and generosity is credited with opening doors for many Black chefs, food writers and influencers who are thriving in South Africa today. “Mam (mother) Dorah’s approach to food was a mixture of things. First, it was something that was driven by her background, she was very true to who she was," said Siba Mtongana, one of South Africa's brightest new chefs, who started out as food editor for Drum magazine and now has a television series and cookbooks. “She would take what we grew up eating and add a twist to them, and add flavours that we would not ordinarily have thought of putting together,” said Mtongana who has opened a restaurant in Cape Town, featuring food from all over Africa. She said Sitole imbued her with a passion for exposing the world to Africa's many cuisines saying she loved describing to her readers what others enjoy eating across Africa, and around the world. Another chef who credits Sitole for assisting her is Khanya Mzongwana, a contributing editor for food retailer Woolworths’ Taste magazine. “Mam Dorah wore so many hats — she was a writer, a creator, a mother, a friend, a real artist. I remember just how awesome it was to see a Black woman blazing trails in food media. Nobody was doing that," said Mzongwana. “What made Mam Dorah the best was definitely how she could fill a space with pleasantness," said Mzongwana. “She was so generous with her resources and wanted to see all of us — her daughters — win. Paying it forward in meaningful ways is something I saw Mam Dorah do first," she said. “She loved and respected everybody and made what seemed like such a wild dream appear so reachable and normal. She was one of the most impactful Black women in the food world.” Sitole received numerous awards for her contribution to South African culture. In one of her last interviews, Sitole said the highlight of her four-decade career was her trip across the continent. “I had always wanted to travel through Africa and I had no clue what to expect," she said on Radio 702. "It was almost like you don’t know what you are going into, and then you find it. I loved every moment and every country that I went to, I loved the food and the experience." Sitole is survived by her children Nonhlanhla, Phumzile and Ayanda. Mogomotsi Magome, The Associated Press
Premier François Legault on Tuesday nixed the idea that homeless people could be exempt from the 8 p.m. provincewide curfew. The premier said he trusts police officers to use their judgment and said he could not exempt homeless people from the rule, because then other people could pose as homeless to take advantage of the loophole. "They do not intend to give tickets to homeless people," Legault said of the police. "If we put in the rules the fact that a homeless person could not receive a ticket, then anybody could say, 'I'm a homeless person, so you don't have the right to give me a ticket." Earlier in the day, Mayor Valérie Plante called for homeless people to be exempt from the curfew. "What I want is for people to feel safe in Montreal. I don't want to exacerbate that fragility, that vulnerability that is already present," she said, clarifying that she still wants the homeless to find safe spaces to spend the night, but without the added pressure of the curfew. "I'm not encouraging people to sleep in the streets. That is not my message. My message is to use the resources." Plante made the declaration to reporters near city hall two days after a homeless man was found dead inside a portable toilet, steps away from a warming station where he could have spent the night had it not been closed because of COVID-19 concerns. It was another example of how the pandemic and the curfew have combined to complicate life for some of Montreal's homeless and the shelter workers who care for them. "They're giving their all," Plante said of the workers, "but it's certain that the curfew is raising the level of stress and anxiety and, at a certain point, the sense of security among the visitors as well." Plante said she hoped the police would use their judgment and that homeless people would not feel persecuted, but she said she was hesitant to go against Quebec and direct Montreal police officers not to ticket the homeless. City councillor and head of the official opposition, Lionel Perez, said the mayor needs to be more clear. "Simply asking for tolerance isn't sufficient," he said. "She has to, with the chief of police, give clear orientation that this is not what we want." Despite the creation of a record number of beds for Montreal's homeless since the start of the pandemic, overnight capacity is strained. The mayor said 95 per cent of shelter beds are occupied on some nights, and there have not been enough beds on others. She pleaded for the Quebec government to provide more resources. "What we're learning is that some nights, it overflows," she said. "Some nights there are still beds available, but other nights there are not." At The Open Door on Tuesday, safety inspectors arrived to see if it could reopen as a warming station for the homeless overnight. John Tessier, an intervention worker and coordinator at the drop-in centre — which is located steps away from where Raphaël André's body was found on Sunday morning, said they were hoping they would soon get permission to stay open overnight. "We knew that something like this was very likely to happen, and sure enough it did. Now, after tragedy strikes, everybody and the powers that be seem to be moving their feet to try to get something done," he said. Tessier said the police in the area have, for the most part, been tolerant and understanding of the plight of the homeless, but the curfew still "adds another layer of stress to an already difficult life." "Of course it's unhelpful," he said. "It's nice that they're talking about not ticketing people, but curfew or not, it's Montreal, Canada in January and February. Curfew or not, people need somewhere to be." Matthew Lapierre, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Gazette
Premier Scott Moe floated further enforcement of ‘bad actors’ Tuesday in response to videos circulating of alleged flagrant violations of COVID-19 restrictions at restaurants and bars. Moe said he has asked public health to look at stricter enforcement, including ordering businesses to close. In a press conference on Tuesday Moe addressed a video that surfaced of the Tap Brewhouse and Liquor Store in Regina over the weekend. “I’m sure many saw the video this past weekend with patrons in a bar or restaurant here in Regina where they were evidently and flagrantly outside of what the public health orders recommend and certainly outside of what the public health laws allow for. But the vast majority of our restaurants in this province are adhering to our public health orders that are in place but there are these few outliers that are not,” Moe gave the example of sports still being restricted in the province and a petition circulating for a return of sports in the province. “I have sitting on my desk right now a petition with over 10,000 signatures on it, signatures from parents, form adults that are asking to allow their children to play hockey or to have the opportunity for competitive youth recreation,” Moe said. Moe explained that he asks himself if all restaurants need to be punished for the actions of a few who don’t adhere to public health restrictions. “We don’t need to punish all of those that are following the public health orders. But to those establishments and those individuals who flagrantly operating outside of the public health orders — they do need to be punished,” he said. However introducing new measures was off the table until the current measures have completed on Jan. 29. “I don’t believe that we need new measures put in place to bend the COVID curve here in Saskatchewan. We do need everyone to follow the measures that are in place and enough is enough. It is time for us to start enforcing those that are not following those measures,” Moe said. Moe said that children are making sacrifices including sports and it is time for adults to make the same. Moe said he has talked to public health and encourages law enforcement, when there is flagrant violations of orders in establishments, to ramp enforcement up. “We are not going to punish everyone for the acts of a few,” Moe said. Chief Medical Health Officer Saqib Shahab described his own dilemma regarding case numbers. “It is a hard and difficult situation because we continue to be stuck in this 300 range and you know like I said before we want to be heading down below 250, below 200, below 150 that is where we need to go and in December we were heading in that direction and over the holidays we really went down but that was artificial because our testing went down,” he said. Shahab said that case numbers so far in January are spiking due to a lack of compliance with public health orders over the Holiday season. “We saw cases over 300 or 400. Now, we are not seeing those numbers so much but we are seeing examples where people aren’t complying with the guidance and it seems to be mostly younger people or in situations where people seem compelled to go because of the death of a loved one and we are seeing transmission there.” Baseline transmission is high at 300 cases a day. Shahab said small gatherings can create transmissions. There have also been outbreaks connected to funerals and wakes in the north that have created uncontrolled spread. “I think we need to pay our respects virtually as much as possible. Guidance allows for close family and friends to get together for those occasions. But I think overall we have to be very cautious,” The trend numbers also show hospitalization numbers creeping up to a level that is unsustainable. “They are creeping up and over time I think that creates its own pressures on the health care system and unfortunately it generates deaths as well,” Shahab said. Moe reiterated that the measures are significant and did show some success after they were enacted in December and before the holiday increase “We peaked in the time after the holiday bump, which we had predicted would occur, with about 328 cases per day on the seven day rolling average and we are down now to about 300 so we need to continue that downward trajectory,” he said, Moe explained that he thought the cases were trending down those trends will be watched in light of the extension of public health measures to Jan. 29. Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
The Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority (NITHA) announced on Jan. 17 that they were ending the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak declared in Sturgeon Lake First Nation on Dec. 30, 2020. Dr. Nnamdi Ndubuka, Medical Health Officer with NITHA, has declared the outbreak over after the standard 28-day period has passed after the onset of the last case that had the potential to contribute to transmission in Sturgeon Lake First Nation. “This does not mean there are no cases in the community. The public is reminded that during the COVID-19 pandemic it is important to continue to take precautions to protect yourself, your families and everyone who lives in the community. COVID-19 is present in Saskatchewan and we all have a responsibility to minimize the spread of the disease,” the release stated. They reminded people that masking in all indoor public spaces and physical distancing should be done at all times to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Another reminder was for everyone to follow the public health guidelines for hand washing, physical distancing, self-monitoring and self-isolating to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect our most vulnerable populations. “Together we can make a positive difference in our community by reducing the spread.” Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
Specific details about workplace outbreaks of COVID-19 are not made public in most of Canada. Toronto is starting to make the information available, arguing that transparency increases accountability, but others wonder whether ‘naming and shaming’ does more harm than good.
WASHINGTON — Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took their oaths of office on Wednesday using Bibles that are laden with personal meaning, writing new chapters in a long-running American tradition — and one that appears nowhere in the law. The Constitution does not require the use of a specific text for swearing-in ceremonies and specifies only the wording of the president’s oath. That wording does not include the phrase “so help me God,” but every modern president has appended it to their oaths and most have chosen symbolically significant Bibles for their inaugurations. That includes Biden, who used the same family Bible he has used twice when swearing in as vice-president and seven times as senator from Delaware. The book, several inches thick, and which his late son Beau also used when swearing in as Delaware attorney general, has been a “family heirloom” since 1893 and “every important date is in there,” Biden told late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert last month. “Why is your Bible bigger than mine? Do you have more Jesus than I do?” quipped Colbert, who like Biden is a practicing Catholic. Biden’s use of his family Bible underscores the prominent role his faith has played in his personal and professional lives — and will continue to do so as he becomes the second Catholic president in U.S. history. He follows in a tradition of many other presidents who used family-owned scriptures to take their oaths, including Ronald Reagan and Franklin D. Roosevelt, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Some have had their Bibles opened to personally relevant passages during their ceremonies. Bill Clinton, for example, chose Isaiah 58:12 — which urges the devout to be a “repairer of the breach” — for his second inauguration after a first term marked by political schisms with conservatives. Others took their oaths on closed Bibles, like John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic president, who in 1961 used his family’s century-old tome with a large cross on the front, similar to Biden’s. The tradition of using a Bible dates as far back as the presidency itself, with the holy book used by George Washington later appearing on exhibit at the Smithsonian on loan from the Masonic lodge that provided it in 1789. Washington’s Bible was later used for the oaths by Warren G. Harding, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. But not every president has used a Bible. Theodore Roosevelt took his 1901 oath without one after the death of William McKinley, while John Quincy Adams used a law book in 1825, according to his own account. Some have employed multiple Bibles during their ceremonies: Both Barack Obama and Donald Trump chose to use, along with others, the copy that Abraham Lincoln was sworn in on in 1861. Harris did the same for her vice-presidential oath, using a Bible owned by a close family friend and one that belonged to the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Harris has spoken of her admiration of Marshall, a fellow Howard University graduate and trailblazer in government as the high court’s first African American justice. “When I raise my right hand and take the oath of office tomorrow, I carry with me two heroes who’d speak up for the voiceless and help those in need,” Harris tweeted Tuesday, referring to Marshall and friend Regina Shelton, whose Bible she swore on when becoming attorney general of California and later senator. Harris, who attended both Baptist and Hindu services as a child, worships in the Baptist faith as an adult. While U.S. lawmakers have typically used Bibles for their oaths, some have chosen alternatives that reflect their religious diversity. Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress, in 2007 used a Qur’an that belonged to Thomas Jefferson, prompting objections from some Christian conservatives. Jefferson’s Qur’an made a return in 2019 at the oath for Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., chose a Hebrew Bible in 2005 to reflect her Jewish faith. Newly elected Georgia Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff, who is also Jewish and who swears in Wednesday, used Hebrew scripture belonging to Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, an ally of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement. Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, opted for the Bhagavad Gita in 2013 after becoming the first Hindu elected to Congress. And Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., the only member of the current Congress who identifies as “religiously unaffiliated,” took her oath on the Constitution in 2018. ___ Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through The Conversation U.S. The AP is solely responsible for this content. Elana Schor, The Associated Press
Demetri Garcia describes the experience of going back to his seventh grade classroom after a month in COVID-19 quarantine as being akin to his stomach “collapsing in on itself.” “I got into the classroom, and saw my classmates, who all said: ‘Welcome back!’ and it made my stomach feel even worse. I sat down in my chair, tried not to look at them, and stayed silent because of the sheer fear of being back,” the 12-year-old wrote in a recent non-fiction narrative assignment at River Heights School in Winnipeg. “I was scared to be in public and talk to people again.” A positive COVID-19 test is unnerving enough, let alone having to return to junior high school after the fact — unsure of how people will act. In an interview with the Free Press, Demetri recalled not wanting to talk about the experience at all, once he first returned to school in late November; instead, he wanted to shrink in his seat. But days later, he decided to put his feelings on paper when given the chance in English class. Following a lesson on how to show rather than tell through writing, Demetri and his peers were tasked with picking an emotion they once felt strongly and then describe the scene with descriptive language. Demetri picked “anxiety.” His final piece, “Back in School” would be published in a classroom collection of best non-fiction narrative works from the fall. “This kind of writing is about telling your truth. We’re trying to teach kids to be honest,” said Colin Steele, a retired teacher who has been filling in for an absence at River Heights School. Steele said it’s been his job as a teacher this school year to gauge how students are feeling and make them feel as comfortable as possible. Citing how visibly anxious Demetri was upon his return, Steele said he was surprised Demetri chose to be so vulnerable in writing, which was shared with, and well-received by, the rest of the class. Not only was Demetri stressed out about being around other people after being cooped up in his room alone for weeks, the Grade 7 student said he also worried about the academic workload he had to catch up on. After learning his father had tested positive for the novel coronavirus — having been deemed a close contact of a co-worker who had broken public health directives and attended a Halloween party — Demetri went to get swabbed with his mother, who he was staying with at the time. Only Demetri, who spends time at both his mother and father’s homes, received a positive test result, in early November. He experienced a sore throat, nausea, dizziness, a cough and at one point, woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t move. “It just sucks as a parent, when you can’t do anything for your kid... knowing that he was struggling with an illness that nobody can really help him with,” said Gorete Rodrigues. Rodrigues added the situation was made even more frustrating since both she and Demetri’s father had been “extra cautious” because each household has a baby. Meantime, Demetri said his school has been strict about COVID-19 precautions. Among them: masking, announcement reminders to stay apart, and physical distancing requirements. The principal, Demetri said, has entered his classroom more than once with a measuring stick to ensure desks are spaced two metres apart. “I always thought it was real and I was pretty careful and I just kind of stayed away from people. I have the same mind-set (now),” he said, adding it is annoying to see other students mingling around in clusters outside after school. His advice for peers who are not taking the pandemic seriously? “It was not fun. It was hard to breathe, so if you value being able to breathe, take it seriously.” Maggie Macintosh, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
The last thing Patricia Wilton says she remembers was hearing a bang, then everything went grey. When she came to her senses, the 63-year-old says she was flat on her back in the parking lot of her mother's Edmonton apartment looking up at the October sky. Wilton says she turned to her left and saw the grill of a black SUV. Realizing she had been hit by a vehicle, Wilton says she then looked to her right. Her 85-year-old mother Doreen French was lying on the concrete completely still, Wilton said. French died 12 days later in hospital. Wilton was the first witness to testify Tuesday in the trial of Marion Rickett-Beebee, who is accused of careless driving under provincial Traffic Safety Act. Rickett-Beebee, 55, admits she was driving the vehicle that collided with French and Wilson on Oct. 18, 2018, outside Heritage Park Towers in south Edmonton, the Crown prosecutor said as the trial began. French died from multiple blunt force injuries sustained during the collision, according to the defence's admissions. Rickett-Beebee is not facing criminal charges. Over the course of the trial, prosecutor Fraser Genuis will attempt to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Rickett-Beebee, a nurse who assisted clients in the apartment complex, was driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration of other people using the road. Rickett-Beebee is defended by lawyer Darin Slaferek. The case is being heard by Provincial Court Judge Joyce Lester. 'It's been stuck in my mind for two years' Wilton testified she was walking her mother on the day of the crash to visit a friend in the south tower. The two had a close relationship, Wilton said, taking every chance to hug or hold hands. On the short walk to the adjacent tower, Wilton said they stepped onto the parking lot road to avoid some pipes or a barricade on the sidewalk — that's when they were hit by an SUV. Wilton recalled a woman approached her on the ground. "She was saying, 'I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. Are you okay?'," Wilton testified. "She ran over to where my mom was and that's the last I saw of her." As a result of the incident, Wilton said she suffered a number of injuries, including a severed right femur and a fractured vertebrae. Wayne Cherrington, 79, says he witnessed the crash from the deck of his apartment on the fourth storey of the west tower. Testifying Tuesday, he said his wife first noticed the car driving toward the two women. "The lady is going too fast, she's not going to be able to stop," Cherrington recalled his wife saying. "I was hoping to see a brake light. I looked at the back of the Dodge Journey but didn't see any," he said. "It's been stuck in my mind now for two years." The defence also said at the trial's outset that the vehicle had no operational issues that contributed to the collision and the brake lights were operational. Sophie Lee, 89, testified she also saw the incident from her 10th-floor balcony. "I remember thinking that, 'Oh you got to slow down' and before I could finish the thought the car hit the ladies," she said. "It was like rag dolls that were being thrown." The court also heard from an Edmonton police officer who says he took Rickett-Beebee's statement at the scene. She showed no signs of impairment, he said, noting she was concerned about the welfare of French and Wilton. "She spoke with a tremble in her voice and had some trouble making a complete sentence," Const. Michael Pollock told the court. The trial is set to continue for the rest of the week.
In what could be the longest of legal long shots, several of those arrested for storming the U.S. Capitol are holding out hope that President Donald Trump will use some of his last hours in office to grant the rioters a full pardon. Longtime advisers to Trump are urging him against such a move but the rioters contend their argument is compelling: They went to the Capitol to support Trump, and now that they are facing charges carrying up to 20 years in prison, it’s time for Trump to support them. “I feel like I was basically following my president. I was following what we were called to do. He asked us to fly there. He asked us to be there. So I was doing what he asked us to do,” said Jenna Ryan, a Dallas-area real-estate agent who took a private jet to the Jan. 6 rally and ensuing riot to disrupt the certification of the election of President-elect Joe Biden. Ryan — who prosecutors say posted a now-deleted video of herself marching to the Capitol with the words, “We are going to f---ing go in here. Life or death” — told Dallas television station KTVT: “I think we all deserve a pardon. I’m facing a prison sentence. I think I do not deserve that.” Perhaps the most high-profile rioter, the so-called “QAnon Shaman” who broke into the Senate chamber and posed at the dais with a spear, wearing a horned fur hat and animal skins, is also pleading for a pardon. Jacob Chansley’s lawyer told The Associated Press that he reached out to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about a possible pardon on behalf of the Arizona man, acknowledging it might be a reach but that there’s nothing to lose in seeking one. If Chansley is not granted a pardon, attorney Albert Watkins said, it could offer the added benefit of further awakening his client to the fact that his devotion to Trump has not been reciprocated, comparing it to being a jilted lover or even a member of a cult. “The only thing that was missing at the Capitol was the president, our president, stirring up the Kool-Aid with a big spoon,” Watkins said. Dominic Pezzola, a Rochester, New York, man and far-right Proud Boys supporter who was seen in a video using a clear police shield to shatter a Capitol window, also explored seeking a pardon but his attorney said there was not enough time to make it happen. “To believe the president is going to carte blanche issue these pardons is kind of a fantasy,” defence attorney Mike Scibetta told the AP. “I think it would cast a shadow on his own impeachment defence.” Trump, who has long reveled in suspense, was expected to spend his last full day in office issuing a flurry of pardons to as many as 100 people, two people briefed on the plans told the AP. But if Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz has his say, the more than 150 rioters arrested so far and the thousands more suspected should not be among them. Dershowitz, who represented Trump in his first impeachment last year, told the AP he has not been approached by any of the rioters about seeking a pardon but even if he had, “it would be wrong to pardon rioters who committed crimes.” South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who speaks often with Trump, was among the confidantes urging the president not to go there. “I don’t care if you went there and spread flowers on the floor, you breached the security of the Capitol, you interrupted a joint session of Congress, you tried to intimidate us all,” Graham said on Fox News Channel's “Sunday Morning Futures.” “You should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and to seek a pardon of these people would be wrong. He warned that such a move “would destroy President Trump.” Pardons normally go through an extensive vetting process within the Department of Justice. The Office of the Pardon Attorney, which handles these reviews, did not respond to a request for comment, but former federal prosecutors said Trump giving clemency to those at the Capitol would be highly unusual. Such pardons would be “a slap in the face to the law enforcement officers who protected the Capitol and our leaders who were inside,” said Joe Brown, who until last year was a U.S. attorney in Texas. Not all of those charged in the Jan. 6 riot are in the market for a pardon. Victoria Bergeson of Groton, Connecticut, who faces charges of violating curfew and unlawful entry wants her case to “just go away” but sees accepting a pardon “as an admission that she knowingly did something wrong,” said her attorney Samuel Bogash. “She does not want to do that due to a justifiable fear of how the public would perceive it,” he said. “She is already being trolled online.” Noah Bookbinder, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group, said Trump’s use of his clemency powers has set up a “spoils system” for his allies and pardoning the insurrectionists would just be a more extreme version. “That this president might be willing, even to pardon those who rose up against the United States," he said, “would be the ultimate statement of his perversion of the purpose behind pardons.” ___ Bleiberg reported from Dallas, Mustian from New York. AP White House reporter Jill Colvin contributed to this report. Jake Bleiberg And Jim Mustian, The Associated Press
A 59-year-old man has died in hospital after the vehicle he was driving collided with two others in Etobicoke on Tuesday afternoon, Toronto police say. The crash happened in the intersection of Kipling Avenue and Belfield Road. Emergency crews were called to the area for reports of a crash at about 1:35 p.m. According to police, the man was driving a blue 2019 Volkswagen Jetta westbound on Highway 409 and was exiting onto the Kipling off-ramp when he struck a 2015 Toyota RAV-4 northbound on Kipling Avenue. Police said the man then struck a 2017 cargo van southbound on Kipling Avenue. The man suffered life-threatening injuries. Toronto paramedics took him to hospital, where he was pronounced dead later in the day. A 64-year-old woman, who was a passenger in the Volkswagen Jetta, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The drivers of the two other vehicles suffered minor injuries and remained at the scene. Police said they are urging residents, businesses and drivers, who may have security or dashboard camera footage of the area or crash, or saw the vehicle before the collision, to come forward.
NEW YORK — Testimony by Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriend about her sexual experiences with consenting adults can remain secret when a transcript is released next week, a judge said Tuesday. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska in Manhattan pertained to a July 2016 deposition of Ghislaine Maxwell in a civil lawsuit brought by one of Maxwell's accusers that has since been settled. “Although the prurient interest of some may be left un-satiated as a result, Ms. Maxwell’s interest in keeping private the details of her sexual relationships with consenting adults warrants the sealing of those portions of her testimony,” Preska said at a hearing conducted electronically because of the coronavirus. Lawyers for the 59-year-old British socialite had objected to the transcript being made public on the grounds that it could damage her chance at a fair trial on charges that she recruited three underage girls in the 1990s for Epstein. Preska said Maxwell's lawyers had failed to show how the unsealing of the deposition transcript will jeopardize a trial that isn't slated to begin until July or why publicity about the document cannot be overcome through a fair jury selection process. The judge also ordered the release in eight days of dozens of other documents sought by the Miami Herald. A message seeking comment was left with a lawyer for Maxwell. Epstein, a wealthy financier and convicted sex offender, killed himself in a Manhattan jail in 2019 as he awaited a sex trafficking trial. Maxwell, who is held without bail at a Brooklyn federal lockup, has pleaded not guilty to charges that she recruited girls for Epstein and sometimes joined in the abuse of them. The hearing Tuesday was briefly interrupted when the judge was told that audio of the proceeding was being aired online. “Whoever is doing it, you are operating against the law. I suspect there is a way to find out. So I will ask you, most respectfully, to stop doing it. We have had enough of lack of the rule of law around here. Let’s try to observe it,” Preska said. The audio was online on a page that included comments by individuals who seemed to embrace QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory. Larry Neumeister, The Associated Press
Six deaths related to COVID-19 reported Tuesday There were five deaths reported in the 80-years-old and over age group with two in Regina and the South East and one in the Saskatoon zone. One reported death in the Central West zone was in the 60 to 69 age group. The number of deaths in the province has grown to 225. There were 309 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the province on Tuesday. The North Central zone, which includes Prince Albert, reported 30 new cases. North Central 2, which is Prince Albert, has 283 active cases. North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 141 active cases and North Central 3 has 140 active cases. There were also four cases with pending information added to the North Central zone. The current seven-day average is 300, or 26.4 cases per 100,000 population. The recovered number now sits at 16,490 after 412 more were reported. On Jan. 18 there were 1,957 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered, bringing the total number of vaccinations to 25,475. There were 36 doses administered in North Central yesterday. None were administered in the adjacent North East zone. There were 2,929 COVID-19 tests processed in Saskatchewan on Jan 18. COVID-19 recovered numbers to change over next few days According to a release, theMinistry of Health and Saskatchewan Health Authority continue to ensure that public reporting of COVID-19 cases reflects current, active case counts including those who require hospital care. They explained that currently the reporting database is being updated to reconcile a significant backlog in the number of recoveries and these will be reflected in the daily case statistics over the coming days. Reporting procedures will be amended to ensure such reconciliations are not required going forward. The data reconciliation includes updates to active cases in the following areas: 21 days past their test positive date or date when their symptoms first appeared - approximately 588 cases, 15-20 days past their test positive date or date when their symptoms first appeared - approximately 567 cases and 11-14 days past their test positive date or date when their symptoms first appeared - approximately 882 cases. Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Months-old embers from a deadly California fire were blown back to life Tuesday by powerful winds that raked the state and prompted safety blackouts to tens of thousands of people. Firefighters chased wind-driven blazes up and down the state, trees and trucks were toppled, Yosemite National Park was forced to close and two coronavirus vaccination centres were shut down. South of San Francisco, the state’s firefighting agency said it responded to 13 vegetation fires in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties in 12 hours, and isolated evacuations were ordered for a total of 120 homes near two of them. The fires were small, with the largest no more than a couple dozen acres, and by nightfall were “creeping" rather than racing, according to state fire website descriptions. Two were within the area burned by last year's CZU Lightning Complex inferno. “Fires within the CZU Lightning Complex burn area were regenerated by high winds,” the local unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection tweeted. The complex started Aug. 16, 2020, during a barrage of lightning strikes. Separate fires merged, torching 1,500 buildings across 135 square miles (350 square kilometres) in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. One person died. The Santa Cruz Mountains have a thick layer of “duff,” dead vegetation under heavy timber in which deep smouldering embers can be revived by the wind, said Cecile Juliette, a Cal Fire spokeswoman. Cal Fire received nonstop reports of toppled trees and branches during the windstorm, Juliette said. Small fires blazed throughout the state, though most were quickly stopped from spreading and posed no serious threat to homes. The largest, near Bakersfield in the San Joaquin Valley, burned about 1 square mile (2.77 square kilometres) but was mostly surrounded. In both the north and south, residents were blacked out by utilities to prevent downed or damaged power lines from sparking blazes. Southern California Edison shut off power to more than 78,000 homes and businesses in seven counties and was considering blacking out well over a quarter-million more. Pacific Gas & Electric cut power to more than 5,000 customers. Most of California is experiencing drought conditions and the remainder is considered abnormally dry. Winter snowfall and rain have largely been woeful. Gusts howled at speeds up to 95 mph (152.8 kph) in the Mayacamas Mountains to the north of San Francisco Bay, and winds raised clouds of ash and dust from wildfire burn scars across Monterey County, the regional National Weather Service office said. High wind warnings were posted in the Sierra Nevada and adjacent foothills. “People should avoid being outside in forested areas and around trees and branches,” the Hanford weather office wrote. “If possible, remain in the lower levels of your home during the windstorm, and avoid windows. Use caution if you must drive.” Yosemite National Park closed for the day, citing the winds and downed trees that smashed trucks and at least one building. In Southern California, the region’s notorious Santa Ana winds were ramping up, making travel hazardous for big rigs. Some were blown over. One gust hit 86 mph (138.4 kph) in northern Los Angeles County, the National Weather Service said. The wind forced closure of a mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Hansen Dam in the San Fernando Valley. Another site at a Disneyland parking lot was closed in advance of the gusts. The city of Los Angeles instituted its program of restricting parking in hilly neighbourhoods where narrow, winding streets can be difficult for fire engines to manoeuvr. Downtown Los Angeles has had only 1.95 inches (4.95 centimetres) of rain since the Oct. 1 start of the “water year,” nearly 4 inches (10.16 centimetres) below normal. The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Two of Fox News Channel's top news executives involved in the controversial — but correct — election night call of Arizona for Democrat Joe Biden are out at the network. Bill Sammon, senior vice-president and managing editor at Fox's Washington bureau, announced his retirement to staff members on Monday. On Tuesday, as part of a restructuring of Fox's digital operations, politics editor Chris Stirewalt was let go. Fox's decision to call Arizona for Biden took the network's anchors by surprise and infuriated the White House, which believed the determination was premature. Stirewalt and Fox's decision desk chief, Arnon Mishkin, were the two most visible people defending the decision on the air amidst heat from President Donald Trump and his supporters. Mishkin, who worked the election on a contractual basis, is not a Fox employee. Two days after the call, Stirewalt said on the air that “Arizona is doing just what we expected it to do and we remain serene and pristine.” He hasn't been on the air at Fox since the post-election period. Reached on Tuesday, both Stirewalt and Sammon declined comment. Fox, in a statement on Tuesday, said that “as we conclude the 2020 election cycle, Fox News Digital has realigned its business and reporting structure to meet the demands of this new era." Nearly 20 people lost their jobs as part of the restructuring, according to someone familiar with the changes who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to speak on personnel issues. No one at Fox would comment specifically on Stirewalt, citing the confidentiality of individual personnel matters. He's been with Fox since 2010. Fox and The Associated Press, which called Arizona for Biden later on election night, remained alone until ABC, CBS and NBC all called it for Biden on Nov. 12, eight days after the election and after all the networks had declared Biden the winner overall. Biden won Arizona by 10,475 votes out of nearly 3.4 million cast. The call angered many Fox News Channel fans. In its wake, conservative broadcaster Newsmax, which has featured many of the personalities who backed Trump’s questioning of the election results, saw a sharp viewership increase. Fox's ratings have dipped as a result, and the network recently announced lineup changes that most prominently added a new opinion show in the early evening. David Bauder, The Associated Press
“Enough is enough,” Premier Moe said during Tuesday’s provincial COVID-19 update, referring to a video taken over the weekend at a pub in Regina. In the video some patrons without masks dance and defy the Public Health orders. However, the government plans to stay the course with the current measures despite the continuing high seven-day average of new cases. Today’s average rebounded to 300 and remains the highest in the country. The current measures which were introduced in mid-December have been extended to January 29, 2021. The Premier said he does not want to roll out more restrictive measures, but did hint that venues which allow for the contravention of the public health orders may be facing more serious consequences. “I’ve asked public health to look at if there is [sic] other opportunities, in addition to fines, including closing these bad actors indefinitely.” Dr. Shahab asserted that the current measures would work if there was 100% compliance across the board, but obviously that isn’t happening. The province is “stuck”, Shahab said, in that 300 new cases per day range and obviously he would prefer that number to be trending downward instead. With baseline transmission so high, it continues to feed the growth of the virus and hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths slowly but steadily are creeping up and increasing the stress on our healthcare system. Shahab has said that while the health system is not at the breaking point yet, when it gets there, the “hammer” needs to come down. “We may not be there yet, but that hammer is a very blunt instrument. It causes many unintended consequences, It’s not the preferred instrument but when the health-care system is on the brink of collapse, then unfortunately those desperate measures have to be taken as well.” The question that begs asking is do we really want to push the health system to that brink? Lang McGilp, Research Director of Insightrix Research Inc. says that surveys taken over the past couple of months show the longer the pandemic goes on the less people are inclined to follow the restrictions and that mental health is playing a part in that. Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Wakaw Recorder
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.
Calgary fire Chief Steve Dongworth called reports of racism in his fire halls "concerning" and says problem employees are difficult to deal with because they're "very clever" and "very subtle" in how they operate. "We have a culture where people tend not to report things for fear of retaliation," he said in a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon. "That becomes a barrier to us finding out who those laggards are." But Dongworth said "there will be zero tolerance" when the problem employees are identified. The N-word On Monday, CBC News published detailed accounts from seven current and former members of the Calgary Fire Department who confirmed that although it's become less blunt over the years, BIPOC firefighters still experience insidious racism within the city's fire halls. Last summer, several current and retired BIPOC members and their allies sent a letter to the chief demanding change. The group alleges racialized bullying has led to suicides of CFD members. In interviews, several members, who CBC News agreed not to name because of fear of workplace retribution, said even to this day, the N-word is occasionally tossed around casually inside fire stations. Two people said that in fire halls, Black Lives Matter news reports, in particular, seemed to incite microaggressions from some coworkers. Dongworth faced criticism from retired captain Chris Coy, the first Black firefighter with CFD who retired Dec. 1. Coy said the chief has known about the racism within CFD for years and hasn't done nearly enough to change the culture. WATCH | Chris Coy on racism within the Calgary Fire Department: "Have I done enough quickly enough?" asked Dongworth, who was promoted to chief in 2014. "It never feels like that but I will tell you but I know we've steadily moved the needle on this." 'Changing minds takes an awfully long time' There are two prongs to Dongworth's anti-racism strategy. One is to set a hard line of what's considered unacceptable behaviour. "The second part is to start changing people's minds, explaining why racism is wrong, why discrimination is wrong. Changing minds takes an awfully long time." Several active and retired firefighters said their experiences with coworkers inside the fire halls were more traumatizing than the often gruesome scene calls they're dispatched to. "Every time we hear these kinds of accounts, we commit ourselves to double down on that work and make sure we do," said the fire chief. Council motion acknowledges CBC News report On Tuesday evening, the City of Calgary reaffirmed its commitment to anti-racism with a motion including wording specific to the Calgary Fire Department in light of CBC's story. "With respect to concerns related to the Calgary Fire Department, direct administration to specifically include these issues in their continuing work on internal practices and movement toward cultural change," reads the motion. Following a closed door session Tuesday evening, city manager David Duckworth and general manager of community and protective services Katie Black acknowledged the article, which reports a toxic culture suffered by some BIPOC firefighters. A day after calling the racism within CFD "horrifying," Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he'll be pushing the release of information from two workplace reviews done in recent years. Chief 'absolutely committed to this work' Currently, there are no women or BIPOC members serving as deputy chiefs. Both groups account for less than three per cent of the 1,400 firefighters in Calgary. "If you don't have many people in the organization who are female or who are people of colour, Indigenous, Black, it's almost inevitable you're not going to have many in leadership positions," said Dongworth. The chief said his organization is actively trying to recruit visible minorities and women to the department. "I'm absolutely committed to this work," said Dongworth. "This has to be seen as a time where we double down on the work that we do, that we embrace those people that bring diverse cultures, genders, views to the workplace."
OTTAWA — Nikolaj Ehlers scored in overtime as the Winnipeg Jets twice rallied from a two-goal deficit en route to a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night. Ehlers scored at 2:20 of overtime, moments after Winnipeg goalie Laurent Brossoit made a nice stop on Ottawa's Drake Batherson in the extra period. Josh Morrissey's goal with 1:17 remaining in regulation forced overtime. It came with Brossoit on the bench for the extra attacker. Adam Lowry and Kyle Connor had the other goals for Winnipeg (2-1-0), which was outshot 41-28 in the contest. The Jets were coming off a 3-1 road loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night. Josh Norris, Chris Tierney and Alex Galchenyuk scored for Ottawa (1-1-1). It's the first of three games in five days between the two clubs. They'll square off again in the nation's capital Thursday night before returning to Winnipeg on Saturday. Winnipeg was minus forward Patrik Laine (upper-body injury) for a second straight game. He's listed as day to day with this contest being the first of five for the Jets in the next seven nights. Rookie forward Tim Stutzel, who's dealing with a nagging minor injury, didn't play for Ottawa. The third overall selection in the 2020 NHL draft, who has a goal through two games with the Senators, is also considered day to day. Ottawa dominated the first period, outshooting Winnipeg 18-9, and was rewarded with the opening two goals of the contest. Norris opened the scoring on the power play at 4:41 of the first. He registered his first NHL goal when he slid the puck in off the skate of Brossoit, who got the start after Connor Hellebuyck played Monday night. Conner came close to putting Winnipeg on the scoresheet when he fired a shot off the goalpost on the power play. But Tierney put Ottawa ahead 2-0 with a deflection at 10:31 for his second goal of the season. Lowry pulled Winnipeg to within 2-1 at 18:09. He deflected Neal Pionk's shot from the point past Matt Murray -- making his third straight start in goal for Ottawa -- for his first of the year. It was more of the same in the second as Ottawa outshot Winnipeg 14-8 in the period and went back ahead by two goals at 11:47 of the second on Galchenyuk's power-play blast. It was his first of the season but Winnipeg countered with Connor's goal with the man advantage at 16:12. It was Connor's third of the season. He's scored in all three Jets games in 2021. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan 19. 2021. The Canadian Press
A new, government-funded, not-for-profit organization opened its doors Tuesday in Winnipeg, with the express purpose of helping the Prairie region recognize the risks, and potential opportunities, presented due to climate change. ClimateWest will serve as a resource hub supported by some of the top climate-focused research organizations in the country: Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative, based at the University of Regina; Prairie Climate Centre, based at the University of Winnipeg; and International Institute for Sustainable Development, with its headquarters in Winnipeg. ClimateWest will focus on research and recommendations that address how communities will need to change and adapt in a warming world, instead of on the emissions mitigation side of the equation. “Our mandate is to support greater climate adaptation across the Prairies by empowering people, businesses, communities, governments to use climate information and data in their decision making,” executive director Jane Hilderman said in an interview with the Free Press. Hilderman said she knows, especially for smaller communities that can’t afford to bring someone onto the municipal payroll to look at climate change impacts, the amount of information available is daunting and hard to sort through. The hope is ClimateWest can help bridge the gap. David Sauchyn, Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative director, said the time has come: adaptation must be a bigger part of the conversations had about climate change. “PARC’s been in the adaptation business for more than 20 years now. Initially, when we were launched, people complained that we’d given up on climate change, that if you focus on adaptation then you’re assuming that the climate is changing. And people weren’t sure 20 years ago, now they’re absolutely certain the climate is changing,” he said. “So, even though mitigation is absolutely necessary to slow the rate of climate change, we know we’re living in a changed climate and therefore a certain amount of adaptation is required.” Economic analysis of adaptation costs proves time and time again investing in adaptation earlier rather than later is beneficial, he said. The first order of business for ClimateWest will be to establish a help desk, which will provide a public service of answering climate adaptation questions. “Whether it’s a small town trying to track down the most relevant climate data for its geography and region, whether it’s a city planner that’s wondering if they have the right kind of design specs in terms of building for anticipated weather extremes,” Hilderman said, the vast research knowledge of the founding three partners will be tapped. Sauchyn was one of the lead authors on a recent report released by Natural Resources Canada that identified how significant the impacts of climate change in the Prairies already have been, as well as how it will progress. “Probably, the most challenging impact of climate change is going to be how it’s amplifying the severity of our weather. So, the wet seems to be getting wetter, the dry seems to be getting dryer,” Sauchyn said. Funding for the research hub comes from the Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta provincial governments, as well as the federal government. Sarah Lawrynuik, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press