With Chris St. Clair.
With Chris St. Clair.
WASHINGTON — Disputing President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr declared the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.Barr's comments, in an interview Tuesday with the The Associated Press, contradict the concerted effort by Trump, his boss, to subvert the results of last month's voting and block President-elect Joe Biden from taking his place in the White House.Barr told the AP that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they’ve received, but “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”The comments, which drew immediate criticism from Trump attorneys, were especially notable coming from Barr, who has been one of the president's most ardent allies. Before the election, he had repeatedly raised the notion that mail-in voting could be especially vulnerable to fraud during the coronavirus pandemic as Americans feared going to polls and instead chose to vote by mail.More to Trump's liking, Barr revealed in the AP interview that in October he had appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as a special counsel, giving the prosecutor the authority to continue to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe after Biden takes over and making it difficult to fire him. Biden hasn't said what he might do with the investigation, and his transition team didn't comment Tuesday.Trump has long railed against the investigation into whether his 2016 campaign was co-ordinating with Russia, but he and Republican allies had hoped the results would be delivered before the 2020 election and would help sway voters. So far, there has been only one criminal case, a guilty plea from a former FBI lawyer to a single false statement charge.Under federal regulations, a special counsel can be fired only by the attorney general and for specific reasons such as misconduct, dereliction of duty or conflict of interest. An attorney general must document such reasons in writing.Barr went to the White House Tuesday for a previously scheduled meeting that lasted about three hours.Trump didn't directly comment on the attorney general's remarks on the election. But his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and his political campaign issued a scathing statement claiming that, "with all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance” of an investigation into the president's complaints.Other administration officials who have come out forcefully against Trump's allegations of voter-fraud evidence have been fired. But it's not clear whether Barr might suffer the same fate. He maintains a lofty position with Trump, and despite their differences the two see eye-to-eye on quite a lot.Still, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer quipped: “I guess he’s the next one to be fired.”Last month, Barr issued a directive to U.S. attorneys across the country allowing them to pursue any “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities before the 2020 presidential election was certified, despite no evidence at that time of widespread fraud.That memorandum gave prosecutors the ability to go around longstanding Justice Department policy that normally would prohibit such overt actions before the election was certified. Soon after it was issued, the department’s top elections crime official announced he would step aside from that position because of the memo.The Trump campaign team led by Giuliani has been alleging a widespread conspiracy by Democrats to dump millions of illegal votes into the system with no evidence. They have filed multiple lawsuits in battleground states alleging that partisan poll watchers didn’t have a clear enough view at polling sites in some locations and therefore something illegal must have happened. The claims have been repeatedly dismissed including by Republican judges who have ruled the suits lacked evidence.But local Republicans in some battleground states have followed Trump in making unsupported claims, prompting grave concerns over potential damage to American democracy.Trump himself continues to rail against the election in tweets and in interviews though his own administration has said the 2020 election was the most secure ever. He recently allowed his administration to begin the transition over to Biden, but he still refuses to admit he lost.The issues they've have pointed to are typical in every election: Problems with signatures, secrecy envelopes and postal marks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost.But they've gone further. Attorney Sidney Powell has spun fictional tales of election systems flipping votes, German servers storing U.S. voting information and election software created in Venezuela “at the direction of Hugo Chavez,” – the late Venezuelan president who died in 2013. Powell has since been removed from the legal team after an interview she gave where she threatened to “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” court filing.Barr didn't name Powell specifically but said: “There's been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that.”In the campaign statement, Giuliani claimed there was “ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined.”“We have many witnesses swearing under oath they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud. As far as we know, not a single one has been interviewed by the DOJ. The Justice Department also hasn’t audited any voting machines or used their subpoena powers to determine the truth,” he said.However, Barr said earlier that people were confusing the use of the federal criminal justice system with allegations that should be made in civil lawsuits. He said a remedy for many complaints would be a top-down audit by state or local officials, not the U.S. Justice Department.“There’s a growing tendency to use the criminal justice system as sort of a default fix-all," he said, but first there must be a basis to believe there is a crime to investigate.“Most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct. ... And those have been run down; they are being run down,” Barr said. “Some have been broad and potentially cover a few thousand votes. They have been followed up on."___Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro and Eric Tucker contributed to this report.Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
Rappelons qu’en 2010 la Ville de Sept-Îles a vendu une vingtaine de terrains sur les rues Roméo-Vachon, Joséphat-Méthot et Comeau qui ont été endommagés par un affaissement du sol. Par la suite, une cinquantaine de maisons ont été suivies de près, afin de voir si leurs structures ne seraient pas endommagées également par un tel affaissement. Maître Luc Dion, du cabinet Besnier, Dion et Rondeau est mandaté afin de coordonner les expertises finales. Le directeur général de la Ville Patrick Gwilliam mentionne qu’un expert en sol est prêt à se prononcer et s’engager professionnellement afin de dire que ces maisons ne bougeront plus dans le futur. Il y aura tout de même certaines vérifications, mais le tout semblerait très positif. Certains terrains ont été surveillés lors de ces expertises, et à la lumière de ces années de suivi, quelques-uns pourraient être vendus prochainement.Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
Depuis sa participation au spectacle de la relève Nikamu Mamuitun à la Place des Arts de Montréal à l’automne 2019, Scott-Pien Picard profite de riches expériences comme le show de la rentrée au Centre Bell, son passage à la semaine des 4 Julie, sans oublier sa nomination au Gala de l’ADISQ 2020 dans la catégorie « Artiste autochtone de l’année ». Plusieurs supporteurs de la région, mais certainement de plusieurs endroits seront rivés devant leur téléviseur afin de le voir chanter Makusham, un mot tellement rempli de sens dans la culture autochtone. Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
What happens to the state of business in a city when it loses its largest storefront in the downtown core even earlier than expected? It’s a question being mulled by commerce stakeholders and retail experts, along with the provincial and municipal government, as the COVID-19 pandemic forces the Hudson’s Bay Company to close its downtown Winnipeg location two months earlier than previously announced. “In light of recent restrictions on non-essential retail by the Government of Manitoba, we have made the decision to close this location,” said HBC in a statement to the Free Press Tuesday. “We remain committed to working with partners to find opportunities for this historic location that will have a positive impact on the community.” The iconic Canadian departmental shopping chain had announced in October it would be shuttering the Winnipeg store permanently in February due to a “change in consumer behaviour.” But by late Monday, a “closed” sign could be seen outside the mammoth, 650,000-square-foot store on Portage Avenue and Memorial Boulevard — one of the original six stores for the 350-year-old retailer before it expanded across North America. Now, industry decision-makers and onlookers are scratching their heads about what comes next for the vacant building which has more square footage than almost all other buildings in the city. For some, it’s prime real estate smack dab at the heart of a city that’s presenting an “opportunity” for future growth. While for others, it’s a growing concern about the “sad state of affairs” for brick-and-mortar stores. For almost all of them, however, a mixed-use occupancy that combines residential and commercial aspects appears to be the most sensible direction for the building. “It’s definitely an important moment in time where we can truly shape what comes next for all our businesses in the provincial hub,” said Kate Fenske, chief executive officer of Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “Of course, this closure does have an impact on several businesses nearby because of their proximity to that space and that’s something we need to prevent from escalating.” Citing statistics from a study conducted by the advocacy and marketing group last week, Fenske said while business is deteriorating downtown, investment in the area continues to rise and so does the possibility of new residents moving in. Upcoming capital projects underway have a combined construction value of nearly $1 billion, according to Downtown Winnipeg BIZ numbers, including the $400-million redevelopment of the Portage Place mall right across from the Bay planned for March, 2021. And at least 18,000 people are expected to call the downtown core their home in the next two years. “While it’s in no way surprising that the Bay chose to close, and it’s sad they’re closing even earlier than planned,” said Fenske in an interview. “How we go from here needs to use all that momentum that we still have going on here and use it for the future.” Lisa Hutcheson, managing partner at retail consulting firm J.C. Williams Group in Toronto, said that’s easier said than done. “Retail shopping definitely works in clusters, I mean that’s the whole concept behind having a mall to begin with — to have several stores conveniently in one place,” she said Tuesday. “But now the real question is, where do we go from here when that concept has itself become outdated and is causing closures like this? That’s difficult to answer.” Hutcheson believes the novel coronavirus “only magnified and worsened the inevitable,” given the overall lack of foot traffic in suburban-style malls and an evolving shift to online commerce seen well before the pandemic. “I do still think that if we found a good blend of mixed-use purpose for the building, it would be of great value,” she said. “It’s just that that’s the type of project which is pretty difficult to convince someone to take on right now.” Last year a company-wide valuation of HBC’s real estate holdings valued the downtown Winnipeg building at precisely $0. Over the years, the company has closed some of the store’s six floors along with its basement, consolidating stock on just two levels. Dayna Spiring, president of Economic Development Winnipeg, said her conversations with the province and the city have given her ample reason to be optimistic. “There’s so much potential here, it’s hard not to be hopeful about what can be done with that space especially with consultation from the community at large,” she said. “The opportunity is massive.” In statements to the Free Press, provincial and municipal spokespersons said both government levels are open to hearing development proposals in the future that “include an adaptive re-use of the building and conservation of the character-defining elements.” A city spokesperson said the mayor is “currently engaged in outreach with community stakeholders in this regard.” But Spiring said she doesn’t believe the building will ever remain the way it is right now. “You’re likely looking at getting rid of the guts and almost a complete reimagination of the space for it to be successful,” she added. “We just have to get through this pandemic first to make those kind of decisions.” Hudson’s Bay Co. continues to serve Winnipeggers at its Polo Park and St. Vital locations, as well as online at thebay.com.Temur Durrani, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
A new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia will look at how many children and young people across B.C. have antibodies for COVID-19. The study will look at how many British Columbians under the age of 25 have been infected with COVID-19. Thousands of children and young adults across B.C. will be mailed antibody testing kits. Dr. Manish Sadarangani, associate professor in the UBC department of pediatrics and director of the Vaccine Evaluation Centre at B.C. Children's Hospital, is leading the study. He says it will answer critical questions about the role babies, children, and young adults play in the transmission of the novel coronavirus. "What we're trying to do is fill in that knowledge gap, help the policy makers, help the public health officials, by providing additional information," Sadarangani told Michelle Eliot, host of CBC's BC Today. "We're trying to really establish the full burden of this infection on children and young adults across B.C."There have been relatively few cases of COVID-19 among children, he says. It's still not clear whether the infection rates in children are the same as in adults, with children having milder symptoms, or whether fewer children are getting COVID-19."What's been striking to me in this pandemic as a pediatric infectious disease specialist is that children haven't been really prominent, which is so different than all of the other respiratory infections that we see," he said. The study will enable researchers to identify cases that may have been already identified through testing, as well as cases that may not have been identified previously either because of a lack of testing or a lack of symptoms. The team is recruiting anybody under 25 to participate in the study. Participants — or their parents —will receive a consent form, an online questionnaire, and a home finger prick test in the mail. Once participants mail in their blood sample, researchers will test each sample and reach out to those participants who test positive for COVID-19 antibodies.Anyone interested in participating in the study can visit www.bcchr.ca/springstudy.
Meggie Fontaine de Uashat a reçu cet honneur, de la part d’une personne de son entourage. Elle est l’heureuse maman de la petite Uapukuniss, âgée de 5 mois. Elle n’a toutefois pas eu la chance de bénéficier de cette magnifique avancée, car sa communauté ne fait pas partie du Regroupement Mamit Innuat. Elle a dû faire des démarches supplémentaires, mais le plus important était de pouvoir avoir la garde de sa petite fleur. Une personne proche de Meggie a appris, l’an dernier, qu’elle était enceinte. Ayant déjà ses enfants et ne souhaitant pas pour autant se faire avorter, elle a demandé à son amie si elle désirait adopter son enfant, selon des coutumes autochtones, existant depuis des millénaires, et reconnues depuis 2018 par le Code civil du Québec. Elle a même pu assister à l’accouchement, et a coupé le cordon ombilical. Le Regroupement Mamit Innuat (RMI) servira d’autorité compétente pour les communautés d’Ekuanitshit, d’Unamen Shipu et de Pakua Shipu. Les demandes doivent respecter la coutume de la communauté, l’intérêt de l’enfant et le consentement de toutes les personnes impliquées. Il pourra s’agir également d’une alternative intéressante pour la Direction de la protection de la jeunesse. « À titre d’autorité compétente, nous serons en mesure de récupérer une douzaine de dossiers en attente à la DPJ et de migrer vers une démarche qui permet de mieux répondre aux réalités actuelles des familles et surtout des enfants innus. Il s’agit d’un grand pas vers l’autodétermination des communautés et nous en sommes très fiers ! » partage Marie-Michèle Savard, Gestionnaire de projet au secteur Services sociaux du RMI.Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is threatening to veto a defence policy bill unless it ends protections for internet companies that shield them from being held liable for material posted by their users.On Twitter Tuesday night, Trump took aim at Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which protects companies that can host trillions of messages from being sued into oblivion by anyone who feels wronged by something someone else has posted — whether their complaint is legitimate or not.Trump called Section 230 “a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity,” adding, “Therefore, if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill.”Trump has been waging war against social media companies for months, claiming they are biased against conservative voices.In October he signed an executive order directing executive branch agencies to ask independent rule-making agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, to study whether they can place new regulations on the companies.Since losing the presidential election, Trump has flooded social media with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. Twitter has tagged many such Trump tweets with the advisory, “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”Tuesday's veto threat is another potential roadblock for the passage of the annual defence policy measure, which is already being held up in Congress by a spat over military bases named for Confederate officers. The measure, which has passed for 59 years in a row on a bipartisan basis, guides Pentagon policy and cements decisions about troop levels, new weapons systems and military readiness, military personnel policy and other military goals.The Associated Press
The Deh Gáh Got’îê Koe seniors' complex has reopened in Fort Providence following renovations. Seven additional units for seniors have been created. In a news release on Tuesday, the N.W.T. government said a local contractor and local workers had completed the project, which is designed to help more Elders remain in their home community. “Seniors are a key part of our community. Ensuring that seniors have housing in the community is important to us,” Fort Resolution’s mayor, Danny Beaulieu, was quoted as saying. “This renovation means that more of our seniors can reside in our community and spend time with family and friends.” Ensuring seniors can age in place is a stated priority of Caroline Cochrane's government. Paulie Chinna, the housing minister, said that was "a crucial part of ensuring the health and wellbeing of our Elders."Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
La vie politique a également été affectée par la pandémie. Ayant également été mise sur pause pendant quelques temps, Marilène Gill, pour sa part, s’est mise en mode action, afin de continuer d’aller à la rencontre des citoyens, et de les entendre sur des sujets importants de la circonscription qu’elle représente, mais également les valeurs de son Parti. Rares sont les journées où la députée n’émet pas un communiqué de presse, afin de faire état de certains points ou situations préoccupants. Ce qui semble fonctionner présentement pour Mme Gill est sans aucun doute ses rencontres sur la plate-forme Zoom, avec divers intervenants. La population peut bien entendu y assister. L’une des rencontres virtuelles qui a suscité de plus d’intérêt est celle sur le thème « Internet haute vitesse en région. Pour l’occasion, Mme Gill était accompagnée de Martin Champoux, député de Drummond et porte-parole en matière de Communications (Patrimoine). La déposition d’un projet de loi visant à protéger les fonds de retraites des travailleurs en cas de faillite d’entreprise a également suscité beaucoup d’intérêt. Côté intervention en Chambre des communes, il est difficile de ne pas nommer l’intervention de Mme Gill concernant le vaccin de COVID-19. « Quand est-ce que le Québec recevra ses premières doses, et combien de doses par semaine en recevra-t-il par la suite », questionne-t-elle par rapport au fait que le vaccin arriverait plus tard au Canada que dans les autres pays et qu’aucune réponse claire n’aurait été donnée par le Premier Ministre. La page Facebook de Marilène Gill est très active, et remplie d’informations et de liens permettant de suivre les sujets défendus par la députée de Manicouagan.Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
Sen. Joseph McCarthy is censured; Scientists demonstrate the world's first artificially-created, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction; Enron files for Chapter 11 protection; Colombian drug lord is shot and killed. (Dec. 2)
WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government has signed a pay agreement that will allow nurses to be shifted to priority areas in the fight against COVID-19. It says the agreement with the Manitoba Nurses Union will allow nurses to be redeployed in personal care homes, intensive care units and designated COVID-19 units. Health Minister Cameron Friesen says it will allow for changes to work assignments, locations, schedules and shifts to support the changing needs of hospital patients and care home residents. He says nurses affected by these changes, including those already working in facilities dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks, will get extra pay. The agreement also establishes a COVID-19 northern allowance for staff redeployed to the north, as well as an allowance for current northern nurses who work in one community but pick up additional shifts elsewhere in the region. Union president Darlene Jackson says the deal will help keep nurses on the job and give them some security and recognition. "Nurses have played a critical role on the front line of Manitoba's pandemic response and they have stepped up to the challenge, working countless long hours to provide quality care for patients and residents," Jackson said Tuesday in a release. Friesen said the government’s top priority is ensuring patients and care home residents are provided with the best possible care. "Thousands of nurses working in personal care homes and hospitals across the province are making an enormous difference in our province's fight against COVID-19," he said in a release. "This agreement also recognizes many nurses on the front line of the COVID-19 response for their dedication, commitment and compassion at a critical time." Details of the agreement, which is to be in place for the duration of the pandemic, were not released. The union says it has 12,000 members and represents registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners and operating room technicians. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020 The Canadian Press
PAUVERTÉ. Plus de 800 000 personnes n’arrivent pas à couvrir leurs besoins de base au Québec et la crise de la COVID-19 ne fait qu’exacerber leurs difficultés déplore le Collectif pour un Québec sans pauvreté. En compagnie du Front commun des personnes assistées sociales du Québec (FCPASQ) et du Front d’action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU), cet organisme demande au du ministre du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale, Jean Boulet de garantir à ces personnes, le plus rapidement possible, ce qui devrait être considéré comme un minimum au Québec : la couverture des besoins de base tels que définis par la Mesure du panier de consommation (MPC). «En partant, les engagements du gouvernement québécois envers les personnes les plus mal prises, les personnes assistées sociales, sont minimalistes. Donner moins que le minimum reconnu, c’est compromettre la santé et la dignité des gens. Dans ces circonstances, le refus du gouvernement d’utiliser la MPC révisée est proprement indécent car il représente un important manque à gagner pour des personnes à qui l’essentiel manque déjà. Pourquoi le gouvernement cautionne-t-il ainsi l’appauvrissement des gens ?», questionne Virginie Larivière, porte-parole du Collectif pour un Québec sans pauvreté qui a, une nouvelle fois, dénoncé «le refus du gouvernement du Québec d’accorder la moindre aide financière aux personnes en situation de pauvreté depuis le début de la crise». «Tout ce qui est annoncé pour les personnes les plus mal prises, ce sont les maigres engagements du plan de lutte contre la pauvreté qui sont d‘amener les personnes à l’Aide sociale à 55,1 % et les personnes à la Solidarité sociale à 77,6 % de la MPC. Cela leur donnera à peine 10 $ d’augmentation par mois à compter du 1er janvier 2021», indique-t-on. De plus, les trois organisations ont dénoncé le refus du gouvernement de tenir compte de la révision de la MPC que Statistique Canada a dévoilée en février dernier puis officialisée au mois de septembre. Rappelons que, pour une personne vivant seule à Montréal, le seuil de la MPC vient de passer de 17 820 $ par an à 20 080 $ (pour 2018). Cela signifie, par exemple, que les personnes au programme d’Aide sociale couvrent dorénavant moins de 50 % de leurs besoins de base. Finalement, les porte-parole ont demandé au gouvernement de s’engager à garantir aux personnes en situation de pauvreté, le plus rapidement possible, ce qui devrait être considéré comme un minimum: la couverture des besoins de base tels que définis par la MPC. «D’ailleurs, c’est la cible que vise le gouvernement pour les personnes avec des contraintes à l’emploi de longue durée qui seront admissibles au programme de Revenu de base en 2023. La MPC représente le minimum requis pour espérer vivre en santé et tout le monde devrait y avoir droit», conclut-on. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet picks are quickly running into the political reality of a narrowly controlled Senate that will leave the new Democratic administration dependent on rival Republicans to get anything done. Under leader Mitch McConnell, the Republican senators will hold great sway in confirming Biden’s nominees regardless of which party holds the majority after runoff elections in January. Biden will have little room to manoeuvr and few votes to spare. As Biden rolled out his economic team Tuesday — after introducing his national security team last week — he asked the Senate to give his nominees prompt review, saying they “deserve and expect nothing less.” But that seems unlikely. Republicans are swiftly signalling that they’re eager to set the terms of debate and exact a price for their votes. Biden's choice for budget chief, Neera Tanden, was instantly rejected as “radioactive.” His secretary of state nominee, Antony Blinken, quickly ran into resistance from GOP senators blasting his record amid their own potential 2024 White House campaigns. Even as most Republican senators still refuse to publicly acknowledge President Donald Trump’s defeat, they are launching new battles for the Biden era. The GOP is suspended between an outgoing president it needs to keep close — Trump can still make or break careers with a single tweet — and the new one they are unsure how to approach. Almost one month since the Nov. 3 election, McConnell and Biden have not yet spoken. “The disagreement, disorientation and confusion among Republicans will make them inclined to unite in opposition,” said Ramesh Ponnuru, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, during a Tuesday briefing. “They don’t necessarily know what they’re for, but they can all agree they don’t like Neera Tanden.” A new president often runs into trouble with at least a few Cabinet or administrative nominees, individuals who rub the Senate the wrong way and fail to win enough votes for confirmation or are forced to withdraw after grueling public hearings. Trump’s nominees faced enormous resistance from Senate Democrats, who used their minority-party status to slow-walk confirmation for even lower-level positions. It’s been an escalation of the Senate's procedural battles for at least a decade. But the battles ahead are particularly sharp as Biden tries to stand up an administration during the COVID-19 crisis and economic freefall, rebuilding a government after Trump chased away many career professionals and appointed often-untested newcomers. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer praised the expertise Biden's choices will bring to government. He scoffed at Republicans for complaining about Tanden’s penchant for sharp tweets after four years of Trump’s endless Twitter barbs that GOP senators often tried to ignore. “After what all we went through over the past four years, I would expect that almost all of President-elect Biden’s nominees would be widely acceptable,” Schumer said from the Senate floor. Instead, he warned, the "switch is starting to flip” into Republican opposition. To be sure, some key Biden choices will have an easier path to confirmation. Janet Yellen, who would become the nation’s first female treasury secretary, drew few public complaints from Republicans. Many had voted to confirm her in 2014 as Federal Reserve chair. Democrats have their own battles ahead. Biden faces the daunting task of keeping the party's centrist and progressive factions from splintering as he tries to put his team in place. Republicans now hold a 50-48 advantage in the Senate, but if Democrats win both Georgia seats in the Jan. 5 runoff elections, they would wrest control, since the vice-president, which will be Kamala Harris, becomes a tie-breaker. The nomination fights will serve as an early indicator of the approach Republicans take toward Biden as they find their political footing in a post-Trump environment. Trump continues to wield great influence over the party as he is being eased out, and senators, in particular, need to keep him close for the Georgia runoff elections. The president is planning to visit Georgia on Saturday, where two GOP senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, failed to clear the 50% threshold to win reelection in November. Perdue faces Democrat Jon Ossoff and Loeffler faces Democrat Raphael Warnock in a state that flipped to support Biden. McConnell has said almost nothing about Biden’s nominees or next year's agenda as he continues to give Trump the time and space to challenge election results in court cases that have delivered few victories. Instead, he's letting other Senate Republicans, particularly those seen as having White House ambitions, make names for themselves. GOP Sens. Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio and Josh Hawley, among others, have all hurled pointed complaints about Biden's picks. Despite Trump’s defeat, Republicans in Congress may have little incentive to work with Biden. They performed better than Trump, retaining many House and Senate seats they were expected to lose. One lesson Republicans learned from the November election may be to keep doing what they've been doing. McConnell gave a nod toward what's ahead after GOP senators met Tuesday by conference call, forced to abandon their traditional sit-down lunches as the COVID-19 crisis surges and threatens to further disrupt the Capitol. McConnell talked about finishing the remaining few weeks of “this government” and “the new administration” to come. Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
Public health officials insist COVID-19 transmission in schools is limited, but one epidemiologist questions the data — and lack thereof — being used to back that claim. Dr. Brent Roussin has yet to waver from his steadfast belief schools are safe places for K-12 students in Manitoba, despite a provincial test positivity rate that has reached upwards of 14 per cent in recent days. The chief provincial public health officer has repeatedly said, as he reiterated during a news conference Tuesday: “We’re not seeing a lot of transmission in schools.” Amy Greer, an epidemiologist at the University of Guelph, has heard similar rhetoric in Ontario since students returned to school this fall. She isn’t quite as confident as Roussin or the leadership in her home province. “We haven’t really looked,” said Greer, who researches the introduction, spread, dynamics and control of infectious diseases in populations. “If many, many children are asymptomatic, you’re not going to know. You can’t see them. You can’t see that you have an issue if many of those children are asymptomatic, unless you do more targeted surveillance and testing to see what’s actually happening in those classes that have had an exposure.” The general scientific consensus is children under 10 who become infected with SARS-CoV-2 are less likely to become severely ill and spread it to others in comparison to older patients. Early evidence suggested youth are also far less likely to become infected with the novel coronavirus, but growing research shows children are often asymptomatic and thus, infections may go under the radar. Among recent “red flags” for Greer are the results of a new study of common symptoms in children in Alberta, which was published last week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The authors analyzed the results of hundreds of children who underwent testing between April and September. Of the 1,987 who had a positive result, more than one-third reported being asymptomatic. That means 36 per cent of students who are infected pass a self-screening test and the preventative “half-measures” — Greer’s definition of the back-to-school approach, citing politicians’ decisions not to cap class sizes or upgrade ventilation systems, despite expert recommendations — are the last line of defence, she said. Meantime, Greer said there are many instances where adults contract the virus and it is difficult to attribute where they became infected. One explanation could be that an asymptomatic student brought the virus home and by the time a parent shows symptoms and the household gets tested, the student receives a negative result because they have recovered, she said. “I’m uncomfortable saying transmission (in schools) is low, because I don’t think we have the right data.” Last week, Ontario unveiled a voluntary testing program for asymptomatic students and staff in regions with high infection rates. A public school pilot in Thorncliffe Park, a Toronto neighbourhood that has a 16 per cent positivity rate, has since found four per cent of the school had COVID-19, including 18 students and one staff member. When pressed about whether Manitoba would follow suit, Roussin said Tuesday such an initiative would require more testing capacity, so the province has no immediate plans to implement a similar pilot. While Greer acknowledged the pilot will result in more data collection, she said contract tracers should ideally be following up with and ensuring all students and staff who have been exposed to the virus get tested, even if they feel healthy. The widespread testing of children for antibodies would also be helpful data to collect to understand how transmission is occurring in schools, she said. Caroline Colijn, an infectious disease modeller at Simon Fraser University, echoed Greer’s comments during a phone call from Burnaby, B.C. “I don’t think any scientist believes there’s a magic COVID eraser in schools.” She suggests investigators document the environments in which school clusters and outbreaks occur to determine what factors contribute to them. Colijn added it is key officials be transparent with families about what’s going on in schools, in order to maintain trust in the pandemic response. Upwards of 330 Manitoba schools have recorded a COVID-19 exposure to date, according to a spreadsheet compiled by an anonymous parent who draws from provincial data, news reports, and crowdsourcing. The spreadsheet has started to beat the province at making exposures public.Maggie Macintosh, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
Alberta now has the highest per capita amount of infections of all provinces in the country. Over the weekend, Alberta broke the 1,700 mark for new daily cases, with a total of more than 5,000 cases being reported in the past three days. On Saturday, the province hit 1,731 new cases and on Sunday another 1,608 cases were announced. On Monday, the province announced 1,733 new cases, the highest single-day case climb yet. The province conducted 20,500 tests with 8.4 per cent coming back positive. There are currently 16,454 active cases with 453 people in the hospital and 96 in intensive care. There have been eight deaths reported in the past 24 hours. “My thoughts are with anyone who knew and loved these individuals,” Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said. Online learning began for Grade 7 to 12 students across the province Monday and will last until mid-January. Most of the new measures announced last week went into effect Friday. Hinshaw said the province won’t see the impact of these measures for at least two weeks. “There is a lag time between actions and results,” Hinshaw said. The top doctors said she is alarmed by the case rise over the weekend and said all Albertans must do their best to bend the curve. “Each of us must remain more vigilant than ever. We need to bend the curve and lower the number of active cases now to protect each other and the health system,” Hinshaw said.Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette
Sixteen more families lost loved ones to COVID-19, Manitoba’s chief public health officer announced Tuesday. Dr. Brent Roussin extended his condolences to the related families, loved ones and caregivers. “Announcing a list such as this impacts all of us,” he said. “It’s a difficult list to read out. It’s a tragedy for all Manitobans. We know these are much more than numbers. These are people who are missed, right now. And we know we can’t continue to read lists such as this daily.” However, the case count and positivity rate for the day did show some indication that critical red public health orders are beginning to have an effect — with slight decreases across the board. “We can see that our case numbers haven’t been escalating. We’ve seen some variability. Today is another day. So we would hope that this is starting to show a more clear trend downwards,” Roussin said. “We know the lag period on this. We would see the early indicators, such as decreasing the amount of contacts per case. We’d see that followed by a reduction in the amount of total cases. And then … reduction in hospital admissions and ICU admissions and, finally, lagging to severe outcomes.” Nevertheless, Roussin continued with his daily messaging. “So we see our numbers, while not climbing rapidly, are still not where we need them to be. These numbers are still too high for us to sustain. Our hospitalizations and ICU numbers are too high,” he said. “We keep sending that message to stay home. To reduce the amount of contacts you have, to really bring the number of cases down rapidly.” Roussin enumerated his daily requests again: only go out for essentials, a minimum of people per household going out for those essentials, limit gatherings outside the home, limit crowding in workplaces, and limit socialization to the household, “This is all our responsibility. All Manitobans have that responsibility. Please step up right now to decrease the amount of contacts,” Roussin said. “It’ll always be true that these restrictions are tough. Pandemics are tough. We’re asking for a lot — for people to avoid things that they feel are very important to them. Things that are very difficult to give up even in the short term.” Roussin emphasized once again the situation is critical, and hospitals are reaching capacity and health-care workers are overwhelmed. One reporter asked where people are catching COVID-19. “We see it in workplaces. We see it in households. We see it in smaller gatherings within households. That’s pretty much where we’re where we’re seeing it right now,” Roussin said. He also said it’s too early to discuss what decisions will be made when the Dec. 11 approaches, the date of expiry for the current public health orders. What will happen with the Christmas school break is also currently unknown. Similarly, the province has not yet decided on a prioritized list for groups who will first receive the vaccine, when it comes. “We’re working on that list right now. We’re working here in the province. We’re working at a national level. We’ll have that list and a solid explanation to Manitobans on that process. But right now, we’ll wait till we have something to announce.” Tuesday’s provincial COVID-19 numbers Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, reported 16 deaths Tuesday, including two elderly people from the Prairie Mountain Health region — a man in his 80s linked to the Fairview Personal Care Home and a woman in her 100s linked the Gilbert Plains Personal Care Home. That brings total deaths to 328 — 1.9 per cent of the 17,107 lab-confirmed cases Manitoba has seen since the beginning of the pandemic. The five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate was 13.1 per cent provincially, with 13.8 per cent in Winnipeg. There were 283 new cases of the virus. One case was removed due to a data correction, making the total 282. • 17 cases in the Interlake-Eastern region • 22 cases in the Northern region • 12 cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region • 54 cases in the Southern Health-Santé Sud region • 178 cases in the Winnipeg health region. There are 9,066 active cases and 7,713 recovered. There are 305 active cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region, with 724 recovered and 18 deaths. One Prairie Mountain Health patient is in ICU, and 10 are hospitalized. Three hundred thirty-eight people are in hospital in Manitoba, with 48 people in intensive care. Laboratory testing numbers show 2,253 tests were completed Monday, bringing the total number since early February to 357,707. » Source: Province of ManitobaMichèle LeTourneau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun
Brandon Sun readers requested specific questions be asked about COVID-19: QUESTION: Dr. Roussin keeps saying there hasn’t been much spread in schools. It’s always a very vague response. Are there actual statistics related to school transmission? MANITOBA HEALTH: Case and contact investigations amongst school-aged children are followed up extensively by medical officers of health and public health nurses. To date, these investigations have revealed very little transmission within schools. It should be noted that there are over 200,000 students enrolled in schools across Manitoba and to date, there have been under 1,500 infections in children 18 and under. This amounts to cases in less than 0.75 per cent in school-aged children in Manitoba. If there was extensive transmission within schools, we would expect to see a higher proportion infected amongst children; overall, the proportion infected in Manitoba since March is approximately 1.2 per cent, or almost twice that of the proportion in school-aged children. QUESTION: Do you keep numbers on how many people have tested positive for COVID but have not needed medical treatment? Or what percentage of positive people have to be admitted to hospital? DR. BRENT ROUSSIN: We know how many total hospital admissions we have and we know duration of stay on average. We keep all those severe outcome issues. We’ve had 1,092 total hospitalizations, and 204 total ICU admissions. And it depends on what you mean by no medical treatment. The total minus that is the ones that haven’t needed admission. Having no medical treatment … whether they’ve attended a physician for outpatient care — no. We wouldn’t have a way of tracking that. Do you have a question about something in your community? Send your questions to email@example.com with the subject line: Readers Ask. Michèle LeTourneau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun
ATLANTA — A top Georgia elections official on Tuesday lashed out angrily at the rhetoric surrounding the election and the threats of violence that have resulted, specifically calling on President Donald Trump to rein in his supporters.Gabriel Sterling is a Republican who oversaw the implementation of the state’s new voting system. During a routine news conference at the state capitol to provide an update on the recount of the presidential race requested by Trump, Sterling admonished the president and Georgia's two U.S. senators, who are both locked in tight runoff races against Democrats and have called on GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign over claims that he mishandled the election.“Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language. Senators, you have not condemned this language or these actions,” Sterling said, visibly angry. “This has to stop. We need you to step up, and if you’re going to take a position of leadership, show some.”Trump, though, didn't take the upbraiding to heart, reiterating unproven claims of fraud relating to mail-in ballots in a tweet late Tuesday that replied to an Atlanta TV journalist who tweeted about Sterling's denunciation.“Rigged Election,” Trump tweeted. “Show signatures and envelopes. Expose the massive voter fraud in Georgia. What is Secretary of State and Brian Kemp afraid of. They know what we’ll find!!!”People have been driving in caravans past Raffensperger’s home, have come onto his property and have sent sexualized threats to his wife’s cellphone, said Sterling. Raffensperger and Sterling both have police stationed outside their homes, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has said it’s investigating possible threats against officials to determine their credibility.Sterling said his anger boiled over when he learned that a contractor with Dominion Voting Systems helping with the recount effort in suburban Gwinnett County received death threats after someone shot video of him transferring a report to a county computer and falsely said the young man was manipulating election data.“There’s a noose out there with his name on it. That’s not right,” Sterling said, adding that the contractor didn't seek the spotlight by taking a high-profile position like Sterling or run for office like Raffensperger. “This kid took a job. He just took a job.”Trump last week called Raffensperger an “enemy of the people,” Sterling noted, adding, “That helped open the floodgates to this kind of crap."Sterling urged the president to step up and tell his supporters not to commit acts of violence. “Someone’s going to get hurt. Someone’s going to get shot. Someone’s going to get killed,” Sterling said.Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh said in a statement Tuesday evening, "No one should engage in threats or violence, and if that has happened, we condemn that fully.”The campaigns for Republican U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler both issued statements Tuesday evening condemning violence but also criticizing election officials, according to news outlets.“Like many officials, as someone who has been the subject of threats, of course Senator Loeffler condemns violence of any kind. How ridiculous to even suggest otherwise,” Loeffler campaign spokesman Stephen Lawson said. “We also condemn inaction and lack of accountability in our election system process — and won’t apologize for calling it out.”Kate Brumback, The Associated Press
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Forge FC lost a heartbreaker to Haiti's Arcahaie FC in Scotiabank Champions League quarterfinal play Tuesday, conceding a cheap goal on a goalkeeping blunder in regulation time and then losing a penalty shootout.The win earned Arcahaie a berth in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League, alongside the confederation's elite club teams, while moving it into the final four of the CONCACAF League — a 22-team feeder competition that sends six teams to the top-tier CONCACAF tournament.Forge, the Canadian Premier League champion, has a chance to make the Champions League via a do-or-die play-in match next week.Guerry Romondt saved Forge's first two penalties — from Daniel Krutzen and Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson. Arcahaie substitute Ose Charles converted the decisive kick in the 4-2 shootout win.The game was knotted at 1-1 after regulation time with Forge dominating play. but unable to get the go-ahead goal."Obviously this is one that stings," said Forge coach Bobby Smyrniotis."We've played two games in the last 2 1/2 months. This is the third one," he added. "So there's some kind of rhythm that's not going to be there. And the toughest thing to do in this game is score goals." Forge looked in complete control up 1-0 early in the second half but conceded the tying goal in the 59th minute on a mistake by Triston Henry. He delayed playing a back pass from Kwame Awuah and his scuffed clearance attempt deflected in off onrushing Arcahaie forward Kervens Jolicoeur."That's something maybe that's going to happen once in his career," Smyrniotis said."This one kind of stings but he's fantastic. He's goalkeeper of the year in the Canadian Premier League for a reason. It's unfortunate that this comes at this moment but we've got to look past it," he added.After the tying goal the game was delayed by a hole in the Arcahaie goal netting, requiring several zip-ties to close the gap.Krutzen opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time from the penalty spot after David Choiniere was taken down in the box by Hantz Anacius. Romondt dove the right way but Krutzen's shot found the corner.Krutzen also converted a penalty — in second-half stoppage-time — to give Forge a 2-1 win over Panama's Tauro FC in the round of 16.The 24-year-old Belgian defender rattled a free kick off the Arcahaie crossbar in the 49th minute as Forge tormented the Haitians with set pieces.The four CONCACAF League quarterfinal winners qualify directly for the Champions League while the losing quarterfinalists compete in single-leg play-in games, with the two winners also qualifying.Arcahaie advances to play either Costa Rica's Deportivo Saprissa or Honduras' Club Deportivo Marathon, who played in a later game Tuesday, in the January COBCACAF League semifinal. Saprissa won the CONCACAF League last year.Forge will play the Saprissa-Marathon loser next week in the play-in match.Regulation time ended with Forge driving at the Arcahaie goal but unable to get the go-ahead goal. It was the same for the seven minutes of stoppage time with Arcahaie players going down like bowling-pins, delaying play.Tuesday's game went ahead despite one Forge staff member and two Arcahaie players testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of kickoff.CONCACAF said all three had been isolated. All other players and staff tested negative.Smyrniotis made two changes to his starting 11 with Johnny Grant returning from suspension to take over from Kadell Thomas and fellow midfielder Paolo Sabak replacing Elimane Cisse.Forge pressed from the opening kickoff while the Haitians looked to counter-attack. Choiniere almost scored for Forge in the opening minute but couldn't get a boot to a low ball sent across the front of goal by Grant.Forge dominated possession but could not translate it into scoring chance. And the Haitian side began to grow more comfortable on the ball as the deadlock continued.Romondt was called into action twice late in the first half, punching away Forge free kicks. Mo Babouli thought he had scored on the stroke off halftime, heading in another free kick, but was flagged offside.While Arcahaie was the home side, the game was played in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo at the more suitable Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez.The Haitians advanced Nov. 5 with a 3-1 round-of-16 win over Waterhouse FC in Kingston, Jamaica. Forge dispatched Tauro two days earlier in Panama City.The Canadian side then returned home, serving the mandated 14-day quarantine. Forge arrived in the Dominican on Nov 21, training in Punta Cana before making the 170-kilometre trip to the capital on Monday.Arcahaie moved into the round of 16 when Belize's Verdes FC pulled out of their Oct. 20 preliminary-round match due to positive COVID-19 tests. That match was also scheduled for Santo Domingo.Forge defeated El Salvador's CD Municipal Limeno 2-1 in San Salvador on Oct. 22 in preliminary-round play.Forge, thanks to its triumph in the Island Games in Charlottetown during the summer, will also have another chance to qualify for the main CONCACAF club competition when it takes on Toronto FC in final of the Canadian Championship scheduled for the first quarter of 2021.Forge exited the CONCACAF League in the round of 16 last year, beaten 4-2 on aggregate by Honduras's Olimpia. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020The Canadian Press
« On dirait que ça me touche encore plus avec la COVID, on est tous en arrêt, mais ces causes-là ont toujours besoin d’argent. Les enfants ne cessent pas d’être malades pour autant. », partage-t-elle, réalisant que 2 Millions de moins sur une année est énorme. Vicky Lemieux, originaire de Sept-Îles, demeure maintenant à Montréal. L’entreprise où elle travaille participe depuis des années aux 24 heures de Tremblant, permettant de venir en aide à plusieurs causes, particulièrement la Fondation Charles-Bruneau, pour la recherche sur le cancer à l’Hôpital Ste-Justine de Montréal. Dû à la pandémie, les objectifs ont été revus à la baisse, ce qui la motive davantage à faire sa part. « L’an passé, j’ai amassé 2000$. Puisque les objectifs ont été diminués de moitié, j’ai décidé de multiplier les miens par deux », mentionne la Septilienne qui a déjà atteint son objectif, ayant amassé plus de 5000$. Pour cette année, il ne sera pas possible de faire l’événement sur les pentes du Mont Tremblant. Vicky a toujours été une sportive, ayant fait partie des Astérides de Sept-Îles pendant 15 ans, faisait également du ski. Elle s’est mise à la course afin de relever ce nouveau défi et se sent d’attaque. L’édition 2020 aura lieu ce samedi 5 décembre, pour un 24 heures consécutives. Le tout a été adapté en raison de la pandémie, et se fera virtuellement. Chaque équipe avait la possibilité de créer son propre défi sportif. « Pour notre part, moi et mon équipe de 8, allons courir en moyenne 40 km, dont une vingtaine de kilomètres ensemble près du Canal Lachine, et le reste chacun de notre côté. », précise-t-elle. Il est encore temps de donner pour la cause en cliquant sur ce lien : https://participant.24htremblant.com/fr/users/vicky-lemieux-0?fbclid=IwAR2GZtPpxNEsGDK7B43arwgUNEdj7TnQB42YL_SwlpC4L3EpmPsH-_KznVUKarine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord