Details with meteorologist Tyler Hamilton.
Details with meteorologist Tyler Hamilton.
(ANNews) – The Alberta Government announced on March 4, 2020 that they will begin offering vaccination appointments to Albertans 65 to 74 years old starting on Monday, March 15 as part of Phase 2A of the provincial vaccination program. This is happening much earlier than first anticipated, as original estimates predicted that Phase 2 of the vaccine rollout would start in April. 437,000 eligible Albertans will be able to get their vaccine, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Thursday. “By June 30, we expect to have offered every single adult in the province at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.” When Phase 2A begins on March 15, bookings will be offered in two-year age groups. On the first day, anyone aged 73 or 74 will be able to book an appointment. On the second day, eligibility will be expanded to include anyone aged 71 to 72, and so on from there. “Staff and residents in seniors’ supportive-living facilities who are not already immunized will also be able to book appointments starting on Day 1,” Shandro said. “Appointments will be booked through both participating pharmacies, the online booking tool, as well as HealthLink 811. First Nations, Inuit and Métis people who are aged 50 and older will also receive the vaccine starting the week of March 15.” “And it’s important to remember that under our system you never lose eligibility for the vaccine,” he said. “Once you’re eligible you stay eligible. No one is left behind.” On top of this, the Alberta Government also announced their roll-out plan for the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was approved by Health Canada for all adult Canadians. The first doses of the vaccine arrived in Canada on Wednesday March. However, Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) announced that they are not recommending the AstraZeneca vaccine be used on people 65 or older. Keeping in line with the NACI’s recommendation, or lack-there-of, the Alberta Government will only administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to healthy adults 64 years old and younger. Beginning March 10, the province will offer 58,500 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to eligible Albertans aged 50-64 in Phase 2D who do not have severe chronic illness. Albertans born in 1957 can begin booking their appointments on March 10. Both Shandro and Alberta’s chief medical officer of health emphasized the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine, with Shandro saying, “Both Dr. Hinshaw and I recommend that all healthy Albertans get immunized as soon as they are eligible no matter what vaccine option is provided.” “AstraZeneca works. It has shown to reduce infection by 60 to 70 per cent and severe outcomes like hospitalization by 80 per cent.” “Where this vaccine seems to differ is in preventing asymptomatic infection, which means reducing the spread of COVID-19. This is why we’re not using it in any congregate living settings like seniors housing.” Dr, Hinshaw explained, “All three vaccines help protect against serious outcomes or long-term health impacts that COVID-19 can cause for many people. They dramatically reduce the risk of hospitalization and death. If those reasons don’t resonate with you, please know widespread immunization will help us all return to a more normal way of life more quickly.” “Choosing to be immunized is one of the most important actions we can take for ourselves and for our communities,” she said. As for Alberta Hospitalizations, the province fell below 250 for the first time in months on March 6. There are currently 247 Albertans in hospital due to COVID-19 including 42 in intensive care units. There has been 135,537 total infections in the province with the amount of active cases being 4,649. Meanwhile, the amount of active cases on First Nations reserves, as of March 4 and according to Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is: Case numbers per region: Jacob Cardinal is an LJI reporter for Alberta Native News. Jacob Cardinal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alberta Native News
WASHINGTON — Tensions were raw ahead of midnight as Republican leader Mitch McConnell rose in the Senate for the purpose of publicly ridiculing Majority Leader Chuck Schumer over the daylong delay as Democrats argued among themselves over the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue package. But 12 hours later, it was Schumer, D-N.Y., reveling in the last word, an unabashedly upbeat “help is on the way” to Americans suffering through the pandemic and lockdowns as the Senate prepared to approve the massive package without a single GOP vote. Senate passage of the sweeping relief bill Saturday puts President Joe Biden’s top priority closer to becoming law, poised to unleash billion for vaccines, $1,400 direct payments and other aid, and shows Schumer, in his first big test as majority leader, can unify the ever-so-slim Democratic majority and deliver the votes. “Lessons learned: If we have unity, we can do big things,” Schumer told The Associated Press in an interview after the vote. The outcome “gives us optimism about doing more big things in the future — because it worked,” he said. Stewardship of the massive pandemic relief package was an inaugural foray of the new power dynamics of Washington, testing Democratic control of the White House and Congress for the first time in a decade, and setting the foundation for what’s possible for Biden’s agenda. So much of Biden's success or failure depends on the Senate, where Democrats are in command of an evenly split chamber, 50-50, a majority so delicate that any one senator can upend the legislative agenda. While Vice-President Kamala Harris is able to break tie votes, Schumer has zero slack if Republicans are opposed, voting lockstep as they did Saturday against the virus aid as bloated and unnecessary. One key centrist, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., wavered over an unemployment provision, throwing the proceedings into chaos before a grueling all-night session. Biden has been telling senators privately their vote on pandemic aid will build momentum for the next priorities. An ambitious infrastructure package is emerging, part of his “Build Back Better” campaign agenda, to bring roads, broadband and green-energy projects nationwide. He and Schumer spoke often as the Senate leader steered the pandemic aid to approval. It's now headed back to the House for a final vote, as soon as Monday. While no senators appeared ready to tank Biden’s top priority, the next votes could prove more difficult. “There’s a whole series of issues that that quite a few of us were discussing,” said Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., a Biden ally eager for bipartisanship, who spoke to the president a few minutes after the vote. “This was a reminder yesterday that, in a 50-50 Senate, if any one member changes their mind on an amendment, or vote or an issue, it can change the outcome," Coons said. Voting rights, immigration law changes and other bills will be subject to filibuster rules that require 60 votes for passage, rather than 51, a potentially impossible hurdle in the face of Republican opposition that is stoking calls to change the process to ensure Biden’s priorities don’t flame out. “We’re going to have to have discussions about that,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., a member of leadership. But that tough topic was for another day. On Saturday, Democrats elbow-bumped and cheered in the chamber — Stabenow said some were almost in tears -- as they ushered the massive aid package they had promised voters to approval. With 10 million jobs lost and countless schools and businesses shuttered, it includes $300 a week in extra unemployment benefits, money school reopenings, eviction protections and small business assistance. “Only 45 days after Joe Biden became president of the United States, to be able to do something so big, and so significant, that fundamentally is the glue for us,” she said. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said it was the “best day” he’d ever had in the Senate. That biting speech from McConnell, R-Ky., poking at Democrats' temporary disarray? Brown dismissed it as cynical and unsubstantial. “So what,” Brown said. “Nobody cares about that. What they care about is, did we deliver on unemployment? Did we deliver on vaccines? Did we deliver on pensions? We cut the rate of child poverty in half. Think about that.” McConnell led Republicans to put up a blockade of opposition, reviving a strategy used the last time Democrats held the sweep of power, when Barack Obama was president, against the 2009 financial crisis rescue package. After Donald Trump won the White House, McConnell and Republicans controlling Congress with only a slightly thicker Senate margin used similar procedural tools to pass the $2 trillion GOP tax cuts on a party-line vote in 2017. Their effort to repeal and replace the health care law known as “Obamacare” fizzled when Sen. John McCain and two other Republicans voted with Democrats, and McConnell was unable to hold his party together. From his stately office off the Senate floor, with the lived-in feel of the rumpled New Yorker, Schumer pulled out his not-so-secret weapon, the flat flip-phone, which he uses for his constant calls keeping in touch with senators on their votes. "Every member of our caucus, from Bernie Sanders to Joe Manchin, realize that we had to pull together, that if we failed, we’d all be hurt,” Schumer said, referring to the liberal-most senator from Vermont and the centrist from West Virginia. As Manchin hesitated, Schumer called him, as did other senators, and even Biden. But Manchin also had time — hours dragged on — to make up his mind. “He listens to everybody and then he puts it together,” Brown said of Schumer. “He’s good at it.” When the votes were being tallied Saturday, Schumer spotted the two new senators from Georgia, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, and pointed at them. They had stunned the political world by defeating two Republican incumbents in special elections in January that delivered Democrats the majority. “The people of Georgia deserve a great deal of credit for what happened here today,” Warnock said afterward. “Had they not stood up in such a powerful way, in this historic election that sent Jon Ossoff and myself to the Senate, we simply would not be here.” Schumer urged the presiding officer to announce the vote, 50-49. One Republican senator was absent for a family matter. Harris was not needed to break the tie. Schumer turned to his senators and said, “We are a great team.” Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
The Chinese government's top diplomat State Councillor Wang Yi on Sunday said the electoral system in Hong Kong must be improved for long-term stability, saying reform would bring about a "brighter future" for the city. China's plan to dramatically reform Hong Kong's electoral system, unveiled this week during the country's annual parliamentary session, is expected to upend the territory's governance and ensure Beijing loyalists are in charge.
The NBA is expecting arenas to be filled again next season and a return to its normal calendar, commissioner Adam Silver said Saturday. But Silver cautioned again every plan is contingent on continued progress in the ongoing fight against the novel coronavirus. There are no plans for the league to travel overseas next season for exhibitions or regular-season games, Silver said, meaning recent preseason trips to foreign markets such as China, Japan or India won’t be repeated until 2022 at the earliest. But otherwise, things may largely appear back to normal — with the NBA eyeing a return to the 82-game schedule, starting in October and ending in June. “I’m fairly optimistic, at this point, that we will be able to start on time,” Silver said from Atlanta, in his annual news conference that precedes the all-star game. “Roughly half our teams have fans in their arenas right now and, if vaccines continue on the pace they are and they continue to be as effective as they have been against the virus and its variants, we’re hopeful that we’ll have relatively full arenas next season as well.” The league had 171 games cancelled last season because of the pandemic — one of the reasons for revenue projections being missed by about US$1.5 billion — and this season will be at least 150 games below the usual total, with more significant financial losses certain. All teams are scheduled to play 72 games instead of the customary 82, with only about half the league admitting any fans and those that have opened their doors doing so for just a small percentage of normal capacity. “Last season and this season has required a significant investment on the part of the team owners," Silver said. “They accept that. "Players will end up taking a reduction in salary this season because they are partners with the league and teams on revenue. League executives, team executives have all taken haircuts on their salary. But I think when we all step back, we all feel very fortunate to be working under these circumstances and my sense is the players feel the same way." Silver’s news conference was virtual this season for the first time, done over Zoom — like virtually all other league business this year — because of the pandemic and the league’s protocols for health and safety. A year ago at all-star weekend in Chicago, about a month before the NBA’s decision March 11, 2020, to suspend the season following the news that Utah’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, Silver warned there was “a major national, if not global, health crisis” looming with regard to the virus. What Silver said might not have sounded many alarms at that time. Less than a month later, the virus began dominating every aspect of life across the globe — and has continued to since. “One thing we've all come to understand over the last year is that the virus is firmly in charge," Silver said. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press
The reopening of England's schools to all pupils on Monday will mark the first step back towards normality and is only possible because of the efforts of the public to bring COVID-19 infection rates down, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. Johnson has announced a roadmap for lifting lockdown measures that sees schools open first, followed in later stages by the gradual easing of restrictions on mixing with other people and the reopening of non-essential shops and other venues. In the final stage, which will take place no earlier than June 21, the government hopes to remove all remaining legal limits on contact with others.
Carolyn Barnes lost her uncles, Clarence LaPlante, to COVID-19 on Oct. 23.
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 8:30 p.m. ET on Saturday March 6, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 76,108 new vaccinations administered for a total of 2,329,622 doses given. Nationwide, 564,217 people or 1.5 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 6,146.877 per 100,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 2,622,210 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 88.84 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland is reporting 4,472 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 24,757 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 47.279 per 1,000. In the province, 1.61 per cent (8,427) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 35,620 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 69.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 1,105 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 13,281 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 83.724 per 1,000. In the province, 3.32 per cent (5,273) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 14,715 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 9.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 90.25 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 6,657 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 38,676 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 39.631 per 1,000. In the province, 1.48 per cent (14,395) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 61,980 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 62.4 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 7,424 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 33,741 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 43.255 per 1,000. In the province, 1.56 per cent (12,142) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 46,775 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 72.13 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 21,533 new vaccinations administered for a total of 532,012 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 62.175 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 638,445 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 83.33 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 39,698 new vaccinations administered for a total of 860,412 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 58.575 per 1,000. In the province, 1.84 per cent (270,625) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 903,285 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 95.25 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 2,685 new vaccinations administered for a total of 87,622 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 63.632 per 1,000. In the province, 2.19 per cent (30,132) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 124,840 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 9.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 70.19 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 3,577 new vaccinations administered for a total of 90,456 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 76.713 per 1,000. In the province, 2.38 per cent (28,006) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 74,605 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 121.2 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 6,955 new vaccinations administered for a total of 282,674 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 64.214 per 1,000. In the province, 2.06 per cent (90,824) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 274,965 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 102.8 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 311,208 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 60.646 per 1,000. In the province, 1.69 per cent (86,865) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 385,080 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 80.82 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting 1,660 new vaccinations administered for a total of 21,097 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 505.547 per 1,000. In the territory, 18.75 per cent (7,826) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 18,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 45 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 111.6 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 19,775 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 438.285 per 1,000. In the territory, 10.10 per cent (4,558) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 19,100 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 42 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 103.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 13,911 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 359.216 per 1,000. In the territory, 13.28 per cent (5,144) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 23,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 62 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 58.21 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published March 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Nearly a month after Newfoundland and Labrador's provincial election was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, officials say the counting of the ballots has begun — at least for those that have been returned. Ten teams of two people have begun the laborious process of tallying ballots, Elections NL spokeswoman Adrienne Luther confirmed Saturday. Though the election has dragged on well beyond its originally scheduled voting date of Feb. 13 and ballot counting may not end until next month, not everyone was happy to hear the vote-counting process had begun Saturday. "The counting of the votes for who?" asked Patricia Johnson-Castle, the NDP candidate in the Torngat Mountains district, which includes the fly-in Indigenous communities along Labrador's north coast. Many voters in that district are still waiting for their ballots and some are worried they won't arrive in time, she said. Elections NL head Bruce Chaulk called off all in-person voting on Feb. 12, the night before people were originally scheduled to head to the polls. With a COVID-19 outbreak spreading rapidly through the St. John's metro region, Chaulk said votes would instead be cast by mail. After a few deadline extensions, ballots must now be postmarked by March 12 in order to be counted. All requests for ballots had to be in by Feb. 19. Luther confirmed Saturday morning that everyone in Labrador who requested a mail-in ballot before the Feb. 19 deadline would receive one through express mail. Johnson-Castle said express mail still takes six days for mail get from St. John's to Nain, where she lives. Flights have been cancelled because of weather all week, she said, so there's already a backlog. "If the weather comes down next week, I don't know what happens," Johnson-Castle said in an interview Saturday. She said she also spent $600 from her campaign fund to translate ballot instructions into Inuktitut and Innu-aimun, the Indigenous languages used by many in her district. She acknowledged that Elections NL doesn't normally provide translations of these materials, but said with in-person voting, people are on hand to help the many monolingual speakers of these languages cast a ballot. The Progressive Conservatives have also expressed concern about Labrador's Indigenous voters being left behind. "Our candidates in Labrador have been working with voters directly to ensure ballots are able to be filled out and residents can partake in this election," said a statement from the party on Saturday. "The timing of this election has greatly affected the ability of Indigenous populations throughout our province to participate." In an emailed statement, the Liberal party, whose leader Andrew Furey is the incumbent premier, said they recognize the importance of Indigenous languages in the province. "It is our understanding from supporters we connect with that, where needed, Elections NL is doing everything it can to help those who request accommodations with the special ballot process," the statement said. Furey first called the election on Jan. 15, and he's faced criticism for the call throughout the campaign, even before the pandemic sent the process spiralling into chaos. Luther had said previously that approximately 68,000 voted before Feb. 12 at advance polls or by special ballot, which includes mail-in ballots and ballots cast at district offices before election day. Her office estimates another 120,000 voters contacted the office to request a mail-in ballot after in-person voting was suspended. Elections NL staff can process about 5,000 mail-in ballots a day, she said, which means the vote tallying could carry on until April. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska Native leader and former state lawmaker John Sackett has died. He was 76. Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy has ordered all flags to fly at half-staff on Monday in tribute. “John Sackett was a valuable and effective advocate for Alaska Natives and our rural communities throughout his nearly 20-year tenure in the Legislature, as well as his extensive professional and community involvement. His legacy of service will forever be an integral piece of Alaska’s history,” Dunleavy said. “Rose and I offer our sympathies to the Sackett family as they honour his memory.” His cause of death was not immediately released. Sackett was born in 1944 in the remote village of Cutoff, 35 miles (56 kilometres) up the Huslia River in Interior Alaska, Anchorage Daily News reported. He began his political career in 1967 in the state House of Representatives, when he was in his 20s. Sackett then spent 14 years in the state Senate, and four in the House representing Interior and Southwest Alaska, according to a profile by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He also served as chair of the Senate Finance Committee. Sam Kito, former president of the Alaska Federation of Natives, said on Friday that Sackett's work in the Legislature was only part of his legacy. He also helped establish Doyon Ltd., the Alaska Native regional corporation, in the 1970s. Sackett was the first president of Doyon and Kito served as executive vice-president, he said. Sackett was also former president of the Tanana Chiefs Conference, providing services to dozens of tribes. Kito also said Sackett was an influential leader in the fight for the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which established Alaska Natives claims to land in the state. Doyon, Ltd. said on its Facebook page in 2019 that Sackett continued to attend meetings until late in life. The Associated Press
BARCELONA, Spain — Lionel Messi linked up with two generations of teammates to ensure that Barcelona will gain ground on at least one of its two Spanish league title rivals this weekend. Barcelona won 2-0 at Osasuna on Saturday as Messi undid the hosts' disciplined defence on the half-hour mark when he repeated a pass that has led to plenty of goals over his career — sending the ball behind the defensive line to meet a darting run by Jordi Alba. The 31-year-old left back, who has made a career of returning that initial through-ball back to Messi, this time sought his own shot and drilled a powerful strike right past the head of goalkeeper Sergio Herrera. Messi then fast-forwarded to Barcelona’s future with seven minutes left in the match when he served as the link between two of the team’s 18-year-old talents. After receiving the ball from Pedri González, Messi quickly laid it off for substitute Ilaix Moriba to cut back to his left foot and curl a shot into the corner of the net. Barcelona extended its undefeated run to 16 league matches to keep the pressure on Atlético a day before it hosts third-place Real Madrid in a Spanish capital derby. Atlético will also have one more game to play after this round. Ilaix thanked Messi for the pass, and coach Ronald Koeman for the chance to play, after scoring his first goal for the team two weeks after his debut. “From the first game, Koeman told me to look to score and that is what I did,” said Ilaix. “Messi gave me the pass and I don’t know how I cut back ... but I shot and it went in. I will never forget this. I will take this to my grave.” Koeman arrived last summer to overhaul a team that had looked old and worn out when it finished the season without a title and capitulating 8-2 to Bayern Munich. Instead of promising immediate titles, he lowered expectations and focused on rejuvenating the team for years to come. And that he has done. Ilaix is the latest of a number of young players that Koeman has nurtured along, including Pedri, the injured Ansu Fati, Frenkie de Jong, Ousmane Dembele, Ronald Araújo, Óscar Mingueza, and Sergiño Dest. “We are proud to give opportunities to the young players” Koeman said. “They are demanding a chance because they are the future of the club. It is important to bring some fresh air into the team. Playing for Barcelona, you are obligated to win, but if we can do so while introducing young players and the changes we are making, then even better.” The win comes before Barcelona’s club members vote on Sunday for a new president, who will inherit a club with a ballooning debt and the task of convincing Messi to stay on when his contract expires this summer. Barcelona’s good form in Spain will face an extremely tough test on Wednesday when it visits Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. PSG won 4-1 in the first leg of the round of 16 with a hat trick by Kylian Mbappe at Camp Nou. Before kickoff at El Sadar Stadium, Barcelona’s players wore shirts with “8M” to commemorate International Women’s Day on Monday 8 March. SEVILLA SLIPS After losing both games of its league-cup doubleheader against Barcelona in the last week, Sevilla was upset 2-1 by Elche. Raúl Guti and Guido Carrillo scored for Elche in the 70th and 76th minutes, before Luk de Jong pulled one back for Sevilla. Sevilla remained in fourth place and in control of Spain’s last Champions League spot. Elche escaped the relegation zone. “I am angry with our game,” Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui said. “We were completely out of the match. We lacked heart. (But) there is no need to search for someone to blame. When a team is not playing well, the first one to blame is the coach.” LONG-AWAITED WINS Valladolid beat Getafe 2-1 to end an eight-round winless streak, while Cádiz edged Eibar 1-0 to end a seven-round winless run. Eibar’s loss left it in in the relegation zone. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Joseph Wilson, The Associated Press
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 7:30 p.m. Alberta's chief medical health officer says there are 341 new COVID-19 cases in the province in the previous 24 hours, and one additional death. Dr. Deena Hinshaw says in a series of tweets that the new cases include 36 which are tied to virus variant of concern. She says there are 4,649 active COVID-19 cases in Alberta, with the number of those hospitalized falling to 247. She says 42 of those patients are in intensive care. Hinshaw says today's test positivity rate is 4.1 per cent. --- 3:10 p.m. Saskatchewan is reporting three new COVID-19 deaths among residents who tested positive for COVID-19. The province's daily pandemic update says all three were from the Saskatoon zone and ranged in age from their 50s to their 80s. The update also notes there 163 new COVID-19 cases in the province today. Saskatchewan has 1,613 cases that are considered active, and 142 people currently in hospital with the virus. --- 2:55 p.m. Nunavut is reporting another four new cases of COVID-19 today. All are in Arviat, bringing the total number of active cases there to 21. The community is the only one in Nunavut with active cases. Officials also reported four additional cases in Arviat on Friday, plus 10 the day before. Nunavut's chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, said Friday that despite the new cases, the outbreak in the community is contained. --- 2 p.m. Manitoba is reporting one new COVID-19 death today -- a woman in her 20s in the Winnipeg health region. The daily pandemic update from the province notes there were 66 new COVID-19 cases as of 9:30 this morning, six of which are the variant originally found in the United Kingdom and three of which are a variant first detected in South Africa. The update says Manitoba's five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 3.1 per cent provincially and 2.2 per cent in Winnipeg. There are 1,114 active COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, with 158 patients in hospital. --- 1:15 p.m. New Brunswick health authorities are reporting six new cases of COVID-19. Officials say all six patients are self-isolating and contact tracing is underway. There are now 35 reported active COVID-19 infections in New Brunswick with three people in hospital, including two in intensive care. Public health has confirmed 1,453 cases in the province since the onset of the pandemic, including 28 deaths. --- 12:50 p.m. Newfoundland and Labrador health authorities are reporting two new cases of COVID-19. Officials say both cases are close contacts of previously identified patients. Authorities say there are now 87 active reported COVID-19 cases across the province. All but two of those infections are in the eastern health region, where an outbreak spread rapidly through the St. John’s metro area last month. --- 11:25 a.m. Nova Scotia health officials are reporting six new cases of COVID-19 today. Authorities say all six infections are connected to travel or to previously identified cases. Public health says there are now 29 active reported cases of COVID-19 across the province, with two people in hospital with the disease. There have been 1,657 infections reported in the province since the onset of the pandemic. --- 11:15 a.m. Quebec is reporting 749 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours, along with 10 new deaths linked to the virus. The province also says it administered 19,865 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, marking a new single-day high for Quebec's immunization drive. Hospitalizations in the province declined by 16 to 601 today, while the number of patients in intensive care decreased by two to 109. --- 10:30 a.m. Ontario is reporting comparatively low COVID-19 case figures today, logging 990 new infections and six virus-related deaths over the past 24 hours. Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 284 new cases in Toronto, 173 in Peel Region, and 82 in York Region. Two of those long-standing hotspots, Toronto and Peel, are due to rejoin the province's COVID-19 response framework at the grey lockdown level starting on Monday. The province is also reporting a single-day high of 39,698 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered since Friday's update. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
A man who police say intentionally crashed his vehicle into a police cruiser on Saturday morning has been charged with attempted murder. Police were called to the area of Ellesmere Road and Gander Drive, just east of Markham Road, shortly before 8 a.m. In a news release on Saturday afternoon, police said an officer was stopped at an intersection in a marked vehicle when the driver of another vehicle allegedly hit it. In a tweet, Toronto police chief James Ramer said the driver hit the police cruiser twice before getting out of the car armed with a knife. "The officer attempted to de-escalate but the man refused to drop the knife," Ramer said in the tweet. Ramer said other officers attended the scene and used de-escalation tactics to arrest the driver safely. In addition to the attempted murder charge, the 47-year-old man of Toronto faces the following: one count of dangerous operation of a vehicle, two counts of assault of a peace officer with a weapon, one count of weapons dangerous, and one count of failing to comply with a release order. The man is expected to appear in court on Sunday.
CALGARY, United Kingdom — Alberta's Liberals have appointed a Calgary lawyer to hold the party's top job months after the resignation of its former leader. The party issued a statement saying its board of directors named John Roggeveen to the role, but offered few other details. The party, which currently holds no seats in the provincial legislature, has been without a leader since November when David Khan stepped down to pursue a job in his previous field of law. Roggeveen, too, is a lawyer by trade, most recently practising privately in Calgary. Liberal Party President Helen Mcmenamin describes him as "the ideal candidate" for the role, citing "years of political experience and a deep commitment to building the Party and serving Albertans." Roggeveen says it's an honour to take the party reins and is pledging to bolster its presence in the province's political landscape. "Good policies are one of the strengths of our party, but good organization will be the foundation for successfully implementing them," he said in the statement. "My focus will be on creating a stronger organization so that the Alberta Liberals will be a force in the next election." The Liberals were once the province's official Opposition, but after a high of 32 seats in 1993, the party suffered from ups and downs until it fell to third-party status in the legislature in 2012. It secured a seat for only one member in 2015 and was shut out of the legislature entirely during the most recent election in April 2019. Saturday's statement neither specified the expected length of Roggeveen's stint as party leader nor spelled out the process for choosing a permanent successor. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
Deliveroo said shares worth 50 million pounds ($69 million) would be earmarked for customers in its upcoming flotation, with the offer branded "Great food with a side of shares". The Amazon-backed food delivery firm announced plans on Thursday to list in London, with a potential value of $7 billion making it the biggest market debut in Britain for three years. Founder and chief executive Will Shu said Deliveroo's customers had supported the firm's growth and he wanted to give them the chance to share in the next stage of its journey.
LAS VEGAS — Kyle Larson was out of NASCAR long enough to wonder if he'd still feel comfortable in a Cup car. He raced in nearly 100 events last year, just not in 3,400-pound stock cars. Would it feel the same as he remembered? Had his familiarity with the interior faded? His instincts slipped? Larson, who won 42 of 83 open-wheel races during his NASCAR suspension for using a racial slur, has fallen right back into the old routine. “I thought there would be cobwebs and rust. But maybe because I raced so much last year in sprint cars and open wheel cars ... I felt as fresh as ever," Larson said. "When I got in the car and put my head-and-neck restraint on and buckled up, everything just felt normal. It didn’t feel like I had been out of the car a long time. “Even shifting gears and coming down pit road and stopping on my pit sign and stuff like that, like it’s all come natural so far." Larson, fired by Chip Ganassi Racing after using a racial slur during an iRacing event in April, was hired by Hendrick Motorsports when his ban was lifted at the end of last season. His official return was last month at Daytona International Speedway, where he opened his second chance in NASCAR with a 10th-place finish in the Daytona 500. He was running in the top three with seven laps remaining a week later on the Daytona road course when Larson, in a moment of admitted over-aggressiveness, spun his Chevrolet and fell to a 30th-place finish. Last week at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Larson led five laps and finished fourth, marking back-to-back weeks he believed he had a shot to win. Next up is Sunday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It's the fourth race of the season and falls one day short of his fourth and final Cup race a year ago. The season was paused for the pandemic, Larson was suspended during the shutdown and missed the final 32 races of the year. Despite his layoff and the move to a new organization, he's already fitting in well at Hendrick Motorsports. The team got its first win of the season last week from William Byron, a playoff driver who typically hovers around the cutoff mark but is now automatically qualified. Alex Bowman had one of the fastest cars at the Daytona 500, and reigning series champion Chase Elliott could have won both the Daytona 500 and the road course race a week later. Chad Knaus, vice-president of competition, believes Hendrick drivers could have swept the first three races of the season and Larson could get a victory soon. Coming off the suspension, Larson has made a strong off-track impression on Hendrick, too. He has been a welcome addition to the driver debriefs, which no longer include seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson downloading information for the first time in nearly two decades. “I've been really impressed with Kyle. Having him here, he's been very open, very forthcoming with information from what he's feeling,” Knaus said. “He's an open book. He's been great and we could not be more pleased with his performance.” He's also noticed a patience in Larson, particularly at Homestead last week when Larson could have been too aggressive with his preferred style of riding up against the wall. “Everybody also had the thought of Kyle, fast but he crashes. Or fast but he hits the wall, fast but does a lot of those things,” Knaus said. "Homestead would have been a great opportunity to compromise the car and he didn't do it. He ran top-five all day long, didn't think he had more than that and didn't want to push it. “That's a high level of maturity that I did not know he had.” NEW WINNERS Las Vegas should be the track that returns some normalcy to victory lane after three surprise winners through the first three races. Michael McDowell and Christopher Bell scored the first wins of their careers to open the season and Byron earned his second-ever Cup victory. But the 1.5-mile traditional intermediate Las Vegas track represents the type of track the Cup cars frequent most and the top teams really pull away from the pack. Six of the drivers in Sunday's field are previous Las Vegas winners, including two-time defending race winner Joey Logano. Denny Hamlin, the current Cup points leader, has never won in 18 starts at Las Vegas. ODDS AND ENDS Harvick is the 5-1 favourite to win Las Vegas, where he won in 2016 and 2018. Martin Truex Jr. is 13-2, while Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin are both 8-1. Team Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are 9-1 and Logano is the defending race winner. ... Chase Briscoe is leading the rookie of the year standings by nine points over Anthony Alfredo. Briscoe last season was the first Xfinity Series driver in history to sweep the Las Vegas races. ... Raiders quarterback David Carr is the grand marshal. ... Spectators returned to the speedway for the first time since last February's race. The speedway was permitted to host approximately 12,500 fans and tickets sold out for all three days of racing. Infield camping was not permitted. "This is the first time I can ever remember being disappointed to announce a sellout,” said Chris Powell, track president. Jenna Fryer, The Associated Press
Alberta reported 341 new cases of COVID-19 around the province on Saturday and one additional death. This brings the total of active cases up to 4,649, 10 more total cases from the day before. Across the province, there are currently 247 in hospital and 42 in intensive care. On Saturday, the province also reported 36 new cases of the COVID-19 variant that was first detected in the United Kingdom, after 22 new cases of the variant were reported the previous day. The total number of active variant cases in the province is now 599. Provincial labs completed 8,142 tests for the disease on Friday, for a positivity rate of 4.1 per cent. Authority for Alberta's peace officers to enforce public health orders will be reinstated, the province announced in a bulletin on Thursday, after temporary COVID-19 enforcement power expired on Feb. 25. Justice Minister Kaycee Madu decided to issue the order after further consideration, according to the bulletin. However, because there is no current declared provincial state of emergency, peace officers and their employers must consent to enforcing the orders of Alberta's chief medical officer of health through the Public Health Act. Alberta Justice did not immediately respond to inquiries on Saturday as to what prompted the minister to reconsider the enforcement authority. The regional breakdown of active cases on Saturday was: Calgary Zone - 1,659 Edmonton Zone - 1,154 North Zone - 958 Central Zone - 511 South Zone - 353 Unknown - 14 Since the first case hit Alberta one year ago, 135,537 people in Alberta have tested positive for the virus and 1,914 have died. As of Friday, 282,674 doses of vaccine had been administered. The next live update from Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, will be March 8.
MILAN — The Milan fashion house Dolce&Gabbana has filed a defamation suit in an Italian court seeking over $600 million in damages from two U.S. fashion bloggers who reposted anti-Asian comments attributed to one of the designers that led to a boycott by Asian consumers. The suit was filed in Milan civil court in 2019 but only became public this week when the bloggers posted about it on their Instagram account, Diet Prada. Their feed is widely followed in the fashion world for its cutting commentary on unoriginality in designs and on social issues. “This whole case is a way of trying to silence Diet Prada, and to silence Tony (Liu) and Lindsay (Schuyler) personally,’’ said Susan Scafidi, director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School, which is co-ordinating the bloggers' defence. Lawyers for Dolce&Gabbana reached by the AP declined to comment on the case. The case dates back to November 2018, when Dolce&Gabbana faced a boycott in Asia after outrage over what were seen as culturally insensitive videos promoting a major runway show in Shanghai and subsequent posts of insulting comments in a private Instagram chat. The show was cancelled in the backlash, which included retailers pulling Dolce&Gabbana merchandise and Asian VIPs disavowing the brand. Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana initially said that Gabbana’s account had been hacked. The two later appeared in a video apologizing to the Chinese people. “A public apology and a quiet lawsuit really cancel each other out in my mind,’’ Scafidi told The Associated Press on Saturday. Italian defence attorneys filed a brief this week in Milan civil court, arguing that Italy is not the correct venue for the case, given that the blog is produced in the United States and the alleged damages occurred in Asia. The fashion house is seeking damages totalling more than half a billion euros, Scafidi said. She said the fashion house is seeking 450 million euros spent to restore brand image since 2018 and damages of 3 million euros for the company and 1 million for Gabbana, to whom the remarks were attributed. The suit also seeks more than 8.6 million euros for the cancellation of the Shanghai show, another 8.6 million euros for staff expenditures and 89.6 million euros for lost Asian sales from November 2018-March 2019. Since going public, Diet Prada, which has over 2.5 million Instagram followers, has raised more than $38,000 for its defence. In a statement, Liu and Schuyler both said they would not allow their platform, which has also been vocal about the #MeToo movement, Black Lives Matter and recent attacks on Asians in the United States, to be silenced by lawsuits. “Diet Prada will continue to be a platform to elevate these crucial issues,” Liu said. Schuyler called on “public figures and brands to respond to public opinion and media critiques with progressive action, not lawsuits." Colleen Barry, The Associated Press
South Korea and the United States will conduct its springtime military exercise this week, but the joint drill will be smaller than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic, Seoul said on Sunday. The allies will begin a nine day "computer-simulated command post exercise" on Monday, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. South Korea and the United States decided to move forward with the drills after "comprehensively taking into consideration the COVID-19 situation, the maintenance of the combat readiness posture, the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of peace," the JCS said, noting that the exercise is "defensive" in nature.
A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared in one unit of the Kelowna General Hospital after a staff member and patient tested positive for the virus. In a statement, Interior Health said the outbreak affects unit 5B at the hospital and there is no evidence the virus has transmitted to other areas of the hospital. This outbreak is not linked to an ongoing outbreak on unit 4B, which was declared on Feb. 22, Interior Health said. Outbreak control measures are in place and the hospital remains safe to visit for appointments and emergency care, the health authority added. Patients and visitors are not required to get tested or self-isolate after visiting the hospital. B.C. health officials announced a spike in new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, adding 634 to the tally over the last 24 hours. Another four people have died of the disease. Interior Health to open call centre for vaccinations Monday Interior Health says it will open its call centre on Monday for seniors looking to book COVID-19 vaccinations. People aged 90 and up, as well as Indigenous people aged 65 and up, can call 1-877-740-7747 to book an appointment. The call centre is open seven days per week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Vaccinations will start as early as March 15. B.C.'s largest ever vaccination campaign aims to vaccinate more than four million British Columbians against COVID-19 by September 2021. In the past week, several factor have changed to quickly accelerate that timeline, including the province's decision to delay second doses of the vaccine until more first doses are administered. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said everyone in the province could receive a first shot by early July, or even late June. Click here to read more about the vaccines and how they will be distributed. CBC British Columbia is hosting a town hall on March 10 to put your COVID-19 vaccine questions to expert guests, including Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. You can find the details at cbc.ca/ourshot. Have a question about the vaccine, or the rollout plan in B.C.? Email us: email@example.com
Arsenal’s bold approach of playing the ball out from the back since the arrival of Mikel Arteta in December 2019 has drawn plenty of praise and led to a number of wonderfully constructed goals. It comes with obvious risks, however, and that was highlighted in the equalizer the team conceded in a 1-1 draw at Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday that left Arsenal’s chances of qualifying for European competitions even more unlikely. Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka received a short pass from goalkeeper Bernd Leno, took a slightly heavy touch onto his weaker right foot, then attempted a dangerous pass across the face of goal around Burnley striker Chris Wood. The ball ended up striking Wood on his hip and careering into the net, the unwitting scorer looking slightly sheepish as he celebrated his goal. “It’s the way we play and the way we want to play,” said Arteta, whose side had gone ahead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. “We have to know the risk and the rules for the way we want to play. It is what it is.” Things often seem to go wrong for Xhaka when he plays Burnley. He was sent off in the teams’ meeting at Emirates Stadium in December and also in their game in January 2017. His eight errors leading directly to goals since the start of the 2016-17 season is the most of any outfield player in the Premier League in that period. Arsenal is nine points off the Champions League places with 11 games remaining. Its best chance of getting into the competition next season lies in winning the Europa League, where the team has reached the last-16 stage. LEICESTER FIGHTBACK One team heading for the Champions League is Leicester, even with its growing list of injuries. A header from Daniel Amartey at an 87th-minute corner completed Leicester's comeback in a 2-1 win at Brighton that lifted Brendan Rodgers' team above Manchester United and into second place. Kelechi Iheanacho began the recovery, lifting a deft finish over Robert Sanchez in the 62nd minute to cancel out Adam Lallana's goal in the 10th for relegation-threatened Brighton. Leicester has a seven-point buffer to fifth-place Everton in the race to finish in the top four. The team hasn't played in the Champions League since the 2016-17 campaign, missing out last season after a late collapse. Injuries sustained by Harvey Barnes, James Maddison, James Justin and Jonny Evans over the past month have hit Leicester hard but the team is showing resolve, coming from behind to draw at Burnley in midweek after also falling behind early. With United playing Manchester City in the derby on Sunday, there's a decent chance Leicester will be staying in second place at least until next weekend. INGS INJURY Southampton is facing a few more weeks without Danny Ings after the England striker was forced off with another injury early against last-place Sheffield United. It didn't stop Southampton winning 2-0, though, for a first victory in 10 games to halt its fall into a relegation fight. A penalty by James Ward-Prowse was followed by a fierce strike from outside the area by Che Adams, the replacement for Ings, as the Saints won for the first time in two months. Ings' groin injury took some of the gloss from the result, however. The striker, who has had dreadful luck with injuries in his career notably at Liverpool, has already had two spells out of action this season. Sheffield United stayed 12 points from safety and looks destined for relegation. NEAR MISSES Aston Villa and Wolverhampton struck the goal frame three times between them and there was also an incredible miss from barely a meter out in the teams' 0-0 draw. Wolves' crossbar shook twice in the opening 15 minutes from fierce shots by Ollie Watkins and Ezri Konsa, while Conor Coady headed the ball against the post in the second half. The most agonizing miss was still to come, though, with the ball rolling across the face of goal from Coady's attempt for Wolves and Romain Saiss contriving to lift the ball over the crossbar from almost right on the goal-line. Villa is really lacking a cutting edge without captain and star midfielder Jack Grealish, having also been kept scoreless in losing to Sheffield United in midweek. Villa is six points off the European positions. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80 Steve Douglas, The Associated Press