Blue Origin's new rocket engine production facility opens on Monday

Darrell Etherington

Blue Origin is opening its new rocket engine production center in Huntsville, Ala. on Monday, the company said today on Twitter. The new Huntsville facility will be able to produce its rocket engines at a much higher rate than is currently possible, which will be useful as the company is using its in-development BE-4 engine for its own New Glenn rocket, as well as for supplying the United Launch Alliance with thrust for its new Vulcan launch vehicle.

Blue Origin started working on BE-4 in 2011, and though it was originally designed for use specifically on Blue Origin's own New Glenn rocket, which is its first orbital launch vehicle, in 2014 ULA announced it would be using the engines to power its own next-generation Vulcan craft as well. BE-4 has 550,000 lbs of thrust using a mixture of liquid natural gas and oxygen for fuel, and is designed from the ground up for heavy lift capability.

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Blue Origin says it will deliver the first two production BE-4 engines this year, with deliveries to ULA to integrate them on the Vulcan for its first static hot fire tests. Blue Origin also aims to fly New Glenn equipped with the engines for their first test flight in 2021. It's in the process of running longer tests to prove out the engines, and will aim to qualify them in their entirety through life cycle testing, which aims to replicate the kind of stress and operating conditions the hardware will undergo through its actual lifetime use.

Part of Blue Origin's testing process will include retrofitting and upgrading Test Stand 4670 at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, allowing the company to test a BE-3 engine one side and a BE-4 engine on the other.

It's an exciting time for Blue Origin and its BE-4, and the engine has been a long time in the making. What comes next could set it up as an integral and core part of the U.S. space launch program going forward, regardless of how its own launch vehicle plans proceed.

  • U.S. coronavirus supply spree sparks outrage among allies
    News
    Reuters

    U.S. coronavirus supply spree sparks outrage among allies

    From Europe to South America, U.S. allies are complaining about the superpower's "Wild West" tactics in outbidding or blocking shipments to buyers who have already signed deals for vital medical supplies. In France and Germany, senior officials said the United States was paying far above the market price for medical-grade masks from No. 1 producer China, on occasion winning contracts through higher bids even after European buyers believed a deal was done, and Brazil's health minister reported a similar incident.

  • The Cuomo show, Andrew and Chris, enliven coronavirus TV
    News
    The Canadian Press

    The Cuomo show, Andrew and Chris, enliven coronavirus TV

    NEW YORK — With all their familial love and drama, the Cuomo brothers — Andrew during the daytime, Chris at night — have become compelling figures in the plague-driven landscape of American television.Andrew, New York's governor, holds a near daily televised briefing on the epidemic, a mixture of statistics, aphorisms and advice together with prodding and praise directed at a fellow Queens, N.Y., native, President Donald Trump. Women and Democrats swoon.Chris has tested positive for coronavirus and done his prime-time CNN shows this week while quarantined in his basement, describing his fever, chills and worries that his wife and children will catch the virus.Their worlds merged Thursday, when Andrew brought Chris into his midday briefing via remote link. Chris described a fever dream where his big brother, dressed in a ballet outfit, danced around him and waved a wand to make his sickness disappear.“Thank you for sharing that with us,” Andrew deadpanned.Both men have inherited a trait from their father Mario, like Andrew, a three-term New York governor: Neither will say something in 5 minutes when 20 will do. Both Fox News Channel and MSNBC grew tired of their banter and cut away to something else.Andrew, 62, has used his briefings to scold young New Yorkers about social distancing, closing playgrounds when basketball games didn’t cease. He’s talked expansively on people needing to keep their spirits up and is candid when he doesn’t know something. He offered detailed statistics Thursday on hospital equipment, with the screen behind him flashing the cliche, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.”He's never been an orator like his dad. Yet some of the characteristics that cause him trouble as governor — his micro-management, constant need to be in charge and, some have said, bullying — work well now, said Elizabeth Benjamin, host of the Albany, N.Y.-based show “Capital Tonight” before it ended last year.“He is rising to the occasion for which he was made,” Benjamin said. “This is the kind of thing that he really excels at. This is not surprising to people who have followed him for many years.”Cuomo's performance has some Democrats wishing he was a presidential candidate. He waves off such talk.Attacks on him from Trump's most loyal ally in the media, Fox News' Sean Hannity, indicate Cuomo has made a mark. They were wrapped into the best wishes Hannity offered to Chris on Tuesday.“My political differences with his brother and the fact that he's lacked total preparedness and is screaming at the president ... that's politics,” Hannity said.Chris Cuomo says he continues to appear on TV in order to put a human face on the story, so people understand his physical struggles. The dark circles under his bleary eyes Thursday made it obvious.“Nobody can sit on the sidelines right now, least of all somebody who has been blessed with a platform to talk about it,” he said Wednesday night.Viewers are intrigued. His show was seen by 2.8 million people on Tuesday, the day it was announced he had tested positive. That compares to the 1.1 million viewers his show averaged in March 2019, the Nielsen company said.“He's in a position where he doesn't have to describe it second-hand,” said Mark Whitaker, a former Newsweek editor and executive at both CNN and NBC News. “He can describe what he's going through. I wouldn't call it reassuring, but I think it's something that people want to know and to see and to hear.”Before his diagnosis, Andrew appeared on Chris' show a handful of times during the coronavirus outbreak, most recently Monday. Brother-on-brother news interviews is the sort of thing that makes journalism ethics experts queasy.In this case, it gives viewers sitting at home a glimpse at the dynamics of a family other than their own. They've talked publicly about where their 88-year-old mother, Matilda, should stay other than her New York apartment to ride out the epidemic.Thirteen years separate the brothers. Andrew was Mario's right-hand man and enforcer during his father's election as governor in 1982 and first term. Chris was 12 that year and has talked about how Andrew “raised” him.Even though statistics show Chris will recover from the virus, Andrew revealed how much the diagnosis scared him.“We're talking about my little brother,” he said. “This is my best friend. I talk to him several times a day. Basically, spend my whole life with him. It is frightening on a fundamental level. There's nothing I can do. It's out of my control.”Their byplay, which anyone with siblings can appreciate, approaches lounge act status.During his briefing Wednesday, Andrew sat next to a picture of his brother taken from TV, mouth frozen mid-word.“Kudos to him,” he said. “My pop would be proud. I love you, little brother. Even though I did not pick this picture, with your mouth open, it is suitable in some ways.”Retorted Chris on CNN hours later: “He picked it.”“The irony of my brother joking about how I look is not lost on me, alright? Like he's some box of chocolates.”David Bauder, The Associated Press

  • Ontario to shut down some construction sectors amid COVID-19 outbreak, premier says
    News
    CBC

    Ontario to shut down some construction sectors amid COVID-19 outbreak, premier says

    Recent developments: * Premier announces province will be shutting down some parts of the construction industry. * Province's top health officials reveal projections suggesting COVID-19 could kill 3,000 to 15,000 people. * Ontario confirmed 462 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. Provincial total now at 3,255. * Official tally includes 67 deaths. * CBC News has accumulated data from local public health units and counted 81 deaths in the province. * Across the province, 1,023 cases are considered resolved. * A total of 66,753 tests have been administered province-wide and 1,245 people are awaiting test results. * Health official says non-Canadians with no health insurance will be treated. * Pinecrest Nursing Home reporting four more deaths of residents in a COVID-19 outbreak there bringing the total to 20. * Health unit west of Toronto apologizes after mistakenly mailing letters to 16 people telling them that their COVID-19 tests were negative when they were in fact positive. * Minister of Health Christine Elliott announces new online site for the public to access their COVID-19 test results. * Province issues new order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to give health units more flexibility through hiring retired nurses, medical students and volunteers.Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that the province will be shutting down some parts of the province's construction industry amid efforts to contain COVID-19. The changes come as the government updates its list of essential businesses and services in response to recommendations from public health officials to further restrict physical interactions between people.Private sector industrial, commercial and institutional projects will be affected, while public sector infrastructure work and some residential construction will be allowed to continue. Projects related to the health-care sector, including any work necessary to ensure the production of critical equipment and medical devices, as well those required to maintain the operations of petrochemical plants and refineries, will be exempted from the shut down.Ford said he'll continue to follow the advice of public health officials to determine whether the list of essential businesses needs to be further refined, but reaffirmed that supply chains for food and other essential items will remain in place, meaning grocery stores and pharmacies, for example, will remain open.Meanwhile, Ontario's retail cannabis outlets have been taken off the essential list and will be forced to close, although people can still order from the province's online store. Meanwhile, the province's top health officials revealed projections that suggest COVID-19 could kill 3,000 to 15,000 people in the province over the course of the pandemic, which could last up to two years. You can read more about that here, or review the province's presentation of that data for yourself at the bottom of this story."I think it's important that we're all robustly realistic about the scale of the challenge we face," Dr. Peter Donnelly, who heads Public Health Ontario, said at the news conference on Friday. But those projections also show that Ontario's actions so far to slow the spread of COVID-19 have prevented thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of cases, and that stricter action today would save hundreds more lives.Just two days ago Premier Doug Ford resisted calls to release the projections. Now, he says the move could also serve as a "wake-up call" to some Ontarians who aren't taking physical distancing measures seriously."These numbers are stark and sobering," Ford said at a news conference following the release of the projections on Friday. 'The numbers are real,' Williams saysOntario's chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams says he hopes the numbers will push people to continue observing the guidelines from the health authorities."The numbers are real, the numbers are challenging, they may for some people be a bit scary," Williams said at an afternoon news conference. "I think the need is to turn that apprehension into determination to do what we need to do, because we told you what you need to do. You can do it. We have made an impact. "You have made an impact and as the premier said, we know that the people of Ontario are up to the task of doing that and we ask you to focus hard on that for the next two-week period," Williams added.Non-Canadians with no health insurance will be treatedMeanwhile, Williams said non-Canadians with no insurance coverage should not hesitate to visit an assessment centre if they believe they are infected."We have tried to make it as easy as possible ... to advise and help them in their health condition and to confirm for them very quickly if they have a positive level or not," Williams said. "They often are with fellow international individuals, whether in a classroom setting or other ones, so they would not only want to protect themselves but those around them and to be advised accordingly."While noting that he's not aware of people failing to come forward, Williams emphasized that there are close to 100 assessment centres and they're more than willing to see those in need of testing. "You don't have to have the coverage or the citizenship. We want to identify you if you think you're at risk. We want to see you and we want to help you," Williams added.Provincial total of cases up to 3,255 Ontario confirmed 462 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the provincial total to 3,255.The official tally includes 67 deaths, however CBC News has accumulated data from local public health units and counted 97 deaths in the province.Another 1,023 cases are considered resolved — a roughly 30 per cent jump since the last update. Some 1,245 people are awaiting test results, more than 800 fewer than Thursday. A total of 66,753 tests have been administered provincewide.The newest data provides a snapshot of the situation in Ontario as of 4 p.m. ET yesterday.In terms of hospitalizations: * 462 cases of COVID-19 have been hospitalized. * 194 cases are in intensive care units. * 140 cases are on ventilators.The province also offered this breakdown of cases since Jan. 15, 2020: * 48.5 per cent are male, while 50.9 per cent are female.  * About 32 per cent of cases are 60 years of age and older.  * Greater Toronto Area public health units account for 53 per cent of cases. Outbreak of COVID-19 at Toronto area long-term care facilityLate Friday, CBC News learned of an outbreak of COVID-19 at a Toronto-area long-term care home.Dom Lipa Long-term Care and Retirement Home said a patient there tested positive on Thursday.In a statement on Friday, the home said it is working closely with Toronto Public Health to ensure all necessary precautions are taken and outbreak protocols are followed. Meanwhile, a nursing home in central Ontario is reporting four more deaths of residents in a COVID-19 outbreak there, bringing the total to 20.The local health unit believes the outbreak at Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon is the largest in the province, with at least 24 staff members also infected.False test results in PeelMeanwhile, a regional health unit west of Toronto has apologized after it mistakenly mailed letters to 16 people telling them that their COVID-19 tests were negative when they were in fact positive.Dr. Lawrence Loh, interim medical officer of health in Peel, said in a statement that the letters were mailed on Tuesday and Wednesday. His unit was made aware of the errors late Thursday, he added."I know the relief those residents felt for a few moments has sadly been transformed into feelings of fear and uncertainty. Our team is working quickly to notify these residents and make sure they have what they need to manage this difficult situation," Loh said.An investigation revealed that several positive test slips were mixed with a batch of negative results received from labs, according to Loh. Peel's health unit has changed its process to avoid repeating the mistakes again."On behalf of the Region of Peel, I extend apologies to those residents impacted by this error," Loh said.Online portal for test resultsMinister of Health Christine Elliott announced a new online site for the public to access their COVID-19 test results.The hope is that it will ease the burden on local public health units "so that they can better focus on containing COVID-19," Elliott said in a news release.Further, the province also issued a new order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to give health units more flexibility through hiring retired nurses, medical students and volunteers.The order comes after Ontario's top medical official recommended more aggressive contact tracing to track community spread of the coronavirus.You can read the full Ontario government model below:

  • Grassy Narrows signs deal with Ottawa on mercury poisoning treatment centre
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Grassy Narrows signs deal with Ottawa on mercury poisoning treatment centre

    OTTAWA — The federal government has signed an agreement with Grassy Narrows First Nation that will see a long-promised treatment centre for residents with mercury poisoning finally built in the community.Chief Rudy Turtle signed the framework agreement with Indigenous Services Canada Thursday, which commits $19.5 million towards the construction of the mercury care home.Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says the facility will provide access to health services to meet the needs of community residents who are living with methylmercury poisoning.In December, Turtle and National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations called on the government to end delays in building the centre.The Liberals promised a specialized treatment facility in 2017 but progress stalled due to a disagreement between Ottawa and the First Nation on the design for the facility.In a Facebook post published Thursday, Chief Turtle said the agreement is for a 24-bed facility that will allow the people of Grassy Narrows suffering from mercury poisoning to seek treatment in their home community.The contamination stems from when a paper mill in Dryden, Ont., dumped 9,000 kilograms of the substance into the English-Wabigoon River system in the 1960s.An advocacy group called Free Grassy Narrows, which has been fighting for the mercury care home, called the new agreement an important step, but said the First Nation continues to seek long-term funding for the facility."This historic framework agreement is the beginning of an important turning point," Miller said in a statement."Reflecting on what should have happened a long time ago, I take great pride and promise in what can be done so that specialized care can be accessed, and close to home. I also recognize the work and trust of Chief Turtle putting what he believes in his heart to be just at the centre of his advocacy."The mercury care home is one of two distinct projects that the federal government has been working on with Grassy Narrows First Nations leadership. The other project will see the community's current health facility expanded and renovated.This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 3, 2020.Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press

  • Cruise passengers to land soon and 'Jesus Christ Superstar' streamable; In The News for April 3
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Cruise passengers to land soon and 'Jesus Christ Superstar' streamable; In The News for April 3

    In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of April 3 ...COVID-19 in Canada ...Canadians should brace for some grim numbers today as Ontario reveals its projections for how bad the COVID-19 pandemic could get in the country's most populous province and how long it could last.Premier Doug Ford's decision to let Ontarians in on the "stark" best and worst-case scenarios will put pressure on the federal government to provide a national picture of the potential progression of the deadly virus, which by Thursday had already infected more than 11,000 Canadians and resulted in almost 200 deaths.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that such national modelling is coming "soon" but requires more data from provincial and territorial governments — a subject he discussed with premiers during a more than two-hour first ministers' conference call Thursday evening.Federal officials are hoping the national projections will be available within the next five days.Three weeks ago, Health Minister Patty Hajdu estimated that 30 to 70 per cent of Canadians could become infected — somewhere between 11 million and 26 million people.In an interview late Thursday with The Canadian Press, Hajdu said that estimate hasn't changed.\---Also this ...Passengers stranded aboard two COVID-19-stricken cruise ships said they're finally hopeful their ordeal is nearing its end as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged Thursday to ensure the Canadians would stay in isolation upon their return.Trudeau said a chartered plane would carry asymptomatic Canadian passengers aboard the MS Zaandam and the MS Rotterdam home in the coming days, though he didn't provide an exact timeline.But Catherine McLeod of Ottawa, who was on the Zaandam with her husband before they were transferred to the Rotterdam, said she was preparing to come home, even before American officials gave the ships the go-ahead to dock in Florida on Thursday afternoon."It's kind of a done deal we're getting off this pleasure cruise," McLeod said in a phone interview from her cabin. "So we're very, very hopeful. I will feel 100 per cent better once the plane lifts off the runway. It's going to be one hell of a Hallelujah hoot going up then."She said she and her husband were waiting for a medical check-up to make sure they remained asymptomatic before getting their "disembarkation" papers."I think what they're trying to do is get our fannies on a bus and outta here ASAP," McLeod said.\---COVID-19 in the U.S. ...The Trump administration is formalizing new guidance to recommend that many Americans wear face coverings in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, as the president is aggressively defending his response to the public health crisis.The recommendations, still being finalized Thursday, were expected to apply to those who live in areas hard-hit by community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. A person familiar with the White House coronavirus task force's discussion said officials would suggest that non-medical masks, T-shirts or bandannas be used to cover the nose and mouth when outside the home — for instance, at the grocery store or pharmacy. Medical-grade masks, particularly short-in-supply N95 masks, would be reserved for those dealing directly with the sick.The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the proposed guidance before its public release.President Donald Trump, who was tested again for coronavirus Thursday using a new rapid test, indicated he would support such a recommendation. "If people wanted to wear them, they can," he said."It's not a bad idea, at least for a period of time," Trump had said earlier in the week.The White House said Trump's latest test returned a negative result in 15 minutes, and said Trump was "healthy and without symptoms."\---COVID-19 around the world ...Both the Islamic State group and al-Qaida see the coronavirus as a threat, but some of their fighters also see the upheaval from the pandemic as an opportunity to win over more supporters and strike harder than before.Messages from the Islamic extremist groups show concern about the virus mixed with bravado, asserting that it is punishment for non-Muslims while also urging followers to repent and take care of themselves.Al-Qaida suggested in a statement Tuesday that non-Muslims use their time in quarantine to learn about Islam. But in a sharp commentary in its al-Naba newsletter in mid-March, IS urged followers to show no mercy and launch attacks in this time of crisis.In a commentary Tuesday, the International Crisis Group warned that the pandemic threatens the global solidarity that is key to fighting extremists, "allowing the jihadists to better prepare spectacular terror attacks."Though analysts said it was too soon to say which attacks can be blamed on militants exploiting the coronavirus, Islamic extremists in late March carried out their deadliest assault yet against the military of Chad, a significant contributor to Africa's growing counterterrorism efforts, killing at least 92 soldiers near the border with Nigeria and Niger.\---COVID-19 in sportsThe Seattle Metropolitans were 20 minutes from a second Stanley Cup title in the spring of 1919, 20 minutes from adding their names to the trophy again.Odie Cleghorn's goal for the Montreal Canadiens early in the third period of Game 5 sparked a rally that ensured there would be no celebration that day — or ever. The 1919 series took a grim turn from there.Instead of ending with a title for Seattle, or with an epic comeback by Montreal, the series became known for being cancelled during the Spanish flu pandemic that sickened several players and eventually took the life of Montreal's Joe Hall.Some are drawing parallels to what's happening today with the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertain future for the NHL's current season."(A few) weeks ago, I didn't think that would ever happen again. It was just such a quirky little footnote in history, and it was a funny little story, and 'I can't believe this happened,'" said author Kevin Ticen, who has chronicled the Metropolitans, including in a book, "When It Mattered Most," about the 1917 season."Now we're sitting here and history has repeated itself. I mean, to me it's exactly the same."The abandoned 1919 finals were just one of two instances since 1893 where the championship trophy was not awarded.The only other time no champion was crowned was when the 2005 lockout wiped out the entire NHL season.\---COVID-19 in entertainmentIconic composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is making some of his filmed musicals available for free on YouTube nostalgic theatre goers wanting to be entertained while stuck at home.On Friday, the 2000 West End adaptation of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" starring Donny Osmond will be streamable.That will be followed a week later by the rock classic "Jesus Christ Superstar" from the 2012 arena show starring Tim Minchin.Further shows will be announced later, all hosted by the YouTube channel The Show Must Go On.Each show will be available at 2 p.m. Eastern/11 a.m. Pacific for a 48-hour period online, with no charge or sign up required.\---This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 3, 2020.The Canadian Press

  • The economy's on life support and Canadians need help now. What's the holdup?
    News
    CBC

    The economy's on life support and Canadians need help now. What's the holdup?

    As the COVID-19 caseload shows every sign of surging in Canada, the delivery of promised financial relief for people who've lost their jobs or closed their businesses remains maddeningly slow.The federal government's emergency wage subsidy is at least three weeks away from being available. It could take even longer. The emergency response benefit for those who already have lost their jobs begins phased-in registration for the program on Monday.Small businesses, which still have to pay rent and other bills, continue to wait for promised $40,000 interest-free loans as the Department of Finance continues to negotiate its delivery with the country's banks.Waiting for the banks to step upFinance Minister Bill Morneau said this week that his department has been working every day with the banks. He told members of the Commons finance committee that the "intense negotiations" are going well and that banks are "close to offering" the interest-free loans, perhaps as early as next week."We are going as fast as humanly possible," he told opposition MPs on the committee.Watch: Finance Minister Bill Morneau on rapid development of economic program:But the pace remains too slow for many, even as political leaders grapple with a bewildering array of new challenges on a daily basis.Today alone, the prime minister was forced to respond to U.S. President Donald Trump's directive to Minnesota-based 3M to stop shipping N95 masks to Canada. Ontario released projections saying there could be 80,000 cases of COVID-19 in the province by the end of the month, and that the pandemic's effects could last as long as two years.'Extreme sacrifices'"These numbers are stark and they are sobering," said Premier Doug Ford as he announced more mandatory closures of workplaces, including construction projects."We have to make difficult choices and extreme sacrifices."The sheer scale of the pandemic — the possibility that tens of thousands of Canadians could die, the prospect of self-isolation and business closures lasting for many months — simply adds to the stress felt by Canadians worried about their immediate future.The Canadian Federation of Independent Business released a survey this week suggesting that up to a third of small businesses that have closed because of COVID-19 will never re-open. Another 23 per cent of the 9,000 members who responded to the CFIB survey indicated they would not make their April rent payments.It's led many to question why Canadian banks aren't doing more to help.'Business as usual'Former Conservative leadership candidate Rick Peterson wrote an op-ed piece this week criticizing the banks for failing to be proactive and for continuing to charge high fees and credit card interest rates."It's basically business as usual," he wrote in The Edmonton Journal. "Sure, the banks have deferred payments for up to six months on mortgages and some loans — but the interest charges continue to accrue. Credit card payments have been deferred as well, but interest charges and transaction fees stay the same."New Democrat MP Peter Julian issued his own public appeal to the banks earlier this week."All Canadians are making sacrifices to get our country through this crisis," he wrote in an open letter. "Financial institutions, particularly Canada's six big banks, can play their part by waiving interest fees and charges on bank loans, line of credits and mortgages for the next two payment cycles."Government balks at using the Bank ActNew Democrats urged the Trudeau government to use its authority under the Bank Act to reduce interest rates, and to work with the provinces to freeze any rent increases and utility payments.Government officials, who spoke on background, said banks are cooperating and using the hammer of the Bank Act would be counterproductive."We get that people want relief," said one official. "To be fair here, the banks are very aware that they are a critical piece of keeping the economy healthy."The Canadian Bankers Association says it is working with both governments and customers to help them weather the pandemic.Spokesman Mathieu Labrèche replied to written questions from CBC News on Friday to say nearly a half a million requests for mortgage deferrals were either completed or were in the process of being completed over the past two weeks — about 10 per cent off the mortgages held by the country's six largest banks.Watch: Trudeau asked about Canada's talks with OPEC on reducing oil production:Over that same period, the banks have dealt with about 100,000 credit card deferral requests."Canada's banks assembled quickly and made a commitment to work with their customers to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through financial hardship," Labrèche wrote. "Many banks have programs in place to help ... make debt more manageable and structure the right solution, for example rolling in credit card debt into term products with lower interest rates."Short-term relief, long-term burdensBut that relief is temporary. And for many people, the cost of servicing those debts will actually increase in the long run.CIBC announced Friday that any clients with personal credit cards who want to skip a payment will receive a temporary lower rate of 10.99 per cent retroactive to March 15. But the accrued interest over the deferral period is going to be added to the cardholder's outstanding balance. "Once your payments resume," the bank acknowledges, "your minimum payment may be higher as a result of a higher outstanding balance."A letter from TD Bank to one of its mortgage customers outlines the consequences of deferrals:"It's important that by deferring mortgage payments you're not paying the mortgage principal, and interest will be capitalized, (that is, it will be added to the outstanding mortgage balance so your balance will increase)," the letter said. "We want to ensure you understand the impact."It's a fair bet that Canadians do understand the impact. They also understand why it's up to the government to ensure the banks' interests don't run counter to those of their customers — the ones obeying the government directives to stay at home at great personal cost.

  • Golf courses to stay closed in Saskatchewan
    News
    CBC

    Golf courses to stay closed in Saskatchewan

    While you might get an argument from many people in the province, according to the Saskatchewan government, golf is not considered an essential service.What that means is, in the current health crisis, you will not be allowed on a golf course, in this province anyway, for the indefinite future."It looks as though getting to physically get out and play golf, if it was available, is on pause for right at the moment." said Golf Saskatchewan executive director Brian Lee.Even though golf courses were not specifically mentioned on the province's list of "non-allowable business services" released on March 25, a follow-up email to the Saskatchewan Health Authority from Golf Saskatchewan states courses will likely be closed at season opening."The government of Saskatchewan has asked us not to portray golf as an activity even though in other jurisdictions, not Saskatchewan, it is stated you can play it, if you're following social distancing. It's just something that hasn't been given the green light here yet."If there is an outdoor activity that could probably get away with social distancing, it would be golf.Close the concessions, ban the motorized carts, eliminate the customary etiquette of shaking hands and it's doable.However, Lee and many others in the golf world feel now is not the time to push the issue of getting the season started — even when weather permits.Advocacy group We Are Golf recently issued a statement on Golf Canada's website."Where governments have not mandated the temporary closure of golf courses, operators of those facilities should take every health and safety precaution. We look forward to better and healthier days and when the time is right for Canadians to return to recreational normalcy, clubs and courses will be ready to welcome golfers back to the tee."While courses in Saskatchewan will be closed to the public, owner/operators will be allowed to keep on staff. Without regular maintenance, most courses will not survive."They will be able to maintain the assets so they can get the machinery ready and take the tarps off and get prepared for a golf season when the government of Saskatchewan or the government of Canada gets the green light going." said Lee.However the financial hit from not taking in membership fees, dues and green fees for a season may put some clubs in the deep rough."It could be a major impact" said Lee."Trying to show a reduction in revenue in your business of 30 per cent might be difficult, because in Saskatchewan most of our golf courses aren't open taking green fees until late April or May."The Golf Saskatchewan website (golfsaskatchewan.org) will have information on federal emergency business plans that owner/operators may be able to take advantage of.Lee has little doubt golf will eventually be played this year. He says, like everyone else, they are just taking it day by day. "Practice your skills at home if you can, even if it's just putting into a coffee cup. Until that curve gets flattened, stay put and stay safe with your friends and family until the golf season can get off on the right foot."

  • News
    CBC

    20-year-old man killed in Goulds on Thursday night

    There were no squad cars or police tape in sight on Friday morning on Sunset Street, but there were forensic remnants of a violent incident that claimed the life of a young man the night before.A faint trail of blood droplets started on Della Drive and rounded the corner, carrying downhill on Sunset in a quiet residential neighbourhood.Police were mum mid-morning, but issued a statement just before noon saying a 20-year-old man was killed in what is believed to be a homicide around 10:40 p.m. Thursday.Investigators are trying to figure out if the attack was random or targeted. The man was found bleeding on Sunset Street and was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary are canvassing the neighbourhood, looking for witnesses or anybody with information on the killing. That includes any home security or dashcam video from the area.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • News
    CBC

    P.E.I. gas price up and down this week

    After weeks of dramatic drops the price of gas on P.E.I. mostly levelled off this week, but it was both up and down.On Wednesday, the early-year discount on the carbon levy expired and prices rose from 4.42 cents per litre to 6.63 cents per litre. With the addition of the HST, the price of a litre of self-serve, regular gasoline went up from $0.711 to $0.736.Islanders got most of that back from a drop in the base price on Friday due to the regular price review from the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission.The price of a litre of self-serve, regular gasoline fell to $0.719.That price was $1.155 on Feb. 21. Prices crashed due to a drop in demand in the COVID-19 pandemic and a crude oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.IRAC said these are the lowest prices for gas since the recession of 2008-09. On Jan. 1, 2009 the price of gas was $0.67 per litre.Diesel also saw prices go up and down this week with the carbon levy.While the base price fell Friday, the pump price is still marginally higher than it was last week. It's up 0.4 cents to $0.963 per litre for self-serve.Heating oil prices do not include a carbon levy. The maximum price fell 2.4 cents per litre Friday to a maximum of $0.673.More from CBC P.E.I.

  • Northside Market in Fredericton announces permanent closure
    News
    CBC

    Northside Market in Fredericton announces permanent closure

    The Northside Market in Fredericton has announced it will be permanently closing because of the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving dozens of vendors without a space to work out of.Many of the vendors found out about the permanent closure in a Facebook post that was published Thursday night. Peter Perry, the owner of the weekend market, was not immediately available on Friday to talk about the decision."The market made absolutely no attempt to contact the vendors personally and discuss the situation," vendor Stephen Rae, owner of Rocket Burger in Fredericton, said Friday.The market has been closed since the province declared a state of emergency March 19 because of the coronavirus.A few weeks ago, Rae said, businesses were told they needed to retrieve their equipment from the market for safety reasons. So they did.'Nothing seems to be adding up'But Rae said he never expected the Northside Market to permanently shuts its doors. "It was strange but we were asked to remove all of our equipment from the market itself."At that time, there were also rumours circulating that the market wasn't going to reopen. Rae said he tried to get more information from the market itself but didn't receive any response until he saw the announcement over Facebook. "I feel like nothing seems to be adding up in this scenario."Rae said there are about 50 local vendors and roughly 100 employees who rely on the Northside Market each week.He's hoping another market will open up for businesses, as many vendors are struggling to find a new home."A lot of those vendors, that was their only source of income."'Hardship and uncertainty'Rae said he's been at the Northside Market for four years but recently opened up a business in downtown Fredericton in August."I'm one of the lucky few who have a business outside of this," he said. In a Facebook post, the Northside Market said the cause of the closure was the COVID-19 pandemic."We are all unsure how long it will take to be back to normal or what normal will be," said Perry."We are all experiencing hardship and uncertainty."  The post went on to thank vendors and patrons who have been supporting the Northside Market since it opened. The market's Facebook page had been taken down as of Friday morning.

  • News
    CBC

    P.E.I. angler willing to wait for trout if pandemic delays season

    They'll be no breakfast this year for sure, but the founder of the Bonshaw Fishermen's Breakfast is hopeful there will still be an angling season on P.E.I.On Wednesday, provincial cabinet minister Steven Myers said a decision on how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect this year's angling season will be made by April 13.Sheldon MacNevin, who founded the fishermen's breakfast in the late 1980s and ran it for 28 years, said the pandemic is sure to cancel the event this year.MacNevin started the breakfast as a simple idea. He opened up the kitchen at the community hall in Bonshaw and invited anglers in for something to eat before the season opened at dawn on April 15.The first year he welcomed eight people. In his last it was more than 400, and the event had become a major fundraiser for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The new organizers are raising money for the Canadian Mental Health Association.He met a lot of angling enthusiasts in that time, and he's sure they're anxious to get out on the streams."The ice is all gone. The rivers are wide open and the smelts are all up now, which is early for the smelt season," he said."There should be some good trout coming up with smelt."When the season does open, he doesn't think there will be any trouble with physical distancing."It's pretty individual. I think they'll space out pretty good because nobody wants the other fellow to know just what he's catching," MacNevin said.Chris Edmunds of the Winter River Fly Shop agrees it shouldn't be a problem, but he adds there are some places where it could get to be one."If you're fly fishing you've got to be at least 10, 15 feet away from somebody when you're casting," he said."I have mixed feelings. I really want to go fishing, but I know there's some places where it's going to be crowded up pretty bad and it's going to ruin it for others."Enforcement troubleMacNevin would like to get out himself, but he said anglers are easygoing folks, and he doesn't think anyone will kick up a fuss if the opening date is moved."I can't see any problem in delaying it for a month. It's pretty cold out around here yet anyway," he said.But Edmunds worries if there is no season at all there will be off-season poaching, saying there are not enough wardens to control it.MacNevin said he has a lot of respect for what chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison is saying about how the Island needs to protect itself during the pandemic, and he hasn't been out of the house much recently."We're isolating ourselves for now. We have been for three weeks. We just go out to get groceries," he said."If everybody would just respect that for a while, I think we could have this thing beat."COVID-19: What you need to knowWhat are the symptoms of COVID-19?Common symptoms include: * Fever. * Cough. * Tiredness.But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.Health Canada has built a self-assessment tool.What should I do if I feel sick?Isolate yourself and call 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested. A health professional at 811 will give you advice and instructions.How can I protect myself? * Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. * Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. * Clean regularly touched surfaces regularly.More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.More COVID-19 stories from CBC P.E.I.

  • PHOTOS: Power outages as storm brings heavy snow, freezing rain to Manitoba
    News
    The Weather Network

    PHOTOS: Power outages as storm brings heavy snow, freezing rain to Manitoba

    Gusty winds and freezing rain led to numerous power outages in southern Manitoba Thursday

  • 'A very dangerous situation': Advocates urge province to change AISH rules due to COVID-19
    News
    CBC

    'A very dangerous situation': Advocates urge province to change AISH rules due to COVID-19

    Money was already tight for AISH recipient Sara Symington when her support stockings, nightgowns, jeans and the rest of her clothes were stolen from the laundry room two weeks ago.Then the 43-year-old, who has multiple sclerosis and autism, took a bus to a bottle depot with a garbage bag of empties propped up on her walker — only to find out it was shut down because of the pandemic."COVID-19 has been tough," said Symington, an advocate with the Self Advocacy Federation, which works to help people with disabilities understand their rights and fight for them.Symington said she also owes her grandmother $500 for her diabetic cat Izzy's emergency surgery."Money was already extremely tight," Symington said. "I'm claiming bankruptcy for the second time."When COVID-19 hit, existing issues of poverty and isolation worsened for Albertans with disabilities, according to Symington and Keri McEachern, a facilitator with the Self Advocacy Federation. For many, food is now scarce, McEachern said."If you don't have friends or family who can help you out you're actually in a very dangerous situation — in danger of losing your utilities and being behind in your rent," McEachern said. The federation is calling for a change to rules that prevent people who are receiving AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped) benefits from also accessing the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Alberta's Emergency Isolation Support.In the legislature Wednesday, NDP MLA Marie Renaud, the Opposition critic for Community and Social Services, raised concern that AISH and Income Support recipients who have lost work are not eligible for the same federal or provincial relief as other Canadians."That benefit is available to Albertans who have no other source of income," Community and Social Services Minister Rajan Sawhney responded."AISH recipients and Income Support recipients already receive a cash benefit from this government."Advocates also want a reversal to the recent change in benefit payment dates.Starting in March, monthly payments for AISH and Income Support recipients are now made on the first of the month, except when that day falls on a weekend or holiday. March payments were made on Feb. 28, meaning the time until the April 1 payment this week was 33 days.Albertans who rely on the payments couldn't rush out to stock up on supplies until their payments arrived Wednesday, McEachern said."A lot of people in the community are putting themselves at risk by going store to store looking for toilet paper and groceries," she said.They're also going without home care, housekeeping or meal supports as they struggle to access prescriptions and doctors' appointments, McEachern said.And, she said, they have to do it on less money than before.'Human rights issue'Under provincial rules, AISH recipients can work part-time to supplement their $1,685 monthly payments by up to $1,072 a month without a clawback. But unlike other Canadians, AISH recipients who are no longer working because of COVID-19 are not equally entitled to the same emergency relief funds, McEachern said.Canadians who qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit will receive $2,000 a month.But provincial rules don't allow AISH recipients to receive additional government funding without a clawback, so $1,685 is the maximum they can receive.'A human rights issue'"If the federal government believes that $2,000 is the minimum income that people need to live — why are people with disabilities getting substantially less than that?" asked McEachern. "They're losing $400 or $500 a month."This barrier is actually a human rights issue because it is discriminating against people on the basis of disability."As of December, more than 67,700 Albertans were on AISH. Government statistics show 62,000 were on Income Support in January.

  • COVID-19: Here's what's happened so far this month
    News
    The Weather Network

    COVID-19: Here's what's happened so far this month

    Coronoavirus news is changing quickly. Here's what has happened so far during the month of April.

  • Vancouver should close some roads to allow more space for exercise, former city planner says
    News
    CBC

    Vancouver should close some roads to allow more space for exercise, former city planner says

    On a sunny day in Vancouver, the city's seawall is likely to be packed with runners, walkers and riders of all types. But with physical distancing orders in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, it creates a tricky problem as people try to both stay active and adhere to keeping two metres away from others.At least two major Canadian cities believe they've found a way for people to enjoy being outdoors responsibly, with some closing major roadways to provide more space for residents.And at least one former Vancouver city planner believes it's something that could be implemented quite easily here."I think it's an extraordinary idea," says Sandy James, who now works as a city planning consultant.Fortunately, she says,  certain Vancouver streets were originally designed with a pedestrian-only future in mind: the large greenways.These roads were designed with pedestrians and cyclists ahead of vehicles, and they easily connect residents to local amenities and popular destinations. James was in charge of planning many such routes in Vancouver, and says she would close large greenways like Carrall Street in the downtown area, as well as Ontario Street, and 37th Avenue, which heads out to Pacific Spirit Park near UBC. She also has her eye on Stanley Park Drive, which loops around the park.But she cautions that it would be important to educate the public about why the streets were being closed."The more we get the message out that it's for exercise and not for socializing, the more we can have some resiliency during this time," James told Gloria Macarenko, host of CBC's On The Coast."We have to get people back to a normal exercise routine. ... By closing the streets, it's allowing people to get out there."City officials 'exploring' optionsIn Calgary, Memorial Drive, a popular spot for walkers and joggers along the Bow River, was closed to traffic to give people space to physically distance themselves.And in Winnipeg, the city says it will introduce restrictions this weekend to traffic on four streets that it usually opens to pedestrians and cyclists over the summer months.So far, the City of Vancouver hasn't commented on whether it is considering closing any streets.The city is continuing to ask residents to stay home and stay put to help combat COVID-19. "The city has heard a lot of concerns from residents about crowding in many places where the ability to properly distance themselves from others does not exist," a spokesperson said in a statement."The city is exploring ways to provide more space so that people who do need to go outside for whatever reason can practise physical distancing."

  • With Love, From Nova Scotia: Snow turned to message of hope
    News
    The Weather Network

    With Love, From Nova Scotia: Snow turned to message of hope

    Nova Scotia woman writes a giant message of hope in snow during these 'challenging times'

  • Man documents aftermath of 6.5 earthquake in Central Idaho
    Rumble

    Man documents aftermath of 6.5 earthquake in Central Idaho

    6.5 earthquake in Central Idaho. This video is from my house in Twin Falls. Full credit to: @mike_ridgeway on Twitter

  • 3M faces pressure from Trump order to stop exporting N95 masks to Canada
    News
    CBC

    3M faces pressure from Trump order to stop exporting N95 masks to Canada

    Medical device manufacturer 3M says it is under pressure from the White House to stop exporting N95 masks it currently produces in the United States to other countries, including Canada.The Minnesota-based company said in a news release Friday that while it welcomes the Trump administration's invocation of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to compel domestic companies to produce critically needed medical infrastructure, it presents some problems, too.Among other things, the order mandates that 3M stop making N95 masks that are destined for customers in Canada and Latin America, and instead keep them in the U.S.The DPA, which was passed in 1950, grants the president the power to expand industrial production of key materials or products for national security and other reasons. Hockey equipment manufacturers and even fashion houses have been trying to shift their production to start making medical safety equipment, such as gowns and masks, where possible.Health-care workers around the world are currently facing a desperate shortage of such masks in their fight to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. "There are, however, significant humanitarian implications of ceasing respirator supplies to health-care workers in Canada and Latin America, where we are a critical supplier of respirators," the company said in its statement.In the statement, 3M also warns that any such move could actually backfire on the U.S. and impact the supply of masks and other medical equipment."Ceasing all export of respirators produced in the United States would likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same, as some have already done. If that were to occur, the net number of respirators being made available to the United States would actually decrease. That is the opposite of what we and the administration, on behalf of the American people, both seek."Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked about the move Friday at his daily briefing outside his residence at Rideau Cottage."There is so much trade that goes back and forth in essential services, and it could end up hurting Americans as much as it hurts anybody else," he said. "That is the point that we're making very directly and have been making for many days now to various levels of the American administration — and that message is getting through."In a statement to CBC News, 3M Canada said it is "aware" of the order, and is reviewing next steps."We are currently reviewing the specific details of the executive memorandum and looking at every possible way to meet domestic needs for Canada," 3M Canada said. "We will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available."The company makes 1.1 billion masks a year worldwide, or about 100 million each month. It does not, however, currently manufacture any in Canada.Trump proclaimed on Twitter late Thursday evening that he "hit 3M hard" with his move to prioritize masks for Americans.German politician accuses U.S. of 'Wild West methods'Canada isn't the only target in the U.S. search for as many masks as possible.A German politician has accused the U.S. of using "Wild West methods" to obtain personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks, after a delivery of face masks destined for the German capital was diverted en route from China.German media reported Friday that 200,000 masks purchased from manufacturer 3M and intended for Berlin police were diverted to the U.S. as they were being transferred between planes in Thailand.Andreas Geisel, the interior minister for Berlin state, said the diversion of the masks is "an act of modern piracy." "This is no way to treat transatlantic partners," he said. "Even in times of global crisis, there should be no Wild West methods."In its release, 3M noted that it is in the process of importing 10 million N95 masks into the U.S. that it has made at its facilities in China."We look forward to working closely with the administration to implement yesterday's DPA order," 3M said. "We will continue to maximize the amount of respirators we can produce on behalf of U.S. health-care workers, as we have every single day since this crisis began."

  • Silver lining? Russia's Cossacks don modified masks against coronavirus
    News
    Reuters

    Silver lining? Russia's Cossacks don modified masks against coronavirus

    Cossacks and police officers enforcing the coronavirus lockdown in Russia's western city of Kaliningrad have donned modified face masks that local scientists say can be worn for days without being replaced. The trick, they say, is to line the cheap cotton fabric of the masks with an ultra-thin coating of silver. The World Health Organization does not generally recommend that healthy members of the broader population use masks and the benefits of the use of silver against the coronavirus have not been tested and are therefore unproven.

  • Carnegie Hall projects $9M deficit, expects cuts next season
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Carnegie Hall projects $9M deficit, expects cuts next season

    Carnegie Hall is projecting a $9 million operating deficit on its $104 million budget after cancelling the rest of its season because of the coronavirus pandemic and anticipates making changes to its schedule for 2020-21.“We’ve obviously sold a lot of tickets for next season, but there’ll be issues like are people from the very beginning going to all come straight back to concerts or will people be a little bit more cautious about large gatherings?” executive director Clive Gillinson said Thursday. “We have no idea what the psychology is going to be around this in every way across society as a whole.”Gillinson said this will be the first deficit since he joined Carnegie Hall in 2005. The budget was slashed 20% in 2007-08 because of the Great Recession.Carnegie has cancelled all events in its auditoriums through July 25, roughly 30% of this season's schedule. It has just under 400 full-time employees plus part-time staff and teaching artists. It has not decided whether layoffs will be needed.“We have made all the cuts we possibly can to this year,” Gillinson said. “If something happens this late in a year, there’s obviously much less room to move.”The Lyric Opera of Chicago also scrapped the remainder of its season and put off scheduled programming for future years.Carnegie has also called off summer tours for its National Youth Orchestra of the USA, NYO2 and NYO Jazz but hopes to host the musicians and have local events around residencies at suburban Purchase College.Carnegie will be launching digital offerings featuring artists performing at home and historical concerts. It expects to re-open in mid-September ahead of opening night on Oct. 7 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, music director Gustavo Dudamel, pianist Lang Lang and soprano Liv Redpath.More than 170 concerts are scheduled, but Gillinson anticipates some will be dropped.“We’ll almost certainly have to because we won’t be able to afford to do everything,” he said. “But some of those decisions may be made for us because it’s completely possible that a lot of organizations themselves will have significant challenges because of what’s happened. We may find some organizations say we just can’t afford to travel to America next season.”The Lyric Opera postponed its production of the musical “42nd Street” from May 29-June 21 this year to the spring of 2022, a staging from Paris’ Theatre du Chatelet.“Blue,” by composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist Tazewell Thompson, was put off from June 16-28 to next January. “Proving Up,” by composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek has been postponed from January to a later season.Ronald Blum, The Associated Press

  • N.S. couple in self-isolation gets targeted with rage, then loads of kindness
    News
    CBC

    N.S. couple in self-isolation gets targeted with rage, then loads of kindness

    All Tammie and Robert Richardson, of Elmsdale, N.S., needed were a few groceries.On Wednesday, Robert asked on Facebook whether anyone headed to the supermarket would also pick up some items for them.They were self-isolated due to Tammie's exposure at the continuing-care home where she works.The couple, who volunteers by providing hot meals to about a dozen seniors, and fosters disabled ginger-coloured cats, thought it would be alright to turn to the community for a favour.Within nine minutes, five people responded with rage.'I'm like, what is going on?'"They were saying how dare I ask with the COVID-19 virus, or how can you ask somebody to do that, what were you thinking," Robert said in an interview from his home.He's still shaking his head at the blast of "hurtful" comments that forced him to take down the post.He showed his wife a few of the comments and they were shocked."I'm like, what is going on?" he said.After all, arranging to have groceries dropped off instead of going into a store is the instruction from public health to people in self-isolation.Tammie works at The Magnolia in Enfield, N.S. It's dealing with an outbreak after two residents and three workers tested positive for COVID-19 as of Wednesday.Tammie, a continuing-care assistant, came into contact with the virus after washing the hair of a resident who is infected. She is "on egg shells" as she awaits test results.The backlash on Facebook just made things worse. "People crapped on him for it when he was trying to make sure that he wasn't spreading anything if he has it," said Tammie.The couple have been on guard against COVID-19 ever since it emerged in Nova Scotia.They haven't slept in the same bedroom in weeks because Robert has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The lung condition is so debilitating he is unable to work — coronavirus is especially threatening to him.Dr. Simon Sherry, a psychologist and professor at Dalhousie University, said the perceived threat people are feeling from the pandemic is bringing out hostility, which some are emboldened to express online."They are more likely to be disagreeable and less likely to be pro-social," he said. "Social isolation is corrosive to altruistic behaviour," he said. 'Everyone should help each other'Like for so many during the pandemic, business has tanked for Sean Kenalty, a real estate agent. He was working from home when he saw the "ridiculous" posts where people seemed to be piling on Robert.It struck him that Robert, who feared he might be infected, was "terrified" to go to the store. So, he decided to go.Kenalty left mayonnaise, ice tea, gravy mix and ice cream on their doorstep, briefly chatted with Robert from the driveway, and accepted a $28 e-transfer for the food."Everyone should help each other during — I don't even want to say during this time because everyone should just help each other," he said. Robert returned to Facebook to publicly thank Kenalty for stepping up.But this time the response was overwhelmingly positive. After one day, there were more than a thousand likes, 270 comments from people offering to pick up the next grocery order, well-wishes for the couple, and thanks to Robert and Kenalty for doing the right thing.  'We shouldn't be hateful or mean'Jennifer Mahoney was "completely disgusted" by what the Richardsons initially encountered. She's showing the Richardsons compassion after getting to know them through an online recipe sharing group they started. She also knows them for their volunteer work."We shouldn't be hateful or mean to anyone," she said. "We should be trying to help each other."To help the couple while Tammie is unable to work, Mahoney has started a GoFundMe entitled, Share Some Kindness."That is what I think of when I think of Robert and Tammie," she said.Robert said the gesture is "heartwarming" but doesn't want to catch even more heat for accepting donations.Besides, he'd rather give the money to seniors in need of groceries."I'd rather go without and see someone else have than for me to have something and someone else not," Robert said.MORE TOP STORIES

  • Figure skating champion, family mourns Sarnia grandmother who died due to COVID-19 outbreak at seniors' home
    News
    CBC

    Figure skating champion, family mourns Sarnia grandmother who died due to COVID-19 outbreak at seniors' home

    The Landmark Village seniors' home In Sarnia is currently experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, with at least six confirmed cases as of Tuesday, and four people have died. One of those who died is Charlotte Jones, who was 88 years old.Jones' grandson is national figure skating champion Michael Marinaro who lives in Oakville. "It's been extremely tough, especially being on my own here, not with the relatives, with my family members, so we can't kind of all grieve together makes a very unique experience — not a good one that we were looking forward to at all," he said."It's been pretty tough over the last few days. I never expected it to get so close to home or to be prepared for it... it gets a whole lot realer when it directly affects your family."Michael's mom Beverley Marinaro is Charlotte Jones' daughter. She said the virus took over pretty quickly. "She just was fine up until Thursday and then Thursday just had a froggy throat and sounded kind of funny and then she was okay," she said. Beverly said family members were able to video chat with Jones before she became terribly congested, which they thought was due to her seasonal allergies. "I didn't think too much of it, but then they sent the health unit in to do the test ... and by the next morning she didn't even answer my first call because she was just confused and really tired," said Beverly. "They called the ambulance and she went in the hospital and died on the Tuesday."Jones will be buried Friday in Sarnia, but the funeral will hardly be a normal affair. Family members will say goodbye to Jones from their cars during a small graveside service. "I can't even get out of the car to give my mother a hug," said Michael. "I don't know what to expect."The casket will be closed, and since the senior's home is locked down, they can't get to her clothes to pick out something to bury her in, so Charlotte Jones will be buried in a shroud.Michael hopes everyone will do their part by staying isolated and being safe."I want my experiences here to happen to the least amount of people as possible."

  • Port of Halifax sees drop in business due to COVID-19
    News
    CBC

    Port of Halifax sees drop in business due to COVID-19

    The Halifax Port Authority is seeing a decline in traffic as the world's shipping industry struggles to cope with reduced manufacturing brought on by the global spread of COVID-19. "We are seeing a decline in imports and exports as a result of COVID-19 and we anticipate there will be some blank sailings as well," said Lane Farguson, the manager of media relations and communications for the Halifax Port Authority. Blank sailings are when ships bypass a port because they do not have the cargo to warrant stopping.Farguson said when the outbreak first hit Asia, the port authority noticed reduced cargo coming from manufacturing centres in China, as the virus forced workers to stay home and closed factories.Now manufacturing is ramping back up in China, but has slowed down in North America as many companies temporarily close their doors.It all translates to less cargo to come through the port.Exactly how much less cargo is hard to determine, said Farguson. He said the port reports its cargo results quarterly and they don't have those numbers in yet. Cargo from the province's mills and factories have dropped off, with Michelin plants temporarily closed and Port Hawkesbury Paper reducing shipments, according to Bill Organ, business development manger with ACS Logistics.The  company works with importers and exporters to transport their goods. Part of that work includes unloading and loading cargo at the Port of Halifax. In a normal month, ACS moves hundreds of containers through the port. Despite the drop in overall cargo traffic in Halifax, the company did see an increase in certain types of cargo coming through. "We have seen a shift in demand with maintaining the food supply and I suppose the day-to-day home supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels and cleaning supplies have taken priority in terms of being shipped in and out," said Organ.  They've also seen an increase in medical cargo.  Besides the difficulties brought on by COVID-19, a number of other problems have hit local shipping in the last few months."There were some rail disruptions here in Canada and we also know that Northern Pulp exports are going to have an impact as well," he said. Interruptions to the rail service occurred after several groups across the country began blocking rail lines in support of the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs, who opposed a natural gas pipeline being built on their land in B.C. Those protests lasted for weeks and held up many shipments across Canada. The Northern Pulp mill shut down Jan. 31 after Premier Stephen McNeil refused to extend the life of the mill's effluent treatment plant in Boat Harbour.A consequence of that closure is that the company is no longer exporting goods through Halifax's port. Less traffic at the port means less money for the port authority since shipping companies pay fees for using its facilities. "Money is not the driving decision-maker right now," said Farguson. He said the port is focused on maintaining the safety of its employees, port users and the larger community. It's doing that by having many of its staff work from home, enhanced cleaning and it has cancelled or postponed all large gatherings on its property. Still it's important to keep the port running as close to normal as possible during the pandemic, said Farguson.  "We recognize, and I think Canadians recognize as well, that keeping these goods moving is very, very important for all Canadians," said Farguson,MORE TOP STORIES

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    Bestsellers-Books-USAToday

    1\. “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng (Penguin)2\. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)3\. “The Sinner” by J.R. Ward (Gallery Books)4\. “The Splendid and the Vile” by Erik Larson (Crown)5\. “Little Blue Truck’s Springtime” by Alice Schertle (HMH Books for Young Readers)6\. “The Last Odyssey” by james Rollins (William Morrow)7\. “It's Not Easy Being a Bunny” by Marilyn Sadler (Random House Books for Young Readers)8\. “The Boy from the Woods” by Harlan Coben (Grand Central Publishing)9\. “American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins (Flatiron Books)10\. “Pete the Cat: Big Easter Adventure” by James Dean (HarperFestival)11\. “In Five Years” by Rebecca Serle (Atria)12\. “Lady in Waiting” by Anne Glenconner (Hachette)13\. “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle (Dial)14\. “Happy Easter, Mouse!” by Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond (HarperFestival)15\. “The Glass Hotel” by Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf)16\. “Neon Prey” by John Sandford (G.P. Putnam's Sons)17\. “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides (Celadon Books)18\. “Dog Man: Fetch-22” by Dav Pilkey (Graphix)19\. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar Board Book” by Eric Carle (Philomel)20\. “Don't Let Go” by Harlan Coben (Dutton)21\. “Then She Was Gone” by Lisa Jewell (Atria Books)22\. “Llama Llama Easter Egg” by Anna Dewdney (Viking Children's)23\. “The Great Influenza” by John M. Barry (Penguin)24\. “Educated” by Tara Westover (Random House)25\. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball” by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books)Reporting stores include: Amazon.com, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble.com, Barnes & Noble Inc., Barnes & Noble e-books, BooksAMillion.com, Books-A-Million, Bookland and Books & Co., Costco, Davis-Kidd Booksellers (Nashville, Memphis), Hudson Booksellers, Joseph-Beth Booksellers (Lexington, Ky.; Cincinnati, Charlotte, Cleveland, Pittsburgh), Kobo, Inc., Powell’s Books (Portland, Ore.), Powells.com, R.J. Julia Booksellers (Madison, Conn.), Schuler Books & Music (Grand Rapids, Okemos, Eastwood, Alpine, Mich.), Sony Reader Store, Target, Tattered Cover Book Store (Denver).For the extended, interactive and searchable version of this list, visit http://books.usatoday.com/list/index312 wordsPublish SettingsThe Associated Press

  • Typically glam TV hosts keep kids, yoga pants out of the shot while working from home
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Typically glam TV hosts keep kids, yoga pants out of the shot while working from home

    TORONTO — When TV viewers tune into "Entertainment Tonight Canada" these days, they might see a Goldendoodle dog named Murphy pop into the picture, or an excitable young child.And instead of speaking from the slick set, the on-air talent are now in their own homes, where they do their own hair, makeup and wardrobe.Such is the scenario for several Canadian daily or weekly TV programs forging ahead during the COVID-19 crisis, with some hosts working from their abodes while crews stitch the show together remotely or in-studio."ET Canada" host Cheryl Hickey co-anchored Monday's first at-home episode on Global from the master bedroom of the Toronto home she lives in with her husband and two young children.On camera, she was seen sitting in a chair wearing a casual red top, guiding viewers through the day's celebrity news segments with other hosts.Off camera, she was wearing yoga tights and slippers, using an iPhone and ring light to film, and resting her computer on a stack of boxes.The aforementioned Murphy made a quick cameo, and Hickey did interviews with singer Jann Arden and Michael Buble via Skype and Zoom."I think it takes some of the glam down and lets people see who we really are, which is a great thing," Hickey says.Hickey also plans to dye her own hair and do her own manicure. If her roots grow in, she's "figured out a way to criss-cross" her part so they don't show."We're just like everybody else. We've got bumps and scrapes, and our kids running around like crazy.... I think it's good for society as a whole to see how everyone is coping."Despite the challenges of working from home — and a longing to comfort her dad who's in a long-term care facility, and her sister who's a nurse — she's finding the humour in it all and is excited to bring levity to audiences."We already have a really close team but I think it's brought the team even closer together and I think people will see that on TV," Hickey says.Melissa Grelo, co-host of CTV's "The Social," is shooting segments for the daytime talk show using an iPad and studio lights in an area between her kitchen and living room.It's not an ideal location — "Open-concept homes, we're realizing, really suck for this era," she says with a laugh — but it has optimal natural lighting and is close to an electrical outlet to plug in all the gadgets she needs.It's also a relatively quiet space away from her six-year-old daughter, whom she tucks away upstairs in her room while she's shooting."Today was not a success, depending on how you look at it, because she totally crashed my shot, which ended up to be amazing," Grelo says, laughing."My plan was working great for about five days until today and that went sideways. She was hungry and she wanted to make sure I heard her.""The Social" is currently shooting the first two segments of the daily series with their hosts from home. The remaining three segments have comprised of previously aired material. The show is aiming to eventually have a full show of new segments."It's actually very exciting," says Nanci MacLean, vice-president of Bell Media Studios and president of Pinewood Toronto Studios."It's a lesson in innovation, quite frankly."Grelo is also a contributing host for CTV's news program "Your Morning," which now has two hosts working from home and two in-studio maintaining a physical distance.She says she now gets up an hour early so she can work out, do her hair and makeup so it's suitable for broadcast, tend to various duties and shoot her segments for "The Social" in "athleisure" outfits from her closet."It's been a really fascinating journey for me to be watching creative people just not be stopped by any boundaries," Grelo says.CTV's "ETalk" also has its hosts shoot some new segments from home, with the aim of eventually having a whole show of fresh content.Other Canadian programs with some hosts or anchors working from home or remotely include Global's "The Morning Show," "Global National," and the overall Global News TV operation.Citytv's morning program "Breakfast Television" is also broadcasting some live content filmed remotely in Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver.Most of the CityNews teams across the country have also been working from home, as have many CBC News hosts.CBC TV is also launching a Sunday night culture show called "What're You At? With Tom Power," hosted from Power's home. On CBC's "The National," Andrew Chang is working out of the Toronto studio while Adrienne Arsenault is in remote locations, including her home (last week she shot her segments from her backyard).The titular Canadian host of "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee" has also been broadcasting from the wooded area behind her home for the late-night series on TBS and CTV Comedy Channel."We're trying to model the same system that we had with an in-studio show — in a forest," says Hamilton-raised Allana Harkin, who's a producer and correspondent on "Full Frontal" in New York."We just have to keep our fingers crossed that the network doesn't go, 'You know what? We actually want to keep it.'"This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 3, 2020.Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press