British Columbia releases a detailed plan on how it hopes to vaccinate the province's population. It involves four phases, more than seven million doses of COVID-19 vaccine and mobile units to reach remote areas.
British Columbia releases a detailed plan on how it hopes to vaccinate the province's population. It involves four phases, more than seven million doses of COVID-19 vaccine and mobile units to reach remote areas.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Spacewalking astronauts completed the first round of prep work Friday for new solar panels, part of a major power upgrade at the International Space Station. NASA’s Kate Rubins and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi installed mounting brackets and struts for the improved solar wings due to arrive in June. They also tightened some sticky bolts that hampered Sunday’s spacewalk and left some duties undone. Toward the end of the seven-hour spacewalk, Rubins reported a mark on the index finger of her right glove, where she had earlier said there was some peeling and perhaps a tiny hole in the outer layer. “I don’t know what to think about the glove. But it’s just kind of a pinpoint hole,” she told Mission Control. Rubins said she was “mildly concerned” about going too far from Noguchi because of her glove, and he accompanied her back to the hatch. Mission Control called it quits at that point and told the astronauts to skip extra chores. A NASA spokesman at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Rob Navias, said Rubins' suit pressure held perfectly throughout the spacewalk. “At no time was she in any danger,” he said in an email. At Mission Control's request, crewmate Victor Glover took photos of the glove while Rubins was still in her spacesuit. NASA is enhancing the space station’s power grid to accommodate more astronauts and experiments, now that SpaceX is launching crews and Boeing should be too by year’s end. The eight solar panels have degraded over time; the oldest were launched 20 years ago. The six new solar wings — smaller but more efficient — will fit over the older ones and boost the station’s power capability by up to 30%. Boeing is supplying the panels, which will be launched in pairs by SpaceX over the next year. As the spacewalk ended, Mission Control congratulated Noguchi for having the longest gap between spacewalks: 15 1/2 years. His previous three spacewalks occurred in 2005, during the first shuttle flight following the 2003 Columbia disaster. This should be the last spacewalk for the station’s current residents, whose half-year missions are coming to a close. Rubins will return to Earth in mid-April in a Russian capsule, along with two Russians. Noguchi, Glover and two other NASA astronauts will fly SpaceX back in late April or May. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press
The Town of Wabana says it's going to sue the provincial government over what it says is a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The town on Bell Island, off Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula, says some residents who rely on ferry services have been missing work — or losing their jobs entirely — over fluctuating ferry schedules and the capacity and public health restrictions in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "The town council decided to take the action because we've been getting nowhere," Deputy Mayor Henry Crane told CBC News on Thursday. "This is also pre-COVID. We haven't been able to get anything done to our satisfaction with regards to scheduling, or tapes updated, communications. The whole thing is just not working for us at all." Crane, who presented the resolution to council, said residents on Bell Island are finding it difficult to get to work, and those who are searching for jobs off the island aren't being considered because of where they live. He said ferries are often tied to the docks for various reasons, causing headaches for those who need the service on both sides of the run. But the pandemic is also adding further difficulties for passengers, he said. Ferries are capped at 65 per cent capacity, but Crane said the vessels are only taking 50 people. "Now, 65 per cent of your capacity on a 200-person [vessel] is 130 people. It's not 50 people. How do you justify that?" he said. "People are in their cars on the [MV] Flanders, and you're allowed to stay in your cars. Why are there only 50 people allowed on the Flanders when everyone is in their own bubble and everybody is in their own car? That's just crazy." CBC News asked the Department of Transportation about the pending legal claim and the ferry capacity. "We have not been served with a statement of claim. It would be premature at this stage to speculate about the content of the claim or our defence and inappropriate for us to comment on a matter that is anticipated to be before the court," reads the statement. Safety concerns Capacity, scheduling and operational issues aside, Crane said there are also safety concerns for travellers aboard the MV Legionnaire. According to Crane, passengers are not allowed to stay in their vehicles on the MV Legionnaire as it's classified as a closed-deck vessel, which means everyone on board has to be in the lounge area during a crossing. The MV Flanders ferry, pictured here docked in August 2018, operates the run between Portugal Cove and Bell Island.(Fred Hutton/CBC) He said that conflicts with public health guidelines provided by Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, Newfoundland and Labrador's chief medical officer of health. "Dr. Fitzgerald is saying, 'Stay in your own bubble. Five people." But you're up there with 50 people. There's just something inherently wrong with that," Crane said. "You're required to keep on masks, but you're touching handrails, you're going up the stairs, down the stairs. People are going over for dialysis, people are going over for chemotherapy, the elderly, some are sick — or a bit frail, anyway — people with disabilities, you're all being herded up to the top like cattle." Crane said a dependable ferry service is vital for its users while the town tries to spur economic growth via new businesses and wants to keep its nurses, teachers and other critical service employees intact. The town has sent its affidavit to its lawyers, who Crane said will be filing the suit in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court. "We're just to the point where everybody says, 'Listen, what's the council going to do?' Well, the council only has one legal option open to it, and we thought, 'Let's go to Supreme Court and get some answers,' because it's not fair," Crane said. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
GREY-BRUCE – An outbreak of COVID-19 has been reported at Brucelea Haven in Walkerton, after a staff member tested positive for the virus. The case was reported as Grey-Bruce moved into the ‘green – prevent’ level of the Ontario COVID-19 response framework. As of Tuesday morning, March 2, three new cases had been reported in the previous 24 hours – two in Grey Highlands and one in South Bruce. There are presently 12 active cases and 31 high-risk contacts. One person is hospitalized and there have been two deaths from COVID-19. The cumulative total number of cases in Grey-Bruce is 703. To date, 7,484 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. This includes residents, staff and essential caregivers in long-term care homes, and 100 paramedics. Firefighters and police officers are receiving their vaccinations this week. Vaccination of adults 80 years of age and older also begins this week. All long-term care residents, staff and essential caregivers have received their first dose of the vaccine, and some have received their second dose. All high-risk retirement home staff and residents have also received their first dose, along with high and very high-risk health-care workers in hospital settings. The local health unit is getting a lot of calls from people 80 years old and over, who want to know when they will get their vaccine. The health unit reports it’s working with primary care providers in Grey-Bruce to get dose counts and clinics organized. People are advised not to call their health-care provider or the health unit to try to book an appointment. The vaccine is being administered by health-care providers and they will reach out to their patients directly. For people without a primary care provider, the health unit is working on a plan to ensure everyone will have access to the vaccine – details will be announced when plans are finalized. The health unit continues to work with limited vaccine supplies. A number of different clinic models will roll out this week in conjunction with primary care. For smaller practitioner-based clinics, the physician will call patients and make immunization arrangements. Certain larger family health team clinics with larger numbers of patients will hold local physician-led clinics. Certain community clinics will combine clients from a number of different physician practices for large numbers of clients. Public health will use the hub model and other community sites as practices identify needs for additional space, and anticipates opening larger community-based clinics when the province “goes live” with the online scheduling on March 15. Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government says it should be able to get a first dose of COVID-19 vaccines to all eligible people in the province this spring — months ahead of the original prediction.Officials say it is because the province has changed strategies and is delaying second doses in order to get more first doses done more quickly.Johanu Botha, a member of the provincial vaccine task force, says much depends on the flow of vaccine supplies from the federal government.He says all first doses should be done sometime between mid-May and the end of June.Recent studies have shown that first doses are more effective than originally believed, and many provinces have decided to delay second doses as a result.This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021 The Canadian Press
Health Canada has authorized the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, produced by Janssen Inc., the first single-dose vaccine approved for use in Canada.
HALIFAX — Nova Scotia is setting aside $3 million to accelerate the process of awarding land titles in historically African Nova Scotian communities. Many African Nova Scotians live on land without clear title bequeathed to them by ancestors, limiting their ability to obtain mortgages, access housing grants or to sell their homes. African Nova Scotian Affairs Minister Tony Ince said today the money will help resolve claims without requiring residents to go to court. Government officials say the $3 million investment will help speed up a process that began in 2017 to help residents of North and East Preston, Cherry Brook/Lake Loon, Lincolnville and Sunnyville get clear land titles at no cost. Premier Iain Rankin says after working with African Nova Scotian communities, he learned there are barriers that need to be removed in order to ensure the success of the initiative. To date, the Land Titles Initiative has cleared 194 land parcels from more than 500 applications and more than 850 eligible parcels of land. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. — — — This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
SOUTH BRUCE – Last week, the Municipality of South Bruce responded to a letter received on Feb. 23 from David Donnelly. The lawyer represents opponents of the proposed deep geological repository (DGR) with their lawyer's correspondence. The communication said, “We have been provided with a copy of your letter to Municipal Council dated Feb. 4, 2021 on behalf of Protect Our Waterways – No Nuclear Waste. We have been asked to respond to the points raised in your letter on behalf of the municipality.” South Bruce’s lawyer, Patrick G. Duffy, outlined “significant developments…over the past 18 months that are relevant to the topics outlined” in the letter. He provided a timeline of these developments starting in November 2019, spanning to February 2021, which included updated reports and studies completed to date. The outline included that “approximately 60 processes and inputs” have recently been initiated “to ensure the community has the information needed to make an informed decision about whether to host the project.” Duffy went on to answer each of the questions/concerns outlined in Donnelly’s letter. Duffy answered, “your letter raises questions about the regulatory jurisdiction for the project and the municipality’s role in the regulatory process.” He explained that the DGR project is a federal undertaking under the Constitution Act 1867, and that it must comply with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) licensing regime. “Before the CNSC can issue a licence for the Project, the NWMO (Nuclear Waste Management Organization) will be required to complete a federal impact assessment under the Impact Assessment Act,” with a public regulatory process that will take “many years to complete.” The project will only advance after the assessment and licencing are finished. Duffy added, “While the federal government holds primary regulatory authority over the project, the municipality can exercise its jurisdiction over the project provided it does not displace or frustrate the purpose of federal regulation.” He said the municipality has “a limited but important role in regulating local impacts…such as aspects of land use and transportation.” In regards to Donnelly’s request to “confirm a compelling demonstration of willingness to host a DGR as a binding referendum, requiring a two-thirds majority,” Duffy said, “at this time, council has not made any determination as to whether the community is a willing host for the project.” Added Duffy, “Council has not yet decided how willingness to host the project will be determined. The municipality is working with its lead consultant GHD on a process to seek community input on what mechanisms should be used to assess willingness.” The peer reviews and funding for those reviews are addressed in the “Guiding Principles” recently incorporated by the municipality. The municipality is applying the same practices they use for other large infrastructure projects, the letter said, adding, "The municipality required and has secured funding from the NWMO to undertake appropriate peer reviews and independent studies of the potential impacts on and benefits for the community associated with the project.” Duffy said, “In this regard, Principle 25 of the Guiding Principles states: ‘The NWMO will fund the engagement of subject matter experts by the Municipality to undertake peer reviews of Project reports and independent assessments of the Project’s potential impacts on and benefits for the community as determined necessary by the Municipality.’” Donnelly said that “NWMO should apply under the Planning Act for amendments to the South Bruce Zoning Bylaw.” Both the Bruce Nuclear Power Development and Darlington Nuclear Power Plant are governed in part by the Planning Act. The South Bruce Zoning Bylaw (bylaw 2011-63) does not authorize a nuclear waste repository in the municipality. A nuclear waste repository is not a service or utility referenced in subsection 3.1.1 (i) or (ii), nor is the NWMO considered an agency or department of the federal government. “The issue of municipal planning authority over the project has been addressed in Principle 33, which states: ‘The NWMO will comply with the Municipal Official Plan and zoning bylaw and seek amendments to the Official Plan and zoning bylaw as necessary to implement the Project,” said Duffy. “Consistent with Principle 33, the Municipality expects that the NWMO will comply with the South Bruce Zoning Bylaw for all activities undertaken within the community and seek appropriate variance or amendments to the applicable zoning as needed,” he added. The municipality does not view the Planning Act as a good tool to obtain public participation in assessing "willingness," Duffy said. “A zoning bylaw amendment for the use of the site as a Deep Geological Repository would not be required until a building permit for the facility is needed, which will be after the federal impact assessment process is completed and the NWMO is ready to commence construction on the Project,” he said, adding, “this timing is obviously unsuitable for use in the site selection process.” Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
BRANTFORD, Ont. — Past and present residents of the southern Ontario city Walter Gretzky helped put on the map mourned him Friday, remembering him not just as Canada's hockey dad, but as a community fixture who was always up for a chat. Gretzky died Thursday at the age of 82, still living in the Brantford, Ont., home where he raised his five kids, including Wayne Gretzky. Small memorials for the elder Gretzky sprung up Friday morning — two outside the arena that bears his eldest son's name, and one outside that family home. "He was always really kind," said Mark Ritter, a former sports writer. "He was always shaking hands. He was always making eye contact with people." Ritter, who lived in Brantford for six years but has moved away, drove about an hour on Friday morning to leave a hockey stick at Walter Gretzky's reserved parking spot outside the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre. His hockey stick was one of three — two full-sized, one miniature — up against a sign that reads "Reserved for Walter Gretzky, Lord Mayor of Brantford." Ritter said he regularly saw Gretzky at the nearby McDonald's when he lived in the southern Ontario city of about 100,000. "I think his greatest gift really was time," he said. "...He gave it up unselfishly and with kindness and love and care." He described one chance encounter with Gretzky that turned into an hour-long conversation about hockey. "It's not an uncommon story," Ritter said. Others laid flowers at the foot of the Gretzky statue outside the sports centre. The monument depicts Walter Gretzky and his wife Phyllis with a young Wayne, looking on as the adult Wayne Gretzky hoists the Stanley Cup over his head. Flowers, a hockey stick and a teddy bear were left outside the Gretzky family home. The mayor of Brantford, meanwhile, said Friday was a sad day for "all those who knew and loved Walter." "Not only will he be remembered as a beloved father, friend, coach, mentor and neighbour, he will also forever be known for championing this community at every opportunity," Ken Davis wrote on Facebook. "In the coming days and weeks, the City will announce additional ways in which we plan to pay tribute to Walter to show our deep respect and appreciation for everything he means to our city and the many people he has touched by his kindness and generosity." Samantha Cullen, a college student who grew up in the area, recalled seeing the Gretzky patriarch on school trips to the Brantford Civic Centre, a local arena "Everyone would be struggling to get on their skates and on the ice," she said. "Every time I was there, Walter would see the struggle of the teachers, parents and older children and always offer a helping hand — or at least a distraction long enough for us to get laced up." She said she continued to see him around through the years, often at charity events. "He was more of a hero to a lot of people than Wayne was," she said. "Wayne was the skill, but Walter was the heart." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press
BERLIN — German factory orders rose more strongly than expected in January, a promising sign of strength in Europe's largest economy, official figures showed Friday. The Federal Statistical Office reported that industrial orders rose 1.4% in January over the previous month when adjusted for seasonal and calendar variations, double what economists had been predicting. A 2.6% drop in domestic orders was more than offset by a 4.2% increase in foreign orders, the office reported. Germany's economy has been doing better than several others in the 19-country eurozone as it was supported by manufacturing, which has taken less of a hit than services during the pandemic. Last week the Statistical Office reported the German economy grew 0.3% in last year’s fourth quarter compared with the previous three-month period, a better performance than previously thought. The revision meant that last year’s overall drop in GDP was a touch less sharp than originally reported — 4.9% rather than 5%. The Associated Press
Monday, March 1, marked the one year anniversary of the first COVID-19 case reported in Durham Region. Since then, the Region has logged over 11,800 cases and almost 300 deaths. The Township of Uxbridge has recorded 247 cases (six as of press time Tuesday evening) and 24 deaths. This time last year, however, a vaccine seemed like a pipe dream. But over the weekend, Health Canada approved the AstraZeneca vaccine. According to medical statistics, the AstraZeneca vaccine is reported to have an efficacy of 62 per cent and has been authorized for adults 18 and older. While this vaccine is overall less effective than the Pfizer and Moderna shots, it is reportedly 100 per cent effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalizations and death from the virus. Uxbridge physician Dr. Carlye Jensen says the best shot is whichever shot you can get. “We all know 5-point restraints are better than our standard seat belts with shoulder and lap belts. But would you wait for a 5-point restraint to be installed and not use the regular seatbelt offered? Of course not. We are still driving in a COVID-ridden world and you need to wear a seatbelt, so take the one you are given first,” says Jensen. On Wednesday, the region announced that vaccine booking for those who are 80+ in Durham will begin on March 8. Appointments can be made online at www.durham.ca/vaccineappointment or via telephone at 1-800-841-2729 on or after that date. Asymptomatic testing is also ramping up in schools. The Durham District School Board reports that testing in the region has started and that it plans to have the first round completed by the end of March. The DDSB also says that it will relay specific details about testing to each school community closer to the date that testing will be offered. Justyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos
Avec la multiplication des opérations de vaccination contre la Covid-19, l’activité économique reprend un peu plus à chaque semaine et la période printanière verra de nombreuses opportunités d’emplois se multiplier. Le quincailler RONA dont le siège social est à Boucherville est d’ailleurs actuellement à la recherche de 67 employés pour ses deux succursales de Boucherville (27 emplois) ainsi que celles de Varennes (10 emplois) et Ste-Julie (10 emplois) ainsi que pour son Réno Dépôt de la rue Nobel à Boucherville (20 emplois). En fait, Lowe’s Canada, qui est un chef de file du secteur de la rénovation résidentielle au Canada cherche à embaucher près de 2 000 associés à temps plein et à temps partiel au Québec en vue de la saison la plus achalandée du secteur de la rénovation. Les postes à pourvoir (permanents et saisonniers) vont des rôles de commis à la réception et d’associé(e) aux ventes à ceux de gestionnaire, en passant par des rôles de soutien administratif et de marchandisage. Les magasins corporatifs RONA et Réno-Dépôt de la Montérégie cherchent à pourvoir près de 600 postes à temps plein et à temps partiel dans le cadre de leur campagne d’embauche printanière. Les personnes intéressées peuvent postuler en ligne à https://lowescanadaembauche.ca/ François Laramée, Initiative de journalisme local, La Relève
Infectious Diseases Physician, Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, answers your questions and brings us up to speed on everything COVID-19.
LONDON — Prince Philip has been transferred from a specialist cardiac hospital to a private facility to continue his recovery after a heart procedure, Buckingham Palace said Friday. The palace said the 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II underwent a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at St Bartholomew’s Hospital on Wednesday. He was moved to King Edward VII's hospital on Friday and is “expected to remain in hospital for continuing treatment for a number of days,'' the palace said. Philip was admitted to the private London hospital on Feb. 16, where he was treated for an infection. On Monday he was transferred to the specialized cardiac care hospital. Philip’s illness is not believed to be related to the coronavirus. Both Philip and the monarch received COVID-19 vaccinations in January and chose to publicize the fact in order to encourage others to also take the vaccine. Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, retired in 2017 and rarely appears in public. Before his hospitalization, he had been isolating at Windsor Castle, west of London, with the queen. Although he enjoyed good health well into old age, Philip has had heart issues in the past. In 2011, he was rushed to a hospital by helicopter after suffering chest pains and was treated for a blocked coronary artery. The longest-serving royal consort in British history, Philip married the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947. He and the queen have four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. His illness comes as the royal family braces for the broadcast on Sunday of an interview conducted by Oprah Winfrey with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Meghan and husband Prince Harry quit royal duties last year and moved to California, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media. The Associated Press
Women in Uxbridge who find themselves in unsafe domestic circumstances will soon have an alternative to heading to the south part of the region - North Durham is finally getting a women’s shelter. Two representatives from The Nourish and Develop Foundation (TNDF), in Cannington, spoke at Monday’s council meeting to “introduce themselves” and tell council what services are currently available at TNDF, and that more, including the shelter, are coming. Johanne St. Louis, women’s services coordinator at TNDF, gave council some details regarding the new shelter, which will be built onto the current home of TNDF in Cannington. The shelter, as she described it, will cover 2,500 square feet over three floors and be a 12-bed VAW [Violence Against Women] Emergency Shelter, “so it will be very secure.” “The shelter will be able to accept to women who are wanting to leave abusive relationships, to victims of human trafficking, to women at risk of homelessness, and to teens over 16 who cannot live at home,” explained St. Louis. St. Louis also revealed that the shelter, which is expected to operational by Fall 2022, will be a pet-friendly shelter, meaning that women will be welcome to bring family pets with them to the shelter. The only other shelter that does this in Durham Region is in Bowmanville. In addition to being pet-friendly, TNDF is organizing a livestock fostering program, so larger animals that need care will go to local farms and live there until such time as the woman “can get sorted and into a new place.” The TNDF shelter will be the fifth in Durham Region - the other four are in the south, and St. Louis told council that, in working with these various shelters, consensus is that women in the northern part of the region are very reluctant to seek help in the south. “We found that women often stay in bad situations just because the alternative is scary. If you’re from [anywhere in North Durham] you may not want to go to Oshawa and uproot your children and change your whole life. Your job may be here, your supports are here. This is an exciting opportunity for women north of the 407 to get help that’s more specific to their needs.” Regional councillor Gord Highet asked St. Louis whether the TNDF shelter would specifically serve only the residents of Brock Township, Scugog and Uxbridge. St. Louis explained that, at the moment, many of the services that the TNDF offers are for Brock residents, but that the shelter would be open to all of North Durham. She added that, if someone from the south needed help leaving a situation and the North Durham shelter had a bed available, the woman would not be turned away. Highet then commended St. Louis and her colleague, community development manager Rebecca Jeschke, stating that “people think of this issue as a metropolitan problem, but it’s not.” Jeschke, at the beginning of the presentation to council, explained that TNDF has been working in the community for several years to enhance local food security, including operating a food bank, a seed library and a community garden. It’s now expanding its services to specifically support women in need. “The connection to these food access programs and a women’s shelter may not be clear,” said Jeschke, “but the conditions that lend themselves to food insecurity ... can also give rise to intimate partner violence,” said Jeschke. “For this reason, women’s services at TNDF is a natural fit.” A women’s services resource centre will be opening next month. St. Louis pointed out that the resource room will be named to honour Brock Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden, who passed away in January. Currently, TNDF offers services and support to women who are experiencing violence and abuse. The organization provides emergency supplies such as food and clothing, as well as referrals to emergency services, counselling and transitional housing, all while raising awareness for the prevention of violence against women in the community. “Our main goal at the moment is to raise awareness about our current services which include advocacy, referrals, emergency food, clothing and transportation as well as counseling services. We want the women in our communities to know they are not alone and help is available,” says St. Louis. She also noted that TNDF is collecting a few items for its resource centre. “We need new cosmetics, toiletries, socks, pajamas and undergarments for women. We are also collecting books for our library. These could be novels, self-help or other inspiring books that might be interesting to women.” Items can be dropped off by appointment at TNDF in Cannington. The Nourish and Develop Foundation is a privately funded foundation, and monetary donations can be made directly through its website. More information about its many services and programs can found at www.tndf.ca It can also be reached by phone at 705-996-0302 or toll free at 833-979-0302. Justyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter (with Lisha Van Nieuwenhove), The Uxbridge Cosmos
PARIS — Out-of-work French culture and tourism workers are occupying an iconic theatre on Paris’ Left Bank to demand more government support after a year of pandemic that has devastated their incomes and put their livelihoods on indefinite hold. With sleeping bags and food, they've set up inside the ornate lobby and velveted balconies of the 19th century Odeon Theater for as long as it takes to call attention to their demands. About 50 people occupied the theatre starting Thursday and unfurled union banners from atop its columned facade reading “Culture Sacrificed” and “Six unemployed workers out of 10 not compensated – Scandal!” Among their demands is another year of special government aid for seasonal theatre workers, who often struggle to make ends meet but have been particularly crippled since the virus hit. French theatres, cinemas, museums and tourist sites have been closed for much of the past year as part of government virus protection measures, and no reopening plans have been announced. The Associated Press
It was Andrew Cuomo’s Emmy-winning performance: daily televised coronavirus briefings in which the New York governor projected competence and compassion, helping to calm a nervous nation. Now, the many Americans whose positive impressions of Cuomo were formed during the height of the pandemic are getting a close-up of a very different governor, one accused of underreporting COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, sexually harassing female staffers and bullying colleagues. To New Yorkers who have watched the Democrat for years, however, the allegations are consistent with how Cuomo maintains his tight grip on power. The same forceful, micromanaging, even adversarial style that appeared to serve him well in the pandemic, they say, could lead to his undoing. “The national audience who looked to him for guidance and comfort in the past year don’t want to see someone they respect fall from grace," said Fordham University political scientist Christina Greer. “But there are a lot of New Yorkers who have known Cuomo and his behaviour who are saying it’s time for his comeuppance.” The three-term governor, 63, said Wednesday that he would not resign, and urged those demanding his departure to await the results of an independent investigation into the harassment allegations, overseen by Democratic state Attorney General Letitia James. Cuomo apologized for making women uncomfortable but denied touching anyone inappropriately. He said he regularly greets people with a hug and kiss, a habit acquired from his late father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo. “I understand sensitivities have changed. Behavior has changed,” Cuomo said. “I get it and I’m going to learn from it.” Former aide Lindsey Boylan, 36, accused Cuomo of persistent harassment, including kissing her without consent and suggesting a game of strip poker aboard his state-owned jet. Another former aide, Charlotte Bennett, 25, said Cuomo asked if she ever had sex with older men and said he was fine dating “anyone above the age of 22.” A third woman, not employed by the state, told The New York Times that Cuomo put his hands on her face and asked if he could kiss her just moments after they met at a 2019 wedding. Cuomo’s administration is also under federal investigation after it underreported deaths in nursing homes following his decision to open those facilities to recovering COVID-19 patients. The state, for months, declined to say how many nursing home patients who had died after being transferred to hospitals, even reportedly editing the number out of a report released in July. State health officials say the statistic was withheld because of questions about its accuracy. Assembly member Ron Kim, a Democrat who blasted Cuomo over those deaths, said Cuomo called and threatened to “destroy” him if he didn’t retract his criticism. Cuomo has denied saying those words. He's also defended the state's record on nursing home deaths, though he said it should have moved faster to release the data. But the threatening language sounded familiar to Republican Rob Astorino, who challenged Cuomo in 2014. Cuomo’s campaign obtained, digitally altered and used a family photo of Astorino and his 11-year-old son at a Miami Dolphins football game in an attack ad to question Astorino’s loyalty to New York. “He has screamed at me, cursed at me, threatened me: It’s a pattern of behaviour with him, and it’s the worst-kept secret in New York,” Astorino said. “On a good day, he’s a bully. On a bad day, he’s what we’re seeing now.” Cuomo refused to even say hello to his 2014 primary opponent, Zephyr Teachout, when she approached him at a parade, later joking he didn't see her. In 2018, a national organization for dwarfs lodged a complaint after Cuomo’s campaign repeatedly mocked his opponent’s height. Senior aides have adopted Cuomo's abrasive approach, berating journalists and lawmakers who question the administration. In 2019, when three female lawmakers criticized Cuomo for holding a $25,000-a-couple fundraiser amid state budget negotiations, Cuomo’s spokesperson dismissed them as “ idiots,” adding profanity. “The irony of this whole thing is: If he’s so tough, then why is his skin so thin?” asked one of those lawmakers, Democratic state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi. Biaggi is among several lawmakers from both parties calling for Cuomo's resignation. Mario Cuomo 's legacy hangs heavily over the younger Cuomo's career. Andrew Cuomo got his start in politics as his father's aide and campaign manager, before serving as U.S. housing secretary under Bill Clinton and state attorney general. If he wins a fourth term in 2022, he will surpass his father's tenure. While he started as a centrist, he’s since moved to the left — though many progressive lawmakers still view Cuomo with distrust. The governor, a fan of muscle cars who talks proudly of being a son of Queens, has insisted his job requires toughness. And his forceful personality has helped him notch an impressive list of victories on same-sex marriage, minimum wage, tax cuts, gun control and a long list of economic development projects. Infrastructure — big, concrete and tangible — is a particular interest. Cuomo has overseen overhauls of New York City's airports and train stations, subway and rail expansions, and a replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge, which was named for his father. His hands-on approach won him plaudits — and a book deal — in the pandemic's early days, when his briefings showcased both his practicality and a more human side, as a father and son worried about his family — augmented by viral appearances on his brother's primetime CNN show as New York bore the deadly brunt of U.S. cases. “He is a bully, and he's everything they say he is,” said Barbara Bartoletti, who worked in Albany for four decades as legislative director for the League of Women Voters, a government watchdog often at odds with Cuomo. “But as a New Yorker, I'm glad we did have him during the height of the pandemic." With his pugilistic nature, Cuomo was never likely to resign without a fight, Greer said. Pressure could subside, too, as the investigation drags out. The diverging fates of two fellow Democrats could prove instructive: While Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam survived his 2019 scandal over old blackface photos — even campaigning, a year later, for the same politicians who initially sought his resignation — U.S. Sen. Al Franken's quick departure in response to his own harassment allegations has since been second-guessed. “Northam was able to ride it out, while a lot of Democrats think Franken left prematurely,” Greer said. “I don’t think Cuomo goes quietly in the night. I think he just waits, and hopes the storm passes.” David Klepper, The Associated Press
Womxn - "a woman, used, especially in intersectional feminism, as an alternative spelling to avoid the suggestion of sexism perceived in the sequences m-a-n and m-e-n, and to be inclusive of trans and nonbinary women." Why is it that menstruation is essentially a taboo subject when about 50 per cent of the population experiences it on a monthly basis? In 2019, best friends, Sam Fuller and Olivia Crone decided to tackle the taboo subject head-on and build a community of “inclusivity and openness.” They created Simply la Femme to “help educate womxn on how to live mindfully with their cycles.” “Menstruation is a natural process which most womxn experience, so rather than feeling ashamed or burdened, we decided we’d educate ourselves on how to live mindfully with our cycle.” Sam and Liv, as they call themselves, started to build a community of resources with the help of doctors, naturopaths and other women with a passion like themselves. “No one should have to feel alone if they are experiencing struggles with their cycle because chances are someone else has gone through the same thing.” But Simply la Femme is not only period talk. Sam and Liv also say they “love to delve into hormone management, understanding how our body changes, birth control and everything that goes with being a womxn.” In 2019, Sam and Liv ran the first Simply La Femme workshop called “Find Your Rhythm” where they hosted a local yoga instructor and naturopath, and the girls say they are looking forward to organizing another workshop. Sam and Liv are online, having built a community on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and even producing “The (not so) Simply La Femme Podcast,” which is available on Spotify and Apple. The duo also promotes Thinx period underwear at www.shethinx.com/pages/leader-simplylafemme?fbclid=IwAR1JjUmknVsd-Rj7VyFgr2AB6-eUPOQBaEgkdjOdYJTuAEaj9d4U6wkwUUk&utm_source=leader “We hope to create an educational resource that menstruators of all ages can easily understand and learn from.” Join the Simply la Femme community and connect with Sam and Liv at @simplylafemme on social media. Justyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos
"We have the ability to make our own choices in a way that I couldn’t have said yes to you then," the Duchess of Sussex says.
BERLIN — One of Germany's best-known TV directors and scriptwriters has been formally charged with raping an aspiring actress almost 25 years ago, Munich prosecutors said Friday. Dieter Wedel was the first prominent figure in the country named when the #MeToo movement targeting alleged sexual abusers in the media and the arts gathered pace in Germany three years ago. Wedel, 81, has denied claims by several women that he pressured them for sex. The 20-page indictment against Wedel claims that in 1996 an actress visited him in a Munich hotel to read scenes for a part she was hoping to play. Wearing only a bathrobe, Wedel allegedly forced her onto the bed and raped her. Prosecutors cited more than 20 witnesses and experts, as well as diary entries, in their indictment. German news agency dpa quoted Wedel's lawyer Doerthe Korn criticizing the publicity surrounding the case and the fact that the allegations against her client were first made in a newspaper article, which wrongly suggested the statute of limitations had already expired. The Associated Press
Le député de Lac-Saint-Jean, Éric Girard, assure que tous les citoyens de la région seront branchés à Internet haute vitesse d’ici 2022, tel que promis par le gouvernement de François Legault. Le 26 février, la ministre fédérale du Revenu Diane Lebouthiller, la ministre québécoise des Affaires municipales, Andrée Laforest, et Bell Canada ont annoncé avoir branché à Internet haute vitesse 1 944 foyers Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean grâce à des investissements conjoints de 2,5 M$. Les municipalités de L’Anse-Saint-Jean, de Sainte-Rose-Du-Nord et Saint-Ambroise et Saint-Félicien sont concernées par l’annonce. Au cours des prochains mois, 1 500 foyers supplémentaires seront branchés, soit à Saint-Honoré et l’arrondissement de La Baie, à Saguenay. Cependant, seulement 93 foyers des 1 944 foyers annoncés sont au Lac-Saint-Jean, plus précisément, le secteur de Saint-Méthode. Le député de Lac-Saint-Jean, Éric Girard, réitère toutefois l’engagement de son gouvernement à brancher l’ensemble du Québec à Internet haute vitesse d’ici septembre 2022. Dossier complexe « C’est un dossier extrêmement complexe, il y a beaucoup d’intervenants à consulter. On a une rencontre de prévue le 8 mars avec nos municipalités, nos directeurs généraux et nos maires pour répondre à leurs questions. C’est une rencontre très attendue. Rappelons qu’avec le gouvernement précédent, des annonces avaient eu lieu, mais rien n’avait été fait. Nous, on garde le cap pour 2022 afin de réaliser cet engagement », explique le député. Environ 10 000 foyers ne sont toujours pas branchés à Internet haute vitesse dans la région. À Saint-Henri-de-Taillon, 250 résidences en secteur de villégiature n’y ont pas accès, selon les estimations du maire. Saint-Gédéon et son rang des Îles, certains secteurs de Desbiens, de Sainte-Monique-de-Honfleur, de Labrecque et de Lamarche attendent également d’être branchés. Espoir La MRC de Lac-Saint-Jean-Est s’attend toutefois à des annonces importantes au cours des prochains mois. Compréhensif, le directeur général, Sabin Larouche, a bon espoir de voir se réaliser d’ici 2022 le branchement complet des foyers. « Les compagnies comme Bell qui appliquent sur ce projet-là vont toujours là où il y a de la rentabilité. Il ne faut donc pas se surprendre s’ils choisissent des tronçons plus facilitants pour eux où des infrastructures se trouvent à proximité, plutôt que de desservir le dernier bout du rang. Ce qu’on sait, toutefois, c’est ce que dans les prochaines semaines, il devrait y avoir des annonces assez importantes qui vont faire en sorte qu’on ne sera pas laissé pour compte », explique le directeur général de la MRC de Lac-Saint-Jean-Est. Julien B. Gauthier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Lac St-Jean