Many people have come to pay their respects at a small memorial where a Calgary police officer was killed during a traffic stop. As Jill Croteau reports, many are mourning the loss.
Many people have come to pay their respects at a small memorial where a Calgary police officer was killed during a traffic stop. As Jill Croteau reports, many are mourning the loss.
WASHINGTON — Three new senators were sworn into office after President Joe Biden's inauguration, securing the majority for Democrats in the Senate and across a unified government to tackle the new president's agenda at a time of unprecedented national challenges. In a first vote, the Senate confirmed Biden's nominee for director of national intelligence, Avril Haines late Wednesday, overcoming Republican opposition to approve his first Cabinet member. It's traditionally a show of good faith on Inauguration Day to confirm at least some nominees for a new president’s administration. On Thursday, the new Senate majority leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he hoped Biden's nominees for the departments of Defence, Homeland Security, State and Treasury could also be swiftly confirmed. “To leave these seats vacant does a disservice to America,” Schumer said at the Capitol. Schumer introduced all six new Democratic senators — the “majority makers” — who he said represent an “expanding Democratic majority." Four are from the West and two from the South. They are a diverse group bringing several firsts to the Senate, along with Schumer's rise as the first Jewish majority leader of the Senate. The three who joined on Wednesday — Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Alex Padilla of California — took the oath of office from Kamala Harris, a former California senator who is first woman to be vice-president, and the first Black woman and Asian-American to hold that office. Warnock, a pastor from the late Martin Luther King Jr.'s church in Atlanta, is the first Black senator from Georgia. Ossoff, a former congressional aide and investigative journalist, is Jewish and also the now youngest member of the Senate, at 33. They won run-off elections in Georgia this month, defeating two Republicans, to lock the majority for Democrats. Padilla, a the son of immigrants from Mexico, becomes his state's first Latino senator, tapped by California’s governor to finish the remainder of Harris’ term. They join a Senate narrowly split 50-50 between the parties, but giving Democrats the majority with Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote. “Today, America is turning over a new leaf. We are turning the page on the last four years, we’re going to reunite the country, defeat COVID-19, rush economic relief to the people,” Ossoff told reporters earlier at the Capitol. “That’s what they sent us here to do.” Taken together, their arrival gives Democrats for the first time in a decade control of the Senate, the House and the White House, as Biden faces the unparalleled challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and its economic fallout, and the nation's painful political divisions from the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol by a mob loyal to Donald Trump. Congress is being called on to consider Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion COVID recovery package, to distribute vaccines and shore up an economy as more than 400,000 Americans have died from the virus. At the same time, the Senate is about to launch an impeachment trial of Trump, charged by the House of inciting the insurrection at the Capitol as rioters tried to interrupt the Electoral College tally and overturn Biden’s election. The Senate will need to confirm other Biden Cabinet nominees. Yet as Washington looks to turn the page from Trump to the Biden administration, Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is not relinquishing power without a fight. Haines' nomination was temporarily blocked by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., as he sought information about the CIA's enhanced interrogation program. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is holding back the Homeland Security nominee, Alejandro Mayorkas, over Biden's proposed immigration changes. McConnell is refusing to enter a power-sharing agreement with Senate Democrats unless they meet his demands, chiefly to preserve the Senate filibuster — the procedural tool often used by the minority party to block bills under rules that require 60 votes to advance legislation. At her first White House briefing, press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden’s desire to have his Cabinet confirmed and in place is “front and centre for the president,” and she said he was hoping to have his national security nominees in place Thursday or Friday. Psaki said the president will be “quite involved” in negotiations over the COVID relief package, but left the details of the upcoming impeachment trial to Congress. The Senate can “multitask,” she said. That’s a tall order for a Senate under normal circumstances, but even more so now in the post-Trump era, with Republicans badly split between their loyalties to the defeated president and wealthy donors who are distancing themselves from Republicans who back Trump. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is expected to soon transmit to the Senate the House-passed article of impeachment against Trump, charged with incitement of insurrection, a step that will launch the Senate impeachment trial. Meantime, the power-sharing talks between Schumer and McConnell have hit a stalemate. It’s an arcane fight McConnell has inserted into what has traditionally been a more routine organizing resolution over committee assignments and staffing resources, but a power play by the outgoing Republican leader grabbing at tools that can be used to block Biden’s agenda. Progressive and liberal Democrats are eager to do away with the filibuster to more quickly advance Biden’s priorities, but not all rank-and-file Senate Democrats are on board. Schumer has not agreed to any changes but McConnell is taking no chances. For now, it will take unanimous consent among senators to toggle between conducting votes on legislative business and serving as jurors in the impeachment trial. The House last week impeached Trump for having sent the mob to the Capitol to “fight like hell” during the tally of Electoral College votes to overturn Biden’s election. __ Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report. ___ This story has been updated to correct that Sen. Tom Cotton represents Arkansas, not Oklahoma. Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
When Diogo Dalot signed for Manchester United, the excitement was mixed with regret at missing out on the chance to play with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The veteran striker had departed for what appeared to be a career swan song at the Los Angeles Galaxy just before a teenage Dalot arrived at Old Trafford three years ago. “It was a little bit of a sad moment for me,” Dalot recalls in an interview with The Associated Press. “When you play football, you always want to play with the best players and, of course, Zlatan was a reference.” The opportunity had been missed, or so the Portuguese defender wrongly assumed. As the right back struggled for game time in Manchester, a loan move was needed at the start of this season. Now the 21-year-old Dalot is at the heart of the defence of an AC Milan side which has been propelled to the top of the Italian league by the 39-year-old Ibrahimovic. With 12 goals in eight league games, the Swede’s enduring quality is undisputed — and inspirational for a teammate giving his career a lift in Italy. “He’s very demanding on ourselves,” Dalot said in a video call from Milan. “He’s always one of the first to come in to training ground. So these kind of things help us to see that maybe we need to be as professional as him because, if you want to win as much as he won, you need to be doing this for a long time. “And this is a very good way to see how you want be a success in football, how you want to be in 10 years or in 15 years. And it’s been a very good surprise to work with him.” Surprising because Dalot had not envisaged leaving United — even temporarily — so soon after being acclaimed as the “best young fullback in Europe” when Jose Mourinho brought him to United from Porto in 2018. “It was one of the sentences that I keep with me until this day,” Dalot said. “Coming from him was even more special because we all know that is a fantastic coach, one of the best ever, and it gave me a little bit more responsibility.” A change in manager produced a change in circumstances and Dalot fell down the pecking order under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Ibrahimovic is helping Dalot believe in himself again and improve his game. “He can give you the confidence when he thinks you need (it),” Dalot said. That sometimes means being brutally honest. “'You’re not doing good enough to be at this level'” Dalot says Ibrahimovic will tell players in training or games. "Coming from him we need to listen.” Especially about what it takes to win titles, something Milan has not done in Serie A since Ibrahimovic lifted the trophy in 2011 before eventually moving on to PSG, United and the LA Galaxy. Almost halfway through the season, a resurgent Milan enjoys a three-point lead over city rival Inter and has an unexpected 10-point advantage on Juventus, which has slumped to fifth after eight successive titles. “It will be more special (winning the title), not just because of beating Juve or Inter ... but to put Milan back on the top again, winning titles after so many years,” Dalot said. “We like this kind of pressure. We like to have people down there pushing us and paying attention to us to see, ‘OK, if you lose, we are there.’ So we like these kind of challenges.” Dalot’s focus is on the Serie A prize. But there will be some uncertainty when the season-long loan expires whether he returns to United or secures a longer stay with Stefano Pioli’s Milan. United is also going strongly this season, sitting top of the Premier League and looking to end its own title drought stretching back to 2013. “I am completely focused on what is going on here,” Dalot said. “When I go home and I can rest, I can see Manchester games, Porto games and be happy with them, because they are winning and they are doing fantastic.” Dalot is delighted to be back on the field regularly again, playing 15 times since October and being a key part of a defence that has not conceded in four of the last five games. “I’m a confident person. I know my qualities. I know what I can do, but then if you don’t play that’s not enough," Dalot said. "Feeling the grass again, feeling the games again, winning games and playing 90 minutes ... it’s been fantastic.” ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Rob Harris, The Associated Press
The N.W.T. Housing Corporation has loosened rules for seniors trying to access its housing repair programming. Changes announced on Wednesday remove the need for home insurance and formal land tenure, and the GNWT will now only assess the incomes of seniors who own their homes. “These changes will put an end to situations where seniors cannot access assistance for repairs in smaller communities and allow them to remain in their homes and communities, where they are surrounded by the support of their families and friends,” said housing minister Paulie Chinna. Previously, the territory assessed the income of all income-earners in the household. Now, only the income of the applicant and co-applicant will be considered. Home insurance and land tenure are difficult to get in some communities. From now on, all residents – including seniors – in smaller communities can access home repair programs without either. The N.W.T. Housing Corporation said it would continue to help people to get home insurance and land tenure, to ensure their homes are protected. Residents in Fort Simpson, Fort Smith, Inuvik, Hay River, Norman Wells and Yellowknife are still required to have land tenure and insurance when applying for the major stream of the Contributing Assistance for Repairs and Enhancement program. Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
While Municipalities of Saskatchewan President Gordon Barnhart remains out of province on vacation, members of the organization said they are still in the dark about his plans to return. Barnhart did comment on his vacation to Hawaii with his wife for a Jan. 19 story written by Gary Horseman, a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter with the Four-Town Journal. The Journal covers Saltcoats, the town where Barnhart is the mayor. “For the last nine years, Naomi and I have spent Christmas and January in Maui. This year, with COVID-19, we took extra precautions to ensure that our health and the health of those around us would be safe,” Barnhart told the Journal. “Before leaving for our vacation, I discussed with the Saltcoats council and administration how we could keep in contact while away. While in Maui, we both have been keeping up with work by email and phone, FaceTime and Zoom. As mayor of Saltcoats, I am in touch with councillors and administration on a daily basis. Arrangements have been made for me to fulfill my administrative duties by distance and I have been able to chair council meetings by Zoom. I take my role as mayor very seriously and believe I have been able to fulfill my duties to the best of my ability while still taking a holiday with my wife,” Barnhart continued. The fact that Barnhart has been taking precautions while travelling is great, said Naicam Mayor Rodger Hayward, Municipalities of Saskatchewan’s vice-president of towns, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that elected officials like Barnhart should be taking public health orders to not travel seriously. “As municipal leaders, we have a duty to lead by example, following all public health measures, orders and advisories. The premier has asked everyone to not do unnecessary travel and especially out-of-country travel,” he said. In Barnhart’s comments to the Four-Town Journal, he really didn’t address that key issue, Hayward said. While Municipalities of Saskatchewan is busy preparing for their upcoming virtual convention, Hayward said he is sure the president’s travel will be part of the conversation. “It'll be a little different because it's a virtual convention and it’s our very first one, so we'll see how it goes. But I'm sure it'll be a topic there. The office of president and the rest of the executive is up for election this year, as well.” Barnhart has not been in contact with Hayward as of Jan. 20. Hayward said he was in contact with only one other board member of Municipalities of Saskatchewan to give the same information that was given to the Four-Town Journal. Becky Zimmer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
The Liberal bus rolled into Grand Falls-Windsor on Wednesday as the leadup to the 2021 provincial election kept moving. In the shadow of that bus and flanked by Grand Falls-Windsor-Buchans candidate Debbie Ball and Exploits candidate Rodney Mercer, Liberal Leader Andrew Furey unveiled another part of the Liberal party’s campaign platform. In particular, the Liberals pledged to provide feminine hygiene products in schools at no cost. “There is good evidence that young women will miss school because they don’t have access to feminine care products,” said Furey. “One in seven Canadian young women, or non-binary individuals, will miss school because they do not have access to feminine care products. “That is simply not good enough and this Liberal government intends to make sure that is not a barrier to young women and non-binary individuals from reaching their full potential. That is the commitment we’ve made today.” Before making the announcement, the Liberals consulted with local women’s organizations, and hope this will alleviate the access problems that exist around these products. The move to provide free feminine hygiene products was a part of a larger commitment to work with various community groups, educators and students to improve the health curriculum in the province. Furey said the cost of having these products available in schools would be found within the health-care budget. “The cost will be found within the health-care budget, but the cost of not having them is young women and non-binary individuals missing school is far greater than the cost accrued to the system for this,” he said. Terri Lynn Burry said Wednesday's announcement is an important one for young women in the province. “I think it is amazing and I think it should be done,” said Burry, program director for the Youth 2000 Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor. “We would definitely look at it for the centre.” In her work, Burry is often asked for hygiene products by the girls and families who use the centre. There are times when families can’t afford them and instead go without them, and that’s why the centre has products on hand, she said. Burry said it can be embarrassing for girls to ask for products if they don’t have any on hand, and they often find it difficult. “It is something that should be readily available. It is something that is a necessity and if it was readily available there wouldn’t be such a stigma attached to it sometimes, especially for young children,” she said. “It is new to them and it is embarrassing for some of them.” During the stop, the premier was asked about some health-care issues that pertain to residents in central Newfoundland. Namely, he was questioned about where his government stands with issues such as returning 24-hour emergency services to the hospital in Botwood, as well as supporting the Lionel Kelland Hospice in Grand Falls-Windsor. In both instances, he maintained the government is working toward solutions for both. “We’re aware of the issues and we’re committed to building on the commitments of the past,” said Furey. Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
From a global perspective, there was nothing unique about the recent raid on the U.S. Capitol. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have backed military coups around the world for decades.
A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, our understanding of how and why the coronavirus spreads continues to change, especially as new variants emerge around the world. While you may have spent much of last March wiping down your groceries, research has since shown that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets, not surface transmission. Like many respiratory viruses, the coronavirus spreads more effectively in the winter, with studies showing that prolonged, indoor contact in settings with poor ventilation are more likely to cause transmission. But what do we know about how the virus spreads outdoors in winter? Michael Brauer, a professor at the University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health, said it's a difficult, dynamic question to answer — one that would need to take into account temperature, humidity, wind direction and more. "The physics is pretty complicated," he said. "When transmission does happen outdoors, it's very likely that it's people not wearing masks and standing close together." What are droplets? Brauer explained when you exhale you're humidifying the air around you, releasing breath at body temperature, 37 C. Your breath is saturated with water and if you're carrying the coronavirus — whether you're symptomatic or not — you're exhaling microscopic virus particles coated in a layer of water. What makes masks an effective tool against transmission is that they block these droplets from entering the air in the first place — though they're less effective at protecting you from someone else's droplets. Why does humidity make a difference? Once droplets exit your body, their size changes depending on the conditions of the air around you, Brauer says. Humidity combined with temperature affects the way droplets react, with droplets becoming smaller the less humid the conditions. A smaller droplet is likelier to hang in the air for a longer amount of time, while a larger one will sink to the ground, making it less likely to reach another person. "There are no hard and fast rules. Everything is very dynamic. There's wind direction [for example]. But in general, the smaller those droplets are — so they tend to evaporate or dry out — they'll remain in the air longer," he said. That's why it's possible that varying winter conditions in some parts of Canada may affect how the virus spreads outdoors, he added. "In the east when it's cold and very dry, then you do get in a situation where those droplets could become smaller and could remain airborne for longer. I'm not convinced that would be the case here in Vancouver. Those droplets could basically remain the same size, which means they're not going to last in the air for that long," he said. Brauer said there's also some evidence to suggest that if a droplet is on a surface, it won't be as infectious in warm temperatures or high humidity. Still, he said a recent study shows that out of 7,000 cases of coronavirus transmission, just five occurred outdoors. The vast majority of transmission happens indoors, which is why respiratory viruses spread more rapidly in the winter, when people are less likely to be gathering outside. What about ventilation and movement? The role that ventilation and wind play is much better understood. "A two-metre distance is generally protective. If you're two metres away and it's very, very calm air, that's less protective than if you're two metres away if there's a lot of wind," said Brauer. "If you're within two metres and you have a gust of wind, you may be perfectly safe." Exercise also creates its own ventilation, making it safer to have a conversation while moving than when standing still. "When people are moving, that's going to be safer in general, just because you're getting more air flow — and so that's just like having ventilation, you're creating your own micro-wind," said Brauer. Are outdoor activities safe? Brauer said another factor to take into account is that the combination of exercise and cold temperatures make people more likely to cough, which expels more droplets. Heavy breathing caused by exercise also makes you more likely to exhale and inhale droplets. But he said no one should be discouraged from exercising outdoors — most outdoor activities are safe, and it's usually the events leading up to exercise that are more likely to allow for transmission. "Certainly, activities where you're close to people — that's where you need to be concerned. Skiing itself wouldn't be a particular concern, but waiting in line might be," he said. "Even when you're outdoors and together with people, keeping that two-metre distance is good advice. But I don't think it's absolutely necessary to wear a mask every moment you're outside if you're not in close contact with people."
Italian police arrested 50 people on Thursday and placed a prominent centrist politician under investigation in a crackdown on the 'Ndrangheta mafia that prosecutors say lays bare its efforts to launder cash and buy influence. The 'Ndrangheta is based in the southern region of Calabria, the toe of Italy's boot, and has surpassed Sicily's more famous Cosa Nostra to become the most powerful mafia group in the country -- and one of the largest crime gangs in the world. Among those placed under investigation was Lorenzo Cesa, head of the small UDC party, who was in the national spotlight last week after he rejected overtures from Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to join the ruling coalition, which has lost its absolute majority in parliament.
BERLIN — Germany is seeing a promising decline in new coronavirus infections, but must take "very seriously” the risk posed by a more contagious variant and will have to be cautious whenever it starts easing its lockdown, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday. Merkel and Germany’s 16 state governors on Tuesday decided to extend the country’s lockdown by two weeks until Feb. 14 and tighten some measures, for example requiring surgical masks — rather than just fabric face coverings — in shops and on public transportation. On Thursday, Germany’s disease control centre said that 20,398 new cases were reported over the past 24 hours, nearly 5,000 fewer than a week ago. The number of new cases per 100,000 residents over seven days stood at 119, the lowest since the beginning of November — though still well above the level of 50 the government is targeting. There were 1,013 more deaths, bringing Germany’s total so far to 49,783. The new variant, which has been detected in Germany and many other European countries, isn't yet dominant there, but “we must take the danger from this mutation very seriously,” Merkel told reporters. “We must slow the spread of this mutation as far as possible, and that means ... we must not wait until the danger is more tangible here,” she said. “Then it would be too late to prevent a third wave of the pandemic, and possibly an even heavier one than before. We can still prevent this.” Merkel said that Germany won't be able to open up everything at once whenever the lockdown ends, declaring that schools must open first. “We must be very careful that we do not see what happens in many countries: they do a hard lockdown, they open, they open too much, and then they have the result that they are back in exponential growth very quickly,” she said. She pointed to Britain's experience in December, when the new variant took hold. The Associated Press
Indonesian authorities said on Thursday the search for victims of a plane crash that killed all 62 people on board had been halted, but the hunt would continue for the Sriwijaya Air jet's cockpit voice recorder (CVR). "Search operations have been closed, but we will continue to search for the CVR," said Bagus Puruhito, who heads the country's search and rescue agency. Divers last week retrieved from the seabed the other so-called black box, the flight data recorder, of the 26-year-old Boeing Co 737-500 jet.
Researchers have said around 52,000 deaths in Europe could be prevented each year if emissions are cut to WHO guidelines. View on euronews
GENEVA — The United States will resume funding for the World Health Organization and join its consortium aimed at sharing coronavirus vaccines fairly around the globe, President Joe Biden’s top adviser on the pandemic said Thursday, renewing support for an agency that the Trump administration had pulled back from. Dr. Anthony Fauci’s quick commitment to the WHO — whose response to the pandemic has been criticized by many, but most vociferously by the Trump administration — marks a dramatic and vocal shift toward a more co-operative approach to fighting the pandemic. “I am honoured to announce that the United States will remain a member of the World Health Organization,” Fauci told a virtual meeting of the WHO from the United States, where it was 4:10 a.m. in Washington. It was the first public statement by a member of Biden’s administration to an international audience — and a sign of the priority that the new president has made of fighting COVID-19 both at home and with world partners. Just hours after Biden’s inauguration Wednesday, he wrote a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres saying the U.S. had reversed the planned pullout from the WHO that was expected to take effect in July. The withdrawal from the WHO was rich with symbolism — another instance of America's go-it-alone strategy under Trump. But it also had practical ramifications: The U.S. halted funding for the U.N. health agency — stripping it of cash from the country that has long been its biggest donor just as the agency was battling the health crisis that has killed more than 2 million people worldwide. The U.S. had also pulled back staff from the organization. Fauci said the Biden administration will resume “regular engagement” with WHO and will “fulfil its financial obligations to the organization.” The WHO chief and others jumped in to welcome the U.S. announcements. “This is a good day for WHO and a good day for global health,” Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “The role of the United States, its role, global role is very, very crucial.” The two men hinted at a warm relationship between them, with Fauci calling Tedros his “dear friend” and Tedros referring to Fauci as “my brother Tony.” John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called it “great news” in an email. “The world has always been a better place when the U.S. plays a leadership role in solving global health problems including the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria, polio and other diseases,” he said. Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke wrote on Facebook: “This is going to have a huge impact on the world’s ability to fight the pandemic. It is decisive that the United States is involved as a driving force and not a country that is looking for the exit when a global catastrophe rages.” Fauci also said Biden will issue a directive Thursday that shows the United States’ intent to join the COVAX Facility, a project to deploy COVID-19 vaccines to people in need around the world — whether in rich or poor countries. Under Trump, the U.S. had been the highest-profile — and most deep-pocketed — holdout from the COVAX Facility, which has struggled to meet its goals of distributing millions of vaccines both because of financial and logistic difficulties. WHO and leaders in many developing countries have repeatedly expressed concerns that poorer places could be the last to get COVID-19 vaccines, while noting that leaving vast swaths of the global population unvaccinated puts everyone at risk. While vowing U.S. support, Fauci also pointed to some key challenges facing WHO. He said the U.S. was committed to “transparency, including those events surrounding the early days of the pandemic.” One of the Trump administration’s biggest criticisms was that the WHO reacted too slowly to the outbreak in Wuhan, China, and was too accepting of and too effusive about the Chinese government’s response to it. Others have also shared those criticisms — but public health experts and many countries have argued that, while the organization needs reform, it remains vital. Referring to a WHO-led probe looking for the origins of the coronavirus by a team that is currently in China, Fauci said: “The international investigation should be robust and clear, and we look forward to evaluating it.” He said the U.S. would work with WHO and partner countries to “strengthen and reform” the agency, without providing specifics. ___ Associated Press writers Cara Anna in Nairobi, Kenya, and Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report. Jamey Keaten, The Associated Press
As Sweta Daboo frames it, Tuesday was the last day that there had never been a woman of colour in the job of vice-president of the United States. "As of yesterday there is now precedent. This will be normalized and this is something incredible to look forward to," said Daboo. Daboo is a woman of colour living on P.E.I., and the the executive director of the P.E.I. Coalition for Women in Government. "It was absolutely incredible and very surreal," she said of watching the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris on Wednesday. UPEI biology Prof. Marva Sweeney-Nixon, also woman of colour, was watching as well. "It was emotional, it was gratifying, it was just a really powerful and exciting experience," said Sweeney-Nixon. "I just sat there and thought about how powerful it was for women and for girls and for people of colour to see this. I thought about just how inspiring she is." 'Not the last' Daboo said her favourite moments of the ceremony included the poem by Amanda Gorman and the fist bump between Harris and former president Barack Obama, but it was Harris's actual taking of the oath of office that struck her the most. "I thought about a quote that she had earlier which was, 'You may be the first to do many things, but make sure you are not the last.'" she said. "Watching her take this oath, and thinking of all the little girls, all the children of colour, all the youth around the world that were watching this moment happen, it was easy to believe that she would not be the last." But both Sweeney-Nixon and Daboo said this is just the beginning of a difficult road for Harris. "People are going to be watching her and expecting more from her just like they did with Barack Obama," said Sweeney-Nixon. "If you make a mistake or you stumble, oftentimes that can be used to say this is why people of this or that group should not be in positions of power," added Daboo. And, they added, the experience of Obama's presidency and what followed also showed electing someone to high office is not enough to change society. "There's a lot of change that needs to follow," said Sweeney-Nixon. For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here. More from CBC P.E.I.
PARIS — Just like the leaves of its gilded fans, France’s storied fan-making museum could fold and vanish. The splendid Musee de l’Eventail in Paris, classed as a historical monument, is the cultural world’s latest coronavirus victim. It has until Jan. 23 to pay up over 117,000 euros ($142,000) in rent arrears — stemming mainly from losses during lockdowns, otherwise it will close. And with it will go the savoir-faire of its workshop. The studio that teaches design and restoration to a new generation of fan-makers was placed on France’s intangible heritage list last year. “It is a tragedy. I can’t believe Parisians will let a part of their heritage die. I have a problem, because I always believed there would be a miracle,” the museum's 74-year-old director, Anne Hoguet, told the AP. There may be some surprise that France, a country that famously prizes its culture, has not done more to save the museum, especially given that the French public was so eager to help other cultural sites in danger, such as its burned-out Notre Dame cathedral. It might be a question of size. Hoguet said she was “exhausted” by the fight for survival that has hit smaller institutions but spared larger ones, such as Florence’s Uffizi which re-opens this week. “Like all small museums, we had troubles before, but the health crisis has been a catastrophe," she said. Bailiffs are even threatening to seize the museum's artefacts from next Monday, numbering 2,500 original pieces — including historic fans made from turtle shell, lace and silk and adorned with diamonds and rubies. Like many of Paris' 130 museums, Hoguet said her institution — which charges just 7 euros entry and is located in the French capital’s popular 10th district — was forced to close for most of 2020 because of government virus restrictions. On top of that, money coming from the workshop’s fan restorations also evaporated because of the tightening of spending during the pandemic. “The aristocratic families who send me their fans to restore all fled to their country homes in lockdown, so I had no more commissions. They wanted to save their money.” She said she would previously have charged between 500 and 600 euros per fan to restore them to their original state using traditional materials, and she used the income from that to pay the rent. Even when the museum briefly re-opened last September, Hoguet had trouble getting the same levels of footfall as before. “Because people were preoccupied with the virus, culture and heritage got forgotten — and dangerously,” she said. Hoguet is the fourth generation in charge of what is Paris’ last original fan-making workshop. She has trained directly or indirectly five young fan-makers, whom she hopes will carry the torch of the storied craft. The making of fans, traditionally with wooden sticks and painted paper leaves, has been considered sacred in many ancient cultures. But in France, its golden age was in the French court of 18th-century Versailles, where women used fan as forms of communication to flirt expertly or to hide modestly behind. The images painted on them would often chronicle the current affairs of the world around them. To this day, they remain part of France's fashion heritage DNA, featuring elaborately in couture collections by Chanel, Dior and Jean Paul Gaultier. Hoguet's father bought the museum’s impressive collection of fans in 1960. It spans the period from the Renaissance to the 20th century, including “advertising” or “illustrated” pieces, as well as vellum, kidskin and feathered fans. She is very much an eccentric of the old school. A staff of one, she has no cohesive fundraising tool set up other than email, but her efforts to rally support since 2019 have been valiant. She says that she has been so failed by French authorities that she now has trouble sleeping. She had rallied the French Culture Ministry and been in talks with Paris City Hall, but it has, she said, made no difference. “What is the point of marking us out as intangible heritage if they will not protect us?” she asked. Paris City Hall did not immediately respond when contacted by AP. “The problem with savoir-faire, is that it can very quickly die," Hoguet said. ___ Adamson reported from Leeds, England Thomas Adamson And Michel Euler, The Associated Press
THE LATEST: Health officials have called off their regular Thursday briefing to hold a Friday-morning news conference instead. 564 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 more deaths were reported Thursday afternoon. There are currently 4,450 active cases of the coronavirus in B.C. 309 people are in hospital, with 68 in the ICU. 104,901 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., including 1,680 second doses. There is new community cluster in and around Williams Lake. There are no new outbreaks in the health-care system, but six have been declared over. On Thursday, B.C. health officials announced 564 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 more deaths. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix put the number of hospitalized patients at 309 people, 68 of whom are in intensive care. Hospitalizations are now at their lowest level since Nov. 28 A total of 1,119 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Henry and Dix said a new community cluster has been detected in and around Williams Lake. There are no new outbreaks in the health-care system, and six outbreaks have been declared over. So far, 104,901 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., including 1,680 second doses. Health officials cancelled their regular COVID-19 briefing Thursday as they prepared to update the province's strategy for immunization against the virus, and the daily update was provided in a written statement instead. Henry and Dix will join a news conference Friday with Premier John Horgan and Dr. Penny Ballem, who is leading B.C.'s COVID-19 immunization rollout. The four are expected to comment on the next steps in the immunization program that has been complicated by a hiccup in vaccine supply from Pfizer-BioNTech. Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues. READ MORE: What's happening elsewhere in Canada As of 7 p.m. PT on Wednesday, Canada had reported 724,670 cases of COVID-19, and 18,462 total deaths. A total of 68,413 cases are considered active. What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Common symptoms include: Fever. Cough. Tiredness. Shortness of breath. Loss of taste or smell. Headache. But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia. What should I do if I feel sick? Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or other extreme symptoms should call 911. What can I do to protect myself? Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean. Keep your distance from people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Wear a mask in indoor public spaces. More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.
BEIJING — China on Thursday expressed hope the Biden administration will improve prospects for people of both countries and give a boost to relations after an especially rocky patch, while getting in a few final digs at former Trump officials. “I think after this very difficult and extraordinary time, both the Chinese and American people deserve a better future,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters at a daily briefing. She said China and the U.S. need to relaunch co-operation in a number of areas. She particularly welcomed the new administration’s decision to remain in the World Health Organization and return to the Paris Agreement on climate change. “Many people of insight in the international community are looking forward to the early return of Sino-U.S. relations to the correct track in making due contributions to jointly address the major and urgent challenges facing the world today,” Hua said. She also criticized ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other former officials, a day after Beijing imposed travel and business sanctions on 28 of them, including Trump's national security adviser Robert O’Brien and U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft. “Over the past few years, the Trump administration, especially Pompeo, has buried too many mines in Sino-U.S. relations that need to be eliminated, burned too many bridges that need to be rebuilt and wrecked too many roads that need to be repaired,” Hua said. Hua on Wednesday described Pompeo as a “doomsday clown” and said his designation of China as a perpetrator of genocide and crimes against humanity was merely “a piece of wastepaper.” Hua's markedly more friendly tone Thursday appeared to signal Chinese hopes to cool the rhetoric on both sides and give the relationship a chance to heal over some of the worst divisions. “I think both China and the United States need to show courage, show wisdom, listen to each other, face up to each other and respect each other," Hua said. “I think this is the responsibility of the two major countries of China and the United States, and it is also the expectation of the international community.” Also Thursday, China’s Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai offered his congratulations to Biden on Twitter, which is widely used by the Chinese government despite being blocked in the country. “Congratulations to President Biden on his inauguration! China looks forward to working with the new administration to promote sound & steady development of China-U.S. relations and jointly address global challenges in public health, climate change & growth,” Cui tweeted. Chinese President and Communist Party leader Xi Jinping congratulated Biden on his election but had no immediate comment on Wednesday’s inauguration. While Biden’s administration is expected to seek to put relations with China back on an even keel, he is unlikely to significantly alter U.S. policies on trade, Taiwan, human rights and the South China Sea that have angered Xi’s increasingly assertive government. ___ This story has been corrected to show that the number of officials sanctioned by China was 28, not 30. The Associated Press
More than a week into the work stoppage at the Burleigh Falls dam project, Parks Canada has issued a statement regarding the land defenders and their rights to the land within their treaty territory. “The Government of Canada is working to advance reconciliation and renew the relationships with Indigenous Peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, collaboration, and partnership,” says David Britton, director of Ontario waterways. Kawartha Nishnawbe land defenders in Burleigh Falls blocked work on the dam project on Jan. 13 after they say they were not consulted about the project. Parks Canada did consult with Curve Lake First Nation in previous meetings, and recently at a Jan 6, 2021 online virtual meeting stated the organization did consult with Kawartha Nishnawbe in 2016. “Parks Canada has offered to meet with Kawartha Nishnawbe,” adds Britton. “Not to my knowledge has there been any consultation with Kawartha Nishnawbe in 2016 regarding the replacement of the dam,” said Nodin Webb, spokesperson for Kawartha Nishnawbe. He went on to say Parks Canada is falsely claiming they consulted with the community as a whole in 2016. “I also do not believe Parks Canada is respecting us, if anything, they’ve ignored us,” adds Webb. Parks Canada says they remain available and hope to connect in a meaningful way through this process. “Parks Canada continues to meet with Curve Lake First Nation and other Williams Treaty First Nations on the upcoming phases of work for the Burleigh Falls dam replacement project and are working together to develop fisheries monitoring and mitigation plans,” says Britton. “We are fully aware of the litigation in court and we will not comment on the issue at this time. The part of the court litigation lies with Crown Indigenous Relations Services Canada,” added Britton. Curve Lake Chief Emily Whetung issued an official statement on the blockade. “Many of our members harvest in or near Burleigh Falls Dam area, and our goal through our consultation process with Parks Canada has been to protect the impacts on the species that our members harvest,” says Chief Whetung. The statement also says while Curve Lake First Nation recognizes the complicated history of the Kawartha Nishnawbe, their relationship to the land at Burleigh Falls, and their assertion with the Federal Government and Curve Lake respect that they have an independent perspective. “The Burleigh Falls Dam is located within the recognized pre-confederation and Williams Treaties Territory and we feel a responsibility to protect the environment and species in the area as the reconstruction project moves forward.” Parks Canada says there are do not know the full cost of the stoppage, but did say there is no impact on the spawning season. Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Peterborough This Week
A cold chain break during the transportation of a COVID-19 vaccine recently is causing Central Health to make changes to its procedures. The break occurred earlier this month when 160 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were being transported from the distribution centre in Gander to the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor. The break came when the Pfizer vaccine, which must be kept at a temperature between –60 C and –80 C, went to a temperature that was between two and eight degrees outside what is recommended. Central Health has made changes to ensure it doesn’t happen again. “What we do when a situation like this happens, or any situation that happens, we follow a continuous quality improvement approach,” said Joanne Pelley, vice-president of integrated health and chief nursing executive with Central Health. “With that, we would review all processes that occurred and look at anything that we need to do differently.” One of those changes is to have the shipments of the vaccine transported on the day of the clinic instead of the day before. In the days that followed the break, there were no transportation issues and they were able to deliver vaccines to priority health-care workers. “We’ve reviewed the process, we’ve implemented new approaches and we certainly do not want this to happen again,” said Pelley. Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province's chief medical officer of health, said the vaccine is transported with a specialized temperature recorder in each box, which indicated the doses had been above that for 15 minutes. “It’s my understanding that it has to do with just the way that the shipping container was conditioned — and the TempTale, the temperature recording device that we use — were conditioned prior to being placed in the … shipping container, and so that can sometimes result in a higher reading,” Fitzgerald said Wednesday. While there was no damage to the vaccine, it became paramount that those doses be administered as quickly as possible. Because of this, officials with Central Health pulled their health-care teams together and quickly started assessing the situation, while determining the best choice of action. None of the doses went to waste, and were delivered to the people who needed them in the six hours when they had to be delivered. “Central looked at this and tried to determine what the reason for that cold chain break was, and to the best of my knowledge at this point, they have figured that out and they have put safeguards in place to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” said Fitzgerald. — With files from Peter Jackson Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
DÜSSELDORF, Germany — The fate of one of Germany's most storied soccer clubs lies with two strikers born 18 years apart. The return to Schalke of the 37-year-old Klaas-Jan Huntelaar from Ajax is a desperate roll of the dice by a team trying to cling on to top-division status amid financial turmoil worsened by the coronavirus pandemic. Huntelaar joins up with an unexpected star in 19-year-old Californian Matthew Hoppe, who was an obscure name even to Schalke fans before a sudden breakthrough into the first team in November and five goals in his last three games. Hoppe earned last-place Schalke's first league win in nearly a year with a hat trick against Hoffenheim on Jan. 9 but his goal in a 2-1 defeat to Cologne on Wednesday showed he can't always get the points on his own. Huntelaar scored 126 goals in 240 games in his first spell with Schalke and could make his latest debut for the club against Bayern Munich on Sunday. After Bayern hammered Schalke 8-0 on the opening day of the season, it's likely to be an exercise in damage limitation for the hosts in Gelsenkirchen. Huntelaar remains a threat — he scored twice as a late substitute in his last game for Ajax — but one of the main reasons he left Schalke in 2017 was a concern that he couldn't stay fit enough for the Bundesliga. Huntelaar missed the Cologne defeat with a calf problem but said Wednesday that he hopes to be fit to take on Bayern. “There's hope that he can safely play part of the game,” said Christian Gross, Schalke's fourth coach of the season, in comments reported by the dpa agency. Relegation would be a catastrophe for Schalke, which has played in the Bundesliga every year since 1991 and until recently viewed the Champions League as its natural habitat. The pandemic cut off much-needed ticket income just as Schalke was trying to make up for years of overspending. Mounting debts mean even the process of getting a competition license for next season will be a headache. When storied clubs drop out of the Bundesliga, they're far from guaranteed to return. Hamburg, Hannover and Nuremberg are all rattling around the second tier while wealthy clubs with little history like Leipzig and Hoffenheim sit in the Bundesliga. Former champion Kaiserslautern is now a third-tier team with a 50,000-seat stadium and financial problems. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports James Ellingworth, The Associated Press
ORANGEVILLE, Ont. — A senior staff member at an Ontario hospital has retired after a relative was vaccinated against COVID-19 at a clinic intended for health-care workers. Headwaters Health Care Centre in Orangeville, Ont., has apologized for what it’s calling an isolated incident on Jan. 14. The centre won’t name the individual beyond the title “staff director,” citing privacy reasons. The CEO says the employee's relative was at the hospital for another reason and was vaccinated during a break in scheduled appointments. Kim Delahunt calls it one person's “failure in sound decision-making,” and that health-care leaders must be held to a higher standard. Delahunt says the individual decided to retire after the incident, adding that the hospital is “deeply sorry.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press