Jackie Dunn is a Canadian living in Austin, Texas and she shares her experience of battling the historic winter storm amidst dire situations.
Jackie Dunn is a Canadian living in Austin, Texas and she shares her experience of battling the historic winter storm amidst dire situations.
(Leah Mills/Jennifer Gauthier/Reuters - image credit) Donald Trump's actions will take centre stage in a Vancouver courtroom this week as Meng Wanzhou's lawyers try to prove the former U.S. president poisoned extradition proceedings against the Huawei executive. The case should be tossed out because of alleged political interference, Meng's lawyers are expected to argue at the first of three sets of B.C. Supreme Court hearings scheduled to stretch into mid-May. A decision on the extradition request isn't expected until much later this year. The 49-year-old, who is Huawei's chief financial officer, is charged with fraud and conspiracy in New York in relation to allegations she lied to an HSBC banker in Hong Kong in 2013 about Huawei's control of a subsidiary accused of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. The arguments related to the former president concern a statement he made to a Reuters reporter in the weeks after Meng's arrest at Vancouver's airport on Dec. 1, 2018. At the time, Trump said he would "certainly intervene" if he thought it was necessary to help the U.S. reach a trade deal with China. Charter rights argument could be 'decider' The Crown — which represents the U.S. in the proceeding — contends there's no evidence Trump made good on his words and that any possible influence he could have had on the case ended along with his term in office. University of B.C. professor Michael Byers, an expert on international law, says he doubts the defence team will have much success convincing Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes the U.S. Department of Justice has been swayed by political considerations. Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, the founder of the telecommunications giant. She is accused of fraud and conspiracy. But he does think they'll have a better shot in the coming weeks with claims Meng's rights were breached on her arrival when Canada Border Services Agency officers questioned her for three hours before RCMP executed a warrant calling for her "immediate arrest." "That three-hour period could well have constituted a violation of her Section 7 rights to security of the person under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. "And so if the extradition judge is to rule that Ms. Meng should be set free, my expectation is that it's that particular element of the case that will be the decider." Meng is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, the man who became a billionaire by turning his global communications giant into a flagship business prized by the Chinese state. Meng's legal team includes lawyers from firms across Canada. And her case is being spearheaded by Vancouver's Richard Peck, of Peck and Company. Strategy to have case thrown out Along with arguments about Trump's role, the allegations related to Meng's treatment by the CBSA are part of a multi-pronged defence strategy to have the proceedings stayed. Meng's lawyers also claim the U.S. misled Canada about the strength of its case and that American prosecutors are reaching far beyond their jurisdiction by trying a Chinese citizen for a conversation that took place in Hong Kong with an executive for an English bank. Meng Wanzhou's lawyers are expected to claim her charter rights were violated during her first few hours in CBSA custody. Holmes will hear submissions about the events surrounding Meng's arrest during the second stretch of hearings, scheduled to begin in mid-March. The defence claims the CBSA conspired with the RCMP and CBSA to have border agents question Meng without a lawyer. They also seized her cellphones and later gave the passcodes to police, in contravention of policy. The defence has accused the RCMP of sending technical information from Meng's electronic devices to the Americans. A senior officer who was in touch with a legal attache for the FBI has refused to testify — and last month, Meng's lawyers announced their intention to try to force the Crown to disclose their communication with him about that decision. 'An irritant' in U.S.-China relationship In court documents filed in advance of this week's hearing, Meng's lawyers cited comments by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about a need to tie a trade deal between the U.S and China to the resolution of Meng's situation and the fate of two Canadians imprisoned in China. Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor have been accused of spying by the Chinese government in what most observers believe is retaliation for Meng's arrest. Michael Kovrig, left, and Michael Spavor, right, were arrested by China in the wake of charges against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. U.S. President Joe Biden has called for their release. The Crown doesn't make any mention of the so-called "two Michaels" in its submissions, but the defence claims the constellation of factors riding on the case has made it extremely difficult for Meng to defend herself without worrying about the impact on others. U.S. President Joe Biden called on China to release Kovrig and Spavor last week following a bilateral meeting with Trudeau, saying "human beings are not bartering chips." Byers believes Biden may decide to bring an end to efforts to extradite Meng in the coming months as he looks to improve the U.S. relationship with China. "It is in the hands of the Biden administration to end this case. And the Biden administration will be in the process now of resetting the relationship between the United States and China. That is a hugely important relationship, for economic reasons, for security reasons. "Those two superpowers need to get along. They need to get things done. And Ms. Meng's presence in Vancouver is an irritant in that relationship." To that end, reports by the Wall Street Journal and Reuters last December claimed Meng was in discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice to bring an end to the case through a deal that would see her admit to some wrongdoing in exchange for a deferred prosecution agreement. In an exclusive interview with CBC's chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton, newly appointed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said any deal would have to be made free of geopolitical considerations. "We follow the law. We follow the facts. "And one of the things that we don't do is have politics or foreign policy interfere in the workings of the Justice Department."
LOS ANGELES — Just like in her career, Jane Fonda used the Golden Globes’ platform to speak on deeper issues calling for greater diversity in Hollywood while praising the “community of storytellers” as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award. While wearing an all-white suit, Fonda raised the Globes’ highest honour above her head Sunday before commending storytellers for their vital role in troubled times. She said stories let us “have empathy, to recognize that for all our diversity, we are all humans.” “We are a community of storytellers, aren’t we, and in turbulent, crisis-torn times like these, story-telling has always been essential,” Fonda said. The actor and social activist went on to call for Hollywood’s leaders to try to “expand that tent” for more diverse voices. Fonda, 83, said there’s another “story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves in this industry, about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out, who is offered a seat at the table and who is kept out of the rooms where decisions are made.” Her acceptance speech earned applause from Viola Davis, Glenn Close and Andra Day, who won best actress for her role in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday." Fonda was one of the few honorees to accept an award in person at the ceremony in Beverly Hills, California. In a video package, Ted Danson called Fonda “confident and independent” while “Captain Marvel” actor Brie Larson referred to her as a “real life superhero.” Kerry Washington and Laverne Cox also paid homage in the video that offered several clips of Fonda's activism and critically-acclaimed film roles such as “Klute,” “Coming Home” and “The Electric Horseman.” Tina Fey and Amy Poehler presented Fonda the Globes’ version of a lifetime achievement award. Fey — who starred alongside Fonda in the 2014 film “This is Where I Leave You” — called her a movie star who is “open, generous and a hardworking actor.” The DeMille award is given annually to an “individual who has made an incredible impact on the world of entertainment.” Past recipients include Tom Hanks, Jeff Bridges, Oprah Winfrey, Morgan Freeman, Meryl Streep, Barbra Streisand, Sidney Poitier and Lucille Ball. Fonda is a member of one of America’s most distinguished acting families. She is the daughter of Oscar winner Henry Fonda, who died in 1982, and sister of Peter Fonda, who died in 2019. “He would be very proud of me,” she said backstage about her father. “I feel that he is here. I feel his spirit.” Fonda made an impact off-screen by creating organizations to support women’s equality and prevent teen pregnancy and improve adolescent health. She released a workout video in 1982 and was active on behalf of liberal political causes. For her on-screen efforts, Fonda has been nominated for five Academy Awards and won for the thriller “Klute” and the compassionate anti-war drama “Coming Home.” Her other prominent films include “The China Syndrome,” “The Electric Horseman” with Robert Redford, and “9 to 5” with Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton. She stars in the Netflix television series “Grace & Frankie.” Fonda gained notoriety in the 1970s when she travelled to North Vietnam during the height of the anti-Vietnam War protests and posed for photos next to an anti-aircraft gun. She fell under hefty criticism for her decision — one she repeatedly apologized for — to pose in the photo that gave her the nickname “Hanoi Jane.” In 2014, Fonda was given a lifetime achievement award by the American Film Institute. She launched IndieCollect’s Jane Fonda Fund for Women Directors, an organization aimed to support the restoration of films helmed by women from around the world. Fonda was arrested at the U.S. Capito l while peacefully protesting climate change in 2019, an action dubbed Fire Drill Fridays. For her 80th birthday, Fonda raised $1 million for each of her nonprofits, the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential and the Women’s Media Center. She also serves on the board of directors and made a $1 million donation to Donor Direct Action, an organization that supports front-line women’s organizations to promote women’s equality. Fonda’s book, “What Can I Do? My Path from Climate Despair to Action,” released last year, details her personal journey with Fire Drill Fridays. Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press
LEVERKUSEN, Germany — Bayer Leverkusen right back Timothy Fosu-Mensah will be out for several months with a cruciate ligament tear in his right knee, the German club said Monday. Fosu-Mensah was injured just before halftime in Leverkusen's 2-1 loss to Freiburg on Sunday. The club said he will need an operation and is expected to spend “the coming months” on the sidelines. It’s the second serious knee injury of the Dutch defender's career. He also needed ligament surgery while on loan at Fulham in April 2019 and missed most of Manchester United's 2019-20 season. “It is a hard blow for Timothy,” Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes said. “We will do everything we can to support him, so that he can come back stronger from this difficult situation.” Fosu-Mensah, who signed from Manchester United less than two months ago, has played every minute of Leverkusen's last six Bundesliga games. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary's right-wing prime minister has threatened to pull his party out of its group in the European Union's legislature as the conservative group edges closer to excluding its largest Hungarian delegation. In a letter on Sunday to chairman of the European People’s Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament Manfred Weber, Prime Minister Viktor Orban condemned a group proposal agreed to on Friday that would allow for entire parties to be excluded from the centre-right EPP, rather than just individual MEPs as currently allowed. Orban wrote that the proposed rules, which are expected to pass with a two-thirds vote at an EPP group meeting on Wednesday, were “tailor-made" to sanction his Fidesz party, and that “if Fidesz is not welcome, we do not feel compelled to stay in the Group.” It is the latest in a series of ongoing clashes between the right-wing Fidesz and the EPP, the largest political family in Europe, and marks the closest Orban's party has come to losing its place in the group's ranks. The EPP suspended Fidesz’s membership in 2019 over concerns that it was eroding the rule of law in Hungary, engaging in anti-Brussels rhetoric and attacking the EPP leadership. The EPP's new rules would allow for suspended member parties to be expelled with a simple majority rather than a two-thirds vote, opening the way for Fidesz's 11 delegates to lose their place in the group. Some of the EPP's more moderate national delegations have pushed for Fidesz's expulsion, arguing it no longer represents the group's values. In a statement in December, the EPP Group wrote that “the frequent attacks by Fidesz’ representatives towards the European Union and its values are not in line with the core beliefs of the EPP.” Also in December, the EPP voted to suspend Tamas Deutsch, the head of Fidesz’s delegation, stripping him of his rights to speaking time in plenary sessions and removing him from his positions in the Group. The decision, which allowed Deutsch to remain an EPP member, came after the lawmaker compared EPP Group leader Weber to the Gestapo and Hungary's communist-era secret police. In his letter, Orban wrote that he would pull his party out of the EPP Group if the new rules are adopted, signalling he will not wait to see whether the EPP votes his party out at a later time. A spokesman for the EPP Group in the European Parliament said that the changes to the rules “have nothing to do with the situation of Fidesz,” and that the vote will go forward as planned on Wednesday despite Orban's letter. “There is a broad majority support for the new rules,” Pedro Lopez de Pablo told The Associated Press in an email. “If once they are approved, some MEPs would like to initiate the procedure of suspending or expelling Fidesz, they will need to do it following the new rules. ... We are not changing the rules of procedure of the EPP Group because of Fidesz.” Othmar Karas, an Austrian EPP lawmaker and vice-president of the European Parliament, tweeted Monday that the vote on the procedural changes would go forward as planned. “I am not going to let Orban succeed with blackmail again,” Karas wrote. Justin Spike, The Associated Press
Despite the U.S. economy's near miss with a depression last year and an ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has brought travel to a virtual halt, Jeff Hurst, the chief executive of vacation rental firm VRBO, sees a boom on the horizon. "Every house is going to be taken this summer," Hurst said, as the expected protection from vaccines arrives in step with warmer weather, unleashing a cooped-up population with record savings stashed away.
This kitty is captivated by the newborn chicks in the box. So sweet and gentle!
Being innovative and doing things differently isn’t new for SmartICE — since the social enterprise began in a basement at Memorial University in 2013, it has to come up with new technologies and found ways to integrate into the northern communities it works in, while bringing traditional Indigenous knowledge into what it does. What SmartICE does is provide data on sea-ice thickness and local ice conditions to 23 Inuit communities in Labrador and the Arctic. The company has a production facility in Nain where it teaches Inuit youth how to build the technology it uses, which has been a great success so far. Now, thanks to a US$500,000 grant from the Climate Change Resilience Fund, SmartICE is developing a new holistic program to provide Inuit youth with the skills to create ice travel safety maps using satellite imagery and Inuit sea-ice terminology. Trevor Bell, the founding director of SmartICE, said the need for the maps had been identified by the communities and will address what is seen by residents as a gap in service and knowledge. Bell said there currently are sea-ice charts created by the federal government for shipping purposes in the Arctic, but they don’t meet the needs of people travelling on sea ice for a number of reasons, so that’s where these maps will come in. The Sikumik Qaujimajjuti (which roughly translates to "tool to know how the ice is") project will train the company’s community operators to make maps at the right temporal and spatial scale using Inuktitut terminology and traditional knowledge of the ice, combined with SmartICE observations and satellite imagery. The satellite imagery already exists, Bell said, and SmartICE will use the same source material as the government, but through a different lens. While it would be possible to train the federal ice analysts to make maps at the right scale for communities, he said, in reality many of those analysts have never been on community sea ice before. “They probably have no idea what it’s like to travel on the ice and therefore it’s not appropriate. The community wouldn’t trust those maps made by somebody else,” Bell said. “When it’s made by one of their own, using their own knowledge, using their own language, using their own observations, that’s something that’s really useful for communities.” Rex Holwell, the SmartICE Northern Production Centre and regional operations lead for Nunatsiavut, will run the program in Nain, and is learning how to make the maps. Holwell said people out on sea ice are using topographical maps on their GPS devices, and these new ice travel safety maps will be a significant improvement. Holwell said the technical skills the youths will learn in the community will be transferable to other work, similar to the program offered at the northern production centre in Nain, and will help them gain more traditional knowledge. “The ice knowledge my grandfather had isn’t necessarily as embedded as it should be in my son, for example,” he said. “I have freezers full of food, we have food storage here in Nain, so that ability, that need, of travelling on the sea ice is not there for the younger generation.” Bell said that gap in knowledge was highlighted by Inuit elders and was part of the impetus for this project. Using Inuit terminology on the maps will also help in that regard, he said, as well as add more nuanced descriptions. In western science there are about 15 words that describe different types of ice, he said, and the terms are designed with the idea of informing a ship captain the easiest route through the ice. In Inuktitut there are up over 75 different terms for ice, depending on the region. “There’s different terminology for different seasons, for freeze up, the dark season, break up, and those words may be a single Inuktitut word but to the people who hear or read it, it describes a feature, tells them what season it’s in, probably tells you what the weather was likely recently or tells you about safety,” he said. “Terminology is so rich and it’s so crucial to strengthen that traditional knowledge and terminology because as Inuit say, when you’re out on the ice that’s what keeps us safe.” Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
NEW YORK — Glam was back for the Golden Globes virtual, bicoastal awards night Sunday as nominees Zoomed in from around the world and, for Leslie Odom Jr., from his front porch in Los Angeles not far from the action in Beverly Hills. And they were ready, style wise, as the Globes split hosts, with Amy Poehler at the Beverly Hilton and Tina Fey at the Rainbow Room in New York. There was nary a pair of sweats in sight. Jason Sudeikis was a glam outlier in a rainbow tie-dye hoodie from his sister's clothing line as he picked up an award remotely, saying : “Wow, do I talk now?” The sweatshirt, which retails for $110, whipped up buzz on social media, prompting Fey to joke after Sudeikis accepted his award: “If anybody wants to know where they can get Jason Sudeikis' hoodie, go to nbc.com/globesfashion.” The page, please note, doesn't exist. Backstage after the show, Sudeikis told reporters he owns a multitude of hoodies but chose the one emblazoned with “Forward” on the front and “Listen + Lead” on the back as fitting for the unusual night. “When people you care about do cool interesting things you should support them,” he said. Jodie Foster won wearing a black-and-white silk pajama set from Prada, her dog Ziggy in a bandana to match and her wife by her side. During a Zoom session with reporters after the show, a giddy Foster stuck out a bare foot showing she went shoeless to collect her award and said: “This is the best Globes ever! To be able to be home just felt really real. It didn’t feel like it was filled with so much artifice.” Regina King's dog snoozed in the background before the show as she showed off her Louis Vuitton gown in silver and black — and Amanda Seyfried previewed a springy, coral Oscar de la Renta with floral adornment, echoing many stars who said they wanted to bring a little joy. “I've got my son, who is 5 months old, laying against a pillow in a tux," Seyfried said. Cynthia Erivo went for neon green Valentino to present in person, and Kaley Cuoco munched pizza in a de la Renta design. Gillian Anderson, alone in Prague, wore a green gown and Julia Garner a two-tone Prada black and white look. She didn't forget the lipstick, a deep red. Laverne Cox, in a red, embellished cape-sleeve gown, did something even more unusual: She stood up to chat with reporters on E! and NBC via Zoom before the show. “I wanted to feel festive and go for it,” she told NBC. “It's really amazing about this whole Zoom world. People can do whatever they want.” That meant Chanel for Shira Haas in Los Angeles, and custom Gucci for Elle Fanning in London. “It's nice to have something to celebrate and get dressed up for, and actually put on a dress to walk from my living room to my kitchen,” Fanning told E!. “I thought, why not?” The jewels flowed along with the gowns, which included a stunning, bright green sparkler for Anya Taylor-Joy by Dior Couture with a matching coat. Fey and Poehler, both dressed in black to open the show, joked about the unusual set up and the distance between them, with Fey pretending to stroke Poehler's hair through their screens. The two, with numerous fashion changes, were joined by an array of presenters as winners accepted via Zoom, with an early glitch when winner Daniel Kaluuya's audio went silent at first, then perked up so he could speak. King's dog wasn't the only surprise star. Sarah Paulson held her little black pooch on screen and Emma Corrin's fluffy white cat grabbed a moment for itself. And there were kids, too. Mark Ruffalo's two wandered behind him as he accepted an award. Aaron Sorkin was joined by a bevy of women on hand for his win. Lee Isaac Chung, director of “Minari,” hugged his small daughter tight as he accepted an award, his dressed-up offspring squeezing back with: “I prayed, I prayed, I prayed.” Peter Morgan, creator of “The Crown,” was a winner from his “tragic little office,” calling the pre-pandemic Globes “always the most fun awards show.” Nominees bantered from screen to screen, shouting out their hellos to each other. On stage and for their small, in-person — and masked — audiences, production designer Brian Stonestreet pivoted like never before when the Globes decided to go bicoastal earlier in February, just days before show time. The awards veteran, who has designed for the Grammys, the Billboards, the Academy of Country Music and others, told The Associated Press ahead of the Globes' big night that he gained massive horizontal real estate for the screen-centric show with the shrinking of tables in size and number. “Funnily enough, it gave me a little more freedom in terms of scenery,” he said of the Beverly Hilton, while incorporating the Rainbow Room's massive centre chandelier adorned with stars and orbs in New York. He used the extra space (about 36 guests in New York and 42 in Beverly Hills) to expand screen presence and curvier, more dramatic, staircases. On the floor, he placed trophies on pedestals among his two- and three-person cocktail tables, rather than the usual 6-foot round tables seating 10 to 12 people for a total of more than 1,000. Instead of star-studded crowds crammed into the Hilton's ballroom, the Globes hosted frontline and essential workers, along with food bank workers from the show’s philanthropic partnership with Feeding America. Lydia Marks, a New York set decorator, told The Associated Press the evening's technical challenges were many. With so many remote locations and two live sets, the few glitches should be forgiven, she said. “While it looks easy, the direction needs to remain responsive in a way that is more like a live sporting event than an awards show,” Marks said. “I think it looks pretty seamless and controlled for the amount of feeds they are working with.” ___ Associated Press writer Beth Harris in Los Angeles contributed to this story. Leanne Italie, The Associated Press
Facebook signed up a string of German media partners on Monday to provide content for a local news product, but the publisher of the country's best-selling newspaper said it would not take part on terms it dismissed as derisory. Described as a "dedicated venue for journalistic content", Facebook News will feature reporting from heavyweight weeklies Die Zeit and Der Spiegel, and daily newspapers including the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Handelsblatt and Tagesspiegel. "Part of our user base wants to read more news," Jesper Doub, Facebook's director of news partnerships in Europe, told reporters.
Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster.Chris Scott, chief meteorologist with The Weather Network, said Canadians can count on some sunny days to put a bounce in their step after a long winter."There's going to be some challenges. We're not out of the woods for winter, but we've certainly put the worst behind us and there's some really nice days ahead," said Scott, adding that people should get out and enjoy the sunshine when the daily forecast calls for it.The Weather Network predicts that March will bring extended tastes of early spring to Ontario and Quebec after a particularly wintry February. But Scott said the two provinces should brace for a period of colder weather in mid-spring before more consistent warmth sets in. The Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia, with lower-than-average temperatures in the offing for the first half of the season.An above-normal snowpack will make for excellent skiing conditions but also a heightened risk for spring flooding when warm weather finally arrives, Scott said.The Weather Network's outlook suggests March will be dramatically warmer through the Prairies, but indicates western parts of the region will struggle to reach consistently mild temperatures. The network said it's concerned that drought conditions south of the border could become more widespread and affect southern parts of the region by the start of the growing season.Scott predicted temperatures exceeding seasonal norms in Atlantic Canada, but said the region is still at risk for high-impact, late-winter storms.In Northern Canada, colder than normal spring temperatures are expected for southern Yukon, while eastern Nunavut will be warmer than usual."There's going to be good days (for outdoor activities) in every part of the country, you're just going to have to pick your battles," Scott said.The meteorologist did have good news for most of Canada's largest river valleys, predicting they would be spared disastrous floods in the months ahead.Scott said the Red River Valley in Manitoba, the Ottawa and St. Lawrence valleys in Ontario and Quebec, as well as the Saint John River valley in New Brunswick likely won't have to contend with dangerously high water levels in March and April."That's because we don't have the tremendous snowpacks that are the antecedent condition that you need to get really severe spring flooding," said Scott. "That's really good news in places, especially in Eastern Canada, that have been hit with floods."This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press
BERLIN — Germans flocked to the salons Monday as hairdressers across the country reopened after a 2 1/2-month closure, another cautious step toward normality as Germany balances a desire to loosen restrictions with concerns about more contagious virus variants. The move came after many German elementary students returned to school a week ago, following a decision by Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany’s 16 state governors. They will confer again on Wednesday to decide how to proceed with the rest of Germany’s coronavirus restrictions, which at present run until Sunday. Some German states also allowed businesses such as florists and hardware stores to open on Monday. Most stores have been closed nationwide since Dec. 16. Restaurants, bars, sports and leisure facilities have been closed since Nov. 2 and hotels are allowed only to accommodate business travellers. At his Liebe zum Detail ("Love of Detail") salon in Cologne, manager Marc Nicolas Bruehl said he is fully booked for the next four weeks. “There is a certain ambivalence about it, because on the one hand we are of course happy to be able to open up again and to earn money ourselves again," he said. "On the other hand, the increasing numbers and the emerging (virus) mutations are of course also something that concerns us.” Customer Udo Matzka, 64, said he was “totally happy that I can be here today.” “I wouldn't have thought how systemically relevant a hairdresser can be," he said. There are increasing calls for restrictions to be further relaxed, but also a desire to remain cautious. A steady decline in daily new infections has stalled, and even been reversed in some areas, as a more contagious variant first discovered in Britain spreads. “This week will set the course for the coming months,” said Bavarian governor Markus Soeder, an advocate of a cautious approach. He called the virus situation “unstable” and said authorities must not “fly blind into a third wave.” “It's really important that we make smart decisions this week,” he said. “Smart decisions means that the mood must be taken on board — we must find the right balance between caution and opening, and we absolutely must not lose our nerves ... and simply fulfil all wishes.” Germany’s disease control centre reported 4,732 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours and another 60 deaths, bringing Germany's overall pandemic death toll to 70,105. The number of new cases over seven days stood at nearly 66 per 100,000 residents — far below its peak of nearly 200 just before Christmas but also well above the level of 35 at which, under existing plans, the government wanted to loosen rules further. Germany had given 4.9% of its population a first vaccine shot as of Sunday, while 2.5% had received a second jab — relatively slow progress that has drawn sharp criticism. Bavaria and two neighbouring states, meanwhile, plan to give 15,000 vaccine doses to the neighbouring Czech Republic, which currently has the highest infection rate in the 27-nation European Union. Soeder said the “symbolic measure” ultimately helps Germany, because Czech authorities want to use it in high-risk areas near the border and vaccinate cross-border commuters. He also suggested that virus hotspots along the border should receive a greater share of available tests and vaccines to help contain the spread there. Most of the German counties with high infection rates are near the Czech border. ___ Daniel Niemann in Cologne and Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report. ___ Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Geir Moulson, The Associated Press
(Dan Taekema/CBC - image credit) Windsor police say officers made an arrest Friday in the killing of a 55-year-old man. Police said a 33-year-old Windsor man was arrested without incident at about 10:30 p.m. on Friday in the area of Erie Street West and Ouellette Avenue. He has been charged with first-degree murder and possession of fentanyl, police said in a news release on Saturday. The investigation into the death of Lamont Rhue, 55, is ongoing and police are seeking tips from the public. He was found dead in a home in the area of Louis Avenue and Cataraqui Street on Tuesday afternoon. Officers are looking to speak with anyone who had contact with the victim on or before Tuesday, Feb. 23. Those in the area who have surveillance cameras are being asked to check their footage from 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, to 2 p.m. the following day. More from CBC Windsor
Britain's Prince Philip, the 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth, was transferred to a different hospital in central London on Monday to have tests for a pre-existing heart condition and receive treatment for an infection. Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was admitted to London's private King Edward VII hospital two weeks ago for treatment for an unspecified infection that is not related to COVID-19. On Monday, Buckingham Palace said he had been moved to St Bartholomew's Hospital, which is a centre of excellence for cardiac care, for further treatment and observation.
BERLIN — Companies that sell refrigerators, washers, hairdryers or TVs in the European Union will need to ensure those appliances can be repaired for up to 10 years, to help reduce the vast mountain of electrical waste that piles up each year on the continent. The "right to repair," as it is sometimes called, comes into force across the 27-nation bloc Monday. It is part of a broader effort to cut the environmental footprint of manufactured goods by making them more durable and energy efficient. “This is a really big step in the right direction” said Daniel Affelt of the environmental group BUND-Berlin, which runs several "repair cafes" where people can bring in their broken appliances and get help fixing them up again. Modern appliances are often glued or riveted together, he said. “If you need specialist tools or have to break open the device, then you can’t repair it.” Lack of spare parts is another problem, campaigners say. Sometimes a single broken tooth on a tiny plastic sprocket can throw a proverbial wrench in the works. “People want to repair their appliances,” Affelt said. “When you tell them that there are no spare parts for a device that’s only a couple of years old then they are obviously really frustrated by that.” Under the new EU rules, manufacturers will have to ensure parts are available for up to a decade, though some will only be provided to professional repair companies to ensure they are installed correctly. New devices will also have to come with repair manuals and be made in such a way that they can be dismantled using conventional tools when they really can't be fixed anymore, to improve recycling. Each year, Europeans produce more than 16 kilograms (35 pounds) of electrical waste per person. About half of that junk is due to broken household appliances, and the EU recycles only about 40% of it, leaving behind huge amounts of potentially hazardous material. German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said that in a next step, manufacturers should have to state how long a product is expected to work for and repair it if it breaks down earlier. This would encourage companies to build more durable products, she said. “In the repair cafes we see a lot of devices that broke shortly after the warranty expired,” said Affelt — a phenomenon that has prompted some environmentalists to accuse manufacturers of designing their devices with planned obsolescence. Knowing an appliance will really last for a decade might prompt consumers to choose products that are more durable or can be easily fixed, he said. “For the vast majority of devices, repair is the right choice," said Affelt, adding that the exception might be old, inefficient refrigerators that can contain powerful greenhouse gases which fuel climate change. In a next step, environmentalists and consumer rights groups want the “right to repair” expanded to include smartphones, laptops and other small electrical devices. Responding to growing demand, Apple last year announced it would start providing training and spare parts to certified independent repair stores fixing Mac computers, not just iPhones. Right to repair bills have been introduced in several U.S. state legislatures, attracting bipartisan support, though as yet there is no nationwide measure in force. Sweden has gone further than most of the EU, making repairs and spare parts subject to lower value-added tax. The bloc's ecological design directive — of which the right to repair requirement is a part — will also revise existing energy labels that describe how much electricity washers and other household devices consume. The new seven-step scale from A to G will be complemented by a QR code that provides consumers with further information, such as how loud the devices are. Frank Jordans, The Associated Press
(Kirk Pennell/CBC - image credit) P.E.I. has been spared the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the last week has been a reminder of how quickly conditions can change, says Premier Dennis King. "What we've learned in this last year of COVID is this snaps back and hits you pretty fast if you don't continue following the protocols," King told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier. "These reminders are painful and this one is probably the most painful of all." Last Wednesday, there were just three active cases of COVID-19 on the Island, all traceable to travel outside the province. As of Monday morning, there are 18 confirmed — the most active cases since early April 2020 — with clusters in both Charlottetown and Summerside, about 60 kilometres northwest of the capital. There is no clear link between the two clusters, and no link to travel for either one. "This had to come from somewhere. We need to try to determine where that is," said King. Testing ramped up The P.E.I. government has taken two measures to try to get the outbreak under control. It has moved to a red phase of pandemic restrictions, closing non-essential businesses to the public, and it has ramped up testing. The province has published a list of potential exposure sites, and is asking anyone who has been at those locations to get tested. The province is also asking all people aged 19 to 29 who work in the following industries — food service, meat and fish processing, call centres and transportation and delivery, as well as long-term care staff who are not vaccinated — to get tested. By mid-afternoon Monday, the province's Chief Public Health Office said no additional positive results had come back from the lab, after 6,632 tests on Saturday and Sunday, but 1,600 results were still pending. "All of us should take this very seriously and act accordingly," said King. "We've been very fortunate, and almost spoiled in a way … For the most part, our lives have not been impacted. I don't know if that has led people to, quote unquote, let their guard down a little bit or just not take this as seriously as it needs to be." Schools offline The red phase has been announced for 72 hours and is due to end at midnight on Wednesday. King is hopeful the province will be able to gather enough information through the expanded testing to have a better idea of the source of the infections in that time. The province is still waiting for analysis of the current cases to see if they are the more contagious coronavirus variants that have been spreading in other parts of the country. Schools have been closed during the red phase, and there is no online learning, either. While school is out, the province has set up a COVID-19 testing clinic at Three Oaks High School in Summerside. King said it would take about three days to get K-6 students online, and a day-and-a-half for other grades. Teachers have been asked to begin that process, but King is hopeful students will be able to return to the classroom. Outbreaks will remain a potential danger until the province achieves its goal of vaccinating 75 per cent of Islanders, King said. As of Feb. 24, about three per cent of all Islanders had been vaccinated, based on the province's published numbers. Children cannot be vaccinated at this time, so the numbers show about five per cent of Island adults have gotten at least one shot. King expects the rate of vaccination will increase dramatically in the second quarter of this year. More from CBC P.E.I.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday stood by an unidentified Cabinet minister against calls for him to step down over an allegation he raped a 16-year-old girl more than 30 years ago. The accusation has created a cloud over the 16 men in Morrison’s 22-minister Cabinet and is feeding complaints of a culture within Parliament that is toxic for women. The allegation was contained in an anonymous letter sent to the prime minister’s office and to three female lawmakers last week. The letter contained a statement from a complainant that detailed her allegation of a rape she said occurred in New South Wales state in 1988. The woman, who has not been publicly identified, reported the allegation to police before taking her own life in June at age 49. Morrison said the Cabinet minister “vigorously and completely denied the allegations.” Morrison said he forwarded the letter to police and discussed the allegation with the federal police commissioner. Morrison said he did not intend to take any further action. “We can’t have a situation where the mere making of an allegation and that being publicized through the media is grounds for ... governments to stand people down simply on the basis of that,” Morrison said. The Ministerial Code of Conduct states a “minister should stand aside if that minister becomes the subject of an official investigation of alleged illegal or improper conduct.” Some within the government argue that because the complainant is dead, her allegation is no longer under official police investigation because a conviction is unlikely. Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, a minor Greens party lawmaker who received the anonymous letter, said the minister must step down pending an independent investigation by a former judge. “It is just not right to suggest that this type of allegation could linger, hang over the heads of the entire Cabinet,” Hanson-Young said. She said the accusation erodes the belief that the government takes sexual assault seriously. Marque Lawyers managing partner Michael Bradley, who represented the complainant when she took her accusation to police, said the allegation cannot be resolved through the criminal justice system because she has died. The minister should step down while some independent inquiry investigates the evidence, Bradley said. “His position is pretty clearly untenable and he should step aside or be stood aside until this matter can be addressed and resolved,” Bradley said. The disclosure comes two weeks after Morrison apologized in Parliament to a former government staffer who alleged she was raped by a more senior colleague in a minister’s office two years ago. Brittany Higgins quit her job in January and reactivated her complaint to police after initially not pursuing the case because she felt it would have affected her employment. The colleague, who has not been named publicly, was fired for breaching security by taking Higgins into a minister’s office following a night of heavy drinking. Three other women have made sexual misconduct allegations against the same man since Higgins went public with her complaint. A government staffer who alleged she was raped by the man last year told The Weekend Australian newspaper the attack wouldn’t have happened if the government had supported Higgins’ initial complaint. Morrison responded to Higgins’ public complaints by appointing government lawmaker Celia Hammond to work with political parties to investigate Parliament House culture, improve workplace standards and protect staff. Hammond and opposition Labor Party Sen. Penny Wong also received anonymous letters about the 1988 rape allegation. Wong said she met the complainant in 2019 and the complainant detailed her allegation against the man, who was not in Parliament in 1988. “I facilitated her referral to rape support services and confirmed she was being supported in reporting the matter to NSW Police,” Wong said. Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, whom Morrison replaced in a power struggle within the ruling conservative Liberal Party in 2018, said the complainant wrote to him in 2019 seeking advice on what she should do with her allegations. Turnbull described her allegations as “pretty harrowing” and said Morrison should remove the minister. Turnbull said he had sent the woman's email and his reply to police in the woman's home state of South Australia in expectation that they would be used as evidence in a coroner's investigation into her death. An investigation has not yet been announced. Morrison said that before he was told of the rape allegation last week, he had heard “rumours” that an Australian Broadcasting Corp. investigative reporter was “making some inquiries” about a rape around November last year when the ABC’s Four Corners program broadcast its “Inside the Canberra Bubble” investigation. The program accused the Liberal Party of tolerating and condoning inappropriate sexual behaviour. The program exposed an extramarital affair between Population Minister Alan Tudge and a female adviser in 2017. It also alleged Attorney General Christian Porter had been seen “cuddling and kissing” a female staffer in a Canberra bar, which he denies. The government has condemned the program. Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has asked the ABC board to explain how the program was in the public interest and complied with the state-owned broadcaster’s obligation to produce accurate and impartial journalism. Minister for Women Marise Payne on Monday described the recent allegations of sexual misbehaviour as a low point of her 24 years in Parliament. “This is most definitely the most difficult, most confronting and most distressing period of my work life in this environment,” Payne told Sky News. “But distressing for me is meaningless in comparison to those people who have had to endure issues around sexual assault, the experience of sexual assault or harassment in its many forms, and we want to make sure that that stops now,” she added. Rod McGuirk, The Associated Press
(Shutterstock / ehrlif - image credit) Three Fraser Valley churches will be in court Monday seeking to overturn provincial health orders barring in-person religious gatherings. The orders were put in place by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry last year as a way to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and were last extended on Feb.10. In January, pastors with Langley's Riverside Calvary Chapel, Abbotsford's Immanuel Covenant Reformed Church and the Free Reformed Church of Chilliwack filed a petition claiming Henry had violated their guaranteed constitutional right to expression and religious worship by shutting down all in-person religious gatherings and worship services while allowing restaurants and businesses to remain open. A response filed by the provincial government said even though there is "no question that restrictions on gatherings to avoid transmission of [COVID-19] limit rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms," the limits were justified. "Rights and freedoms under the charter are not absolute," the response reads. "Protection of the vulnerable from death or severe illness and protection of the health-care system from being swamped by an out-of-control pandemic is also clearly of constitutional importance." Last month the government went to court asking for an interlocutory injunction to stop the churches from flouting the health orders in the period leading up to the March hearing. But the chief justice of British Columbia's Supreme Court dismissed the application, saying there were other remedies available to enforce the orders without the court getting involved. "To be clear, I am not condoning the petitioners' conduct in contravention of the orders that they challenge, but find that the injunctive relief sought by the respondents should not be granted," wrote Justice Christopher Hinkson.
LOS ANGELES — From Jason Sudeikis’ hoodie to Jodie Foster’s bare feet, the stars embraced a virtual Golden Globes, and still found ways to cut loose. There was no red carpet and logjam of celebrities outside the show’s usual location at the Beverly Hilton. No boozy camaraderie at the jammed-in tables inside the ballroom, either. The coronavirus pandemic made certain of that. Instead, most of Sunday night’s winners accepted from their own homes or hotel rooms in laidback settings unheard of for Hollywood's biggest awards shows. Many were surrounded by spouses, parents, kids, pets or support staff. Several winners welcomed the change. “This is the best Globes ever, to be able to be home, but also it just felt really real,” a giddy Foster said in virtual comments after her win. “It didn’t feel like it was filled with so much artifice. I think people were kind of thrilled by the newness and the sort of live theatre.” Foster cozied up on a sofa, cuddling her white dog while sharing a kiss with her wife. Friends watching on television downstairs raised a delayed shout when she was announced as the winner for supporting actress in a motion picture drama. Foster stuck her bare foot in the air, showing media that she wasn’t wearing any shoes. She was headed downstairs to eat dinner after her win. “It was really fun,” said Aaron Sorkin, winner for motion picture screenplay. “There was an intimacy to it.” Sacha Baron Cohen won two trophies for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” with wife Isla Fisher smiling next to him. He donned a traditional tuxedo and she wore a gown and red lips. “The virtual experience was different, but a lot more relaxing,” Baron Cohen said. “You didn’t have to do the red carpet, which I’m not sure a lot of people enjoy.” In London, Sudeikis won best actor in a television series, musical or comedy for “Ted Lasso.” He wore a white hoodie promoting his sister's dance and workout studio in New York City. “When people you care about do cool, interesting things you should support them, so this is no different than that,” Sudeikis later told reporters. Clearly surprised by his win, the actor hesitated and rambled during his acceptance remarks. Fellow nominee Don Cheadle was shown whirling his finger in the air, a joking signal that Sudeikis should wrap up. “The guy's got chops,” Sudeikis said. “He's an ex-stage manager.” Nominee Kate Hudson hosted a family get-together. Wearing a strapless gown, she sat with her kids, her partner Danny Fujikawa, her mother Goldie Hawn, as well as Kurt Russell and brother Oliver Hudson. Her 2-year-old daughter, Rani, blurted out, “Hi, everybody!” as the telecast went to a commercial break. Nicole Kidman and musician-husband Keith Urban got glammed up to sit on their couch. Their daughters, Sunday and Faith, both wore white dresses while making a rare appearance. A shocked Andra Day had a crowd that included two co-stars from “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” her manager, her publicist, her parents and some of her cousin's family. Known for her singing career, Day became the second Black woman to win for actress in a motion picture drama in her acting debut. “There's cake outside, so I'm going to eat with that, and with my family and my team,” she said after her win. “We're just going to eat so much food.” Beth Harris, The Associated Press
Djokovic's ninth Australian Open title last month guaranteed that he would surpass Federer's record on March 8. Having reached another milestone in his illustrious career, Djokovic had said he would look to adjust his calendar and make overhauling Federer and Rafa Nadal's joint-record of 20 Grand Slam titles his top priority. "Now, after achieving the historic number one for the longest weeks at number one, it's going to be a relief for me because I'm going to focus all my attention on Slams mostly," the Serb had said after his title triumph at Melbourne Park.
"These attacks were purposefully designed to manipulate the price of the company's shares, with the aim of causing a stock price decline in order to economically benefit the short sellers," SOS said in a statement. Shares of the company, which fell 23% on Friday after the reports, were up about 22% in premarket trading.