The U.S. Senate broke out in a standing ovation on Friday as it awarded a medal to Eugene Goodman, a US Capitol police officer who helped keep a crowd of attackers out of the Senate chamber during the riots in Washington. (Feb. 12)
The U.S. Senate broke out in a standing ovation on Friday as it awarded a medal to Eugene Goodman, a US Capitol police officer who helped keep a crowd of attackers out of the Senate chamber during the riots in Washington. (Feb. 12)
(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."
The U.S. Senate will start debating President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday after Democrats backed down from an effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 as part of it. The backpedaling did not end hopes of addressing the minimum wage issue in Congress. Democrats and some Republicans have voiced support for the idea of raising the federal minimum wage, now at $7.25 an hour, for the first time since 2009, although they disagree on how much.
LOS ANGELES — Chloé Zhao became the second woman to win best director at the Golden Globes and the first female winner of Asian descent on a night in which her film “Nomadland” was crowned the top drama film. Zhao, who was among three women nominated in the directing category, was honoured for her work on “Nomadland,” about people who take to the road and move from place to place seeking work for usually low wages. It stars two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand and includes nonprofessional actors. “I especially want to thank the nomads who shared their stories with us,” Zhao said, accepting the directing honour virtually on Sunday night. She singled out real-life nomad Bob Wells, who appears in the movie, for help with her remarks. “This is what he said about compassion,” Zhao said. “Compassion is the breakdown of all the barriers between us. A heart to heart pounding. Your pain is my pain. It’s mingled and shared between us.” The 38-year-old director who lives in Los Angeles is a leading Oscar contender for “Nomadland,” which is in select theatres and streaming on Hulu. “Now this is why I fell in love with making movies and telling stories because it gives us a chance to laugh and cry together and it gives us a chance to learn from each other and to have more compassion for each other,” Zhao said in her acceptance remarks. “So thank you everyone who made it possible to do what I love.” She joins Barbra Streisand, who won in 1984 for “Yentl,” as the only women to win directing honours at the Globes. Until this year, just five women had been nominated in the category. “Sometimes a first feels like a long time coming. You feel like, it’s about time,” Zhao said in virtual backstage comments. “I’m sure there’s many others before me that deserve the same recognition. If this means more people like me get to live their dreams and do what I do, I’m happy.” Regina King ("One Night in Miami...") and Emerald Fennell ("Promising Young Woman") were the other female director nominees. Zhao also was nominated for best motion picture screenplay and lost to Aaron Sorkin. McDormand received a nod for actress in a motion picture drama, but lost. Born in China, Zhao made her feature directing debut in 2015 with “Songs My Brother Taught Me.” She broke out in 2017 with “The Rider.” Next up for her is the big-budget Marvel film “Eternals,” set for release this fall. Beth Harris, The Associated Press
(Mike Heenan/CBC - image credit) Fredericton foresters have been warning about the infamous emerald ash borer for years. Now it's here. "Unfortunately, we knew it was just a matter of time and here it is," said Mike Glynn, a forester with the City of Fredericton. The invasive species that has destroyed millions of ash trees in North America was recently found in the Forest Hill area of Fredericton. Glynn said it's possible the insect has been in that area for years, and crews are just discovering it now. He assumes the insect has made its way to other areas of the city, possibly a while ago. "We haven't seen it yet but it doesn't mean it's not here." In New Brunswick, the emerald ash borer was first spotted in Edmundston in 2018. It was found in Oromocto the following year. What is it? The emerald ash borer is a bright, metallic green beetle native to East Asia, that probably arrived in packaging in the 1990s, according to Natural Resources Canada. No natural predators on this continent, including woodpeckers, have been able to stop its spread. The beetle lays eggs on the bark of the ash tree, and those eggs weave their way inside the tree, creating tunnels that vary in shape, including, zigzags and an "S" shape. The tunnels erode the ash tree's ability to feed. Despite efforts to limit its spread with quarantines and pesticides, the emerald ash borer has already made its way through Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and into the Atlantic provinces. The invasive beetle was found in Edmundston in 2018 and then in Oromocto the following year. On its own, an emerald ash borer only travels about 400 to 700 metres a year, but with people moving firewood from province to province, the ash borer can travel much farther. Ash trees have limited resistance to stave off the insects, which can kill trees within one to four years of infestation. How to get rid of it To prepare, the city has been inoculating ash trees, mostly in Odell and Wilmot parks and along city streets To apply the pesticide, several holes are drilled into the tree. Then a small white canister carrying the insecticide TreeAzin into the holes. The active ingredient in TreeAzin is azadirachtin, which is derived from a tree native to India called the neem tree. Treatments need to be performed every two years. Fredericton has about 10,000 ash trees in Odell Park and about 2,400 along city streets. The numbers don't include ash trees in other city-owned parks or on private property. "There's no guarantee with the treatment but if you don't treat the trees they will not survive," Glynn said. To fight off the invasive species, the city will cut down weaker ash trees and replace them with new ones and intensify detection. Almost 40 traps have been set up to find the tiny insect, but more are expected. Members of the public can also report any sightings to the City of Fredericton, Glynn said. "This is very bad news for the ash tree population of Fredericton."
(Submitted by Cape Breton Regional Police - image credit) Theft of catalytic converters from the exhaust system of vehicles has become a growing problem in Canada. It's not a new issue, says Bryan Gast, the national director of investigative services at the Insurance Bureau of Canada, but as the price of certain metals has risen, so have thefts. "Catalytic converters have been stolen for years," he said. "The difference lately is the price of precious metals, and obviously it's the precious metals inside those catalytic converters that they're looking to steal and then sell on the black market," he said. A catalytic converter is part of a vehicle's exhaust system. It converts pollutants to less toxic material. New cars, used cars — nearly any vehicle with a catalytic converter can be a target, Gast says. The exception is electric vehicles, which don't have them, because they don't produce any emissions. Metals precious The thefts have been happening across the country for the last year and thieves appear to be after three precious metals inside the converter: platinum, rhodium and palladium. "That's really what the rise is about," said Gast. Those metals are "more valuable than gold right now." According to the website for Montreal-based Kitco Metals, which buys and sells metals and also reports on market trends, palladium is currently selling for just over $2,800 Cdn an ounce, although the Kitco 2021 outlook says it could rise to $3,000 by the end of the year. Platinum was selling for $1,500 an ounce on Monday, while rhodium was going for about $30,000 US an ounce at the end of February. An example of a catalytic converter. Thieves typically crawl under vehicles to cut them out. By comparison, an ounce of gold is currently selling for about $2,200. One reason for the rising value of platinum, rhodium and palladium is that as automakers make vehicles to meet tightening emission standards, manufacturers need more of those metals inside the new catalytic converter to do that work. In the Waterloo region, police say there were 81 reports of catalytic converter thefts between Jan. 1 and Feb. 12 of this year, most of them happening in Kitchener, Ont. "We are asking the community to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police immediately," Const. Andre Johnson of the Waterloo Regional Police Service told CBC. "We are also asking anyone who may have been a victim of a converter theft, who has not yet reported it to police, to please do so," he said. Stolen from mechanic shops, dealerships Nearby in Guelph, Ont., there have been at least 20 reports of catalytic converters being stolen from vehicles since Christmas. Scott Tracey, a spokesperson for the Guelph Police Service, says thieves will crawl under a vehicle and cut out the tubular catalytic converter at both ends, leaving a missing section of the exhaust pipe. The most recent theft in that city was from a group of vans parked together, but Tracey says they've seen thefts reported from vehicles parked overnight at mechanic shops, sometimes at private residences and also at vehicle dealerships. Tracey says after the catalytic converter has been stolen, "[drivers] come in the morning and start warming the vehicles up and it makes a terrible noise because there's essentially no exhaust system on the vehicle." National rash of thefts RCMP in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have warned people this year about a rash of thefts. In P.E.I. last month, five people were charged in a string of thefts that police estimate caused damages of more than $100,000. Last June, 20 Canada Post vehicles were targeted by thieves in Ottawa. In July, 27 people were arrested and 68 criminal charges were laid in Hamilton following a two-week project by police targeting catalytic converter thefts. Police in Sudbury reported 52 thefts of catalytic converters between June 1 and Dec. 31, 2020. This photo shows some of the catalytic converters police in Edmonton have seized as evidence following an investigation that led to charges against a 24-year-old man. "This is a substantial increase in comparison to the 12 reports of thefts of catalytic converters reported in the same time period in 2019," Sudbury police said in a release. Thieves have cut converters out of school buses in Winnipeg, hundreds have been stolen in Edmonton and in Calgary, a man died in Feb. 2020 after it appeared he was trying to steal a catalytic converter and the vehicle fell on top of him. Tips to avoid theft Gast says thefts from vehicles that are higher off the ground appear to happen more frequently, but even so, it doesn't take much for a thief to jack up a car and remove the converter "in just minutes." He says there are some measures drivers can take to protect their vehicles. The two cheapest and most cost-effective ways are: Park in a garage when possible. If you can't park in a garage, park in a well-lit area. He says there are third-party companies that can etch an ID number onto a vehicle's catalytic converter and enter that information into a database. The database is available for concerned salvage operators to check. Gast said while black-market scrap metal dealers would likely still take an engraved converter, "it really helps with minimizing the ability for [thieves] to get rid of their product." He said he has also heard of people going to their local garage to have the converter welded to the vehicle frame or have mechanics put a screen over it. That may be a bit extreme, he says, but anything that makes it more difficult to cut out the converter can help deter a would-be thief.
Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou's U.S. extradition hearing resumed in a Canadian court on Monday with defence countering prosecutors' claims that Meng misled HSBC about the Chinese telecom company's relationship with its affiliate while doing business in Iran. As five days of hearings in the British Columbia Supreme Court started, the defence drilled into the alleged sanction violations that led to Meng's arrest. The daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei is accused by the United States of misleading HSBC about her company's business arrangements in Iran, causing the bank to break U.S. sanctions.
YANGON, Myanmar — Police in Myanmar’s biggest city fired tear gas Monday at defiant crowds who returned to the streets to protest last month's coup, despite reports that security forces had killed at least 18 people a day earlier. The protesters in Yangon were chased as they tried to gather at their usual meeting spot at the Hledan Center intersection. Demonstrators scattered and sought in vain to rinse the irritating gas from their eyes, but later regrouped. The coup reversed years of slow progress toward democracy in Myanmar after five decades of military rule. It came Feb. 1, the same day a newly elected Parliament was supposed to take office. Ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party would have led that government, but instead she was detained along with President Win Myint and other senior officials. The army has levelled several charges against Suu Kyi — an apparent effort by the military to provide a legal veneer for her detention and potentially to bar her from running in the election the junta has promised to hold in one year. On Monday, Suu Kyi made a court appearance via videoconference and was charged with two more offences, her lawyer Khin Maung Zaw told reporters. Accused of inciting unrest, she was charged under a law that dates from British colonial days and has long been criticized as a vaguely defined catch-all law that inhibits freedom of expression. That charge carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison. The other charge from Monday carries a one-year sentence. Following her detention on the day of the coup, the 75-year-old Suu Kyi was initially held at her residence in the capital of Naypyitaw, but members of her National League for Democracy party now say they don't know where she is. Since the takeover, a movement of protests in cities across the country has been growing — and the junta's response has become increasingly violent. The U.N. said it had “credible information” that at least 18 people were killed and 30 were wounded across Myanmar on Sunday. Counts from other sources, such the Democratic Voice of Burma, an independent television and online news outlet, put the death toll in the 20s. Any of the reports would make it the highest single-day death toll since the military takeover. The junta has also made mass arrests, and the independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners reported that as many as 1,000 people were detained Sunday, though it has only confirmed 270 of those. Several journalists have been among those detained, including one for The Associated Press. At least five people are believed to have been killed Sunday in Yangon when police shot at protesters, who have remained non-violent despite provocation from the security forces and pro-military counter-demonstrators. People erected makeshift sidewalk shrines Monday at the spots where several of the victims were shot and also paid their respects by standing outside the hospitals where the bodies were being released to families. In Dawei, a small city in southeastern Myanmar where an estimated five people were killed Sunday, the number of protesters on the streets Monday was lower than usual. Marchers there split into smaller groups, parading through the city to the applause of bystanders who also made the three-finger salutes adopted by the resistance movement to show their support. Confirming the deaths of protesters has been difficult amid the chaos and general lack of news from official sources, especially in areas outside Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyitaw. But in many cases, there was evidence posted online such as videos of shootings, photos of bullet casings collected afterwards and gruesome pictures of bodies. In a statement published Monday in the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper, Myanmar’s Foreign Ministry declared that the junta “is exercising utmost restraint to avoid the use of force in managing the violent protests systematically, in accordance with domestic and international laws in order to keep minimum casualties.” But U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the crackdown, calling the use of lethal force against peaceful protesters and arbitrary arrests “unacceptable,” and expressed serious concern at the increase in deaths and serious injuries, said U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric. “What the world is watching in Myanmar is outrageous and unacceptable,” the U.N.’s independent expert on human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, said in a separate statement. “Words of condemnation are necessary and welcome but insufficient. The world must act. We must all act.” He proposed that countries could institute a global embargo on the sale of arms to Myanmar, “tough targeted and co-ordinated sanctions” against those responsible for the coup, the crackdown and other rights abuses, and sanctions against the business interests of the military. Social media posts from Myanmar have increasingly urged the international community to invoke the doctrine of the “responsibility to protect” to intervene directly to restrain the junta. Any kind of co-ordinated measures, however, would be difficult to implement as two permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, China and Russia, would almost certainly veto them on the basis of being opposed to interference in the internal affairs of other countries. In Washington, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan issued a statement saying the U.S. is “alarmed” by the violence and stands in solidarity with Myanmar's people, “who continue to bravely voice their aspirations for democracy, rule of law, and respect for human rights.” Washington has imposed sanctions on Myanmar because of the coup, and Sullivan said it would “impose further costs on those responsible,” promising details “in the coming days.” Security forces began employing rougher tactics on Saturday, taking preemptive action to break up protests and make mass arrests. Many of those detained were taken to Insein Prison in Yangon’s northern outskirts, historically notorious for holding political prisoners. Among the arrests made Sunday, the independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners was able to identify about 270 people, bringing to 1,132 the total number of people the group has confirmed being arrested, charged or sentenced since the coup. An AP journalist was taken into police custody on Saturday morning while providing news coverage of the protests. The journalist, Thein Zaw, remains in police custody. The AP called for his immediate release. “Independent journalists must be allowed to freely and safely report the news without fear of retribution. AP decries in the strongest terms the arbitrary detention of Thein Zaw,” said Ian Phillips, the AP's vice-president for international news. The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Myanmar also condemned the arrest. The Associated Press
Celebrity birthdays for the week of March 7-13: March 7: TV personality Willard Scott (“Today”) is 87. Actor Daniel J. Travanti (“Hill Street Blues”) is 81. Bassist Chris White of The Zombies is 78. Singer Peter Wolf of The J. Geils Band is 75. Keyboardist Matthew Fisher of Procol Harum is 75. Guitarist Ernie Isley of The Isley Brothers is 69. Actor Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) is 65. Actor Donna Murphy (“Mercy Street,” ?Murder One”) is 62. Actor Nick Searcy (“Justified”) is 62. Actor Mary Beth Evans (“Days of Our Lives”) is 60. Singer Taylor Dayne is 59. Actor Bill Brochtrup (“Major Crimes,” ?NYPD Blue”) is 58. Opera singer Denyce Graves is 57. Comedian Wanda Sykes is 57. Actor Jonathan Del Arco (“Major Crimes”) is 55. Drummer Randy Guss of Toad The Wet Sprocket is 54. Actor Rachel Weisz (WYS) is 50. Actor Peter Sarsgaard (“Kinsey,” ?Garden State”) is 50. Actor Jay Duplass (“The Mindy Project”) is 48. Singer Sebastien Izambard of Il Divo is 48. Singer Hugo Ferreira of Tantric is 47. Actor Jenna Fischer (“The Office”) is 47. Actor Tobias Menzies (“Outlander,” ?Game of Thrones”) is 47. Actor Audrey Marie Anderson (“The Unit”) is 46. Actor TJ Thyne (“Bones”) is 46. Actor Laura Prepon (“Orange Is The New Black,” ?That ’70s Show”) is 41. Actor Bel Powley (Film: “Diary of a Teenage Girl”) is 29. Actor Giselle Eisenberg (“Life in Pieces”) is 24. March 8: Jazz saxophonist George Coleman is 86. Actor Sue Ane Langdon is 85. Songwriter Carole Bayer Sager is 77. Actor-director Micky Dolenz of The Monkees is 76. Bassist Randy Meisner (The Eagles, Poco) is 75. Singer Peggy March is 73. Jazz pianist Billy Childs is 64. Singer Gary Numan is 63. NBC News anchor Lester Holt is 62. Actor Aidan Quinn is 62. Guitarist Jimmy Dormire (Confederate Railroad) is 61. Actor Camryn Manheim (“The Practice”) is 60. Actor Leon (“Cool Runnings”) is 60. Singer Shawn Mullins is 53. Actor Andrea Parker (“Less Than Perfect”) is 51. Actor Boris Kodjoe (“Code Black,” ?Madea’s Family Reunion”) is 48. Actor Freddie Prinze Jr. is 45. Actor Laura Main (“Call the Midwife”) is 44. Actor James Van Der Beek (“CSI: Cyber,” ?Dawson’s Creek”) is 44. Singer Kameelah Williams of 702 is 43. Actor Nick Zano (“Minority Report,” ?2 Broke Girls”) is 43. Singer Tom Chaplin of Keane is 42. Guitarist Andy Ross of OK Go is 42. Singer Kristinia DeBarge is 31. March 9: Singer Lloyd Price is 88. Actor Joyce Van Patten is 87. Country singer Mickey Gilley is 85. Actor Trish Van Devere is 80. Singer John Cale (The Velvet Underground) is 79. Singer Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders is 79. TV anchor Charles Gibson is 78. Guitarist Robin Trower (Procol Harum) is 76. Singer Jeffrey Osborne is 73. Guitarist Jimmie Fadden of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is 73. Actor Linda Fiorentino (“Men In Black”) is 63. Actor Tom Amandes (“Eli Stone,” ?Parenthood”) is 62. Guitarist Rusty Hendrix of Confederate Railroad is 61. Actor Juliette Binoche (“Chocolat,” ?The English Patient”) is 57. Bassist Robert Sledge of Ben Folds Five is 53. Drummer Shannon Leto of 30 Seconds To Mars is 51. Rapper C-Murder (aka C-Miller) is 50. Actor Emmanuel Lewis (“Webster”) is 50. Actor Jean Louisa Kelly (“Yes, Dear,” ?Mr. Holland’s Opus”) is 49. Actor Kerr Smith (“Life Unexpected,” ?Dawson’s Creek”) is 49. Actor Oscar Isaac (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) is 42. Comedian Jordan Klepper (“The Daily Show”) is 42. Rapper Chingy is 41. Actor Matthew Gray Gubler (“Criminal Minds”) is 41. Guitarist Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory is 40. Keyboardist Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes is 38. Actor Brittany Snow (“American Dreams,” ?Hairspray”) is 35. Rapper Bow Wow is 34. Rapper YG is 31. Actor Luis Armand Garcia (“George Lopez”) is 29. Actor Cierra Ramirez (“The Fosters”) is 26. March 10: Country talk show host Ralph Emery is 88. Bluegrass musician Norman Blake is 83. Actor Chuck Norris is 81. Singer Dean Torrence of Jan and Dean is 81. Actor Katharine Houghton (“Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?”) is 79. Actor Richard Gant is 77. Guitarist Tom Scholz of Boston is 74. TV personality-businesswoman Barbara Corcoran (“Shark Tank”) is 72. Actor Aloma Wright (“Scrubs”) is 71. Singer-guitarist Gary Louris of The Jayhawks is 66. Actor Shannon Tweed is 64. Actor Sharon Stone is 63. Bassist Gail Greenwood of L7 (and of Belly) is 61. Magician Lance Burton is 61. Actor Jasmine Guy is 59. Bassist Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam is 58. Music producer Rick Rubin is 58. Singer Edie Brickell is 55. Actor Stephen Mailer (“Reversal of Fortune”) is 55. Actor Philip Anthony-Rodriguez (“Grimm”) is 53. Actor Paget Brewster (“Criminal Minds”) is 52. Actor Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) is 50. Rapper-producer Timbaland is 49. Actor Cristian de la Fuente is 47. Guitarist Jerry Horton of Papa Roach is 46. Actor Jeff Branson (“The Young and the Restless”) is 44. Singer Robin Thicke is 44. Actor Bree Turner (“Grimm”) is 44. Singer Michael Barnes of Red is 42. Actor Edi Gathegi (“Twilight” films) is 42. Bassist Matt Asti of MGMT is 41. Actor Thomas Middleditch (“Silicon Valley”) is 39. Singer Carrie Underwood is 38. Actor Olivia Wilde is 37. Singer Emeli Sande is 34. Country singer Rachel Reinert is 32. Keyboardist Jared Hampton of LANCO is 30. Actor Emily Osment (“Hannah Montana”) is 29. March 11: TV journalist Sam Donaldson is 87. Accordionist Flaco Jimenez of Texas Tornadoes is 82. Actor Tricia O’Neil (“Genghis Khan”) is 76. Actor Mark Metcalf (“Animal House”) is 75. Singer Mark Stein of Vanilla Fudge is 74. Singer Bobby McFerrin is 71. Movie director Jerry Zucker (“Airplane!” ?Ghost”) is 71. Singer Cheryl Lynn is 70. Actor Susan Richardson (“Eight Is Enough”) is 69. Recording executive Jimmy Iovine (“American Idol”) is 68. Country singer Jimmy Fortune of The Statler Brothers is 66. Singer Nina Hagen is 66. Actor Elias Koteas (“Chicago P.D.”) is 60. Actor Peter Berg (“Chicago Hope”) is 59. Actor Jeffrey Nordling (“Desperate Housewives”) is 59. Actor Alex Kingston (“ER”) is 58. Actor Wallace Langham (“CSI”) is 56. Actor John Barrowman (“Arrow”) is 54. Singer Lisa Loeb is 53. Keyboardist Al Gamble of St. Paul and the Broken Bones is 52. Singer Pete Droge is 52. Actor Terrence Howard (“Empire”) is 52. Actor Johnny Knoxville is 50. Musicians Joel and Benji Madden of Good Charlotte are 42. Actor David Anders (“iZombie,” ?The Vampire Diaries”) is 40. Singer LeToya Luckett (Destiny’s Child) is 40. Actor Thora Birch (“Ghost World,” ?American Beauty”) is 39. TV personality Melissa Rycroft is 38. Actor Rob Brown (“Blindspot,” “Treme”) is 37. Actor Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”) is 28. March 12: Actor Barbara Feldon (“Get Smart”) is 88. Actor-singer Liza Minnelli is 75. Singer-songwriter James Taylor is 73. Singer Bill Payne of Little Feat is 72. Actor Jon Provost (TV: “Lassie”) is 71. Bassist Steve Harris of Iron Maiden is 65. Actor Lesley Manville (“Phantom Thread”) is 65. Singer Marlon Jackson of The Jackson Five is 64. Actor Courtney B. Vance is 61. Actor Titus Welliver (“Deadwood”) is 59. Actor Julia Campbell (“Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion”) is 58. Actor Jake Weber (TV’s “Medium,” film’s “Dawn of the Dead”) is 58. Actor Aaron Eckhart (“The Dark Knight”) is 53. Guitarist Graham Coxon of Blur is 52. Drummer Tommy Bales of Flynnville Train is 48. Actor Rhys Coiro (“Hostages,” “Entourage”) is 42. Country singer Holly Williams is 40. Actor Samm Levine (“Freaks and Geeks”) is 39. Actor Jaimie Alexander (TV’s “Blindspot”) is 37. Actor Tyler Patrick Jones (“Ghost Whisperer”) is 27. Actor Kendall Applegate (“Desperate Housewives”) is 22. March 13: Jazz drummer Roy Haynes is 96. Songwriter Mike Stoller is 88. Singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka is 82. Singer Candi Staton is 81. Actor William H. Macy is 71. Comedian Robin Duke is 67. Actor Dana Delaney (“Body of Proof” ?China Beach”) is 65. Bassist Adam Clayton of U2 is 61. Jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard is 59. Drummer Matt McDonough of Mudvayne is 52. Actor Annabeth Gish (“The West Wing,” ?The X-Files”) is 50. Actor Tracy Wells (“Mr. Belvedere”) is 50. Rapper Common is 49. Rapper Khujo of Goodie Mob is 49. Singer Glenn Lewis is 46. Actor Danny Masterson (“That ’70s Show”) is 45. Musicians Natalie and Nicole Albino of Nina Sky are 37. Actor Noel Fisher (“Shameless”) is 37. Actor Emile Hirsch (“Into the Wild”) is 36. The Associated Press
Selon Marie-Ève Sigouin, directrice de la foresterie pour RYAM, le succès du projet ne se calcule pas en termes de mètres cubes ni en pourcentage de territoire sans perturbation. « Le succès, c’est d’avoir été capable d’établir un dialogue, de faire un plan ensemble, et d’avoir une démarche pour continuer le travail », dit-elle, fière du travail accompli par le comité formé avec le ministère de la Forêt de la Faune et des Parcs (MPPF), de la communauté de Pikogan, et de la Société pour la nature et les parcs (SNAP). Pier-Olivier Boudreault, biologiste pour la SNAP, abonde dans le même sens. « On s’entend sur 95 % des mesures et tout le monde travaille de bonne foi pour en arriver à une position conjointe, dit-il. Je crois que ça envoie un message positif parce qu’on est capable de s’asseoir ensemble et de franchir des étapes importantes ». Ce dernier estime que l’industrie forestière fait partie de la solution pour réduire notre empreinte carbone, mais que l’on doit trouver un équilibre entre les niveaux de récolte et les impacts sur la biodiversité. Benoit Croteau, directeur territoire et environnement, du Conseil de la Première Nation Abitibiwinni, se réjouit également du travail accompli jusqu’à présent, tout en ajoutant qu’il reste beaucoup à faire. D’emblée, le comité de travail a décidé de s’éloigner des extrêmes. Chaque groupe avait de bonnes raisons de ne pas s’asseoir à la table, remarque Marie-Ève Sigouin, mais tous les intervenants ont convenu qu’ils devraient faire des compromis. Par exemple, RYAM a accepté d’emblée qu’il y ait une perte de possibilité forestière, alors que Pikogan et la SNAP ont accepté la poursuite des opérations forestières. « On savait que la protection du caribou amènerait une baisse de la garantie d’approvisionnement, mais on préférait s’impliquer dans le processus pour minimiser les impacts », explique la directrice de la foresterie chez RYAM. En sachant que des mesures pour la protection du caribou étaient inévitables, RYAM a choisi d’investir dans ses scieries, plutôt que de s’apitoyer sur son sort en brandissant la menace de pertes d’emplois. « Ça nous force à mieux utiliser le bois qu’on récolte et c’est pourquoi on investit pour améliorer le rendement matière », ajoute cette dernière. De plus, la baisse de la possibilité forestière devrait mener à une baisse de la garantie d’approvisionnement pour l'équivalent de trois semaines de travail à l’usine de La Sarre. Cette diminution ne représente pas nécessairement une baisse de volume à transformer, car RYAM peut acheter des lots mis aux enchères ou encore acheter du bois aux producteurs privés pour compenser, dit-elle. Le résultat final est imparfait, admet Marie-Ève Sigouin, personne n’a atteint 100 % de ses objectifs, mais tout le monde se rallie derrière le plan de protection du caribou. Après deux ans de travail, le comité a réussi à réduire le taux de perturbation à 39 % dans les zones occupées par les caribous. « On doit continuer à travailler pour atteindre le 35 %, mais c’est le plus loin qu’on a pu en arriver après deux ans de travail », note cette dernière. Malgré le manque à gagner, FSC reconnaît le travail effectué et la démarche d’amélioration continue, ce qui permet à RYAM de conserver sa certification FSC. « On veut poursuivre le travail et éventuellement, on aimerait établir une aire protégée, souligne Benoit Croteau. Il faudra aussi s’arrimer avec l’Ontario parce que le caribou ne sait pas quand il traverse la frontière. » Malgré une demande média faite le 9 février dernier, ainsi que plusieurs relances depuis, le MFFP n’avait pas répondu au Progrès, au moment de mettre sous presse, pour définir l’importance d’un tel projet dans le cadre de la préparation du Plan de rétablissement du caribou forestier, qui devrait voir le jour en 2023. Bien que le MFFP ait été impliqué activement, et que son travail a été souligné par tous les intervenants du comité caribou, c’est Québec, en tant que propriétaire et gestionnaire des forêts publiques, qui détient le dernier mot pour entériner les mesures proposées par le comité de travail conjoint. None Guillaume Roy, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
This kitty is captivated by the newborn chicks in the box. So sweet and gentle!
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.
(Tom Ayers/CBC - image credit) The chief of Eskasoni First Nation says a local man has been wounded in a shooting that locked down the community Monday morning. Eskasoni RCMP responded to a call of a shooting around 10:25 p.m. Sunday at a home on Mountainview Drive in the Cape Breton Mi'kmaw community, according to a release. A 53-year-old man was wounded and taken to hospital after someone shot him through a window, police said. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Eskasoni Chief Leroy Denny lives just eight houses away from the shooting scene, and said he was one of the first people to arrive. He drove the injured man to a nearby ambulance station. Denny said the victim is Leonard Denny, a family member and the CEO of the local Crane Cove Seafoods. The Crane Cove Seafoods building in Eskasoni on March 1, 2021. Chief Leroy Denny says the shooting victim is Leonard Denny, the CEO of Crane Cove. About two hours later, the RCMP responded to a second report of shots fired in the community. They were initially concerned that the two incidents were connected, and residents were asked to stay in their homes with doors locked. But police found no evidence of this second incident. Just before 8 a.m., RCMP tweeted that they believe this was an isolated shooting. Spokesperson Cpl. Mark Skinner said there was "no longer a risk to the public," and people could now leave their homes. Chief Denny posted on social media early Monday morning that the shooting happened on Mountainview Drive, and people should stay away from that area. This information also went out via the community's Everbridge alert system. Denny also said that, "for precautionary reasons," all businesses under the umbrella of the band would be closed on Monday. This includes all schools, the band office, health centre, Crane Cove Seafoods, and fitness centre. There was a heavy police presence in the area throughout the day on Monday, including police dog services and forensic identification. RCMP at the scene of a shooting on Mountainview Drive on March 1, 2021. Police are continuing to search for the suspect, and do not believe that this was a random incident. Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to immediately contact police at (902) 379-2822. Anonymous tips can also be made to Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), crimestoppers.ns.ca, or the P3 Tips App. MORE TOP STORIES
(Submitted by Jeff Reeder - image credit) A Saskatchewan non-profit is fundraising to build a permanent retreat where first responders and their families can rest and focus on their mental well-being. River Valley Resilience Retreat owns property outside of Prince Albert and hopes to soon have a lodge on the land. The non-profit is working to raise $350,000 to make the retreat a reality. They're working to raise the money through private community donors, and a campaign for River Valley Resilience Retreat recently launched on GoFundMe. "We're just really looking for people to show us that they understand our need to stop suicides amongst first responders and create this place," co-founder Michelle McKeaveney told Saskatchewan Weekend. "It shouldn't be so difficult to raise funds for people who truly are depended on and counted on." McKeaveney and co-founder Jeff Reeder are working to create the retreat. McKeaveney works in corrections and Reeder first had to leave his job as a firefighter due to post-traumatic stress disorder in 2011. That's when Reeder started working toward a place like this. He's since been able to return and currently does in Prince Albert. "We're so close," he said. Their aim is to open the lodge by 2022, which would be "an absolute dream come true and relief for sure," said Reeder. McKeaveney said the retreat was born out of necessity. Through the years, she's seen colleagues struggling with mental well-being in need of a place to go other than the Prince Albert Mental Health Centre — an experience she's had herself. She said the centre serves its purpose, but first responders and front-line workers sometimes need a dedicated space. The non-profit was given 10 acres of land for its planned retreat near Prince Albert. Both McKeaveney and Reeder are involved with a local support network for first responders and veterans in Prince Albert called What's Important Now. The group offers text and online support, and also meets in person at the Cornerstone Methodist Church, while following COVID-19 protocols, McKeaveney said. "The common theme is people don't feel like they're normal," she said. "So the first thing when they walk into the peer-support group is creating a sense of normality, that the things that they're feeling and responding to … they start to feel like this is normal." The group's members help each other and make sure people have doctors or other professionals in their lives they can rely on. Reeder said including families, not just workers, in the planned retreat is extremely important, because families can be also be affected by a loved one's struggle with PTSD. Horse therapy offered relief from PTSD Reeder said in his experience with PTSD, being in nature worked best in his healing, and especially therapy involving working with horses. "I went through the conventional modalities and counselling for nine months," he said. "I felt after that I was supposed to be by the book healed by that point, and I was honestly no further ahead." That's when he discovered horse therapy. "I just kind of ended up … having some horses at the farm and just started working with them. And that was ultimately the only time I had any relief from any symptoms." McKeaveney said other members of their peer support group have since tried it and had profound changes as well. She said it will be a large component at the lodge. Reeder and McKeaveney have been given 10 acres of land for their retreat as a gift from the property owners, but people using the retreat will have access to the 100 acres around the property. Michelle McKeaveney poses with one of the horses currently being used in equine-assisted therapy, which will be a part of the retreat. "We have access to amazing river trails. They have trails to their pasture. They have trails through the valleys," McKeaveney said. "It's a remarkable green, open space." It's a peaceful setting, says Reeder. "When you're on top of the hill, you can see the horizon and all you see is forest," he said. "Being in that nature setting, it just takes your breath away." Reeder hopes they can build the main lodge to house a few people, rooms for clinics or therapy, and a main gathering space. Outdoors, the plans include a riding area for equine therapy and a classroom for workshop sessions. In the long term, he said they may expand to have cabins for family accommodation. If you're experiencing suicidal thoughts or having a mental health crisis, help is available. For an emergency or crisis situation, call 911. You can also contact the Saskatchewan suicide prevention line toll-free, 24/7 by calling 1-833-456-4566, texting 45645, or chatting online. You can contact the Regina mobile crisis services suicide line at 306-525-5333 or Saskatoon mobile crisis line at 306-933-6200.
LONDON — Prince Philip was transferred Monday to a specialized London heart hospital to undergo testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition as he continues treatment for an unspecified infection, Buckingham Palace said. The 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II was moved from King Edward VII's Hospital, where he has been treated since Feb. 17, to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, which specializes in cardiac care. As Philip was moved into a waiting ambulance for the transfer, people held up open umbrellas to shield him from photographers and the public. The palace says Philip “remains comfortable and is responding to treatment but is expected to remain in hospital until at least the end of the week.’’ Philip was admitted to the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in London after feeling ill. Philip’s illness is not believed to be related to COVID-19. Both he and the queen, 94, received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in early January. The Bart’s Heart Centre is Europe’s biggest specialized cardiovascular centre, the National Health Service said. The centre seeks to perform more heart surgery, MRI and CT scans than any other service in the world. Philip, who retired from royal duties in 2017, rarely appears in public. During England’s current coronavirus lockdown, Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, has been staying at Windsor Castle, west of London, with the queen. Philip married the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and is the longest-serving royal consort in British history. He and the queen have four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Danica Kirka, The Associated Press
(Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit) THE LATEST: Every eligible adult in B.C. should receive a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by July, the province said. B.C. has extended the acceptable time between the first and second dose of a vaccine to four months. B.C. recorded 589 new cases and seven more deaths on Friday. A total of 1,478 new cases of COVID-19 and eight more deaths were announced on Monday. There were 42 new variants of concern identified in B.C. over the weekend. There are now 236 people in hospital due to COVID-19 with 65 in intensive care. A total of 1,363 people in B.C. have lost their lives due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. There are currently 4,464 active cases of coronavirus in the province, Public health is monitoring 8,210 people across B.C. who are in self-isolation due to COVID-19 exposure. So far, 275,681 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C. — around four per cent of the population — with 83,777 of those being second doses. Every eligible adult in British Columbia should be able to receive a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by late July after the approval of a new vaccine and a decision to delay second doses. Health officials announced the accelerated timeline Monday as the province moved into the second, seniors-focused phase. Seniors 80 and older, Indigenous seniors 65 and older, hospital staff and medical specialists, vulnerable populations living and working in congregated settings, and staff providing in-home support to seniors will begin getting their shots this month. The province's vaccination plan is focused on inoculating high-risk and most elderly populations by April, followed by younger age groups in the spring and summer. Also on Monday, the province announced it is immediately extending the time between first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine to four months. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control — and countries around the world such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand — shows "miraculous" protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Variants in schools Fraser Health said on Sunday that additional testing is underway at two Surrey schools after one person at École Woodward Hill Elementary and two at Surrey Traditional Elementary tested positive for a variant of concern. One class at Woodward Hill is already isolating and will remain in isolation until March 4. Two classes at Surrey Traditional will self-isolate until March 4. Both schools remain open. Mass testing of classrooms at two other Surrey schools affected by a variant case, James Ardiel Elementary and Tamanawis Secondary, identified no new cases. On Friday, Fraser Health announced that positive variant cases have been confirmed at an additional three schools: Queen Elizabeth Secondary School, Frank Hurt Secondary School and M.B. Sanford Elementary School. Police say they fined the Riverside Calvary Chapel in Langley, B.C., for not following provincial health orders. Churches in court Three Fraser Valley churches were 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. Wastewater tool Metro Vancouver on Monday launched an online tool allowing residents to track the viral load of COVID-19 that researchers have found in untreated water at the region's wastewater treatment plants. The region said the data is meant to help health authorities better understand how present the virus might be in a given area and to evaluate the effectiveness of public health restrictions. Residents can click on a specific wastewater treatment plant on a map to see a snapshot of the COVID-19 virus trend for that area. Case breakdown Cases of COVID-19 variants continue to increase in B.C. with 42 more identified over the weekend for a total now of 158. A total of 1,478 new cases of COVID-19 and eight more deaths were announced on Monday. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix put the number of hospitalized patients at 236 people, 65 of whom are in intensive care. A total of 1,363 people in B.C. have lost their lives due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. There are currently 4,464 active cases of coronavirus in the province, with public health monitoring 8,210 people across B.C. who are in self-isolation due to COVID-19 exposure. More than 74,776 people who tested positive have recovered. So far, 275,681 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C. — around four per cent of the population — with 83,777 of those being second doses. READ MORE: What's happening elsewhere in Canada As of 4 p.m. PT Sunday, Canada had reported 866,503 cases of COVID-19, with 30,731 cases considered active. A total of 21,994 people have died. 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 at least two metres away from people outside your bubble. 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.
For much of last year, the coronavirus crept, undetected, across eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Buyers in the United States and Canada are paying $30 to $50 for each cartridge, according to laboratory sources in North America and a regional Canadian policy document.
"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.
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
(Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit) The Northwest Territories needs to do more to ensure its elderly population is vaccinated for diseases like influenza, pneumonia and shingles, according to a new report by a national seniors advocacy group. In the first study of its kind, CanAge looked at the vaccination rates for the elderly in every territory and province and judged them against the federal government's recommendations. "The results were pretty horrible," said Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO of CanAge. The report, Adult Vaccination in Canada: Cross-country report card 2021, shows the N.W.T. got the best grade of the three territories and beat out a number of provinces as well. "But having said that, the grade is still very low," said Tamblyn Watts. The N.W.T. got a D overall, which is slightly higher than the national average of D-. The report says provinces and territories were judged based on which vaccines were funded, the availability and accessibility of vaccines, and on efforts to educate older people about regional immunization programs. "The Northwest Territories got a C+ in funding, a C in awareness, but an F in access, so you can get things funded, but you may not actually get them into your arm," said Tamblyn Watts. Report's recommendations What would help, she added, would be if the N.W.T. allowed pharmacies to administer the different vaccines, which it doesn't right now. "There's really no good reason for it," she said. Tamblyn Watts said it would also help if the territory made the adult vaccination schedule public. She said just like for children, there is a vaccination schedule for adults that shows which vaccines seniors need to be taking and when they're going to take them. "So that's just an easy fix that they could fix right away," she said. She added that the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine in the territory, including in the remote communities, can be copied to deliver influenza, pneumonia and shingles vaccines by having a team go to a community, set up and then do a mass vaccination. "We know that with COVID-19, people are really interested in vaccinations. So this is an opportunity to fix the system once and not have the system broken even after we do the COVID-19 vaccination system," she said. Territory pushes back In an email to CBC, N.W.T. Health Minister Julie Green said her department was provided the report on Feb. 22 but was never asked to provide any information for the report or verify its findings. "We are currently reviewing the findings and will formally respond in partnership with the other territories. Our initial observation notes a number of inaccuracies, incomplete information, broken links in their reference section, and questions regarding their methodologies and conclusions," she wrote. N.W.T. Health Minister Julie Green said her department's initial observations about the report are that it has a number of inaccuracies and incomplete information. She also questioned the report's methodologies and conclusions. She said the recommendation about having pharmacists administer vaccines doesn't take into account regulations that don't permit it to happen. "There is misleading information about specific vaccinations formulations which doesn't take into account the role of the CPHO [chief public health officer] and the population health approach," she added. Green said the timing of the report's release raises questions as all provinces and territories are focusing their efforts on their COVID-19 vaccination rollouts. She said the N.W.T. made "good progress" in immunizing residents who are 60 and over against COVID-19, and added the territory has strong partnerships with seniors organizations "and a range of programs and services to support seniors to access the care and supports they need."
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