The star of Promising Young Woman, Carey Mulligan, and director Emerald Fennell, tell Yahoo Entertainment why the film is the ultimate #MeToo revenge thriller.
The star of Promising Young Woman, Carey Mulligan, and director Emerald Fennell, tell Yahoo Entertainment why the film is the ultimate #MeToo revenge thriller.
WASHINGTON — Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took their oaths of office on Wednesday using Bibles that are laden with personal meaning, writing new chapters in a long-running American tradition — and one that appears nowhere in the law. The Constitution does not require the use of a specific text for swearing-in ceremonies and specifies only the wording of the president’s oath. That wording does not include the phrase “so help me God,” but every modern president has appended it to their oaths and most have chosen symbolically significant Bibles for their inaugurations. That includes Biden, who used the same family Bible he has used twice when swearing in as vice-president and seven times as senator from Delaware. The book, several inches thick, and which his late son Beau also used when swearing in as Delaware attorney general, has been a “family heirloom” since 1893 and “every important date is in there,” Biden told late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert last month. “Why is your Bible bigger than mine? Do you have more Jesus than I do?” quipped Colbert, who like Biden is a practicing Catholic. Biden’s use of his family Bible underscores the prominent role his faith has played in his personal and professional lives — and will continue to do so as he becomes the second Catholic president in U.S. history. He follows in a tradition of many other presidents who used family-owned scriptures to take their oaths, including Ronald Reagan and Franklin D. Roosevelt, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Some have had their Bibles opened to personally relevant passages during their ceremonies. Bill Clinton, for example, chose Isaiah 58:12 — which urges the devout to be a “repairer of the breach” — for his second inauguration after a first term marked by political schisms with conservatives. Others took their oaths on closed Bibles, like John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic president, who in 1961 used his family’s century-old tome with a large cross on the front, similar to Biden’s. The tradition of using a Bible dates as far back as the presidency itself, with the holy book used by George Washington later appearing on exhibit at the Smithsonian on loan from the Masonic lodge that provided it in 1789. Washington’s Bible was later used for the oaths by Warren G. Harding, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. But not every president has used a Bible. Theodore Roosevelt took his 1901 oath without one after the death of William McKinley, while John Quincy Adams used a law book in 1825, according to his own account. Some have employed multiple Bibles during their ceremonies: Both Barack Obama and Donald Trump chose to use, along with others, the copy that Abraham Lincoln was sworn in on in 1861. Harris did the same for her vice-presidential oath, using a Bible owned by a close family friend and one that belonged to the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Harris has spoken of her admiration of Marshall, a fellow Howard University graduate and trailblazer in government as the high court’s first African American justice. “When I raise my right hand and take the oath of office tomorrow, I carry with me two heroes who’d speak up for the voiceless and help those in need,” Harris tweeted Tuesday, referring to Marshall and friend Regina Shelton, whose Bible she swore on when becoming attorney general of California and later senator. Harris, who attended both Baptist and Hindu services as a child, worships in the Baptist faith as an adult. While U.S. lawmakers have typically used Bibles for their oaths, some have chosen alternatives that reflect their religious diversity. Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress, in 2007 used a Qur’an that belonged to Thomas Jefferson, prompting objections from some Christian conservatives. Jefferson’s Qur’an made a return in 2019 at the oath for Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., chose a Hebrew Bible in 2005 to reflect her Jewish faith. Newly elected Georgia Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff, who is also Jewish and who swears in Wednesday, used Hebrew scripture belonging to Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, an ally of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement. Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, opted for the Bhagavad Gita in 2013 after becoming the first Hindu elected to Congress. And Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., the only member of the current Congress who identifies as “religiously unaffiliated,” took her oath on the Constitution in 2018. ___ Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through The Conversation U.S. The AP is solely responsible for this content. Elana Schor, The Associated Press
Declining numbers of cases and positive tests for COVID-19 in Alberta show that restrictions put in place last year have been effective, the province's top doctor says. Alberta reported 21 more COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday and 669 new cases of the illness. Laboratories conducted about 14,900 tests over the past 24 hours putting the positivity rate at about 4.5 per cent. "It's very encouraging to see our positivity rate steadily declining since the peak in December," Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, said Wednesday at a news conference. "And I would say that the data that we have indicates that the restrictions put in place in November and December have achieved, so far, their intended outcome." It's critical that the province maintain enough restrictions to continue to drive those numbers down, Hinshaw said, given the high number of people still being treated in hospitals. "We need to build on our collective success by going slowly toward allowing some additional activities and not experiencing a rebound if we open too quickly," she said. Hospitalizations remain high Hospitals in the province are treating 744 patients for the disease, including 124 in ICU beds. "It is important to remember that it is the number of people currently in hospital that I am providing, not all those who have ever needed hospital care since the spring," Hinshaw said. "To put this into context, over the last 10 years, we have had an average of just over 1,500 total hospital admissions for influenza annually. For COVID-19, the comparable number comes from less than a year of data. More than 5,000 people have needed hospital care since the pandemic began for COVID-19 in Alberta." A total of 5,086 people with COVID-19 have been treated in hospitals since the pandemic began last March. That represents about 4.3 per cent of the total cases, which now sits at 118,436. Of those, 106,387 were listed as recovered and 10,565 were active. Of the patients hospitalized with the illness so far, 816 have ended up in ICU beds. Far greater toll on older people Slightly more than one per cent of all people infected have died. Alberta Health data shows the illness has taken a far greater toll on older people. To date, 1,265 of the 1,484 reported deaths (85 per cent) have been people aged 70 and older. A total of 109,089 people under the age of 70 have contracted the illness. In all, 218 of them have died, a rate of .0.19 per cent. To date, 9,347 people aged 70 or older have become sick. In all, 1,265 of them have died, a rate of 13.5 per cent. Older people also have a much higher chance of ending up in hospital. Those in their 20s who contract the illness have about a one in 100 chance of being hospitalized. Those aged 60 and older have about one in six chance. Here's a breakdown by age of those who have been infected, and those who had symptoms serious enough to require hospitalization. Under one, 644 cases, 34 hospitalized, 10 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 5.3 per cent) one to four, 3,671 cases, 14 hospitalized, two in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 0.4 per cent) five to nine, 5,094 cases, eight hospitalized, two in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 0.2 per cent) 10 to 19, 13,606 cases, 68 hospitalized, nine in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 0.5 per cent) 20 to 29, 22,025 cases, 241 hospitalized, 25 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 1.1 per cent) 30 to 39, 22,470 cases, 388 hospitalized, 40 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 1.7 per cent) 40 to 49, 18,678 cases, 489 hospitalized, 92 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 2.6 per cent) 50 to 59, 14,075 cases, 721 hospitalized, 164 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 5.1 per cent) 60 to 69, 8,788 cases, 879 hospitalized, 239 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 10.0 per cent) 70 to 79, 4,370 cases, 952 hospitalized, 172 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 21.8 per cent) 80+, 4,977 cases, 1,291 hospitalized, 60 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 25.9 per cent) A total of 95,243 doses of vaccine have been administered in the province.
The Nova Scotia Police Review Board is looking into claims from convicted murderer Christopher Garnier's family that accuse Cape Breton Regional Police officers of conducting an illegal arrest and seizure of evidence in 2017. Garnier was taken into custody for breaching bail conditions after failing to present himself to the municipal force at his mother's basement door in Millville, N.S. during a compliance check His mother, Kim Edmunds, said she does not believe police were at her home as they have stated. "I honestly don't think they were," Edmunds told members of the board's three-person panel. "When somebody knocks on the door, it wakes me up." Alleged breach In February 2017, while awaiting trial for murder, Garnier took a trip to Cape Breton, where his mother lives. He was allowed to live at his father's house in Bedford or at his mother's residence in Millville as part of his bail conditions. Garnier was to submit to regular compliance checks from either members of the CBRP and Halifax Regional Police. Before his trip, Garnier called a Halifax police answering service to advise he was going to stay at his mom's place, although he did not leave his cell phone number with the service at that time. A CBRP officer testified under oath at a bail revocation hearing that he went to the Millville home in the early morning hours of Feb. 18, 2017, but Garnier did not present himself at the door. A Supreme Court judge later ruled Garnier did not intentionally breach his conditions, as he was likely asleep. That same year, Garnier was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of off-duty Truro police officer Catherine Campbell. Complaint launched Christopher Garnier's father, Vincent Garnier, is representing himself as a complainant at the police hearing into the actions of four officers. The men accused of misconduct are Const. Steve Campbell, Const. Gary Fraser, Const. Dennis McQueen and Const. Troy Walker. Each officer is represented by a lawyer, while a member of Cape Breton Regional Municipality's legal team is acting on behalf of the police organization. "We'll dig deep into the practices of the [CBRP] which I believe violate the constitution, violate the charter and violate aspects of the criminal code. Those are the informations I would like to bring forth over the next two weeks," Vincent Garnier said during a break in the proceedings. "The police, without a warrant, and without any consent of the property owners, accessed private property, walked into a private residence and placed a person under arrest." The board heard that photographs of the property were taken without the knowledge of the homeowner. Hearing continues Vincent Garnier said his family incurred more than $35,000 in legal fees as a result alleged breach. After his son's arrest, he filed a complaint with CBRP. An internal investigation found that if a breach had occurred, it was only minor. Members of the police review board, Hon. Simon J. MacDonald, Stephen Johnson and chair Jean McKenna are hearing arguments on both sides of the case at a Sydney hotel. Police will have a chance to explain their actions on the weekend in question once Vincent Garnier finishes calling witnesses. In total, 14 people are expected to testify at the hearing that is slated to run over two weeks. So far, the board has heard from Christopher Garnier's mother and stepmother, his uncle, and his former common-law partner. MORE TOP STORIES
Martin Long, UCP MLA for West Yellowhead, emphasized the importance of provincial officials leading by example in light of the travel scandal. Earlier this month, news broke that some UCP MLAs and government staff had travelled to other countries during the Christmas season despite the province advising Albertans to limit travelling and socializing. “The premier has said repeatedly it is important that all Albertans follow both the letter and spirit of all public health orders,” Long said in an email. “That is what I have been committed to, and I hope my constituents understand the importance of doing so. My number one responsibility is to represent the people of West Yellowhead - both in what I say and what I do. That is my main focus, and that is what my constituents expect of me as their elected representative.” In a Jan. 5 post on Facebook, Long assured his constituents he and his family did not leave the Whitecourt area for the entire holiday season and had not left the province at all since his trip to the east coast for Christmas in 2019, months before the pandemic was declared. Amid a year “that many of us want to forget,” Long said given the restrictions put in place, it was a great opportunity to explore “Alberta’s extraordinary landscapes.” One day in Assembly, Long encouraged people to visit Marmot Basin, “a world-renowned ski resort with 91-named runs spread across four mountain faces with 3,000 feet of vertical drop.” “That being said, our government understands that 2020 was a difficult year for many businesses—including Alberta’s tourism industry,” he added. “Our government understood the many difficulties that tourism-related businesses were facing (and continue to face), and that is why we extended the abatement of Alberta’s tourism levy for an additional three months; which gives tourism operators $10 million more in available financial resources.” Long also noted the province’s Small and Medium Enterprise relaunch grant. “In fact, we recently announced an expansion of the grant to include new businesses that began operating between March 1 and Oct. 31, 2020 to apply for this important support,” he said. “Applications will be open for businesses meeting this criterion on Feb. 4.” He acknowledged the impact the COVID pandemic has had on the mental health of Albertans, and said the government committed $53 million to mental health and addiction supports. Serving six months so far as parliamentary secretary for Small Business and Tourism, Long said he’s looking “forward to working with Albertans to ensure our small businesses and tourism sector are both strong for years to come.” Joanne McQuarrie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh
COMMUNAUTÉ. C’est finalement un montant de 40 235 $ qui aura été amassé via Gofundme afin de créer une bourse d’études pour Jacob, le fils de l’urgentologue Karine Dion. «Je suis vraiment émue. Je pensais faire une petite campagne pour mon hôpital, mais c’est tout le Québec qui est solidaire pour aider Jacob et honorer la mémoire Karine», constate avec reconnaissance la Dre Geneviève Simard-Racine qui s’était d’abord fixé un objectif de 10 000 $ à recueillir pour créer une bourse d’études pour le fils de son amie. «Il y a eu aussi le 13 janvier, en soirée, un parcours commémoratif dans l’hôpital de Granby. Nos gens pouvaient se recueillir et déposer une étoile dans un cadre. Il y avait également un livre qui sera remis à David, le conjoint de Karine, où l’on pouvait laisser un mot», rapporte-t-elle. À son tour, la Dre Simard-Racine a invité «les aidants à accepter de se faire aider». Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
WASHINGTON — Three new senators were sworn into office Wednesday after President Joe Biden's inauguration, securing the majority for Democrats in the Senate and across a unified government to tackle the new president's agenda at a time of unprecedented national challenges. In a first vote, the Senate confirmed Biden's nominee for Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines. Senators worked into the evening and overcame some Republican opposition to approve his first Cabinet member, in what's traditionally a show of good faith on Inauguration Day to confirm at least some nominees for a new president's administration. Haines, a former CIA deputy director, will become a core member of Biden’s security team, overseeing the agencies that make up the nation’s intelligence community. She was confirmed 84-10. The new Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urged colleagues to turn the spirit of the new president’s call for unity into action. “President Biden, we heard you loud and clear,” Schumer said in his first speech as majority leader. “We have a lengthy agenda. And we need to get it done together.” Vice-President Kamala Harris drew applause as she entered the chamber to deliver the oath of office to the new Democratic senators — Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock and Alex Padilla — just hours after taking her own oath at the Capitol alongside Biden. The three Democrats join a Senate narrowly split 50-50 between the parties, but giving Democrats the majority with Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote. Ossoff, a former congressional aide and investigative journalist, and Warnock, a pastor from the late Martin Luther King Jr.'s church in Atlanta, won run-off elections in Georgia this month, defeating two Republicans. Padilla was tapped by California’s governor to finish the remainder of Harris’ term. “Today, America is turning over a new leaf. We are turning the page on the last four years, we’re going to reunite the country, defeat COVID-19, rush economic relief to the people,” Ossoff told reporters earlier at the Capitol. “That’s what they sent us here to do.” Taken together, their arrival gives Democrats for the first time in a decade control of the Senate, the House and the White House, as Biden faces the unparalleled challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and its economic fallout, and the nation's painful political divisions from the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol by a mob loyal to Donald Trump. Congress is being called on to consider Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion COVID recovery package, to distribute vaccines and shore up an economy as more than 400,000 Americans have died from the virus. At the same time, the Senate is about to launch an impeachment trial of Trump, charged by the House of inciting the insurrection at the Capitol as rioters tried to interrupt the Electoral College tally and overturn Biden’s election. The Senate will need to confirm other Biden Cabinet nominees. To “restore the soul” of the country, Biden said in his inaugural speech, requires “unity.” Yet as Washington looks to turn the page from Trump to the Biden administration, Republican leader Mitch McConnell is not relinquishing power without a fight. Haines' nomination was temporarily blocked by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Okla., as he sought information about the CIA's enhanced interrogation program. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is holding back the Homeland Security nominee Alejandro Mayorkas over Biden's proposed immigration changes. And McConnell is refusing to enter a power-sharing agreement with Senate Democrats unless they meet his demands, chiefly to preserve the Senate filibuster — the procedural tool often used by the minority party to block bills under rules that require 60 votes to advance legislation. McConnell, in his first speech as the minority party leader, said the election results with narrow Democratic control of the House and Senate showed that Americans “intentionally entrusted both political parties with significant power.” The Republican leader said he looked forward working with the new president “wherever possible.” At her first White House briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden’s desire to have his Cabinet confirmed and in place is “front and centre for the president,” and she said he was hoping to have his national security nominees in place Thursday or Friday. Psaki said the president will be “quite involved” in negotiations over the COVID relief package, but left the details of the upcoming impeachment trial to Congress. The Senate can “multitask,” she said. That’s a tall order for a Senate under normal circumstances, but even more so now in the post-Trump era, with Republicans badly split between their loyalties to the defeated president and wealthy donors who are distancing themselves from Republicans who back Trump. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to soon transmit to the Senate the House-passed article of impeachment against Trump, charged with incitement of insurrection, a step that will launch the Senate impeachment trial. Meantime, the power-sharing talks between Schumer and McConnell have hit a stalemate. It’s an arcane fight McConnell has inserted into what has traditionally been a more routine organizing resolution over committee assignments and staffing resources, but a power play by the outgoing Republican leader grabbing at tools that can be used to block Biden’s agenda. Progressive and liberal Democrats are eager to do away with the filibuster to more quickly advance Biden’s priorities, but not all rank-and-file Senate Democrats are on board. Schumer has not agreed to any changes but McConnell is taking no chances. For now, it will take unanimous consent among senators to toggle between conducting votes on legislative business and serving as jurors in the impeachment trial. The House last week impeached Trump for having sent the mob to the Capitol to “fight like hell” during the tally of Electoral College votes to overturn Biden’s election. __ Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report. Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
Last week, junior hockey teams scored $4 million in funding from the province to help get them through the pandemic. While that's good news for the hockey teams, there are those that are wondering where the funding help is for the arts. "I was taken aback that our government would shovel $4 million toward hockey," Brent Ghiglione told The Afternoon Edition's Garth Materie. Ghiglione, the director of bands at the University of Regina, said he voiced his concerns in a letter to Laura Ross, minister of Parks, Culture and Sport. On Friday, the provincial government announced $3 million in funding for Saskatchewan's five Western Hockey League teams and $1 million for the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said in a statement that the hockey funding was done because junior hockey teams are a big part of the cultural fabric and local economies in Saskatchewan. "Really? It's a sport. How is this cultural?" asked Ghiglione. He'd like to see similar investments for things like music, visual arts and theatre. "There are lots of awesome organizations and musicians and artists in our province that are trying to figure out where their mortgage is coming from," he said. "And yet they can shovel off $4 million over to hockey so that they will be able to survive the pandemic." He said the cultural backbone of the community is the artists and the films and musicians. "I mean, how many freelance musicians are starving right now? "It's sickening. I'm not a hockey hater. I like sports. And I totally respect it. But it's sports. These are young, young men and ladies, I'm guessing, that are doing sport. And we've got people that can't pay their mortgage." For example, Ghiglione said, the Regina Symphony is playing small concerts in churches just to stay afloat. "I just think it's so short sighted by the government to only pick on one segment of our society. I mean, is the money going to go to the people that, you know, have the ear of the government? The government's supposed to be looking out for everyone." CBC has reached out to the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport for a response but have not received a reply.
WINNIPEG — Manitoba health officials say delays in getting COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech will force the province to sharply reduce the number of injections planned for February.The province says it is planning for incoming supplies to be cut in half.The federal government announced Tuesday that Canada is not getting any COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer-BioNTech next week. "We originally were told we would be receiving 18,720 doses (in the next two weeks) and our new estimate is 9,360," Dr. Joss Reimer, a member of the province's vaccine committee, said Wednesday.There are enough doses for all appointments currently booked, but fewer appointments will be scheduled next month, Reimer said. The goal of administering an average of 2,500 doses a day in February is being reduced to 1,496 daily.In the unlikely event that supply delays continue and the province does not receive any doses in the first week of February, its current supply of the Pfizer vaccine would be used up and appointments would begin to be cancelled, Reimer said.The revised outlook comes just as Manitoba is ramping up its vaccination capacity. A so-called supersite, which can handle hundreds of vaccinations a day, opened this week in Brandon and another is planned for early February in Thompson.Because of the supply issues with the Pfizer vaccine, the Thompson site will instead use the Moderna vaccine, the only other one approved in Canada to date.Health officials reported 153 new COVID-19 cases and five additional deaths Wednesday. Manitoba's numbers, including the number of people in hospital and the percentage of people testing positive, have dropped since a spike in the fall.The provincial government is considering easing some of the restrictions that were put in place in November by this weekend, subject to public feedback. The proposals include letting non-essential stores reopen, as well as hair salons and barber shops, and easing a ban on social gatherings in private homes to allow two visitors at a time."I know that people are eager to reduce restrictions, especially businesses," said Dr. Jazz Atwal, acting deputy chief public health officer."But we need to be cautious. We can't open everything at once."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021 Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press
Canada Post is commemorating Amber Valley, a forgotten community of all-Black settlers in northern Alberta, with a stamp for Black History Month. The community, 170 kilometres north of Edmonton, was settled by hundreds of African-Americans escaping racial violence and segregation in the United States in the 1900s. Myrna Wisdom, a historian and descendant of Amber Valley settlers, said she wasn't too surprised when Canada Post reached out to her a couple years ago to consult on the stamp. "I just think it's about time," Wisdom said. "What took you so long, I guess, is one of the questions before they started profiling these people, you know, because we've been here for the past 100 years." The yellow-toned stamp features a scene of a caravan rolling through the Prairies with photographs of the earliest members who helped settle the community. The image is set against a backdrop of Amber Valley on the Alberta map. The settlers include Henry Sneed, Jordan W. Murphy, with great-granddaughter Bernice Bowen and granddaughter Vivian (Murphy) Harris and Amy Broady, a midwife. Wisdom said Broady provided an essential service. "She rode horseback, because there were no good roads, but she delivered babies. And it didn't matter what colour you were, she helped everybody out." She said it was appropriate to have Murphy on the stamp as before the land was called Amber Valley, it was referred to as Murphy's Land. She added that Bowen was also the first graduate of Toles School, the local school in Amber Valley. She went on to study teaching at the University of Alberta and is still alive today. "She's in her 80s, late 80s, but she will be able to see the stamp. That's what I think is nice about it," Wisdom said. Jim Phillips, director of stamp services at Canada Post, said the postal operator has been celebrating Black History Month for the past 13 years, especially by telling the stories of the early communities, heroes and cultures. "We are honoured and pleased to be able to tell this story and to create some lasting artwork and kind of open a discussion about this community across Canada and among Canadians who may not know about it," he said. The stamps will be available Friday in post offices across Canada. But Phillips encourages people to buy them online due to the pandemic. He said Canada Post prints a finite number of stamps and normally they would last a year unless they get sold out. "We've had a lot of interest in these stamps … people just seem to want to resonate with the story," he said. "I would suggest if anybody really wants them, that they don't wait that long because I think they'll be gone in a couple of months." Five families at first Amber Valley was settled by five families in 1910. Some 300 people started arriving from Alabama and Oklahoma, braving hostile conditions at the border and undergoing rigorous medical exams before boarding the train for Edmonton. After that, they followed a dusty wagon road to Amber Valley. By 1911, about 1,000 settlers had settled in the community. Wisdom said she still wonders why they came all the way north, instead of stopping at some place like Vancouver. Before the original families settled, a trio had scouted the area and decided it was a good place despite the bush. Today, only a few barns and homes remain of the once-thriving settlement. Wisdom said her grandfather's house burned down last week. "I grew up seeing that house, you know, walking by there," she said. "It was just a landmark that's been there."
European leaders described the 46th President's inauguration speech as "inspiring" and said it was time to bring "conviction and common sense" to help rejuvenate their relationship with the US.View on euronews
KENORA — An Indigenous police service in northwestern Ontario is implementing a new project that will help address sexual violence, harassment and human trafficking in the Treaty Three Territory. The project named The Spirit of Hope will include both community-based activities and increase the capacity of Treaty Three police officers in addressing crimes against women and families, according to a news release issued this week. “I am excited for this opportunity and to hold the Treaty Three Police service and surrounding area with high regard,” coordinator of the project Jody Smith said in a news release. Smith is from Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation. The project will address sexual violence, harassment and human trafficking specifically related to the 231 calls to justice and the need for national action. Through this project, police will engage with Anishnaabe youth, women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people to provide education and awareness. The program will engage with the communities’ elders, Grand Council Treaty Three, community outreach groups, women’s groups, child and family services and local education authorities. Treaty Three Police is responsible for policing duties in the Greater Treaty Three Region in northwestern Ontario which includes approximately 20,000 residents in 23 First Nations communities. The project is funded by the ministry of the solicitor general. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
MONTREAL — Students at Montreal's Westmount High School spent Wednesday morning watching a former graduate ascend to one of the highest political offices in the world, with Kamala Harris's new post as U.S. vice-president sending a message that nothing is beyond reach."When we stay in the same high school for five years, it can make the world seem quite small," Ava Oxilia, a Grade 10 student at the school, said in a video call organized by the board."To know that she was in a very similar place to a lot of our students here, and then she reached one of the highest positions in the U.S. government, it's just incredible to believe anyone of us could obtain such a high position."Harris, 56, moved briefly to Montreal at age 12, attending Face and later Westmount High School before graduating in 1981.It was in those halls that Wanda Kagan, a good friend to Harris during her time in Montreal, met the new U.S. vice-president and even ended up living with her for a time. How many people can say they bunked with a vice-president, Kagan asked with a laugh on Wednesday as she said she was elated for her friend.“Anyone can make history, but only a great woman can write history, and that’s what she’s going to do,” Kagan said in an interview.Kagan said the pair became close friends, two children from biracial families navigating a bigger high school. “We were just trying to find our way, fitting in, and we just fit in together,” she said.Kagan would confide in Harris during those school years that she was being abused at home, and Harris’s late mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, insisted she come live with them. “They just treated me like family. I just hung out with Kamala in her room listening to music, doing homework,” Kagan said. “They instilled a lot of my values that I carried on later in life.”After reconnecting in the mid-2000s, Kagan said Harris told her that helping her friend during their high school years inspired her legal career defending women and children from abuse.Kagan said she had no doubt Harris and her family helped shape her life. “But to know that I impacted hers was huge,” Kagan said. “She was a trailblazer back then, fighting for my rights, my dignity, my humanity.”The school has been paying close attention as Harris's political career took off, and on social media Wednesday it congratulated its illustrious alumna on her swearing-in as the 49th U.S. vice-president.Students streamed the inauguration during second period, with Grade 10 student A.J. Itovitch later describing the pride felt in seeing someone who walked the same halls rise to such heights."The energy has been absolutely palpable over the past few weeks at the school, and it's just so difficult to wrap our head around the fact that the 49th vice-president came ... right out of Montreal," the 15-year-old said. "We have been doing all we can just to take in all of this."Principal Demetra Droutsas said Harris's rise has been inspirational. "I want our students to really retain they should dream big, they should never limit themselves and they can do anything they set their minds to," she said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
Curiosity about a free newspaper in his mailbox turned into surprise when former St. John's mayor Dennis O'Keefe found his name printed inside — in a story that said he, along with the mayor of Calgary and other officials, was a target of interest for the Chinese Communist Party. "I couldn't believe it," said O'Keefe outside his St. John's home while holding a recent copy of the Epoch Times, which was distributed this month for free to households in the region. "I mean, I've had a lot of surprises in my life, believe me. But this one really takes the cake." The article said O'Keefe's name was found in a 2019 document that came from the Foreign Affairs Office in Daqing, a city in northeastern China. The paper said it obtained the document that included names "spanning a wide range of sectors and countries in which the Chinese regime seeks to cultivate talent." O'Keefe retired as mayor before the 2017 municipal election. "It's just inexplicable," said O'Keefe who called the article "terribly misleading," and said nobody from the Epoch Times contacted him for comment. The Epoch Times has been distributing free copies of its paper throughout Canada over the course of the last year in an effort to grow subscribers. The newspaper has often been controversial for publishing articles that promote unfounded conspiracy theories, some of them embraced by alt-right groups, and many of them about China. The newspaper has, for instance, promoted the belief that the novel coronavirus was produced in a lab in China, and that the American deep state stole November's presidential election from Donald Trump. What is the Epoch Times? The Epoch Times started 20 years ago in what the paper called a "response to communist repression and censorship in China." The paper is headquartered in New York and says it operates in 22 languages in 36 countries. Simon van Zuylen-Wood, a New York based journalist who recently did a deep dive on the paper's embrace of Donald Trump for The Atlantic magazine, said the paper has found favour with the conspiratorial strains of the American right wing. His Atlantic article was called "MAGA-land's Favorite Newspaper," with the subhead, "How the Epoch Times became a pro-Trump propaganda machine in an age of plague and insurrection." In a phone interview with CBC News, Zuylen-Wood called the Epoch Times a fast-growing newspaper that changed tack in the Trump era. He said what makes it unique is that it's backed and run by members of the Falun Gong sect — a spiritual movement that was persecuted and banned by the Chinese government in the late 1990s. The paper's connection to the Falun Gong has been widely reported in mainstream publications, including CBC News. When Trump ran for president, the paper saw that for "the first time in decades a major party's presidential nominee was running an overtly protectionist campaign, with China in his crosshairs." He wrote the "Falun Gong came to see Trump as a kind of killer angel, summoned from heaven to smite the Chinese government." The article goes on to say "The Epoch Times ramped up its spending on Facebook ads and hitched its wagon to the 45th president." That hitch has also proven lucrative. Van Zuylen-Wood said the paper's revenues have quadrupled in the last four years. The paper also has a large online presence. A recent NBC News report said the Epoch Times now has one of the biggest social media followings of any news outlet. Van Zuylen-Wood says the paper has become one the "leading purveyors of content suggesting that the American election was stolen." He noted it also prints recipes, lifestyle stories and wellness tips. "So it's a strange mix of pedestrian and often kind of irrelevant news and then sort of hard right, often sort of conspiratorially laced content," he said. 'Utter nonsense' concerns resident That mix is what worries Lesley Burgess about the paper she found in her St. John's mailbox recently. She is among those who have voiced their concerns on social media about the paper and its content. "It has all these kinds of health and lifestyle stories woven in with all of this misinformation, basically," said Burgess. She said she had heard about the paper before but it wasn't until she looked through that she realized there was "utter nonsense" everywhere. CBC's request for comment from the Epoch Times has gone unanswered. "If you don't know any better, you might think this is a run-of-the-mill paper. And I think that's really dangerous," Burgess said. Kurt Phillips, a board member with the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, has been following the subscription drive of the Epoch Times. He said the paper's content is of concern because it keeps disseminating disinformation about conspiracy theories on the far right such as "Spygate" and QAnon. Phillips said he's seeing stories from the paper shared in some mainstream conservative circles, which has the potential to radicalize people with misinformation. "It is contributing to an ever-growing divide between reality and a fictionalized version of the world that is especially dehumanizing and dangerous," he said. Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
A Saskatoon intensive care unit doctor doesn't think the province needs more COVID-19 restrictions — just a few tweaks and better enforcement of those already in place. "I agree with [Saskatchewan Chief Medical Health Officer] Dr. Saqib Shahab that these restrictions, if everybody followed them, would be sufficient. But the reality is not everyone is following them," Dr. Hassan Masri said. In November, the provincial government issued an order that all bars must stop serving alcohol by 10 p.m. and be closed by 11 p.m. Masri noted flouting the rules creates real consequences — from difficulties in contact tracing to a shortage of hospital beds. That's why he's calling on the government to close all bars, pubs and nightclubs to curb that temptation to break the restrictions. "Those places are there for social interaction and physical interaction. It is virtually impossible to have a bar or a pub open and ask people to be alone or be away from everyone. That defeats the whole purpose of going to these places," Masri explained. Should the government not adjust these restrictions, he said, there needs to be a stronger push for people to follow them. "The current restrictions are not being enforced to the fullest of the law and it makes people more likely to break the law," he said. "It really makes the laws themselves really ineffective." On Tuesday, Premier Scott Moe said it's time to take action against those breaking the law. "We don't need to punish all of those that are following the public health orders, but to those establishments and even all those people who are flagrantly operating outside of what the public health orders are, they do need to be punished," the premier said during a provincial COVID-19 update on Tuesday. He said he's asked public health if there are other enforcement options, in addition to fines, that could include "closing these bad actors indefinitely to ensure that we are having compliance in our communities." That would allow the opportunity for the businesses that are following public health orders to stay open and operate safely, Moe said. Set thresholds for restrictions: psychiatrist Saskatoon psychiatrist Dr. Tamara Hinz agrees that more enforcement of public health orders is needed. "I know I'm not supposed to text while I drive, but we still have police officers watching out for that kind of thing," she said. "We can't have a conversation about rule compliance without enforcement." Hinz said it would help if people start thinking of the pandemic as a group effort. "People have to come together to work together," she said. "If we have large segments of the population that are not carrying their weight on the project, then the rest of us suffer." Hinz noted one way the province could get more compliance with COVID-19 measures is to be more transparent about thresholds, and identifying a specific mark for the number of cases that must be reached before restrictions would either loosen or tighten. "I think transparency from our health and government leaders could go a long way," she said. "Rules need to be straightforward, they have to make sense to people — and they need to be clearly laid out by people who are leading by example." More public awareness campaigns about COVID-19 — especially featuring those most impacted by the illness — could also be effective, Hinz added, noting it may help "personalize the crisis and unify us." In a worst-case scenario, Masri said the rule breakers could send the province spiralling into an unwanted lockdown. "Regardless of what people want and don't want, if the numbers continue to rise to the point that it's unmanageable, a full lockdown will take place," he said. "I've never advocated for that, but I've always been very clear that the virus will advocate for itself if we don't listen very clearly."
Forest areas in Jasper and close to it are being thinned to reduce the risk of wildfire. Crews from Landmark Solutions Ltd. started work in November. This is part of the FireSmart Forest Fuel Reduction Project, a partnership between the Municipality of Jasper and Parks Canada. “It has to be done in the winter because of the impact on the ground and safety in burning piles,” said Greg Van Tighem, director of protective services for the Municipality of Jasper, and a project manager alongside Landon Shepherd with Parks Canada. Van Tighem emphasized it’s important not to disturb the understory, the layer of vegetation beneath the main canopy, as the ground has to be frozen. “(The crews) deal with the understory and the bigger trees,” he said. “They’re targeting the mountain pine beetle-killed trees.” Alan Westhaver, a former Park warden, runs ForestWise Environmental Consulting Ltd. and develops the prescription for each Fire Management Unit (FMU). “Parks Canada provides a surveillance officer, Christine Brown, to monitor the work (including) the criteria of FireSmart prescription on a daily basis and adhering to environmental requirements,” Van Tighem said. “Each unit is different in the prescription.” There are seven units and nine subunits in the project that cover a total of 27.5 hectares. This includes the industrial area, places around the municipality and Parks Canada compounds and the Lake Annette/Lake Edith day-use areas. “Our objective is to provide a higher level of safety to the community in the event of a wildfire, so we reduce the fuel located around the community and the infrastructure that surrounds the community,” Van Tighem said. Portions of some units have been completed. Van Tighem said work will continue until the ground begins to thaw and snow starts to melt in March. The trees cut down in some of the units are used for firewood. With a $10 fire permit, folks can pick up the wood onsite. “It’s a way to reduce waste,” Van Tighem added. Since the early ‘90s, FireSmart Canada has worked to reduce the risk that wildfires present to populated areas by facilitating interagency co-operation to promote education and awareness. Joanne McQuarrie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh
QUEBEC — The Quebec government is inviting high schools to collect the disposable medical masks being distributed to students so they don’t end up in landfills. About 500,000 blue masks are being used daily by students across the province. Quebec announced that high school students and teachers would be given two procedural masks a day when classes resumed Jan. 18, but the province didn't say what would happen to the 85 million masks expected to be used before the end of the school year. Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge said Tuesday that expenses for the recovery and recycling of the masks will be covered by the provincial government. Genevieve Cote, a spokeswoman for Roberge, said young people are very sensitive to environmental issues, and the government is confident the masks won't end up polluting the environment. "Companies, many of which are from Quebec ... offer the recovery and treatment of disposable masks," Cote said. The federation representing Quebec school administrations says the recovery effort could have been organized before students returned to class. Only some schools have boxes available to collect soiled masks, Nicolas Prevost, the federation’s president, said. And many students are not comfortable discarding them in the trash. “We would have liked that we could set up the distribution (of the masks) and the recovery at the same time,” Prevost said. “It would have been simpler and, above all, more beneficial for the planet.” A Liberal member of the legislature, Frantz Benjamin, estimated the mask recovery operation would cost between $30 million and $35 million, and school commissions would need financial help to recoup the costs. In May, environmental groups sounded the alarm about disposable masks becoming a source of pollution. One group focused on waste management said Tuesday that aid announced by the province must be contingent on demonstrating the masks are being recycled. Denis Blaquiere, the president of the organization, said the majority of companies involved in recovering disposable masks send them out of province to be incinerated, although it is possible to recycle the main components of the mask in the province. Disposable masks are typically made from a mixture of synthetic fibres and cellulose, a rubber band and a piece of metal. Environmentalists say they can endanger wildlife and, like wipes, clog pipes in city wastewater treatment systems. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. Caroline Plante, The Canadian Press
CALGARY — Increasingly uncomfortable with a shrinking timeline, the world governing body of skiing halted Calgary's pursuit of the world freestyle and snowboard championships next month. Freestyle Canada and Canada Snowboard were working feverishly on plans to host the event Feb. 24 to March 14 at Canada Olympic Park, with the first of roughly 500 athletes due to arrive Feb. 15. Calgary would have been stand-in host city. China was the original site of the 2021 championships doubling as test events for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The logistics of holding an international, multi-disciplinary snow-sport championship amid the COVID-19 pandemic ultimately caused China to give up on it. Freestyle Canada and Canada Snowboard were in fruitful discussions with Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services, but the Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) could no longer tolerate the uncertainty with the clock ticking down, said Freestyle Canada chief executive officer Peter Judge. "There was a just an increasing discomfort from the FIS side around the duration it was taking and the uncertainty of what it might look like on the other side," he told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. "We had a good plan, but in this day and age, there's just no certainty. FIS was looking for that certainty." FIS had tentatively scheduled Calgary as world championship host with a "to be confirmed." Athletes would have quarantined upon arrival with regular testing before being able to train in cohorts. "This isn't on the province. It's not their fault," Judge said. "Alberta Health and the authorities are doing their job. Just because we're having an event, there's bigger things in play. "It's disappointing. We thought we could make it all work and get it in and make our international partners comfortable, but at the end of the day, there wasn't that comfort or confidence level." The championship would have included men's and women's freestyle and snowboard big air, halfpipe and slopestyle plus freestyle's moguls and aerials. Ski and snowboard cross and alpine snowboard weren't in the proposal because there isn't enough terrain at COP to include those events. FIS announced earlier this week that the ski and snowboard cross world championships will be held Feb. 11-13 in Idre Fjäll, Sweden, where the Canadian ski cross team is racing World Cups this week. Pandemic postponements and cancellations created an ever-changing international snow sport calendar this winter. World championships in the other freestyle and snowboard disciplines may also be broken up and held at various sites that have been able to host World Cups this season. WinSport's Canada Olympic Park still has an important role to play as a training mecca for Canada's 2022 Olympic team. Athletes who haven't been able to travel and compete elsewhere are using it as a long-term training base. Canadian snowboarders and the freestyle halfpipe and slopestyle teams were there this month before departing for the X Games in Aspen, Colo., going ahead Jan 29-31. The moguls team arrives in Calgary on Thursday before heading to Deer Valley, Utah, in February. The aerials team will eventually end up in Calgary too, Judge said. "Right now, it's about getting as many training days in as we can in February, March, April and getting that mileage in," he said. Freestyle Canada and Canada Snowboard will now try to bring a series of World Cup events to Calgary in December as part of Canadian athletes' preparation for the Winter Olympics. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press
La démocratie a besoin d’être réformée et ce n’est pas seulement en changeant de dirigeant que l’on y arrivera. Il faut aussi repenser le système qu’il défend.
The Beaverlodge and Sexsmith chambers of commerce are waiving membership fees for businesses this year. Both organizations are making the change to support local enterprise in 2021. “Many business owners are feeling the crunch with reduced services or closures,” said Callie Balderston, Beaverlodge and District Chamber of Commerce president. Balderston said the chamber board made the decision during its meeting last week to waive the fee for 2021. The Beaverlodge chamber has approximately 75 members and it will also be free for other businesses to join this year, she said. The fee was $100 annually, but the chamber has kept on budget in past years and is in a sound enough position to offer the waiver, she said. Balderston said the chamber may consider whether certain expenses can be cut later in the year, while trying to continue supporting members. The Beaverlodge chamber is doing well, with a growth of approximately two to three businesses per year, Balderston said. The group was stable in 2020 but she noted events like the Christmas Craze had to be scaled back. “It wasn’t our traditional Christmas Craze,” Balderston said. Jennifer Caseley, Sexsmith and District Chamber of Commerce president, also informed members their fees are waived for 2021 via an email last week. Membership fees varied. Businesses with under four employees paid $50 per year, while members with four to five paid $75, Caseley said. The fee for businesses with more than five employees was $100. The waiver will likely cost the chamber between $4- and $5,000, but Caseley said the chamber will cope by drawing on its accounts and savings from fewer activities in 2020. The chamber would typically hold in-person mixers with food, as well as rent space for meetings, she noted. “The fee is a small thing for some companies … but for smaller organizations, that $50 is sometimes a make-or-break for whether they renew or not,” Caseley said. “It was the right thing to do.” Caseley said the Sexsmith chamber doesn’t have any financial difficulties, but it was a challenge to remain operational. The chamber is a volunteer group and it was difficult to keep positions filled as entrepreneurs have to keep their own businesses going, she said. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
A 46-year-old Pictou County, N.S., man has been charged with multiple firearms offences after police say his attempt to euthanize his dog with a handgun ended up injuring another man. According to an RCMP news release, police responded to a complaint of a firearms discharge resulting in injury at 8:19 p.m. on Jan. 16. The release said the man was outside his Bigney, N.S., home when he tried to shoot his dog, which had bitten several people, but missed. The bullet struck a 21-year-old man inside the house. A subsequent search of the home resulted in the seizure of 29 long guns and nine handguns, according to police. The man was arrested and later released on conditions. The victim was taken to hospital and released with minor injuries. The dog is alive and was seized by animal control. The man is scheduled to appear virtually in Pictou provincial court on March 29 to answer to multiple firearms charges. MORE TOP STORIES