Chef Andre Chiang discusses "André and his Olive Tree" - a film documenting the closure of his Michelin-starred restaurant in Singapore. (Dec. 1)
Chef Andre Chiang discusses "André and his Olive Tree" - a film documenting the closure of his Michelin-starred restaurant in Singapore. (Dec. 1)
PALM BEACH, Fla. — Donald Trump has lost his social media megaphone, the power of government and the unequivocal support of his party's elected leaders. But a week after leaving the White House in disgrace, a large-scale Republican defection that would ultimately purge him from the party appears unlikely. Many Republicans refuse to publicly defend Trump's role in sparking the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. But as the Senate prepares for an impeachment trial for Trump's incitement of the riot, few seem willing to hold the former president accountable. After House Republicans who backed his impeachment found themselves facing intense backlash — and Trump’s lieutenants signalled the same fate would meet others who joined them — Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly Tuesday for an attempt to dismiss his second impeachment trial. Only five Republican senators rejected the challenge to the trial. Trump's conviction was considered a real possibility just days ago after lawmakers whose lives were threatened by the mob weighed the appropriate consequences — and the future of their party. But the Senate vote on Tuesday is a sign that while Trump may be held in low regard in Washington following the riots, a large swath of Republicans is leery of crossing his supporters, who remain the majority of the party’s voters. “The political winds within the Republican Party have blown in the opposite direction,” said Ralph Reed, chair of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and a Trump ally. “Republicans have decided that even if one believes he made mistakes after the November election and on Jan. 6, the policies Trump championed and victories he won from judges to regulatory rollback to life to tax cuts were too great to allow the party to leave him on the battlefield.” The vote came after Trump, who decamped last week to his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, began wading back into politics between rounds of golf. He took an early step into the Arkansas governor’s race by endorsing former White House aide Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and backed Kelli Ward, an ally who won reelection as chair of Arizona’s Republican Party after his endorsement. At the same time, Trump’s team has given allies an informal blessing to campaign against the 10 House Republicans who voted in favour of impeachment. After Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer backed impeachment, Republican Tom Norton announced a primary challenge. Norton appeared on longtime Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast in a bid to raise campaign contributions. On Thursday, another Trump loyalist, Rep. Matt Gaetz, plans to travel to Wyoming to condemn home-state Rep. Liz Cheney, a House GOP leader who said after the Capitol riot that “there has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. — a star with Trump’s loyal base —- has encouraged Gaetz on social media and embraced calls for Cheney’s removal from House leadership. Trump remains livid with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, who refused to support Trump's false charges that Georgia's elections were fraudulent. Kemp is up for reelection in 2022, and Trump has suggested former Rep. Doug Collins run against him. Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s decision not to seek reelection in 2022 opens the door for Rep. Jim Jordan, one of Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters, to seek the seat. Several other Republicans, some far less supportive of the former president, are also considering running. Trump’s continued involvement in national politics so soon after his departure marks a dramatic break from past presidents, who typically stepped out of the spotlight, at least temporarily. Former President Barack Obama was famously seen kitesurfing on vacation with billionaire Richard Branson shortly after he left office, and former President George W. Bush took up painting. Trump, who craves the media spotlight, was never expected to burrow out of public view. “We will be back in some form,” he told supporters at a farewell event before he left for Florida. But exactly what form that will take is a work in progress. Trump remains deeply popular among Republican voters and is sitting on a huge pot of cash — well over $50 million — that he could use to prop up primary challenges against Republicans who backed his impeachment or refused to support his failed efforts to challenge the election results using bogus allegations of mass voter fraud in states like Georgia. “POTUS told me after the election that he’s going to be very involved,” said Matt Schlapp, the chair of the American Conservative Union. “I think he’s going to stay engaged. He’s going to keep communicating. He’s going to keep expressing his opinions. I, for one, think that’s great, and I encouraged him to do that.” Aides say he also intends to dedicate himself to winning back the House and Senate for Republicans in 2022. But for now, they say their sights are on the trial. “We’re getting ready for an impeachment trial — that’s really the focus,” said Trump adviser Jason Miller. Trump aides have also spent recent days trying to assure Republicans that he is not currently planning to launch a third party — an idea he has floated — and will instead focus on using his clout in the Republican Party. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said he received a call from Brian Jack, the former White House political director, on Saturday at home to assure him that Trump had no plans for defection. “The main reason for the call was to make sure I knew from him that he’s not starting a third party and if I would be helpful in squashing any rumours that he was starting a third party. And that his political activism or whatever role he would play going forward would be with the Republican Party, not as a third party,” Cramer said. The calls were first reported by Politico. But the stakes remain high for Trump, whose legacy is a point of fierce contention in a Republican Party that is grappling with its identity after losing the White House and both chambers of Congress. Just three weeks after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, Trump’s political standing among Republican leaders in Washington remains low. “I don’t know whether he incited it, but he was part of the problem, put it that way,” said Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a strong Trump supporter, when asked about the Capitol siege and the related impeachment trial. Tuberville did not say whether he would personally defend Trump in the trial, but he downplayed the prospect of negative consequences for those Republican senators who ultimately vote to convict him. “I don’t think there’ll be any repercussions,” Tuberville said. “People are going to vote how they feel anyway.” Trump maintains a strong base of support within the Republican National Committee and in state party leadership, but even there, Republican officials have dared to speak out against him in recent days in ways they did not before. In Arizona, Ward, who had Trump’s backing, was only narrowly reelected over the weekend, even as the party voted to censure a handful of Trump’s Republican critics, including former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain. At the same time, Trump’s prospective impeachment sparked a bitter feud within the RNC. In a private email exchange obtained by The Associated Press, RNC member Demetra DeMonte of Illinois proposed a resolution calling on every Republican senator to oppose what she called an “unconstitutional sham impeachment trial, motivated by a radical and reckless Democrat majority.” Bill Palatucci, a Republican committeeman from New Jersey, slapped back. “His act of insurrection was an attack on our very democracy and deserves impeachment,” Palatucci wrote. ___ Peoples reported from New York. Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington contributed to this report. Steve Peoples And Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
Key Lake, Sask., is often recorded as the coldest place in Canada on specific days, despite it not being as far north as some other communities. Key Lake is about 570 kilometres north of Saskatoon. David Philips, senior climatologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada, said there are two major factors that contribute to Key Lake consistently registering as the coldest place in Canada when it comes to daily temperatures. "The first is topography," Phillips said in an interview with CBC Saskatchewan's The Afternoon Edition. "Wherever the thermometers are housed might be in a little bit of a dip." According to Phillips, because cold is air heavy and dense, it descends and remains in low spots. This means if the weather is being tracked in a low spot the temperatures might be a bit colder. He also mentioned that a soil difference could be responsible. "Key Lake has sandy soil and sandy soil is notorious for having wide ranges of temperature. During the day it can really warm up but at night it cools down." Phillips said that on average, more northern places like Colin's Bay and Uranium City are colder than Key Lake. "There are singular moments when Key Lake is the weather superlative of a cold pole in Canada, but on average it doesn't really come out that way." On the other end of the spectrum, Maple Creek, Sask., often records very warm winter temperatures compared to the towns around it. Maple Creek is about 350 kilometres southwest of Regina, close to the Alberta border. Phillips said Maple Creek is deserving of the title "Miami of the North" primarily because of Chinook winds. "Because Maple Creek is so close to the Saskatchewan-Albertan border, those Chinook winds can blow right across the prairies." These winds warm up the air in the area. The tables turn in the summer, however, with Maple Creek often having cooler summers than the rest of the province. "Sometimes the cold air will push in and dam up against the Cypress mountains and flow back into places like Maple Creek," Phillips said. "It has that oddity of being the warmest spot and at night be the coolest spot."
JASPER, Alta. — The Jasper Park Lodge has been booked out from the end of February until the end of April, but hotel management isn't disclosing who will be staying at the well-known Rocky Mountain retreat during the nine-week block. All 446 rooms at the sprawling Alberta hotel are unavailable to book online between Feb. 23 and April 29. A hotel spokesperson says there is a private booking, but could not comment further for privacy reasons. Guests who previously made bookings for that time have had their reservations cancelled, fuelling speculation online that the hotel could be soon be a filming site. Steve Young, a spokesman for Jasper National Park, says officials have not received a request for a film permit. He says one would be required if any commercial filming was being done in the park. Asked about the possibility of a film crew coming up to Alberta, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, said her team is working on a framework to decide whether to give such crews exemptions to COVID-19 restrictions. She said the Alberta framework would consider two issues when deciding on exemptions. "Number 1 is whether or not there's any risk to the public, whether any of the activities could potentially cause (COVID-19) spread," Hinshaw said Tuesday. "Number 2: As we consider any potential request for exemptions, we also consider the broader public interest." She said if the crew comes from beyond Canada's border, it would need federal approval. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. -- With files from CTV Edmonton. The Canadian Press
Out of 99 new positive cases discovered in the Simcoe Muskoka Region, health officials say 97 are linked to a long-term care home in Barrie and all of those people are likely affected by the fast-spreading U.K. variant. There are concerns the highly contagious strain of the virus is more widespread than initially thought. Miranda Anthistle has the details.
MONTREAL — Quebec plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions in some regions as of Feb. 8 if the situation in the province continues to improve, Premier Francois Legault said Tuesday. Legault said the average number of new cases in the province has declined in recent weeks — something he credits to government measures that include a nighttime curfew. The premier said he would announce more details next week, but he said the Montreal region was likely to be kept under a higher tier of restrictions than other areas of the province. The government has introduced a series of measures aimed at curbing COVID-19 in recent weeks, including closing non-essential businesses, requiring those who can to work from home and imposing an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. The curfew was originally set to expire Feb. 8, but Legault implied that Quebec's biggest city should be prepared to endure strict measures for longer. "Everyone sees the situation is much different in greater Montreal than what we're living in the rest of Quebec," Legault told reporters. In the last few weeks, the average number of new cases in the province has gone down, from an average of about 2,500 a day to about 1,500, Legault said. But he said hospitalizations are still too high, especially in Montreal. Currently, there are more than 1,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the city, and more than half of surgeries are delayed, he said. Health Minister Christian Dube said the decision for each region would be based on a combination of factors, including case numbers, hospitalizations and outbreaks. He did not rule out roadblocks or other measures to stop people from travelling between regions to take advantage of softer rules, but said a balance will need to be found to ensure people can still travel for necessary reasons and that police aren't overworked. Horacio Arruda, the province's director of public health, said the situation in the province remains "unstable" and the progress made in recent weeks could easily be derailed by the spread of a new variant or a population that eases off on following public health directives. "We can’t think in the next weeks, 'That's it, we’ll go back to normal,'" he said. "That’s the most dangerous thing that threatens us." Citing the danger posed by new variants, Legault expressed frustration with the federal government's failure to announce any new concrete restrictions for travellers, such as mandatory quarantine in supervised hotels or banning non-essential trips altogether. "We're in a little bit the same situation as the beginning of March of last year, where we have a little bit of trouble with Mr. Trudeau for him to act quickly to prevent travellers from coming to infect the population of Quebec," Legault said. Arruda said he was also considering imposing restrictions on interprovincial travel, with his counterparts in other provinces, in order, he said, to limit the spread of the new variants, one of which has already begun to circulate in Ontario. "There is federal, provincial and territorial discussion on that issue, especially in the context of the new strains," he said. Arruda said limiting travel inside the country was more difficult than sealing external borders, but that the restrictions imposed by the Atlantic provinces prove it's not impossible. Quebec reported 1,166 new cases of COVID-19 and 57 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, including four that occurred in the past 24 hours. Health officials said Tuesday that hospitalizations rose by three, to 1,324, following six consecutive days of decreases in the number of COVID-related patients. The number of people in intensive care remained stable at 217. Officials said they administered 5,927 doses of vaccine Monday and said they had used all but 13,221 of the doses received thus far. Dube said the province passed the milestone of vaccinating 225,000 people — about two weeks ahead of schedule — but that the ongoing delay in shipments from manufacturer Pfizer would inevitably cause slowdowns. Quebec has reported a total of 256,002 infections and 9,577 deaths linked to the virus. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan 26, 2021. Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's Public Prosecutions Service announced Tuesday that no criminal charges will be filed against police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Rodney Levi last June.Levi, who was from the Metepenagiag First Nation, was shot dead by the RCMP on the evening of June 12 after police responded to a complaint about a disturbance in a home in Sunny Corner, N.B.The incident was investigated by Quebec's police watchdog, the Bureau des Enquetes independantes, which submitted a report to New Brunswick prosecutors in December.A statement from the prosecutions service said it is clear the officers on the scene believed Levi was using force against them, and he was shot to protect themselves and civilians who were present."This action followed repeated attempts to engage with Mr. Levi peacefully, and followed several applications of a Taser to disarm him from the dangerous weapons (knives) he refused to yield," the statement said.The prosecutions service concluded the police officers in question were acting lawfully to protect the residents of the home that evening."The evidence presented to Public Prosecutions Services does not establish a reasonable prospect of conviction, and therefore, we will not proceed with criminal charges," it said.Levi's killing came days after an Edmundston, N.B., police officer shot and killed Chantel Moore, a 26-year-old Indigenous woman, during a wellness check. The two killings sparked dismay and anger in the province's Indigenous community along with demands for a full inquiry.Alisa Lombard, the lawyer for Levi's family, said Tuesday that family members are disappointed with the outcome."They were provided with a very thorough explanation and review of the evidence and the law. They are now taking the time to process this information and to grieve," she said in an interview.Lombard said she expects the family will want to take further action. "I can say with a fair amount of confidence that this is not the end," she said.A summary of evidence prepared by the prosecutions service and published Tuesday says an autopsy confirmed Levi died from gunshot wounds to the chest. Witnesses told investigators Levi had been acting erratically, and a toxicology report revealed the presence of traces of amphetamine and methamphetamine in his body, the report said.The report summarizes what investigators heard from witnesses, though it does not name them. One woman, identified as a close relative of Levi, did not witness the shooting but spoke of his state of mind and intent on June 12.She said Levi had been living in her home for a few days and was very depressed, according to the report. "He kept talking about suicide and more specifically about 'suicide by RCMP'," the report says. The witness tried to dissuade Levi, but suicide by RCMP was all he would talk about. She never saw him again after he left her home on the afternoon of June 12.The report states that four witnesses at the home in Sunny Corner believed Levi was under the influence of something when he took knives from the kitchen of the home and began waving them around. He refused to put down the knives, and two people called 911.The witnesses said the officers were calm and tried to defuse the situation but Levi refused to drop the knives. They said Levi was Tasered three times by police and at one point said something to the effect of "you'll have to put a bullet in me," the report says. The witnesses said Levi "lunged" or "charged" at one of the officers, who then opened fire.The evidence included a 37-second video filmed by a witness, which shows Levi being hit with the stun gun three times. After the third time, Levi drops one of his knives but immediately picks it back up and seconds later is moving toward one of the officers with the knives pointed toward him, according to the report. The sound of two shots follows.The officer who fired the shots told investigators Levi was about three to five feet away from him and he perceived a “threat of death or grievous bodily harm” when he fired.In its statement, the prosecutions service said the decision not to lay charges against the officers does not "diminish the tragedy of the event." It said Levi's death is "a pain shared by members of the Metepenagiag First Nation and residents of neighbouring communities that cared about him."A coroner's inquest will be held into the incident, although a date and location have not been set.At such an inquest the presiding coroner and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses to determine the facts surrounding the death. The jury can then make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances in the future.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats are preparing to push ahead quickly on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package even if it means using procedural tools to pass the legislation on their own, leaving Republicans behind. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told senators to be ready to vote as soon as next week on a budget reconciliation package that would lay the groundwork for swift passage. Coming so soon in Biden's administration, the action provides a first test of Republican opposition to the White House priorities as well as to the new president's promise of a “unity” agenda. “The work must move forward, preferably with our Republican colleagues, but without them if we must," Schumer said after a private meeting of Democratic senators. "Time is of the essence to address this crisis. We're keeping all options open on the table.” Unwilling to wait for Republicans who argue Biden's price tag is too high and his priorities too wide-ranging, Democrats are flexing their newfound power as they take control of the Senate alongside the House and White House. It is the first time in a decade the party has held the full sweep of power in Washington, and Democrats say they have no time to waste trying to broker compromises with Republicans that may, or may not, happen. They have watched Republicans use similar procedural tools to advance their priorities, most recently the Trump administration’s GOP tax cuts. The fast-moving events days into the new majority on Capitol Hill come as the White House continued meeting privately with groups of Republican and Democratic lawmakers in hopes of striking a bipartisan agreement. Biden's COVID-19 aid package includes money for vaccine distribution, school reopenings and $1,400 direct payments to households and gradually boosts the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years. The next steps remain highly fluid. The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus of more than 50 House lawmakers met virtually Tuesday with top administration officials on the virus aid and economic recovery package. A White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the virtual conversation with the caucus, said there was agreement on the scope of the challenges facing the country and the need for additional relief. Biden and other members of his team intend to continue making their case to lawmakers about the need to act with urgency. Separately, the dozen senators who emerged from a lengthy private meeting with the White House on Sunday evening are talking on their own about trying to craft a more targeted bill. The bipartisan group of senators assembled privately again Monday evening. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters earlier Tuesday that Biden is still looking to negotiate on an aid package, while emphasizing that several components of the existing aid will lapse in March. “He laid out his big package, his big vision of what it should look like, and people are giving their feedback,” Psaki said. "He’s happy to have those discussions and fully expects it’s not going to look exactly the same on the other end.” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who led a bipartisan effort for the last $900 billion relief package, is working again with the senators on crafting an alternative package that she has said would be more focused on money for vaccine distribution and tailored economic assistance to the neediest Americans. Collins said Tuesday that the White House made good on its commitment to deliver a more detailed accounting of the proposed expenditure. But she said the group is still waiting for data on how much funding remains unallocated from past relief measures that, by her tally, totals a whopping $1.8 trillion still unspent. Congress has approved some $4 trillion in emergency aid since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year, a stunning outlay and the largest rescue package in the nation's history. Senators from both parties who joined the White House call over the weekend agreed the priority needs to be standing up the country's faltering vaccine distribution system. With the death toll climbing, and new strains of the virus threatening more trouble ahead, ensuring vaccinations appears to be crucial to stemming the COVID-19 crisis. Several senators from both parties also said they want the $1,400 direct checks to be more targeted to those in need. They also want an accounting of what remains from previously approved aid bills. But Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and the incoming Budget Committee chair, said he is already working on the budget package for next week and expanding it to include Biden's proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years. Raising the wage is a long-running Democratic priority that would essentially double the current $7.25 hourly wage set the last time the party was in control in the Obama administration. Advocates say the pay raise would boost millions of full-time workers from poverty. “There is a consensus,” Sanders told reporters at the Capitol. “If Republicans are not prepared to come on board, that’s fine. We’re not going to wait. We’re going forward soon and aggressively.” Lisa Mascaro And Josh Boak, The Associated Press
HALIFAX — The interruption in the supply of COVID-19 vaccine justifies Nova Scotia's conservative distribution strategy, Premier Stephen McNeil said Tuesday. McNeil defended the province's immunization plan to hold doses back for booster shots, and he voiced concerns about the ongoing availability of vaccine. "We have serious concerns about supply," he told reporters. "We had hoped that we wouldn't be in this situation but we will not be receiving any new doses this week." The premier said vaccinations will continue at some long-term care homes because the province had put doses in reserve for booster shots. As of Monday, 11,622 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in the province, with 2,708 people having received their second of two doses. McNeil acknowledged the criticism about his government's approach of holding back doses. Quebec, by contrast, decided against that strategy and instead vaccinated as many people as possible with a single dose. The premier, however, said his main concern has been around the consistency of vaccine supply. "We want to reassure all Nova Scotians that if we give you the first shot you will get the second shot," McNeil said. "Until we see a level of consistency in supply, that's the protocol we are going to continue to follow." Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, said Nova Scotia would get no vaccine this week from Pfizer and then 1,950 doses the week of Feb. 1, along with another 5,400 doses of the Moderna vaccine. "Beyond that there is no certainty around the amount of vaccine, whether its Pfizer or Moderna, that we are going to get," Strang said. Strang, however, said the province remained committed to its strategy. He said Nova Scotia feels less pressure compared to other provinces to vaccinate the largest amount of people as quickly as possible. Nova Scotia reported one new case of COVID-19 Tuesday and a total of 11 active reported infections. No one was in hospital with the disease. Strang said science is also solidly behind the approach of giving two doses of vaccine within the 21-to-28-day window prescribed by the manufacturers. Over the next three months, he said, the province will continue to focus on vaccinating front-line health-care workers as well as staff, residents and designated caregivers in long-term and residential care facilities. To date, Strang said, vaccinations have been completed at the Northwood long-term care facility in Halifax, where 53 of the provinces 65 deaths occurred last spring. He said vaccinations are also complete at Ocean View Continuing Care Centre in Dartmouth and at Harbourstone Enhanced Care in Sydney. As well, Strang said the province is targeting mid-to-late February to open its first community clinic, which he said will be at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, for people over 80 years of age. "These are community clinics that will help us understand what works and what doesn't work, so when we are ready to administer large quantities of vaccine we are able to do so immediately," Strang said. Meanwhile, health officials urged post-secondary students in the Halifax area to get tested for COVID-19. They said several cases of COVID-19 had been identified among Halifax's student population, and they recommended that all students be tested — even if they haven’t travelled, have no symptoms or haven't visited a location that had been exposed to the novel coronavirus. Drop-in testing began Tuesday and at Dalhousie University and pop-up rapid testing was scheduled to begin Wednesday at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S., and at two locations in Sydney, N.S., including Cape Breton University. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan 26, 2021. Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on Tuesday rescinded a Trump-era memo that established a “zero tolerance” enforcement policy for migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, which resulted in thousands of family separations. Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson issued the new memo to federal prosecutors across the nation, saying the department would return to its longstanding previous policy and instructing prosecutors to act on the merits of individual cases. “Consistent with this longstanding principle of making individualized assessments in criminal cases, I am rescinding — effective immediately — the policy directive,” Wilkinson wrote. Wilkinson said the department’s principles have “long emphasized that decisions about bringing criminal charges should involve not only a determination that a federal offence has been committed and that the admissible evidence will probably be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction, but should also take into account other individualized factors, including personal circumstances and criminal history, the seriousness of the offence, and the probable sentence or other consequences that would result from a conviction.” The “zero tolerance” policy meant that any adult caught crossing the border illegally would be prosecuted for illegal entry. Because children cannot be jailed with their family members, families were separated and children were taken into custody by Health and Human Services, which manages unaccompanied children at the border. While the rescinding of “zero tolerance” is in part symbolic, it undoes the Trump administration’s massively unpopular policy responsible for the separation of more than 5,500 children from their parents at the U.S-Mexico border. Most families have not been prosecuted under zero tolerance since 2018, when the separations were halted, though separations have continued on a smaller scale. Practically, the ending of the policy will affect mostly single men who have entered the country illegally. Prosecutions had dropped sharply after the Trump administration declared a pandemic-related health emergency that allows them to immediately expel Mexicans and many Central Americans without applying immigration laws. “While policies may change, our mission always remains the same: to seek justice under the law," Wilkinson wrote in the memo, which was obtained by The Associated Press. President Joe Biden has issued an executive order to undo some of Trump’s restrictive policies, but the previous administration has so altered the immigration landscape that it will take quite a while to untangle all the major changes. Some of the parents separated from their children were deported. Advocates for the families have called on Biden to allow those families to reunite in the United States. Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, along with Trump and other top leaders in his administration, were bent on curbing immigration. The “zero tolerance” policy was one of several increasingly restrictive policies aimed at discouraging migrants from coming to the Southern border. Trump’s administration also vastly reduced the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. and all but halted asylum at the border, through a combination of executive orders and regulation changes. The policy was a disaster; there was no system created to reunite children with their families. A report from the Justice Department’s inspector general, released earlier this month, found that the policy led to a $227 million funding shortfall. Children suffered lasting emotional damage from the separations, and the policy was criticized as grossly inhumane by world leaders. The policy began April 6, 2018, under an executive order that was issued without warning to other federal agencies that would have to manage the policy, including the U.S. Marshals Service and Health and Human Services. It was halted June 20, 2018. A federal judge ordered the families to be reunited. The watchdog report also found that Sessions and other top officials knew the children would be separated under the policy and encouraged it. Justice officials ignored concerns from staff about the rollout and did not bother to set up a system to track families in order to reunite them. Some children are still separated. ___ Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report. ___ Follow Balsamo and Long on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeBalsamo1 and https://twitter.com/ctlong1. Michael Balsamo And Colleen Long, The Associated Press
At today’s press conference from the Legislative Building in Regina, Premier Moe and Dr. Shahab expressed their condolences not only to the families of the fourteen individuals who were reported to have passed today, but also to those reported since last week. Over the past week 46 residents of the province have passed away due to COVID-19. The seven-day average of daily new cases is 254. This continues the downward trend of the past week and although it is slow it is a positive result. The highest seven-day average was posted on January 12 at 321 and another seven-day average of 320 recorded on January 15. Further evaluation of the provincial trends has led Premier Moe to extend the current public health order which came into effect December 17th. Current measures will now remain in effect for a further three weeks until February 19, 2021. It is hoped that the three-week extension will prevent a spike in cases that might result from Valentine’s Day and the Family Day statutory holiday which happens on February 15th this year. Dr. Shahab added that the three-week window will take us to the February school break which may also provide a respite in transmissions. Public health officials will continue to monitor COVID-19 transmission trends throughout this period and make new recommendations prior to the expiration of these measures. Although Manitoba has enacted a 14-day quarantine period for those who travel intra-provincially, this is seen as an unnecessary move by Saskatchewan since we have a number of people who work across the borders of both Alberta and Manitoba and restrictions of that sort will severely impact those people. As long as individuals who must travel to other provinces for work follow all the necessary precautions, there should be no need to follow Manitoba. Dr. Shahab reminded all that non-essential travel is not recommended. As well the Premier has called for an increase in enforcement measures. Enforcement of public health orders is permitted under The Public Health Act, 1994. With that Public health inspectors will be supported in their efforts to ticket violators quickly, to ensure that businesses and events are brought into compliance as quickly as possible in addition to the enforcement efforts that have been undertaken by police agencies throughout the province. The Premier also stated that they will continue to release the names of those businesses who have been fined for non-compliance. Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Wakaw Recorder
First Nation leaders in Manitoba have shared that hundreds of Manitoba First Nation citizens have always been neglected in some aspect when it comes to health services. First Nation leaders are making a plea to the provincial and federal governments to take concrete action to reduce and eventually eliminate anti-Indigenous racism in Canada’s health care system. “It is hard to believe that in this day and age, we have to talk about racism,” said Grand Chief Garrison Settee, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. in a press conference on Facebook Live on Tuesday. “I thought that we as a nation have evolved to a place that we are more tolerant and accepting of one another, but in our health care system, that is not the case. Anti-Indigenous racism is apparent, and stories from our First Nations confirm that it does exist.” Organizations such as MKO and KIM have voiced out their frustrations as their members continue to face mistreatment in hospitals and nursing stations. It has even come to a point whereby First Nations would rather suffer quietly in their own homes because they know they will not receive adequate health services as they are continually being doubted by health officials. “No one should be doubted when they are looking for medical attention. They should be treated with respect and compassion. That is all we want,” said Chief Shirley Ducharme, O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation. On Jan.11, O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation Councillor Brian Wood’s wife, Carol, had a car accident that caused tremendous pain in her right leg. That day, Wood quickly brought her to the nursing station in South Indian Lake where a nurse attended to her for less than five minutes. The nurse diagnosed her and stated that since her leg does not appear to be broken, Wood should return home with his wife and schedule a flight to Thompson so that she can be reassessed the next week. When they got home, her leg started to swell and turned blue. Not trusting the nurse, he decided to call Ducharme about his dilemma. After speaking with her, he managed to approve his wife as an outpatient. Immediately, he and his wife drove four hours to Thompson so she could receive proper care. “The health staff there noticed that she wasn’t doing very well. They took her to the emergency room right away and did some x-rays. They found that there were two fractures in her leg and that there was something wrong with her knee,” said Wood. She was later sent to Winnipeg via medevac so that she could receive surgery. As of now, she is recuperating in Thompson with a 14-inch scar on her leg. Wood noted that this is only an example of First Nations people who cannot access medical care in their home community due to negligence. First Nations who have issues accessing medical systems in a culturally safe way may contact Bernice Thorassie, MKO’s Client Navigator for advocacy assistance at Bernice.email@example.com or call 204-307-5066. Dr. Barry Lavallee, Chief Executive Officer at Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin (KIM) Inc. said that racism in the health care system essentially promotes torture and suffering towards First Nation citizens attempting to seek help. On Wednesday and Thursday, MKO and KIM will hold an online event aimed to unify federal, provincial, and territorial governments, First Nations, Inuit, Métis Nation and health system partners to discuss and confirm actions planned and underway to address anti-Indigenous racism in Canada’s health care systems. Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Nicole Wong, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun
PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota Republican lawmakers on Tuesday revived a proposed law that would ban people from changing the sex designation on their birth certificates, even after a House committee rejected the bill that LGBTQ advocates decried as an attack on transgender people. Republicans in the House forced the bill to be brought to a vote by the full House through a rarely used legislative procedure known as a “smoke out.” At least one-third of the House supported the procedure. A committee of lawmakers had earlier Tuesday dismissed the bill on a seven-to-six vote after five Republicans joined two Democrats to oppose the bill, which would stop people from changing the sex listed on birth certificates after one year from birth. The proposal will be delivered to the full chamber for consideration by Wednesday. Law changes that affect transgender people have become a perennial topic in the South Dakota legislature, although transgender advocates say they are making progress in getting their voices heard and issues understood. A handful of advocates gathered in the pre-dawn cold outside the statehouse on Tuesday, waving rainbow and transgender flags. “I want transgender people to know they have a home here, a family here,” said Seymour Otterman, a nonbinary transgender person who testified to lawmakers on their experience living in the state. The legislative efforts to address transgender issues were spearheaded by Rep. Fred Deutsch, a Watertown Republican who introduced this year's proposal. After the bill was rejected in committee, he said he had heard from fellow Republicans that they would like to debate and vote on the bill in a meeting of the full House. Deutsch pushed a bill last year that would have banned puberty blockers and gender confirmation surgery for transgender children under 16. And in 2016, he introduced a bill that would have limited the bathrooms and locker rooms that transgender students can use. Other Republican lawmakers have pushed the state's high school athletics association to reconsider its policy of allowing transgender students to compete as the gender with which they identify. But Deutsch's efforts have increasingly struggled to gain traction: His 2016 bill cleared the House and Senate before being vetoed by former Gov. Dennis Daugaard, a Republican; his bill last year passed the House before being halted by a Senate committee; this year's bill failed to clear its first hurdle in the House and had to be revived by the “smoke out" procedure. Deutsch defended his efforts, saying he was not motivated by hate but by social importance. He argued that the state's judges have struggled with how to handle requests from people who want to change the sex on their birth certificates and that keeping vital records on sex is an important aspect of government business. “Either biology matters or it doesn’t,” he said. South Dakota courts have received 11 requests for updates to the sex listed on birth certificates since 2017, according to the court system. Rep. Kevin Jensen, a Canton Republican who supported the bill, said he doesn't feel it discriminates against transgender people, and that a birth certificate serves as an objective record of someone's sex at birth. But LGBTQ people see Deutch's efforts as an attack intended to send a message that they are not welcome in a state dominated by conservative politics. They warned that barring people from updating their birth certificates was dangerous, exposing them to violence, hate and discrimination. They could be unwillingly exposed as transgender when they apply for jobs, housing or health care. “It’s incredibly disrespectful that we have to address this every year. It’s infuriating,” said Rep. Erin Healy, a Democrat from Sioux Falls. “We are disrupting the lives of a vulnerable population, and I think what we are missing today is empathy and compassion.” Opponents to the bill pointed out that similar bans, such as a 2018 law passed in Idaho, have been struck down by federal courts as unconstitutional. LGBTQ advocates have also pointed to President Joe Biden's order reversing a Trump-era Pentagon policy largely barring transgender people from military service as a sign that the federal government is taking a stronger approach to protections for transgender people. Otterman said Deutsch's proposed ban did not come as a surprise, even though they are struck by increasing waves of anger and sadness each January when the bills come. “In most places in South Dakota, it is a very lonely, isolating experience because of this sentiment,” they said. Healy said bills that delve into transgender issues can be harmful, even if they often fail. “It's an emotional roller coaster,” Healy said. “To be so happy and relieved that it died, only to see it resurrected and have that threat all over again.” Stephen Groves, The Associated Press
MONTREAL — CN says it will reinstate its guidance for 2021 and increase the company's dividend by seven per cent after seeing improved demand for freight in the last three months of 2020. The Montreal-based railway says its net income surged 17 per cent in the fourth quarter to $1.02 billion or $1.43 per share. That was up from $873 million or $1.22 per share in the prior year. Adjusted profits for the three months ended Dec. 31 were up 14 per cent to $1.02 billion or $1.43 per share, from $896 million or $1.25 per share in last year's quarter. Revenue increased two per cent, or $72 million, to $3.66 billion. CN Rail was expected to report $1.41 per share in adjusted profits on $3.62 billion of revenues, according to financial data firm Refinitiv. CN reported operating income of $1.4 billion, compared with $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019. JJ Ruest, CN's president and CEO, says that while the recovery was uneven across sectors, the company was pleased with the growth in volume demand during the fourth quarter. CN also said it planned to announce $3 billion in capital investments to stay ahead of demand. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:CNR) The Canadian Press
A man carrying several knives, who was reportedly motivated to "stop the election," was arrested Tuesday outside a business in Deer Lake, N.L., which included the office of a local candidate, police said. The campaign team for Liberal Leader Andrew Furey said the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary had told Furey he was likely the intended target. The RCMP said in a news release that after a high-speed car chase, they arrested the man in a parking lot and seized a "large quantity of various knives" found inside his truck. The RCMP has declined an interview and requests for more details. The force said they received reports of a man acting erratically in Bonne Bay on Newfoundland's west coast, claiming he was headed to Deer Lake to "stop the election." According to police, he also "made references to firearms." Officers said they found the man in a truck driving on Route 430, north of Cormack, and tried to stop him. The man didn't pull over, but instead sped up, driving dangerously fast, police said. According to the release, responding officers kept the truck in their sights during the chase, which lasted about 10 minutes. Police said the man tore through Deer Lake before stopping in the parking lot of a business containing the office of a political candidate. The campaign team for Liberal Leader Andrew Furey said Tuesday evening that they had been informed by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC), another police force in the province, that Furey was the likely target. However, the Progressive Conservative campaign team said Tuesday in a statement that "after speaking with law enforcement, we do not believe the incident was targeted to any individual." CBC has requested more details from the RNC. Furey declined an interview Tuesday evening, as did Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie. Furey campaigning in Labrador The Liberal leader's campaign team issued a statement on the alleged attempted attack. "This is a traumatic incident, for everyone working and volunteering in Newfoundland and Labrador's election. There is no place for violence in our society," Furey's campaign spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "Our team is connecting with the leadership of the other political parties and connecting with our team members on the ground in Deer Lake to offer support. "The police investigation is ongoing, but from what we know so far we'd like to thank the members of the public who stepped in to do what they could to prevent an unimaginable outcome." Furey was campaigning Tuesday in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador, and according to his itinerary, plans to stop in St. Anthony — about 400 kilometres from Deer Lake — on Wednesday. On Tuesday evening, the New Democratic Party campaign team said they had postponed a planned policy announcement from leader Alison Coffin "in light of this evening's events." Coffin was slated to speak in the St. John's area Wednesday. That announcement has been pushed to Thursday, a campaign spokesperson said. The spokesperson later clarified that Coffin is not concerned for her safety, and is "treating this as an isolated, if alarming, incident." Police said they expect to charge the man who was arrested with several criminal and traffic offences. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Niagara Region big-box stores were pulled into the province’s enforcement blitz this past weekend. Announced earlier this month by labour minister, Monte McNaughton, the big-box store blitz focuses on proper masking, physical distancing and complying with health and safety measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Over 125 Niagara businesses were visited on the weekend by ministry inspectors, press secretary Harry Godfrey confirmed in an email on Tuesday. Of those stores, “only 54 per cent were in compliance,” McNaughton told Niagara This Week during a Monday (Jan. 25) phone call. The minister called the weekend result “extremely disappointing.” Coincidentally, inspections of 267 Niagara businesses by the province in a blitz this past December also found that only 54 per cent of the businesses visited were in compliance with COVID-19 safety measures. Walmart and Costco locations in Niagara were visited in the recent blitz, along with grocery store chains under the Loblaws banner. Godfrey confirmed that in Niagara, inspectors found 68 “total contraventions” with at least 22 tickets issued and five occupational health and safety orders. The three most common violations were inadequate pre-screening of workers and customers, exceeding capacity limits, and a lack of safety plans, according to McNaughton. Gone are the opportunities for education, said the minister. “We’re past that now. It’s about enforcing the laws that are in place; businesses at this point in the pandemic know what they need to do to keep COVID-19 from entering the workplace,” he said, adding that big corporations need to “take this seriously” and “step up.” Customers can also be ticketed by inspectors for refusing to wear a mask. “The ministry of labour has been given, as of a week ago, powers to actually ticket people if you’re not wearing masks properly and not physically distancing,” the minister said. On Monday, McNaughton was unsure exactly how many inspectors were involved locally, but said 107 were involved in simultaneous blitzes in Ottawa, Windsor, Niagara and Durham over the weekend. In total, over 640 businesses we revisited resulting in over 80 tickets and 100 orders being issued. Earlier this month, Niagara Region staff completed their own inspections over seven days, visiting a total of 62 businesses, issuing seven formal warnings and three fines of $750 each. — With files from The St. Catharines Standard Jordan Snobelen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Niagara this Week
Fueled by a sparkling attacking display, Manchester City's players powered to the top of the Premier League for the first time this season — and even the opposition are stopping to admire their work. In a comical exhibit for VAR's ever-lengthening highlights reel, West Bromwich Albion's defenders virtually stopped in their tracks and looked on as Joao Cancelo curled a shot into the top corner for the second of City's goals in a 5-0 rout on Tuesday. After all, the assistant referee had raised the flag for offside moments earlier but City, unlike West Brom, played on as Bernardo Silva collected the ball and fed Cancelo, who — unchallenged — picked his spot from the edge of the area. A video review showed Silva was actually onside and the goal was allowed to stand. City was on course to match its biggest league win of the season and, on the evidence of this game and the last couple of months, Pep Guardiola's team is going to be hard to stop. Make it seven straight wins in the league — and 11 in all competitions — for City in an ominous run of results. City became the ninth side to finish a day in first place this season. Even if Manchester United reclaims the lead on Wednesday by beating Sheffield United, City looks to be the team to beat. West Ham climbed to fourth place by winning 3-2 at Crystal Palace, while struggling Newcastle slumped to a 2-1 home loss to Leeds. Arsenal avenged a defeat to Southampton in the FA Cup at the weekend by beating the Saints 3-1 in the league. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Steve Douglas, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Actor Elliot Page and Emma Portner said Tuesday that they are divorcing after three years of marriage. “After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce following our separation last summer," the Canadian couple said in a joint statement. "We have the utmost respect for each other and remain close friends.” They gave no further details. Page, the 33-year-old Oscar-nominated star of “Juno,” “Inception” and “The Umbrella Academy,” and Portner, a 26-year-old choreographer and dance teacher, announced their marriage early in 2018 after only having hinted at their relationship on social media. Portner was vocal in her support of Page when the actor came out as transgender in December, an announcement that was widely greeted as a watershed moment for the trans community in Hollywood. The Associated Press
Residents of Île-à-la-Crosse will now have a new place to gather with the completion of their community hall. However, with COVID-19, this is a bittersweet time for the community given that public health restrictions will keep them from using it in the coming months, said Mayor Duane Favel. “Having that space that holds community gatherings and such as weddings and other activities that we like to do within our communities, I think it's going to be a wonderful place for people to gather and socialize in a healthy way.” Île-à-la-Crosse used their Municipal Economic Enhancement Program funding that was announced back in May to finally get the project underway to replace the ageing community hall that was donated in 1980. Additional funding has also been secured, Favel said. The concrete foundation and utility lines are still in good shape, said Île-à-la-Crosse councillor Gerald Roy for an article back in September, so those will remain as they replace the building. The community is looking forward to being able to use the facility, Favel said. Becky Zimmer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
Australia recorded a 10th straight day of no new local COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, allowing its most populous state of New South Wales (NSW) to relax coronavirus restrictions after controlling a fast-spreading cluster. Victoria state, which is hosting the Australia Open tennis tournament, has gone three weeks without a local case. Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt tweeted Wednesday marked the 10th day of no community transmission of COVID-19 Australia wide, adding the country's success comes at a time when global coronavirus cases have crossed 100 million with the death toll surpassing 2 million.
DEER LAKE, N.L. — Police in Newfoundland and Labrador said they arrested a man with a "large quantity" of knives in a parking lot outside an election candidate's office Tuesday.A spokeswoman for Liberal Leader and incumbent Premier Andrew Furey said his campaign has been advised he was likely the intended target."The police investigation is ongoing, but from what we know so far we’d like to thank the members of the public who stepped in to do what they could to prevent an unimaginable outcome, and all police officers who ensured the safety of the public," Furey spokeswoman Meghan McCabe said in a release Tuesday evening."This is a traumatic incident, for everyone working and volunteering in Newfoundland and Labrador’s election."In a news release, RCMP said they were notified Tuesday morning about a man behaving strangely, talking about guns and saying he was going to Deer Lake in western Newfoundland to stop the provincial election, which is set for Feb. 13. Deer Lake is in the Humber-Gros Morne electoral district, where Furey is running, though McCabe confirmed he was not there at the time of the incident.Police said they found the man driving a truck just outside of Deer Lake and tried unsuccessfully to flag him down. A high-speed chase ensued as the man drove through the town and finally stopped in a parking lot at a local business, in which a provincial election candidate maintains an office, police said. "The man was removed from the vehicle and was arrested in the parking lot. Officers located and seized a large quantity of various knives inside the vehicle," RCMP said in the release. "The truck was seized and impounded."The release did not name the candidate but McCabe said in a statement that Furey's campaign was told he was likely the target. "Our team is connecting with the leadership of the other political parties and connecting with our team members on the ground in Deer Lake to offer support," she said. She said Furey would release another statement as more details become available.Police said there is no longer a concern for public safety and that they anticipate the man will be charged with "a number of criminal and traffic offences." The investigation is ongoing, they said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press