China has acknowledged Joe Biden as president-elect of the United States in a release from the foreign ministry saying it respects the choice of the American people.
China has acknowledged Joe Biden as president-elect of the United States in a release from the foreign ministry saying it respects the choice of the American people.
The new Region of Queens Municipality (RQM) council has agreed to pay $1,765 to former councillor Susan MacLeod, for personal legal fees she chalked up in 2019. However, taxpayers are not being told why she incurred the expense. The decision to pay MacLeod’s legal fees was announced in council on November 10, following an in-camera meeting at which the issue was discussed. When asked about the motion concerning the repayment, which was read by councillor Ralph Gidney, RQM’s new mayor Darlene Norman commented that a municipal policy “ensures that appointed officials are protected in cases of civic or criminal action as a result of his or her performance of their duties. “Councillors are treated as a staff member in legal matters, and because it was an in-camera item, our comments are basically what that motion stated.” RQM’s policy number 21.03, to which the mayor referred, states at length: “The mayor and every councillor of the Region of Queens Municipality and their heirs and legal representatives of such person, in the absence of any dishonesty on the part of such person, shall be indemnified by the Region of Queens Municipality against, and it shall be the duty of the council, out of the funds of the Region of Queens Municipality, to pay all costs, losses and expense, including any amount paid to settle an action or claim to satisfy a judgment that such mayor or councillor may incur or become liable to pay in respect of any claim made against such person in any civil, criminal or administrative action or proceeding to which such person is made a party by reason of being a mayor or councillor of the Region of Queens Municipality whether the Region of Queens Municipality is a claimant or party to such action or proceeding or otherwise.” However, Norman would not explain to what legal issue the expense related, nor is the expense listed in the former councillor’s list of expenses posted on the municipality’s website, along with other council members’ expenses. The mayor declined to comment any further on the issue. “In-camera items have to remain in-camera and, as such, it remains so,” she said. However, while the purpose of the meeting was indicated on the agenda as a “personnel matter,” under Nova Scotia’s Municipal Government Act (MGA) councillors are not employees of the municipality and employees cannot be councillors. “Councillors are elected officials and not considered to be ‘personnel’ or staff of the municipality,” Krista Higdon, a spokesperson for the provincial Department of Municipal Affairs, said in an email. “Council must determine whether it is appropriate to go into a closed session (in camera) based on the requirements in section 22 of the Municipal Government Act,” she added. Nonetheless, Heather Cook, RQM’s communications coordinator, maintained that, from the municipality’s perspective, all councillors are considered to be employees. “Council members are on the municipal payroll and are considered employees of the municipality, and discussion of the item was subject to being held in-camera,” she said in an email. When it was suggested that taxpayers might be curious as to why the council is footing the legal bill of a former councillor, Mayor Norman noted, “it is a matter of past council.” She reiterated, “it was respecting, according to our policy, a matter in relation to that person’s duties or role as a councillor and that follows the policy.”Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin
NEW YORK — Twelve things worth noting about Tuesday's nominations for the 2021 Grammy Awards, from snubbed singers to posthumous nominees to famous folks competing for awards.___SNUBBED SINGERSThe Weeknd sings about being a “star boy" but the Grammys' response to his latest album? Bye boy.The pop star was severely snubbed this year despite having one of the year's biggest albums with “After Hours" and topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “Blinding Lights" and “Heartless."Luke Combs also walked away without a single nomination though he was country music's most successful musician this year. Morgan Wallen also had a great year in country music, but didn't earn any nods. And the Chicks' first album in 14 years was not recognized.A group of young R&B female acts moving the needle also missed out on nominations, including Summer Walker, Teyana Taylor and Kehlani. Late rapper Juice WRLD, Brandy and Chris Brown were also snubbed.Though they received nominations in their genre categories, acts such as Lady Gaga, Fiona Apple and Harry Styles didn't pick up bids for album, song or record of the year.K-POP KINGSFor years BTS have said their dream is to be Grammy-nominated. And they've finally achieved it.The K-pop band is nominated for best pop duo/group performance with “Dynamite," their first song to hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.Others who scored their first-ever nominations include Harry Styles, Megan Thee Stallion, the Strokes, Jay Electronica, Michael Kiwanuka and Mickey Guyton.DR. LUKE aka TYSON TRAXDr. Luke marked a major comeback this year, producing hits for Saweetie, Juice WRLD and Doja Cat, who is signed to his record label. And it earned him his first Grammy nomination in six years.The hit “Say So" marked a breakthrough for Doja Cat and Dr. Luke, who last launched a No. 1 smash with Katy Perry's “Dark Horse" in 2014, the same year his former collaborator Kesha accused him of sexual assault during their yearslong partnership. Dr. Luke has vigorously denied the allegations.“Say So" is nominated for record of the year, an award given to the song's artist and producer, helping Dr. Luke earn a nomination. But instead of using his known name on the credits for the song, he's listed as Tyson Traxe.Other monikers Dr. Luke has used are Loctor Duke and MADE IN CHINA.BLACK LIVES MATTERReflecting the current times, Black artists released songs this year about the Black Lives Matter movement and the international protests that took place following the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others.And those songs are nominated for Grammys.Beyoncé's “Black Parade," released on Juneteenth, is up for four awards including record and song of the year. The protest song “I Can't Breathe" by H.E.R. is nominated for song of the year and best R&B song, while Lil Baby's “The Bigger Picture" — which reached the No. 3 spot on the pop charts — is up for best rap song and best rap performance. And Anderson .Paak's “Lockdown," about police brutality and racial injustice, is up for best melodic rap performance and best music video.Country singer Mickey Guyton wrote “Black Like Me" a year before Floyd's death, but rushed to release the song because she said the time was right. The poignant track earned a nomination for best country solo performance.LONG LIVE THE DEADJohn Prine died of complications of the coronavirus in April, but his spirit is all over the Grammy Awards.The icon earned two posthumous nominations, including best American Roots performance and best American Roots song for “I Remember Everything."Breakthrough rapper Pop Smoke died this year but his hit song “Dior," a double platinum success, is nominated for best rap performance. Nipsey Hussle, who died last year and won two posthumous Grammys earlier this year, scored a nomination for best rap performance for his guest appearance on Big Sean's “Deep Reverence."Leonard Cohen has earned multiple posthumous nominations since his death in 2016 and is nominated for best folk album with “Thanks for the Dance," his fifteenth and final studio album.And songwriter LaShawn Daniels, who died last year and won a Grammy for co-writing Destiny's Child's “Say My Name," is competing for best gospel performance/song with “Come Together" by his close friend Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins. Daniels and Jerkins started writing the song about the world coming together 17 years ago but Jerkins released it this year during the pandemic to offer healing and hope to listeners.A-LIST ACTSOscar winners Meryl Streep and Renée Zellweger are vying for Grammy gold.Streep is nominated for best spoken world album for “Charlotte’s Web," pitting her against MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, journalist Ronan Farrow and “Jeopardy!” record-holder Ken Jennings, who is nominated for reading “Alex Trebex — The Answer Is...”Zellweger won her second Academy Award for “Judy" and her performance on the soundtrack earned her a nomination for best traditional pop vocal album.Cynthia Erivo, a Grammy, Emmy and Tony winner, scored a nomination for best written song for visual media with “Stand Up" from “Harriet." The song, which she co-wrote with Joshuah Brian Campbell, also earned an Oscar nomination earlier this year.And the best comedy album award is stacked with famous folks, including Tiffany Haddish, Jerry Seinfeld, Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan and Bill Burr.WOMEN WHO ROCKFemale acts dominate in the best rock song and best rock performance categories, with performers like Fiona Apple, Brittany Howard, HAIM, Grace Potter, Phoebe Bridgers and Big Thief — led by Adrianne Lenker — in contention.And while country radio is overloaded with male artists, the Grammys' best country album category is packed with women, including Miranda Lambert, Brandy Clark, Ashley McBryde and Ingrid Andress.IT'S BRITTANY B(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)!Brittany Howard has already won four Grammys with her talented band Alabama Shakes, but her first solo album is getting tons of Grammy love.“Jaime" was released last year and is one of those rare albums competing for multiple genres at the Grammys. The album is nominated for best alternative music album, her song “Stay High" is up for best rock song and best rock performance, the track “Goat Head" is nominated for best R&B performance, and “Short and Sweet" is competing for best American Roots performance.JAY-Z, THE SONGWRITERS, SHINESHappy wife, happy life: Jay-Z has lent his songwriting hand to his wife Beyoncé and he's earned Grammy nominations for it.Jay-Z co-wrote Beyoncé's “Black Parade" and “Savage" with Megan Thee Stallion, and now he's nominated for song of the year, best R&B song and best rap song — categories reserved for songwriters.Jay-Z and Beyoncé have won five Grammys together.HIP-HOP IS DEADDespite rap music being today's most popular genre, no rap albums are nominated for the top prize, album of the year.Expected nominees included Roddy Ricch's “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial," Lil Baby’s “My Turn" and DaBaby's “Blame It on Baby" or “Kirk."But those albums didn't even score nomination in the best rap album category. Instead, nominees were focused on rap purists and respected lyricists instead of the young performers dominating the pop charts.Nominees for best rap album include Nas' “King’s Disease," Jay Electronica’s “A Written Testimony,” Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist's “Alfredo," “The Allegory" by Royce Da 5’9” and D Smoke's “Black Habits."PAUL McCARTNEY, THE ART DIRECTORPaul McCartney scored his 79th Grammy nominations this year — as an art director.The former Beatle is nominated for best boxed or special limited edition package for the collector's edition of his 10th solo album, “Flaming Pie." He's listed as one of the art directors on the project, and shares his nomination with Linn Wie Andersen, Simon Earith and James Musgrave.McCartney is the owner of 18 Grammys.PAIN OF THE PANDEMICBecause of the coronavirus pandemic, the Best Immersive Audio Album Craft Committee was unable to meet to decide winners for the best immersive audio album Grammy. The judging of the entries has been postponed, and the nominees will be announced next year. The winners for the 2021 award will be announced at the 2022 show.Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press
Police have laid charges against a man after more than $145,000 worth of cocaine was seized at a rural residence in Rocky View County.ALERT Calgary's organized crime and gang team carried out a search warrant on Nov. 18 with help from Calgary police and Airdrie RCMP officers.Police seized the following from the residence: * 1,459 grams of cocaine. * 292 grams of an unknown pink powder. * 134 grams of an unknown white powder. * 6 grams of psilocybin. * 0.3 grams of methamphetamine. * Various rounds of ammunition. * $120 cash.Jeff Bussey, 40, was arrested at a traffic stop in Crossfield, Alta., and charged with possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking and possession of ammunition contrary to a prohibition order.The unknown powders are being sent to a Health Canada laboratory for identification and analysis."Drug trafficking offences are magnified in rural communities and, more often than not, produce a number of ancillary offences related to addiction, such as property crimes and theft," said ALERT Calgary Staff Sgt. Jeff Ringelberg in a release.
People living in the Northwest Territories and Yukon will hear their territory's public alert system on their radio, TV and compatible wireless devices Wednesday.The N.W.T. government will conduct its test at 9:55 a.m. local time while in Yukon, the test will take place at 1:55 p.m. local time, according to a news release from Pelmorex Corp., which operates the technical infrastructure of the Alert Ready system across Canada.Nunavut will not be participating in the test. It will however be conducted in all 10 provinces on Wednesday."It provides an opportunity to validate and improve the performance and reliability of the system and to ensure it operates as it is intended in the event of an imminent life-threatening situation," the news release from Pelmorex states.According to the company, the national alert system has delivered more than 170 emergency alerts since the start of the year, related to events such as tornadoes, flooding, fires and Amber Alerts.Check wireless device compatibility, says N.W.T. gov'tThe N.W.T. government said in a news release Tuesday that people may not receive the alert on their wireless devices "for a variety of reasons, including device compatibility, connection to an LTE network, cell tower coverage, device software and settings."It says it encourages the public to check their device compatibility on their wireless service provider's website and make sure they have the latest software update installed.The N.W.T. government said the territory's alert system, which is part of the national public alerting system, is still under development, but is expected to be fully implemented in 2021.
The Venables Theatre is postponing and cancelling some scheduled shows following new public health measures laid out by the province last week. All events at the theatre scheduled prior to Dec. 7 have been cancelled or postponed following provincial health orders banning social gatherings, even in theatres with appropriate safety measures and events with less than 50 people attending. Mike Delamont’s Socially Distanced Stand-Up Comedy show scheduled for Nov. 28 has been cancelled. Two shows included in the Venables Alive series featuring local artists have been postponed including Great White North and Kristi Neumann. The shows will likely be moved to February at the earliest, according to theatre manager Leah Foreman, though it is still unclear when shows will be permitted to resume. The theatre is one of the few in the region to continue to operate successfully during the pandemic, however the new public health measures are throwing a wrench into the works. “We were having really good success with our shows. Lots of people were coming out to see them. We were keeping people safe and people and people felt comfortable here so I think we were doing great,” Foreman said. “But I mean, we’re all in this together and now we just have to hunker down.” The successful operation at the Venables since it reopened this fall is in part due to the support the theatre receives from the community. “We used all our tools we had. We talked to health officials, I’ve been on calls with venues across the province just talking about best practices and how do we all do this. Then I felt confident that I had the information on it that I needed and the logistics and stuff in order to reopen. I think it was just a matter of being really knowledgable about what was going on,” Foreman said. “I think one of the reasons we were able to do it was just the fact that we have such great support from our community and we were able to focus on figuring this out.” Following last week’s public health orders, movie theatres remained open over the weekend in B.C. — which was considered a bit of a thorn in the side of the Venables Theatre management — however, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry clarified Monday that the public health order cancelling events applied to movie theatres as well. However, Foreman still questions why bars and pubs can operate safely while the theatre is ordered to shut down for at least two weeks. “We aren’t a social gathering. You come in, you watch a show, you leave. You’re not congregating in the lobby, you’re enjoying a show in a socially-distanced way. So we did feel that we were being penalized for no reason,” Foreman said. The Venables box office is now open by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call 250-498-1626. Most refunds can be done over the phone or will be processed automatically.Dale Boyd, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Times-Chronicle
New research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) found that one-third of children who tested positive for COVID-19 had no symptoms, but in those that did, loss of taste/smell, headache, fever and nausea/vomiting were most strongly associated with positive cases.Other flu-like symptoms — including cough, runny nose and sore throat — were the most prominent symptoms in positive cases, but the study suggests they couldn't be used to accurately predict which cases were positive because they were also most prominent in COVID negative cases.The study, published Monday, was done by researchers at the University of Alberta who analyzed 2,463 COVID-19 test results from children in the province between April 13 to Sept. 30. They compared symptoms of those who tested positive (1,987) with those who were negative (476) for infection.Eight per cent of kids with positive COVID tests had loss of taste/smell, versus one per cent of kids who tested negative for the coronavirus, and four per cent had nausea or vomiting (vs. less than one per cent of those testing negative).Headache was a symptom in 16 per cent of positive cases, compared to six per cent in negative cases, and 26 per cent of positive cases had fever, compared to 15 per cent.Dr. Finlay McAlister, one of the authors of the study, says those symptoms were associated more with having COVID rather than some other virus. He says cough, runny nose, and sore throat were equally common in kids who didn't have COVID but may have had another virus.Symptoms of fever or chills, cough and runny nose in this study (19 to 26 per cent) were less frequent than in studies conducted in hospital settings. The authors of the study suggest that was because this was a community-based cohort and cases of disease were likely more mild than those seen in hospitals.Children aged four and younger were more likely to test negative, and teenagers (ages 13 to 17) were more likely to test positive.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.The Canadian Press
Children under the age of five are amazing sponges for information. Ask any childhood researcher, or any parent who has told a story to another adult, only to have a child bring it up at an inopportune moment. But that sponge-like nature, if encouraged and nurtured, means a child has the opportunity to grow into their best self, and have the tools and capabilities that will allow them to succeed in whichever way they see fit. “We know that the child’s first experiences with language and culture come from within his own family, and within early childhood settings.” says Josée Latulippe, manager of Collège Boréal’s Centre d’innovation sociale pour l’enfant et la famille (CISEF – Child and family social innovation centre). It is for this reason that the FrancoFUN program was created by the Association francophone à l’éducation des services à l’enfance de l’Ontario (AFÉSEO – Francophone association for early childhood education) as a way to ensure that early childhood educators are not just offered the chance to enhance early French-language learning for children, but to ensure that they can view their classroom through the Francophone lens, and build identity as well as skill set. “Identity building is vital, “Latulippe said. “Because studies show that it is a key mechanism to ensure the vitality of minority-language communities and prepare young children to be educated in French when they enter elementary school.” And it is this “continuum of language,” as Latulippe calls it, that ensures language and cultural identity survives. As children here in Sudbury, both Anglophone and Francophone, have the ability to enjoy their education in French from childhood to post-secondary, it ensures that a culture and language that could be considered already marginalized is one that will last the test of time, regardless of the surrounding majority. The FrancoFUN program focused not just on providing language to students, but also the cultural identity behind the Franco-Ontarien legacy. It is a specific culture, with a specific dialect — headed to ‘camp’ anyone — and stories and history all its own. And it is one that, if shared, can enrich a child’s ability to learn a language, and bring together a community that is consistently working to preserve its cultural identity. And now that the FrancoFUN program has been in place for some time, helping Early Childhood Educators find ways to continually incorporate cultural, historical, language-based, and just plain fun aspects of the Franco-Ontarien peoples, they are now ready to measure the success, and share their methods with others. “We are always reflecting,” said Latulippe, and notes the questions they continually ask: “How can I better my program? How can I make it more accessible? Do we have a welcoming structure in place to welcome families that are French and English?” For it is not just fully Francophone families that can benefit from this type of study, and action. If you would like your child to speak French, but your home is mixed-language, or perhaps somewhat disconnected to the culture, then this type of programming will not only offer you the opportunity to increase your child’s chances of success, as Latulippe notes that research shows language learning is greatly helped by immersion into the culture of the language, not just the words. And this is especially true for parents who would like their children to speak French, but do not do so themselves. Simply by building a bridge between your home and the school, said Latulippe, you can enrich your child’s language learning without knowing a word yourself. With a program like FrancoFUN, you can learn about the culture as well. “It doesn’t mean you need to take French classes,” Latulippe said. “You just need to support the culture in your home. It’s because we are all the first educators.” And now, as the program has raised awareness among early childhood educators about their role in encouraging Francophone identity in their classrooms, it’s time to find out how the tools are working. From now until March of 2021, a survey of the educators and their thoughts and feeling about the program will be gathered, and shared amongst interested parties. “We are hoping we will have a tool to promote culture and language identity within Early Childhood settings,” said Latulippe, “which can then be shared within the community, with teachers at the college, and with the Franco-Ontarien culture really.” And it is this tool that Latulippe hopes will encourage not just French-language learning across Ontario, but also an understanding of the unique and beautiful qualities that make a culture, and a portrait of those who have come before, and those who will come after. Because the loss of any culture is a horrific idea; but the loss of folklore, of La Nuit sur l'étang, of ‘Notre Place’, of CANO, and of tourtière and tarte au sucre, is much too tragic to imagine. Jenny Lamothe is a Local Journalism Reporter at Sudbury.com, covering issues in the Black, immigrant and Francophone communities. She is also a freelance writer and voice actor. Contact her through her website, JennyLamothe.com.Jenny Lamothe, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro called the display outside his constituency office "offensive".
A big-box pet store has plans to jump into Liverpool, eyeing opportunity in a county that has been without a pet shop for the past eight years. Pet Valu has confirmed it’s going to open a retail outlet in the town. “Pet Valu is really excited to be opening a store in Liverpool in mid-2021,” Katherine Clark, a spokesperson for the pet store chain, said in an email. Liverpool’s last pet store, Kameko’s Cove & Aquatics, closed in February, 2012 after five years in business. The store sold tropical fish, reptiles and other small pets, along with pet supplies. Pet Valu’s Liverpool plans include the construction of a new 4,000 square-foot building, which will be located beside the Dollarama Store on Queens Place Drive. One of Canada’s largest pet specialty retail chains with 1,200 stores in North America, Pet Valu Canada Inc. started in Toronto in 1976. It currently has 11 stores in Nova Scotia.Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin
Unlimited internet packages will be available to residents in seven northern communities starting Dec. 1, after the CRTC gave the North's telecommunications giant the green light on Tuesday.Northwestel applied for unlimited internet packages for a handful of communities across the North in October with hopes of offering them to residents by early November. However, the CRTC delayed approval, saying it needed more time to consider the company's application.On Tuesday, a post on the CRTC's website showed the commission had approved Northwestel's proposal on an interim basis."The Commission considers it appropriate to approve the application on an interim basis prior to reviewing the whole record, in order to address customers' increased Internet data needs and alleviate their increased Internet usage costs in the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic," the website says."The Commission will address its final determination regarding the unlimited Internet data packages and rates that are under consideration in the application, and any related issues if necessary, in a subsequent order that will be based on the complete record."The seven northern communities are: * Whitehorse. * Carcross, Yukon. * Yellowknife. * Hay River, N.W.T. * Fort Smith, N.W.T. * Norman Wells, N.W.T. * Fort Nelson, B.C.Northwestel said in a news release it will start taking orders from customers wanting to upgrade their internet packages on Dec. 1, when they become available."It's great to be able to bring new unlimited options to many customers in time for a holiday season, especially with so many of us sticking close to home," said Tammy April, Northwestel's vice-president of consumer markets, in a statement.
Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty Tuesday to three criminal charges, formally taking responsibility for its part in an opioid epidemic that has contributed to hundreds of thousands of deaths but also angering critics who want to see individuals held accountable, in addition to the company.In a virtual hearing with a federal judge in Newark, New Jersey, the OxyContin maker admitted impeding the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's efforts to combat the addiction crisis.Purdue acknowledged that it had not maintained an effective program to prevent prescription drugs from being diverted to the black market, even though it had told the DEA it did have such a program, and that it provided misleading information to the agency as a way to boost company manufacturing quotas.It also admitted paying doctors through a speakers program to induce them to write more prescriptions for its painkillers.And it admitted paying an electronic medical records company to send doctors information on patients that encouraged them to prescribe opioids.The guilty pleas were entered by Purdue board chairperson Steve Miller on behalf of the company. They were part of a criminal and civil settlement announced last month between the Stamford, Connecticut-based company and the Justice Department.The deal includes $8.3 billion in penalties and forfeitures, but the company is on the hook for a direct payment to the federal government of only a fraction of that, $225 million. It would pay the smaller amount as long as it executes a settlement moving through federal bankruptcy court with state and local governments and other entities suing it over the toll of the opioid epidemic.Members of the wealthy Sackler family who own the company have also agreed to pay $225 million to the federal government to settle civil claims. No criminal charges have been filed against family members, although their deal leaves open the possibility of that in the future.“Having our plea accepted in federal court, and taking responsibility for past misconduct, is an essential step to preserve billions of dollars of value" for the settlement it is pursuing through bankruptcy court, the company said in a statement.“We continue to work tirelessly to build additional support for a proposed bankruptcy settlement, which would direct the overwhelming majority of the settlement funds to state, local and tribal governments for the purpose of abating the opioid crisis," the statement read.Purdue's plea to federal crimes provides only minor comfort for advocates who want to see harsher penalties for the OxyContin maker and its owners.The ongoing drug overdose crisis, which appears to be worsening during the coronavirus pandemic, has contributed to the deaths of more than 470,000 Americans over the past two decades, most of those from opioids both legal and illicit.Cynthia Munger, whose son is in recovery from opioid addiction after being prescribed OxyContin more than a decade ago as a high school baseball player with a shoulder injury, is among the activists pushing for Purdue owners and company officials to be charged with crimes.“Until we do that and we stop accusing brick and mortar and not individuals, nothing will change,” said Munger, who lives in Wayne, Pennsylvania.The attorneys general for about half the states opposed the federal settlement, as well as the company’s proposed settlement in bankruptcy court. In the bankruptcy case, Purdue has proposed transforming into a public benefit corporation with its proceeds going to help address the opioid crisis.The attorneys general and some activists are upset that despite the Sacklers giving up control of the company, the family remains wealthy and its members will not face prison or other individual penalties.The activists say there’s no difference between the actions of the company and its owners, who also controlled Purdue's board until the past few years.Last week, as part of a motion to get access to more family documents, the attorneys general who oppose the deals filed documents that put members of the Sackler family at the centre of Purdue’s continued push for OxyContin sales even as opioid-related deaths rose.The newly public documents include emails among consultants from McKinsey & Corp. hired by the company to help boost the business. One from 2008, a year after the company first pleaded guilty to opioid-related crimes, says board members, including a Sackler family member, “‘blessed’ him to do whatever he thinks is necessary to ‘save the business.’”Another McKinsey internal email details how a midlevel Purdue employee felt about the company. It offers more evidence of the Sacklers being hands-on, saying, “The brothers who started the company viewed all employees like the guys who ‘trim the hedges’ — employees should do exactly what’s asked of them and not say too much.”The documents also describe the company trying to “supercharge” opioid sales in 2013, as reaction to the overdose crisis was taking a toll on prescribing.Geoff Mulvihill, The Associated Press
COVID-19 tests will be available at the Rizzardo Health and Wellness Centre in Innisfil. Starting on Nov. 25, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) will open a COVID-19 testing clinic inside the Rizzardo centre, which is located at 7325 Yonge Street, Innisfil. The clinic will be open on Mondays and Wednesdays between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. According to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, you can get a test if you are showing COVID-19 symptoms, have been exposed to a confirmed case, were informed by your public health unit or through the COVID Alert app, or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak. To book an appointment at the COVID-19 testing clinic, visit https://www.rvh.on.ca/covid/rvhtestingcentre/Pages/default.aspx or call 705-797-3120. All appointments require your name, health card number and date of birth. For more information about COVID-19 and to find the province of Ontario’s self-assessment tool, visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-stop-spreadShane MacDonald, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
PARIS — France’s interior minister ordered an internal police investigation Tuesday after officers were filmed tossing migrants out of tents while evacuating a protest camp in Paris.Aid groups and the government were working to find temporary lodging for hundreds of migrants forcibly removed from the short-lived camp on the Place de la Republique in eastern Paris on Monday night.The evacuation, filmed by journalists and activists, drew nationwide attention amid tensions over a draft law beefing up police powers that easily passed a vote in France’s lower house of parliament Tuesday.Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin ordered an internal police investigation into “certain incidents,” promising to make the results public.“Was I shocked by some of the images (of the evacuation)? The answer is yes,” Darmanin told Parliament.His rapid reaction to the outcry stands in contrast to his vigorous defence of police officers in recent months, and to the government’s tepid response to more severe and sustained violence by police at protests by yellow vest activists and others in recent years.In the Monday night evacuation, police lifted tents with migrants inside, shaking them until they tumbled to the ground, and those who resisted were kicked or beaten with batons, according to the head of aid group Doctors Without Borders in France, Corinne Torre.Images shared online showed activists and local officials shouting and trying to block police from dislodging the migrants. Torre, who witnessed the evacuation, said several people sought treatment for injuries from her aid group, known by its French acronym MSF.Aid groups and Paris legislators said they set up the protest camp to call attention to the plight of hundreds of migrants who were kicked out of another camp in the shadow of France’s national stadium last week and have been sleeping in the streets since then for lack of other options.Most are from Afghanistan, Somalia and Eritrea, and some have been refused asylum while others are in bureaucratic limbo while they try to apply, Torre said.The Paris police headquarters said in a statement that the Republique camp was evacuated because it was illegal, and “invited” the migrants to seek lodging elsewhere offered by the state or aid groups.The ministers for citizenship and housing said in a statement Tuesday that 240 potential spots in temporary lodging had been located for the migrants, saying they “should be treated with humanity and fraternity.”The draft law facing a vote Tuesday in the National Assembly is meant to strengthen local police and provide greater protection to all officers. It notably makes it a crime to publish images of officers with intent to cause them harm, a measure that has prompted repeated protests by civil liberties campaigners and media freedom groups.The Associated Press
LONDON — A book that looks at The Beatles from a playful kaleidoscope of angles won Britain’s leading nonfiction literary award on Tuesday.Craig Brown’s “One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time” was named winner of the 50,000-pound ($66,000) Baillie Gifford Prize at a virtual ceremony in London.Brown’s “composite biography” juxtaposes the stories of John, Paul, George and Ringo with relatives, partners, artists, imitators, hangers-on and others drawn into their orbit.Broadcaster Martha Kearney, who chaired the judging panel, said Brown’s “joyous, irreverent, insightful celebration” of the Fab Four was “a shaft of light piercing the deep gloom of 2020.”“Who would have thought that a book about The Beatles could seem so fresh?” she said.The award recognizes English-language books in current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts.Brown beat a shortlist that included Sudhir Hazareesingh’s Haitian revolution history “Black Spartacus,” Matthew Cobb’s “The Idea of the Brain” and Christina Lamb’s book about women and war “Our Bodies, Their Battlefield.”The other finalists were Amy Stanley’s “Stranger in the Shogun’s City,” about a woman’s life in 19th-century Japan, and “The Haunting of Alma Fielding” by Kate Summerscale, a fact-based story of apparently supernatural events.The Associated Press
A survey of university students, faculty, and academic librarians in Ontario suggests that the shift to online learning during the pandemic has negatively affected the quality of the educational experience. The poll of 2,700 people was commissioned by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations and released on Tuesday. It reveals that 62 per cent of student respondents and 76 per cent of faculty and academic librarians surveyed believe online learning has had a negative impact on education quality. Rahul Sapra, president of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, said that the survey's results show a meaningful engagement between students and faculty is a fundamental part of the learning process. “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the scramble to move courses online, we have lost that human connection and educational quality has suffered,” Sapra said. The survey also found that financial security, care demands, and work-life balance are significant stress points for both groups. A majority of students that responded to the survey said they are concerned about their financial security as a result of high tuition fees and fewer opportunities to earn income during the pandemic. Kayla Weiler, Ontario representative of the Canadian Federation of Students, said that a lot of the usual ways that post-secondary students save money or budget for the school year have been affected by COVID-19. "Their summer employment was altered, their fall employment might look very different than in past years," said Weiler. "But also last year we saw $670 million cut to OSAP and we're still feeling that well into the pandemic." Other issues students who were surveyed cited were mental health and the ability to manage non-academic responsibilities, including caregiving, while studying. Faculty and academic librarians who participated in the survey indicated they feel they are falling short of their own expectations. Respondents cited an inability to adequately teach and support students, and difficulty sustaining their desired level of professional development. Sapra said that another issue is that approximately 60 per cent of Ontario's faculty are part-time or on contract and therefore have less job stability. "During COVID-19 contract faculty had to do additional work to convert in-class courses to online courses but received no extra pay for this work," said Sapra. "Because of the rise in the size of online courses, less courses were offered so many contract faculty lost their jobs." The survey suggests that one in two faculty members are working longer hours, and four of five have an increased workload. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020. John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press
SALT LAKE CITY — Deep in the Mars-like landscape of Utah's red-rock desert lies a mystery: A gleaming metal monolith in one of the most remote parts of the state. The smooth, tall structure was found during a helicopter survey of bighorn sheep in southeastern Utah, officials said Monday. A crew from the Utah Department of Public Safety and Division of Wildlife Resources spotted the gleaming object from the air Nov. 18 and landed to check it out during a break from their work. They found the three-sided stainless-steel object is about as tall as two men put together. But they discovered no clues about who might have driven it into the ground among the undulating red rocks or why. “This thing is not from another world,” said Lt. Nick Street of the Utah Highway Patrol, part of the Department of Public Safety. Still, it's clear that it took some planning and work to construct the 10- to 12-foot (3- to 4-meter) monolith and embed it in the rock. The exact location is so remote that officials are not revealing it publicly, worried that people might get lost or stranded trying to find it and need to be rescued. The monolith evokes the one that appears in the Stanley Kubrick movie “2001: A Space Odyssey." Because it’s on federal public land, it’s illegal to place art objects without authorization. Bureau of Land Management officials are investigating how long it's been there, who might have created it and whether to remove it. Lindsay Whitehurst, The Associated Press
Utilizing Broadway for a transit transfer hub between First and John streets is no longer in the works. At its meeting on Nov. 23, a request made by Deputy Mayor Andy Macintosh to reconsider the original motion from April that approved the development was supported by the majority of council. The motion, however, did not pass unanimously. Councillors Todd Taylor, Lisa Post, and Grant Peters felt the transit project should proceed as was voted on. “In my opinion, it is a waste of taxpayer money to throw out recommendations from the experts just because he didn’t give us the answers that we wanted,” said Post. On Oct. 19, Council had agreed to postpone further decisions until a safety study was completed, following a number of concerns presented by the BIA, downtown business owners and some residents. “The almost 300 members of the BIA support (raised) concerns, and so does the board,” said Troy Brett, vice-chair of the BIA Board and owner of Mochaberry Coffee. “I just want to make it very clear that a downtown transit hub is not supported by downtown businesses.” Aside from safety concerns, the loss of parking spaces, and numerous other items, fears of the transit station altering the presence of the downtown core were also cited. “The impact of the transfer station to the heritage of the downtown core is very important to us,” said Brett. “We are selling an authentic, heritage downtown for tourism and a transit transfer station does not fit with this brand.” But the councillors in favour noted that despite business concerns, the consultants hired — and the safety study performed — indicated Broadway would be an ideal location. “This council has used numerous consultants,” Taylor said. “Why use them if we’re not going to utilize the recommendation they gave us?” The purpose for a consultant is to lay out possible options, rebutted Macintosh, not determine council’s course of action for them. “I don’t consider it wasting taxpayer dollars. They advised us, we listened, and now we need to make the right decision for the town,” said Macintosh. After Macintosh’s motion to revote was passed, council members revoted on the April 20 motion to construct a transit hub on Broadway again. The vote was defeated, four to three. Moving forward, council will look at other options, including a return to the possibility of the Edelbrock Centre. “Our downtown businesses and property owners have roundly come out against this decision that council previously made,” said Mayor Sandy Brown. “I think we have to listen to our BIA, and we have to listen to our businesses.”Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner
With millions dining at home for safety and a swing to the spicier side in the U.S. in recent years, Cholula, the hot sauce with the distinctive wooden cap and a cult following, has become a very valuable brand. McCormick & Co., the spice maker that dominates U.S. grocery shelves, said Tuesday that it was buying Cholula for $800 million from L Catteron, a private equity firm. McCormick made a notable tilt toward the hot sauce shelf three years ago when it acquired Frank’s RedHot, the preferred fuel in Buffalo wing recipes, as part of its $4.2 billion acquisition of Reckitt Benckiser’s food business. “The sauce with the little wooden cap is, like Frank’s RedHot, well-known to ‘chilli-heads’ around the globe but its appeal is much wider,” said Dean Best, food editor of Global Data. The acquisition arrives with the pandemic warping how America and the rest of the world eats, meaning largely at home. There was evidence of that trend in recent regulatory filings from McCormick, a company in Hunt Valley, Maryland with a valuation of close to $25 billion. McCormick said in September that revenue surged 8% during the third quarter as people replaced the contents of outdated spice racks, or started one for the first time. And hot sauce is increasingly part of the pantry mix. The volume of hot sauce produced for North America has risen in each of the past five years by an average of 4.7%, to more than 127,000 tons in 2020, according to the data service Euromonitor. That production is expected to rise by 16% within the next five years, according to the group. “Hot sauce is an attractive, high-growth category and, as an iconic premium brand, Cholula is outpacing category growth," said McCormick Chairman and CEO Lawrence Kurzius in prepared remarks Tuesday. Cholula has made its own adaptations during the pandemic to get the sauce to its cult followers. Earlier this month the company teamed up with simplehuman to create a touch-free Cholula dispenser for restaurants or other places that serve the hot sauce, allowing those eating out to bring the heat in relative safety. Shares of McCormick, which have hit an all time high this year, rose more than 2% Tuesday. Michelle Chapman, The Associated Press
Rochelle Pokeda is having to do things a little bit differently with her home-based business — Norwex with Rochelle — in the fall of 2020. Ordinarily, she’d be busy filling her orders at various pre-Christmas craft fairs. But the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health orders have closed the doors on such events for now. Without that income to help her cover the costs of her own Christmas celebrations, Pokeda has had to think outside the box — so she has rented space at Sahali Mall, with her final two days being Dec. 4 and Dec. 5. “We are going to sell our products so people can come in, look, touch, feel, and get away from the computers and have a little bit of that human interaction,” Pokeda said of her cleaning and personal-care household products. She is teaming up with another home-based business — Daunte Tropics with Dawn, which creates glass block designs as well as one-of-a-kind silk floral home decor — in the pop-up store endeavour. But Pokeda is also using her pop-up store to help raise money for the local Salvation Army. She is donating 10 per cent of every sale over $100 to the Salvation Army's Adopt-A-Family program. Pokeda is also accepting gifts and cash donations for the families in the program. She hopes to be able to support a number of families through the Sally Ann program. “I would love to be able to have the fun of doing the shopping myself, but I also understand that it may not look like that this year,” she said. “I’m talking with Kelly [Capt. Kelly Fifield of the Salvation Army] and we’ll figure out how best it’s going to suit them and the families.”Todd Sullivan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kamloops This Week
The majority of those who took part in recent engagement sessions with the Northwest Territories government on its self-isolation hubs are in favour of seeing the government spend less for the centres.That's according to a report, initiated by the territory's COVID-19 secretariat, that gives a summary of input received about the hubs — and payment for stays there — from Indigenous governments, community governments and business interests between Oct. 28 and Nov. 3, says a government news release.Currently, travellers entering or returning to the N.W.T. must isolate at hubs in Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Hay River, or Inuvik. According to the report, isolation centres represent "more than half of the GNWT's [Government of the Northwest Territories] costs for implementing the public health orders" of the chief public health office.When the government asked respondents whether the territory should continue to pay for all isolation centre stays, including discretionary travel, the bulk of feedback was in support of reducing the costs.However the report also noted there was "valuable discussion about how to do so in a way that's fair and equitable to all residents.""The results show there are differing points of view about self-isolating at home in smaller communities," it says in the news release."Most of feedback was in support of reducing isolation centre costs to taxpayers."According to the report, there were representatives from Indigenous governments and community governments who said they did not support the government continuing to pay for any stays at the isolation centres.There were also some business stakeholders who said they don't want personal or discretionary travel to be covered by the territory, and people who travel voluntarily should have more options to isolate at home to help reduce those costs.Some of the comments the government received from those who want the territory to stop paying for the hubs, according to the report, say the territory "should not be paying for people's holidays," and that it should "only pay if it is needed after absolutely necessary travel (e.g. medical)."More comments included in the report say "all other travel needs to be discouraged," and "if the GNWT continues this way it should also consider providing financial support to help offset these mandatory costs for businesses."Among the comments from those who say the territory should stop paying, with considerations, were around the discussion of defining discretionary travel. One comment says there "needs to be clear distinction between what is considered not necessary and what is considered compassionate (e.g.: funerals, graduation ceremonies etc.)."Meanwhile, those in favour of the territory continuing to pay for the hubs raised the argument about whether some individuals have the capacity to self-isolate at home in their communities — at no cost — or whether they would be required to pay isolation centre costs out of pocket."Causes unfairness for communities that cannot have people self-isolate. They will have to pay for staying at isolation centres while others can self-isolate at home," one comment reads. Another says it "causes unfairness for certain people who cannot self-isolate at home (personal circumstances). They will have to pay for staying at isolation centres while others will not."Another comment suggested the government negotiate for lower costs.The government says the report is one of "many tools" that informs the office of the chief public health officer, including to either change or adapt public health orders regarding where mandated self-isolation can take place. As well, it says it will help the government "make better informed decisions" about changes to policy in terms of controlling costs at isolation centres.It noted that the report only reflects the concerns and views of those who took part in it.The discussions were based on a paper provided to stakeholders in advance of the engagement surveys."Our government is committed to carrying out meaningful dialogue with stakeholders, including Indigenous leaders, community governments, and the business community," said Premier Caroline Cochrane in a statement."It's important we hear, value and learn from different perspectives as we make decisions. A coordinated and collaborative approach to making public health order decisions will allow the GNWT to determine how best to assist each unique community when it comes to carrying them out."