A black-footed ferret named Elizabeth Ann is the first endangered species to be cloned, created from the cells of a ferret that lived 30 years ago. It's hoped that she will increase the genetic diversity of her species. (Feb. 18)
A black-footed ferret named Elizabeth Ann is the first endangered species to be cloned, created from the cells of a ferret that lived 30 years ago. It's hoped that she will increase the genetic diversity of her species. (Feb. 18)
(ANNews) – The Alberta Government announced on March 4, 2020 that they will begin offering vaccination appointments to Albertans 65 to 74 years old starting on Monday, March 15 as part of Phase 2A of the provincial vaccination program. This is happening much earlier than first anticipated, as original estimates predicted that Phase 2 of the vaccine rollout would start in April. 437,000 eligible Albertans will be able to get their vaccine, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Thursday. “By June 30, we expect to have offered every single adult in the province at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.” When Phase 2A begins on March 15, bookings will be offered in two-year age groups. On the first day, anyone aged 73 or 74 will be able to book an appointment. On the second day, eligibility will be expanded to include anyone aged 71 to 72, and so on from there. “Staff and residents in seniors’ supportive-living facilities who are not already immunized will also be able to book appointments starting on Day 1,” Shandro said. “Appointments will be booked through both participating pharmacies, the online booking tool, as well as HealthLink 811. First Nations, Inuit and Métis people who are aged 50 and older will also receive the vaccine starting the week of March 15.” “And it’s important to remember that under our system you never lose eligibility for the vaccine,” he said. “Once you’re eligible you stay eligible. No one is left behind.” On top of this, the Alberta Government also announced their roll-out plan for the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was approved by Health Canada for all adult Canadians. The first doses of the vaccine arrived in Canada on Wednesday March. However, Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) announced that they are not recommending the AstraZeneca vaccine be used on people 65 or older. Keeping in line with the NACI’s recommendation, or lack-there-of, the Alberta Government will only administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to healthy adults 64 years old and younger. Beginning March 10, the province will offer 58,500 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to eligible Albertans aged 50-64 in Phase 2D who do not have severe chronic illness. Albertans born in 1957 can begin booking their appointments on March 10. Both Shandro and Alberta’s chief medical officer of health emphasized the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine, with Shandro saying, “Both Dr. Hinshaw and I recommend that all healthy Albertans get immunized as soon as they are eligible no matter what vaccine option is provided.” “AstraZeneca works. It has shown to reduce infection by 60 to 70 per cent and severe outcomes like hospitalization by 80 per cent.” “Where this vaccine seems to differ is in preventing asymptomatic infection, which means reducing the spread of COVID-19. This is why we’re not using it in any congregate living settings like seniors housing.” Dr, Hinshaw explained, “All three vaccines help protect against serious outcomes or long-term health impacts that COVID-19 can cause for many people. They dramatically reduce the risk of hospitalization and death. If those reasons don’t resonate with you, please know widespread immunization will help us all return to a more normal way of life more quickly.” “Choosing to be immunized is one of the most important actions we can take for ourselves and for our communities,” she said. As for Alberta Hospitalizations, the province fell below 250 for the first time in months on March 6. There are currently 247 Albertans in hospital due to COVID-19 including 42 in intensive care units. There has been 135,537 total infections in the province with the amount of active cases being 4,649. Meanwhile, the amount of active cases on First Nations reserves, as of March 4 and according to Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is: Case numbers per region: Jacob Cardinal is an LJI reporter for Alberta Native News. Jacob Cardinal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alberta Native News
WASHINGTON — Tensions were raw ahead of midnight as Republican leader Mitch McConnell rose in the Senate for the purpose of publicly ridiculing Majority Leader Chuck Schumer over the daylong delay as Democrats argued among themselves over the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue package. But 12 hours later, it was Schumer, D-N.Y., reveling in the last word, an unabashedly upbeat “help is on the way” to Americans suffering through the pandemic and lockdowns as the Senate prepared to approve the massive package without a single GOP vote. Senate passage of the sweeping relief bill Saturday puts President Joe Biden’s top priority closer to becoming law, poised to unleash billion for vaccines, $1,400 direct payments and other aid, and shows Schumer, in his first big test as majority leader, can unify the ever-so-slim Democratic majority and deliver the votes. “Lessons learned: If we have unity, we can do big things,” Schumer told The Associated Press in an interview after the vote. The outcome “gives us optimism about doing more big things in the future — because it worked,” he said. Stewardship of the massive pandemic relief package was an inaugural foray of the new power dynamics of Washington, testing Democratic control of the White House and Congress for the first time in a decade, and setting the foundation for what’s possible for Biden’s agenda. So much of Biden's success or failure depends on the Senate, where Democrats are in command of an evenly split chamber, 50-50, a majority so delicate that any one senator can upend the legislative agenda. While Vice-President Kamala Harris is able to break tie votes, Schumer has zero slack if Republicans are opposed, voting lockstep as they did Saturday against the virus aid as bloated and unnecessary. One key centrist, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., wavered over an unemployment provision, throwing the proceedings into chaos before a grueling all-night session. Biden has been telling senators privately their vote on pandemic aid will build momentum for the next priorities. An ambitious infrastructure package is emerging, part of his “Build Back Better” campaign agenda, to bring roads, broadband and green-energy projects nationwide. He and Schumer spoke often as the Senate leader steered the pandemic aid to approval. It's now headed back to the House for a final vote, as soon as Monday. While no senators appeared ready to tank Biden’s top priority, the next votes could prove more difficult. “There’s a whole series of issues that that quite a few of us were discussing,” said Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., a Biden ally eager for bipartisanship, who spoke to the president a few minutes after the vote. “This was a reminder yesterday that, in a 50-50 Senate, if any one member changes their mind on an amendment, or vote or an issue, it can change the outcome," Coons said. Voting rights, immigration law changes and other bills will be subject to filibuster rules that require 60 votes for passage, rather than 51, a potentially impossible hurdle in the face of Republican opposition that is stoking calls to change the process to ensure Biden’s priorities don’t flame out. “We’re going to have to have discussions about that,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., a member of leadership. But that tough topic was for another day. On Saturday, Democrats elbow-bumped and cheered in the chamber — Stabenow said some were almost in tears -- as they ushered the massive aid package they had promised voters to approval. With 10 million jobs lost and countless schools and businesses shuttered, it includes $300 a week in extra unemployment benefits, money school reopenings, eviction protections and small business assistance. “Only 45 days after Joe Biden became president of the United States, to be able to do something so big, and so significant, that fundamentally is the glue for us,” she said. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said it was the “best day” he’d ever had in the Senate. That biting speech from McConnell, R-Ky., poking at Democrats' temporary disarray? Brown dismissed it as cynical and unsubstantial. “So what,” Brown said. “Nobody cares about that. What they care about is, did we deliver on unemployment? Did we deliver on vaccines? Did we deliver on pensions? We cut the rate of child poverty in half. Think about that.” McConnell led Republicans to put up a blockade of opposition, reviving a strategy used the last time Democrats held the sweep of power, when Barack Obama was president, against the 2009 financial crisis rescue package. After Donald Trump won the White House, McConnell and Republicans controlling Congress with only a slightly thicker Senate margin used similar procedural tools to pass the $2 trillion GOP tax cuts on a party-line vote in 2017. Their effort to repeal and replace the health care law known as “Obamacare” fizzled when Sen. John McCain and two other Republicans voted with Democrats, and McConnell was unable to hold his party together. From his stately office off the Senate floor, with the lived-in feel of the rumpled New Yorker, Schumer pulled out his not-so-secret weapon, the flat flip-phone, which he uses for his constant calls keeping in touch with senators on their votes. "Every member of our caucus, from Bernie Sanders to Joe Manchin, realize that we had to pull together, that if we failed, we’d all be hurt,” Schumer said, referring to the liberal-most senator from Vermont and the centrist from West Virginia. As Manchin hesitated, Schumer called him, as did other senators, and even Biden. But Manchin also had time — hours dragged on — to make up his mind. “He listens to everybody and then he puts it together,” Brown said of Schumer. “He’s good at it.” When the votes were being tallied Saturday, Schumer spotted the two new senators from Georgia, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, and pointed at them. They had stunned the political world by defeating two Republican incumbents in special elections in January that delivered Democrats the majority. “The people of Georgia deserve a great deal of credit for what happened here today,” Warnock said afterward. “Had they not stood up in such a powerful way, in this historic election that sent Jon Ossoff and myself to the Senate, we simply would not be here.” Schumer urged the presiding officer to announce the vote, 50-49. One Republican senator was absent for a family matter. Harris was not needed to break the tie. Schumer turned to his senators and said, “We are a great team.” Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
The top doctor for the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit is tightening restrictions for the area's eastern municipalities following a rise in COVID-19 cases. The order was implemented Saturday by the area's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Paula Stewart, with the goal of limiting opportunities for people to gather in the municipalities of Mississippi Mills, Carleton Place and Beckwith, Ont. Under the new order, sports facilities, including curling rinks, and privately owned arenas and indoor facilities for soccer, lacrosse, tennis, squash or pickleball, must close. As well, clubs must halt rentals for private social gatherings. Places of worship can still operate, but there are greater restrictions in place for social events. Banquet halls and wedding venues may also continue to operate, but only events hosted, organized and managed by the venue are permitted, with additional restrictions. Anyone dining indoors at a restaurant or bar can only sit at the same table with members of their own household. Restaurants and bars must also collect contact information as people enter, and staff must wear a medical face mask. "Everything that each and every one of us does makes a difference in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in households and the community," Stewart wrote in a notice Saturday morning. "This Class Order will reduce opportunities for people to gather and have close unprotected contact with others outside their household in public and private facilities." Restrictions in place for 14 days The order will be in place for the next two weeks, but could be shortened or extended if need be, the health unit said. Anyone failing to comply with the order could be fined $5,000 per day. As of Saturday morning, the region had 49 active cases, 48 of which were reported in the last week. On Wednesday, health officials reported 20 people had tested positive for the virus and warned customers of The Thirsty Moose may have been exposed on multiple days near the end of February. Health officials said the restaurant isn't to blame, and the cases could be traced back to a private gathering last month where people didn't wear masks or take proper precautions. The news of the surge in cases came the same day the health unit announced its first case involving one of the COVID-19 variants of concern.
A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared in one unit of the Kelowna General Hospital after a staff member and patient tested positive for the virus. In a statement, Interior Health said the outbreak affects unit 5B at the hospital and there is no evidence the virus has transmitted to other areas of the hospital. This outbreak is not linked to an ongoing outbreak on unit 4B, which was declared on Feb. 22, Interior Health said. Outbreak control measures are in place and the hospital remains safe to visit for appointments and emergency care, the health authority added. Patients and visitors are not required to get tested or self-isolate after visiting the hospital. B.C. health officials announced a spike in new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, adding 634 to the tally over the last 24 hours. Another four people have died of the disease. Interior Health to open call centre for vaccinations Monday Interior Health says it will open its call centre on Monday for seniors looking to book COVID-19 vaccinations. People aged 90 and up, as well as Indigenous people aged 65 and up, can call 1-877-740-7747 to book an appointment. The call centre is open seven days per week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Vaccinations will start as early as March 15. B.C.'s largest ever vaccination campaign aims to vaccinate more than four million British Columbians against COVID-19 by September 2021. In the past week, several factor have changed to quickly accelerate that timeline, including the province's decision to delay second doses of the vaccine until more first doses are administered. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said everyone in the province could receive a first shot by early July, or even late June. Click here to read more about the vaccines and how they will be distributed. CBC British Columbia is hosting a town hall on March 10 to put your COVID-19 vaccine questions to expert guests, including Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. You can find the details at cbc.ca/ourshot. Have a question about the vaccine, or the rollout plan in B.C.? Email us: email@example.com
As Quebec's COVID-19 vaccination campaign continues to ramp up, a union representing intervention workers says the government has neglected to include one segment of the population in its plans. In a protest outside Montreal's Bordeaux jail Saturday, intervention workers with the Syndicat des travailleuses et travailleurs en intervention communautaire (STTIC-CSN) called for prison inmates to be placed on the province's COVID-19 priority list. "People sleep there. There are common areas. They should be prioritized," said STTIC-CSN spokesperson Kevin Doiron. "They could be shouting in there and no one would hear them so we're here to shout on their behalf." The calls come after more than 100 Bordeaux prison inmates and staff members tested positive for COVID-19 last month. "There's too much people and not enough space so distancing isn't possible," said union president Alexandra Pontbriand. "The guards are going in and out of the prisons and it's really risky to the inmates." According to Quebec Health Ministry data, there are currently only 20 active COVID-19 cases in the province's detention centres, but the community workers say that doesn't mean inmates should not be prioritized. "We're not saying they're the only ones that need to be prioritized for the vaccination. There are other people that need priority, too," said Doiron. "But what we're here to say is they should be part of the people that need priority because their condition is different. They're locked in a cage." Doiron says he understands all too well how the prisoners must be feeling, as he was an inmate in a detention centre for eight years — nine months of which were spent in solitary confinement. With tensions already high between a lot of prisoners, Doiron says many inmates are afraid to come forward and admit when they have symptoms of COVID-19 because their entire prison section would then be forced to lock down for two weeks. Inmates categorized with general population in current vaccination plan As it stands, Quebec's Health Ministry says inmates would be included in the last category of the COVID-19 priority list, along with the rest of the general population. "Work is underway to identify people who will be able to benefit from the vaccination, as workers providing essential services, particularly in prisons and detention centres," the health ministry said in a statement. "Vaccines in detention centres are included in the logistics of the campaign and more details will be provided in due time, for both detainees and guards." The ministry added that all plans depend on how many doses of the vaccine the province receives in the coming months.
NEWARK, N.J. — Ryan Strome scored twice and streaking New York Rangers beat the Devils 6-3 Saturday, sending New Jersey to its fifth straight loss and eighth in nine games. Adam Fox, Ryan Strome, Kevin Rooney Libor Hajek and Filip Chytil also scored as the Rangers won their third straight and sixth in eight games. Alexandar Georgiev had 24 saves while filling in for the injured Igor Shesterkin, who sustained a groin injury in a 6-1 win over New Jersey Thursday night. P.K. Subban and Mikhail Maltsev scored in a 17-second first-period span to give the slumping Devils some hope after falling behind 2-0. The hope lasted less than two minutes. Rooney, a former Devil who signed with New York this season, capped a 2-on-1 with Chytil flipping a cross-ice pass over Mackenzie Blackwood for a 3-2 lead. Hajek stretched the lead to two goals 65 seconds in the second period with a short that deflected off Devils forward Janne Kuokkanen. It was his first point of the season and first goal since getting his first in the NHL against New Jersey on Mar. 9, 2019. Chytil scored in close in the third period as the Rangers scored 12 goals in sweeping the two games against their Hudson River rivals. Nathan Bastian closed the gap to 5-3, but Strome iced the game with an empty net goal. The Rangers caught a break early when Devils defenceman Sami Vatanen was called for a double minor for high sticking 1:33 into the contest. Fox gave New York the lead 33 second later scoring on a length of the ice rush. Strome got his seventh of the year in close after a turnover in the Devils' end. Subban closed the gap to 2-1 with a point shot at 14:54 and Maltsev tied the game in close at 15:11. HORRIBLE HOME The Devils are 2-9-1 at home after losing all five games on the stand that ended Saturday. The last time they lost five straight at home was 2000-01 when they dropped six in a row early. Remarkably, they went to the Cup Final that year and lost to Colorado in seven games. NOTES: F Kaako Kappo returned to the Rangers' lineup after missing the last six games because of COVID-19. He had an assist on the Strome's first goal. ... With Shesterkin sidelined, former Devil Keith Kinkaid was the Rangers backup. ... Devils C Michael McLeod did not play for the first time this season. ... Georgiev picked up an assist on the Fox goal. ... The Devils signed F Graeme Clarke signed a three-year, entry-level contract starting in the 2021-22 season. The 19-year-old was a third-round pick in the 2019 draft. UP NEXT Rangers: At Pittsburgh Sunday and Tuesday for the second stop in six-game road trip that ends with two in Boston. Devils: Travel to Boston to face the Bruins in the opener of the three-game road trip that includes stops in Washington and in New York against the Islanders. ___ More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
A 73-year-old Cape Breton man is facing murder charges in the death of 71-year-old Brenda Ann Dilney on Friday morning. Police responded to a domestic incident at a Howie Centre residence on Kings Road at 8 a.m., according to a news release from Cape Breton regional police. George James Dilney was arrested at the residence. EHS personnel attended to the victim but she died a short time later. George James Dilney is in custody and will appear in Sydney provincial court on Monday. Police say the two were known to each other but said no further details would be provided to protect the privacy of the family. MORE TOP STORIES
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Nearly a month after Newfoundland and Labrador's provincial election was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, officials say the counting of the ballots has begun — at least for those that have been returned. Ten teams of two people have begun the laborious process of tallying ballots, Elections NL spokeswoman Adrienne Luther confirmed Saturday. Though the election has dragged on well beyond its originally scheduled voting date of Feb. 13 and ballot counting may not end until next month, not everyone was happy to hear the vote-counting process had begun Saturday. "The counting of the votes for who?" asked Patricia Johnson-Castle, the NDP candidate in the Torngat Mountains district, which includes the fly-in Indigenous communities along Labrador's north coast. Many voters in that district are still waiting for their ballots and some are worried they won't arrive in time, she said. Elections NL head Bruce Chaulk called off all in-person voting on Feb. 12, the night before people were originally scheduled to head to the polls. With a COVID-19 outbreak spreading rapidly through the St. John's metro region, Chaulk said votes would instead be cast by mail. After a few deadline extensions, ballots must now be postmarked by March 12 in order to be counted. All requests for ballots had to be in by Feb. 19. Luther confirmed Saturday morning that everyone in Labrador who requested a mail-in ballot before the Feb. 19 deadline would receive one through express mail. Johnson-Castle said express mail still takes six days for mail get from St. John's to Nain, where she lives. Flights have been cancelled because of weather all week, she said, so there's already a backlog. "If the weather comes down next week, I don't know what happens," Johnson-Castle said in an interview Saturday. She said she also spent $600 from her campaign fund to translate ballot instructions into Inuktitut and Innu-aimun, the Indigenous languages used by many in her district. She acknowledged that Elections NL doesn't normally provide translations of these materials, but said with in-person voting, people are on hand to help the many monolingual speakers of these languages cast a ballot. The Progressive Conservatives have also expressed concern about Labrador's Indigenous voters being left behind. "Our candidates in Labrador have been working with voters directly to ensure ballots are able to be filled out and residents can partake in this election," said a statement from the party on Saturday. "The timing of this election has greatly affected the ability of Indigenous populations throughout our province to participate." In an emailed statement, the Liberal party, whose leader Andrew Furey is the incumbent premier, said they recognize the importance of Indigenous languages in the province. "It is our understanding from supporters we connect with that, where needed, Elections NL is doing everything it can to help those who request accommodations with the special ballot process," the statement said. Furey first called the election on Jan. 15, and he's faced criticism for the call throughout the campaign, even before the pandemic sent the process spiralling into chaos. Luther had said previously that approximately 68,000 voted before Feb. 12 at advance polls or by special ballot, which includes mail-in ballots and ballots cast at district offices before election day. Her office estimates another 120,000 voters contacted the office to request a mail-in ballot after in-person voting was suspended. Elections NL staff can process about 5,000 mail-in ballots a day, she said, which means the vote tallying could carry on until April. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 7:30 p.m. Alberta's chief medical health officer says there are 341 new COVID-19 cases in the province in the previous 24 hours, and one additional death. Dr. Deena Hinshaw says in a series of tweets that the new cases include 36 which are tied to virus variant of concern. She says there are 4,649 active COVID-19 cases in Alberta, with the number of those hospitalized falling to 247. She says 42 of those patients are in intensive care. Hinshaw says today's test positivity rate is 4.1 per cent. --- 3:10 p.m. Saskatchewan is reporting three new COVID-19 deaths among residents who tested positive for COVID-19. The province's daily pandemic update says all three were from the Saskatoon zone and ranged in age from their 50s to their 80s. The update also notes there 163 new COVID-19 cases in the province today. Saskatchewan has 1,613 cases that are considered active, and 142 people currently in hospital with the virus. --- 2:55 p.m. Nunavut is reporting another four new cases of COVID-19 today. All are in Arviat, bringing the total number of active cases there to 21. The community is the only one in Nunavut with active cases. Officials also reported four additional cases in Arviat on Friday, plus 10 the day before. Nunavut's chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, said Friday that despite the new cases, the outbreak in the community is contained. --- 2 p.m. Manitoba is reporting one new COVID-19 death today -- a woman in her 20s in the Winnipeg health region. The daily pandemic update from the province notes there were 66 new COVID-19 cases as of 9:30 this morning, six of which are the variant originally found in the United Kingdom and three of which are a variant first detected in South Africa. The update says Manitoba's five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 3.1 per cent provincially and 2.2 per cent in Winnipeg. There are 1,114 active COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, with 158 patients in hospital. --- 1:15 p.m. New Brunswick health authorities are reporting six new cases of COVID-19. Officials say all six patients are self-isolating and contact tracing is underway. There are now 35 reported active COVID-19 infections in New Brunswick with three people in hospital, including two in intensive care. Public health has confirmed 1,453 cases in the province since the onset of the pandemic, including 28 deaths. --- 12:50 p.m. Newfoundland and Labrador health authorities are reporting two new cases of COVID-19. Officials say both cases are close contacts of previously identified patients. Authorities say there are now 87 active reported COVID-19 cases across the province. All but two of those infections are in the eastern health region, where an outbreak spread rapidly through the St. John’s metro area last month. --- 11:25 a.m. Nova Scotia health officials are reporting six new cases of COVID-19 today. Authorities say all six infections are connected to travel or to previously identified cases. Public health says there are now 29 active reported cases of COVID-19 across the province, with two people in hospital with the disease. There have been 1,657 infections reported in the province since the onset of the pandemic. --- 11:15 a.m. Quebec is reporting 749 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours, along with 10 new deaths linked to the virus. The province also says it administered 19,865 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, marking a new single-day high for Quebec's immunization drive. Hospitalizations in the province declined by 16 to 601 today, while the number of patients in intensive care decreased by two to 109. --- 10:30 a.m. Ontario is reporting comparatively low COVID-19 case figures today, logging 990 new infections and six virus-related deaths over the past 24 hours. Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 284 new cases in Toronto, 173 in Peel Region, and 82 in York Region. Two of those long-standing hotspots, Toronto and Peel, are due to rejoin the province's COVID-19 response framework at the grey lockdown level starting on Monday. The province is also reporting a single-day high of 39,698 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered since Friday's update. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
The reopening of England's schools to all pupils on Monday will mark the first step back towards normality and is only possible because of the efforts of the public to bring COVID-19 infection rates down, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. Johnson has announced a roadmap for lifting lockdown measures that sees schools open first, followed in later stages by the gradual easing of restrictions on mixing with other people and the reopening of non-essential shops and other venues. In the final stage, which will take place no earlier than June 21, the government hopes to remove all remaining legal limits on contact with others.
BARCELONA, Spain — Lionel Messi linked up with two generations of teammates to ensure that Barcelona will gain ground on at least one of its two Spanish league title rivals this weekend. Barcelona won 2-0 at Osasuna on Saturday as Messi undid the hosts' disciplined defence on the half-hour mark when he repeated a pass that has led to plenty of goals over his career — sending the ball behind the defensive line to meet a darting run by Jordi Alba. The 31-year-old left back, who has made a career of returning that initial through-ball back to Messi, this time sought his own shot and drilled a powerful strike right past the head of goalkeeper Sergio Herrera. Messi then fast-forwarded to Barcelona’s future with seven minutes left in the match when he served as the link between two of the team’s 18-year-old talents. After receiving the ball from Pedri González, Messi quickly laid it off for substitute Ilaix Moriba to cut back to his left foot and curl a shot into the corner of the net. Barcelona extended its undefeated run to 16 league matches to keep the pressure on Atlético a day before it hosts third-place Real Madrid in a Spanish capital derby. Atlético will also have one more game to play after this round. Ilaix thanked Messi for the pass, and coach Ronald Koeman for the chance to play, after scoring his first goal for the team two weeks after his debut. “From the first game, Koeman told me to look to score and that is what I did,” said Ilaix. “Messi gave me the pass and I don’t know how I cut back ... but I shot and it went in. I will never forget this. I will take this to my grave.” Koeman arrived last summer to overhaul a team that had looked old and worn out when it finished the season without a title and capitulating 8-2 to Bayern Munich. Instead of promising immediate titles, he lowered expectations and focused on rejuvenating the team for years to come. And that he has done. Ilaix is the latest of a number of young players that Koeman has nurtured along, including Pedri, the injured Ansu Fati, Frenkie de Jong, Ousmane Dembele, Ronald Araújo, Óscar Mingueza, and Sergiño Dest. “We are proud to give opportunities to the young players” Koeman said. “They are demanding a chance because they are the future of the club. It is important to bring some fresh air into the team. Playing for Barcelona, you are obligated to win, but if we can do so while introducing young players and the changes we are making, then even better.” The win comes before Barcelona’s club members vote on Sunday for a new president, who will inherit a club with a ballooning debt and the task of convincing Messi to stay on when his contract expires this summer. Barcelona’s good form in Spain will face an extremely tough test on Wednesday when it visits Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. PSG won 4-1 in the first leg of the round of 16 with a hat trick by Kylian Mbappe at Camp Nou. Before kickoff at El Sadar Stadium, Barcelona’s players wore shirts with “8M” to commemorate International Women’s Day on Monday 8 March. SEVILLA SLIPS After losing both games of its league-cup doubleheader against Barcelona in the last week, Sevilla was upset 2-1 by Elche. Raúl Guti and Guido Carrillo scored for Elche in the 70th and 76th minutes, before Luk de Jong pulled one back for Sevilla. Sevilla remained in fourth place and in control of Spain’s last Champions League spot. Elche escaped the relegation zone. “I am angry with our game,” Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui said. “We were completely out of the match. We lacked heart. (But) there is no need to search for someone to blame. When a team is not playing well, the first one to blame is the coach.” LONG-AWAITED WINS Valladolid beat Getafe 2-1 to end an eight-round winless streak, while Cádiz edged Eibar 1-0 to end a seven-round winless run. Eibar’s loss left it in in the relegation zone. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Joseph Wilson, The Associated Press
BRANTFORD, Ont. — Walter Gretzky's family thought the end was coming quickly in the middle of February. The father of hockey's greatest player had recently suffered a serious hip injury, and after battling Parkinson's disease and other health issues in recent years, his time — something Walter was always willing to give both friends and strangers — appeared to be running short. "But he had a love for life and he didn't want to leave," Wayne Gretzky said during an emotional eulogy Saturday. "We were 21 days sitting with him and just enjoying life. "We got a chance and opportunity to tell stories." And Walter Gretzky's life was full of them. Known as Canada's hockey dad, Walter Gretzky died Thursday at age 82. His passing prompted an avalanche of tributes for a genuine, authentic person who nurtured Wayne's incredible talents on the family's famed backyard rink in Brantford, but also never forgot where he came from. "He was a remarkable man who loved life, loved family," Wayne Gretzky said. "We'd be a way better world if there was so many more people like my dad. "Very special, we're all hurting." Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the funeral service was limited to family. But hundreds of people — including many kids wearing Gretzky jerseys — gathered outside St. Mark's Anglican Church in this city about 100 kilometres west of Toronto. "A tough time," said Wayne, his voice beginning to crack and tears welling in his eyes. "I'm so proud of the fact that so many people have reached out and given him such great tributes, because he deserves it. "He has the heart of gold." Walter was there every step of the way as Wayne ascended to a greatness that included four Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers and becoming the NHL's all-time leader in goals, assists and points. An employee with Bell for more than three decades — and long after his son became the sport's biggest star — Walter remained a loving, blue-caller symbol of devotion. "A deeply humble man," said Rev. Dr. Tim Dobbin, who officiated the funeral broadcast live on TSN and streamed on Sportsnet.ca. "He spoke the truth. Wally's word was his bond." The elder Gretzky stayed out of the limelight at first during Wayne's rise, but especially after suffering a brain aneurysm in 1991 that cost him much of his memory. Still, Walter became a household name on par with the Great One. "(His) grandchildren had never seen my dad before his brain aneurysm," Wayne said before adding playfully: "We were telling them all we were thankful you didn't know him before his brain aneurysm because he was a lot tougher." The son of a Polish mother and Russian father, Walter played minor hockey and junior B, but said later in life he was never good enough to make it professionally. "He came here, his family, as an immigrant," Wayne said. "They came here because they wanted a better life. "I don't think I've ever met a prouder Canadian than my dad." Walter Gretzky is survived by his five children — Wayne, Kim, Keith, Glen and Brent — as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Phyliss, his wife of 45 years, died of lung cancer in 2005 at age 64. "My sister (Kim) was a champ," Wayne, who stressed his father's death wasn't related to the coronavirus, said of Walter's final weeks. "She was beside him each and every minute of the day. The grandkids were wonderful. "My dad and mom, I know, are so proud." Wayne told a couple of stories during his remarks, including how Walter would have his grandchildren collect stray golf balls at a local course for him to autograph for kids. "You guys have to stop grabbing golf balls," Wayne recounted telling them. They were confused. It was under Walter's orders. "I know he wants them for the kids," Wayne said he replied. "But I've got to sign them!" The eldest Gretzky child also shared another family tale about how Walter missed the birth of his youngest, Brent, for one of Wayne's hockey tournaments. "My mom said, 'Walter, we're going to have this baby this weekend,'" Wayne recalled. "And he said, 'It's OK, you can wait until we get back.'" Wayne then added with a smirk: "So, Brent was born on the Saturday." Once father and son arrived home in Brantford, family and neighbours were wondering what Walter had been thinking before one final comment pushed him over the edge. "He was so mad," Wayne said. "He stood and he grabbed the trophy and he goes, 'Yes, but we got the trophy!'" A video tribute towards the end of Saturday's service included pictures from the early days on the backyard rink, Wayne's triumphs, Walter on the ice teaching kids, the Gretzky memorabilia in the family home, and highlights from his son's final games in the NHL. As the casket was about to be led out of the church and into the sunshine, "The Hockey Theme" song made famous on "Hockey Night In Canada" was played. And the moment Walter's funeral procession pulled away from the church — the building's sign read "We Will Miss You Wally" — some of the jersey-clad kids waiting outside tapped their hockey sticks on the pavement in unison. A perfect send off for Canada's hockey dad. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. ___ Follow @JClipperton_CP on Twitter The Canadian Press
CALGARY, United Kingdom — Alberta's Liberals have appointed a Calgary lawyer to hold the party's top job months after the resignation of its former leader. The party issued a statement saying its board of directors named John Roggeveen to the role, but offered few other details. The party, which currently holds no seats in the provincial legislature, has been without a leader since November when David Khan stepped down to pursue a job in his previous field of law. Roggeveen, too, is a lawyer by trade, most recently practising privately in Calgary. Liberal Party President Helen Mcmenamin describes him as "the ideal candidate" for the role, citing "years of political experience and a deep commitment to building the Party and serving Albertans." Roggeveen says it's an honour to take the party reins and is pledging to bolster its presence in the province's political landscape. "Good policies are one of the strengths of our party, but good organization will be the foundation for successfully implementing them," he said in the statement. "My focus will be on creating a stronger organization so that the Alberta Liberals will be a force in the next election." The Liberals were once the province's official Opposition, but after a high of 32 seats in 1993, the party suffered from ups and downs until it fell to third-party status in the legislature in 2012. It secured a seat for only one member in 2015 and was shut out of the legislature entirely during the most recent election in April 2019. Saturday's statement neither specified the expected length of Roggeveen's stint as party leader nor spelled out the process for choosing a permanent successor. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
Fire crews quickly extinguished a fire that had ignited a residential home in northeast Calgary on Saturday. According to Jim Wilson, acting battalion chief with Calgary's fire department, multiple calls reported a fire at a home on the 100 block of 44th Avenue N.E. around 4 p.m. on Saturday. On arrival, crews found a single family home with large volumes of smoke and flame coming from the front main floor of the house. "Crews performed an aggressive interior attack, and were able to confine the fire to the main floor of the house and do all necessary searches," Wilson said. "We have no occupants at this time." Wilson said crews weren't met by anyone at the scene, and subsequent searches of the home determined that no one was in the home at the time of the fire. No pets were injured as a result of the fire. "So we'll be ongoing, trying to ascertain owners and occupants," he said. "The investigation will be ongoing." Wilson said the first fire crew arrived on scene at 4:08 p.m. and had the fire under control by 4:21 p.m.
Ellie Stein lost her father, Richard, to COVID-19 on Nov. 3.
Volunteers with the York Sunbury Search and Rescue have a new building to call home, and more importantly, a place to store equipment year-round. The ground search and rescue group, which is made up entirely of volunteers, has been around since the early 1980s, but hasn't had a home base until now. The group relies on fundraising as its primary source of money, which is why it's been hard to land a spot. "We're not a government entity, which a lot of people don't realize," said Brad Parker, the organization's president. Parker said the group does get a few small government grants but "there's not a lot of commercial space that fits our needs and our budget." Brad Parker is the president of the York Sunbury Search and Rescue. (Gary Moore/CBC) Members of the non-profit group have been looking for a space that can store the command post, which is a truck that's about 25 feet long, and a trailer about the same size that stores all of the group's equipment needed for a search. It's created a logistical issue for decades. "The truck itself goes into storage that we can get to if we need to," Parker said. He added that in order to access the command post the group needs to make arrangements with the storage facility. That add another step in the process and another call to make. The group's trailer isn't accessible in the winter because it's buried in snow. Each winter, the group has to store other equipment with volunteers. That means radios, flashlights, compasses, GPS units and laptops are not in a central location. "It's the difference between taking two minutes to grab something and taking 20 minutes to grab something," Parker said. In the summer months, the trailer is always attached to the command post, making it a 52-foot unit. York Sunbury Search and Rescue's command post and trailer. (Submitted/York Sunbury Search and Rescue) The group has been able to work out a parking space with the city of Fredericton for that time of year. After searching for a budget-friendly solution to meet their needs, the group struck a deal with Canada House Clinics in Oromocto, which has a large garage that wasn't being used. "It all kinda came together pretty quick, we started talks with them just before Christmas time and now we're moving in," said Parker. The new space has two large garage doors and plenty of space for the vehicle, trailer and other equipment year-round. The group also has its own access to the site. The location is just off the highway. Parker said that will make it easier to get to calls. "We plan to make this our base of operation for the foreseeable future," he said. The group took over the space on Mar. 1 and will move in over the coming weeks.
Arsenal’s bold approach of playing the ball out from the back since the arrival of Mikel Arteta in December 2019 has drawn plenty of praise and led to a number of wonderfully constructed goals. It comes with obvious risks, however, and that was highlighted in the equalizer the team conceded in a 1-1 draw at Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday that left Arsenal’s chances of qualifying for European competitions even more unlikely. Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka received a short pass from goalkeeper Bernd Leno, took a slightly heavy touch onto his weaker right foot, then attempted a dangerous pass across the face of goal around Burnley striker Chris Wood. The ball ended up striking Wood on his hip and careering into the net, the unwitting scorer looking slightly sheepish as he celebrated his goal. “It’s the way we play and the way we want to play,” said Arteta, whose side had gone ahead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. “We have to know the risk and the rules for the way we want to play. It is what it is.” Things often seem to go wrong for Xhaka when he plays Burnley. He was sent off in the teams’ meeting at Emirates Stadium in December and also in their game in January 2017. His eight errors leading directly to goals since the start of the 2016-17 season is the most of any outfield player in the Premier League in that period. Arsenal is nine points off the Champions League places with 11 games remaining. Its best chance of getting into the competition next season lies in winning the Europa League, where the team has reached the last-16 stage. LEICESTER FIGHTBACK One team heading for the Champions League is Leicester, even with its growing list of injuries. A header from Daniel Amartey at an 87th-minute corner completed Leicester's comeback in a 2-1 win at Brighton that lifted Brendan Rodgers' team above Manchester United and into second place. Kelechi Iheanacho began the recovery, lifting a deft finish over Robert Sanchez in the 62nd minute to cancel out Adam Lallana's goal in the 10th for relegation-threatened Brighton. Leicester has a seven-point buffer to fifth-place Everton in the race to finish in the top four. The team hasn't played in the Champions League since the 2016-17 campaign, missing out last season after a late collapse. Injuries sustained by Harvey Barnes, James Maddison, James Justin and Jonny Evans over the past month have hit Leicester hard but the team is showing resolve, coming from behind to draw at Burnley in midweek after also falling behind early. With United playing Manchester City in the derby on Sunday, there's a decent chance Leicester will be staying in second place at least until next weekend. INGS INJURY Southampton is facing a few more weeks without Danny Ings after the England striker was forced off with another injury early against last-place Sheffield United. It didn't stop Southampton winning 2-0, though, for a first victory in 10 games to halt its fall into a relegation fight. A penalty by James Ward-Prowse was followed by a fierce strike from outside the area by Che Adams, the replacement for Ings, as the Saints won for the first time in two months. Ings' groin injury took some of the gloss from the result, however. The striker, who has had dreadful luck with injuries in his career notably at Liverpool, has already had two spells out of action this season. Sheffield United stayed 12 points from safety and looks destined for relegation. NEAR MISSES Aston Villa and Wolverhampton struck the goal frame three times between them and there was also an incredible miss from barely a meter out in the teams' 0-0 draw. Wolves' crossbar shook twice in the opening 15 minutes from fierce shots by Ollie Watkins and Ezri Konsa, while Conor Coady headed the ball against the post in the second half. The most agonizing miss was still to come, though, with the ball rolling across the face of goal from Coady's attempt for Wolves and Romain Saiss contriving to lift the ball over the crossbar from almost right on the goal-line. Villa is really lacking a cutting edge without captain and star midfielder Jack Grealish, having also been kept scoreless in losing to Sheffield United in midweek. Villa is six points off the European positions. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80 Steve Douglas, The Associated Press
A highly anticipated Oprah Winfrey interview with Prince Harry and his wife Meghan airs on U.S. television later on Sunday, amid what one royal watcher called a "toxic" atmosphere between the couple and the British monarchy. Not since the late Princess Diana appeared on television to share intimate details of her failed marriage to Harry's father, Prince Charles, has an interview with members of the royal family attracted so much attention. Having severed their official royal ties, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will explain why they abandoned Britain to move to California and start new lives.
South Korea and the United States will conduct its springtime military exercise this week, but the joint drill will be smaller than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic, Seoul said on Sunday. The allies will begin a nine day "computer-simulated command post exercise" on Monday, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. South Korea and the United States decided to move forward with the drills after "comprehensively taking into consideration the COVID-19 situation, the maintenance of the combat readiness posture, the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of peace," the JCS said, noting that the exercise is "defensive" in nature.
A man who police say intentionally crashed his vehicle into a police cruiser on Saturday morning has been charged with attempted murder. Police were called to the area of Ellesmere Road and Gander Drive, just east of Markham Road, shortly before 8 a.m. In a news release on Saturday afternoon, police said an officer was stopped at an intersection in a marked vehicle when the driver of another vehicle allegedly hit it. In a tweet, Toronto police chief James Ramer said the driver hit the police cruiser twice before getting out of the car armed with a knife. "The officer attempted to de-escalate but the man refused to drop the knife," Ramer said in the tweet. Ramer said other officers attended the scene and used de-escalation tactics to arrest the driver safely. In addition to the attempted murder charge, the 47-year-old man of Toronto faces the following: one count of dangerous operation of a vehicle, two counts of assault of a peace officer with a weapon, one count of weapons dangerous, and one count of failing to comply with a release order. The man is expected to appear in court on Sunday.