Two doctors share their experiences getting the COVID-19 vaccine, what it means to them and why they want others to see them getting the shot.
Two doctors share their experiences getting the COVID-19 vaccine, what it means to them and why they want others to see them getting the shot.
PALM BEACH, Fla. — Donald Trump has lost his social media megaphone, the power of government and the unequivocal support of his party's elected leaders. But a week after leaving the White House in disgrace, a large-scale Republican defection that would ultimately purge him from the party appears unlikely. Many Republicans refuse to publicly defend Trump's role in sparking the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. But as the Senate prepares for an impeachment trial for Trump's incitement of the riot, few seem willing to hold the former president accountable. After House Republicans who backed his impeachment found themselves facing intense backlash — and Trump’s lieutenants signalled the same fate would meet others who joined them — Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly Tuesday for an attempt to dismiss his second impeachment trial. Only five Republican senators rejected the challenge to the trial. Trump's conviction was considered a real possibility just days ago after lawmakers whose lives were threatened by the mob weighed the appropriate consequences — and the future of their party. But the Senate vote on Tuesday is a sign that while Trump may be held in low regard in Washington following the riots, a large swath of Republicans is leery of crossing his supporters, who remain the majority of the party’s voters. “The political winds within the Republican Party have blown in the opposite direction,” said Ralph Reed, chair of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and a Trump ally. “Republicans have decided that even if one believes he made mistakes after the November election and on Jan. 6, the policies Trump championed and victories he won from judges to regulatory rollback to life to tax cuts were too great to allow the party to leave him on the battlefield.” The vote came after Trump, who decamped last week to his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, began wading back into politics between rounds of golf. He took an early step into the Arkansas governor’s race by endorsing former White House aide Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and backed Kelli Ward, an ally who won reelection as chair of Arizona’s Republican Party after his endorsement. At the same time, Trump’s team has given allies an informal blessing to campaign against the 10 House Republicans who voted in favour of impeachment. After Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer backed impeachment, Republican Tom Norton announced a primary challenge. Norton appeared on longtime Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast in a bid to raise campaign contributions. On Thursday, another Trump loyalist, Rep. Matt Gaetz, plans to travel to Wyoming to condemn home-state Rep. Liz Cheney, a House GOP leader who said after the Capitol riot that “there has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. — a star with Trump’s loyal base —- has encouraged Gaetz on social media and embraced calls for Cheney’s removal from House leadership. Trump remains livid with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, who refused to support Trump's false charges that Georgia's elections were fraudulent. Kemp is up for reelection in 2022, and Trump has suggested former Rep. Doug Collins run against him. Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s decision not to seek reelection in 2022 opens the door for Rep. Jim Jordan, one of Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters, to seek the seat. Several other Republicans, some far less supportive of the former president, are also considering running. Trump’s continued involvement in national politics so soon after his departure marks a dramatic break from past presidents, who typically stepped out of the spotlight, at least temporarily. Former President Barack Obama was famously seen kitesurfing on vacation with billionaire Richard Branson shortly after he left office, and former President George W. Bush took up painting. Trump, who craves the media spotlight, was never expected to burrow out of public view. “We will be back in some form,” he told supporters at a farewell event before he left for Florida. But exactly what form that will take is a work in progress. Trump remains deeply popular among Republican voters and is sitting on a huge pot of cash — well over $50 million — that he could use to prop up primary challenges against Republicans who backed his impeachment or refused to support his failed efforts to challenge the election results using bogus allegations of mass voter fraud in states like Georgia. “POTUS told me after the election that he’s going to be very involved,” said Matt Schlapp, the chair of the American Conservative Union. “I think he’s going to stay engaged. He’s going to keep communicating. He’s going to keep expressing his opinions. I, for one, think that’s great, and I encouraged him to do that.” Aides say he also intends to dedicate himself to winning back the House and Senate for Republicans in 2022. But for now, they say their sights are on the trial. “We’re getting ready for an impeachment trial — that’s really the focus,” said Trump adviser Jason Miller. Trump aides have also spent recent days trying to assure Republicans that he is not currently planning to launch a third party — an idea he has floated — and will instead focus on using his clout in the Republican Party. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said he received a call from Brian Jack, the former White House political director, on Saturday at home to assure him that Trump had no plans for defection. “The main reason for the call was to make sure I knew from him that he’s not starting a third party and if I would be helpful in squashing any rumours that he was starting a third party. And that his political activism or whatever role he would play going forward would be with the Republican Party, not as a third party,” Cramer said. The calls were first reported by Politico. But the stakes remain high for Trump, whose legacy is a point of fierce contention in a Republican Party that is grappling with its identity after losing the White House and both chambers of Congress. Just three weeks after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, Trump’s political standing among Republican leaders in Washington remains low. “I don’t know whether he incited it, but he was part of the problem, put it that way,” said Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a strong Trump supporter, when asked about the Capitol siege and the related impeachment trial. Tuberville did not say whether he would personally defend Trump in the trial, but he downplayed the prospect of negative consequences for those Republican senators who ultimately vote to convict him. “I don’t think there’ll be any repercussions,” Tuberville said. “People are going to vote how they feel anyway.” Trump maintains a strong base of support within the Republican National Committee and in state party leadership, but even there, Republican officials have dared to speak out against him in recent days in ways they did not before. In Arizona, Ward, who had Trump’s backing, was only narrowly reelected over the weekend, even as the party voted to censure a handful of Trump’s Republican critics, including former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain. At the same time, Trump’s prospective impeachment sparked a bitter feud within the RNC. In a private email exchange obtained by The Associated Press, RNC member Demetra DeMonte of Illinois proposed a resolution calling on every Republican senator to oppose what she called an “unconstitutional sham impeachment trial, motivated by a radical and reckless Democrat majority.” Bill Palatucci, a Republican committeeman from New Jersey, slapped back. “His act of insurrection was an attack on our very democracy and deserves impeachment,” Palatucci wrote. ___ Peoples reported from New York. Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington contributed to this report. Steve Peoples And Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
Police are warning users of illicit drugs across the Northwest Territories of two new noxious substances they found in illicit drugs seized in Yellowknife last November, and for which the health effects are not known. In a Tuesday news release, RCMP said the drugs they seized — believed to crack cocaine, powder cocaine and tablets — were found to contain Adinazolam and 5-MeO-DBT after being analyzed by the Health Canada Drug Analysis Service. "These two drugs are a concern for unexpected reactions, and the concern for other contaminants like opioids is always present," said Dr. Andy Delli Pizzi, the N.W.T.'s deputy chief public health officer, in the release. Police said the substances are either presented as a new form of drug that people may be unaware they are consuming or is so novel that limited information is available on its safety. The presence of the two new substances has increased the danger of illicit drugs, the release says. "In fact, given the distribution systems of the illegal drug trade, those tainted drugs could be anywhere in the territory, so this warning is for the entire Northwest Territories" said Insp. Dyson Smith, the officer in charge of the RCMP's Yellowknife detachment, in the release. The RCMP said it is working with the N.W.T. government Department of Health and Social Services to determine the impacts of the two new substances. Delli Pizzi said in the release that people who use street or illicit drugs should always do so with others present and have a plan in case someone overdoses. "The plan should include having naloxone present and calling 911 for help with any overdose" he said. The Yellowknife RCMP's general investigation section seized the illicit drugs on Nov. 27, 2020 from a Yellowknife residence. They said there have been charges as a result of the case and that it is currently before the courts.
Three more Saskatchewan bars have been issued tickets for allegedly failing to abide by public health orders in place to curb the spread of COVID-19. Two Saskatoon businesses — Crackers Restaurant Lounge and Karaoke Bar, and the Crazy Cactus — as well as one in Regina, Stats Cocktails and Dreams, were each fined $14,000, the Saskatchewan government said Tuesday. Crackers was declared the site of an outbreak on Jan. 9. In a social media post, the bar said the outbreak occurred "despite our best efforts." The location has since been linked to more than 80 COVID-19 cases. During the month of January, the Saskatchewan Health Authority also declared outbreaks at four other bars in Saskatoon: the Blue Rhino Pub & Grill, Venice House Traditional Grill/Dino's Bar & Grill, Specklebelly's Pub & Eatery and Birmingham's Vodka and Ale House. The health authority's move to name the businesses fined reflects a different policy than in the past. Premier Scott Moe says it's a practice that will continue in the future. "I had said … over the course of the last few weeks that we are going to be, and I was encouraging all of those involved to increase the enforcement," Moe said at a news conference on Tuesday. "We don't require additional measures in this province. What we require and what we ask is that everyone follows the existing measures." Moe said it's mainly bars and restaurants who have not been following the pandemic-related guidelines, and they are "putting their staff, putting their customers and essentially putting their communities at risk." "We've always said issuing fines and penalties are the last resort, but they are necessary at this point," the premier said. Only compliance will bring case numbers down and get the province to a point where it can consider relaxing restrictions, Moe said.
À Laval, la Cité de la biotech abrite une société de recherche contractuelle qui est non seulement impliquée dans la moitié des projets de développement de vaccins contre la COVID-19, mais qui s’affiche désormais comme «le plus important joueur» mondial en matière de tests cliniques liés à l’approbation de nouveaux vaccins. Il s’agit de Nexelis, un prestataire de services auprès d’entreprises pharmaceutiques et biotechnologiques né en 2015 (sous l’ancien vocable NÉOMED-LABS) à la suite de la fermeture du centre de recherche sur les vaccins que GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) exploitait au 525, boulevard Cartier. Le 20 janvier, l’entreprise lavalloise annonçait une importante acquisition, la 5e à survenir au cours des trois dernières années. D’ici la fin du mois de janvier, le laboratoire de bioanalyse clinique certifié GCLP que détenait GSK à Marburg, en Allemagne, sera la propriété de Nexelis, qui gonfle ainsi ses effectifs à plus de 360 employés dont près de la moitié œuvrent à Laval. Composée de quelque 80 scientifiques et analystes, l’équipe allemande continuera à œuvrer étroitement avec le géant pharmaceutique britannique en soutien au développement de futurs candidats vaccins de GSK, et ce, en vertu d’un accord de collaboration stratégique d'une durée de 5 ans. «La sous-traitance stratégique permettra à GSK d'accroitre sa capacité de tests et son agilité [et] de continuer à accélérer le développement des candidats vaccins dans notre pipeline», a indiqué par voie de communiqué Emmanuel Hanon, chef de la R&D; de GSK Vaccins, rappelant au passage «la réussite du transfert d’activités de laboratoire à Nexelis» en 2015. Depuis 2017, Nexelis aura en moyenne doublé ses revenus chaque année pour atteindre le plateau des 100 M$ US en 2021, indique son président et chef de la direction, Benoit Bouche. «Le segment de la bioanalytique dans le domaine des vaccins est une niche de l’ordre de 250 M$ et notre part de marché mondiale est supérieure à 20 %», précise-t-il. Benoit Bouche souligne également que les quelque 150 employés affectés aux laboratoires de Laval sont actuellement mis à contribution pour les essais cliniques de 20 des 42 projets de vaccin contre la COVID-19 en développement à travers la planète. En clair, le mandat consiste à valider l’efficacité des candidats vaccins en vue de l’ultime homologation des agences réglementaires, tels Santé Canada et la Food and Drug Administration (FDA) aux États-Unis. Les méthodes analytiques et les plateformes technologiques de pointe développées par Nexelis lui assurent une capacité de tests d’échantillons cliniques à très haut débit. «Notre capacité d’analyse est de 10 à 15 000 tests par jour», illustre M. Bouche en évoquant l’ensemble des laboratoires que l’entreprise possède dans ses cinq installations en Amérique du Nord et en Europe. Entreprise détenue par la société de portefeuille Ampersand Capital Partners, Nexelis a le vent dans les voiles et entend bien poursuivre son expansion comme en témoignent les 80 nouvelles embauches projetées en cours d’année. «On s’engage à recruter au moins 100 nouveaux chercheurs à Laval dans les 3 années qui viennent, dont 40 en 2021», termine Benoît Bouche. Dans la foulée de cette expansion à très court terme, le patron de Nexelis est d’ailleurs à évaluer l’occupation d’un second site à la faveur d’un immeuble vacant de la Cité de la biotechnologie et de la santé humaine. Stéphane St-Amour, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
Le cauchemar d’une planète artificielle n’est plus un scénario de science-fiction.
RENTON, Wash. — Immigrant rights activists energized by a new Democratic administration and majorities on Capitol Hill are gearing up for a fresh political battle to push through a proposed bill from President Joe Biden that would open a pathway to citizenship for up to 11 million people. The multimillion-dollar #WeAreHome campaign was launched Monday by national groups including United We Dream and the United Farm Workers Foundation. It starts with ads on Facebook and other social media to reach lawmakers and the constituents who can pressure them. “We are home,” a young woman's voice declares in the first video spot showing immigrants in essential jobs such as cleaning and health care. “Home, even when they say we don't belong.” The effort is a longshot. Immigration remains a third rail dividing Republicans and Democrats in the U.S., and opponents of the measure have pledged to fight it. Although Democrats now account for 50 of 100 senators, with a deciding vote by Vice-President Kamala Harris, the bill will need at least 60 votes to pass. Opponents promised to launch their own social media blitz, as well as TV and radio ads. They also said they would write letters and meet virtually with members of Congress. But organizers say they enjoy the momentum of a new administration and growing public support for giving people in the U.S. illegally a chance at citizenship. The activists note they are also more seasoned. “The movement has matured,” said Lorella Praeli, the Peruvian-born co-president of Community Change, among the national groups leading the campaign. “It's more diverse, experienced.” Praeli, now 32, was brought to the U.S. when she was 10 so she could get better medical treatment after losing a leg in an accident. She became an immigrant activist in her teens. Praeli honed her skills as Latino communities outreach director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign before addressing the 2016 Democratic National Convention. She said the new battle is being waged on various levels, from grassroots organizing in communities to lobbying on Capitol Hill. The five groups chairing the campaign are paying for the effort with their own fundraising, “We need an early breakthrough on immigration,” said Praeli. “We have 100 days to set the tone.” Patrice Lawrence, the Jamaica-born co-executive director for the UndocuBlack Network, said the campaign represents all immigrants "regardless of the colour of our skin, where we live, if we work, how we pray or how old we are.” Glo H. Choi, of the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium, said comprehensive immigration reform is overdue. “The temporary measures of the past have just been kicking the can down the road,” said the Chicago-based community organizer who was brought to the U.S. as a child from South Korea. The effort offers hope to immigrants like Daniela Murguia, a University of Washington graduate who lives in the Seattle suburb of Renton. Murguia's family brought her here from Mexico in 2008 when she was 11 and she has no legal status or protections. She recently raised millions of dollars in coronavirus pandemic aid for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally and lobbied to include such help in the state budget. Under Biden's bill, most people like Murguia would wait eight years for citizenship, but those enrolled in the Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA; those with temporary protective status after fleeing violence-wracked countries; and farmworkers would wait three years. The bill includes protections for other kinds of immigrants, too. Opponents note that President Ronald Reagan’s 1986 amnesty for nearly 3 million immigrants was followed by a flood of new arrivals. But immigration enforcement has expanded greatly since, and Biden’s proposal calls for more technology at land crossings, airports and seaports even as he halts construction of former President Donald Trump’s signature border wall. Still, Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican who supported the wall and is a staunch advocate of restrictive immigration laws, describes the bill as “open borders.” He said it has “no regard for the health and security of Americans, and zero enforcement.” The Federation for American Immigration Reform, a major opponent of the bill, also considers it a kind of amnesty and vows to fight it. “It would not only reward everyone who has violated our immigration laws in the past, but also induce millions more to come here illegally," said R.J. Hauman, head of the group's governmental relations. "In exchange for absolutely nothing.” NumbersUSA Deputy Director Chris Chmielenski suggested Biden may feel beholden to activists who helped elect him. The group favours reduced immigration. “I think it has zero chance of passing,” he said. But the activists have changing public opinion on their side. Seven in 10 voters said they preferred offering immigrants in the U.S. illegally a chance to apply for legal status, compared with about 3 in 10 who thought they should be deported to their birth country, according to AP VoteCast. The November survey of more than 110,000 voters showed 9 in 10 Biden voters and about half of Trump voters favoured creating a way for people to legalize their status. Veteran civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, an activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers who now runs her own foundation, said the immigration reform push will benefit from the dramatic stories of children being separated from their parents under the Trump administration. “I think that is going to make a difference," Huerta said. "Once people see the justice of the issue they will come onboard.” Immigrants say a proposal in the bill to replace the word “alien” with “noncitizen” in immigration laws already makes them feel a difference in the way they are viewed. “I feel more hopeful, more confident,” said Melissa Laratte, a member of National Domestic Workers Alliance, another group organizing the campaign. She arrived with her young son in Miami two years ago seeking asylum as a member of an opposition group in her native Haiti. “They're trying to help us,” she said. __ Snow reported from Phoenix. Associated Press writers Claudia Torrens in New York and Gisela Salomon in Miami contributed to this report. __ This story corrects Lorella Praeli's age to 32 and eliminates a incorrect reference to the New Venture Fund, which is not helping bankroll the campaign. Anita Snow And Manuel Valdes, The Associated Press
Maybe Spiderman was onto something about the power of webs after all. A Western University husband-wife research duo, Miodrag and Vojislava Grbic, are using spider mite silk to develop a new, microscopic material they say is “stronger than steel” and would be a boon for biomedical developments. “Silk produced by mites and spiders is one of the most elegant and well-designed materials in existence,” Miodrag Grbic said from his research lab in Spain. The newly developed biomaterial is twice as stiff as spider silk, 400 times thinner and has a tensile strength four times that of steel. It’s also biodegradable and non-toxic. The Grbics used the genetic DNA framework of the gorse spider mite, Tetranychus lintearius, to develop a new fibre and biofilm, based on the insect's silk, which they’ve patented. “These nanoparticles can be used in biomedicine, for example, for targeted drug delivery (in the body) because you need a carrier to deliver drugs to particular cells,” Miodrag said. Other potential applications range from vaccine delivery and regenerative medicine to food production. Miodrag said the team is working to see if the material could have applications in COVID-19 vaccines. Developing the material was a happy coincidence for the couple, born out of a “crazy side project.” The Grbics originally were sequencing the genome of spider mites in an effort to combat the pests in agriculture only to stumble upon the power of the insect’s silk. In collaboration with teams in Spain and the United States, researchers used radiation and light, and minuscule force measurements to determine the makeup of spider mite silk. The Grbics were then able to tweak that code and manufacture their new nanoparticles based entirely on the original spider mite silk. “Instead of focusing on killing this pest, which is devastating tomatoes and potatoes and greenhouse industry, we can actually learn from this particular animal and turn something negative into something positive,” Miodrag said. Outside of medicine, the nanoparticles also could be used to coat slow-release fertilizer pellets, pesticides and herbicides to create “smart agrochemicals” for use in sustainable agriculture. “Having a broader view in a particular project, especially in genome sequencing projects, are really opening gold mines for different applications,” Miodrag said. email@example.com Twitter.com/MaxatLFPress Max Martin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press
Ahuntsic-Cartierville - La prison de Bordeaux peine toujours à endiguer une éclosion qui s’est déclarée autour de Noël. Bien que la Santé publique assurait il y a deux semaines que l’éclosion, qui s’est déclarée le 24 décembre dernier à l’établissement carcéral, était sous contrôle, de nouveaux cas continuent d’être rapportés un mois plus tard. Dans son rapport sur les éclosions actives en date du 19 janvier, la Direction régionale de la santé publique de Montréal faisait état de 13 cas liés à une éclosion dans une prison sur le territoire du Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal. Lundi, le ministère de la Sécurité publique confirmait au JDV que 13 membres du personnel et deux personnes incarcérées étaient encore infectées à la prison de Bordeaux, située dans Ahuntsic-Cartierville. La porte-parole du Ministère précise que « les membres du personnel atteints à la COVID-19 sont retirés du travail conformément aux consignes de la santé publique ,avant de réintégrer leur poste ». Une source à l’intérieur de la prison indique qu’un détenu travaillant à la cuisine aurait été infecté il y a environ deux semaines. Il aurait été placé en quarantaine pendant 14 jours dans son secteur. Rappelons que l’éclosion majeure du printemps dernier avait poussé l’administration carcérale à mettre en isolement cellulaire prolongé des personnes incarcérées dans plusieurs secteurs de l’établissement. L’éclosion semble pour l’instant, toujours centrée autour du personnel et demeurer relativement sous contrôle, comparativement à la prison de Saint-Jérôme qui vit actuellement une éclosion importante qui progresse rapidement. Le JDV surveille la situation de près.Simon Van Vliet, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal des voisins
Ontario’s pilot COVID-19 testing program from travellers at Toronto's Pearson International Airport found that of the over 6,800 voluntary participants, 146 people or 2.26 per cent, tested positive.
In the middle of winter, in the middle of a pandemic, where do you go to find joy? Maybe it's a physical spot, or a memory. Our new Happy Place series explores both. When Anna Quon thinks of her happy place, she goes back six years in time. In 2015, she saw an ad for a loft for rent, and went to check it out. It was love at first sight. Take a listen to Anna Quon's audio essay: Transcript, in part: I remember feeling lacklustre about the online ad for the apartment. It looked small, this bachelor loft near the university, but it was in my price range, and close to the No. 1, king of Halifax bus routes. I went to look, not expecting much. But my first step inside the old house's windy attic staircase, covered with original portraits, still lifes, and an antique map, was thrilling. I fell in love with the loft — bright and spacious, simply furnished — immediately. The outgoing tenant told me the landlady's husband, a professor and master carpenter, had made everything. The tiny tiled kitchen and bathroom were a delight, well-designed and spotless, the staircase to the basement laundry, like that of a castle turret, charmingly precarious. But I was in good health then, a scant five years ago, easily able to carry a wet load of laundry up three stories to hang dry. The best part about this apartment was the handmade round wooden table, surrounded by four cheap and sturdy chairs, under a tilt and turn skylight. It was the place I worked on my laptop, and the hub of my social life. I had two new Halifax friends who I shared many a meal with there, beneath the sometimes star-filled, sometimes snow-filled, rectangle of that magical window. If you have a Happy Place story to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org. MORE TOP STORIES
CAMEROON, Cameroon — U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration announced Tuesday it was restoring relations with the Palestinians and renewing aid to Palestinian refugees, a reversal of the Trump administration’s cutoff and a key element of its new support for a two-state solution to the decades-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Acting U.S. Ambassador Richard Mills made the announcement of Biden’s approach to a high-level virtual Security Council meeting, saying the new U.S. administration believes this “remains the best way to ensure Israel’s future as a democratic and Jewish state while upholding the Palestinians’ legitimate aspirations for a state of their own and to live with dignity and security.” President Donald Trump’s administration provided unprecedented support to Israel, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv, slashing financial assistance for the Palestinians and reversing course on the illegitimacy of Israeli settlements on land claimed by the Palestinians. Israel captured east Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 war. The international community considers both areas to be occupied territory, and the Palestinians seek them as parts of a future independent state. Israel has built a far-flung network of settlements that house nearly 700,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Jerusalem since their capture in 1967. The peace plan unveiled by Trump a year ago envisions a disjointed Palestinian state that turns over key parts of the West Bank to Israel, siding with Israel on key contentious issues including borders and the status of Jerusalem and Jewish settlements. It was vehemently rejected by the Palestinians. Mills made clear the Biden administration’s more even-handed approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Under the new administration, the policy of the United States will be to support a mutually agreed two-state solution, one in which Israel lives in peace and security alongside a viable Palestinian state,” he said. Mills said peace can’t be imposed on either side and stressed that progress and an ultimate solution require the participation and agreement of Israelis and Palestinians. “In order to advance these objectives, the Biden administration will restore credible U.S. engagement with Palestinians as well as Israelis,” he said. “This will involve renewing U.S. relations with the Palestinian leadership and Palestinian people,” Mills said. “President Biden has been clear that he intends to restore U.S. assistance programs that support economic development programs and humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people, and to take steps to reopen diplomatic relations that were closed by the last U.S. administration,.” Mills said. Trump cut off funding for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency known as UNRWA, which was established to aid the 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were forced from their homes during the war surrounding Israel’s establishment in 1948. It provides education, health care, food and other assistance to some 5.5 million refugees and their descendants in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The U.S. was UNRWA’s major donor and the loss of funds has created a financial crisis for the agency. The Trump administration closed the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington in September 2018, effectively shutting down the Palestinians’ diplomatic mission to the United States. Mills said the United States hopes to start working to slowly build confidence on both sides to create an environment to reach a two-state solution. To pursue this goal, Mills said, “the United States will urge Israel’s government and the Palestinians to avoid unilateral steps that make a two-state solution more difficult, such as annexation of territory, settlement activity, demolitions, incitement to violence, and providing compensation for individuals in prison for acts of terrorism.” Israel has accused the Palestinians of inciting violence and has vehemently objected to the Palestinian Authority paying families of those imprisoned for attacking or killing Israelis. Mills stressed that “the U.S. will maintain its steadfast support for Israel” -- opposing one-sided resolutions and other actions in international bodies that unfairly single out Israel and promoting Israel’s standing and participation at the U.N. and other international organizations. The Biden administration welcomes the recent normalization of relations between Israel and a number of Arab nations and will urge other countries to establish ties, Mills said. “Yet, we recognize that Arab-Israeli normalization is not a substitute for Israeli-Palestinian peace,” he said. Mills stressed that the fraught state of Israeli-Palestinian politics, and the fact that trust between the two sides “is at a nadir,” don’t relieve U.N. member nations “of the responsibility of trying to preserve the viability of a two-state solution.” Before Mills spoke, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki sharply criticized the Trump administration for using “the United States’ might and influence to support Israel’s unlawful efforts to entrench its occupation and control” and reiterated Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' hopes “for the resumption of relations and positive engagement.” “Now is the time to heal and repair the damage left by the previous U.S. administration,” he said. “We look forward to the reversal of the unlawful and hostile measures undertaken by the Trump administration and to working together for peace.” Malki called for revival of the Quartet of Mideast mediators -- the U.S., U.N., European Union and Russia -- and reiterated Abbas’ call for an international peace conference “that can signal a turning point in this conflict.” He also expressed hope that “the U.S. will play an important role in multilateral efforts for peace in the Middle East.” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow is convinced that the Quartet, working closely with both sides and Arab states, “can play a very, very effective role.” In support of Abbas’ call for an international conference, Lavrov proposed holding a ministerial meeting this spring or summer with the Quartet and Egypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain as well as Saudi Arabia to analyze the current situation and assist “in launching a dialogue” between Israeli's and Palestinians. Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said “Palestinians suffered from unprecedented pressure from the former U.S. administration" and said the organization's 22 members look forward to Biden correcting Trump's actions and working with international and regional parties to relaunch “a serious peace process." But Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan told the council that instead of focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it should focus on Iran, which “does not try to hide its intention of destroying the world’s only Jewish state.” On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he suggested that the council discuss what he called “the real obstacles to peace: Palestinian incitement and culture of hate.” Israel remains willing to make peace “when there is a willing partner,” Erdan said, accusing Abbas of inciting violence, and saying he should come to the negotiating table “without making outrageous demands and not call for another pointless international conference ... (which) is just a distraction.” Edith M. Lederer, The Associated Press
Midhurst residents did not attend a public meeting to show their displeasure at a new development on Old Second South, Monday (Jan. 25). Springwater council hosted a public meeting to discuss the engineering specifics of the proposed five lots, which will see single-dwelling homes developed by First Elm Holding Inc. They will be located minutes north of Midhurst, backing onto environmentally-protected land. There were no residents to query the requested zone change from A for agricultural to RIXX zoning for the small residential builds. “No commentors care to make deputations,” Clerk Renee Ainsworth told councillors midway through the 40-minute meeting. After spending almost 12 years fighting the township against more subdivisions near their small village 10 minutes north of Barrie, the Midhurst Ratepayers Association was not present and the virtual meeting was only attended by council and township staff. Coun. Jack Hanna queried the placement of septic beds on the five proposed properties that would lie on the west end of 43 hectares adjacent to the Old Second South. “Water courses are fairly well removed,” said Brian Goodreid of Goodreid Planning Group, which is responsible for the engineering report presented to council. Hanna also questioned the regulations of a maximum of 15 persons per the five lots allotted to, but Brent Spagnol, director of planning services, allayed those concerns. “There are no people police monitoring to ensure we only have three persons per home. There’s no limitations on the number of people per home,” Spagnol said, noting the single-dwelling detached homes meet the provincial settlement population allotment requirements. Further input from the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority is expected. The application was reviewed and returned to staff for further investigation. Cheryl Browne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
Suzanne Birt can book her ticket for the Calgary bubble. The veteran skip wants to make sure she's wearing familiar Prince Edward Island colours when she's there. Birt will be a heavy favourite in a best-of-five playdown starting Friday against unheralded Darlene London at the Maple Leaf Curling Club in O’Leary, P.E.I. The winner will represent the province at the Feb. 19-28 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. "It would mean a lot to us to be that team," Birt said Tuesday from Charlottetown. The two-team competition is one of the few provincial or territorial championships to be played this season. Several playdowns around the country have been cancelled due to the pandemic. The Prince Edward Island result will have direct ramifications on the wild-card picture at the Scotties. No. 2 Tracy Fleury and No. 11 Mackenzie Zacharias, both from Manitoba, have already secured the first two wild-card spots in the expanded 18-team draw. If Birt wins the provincial title, the third and final wild-card entry will go to Beth Peterson of Manitoba, based on her No. 12 position in the Canadian rankings. A loss would give Birt the berth since she's ranked higher at No. 9. "We've been practising and preparing for the past few months (since) we were in the mindset that we would be there," Birt said. "We wanted to train like normal and be in that setting. That hasn't changed at all." Many top national teams have been limited this season due to bonspiel cancellations, club closures and government restrictions. Some players have turned to practising on frozen lakes to maintain at least some level of on-ice training. The curling season in P.E.I., meanwhile, has been running rather smoothly. Curl PEI even eased some modifications this week to allow for the return of pre-pandemic sweeping rules. Prince Edward Island did not report any new COVID-19 cases Tuesday. There are only six active cases in the province. London has been a regular at provincial playdowns in recent years with skip Tammy Dewar. She took over as skip this season when Dewar stepped away from competitive play. London knows she's an underdog against Birt but feels it's still "anyone's game." "We've beaten Team Birt, they've beaten us," she said from Montague, P.E.I. "Team Birt has (also) wiped us off the scoreboard." Birt has made 11 career appearances at the Scotties. The 2001 world junior champion recorded a career-best third-place Scotties finish in 2003. London nearly qualified for the nationals as a second for Dewar in 2010. They dropped an 8-6 decision to Kathy O'Rourke in the provincial final that year. London said she's been playing four nights a week this season out of the Montague Curling Club, including once a week with her competitive team. "We have the utmost respect but we feel we have a chance ... we just hope we'll go to the other end of the island and play five really good games," she said. A Birt victory would send a whopping five Manitoba teams to the Scotties. The three wild-card teams would join Team Canada's Kerri Einarson and Manitoba skip Jennifer Jones in the field. The Prince Edward Island men's championship is also set to begin Friday. Eddie MacKenzie and Blair Jay will meet in a best-of-five showdown for a berth in the March 5-14 Tim Hortons Brier. The Scotties and the Brier will be held at the Markin MacPhail Centre on the grounds of Canada Olympic Park. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter. Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Canada's main stock index suffered its worst drop of the year on a broad-based decline led by the energy and technology sectors. The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 126.61 points to 17,779.41. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 22.96 points at 30,937.04. The S&P 500 index was down 5.74 points at 3,849.62, while the Nasdaq composite was down 9.93 points at 13,626.06. The Canadian dollar traded for 78.73 cents US compared with 78.51 cents US on Monday. The March crude oil contract was down 16 cents at US$52.61 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was up 3.8 cents at nearly US$2.64 per mmBTU. The February gold contract was down US$4.30 at US$1,850.90 an ounce and the March copper contract was down a penny at US$3.62 a pound. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) The Canadian Press
Ottawa's medical officer of health is calling on the province to allow schools in this city to reopen as soon as possible, saying current COVID-19 rates here are manageable. "The level of community transmission in Ottawa is similar to, or lower now, than it was at our peak in October when schools were open and we managed that level of COVID in the schools," Dr. Vera Etches said Tuesday during a technical briefing on the city's vaccination plan. There are many different kinds of harms that we see with schools being closed, which lead us to wanting to open them as soon as we can. - Dr. Vera Etches Last Wednesday, Ontario announced schools within four public health units in eastern Ontario could reopen on Monday. Ottawa was not on the list, and there's still no word from the province about when in-person learning can resume in this city. Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, CEO of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, told reporters on Tuesday he believes schools in that region will be allowed to reopen by Feb. 9 or Feb. 10, so long as caseloads remain on the right trajectory. Etches argues Ottawa's current COVID-19 caseload doesn't justify the ongoing closure. She has compared in-class learning to essential work for children, and said parents are facing too much stress handling their own work while supervising their kids' at-home schooling. There's also the strain on students: during last spring's provincewide shutdown, demand for mental health services among children and youth increased, Etches said. "There are many different kinds of harms that we see with schools being closed, which lead us to wanting to open them as soon as we can," said Etches. Return to school should not depend on vaccination campaign, Etches says In recent weeks, Ottawa has seen a steady decline in COVID-19 transmission. On Tuesday, Ottawa Public Health reported just 23 new cases, while the test positivity rate has dropped to three per cent, down from 4.6 per cent two weeks ago. If cases surge again, the city has proven itself equipped to track cases in schools and keep the virus at bay, said Etches. "I never use the word 'safe,'" she said. "But what I feel confident about is that we can manage the COVID levels to decrease transmission within schools, just as we did in the fall." In areas of Ontario where students returned to the classroom Monday, the province has introduced additional measures to control the spread of COVID-19 including targeted asymptomatic testing, more vigorous screening, mandatory masks for students in grades 1 to 3, and mandatory masks outdoors when physical distancing can't be maintained.
Il est vrai que l’on fait souvent cette expérience douloureuse assez jeune : le feu, ça brûle, mais, comment ce phénomène s’explique-t-il ?
Out of 99 new positive cases discovered in the Simcoe Muskoka Region, health officials say 97 are linked to a long-term care home in Barrie and all of those people are likely affected by the fast-spreading U.K. variant. There are concerns the highly contagious strain of the virus is more widespread than initially thought. Miranda Anthistle has the details.
Haisla Nation duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids are leading nominees at the first-ever International Indigenous Hip Hop Awards Show. The celebration will stream online on May 23 from Winnipeg, this year's host city, with the winners of all 20 categories selected by the public. The Rez Kids are contending for four awards, including hip hop single of the year for "Where They At" and album of the year for "Born Deadly." David Strickland, a Mi’kmaw and Cree producer, is up for three awards, among them single of the year for "Turtle Island," featuring Supaman, Artson, Spade, JRDN and Whitey. Other categories span an array of elements tied to hip hop music. Two are devoted to R&B songs, while music videos, DJs and clothing lines all have their own awards. An international hip hop single category includes artists hailing from the United States, Australia and India. Organizers say nominees were narrowed down by a group of music judges and industry players, such as DJs, producers and other professionals. The winners will be selected through a public vote running until April 30 on the event's website. The Indigenous hip hop awards are being led by four organizers: MCs Miss Christie Lee and Jon C, as well as Indigenous artist and motivational speaker Paul Sawan and entertainment marketer Chris Sharpe. The idea came about when Sawan and Sharpe began discussing their excitement around the burgeoning Indigenous hip hop community. "I really do consider it to be the new underground," Sharpe said in a phone interview. "We would love (the awards) to be one of the premier events that really showcases the Indigenous artists across Canada, with the hope that a lot more investment will go into helping artists develop in these communities." The awards will be preceded by a virtual music industry trade show on May 22. Follow @dfriend on Twitter. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. David Friend, The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is expanding its travel restrictions to require all domestic travellers to self-isolate for 14 days after entering the province. Since last June, only people arriving from areas east of Terrace Bay in northern Ontario have been subject to the requirement. But, starting Friday, all out-of-province arrivals will be covered by the public-health measure to help fight the spread of COVID-19. "This is being done out of an abundance of caution to protect Manitobans," Premier Brian Pallister said Tuesday. The move is needed because of the growing spread of novel coronavirus variants and because of delays in vaccine supplies, he said. There will be ongoing exceptions for people travelling for essential work and medical care, and a new exemption for residents of border communities who cross into Saskatchewan or Ontario for necessities. Pallister also called on the federal government to tighten rules governing international travellers. He said a ban on non-essential trips, as suggested by Quebec Premier Francois Legault last week, should be on the table. "We believe that a total travel ban may be something the federal government needs to consider seriously," Pallister said. "I respect that the federal government has to make this call and that's why I'm not trying to be overly prescriptive with what Manitoba wants. ... I'm simply adding my voice to those of the premiers who have said, 'Make a decision on this and doing nothing is not an option.'" Pallister also revealed that he had disciplined James Teitsma, a Progressive Conservative caucus member, who travelled with his family to British Columbia in December. The vacation did not contravene any formal public-health orders, but went against advice to avoid non-essential travel. Pallister did not say what discipline Teitsma was subjected to, and Teitsma did not return requests for comment. He sits on cabinet and Legislature committees and receives extra pay as chairman of one. A recently updated list of members of the cabinet committee on economic growth no longer includes Teitsma's name. Manitoba's COVID-19 case count continued its downward trend Tuesday. Health officials reported 92 additional cases and five deaths. Numbers have been dropping since late fall, shortly after the province brought in tight restrictions on public gatherings and store openings. Some of the measures were eased on the weekend to allow small social gatherings in private homes and non-essential store openings with limited capacity. "It's trending the right way again, but we still have a number of people in hospital ... so it still is a burden on the acute-care system," said Dr. Jazz Atwal, acting deputy chief public health officer. Opposition NDP Leader Wab Kinew said he supports the government's expanded travel restrictions, but said the province must build up intensive care units, which are running well above pre-pandemic capacity. "Let's use this time to make the investments in our health care system so that we can withstand what's coming, potentially, as the pandemic drags on," Kinew said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021 Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press
MOSCOW — Russia and the United States traded documents Tuesday to extend their last remaining nuclear arms control treaty days before it is due to expire, the Kremlin said. A Kremlin readout of a phone call between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin said the two leaders voiced satisfaction with the exchange of diplomatic notes about extending the New START treaty. “In the nearest days, the parties will complete the necessary procedures that will ensure further functioning of this important international legal nuclear arms control tool," the Kremlin said. The pact's extension doesn't require congressional approval in the U.S., but Russian lawmakers must ratify the move. Top members of the Kremlin-controlled parliament said they would fast-track the issue and complete the necessary steps to extend the treaty this week. New START expires on Feb. 5. After taking office last week, Biden proposed extending the treaty for five years, and the Kremlin quickly welcomed the offer. The treaty, signed in 2010 by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers, and envisages sweeping on-site inspections to verify compliance. Biden indicated during the campaign that he favoured the preservation of the New START treaty, which was negotiated during his tenure as U.S. vice-president. Russia has long proposed to prolong the pact without any conditions or changes, but the Trump administration waited until last year to start talks and made the extension contingent on a set of demands. The talks stalled, and months of bargaining have failed to narrow differences. The negotiations were also marred by tensions between Russia and the United States, which have been fueled by the Ukrainian crisis, Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other irritants. After both Moscow and Washington withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 2019, New START is the only remaining nuclear arms control deal between the two countries. Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, praised “the businesslike, no-nonsense decision” to extend the treaty, saying it would help curtail the arms race and “create the potential for more ambitious steps to reduce the nuclear danger and move us closer to a world without nuclear weapons.” “New START extension should be just the beginning and not the end of U.S. and Russian nuclear disarmament diplomacy," Kimball said in a statement. “Both countries have a special responsibility and a national interest in reducing their bloated, costly, and deadly nuclear stockpiles.” Earlier this month, Russia announced that it would follow the U.S. to pull out of the Open Skies Treaty, which allowed surveillance flights over military facilities to help build trust and transparency between Russia and the West. The Kremlin said Putin and Biden discussed the Open Skies pact along with other issues during their Tuesday call. While Russia always offered to extend New START for five years — a possibility that was envisaged by the pact at the time it was signed — former President Donald Trump charged that it put the U.S. at a disadvantage. Trump initially insisted that China be added to the treaty, an idea that Beijing bluntly dismissed. The Trump administration then proposed to extend New START for just one year and also sought to expand it to include limits on battlefield nuclear weapons. Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press