Looks like Zeus needs a bit of convincing to come out for that walk!
Looks like Zeus needs a bit of convincing to come out for that walk!
WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement officials are examining a number of threats aimed at members of Congress as the second trial of former President Donald Trump nears, including ominous chatter about killing legislators or attacking them outside of the U.S. Capitol, a U.S. official told The Associated Press. The threats, and concerns that armed protesters could return to sack the Capitol anew, have prompted the U.S. Capitol Police and other federal law enforcement to insist thousands of National Guard troops remain in Washington as the Senate moves forward with plans for Trump's trial, the official said. The shocking insurrection at the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob prompted federal officials to rethink security in and around its landmarks, resulting in an unprecedented lockdown for Biden's inauguration. Though the event went off without any problems and armed protests around the country did not materialize, the threats to lawmakers ahead of Trump's trial exemplified the continued potential for danger. Similar to those intercepted by investigators ahead of Biden’s inauguration, the threats that law enforcement agents are tracking vary in specificity and credibility, said the official, who had been briefed on the matter. Mainly posted online and in chat groups, the messages have included plots to attack members of Congress during travel to and from the Capitol complex during the trial, according to the official. The official was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation publicly and spoke Sunday to the AP on condition of anonymity. Law enforcement officials are already starting to plan for the possibility of armed protesters returning to the nation's capital when Trump’s Senate trial on a charge of inciting a violent insurrection begins the week of Feb. 8. It would be the first impeachment trial of a former U.S. president. Though much of the security apparatus around Washington set up after the Jan. 6 riot and ahead of Biden’s inauguration — it included scores of military checkpoints and hundreds of additional law enforcement personnel — is no longer in place, about 7,000 members of the National Guard will remain to assist federal law enforcement, officials said. Gen. Dan Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said Monday that about 13,000 Guard members are still deployed in D.C., and that their numbers would shrink to 7,000 by the end of this week. John Whitley, the acting secretary of the Army, told a Pentagon news conference that this number is based on requests for assistance from the Capitol Police, the Park Police, the Secret Service and the Metropolitan Police Department. Whitley said the number is to drop to 5,000 by mid-March. Thousands of Trump’s supporters descended on the Capitol on Jan. 6 as Congress met to certify Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential race. More than 800 are believed to have made their way into the Capitol during the violent siege, pushing past overwhelmed police officers. The Capitol police said they planned for a free speech protest, not a riot, and were caught off guard despite intelligence suggesting the rally would descend into a riot. Five people died in the melee, including a Capitol police officer who was struck in the head with a fire extinguisher. At least five people facing federal charges have suggested they believed they were taking orders from Trump when they marched on Capitol Hill to challenge the certification of Biden’s election victory. But now those comments, captured in interviews with reporters and federal agents, are likely to take centre stage as Democrats lay out their case. More than 130 people have been charged by federal prosecutors for their roles in the riot. In recent weeks, others have been arrested after posting threats against members of Congress. They include a Proud Boys supporter who authorities said threatened to deploy “three cars full of armed patriots” to Washington, threatened harm against Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., and who is accused of stockpiling military-style combat knives and more than 1,000 rifle rounds in his New York home. A Texas man was arrested this week for taking part in the riot at the Capitol and for posting violent threats, including a call to assassinate Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y ___ Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report. Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
When Nora Funk was growing up in Stephenville on the west coast of Newfoundland, she always felt her Mi'kmaw ties to the land. After moving to Manitoba at 16 and beginning to increasingly experience her Indigenous culture, she knew she wanted to learn more. Funk, who now lives in Nanaimo, B.C., told CBC Radio's Weekend AM earlier this month that she hadn't been taking part in Mi'kmaw culture before she moved, because it was "almost lost" in Newfoundland. "I find now my heart really longs to know more," she said. Her lighter skin colour means she'd hear troubling comments about Indigenous people, made by people who didn't know she's Mi'kmaw. Moving west showed her a different world, she said, and she experienced a troubling mindset toward Indigenous people she hadn't seen in her home province. "My mom is Scottish and English, I'm whiter skin than most," she said. "The problem is you tend to hear more when you're like that, because people make allowances because they don't think that you're Native so a lot more things are said. And it really, really stung." Funk started volunteering at friendship centres to learn more about her culture, and then decided to take it step further by learning the Mi'kmaw language, which she sees as a way to help preserve her culture. "It's so crucially important not to let not only our language die, but our culture. It's so rich," she said. LISTEN | Nora Funk speaks with the CBC's Paula Gale about learning to speak Mi'kmaw: "I'm absolutely loving it. I am starting to learn how to put sentences together, proper pronunciation, participles, past participles. It's been challenging, but it's been so rewarding.… I'm starting to put out little stickers on my cupboard doors and my salt and my pepper, so I'm forcing myself to say it before I grab it. I really want to incorporate more of the language into my life." Funk's teacher, Marcella Williams, has been sharing her language skills with the Flat Bay Mi'kmaw band on Newfoundland's southwest coast. She said the band has been hosting language classes since 2014, teaching people a language seldom spoken for decades out of fear. "When we joined Confederation, it was said there are no Natives in Newfoundland," she said. "[If] they found out, you would lose your job. In order to not have that happen and to be able to make their livelihood, they hid it. Because they hid it so well … we ended up losing that piece of ourselves." Williams teaches close to 60 people over a 10-week online program. She said the core language is mostly the same among different regions like New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Conne River, with different regional dialects developing over time — similar to calling a couch a "chesterfield" or "sofa" in English. "You will find some who are taking to it like a duck to water. They love it, I can't give them enough information," Williams laughed. "There are some on the opposite ends that struggle, but even though they're struggling they're giving it their all. And that's the most important thing." The amount of stuff that I have learned in just a few years that we have done as … people of the Mi'kmaw culture would astound most people. - Nora Funk While most of Funk's family are members of the Qalipu First Nation, she said she has not been able to become a member because she doesn't live in Newfoundland and Labrador. However, she hopes her work to preserve Mi'kmaw culture can bring a different kind of recognition. "I don't really care about the health care and all the things that come with it. What I care about, and why I want status, is because I want the government to acknowledge that we exist," she said. "When Joey Smallwood basically told the government that there was no Aboriginal people, I think he thought he was doing a service so that we could join Confederation. But it was such a disservice because we've never been acknowledged. And that's not fair." She also hopes speaking with others about the nearly lost language will encourage others to learn and preserve the culture. "Knowing that my own language and my own people were almost bred out and learning and knowing that the language was dying … it was something that my soul was longing to get in touch with who I am. I didn't want to see that die out," she said. "The amount of stuff that I have learned in just a few years that we have done as … people of the Mi'kmaw culture would astound most people." Williams hopes more can be done to revive the language, like sending language students to New Brunswick or Nova Scotia, where Mi'kmaw is more commonly used. Work is also being done within the Qalipu First Nation, which will launch virtual language workshops beginning in February. "If you don't use it, you lose it … just like when you do French immersion in school. Without being able to hear it, you won't end up with fluent speakers," she said. "Language ties to culture. Just by learning about the language, not even learning the words but about why things are the way they are in the language, you can learn a lot about the culture that may otherwise be lost. It's part of our identity, and it's who we are." Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
SYDNEY, Australia — Australia’s medical regulator has approved use of its first coronavirus vaccine, paving the way for inoculations to begin next month. The Therapeutic Goods Administration on Monday gave provisional approval for people aged 16 and over to use the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. Residents and workers at aged-care facilities, frontline healthcare workers and quarantine workers are among the groups being prioritized for the first doses. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed the development. He said Australia was among the first countries to complete a comprehensive process to formally approve a vaccine rather than just grant an emergency approval. Australia has an agreement for 10 million doses of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine and an option to buy more if supplies allow. Health Minister Greg Hunt said Monday the country overall had secured 140 million vaccines, one of the highest dosing rates per head of population in the world. The biggest of the pre-orders, conditional on regulatory approval, is 53.8 million doses of the vaccine made by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, 50 million of which would be made in Australia in a partnership with Melbourne-based biopharmaceutical company CSL. Australia is aiming to complete inoculations by October. The nation of 26 million people has reported fewer than 30,000 virus cases and a little over 900 deaths. In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region: — Australia has suspended its partial travel bubble with New Zealand after New Zealand reported its first coronavirus case outside of a quarantine facility in two months. Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said Monday the suspension would last for three days and was being implemented out of an abundance of caution. Travelers affected need to cancel or face two weeks in quarantine upon arrival. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she’d told Morrison she had confidence in New Zealand’s systems and processes, but it was up to Australia to decide how they managed their borders. Health officials in New Zealand say genome tests indicate the woman contracted the virus from another returning traveller just before leaving quarantine. However, there was no evidence the virus has spread further. Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the 56-year-old woman had recently returned from Europe. During her mandatory two weeks in quarantine, she tested negative twice. She developed symptoms at home later and tested positive. Officials say the woman appears to have caught the more infectious South African variant of the virus from another traveller on her second-to-last day in quarantine, and they’re investigating how the health breach happened. — Bangladesh received 5 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine from an Indian producer on Monday. Under a three-way agreement, it plans to buy 30 million doses from the Serum Institute of India in phases. A Bangladeshi company, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd., received the 5 million doses as distributor for the South Asian country. Nazmul Hasan Papon, managing director of Beximco Pharmaceuticals, said the vaccine will be provided to government authorities across the country. The government is training thousands of volunteers to administer the vaccine. The country received 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine last Thursday as a gift from India, while Monday’s doses were purchased. The vaccine, manufactured under license by Serum Institute of India, will be given first to front-line workers, including doctors and nurses. Bangladesh has recorded more than 8.000 deaths from the coronavirus. — Sri Lanka's government says it will start administering a coronavirus vaccine this week. Sri Lanka is to receive a donation of 500,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India on Wednesday and will begin inoculations the next day, the government said. It will first be given to health workers, the military and police. Sri Lanka has also ordered supplies of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, and separately is to receive enough vaccine for 20% of its population through COVAX, a program led by the World Health Organization and others. Last week, Sri Lanka’s National Medicines Regulatory Authority approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine amid warnings from doctors that front-line health workers should be quickly inoculated to prevent the medical system from collapsing. On Saturday, health minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi tested positive for COVID-19. The disease resurged in October with two new clusters, one at a garment factory and the other at a fish market. Sri Lanka has reported 58,429 case, with 283 fatalities. — A lockdown in part of Hong Kong's Kowloon neighbourhood was lifted Monday after thousands of residents were tested for the virus. The lockdown that began early Saturday covered 16 buildings in the working-class Yau Tsim Mong district. During the lockdown, residents were not allowed to leave their premises until they had tested negative for the coronavirus. The district has been at the centre of a worsening coronavirus outbreak, with over 160 cases reported over the first three weeks in January. Higher concentrations of the virus were also found in sewage samples, prompting fears the virus could be transmitted via poorly installed plumbing systems in subdivided units that lack ventilation. The government said in a statement early Monday that about 7,000 people were tested for the coronavirus during the lockdown, with 13 positive infections found. As of Sunday, Hong Kong has reported 10,086 cases of the coronavirus overall, with 169 deaths recorded. — South Korea has reported another new 437 infections of the coronavirus as officials raised alarm over an outbreak at a missionary training school. Around 130 students and teachers were found infected so far at the church-run academy in the central city of Daejeon. Prime Minster Chung Sye-kyun during a virus meeting called for health officials to deal swiftly with the outbreak at the Daejeon school and prevent transmissions from spreading further. South Korea throughout the pandemic has repeatedly seen huge infection clusters emerge from religious groups, including more than 5,000 infections tied to the secretive Shincheonji Church of Jesus that drove a major outbreak in the southeastern region in spring last year. “We cannot let that situation repeat,” Chung said. The numbers released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Monday brought the national caseload to 75,521, including 11 deaths. The Associated Press
Founders Hall in Charlottetown wants to develop its outdoor space to create a place where people can gather more safely during the pandemic. More people were allowed in churches and other places of worship Sunday after the province eased some COVID-19 measures this weekend. There have been no reported cases of influenza on P.E.I. this season, as well as fewer cases of coughs and colds, which the Chief Public Health Office credits to "unintended impacts" of pandemic restrictions. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases reported on P.E.I. remains 110, with seven still active. There have been no deaths or hospitalizations. New Brunswick reported 20 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, mostly in the Moncton and Edmundston regions. The province now has 334 active cases. Nova Scotia had a single new case of COVID-19 to report along with two recoveries, bringing the total of known active cases to 19. Also in the news Further resources Reminder about symptoms The symptoms of COVID-19 can include: Fever. Cough or worsening of a previous cough. Possible loss of taste and/or smell. Sore throat. New or worsening fatigue. Headache. Shortness of breath. Runny nose. More from CBC P.E.I.
Millbrook First Nation is nearly a step closer to developing a section of Shannon Park, but will first need an endorsement from the Halifax Regional Municipality. "We've been working on this for quite, quite some time now," said Millbrook Chief Bob Gloade. "We've acquired the part of Shannon Park a number of years ago and we've been working toward an expansion of our community." The band owns about four hectares of land at Shannon Park in Dartmouth, which is being redeveloped by Canada Lands — the real estate arm of the federal government. The land, which is also known as Turtle Grove or Turtle Cove, was acquired by Indigenous Services Canada and declared reserve land after an outstanding Mi'kmaw claim dating back before the Halifax Explosion. Gloade said Millbrook has been working with Canada Lands and Indigenous Services Canada on the redevelopment of this land for at least 10 years. On Nov. 24, Gloade sent a letter to the Halifax Regional Municipality stating that it was nearly finished establishing a reserve on the Shannon Park land, according to a city council document. The office of Mayor Mike Savage then received an email from Indigenous Services Canada stating it would require "an indication of support" for the reserve. It also required a commitment to enter into a municipal services agreement with Millbrook before the land could be developed. By Dec. 18, the municipality's chief administrative officer, Jacques Dubé, sent a letter to Chief Gloade confirming support for the creation of the reserve and his intention to create a municipal services agreement. However, this first needs to be be endorsed by city council. If the development of the land is endorsed, Gloade said this allows Millbrook to have a larger footprint in the Halifax Regional Municipality. Millbrook has also already worked with the Halifax Port Authority to establish a long-term lease for the infilled water lot. "We're looking at doing a mix of residential and commercial development along the waterfront for economic development purposes for our community," Gloade said. He said if all goes well, the area could see between five and 10 years of construction developments on the waterfront, which will eventually draw more people to the area. "There's a significant amount of the land that we're looking at developing and projects that we're going to be undertaking," he said. "So it will take between five to 10 years by the time everything is done and completed." Halifax Regional Council is expected to vote on the endorsement on Tuesday. MORE TOP STORIES
Traveling can be tricky now but here are three things you can pay attention to before booking anything.
The U.S. House of Representatives delivered to the Senate on Monday a charge that former President Donald Trump incited insurrection in a speech to supporters before the deadly attack on the Capitol, setting in motion his second impeachment trial. Nine House Democrats who will serve as prosecutors in Trump's trial, accompanied by the clerk of the House and the acting sergeant at arms, carried the charge against Trump to the Senate in a solemn procession across the Capitol. Wearing masks to protect against COVID-19, they filed through the ornate Capitol Rotunda and into the Senate chamber, following the path that a mob of Trump supporters took on Jan. 6 as they clashed with police.
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Monday Jan. 25, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 15,213 new vaccinations administered for a total of 816,451 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 2,154.265 per 100,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 1,122,450 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 72.74 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland is reporting 3,258 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 8,549 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 16.326 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 16,500 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 3.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 51.81 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 1,423 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 6,525 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 41.134 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 9,225 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 5.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 70.73 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 2,975 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 10,575 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 10.836 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 28,850 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 3.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 36.66 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 2,704 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 10,436 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 13.379 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 21,675 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 48.15 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 8,503 new vaccinations administered for a total of 218,755 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 25.565 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 238,100 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 91.88 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 4,427 new vaccinations administered for a total of 280,573 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 19.101 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 411,650 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 68.16 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 1,389 new vaccinations administered for a total of 28,941 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 21.017 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 55,650 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 4.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 52.01 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 654 new vaccinations administered for a total of 33,039 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 28.019 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 32,725 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 101 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 240 new vaccinations administered for a total of 99,047 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 22.50 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 122,725 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 80.71 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 110,566 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 21.546 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 144,550 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 76.49 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 3,730 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 89.382 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 14,400 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 35 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 25.9 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,893 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 41.956 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 14,400 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 32 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 13.15 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 3,822 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 98.693 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 12,000 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 31 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 31.85 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Jan. 25, 2021. The Canadian Press
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) said it became aware of the incident on Jan. 15 although it does not appear the credit licence forms or attachments were downloaded. The server has been disabled and no other tech infrastructure has been breached, ASIC added. The incident occurred with the file sharing software provided by California-based Accellion.
Ukraine reopens schools, restaurants and gyms on Monday, ending a tough lockdown introduced on Jan. 8 to prevent a new wave of coronavirus infections, Ukrainian authorities said. The number of new cases of coronavirus infection in Ukraine has significantly decreased from 6,000 to 9,000 cases a day at the beginning of January to 2,516 new cases on January 25, the fewest since early September. "Such statistics, which indicate the stabilisation of the situation, the improvement of the situation could be obtained only thanks to you, Ukrainians," health minister Maksym Stepanov told a televised briefing.
China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is in early-stage talks to sell its premium smartphone brands P and Mate, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said, a move that could see the company eventually exit from the high-end smartphone-making business. Huawei started to internally explore the possibility of selling the brands as early as last September, according to one of the sources. Shipments of Mate and P Series phones were worth $39.7 billion between Q3 2019 and Q3 2020, according to consultancy IDC.
The European Union will hold off from imposing fresh sanctions on Russian individuals if the Kremlin releases pro-democracy campaigner Alexei Navalny, EU foreign ministers said on Monday, sending the bloc's top diplomat to Moscow next week. Despite calls from Baltic countries, Italy and Romania for sanctions on Russian officials in response to Navalny's detention as he returned to Russia from Germany on Jan. 17, Germany pushed to give the Kremlin more time.
MONTREAL — On January 25th, 2020, Canadians were still living their lives like they always had: commuting to the office, visiting friends, dining out, hugging loved ones, vacationing. But the announcement that day of Canada's first COVID-19 case set in motion a chain of events that would soon change everything. By March, with cases climbing, health officials began implementing a series of measures that would fundamentally alter how many Canadians live. Lockdowns and calls for physical distancing led to companies shifting to work from home, travel restrictions, mask-wearing rules, cancellation of major events, and video meetings replacing in-person interactions as people were asked to avoid seeing anyone, even loved ones. Jack Jedwab, the president of the Association for Canadian Studies, says the biggest change to Canadians' daily lives has been the isolation from friends, family and co-workers. "I think at the root of a lot of that change is these limits on our mobility, which take different forms, whether it's interacting with family and friends, or seeing people that we're accustomed to seeing in our daily lives in person as opposed to on screens," he said. An online survey conducted for Jedwab's group in September found that over 90 per cent of the 1,500 people polled said COVID-19 had changed their lives, with most citing the inability to see family and friends as the biggest factors. While few Canadians have been untouched by the pandemic, Jedwab says women, newcomers to Canada and people who were already economically and socially vulnerable appear to have been among the most deeply affected, particularly by job losses. Here's a look at how COVID-19 has changed daily life for some Canadians of different groups: Seniors For Bill VanGorder, a retired 78-year-old from Halifax, the pandemic put a temporary halt on his active social life and his favourite pastimes of volunteering in the local theatre and music scenes. "Theatre people, as you may know, are people who love to hug, and not being able to hug in these times probably has been one of the most difficult things," he said in a phone interview. He considers himself lucky, because at least he and his wife Esther have each other, unlike many of his single friends who are completely isolated. Many older people, who are more at risk of severe complications from COVID-19, are struggling to stay connected with family or finding people to help them with household tasks. VanGorder, who works with the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, also believes unclear government messaging, particularly on when older adults will get access to the vaccine, is "creating huge anxiety and mistrust in the system," among already-nervous seniors. But while the pandemic has been hard, he says there have also been silver linings. He and many of his friends have been learning to use platforms such as Zoom and FaceTime, which help seniors stay in touch with relatives and connect with their communities. "We think the positive thing is that, of course, this knowledge will continue after COVID and will be a real step forward, so that older adults can feel more involved in everything that's going on around them," he said. The first thing he'll do when things get back to normal is to hug his grandchildren and theatre friends, he said. --- University students As classes have moved online, many students have had to adapt to living and studying in small spaces and being isolated from friends and campus life at a stage when forging lifelong friendships and social networks can be crucial. Small living quarters, the inability to travel home, financial fears and uncertainties about the job market have contributed to a "greater sense of isolation" for many students, according to Bryn de Chastelain, an Ontario resident studying at St. Mary's University in Halifax and the chair of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. While he believes schools have done their best to support students, de Chastelain says many students have seen their mental health suffer. "A number of students are really struggling with having to learn from home and learn online, and I think that a number of strategies that students are used to taking up are very difficult to replicate in the online environment," he said. --- Parents Schools across the country were shut down for several months in the spring, ushering in a challenging time for parents who were suddenly forced to juggle full-time child care, work and keeping their families safe. The reopening of schools in the fall brought different challenges depending on each province's COVID-19 situation and approach. In Ontario, some parents opted for full-time online learning, while others were forced into it when Premier Doug Ford chose to extend the winter break. In Quebec, which doesn't allow a remote option for most students, some reluctant parents had no choice but to send their children back to class. "I think uncertainty, not only for kids but for everything -- work, life relationships and everything -- that has certainly been the theme of COVID," said Doug Liberman, a Montreal-area father of two. Liberman said the biggest challenge has been trying to balance the health and safety of his family with keeping his food manufacturing business going and maintaining a sense of normalcy for his two girls, ages 10 and 12. For his family, that has meant trying to spend time outside but also accepting more screen time, and ultimately, taking things day-by-day. "I certainly think that we certainly don't have the answer, and I think we've done as best as we could, like everybody else has," he said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2020 Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — Samsung scion Lee Jae-yong and prosecutors have decided not to appeal a court ruling that convicted him for bribing South Korea’s former president for business favours, confirming a prison term of two and a half years for the country’s most influential corporate leader, according to lawyers and court officials on Monday. But Lee’s legal troubles aren’t over. He has been indicted separately on charges of stock price manipulation, breach of trust and auditing violations related to a 2015 merger between two Samsung affiliates. The deal helped strengthen Lee’s control over Samsung’s corporate empire. The bribery allegation involving Lee was a key crime in the 2016 corruption scandal that ousted Park Geun-hye from the presidency and sent her to prison. In a much-anticipated retrial of Lee last week, the Seoul High Court found him guilty of bribing Park and one of her close confidantes to win government support for the contentious merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries, which helped strengthen Lee’s control over Samsung’s business empire. The deal faced opposition from some shareholders who argued that it unfairly benefited the Lee family and only succeeded with the support of a state-controlled national pension fund, one of Samsung’s biggest investors. Lee had portrayed himself as a victim of presidential power abuse and his lawyers criticized the ruling. But after mulling his options, Lee decided to “humbly accept” the High Court’s decision, his head attorney Injae Lee said. Prosecutors had sought a prison term of 9 years for Lee Jae-yong. In a statement released to the domestic media, they said the court was too lenient with Lee considering the severity of his crimes but they will not appeal because their biggest goal was to prove that the payments between Lee and Park were bribes. Samsung did not release a statement over Lee’s legal issues. Lee, 52, helms the Samsung group in his capacity as vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, one of the world’s largest makers of computer chips and smartphones. Like other family-run conglomerates in South Korea, Samsung has been credited with helping propel the country’s economy to one of the world’s largest from the rubbles of the 1950-53 Korean War. But their opaque ownership structures and often-corrupt ties with bureaucrats and government officials have been viewed as a hotbed of corruption in South Korea. While never admitting to legal wrongdoing, Lee has expressed remorse over causing “public concern” over the corruption scandal and worked to improve Samsung’s public image. He declared that heredity transfers at Samsung would end, promising the management rights he inherited from his father wouldn’t pass to his children. He also said Samsung would stop suppressing employee attempts to organize unions, although labour activists have questioned his sincerity. It’s not immediately clear what his prison term would mean for Samsung's business. Samsung showed no specific signs of trouble when Lee was in jail in 2017 and 2018. Prison terms have never really stopped Korean corporate leaders from relaying their business decisions from behind bars. The Supreme Court earlier this month confirmed a 20-year prison sentence for Park for the Samsung case and other bribes and extortion while she was in office from 2013 to 2016. Kim Tong-Hyung, The Associated Press
A group of anti-racist activists held a demonstration at the Canada Post in Grimshaw, Alta., Saturday in response to reports of a man wearing a Ku Klux Klan-style hood there earlier this month. About a dozen people from the Alberta Humanitarian Initiative, a collective of different Alberta groups that have been working together for about a year, travelled to the town about 500 kilometres north of Edmonton to try to engage the community in a discussion about racism. "It was a good half-and-half mixture of people supporting and people not wanting us there," said Taylor McNallie, a member of Inclusive Canada, which is part of the initiative. A photograph, shared widely on Facebook in early January, shows a man in jeans, a reflective work jacket and a pointed white hood with eye slits cut into it. The hood resembles the head covering worn by members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), an infamous white supremacist hate group. McNallie said they were planning to go to the post office and town hall, and leave letters for Mayor Bob Regal that were written by both locals and people from across the province about the hood incident. They also hung pictures up on the post office, which McNallie said were torn down by a woman who told them the town was not racist and that they shouldn't be there. She said the RCMP attended and told them to ensure they wear masks but that it was fine for them to be there. "It's just a lot of white fragility is what it is. It's hard to be learning all of these new things that you've probably gone your entire life not knowing about," said McNallie, who grew up in the small Alberta communities of Cremona and Didsbury. "If you're not a racialized person, racism is not something you often have to talk about. These are new ideas, these are new things challenging an entire system." The group has posted some calls to action for Grimshaw, including asking the man who wore the hood to come forward and make a public apology, and for the mayor and town council to engage in anti-racist training and to make those resources available to the wider community. "This isn't about creating a divide because there's been a divide there for hundreds of years already," she said. RCMP confirmed earlier this month that they are investigating a complaint after a photo of the man wearing the KKK-style hood surfaced on social media. On Sunday, Cpl. Terri-Ann Bakker said an individual has been identified but that the investigation remains open. She added that police are still hoping to speak to anyone who may have witnessed what happened. Better known for its presence in the United States, there has also been a well-documented KKK presence in Canada and Alberta. Some of the Klan's ideas are reflected in the ideologies of other far-right and white supremacist groups operating in Canada today.
EDMONTON — Some Alberta rivers and streams have already been heavily contaminated by coal mining, unreported government data suggests. The province's plan for large-scale expansion of the industry is fuelling widespread criticism that includes concerns over selenium pollution. The data shows that same contaminant has been found for years at high levels downstream of three mines and never publicly reported. The findings raise questions about Alberta Environment, said a former senior official who has seen the data. "There were lots of (selenium) numbers and it was consistently above the water quality guidelines and in many cases way higher," said Bill Donahue, the department's one-time executive director of science. "Why did Alberta Environment sit on these data for easily the last 10 to 15 years?" Donahue left the department in 2018 after the NDP government of the day dissolved the Alberta Environmental Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting Agency, an independent body intended to fill information gaps. Before resigning, he had become concerned about selenium in the Gregg and McLeod rivers and in Luscar Creek, all in the Rocky Mountain foothills east of Jasper, Alta. He took the data with him when he left and recently analyzed it for The Canadian Press. "The results are stark," he said. Since at least the late 1990s, Alberta Environment has monitored water upstream and downstream from the Luscar, Gregg River and Cheviot mines. Cheviot, owned by Teck Resources, still operates. The Gregg River and Luscar operations closed in 2000 and 2003, respectively. Gregg River, now managed by Coal Valley Resources, is considered reclaimed. Luscar, managed by Teck, is about 50 per cent reclaimed. Donahue looked at water samples from 1998 through 2016, taken upstream and downstream on the same day. He found that selenium levels averaged almost six times higher in the McLeod River downstream from the Cheviot mine. They were nearly nine times higher in the Gregg River and 11 times higher in Luscar Creek, despite years of reclamation. Selenium levels in all the samples from the Gregg River and Luscar Creek exceeded those considered safe for aquatic life: by nearly four times in the Gregg River and nearly nine times in Luscar Creek. The level was exceeded in about one-quarter of the McLeod River samples. "This is not a subtle story," said Donahue. "This is shocking." Alberta Environment and Parks spokesman John Muir said the department routinely monitors selenium at 89 waterways across Alberta. "We have key experts working on our own water quality studies to better understand the conditions of watersheds and aquatic life downstream of coal mining operations," he said. "(We) will make those findings publicly available." Muir pointed out that all raw monitoring data is available on a searchable database. He said the mines in question pre-date modern regulations and technology. An Alberta government document on reclaiming the mine sites states: "Current assessments indicate there is no risk to humans who drink water or eat fish containing excessive amounts of selenium." Selenium is a naturally occurring element vital in small amounts but toxic in excess. In fish, it can damage the liver, kidney and heart. It can reduce the number of viable eggs a fish can produce and lead to deformed spine, head, mouth, and fins. In humans, it can cause nausea, vomiting, hair loss and fatigue. The last time Alberta Environment reported on selenium in the three waterways was 2006. Using data collected in 2000 and 2001, it concluded "selenium concentrations in rainbow and brook trout were usually greater than toxicity effects thresholds." Why the subsequent silence? asks Donahue. "They knew when a report was published that selenium was a problem in these systems related to coal mining. It draws a lot of questions." Last May, the United Conservative government revoked a policy that protected much of the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains from open-pit coal mining. The area is home to endangered species, the water source for much of the southern prairies, and one of the province's best-loved landscapes. Hundreds of exploratory drill sites and kilometres of access roads have now been scribed into its wilderness, documents from Alberta's energy regulator show. One open-pit coal mine proposal is before a joint federal-provincial review panel. More than 100,000 Albertans have signed petitions opposing the plans. Opponents range from small-town mayors to ranchers to popular entertainment figures, including Corb Lund and Jann Arden. Mining opponents point across the boundary into British Columbia, where selenium from coal mines in the Elk Valley has created serious contamination problems. The lingering contamination from the three Alberta mines shows the stakes are high, said Donahue. "These pollution problems have persisted long after the closure of coal mines." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021 — Follow @row1960 on Twitter Bob Weber, The Canadian Press
SRINAGAR, India — Indian and Chinese soldiers brawled last week along the countries' disputed border, Indian officials said Monday, as a monthslong standoff between the nuclear-armed rivals continued. The clash in the Naku La area of Sikkim came four days before the countries held a ninth round of talks on Sunday on ending tensions in another disputed border area in the remote Ladakh region. The Indian army described the clash at Naku La as “a minor face off” and said it “was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols.” An army statement did not provide any other details, but asked media “to refrain from overplaying or exaggerating” the incident. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said he did not have information to provide on the incident but urged India “not to take any unilateral action that may further complicate or exacerbate the border tension.” Since a deadly clash last year, soldiers from the two sides have brawled occasionally and fired shots for the first time in decades, breaking a longstanding agreement not to use firearms during border confrontations. Two Indian security officials said at least 18 Chinese soldiers tried to cross into Indian-claimed territory at Naku La last Wednesday night and were blocked by Indian soldiers, leading to clashes with sticks and stones. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue and in keeping with government regulations, said soldiers on both sides were carrying firearms but did not use them. The two officials said over a dozen Indian soldiers and at least eight Chinese soldiers received minor injuries. There was no independent confirmation of the incident. Both sides rushed more soldiers to the area in an “aggressive deployment" that swelled the number of personnel to hundreds, the officials said. The leader of India’s main opposition Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, accused China of “expanding its occupation into Indian territory” and questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence. Modi “hasn’t said the word ‘China’ for months,” Gandhi said in a tweet Monday. “Maybe he can start by saying the word ‘China.’” India and China have been locked in a tense military standoff since May high in the Karakoram mountains, with troops settling in for the harsh winter. Both sides have mobilized tens of thousands of soldiers, artillery and fighter aircraft along the fiercely contested border known as the Line of Actual Control, or LAC, that separates Chinese and Indian-held territories from Ladakh in the west to India’s eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims in its entirety. The frontier is broken in parts where the Himalayan nations of Nepal and Bhutan border China, and where Sikkim, the site of the latest brawl, is sandwiched. The LAC divides areas of physical control rather than territorial claims. Despite more than three dozen rounds of talks over the years and multiple meetings between Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, they are nowhere near settling the dispute. The standoff began last May with a fierce brawl, and exploded into hand-to-hand combat with clubs, stones and fists on June 15 that left 20 Indian soldiers dead. China is believed to also have had casualties, but has not given any details. Indian and Chinese army commanders met for the ninth round of talks after a gap of 2 1/2 months in Ladakh on Sunday but neither side released any details of the outcome. ___ Saaliq reported from New Delhi. Associated Press writer Ken Moritsugu in Beijing contributed to this report. Aijaz Hussain And Sheikh Saaliq, The Associated Press
MOSCOW — The Russian anti-doping agency confirmed Monday that it will not file an appeal to further loosen restrictions on its teams at the Olympics and other major sports events. The Court of Arbitration for Sport last month ruled that Russia's name, flag and anthem would be barred from the next two Olympics after backing the World Anti-Doping Agency's finding that doping data was manipulated. However, CAS halved the duration of the sanctions from four years to two, removed vetting requirements for Russian athletes and allowed them to keep wearing national colours. The Russian agency, known as RUSADA, had the option to file an appeal with the Swiss supreme court on procedural grounds. It said Monday that it still regards as “flawed and one-sided” the ruling that doping data in Moscow was modified but it was satisfied that CAS rejected tougher sanctions proposed by WADA. “RUSADA considers that this chapter has now been closed and is looking forward and committed to working with WADA with a view to fully restoring RUSADA’s membership status,” RUSADA said in a statement. The Russian agency added that it “remains fully committed to the fight against doping but will continue to defend the rights of clean Russian athletes and to oppose any form of discrimination against Russian sport.” ___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
When Ken Oguzie arrived in Nova Scotia in 2014, he was faced with the challenge of convincing prospective employers that his previous work experience counted for something. Like many new Canadians in Nova Scotia, Oguzie had a wealth of work and life experience. Born in Nigeria, he lived in Malaysia, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States before deciding to move to Nova Scotia with his family. He was very well qualified academically, with a bachelor's degree in business management from a U.K. university and a masters degree in social policy and development from the London School of Economics. But even with this background, Oguzie said his early job-hunting experience was like a "roller-coaster." 'It didn't mean a lot' "It was kind of challenging because ... you have all of these things, education and experience," he said, "and then you come in here and it didn't mean a lot. "I have all this stuff on my resumé and then I came here and every day I kept having to drop the standards." He was eventually hired by Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia in a role that allowed him to coach other new immigrants on the ins and outs of job hunting in the province. Oguzie described the opportunity to help others at ISANS as one of the "most fulfilling jobs" he's had. He said having gone through the experience himself helped him to relate to clients and have a "direct impact." Today, he is a diversity consultant and CEO of Africa Canada Trade and Investment Venture, which promotes trade between Canada and West Africa. Oguzie's experience will have a familiar ring for many. Ann Divine was born in Guyana, raised in England, and moved to Canada in 2004. She runs Ashanti Leadership — a company that works with organizations on professional development and increasing diversity. Divine said there was no consideration given for her qualifications or work history when she arrived in Canada. She said she had to start at the bottom and ended up teaching English to other immigrant women. "Their experiences were no different from mine because they were highly educated women and they couldn't find jobs," she said. Overcoming bias She said one of the problems she encountered was that employers didn't trust foreign qualifications. She said another issue in Nova Scotia was that "many individuals were not used to seeing Black and brown people in a high-profile position." The situation is improving, Divine said, but there is always a challenge of overcoming unconscious, and sometimes overt, bias in organizations. She believes the key is in approaching job applicants with an open-minded approach and having a conversation with them to see what is below the surface and "what they can bring to the table." "Change is happening gradually," she said, "but we need to move a little faster if we're going to grow our economy in the way that we want it to grow and to be more inclusive, particularly of those individuals who are not from Nova Scotia." The problem of obtaining employment even affects new immigrants who are allowed express entry into Canada under the Federal Skilled Workers program, according to Halifax-based immigration lawyer Lee Cohen. He said he has clients who successfully immigrated to Canada because they qualified under the "occupations-in-demand category" and were shocked to discover they had difficulty finding employment. "The truth of the matter is it doesn't make sense. And you have to come up with an answer. Well, one of the possible answers is — wrong last name, wrong accent." Cohen said many professionals such as doctors, nurses, engineers and pharmacists get frustrated that their qualifications are not recognized in Canada. 'Closed-shop syndrome' Calling it a "closed-shop syndrome," Cohen said many immigrants can't get past the regulatory bodies that govern their profession in Canada. He said immigrants are reluctant to spend five to 10 years going back to school to learn a profession that they already know. "I think it is very paternalistic," Cohen said. "It's also condescending. I also think there's bigotry and discrimination associated with this as well." Nabiha Atallah is an adviser for strategic initiatives at ISANS and has been working with the organization for 25 years. Atallah said the organization offers programs to help immigrants adjust to workplace culture in Canada and also works with employers to make them aware of cultural differences. One of the programs offered gives job seekers a six-week unpaid job placement in an area where they want to work, and allows them a chance to get Canadian work experience and a job reference. "Often the employer is very happily surprised by the ability of the immigrant," she said, "And in many cases they have actually offered jobs, although that's not part of the program." Atallah said she has seen a change over the years and an increasing "openness" on the part of employers to embrace the diversity that hiring an immigrant can bring to the workplace. "I think that we are realizing and we are seeing more and more the wonderful contributions that immigrants make to our community," she said. "And it's not totally new. "The numbers are new, but we've had immigrants contributing to Nova Scotia for many years." Strategic job hunting Oguzie offered some practical advice for new immigrants when it comes to job hunting. He said the immigrant journey is often "a step backwards to get to move three steps forward" and he urges job seekers to be strategic in their approach to finding employment. If someone can't get a job at the level they were used to in their previous country, he said, they should think carefully about what job they take in order to pay the bills. Drawing an example of someone with 10 years of experience in investment banking, Oguzie said it is better to take a temporary job in retail banking rather than in a completely different area like a call centre or Walmart — even if it pays a little less. "That way is easier for you to find ways, when the right investment manager job, which is what you used to do, comes along," he said, "it's easier for you to align your resumé." MORE TOP STORIES
North Korea's acting ambassador to Kuwait has defected to South Korea, the latest in a recent string of high-profile escapes from the isolated country, a South Korean lawmaker said on Monday. Ryu Hyun Woo had led North Korea's embassy in Kuwait since former Ambassador So Chang Sik was expelled after a 2017 U.N. resolution sought to scale back the country's overseas diplomatic missions. Ryu defected to South Korea last September, according to Tae Yong Ho, who was North Korea's deputy ambassador to Britain before settling in the South in 2016 and being elected as a lawmaker last year.