This is the historic home of Emma Watts, President of Paramount Pictures, located in Richmond, KY. The estate is located adjacent to Eastern Kentucky University and is a local icon in Richmond.
This is the historic home of Emma Watts, President of Paramount Pictures, located in Richmond, KY. The estate is located adjacent to Eastern Kentucky University and is a local icon in Richmond.
WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers and conservative groups opposed President-elect Joe Biden's forthcoming immigration plan Tuesday as massive amnesty for people in the U.S. illegally, underscoring that the measure faces an uphill fight in a Congress that Democrats control just narrowly. In a further complication, several pro-immigration groups said they would press Biden to go even further and take steps such as immediate moratoriums on deportations, detentions and new arrests. Coupled with the discomfort an immigration push could cause for moderate Democrats, liberals' demands illustrated the pressures facing Biden as four years of President Donald Trump's restrictive and often harsh immigration policies come to an end. “It simply wouldn't have happened without us," Lorella Praeli, co-president of the liberal group Community Change, said of Biden's victory. “So we are now in a powerful position." Biden plans to introduce the legislation shortly after being inaugurated Wednesday, a move he hopes will spotlight his emphasis on an issue that's defied major congressional action since 1986. Its fate, as written, seemed in doubt. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who will become Senate majority leader this week, said Trump's impeachment trial, confirmation of Biden's Cabinet nominees and more COVID-19 relief will be the chamber's top initial priorities. “I look forward to working together with him" on the measure, Schumer said — a choice of words that might suggest changes could be needed for it to pass Congress. Biden's proposal would create an eight-year pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants, set up a processing program abroad for refugees seeking admission to the U.S. and push toward using technology to monitor the border. The measure was described by an official from Biden's transition team who described the plan on condition of anonymity. With an eye toward discouraging a surge of immigrants toward the U.S.-Mexico boundary, the package's route to citizenship would only apply to people already in the U.S. by this past Jan. 1. But it omits the traditional trade-off of dramatically enhanced border security that's helped attract some GOP support in the past, which drew criticism on Tuesday. “A mass amnesty with no safeguards and no strings attached is a nonstarter,” said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. "There are many issues I think we can work co-operatively with President-elect Biden, but a blanket amnesty for people who are here unlawfully isn’t going to be one of them,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., often a central player in Senate immigration battles. “Total amnesty, no regard for the health or security of Americans, and zero enforcement," Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who like Rubio is a potential 2024 GOP presidential contender, said in a Monday tweet. That view was shared by Mark Krikorian, executive director of the conservative Center for Immigration Studies, which favours curbing immigration. “Past proposals at least accepted the concept of turning off the faucet and mopping up the overflow. This is nothing but mopping up and letting the faucet continue to run," Krikorian said. Rosemary Jenks, top lobbyist for NumbersUSA, which also wants to limit immigration, said the measure seems likely to fail in the Senate. It would need at least 10 Republicans to join all 50 Democrats to overcome a filibuster that would kill the measure. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said, “Moving an immigration reform bill won’t be easy, but I think it’s possible." He cited a 2013 massive overhaul that narrowly passed the Senate, only to die in the GOP-run House. Menendez and Rubio were part of a bipartisan “Gang of 8" senators that helped win Senate approval. Under Biden's legislation, those living in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021, without legal status would have a five-year path to temporary legal status, or a green card, if they pass background checks, pay taxes and fulfil other requirements. From there, it’s a three-year path to naturalization if they pursue citizenship. For some immigrants, the process would be quicker. So-called Dreamers, the young people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children, as well as agricultural workers and people under temporary protective status could qualify more immediately for green cards if they are working, are in school or meet other requirements. Biden is also expected to take swift executive actions, which require no congressional action, to reverse other Trump immigration actions. These include ending to the prohibition on arrivals from predominantly Muslim countries. The legislation represents Biden's bid to deliver on a major campaign promise important to Latino voters and other immigrant communities after four years of Trump's restrictive policies and mass deportations. It provides one of the fastest pathways to citizenship for those living without legal status of any measure in recent years. Biden allies and even some Republicans have identified immigration as a major issue where the new administration could find common ground with the GOP to avoid the stalemate that has vexed administrations of both parties for decades. That kind of major win, even if it involves compromise, could be critical for Biden. He'll be seeking legislative victories in a Congress where Republicans are certain to oppose other Biden priorities, like rolling back some of the GOP’s 2017 tax cuts and increasing federal spending. Democrats will control the 50-50 Senate with Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris' tiebreaking vote. Democrats currently control the House 222-211, with two vacancies. ___ Barrow reported from Wilmington, Delaware. AP writer Elliot Spagat in San Diego also contributed to this report. Alan Fram, Lisa Mascaro And Bill Barrow, The Associated Press
FREDERICTON — More than half of New Brunswick was moved to the red level of the province's COVID-19 recovery plan as Premier Blaine Higgs warned Tuesday of even more severe measures if the spread of the virus doesn't slow. Health officials reported one new death and 31 new COVID-19 cases in the province Tuesday, with 21 of them in the Edmundston region, which entered the red level Monday. The Moncton, Fredericton and Saint John zones were to join Edmundston as of midnight Tuesday. At the red level, gyms, salons and recreational facilities must close, and restaurants can only offer takeout or delivery. Outdoor gatherings are limited to a maximum of five people, with masks and physical distancing. "We have had some success in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus across our province, and we have succeeded because we acted swiftly and decisively," chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell said Tuesday. "We haven't waited, as some other jurisdictions have done, until critical levels have been breached." Russell called the increase in cases across the province this month alarming. "The threat it poses to our health-care system and the well-being of our citizens cannot be ignored," she said. Russell said the death of a person in their 80s at the Parkland Saint John long-term care facility brings to 13 the number of COVID-related deaths in the province. There are currently 316 active cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick, and there have now been more than 1,000 cases since the pandemic began. Four hundred of those have been in the last 30 days. Russell said many of the new cases were spread through large social gatherings, such as parties and holiday gatherings around Christmas and New Year's. Higgs said the province will consider imposing more stringent measures if the latest restrictions don't limit the spread of the virus. "We are not making enough progress with the current measures that are in place," he said. "We know there are more cases in these zones that exist but have not yet tested positive, and we cannot take the risk of potentially overwhelming our hospitals." He said a continuing rise in case numbers could mean a return to a full lockdown as was in place in March, with schools closed and people staying home except to buy essential items. Higgs said the all-party COVID cabinet committee would meet again Thursday to discuss next steps. "Public health is currently working to determine exactly what a lockdown would look like if we need to take this additional step," he said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2021. Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press
ALMA – An underground propane storage proposal is officially dead as the Local Planning and Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) case on the matter has been closed. In a letter from the LPAT sent to the Township of Mapleton, the municipality that would have hosted the site, states applicant Core Fuels Ltd. has withdrawn their appeal on a Mapleton council decision to deny their proposal. The proposal was to bury four propane tanks that would hold nearly one million litres in total at the Core Fuels location on Wellington Road 7 just outside of Alma. Mapleton council unanimously voted against this at a September meeting citing an overwhelmingly negative response from nearby residents. Alma residents formed the Concerned Citizens of Alma (CCA) as an opposition group to the development. The group presented a petition opposed to the development with 210 signatures, representing nearly every household in Alma, CCA were concerned over a possible explosion and the ability of the volunteer fire hall to respond to any issues and the proximity to a residential area as major reasons it would not be the right fit for the area. Core Fuels later appealed the decision to LPAT with the first hearing scheduled for March 17. This hearing has been cancelled because of the applicant withdrawal and the case is listed as closed on the LPAT website. “We’re glad that the township has turned it down unanimously and we’re pleased to see it withdrawn from the LPAT,” said Amanda Reid, Alma resident and CCA spokesperson. “Am I happy that it is not going to go in our residential area? Yes absolutely.” Reid noted that Core Fuels could still bring another proposal forward but underground bulk propane storage appeared to officially be squashed for Alma. “I’m sure that during COVID it wouldn’t have been very fun anyways to have dealt with LPAT,” Reid said. “I do wish Core Fuels well in their business but I know our group is happy to know they have withdrawn their appeal.” Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com
Pfizer told Canadian officials there would be delays in deliveries of its vaccine, but the delays now mean Canada will receive zero Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines next week. It’s left provinces scrambling to manage the doses they have left.
The United States swore in its 46th President on Jan. 20, 2021. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris attended their inauguration in Washington, D.C. with a slew of distinguished guests, but few onlookers as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a need for social distancing.Several past presidents were in attendance, including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George Bush Jr., however the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, did not attend. Trump flew to his golf club in Florida earlier in the day. Outgoing Vice President Mike Pence did attend the ceremony with his wife.For all the latest on the U.S. inauguration, click this link for live updates.
Lucette Hachey Laskey and Caroline Benoit set themselves an unusual 2021 resolution: by the end of the year, they aim to walk three kilometres in every city, town and village in the province. The Francophone Sud elementary school teachers, who call themselves Les TRIPeuses Trotteuses, began their quest as a way to stay motivated and improve their mental health, said Hachey Laskey. In 2020, they walked every street in the city of Dieppe, colouring in the streets on a map until they were done, she said. They completed over 1,000 km of walking by May after signing up for My Time: A Great Canadian Running Challenge, and continued walking hundreds of kilometres more in the second half of the year. As 2020 drew to a close, the pair began soliciting ideas from their social circles to set themselves a fun challenge for 2021 before settling on this goal, Hachey Laskey said. While the province was in the orange phase of pandemic recovery, all their exploring was done in their home turf of southeastern New Brunswick. The pair document their adventures in both English and French on their Youtube channel, often arranging to meet up with someone who knows the area well who will walk with them and tell them things about a place they wouldn’t have discovered on their own. At the age of 40, it's great to be still learning about the many places they visit, some very close to home, Benoit said in French. There have already been chances to put pieces together of things she read in books about Acadian history with specific landmarks, for instance, she said. Benoit said she also likes the fact that they feel immediately fulfilled as they engage in these adventures, and that the stress-free activities don’t feel like a chore. In the last couple of weeks they have checked out Port Elgin, Riverview, Sackville and Shediac, said Hachey Laskey. Salisbury and Petitcodiac will be their next videos. Benoit, a grade five teacher at École le Marais, said she has been sharing their adventures with her students, as they talk about accomplishing goals. “I feel like a role model,” she said. Hachey Laskey said motivating others to accomplish their goals and get active is a big part of what they hope to accomplish, adding that people have already been sending them messages indicating their videos are doing just that. “We love travelling. We love laughing,” said Hachey Laskey, and this quest allows them to do a whole lot of both, even if they are doing it a little closer to home than usual. There are so many places generally known for one thing, but the communities offer much more, said Hachey Laskey. Dorchester, she said, has so much more than a jail, and Salisbury has so much more than the Big Stop. Their adventures are allowing them to see all these communities have to offer and share it with others, she said. “People have been very generous with their time,” said Hachey Laskey, adding that sometimes it is local councillors who show off the community, while at other times it is residents who simply love their home town. Hachey Laskey said they will pause their adventures while the region is in the red phase of COVID recovery. Clara Pasieka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal
WASHINGTON — Troops in riot gear lined the sidewalks, but there were no crowds. Armored vehicles and concrete barriers blocked empty streets. Miles of fencing cordoned off many of the nation's most familiar landmarks. Joe Biden was safely sworn in as president in a Washington on edge, two weeks after rioters loyal to former President Donald Trump besieged the Capitol. Law enforcement officials contended not only with the potential for outside threats but also with rising concerns about an insider attack. Officials monitored members of far-right extremist and militia groups, increasingly concerned about the risk they could stream into Washington and spark violent confrontations, a law enforcement official said. There were a few scattered arrests but no major protests or serious disruptions in the city during Biden's inauguration ceremony. As Biden put it in his address: “Here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground. It did not happen. It will never happen, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Not ever.” After the deadly attack that killed five on Jan. 6, the Secret Service stepped up security for the inauguration early, essentially locking down the nation's capital. More than 25,000 troops and police were called to duty. The National Mall was closed. Checkpoints were set up at intersections. In the hours before the event, federal agents monitored “concerning online chatter,” which included an array of threats against elected officials and discussions about ways to infiltrate the inauguration, the official said. In right-wing online chat groups, believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory expressed disappointment that top Democrats were not arrested for sex trafficking and that Trump did not seize a second term. Twelve National Guard members were removed from the security operation a day earlier after vetting by the FBI, including two who had made extremist statements in posts or texts about Wednesday's event. Pentagon officials would not give details on the statements. The FBI vetted all 25,000 members in an extraordinary security effort in part over the presence of some ex-military in the riot. Two other U.S. officials told The Associated Press that all 12 were found to have ties with right-wing militia groups or to have posted extremist views online. The officials, a senior intelligence official and an Army official briefed on the matter, did not say which fringe groups the Guard members belonged to or what unit they served in. The officials told the AP they had all been removed because of “security liabilities.” The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, confirmed that Guard members had been removed and sent home, but said only two cases were related to inappropriate comments or texts related to the inauguration. He said the other 10 cases were for issues that may involve previous criminal behaviour or activities but were not directly related to the inaugural event. The FBI also warned law enforcement officials about the possibility that members of right-wing fringe groups could pose as National Guard troops, according to two law enforcement officials familiar with the matter. Investigators in Washington were particularly worried that members of right-wing extremist groups and militias, like the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, would descend on Washington to spark violence, the law enforcement officials said. Some of the groups are known to recruit former military personnel, to train extensively and to have frequented anti-government and political protests. In addition to the thousands of National Guard troops, hundreds of law enforcement officers from agencies around the country were also brought into Washington. The increased security is likely to remain in the nation's capital for at least a few more days. ___ Associated Press writers Lolita Baldor in Washington and James LaPorta in Delray Beach, Florida, contributed to this report. Ben Fox, Colleen Long And Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
EDMONTON — Alberta’s chief medical officer of health says residents in long-term care and supportive living facilities will remain the priority as the province grapples with a looming slowdown in COVID-19 vaccine supply. Dr. Deena Hinshaw says health officials may also have to rebook vaccination appointments for those getting the required second dose. Hinshaw made the announcement just hours after the federal government said there will be no shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next week and reduced shipments for about three weeks after that. The slowdown is due to Pfizer retrofitting its Belgium-based plant in order to ramp up production down the road. Hinshaw says Alberta has 456 new cases of COVID-19, with 740 patients in hospital. There are 119 patients in intensive care and 1,463 people have died. “This is frustrating, but the factory issues in Belgium are out of our control," Health Minister Tyler Shandro said in a release Tuesday. "We will continue to use what we have to protect as many Albertans as possible. And we will continue to inform Albertans of any changes to our vaccination plans.” Alberta recently finished giving first doses of vaccine to all residents in its 357 long-term care and supportive living facilities. “These are absolutely the highest-risk locations, and people who live in these facilities are the most vulnerable to severe outcomes,” Hinshaw told a virtual news conference. “Two-thirds of all our (COVID-19) deaths have been in long-term care and supportive living facilities.” Alberta has given 90,000 first doses of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to those in the high priority cohort: those in the care homes and front-line health-care workers. Canada was to get more than 417,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week and next, but will now get just over 171,000 this week and nothing the following week. Both vaccines require two doses weeks apart for full effectiveness. The delay has also forced the province to put off implementing the next phase of priority cases: Indigenous seniors over 65 and other seniors 75 and older. Alberta remains under strict lockdown measures, which include a ban on indoor gatherings. Bars, restaurants and lounges can offer takeout or pickup service only. Retailers are limited to 15 per cent customer capacity, while entertainment venues like casinos and movie theatres remain shuttered. The province relaxed some measure slightly on Monday. Outdoor gatherings can have 10 people maximum. Personal care services, like hair salons, manicure and pedicure salons and tattoo shops, can open by appointment only. Hinshaw said it’s not clear when further restrictions can be lifted. “Our health system is still under severe strain,” she said. “This continues to impact our ability to deliver care, not only for COVID-19 but all the other health needs Albertans have.” There were 11,096 active COVID cases Tuesday, about half the number recorded at its peak in mid-December. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2021. Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press
REGINA — Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he won't shut down all restaurants and bars because a few are flouting COVID-19 rules. Instead, he says he's asking public-health officials to look at more enforcement measures, such as forcing rule breakers to close. Moe says "enough is enough" and is expressing frustration at a recent video that shows young people dancing without masks and mingling at a bar in Regina. Health officials are reporting another 309 COVID-19 infections and say six more residents have died. Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer says the province remains stuck at a daily average of around 300 new cases and hospitalizations are on the rise. Moe says he doesn't believe the province needs to introduce stricter public-health measures to stem the virus's spread, but people need to follow the rules already in place. There are 207 people in hospital, with 31 of them in intensive care. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2020 The Canadian Press
HALIFAX — Nova Scotia joined other provinces Tuesday in having to rapidly recast its plans to provide Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this month and next. Provincial officials initially provided an estimate that it would have 13,500 fewer doses than expected over the next six weeks. However, by mid-afternoon, chief medical officer Dr. Robert Strang said that with Ottawa's announcement that Pfizer was shipping no vaccine next week, plans were underway to cope with a "substantive reduction in the weeks ahead." The province had forecast, as of midday on Tuesday, that due to the slowdown it would receive only 16,575 doses of the vaccine from Pfizer's Belgium plant by the end of the month and 28,275 in February. An official later confirmed Nova Scotia would no longer be receiving the 975 doses of vaccine it had expected next week. The federal government has said it's expected that the shipments will ramp back up after the company has made changes to its production facility in Belgium. Nova Scotia public health officials say it is among the best positioned jurisdictions in the country to cope with the vaccine delays due to its low case counts of the illness. As of Tuesday morning, the province has just 22 active cases, with four new cases of COVID-19 detected on Monday. Asked about the Pfizer announcement's impact, Strang said the news was still fresh. "We'll be able to talk in more detail in the next few days about what our vaccine supply will mean for the next few weeks," he said. However, Premier Stephen McNeil said the closure of a production line to allow for the increased production rate in the near future is "short-term pain for what we believe will be long-term gain." "The lack of shipment will be made up in the following month and the next six months for sure." The premier said the province will meanwhile focus on setting up vaccination sites in every region of the province. "When Pfizer starts ramping up, or a new vaccine gets permitted by Health Canada, we (will) have a system that allows us to ramp up vaccinations very quickly across our province," he said. The province had hoped to provide 78,750 vaccinations in March and then have a mass rollout of 333,333 doses in April at clinics in pharmacies and doctors offices. Over the next month, the first wave of shots will go to health workers and long-term care staff and residents, along with a pilot project for African Nova Scotian and First Nations communities. Special care homes for people with intellectual and physical disabilities will also have vaccinations for staff and residents. The second phase, happening over the next 60 days, will include a pilot project for community clinics for residents over 80 years old in Halifax and Truro, more vaccinations of health workers and special care facilities and a pilot project for delivering vaccines at pharmacies. The 90-day plan is to have mass immunization clinics established in all communities with cold storage locations. As of Monday evening, about 2,200 Nova Scotians had received both vaccine doses, and 8,520 total doses had been administered from the province's supply of 23,000 doses. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2021. Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press
Five years after achieving the unthinkable, Leicester is back atop the Premier League and making another improbable run at the title. For big-spending Chelsea and its under-pressure manager, Frank Lampard, any ambitions of winning the league already appear to be dashed. Leicester beat Chelsea 2-0 on Tuesday to jump above the two Manchester clubs, United and City, and reach the midway stage of its league campaign in first place. Even if its latest time at the summit lasts just one night — City and United are both in action on Wednesday, after all — Leicester is showing it means business again. Just like in the 2015-16 season, when the team managed by Claudio Ranieri famously delivered one of the biggest underdog triumphs in sporting history to win the league at odds of 5,000-1. Wilfred Ndidi and James Maddison scored first-half goals to help Leicester extend its unbeaten run in the league to six games, the last three all being wins. Chelsea was carved open time and again at the King Power Stadium and fell to a fifth loss in its last eight games in the league, a run of results that leaves Lampard’s position precarious after the club’s spending spree of approaching $300 million ahead of this season. Lampard’s side dropped to eighth place, nine points behind Leicester, which is a point ahead of United. IN-FORM ANTONIO As it stands, West Ham is heading into the second half of its Premier League campaign with just one senior striker. Fortunately for manager David Moyes, that striker is in-form Michail Antonio. Antonio scored a match-winning goal for the second time in four days, his 66th-minute volley earning West Ham a 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion. His winner against Burnley on Saturday came on his first league start since recovering from a hamstring problem, the latest fitness issue to affect an injury-prone player who was one of the league’s best players after lockdown last summer. If Moyes can keep Antonio fit — and that’s always a big if — it isn’t too fanciful to see West Ham remaining in the vicinity of its current position of seventh. “There was a period after lockdown when he was very fit and look at the goals he scored then,” Moyes said. “We are looking to get him back to his level of fitness but he is certainly back to his level of goals.” West Ham sold its other senior striker, Sebastien Haller, to Ajax this month. West Brom stayed in next-to-last place, five points from safety. SOUTHAMPTON THROUGH Southampton set up a fourth-round match at home to Arsenal in the FA Cup after beating third-tier Shrewsbury 2-0. Goals by Dan N’Lundulu, one of the many fringe players who started for Southampton, and James Ward-Prowse guided the Saints to victory at its St. Mary’s Stadium. The third-round game was rearranged from the start of this month following a coronavirus outbreak in the Shrewsbury squad. Its manager, Steve Cotterill, watched the game from the hospital as he recovers from COVID-19. GOALKEEPER SCORES With a fair wind behind him, a goalkeeper scored direct from a goal kick in a fourth-tier match. Newport County ’keeper Tom King booted the ball into Cheltenham’s half, then saw it take a huge bounce and loop over the head of scrambling Cheltenham goalie Josh Griffiths and into the net. Newport’s social media team was caught out by the feat of King, who was making just his third appearance in the league. “GOALKEEPER TOM KING HAS JUST SCORED FROM HIS OWN AREA... We don’t even have a GIF for him!” the team tweeted. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80 Steve Douglas, The Associated Press
The U.S. Secret Service opened an investigation into comedian John Mulaney over jokes believed to be made about President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live” last year, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. Mulaney, 38, revealed last month that the Secret Service had investigated the comedian and “SNL” alum for “inappropriate jokes about President Trump” after he made a joke about Roman dictator Julius Caesar, who was stabbed to death by a group of senators on the Ides of March. The file obtained by the AP through Freedom of Information Act request showed the bureau contacted NBC but did not interview the comedian for its inquiry, which found no wrongdoing. “Another thing that happened under Julius Caesar, he was such a powerful maniac that all the senators grabbed knives, and they stabbed him to death. That would be an interesting thing if we brought that back now,” Mulaney said to laughter from the audience. The joke was said during Mulaney’s opening monologue during the “Saturday Night Live” broadcast on Feb. 29, 2020. The Secret Service noted other remarks during the monologue, including: “I asked my lawyer if I could make that joke, he said, let me call another lawyer, and that lawyer said yes. I don’t dwell on politics, but I dislike the Founding Fathers immensely. ... I hate when people are like, God has never created such a great group of men than the Founding Fathers. Yeah, the ’92 Bulls. ... That’s a perfect metaphor for the United States. When I was a boy, the United States was like Michael Jordan in 1992. Now the United States it like Michael Jordan now.” Two days after Mulaney’s “SNL” monologue, law enforcement officials contacted Thomas McCarthy, the global chief security officer and senior vice-president at NBC Universal, to express the agency’s desire to discuss the joke with the comedian's attorneys. The Secret Service file included a report from Breitbart entitled, “SNL: John Mulaney Jokes that Senators Should Stab Trump Like Julius Caesar.” The investigation into Mulaney was opened in March and closed in December, five days after the comedian revealed the investigation during an interview with Jimmy Kimmel. The Secret Service file notes that Mulaney made no direct threats towards Trump. “The person vetting me was very understanding that the joke had nothing to do with Donald Trump because it was an elliptical reference to him,” Mulaney said to Kimmel. “I didn’t say anything about him. In terms of risk assessment, no one who’s ever looked at me thought I registered above a one.” He added: “I said I have been making jokes about him since 2007, so I have been making fun of him for 13 years,” Mulaney said. “They said if it’s a joke, then I am cleared by the Secret Service.” —— LaPorta reported from Delray Beach, Florida. James Laporta, The Associated Press
CALGARY — A lawyer for a rancher trying to get a judge to force the Alberta government to reconsider its decision to throw out a policy that protected the Rocky Mountains from coal mines says his client wants to be treated fairly."What my clients are seeking is not to be left out in the cold," Richard Harrison told a Court of Queen's Bench judge Tuesday at a hearing to decide whether a judicial review into the move should go ahead.The United Conservative government is trying to persuade Justice Richard Neufeld to throw out the application for the review. Melissa Burkett, a lawyer for the province, said it's a matter for elected officials, not judges. "This case is not about an unlawful exercise of government power," she argued earlier Tuesday. "This case is about the government's ability to create and dictate policy based on economic, social, political and other relevant factors."Southern Alberta ranchers and area First Nations are attacking the government's decision to revoke a coal policy from 1976 that blocked development on some parts of the eastern slopes of the Rockies and tightly restricted it elsewhere. The policy was quietly revoked without consultation by Energy Minister Sonya Savage last May.Burkett, saying there is nothing to review, argued the policy was not rooted in legislation or regulation. "The adaptation and any amendment of the coal policy is exclusively under the mandate of the minister of energy," she said.Allowing a review would wrongly tie governments to the decisions of their predecessors, she added.Burkett said the policy had become obsolete given the development of Alberta's energy review bodies and laws. Overturning the policy has "no practical impact" because agencies such as the Alberta Energy Regulator now exist, she said And because those oversights now exist, revoking the policy hasn't violated the rights of those seeking the review, Burkett said.Her colleague, Andrea Simmonds, disputed the ranchers' arguments that requirements for public consultation exist in land-use law and in regional plans.She said the Alberta Land Stewardship Act doesn't allow for judicial review of decisions made under its purview. Regional plans "have no legal status," she said.Harrison argued that the coal policy, far from obsolete, was being used to judge mine proposals right up until the minister revoked it. He emphasized that one coal mine proposal calls for infrastructure right through the middle of his client's grazing lease and would intrude nearly to the doorstep of a cabin that's been in his family for a century.Simple fairness should have required the government to at least talk to him before its decision."Whether consultation, a hearing, a phone call, they want any kind of procedural fairness that reflects the impact it is going to have. "I cannot think of a more detrimental impact than an open-pit coal mine."Harrison argued the land stewardship act does require consultation. He noted that it says property rights should not be infringed on without due process. "(The act) was amended for the express purpose of inserting consultation requirements."He disagreed that regional plans have no legal force and pointed out they have been incorporated into the legally enforceable South Saskatchewan Regional Plan. Earlier Tuesday, ranchers and First Nations who filed separate requests for the review agreed to have their arguments heard together. The Bearspaw, Kainai, Siksika, Blood, Ermineskin and Goodfish Lake First Nations kept the right to bring separate constitutional arguments, which are not part of the application filed by rancher Macleay Blades. The hearing is to last through Wednesday.Popular Alberta entertainment figures, including Corb Lund and Jann Arden, have strongly opposed the decision. Petitions against it have gathered more than 100,000 signatures.On Monday, Savage announced in a news release that the recent sale of 11 coal leases would be cancelled and that no more would be sold on land where open-pit mines were forbidden under the old policy.She did not provide any more details, promise any consultation or offer to reconsider the decision on the 1976 policy.Environmental groups point out the 11 leases represented a tiny fraction of the leases sold since the policy was quashed. At least eight provincial recreation areas are either completely or largely surrounded by coal exploration leases. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2021.— By Bob Weber in Edmonton. Follow @row1960 on Twitter The Canadian Press
A year ago, Dr. Lawrence Loh could not have predicted how 2020 would play out. At the time, Loh was serving as associate medical officer of health for the Region of Peel under Dr. Jessica Hopkins. She was responsible for environmental health programs, immunization records and working with chronic disease and injury prevention. That mandate evolved rapidly. In March, just as the pandemic’s first wave formed, Hopkins departed the Region to take up a role as a deputy chief with Public Health Ontario, leaving Loh with big shoes to fill as a global crisis landed at his feet. By July, he dropped the ‘interim’ label from his title and was officially named Peel’s medical officer of health. Any new job is a challenge; Loh’s baptism by fire was heated further by the learning curve faced by all public health units. In particular, the rapidly evolving spread of COVID-19 meant experts, the media and public heard about new developments almost simultaneously. Loh found himself in front of the cameras at least twice per week at press conferences, presenting councillors and the public with updates and advocating to the Province for policy considerations such as paid sick days. Infectious diseases themselves are not new to public health officials, but COVID-19, and the novel coronavirus that causes it, has constantly confused even seasoned epidemiologists. The approval by Health Canada of two vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) means the path toward immunity has been opened. After a year of unfamiliar territory, Loh and his team at Peel Public Health find themselves on slightly more familiar ground. The logistics involved in vaccine distribution on its current scale are new to public health units, but the basics are not. Every year, local health professionals oversee flu vaccine campaigns. Loh himself has experience at the federal level as a medical specialist in vaccine safety between 2012 and 2013. “Immunization is bread and butter public health,” Loh told councillors at the Region Thursday, saying lessons had been learned in the past. “This is something that we’ve done year in and year out.” The pandemic complicates matters, meaning Peel Public Health is balancing its roles in contact tracing, communication, outbreak management and testing with the plans to vaccinate. The task may be simpler than managing a pandemic blind, but it remains no small feat. The goalposts of vaccine rollout have been set by the federal government, the order and eligibility decided at the provincial level and, in Ontario, local public health units are in charge of making it happen. In Peel Region, long-term care has been identified by the Province as a particular priority, with a deadline of January 21 to inoculate the most vulnerable. Ashleigh Hawkins, a spokesperson for Peel Public Health, confirmed “all consenting residents” at 28 long-term care and 15 at-risk retirement homes in the region have received their first dose of vaccine. In its first phase, Peel is concentrating on a few select groups. Long-term care residents and staff, frontline healthcare workers, including paramedics, and adult recipients of chronic home health care are among the first to receive their vaccines in Peel. Around March, when the supply of vaccines is expected to pick up, the second phase will begin. It will offer access to seniors who live in the community, teachers and some essential frontline workers, including those who work in food processing, many of whom live and work in Peel. The third and final stage of the rollout will inoculate anyone who wants to be vaccinated. It is voluntary. Peel Region is completing a rollout plan to submit to the Province by Wednesday. Janice Baker, the Region’s CAO, told councillors the task will require around 700 people to deliver the full vaccine rollout. “Council [must] understand the enormity of the task,” she said, saying active recruitment was ongoing and that Peel, “really will be mobilizing an army to get this done”. A key to the vaccine rollout in Peel will be community clinics. The first will open at the Region’s large Service building at 7120 Hurontario Street (Mississauga) and its headquarters at 10 Peel Centre Drive (Brampton) with more to follow between February and April as public health scales up. Brampton and Mississauga are weighing which facilities they can offer for vaccination efforts to expand access and get needles in arms as quickly as possible. “It is anticipated that these sites will be able to vaccinate thousands of people per day, as supplies allow, over as many hours as possible,” a Region of Peel press release explains. “Additional community clinics will be set up once vaccine becomes readily available.” It is unclear how recent delays to the Pfizer vaccine delivery in Canada could affect Peel’s plan. Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, with the support of her Brampton and Caledon counterparts, has been pushing for the Province to greenlight a mass vaccination centre in Peel. The first such space opened in Toronto Monday to pilot the approach before it is rolled out across Ontario. “We know that Toronto is getting a vaccination centre with their 230 cases per 100,000, so it is only fair that our region, with 261 cases per 100,000, also has a mass vaccination centre,” she said at a press conference last Wednesday. “Mississauga and all of Peel Region has suffered greatly from this pandemic and I am doing everything I can to make sure we move past this COVID nightmare as soon as possible.” A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health acknowledged a request for comment Monday, but did not respond in time for publication. One unique discrepancy in Peel Region is among firefighters. In Mississauga, they’re a frontline group, but in Brampton firefighters will have to wait longer. Brampton Regional Councillor Rowena Santos pointed out the difference at regional council last week, saying she had “some concerns”. A Christmas COVID-19 outbreak within the Mississauga Fire and Emergency Service, which led 90 firefighters to isolate, means staff have been bumped into the first phase. Mississauga has been sending 20 to 25 firefighters per day to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for roughly the last week, according to Shari Lichterman, commissioner community services. “There was a concern — a public safety concern — that was identified by the prioritization team and so that is why Mississauga Fire was prioritized… recognizing, of course, that if they didn’t have that outbreak, they would be probably waiting the same way the rest of the fire services in the region are,” Loh explained. Peel Public Health will also demonstrate the lessons it learned testing residents for close to a year by planning drive-thru and mobile vaccination clinics as well. “Our team is working day and night,” Baker added. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @isaaccallan Tel: 647 561-4879 COVID-19 is impacting all Canadians. At a time when vital public information is needed by everyone, The Pointer has taken down our paywall on all stories relating to the pandemic and those of public interest to ensure every resident of Brampton and Mississauga has access to the facts. For those who are able, we encourage you to consider a subscription. This will help us report on important public interest issues the community needs to know about now more than ever. You can register for a 30-day free trial HERE. Thereafter, The Pointer will charge $10 a month and you can cancel any time right on the website. Thank you. Isaac Callan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Pointer
Health experts have determined that the high rates of COVID-19 in First Nation communities are due to younger adults being in contact with each other during the holidays and underlying conditions are also a complicating factor. According to Dr. Michael Routledge, medical advisor at Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc., the transmission of the virus happened mostly during Christmas and New Year. Additionally, challenges in terms of housing and access to clean drinking water within the First Nation communities have also contributed to the high number of hospitalizations as well as those in the intensive care units (ICU). “What we have seen in the last week or two is a fairly significant increase of activity in the North which is impacting some of our Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) communities. It is a mixed bag; some are seeing low transmissions but others are having quite severe outbreaks,” said Routledge, speaking during a press conference on Tuesday. Routledge added that KIM had expected to see these high rates due to the holidays, and it was of no surprise to them either that some First Nations were not able to protect themselves from the pandemic because of their housing situation and issues with their drinking water advisories. As of Monday, Manitoba Indigenous people make up approximately three-quarters of active cases in the province and 62% of the new cases. There are 60 First Nations patients currently hospitalized along with 13 in ICU. Some communities had tremendous feedback regarding the Moderna vaccine. Over 90% of Elders over the age of 70 have accepted the vaccine along with the benefits it could bring to their communities. “I think it is important to communicate the effectiveness of the vaccine rollout in our First Nations. It has given us a renewed sense of hope and optimism, and I believe we have reached a pivotal point of our journey through this pandemic,” said MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “It (the vaccine) gives our people the chance to have the protection they need for their families, so this is a good day for us as we now have the opportunity to bring safety and wellness to our First Nations.” This week, the first batch of vaccine has arrived in the Misipawistik Cree Nation (MCN) and the Chemawawin Cree Nation (CCN). It was reported on Tuesday that there is 35 positive cases, with over 200 people who have been in direct contact with a positive case in MCN. Vaccination in the MCN is expected to begin this Thursday. “The way I look at it, our great-grandparents recognized the value of medical science to help our people, and that’s why healthcare is in our treaties, and we have a treaty right to the vaccine,” said MCN Chief Heidi Cook. “I plan on getting it myself whenever I am eligible, that may not be for a while, but I believe we need to protect more of our Elders and those with health conditions first.” Chief Clarence Easter from CCN said he received his Moderna vaccination on Monday after an Elder had cancelled their appointment. His community received 40 doses on Saturday, and the rollout started Monday morning. Other than the soreness in his arm, he said that he felt fine and encouraged other Elders to take it as well. Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Nicole Wong, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun
Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Ontario’s Minister of Long-Term Care, called out the province’s NDP Leader, Andrea Horwath, for spreading “misinformation.”
NEW YORK — The founder and CEO of MyPillow, a vocal and very visible supporter of President Donald Trump, said a backlash against the company has begun after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol this month. Mike Lindell, who appears in TV commercials hugging the company’s foam-filled pillows, said major retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl’s have dropped his products recently. Both companies confirmed the decision to cease carrying the brand Tuesday, but cited flagging sales rather than Lindell’s actions or his support for Trump. “There has been decreased customer demand for MyPillow,” Kohl’s said in an email. Lindell has continued to push bogus claims of election fraud since Trump’s loss to President-elect Joe Biden in the presidential race. MyPillow's logo was also prominently featured on TrumpMarch.com, a website that promoted the Jan. 6 events in Washington, in which rioters stormed the Capitol. That has led people to head to social media to put pressure on stores carrying MyPillow to drop the brand. Lindell said products have also been pulled from online furniture store Wayfair and Texas supermarket chain HEB. Neither company responded to a request for comment. “They’re succumbing to the pressure from these attacks,” Lindell said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I’m one of their bestselling products ever. They’re going to lose out. It’s their loss if they want to succumb to the pressure.” Lindell said he doesn’t regret his election claims or his support of Trump, who he said he first met in 2016. “I stand for what’s right,” said Lindell, who created the MyPillow in 2004 and built the business in Chaska, Minnesota, southwest of Minneapolis. “I’m standing firm.” Aside from the retail pressure, Lindell is also facing potential litigation from Dominion Voting Systems for his accusations that their voting machines played a role in election fraud. The Washington Post reported that Dominion sent Lindell a letter earlier this month stating that they would pursue legal action against him. Lindell said he's conducted his own investigation into the voting machines and hopes Dominion will file its suit quickly so that “all the evidence can come out.” Asked if he played a role in the insurrection of the Capitol, Lindell said he didn’t support it at all. “What are you talking about? I wasn’t even there," he said before abruptly ending the call. “I have to get on another show. Now our conversation ends.” Joseph Pisani And Anne D'Innocenzio, The Associated Press
PORTLAND, Ore. — Plans for a major West Coast liquified natural gas pipeline and export terminal hit a snag Tuesday with federal regulators after a years-long legal battle that has united tribes, environmentalists and a coalition of residents on Oregon's rural southern coast against the proposal. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled that energy company Pembina could not move forward with the proposal without a key clean water permit from the state of Oregon. The U.S. regulatory agency gave its tentative approval to the pipeline last March as long as it secured the necessary state permits, but the Canadian pipeline company has been unable to do so. It had appealed to the commission over the state's clean water permit, arguing that Oregon had waived its authority to issue a clean water certification for the project and therefore its denial of the permit was irrelevant. But the commission found instead that Pembina had never requested the certification and that the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality "could not have waived its authority to issue certification for a request it never received.” The ruling was hailed as a major victory by opponents of Jordan Cove, which would be the first such LNG overseas export terminal in the lower 48 states. The proposed 230-mile (370-kilometre) feeder pipeline would begin in Malin, in southwest Oregon, and end at the city of Coos Bay on the rural Oregon coast. Jordan Cove did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment and it was unclear what next steps the project would take. Opposition to the pipeline has brought together southern Oregon tribes, environmentalists, anglers and coastal residents since 2006. "Thousands of southern Oregonians have raised their voices to stop this project for years and will continue to until the threat of Jordan Cove LNG is gone for good,” said Hannah Sohl, executive director of Rogue Climate. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who has opposed the project, said in a statement on Twitter that she was pleased with the ruling. “At every stage of the regulatory process, I have insisted that the Jordan Cove LNG project must meet Oregon’s rigorous standards for protecting the environment, or it cannot move forward,” she wrote. The outgoing Trump administration has supported energy export projects and in particular Jordan Cove. It had proposed streamlining approval of gas pipelines and other energy projects by limiting states’ certification authorities under the U.S. Clean Water Act. Gillian Flaccus, The Associated Press
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A woman accused of entering the U.S. Capitol illegally during the Jan. 6 riot will likely be charged with stealing a computer from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a federal prosecutor said in court Tuesday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson in Harrisburg said he will consider bail and that he plans to conduct a preliminary hearing on Thursday in the case of Riley June Williams. Williams is charged with trespassing as well as violent entry of the Capitol and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanours, and is being held in the county jail in Harrisburg. She spoke only briefly during the half-hour proceeding and was represented by a public defender. Federal authorities are preparing two new felony charges of stealing government property and aiding and abetting against the Harrisburg resident, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian T. Haugsby told Carlson. Those charges have not yet been approved by a judge in Washington, he said. The FBI has said a witness who claims to be an ex of Williams' said friends showed that person a video of Williams taking a laptop computer or hard drive from Pelosi’s office during the breach of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump. The tipster alleged that Williams intended to send the device to a friend in Russia who planned to sell it to that country’s foreign intelligence service, but that plan fell through and she either has the device or destroyed it, investigators said in court records. Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, confirmed two days after the Capitol attack that a laptop used only for presentations had been taken from a conference room. Haugsby told Carlson that prosecutors in Washington intend to file two felony charges against Williams, but the documents had not yet been approved by a federal judge. Haugsby argued Williams should not be released on bail pending trial, saying she might flee or try to obstruct justice. Carlson scheduled the preliminary hearing and consideration of bail for early Thursday morning. Williams' lawyer, Lori Ulrich, argued for her release and against a delay. Williams' father, who lives in the Harrisburg suburb of Camp Hill, told local law enforcement that he and his daughter went to Washington on the day of the protest but didn’t stay together, meeting up later to return to Harrisburg, the FBI said. Mark Scolforo, The Associated Press
La ville de Grande-Rivière et de nombreux acteurs de l’industrie de la pêche dénoncent l’inaction de Québec et d’Ottawa vis-à-vis un projet d’agrandissement du parc d’hivernement du port municipal. Amorcées à l’automne 2018, les démarches sont dans une impasse, ministères et gouvernements se renvoyant la balle, au désarroi des élus et des pêcheurs. «On ne demande pas la charité, on veut de l’équité», lance d’emblée le maire de Grande-Rivière, Gino Cyr. Depuis deux ans, son administration multiplie les démarches afin de faire approuver un projet d’agrandissement du parc d’hivernement de la municipalité, sans succès. D’un ministère à l’autre, «on se renvoie la balle», dénonce-t-il. Avec les années, les espaces disponibles dans les parcs de la péninsule gaspésienne se font de plus en plus rares. «Les bateaux sont toujours plus gros et les grands parcs de la région sont presque pleins. Le besoin est criant», explique le homardier et vice-président de l’administration portuaire de Grande-Rivière, Vincent Gallagher-Duguay. Aussi, un nombre grandissant de crabiers des provinces atlantiques viennent entreposer leurs bateaux dans les parcs gaspésiens. Les glaces se libérant plus rapidement du côté québécois, la pêche pourraiy débuter plus tôt. Ces embarcations, souvent plus grosses, ont priorité sur les petits homardiers, qui doivent se trouver d’autres endroits pour passer l’hiver. De nombreux acteurs locaux, allant des associations de pêcheurs jusqu’aux transformateurs, souhaitent donc voir apparaître de nouvelles places pour entreposer les homardiers, comme le demande la Ville de Grande-Rivière. Cette dernière a proposé aux différents ministères un projet qui ferait passer son parc d’hibernation à 48 places pour les petits bateaux. En plus d’ajouter des espaces d’entreposage, l’administration portuaire de Grande-Rivière souhaite installer une grue-portique ainsi qu’une rampe adaptée sur le site, rendant la mise à l’eau et l’hivernation des embarcations beaucoup plus sécuritaires. «En ce moment, on utilise une remorque archaïque, mal adaptée et dangereuse. En 2017, on a échappé un homardier avec cette remorque artisanale. Qui va prendre la responsabilité si un accident survient?», se demande le maire. La communauté met la main à la poche Le coût du projet, estimé à un peu plus de deux millions $, serait en partie assumé par la communauté, qui a déjà récolté 200 000$ en ce sens. Au moyen d’une contribution de leur part, les pêcheurs financeraient 300 000$ supplémentaires si le projet devait voir le jour. La municipalité souhaite que les gouvernements se partagent le reste de la facture, mais elle se bute à des barrières administratives. «Il n’y a pas de flexibilité dans les programmes. Après trois ans de démarches, le ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation (MEI) nous a ramenés à la case départ en faisant valoir la non-admissibilité du projet aux programmes et en renvoyant la responsabilité de ce dossier au MAPAQ qui n’a pas de programme pour soutenir ce genre de projets», dénonce le maire de la municipalité, dont l’économie est étroitement liée à la pêche. M. Cyr dénonce aussi la rigidité du Fonds des pêches du Québec. «La majeure partie des budgets sont toujours disponibles. Encore un exemple éloquent que ce dernier répond très peu aux besoins de l’industrie! Des changements de fond sont nécessaires rapidement». Des précédents sur la Côte-Nord et aux Îles-de-la-Madeleine Les acteurs locaux s’indignent surtout de la différence de traitement qu’a reçu leur projet si on le compare à d’autres installations similaires récemment financées à 100% par les gouvernements. Au cours des dernières années, les Îles-de-la-Madeleine et la Côte-Nord ont toutes deux vu des agrandissements dans leurs parcs d’hivernement, entièrement financés par les gouvernements via des décrets et des enveloppes dédiées. «Nous connaissons le traitement qu’ont reçu les projets des Îles et de la Côte-Nord : Nous sommes aussi des pêcheurs du Québec», conclut le vice-président de l’Administration portuaire de Grande-Rivière. MM. Cyr et Gallagher-Duguay souhaitent obtenir une rencontre avec le ministre de l’Agriculture, des Pêches et de l’Alimentation du Québec, André Lamontagne, dans le but que celui-ci signe un décret pour financer le projet. Simon Carmichael, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Soleil