(Leah Mills/Jennifer Gauthier/Reuters - image credit) Donald Trump's actions will take centre stage in a Vancouver courtroom this week as Meng Wanzhou's lawyers try to prove the former U.S. president poisoned extradition proceedings against the Huawei executive. The case should be tossed out because of alleged political interference, Meng's lawyers are expected to argue at the first of three sets of B.C. Supreme Court hearings scheduled to stretch into mid-May. A decision on the extradition request isn't expected until much later this year. The 49-year-old, who is Huawei's chief financial officer, is charged with fraud and conspiracy in New York in relation to allegations she lied to an HSBC banker in Hong Kong in 2013 about Huawei's control of a subsidiary accused of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. The arguments related to the former president concern a statement he made to a Reuters reporter in the weeks after Meng's arrest at Vancouver's airport on Dec. 1, 2018. At the time, Trump said he would "certainly intervene" if he thought it was necessary to help the U.S. reach a trade deal with China. Charter rights argument could be 'decider' The Crown — which represents the U.S. in the proceeding — contends there's no evidence Trump made good on his words and that any possible influence he could have had on the case ended along with his term in office. University of B.C. professor Michael Byers, an expert on international law, says he doubts the defence team will have much success convincing Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes the U.S. Department of Justice has been swayed by political considerations. Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, the founder of the telecommunications giant. She is accused of fraud and conspiracy. But he does think they'll have a better shot in the coming weeks with claims Meng's rights were breached on her arrival when Canada Border Services Agency officers questioned her for three hours before RCMP executed a warrant calling for her "immediate arrest." "That three-hour period could well have constituted a violation of her Section 7 rights to security of the person under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. "And so if the extradition judge is to rule that Ms. Meng should be set free, my expectation is that it's that particular element of the case that will be the decider." Meng is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, the man who became a billionaire by turning his global communications giant into a flagship business prized by the Chinese state. Meng's legal team includes lawyers from firms across Canada. And her case is being spearheaded by Vancouver's Richard Peck, of Peck and Company. Strategy to have case thrown out Along with arguments about Trump's role, the allegations related to Meng's treatment by the CBSA are part of a multi-pronged defence strategy to have the proceedings stayed. Meng's lawyers also claim the U.S. misled Canada about the strength of its case and that American prosecutors are reaching far beyond their jurisdiction by trying a Chinese citizen for a conversation that took place in Hong Kong with an executive for an English bank. Meng Wanzhou's lawyers are expected to claim her charter rights were violated during her first few hours in CBSA custody. Holmes will hear submissions about the events surrounding Meng's arrest during the second stretch of hearings, scheduled to begin in mid-March. The defence claims the CBSA conspired with the RCMP and CBSA to have border agents question Meng without a lawyer. They also seized her cellphones and later gave the passcodes to police, in contravention of policy. The defence has accused the RCMP of sending technical information from Meng's electronic devices to the Americans. A senior officer who was in touch with a legal attache for the FBI has refused to testify — and last month, Meng's lawyers announced their intention to try to force the Crown to disclose their communication with him about that decision. 'An irritant' in U.S.-China relationship In court documents filed in advance of this week's hearing, Meng's lawyers cited comments by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about a need to tie a trade deal between the U.S and China to the resolution of Meng's situation and the fate of two Canadians imprisoned in China. Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor have been accused of spying by the Chinese government in what most observers believe is retaliation for Meng's arrest. Michael Kovrig, left, and Michael Spavor, right, were arrested by China in the wake of charges against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. U.S. President Joe Biden has called for their release. The Crown doesn't make any mention of the so-called "two Michaels" in its submissions, but the defence claims the constellation of factors riding on the case has made it extremely difficult for Meng to defend herself without worrying about the impact on others. U.S. President Joe Biden called on China to release Kovrig and Spavor last week following a bilateral meeting with Trudeau, saying "human beings are not bartering chips." Byers believes Biden may decide to bring an end to efforts to extradite Meng in the coming months as he looks to improve the U.S. relationship with China. "It is in the hands of the Biden administration to end this case. And the Biden administration will be in the process now of resetting the relationship between the United States and China. That is a hugely important relationship, for economic reasons, for security reasons. "Those two superpowers need to get along. They need to get things done. And Ms. Meng's presence in Vancouver is an irritant in that relationship." To that end, reports by the Wall Street Journal and Reuters last December claimed Meng was in discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice to bring an end to the case through a deal that would see her admit to some wrongdoing in exchange for a deferred prosecution agreement. In an exclusive interview with CBC's chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton, newly appointed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said any deal would have to be made free of geopolitical considerations. "We follow the law. We follow the facts. "And one of the things that we don't do is have politics or foreign policy interfere in the workings of the Justice Department."
(Kirk Pennell/CBC - image credit) P.E.I. has been spared the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the last week has been a reminder of how quickly conditions can change, says Premier Dennis King. "What we've learned in this last year of COVID is this snaps back and hits you pretty fast if you don't continue following the protocols," King told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier. "These reminders are painful and this one is probably the most painful of all." Last Wednesday, there were just three active cases of COVID-19 on the Island, all traceable to travel outside the province. As of Monday morning, there are 18 confirmed — the most active cases since early April 2020 — with clusters in both Charlottetown and Summerside, about 60 kilometres northwest of the capital. There is no clear link between the two clusters, and no link to travel for either one. "This had to come from somewhere. We need to try to determine where that is," said King. Testing ramped up The P.E.I. government has taken two measures to try to get the outbreak under control. It has moved to a red phase of pandemic restrictions, closing non-essential businesses to the public, and it has ramped up testing. The province has published a list of potential exposure sites, and is asking anyone who has been at those locations to get tested. The province is also asking all people aged 19 to 29 who work in the following industries — food service, meat and fish processing, call centres and transportation and delivery, as well as long-term care staff who are not vaccinated — to get tested. By mid-afternoon Monday, the province's Chief Public Health Office said no additional positive results had come back from the lab, after 6,632 tests on Saturday and Sunday, but 1,600 results were still pending. "All of us should take this very seriously and act accordingly," said King. "We've been very fortunate, and almost spoiled in a way … For the most part, our lives have not been impacted. I don't know if that has led people to, quote unquote, let their guard down a little bit or just not take this as seriously as it needs to be." Schools offline The red phase has been announced for 72 hours and is due to end at midnight on Wednesday. King is hopeful the province will be able to gather enough information through the expanded testing to have a better idea of the source of the infections in that time. The province is still waiting for analysis of the current cases to see if they are the more contagious coronavirus variants that have been spreading in other parts of the country. Schools have been closed during the red phase, and there is no online learning, either. While school is out, the province has set up a COVID-19 testing clinic at Three Oaks High School in Summerside. King said it would take about three days to get K-6 students online, and a day-and-a-half for other grades. Teachers have been asked to begin that process, but King is hopeful students will be able to return to the classroom. Outbreaks will remain a potential danger until the province achieves its goal of vaccinating 75 per cent of Islanders, King said. As of Feb. 24, about three per cent of all Islanders had been vaccinated, based on the province's published numbers. Children cannot be vaccinated at this time, so the numbers show about five per cent of Island adults have gotten at least one shot. King expects the rate of vaccination will increase dramatically in the second quarter of this year. More from CBC P.E.I.
LEVERKUSEN, Germany — Bayer Leverkusen right back Timothy Fosu-Mensah will be out for several months with a cruciate ligament tear in his right knee, the German club said Monday. Fosu-Mensah was injured just before halftime in Leverkusen's 2-1 loss to Freiburg on Sunday. The club said he will need an operation and is expected to spend “the coming months” on the sidelines. It’s the second serious knee injury of the Dutch defender's career. He also needed ligament surgery while on loan at Fulham in April 2019 and missed most of Manchester United's 2019-20 season. “It is a hard blow for Timothy,” Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes said. “We will do everything we can to support him, so that he can come back stronger from this difficult situation.” Fosu-Mensah, who signed from Manchester United less than two months ago, has played every minute of Leverkusen's last six Bundesliga games. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Chloé Zhao became the second woman to win best director at the Golden Globes and the first female winner of Asian descent on a night in which her film “Nomadland” was crowned the top drama film. Zhao, who was among three women nominated in the directing category, was honoured for her work on “Nomadland,” about people who take to the road and move from place to place seeking work for usually low wages. It stars two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand and includes nonprofessional actors. “I especially want to thank the nomads who shared their stories with us,” Zhao said, accepting the directing honour virtually on Sunday night. She singled out real-life nomad Bob Wells, who appears in the movie, for help with her remarks. “This is what he said about compassion,” Zhao said. “Compassion is the breakdown of all the barriers between us. A heart to heart pounding. Your pain is my pain. It’s mingled and shared between us.” The 38-year-old director who lives in Los Angeles is a leading Oscar contender for “Nomadland,” which is in select theatres and streaming on Hulu. “Now this is why I fell in love with making movies and telling stories because it gives us a chance to laugh and cry together and it gives us a chance to learn from each other and to have more compassion for each other,” Zhao said in her acceptance remarks. “So thank you everyone who made it possible to do what I love.” She joins Barbra Streisand, who won in 1984 for “Yentl,” as the only women to win directing honours at the Globes. Until this year, just five women had been nominated in the category. “Sometimes a first feels like a long time coming. You feel like, it’s about time,” Zhao said in virtual backstage comments. “I’m sure there’s many others before me that deserve the same recognition. If this means more people like me get to live their dreams and do what I do, I’m happy.” Regina King ("One Night in Miami...") and Emerald Fennell ("Promising Young Woman") were the other female director nominees. Zhao also was nominated for best motion picture screenplay and lost to Aaron Sorkin. McDormand received a nod for actress in a motion picture drama, but lost. Born in China, Zhao made her feature directing debut in 2015 with “Songs My Brother Taught Me.” She broke out in 2017 with “The Rider.” Next up for her is the big-budget Marvel film “Eternals,” set for release this fall. Beth Harris, The Associated Press
“Later,” by Stephen King (Hard Case Crime) Stephen King gets a lot of credit for creating the monsters under kids’ beds (here’s looking at you, Pennywise), but not enough for this simple fact: The guy gets kids. Their fears, certainly, but also their voices, the way they see the world differently than adults. To a long list that includes Danny Torrance from “The Shining” and Gordie Lachance from “The Body,” we can now add Jamie Conklin, the star of King’s most recent novel, “Later.” Published under the Hard Case Crime imprint, which also distributed “The Colorado Kid” (2005) and “Joyland” (2013) — “Later” is narrated by 22-year-old Jamie, looking back on his formative years. He begins his story at age 6, when he first figured out he could see and talk to the dead. It’s that gift which propels the plot of this slim novel. Encouraged by his mother’s NYPD girlfriend, Liz, Jamie gets tied up in the pursuit of a serial bomber in New York. It’s not giving too much away to say he helps crack the case, but to say what happens after that would spoil all the fun. There’s classic King here for fans. Imagine the carnage on any given day in the Big Apple and then imagine being a young man seeing the mangled dead walking around in the afterlife, with holes in their heads “as big as a dessert plate and surrounded by irregular fangs of bone.” But even amid the gore and escalating tension, King finds moments to make Jamie relatable. As Liz and his mom argue at the scene of a crime, we pop inside Jamie’s head before he screams at them. “One of the worst things about being a kid, maybe the very worst, is how grownups ignore you when they get going" on their own issues, writes King. In the end, the story Jamie narrates to readers climaxes in a thrilling whodunit, while uncovering truths about Jamie’s life that might have been better left buried. For as the novel’s cover declares: “Only the dead have no secrets.” Rob Merrill, The Associated Press
Dans le cadre de la journée santé et ressourcement pour le communautaire, la concertation régionale des organismes communautaires de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue (CROC-AT) a participé, avec cinq autres régions à un zoom interrégional afin de souligner la campagne « Engagez-vous pour le communautaire » ainsi que pour la journée mondiale de la justice sociale. Un salon santé et ressourcement L’animation de la rencontre était assurée par l’artiste québécois Yves Lambert pour divertir tout en musique et en conte ce moment privilégié. « Au niveau de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, le comité mobilisation de la région a organisé un salon santé et ressourcement pour le milieu communautaire de manière virtuel » a déclaré David-Alexandre Desrosiers de la CROC-AT. Les participants à cette grande rencontre ont également pris le temps de d’échanger d’anecdotes cocasses ainsi que des belles expériences vécues dans les organismes. L’enjeu de l’épuisement professionnel Le contexte de la pandémie a démontré comment le rôle des organismes communautaires est très important et comment ils ont tenu à bout de bras une partie importante du filet social, pendant la pandémie de la COVID-19. La journée santé et ressourcement pour le communautaire pour souligner leur rôle et la grande valeur ajoutée de ces organismes dans la vie de tous les jours. « Plusieurs activités ont eu lieu : un conteur sur l’heure du midi, une séance d’étirement ergonomique, une conférence sur l’épuisement professionnel, une séance de yoga et d’art-thérapie » fait savoir David-Alexandre Desrosiers. Un moment pour recharger leur batterie Pour souligner à leur façon la Journée mondiale pour la justice sociale, six regroupements régionaux d’organismes communautaires autonomes se sont mobilisés afin de créer une journée de ressourcement pour ces artisan(e)s qui visent à améliorer la qualité de vie dans leur communauté. Partout au Québec, des actions ont eu lieu aujourd’hui, dans le cadre de la campagne « Engagez-vous pour le communautaire ». « Il était important pour nous que les travailleuses et les travailleurs du mouvement prennent un moment pour recharger leur batterie. C’est notre façon de leur montrer à quel point, elles et ils font la différence au quotidien dans leur communauté » a-t-il conclu. Moulay Hicham Mouatadid, Initiative de journalisme local, Reflet Témiscamien (Le)
Community organizations in Timmins have prepared a few events in celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD). It is marked annually on March 8. In the past, the Timmins and Area Women in Crisis (TAWC) has hosted a dinner honouring 10 women who have overcome adversity and contributed to the community. This year, the organization is hoping to honour at least 30 women each day starting on March 8. Until March 3, TAWC is accepting nominations of extraordinary women who deserve recognition. The selected women will receive gift boxes with self-care products, all made by local women. “We wanted to make it a little bit extra special,” said Caroline Martel, TAWC’s manager of programs and services. “We wanted to honour women who’ve gone above and beyond during the pandemic … like frontline workers and health workers, teachers. If anyone knows anyone who’s really stepped up this year, we really want to hear their stories and nominate them.” Nomination forms can be found here or by emailing TAWC. Ellevive will host a free virtual meeting with Quebec singer Nathalie Simard on March 8 and 9. Simard will share her personal journey and testimony from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The event is held in partnership with a Sudbury-based Centre Victoria pour femmes, Fem'aide and the Office of Francophone Affairs at Laurentian University. For Ellevive’s and Centre Victoria’s clients, an exclusive activity will be offered on March 10. For another virtual event on March 8, the Timmins Chamber of Commerce has invited Erin Elofson of Pinterest Canada. Elofson is an innovator, project manager and head of the Canada, Australia and New Zealand region at Pinterest, which is a visual discovery engine where users share images and find inspiration and ideas. At the event, she will talk about women in leadership roles, the importance of having a curated digital presence and female parity on governing boards. The event will be held via Zoom from noon till 1 p.m. It costs $25 plus tax for chamber members and $40 for general admission. To register, click here. Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com
Top U.N. human rights experts said on Monday that Russia was to blame for attempting to kill Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, and called for an international investigation into his poisoning with a "signature compound" last year. The attempt to kill Navalny was part of a pattern of attacks on critics at home and abroad, and intended to send a "sinister warning" to quash dissent, Agnes Callamard, U.N. special rapporteur on summary killings, and Irene Khan, U.N. expert on freedom of opinion and expression, said in a statement.
Celebrity birthdays for the week of March 7-13: March 7: TV personality Willard Scott (“Today”) is 87. Actor Daniel J. Travanti (“Hill Street Blues”) is 81. Bassist Chris White of The Zombies is 78. Singer Peter Wolf of The J. Geils Band is 75. Keyboardist Matthew Fisher of Procol Harum is 75. Guitarist Ernie Isley of The Isley Brothers is 69. Actor Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) is 65. Actor Donna Murphy (“Mercy Street,” ?Murder One”) is 62. Actor Nick Searcy (“Justified”) is 62. Actor Mary Beth Evans (“Days of Our Lives”) is 60. Singer Taylor Dayne is 59. Actor Bill Brochtrup (“Major Crimes,” ?NYPD Blue”) is 58. Opera singer Denyce Graves is 57. Comedian Wanda Sykes is 57. Actor Jonathan Del Arco (“Major Crimes”) is 55. Drummer Randy Guss of Toad The Wet Sprocket is 54. Actor Rachel Weisz (WYS) is 50. Actor Peter Sarsgaard (“Kinsey,” ?Garden State”) is 50. Actor Jay Duplass (“The Mindy Project”) is 48. Singer Sebastien Izambard of Il Divo is 48. Singer Hugo Ferreira of Tantric is 47. Actor Jenna Fischer (“The Office”) is 47. Actor Tobias Menzies (“Outlander,” ?Game of Thrones”) is 47. Actor Audrey Marie Anderson (“The Unit”) is 46. Actor TJ Thyne (“Bones”) is 46. Actor Laura Prepon (“Orange Is The New Black,” ?That ’70s Show”) is 41. Actor Bel Powley (Film: “Diary of a Teenage Girl”) is 29. Actor Giselle Eisenberg (“Life in Pieces”) is 24. March 8: Jazz saxophonist George Coleman is 86. Actor Sue Ane Langdon is 85. Songwriter Carole Bayer Sager is 77. Actor-director Micky Dolenz of The Monkees is 76. Bassist Randy Meisner (The Eagles, Poco) is 75. Singer Peggy March is 73. Jazz pianist Billy Childs is 64. Singer Gary Numan is 63. NBC News anchor Lester Holt is 62. Actor Aidan Quinn is 62. Guitarist Jimmy Dormire (Confederate Railroad) is 61. Actor Camryn Manheim (“The Practice”) is 60. Actor Leon (“Cool Runnings”) is 60. Singer Shawn Mullins is 53. Actor Andrea Parker (“Less Than Perfect”) is 51. Actor Boris Kodjoe (“Code Black,” ?Madea’s Family Reunion”) is 48. Actor Freddie Prinze Jr. is 45. Actor Laura Main (“Call the Midwife”) is 44. Actor James Van Der Beek (“CSI: Cyber,” ?Dawson’s Creek”) is 44. Singer Kameelah Williams of 702 is 43. Actor Nick Zano (“Minority Report,” ?2 Broke Girls”) is 43. Singer Tom Chaplin of Keane is 42. Guitarist Andy Ross of OK Go is 42. Singer Kristinia DeBarge is 31. March 9: Singer Lloyd Price is 88. Actor Joyce Van Patten is 87. Country singer Mickey Gilley is 85. Actor Trish Van Devere is 80. Singer John Cale (The Velvet Underground) is 79. Singer Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders is 79. TV anchor Charles Gibson is 78. Guitarist Robin Trower (Procol Harum) is 76. Singer Jeffrey Osborne is 73. Guitarist Jimmie Fadden of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is 73. Actor Linda Fiorentino (“Men In Black”) is 63. Actor Tom Amandes (“Eli Stone,” ?Parenthood”) is 62. Guitarist Rusty Hendrix of Confederate Railroad is 61. Actor Juliette Binoche (“Chocolat,” ?The English Patient”) is 57. Bassist Robert Sledge of Ben Folds Five is 53. Drummer Shannon Leto of 30 Seconds To Mars is 51. Rapper C-Murder (aka C-Miller) is 50. Actor Emmanuel Lewis (“Webster”) is 50. Actor Jean Louisa Kelly (“Yes, Dear,” ?Mr. Holland’s Opus”) is 49. Actor Kerr Smith (“Life Unexpected,” ?Dawson’s Creek”) is 49. Actor Oscar Isaac (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) is 42. Comedian Jordan Klepper (“The Daily Show”) is 42. Rapper Chingy is 41. Actor Matthew Gray Gubler (“Criminal Minds”) is 41. Guitarist Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory is 40. Keyboardist Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes is 38. Actor Brittany Snow (“American Dreams,” ?Hairspray”) is 35. Rapper Bow Wow is 34. Rapper YG is 31. Actor Luis Armand Garcia (“George Lopez”) is 29. Actor Cierra Ramirez (“The Fosters”) is 26. March 10: Country talk show host Ralph Emery is 88. Bluegrass musician Norman Blake is 83. Actor Chuck Norris is 81. Singer Dean Torrence of Jan and Dean is 81. Actor Katharine Houghton (“Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?”) is 79. Actor Richard Gant is 77. Guitarist Tom Scholz of Boston is 74. TV personality-businesswoman Barbara Corcoran (“Shark Tank”) is 72. Actor Aloma Wright (“Scrubs”) is 71. Singer-guitarist Gary Louris of The Jayhawks is 66. Actor Shannon Tweed is 64. Actor Sharon Stone is 63. Bassist Gail Greenwood of L7 (and of Belly) is 61. Magician Lance Burton is 61. Actor Jasmine Guy is 59. Bassist Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam is 58. Music producer Rick Rubin is 58. Singer Edie Brickell is 55. Actor Stephen Mailer (“Reversal of Fortune”) is 55. Actor Philip Anthony-Rodriguez (“Grimm”) is 53. Actor Paget Brewster (“Criminal Minds”) is 52. Actor Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) is 50. Rapper-producer Timbaland is 49. Actor Cristian de la Fuente is 47. Guitarist Jerry Horton of Papa Roach is 46. Actor Jeff Branson (“The Young and the Restless”) is 44. Singer Robin Thicke is 44. Actor Bree Turner (“Grimm”) is 44. Singer Michael Barnes of Red is 42. Actor Edi Gathegi (“Twilight” films) is 42. Bassist Matt Asti of MGMT is 41. Actor Thomas Middleditch (“Silicon Valley”) is 39. Singer Carrie Underwood is 38. Actor Olivia Wilde is 37. Singer Emeli Sande is 34. Country singer Rachel Reinert is 32. Keyboardist Jared Hampton of LANCO is 30. Actor Emily Osment (“Hannah Montana”) is 29. March 11: TV journalist Sam Donaldson is 87. Accordionist Flaco Jimenez of Texas Tornadoes is 82. Actor Tricia O’Neil (“Genghis Khan”) is 76. Actor Mark Metcalf (“Animal House”) is 75. Singer Mark Stein of Vanilla Fudge is 74. Singer Bobby McFerrin is 71. Movie director Jerry Zucker (“Airplane!” ?Ghost”) is 71. Singer Cheryl Lynn is 70. Actor Susan Richardson (“Eight Is Enough”) is 69. Recording executive Jimmy Iovine (“American Idol”) is 68. Country singer Jimmy Fortune of The Statler Brothers is 66. Singer Nina Hagen is 66. Actor Elias Koteas (“Chicago P.D.”) is 60. Actor Peter Berg (“Chicago Hope”) is 59. Actor Jeffrey Nordling (“Desperate Housewives”) is 59. Actor Alex Kingston (“ER”) is 58. Actor Wallace Langham (“CSI”) is 56. Actor John Barrowman (“Arrow”) is 54. Singer Lisa Loeb is 53. Keyboardist Al Gamble of St. Paul and the Broken Bones is 52. Singer Pete Droge is 52. Actor Terrence Howard (“Empire”) is 52. Actor Johnny Knoxville is 50. Musicians Joel and Benji Madden of Good Charlotte are 42. Actor David Anders (“iZombie,” ?The Vampire Diaries”) is 40. Singer LeToya Luckett (Destiny’s Child) is 40. Actor Thora Birch (“Ghost World,” ?American Beauty”) is 39. TV personality Melissa Rycroft is 38. Actor Rob Brown (“Blindspot,” “Treme”) is 37. Actor Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”) is 28. March 12: Actor Barbara Feldon (“Get Smart”) is 88. Actor-singer Liza Minnelli is 75. Singer-songwriter James Taylor is 73. Singer Bill Payne of Little Feat is 72. Actor Jon Provost (TV: “Lassie”) is 71. Bassist Steve Harris of Iron Maiden is 65. Actor Lesley Manville (“Phantom Thread”) is 65. Singer Marlon Jackson of The Jackson Five is 64. Actor Courtney B. Vance is 61. Actor Titus Welliver (“Deadwood”) is 59. Actor Julia Campbell (“Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion”) is 58. Actor Jake Weber (TV’s “Medium,” film’s “Dawn of the Dead”) is 58. Actor Aaron Eckhart (“The Dark Knight”) is 53. Guitarist Graham Coxon of Blur is 52. Drummer Tommy Bales of Flynnville Train is 48. Actor Rhys Coiro (“Hostages,” “Entourage”) is 42. Country singer Holly Williams is 40. Actor Samm Levine (“Freaks and Geeks”) is 39. Actor Jaimie Alexander (TV’s “Blindspot”) is 37. Actor Tyler Patrick Jones (“Ghost Whisperer”) is 27. Actor Kendall Applegate (“Desperate Housewives”) is 22. March 13: Jazz drummer Roy Haynes is 96. Songwriter Mike Stoller is 88. Singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka is 82. Singer Candi Staton is 81. Actor William H. Macy is 71. Comedian Robin Duke is 67. Actor Dana Delaney (“Body of Proof” ?China Beach”) is 65. Bassist Adam Clayton of U2 is 61. Jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard is 59. Drummer Matt McDonough of Mudvayne is 52. Actor Annabeth Gish (“The West Wing,” ?The X-Files”) is 50. Actor Tracy Wells (“Mr. Belvedere”) is 50. Rapper Common is 49. Rapper Khujo of Goodie Mob is 49. Singer Glenn Lewis is 46. Actor Danny Masterson (“That ’70s Show”) is 45. Musicians Natalie and Nicole Albino of Nina Sky are 37. Actor Noel Fisher (“Shameless”) is 37. Actor Emile Hirsch (“Into the Wild”) is 36. The Associated Press
CROTONE, Italy — Crotone fired coach Giovanni Stroppa on Monday, with the Serie A club bottom of the standings and eight points from safety. The 53-year-old Stroppa had been in charge since 2018 and led Crotone to promotion from Serie B last season. Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Cagliari was Crotone’s sixth straight loss and its 18th in 24 matches this campaign. “So ends a beautiful and intense journey, that lasted almost three years, and that wasn’t without difficult moments but that culminated in the extraordinary survival in Serie B and furthermore in the second, historic, promotion to Serie A,” Crotone said in a statement. Stroppa took charge of Crotone in June 2018, with the team in the second division, but was fired in October of that year after collecting just 11 points from nine matches. He was rehired two months later and steered the team to safety before guiding it to a second-place finish in Serie B the following season and promotion to the top flight. It is the sixth coaching change in Serie A this season. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
(Helen Pike/CBC - image credit) The union representing Calgary's transit workers says despite an overall drop in ridership, a steady number of operational issues indicate a need to bring back some of the transit workers laid off last spring. Mike Mahar, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 583, says staff are complaining about too much overtime, too many overloaded buses and sporadic bus breakdowns that lead to "no shows" because there's no one to backfill. Mahar said within the last week, a charter transit bus ran into problems and left students at a high school scrambling to find another way home. "Normally Calgary Transit will have, you know, five or six or seven people on what they call standby, and as soon as the bus breaks down, they dispatch another bus with another driver," he said. "They can't do that when they've maxed themselves out, there's just no resources left." Approximately 450 workers were laid off last spring and routes were scaled back or temporarily suspended after revenues and ridership plunged due to COVID-19. Mahar said some of the laid off workers have already been brought back, but he believes more need to return — especially considering concerns around health and safety with respect to the pandemic. Stephen Tauro, a spokesperson with the city, said Calgary Transit is monitoring the situation and called the "no show" incident involving a high school charter bus a one-off. Tauro said ridership is only 25 per cent of what it was pre-pandemic, yet service levels are at 82 per cent. He said if they see a significant increase in ridership, they'll boost service levels. Approximately 450 workers were laid off last spring and routes were scaled back or temporarily suspended after revenues and ridership plunged due to COVID-19. Tauro added that according to the city's ongoing citizen satisfaction surveys, 85 per cent of riders say the service is meeting their needs. "So it's really a balancing act and being responsible with the tax dollars and ensuring that we can use those dollars to the best of our ability to meet the customer needs," he said. Transit overloads Mahar said the city sends him copies of the daily overload reports and lately he said he's been noticing reports of 50 or more overloads every day. Mahar shared a week's worth of the overload reports with CBC News which support that assessment. Pre-pandemic, a bus was considered overloaded if it reached 100 per cent capacity. During the pandemic, it has been lowered to 75 per cent capacity. When a bus is considered overloaded, the driver feels it's too full to pick up additional riders, so the length of time can vary depending on when people exit the bus. Mahar said there were reports of bus overloads pre-pandemic but he alleged the numbers are consistently up right now on some routes, especially during peak periods. He said drivers have a plastic shield and passengers must wear a mask, but said not everyone feels safe behind those barriers, nor always wears a mask. One rider who spoke to CBC News through social media said the bus she takes is usually packed, which she said doesn't make sense. "Calgary Transit still thinks it's okay to allow 70 people on the bus when there's only 36 seats [on a regular bus] and most people are not wearing masks," said Megan Mary, who is a regular transit rider. "If my place of work did that, or if I gather in my home or outside with 70 [or more] people, we'd be fined and closed down for not following public health regulations." Stephen Tauro, a spokesperson with the city, said Calgary Transit ridership is only 25 per cent of what it was pre-pandemic, yet service levels are at 82 per cent. Tauro said the reports shared with CBC News are raw data that require further investigation to see if they represent consistent issues that require a service change. He said if overloads happen on a consistent basis, then they will respond by adding another bus, increasing the frequency of the service or adjusting the size of the bus. In that case, he urged drivers and passengers to notify Calgary Transit every time a bus is too full so the city can see if any patterns emerge. Increased overtime Mahar said he's been tracking the overtime and double time logged by his members after drivers started complaining about their workload over the last three or four months. He said overtime is an acceptable solution when it's used correctly, but said drivers are asked to do overtime too often to cover staffing shortages, which he said leads to burnout. "There's a lot of them that don't want to work overtime and they certainly don't want to work 10- and 12-hour days," Mahar said. But despite the complaints, Tauro said his records show overtime hasn't gone up in recent months. CBC News tried to compare the total number of overtime and double time hours sent by Tauro, which compared January 2020 to January 2021, with several overtime sheets sent by Mahar. However at the time of publication, CBC News couldn't confirm whether drivers are being asked to do more overtime at this time. Tauro said there are a number of factors that go into the decision to use overtime — like budget, operator availability, the "sick" list and the schedules. "It's really hard to just pinpoint one consistent issue and I think we are using some operators in overtime. Is it excessive?" Tauro said. "No, but we're just trying to ensure we're meeting the service that customers expect." But Tauro said the bottom line is Calgary Transit is about customer service, and so far, he said, it seems customers are satisfied. Mahar said he realizes there are budget constraints and that ridership is down, but he said those who are still using it and providing it should be better supported. "During a pandemic I think they need to promise a safe ride that is as safe as it can possibly be while still providing service," he said. He said the buses should be better spaced out, as they were when the pandemic first hit. Calgary Transit initially blocked off every second seat due to COVID-19. Last August, it removed the seating restrictions because it said the mandatory face covering bylaw would keep riders safe when they couldn't distance.
La Bostonnais – Les élections partielles tenues à La Bostonnais dimanche ont permis de confirmer deux nouveaux conseillers, alors que François Descarreaux et Renée Ouellette ont obtenu une majorité de vote pour accéder aux sièges numéros deux et cinq, respectivement. Ces «nouveaux conseillers» sont déjà connus du public puisqu'ils ont démissionné des mêmes postes il y a un peu plus de trois mois, forçant la partielle de dimanche. Les deux élus avaient laissé leur place en novembre dernier en support au maire, lui aussi démissionnaire, Michel Sylvain, qui disait alors quitter en raison de tensions au sein du conseil municipal. Ces démissions n'avaient d'ailleurs pas été les seules puisque cinq des sept élus de la municipalité avaient choisi de tirer leur révérence avant la fin de leur mandat. Les deux seuls conseillers qui persistaient, François Baugée et Guy Laplante, étaient alors vivement pointés du doigts par tous ceux qui avaient décidé de passer à autre chose. «Les conseillers Baugée et Laplante agissent comme un parti d’opposition dont le rôle est de critiquer et démolir tout ce que le conseil met de l’avant. Ils n’ont pas compris, ou ne veulent pas comprendre que dans une petite municipalité il faut travailler tous ensemble pour réussir», pouvait-on lire jadis dans la lettre de démission des conseillers Descarreaux et Ouellette, réélus au terme du processus, dimanche avec 57% et 65% des voix. Le directeur général par intérim de La Bostonnais, Yves Tousignant, se disait fort satisfait du déroulement du scrutin puisque ce dernier a enregistré un taux de participation important considérant qu'il s'agissait d'une partielle. Ce sont 46,3% des électeurs habiles à voter qui ont exercé leur droit, soit 230 sur 497. Cet exercice démocratique permettra à la municipalité de gérer elle-même son avenir, maintenant que la Commission municipale du Québec, qui gérait l'intérim depuis novembre, pourra se dégager du dossier. Le conseil municipal étant maintenant complet, les élus pourront recommencer à siéger dès vendredi. Le mandat des nouveaux élus sera de huit mois, jusqu'aux prochaines élections municipales de novembre à venir. Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
(Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit) While COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on many businesses, it has also created a niche for some new ones, including Pulsar UV. Pulsar UV offers coronavirus testing and health and safety advice to film and TV productions, allowing them to continue making entertainment as the pandemic wears on. Barbara Szeman, an assistant director who's worked on movies such as Suicide Squad and RoboCop (2014), founded the company, along with three other Windsorites with medical and film industry backgrounds. They recognized the need for such services after production shut down last spring. "When the pandemic hit, as for many industries, the entire film industry came to a complete halt, and we honestly just wanted to help our friends get back to work and be part of the solution," she said on Windsor Morning on Monday. In April, she reached out to colleagues and offered them her services. "We actually ended up running entire departments for health and safety on multi-million-dollar productions," she said. The company's clients include major motion pictures with 200 or more people on set. The company can't disclose the names of its clients because of confidentiality agreements, but is currently working with about five productions. "We are constantly taking calls from more productions that are opening up, so we'll be very busy this coming season," she said. They use the polymerase chain reaction or PCR test, considered the most accurate, and will soon introduce rapid testing. The samples are analyzed by diagnostic labs. The company has a doctor that oversees testing. Pulsar UV will soon be offering private asymptomatic testing in Windsor, Szeman said.
LONDON — Prince Philip was transferred Monday to a specialized London heart hospital to undergo testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition as he continues treatment for an unspecified infection, Buckingham Palace said. The 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II was moved from King Edward VII's Hospital, where he has been treated since Feb. 17, to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, which specializes in cardiac care. As Philip was moved into a waiting ambulance for the transfer, people held up open umbrellas to shield him from photographers and the public. The palace says Philip “remains comfortable and is responding to treatment but is expected to remain in hospital until at least the end of the week.’’ Philip was admitted to the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in London after feeling ill. Philip’s illness is not believed to be related to COVID-19. Both he and the queen, 94, received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in early January. The Bart’s Heart Centre is Europe’s biggest specialized cardiovascular centre, the National Health Service said. The centre seeks to perform more heart surgery, MRI and CT scans than any other service in the world. Philip, who retired from royal duties in 2017, rarely appears in public. During England’s current coronavirus lockdown, Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, has been staying at Windsor Castle, west of London, with the queen. Philip married the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and is the longest-serving royal consort in British history. He and the queen have four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Danica Kirka, The Associated Press
Shawinigan – Tous les superhéros accomplissent des miracles, c'est bien connu. Nino Mancuso, le grand patron du Shawicon et son équipe en ont réalisé un également dans les dernières semaines, alors qu'ils ont réussi l'exploit de mettre sur pieds la sixième édition de l'événement, dans tout le contexte que l'on connaît, tout en s'assurant au passage la présence de grandes pointures du milieu du divertissement d'ici et d'ailleurs. Nino Mancuso ne s'en cache pas : l'édition 2021 n'avait rien à voir avec les précédentes. «Ça a été bien, bien, bien différent des autres années!» sourit-il, d'emblée. «Jusqu'en décembre, on n'était pas sûr de ce qu'on ferait. Avec les décisions du gouvernement, c'était difficile de se brancher», exprime-t-il. Non seulement fallait-il avoir le feu vert, mais tout était à faire pour l'organisation. «D'habitude, on se prépare dès le mois de mai ou juin, on avait donc un gros retard en partant dans la préparation et c'est quand même beaucoup de travail», concède le principal intéressé. Cette édition «bien, bien, bien» différente aura tout de même ouvert de belles possibilités à M. Mancuso et son équipe. «Avec la pandémie, on a eu la chance d'avoir des gros noms qu'on n'aurait pas pu avoir sinon. Qu'on pense à Bonnie Wright qui a joué dans Harry Potter ou à la gang de ''Dans une galaxie près de chez vous'' que j'essayais d'avoir depuis la première édition mais dont les acteurs ne pouvaient jamais tous en même temps parce qu'ils étaient sur un tournage, au théâtre. On a profité de cette situation. Ça a été bénéfique.» Nino Mancuso est par ailleurs convaincu d'avoir fait bonne impression auprès des vedettes de cette année et de leurs agents, ce qui, estime-t-il, ne nuira pas dans un futur proche. «C'est quand même compliqué d'atteindre certaines vedettes. J'ai été chanceux, j'ai contacté de grandes compagnies qui m'ont répondu. Tout le monde est super content, les invités ont eu beaucoup de plaisir et les artistes ont adoré la réaction des fans qui ont participé et nous ont suivi en grand nombre. C'était assez fou», se réjouit-il. L'événement se fait une fierté d'avoir été l'un des premiers en son genre à être offert totalement gratuitement aux passionnés du genre. «On a gravi un échelon de plus en tenant quelque chose de numérique. On est bien fiers d'avoir pu l'offrir gratuitement aux gens.» À peine l'édition 2021 terminée, l'organisation planchera logiquement sur la septième présentation de l'événement à pareille date l'an prochain. «On va commencer tranquillement. On est toujours un peu dans l'attente. Chose certaine, il y a des trucs qui vont changer, on va essayer quelque chose de nouveau», a laissé entendre M. Mancuso. En 2020, le Shawicon avait amené plus de 266 000$ en retombées économiques pour la ville de Shawinigan. Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
(Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit) Melanie Whitlow says she and her family had only recently started to get ahead financially when a complication with their immigration forms caused her husband to be fired from his job. "We're down at least half our income," said Whitlow, 39. "We've had to stop being able to save money for future endeavours and our future life plans." Whitlow and her husband, Steve Whitlow, 43, moved their family of four to Vancouver in August 2019 from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as part of British Columbia's provincial nominee program, which offers a path to permanent residency for skilled and semi-skilled workers in high-demand occupations. It was a plan eight years in the making. Whitlow is a registered nurse and had to complete the B.C. licensing process before finding an employer willing to nominate her. She eventually secured a position with Vancouver General Hospital, giving the family a path to permanent residency. Steve, 43, did not have a job waiting for him, but accompanied his wife and found a job in July of last year with a steel company in Richmond. The pair says things were going "pretty good," until a few weeks ago when, on Family Day, an oversight in their work permit renewal forms resulted in Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada denying their extension. Melanie Whitlow has since had her work permit restored, allowing her to work until 2023. Her husband, Steve, is still waiting for a decision from IRCC. Whitlow says she completed the IRCC forms well in advance of the Feb. 4 deadline, but failed to include the necessary Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption number from her employer. She says it was an "oversight," given her employer had paid the corresponding fee and had the number, but that she was still able to submit the paperwork without this crucial bit of information. Documents shared with CBC show IRCC followed up with them on a separate issue, regarding a different $100 fee from her employer, but never mentioned the missing LMIA number. An email to IRCC about the outstanding $100 balance shows the couple requested a follow-up phone call with IRCC staff. Eleven days later their permits were denied, making it illegal for the couple to work. But while Melanie says VGH chose to "keep an eye" on the situation, Steve's employer opted to terminate him. Legal experts say that while IRCC had the right to reject the couple's application over the missing number, their case reflects the sometimes impersonal touch of a department tasked with approving complicated forms — ones capable of throwing lives into turmoil if completed incorrectly. "A human had to have read my note where I was clearly confused," said Melanie. "I don't know why they would deny a work permit instead of reaching out." In its response to CBC's inquiry about the Whitlow file, IRCC acknowledged that both permits had been refused due to the missing LMIA exemption number "as well as the employer compliance fee." "Mrs. Whitlow was advised by IRCC of her eligibility to apply for restoration and she reapplied," writes the department. "Her work permit has since been approved and is valid until February 18, 2023 ... Mr. Whitlow also applied for a restoration of his temporary status and this application is in progress." Immigration officers quick to 'move on' One immigration lawyer tells CBC that IRCC officers will reject applications that are missing information in order to "move on to their next task." "Normally folks would hope that an officer would pick up the phone and call them," said Joshua Slayen of Larlee Rosenberg, Barristers & Solicitors. "It's very disheartening to see someone so negatively impacted by it." Immigration lawyer Joshua Slayen says IRCC forms are not necessarily designed for easy use, and that applicants should review their details closely. Slayen says applicants have three options when their paperwork is refused or rejected, including restoration, reconsideration, or an appeal in Federal Court. "There has to be some smarter way to do this," said Melanie Whitlow, acknowledging that many of those who interact with the IRCC may not speak English and therefore require more assistance. While the couple is confident Steve's work permit will be restored, the couple says it's unlikely he will get his old job back. "The IRCC doesn't pick the dominos up," said Steve Whitlow. "They only let them fall."
Infectious diseases expert Dr. Isaac Bogoch checks in with The Morning Show to answers the latest coronavirus questions.
RIO DE JANEIRO — On the morning of Feb. 10, a cyclist chugged his way up the curves of Rio de Janeiro’s most popular sport cycling road. A familiar scent wafted in the air. It was the smell of jackfruit, vaguely cloying and ripe with peril. Without warning, one fruit plummeted from the heavily laden canopy of Tijuca National Park. It hit the cyclist on the head, cracking his helmet and sending him sprawling. There had long been stories of the world’s largest tree-borne fruit divebombing passersby. Now it was no longer urban legend, and that was potential trouble for Marisa Furtado and Pedro Lobão, a couple who have taken up the challenge of rehabilitating the fruit’s public image. Jackfruit is abundant during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer, but many Brazilians are loath to eat it. Historically, it has been consumed more by the poor or enslaved; in barbecue-mad Brazil, the idea of fruit substituting for meat is viewed with suspicion. It’s considered an invasive species, even if it arrived here centuries ago. Ecologists disdain it for crowding out native species in 13 federal conservation units across Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, especially Tijuca park, one of the world’s largest urban forests. And now cyclists spreading news of the accident on message groups and Facebook were accusing the fruit of assault. One posted that he had skidded out on jackfruit. Others shared close calls, like a jackfruit exploding so close it splattered a bike’s spokes with shrapnel. Riding under jackfruit, another said, was like Russian roulette. But this isn’t the jackfruit Furtado knows and loves. Furtado, 57, drinks a jackfruit smoothie every day. She dreams of a pilgrimage to the jackfruit’s point of origin, India. Her 2020 Christmas card? A photo of herself beside a whopping, 73-pound jackfruit -- enough to prepare roughly 150 dishes. Its Yuletide message: “May abundance be with you all in 2021”. She and her 54-year-old boyfriend, Lobão, collect unripe jackfruits from trees, process them for sale, donate whatever they can’t unload, and share free recipes. She rattles off entrees -- jackfruit cod, jackfruit lasagna, jackfruit pie, jackfruit tenderloin -- and insists that they are both tasty and nutritious. “History loads the jackfruit with prejudice. Today we hear about the jackfruit that stinks, ... the violent jackfruit, the invasive jackfruit,” Furtado said. “It’s true: Jackfruit adapted very well. So everyone who adapted this well to Brazil should be exterminated?” ___ In the 17th century, the Portuguese transported jackfruit seedlings to Brazil, where it was visual curiosity, and the tree soon reached Rio, according to Rogério Oliveira, an environmental and ecological history specialist. Rio’s forest was getting cleared for timber, charcoal, coffee and sugar cane plantations, said Oliveira, an associate professor at Rio’s Pontifical Catholic University (PUC). The emperor ordered massive reforestation. Jackfruit thrived in the degraded soil and produced gargantuan fruit that crashed to the ground and tumbled downhill, scattering seeds. The trees -- which can reach 80 feet tall -- took root, anchoring the soil and feeding animals. Thirty-four vertebrates in Brazil partake, including agoutis and black capuchin monkeys, according to a paper that journal Tropical Ecology published this month. Endangered golden-headed lion tamarins, too. Population densities are higher where jackfruit is their primary food. That belies potential problems, said Rodolfo Abreu, an ecology professor at Rio’s Federal Rural University. “Instead of favouring diversity of fauna, of amphibians, of insects, you prioritize those who use jackfruit. You simplify the tropical chain,” said Abreu, a biologist who has studied jackfruit’s invasiveness. “Some rare species start to disappear, or become rarer.” To the extent Brazilian humans consume jackfruit, it’s mostly eaten ripe. It tastes like a combination of pear and banana. Unripe jackfruit is used in savory dishes. In India, jackfruit has been a meat alternative for centuries, even called “tree goat” in West Bengal state, says Shree Padre, a farming magazine editor. Once considered a poor person’s crop, cultivation and export have increased, coinciding with global interest in the “superfood,” he said. In Rio’s tony Ipanema neighbourhood, plant-based restaurant Teva’ s top-selling appetizer is BBQ jackfruit tacos, said head chef Daniel Biron. His clientele is often surprised by a fruit normally encountered littering trails in a state of pungent rot. “They’re impacted because they start to open their minds to a universe they didn’t know,” said Biron, 44. “The jackfruit has that capacity.” Furtado and Lobao’s organization is Hand in the Jackfruit ( Mao na Jaca, in Portuguese), a twist on the phrase “foot in the jackfruit,” which means to slip up or go too far. The expression is evocative for anyone who has plunged a Havaiana sandal into decomposing mush, from which seeds protrude like garlic cloves. On a recent day, Furtado and Lobão loaded 139 pounds of seeds into a squeaky shopping cart for delivery to a chef in Babilonia, one of Rio’s hillside favelas. Regina Tchelly, who hails from poor, northeastern Paraiba state, enjoyed jackfruit flesh and roasted seeds as a girl. In 2018, with money tight, she dreamt up a spin on shredded chicken dumplings made from jackfruit. It sold like crazy, said Tchelly, who runs culinary project Favela Organica. Tchelly swapped some recipes, like her jackfruit seed ceviche, for Furtado’s seeds. She says jackfruit could end Brazilian hunger -- a fresh concern after the government ended COVID-19 welfare payments. “It’s a food that’s so abundant, and the jackfruit can bring lots of nutrients to your body and be a source of income,” Tchelly said. ___ During the pandemic, the road into Tijuca park has become an ideal venue for socially-distanced exercise, and so potential jackfruit targets abound. Some cyclists contacted authorities after the accident, demanding action that could include cutting overhead branches or tree removal. “Before, removal of jackfruit trees was an internal issue of the park. But now there are jackfruits threatening lives!” said Raphael Pazos, 46, founder of Rio de Janeiro’s Cycling Safety Commission. “If he hadn’t been wearing a helmet, or if it had fallen on a 4-year-old, it could’ve killed.” By phone, Furtado tried to calm the outcry by reaching out to cyclists, including the one who was struck. He declined AP interview requests. She sought to steer them toward mapping jackfruit trees’ locations, posting signs about their benefits and organizing collection of fruit. Along the road, she said, jackfruits could be snagged using a truck-mounted crane then donated to surrounding communities, with Hand in the Jackfruit holding workshops to teach the sticky, labour-intensive art of processing. She spoke at length with Tijuca park’s co-ordinator, too, and made her case. Furtado acknowledges the importance of diversity, but argues a centuries-old Brazilian resident shouldn’t be cast out of the garden. “It’s an inheritance that needs to be valued, from the social, economic, cultural and environmental points of view,” she posted on Instagram. “Eradicating it would be a huge error and part of the arrogance of those who don’t perceive life is dynamic.” But some scientists disagreed -- at least as far as Tijuca park is concerned. “I’m 100% in the camp of taking it out from the park; it’s exotic, we don’t need it, human livelihoods aren’t depending on it,” said Emilio Bruna, president of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. “Outside the park, we can have this conversation.” PUC’s Oliveira said there’s no doubt ecologically that native species should be substituted for jackfruit in Tijuca park. But in urban areas, it's free fruit for people who don’t always have access to it. Further, it’s apparently not as invasive as believed, he said. It becomes hyper-dominant where soil is degraded, but an experiment of his showed seeds didn’t germinate in robust forest. “A good forest has a certain amount of defence against the jackfruit tree,” he said. He said populations should be managed through girdling: slicing off a bark ring, which usually kills a tree in months. Abreu said herbicide injection is more effective, and his models indicate killing 5-10% of mature trees annually is enough to put a given population on the decline. The government’s management plan for Tijuca park says jackfruit eradication should be prioritized; some 2,000 trees were girdled there between 2016 and 2017. It isn’t clear what percentage of the park’s total that represented, Abreu said. ___ On Feb. 21, cyclists from the safety commission convened at Tijuca park’s entrance. Furtado’s efforts had worked -- to some degree. They embraced her proposal to collect and distribute jackfruit to surrounding communities, and decided to present it at the next meeting of the park’s consultative council, where the commission holds a seat. “We didn’t even know an association that did this existed,” Pazos said after the meeting, standing beside his bike. “There’s no way to dislike the idea of giving food to the population.” They supported emergency collection by Hand in the Jackfruit, too, but still favoured girdling all roadside jackfruit trees. He pointed out that another jackfruit had dropped just downhill, smack in the middle of the road. Furtado concedes a few roadside trees could be removed as a last resort if collection or pruning proves impossible, and after careful impact study. She vehemently opposes girdling or herbicide, and believes in management through consumption. “If we eat the jackfruit and their seeds,” she said, “we can contain them.” ___ AP writer Aniruddha Ghosal contributed from New Delhi David Biller, The Associated Press
Being innovative and doing things differently isn’t new for SmartICE — since the social enterprise began in a basement at Memorial University in 2013, it has to come up with new technologies and found ways to integrate into the northern communities it works in, while bringing traditional Indigenous knowledge into what it does. What SmartICE does is provide data on sea-ice thickness and local ice conditions to 23 Inuit communities in Labrador and the Arctic. The company has a production facility in Nain where it teaches Inuit youth how to build the technology it uses, which has been a great success so far. Now, thanks to a US$500,000 grant from the Climate Change Resilience Fund, SmartICE is developing a new holistic program to provide Inuit youth with the skills to create ice travel safety maps using satellite imagery and Inuit sea-ice terminology. Trevor Bell, the founding director of SmartICE, said the need for the maps had been identified by the communities and will address what is seen by residents as a gap in service and knowledge. Bell said there currently are sea-ice charts created by the federal government for shipping purposes in the Arctic, but they don’t meet the needs of people travelling on sea ice for a number of reasons, so that’s where these maps will come in. The Sikumik Qaujimajjuti (which roughly translates to "tool to know how the ice is") project will train the company’s community operators to make maps at the right temporal and spatial scale using Inuktitut terminology and traditional knowledge of the ice, combined with SmartICE observations and satellite imagery. The satellite imagery already exists, Bell said, and SmartICE will use the same source material as the government, but through a different lens. While it would be possible to train the federal ice analysts to make maps at the right scale for communities, he said, in reality many of those analysts have never been on community sea ice before. “They probably have no idea what it’s like to travel on the ice and therefore it’s not appropriate. The community wouldn’t trust those maps made by somebody else,” Bell said. “When it’s made by one of their own, using their own knowledge, using their own language, using their own observations, that’s something that’s really useful for communities.” Rex Holwell, the SmartICE Northern Production Centre and regional operations lead for Nunatsiavut, will run the program in Nain, and is learning how to make the maps. Holwell said people out on sea ice are using topographical maps on their GPS devices, and these new ice travel safety maps will be a significant improvement. Holwell said the technical skills the youths will learn in the community will be transferable to other work, similar to the program offered at the northern production centre in Nain, and will help them gain more traditional knowledge. “The ice knowledge my grandfather had isn’t necessarily as embedded as it should be in my son, for example,” he said. “I have freezers full of food, we have food storage here in Nain, so that ability, that need, of travelling on the sea ice is not there for the younger generation.” Bell said that gap in knowledge was highlighted by Inuit elders and was part of the impetus for this project. Using Inuit terminology on the maps will also help in that regard, he said, as well as add more nuanced descriptions. In western science there are about 15 words that describe different types of ice, he said, and the terms are designed with the idea of informing a ship captain the easiest route through the ice. In Inuktitut there are up over 75 different terms for ice, depending on the region. “There’s different terminology for different seasons, for freeze up, the dark season, break up, and those words may be a single Inuktitut word but to the people who hear or read it, it describes a feature, tells them what season it’s in, probably tells you what the weather was likely recently or tells you about safety,” he said. “Terminology is so rich and it’s so crucial to strengthen that traditional knowledge and terminology because as Inuit say, when you’re out on the ice that’s what keeps us safe.” Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
Le conseil des maires de la MRC Haute-Yamaska a refusé de présenter et d’appuyer une résolution de l’Agence forestière de la Montérégie, préoccupée par les effets négatifs pour la foresterie si cette MRC et celle de Brome-Missisquoi étaient transférées en Estrie pour ce ministère. Une décision qui déçoit le préfet de la MRC Brome-Missisquoi, Patrick Melchior. La résolution de deux pages a été soumise à l’ensemble des MRC de la Montérégie. Elle liste tous les effets négatifs que pourrait avoir le transfert de la foresterie vers l’Estrie. L’Agence forestière de la Montérégie demande que son territoire ne soit pas amputé de la Haute-Yamaska et de Brome-Missisquoi et que son budget demeure le même. «Le préfet Paul Sarrazin a dit qu’il n’avait pas d’information comme quoi il pourrait y avoir des pertes si la Haute-Yamaska était transférée en Estrie. Moi, c’est un autre son de cloche que j’ai eu, affirme M. Melchior. J’ai parlé à Claudine Lajeunesse, la directrice générale de l’AFM. Selon les experts, il y a des effets négatifs à transférer la foresterie.» La Table des préfets de la Montérégie a été approchée également, mais les préfets ont préféré attendre que les deux MRC concernées se prononcent avant de passer au vote. «Ce qui me déçoit le plus, c’est que si ça n’a pas d’impact négatif pour eux, ils pourraient nous appuyer quand même puisque ça ne leur enlève rien», croit le préfet de Brome-Missisquoi. Préoccupée La moitié du budget que reçoit l’AFM est pour la mise en valeur des forêts dans Brome-Missisquoi, où on compte 400 producteurs forestiers, et dans la Haute-Yamaska, où se trouvent 150 producteurs forestiers, informe Claudine Lajeunesse. Ces producteurs forestiers sont notamment des producteurs acéricoles. La directrice générale de l’organisme de concertation est préoccupée par ce qui pourrait arriver à l’agence advenant un transfert de cette compétence à l’Estrie. La Montérégie est la seule région à avoir développé une entente sectorielle sur le développement des forêts privées. Le programme d’aménagement durable des forêts est aussi administré différemment en Estrie, alors que les chantiers forestiers sont plus imposants et mécanisés. Elle a rencontré, avec le président de l’agence, M. Sarrazin en décembre pour lui présenter la résolution et répondre à ses questions, s’il en avait. Elle avait été rassurée. Mais «à notre grande surprise, la résolution n’a pas fait l’objet d’un point à l’ordre du jour. Le président de l’agence a posé une question et c’est là que M. Sarrazin en a parlé. On était surpris de voir ça, d’autant plus que j’avais quand même envoyé à Johanne Gaouette [la directrice générale de la MRC], quelques jours avant la séance, toutes les lettres d’appuis et les lettres des conseillers forestiers qui desservent la Haute-Yamaska et qui détaillaient leurs préoccupations.» La résolution a été appuyée par cinq MRC montérégiennes jusqu’à présent ainsi que par l’UPA de la Montérégie, des producteurs acéricoles, le syndicat des producteurs forestiers du sud du Québec, et l’Agence de mise en valeur de la forêt privée de l’Estrie. Pour un transfert en totalité Paul Sarrazin ne considère pas que l’AFM a présenté des faits préoccupants et il avait été plutôt rassuré par le ministre responsable de l’Estrie, François Bonnardel, comme quoi les argents suivraient. «Le conseil des maires ne peut pas prendre de décision sur des informations incertaines, répond-il. Je comprends qu’il y a des gens qui peuvent être inquiets, mais quand on prend une décision, il faut se mettre au-dessus de la mêlée et regarder l’ensemble du portrait.» La MRC Haute-Yamaska souhaite un transfert complet en Estrie, et non un transfert à la pièce. La municipalité régionale de comté est divisée en deux, alors qu’elle doit se référer à l’Estrie pour la moitié des ministères et à la Montérégie pour la balance. «On a eu une rencontre complète dans Brome-Missisquoi où les élus des deux MRC étaient là avec des gens du gouvernement pour voir quels pouvaient être les impacts, ajoute-t-il. À date, personne ne m’a donné d’indication comme quoi il y aurait une perte de service, une perte de moyens.» Il assure toutefois qu’il défendra les intérêts des différents intervenants le moment venu. La résolution pourrait être appuyée par d’autres MRC dans la région et sera présentée de nouveau à la table des préfets. Cynthia Laflamme, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix de l'Est