WASHINGTON — Members of President Donald Trump’s failed presidential campaign played key roles in orchestrating the Washington rally that spawned a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol, according to an Associated Press review of records, undercutting claims the event was the brainchild of the president's grassroots supporters. A pro-Trump non-profit group called Women for America First hosted the “Save America Rally” on Jan. 6 at the Ellipse, an oval-shaped, federally owned patch of land near the White House. But an attachment to the National Park Service public gathering permit granted to the group lists more than half a dozen people in staff positions for the event who just weeks earlier had been paid thousands of dollars by Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign. Other staff scheduled to be “on site” during the demonstration have close ties to the White House. Since the siege, several of them have scrambled to distance themselves from the rally. The riot at the Capitol, incited by Trump’s comments before and during his speech at the Ellipse, has led to a reckoning unprecedented in American history. The president told the crowd to march to the Capitol and that “you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.” A week after the rally, Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives, becoming the first U.S. president ever to be impeached twice. But the political and legal fallout may stretch well beyond Trump, who will exit the White House on Wednesday before Democrat Joe Biden takes the oath of office. Trump had refused for nearly two months to accept his loss in the 2020 election to the former vice-president. Women for America First, which applied for and received the Park Service permit, did not respond to messages seeking comment about how the event was financed and about the Trump campaign’s involvement. The rally drew tens of thousands of people. In a statement, the president’s reelection campaign said it “did not organize, operate or finance the event.” No campaign staff members were involved in the organization or operation of the rally, according to the statement. It said that if any former employees or independent contractors for the campaign took part, “they did not do so at the direction of the Trump campaign.” At least one was working for the Trump campaign this month. Megan Powers was listed as one of two operations managers for the Jan. 6 event, and her LinkedIn profile says she was the Trump campaign's director of operations into January 2021. She did not respond to a message seeking comment. The AP’s review found at least three of the Trump campaign aides named on the permit rushed to obscure their connections to the demonstration. They deactivated or locked down their social media profiles, removed tweets that referenced the rally and blocked a reporter who asked questions. Caroline Wren, a veteran GOP fundraiser, is named as a “VIP Advisor” on an attachment to the permit that Women for America First provided to the agency. Between mid-March and mid-November, Donald J. Trump for President Inc. paid Wren $20,000 a month, according to Federal Election Commission records. During the campaign, she was a national finance consultant for Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee between the president’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee. Wren was involved in at least one call before the pro-Trump rally with members of several groups listed as rally participants to organize credentials for VIP attendees, according to Kimberly Fletcher, the president of one of those groups, Moms for America. Wren retweeted messages about the event ahead of time, but a cache of her account on Google shows at least eight of those tweets disappeared from her timeline. She apparently removed some herself, and others were sent from accounts that Twitter suspended. One of the messages Wren retweeted was from “Stop the Steal,” another group identified as a rally participant on a website promoting the event. The Jan. 2 message thanked Republican senators who said they would vote to overturn Biden’s election victory, including Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas. She also retweeted a Jan. 1 message from the president promoting the event, as well as promotional messages from one of the president’s son, Eric Trump, and Katrina Pierson, a Tea Party activist and a spokesperson for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Wren did not return messages seeking comment, and locked her Twitter account after the AP reached out to her last Monday to ask her about her involvement in the Trump rally and the tweets she had removed. Several days later, she blocked the AP reporter. Maggie Mulvaney, a niece of former top Trump aide Mick Mulvaney, is listed on the permit attachment as the “VIP Lead.” She worked as director of finance operations for the Trump campaign, according to her LinkedIn profile. FEC records show Maggie Mulvaney was earning $5,000 every two weeks from Trump’s reelection campaign, with the most recent payment reported on Nov. 13. Maggie Mulvaney had taken down her Twitter account as of last Monday, although it reappeared after an AP reporter asked her about the account’s removal. On Sunday, the same day the AP published this report, she blocked that AP reporter on Twitter. Maggie Mulvaney retweeted several messages on Jan. 6, including one from the president that urged support for the Capitol Police. Trump's Twitter account has been suspended, but the message could be seen in a cache of her Twitter account captured by Google. She also retweeted a message from her uncle, urging Trump to address the nation. Maggie Mulvaney did not respond to messages seeking comment. The insurrection at the Capitol prompted Mick Mulvaney to quit his position as Trump’s special envoy to Northern Ireland. He told CNBC a day after the assault that remaining in the post would prompt people to say “‘Oh yeah, you work for the guy who tried to overtake the government.’” The leaders of Women for America First aren’t new to politics. Amy Kremer, listed as the group’s president on records filed with Virginia’s state corporation commission, is “one of the founding mothers of the modern day tea party movement,” according to her website. Her daughter, Kylie Jane Kremer, is the organization’s treasurer, according to the records. The IRS granted Women for America First tax-exempt status as a social welfare organization a year ago, with the exemption retroactive to February 2019. The AP requested that the group provide any tax records it may have filed since then, but received no response. In a statement issued the same day rioters attacked the Capitol, Amy Kremer denounced the assault and said it was instigated after the rally by a “handful of bad actors,” while seeming to blame Democrats and news organizations for the riot. “Unfortunately, for months the left and the mainstream media told the American people that violence was an acceptable political tool,” she said. “They were wrong. It is not.” The AP reviewed social media posts, voter registrations, court files and other public records for more than 120 people either facing criminal charges related to the Jan. 6 unrest or who, going maskless during the pandemic, were later identified through photographs and videos taken during the melee. The review found the crowd was overwhelmingly made up of longtime Trump supporters, including Republican Party officials, GOP political donors, far-right militants, white supremacists, off-duty police, members of the military and adherents of the QAnon myth that the government is secretly controlled by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophile cannibals. Videos posted on social media in the days following the Capitol attack shows that thousands of people stormed the Capitol. A Capitol Police officer died after he was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher as rioters descended on the building and many other officers were injured. A woman from California was shot to death by Capitol Police and three other people died after medical emergencies during the chaos. Trump’s incendiary remarks at the Jan. 6 rally culminated a two-day series of events in Washington, organized by a coalition of the president’s supporters who echoed his baseless accusations that the election had been stolen from him. A website, MarchtoSaveAmerica.com, sprung up to promote the pro-Trump events and alerted followers, “At 1 PM, we protest at US Capitol.” The website has been deactivated. Another website, TrumpMarch.com shows a fist-raised Trump pictured on the front of a red, white and blue tour bus emblazoned with the words, “Powered by Women for America First.” The logo for the bedding company “My Pillow” is also prominent. Mike Lindell, the CEO of My Pillow, is an ardent Trump supporter who’s falsely claimed Trump didn’t lose the election to Biden and will serve another four-year term as president. “To demand transparency & protect election integrity,” the web page reads. Details of the “DC PROTEST” will be coming soon, it adds, and also lists a series of bus stops between Dec. 27 and Jan. 6 where Trump backers can “Join the caravan or show your support.” Kimberly Fletcher, the Moms for America president, said she wasn’t aware the Trump campaign had a role in the rally at the Ellipse until around New Year's Day. While she didn’t work directly with the campaign, Fletcher did notice a shift in who was involved in the rally and who would be speaking. “When I got there and I saw the size of the stage and everything, I’m like, ‘Wow, we couldn’t possibly have afforded that,’” she said. “It was a big stage. It was a very professional stage. I don’t know who was in the background or who put it together or anything.” In addition to the large stage, the rally on the Ellipse featured a sophisticated sound system and at least three Jumbotron-style screens projecting the president's image to the crowd. Videos posted online show Trump and his family in a nearby private tent watching the rally on several monitors as music blared in the background. Moms for America held a more modest “Save the Republic” rally on Jan. 5 near the U.S. Capitol, an event that drew about 500 people and cost between $13,000 to $14,000, according to Fletcher. Justin Caporale is listed on the Women for America First paperwork as the event’s project manager. He’s identified as a partner with Event Strategies Inc., a management and production company. Caporale, formerly a top aide to first lady Melania Trump, was on the Trump campaign payroll for most of 2020, according to the FEC records, and he most recently was being paid $7,500 every two weeks. Caporale didn’t respond to requests for comment. Tim Unes, the founder and president of Event Strategies, was the “stage manager” for the Jan. 6 rally, according to the permit paperwork. Unes has longstanding ties to Trump, a connection he highlights on his company’s website. Trump’s presidential campaign paid Event Strategies $1.3 million in 2020 for “audio visual services,” according to the campaign finance records. The company declined to comment for this story. Another person with close ties to the Trump administration, Hannah Salem, was the rally’s “operations manager for logistics and communications,” according to the permit paperwork. In 2017, she took a hiatus from the consulting firm she founded and spent three years as senior White House press aide, “executing the media strategy for President Trump’s most high-profile events,” according to her company bio and LinkedIn profile. Last week, within minutes of an AP reporter sending her a LinkedIn message asking about her involvement in and understanding of what happened on Jan. 6, Salem blocked the reporter and did not respond to questions. ___ Smith reported from Providence, Rhode Island. ___ Associated Press researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York and Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report. Richard Lardner And Michelle R. Smith, The Associated Press
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 10:30 p.m. ET on Sunday Jan. 17, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 27,451 new vaccinations administered for a total of 570,742 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 1,505.944 per 100,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 761,500 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 74.95 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland is reporting 3,506 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 5,291 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 10.104 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 11,175 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 47.35 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 1,502 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 5,102 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 32.163 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 8,250 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 5.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 61.84 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 3,769 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 7,600 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 7.788 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 23,000 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 33.04 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 2,713 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 7,732 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 9.912 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 17,775 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 43.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 8,838 new vaccinations administered for a total of 146,694 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 17.144 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 162,175 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 90.45 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 11,007 new vaccinations administered for a total of 200,097 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 13.622 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 277,050 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 72.22 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 13,539 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 9.832 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 33,625 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 40.26 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 3,232 new vaccinations administered for a total of 20,159 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 17.096 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 24,400 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 82.62 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 4,374 new vaccinations administered for a total of 85,935 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 19.522 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 84,175 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 102.1 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 75,914 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 14.794 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 99,475 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 76.31 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,184 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 28.372 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 7,200 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 17 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 16.44 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 512 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 11.348 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 7,200 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 16 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 7.111 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 983 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 25.383 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 6,000 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 15 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 16.38 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Jan. 17, 2021. The Canadian Press
TORONTO — An enforcement blitz that uncovered numerous violations of COVID-19 prevention protocols across big-box retailers in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas will broaden its scope to include the rest of the province in the weeks ahead, the province's labour minister said Sunday. Monte McNaughton said the initial wave of inspectors combing retailers for those eschewing masks and ignoring physical distancing guidelines found only 70 per cent of sites they visited were adhering to the public health measures intended to curb the spread of the virus. He called the results disappointing, pledging to expand the enforcement efforts to other parts of the province as well as additional industries at risk from COVID-19 outbreaks. "We'll be expanding that in the days and weeks to come across the whole province," McNaughton said in a telephone interview. "We're going to continue targeting bad actors and we'll continue issuing fines and close them down if we have to." The initial blitz involved 50 inspectors fanning out across Toronto, Hamilton and surrounding municipalities to observe the scene at multiple big-box retailers, which are among the businesses allowed to keep their doors open under Ontario's current stay-at-home order. McNaughton said big-box stores would remain a key target during the provincewide expansion. The ministry issued a document late last week saying inspections would also involve workplaces which reported COVID-19 outbreaks and businesses focused on manufacturing, warehousing, distribution centres and food processing. Word of the expansion comes amid growing pressure to quell soaring COVID-19 case counts across Ontario, which showed little sign of abating over the weekend. The province reported 3,422 new cases of COVID-19 and another 69 deaths on Sunday, up more than 10 per cent from levels recorded the day before. The bulk of the most recent diagnoses remain in Toronto and nearby Peel Region, where 1,035 and 585 new infections were identified in the past 24 hours. Windsor-Essex County, York Region and Niagara logged another 254, 246 and 186 cases respectively. Meanwhile, the City of Hamilton announced the province had told it to temporarily cease administering first doses of both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to most people. The city said only residents, staff and essential caregivers at long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes would continue to get their initial shots after Pfizer-BioNTech announced it was delaying international shipments of its vaccine while upgrading facilities in Europe. Those who have already received an initial dose will receive their booster, it said. A spokeswoman for the Minister of Health did not say how many regions received a similar directive or why first doses of the Moderna vaccine were also being paused. And as the vaccine rollout continues at a slightly slower pace, McNaughton said he was hopeful the weekend enforcement blitz would help reign in numbers of new infections. The inspectors visited 110 retailers on Saturday alone and found 31 violations of COVID-19 protocols, he said, noting that amounts to a compliance rate of just over 70 per cent. They issued 11 formal warnings and 11 tickets, he added. McNaughton said he'd hoped the compliance rate would be much higher. "Every business, every supervisor and every worker out there has to do more today than at any point during this pandemic to keep people safe and to be vigilant," he said. The blitz, which continued Sunday, is part of an array of measures the province unveiled in recent days to toughen its approach to COVID-19. Ontario recently ordered people to only leave their homes for groceries, medical appointments, exercise and work that can't be completed remotely. Stores selling non-essential goods have been forced to temporarily close and operate solely through e-commerce and curbside pickups. The most common violations inspectors found big box stores contravening were linked to screening of customers and staff, masking protocols and physical distancing problems, McNaughton said. The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development says it has conducted more than 34,000 COVID-19 related workplace inspections and halted unsafe work 55 times throughout the pandemic. It is in the process of hiring an additional 100 health and safety inspectors and doubling the number of phone lines at the provincial Health and Safety Contact Centre, where violations can be reported. Individuals found violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act can be fined up to $100,000 and imprisoned for as long as a year, while corporations can be fined up to $1.5 million per charge. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021. Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version carried an incorrect spelling of Monte McNaughton's first name.
HONOLULU — Three shots behind with six holes to play, Kevin Na birdied three straight holes and finished with an up-and-down birdie from behind the 18th green for a 5-under 65 and a one-shot victory in the Sony Open. Na won for the fifth time in his PGA Tour career, and this one looked unlikely when he three-putted for bogey on the 12th hole at a time where there was no room for mistakes. He answered with birdie putts of 15, 10 and 6 feet, and the winning shot was out of the right rough on the par-5 closing hole at Waialae and ran just over the back of the green. He chipped to tap-in range for his last birdie. Na finished one shot ahead of Joaquin Niemann and Chris Kirk, and only one of them got a consolation prize. Abbotsford, B.C. native Nick Taylor finished in a three-way tie for 11th place at 17-under par. Taylor fired a 3-under 67 in his final round. Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., shot a 4-under 66 to end his tournament in a six-way tie for 19th place at 15-under. Brights Grove, Ont. native and 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir finished in a tie for 47th place. Niemann chipped in for birdie from 55 feet on the par-3 17th and got up-and-down with a long bunker shot on the 18th hole for a 66. Even so, he was runner-up for the second straight week in Hawaii. The 22-year-old from Chile was 45-under par in two events without a trophy to show for it. Kirk closed with his fourth straight round of 65 — that wasn't enough to win on a soft Waialae with no wind — and his tough pitch from below the 18th for birdie proved to be massive. Kirk stepped away from golf in May 2019 citing alcoholism and depression, a bold move that is paying off. He was given a medical extension to make up for lost time, and this was the final event for him to regain full status. Needing nearly 150 FedEx Cup points at the Sony Open, his tie for second was worth 245 points. As for Brendan Steele, it was another year of disappointment in paradise, this one more of a slow leak. Steele last year had a two-shot lead with two to play and wound up losing in a playoff. This time, he made an 18-foot eagle putt on the ninth hole to take a three-shot lead into the back nine. He three-putted the easy 10th hole from nearly 80 feet, and his game was so tentative the rest of the way that he didn't have a birdie chance inside 30 feet until the 17th hole. That was from 10 feet to tie for the lead, and he missed that. Steele also failed to birdie the 18th and closed with a 69. Na won for the fourth consecutive season, and he attributed the late surge to being happy at home with his wife and two children. He looked comfortable even when the Sony Open appeared to be slipping away. Once he made the 15-footer on the 13th hole, he started walking them in. “I knew there was a lot of birdie holes left,” Na said. “I was having fun out there.” Webb Simpson matched the low score of the final round with a 64 and tied for fourth along with Steele and Marc Leishman, shot shot 30 on the back nine. Na finished at 21-under 259 and is assured of returning to Hawaii for two weeks next year, starting with the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua. That course can be too big for him. Waialae proved to be a perfect fit. Doug Ferguson, The Associated Press
Rudolph Neufeld, or Rudy as he liked to be called, was an active man and a jokester who never took himself too seriously. "He would be anyone's No. 1 cheerleader. He just was always optimistic. No matter what the situation was, he could find something positive to say or something sarcastic or smartass to say to sort of break the monotony of the negativity," said Paula Neufeld, his elder daughter. Neufeld, who had lived for decades in North Vancouver, B.C., in a house he helped build, carried that optimism and thirst for life with him even after he was diagnosed with dementia in his early 70s, when he still went to the gym three times a week. He died two days before Christmas from multiple organ failure after he became infected with COVID-19. He was 81. Neufeld's family had checked him into the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C., in November for what they thought would be a short stay to monitor his reaction to new medication. Instead, he contracted COVID-19 during an outbreak at the hospital, leaving him bed bound and isolated. After weeks of limited interaction, his family says his health deteriorated and they were left with just 15 minutes to say goodbye. They hope that sharing his story makes others think of real people — seniors who are isolated from their families during the pandemic — instead of numbers when statistics are released on COVID-19 cases and deaths. 'A wonderful, wonderful human being' Neufeld was an avid cyclist, kayaker and cross-country skier who enjoyed travelling with his wife of more than 50 years, his daughter said. At parties, he could often be found with a glass of Chardonnay in hand, mingling with the crowd. "He would always acknowledge the odd wallflower sitting alone at a party, go over and make sure they didn't feel left out in a group. He was a wonderful, wonderful human being," Paula Neufeld said. He leaves behind his wife, two daughters and two grandchildren. WATCH | Paula Neufeld says losing a loved one to COVID-19 leaves a gaping hole in the lives of family and friends: About eight years back, Neufeld was diagnosed with vascular dementia after a procedure and later developed Alzheimer's disease. Neufeld continued living at home with his wife and daughter, so when he began acting up after he was prescribed new medication, his family felt they had no choice but to get him admitted to hospital. He was checked into Lions Gate Hospital on Nov. 18, 2020, and the family expected he'd remain there for a few days. But two days later, a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at the hospital. Neufeld says her family received a phone call from staff saying the facility was locked down and no one was allowed in or out. "My dad was basically stuck in there," Paula Neufeld said. 'It was a waiting game for 13 days' She said her father received limited interaction and was confined to his bed. Later, after the family complained, he was confined to a wheelchair instead, she said. He then developed a fever and a COVID-19 test came back positive. "They said palliative care only and basically said, 'He is going to die from this,'" Neufeld said. "Basically, it was a waiting game for 13 days." Neufeld died on Dec. 23. The outbreak at Lions Gate Hospital was declared over the next day. In total, 59 people were infected, including 31 patients. In total, 13 people died. Paula Neufeld says she struggles with the fact her father caught COVID within the hospital and says she is frustrated with a "lack of support" from Vancouver Coastal Health. She wants to know why the hospital didn't test all the patients after the first case was detected, why others weren't moved out from that wing, and why her father had to stay in the hospital until the outbreak was over. "To me that increases the chances of getting COVID," she said. "The whole time, I was worried about him going into care getting COVID ... the frustration for me is that he caught it while in hospital," she added. 'Devastated by the loss of life' In a statement, Vancouver Coastal Health said it can't speak to the specifics of the case due to patient privacy. However, it said patients were not required to stay in the hospital and could self-isolate at home, but patients who were in the unit affected by the outbreak were not able to transition into long-term care. The health authority also said that prior to the outbreak being declared, all patients on the affected unit were tested for the virus and a number of those tests came back positive. "When a COVID-19 outbreak is declared in an acute care setting, our immediate priority is to initiate our outbreak response," the heath authority said in the statement. That response includes early identification and prompt isolation of cases, testing and monitoring of all staff and patients, infection prevention and control, and direct communication with families, it said. "We are saddened by the impact of COVID-19 on residents and staff and are devastated by the loss of life and impact on families," the statement said. 'We will never know how much longer we had with him' Regardless of age, every person who dies from COVID-19 leaves a gaping hole in the hearts of loved ones, Paula Neufeld said. "These numbers are people and these people are loved by other people and are a significant part of other people's lives. Someone [who] is higher in age, doesn't mean their quality of life is worth less than anyone else," she said. "My father had the right to live his life until Alzheimer's decided he doesn't, and COVID cut that short, and we will never know how much longer we had with him."
Small groups of right-wing protesters — some of them carrying rifles — gathered outside heavily fortified statehouses around the country Sunday, outnumbered by National Guard troops and police brought in to prevent a repeat of the violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol. As darkness fell, there were no reports of any clashes. Security was stepped up in recent days after the FBI warned of the potential for armed protests in Washington and at all 50 state capitol buildings ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday. Crowds of only a dozen or two demonstrated at some boarded-up, cordoned-off statehouses, while the streets in many other capital cities remained empty. Some protesters said they were there to back President Donald Trump. Others said they had instead come to voice their support for gun rights or decry government overreach. “I don’t trust the results of the election,” said Michigan protester Martin Szelag, a 67-year-old semi-retired window salesman from Dearborn Heights. He wore a sign around his neck that read, in part, “We will support Joe Biden as our President if you can convince us he won legally. Show us the proof! Then the healing can begin.” As the day wore on with no bloodshed around the U.S., a sense of relief spread among officials, though they were not ready to let their guard down. The heavy law enforcement presence may have kept turnout down. In the past few days, some extremists had warned others against falling into what they called a law enforcement trap. Washington State Patrol spokesman Chris Loftis said he hoped the apparently peaceful day reflected some soul-searching among Americans. “I would love to say that it’s because we’ve all taken a sober look in the mirror and have decided that we are a more unified people than certain moments in time would indicate,” he said. The security measures were intended to safeguard seats of government from the type of violence that broke out at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, when far-right Trump supporters galvanized by his false claims that the election had been stolen from him overran the police and bashed their way into the building while Congress was certifying the Electoral College vote. The attack left a Capitol police officer and four others dead. More than 125 people have been arrested over the insurrection. Dozens of courts, election officials and Trump’s own attorney general have all said there was no evidence of widespread fraud in the presidential race. On Sunday, some statehouses were surrounded by new security fences, their windows were boarded up, and extra officers were on patrol. Legislatures generally were not in session over the weekend. Tall fences also surrounded the U.S. Capitol. The National Mall was closed to the public, and the mayor of Washington asked people not to visit. Some 25,000 National Guard troops from around the country are expected to arrive in the city in the coming days. U.S. defence officials told The Associated Press those troops would be vetted by the FBI to ward off any threat of an insider attack on the inauguration. The roughly 20 protesters who showed up at Michigan’s Capitol, including some who were armed, were significantly outnumbered by law enforcement officers and members of the media. Tensions have been running high in the state since authorities foiled a plot to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last year. At the Ohio Statehouse, about two dozen people, including several carrying long guns, protested outside under the watchful eyes of state troopers before dispersing as it began to snow. Kathy Sherman, who was wearing a visor with “Trump” printed on it, said she supports the president but distanced herself from the mob that breached the U.S. Capitol. "I’m here to support the right to voice a political view or opinion without fear of censorship, harassment or the threat of losing my job or being physically assaulted,” she said. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, said he was pleased with the outcome but stressed that authorities "continue to have concerns for potential violence in the coming days, which is why I intend to maintain security levels at the Statehouse as we approach the presidential inauguration.” Utah's new governor, Republican Spencer Cox, shared photos on his Twitter account showing him with what appeared to be hundreds of National Guard troops and law enforcement officers standing behind him, all wearing masks. Cox called the quiet protests a best-case scenario and said many ”agitating groups" had cancelled their plans for the day. At Oregon's Capitol, fewer than a dozen men wearing military-style outfits, black ski masks and helmets stood nearby with semiautomatic weapons slung across their bodies. Some had upside-down American flags and signs reading such things as “Disarm the government.” At the Texas Capitol, Ben Hawk walked with about a dozen demonstrators up to the locked gates carrying a bullhorn and an AR-15 rifle hanging at the side of his camouflage pants. He condemned the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and said he did not support Trump. “All we came down here to do today was to discuss, gather, network and hang out. And it got blown and twisted completely out of proportion,” Hawk said. At Nevada's Capitol, where demonstrators supporting Trump have flocked most weekends in recent months, all was quiet except for a lone protester with a sign. “Trump Lost. Be Adults. Go Home,” it read. More than a third of governors had called out the National Guard to help protect their capitols and assist local law enforcement. Several governors declared states of emergency, and others closed their capitols to the public until after Biden's inauguration. Some legislatures also cancelled sessions or pared back their work for the coming week. Even before the violence at the Capitol, some statehouses had been the target of vandals and angry protesters during the past year. Last spring, armed protesters entered the Michigan Capitol to object to coronavirus lockdowns. People angry over the death of George Floyd under a Minneapolis police officer's knee vandalized capitols in several states, including Colorado, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. Last last month, crowds in Oregon forced their way into the Capitol in Salem to protest its closure to the public during a special legislative session on coronavirus measures. Amid the potential for violence in the coming days, the building's first-floor windows were boarded up and the National Guard was brought in. "The state capitol has become a fortress,” said Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat. “I never thought I’d see that. It breaks my heart.” ___ Associated Press writers Farnoush Amiri in Columbus, Ohio; Gillian Flaccus in Salem, Oregon; Mike Householder and David Eggert in Lansing, Michigan; Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina; Rachel La Corte in Olympia, Washington; Sam Metz in Carson City, Nevada; Marc Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Paul Weber in Austin, Texas, contributed to this report. David A. Lieb And Adam Geller, The Associated Press
A powerful earthquake that struck Indonesia's Sulawesi island last week has killed at least 84 people and displaced more than 30,000, according to search and rescue agency (Basarnas) data on Monday. The 6.2-magnitude quake, one of a string of disasters to hit Indonesia in recent weeks, struck West Sulawesi early Friday morning, sending thousands fleeing from their beds. As search and rescue operations continued on Monday, Basarnas official Didi Hamzar told a news conference that 84 people were confirmed to have died.
Ottawa is reporting 123 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death on Sunday. The city's seven-day average continues to drop, however, despite another single-day case total in the triple digits. Today's Ottawa update Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recorded 123 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death Sunday. The health authority also declared 134 more cases resolved. The city's death toll now sits at 403. The infection rate in Ottawa has risen to record levels since around Christmas, prompting OPH to declare the city is once again in a COVID-19 crisis. The current lockdown in eastern Ontario went into effect Dec. 26, and is now scheduled to last until Feb. 11. A provincial stay-at-home order is also in effect. Numbers to watch 85.6: The number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Ottawa residents, down from Saturday. 1.03: The average number of people infected by a single COVID-19 case, or R(t), has been in gradual decline this month but increased slightly since Saturday. OPH aims to keep the number below one. 4.1%: Ottawa's average test positivity percentage, down from 4.5 per cent. Across the region Another 22 cases were confirmed in western Quebec Sunday, as well as three new deaths. Quebec's lockdown lasts until Feb. 8. It includes an 8 p.m. curfew that went into effect last weekend. Seven new cases were recorded by Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.
NEW ORLEANS — Tom Brady's best game in three tries against New Orleans kept the Buccaneers moving on in the NFL playoffs, and has Saints quarterback Drew Brees headed home — perhaps for good. Brady and the Bucs' offence turned three Saints turnovers, including two interceptions of Brees, into touchdowns, and Tampa Bay beat New Orleans 30-20 in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs Sunday night. Two of those touchdowns came on short passes to Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette. And after Brees was intercepted by linebacker Devin White in the middle of the fourth quarter, Brady drove the Bucs to the 1, from where he scored himself to all but ensure his 14th trip to a conference championship game — his first in the NFC. That game will take place in Green Bay next week, where the 43-year-old Brady will try to advance to his 10th Super Bowl in a showdown with Packers All-Pro QB Aaron Rodgers. Meanwhile, the Brees era in New Orleans could be over after 15 seasons. The game may have been the last in the Superdome for the 42-year-old Brees, who is under contract for one more year but has not discussed any plans to play beyond this season, and has sometimes hinted at his impending retirement. While just 3,750 tickets were distributed in the 73,000-seat Superdome to comply with local COVID-19 restrictions, the fans made themselves heard with an eruption of cheers when Brees took the field for New Orleans’ first offensive series. If it was his last game, it won't be one he'll want to remember. The NFL's all-time leader in completions and yards passing was 19 of 34 for 134 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Brady finished 18 of 33 for 199 yards in what often resembled more of a defensive struggle. Unlike his previous two meetings with the Saints — both losses — he was not intercepted and largely avoided pressure, taking only one sack. After Brees' third interception on a tipped pass late in the fourth quarter, the Bucs were able to close out the game with Brady, in his first season with Tampa Bay after 20 with New England, taking a knee. The Saints led 6-3 when Brees, while trying to flee pressure, underthrew Michael Thomas and was intercepted by Sean Murphy-Bunting, who raced 36 yards along the sideline to the Saints 3. Brady hit Evans one play later to put the Buccaneers up 10-6. The Saints answered, helped by a drive-extending third-down defensive holding call on Murphy-Bunting. New Orleans drove to its 44 before unleashing a trick play. Kamara took a direct snap and gave the ball to receiver Emmanuel Sanders on a reverse Sanders lateraled back to Jameis Winston. The reserve QB launched an accurate pass down the middle to Tre'Quan Smith for a 56-yard score. Ryan Succop’s 37-yard field goal capped an up-tempo Bucs drive powered by Fournette’s 40 yards from scrimmage, tying the score at 13 to end the half. Brees’ 16-yard pass to Smith put the Saints ahead 20-13, and New Orleans appeared primed to build on that lead when Brees completed a third-down pass to Jared Cook across the 50. Bucs safety Antoine Winfield Jr. stripped Cook from behind and White snagged the loose ball as it bounced to him, returning it 18 yards to the New Orleans 40. Five plays later, Brady hit Fournette over the middle for a 6-yard score. Succop’s 36-yard field goal made it 23-20 before White’s interception of a pass intended for Kamara gave the Buccaneers the ball at the New Orleans 20. STATS Fournette finished with 107 yards from scrimmage, 63 on the ground. Kamara had 105 yards from scrimmage, with 85 on the ground. Thomas was held without a catch in his final game of an injury-plagued season. INJURIES Buccaneers: Linebacker Jack Cichy went out with an elbow injury in the first quarter. Saints: Deonte Harris, who returned the first Tampa Bay punt 54 yards to set up a field goal, left with a neck injury in the first half. UP NEXT The Bucs will try to advance to the second Super Bowl in franchise history with Brady, no stranger to high-stakes games in cold weather after his two decades in New England. New Orleans might have to ponder life without Brees. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL Brett Martel, The Associated Press
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 6 p.m. Alberta is reporting 750 new COVID-19 cases and 19 related deaths over the past 24 hours. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says in a series of tweets that there are 12,234 active COVID-19 cases in the province, with 738 patients in hospital and 123 in intensive care. Hinshaw says there were 11,484 tests completed yesterday, with a test positivity rate of 6.5 per cent. --- 3:20 p.m. Saskatchewan is reporting 287 new COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths today. The province says it administered 3,232 COVID-19 vaccine doses on Saturday, which it describes as its highest one-day total to date. It says 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been sent to North Battleford this weekend, where clinics will begin delivering them to priority health-care workers on Monday. The next day, doses will go to long-term care residents and staff in North Battleford, Wilkie and Lloydminster. The province says 20,159 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered so far. --- 2:15 p.m. Manitoba is reporting 189 new COVID-19 infections and eight additional virus-related deaths in the past 24 hours. The province's daily pandemic report says seven of those who died were in their 70s or older, but one was in his 30s. The provincial update says there are over 3,000 active cases in Manitoba, with 292 of them receiving treatment in hospital. There are 39 people in intensive care who either have COVID-19 or are no longer infectious but continue to require care. --- 2 p.m. for The Latest: New Brunswick is reporting 36 new cases of COVID-19, the largest single day total in the province since the pandemic began. The new cases bring the province's total number of active infections to 292. Health officials say 24 of the cases are in the Edmundston region, which will be moved to the red alert level of virus precautions at midnight. Five of the new cases are in the Moncton region, four are in the Saint John area, two in the Fredericton region and one is in the Bathurst area. --- 1:30 p.m. Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case of COVID-19 today, and now has six active cases. Health officials say the case involves a man in the Eastern Health region between 20 and 39 years of age. They say the case is travel-related, with the individual having returned to the province from work in Alberta. Officials say that as a result of the case, they are asking passengers who travelled on Air Canada Flight 7480 from Montreal to St. John’s that arrived on January 13 to call 811 to arrange testing. --- 12 p.m. Nova Scotia is reporting four new cases of COVID-19 today and now has 29 active infections. Health officials say there is one case each in the western, northern, eastern and central health zones. The case in the central zone involves a student at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax who lives off-campus. All of the new cases are related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada and all are self-isolating. --- 11:20 a.m. Quebec is reporting 50 new deaths due to COVID-19 as well as a preliminary total of 1,744 new cases. The province says, however, that a data transmission delay means the number of cases is incomplete and will be adjusted in a future update. Hospitalizations declined for the third straight day, down 14 to 1,460. There were also 12 fewer people in intensive care, for a total of 215. --- 10:30 a.m. Ontario has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours. The province is reporting 3,422 new cases of the virus today and 69 associated deaths. More than a thousand of the most recent diagnoses were based in Toronto, 585 were in neighbouring Peel Region, and 254 in Winsor-Esssex County. Hospitalizations across the province declined by 62 to 1,570, with 395 patients in intensive care. Health Minister Christine Elliott says the province has administered more than 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine as of last night. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021. The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — U.S. defence officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event. The massive undertaking reflects the extraordinary security concerns that have gripped Washington following the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters. And it underscores fears that some of the very people assigned to protect the city over the next several days could present a threat to the incoming president and other VIPs in attendance. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told The Associated Press on Sunday that officials are conscious of the potential threat, and he warned commanders to be on the lookout for any problems within their ranks as the inauguration approaches. So far, however, he and other leaders say they have seen no evidence of any threats, and officials said the vetting hadn't flagged any issues that they were aware of. ”We’re continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation,” McCarthy said in an interview after he and other military leaders went through an exhaustive, three-hour security drill in preparation for Wednesday’s inauguration. He said Guard members are also getting training on how to identify potential insider threats. About 25,000 members of the National Guard are streaming into Washington from across the country — at least two and a half times the number for previous inaugurals. And while the military routinely reviews service members for extremist connections, the FBI screening is in addition to any previous monitoring. Multiple officials said the process began as the first Guard troops began deploying to D.C. more than a week ago. And they said it is slated to be complete by Wednesday. Several officials discussed military planning on condition of anonymity. “The question is, is that all of them? Are there others?” said McCarthy. “We need to be conscious of it and we need to put all of the mechanisms in place to thoroughly vet these men and women who would support any operations like this.” In a situation like this one, FBI vetting would involve running peoples’ names through databases and watchlists maintained by the bureau to see if anything alarming comes up. That could include involvement in prior investigations or terrorism-related concerns, said David Gomez, a former FBI national security supervisor in Seattle. Insider threats have been a persistent law enforcement priority in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. But in most cases, the threats are from homegrown insurgents radicalized by al-Qaida, the Islamic State group or similar groups. In contrast, the threats against Biden’s inauguration have been fueled by supporters of President Donald Trump, far-right militants, white supremacists and other radical groups. Many believe Trump’s baseless accusations that the election was stolen from him, a claim that has been refuted by many courts, the Justice Department and Republican officials in key battleground states. The insurrection at the Capitol began after Trump made incendiary remarks at the Jan. 6 rally. According to McCarthy, service members from across the military were at that rally, but it’s not clear how many were there or who may have participated in the breach at the Capitol. So far only a couple of current active-duty or National Guard members have been arrested in connection with the Capitol assault, which left five people dead. The dead included a Capitol Police officer and a woman shot by police as she climbed through a window in a door near the House chamber. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, has been meeting with Guard troops as they arrive in D.C. and as they gather downtown. He said he believes there are good processes in place to identify any potential threats. “If there’s any indication that any of our soldiers or airmen are expressing things that are extremist views, it’s either handed over to law enforcement or dealt with the chain of command immediately,” he said. The insider threat, however, was just one of the security concerns voiced by officials on Sunday, as dozens of military, National Guard, law enforcement and Washington, D.C., officials and commanders went through a security rehearsal in northern Virginia. As many as three dozen leaders lined tables that ringed a massive colour-coded map of D.C. reflected onto the floor. Behind them were dozens more National Guard officers and staff, with their eyes trained on additional maps and charts displayed on the wall. The Secret Service is in charge of event security, but there is a wide variety of military and law enforcement personnel involved, ranging from the National Guard and the FBI to Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department, U.S. Capitol Police and U.S. Park Police. Commanders went over every aspect of the city’s complicated security lockdown, with McCarthy and others peppering them with questions about how the troops will respond in any scenario and how well they can communicate with the other enforcement agencies scattered around the city. Hokanson said he believes his troops have been adequately equipped and prepared, and that they are rehearsing as much as they can to be prepared for any contingency. The major security concern is an attack by armed groups of individuals, as well as planted explosives and other devices. McCarthy said intelligence reports suggest that groups are organizing armed rallies leading up to Inauguration Day, and possibly after that. The bulk of the Guard members will be armed. And McCarthy said units are going through repeated drills to practice when and how to use force and how to work quickly with law enforcement partners. Law enforcement officers would make any arrests. He said Guard units are going through “constant mental repetitions of looking at the map and talking through scenarios with leaders so they understand their task and purpose, they know their routes, they know where they’re friendly, adjacent units are, they have the appropriate frequencies to communicate with their law enforcement partners.” The key goal, he said, is for America’s transfer of power to happen without incident. “This is a national priority. We have to be successful as an institution,” said McCarthy. “We want to send the message to everyone in the United States and for the rest of the world that we can do this safely and peacefully.” ___ Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report. Lolita C. Baldor, The Associated Press
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) reported 270 new cases and no additional deaths on Sunday. Since the pandemic began, there have been 11,022 COVID-19 cases recorded in Windsor-Essex and 255 deaths, according to WECHU. Right now, there are 2,172 known active cases in the region. Among today's cases, 20 are outbreak-related, nine are close contacts of confirmed cases, three are community acquired and 238 are still being investigated. There are 102 people in hospital in the region, with 18 in the ICU. There are 48 ongoing outbreaks. Three are active at Windsor Regional Hospital, two on the Ouellette campus and one on a unit of the Met Campus. One community setting, Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario, has been in outbreak since Jan. 3. Outbreaks are active at 23 workplaces: Five in Leamington's agricultural sector. Four in Kingsville's agricultural sector. Four in Windsor's health care and social assistance sector. One in Leamington's health care and social assistance sector. One in Lakeshore's health care and social assistance sector. One in Windsor's food and beverage service sector. One in Windsor's manufacturing sector. One in a personal service setting in LaSalle. Three in public administration settings in Windsor. One in a retail setting in Essex. One in Essex's finance and insurance sector. There are 21 active outbreaks at long-term care and retirement facilities: Chartwell Leamington in Leamington with one staff case. Regency Park in Windsor with two resident cases and one staff case. Richmond Terrace in Amherstburg with two staff cases. Chartwell Royal Marquis, with one resident case and one staff case. Harrow Woods Retirement Home, with five resident cases and two staff cases. Seasons Retirement Home in Amherstburg, with three staff cases. Devonshire Retirement Residence in Windsor, with 31 resident cases and four staff cases. Chartwell Royal Oak in Kingsville, with three staff cases. Rosewood Erie Glen in Leamington, with 30 resident cases and four staff cases. Chateau Park in Windsor with four staff cases. Leamington Mennonite Home with seven staff cases. Augustine Villas in Kingsville, with 51 resident and 14 staff cases. Sunrise Assisted Living of Windsor, with 11 resident cases and eight staff cases. Huron Lodge in Windsor, with 44 resident cases and 26 staff cases. Sun Parlor Home in Leamington, one resident case and 10 staff cases. Banwell Gardens Care Centre in Windsor, with 115 resident cases and 53 staff cases. The Shoreview at Riverside in Windsor, with 28 resident cases and 11 staff cases. Extendicare Tecumseh, with 83 resident cases and 57 staff cases. Berkshire Care Centre in Windsor, with 94 resident and 60 staff cases. The Village at St. Clair in Windsor, with 150 resident cases and 122 staff cases. Village of Aspen Lake in Tecumseh, with 53 resident cases and 25 staff cases.
VICTORIA — A Victoria firefighter says using a jackhammer and other home repair tools to save a cat stuck in a tiny basement drainpipe ranks as the strangest rescue call he's been on in his 20-year career. Capt. Tim Hanley says he and three other firefighters spent more than two hours using sledgehammers and a jackhammer to break through Victoria homeowner Emma Hutchinson's concrete basement floor to free Willow, a nine-month-old kitten. Hanley says Hutchinson called firefighters earlier this week pleading for help after discovering her cat had somehow become stuck in a drainpipe with a 10-centimetre diameter in her basement. Hanley says Hutchinson had numerous tools for firefighters to use, including a drain scope they used to see the trapped cat stuck more than a metre down the pipe. He says firefighters also used Hutchinson's jackhammer and several sledgehammers to break through the thick concrete basement floor before being able to cut the pipe and free Willow. Hanley says Willow was crying and extremely dirty but was pronounced in good health after a visit to a veterinarian, much to Hutchinson's relief. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021. The Canadian Press
Google said on Sunday that antitrust claims in a Texas lawsuit were "misleading," responding in a blog post as state attorneys general plan suits against the Alphabet Inc unit. In December, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a complaint about Google's advertising technology business, in one of several suits alleging that Google abused its dominance of the internet search business or otherwise broke antitrust law. In Sunday's blog post, Google's Economic Policy Director Adam Cohen said the company wanted to set the record straight and dispel myths about its open bidding process for advertising.
LOS ANGELES — Phil Spector, the eccentric and revolutionary music producer who transformed rock music with his “Wall of Sound” method and who later was convicted of murder, has died. He was 81. California state prison officials said he died Saturday of natural causes at a hospital. Spector was convicted of murdering actress Lana Clarkson in 2003 at his castle-like mansion on the edge of Los Angeles. After a trial in 2009, he was sentenced to 19 years to life. While most sources give Spector’s birth date as 1940, it was listed as 1939 in court documents following his arrest. His lawyer subsequently confirmed that date to The Associated Press. Clarkson, star of “Barbarian Queen” and other B-movies, was found shot to death in the foyer of Spector’s mansion in the hills overlooking Alhambra, a modest suburban town on the edge of Los Angeles. Until the actress’ death, which Spector maintained was an “accidental suicide,” few residents even knew the mansion belonged to the reclusive producer, who spent his remaining years in a prison hospital east of Stockton. Decades before, Spector had been hailed as a visionary for channeling Wagnerian ambition into the three-minute song, creating the “Wall of Sound” that merged spirited vocal harmonies with lavish orchestral arrangements to produce such pop monuments as “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Be My Baby” and “He’s a Rebel.” He was the rare self-conscious artist in rock’s early years and cultivated an image of mystery and power with his dark shades and impassive expression. Tom Wolfe declared him the “first tycoon of teen.” Bruce Springsteen and Brian Wilson openly replicated his grandiose recording techniques and wide-eyed romanticism, and John Lennon called him “the greatest record producer ever.” The secret to his sound: an overdubbed onslaught of instruments, vocals and sound effects that changed the way pop records were recorded. He called the result, “Little symphonies for the kids.” By his mid-20s his “little symphonies” had resulted in nearly two dozen hit singles and made him a millionaire. “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” the operatic Righteous Brothers ballad which topped the charts in 1965, has been tabulated as the song most played on radio and television — counting the many cover versions — in the 20th century. But thanks in part to the arrival of the Beatles, his chart success would soon fade. When “River Deep-Mountain High,” an aptly-named 1966 release that featured Tina Turner, failed to catch on, Spector shut down his record label and withdrew from the business for three years. He would go on to produce the Beatles and Lennon among others, but he was now serving the artists, instead of the other way around. In 1969, Spector was called in to salvage the Beatles’ “Let It Be” album, a troubled “back to basics” production marked by dissension within the band. Although Lennon praised Spector’s work, bandmate Paul McCartney was enraged, especially when Spector added strings and a choir to McCartney’s “The Long and Winding Road.” Years later, McCartney would oversee a remixed “Let it Be,” removing Spector’s contributions. A documentary of the making of Lennon’s 1971 “Imagine” album showed the ex-Beatle clearly in charge, prodding Spector over a backing vocal, a line none of Spector’s early artists would have dared cross. Spector worked on George Harrison’s acclaimed post-Beatles triple album, “All Things Must Pass,” co-produced Lennon’s “Imagine,” and the less successful “Some Time in New York City,” which included Spector’s picture over a caption that read, “To Know Him is to Love Him.” Spector also had a memorable film role, a cameo as a drug dealer in “Easy Rider.” The producer himself was played by Al Pacino in a 2013 HBO movie. “A genius irredeemably conflicted, he was the ultimate example of the Art always being better than the Artist, having made some of the greatest records in history based on the salvation of love while remaining incapable of giving or receiving love his whole life," Steven Van Zandt of Springsteen's E Street Band said Sunday on Twitter. The volume, and violence, of Spector’s music reflected a dark side he could barely contain even at his peak. He was imperious, temperamental and dangerous, remembered bitterly by Darlene Love, Ronnie Spector and others who worked with him. Years of stories of his waving guns at recording artists in the studio and threatening women would come back to haunt him after Clarkson’s death. According to witnesses she had agreed, somewhat reluctantly, to accompany him home from the Sunset Strip’s House of Blues in West Hollywood, where she worked Shortly after their arrival in Alhambra in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 3, 2003, a chauffeur reported Spector came out of the house holding a gun, blood on his hands, and told him, “I think I killed somebody.” He would later tell friends Clarkson had shot herself. The case was fraught with mystery, and it took authorities a year to file charges. In the meantime, Spector remained free on $1 million bail. When he was finally indicted for murder, he lashed out at authorities, angrily telling reporters: “The actions of the Hitler-like DA and his storm trooper henchmen are reprehensible, unconscionable and despicable.” As a defendant, his eccentricity took centre stage. He would arrive in court for pretrial hearings in theatrical outfits, usually featuring high-heeled boots, frock coats and wildly styled wigs. He arrived at one hearing in a chauffeur-driven stretch Hummer. Once the 2007 trial began, however, he toned down his attire. It ended in a 10-2 deadlock leaning toward conviction. His defence had argued that the actress, despondent about her fading career, shot herself through the mouth. A retrial got underway in October 2008. “Lana Clarkson was a warm, compassionate, kind, loving woman who would be 58 years old now. Her energy, brightness and love of life have sustained her family since her murder 18 years ago in 2003," Clarkson's mother, Donna Clarkson, said in a statement Sunday. Harvey Phillip Spector, in his mid-60s when he was charged with murder, had been born on Dec. 26, 1939, in New York City’s borough of the Bronx. Bernard Spector, his father, was an ironworker. His mother, Bertha, was a seamstress. In 1947, Spector’s father killed himself because of family indebtedness, an event that would shape his son’s life in many ways. Four years later, Spector’s mother moved the family to Los Angeles, where Phil attended Fairfax High School, located in a largely Jewish neighbourhood on the edge of Hollywood. For decades the school has been a source of future musical talent. At Fairfax, Spector performed in talent shows and formed a group called the Teddy Bears with friends. He was reserved and insecure, but his musical abilities were obvious. He had perfect pitch and easily learned to play several instruments. He was just 17 when his group recorded its first hit single, a romantic ballad written and produced by Spector that would become a pop classic: “To Know Him is to Love Him,” was inspired by the inscription on his father’s tombstone. A short, skinny kid with big dreams and growing demons, Spector went on to attend the University of California, Los Angeles for a year before dropping out to return to New York. He briefly considered becoming a French interpreter at the United Nations before falling in with the musicians at New York’s celebrated Brill Building. The Broadway edifice was then at the heart of popular music’s Tin Pan Alley, where writers, composers, singers and musicians turned out hit songs. He began working with star composers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who had met at Fairfax High a few years before Spector arrived. Ultimately, he found his niche in producing. During this period he also co-wrote the hit song, “Spanish Harlem,” with Ben E. King, and played lead guitar on the Drifters’ “On Broadway.” “I had come back to New York from California where there were all these green lawns and trees, and there was just this poverty and decay in Harlem,” he would recall later. “The song was an expression of hope and faith in the young people of Harlem ... that there would be better times ahead.” For a time he had his own production company, Philles Records, with partner Lester Silles, where he developed his signature sound. He assembled such respected studio musicians as arranger Jack Nitzsche, guitarist Tommy Tedesco, pianist Leon Russell and drummer Hal Blaine, and gave early breaks to Glen Campbell, Sonny Bono and Bono’s future wife, Cher. In the early 1960s, he had hit after hit and one notable flop: the album “A Christmas Gift to You,” released, tragically, on Nov. 22, 1963, the day President Kennedy was assassinated, the worst possible time for such a joyous record. “A Christmas Gift,” featuring the Ronettes singing “Frosty the Snowman” and Love’s version of “White Christmas,” is now considered a classic and a perennial radio favourite during the holiday season. Spector’s domestic life, along with his career, eventually came apart. After his first marriage, to Annette Merar, broke up, Ronettes leader singer Ronnie Bennett became his girlfriend and muse. He married her in 1968 and they adopted three children. But she divorced him after six years, claiming in a memoir that he held her prisoner in their mansion, where she said he kept a gold coffin in the basement and told her he would kill her and put her in it if she ever tried to leave him. When the Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, Spector sent along his congratulations. But in an acceptance speech by his ex-wife, she never mentioned him while thanking numerous other people. On Sunday Ronnie Spector said, “he was a brilliant producer, but a lousy husband.” “Unfortunately Phil was not able to live and function outside of the recording studio,” she wrote on Instagram. “Darkness set in, many lives were damaged. I still smile whenever I hear the music we made together, and always will. The music will be forever.” Darlene Love also feuded with him, accusing Spector of failing to credit her for her vocals on “He’s a Rebel” and other songs, but she did praise him when inducted into the Hall. Spector himself became a Hall member in 1989. As his marriages deteriorated, recording artists also began to quit working with Spector and musical styles passed him by. He preferred singles to albums, calling the latter, “Two hits and 10 pieces of junk.” He initially refused to record his music in multichannel stereo, claiming the process damaged the sound. A Spector box set retrospective was called “Back to Mono.” By the mid-1970s, Spector had largely retreated from the music business. He would emerge occasionally to work on special projects, including Leonard Cohen’s album, “Death of a Ladies’ Man” and The Ramones’ “End of the Century.” Both were marred by reports of Spector’s instability. In 1973, Lennon worked on an album of rock ‘n roll oldies with Spector, only to have Spector disappear with the tapes. The finished work, “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” didn’t come out until 1975. In 1982 Spector married Janis Lynn Zavala and the couple had twins, Nicole and Phillip Jr. The boy died at age 10 of leukemia. Six months before his first murder trial began, Spector married Rachelle Short, a 26-year-old singer and actress who accompanied him to court every day. He filed for divorce in 2016. In a 2005 court deposition, he testified that he had been on medication for manic depression for eight years. “No sleep, depression, mood changes, mood swings, hard to live with, hard to concentrate, just hard — a hard time getting through life,” he said. “I’ve been called a genius and I think a genius is not there all the time and has borderline insanity.” ___ Linda Deutsch is a retired special correspondent for The Associated Press. The Spector murder trial was one of many sensational cases she covered during her 48-year career as a Los Angeles-based trial reporter. Christopher Weber And Linda Deutsch, The Associated Press
A timeline of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project: July 2008: TC Energy Corp. (TSX: TRP) — then called TransCanada Corp. — and ConocoPhillips, joint owners of the Keystone Pipeline, propose a major extension to the network. The expansion, dubbed Keystone XL, would carry hundreds of thousands of barrels of oilsands bitumen from Alberta to Texas. 2009: As the U.S. State Department wades through comments based on an environmental assessment of the project, TransCanada starts visiting landowners potentially affected by the pipeline. Opposition emerges in Nebraska. June 2009: TransCanada announces it will buy ConocoPhillips's stake in Keystone. March 2010: The National Energy Board approves TransCanada’s application for Keystone XL, though the OK comes with 22 conditions regarding safety, environmental protection and landowner rights. April 2010: The U.S. State Department releases a draft environmental impact statement saying Keystone XL would have a limited effect on the environment. June-July 2010: Opposition to Keystone XL begins mounting in the United States. Legislators write to then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton calling for greater environmental oversight; scientists begin speaking out against the project; and the Environmental Protection Agency questions the need for the pipeline extension. July 2010: The State Department extends its review of Keystone, saying federal agencies need more time to weigh in before a final environmental impact assessment can be released. March 2011: The State Department announces a further delay in its environmental assessment. Aug. 26, 2011: The State Department releases its final environmental assessment, which reiterates that the pipeline would have a limited environmental impact. August-September 2011: Protesters stage a two-week campaign of civil disobedience at the White House to speak out against Keystone XL. Police arrest approximately 1,000 people, including actors Margot Kidder and Daryl Hannah as well as Canadian activist Naomi Klein. Sept. 26, 2011: At a demonstration on Parliament Hill, police arrest 117 of 400 protesters. Nov. 10, 2011: The State Department says TransCanada must reroute Keystone XL to avoid an ecologically sensitive region of Nebraska. Nov. 14, 2011: TransCanada agrees to reroute the line. December 2011: U.S. legislators pass a bill with a provision saying President Barack Obama must make a decision on the pipeline’s future in the next 60 days. Jan. 18, 2012: Obama rejects Keystone, saying the timeline imposed by the December bill did not leave enough time to review the new route. Obama said TransCanada was free to submit another application. Feb. 27, 2012: TransCanada says it will build the southern leg of Keystone XL, from Cushing, Okla., to the Gulf Coast, as a separate project with a price tag of $2.3 billion. This is not subject to presidential permission, since it did not cross an international border. April 18, 2012: TransCanada submits a new route to officials in Nebraska for approval. May 4, 2012: TransCanada files a new application with the State Department for the northern part of Keystone XL. Jan. 22, 2013: Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman approves TransCanada’s proposed new route for Keystone XL, sending the project back to the State Department for review. January 2013: Pipeline opponents file a lawsuit against the Nebraska government claiming the state law used to review the new route is unconstitutional. Jan. 31, 2014: The State Department says in a report that Keystone XL would produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than transporting oil to the Gulf of Mexico by rail. Feb. 19, 2014: A Nebraska judge rules that the law that allowed the governor to approve Keystone XL over the objections of landowners was unconstitutional. Nebraska said it would appeal. April 18, 2014: The State Department suspends the regulatory process indefinitely, citing uncertainty about the court case in Nebraska. Nov. 4, 2014: TransCanada says the costs of Keystone XL have grown to US$8 billion from US$5.4 billion. November-December 2014: Midterm elections turn control of the U.S. Congress over to Republicans, who say they’ll make acceptance of Keystone XL a top priority. But Obama adopts an increasingly negative tone. Jan. 9, 2015: At the Nebraska Supreme Court, by the narrowest of margins, a panel of seven judges strikes down the lower-court decision. Jan. 29, 2015: The U.S. Senate approves a bill to build Keystone XL, but the White House says Obama would veto it. Feb. 24, 2015: Obama vetoes the bill. June 30, 2015: TransCanada writes to then-secretary of state John Kerry and other U.S. officials saying the State Department should include recent climate change policy announcements by the Alberta and federal governments in its review of Keystone XL. Nov. 2, 2015: TransCanada asks the U.S. government to temporarily suspend its application. Nov. 4, 2015: The U.S. government rejects that request. Nov. 6, 2015: The Obama administration rejects TransCanada’s application to build the Keystone XL pipeline. TransCanada CEO Russ Girling says he is disappointed, but continues to believe the project is in the best interests of both Canada and the U.S. Jan. 6, 2016: TransCanada files notice to launch a claim under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement, alleging the U.S. government breached its legal commitments under NAFTA. The company also files a lawsuit in U.S. Federal Court in Texas arguing that Obama exceeded his powers by denying construction of the project. May 26, 2016: Republican presidential contender Donald Trump says he would approve Keystone XL if elected, a pledge he repeats several times during the campaign. Nov. 8, 2016: Trump is elected president. Jan. 24, 2017: Trump signs an executive order that he says approves Keystone XL, but suggests the United States intends to renegotiate the terms of the project. He also signs an order requiring American pipelines to be built with U.S. steel. Nov. 9, 2018: A U.S. federal judge blocks the pipeline's construction to allow more time to study the potential environmental impact. March 29, 2019: Trump issues a new presidential permit in an effort to speed up development of the pipeline May 3, 2019: TransCanada changes its name to TC Energy. March 31, 2020: Alberta agrees to invest $1.5 billion in Keystone XL, followed by a $6 billion loan guarantee in 2021. April 7, 2020: Construction begins, despite calls from Indigenous groups and environmentalists to pause their efforts. May 18, 2020: Joe Biden, then the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, vows to scrap Keystone XL if elected, but doesn't set out a timeline for doing so. Nov. 3, 2020: Biden is elected president. Jan. 17, 2021: Transition documents show Biden plans to cancel Keystone XL on the first day of his presidency. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021. The Canadian Press
COVID-19. Le plus rapidement possible, le ministre de la Santé et des Services sociaux veut vacciner un maximum de personnes vulnérables. Se basant sur ses experts, Christian Dubé a indiqué que la deuxième dose du vaccin contre la COVID-19 allait être administrée entre 42 et 90 jours après la première dose. Notons que 115 704 doses de vaccin ont été utilisées jusqu’à maintenant. Près de 65 % des résidents de CHSLD ont reçu une première dose du vaccin, soit 25 799 sur environ 40 000 résidents. Également, 85 167 personnes faisant partie du personnel soignant ont été vaccinées. Les autres doses ont été administrées à des proches aidants et des personnes qui vivent dans des communautés éloignées ou isolées. «Dans le contexte actuel, notre objectif est d'utiliser les doses de vaccin de façon optimale, dans les meilleurs délais, afin de protéger le maximum de personnes. Cependant, ce n'est pas parce qu'on vaccine qu'on doit relâcher les bonnes habitudes de prévention et contrôle des infections que nous avons prises lors des derniers mois. On doit demeurer extrêmement vigilants et continuer de respecter les mesures sanitaires en place», souligne Christian Dubé, ministre de la Santé et des Services sociaux. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
The families victims who suffered Stalinist repression are still waiting for compensation 30 years after the collapse of the former Soviet UnionView on euronews
Four people were handed tickets for violating public health orders in Moose Jaw on Saturday. A police news release said officers monitored a gathering at a location near Main Street N. and Thatcher Drive W. on Saturday. During the gathering, a police news release said officers observed "a number" of violations of the current public health orders. Four people were given tickets through the public health orders. Police said their investigation was ongoing. It was not immediately clear if the tickets were distributed to organizers or participants of the gathering, and aside from police commenting that the tickets were distributed for violation of the health order, there was no other information available. A request for comment from the Moose Jaw Police Service was not immediately returned. More from CBC News:
A South Korean court sentenced Samsung Electronics vice chairman Jay Y. Lee to two and a half years in prison on Monday, which could delay the group's ownership restructuring following the death of Lee's father in October. Lee, the country's most powerful businessman at age 52, had served one year in prison for bribing an associate of former President Park Geun-hye when an appeals court suspended it in 2018; a year later, the Supreme Court ordered him retried. Monday's sentencing by the Seoul High Court can be appealed to the Supreme Court within seven days, but legal experts said that because the Supreme Court has already ruled on it once, chances are low that its legal interpretation will change.