Experts explore how politicians can play a role in perpetuating conspiracy theories.
Experts explore how politicians can play a role in perpetuating conspiracy theories.
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
COVID-19. Les plus récentes données sur l'évolution de la COVID-19, au Québec, font état de 1 744 nouveaux cas pour la journée d'hier, pour un nombre total de 242 714 personnes infectées. Parmi celles-ci, 213 008 sont rétablies. Notons qu’un délai de transmission des données de laboratoires a engendré un retard dans la déclaration de cas de COVID-19 aux Directions de santé publique hier, et une baisse du nombre de nouveaux cas déclarés. La situation sera rétablie dans la journée et la prochaine mise à jour va inclure les cas non déclarés aujourd'hui. Les plus récentes données font également état de 50 nouveaux décès, pour un total de 9 055. De ces 50 décès, 8 sont survenus dans les 24 dernières heures, 26 entre le 10 et le 15 janvier, 7 avant le 10 janvier, et 9 sont survenus à une date inconnue. Le nombre total d'hospitalisations a diminué de 14 par rapport à la veille, avec un cumul de 1 460. Parmi celles-ci, le nombre de personnes se trouvant aux soins intensifs a diminué de 12, pour un total actuel de 215. Les prélèvements réalisés le 15 janvier s'élèvent à 37 087, pour un total de 5 424 995.Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
MILAN — No traffic jams, no rush to the next venue, no front rows — not even socially distanced. Milan Fashion Week is unfolding entirely on computer screens and social media platforms this round for the first time ever, as the persistent virus resurgence dashed any hopes of even a handful of physical shows. Luxury is in an enforced period of evolution in this new world order of rotating lockdowns, where virtually no one has anywhere to go. So it was a mostly captive audience that flocked to social media by the hundreds of thousands (and counting as the shows live on virtually) to watch Milan designers unveil new menswear collections for next winter, which, vaccines willing, may see a return to in-person shopping. In its digitally conceived preview, Prada on Sunday introduced the new anti-uniform that speaks to our new intimacy in our ever-tighter circles: luxury long-johns. The first menswear collection by the Miuccia Prada-Raf Simons collaboration announced almost a year ago was unveiled on a runway traversing spaces clad in soft faux fur in purple, celeste and scarlet. Skinny men in tight knit union suits in graphic architecture-inspired patterns grooved in outtakes spliced into the runway show. The union suits emphasized both the human body and freedom, elements fundamental to the collection, the designers said in notes. They were worn tightly under oversized coats and huge V-neck sweaters, or as a layer of comfort under a work suit, should the occasion arise. “It is not often we find in fashion something that's so flexible, with so many facets,” Prada said in a video conversation with international fashion students. “With one piece you can express so many things, leaving open many possibilities.” The designers said their still-new collaboration was based on the principle: if the other didn’t like an idea, it gets dropped. Or the other is won over, which was the case with Prada accepting pinstripes she has long loathed. “What I think is good, is the possibility to change my mind,’’ Prada said. The show, like others, was broadcast on a maxi-screen in the heart of Milan’s shopping district. But with the city and region around it plunged into yet another partial lockdown on Sunday, the previews attracted little notice. What energy was missing from the streets of Milan was recouped on social media. Fendi, Etro and outdoor brand Kway intended physical shows with guests, but had to scale back to closed-door runways. Dolce&Gabbana cancelled, saying the restrictions in place wouldn't have allowed the necessary conditions for them to show. Fendi's collection, designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi, featured quilted pieces made for easy layering, in the spirit of comfort and cocooning. Etro's paisley took on a casual flair, in silky tops or baggy trousers paired with crossbody bags and baseball caps. Kway's rain slickers, trenches and parkas got their fashion cred from streaks bright colour and varied silhouettes. Now, more than ever, as people have more time at home to consider how they want to present themselves to the world, fashion is less about trends, and more about individuality. “Everybody should follow themselves," Prada said. “That for me is crucial, and fundamental. Clothes are an expression of your idea, of your personality ... The clothes are at the service of your life, of the person.” Colleen Barry, The Associated Press
The mayor of Cornwall, Ont., and the grand chief of the nearby Mohawk community are both denouncing unfriendly notes recently left on the windshields of cars with out-of-province licence plates. While Ontario is under a stay-at-home order due to the spread of COVID-19 and Quebec has an overnight curfew starting at 8 p.m., many of those cars come from Akwesasne, a Mohawk Nation territory that straddles both the interprovincial and international border. "There are people in Akwesasne who have Quebec, Ontario, New York plates," Mayor Bernadette Clement said. "They are very regularly in Cornwall, in grocery stores, doing all of the things that are allowed ... purchasing essential goods, seeking essential services like medical care." Clement said she first heard about the notes last week after city councillor Todd Bennett posted a photo of one on Facebook. Bennett, who works at the city's Farm Boy grocery store, had seen the note posted on a car in the parking lot and recognized it as a vehicle from the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory. "You are not from this province. You are not wanted here," the note read. "Go home, stay home." 'Jurisdictional nightmare' In a Facebook post, Clement wrote that it had been confirmed that multiple notes were indeed placed on vehicles belonging to people from Akwesasne. Leaving angry notes on windshields "doesn't send the right message at a time when ... we have to get through this together," she told CBC News Sunday. Grand Chief Abram Benedict also wrote an open letter on Facebook after hearing about the notes, explaining the "jurisdictional nightmare" residents of Akwesasne deal with on a regular basis and expressing hope they were written out of "ignorance and misunderstanding ... and not racism." In an interview, Benedict said community members had also told him about looks and comments they'd received in Cornwall while accessing essential services. "It's very disappointing when we learned of people receiving those notes," he said. "It's disheartening as well to know that people aren't so welcoming." Benedict said he understands concerns about cross-border travel, but he hoped people would understand Akwesasne's unique geographical situation. Since posting his open letter, Benedict said he's received positive feedback from people in both communities, as well as apologies from Cornwall residents who hadn't understood the exact situation before. "We're hopeful ... individuals will take a moment to reflect upon what has been said [and make sure we] as a region get through this together," he said. "We don't need, you know, divisive things like this getting in the way." Time for self-reflection Clement, who also spoke about the issue during a Facebook Live broadcast, said she understands the pandemic has been difficult and that many are feeling frustrated by the restrictions. Still, she urged residents to use this time for self-reflection rather than recrimination, and raise complaints with elected officials rather than taking matters into their own hands. "We really are in this together," she said. "And if we start to support divisive action, I think that that will harm us in the long run."
COVID-19. C’est près de 1,5 M$ que le gouvernement va investir en matière de santé psychologique afin de soutenir les 350 000 travailleurs autonomes que compte le Québec. Jean Boulet, le ministre du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale, vient d’en faire l’annonce. «La crise sanitaire que nous connaissons et les nombreux bouleversements qu'elle entraîne ont des effets dans toutes les sphères de notre société. Le contexte actuel peut certainement augmenter le stress pour tous et exacerber l'anxiété. Les travailleurs autonomes, qui sont les maîtres d'œuvre de toutes les actions de leur entreprise, peuvent, à ce titre, se retrouver dans une situation précaire et d'isolement qui risque d'affecter leur vie personnelle ainsi que la performance et la relance de leur entreprise. Votre gouvernement met donc en place des actions concrètes de prévention pour favoriser le maintien d'une bonne santé mentale», souligne Jean Boulet, ministre du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale en annonçant la mise en place d’ateliers en gestion du stress et en santé psychologique. Ces webinaires gratuits seront proposés par l'Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés. De plus, en collaboration avec ses partenaires locaux, le ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale mettra en place des activités régionales et locales spécifiques pour joindre les travailleurs autonomes et les très petites entreprises aux prises avec des défis similaires. Différentes formules seront proposées comme de courtes activités sur la gestion du stress, des ateliers et des groupes de discussion virtuelle. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
In the days before calling the general election on Friday, the Liberal provincial government struck tentative collective agreements with three unions — Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association (NLTA) and Allied Health Professionals — extending their contracts into 2022. The government also issued 34 news releases in total on Thursday and Friday, committing to more than $31 million in pre-election spending on Friday alone. CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador president Sherry Hillier says her union had been bargaining with government throughout the summer and fall, but she says they weren't making headway. "And then government came back to us two weeks ago and offered us this deal that we've tentatively accepted," Hillier said. "It's all a tactics game when it comes to an election for sure, there's no doubt in my mind that's exactly why the deal was made days before the election." Still, Hillier calls it a good agreement for 3,700 of her members working in seven different sectors, such as health care, education, libraries and transition houses. She can't talk specifics, but said the deal extends their current collective agreement to March 31, 2022 and includes a wage increase and changes to post-employment benefits for new employees. "We're pleased that our bargaining committees actually accepted the tentative deal and we're actually bringing it back to our membership for full ratification vote in the course of the next 10 days." she said. Questions about Greene report Meanwhile, Hillier is questioning why Liberal Leader Andrew Furey called a provincial election before releasing Moya Greene's economy recovery report, which will review spending, revenue, and public services and options for economic growth. "Obviously, the president of the Federation of Labour, Mary Shortall, resigned from the committee, speaks volumes, when a committee, a task force is so secretive." she said. "Then a draft report [will] be released, but 10 days after the election date, why not give Newfoundland and Labradorians the opportunity to see what's in this report before Feb. 13?" While Furey promised to table Greene's report in the House of Assembly and hold consultations, Hillier, who meet with Greene last week, says that's not enough and is calling for more transparency. "We don't need privatization in our province right now," she said. "Newfoundland and Labradorians do not need this. We're in the middle of a pandemic. We are doing our part during the pandemic. We certainly don't need an austerity budget. I'm sure the people of Newfoundland and Labrador are only too willing to work with government, and secrecy is not the way of doing it." NLTA less critical of timing Meanwhile, teachers, who also struck a tentative agreement with the province last week, were less critical of the timing of the tentative agreements with government. NLTA president, Dean Ingram, says their negotiating team and provincial executive felt the tentative agreement should be brought to a ratification vote in early February. "And our membership ultimately will decide whether it's something that is or is not acceptable," he said by phone Sunday. Ingram also can't say whether they will recommend that members accept the tentative deal, until after their branch presidents meet later this month. The tentative agreement, which affects 7,000 members of the NLTA, includes a salary increase and changes to post-employment benefits for new employees. If ratified, it would extend teachers' current collective agreement to Aug. 31, 2022. Meanwhile, he says any plan in the province for economic recovery must include investments in education. "We do believe that there are many needs in education and we have been pressing for a number of years that it's critically important that an independent review of the teacher allocation model, the allocation of resources for schools need to be undertaken," Ingram said. "Education is too valuable for it not to be done." Allied Health Professionals also struck a tentative deal with the province, which includes a salary increase and changes to post-employment benefits for new employers. If ratified, the deal would extend their current collective agreement to June 30, 2022, and would affect 750 healthcare workers. The union didn't respond to CBC News request for comment on Sunday. Day 2 of election campaign Only two party leaders were on the campaign trail Sunday on the second official day of campaigning. PC Leader Ches Crosbie spent the day knocking on doors in Mount Scio with his candidate, Damian Follett. The party also announced it had nominated a full slate of candidates in each of the province's 40 electoral districts. NDP leader Alison Coffin spent the day canvassing in her district St. John's East - Quidi Vidi. That party has 20 candidates nominated to run in the general election, so far. Meanwhile, Sundays are family days for Liberal Leader Andrew Furey, who has committed to holding media availabilities in the mornings Monday through Saturday. The Liberals have 38 candidates nominated as of Sunday afternoon. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained at a Moscow airport after returning from Germany, where he spent months recovering from nerve agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin.
FREDERICTON — New Brunswick reported 36 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday as it moved a hard hit area in the province's north into the red alert phase of pandemic precautions. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell said the number of new cases was the largest single day tally since the pandemic began, with 24 alone reported in the Edmundston-Grand Falls area. Russell said as a result of the recent spike, the Edmundston region was being moved to the red alert phase as of 12:01 a.m. Monday. "This is by far the most cases in a single zone in a single day since our first case of COVID-19 was reported in March, 2020," Russell told a news conference in Fredericton. Russell added that in one day the number of active cases in the Edmundston area had jumped by more than one-third from 52 to 76, adding it was clear the majority of the cases reported are liked to one "workplace area." She did not identify the workplace. Sunday's figures brought the total number of cases in the province to 292, nearly a third of all the COVID-19 diagnoses reported in the province over the last 10 months. Red-level rules specify that many businesses will be required to close or to reduce services to essential levels and residents will be asked to stay home in single family bubbles as much as possible, although schools will remain open. Outdoor gatherings are limited to five people or fewer with masks and physical distancing measures in place, while in-person dining at restaurants is prohibited. Russell said five of the other cases announced on Sunday were in the Moncton region, with four in the Saint John area, two in the Fredericton region and one in the Bathurst area. She said while the other zones would remain at the less restrictive orange alert level for the time being, it was clear that Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton were on the cusp of moving to the red alert level. "We are again reminded of how quickly the COVID-19 virus can spread and how fast our situation can change," Russell said. "We are responding to limit the severity of this outbreak, but to bring this under control we need every New Brunswicker to contribute." She said the province was at a "critical juncture" and the next week would tell whether it is headed for a further rapid rise in cases as seen in neighbouring Maine and Quebec. Premier Blaine Higgs called the developments "extremely disappointing," adding the province's case count simply isn't where it needs to be. Higgs said part of the problem is that too many people are travelling between regions, keeping the virus on the move." He urged people to stay home unless they absolutely need to be out. Higgs said the province needs to be proactive in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. "We need to buy time for the vaccine to be rolled out," he said. "We must all take this seriously because the next step after the red alert is an entire lockdown . . . we do not want to be in that position." New Brunswick has had 947 cases of the novel coronavirus since the onset of the pandemic, with 642 people having recovered and 12 deaths. One patient is currently in hospital. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021. — By Keith Ducette in Halifax The Canadian Press
The Italian greyhound known as Tika the Iggy has over 200 outfits, according to her owner.
YAROSLAVL, Russia — Canada's Lewis Irving picked up the bronze medal at a World Cup aerials freestlye skiing competition Sunday. Irving, from Quebec City, finished third with a score of 120.36 points for the fourth podium finish of his World Cup career. Russians took the top two spots, with Maxim Burov (125.34 points) winning gold and Stanislav Nikitin (123.98 points) earning silver. Megan Nick of the United States won the women's event with 89.88 points. Alla Tsuper of Belarus (89.82) and Kaila Kuhn (87.25) rounded out the podium. Justine Ally of Lac-Superieur, Que., was the top Canadian in 12th. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021. The Canadian Press
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:
WILMINGTON, Del. — Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has navigated a half-century in American politics by relentlessly positioning himself at the core of the Democratic Party. Wherever that power centre shifted, there Biden has been, whether as the young senator who opposed court-ordered busing in school integration cases or the soon-to-be 46th president pitching an agenda on par with Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society. The common thread through that evolution is Biden always pitching himself as an institutionalist -- a mainstream liberal but also a pragmatist who still insists that governing well depends on compromise and consensus. Now Biden’s central political identity faces the ultimate trial. On Wednesday, the 78-year-old president-elect will inherit stewardship of a nation wrenched by pandemic, seismic cultural fissures and an opposition party’s base that considers him illegitimate, even to the point of President Donald Trump’s supporters violently attacking the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as Congress convened to certify Biden’s victory. Biden's answer follows two tracks: defending the fabric of society and institutions of government that Trump’s tenure has stressed and calling for sweeping legislative action. His agenda includes an initial $1.9 trillion pandemic response, along with proposed overhauls for health care, taxation, infrastructure, education, criminal justice, the energy grid and climate policy. “A message of unity. A message of getting things done,” Ron Klain, his incoming White House chief of staff, explained Sunday on CNN's “State of the Union.” The first approach, rooted in Biden’s campaign pledge to “restore the soul of the nation,” netted a record 81 million votes in the election. In his Nov. 7 victory speech, Biden called that coalition “the broadest and most diverse in history” and framed it as evidence Americans are ready to “lower the temperature” and “heal.” Biden’s second, policy-based approach, however, still must confront a hyperpartisan age and a closely divided Congress. The outcome will determine the reach of Biden’s presidency and further test the lifetime politician’s ability to evolve and meet events. “We can’t have a claim to want to heal the nation if what people mean is just having the right tone and being able to pat one another on the back,” said the Rev. William Barber, a leading social justice advocate who has personally pushed Biden to prioritize the marginalized and poor of all races. “Real healing of the nation,” Barber said, “must be dealing with the sickness in the body of the nation caused by policy, by racism, by polity.” Activists such as Barber represent just one of many flanks surrounding Biden. Republicans are clear they won’t passively ratify Biden’s responses to the pandemic or deep-seated problems that came before it: institutional racism, widening wealth gaps, the climate crisis. The Democratic Party isn’t marching in lockstep, either, as progressives, liberals and moderates dicker over details. “I wouldn’t expect big, sweeping change,” said Michael Steel, once a top aide to former House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Democrats will control a 50-50 Senate with Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris’s tiebreaking vote as presiding officer. But the chamber’s 60-vote filibuster threshold for major legislation remains. Biden’s longtime friend, California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, is the House speaker, but presides over a diminished Democratic majority and slim margin for error. Harris framed the stakes Sunday, telling “CBS Sunday Morning” that the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6 “was an exposure of the vulnerability of our democracy.” John Anzalone, Biden’s campaign pollster, noted in a recent interview that Biden won with a message spanning ideology. Some voters “may not believe in his politics. But they believe in him,” Anzalone said. “They believe in his compassion and they believe in, quite frankly, his leadership skills.” Anzalone loosely compared Biden's appeal to Ronald Reagan's. Reagan was a hero of movement conservatives yet drew support from a wide swath of “Reagan Democrats” to win the presidency in 1980 amid economic and international instability. By extension, Reagan could count on support or at least good faith from many Democrats on Capitol Hill, most notably then-Speaker Tip O’Neill, D-Mass. “The analogy sort of fails when you ask who are the Tip O’Neills for Republicans at this point?” Anzalone acknowledged. But, he said, Biden “is not averse to big fights.” Biden projects confidence regardless, in part, those close to him say, because of his long tenure in Washington buttressed now with the presidential megaphone. “Part of the president’s job is making the case to the American people and persuading them what the right way forward is,” said Stef Feldman, policy director for Biden’s campaign. Through that lens, it becomes less surprising to see the politician who joined Republicans in the mid-1990s to clamour for a balanced budget now declares emergency spending measured by the trillions “more urgent than ever,” even “including deficit spending.” It was a similar course for Biden as he aged from a young senator in a chamber still stocked with old-guard segregationists into the trusted lieutenant for the nation’s first Black president. The Senate Judiciary Chairman who in 1991 led an all-male panel in Supreme Court confirmation hearings involving sexual harassment claims turned the widely panned experience into invitations for the committee to seat its first Democratic female members. The Catholic politician who for decades acknowledged his struggle over abortion policy flouted church teachings as vice-president by announcing his support for same-sex marriage before most other elected Democrats, including the ostensibly more socially progressive Obama. And during the 2020 campaign, even as Biden started to the left of Obama and 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton, he inched further leftward on health care, college tuition aid and climate policy. While Biden aides argue his shifts don’t involve changes in principle or fundamental values, some other observers say the point is moot. The question, said Maurice Mitchell, who leads the progressive Working Families Party, is simply whether Biden will continue to evolve and leverage his political capital into both post-Trump stability and big policy wins. “We can’t control people’s convictions but we can shift the politics of the possible,” Mitchell said, noting that Johnson signed seminal civil rights laws less than a decade after quashing such measures as Senate majority leader. Barber, the minister, pointed to other historical figures whom Biden sometimes mentioned while campaigning: Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Both, Barber noted, were savvy, even ruthless politicians who reached for their biggest achievements only after winning the nation’s highest office -- and they did so against vicious opposition and during times of existential national threats. “There’s good record in our history that there are moments in this country can and has taken great steps forward,” Barber said. “And many times, it was right on the heels of great pain. The movement and the moment can cause leaders -- presidents, senators, congresspeople -- to be much greater than they even intended or imagined.” Bill Barrow, The Associated Press
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.
Pobeda flight DP936 was a few minutes into its descent towards Moscow's Vnukovo airport, where thousands of supporters of poisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny were waiting to meet him on his return to Russia, when the flight captain said he could not land as planned. It was the first sign to those on board that Navalny's return from Berlin, where he had been treated since August after being attacked in Russia with the military-grade nerve agent Novichok, was not going smoothly. After landing, he sat in the plane, looking out of the window onto a dark, snow-covered runaway and a handful of airport workers in fluorescent vests, holding his wife Yulia's hand in silence.
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.
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
Nine witnesses have taken the stand so far at the trial of Thomas Whittle in Corner Brook. The 29-year-old is accused of dangerous driving causing death and impaired driving causing death after the snowmobile he was driving collided with a taxi near Marble Mountain in 2017. Whittle's passenger, Justyn Pollard, was killed. Whittle is representing himself at trial, and apologized to jurors as he cross-examined RCMP forensic identification specialist Constable Jonathan Moran for entering and examining Pollard's autopsy photographs. Whittle said the photos would be hard for the jury of nine women and four men to see, but he requested they be entered as evidence so jurors could see bruising on Pollard's left hip and shoulder. Family members of Pollard's were present in the courtroom as the photos scrolled across a projected screen as Moran described each one, and at least one of them was obviously distraught. No helmets So far, the court has heard from witnesses including taxi drivers, taxi passengers, first responders, police officers and residents of Humber Valley Resort. They described seeing a snowmobile, going at a high speed, driving across a bridge around 4 a.m. on Feb. 19, 2017, and colliding head-on with a taxi van that had pulled over to the side of the entrance to the bridge. Video surveillance of the crash was also presented at trial, and clearly showed a snowmobile moving quickly on the bridge. Many witnesses testified that neither Whittle or Pollard were wearing helmets, winter coats, hats or mittens at the time. The driver of the Dodge Caravan taxi van was John Hardy, who works for Birchy Cabs. He told the court that Jibfest, a popular music festival at Marble Mountain, was happening that weekend and he was very busy bringing passengers back and forth from Humber Valley Resort to Marble Mountain. Hardy told the court he was approaching the bridge to enter the resort when he saw a bright light coming toward him and quickly pulled over. He then told the front passenger, Alex Robbins, 'I think this is going to hit us, brace yourself'. When Robins testified, he told Crown Attorney Renee Coates he can remember seeing two individuals on the ground near the snowmobile after the collision, and he recalls Whittle getting up and asking repeatedly if everyone was alright. Robbins said Whittle was quite distraught. Feeling no pain Little Rapids and Steady Brook volunteer Fire Chief Shawn Leamon was one of the first people to arrive at the scene, moments after 4 a.m, and said Pollard was not responsive at that time. Later, Pollard was taken to Western Memorial Regional Hospital and died of his injuries. Leamon said he can remember hearing Whittle say to the paramedics, "I have a good buzz on. I'm not feeling any pain," as he was assisting him onto the stretcher and into the ambulance. "There were no obvious signs that I could see any kind of alcohol or paraphernalia from drug use. Sometimes trauma can have an impact on an individual as well. The comment made me believe there were other factors involved," he said to the court. Since Whittle is representing himself during the three-week-long trial, he frequently asks Justice George Murphy for breaks so he can consult with Randy Piercey; a criminal defence lawyer who was appointed by Justice Murphy to aid in proceedings, but not make decisions for Whittle. The Crown will be calling witnesses for two or three more days, and then Whittle will have the opportunity to call his own evidence. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Organizers of a planned rally in support of farmers in India say the event was unfairly shut down before it could begin in Surrey on Saturday. A statement from an unidentified group affiliated with the event, set to take place in Cloverdale, said the planned protest complied with all COVID-19 guidelines and should have been allowed to go forward. Since late November, farmers in India have been protesting in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana, saying that new laws being implemented by the Indian government will deregulate crop prices and devastate their earnings. Since then, car rallies have been organized in cities like Vancouver, Calgary and Charlottetown to show solidarity. Event volunteer Pindie Dhaliwal wrote in the statement that RCMP "unfairly targeted and unnecessarily undermined a protest planned in compliance with public health orders." "The RCMP squandered an opportunity to have meaningful dialogue and ensure the rights of the public to peacefully protest were protected," she wrote in part. Meghan McDermott, a lawyer with the BC Civil Liberties Association, wrote in the statement that "shutting down of this protest organized by a racialized community is an affront to the constitutional right to protest." "This was an event that took safety measures and provincial health orders seriously but was arbitrarily and unjustly shut down by the Surrey RCMP even before any opportunity for alleging non-compliance arose," McDermott said. RCMP cite concerns around gathering Elenore Sturko, a spokesperson for Surrey RCMP, said police moved to shut down the protest upon hearing that it would feature a stage and food vendors, which raised concerns about people leaving their vehicles and congregating. "We don't want people to be afraid that we're taking efforts to try to extinguish their voices, that is not our intention," Sturko said, adding that police want to ensure a "fine balance" between the rights of people and ensuring they remain safe. "What makes this different from our perspective was that they were going to bring in DJs and vendors and those are the kinds of things that don't really go in line with keeping people in their cars and keeping people from congregating," Sturko said. "It was just a risk that was too great at this time so we had to unfortunately, working with the city, keep that gathering from taking place." Sturko said RCMP were unable to identify and coordinate with a formal organizer of the event, and encouraged organizers of future rallies to reach out to RCMP and the city to ensure events can go forward safely. "If you are planning something, we would ask that you work with us," she said. "It doesn't mean that we're getting rid of the right to protest in Surrey. We want to strike that balance to make individual voices heard and make sure we're doing everything we can to keep the public safe."
COVID-19. Les derniers résultats des sondages réalisés par l’Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) indiquent que la détresse psychologique augmente depuis la fin de l’été. Celle-ci tend à atteindre des niveaux plus élevés qu’à la première vague de la COVID-19, principalement chez les jeunes adultes de 18 à 24 ans. Particulièrement inquiétant, à des questions permettaient de mesurer l’échelle de Kessler, 17% des répondants ont un score de détresse psychologique problématique qui pourrait nécessiter des soins. Notons que cette échelle, qui peut comprendre six ou dix questions, a été validée et utilisée dans de nombreuses enquêtes populationnelles américaines, australiennes et canadiennes. La perception des répondants quant à leur santé mentale a également été recueillie. L’évolution de la proportion d’adultes québécois qui jugeait leur santé mentale comme «passable» ou «mauvaise» est passée de 10 à 16 % entre avril et décembre 2020. De son côté, l’évolution de la proportion d’adultes québécois ayant des symptômes d’anxiété modérée à sévère, pour période de juillet à décembre, a fait un bond de % (11 versus 17%). Proportion d’adultes québécois (%) ayant un score de détresse psychologique problématique selon la région sociosanitaire (sondages du 27 novembre au 9 décembre 2020) Région%Petites régions14Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean10Capitale-Nationale18Mauricie et Centre-du-Québec15Estrie18Montréal23Outaouais21Chaudière-Appalaches17Laval17Lanaudière14Laurentides15Montérégie15 Proportion d’adultes québécois (%) percevant leur santé mentale comme «passable» ou «mauvaise» selon la région sociosanitaire (sondages du 27 novembre au 9 décembre 2020) Région%Petites régions14Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean12Capitale-Nationale19Mauricie et Centre-du-Québec16Estrie18Montréal22Outaouais22Chaudière-Appalaches11Laval18Lanaudière16Laurentides16Montérégie17 Proportion d’adultes québécois (%) ayant des symptômes d’anxiété modérée à sévère selon la région sociosanitaire (sondages du 27 novembre au 9 décembre 2020) Région%Petites régions12Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean10Capitale-Nationale14Mauricie et Centre-du-Québec15Estrie17Montréal22Outaouais23Chaudière-Appalaches16Laval18Lanaudière14Laurentides17Montérégie18 Du 21 mars au 31 mai 2020, des sondages Web quotidiens ont été réalisés auprès de 1 000 adultes québécois par l’INSPQ. Depuis le 1er juillet, 3 300 adultes y répondent chaque semaine. Le questionnaire d’environ 60 questions est ajusté selon l’évolution de la pandémie et des mesures recommandées par la santé publique. Les résultats sont pondérés selon des facteurs sociodémographiques (sexe, âge, région, langue, composition du ménage, niveau de scolarité) afin d’assurer la représentativité des Québécois. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
ISTANBUL — Mesut Ozil said farewell to Arsenal teammates and flew to Turkey on Sunday to join Fenerbahce in a bid to reignite a once-flourishing career that faltered in London. The former Germany midfielder, who is of Turkish descent, hasn’t played for Arsenal since March after falling out of favour with manager Mikel Arteta over concerns about the player’s work rate. “I am very excited. I’ve said I’m a Fenerbahce fan. I am very happy to be coming to Fenerbahce," Ozil said in a telephone interview with Turkish broadcaster BBO Sports. "God has granted me the chance to wear the Fenerbahce uniform as a Fenerbahce fan. I will do my best for the team.” The 32-year-old Ozil wasn’t even included in Arsenal’s Premier League squad for the season despite being one of the highest earners and has been ostentatiously tweeting his support for the team from his home during matches. Now Arsenal has managed to offload Ozil before his contract expires in June. Fenerbahce posted images of Ozil leaving London on a private jet on Sunday night. After 7 1/2 years at Arsenal, which he joined from Real Madrid, Ozil is heading to one of the favoured clubs of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Welcome to your home, your country dear @MesutOzil1088," Erdogan spokesman Ibrahim Kalin tweeted. Ozil posed for photos with Erdogan in May 2018 in the run-up to the Turkish general election — prompting serious criticism from German soccer officials and antagonizing some in Germany who felt the player wasn’t fully behind the national team — while the president was an official witness at Ozil’s wedding ceremony. Fenerbahce won the last of its 19 Turkish league titles in 2014. The team has not been in the Champions League group stage since a match-fixing scandal broke in 2011. Ozil’s last match for Arsenal was in March, a week before soccer was suspended at the outbreak of the coronavirus, so he might not be match-sharp to start immediately for Fenerbahce. Ozil became ostracized by Arsenal just as Arteta was hired as manager in December 2019. The club distanced itself from Ozil standing up for Muslims in the Xinjiang province of China after he condemned the detention of more than 1 million Uighurs and other minorities in so-called re-education camps. A social media post from Ozil also denounced China for burning Qurans, closing mosques and the killing of religious scholars. Ozil's criticism of China led to Arsenal’s match being pulled from Chinese television. The Chinese government accused Ozil of being “blinded and misled” and Arsenal said “the content he expressed is entirely Ozil’s personal opinion” and stressed it was not getting involved as a club. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press