FFL Flash Alert - Tua Tagovailoa or Derek Carr: which QB is the better play in Week 10?
FFL Flash Alert - Tua Tagovailoa or Derek Carr: which QB is the better play in Week 10?
WASHINGTON — Outgoing Attorney General William Barr's decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate the handling of the Russia probe ensures his successor won't have an easy transition.The move, which Barr detailed to The Associated Press on Tuesday, could lead to heated confirmation hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's nominee, who hasn't been announced. Senate Republicans will likely use that forum to extract a pledge from the pick to commit to an independent investigation.The pressure on the new attorney general is unlikely to ease once they take office. With the special counsel continuing to work during the early days of the Biden administration, it may be tough for the Justice Department's new leadership to launch investigations of President Donald Trump and his associates without seeming to be swayed by political considerations.Barr elevated U.S. Attorney John Durham to special counsel as Trump continues to propel his claims that the Russia investigation that shadowed his presidency was a “witch hunt.” It's the latest example of efforts by Trump officials to use the final days of his administration to essentially box Biden in by enacting new rules, regulations and orders designed to cement the president's legacy.But the manoeuvring over the special counsel is especially significant because it saddles Democrats with an investigation that they've derided as tainted. Now there's little the new administration can do about it.“From a political perspective, the move is so elegantly lethal that it would make Machiavelli green with envy,” Jonathan Turley, a professor of public interest law at George Washington University, wrote in an op-ed for USA Today.A special counsel can only be dismissed for cause. And as was the case during Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, such probes can sometimes stray from their origins.The Biden transition did not respond to a request for comment on the special counsel appointment.But Barr's decision could influence whom the president-elect puts forth as a nominee for attorney general. One leading candidate, Sally Yates, was already viewed skeptically by some Trump-aligned Republicans for her role in the early days of the Russia investigation. Her nomination could face even greater challenges because she's connected to some of the work that Durham is examining.As deputy attorney general, Yates signed off on the first two applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor communications of ex-Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, a process that has been among the focuses of the Durham investigation.A Justice Department inspector general report found significant flaws and omissions in the four applications to the court, though it also found no evidence that Yates or any other senior Justice Department officials were aware of the problems.Some Democrats have privately expressed concerns – likely to deepen with Durham’s appointment as a special counsel – that nominating Yates would lead to a messy confirmation process that focuses on the Russia investigation, instead of focusing on reforms and shifting priorities at the Justice Department, people familiar with the matter have said. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.Others potentially in the mix for the role include Lisa Monaco, a former homeland security adviser and senior Justice Department official in the Obama administration, and outgoing Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, who famously prosecuted Ku Klux Klan members who bombed a Birmingham church in the 1960s.The question for Biden, however, is how to balance top Cabinet picks as he attempts to fulfil his pledge for racial, ethnic and gender diversity. Many of Biden's leading nominees so far have been white, which could work against Yates, Monaco and Jones.Some Black Democrats are attempting to elevate former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who is Black and led the Justice Department's civil rights division under President Bill Clinton, in discussions about potential attorneys general.Whoever emerges as the nominee will be pressed to demonstrate independence from the new White House after Biden campaigned on a pledge to depoliticize the Justice Department.That could be tough, however, if the future attorney general faces calls for new probes into the Trump administration. Some investigations into Trump have been frozen because of the immunity he enjoys as president. Others swirling around members of his family and associates have been simmering for years.On Tuesday, an unsealed court filing revealed an investigation into a potential plot to solicit political donations in exchange for the president using his pardon power.Barr, for his part, insisted that he was trying to keep politics out of the Durham probe, explaining that is why he delayed announcing the special counsel appointment until a month after the election.“With the election approaching, I decided the best thing to do would be to appoint them under the same regulation that covered Bob Muller, to provide Durham and his team some assurance that they’d be able to complete their work regardless of the outcome of the election,” Barr said in an interview with the AP on Tuesday.“I wanted to have the team, both Durham and his team understand that they be able to finish their work,” Barr said.Durham has already been a huge disappointment for Trump and his allies, and prompted a dispute with Barr over why things weren’t moving faster and why the investigation did not yield major prosecutions in the weeks before the election. The investigation wasn’t expected to result in many more criminal charges, and there has only been one so far — a former FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty to a single charge.But the investigation is worth more politically than practically.A nearly 500-page inspector general report chronicled in great detail the errors and omissions FBI agents made in a series of applications to surveil Page. Declassified documents released by congressional Republicans have raised additional questions while not undercutting the overarching legitimacy of the Russia probe. And the facts of the one criminal case Durham has brought so far, against an FBI lawyer who admitted altering an email, were already mostly laid out in the watchdog report.There’s also been a degree of turmoil within Durham’s ranks as one of the team’s leaders, Nora Dannehy, resigned months ago, a significant departure given the active role she had played.___Miller reported from Wilmington, Delaware. Associated Press writers Eric Tucker and Colleen Long in Washington and Bill Barrow in Atlanta contributed to this report.Michael Balsamo And Zeke Miller, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday struggled with whether to require new trials for potentially thousands of prisoners who were convicted by non-unanimous juries before the court barred the practice earlier this year. The high court ruled 6-3 in April that juries in state criminal trials must be unanimous to convict a defendant. Previously, Louisiana and Oregon as well as the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico had allowed divided votes to result in convictions. In striking down the practice, the court said Louisiana and Oregon had originally adopted their rules for racially discriminatory reasons. Now, juries everywhere must vote unanimously to convict. But the Supreme Court's decision affected only future cases and cases in which the defendants were still appealing their convictions when the high court ruled. The question for the court now is whether the decision should be made retroactive. That would benefit prisoners convicted by non-unanimous juries whose cases were final before the court's ruling, but the states and federal government said it would also be incredibly burdensome. Several justices noted the very high bar past cases have set to making similar new rules retroactive while also suggesting this case might clear it. And the case did not seem to be one that would split the court along traditional liberal-conservative lines. “Why isn't unanimity basic?” Justice Stephen Breyer asked during arguments, which the court heard by phone because of the coronavirus pandemic. But Justice Samuel Alito expressed skepticism that the court should make this decision retroactive. He suggested the court has been hard pressed to find a similar case that should be made retroactive, comparing it to a “quest for an animal that was thought to have become extinct, like the Tasmanian tiger.” And Justice Brett Kavanaugh noted that the court has “a long line of cases ... where we have declined to apply a new rule retroactively” once cases have become final. Louisiana, Oregon and Puerto Rico could be forced to retry hundreds or thousands of people if the court’s decision were to be made retroactive, Louisiana has said. And several justices pressed the lawyers before them on how many people might need to be retried, with one lawyer saying it could be 1,000 to 1,600 in Louisiana alone. The Trump administration, for its part, has sided with the states and told the court that applying the decision retroactively would be “massively disruptive” in both Louisiana and Oregon and may mean “the release of violent offenders who cannot practically be retried.” The court's ruling in April produced an unusual lineup of justices, with liberals and conservatives on both sides of the decision. That’s because a key part of the case was whether to overrule a 1972 decision, and overturning precedent is a particularly charged issue on the court. This time around, it seemed votes could shift. Justice Elena Kagan, who was in dissent last time, siding against the inmate challenging a non-unanimous jury, seemed nonetheless sympathetic to the idea that the decision should be made retroactive, saying at one point: “How could it be that a rule like that does not have retroactive effect?” The case before the justices involves Louisiana prisoner Thedrick Edwards. A jury convicted Edwards of rape and multiple counts of armed robbery and kidnapping. The jury divided 10-2 on most of the robbery charges and 11-1 on the remaining charges. Edwards, who had confessed to police, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Edwards, who is Black, has argued among other things that prosecutors intentionally kept Black jurors off the case; the lone Black juror on the case voted to acquit him. Jessica Gresko, The Associated Press
Regina– Ambulance fees are going down for Saskatchewan senior citizens, the fulfillment of a Saskatchewan Party campaign promise in this past fall’s election. Seniors and Rural and Remote Health Minister Everett Hindley said in a ministerial statement in the Legislature on Dec. 2, “Starting on December 14, our government will further support Saskatchewan seniors aged 65 and older by reducing their ambulance fees from $275 per trip to $135 per trip. “That is a reduction of more than 50 per cent. In addition, seniors will now receive full coverage for all inter-facility transfers between hospitals health centres, integrated health centres, mental health and addiction centres, and special care homes. As we know seniors tend to need ambulance services more frequently and that many seniors live on fixed incomes. Seniors will receive financial relief through this reduction in their personal health care costs for the service. Having the ability to discharge or transfer patients to a facility closer to their home community, without concern about their ability to pay, will improve patient flow between our health care centres. “This investment by our government is expected to cost $2.2 million for this fiscal year and $6.6 million annually. These costs were accounted for and the Minister of Finance’s recently released mid year update. Our government values seniors in this province. We're working to provide them with quality, affordable health care.” To be eligible for SCAAP coverage, patients must be age 65 or over, hold a valid Saskatchewan health card and not have insured coverage by any other government service such as Health Canada, Workers Compensation (WCB) or Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), according to a government release. In response, New Democratic Party Seniors Critic Matt Love said, “Certainly, we welcome any effort to make life more affordable for seniors, particularly those who might be ill and in need of an ambulance. We recognize this as a small step in the right direction. But ultimately, this is a drop in the bucket towards reforming the most unsupported and expensive ambulance system in the country. “Eliminating fees for seniors being transferred between health facilities makes sense. But what this government should be doing is eliminating interhospital transfer fees entirely. No other province in the country charges patients to transfer them within the health system. This issue was identified by this government's first EMS (emergency medical services) review in 2008, and again, the review conducted in 2018. We know the community paramedicine program has been successful in keeping seniors in their homes and out of the hospital. And we wonder why these changes do not expand access to these services? We also know there's been a long-standing practice of excluding First Nations seniors from provincial senior subsidy programs, and anticipate hearing whether these benefits will be extended to First Nations as well. Today's announcement does nothing to address the long-standing issues of short staffing in long term care much more as needed, including minimum care standards,” Love concluded.Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Estevan Mercury
“It was a really bad year,” said Ann Marie Bagnall, chair of the Guysborough and Area Board of Trade, as the organization assesses 2020 and looks forward to the year ahead. In an interview Nov. 27, Bagnall told The Journal that the pandemic, and resulting restrictions, hit each of the 35 members of the organization differently, depending on which sector of the economy they belonged. But,overall, everyone struggled. “For every member it was difficult because it was so full of uncertainties. And there were so many changing protocols. Some of our members – like the restaurants, accommodations and retail that depend on a lot of tourist volume—they were very hard hit. And, it was difficult to plan; not knowing if you would be open the next day or week,” she said. The focus of the board this past year has been keeping the members abreast of the constantly changing programs and protocols. That was made a little easier when the board started to have weekly online meetings with Cape Breton-Canso MP Mike Kelloway, who represents the area covered by the board. That line of communication, said Bagnall, was critical. The board was able to give feedback about programs and make suggestions, which were used to adapt and modify some programs, such as the wage subsidy program and student job grants, to fit the needs of local businesses and non-profits. “That was what was so key about those meetings (with MP Kelloway); it really did result in changes. The programs themselves – the government was just trying to get them out so quickly – it was trying to address the majority. But, once you got into those details and you look at (board) members particular circumstances, they can’t qualify because of ‘X,’ but they should qualify. It was bringing those issues up and getting them addressed,” said Bagnall of the meeting outcomes. While it has been a very trying time, Bagnall said, unlike other boards she’s heard of, none of their members have had to close their doors permanently due to the impact of the pandemic. Nor have they, to the best of her knowledge, had any difficulty finding workers due to government programs such as CERB; a problem that was anticipated by some in the business community nationally. As we head into the second wave of the pandemic, Bagnall said she thinks board members are prepared to deal with the disruptions that may lie ahead. “I think we’re positioned to deal with it – it’s just a question of uncertainty. If you go into lockdown, how much inventory should I have beforehand? It’s the unknown; you gotta just roll with it, whatever happens. From the board’s perspective, we’re continuing to look at the support programs…. We’re going to keep following the same track we’ve been on.” That being said, the board has made a change regarding this year’s ‘Buy Local’ campaign. “The ‘Buy Local’ draw has been going on for quite a few years now and even last year we talk about the need to change it. This year we looked at it and said it was really impractical with COVID restrictions to have a draw done with ballots and people writing; there were a lot of issues if we were going to try to do that,” said Bagnall. So, instead of a draw, the board of trade has decided to donate half of the budget they have traditionally used for the ‘Buy Local’ campaign give-away, and “reinvest that in a charity in the community,” said Bagnall. “Major fundraisers for a lot of organizations have been so disrupted,” Bagnall said, which helped fuel the board’s decision to donate $250 to the Guysborough Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. “The work that they do, and the importance of the hospital,was highlighted this year,” said Bagnall, adding that,while the amount was not huge, “It could help in a small way. And show that we really do appreciate their effort.” While the pandemic has few silver linings, one of them might be the increased realization that we need local businesses to thrive, and – in order for them to do that – they need community support. “Buy local; that is key and that will continue to be key, even more if a lockdown occurs again…. I think it (lockdown) highlighted the services we have in Guysborough. Can you imagine if you had to go further afield to go grocery shopping, get drugs or gas,” said Bagnall, adding, “It was a year that really highlighted supporting those merchants and making sure that we kept them.”Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
As the death toll from illicit drug overdoses continues to mount unabated in B.C., advocates want more specialized services and harm reduction measures to help protect young people. Another 162 fatalities occurred in October due to toxic drug supply, for a total of 1,386 deaths in 2020, according to the BC Coroners Service's most recent figures. Of those killed this year by the overdose crisis, 19 per cent, or 269 deaths, were young people aged 29 years old or younger, with 14 of the dead under the age of 19, the coroners service figures show. Kali Sedgemore, a youth outreach worker and peer harm reduction advocate in Vancouver, said the ongoing public health emergency is in its fifth year, and COVID-19 is only exacerbating the harms. “We don’t even have time to grieve because we know we will hear about another (death) the next day,” Sedgemore said. The dangers of the toxic illicit drug supply are being compounded as people following pandemic protocols use illicit drugs alone and as harm reduction services have been reduced, or wait times have increased at overdose prevention sites (OPS) during the pandemic, Sedgemore added. Youth do not make up the largest number of fatalities, but all overdose deaths are largely unnecessary and preventable, Sedgemore said. In 2020, 70 per cent of those who have died from the toxic drug supply fall between the ages of 30 and 59, and males account for 80 per cent of the deaths to date. Most overdose fatalities involved people dying alone indoors. One immediate way to reduce the harms from toxic illicit drugs to youth is to provide harm reduction and OPS services dedicated strictly to their demographic, Sedgemore said. “Youth are vulnerable to manipulation by adults,” Sedgemore said, adding young people are at risk of being exploited sexually or for money or other reasons. Specialized harm reduction services are already hard to come by in urban areas such as Vancouver but are even more scarce in smaller communities and rural areas, Sedgemore said, noting they originally came from a small community from the northern part of Vancouver Island. Plus, young people — especially those under the age of 18 — are often deterred from using harm reduction services or supplies by providers due to their age, or can come under increased scrutiny from staff at these locations, they said. Both of these situations make youth uncomfortable, Sedgemore said. It’s also critical that medical professionals, social workers or other service providers don’t push youth into treatment before they are ready, Sedgemore stressed. Doing so only puts youth at increased risk, forcing them to be more secretive about any illicit drug use and increasing the unwillingness to use harm reduction services or call emergency services in case of an overdose. Research shows abstinence education, or the "just say no to drugs" approach, is not as effective as talking openly about illicit drugs, the associated risks and, if youth should choose to use them, how to do it safely, Sedgemore said. However, there is also the need for more youth treatment beds and shorter wait-lists for youth seeking help, Sedgemore said, especially closer to their own communities. “I don’t think it’s great sending a youth away from their own hometown and the people youth are used to seeing every day.” The B.C. government plans to double the number of treatment beds for youth aged 12 to 24 who are struggling with substance use. A total of 60 young people under the age of 24 lost their lives to fentanyl poisoning from toxic street drugs from January to June 2020, according to the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. The province committed $36 million to create another 123 treatment beds for young people, in addition to 20 beds recently established at a new youth facility in the Fraser Valley. Prior to the recent announcements, B.C. had 103 treatment beds for youth. The new beds are part of a broader continuum of care the B.C. government is planning for young people that will include culturally safe, youth-specific services in both rural and smaller city centres, the ministry stated. Building on its network of youth-specific mental health and substance use services, the province will develop eight new Foundry centres, for a total of 19 youth hubs. Foundry centres provide primary care, youth and family peer supports, walk-in counselling, mental health and substance use services and social services all under one roof. Steve Ayers, program manager for the Foundry located in Campbell River on Vancouver Island, agreed that youth benefit from specialized services and being in charge of any decisions about their drug or alcohol use. “If a counsellor is going to really be impactful, they have to let the client drive the process of making changes around substance use,” Ayers said. “The objective of substance use counselling is to help youth have a better life, and what are some concrete ways that might happen, depending on their choices of course,” he said. Many youth use substances to deal with trauma or anxiety, so alternate tools or strategies need to be developed to help young people deal with that suffering, he added. It’s dangerous to assume youth overdoses due to illicit drugs are only a big-city problem, Ayers said. “It’s absolutely a misconception,” he said, adding the issues that fuel youth substance use exist in every community across Canada. However, youth generally don’t tend to be as entrenched with illicit hard drugs as some other age demographics, especially in rural areas where supply might be limited, Ayers said. “If there’s no supply (of illicit drugs) kids will find other things to do to cope with what they are struggling with,” he said. However, kids and families in rural or remote communities such as the Discovery Islands or small communities across North Vancouver Island can face additional challenges or gaps in accessing supports, Ayers said. Many Foundry services are now available online to try to mitigate the challenges for youth living in more isolated communities who need support, especially with travel limitations due to the pandemic, he said. The youth hub also works with schools to meet with students during class time for those who have to bus in and out of Campbell River. Young people and their families just need to reach out and the Foundry will try to find a fix for any stumbling blocks to service, Ayers said. “We always seem to be able to find them and reach them with help,” he said. “Unless they're just not reaching out at all. And honestly, those are the people that we’re scared for most.” Rochelle Baker / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada's National ObserverRochelle Baker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
OTTAWA — The Liberals have officially started the clock toward a key vote that will determine the fate of billions of dollars in new pandemic-related aid — and the minority government.The federal government introduced a bill in the House of Commons Wednesday that would enact spending measures proposed in this week's fall economic statement.The Liberals will make passage of the legislation a confidence vote, meaning the minority government could fall and trigger an election if it doesn't garner the necessary support.Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre said his party would carefully read the bill to make sure it does what the government claims.Monday's update outlined just over $25 billion in new spending to top up and expand existing programs and create new, targeted support for hard-hit industries.The Liberals are also promising $1,200 per child under six for families earning up to $120,000, and $600 for families earning over that amount. The first payment is supposed to happen right after the bill passes, but the government is only suggesting it needs to introduce the legislation, not pass it, before MPs go on a winter break, Poilievre said."The government needs to tell us how it plans to make that payment if it doesn't have the legislation passed," he said after a morning caucus meeting.The economic statement also noted the deficit was on track to hit $381.6 billion this fiscal year, but warned the figure could close in on $400 billion if public health restrictions are extended or expanded in the coming weeks.The federal debt is set to push past $1.2 trillion, with more on the way in the coming years before accounting for the government's proposed three-year stimulus fund the Liberals say will be between $70 billion and $100 billion.Credit rating agency DBRS Morningstar, in an analysis Wednesday, said the cost of extra spending and debt could be worth it to avoid long-term scarring to the economy, which could take the form of people permanently out of jobs and more businesses closing for good.The agency added that the government will have to "recalibrate public finances" to keep deficits from becoming permanent. That won't be easy with a long list of policy promises, the agency said, pointing to a national child-care system, reform of the employment insurance system, green infrastructure spending and demands from provinces for increased health-care transfers."Given the medium-term fiscal outlook, there is limited space to fund sizable increases in permanent spending in a sustainable way without also raising revenues," the report said. "The government will face difficult fiscal (and political) choices as it prepares the 2021 Budget."A majority of MPs in the House of Commons on Wednesday backed a Bloc Quebecois motion that called on the federal government to increase its share of health-care spending before the end of the year.The vote isn’t binding on the government.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.The Canadian Press
BERLIN — Residents of Trier placed flowers and lit candles at the base of the southwestern German city's landmark Roman gate Wednesday in tribute to the five people who were killed and more than a dozen others injured when a man sped an SUV through a central pedestrian zone. His motive remained unclear.A judge ordered the suspect, a 51-year-old local man whose name hasn't been released, held in custody as he is investigated on five counts of murder, and 18 counts of attempted murder and causing bodily harm, prosecutor Peter Fritzen said in a statement.Authorities do not believe the suspect drove into the pedestrians on Tuesday for any political, religious or similar reason, but haven't yet been able to determine a motive, Fritzen said.Statements the suspect made to police immediately after his arrest kept changing and were "partially incomprehensible," the prosecutor said.“The suspect also showed psychological abnormalities in his behaviour during and after his arrest and in police custody,” Fritzen said. A comprehensive psychological examination has been ordered, but at the moment there are no “concrete indications” of a mental health condition that would rule out holding the suspect responsible for his actions.The man had been drinking heavily before the attack, Fritzen said. Questioning will continue over the next few days.“The victims and their families need answers,” Trier Mayor Wolfram Leibe told reporters near the makeshift memorial that was growing at the Roman gate, the Porta Nigra, near where the driver was arrested.The five people killed included a 45-year-old man and his 9 1/2-week-old daughter. The man's wife and 1 1/2-year-old son were among the injured receiving treatment in a hospital, police said.Police originally identified the baby as a 9-month-old but then corrected her age. The others killed were three women, ages 25, 52 and 73.All of those people killed were German citizens, and the man and his baby also had Greek citizenship, Fritzen said.Of the 18 people injured, six were considered in serious condition. The injured included a dual German-Dutch national and a citizen of nearby Luxembourg.Police received the first call about the attack at 1:47 p.m. and were able to apprehend the suspect four minutes later after he stopped the car and they blocked him in.Zig-zagging through the pedestrian zone, the suspect travelled about 800 metres (875 yards) in total, “leaving behind him a trail of dead, injured and rubble,” police said.___An earlier version of this story was corrected to show that the age of the youngest victim is 9 1/2 weeks, not 9 months, based upon corrected information received from police.David Rising, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — The scars from the 2014 attack on Parliament Hill are part of the "heritage fabric" of the iconic Centre Block and will not be fixed during extensive renovations on the building, according to a senior government official who provided a behind-the-scenes tour of the project.That includes a series of bullet holes in the Hall of Honour from a gunfight involving Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a sympathizer of the Islamic State militant group, on Oct. 22, 2014.Zehaf-Bibeau, who stormed Parliament Hill minutes after fatally shooting Cpl. Nathan Cirillo in front of the National War Memorial, was killed in the shootout involving security and the RCMP in the stonewalled hallway connecting the building's front door and the Library of Parliament.While parliamentarians were divided in the aftermath over whether to keep the bullet holes, Rob Wright, assistant deputy minister for Public Services and Procurement Canada and the official responsible for managing the renovations, says a decision was ultimately made to retain them."It's been decided that's part of the heritage fabric of this building now. So we plan on no changes to that," Wright said. "And those decisions would really be taken by Parliament."The bullet holes aren't the only elements of Centre Block that workers are planning to keep intact as they work to retain the heritage and style of the building housing the House of Commons and Senate, while also updating it for the 21st century.The upgrades will include adding modern heating, electrical and IT systems into the 100-year-old building. There will also be measures to make it carbon neutral, including plans to cover its three courtyards. Wright said Centre Block is the worst building for emissions in the parliamentary precinct. There is no plan to change the physical size of the House of Commons, even though the chamber that sat 338 MPs before closings its doors for the time being will eventually need to accommodate 450 as Canada's population growth adds to the ranks.Many other final design elements have yet to be nailed down. Until then, Wright is unable to say when the renovations will be finished — or how much they will cost.Previous reports have suggested the renovations would take at least 10 years. Wright said the government has never committed to that time frame. "We're getting more and more comfortable and confident that all of the decisions are coming together," he said. "And I think we should be in a good position in the first quarter of 2021 to really establish a baseline budget and schedule."While the government is consulting with parliamentarians throughout the renovations as well as a panel of experts, Wright said public consultations on what the building should look like will be launched early next year.The current Centre Block building is actually the second to be built on the spot, after the 1916 fire burned down the original, save the Library of Parliament. The House of Commons has been temporarily moved to the recently refitted West Block, while the Senate is located in what used to be Ottawa's central train station. On a behind-the-scenes visit to Centre Block Wednesday, excavators and a dump truck were seen working in a great 10-metre-deep pit that has been blasted in the ground in front of the Peace Tower. Workers in hard hats and safety all wore masks due to COVID-19 restrictions.Inside the building, the granite walls have been covered by plywood or stripped off the reveal old red and black bricks held together by cracked mortar. Exposed pipes and wires run along the ceiling while the floor contains work tables and tools along with crates, some of which bear warnings about asbestos.Workers have removed about 2,500 tonnes of asbestos from the building since demolition work started, Wright said. They have also carefully removed, recorded and packed numerous pieces of marble and granite from the walls.In the House of Commons, the hand-painted linen ceiling has been taken down and put in storage, while the Senate's collection of First World War paintings are at the Canadian War Museum. The two chambers are filled with scaffolding leading up to their respective ceilings.The final budget for the project has not been set, but Wright says about $120 million has been spent so far in stripping the building down. Wright says workers have found old newspaper articles as well as packs for gum and cigarettes in the walls.There were more interesting discoveries outside. The eastern wing of Centre Block is built on an old military outpost known as Barrack Hill, and Wright says workers found military buttons and insignia. They also found the original walls of several outpost buildings and an old arrowhead."Those are all being carefully stored and identified and catalogued," he said, adding they are working with the Algonquin Nation on transferring the arrowhead to them. Much of the work to date has taken place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wright said it hasn't really had an impact even though site hosts about 400 workers each day, with companies from Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia involved."I've been very impressed with how the construction industry has been able to adapt to this new challenge," he said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
As an extreme year for hurricanes, wildfires and heat waves comes to an end, the head of the United Nations challenged world leaders to make 2021 the year that humanity ends its “war on nature” and commits to a future free of planet-warming carbon pollution. With new reports highlighting 2020’s record-breaking weather and growing fossil fuels extraction that triggers global warming, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered yet another urgent appeal to curb climate change. It was tinged with optimism but delivered dire warnings, as the UN gears up for a Dec. 12 virtual climate summit in France on the 5th anniversary of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement. “The state of the planet is broken,” Guterres said in a speech at Columbia University. “Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal.” “Apocalyptic fires and floods, cyclones and hurricanes are increasingly the new normal,” he said. In a report, the World Meteorological Organization said this year is set to end about 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.2 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the last half of the 1800s, which scientists use as a baseline for warming caused by heat-trapping gases from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas. Most trapped heat goes into the world’s seas, and ocean temperatures now are at record levels. It also means 2020 will go down as one of the three hottest years on record. “There is at least a one-in-five chance of it temporarily exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2024,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said. The Paris climate accord set a goal of not exceeding 1.5-degree (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) warming since pre-industrial times. A new analysis by Climate Action Tracker scientists who monitor carbon pollution and pledges to cut them said public commitments to emission cuts, if kept, would limit warming to about 2.6 degrees Celsius (4.7 degrees Fahrenheit) and possibly as low as 2.1 degrees Celsius. Guterres saw hope in promises by more than 100 countries that by mid-century they will not be adding more heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere than trees and technology can remove, along with shorter term pollution cuts. China and U.S. President-elect Joe Biden have pledged net zero carbon emissions. “I firmly believe that 2021 can be a new kind of leap year — the year of a quantum leap towards carbon neutrality,” Guterres said. But he said the two U.N. reports Wednesday “spell out how close we are to climate catastrophe.” When countries spend trillions of dollars to recover from the pandemic-triggered economic slowdown, Guterres said they must to do so in a way that emphasizes clean energy. Nations should stop funding and subsidizing fossil fuels, he said. And countries need to fulfil their Paris promise to spend $100 billion annually to help poorer countries develop cleaner energy. Guterres said there’s no way the world can curb the climate change “without U.S. leadership” and urged students and other Americans to do “everything you can” to get their governments to curb emissions more quickly. One of the new reports found countries would need to cut production of oil, coal and natural gas by 6% each year by 2030 to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Instead, a review of eight major fossil-fuel producing nations showed they plan to increase production by 2% annually. That means twice the amount of carbon-based fuel would come onto the market than feasible to keep the Paris goal within reach. Governments in the Group of 20 major and emerging economies have so far committed more money to prop up fossil fuel sectors than to boost the rollout of renewable energy, the report found. Co-author Ivetta Gerasimchuk of the International Institute for Sustainable Development said investing in oil, coal and gas no longer makes economic sense because renewable energy is becoming cheaper than fossil fuels. But, she said, “We see that instead of governments letting these fossil fuel projects die they resurrect them from the dead.” The WMO’s report found global warming is worsening in all seven key climate indicators, but the problem is increasing human suffering in an already bad year. “In 2020, over 50 million people have been doubly hit: by climate-related disasters (floods, droughts and storms) and the COVID-19 pandemic,’’ the report said. ”Countries in Central America are suffering from the triple-impact of hurricanes Eta and Iota, COVID-19 and pre-existing humanitarian crises.” Among the dozens of extremes the report highlighted: -- A record 30 Atlantic named tropical storms and hurricanes. --Death Valley, California, hit 129.9 degrees (54.4 degrees Celsius), the hottest the world has seen in 80 years. --Record wildfires struck California and Colorado in the western United States, following a major fire season and record heat in Australia. --The Arctic had record wildfires and a prolonged heat wave culminating in a 100-degree mark (38 degrees Celsius) in Siberia in June. --Record low Arctic sea ice was reported for April and August and the yearly minimum, in September, was the second lowest on record. --More than 2,000 people died in record summer rains and flooding in Pakistan and surrounding nations. While these events can’t solely be blamed on climate change, “these are the types of events scientists fear will increase due to climate change,” said Cornell University climate scientist Natalie Mahowald, who wasn’t part of the report. “Human activities are at the root of our descent towards chaos,” Guterres said. “But that means human action can solve it.” ___ Follow AP’s climate coverage at https://www.apnews.com/Climate ___ Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter at @borenbears . Follow Frank Jordans on Twitter at @wirereporter . ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Seth Borenstein And Frank Jordans, The Associated Press
As Alberta rolls out COVID-19 vaccines in three phases next year, most members of the public will likely have to wait until summer for their shots, Premier Jason Kenney says.Paul Wynnyk, a deputy minister in the municipal affairs department, has been appointed to lead Alberta's vaccine task force, which will be a multi-disciplinary team drawn from across the public service, Kenney said at a news conference Wednesday.Phase 1 of the vaccine roll out will happen in the first three months of 2021, he said, when it's anticipated that vaccines will been given to about 435,000 people, a little more than 10 per cent of the population.Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses to be fully effective, with three to six weeks between doses, which means vaccinating 435,000 people would require 870,000 doses."Not all of this will arrive at once," Kenney said. "We've been assured by the federal government that shipments will begin to arrive by Jan. 4 and continue to arrive in waves throughout the early part of next year."Phase 1 will focus entirely on the province most at-risk populations, he said, which includes residents of long-term care homes and designated supported-living facilities, staff who work in those facilities, on-reserve First Nations people, and other health-care workers.Each dose 'represents an Albertan'Wynnyk served as an officer in the Canadian Forces for more than 38 years, rising to command of the Canadian Army, before joining Alberta's public service."I look forward to the challenge ahead, and I want to be very clear that I do not look at these vaccines simply as objects to deliver or a work task to complete," he said at the news conference."Each and every dose of vaccine represents an Albertan who needs to be protected, and is vital to protecting not just their health but their livelihoods as well. My commitment to Albertans is that we will do everything within our control to ensure no Albertan has to wait any longer than absolutely necessary."WATCH | Kenney and Hinshaw discuss vaccinesPhase 2 of the roll out will run from April to June, with the goal by the end of the period to have 30 per cent of the population immunized, Kenney said."By the summer, we plan to begin Phase 3, where vaccine will be offered to all Albertans. And that means it will be months before vaccine is available to the general population. This is the unfortunate reality that Canadians across the country face, and people around the world."The risk of hospitalizations and COVID-19 deaths will decline significantly once the most vulnerable people are vaccinated, he said."I know people are getting tired and frustrated, but this is evidence that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and we can see this critical juncture, when we will get past the terrible damage that COVID-19 has caused for our society."So my message to Albertans today is this: We are ready for the vaccine, and we have a plan to get it out to you as quickly and safely as possible."Latest case numbersThe province reported 1,685 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 10 more deaths.The total number of active cases in the province reached 17,144, an increase of 516 from the day before.A total of 561 people have now died from the disease since the start of the pandemic.On Wednesday, Alberta hospitals were treating 504 patients with the illness, including 97 in ICU beds.The province has now surpassed 61,000 total cases, meaning about one in every 73 Albertans has so far contracted the disease."Around the world, there has been great progress on the development of COVID-19 vaccines," Premier Jason Kenney said at a news conference on Wednesday. "We know that effective vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna will be ready for distribution here in Canada within weeks."While the province cannot control when those vaccines arrive in Alberta, it will be ready to roll them out as quickly as possible, Kenney said.Vaccine will not be mandatoryQuick and effective distribution of the vaccine will be essential to the province's economic recovery, Kenney said, and will be a matter of life and death for many Albertans and their families."Before I continue, I want to be clear, Alberta's government will not make any mandatory vaccination," the premier said. "Some think that this is controversial but we don't live in a country where government can inject you with something against your will.The government will soon amend the Public Health Act to remove the power of mandatory inoculation that has been on the books since 1910, Kenney said."But we need as many Albertans as possible to get vaccinated. And let me be clear about that I will certainly choose to receive this vaccine when it's my turn, and I strongly urge others to do so."Alberta prepared for vaccine distributionAlberta is well-prepared to receive, distribute and administer vaccines as soon as they arrive, Kenney said.Alberta Health Services has 13 vaccine depots throughout the province, all of which can receive and distribute the Moderna vaccine, which needs to be stored and transported at -20 C.Another 17 facilities in the province are also able to handle vaccine storage, meaning there are a total of 30 depots across Alberta."The Pfizer vaccine, on the other hand, requires ultra-cold transportation and freezing, at 80 degrees below zero Celsius," Kenney said."Currently, three of our 13 vaccine depots can receive and store the Pfizer vaccine, and AHS is working to expand that capacity as we speak, ordering additional freezers and related equipment."Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, attended the news conference with Kenney and Wynnyk."We must continue to work together over the coming months to keep our numbers down, until enough Albertans have received their full series of vaccine to keep COVID under control," Hinshaw said."The actions each of us take right now are vital in slowing spread and bending the curve, as we are each others' vaccine until the vaccine arrives."The regional breakdown of active cases on Wednesday was: * Edmonton zone: 7,857 * Calgary zone: 6,331 * Central zone: 1,226 * North zone: 967 * South zone: 663 * Unknown: 100 Albertans need to prepare themselves for smaller Christmas celebrations, top doctor says
“We need to flip the switch on COVID-19 right now,” said Premier Stephen McNeil last week after 37 people tested positive for the virus in one day. And flip the switch he did with the province tightening restrictions on gatherings in the Halifax area and asking all Nova Scotians to stay away from the provincial capital, unless a trip is absolutely necessary. The spike in COVID cases was not unexpected, but vigilance will ensure a full lockdown, like the one the province entered last March, will not be required once again. Local government, businesses and citizens in the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) are all altering their plans to help alleviate the impact of the second wave of the pandemic. Last week, the MODG announced that all of its organized public events would be cancelled until further notice. Angie Tavares, MODG director of recreation, told The Journal on Friday [Nov. 27], “We want to be sure; we don’t want to be responsible for an increase in our area. We want to stay ahead of things; we want our community to stay safe so we can hopefully have a somewhat regular Christmas.” Tavares added that the cancellation of events was especially difficult for seniors. For some, it’s the only social outing they have, she said. “It’s really hard for us to make those calls but we’re doing it to keep people safe,so that hopefully in the new year we can come back strong and be together.” Some local businesses have also changed their plans due to the upsurge of cases in Halifax. Operators of Quarry Cove Air B&B; in Halfway Cove decided to close all bookings until at least the start of 2021.They had a reservation for 10 people from the Halifax area last week and contacted the guests to cancel the dates. “With the recent surge [in COVID-19 case] we are not comfortable having people coming into the area when it is not essential,” said Quarry Cove’s operators. Local crafters and artisans have also had their prime sales’ seasons disrupted. Many Christmas craft markets in the area have chosen not to run this year, but many of those who had planned to roll out their wares are pursuing different avenues for sales. The Christmas Village Market in Whitehead was cancelled last week,following the lead of the MODG. Kristen Conway Sangster, a member of the Whitehead Community Association that hosts and organizes the sale, told The Journal in an online interview that, “Although disappointed, the vendors were very understanding, it seems most committed knowing the possibility of the risk in cancellation. The association members were heartbroken to cancel such an admired event. However,it felt necessary to follow in the direction of MODG and other community events that announced cancellation. It is extremely important to keep the health of our community … first and foremost. Hopefully, the Christmas Village Market 2021 will be the biggest of all.” Some of the vendors that would have been at the Whitehead event have turned to marketing their products on social media, and local pop-up shop Curio Emporium will host a number of the vendors over the next few weeks. The small house at the end of Whitehead Rd. is the home of the Emporium, which is run by the Conway sisters. The impact of increased cases in the province has also affected families in a significant way. Carmen Barron is very active in her granddaughter Bella’s life. She travels to Dartmouth biweekly to bring Bella to her home in Manchester, Guysborough County. This past weekend, in any normal year, they would have been celebrating Bella’s birthday with her Guysborough friends and getting ready to take their annual trip to Cuba. Barron said of Halifax, “We’re avoiding it totally … It was a decision that she, and I and her grandfather — the three of us on FaceTime – made together. She was pretty stoic … but she was pretty upset, her mom said.” Barron is now hoping that the next big event on the calendar won’t be disrupted by COVID. “We’re not going to be picking her up again until the 23rd and that is only if everything is clear…. It certainly has impacted our family; having to open presents on Facetime and stuff like that.” But Barron is quick to point out that despite these setbacks, “We’re lucky, we are so lucky compared to people whose grandchildren live out West. They don’t see them as often as we do…. You learn not to take anything for granted anymore, which is positive. You have to look for some of the positives.”Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
He's also releasing a Muskoka-scented candle.
SaskPower is warning the public about potential scam artists who are collecting information from its customers.On Tuesday, the company rolled back customers' power bills by 10 per cent, fulfilling a campaign promise by the Saskatchewan Party.The rebate is automatic and nobody has to fill out an application.However, SaskPower says they've been told about people going door-to-door in Regina telling customers that they have to apply."One scammer has been described as wearing a blue uniform with no logos, a name tag, and wearing a mask," the company said in a news release.Although there's no money changing hands, SaskPower thinks the scammers want to use the information for illegal purposes.They say if anybody encounters one of these people, they should call SaskPower customer service (1-888-757-6937) or the police.Rebate will last for a yearThe provincial government says the rebate will continue for a year and will cost $262 million.The money will come out of the general revenues, rather than from SaskPower.Customers with Saskatchewan's two municipal utilities, Swift Current Light and Power and Saskatoon Light and Power, will receive the same rebate.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A noontime boom that was heard and felt from southern Ontario to Virginia was likely caused by a disintegrating meteor, according to an organization in western New York that keeps track of such phenomena. Witnesses across the area reported hearing the boom or seeing a fireball in the sky shortly after noon on Wednesday, said Robert Lunsford of the American Meteor Society in Geneseo. By 5 p.m., the organization had recorded 90 reports of the fireball seen in Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ontario, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Police agencies and fire departments around central New York received 911 calls reporting a boom that shook windows, but clouds prevented sightings in much of the area. Since most reports of the boom were around Syracuse, that's likely where the meteor blew to bits, Lunsford said. On the society's website, an observer in western New York reported the fireball was bright white with shades of yellow. An observer in Hagerstown, Maryland reported a fireball with red and orange sparks, smoke and a persistent train. A report from Welland, Ontario, described a long, bright green train. “Sunny day so it looked like a gold metallic flash against the blue sky,” said a report from Winchester, Virginia. “Astonishing, amazing, still get goosebumps talking about it,” wrote an observer in Port Dover, Ontario. “The train was flaming white, wide and long, no smoke.” “We tend to notice fireballs more at night because they stand out better, but it's not terribly unusual for very bright ones to be noticed during the day. It happens several times a year over populated areas,” said Margaret Campbell-Brown, a member of the Meteor Physics Group at Western University in London, Ontario. All fireballs, which are bright meteors, produce sound waves, sometimes detectable only by sensitive microphones, Campbell-Brown said by email. A large one may produce a thunderlike sonic boom with possible extra bangs from fragmentation, she said. The Associated Press
Saint-Luc-de-Vincennes – La campagne de financement participatif «Priorité des Chenaux» a connu un vif succès, alors qu'elle a atteint 129% de son objectif, fixé à l'origine à 20 000$. Ce sont au final plus de 22 940$ qui ont été récoltés en soutenant les entreprises et artisans locaux de la MRC à l'approche du temps des Fêtes. En plus d'encourager l'achat local, cette campagne avait aussi comme but d'offrir un appui financier aux organismes de première ligne qui se voient imposer d'imposants défis à quelques semaines de Noël. Ainsi, grâce à «Priorité des Chenaux», les centres d'action bénévole de la Moraine et des Riverains recevront chacun 5 000$, argent qui sera utilisé pour confectionner des paniers de Noël et mettre en place de l'aide alimentaire pour des familles démunies du territoire. Il s'agit là d'un exemple concret de la solidarité qui prévaut dans la MRC de Mékinac selon les organisateurs de l'initiative.Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
LOS ANGELES — Rafer Johnson, who won the decathlon at the 1960 Rome Olympics and helped subdue Robert F. Kennedy’s assassin in 1968, died Wednesday. He was 86.He died at his home in the Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles, according to family friend Michael Roth. No cause of death was announced.Johnson was among the world’s greatest athletes from 1955 through his Olympic triumph in 1960, winning a national decathlon championship in 1956 and a silver medal at the Melbourne Olympics that same year.His Olympic career included carrying the U.S. flag at the 1960 Games and lighting the torch at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to open the 1984 Games. Johnson set world records in the decathlon three different times amid a fierce rivalry with his UCLA teammate C.K. Yang of Taiwan and Vasily Kuznetsov of the former Soviet Union.Johnson won a gold medal at the Pan American Games in 1955 while competing in just his fourth decathlon. At a welcome home meet afterward in Kingsburg, California, he set his first world record, breaking the mark of two-time Olympic champion and his childhood hero Bob Mathias.On June 5, 1968, Johnson was working on Kennedy's presidential campaign when the Democratic candidate was shot in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Johnson joined former NFL star Rosey Grier and journalist George Plimpton in apprehending Sirhan Sirhan moments after he shot Kennedy, who died the next day.“I knew he did everything he could to take care of Uncle Bobby at his most vulnerable moment,” Kennedy's niece, Maria Shriver, said by phone. “His devotion to Uncle Bobby was pure and real. He had protected his friend. Even after Uncle Bobby's death he stayed close.”Johnson later called the assassination “one of the most devastating moments in my life.”Born Rafer Lewis Johnson on Aug. 18, 1934, in Hillsboro, Texas, he moved to California in 1945 with his family, including his brother Jim, a future NFL Hall of Fame inductee. Although some sources cite Johnson's birth year as 1935, the family has said that is incorrect.They eventually settled in Kingsburg, near Fresno in the San Joaquin Valley. It was less than 25 miles from Tulare, the hometown of Mathias, who would win the decathlon at the 1948 and 1952 Olympics and prove an early inspiration to Johnson.Johnson was a standout student and played football, basketball, baseball and track and field at Kingsburg Joint Union High. At 6-foot-3 and 200-plus pounds, he looked more like a linebacker than a track and field athlete.During his junior year of high school, Johnson’s coach took him to Tulare to watch Mathias compete in a decathlon, an experience Johnson later said spurred him to take up the grueling 10-event sport.As a freshman at UCLA, where he received academic and athletic scholarships, Johnson won gold at the the 1955 Pan Am Games, and set a world record of 7,985 points.After winning the national decathlon championship in 1956, Johnson was the favourite for the Olympics in Melbourne, but pulled a stomach muscle and strained a knee while training. He was forced to withdraw from the long jump, for which he had also qualified, but tried to gut out the decathlon.Johnson’s teammate Milt Campbell, a virtual unknown, gave the performance of his life, finishing with 7,937 points to win gold, 350 ahead of Johnson.It was the last time Johnson would ever come in second.Johnson, Yang, and Kuznetzov had their way with the record books between the 1956 and 1960 Olympics.Kuznetzov, a two-time Olympic bronze medallist who the Soviets called their “man of steel,” broke Johnson’s world record in May 1958 with 8,016 points.Later that year at a U.S.-Soviet dual meet in Moscow, Johnson beat Kuznetzov by 405 points and reclaimed the world record with 8,302 points. Johnson won over the Soviet audience with his gutsy performance in front of what had been a hostile crowd.A car accident and subsequent back injury kept Johnson out of competition during 1959, but he was healthy again for the Olympics in 1960.Yang was his primary competition in Rome. Yang won six of the first nine events, but Johnson led by 66 points going into the 1,500 metres, the decathlon’s final event.Johnson had to finish within 10 seconds of Yang, which was no small feat as Yang was much stronger running at distance than Johnson.Johnson finished just 1.2 seconds and six yards behind Yang to win the gold. Yang earned silver and Kuznetsov took bronze.At UCLA, Johnson played basketball for coach John Wooden, becoming a starter on the 1958-59 team. In 1958, he was elected student body president, the third Black to hold the office in school history.“He stood for what he believed in and he did it in a very classy way with grace and dignity,” Olympic champion swimmer Janet Evans said by phone.Evans last saw Johnson, who attended her 2004 wedding, at a luncheon in his honour in May 2019.“We were all there to fete him and he just didn’t want to be in the spotlight,” she said. “That was one of the things I loved about him. He didn’t want credit.”Johnson retired from competition after the Rome Olympics. He began acting in movies, including appearances in “Wild in the Country” with Elvis Presley, “None But the Brave” with Frank Sinatra and the 1989 James Bond film “License to Kill.” He worked briefly as a TV sportscaster before becoming a vice-president at Continental Telephone in 1971.In 1984 Johnson lit the Olympic flame for the Los Angeles Games. He took the torch from Gina Hemphill, granddaughter of Olympic great Jesse Owens, who ran it into the Coliseum."Standing there and looking out, I remember thinking ‘I wish I had a camera,’" Johnson said. "My hair was standing straight up on my arm. Words really seem inadequate."Throughout his life, Johnson was widely known for his humanitarian efforts.He served on the organizing committee of the first Special Olympics in Chicago in 1968, working with founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Johnson founded California Special Olympics the following year at a time when positive role models for the intellectually and physically disabled were rare.“Rafer really paved the path for many of us to understand the responsibilities that come with being a successful athlete and the number of lives you can impact and change,” Evans said.Maria Shriver recalled meeting Johnson for the first time at age 10 or 11 through her mother Eunice.“He and I joked that I’ve been in love with him ever since,” she said. “He really was an extraordinary man, such a loving, gracious, elegant, humble man who handled his success in such a beautiful way and stayed so true to himself throughout his life.”Peter Ueberroth, who chose Johnson to light the Olympic torch in 1984, called him “just one great person, a marvelous human being.”Johnson worked for the Peace Corps, March of Dimes, Muscular Dystrophy Association and American Red Cross. In 2016, he received the UCLA Medal, the university's highest award for extraordinary accomplishments. The school's track is named for Johnson and his wife Betsy.His children, Jenny Johnson Jordan and Josh Johnson, were athletes themselves. Jenny was a beach volleyball player who competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and is on the coaching staff of UCLA's beach volleyball team. Josh competed in javelin at UCLA, where he was an All-American.Besides his wife of 49 years and children, he is survived by son-in-law Kevin Jordan and four grandchildren.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsBeth Harris, The Associated Press
Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the priority list for the first COVID-19 vaccines is being refined because there won't be enough doses available in the first round to cover the initial groups recommended.
The Town of Deer Lake is set to begin gradually reopening some of its municipal buildings on Saturday, after taking its own initiative in closing them down due to a small cluster of COVID-19 cases.Those cases — including one in an elementary school — sprang up in the community over the last two weeks, prompting town officials to turn out the lights at several public facilities. The Hodder Memorial Recreation Centre will reopen to the public on Saturday. The town is reminding groups to review the safety measures previously established for arenas, outlined on the provincial government's COVID-19 website.The Deer Lake town office will resume operations on Monday.Businesses in Deer Lake that were asked to cease regular operations can now begin to reopen, based on their own unique protocols, according to a town media release."The cooperation and dedication of Deer Lake residents in controlling the spread of this virus in our community is truly remarkable," said Mayor Dean Ball in the media release."This virus has changed our daily lives significantly, [and] this surely hasn't been an easy time for anyone. I am confident that our united commitment and community spirit will carry us forward as we deal with the COVID-19 virus."On Wednesday Fitzgerald said public health is still keeping an eye on small clusters of COVID-19 cases located throughout the province — including Deer Lake. "Some people in Grand Bank have gotten through their isolation periods, but not everyone has. So we're still following up, and same for Deer Lake — we're only about half way through that," said Fitzgerald in Wednesday's live COVID-19 briefing."We're watching things closely. Anyone who was a close contact may go on to develop symptoms, so that's certainly something we're watching out for. But, by and large, we know what's happening there and we feel comfortable with where we are now."Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Saint-Tite – L'entreprise Albert Veillette & Fils pourrait entamer des procédures judiciaires contre la Ville de Baie-Comeau, elle qui se retrouve plongée dans une controverse impliquant son célèbre «Steak à Veillette», pendant que le maire de la municipalité de la Côte-Nord tenterait de protéger ses commerces locaux. Des commerçants de l'endroit ont dénoncé, lors d'une récente séance du conseil municipal, que l'institution mauricienne vienne leur faire concurrence de façon déloyale chez eux. Citant le fait qu'ils sont des payeurs de taxes, en opposition à Albert Veillette & Fils, ces commerçants ont demandé au maire de défendre leurs intérêts. Lorsqu'interpellé, Yves Montigny a répondu du tac au tac. «C'est un produit acheté dans une chaudière, qui a été attendri par une machine, qu'on doit cuire bien cuit comme une semelle de botte pour être sûr de ne pas s'empoisonner.» Des commentaires qui ont touché droit au cœur le copropriétaire de la boucherie de Saint-Tite, Gilles Veillette. «C'est inconcevable qu'un maire dise ça. C'est discriminatoire : il utilise son pouvoir pour avoir une influence sur le commercial. C'est tout à son honneur de vouloir protéger les commerces de Baie-Comeau, mais c'est la manière qui dérange», tranche-t-il. L'homme d'affaires se défend : la présence de l'entreprise à Baie-Comeau visait à effectuer la livraison de marchandise en ligne et non à faire de la sollicitation. «Ils ont un règlement avec lequel ils veulent nous obliger à aller livrer aux maisons. Avant, c'était l'inverse, ils ne voulaient pas qu'on aille aux portes. On ne fait pas de vente sur place, on fait juste de la livraison. C'est un non-sens que le maire décide de la façon dont on va livrer. Le maire utilise son pouvoir discrétionnaire. Notre présence peut déranger certains commerces, mais tout ce que je veux, c'est gagner ma vie», exprime M. Veillette. «C'est triste, parce que je n'aime pas être mêlé à ces tempêtes-là. On a du plaisir à faire notre travail. C'est sûr et certain qu'on va se défendre.» Le copropriétaire aurait tenté de joindre l'administration municipale, sans succès. «Je veux parler personnellement au maire. C'est un homme que je ne connais même pas. Si je n'ai pas de réponse de la Ville, on n'aura pas le choix d'y aller avec nos avocats. On étudie présentement quelles mesures seraient appropriées», confie-t-il. La Ville de Baie-Comeau n'a pas retourné nos appels. Toutefois, le porte-parole de la municipalité, Mathieu Pineault, a affirmé à TVA Nouvelles que les propos du maire avaient «peut-être été loin», mais qu'il était «normal qu'un maire encourage l'achat local» chez lui.Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board (WECDSB) has dismissed two cohorts of students because of confirmed COVID-19 cases at the two schools.In an email, WECDSB communications coordinator Stephen Fields said that the board dismissed one class of 23 students at St. Pius X Catholic Elementary School in Tecumseh, and another class of 10 at St. Anne Catholic High School in Lakeshore.According to the board's COVID-19 information page, each school has one active case of COVID-19, and both cases are students. Both schools remain open."We learned of these confirmed cases this morning and have notified the affected students that they are not to attend school tomorrow," the email reads."We have been working with the health unit by providing list of students and staff who may have been directly affected. The health unit is contacting any individuals, both students and staff, who may have been affected, and will give directions for them to follow."Earlier on Wednesday, the health unit declared an outbreak in a cohort of students at Corpus Christi Catholic Middle School.The board said it has sent a voice message to both school communities, and that if parents have not been contacted by the health unit, their children may continue to attend school."We want to assure parents that we are cooperating with the health unit and doing everything we can to make sure that we continue to provide safe and healthy learning environments for their children," the email said.