Health Minister Patty Hajdu said Thursday the federal government would invest $4 million on an Indigenous-led consortium created to educate health professionals on Indigenous issues, and create access to care that is free of discrimination.
Health Minister Patty Hajdu said Thursday the federal government would invest $4 million on an Indigenous-led consortium created to educate health professionals on Indigenous issues, and create access to care that is free of discrimination.
(Leah Mills/Jennifer Gauthier/Reuters - image credit) Donald Trump's actions will take centre stage in a Vancouver courtroom this week as Meng Wanzhou's lawyers try to prove the former U.S. president poisoned extradition proceedings against the Huawei executive. The case should be tossed out because of alleged political interference, Meng's lawyers are expected to argue at the first of three sets of B.C. Supreme Court hearings scheduled to stretch into mid-May. A decision on the extradition request isn't expected until much later this year. The 49-year-old, who is Huawei's chief financial officer, is charged with fraud and conspiracy in New York in relation to allegations she lied to an HSBC banker in Hong Kong in 2013 about Huawei's control of a subsidiary accused of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. The arguments related to the former president concern a statement he made to a Reuters reporter in the weeks after Meng's arrest at Vancouver's airport on Dec. 1, 2018. At the time, Trump said he would "certainly intervene" if he thought it was necessary to help the U.S. reach a trade deal with China. Charter rights argument could be 'decider' The Crown — which represents the U.S. in the proceeding — contends there's no evidence Trump made good on his words and that any possible influence he could have had on the case ended along with his term in office. University of B.C. professor Michael Byers, an expert on international law, says he doubts the defence team will have much success convincing Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes the U.S. Department of Justice has been swayed by political considerations. Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, the founder of the telecommunications giant. She is accused of fraud and conspiracy. But he does think they'll have a better shot in the coming weeks with claims Meng's rights were breached on her arrival when Canada Border Services Agency officers questioned her for three hours before RCMP executed a warrant calling for her "immediate arrest." "That three-hour period could well have constituted a violation of her Section 7 rights to security of the person under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. "And so if the extradition judge is to rule that Ms. Meng should be set free, my expectation is that it's that particular element of the case that will be the decider." Meng is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, the man who became a billionaire by turning his global communications giant into a flagship business prized by the Chinese state. Meng's legal team includes lawyers from firms across Canada. And her case is being spearheaded by Vancouver's Richard Peck, of Peck and Company. Strategy to have case thrown out Along with arguments about Trump's role, the allegations related to Meng's treatment by the CBSA are part of a multi-pronged defence strategy to have the proceedings stayed. Meng's lawyers also claim the U.S. misled Canada about the strength of its case and that American prosecutors are reaching far beyond their jurisdiction by trying a Chinese citizen for a conversation that took place in Hong Kong with an executive for an English bank. Meng Wanzhou's lawyers are expected to claim her charter rights were violated during her first few hours in CBSA custody. Holmes will hear submissions about the events surrounding Meng's arrest during the second stretch of hearings, scheduled to begin in mid-March. The defence claims the CBSA conspired with the RCMP and CBSA to have border agents question Meng without a lawyer. They also seized her cellphones and later gave the passcodes to police, in contravention of policy. The defence has accused the RCMP of sending technical information from Meng's electronic devices to the Americans. A senior officer who was in touch with a legal attache for the FBI has refused to testify — and last month, Meng's lawyers announced their intention to try to force the Crown to disclose their communication with him about that decision. 'An irritant' in U.S.-China relationship In court documents filed in advance of this week's hearing, Meng's lawyers cited comments by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about a need to tie a trade deal between the U.S and China to the resolution of Meng's situation and the fate of two Canadians imprisoned in China. Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor have been accused of spying by the Chinese government in what most observers believe is retaliation for Meng's arrest. Michael Kovrig, left, and Michael Spavor, right, were arrested by China in the wake of charges against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. U.S. President Joe Biden has called for their release. The Crown doesn't make any mention of the so-called "two Michaels" in its submissions, but the defence claims the constellation of factors riding on the case has made it extremely difficult for Meng to defend herself without worrying about the impact on others. U.S. President Joe Biden called on China to release Kovrig and Spavor last week following a bilateral meeting with Trudeau, saying "human beings are not bartering chips." Byers believes Biden may decide to bring an end to efforts to extradite Meng in the coming months as he looks to improve the U.S. relationship with China. "It is in the hands of the Biden administration to end this case. And the Biden administration will be in the process now of resetting the relationship between the United States and China. That is a hugely important relationship, for economic reasons, for security reasons. "Those two superpowers need to get along. They need to get things done. And Ms. Meng's presence in Vancouver is an irritant in that relationship." To that end, reports by the Wall Street Journal and Reuters last December claimed Meng was in discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice to bring an end to the case through a deal that would see her admit to some wrongdoing in exchange for a deferred prosecution agreement. In an exclusive interview with CBC's chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton, newly appointed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said any deal would have to be made free of geopolitical considerations. "We follow the law. We follow the facts. "And one of the things that we don't do is have politics or foreign policy interfere in the workings of the Justice Department."
Dans le cadre de la journée santé et ressourcement pour le communautaire, la concertation régionale des organismes communautaires de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue (CROC-AT) a participé, avec cinq autres régions à un zoom interrégional afin de souligner la campagne « Engagez-vous pour le communautaire » ainsi que pour la journée mondiale de la justice sociale. Un salon santé et ressourcement L’animation de la rencontre était assurée par l’artiste québécois Yves Lambert pour divertir tout en musique et en conte ce moment privilégié. « Au niveau de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, le comité mobilisation de la région a organisé un salon santé et ressourcement pour le milieu communautaire de manière virtuel » a déclaré David-Alexandre Desrosiers de la CROC-AT. Les participants à cette grande rencontre ont également pris le temps de d’échanger d’anecdotes cocasses ainsi que des belles expériences vécues dans les organismes. L’enjeu de l’épuisement professionnel Le contexte de la pandémie a démontré comment le rôle des organismes communautaires est très important et comment ils ont tenu à bout de bras une partie importante du filet social, pendant la pandémie de la COVID-19. La journée santé et ressourcement pour le communautaire pour souligner leur rôle et la grande valeur ajoutée de ces organismes dans la vie de tous les jours. « Plusieurs activités ont eu lieu : un conteur sur l’heure du midi, une séance d’étirement ergonomique, une conférence sur l’épuisement professionnel, une séance de yoga et d’art-thérapie » fait savoir David-Alexandre Desrosiers. Un moment pour recharger leur batterie Pour souligner à leur façon la Journée mondiale pour la justice sociale, six regroupements régionaux d’organismes communautaires autonomes se sont mobilisés afin de créer une journée de ressourcement pour ces artisan(e)s qui visent à améliorer la qualité de vie dans leur communauté. Partout au Québec, des actions ont eu lieu aujourd’hui, dans le cadre de la campagne « Engagez-vous pour le communautaire ». « Il était important pour nous que les travailleuses et les travailleurs du mouvement prennent un moment pour recharger leur batterie. C’est notre façon de leur montrer à quel point, elles et ils font la différence au quotidien dans leur communauté » a-t-il conclu. Moulay Hicham Mouatadid, Initiative de journalisme local, Reflet Témiscamien (Le)
JUNEAU, Alaska — Scientists in Alaska have discovered 10 cases of a new coronavirus strain that researchers have said is more contagious and potentially more effective at evading vaccines. The B.1.429 variant, first discovered in California, was identified in Alaska in early January and has since been detected nine more times, according to a report released on Wednesday by scientists assembled by the state to investigate new strains. At least six groups of B.1.429 cases have been detected statewide this year, the report said. Scientists and public health officials have expressed concerns about multiple new strains of the coronavirus, which they say could prolong the pandemic even as governments scale up their vaccination efforts, KTOO-FM reported. State public health officials also said they have identified two cases of the more contagious B.1.1.7 strain, first discovered in the United Kingdom, along with one case of the P.1 strain, which was first seen in Brazil. The P.1 strain is also more contagious, and vaccines may be less viable against it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designates the P.1 and B.1.1.7 strains as “variants of concern.” The CDC has not yet designated the B.1.429 variant first found in California as a variant of concern. The Associated Press
Infectious diseases expert Dr. Isaac Bogoch checks in with The Morning Show to answers the latest coronavirus questions.
(Anna Desmarais/CBC North - image credit) One Fort Liard, N.W.T., resident is asking the territory to control the area's bison population before someone gets hurt, after hearing about a deadly encounter with the animal last year in Yukon. Bison were introduced to Fort Liard in 1980, as part of the territory's strategy to revive the endangered species. Resident John Gonet said the animals have been running wild in the hamlet ever since, taking over public spaces like the schoolyard or the airport landing strip. "They shouldn't be in the community," Gonet told CBC. "A buffalo is a wild animal." Gonet said residents of the hamlet have asked the territory and their MLAs to intervene for decades, but very little has been done to mitigate the problem. Now, after reading about a deadly encounter with bison last year in Yukon, he said it's finally time for the government to step in — before someone gets hurt. "That's probably what it will take, for someone to get hurt or killed," Gonet said. "It's very, very frustrating — so I hope they do something about it." Bison considered 'threatened' species in N.W.T. The bison issue has changed some aspects of Gonet and his family's home life. Gonet used to build a snow slide for his five-year-old grandson every winter, but stopped doing so when he realized herds of buffalo crossed through his backyard. "[My grandson] is too scared to come out here, when there's 2,500 pound animals [nearby]," Gonet said. Bison walking down the street opposite Gonet's home in Fort Liard, N.W.T. Gonet said people are constantly watching to make sure bison are not crossing through their yards before going outside, because it would be difficult to fend off the animal. Since 2016, wood bison have been listed as "threatened" on the territory's list of species at risk, and under federal bodies including the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and the Canadian Species at Risk Act. One of the risks to wood bison, according to the N.W.T.'s website, is conflicts between humans and bison due to a "lack of public acceptance in some areas." No threat to community, N.W.T. says Julien Sabourin, a renewable resource officer with the territory's Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR), said bison in the Liard Valley often wander into Fort Liard because they see it as a sanctuary from their predators, like wolves. Sabourin says they don't pose any threat to the community. "People in Fort Liard, they're pretty good at respecting the bison," he said. "Usually bison are afraid of people as well." Fort Liard has a local ENR officer, who chases out bison after getting complaints from people in town. Sabourin said it depends how often the officer responds to these calls, but it can happen "weekly". Last year, the department teamed up with local hunters who have the appropriate tags to harvest bison closer to the hamlet's limits. What that does, Saboruin continued, is it lets bison know that the hamlet is less of a safe haven for them, driving them further away. Sabourin said the hunt was successful, and there could be plans to do another one in the future. A 2019 management strategy created by the territory to manage the Nahanni herd also suggests the creation of a "diversion habitat" to drive bison out of the hamlet. Sabourin said this project is being looked into, but there is no timeline yet for when it will be put in place. Meanwhile, the department's biologists are just finishing a survey recording the size of the Nahanni herd. Once the department has a population estimate, Sabourin continued, they might consider giving more tags to hunters as a means to regulate the population.
(Submitted by Joseph Luri - image credit) When the calls come from cash-strapped loved ones in war-torn Syria, Edmontonian Mohamad Mawed and his Canadian relatives band together to send what money they can. But for refugee families trying to eke out a new life in Canada, there is little to spare. "When people ask you for help, sometimes you cannot because you don't have ability," said Mawed, a settlement worker, who came to Canada in 2014. "This will be our heart breaking." It's a similar story for countless Edmontonians anxious about the plight of family members worldwide facing hunger, poverty, disease, conflict, disaster, political upheaval and human rights abuses. Despite finding a safe haven in Canada, devastating events unfolding in their country of origin still take a psychological and financial toll. According to Dr. Karin Linschoten, clinical director for counselling services at the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers (EMCN), roughly 30 percent of Edmontonians are refugees or immigrants, potentially impacted by hardship overseas. She says the result can be aggravated symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or sleepless nights fearing for loved ones amid frantic calls to check on their wellbeing. "That immediately affects their stress level, their mental health level, and it immediately affects their functioning," Linschoten said. She noted that problems often persist years after a war has officially ended and faded from the headlines, for instance in Afghanistan. "So the impact it has on the people here is also still happening, even if we don't hear anything about it," Linschoten said. Two months to access therapy But with more people seeking counselling since the beginning of the pandemic, it's harder to access support. Wait times at EMCN have shot up from four weeks to more than two months. "Which is terrible — I have no other word for it, because people need support," said Linschoten. "Many communities have associations and they are really good support for each other ... It would be good if these associations would themselves get more support so they can more easily organize these things." The burden has only worsened as poverty increases in households throughout Edmonton because of COVID-19. At EMCN, Joseph Luri oversees programs for youth and families with roots in countries such as South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia and Democratic Republic of Congo where relatives and friends have been displaced by conflict. "You can see that your people are suffering, you can see that there is a need when you receive those phone calls," Luri said. "But there is nothing much one can do because so many of the community members have either been laid off from their jobs or they have had their hours cut. And so it becomes really difficult. It has resulted in a lot of mental health challenges." 'I feel a lot of guilt living here' The impact of overseas disasters is not just felt by first-generation Canadian immigrants. After the Ethiopian government launched a military offensive against leaders in the northern region of Tigray last November, Edmonton-born Giyona Tiku couldn't look away. "All day, from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep, this is what I think about while struggling to focus on work and school in between," said Tiku, 29, about the region where she has made many trips to visit aunts, uncles and cousins. "I've had family members who have moved to the capital during this time and young men who when soldiers approached their hometowns, who fled into the mountains, who hid in remote caves." Often unable to reach loved ones, Tiku monitors the unfolding humanitarian disaster that has reportedly displaced and cut off millions from food and healthcare as reports emerge of mass killings, gang rape, and other human rights violations by pro-government forces. On Saturday, U.S. authorities called for the atrocities to be independently investigated, urging the Ethiopian government to end hostilities and troops from neighbouring Eritrea to withdraw. Tiku wants the Canadian government to take a similar stance. "I don't know how horrible the experience of my family has been throughout this time," said Tiku. "I feel a lot of guilt living here. I can't even describe the level of helplessness, like we see how horrible this situation is and all we can do is try to get people to hear us and hope that they can do something about it."
BERLIN — Germans flocked to the salons Monday as hairdressers across the country reopened after a 2 1/2-month closure, another cautious step toward normality as Germany balances a desire to loosen restrictions with concerns about more contagious virus variants. The move came after many German elementary students returned to school a week ago, following a decision by Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany’s 16 state governors. They will confer again on Wednesday to decide how to proceed with the rest of Germany’s coronavirus restrictions, which at present run until Sunday. Some German states also allowed businesses such as florists and hardware stores to open on Monday. Most stores have been closed nationwide since Dec. 16. Restaurants, bars, sports and leisure facilities have been closed since Nov. 2 and hotels are allowed only to accommodate business travellers. At his Liebe zum Detail ("Love of Detail") salon in Cologne, manager Marc Nicolas Bruehl said he is fully booked for the next four weeks. “There is a certain ambivalence about it, because on the one hand we are of course happy to be able to open up again and to earn money ourselves again," he said. "On the other hand, the increasing numbers and the emerging (virus) mutations are of course also something that concerns us.” Customer Udo Matzka, 64, said he was “totally happy that I can be here today.” “I wouldn't have thought how systemically relevant a hairdresser can be," he said. There are increasing calls for restrictions to be further relaxed, but also a desire to remain cautious. A steady decline in daily new infections has stalled, and even been reversed in some areas, as a more contagious variant first discovered in Britain spreads. “This week will set the course for the coming months,” said Bavarian governor Markus Soeder, an advocate of a cautious approach. He called the virus situation “unstable” and said authorities must not “fly blind into a third wave.” “It's really important that we make smart decisions this week,” he said. “Smart decisions means that the mood must be taken on board — we must find the right balance between caution and opening, and we absolutely must not lose our nerves ... and simply fulfil all wishes.” Germany’s disease control centre reported 4,732 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours and another 60 deaths, bringing Germany's overall pandemic death toll to 70,105. The number of new cases over seven days stood at nearly 66 per 100,000 residents — far below its peak of nearly 200 just before Christmas but also well above the level of 35 at which, under existing plans, the government wanted to loosen rules further. Germany had given 4.9% of its population a first vaccine shot as of Sunday, while 2.5% had received a second jab — relatively slow progress that has drawn sharp criticism. Bavaria and two neighbouring states, meanwhile, plan to give 15,000 vaccine doses to the neighbouring Czech Republic, which currently has the highest infection rate in the 27-nation European Union. Soeder said the “symbolic measure” ultimately helps Germany, because Czech authorities want to use it in high-risk areas near the border and vaccinate cross-border commuters. He also suggested that virus hotspots along the border should receive a greater share of available tests and vaccines to help contain the spread there. Most of the German counties with high infection rates are near the Czech border. ___ Daniel Niemann in Cologne and Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report. ___ Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Geir Moulson, The Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaska Department of Health and Human Services has reported fewer than 100 influenza cases in the state during this flu season, down from close to 400 cases at this time last year. While 13 state residents died with the flu last season, so far this season, only two flu deaths have been recorded in Alaska, the Anchorage Daily News reported on Sunday. The 2018-19 flu season yielded almost 12 times more flu cases in the state compared to the ongoing 2020-21 season, said Carrie Edmonson, a state nurse epidemiologist who compiles the state’s weekly “flu snapshot” report. Flu death data for the entire U.S. population is hard to compile quickly, but Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials maintain a count on how many children die from influenza. One pediatric flu death has been reported so far this season compared to 195 deaths in the 2019-20 season. During the 2019-2020 influenza season, the CDC estimated that influenza was associated with 38 million illnesses, 18 million medical visits, 405,000 hospitalizations, and 22,000 deaths across the country. “This is the lowest flu season we’ve had on record,” according to a surveillance system that is about 25 years old, said Lynnette Brammer of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health officials such as Edmonson have said that public health orders aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus have also prevented the flu from spreading. Officials also attribute the flu's decline to less influenza testing and increased flu vaccinations, the newspaper reported. The Associated Press
ORLANDO, Fla. — Jonathan Suárez's contact was terminated by Major League Soccer's Orlando City following his arrest last week. The 24-year-old, whose full name is Jonathan Suárez Cortes, and brother Rafael Suárez were arrested Feb. 23 and accused of sexually assaulting a woman, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. Major League Soccer suspended the player last week pending an investigation. Jonathan Suárez had been acquired on loan from Mexico's Querétaro last month. Orlando City said in a statement Sunday that Suárez's contract had been terminated “with the defender mutually agreeing to the termination in order to focus on the allegations made against him." ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Filming a polar bear just inches from its nose, close enough to see its breath fog up the lens, was a career highlight for Jeff Thrasher. The CBC producer is part of the team behind "Arctic Vets," a new show that follows the day-to-day operations at Assiniboine Park Conservancy in Winnipeg."It was breathing warm air onto the lens. I was thinking, 'Wow, there's nothing between me and this polar bear,"' Thrasher said, who filmed the shot using a GoPro camera up in Churchill, Man. The show is also the first time cameras have been allowed in the Winnipeg facility, which houses Arctic animals like seals, polar bears and muskox."I've filmed many, many things in my career and that's right up there," Thrasher said. There are 10 half-hour episodes in the new series that features expeditions to Manitoba's subarctic, emergency animal rescues and daily life at the conservancy. The first episode follows veterinarian Chris Enright to Churchill just as polar bears are starting to migrate up the coast of Hudson Bay. When a bear wanders too close to town, Enright works with the local Polar Bear Alert Team to catch it and lift it by helicopter to a safe distance away. In the same episode, back in Winnipeg, the team trims the hooves of resident 800-pound muskox, Chloe.Although being around Arctic animals is part of Enright's daily life, he hopes the show will help bring southern Canadians a little closer to the North."This is our norm. But it's not the norm for a lot of people, so the show is a good opportunity to tell these stories," he said. "We have herds of caribou that rival migrating animals on the Serengeti, but people in the South don't necessarily know about that. And that's really unfortunate, because there's some incredible wildlife in the North."Enright also hopes the show will urge Canadians to think about protecting the country's Arctic ecosystems, which face the critical threat of climate change."There's a lot of concern with the effects of climate change and over the next 50, 100 years what's going to happen. As southerners, there are things we can do to protect and conserve those ecosystems," he said. The COVID-19 pandemic also hit in the middle of filming, which Enright said prevented the team from travelling into Nunavut.Jackie Enberg, an animal care supervisor and Heather Penner, an animal care professional, are also featured in the show for their work with polar bears."It's not just animal care or vet care, or conservation and research. It's all of it. We all have a great passion to educate and share and help inspire other people to make a difference, whether it's to make changes in your lives or just talk about," Penner said.Enberg said the bears featured in the show were rescued when they were a few years old. "They're here because they could not survive in the wild," Enberg said. "We just ultimately hope people will fall in love with polar bears as much as we have," Penner said. "Arctic Vets" premiers Friday, Feb. 26 at 8:30 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem. By Emma Tranter in Iqaluit, NunavutThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021.---This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version erroneously reported that "Arctic Vets" premiers Friday at 8 p.m. In fact, it airs Friday at 8:30 p.m.
LOS ANGELES — Chloé Zhao became the second woman to win best director at the Golden Globes and the first female winner of Asian descent on a night in which her film “Nomadland” was crowned the top drama film. Zhao, who was among three women nominated in the directing category, was honoured for her work on “Nomadland,” about people who take to the road and move from place to place seeking work for usually low wages. It stars two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand and includes nonprofessional actors. “I especially want to thank the nomads who shared their stories with us,” Zhao said, accepting the directing honour virtually on Sunday night. She singled out real-life nomad Bob Wells, who appears in the movie, for help with her remarks. “This is what he said about compassion,” Zhao said. “Compassion is the breakdown of all the barriers between us. A heart to heart pounding. Your pain is my pain. It’s mingled and shared between us.” The 38-year-old director who lives in Los Angeles is a leading Oscar contender for “Nomadland,” which is in select theatres and streaming on Hulu. “Now this is why I fell in love with making movies and telling stories because it gives us a chance to laugh and cry together and it gives us a chance to learn from each other and to have more compassion for each other,” Zhao said in her acceptance remarks. “So thank you everyone who made it possible to do what I love.” She joins Barbra Streisand, who won in 1984 for “Yentl,” as the only women to win directing honours at the Globes. Until this year, just five women had been nominated in the category. “Sometimes a first feels like a long time coming. You feel like, it’s about time,” Zhao said in virtual backstage comments. “I’m sure there’s many others before me that deserve the same recognition. If this means more people like me get to live their dreams and do what I do, I’m happy.” Regina King ("One Night in Miami...") and Emerald Fennell ("Promising Young Woman") were the other female director nominees. Zhao also was nominated for best motion picture screenplay and lost to Aaron Sorkin. McDormand received a nod for actress in a motion picture drama, but lost. Born in China, Zhao made her feature directing debut in 2015 with “Songs My Brother Taught Me.” She broke out in 2017 with “The Rider.” Next up for her is the big-budget Marvel film “Eternals,” set for release this fall. Beth Harris, The Associated Press
(Katrine Deniset/Radio-Canada - image credit) Aisha Barise says martial arts has always been a source of empowerment. As a Muslim woman who wears a hijab, she says even the naysayers, skeptical of her place in taekwondo and karate, were just fodder for her competitive fire. "Nobody can tell me what to do," she said. "I'm very competitive and it drives me and it motivates me, going out there looking different and then competing." Now, after a string of attacks on six Muslim women in a 10-week span, she is sharing what she knows with other women in self-defence classes organized by Muslim community groups in Edmonton. "There aren't many people who look like me that train in martial arts, that compete in martial arts. So that's why I took this opportunity," she said in an interview before Sunday's class at Markaz-Ul-Islam mosque. The four weekly classes, which began Feb. 21, each host around 24 people after organizers got the go-ahead from provincial health officials, said Noor Al-Henedy, director of communications at Al-Rashid Mosque. They sold out within hours, she said, with requests to add at least six more classes. It's a sign, she says, of widespread concern among the city's Muslim community. "When we look at the bigger picture, there's a huge education piece that needs to be done. Our city has to come together, our province, our country, to fight Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, hatred and racism," Al-Henedy said. 'You are very strong' The recent spate of daytime attacks against Muslim women wearing headscarves dates back to December. A mother and a daughter were assaulted in the parking lot of Southgate Centre on Dec. 8. A week later, a woman was assaulted while waiting for a train at the nearby Southgate LRT station. On Feb. 3, two women were assaulted in separate incidents, one at the University Transit Centre and the other near 100th Street and 82nd Avenue. Then, two weeks later, a Black Muslim woman was threatened at the Century Park LRT. "It cannot be something that's acceptable or something that only pops on the news and is normal. It cannot become the norm," Al-Henedy said. Barise, the instructor, says that while the physical element of self-defence is a given, there's an important psychological dimension as well. "As women we're always taught to not fight back ... to not to do anything, to not act, to not retaliate," she said. But self-defence instills a participant with a sense of their own agency, with the message that "you are very strong and you're very capable," Barise said. Despite the empowering message, Barise says she's still heartbroken to see a group of mostly mothers join a class out of fear for the safety of themselves and their families. "Mothers that genuinely want safety for their kids," she said. "These really vulnerable people were coming here asking for my help, and for me it was such a personal thing for a mother to come here with her kids in order to defend them and empower them."
PARIS — A Paris court on Monday found French former President Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of corruption and influence peddling and sentenced him to one year in prison and a two-year suspended sentence. The 66-year-old politician, who was president from 2007 to 2012, was convicted for having tried to illegally obtain information from a senior magistrate in 2014 about a legal action in which he was involved. The court said Sarkozy will be entitled to request to be detained at home with an electronic bracelet. Sarkozy will face another trial later this month along with 13 other people on charges of illegal financing of his 2012 presidential campaign. THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below. The verdict is expected on Monday in a landmark corruption and influence-peddling trial that has put French former President Nicolas Sarkozy at risk of a prison sentence if he is convicted. Sarkozy, who was president from 2007 to 2012, firmly denied all the allegations against him during the 10-day trial that took place at the end of last year. The 66-year-old politician is suspected of having tried to illegally obtain information from a senior magistrate in 2014 about a legal action in which he was involved. This is the first time in France’s modern history that a former president has gone on trial for corruption. Sarkozy’s predecessor, Jacques Chirac, was found guilty in 2011 of misuse of public money and given a two-year suspended prison sentence for actions during his time as Paris mayor. Sarkozy’s co-defendants — his lawyer and longtime friend Thierry Herzog, 65, and now-retired magistrate Gilbert Azibert, 74 — also deny wrongdoing. Prosecutors have requested two years of prison and a two-year suspended sentence for all three defendants over what they said was a “corruption pact.” “No pact has ever existed,” Sarkozy told the court. “Neither in my head, nor in reality.” “I want to be cleared of that infamy,” he added. The trial focused on phone conversations that took place in February 2014. At the time, investigative judges had launched an inquiry into the financing of the 2007 presidential campaign. During the investigation they incidentally discovered that Sarkozy and Herzog were communicating via secret mobile phones registered to the alias “Paul Bismuth.” Conversations wiretapped on these phones led prosecutors to suspect Sarkozy and Herzog of promising Azibert a job in Monaco in exchange for leaking information about another legal case, known by the name of France’s richest woman, L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. In one of these phone calls with Herzog, Sarkozy said of Azibert : “I’ll make him move up ... I’ll help him.” In another, Herzog reminded Sarkozy to “say a word” for Azibert during a trip to Monaco. Legal proceedings against Sarkozy have been dropped in the Bettencourt case. Azibert never got the Monaco job. Prosecutors have concluded, however, that the “clearly stated promise” constitutes in itself a corruption offence under French law, even if the promise wasn't fulfilled. Sarkozy vigorously denies any malicious intention. He told the court that his political life was all about “giving (people) a little help. That all it is, a little help.” “I was 100 billion miles away from thinking we were doing something we did not have the right to do,” he said. Sarkozy said he did not get confidential information from Azibert. Prosecutors believe Sarkozy was at some point informed that the secret phones were being wiretapped and that it is the reason why he did not ultimately help Azibert get the job. The confidentiality of communications between a lawyer and his client has been a major point of contention in the trial. “You have in front of you a man of whom more that 3,700 private conversations have been wiretapped... What did I do to deserve that?” Sarkozy said. Sarkozy’s defence lawyer, Jacqueline Laffont, argued the whole case was based on “small talk” between a lawyer and his client. “You don’t have the beginning of a piece of evidence, not the slightness witness account, the slightness declaration,” she told the court. Sarkozy withdrew from active politics after failing to be chosen as his conservative party’s presidential candidate for France’s 2017 election, won by Emmanuel Macron. He remains very popular amid right-wing voters, however, and plays a major role behind the scenes, including through maintaining a relationship with Macron, whom he is said to advise on certain topics. His memoirs published this summer, “The Time of Storms,” was a bestseller for weeks. Sarkozy will face another trial later this month along with 13 other people on charges of illegal financing of his 2012 presidential campaign. His conservative party is suspected of having spent 42.8 million euros ($50.7 million), almost twice the maximum authorized, to finance the campaign, which ended in victory for Socialist rival Francois Hollande. In another investigation opened in 2013, Sarkozy is accused of having taken millions from then-Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi to illegally finance his 2007 campaign. He was handed preliminary charges of passive corruption, illegal campaign financing, concealment of stolen assets from Libya and criminal association. He has denied wrongdoing. Sylvie Corbet, The Associated Press
LEVERKUSEN, Germany — Bayer Leverkusen right back Timothy Fosu-Mensah will be out for several months with a cruciate ligament tear in his right knee, the German club said Monday. Fosu-Mensah was injured just before halftime in Leverkusen's 2-1 loss to Freiburg on Sunday. The club said he will need an operation and is expected to spend “the coming months” on the sidelines. It’s the second serious knee injury of the Dutch defender's career. He also needed ligament surgery while on loan at Fulham in April 2019 and missed most of Manchester United's 2019-20 season. “It is a hard blow for Timothy,” Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes said. “We will do everything we can to support him, so that he can come back stronger from this difficult situation.” Fosu-Mensah, who signed from Manchester United less than two months ago, has played every minute of Leverkusen's last six Bundesliga games. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
La MRC de Nicolet-Yamaska doit au cours des prochains mois cartographier sa résilience face aux changements climatiques. Les inondations, canicules, sécheresses et grands vents observés ces dernières années laissent des traces. Et la MRC cherche à les recenser. La MRC va faire le diagnostic de l’impact qu’a le climat sur l’ensemble de ses équipements, services et infrastructures. «On veut évaluer la vulnérabilité de notre territoire, voir en quoi elles sont impactées par ces différents événements climatiques. La MRC va tenter de classifier les risques et tenir compte de cette vulnérabilité dans la gestion future de ses actifs», explique Michel Côté, directeur général de la MRC. «Les changements climatiques constituent l’un des enjeux majeurs auxquels les municipalités sont confrontées. Leurs effets exigent des mesures d’adaptation fortes et innovantes. Cela nous conduira très certainement à revoir certaines de ces manières de faire, et à penser différemment nos modes de développement», soutient Geneviève Dubois, préfète de la MRC de Nicolet-Yamaska. L’ensemble des professionnels des différentes municipalités de la MRC de Nicolet-Yamaska sera mobilisé. Une conseillère en environnement a été embauchée par la MRC pour travailler le dossier. Le bureau de génie de la Fédération québécoise des municipalités va lui donner un coup de main avec le concours des différents départements de Travaux publics et d’urbanisme du territoire. Le gouvernement du Québec finance le projet à hauteur de 64 500$. La MRC assume quant à elle 35% de la facture. Ce diagnostic de vulnérabilité doit être complété d’ici 12 mois. Des sommes additionnelles seront requises lors de la phase de mise en oeuvre du Plan d’action qui en découlera. La MRC affirme rester à l’affût de nouvelles possibilités de financement. Boris Chassagne, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix du Sud
LONDON — Prince Philip was transferred Monday to a specialized London heart hospital to undergo testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition as he continues treatment for an unspecified infection, Buckingham Palace said. The 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II was moved from King Edward VII's Hospital, where he has been treated since Feb. 17, to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, which specializes in cardiac care. As Philip was moved into a waiting ambulance for the transfer, people held up open umbrellas to shield him from photographers and the public. The palace says Philip “remains comfortable and is responding to treatment but is expected to remain in hospital until at least the end of the week.’’ Philip was admitted to the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in London after feeling ill. Philip’s illness is not believed to be related to COVID-19. Both he and the queen, 94, received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in early January. The Bart’s Heart Centre is Europe’s biggest specialized cardiovascular centre, the National Health Service said. The centre seeks to perform more heart surgery, MRI and CT scans than any other service in the world. Philip, who retired from royal duties in 2017, rarely appears in public. During England’s current coronavirus lockdown, Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, has been staying at Windsor Castle, west of London, with the queen. Philip married the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and is the longest-serving royal consort in British history. He and the queen have four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Danica Kirka, The Associated Press
Community organizations in Timmins have prepared a few events in celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD). It is marked annually on March 8. In the past, the Timmins and Area Women in Crisis (TAWC) has hosted a dinner honouring 10 women who have overcome adversity and contributed to the community. This year, the organization is hoping to honour at least 30 women each day starting on March 8. Until March 3, TAWC is accepting nominations of extraordinary women who deserve recognition. The selected women will receive gift boxes with self-care products, all made by local women. “We wanted to make it a little bit extra special,” said Caroline Martel, TAWC’s manager of programs and services. “We wanted to honour women who’ve gone above and beyond during the pandemic … like frontline workers and health workers, teachers. If anyone knows anyone who’s really stepped up this year, we really want to hear their stories and nominate them.” Nomination forms can be found here or by emailing TAWC. Ellevive will host a free virtual meeting with Quebec singer Nathalie Simard on March 8 and 9. Simard will share her personal journey and testimony from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The event is held in partnership with a Sudbury-based Centre Victoria pour femmes, Fem'aide and the Office of Francophone Affairs at Laurentian University. For Ellevive’s and Centre Victoria’s clients, an exclusive activity will be offered on March 10. For another virtual event on March 8, the Timmins Chamber of Commerce has invited Erin Elofson of Pinterest Canada. Elofson is an innovator, project manager and head of the Canada, Australia and New Zealand region at Pinterest, which is a visual discovery engine where users share images and find inspiration and ideas. At the event, she will talk about women in leadership roles, the importance of having a curated digital presence and female parity on governing boards. The event will be held via Zoom from noon till 1 p.m. It costs $25 plus tax for chamber members and $40 for general admission. To register, click here. Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com
Sundridge may be on the verge of eliminating an algae problem with its lagoons by using ultrasound. Council received a presentation about the cutting-edge technology from Paul Dyrda, the senior operations manager at the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA). Dyrda says the ultrasound technology, called LG Sonic, works, and he wants council to approve the purchase of the $31,000 equipment. That may happen this month when council debates the presentation. Dyrda says the density and heaviness of the algal blooms at Sundridge's lagoons has “overwhelmed” the wastewater treatment system in the past. “The facilities were not designed to treat water with that amount of algae,” he explains. As a result, Dyrda says, the village's facility failed to meet environmental compliance objectives during warm weather since that's when algae is most active. At one point, Dyrda says, OCWA considered using a floating ball system where enough balls are placed in the water system that they block the sun's ultraviolet rays which, in turn, stops the algae growth. The problem is the cost worked out to be $500,000. OCWA applied for government funding for the floating balls, but the request was rejected. However, around the same time, Dyrda says, OCWA staff learned about the ultrasonic technology, which breaks the algae down at a cellular level and then it dies. OCWA received permission from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks to try the technology on one of the lagoons last summer. “So for two months we had the algae-control device in the middle of one lagoon and compared it to the other lagoon without the device,” Dyrda says. “The difference was dramatic. The difference between the two lagoons was unbelievable and it was very successful.” Dyrda says the ultrasonic technology is so cutting-edge he doesn't believe any other municipality has government approval to use it. Dyrda says the one “caveat” with the technology is it only works on breaking down blue-green algae and green algae, which now plague the village's lagoons. “So there's the potential that you get rid of one algae, but then another type takes its place,” he told council. But, he added, there is no other option, like spending half a million dollars on the floating balls “which may or may not have worked. “This (ultrasonic technology) is the better option of the two,” Dyrda said. He wants council to approve the purchase so the equipment can be installed once the snow is gone. In addition to the $31,000 cost, installation wouldn't exceed $5,000. Dyrda says last summer's pilot project made the village's lagoons compliant with government regulations and said once the LG Sonic system is in place “all the effluent water that's going to leave the lagoons is going to be compliant.” With Dyrda during the presentation was OCWA's business development manager, Ted Smider. “Sundridge is a pioneer in this and I know other parts of OCWA are looking at this particular technology to be used, so you're the first,” Smider said. In response Mayor Lyle Hall said he was sure the village would hear more about the technology in the future and added “hopefully, we'll be the model for other organizations and municipalities.” Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget
“Later,” by Stephen King (Hard Case Crime) Stephen King gets a lot of credit for creating the monsters under kids’ beds (here’s looking at you, Pennywise), but not enough for this simple fact: The guy gets kids. Their fears, certainly, but also their voices, the way they see the world differently than adults. To a long list that includes Danny Torrance from “The Shining” and Gordie Lachance from “The Body,” we can now add Jamie Conklin, the star of King’s most recent novel, “Later.” Published under the Hard Case Crime imprint, which also distributed “The Colorado Kid” (2005) and “Joyland” (2013) — “Later” is narrated by 22-year-old Jamie, looking back on his formative years. He begins his story at age 6, when he first figured out he could see and talk to the dead. It’s that gift which propels the plot of this slim novel. Encouraged by his mother’s NYPD girlfriend, Liz, Jamie gets tied up in the pursuit of a serial bomber in New York. It’s not giving too much away to say he helps crack the case, but to say what happens after that would spoil all the fun. There’s classic King here for fans. Imagine the carnage on any given day in the Big Apple and then imagine being a young man seeing the mangled dead walking around in the afterlife, with holes in their heads “as big as a dessert plate and surrounded by irregular fangs of bone.” But even amid the gore and escalating tension, King finds moments to make Jamie relatable. As Liz and his mom argue at the scene of a crime, we pop inside Jamie’s head before he screams at them. “One of the worst things about being a kid, maybe the very worst, is how grownups ignore you when they get going" on their own issues, writes King. In the end, the story Jamie narrates to readers climaxes in a thrilling whodunit, while uncovering truths about Jamie’s life that might have been better left buried. For as the novel’s cover declares: “Only the dead have no secrets.” Rob Merrill, The Associated Press
(Heidi Atter/CBC - image credit) The Regina Police Service is seeking help from the public after a man was robbed at gunpoint in northeast Regina, Sunday. The incident happened at around 1:40 a.m. in the 400 block of Broad Street North. Police say a man walked up to a driver and pointed a black handgun at him, instructing him to get out of the car. The suspect then got in the car and drove south on Broad Street, police said. The stolen car is a 2012 black Honda Accord, with damage to the front passenger fender. Police describe the suspect as five-foot-10, wearing a black and white bandanna, a black hoodie and several rings. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (306) 777-6500 or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-8477.