WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement officials are examining a number of threats aimed at members of Congress as the second trial of former President Donald Trump nears, including ominous chatter about killing legislators or attacking them outside of the U.S. Capitol, a U.S. official told The Associated Press. The threats, and concerns that armed protesters could return to sack the Capitol anew, have prompted the U.S. Capitol Police and other federal law enforcement to insist thousands of National Guard troops remain in Washington as the Senate moves forward with plans for Trump's trial, the official said. The shocking insurrection at the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob prompted federal officials to rethink security in and around its landmarks, resulting in an unprecedented lockdown for Biden's inauguration. Though the event went off without any problems and armed protests around the country did not materialize, the threats to lawmakers ahead of Trump's trial exemplified the continued potential for danger. Similar to those intercepted by investigators ahead of Biden’s inauguration, the threats that law enforcement agents are tracking vary in specificity and credibility, said the official, who had been briefed on the matter. Mainly posted online and in chat groups, the messages have included plots to attack members of Congress during travel to and from the Capitol complex during the trial, according to the official. The official was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation publicly and spoke Sunday to the AP on condition of anonymity. Law enforcement officials are already starting to plan for the possibility of armed protesters returning to the nation's capital when Trump’s Senate trial on a charge of inciting a violent insurrection begins the week of Feb. 8. It would be the first impeachment trial of a former U.S. president. Though much of the security apparatus around Washington set up after the Jan. 6 riot and ahead of Biden’s inauguration — it included scores of military checkpoints and hundreds of additional law enforcement personnel — is no longer in place, about 7,000 members of the National Guard will remain to assist federal law enforcement, officials said. Gen. Dan Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said Monday that about 13,000 Guard members are still deployed in D.C., and that their numbers would shrink to 7,000 by the end of this week. John Whitley, the acting secretary of the Army, told a Pentagon news conference that this number is based on requests for assistance from the Capitol Police, the Park Police, the Secret Service and the Metropolitan Police Department. Whitley said the number is to drop to 5,000 by mid-March. Thousands of Trump’s supporters descended on the Capitol on Jan. 6 as Congress met to certify Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential race. More than 800 are believed to have made their way into the Capitol during the violent siege, pushing past overwhelmed police officers. The Capitol police said they planned for a free speech protest, not a riot, and were caught off guard despite intelligence suggesting the rally would descend into a riot. Five people died in the melee, including a Capitol police officer who was struck in the head with a fire extinguisher. At least five people facing federal charges have suggested they believed they were taking orders from Trump when they marched on Capitol Hill to challenge the certification of Biden’s election victory. But now those comments, captured in interviews with reporters and federal agents, are likely to take centre stage as Democrats lay out their case. More than 130 people have been charged by federal prosecutors for their roles in the riot. In recent weeks, others have been arrested after posting threats against members of Congress. They include a Proud Boys supporter who authorities said threatened to deploy “three cars full of armed patriots” to Washington, threatened harm against Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., and who is accused of stockpiling military-style combat knives and more than 1,000 rifle rounds in his New York home. A Texas man was arrested this week for taking part in the riot at the Capitol and for posting violent threats, including a call to assassinate Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y ___ Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report. Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
Lavish golden dresses decked out in zodiac signs and tarot symbols provided some Christian Dior-infused mysticism for the start of Paris' Haute Couture Week, a showcase of one-of-a-kind outfits held online this time due to the COVID-19 crisis. In a whimsical film set in a fairy-style castle, populated by Libra, Capricorn and models decked out as other astrological signs, Dior designer Maria Grazia Chiuri provided glitter and gold with gowns that combined lame fabric with velvet. Silhouettes strayed from Chiuri's usual cinched waists, with empire line necks in some cases, and capes fit for medieval royalty, including one decked out entirely in intricate flowers made from feathers.
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times eastern):10:35 a.m.There are 1,958 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Ontario today and 43 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.Health Minister Christine Elliott says 727 of the new cases are in Toronto, 365 in Peel Region, and 157 in York Region. She says nearly 36,000 tests were completed since Sunday's report.Ontario also reports that 2,448 more cases of COVID-19 are considered resolved. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. The Canadian Press
Trois-Rivières – Après neuf ans de services comme évêque de Trois-Rivières, l'heure de la retraite a sonné pour Mgr Luc Bouchard. L'homme de 72 ans, originaire de Cornwall en Ontario, a demandé et obtenu du Pape François la renonciation de sa charge pastorale pour des raisons de santé.Trois-Rivières – Après neuf ans de services comme évêque de Trois-Rivières, l'heure de la retraite a sonné pour Mgr Luc Bouchard. L'homme de 72 ans, originaire de Cornwall en Ontario, a demandé et obtenu du Pape François la renonciation de sa charge pastorale pour des raisons de santé. Victime d'un ACV en 2010, des complications de santé récentes l'ont poussé à prendre cette décision. Monseigneur Bouchard a été ordonné prêtre en 1976. Il est devenu évêque de Trois-Rivières en 2012, après avoir passé les 11 années précédentes dans les mêmes fonctions au sein de la paroisse de Saint-Paul en Alberta. Un processus est maintenant mis en place pour lui trouver un successeur qui sera éventuellement nommé par le Pape. L'actuel évêque auxiliaire de Trois-Rivières, Mgr Pierre-Olivier Tremblay, est pressenti pour occuper le poste.Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
The Brock University Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute lecture series has returned. In its 14th year, the series highlights cutting-edge research from grape and wine industry experts. This year’s series will feature speakers from across the institute’s network of researchers, scientists, fellows and professional affiliates. Lectures will cover topics including consumer insights and preferences in the local and provincial wine industry, the use of augmented reality in wine marketing, research on cold hardiness and vineyard pests, and grapevine virus research and certification. “Although this has been a challenging year for everyone, the institute has still produced a great deal of critical research with applications for grape growers and winemakers across Canada,” Debbie Inglis, scientist and institute director, said in a news release. “Our lecture series puts that research directly into the hands of the industry, providing tailored, real-world solutions to industry priorities from vine to glass.” The free lectures, which are open to the public, began Jan. 20 and will take place remotely via livestream every week until Mar. 31. Sean Vanderklis is a Niagara-based reporter for the Niagara Falls Review. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sean Vanderklis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Niagara Falls Review
The U.S. House of Representatives delivered to the Senate on Monday a charge that former President Donald Trump incited insurrection in a speech to supporters before the deadly attack on the Capitol, setting in motion his second impeachment trial. Nine House Democrats who will serve as prosecutors in Trump's trial, accompanied by the clerk of the House and the acting sergeant at arms, carried the charge against Trump to the Senate in a solemn procession across the Capitol. Wearing masks to protect against COVID-19, they filed through the ornate Capitol Rotunda and into the Senate chamber, following the path that a mob of Trump supporters took on Jan. 6 as they clashed with police.
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court declined Monday to take up the case of former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is serving a 6 1/2-year prison sentence after being convicted in a corruption case. The high court's decision not to hear Silver's appeal is another sharp blow to the Manhattan Democrat, who was once one of the three most powerful state officials. Silver was ousted as speaker in 2015 and was convicted later that year. His original conviction was overturned on appeal, but he was convicted again in 2018. Part of that conviction was then tossed out on another appeal, leading to yet another sentencing in July. Silver, 76, began serving his sentence in August. In the part of the case that survived the appeal process, Silver was convicted in a scheme that involved favours and business traded between two real estate developers and a law firm. Silver supported legislation that benefited the developers. The developers then referred certain tax business to a law firm that paid Silver fees. Two justices, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas, said they would have heard Silver's case. Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump was considering clemency for Silver, but ultimately no pardon or sentence reduction was granted. Silver has been serving time at the federal prison in Otisville, about 80 miles (130 kilometres) from New York City. Before his conviction, Silver was a giant in New York politics. First elected to the Assembly in 1977, he became speaker in 1994, holding that position for more than two decades. For nearly half that time, during the administration of Republican Gov. George Pataki, he was the most powerful Democrat in the state. Silver's lawyers had asked the court to consider allowing him to serve his sentence at home because of the risk of contracting COVID-19 and dying in prison. But District Judge Valerie Caproni said issuing a sentence without prison time was inappropriate because Silver was guilty of “corruption, pure and simple.” The Associated Press
Sinéad Clarke’s Irish Design House in Toronto’s Riverside district had a website before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but she admits it wasn’t that useful since most customers want to touch the curated artisan imports she sells. But it has become the subject of intense focus for the young business owner since, including one particularly frantic weekend in November after Premier Doug Ford’s Friday announcement of tighter restrictions that would force the store closed that Monday. Clarke and her partner Benny, a graphic designer, worked into the early mornings to stock virtual shelves with handmade pottery, weaving, silversmithing, tailoring, screen-printing and other products sourced from dozens of Irish craftspeople. That weekend, they also set up bookings for 20-minute virtual video-shopping experiences that she credits with boosting Christmas sales. She felt she had little choice. “That's not an option,” Clarke said when asked whether she’d consider walking away. “Not that it's not an option, but I really hope it's not because I’ve put too much into this to just close. So we'll try everything from every different angle.” That included a fast pivot to mask-making in the early days, when sales dried up overnight. Initially donating them all to hospitals and care homes, she later added a donate button to the store's website so others could help shoulder the costs, then sharing the sewing work by giving volunteers fabric kits to help out. Eventually, she started selling them to help cover mounting back-rent payments and other costs. “That’s how we made it through the first lockdown,” Clarke recalled in a video interview. “If I didn't do that, I wouldn't be here now.” The 36-year designer’s struggles to keep her business solvent are shared by small business owners across the city and beyond, but she said the longevity of her goods provide some breathing room. “At least if it doesn't sell, it's not the end of the world. It's here and paid for and I can have it for next year at least,” she said, about the inventory she ordered in the summer for the end-of-year shopping season. “For a restaurant, food spoils. This doesn't spoil.” Clarke had been offering one-on-one sewing lessons and designing her own brand of sustainable clothing at the back of the store when the pandemic hit. She has put that work on hold — and cancelled her usual summer camp for kids — to focus on the demands of keeping the main business running. Clarke is determined to carry on, but worries 2021 will see a slump as customers stop spending as lockdowns drag on. She also doesn’t know what will happen when she gives birth to her first kid, due in April. “I'm too stubborn to let that happen, so I'll work as hard as I can, but it's really scary. It still is,” she said. Clarke said the support of loyal customers has helped her keep the faith. On that weekend back in November, Clarke decided to extend Sunday's store hours of noon to 5 p.m. to 10 a.m to 9 p.m., and when she arrived to open up, there were customers waiting. “That was amazing, to see the support,” she said. “That was unreal, and that’s what keeps you going. We know that the support is out there.” Alastair Sharp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
Bev Priestman has named six uncapped players in her first roster as coach of the Canadian women's team. The 34-year-old Priestman, who took over the team in November after Kenneth Heiner-Moller stepped down to take a coaching job in his native Denmark, has named a 29-player squad for a two-week camp ahead of next month's SheBelieves Cup in Orlando. The roster will be reduced to 23 for the four-team tournament, scheduled for Feb. 18-24 at Exploria Stadium The Canadian women, tied for eighth with Brazil in the FIFA rankings, are taking part with the top-ranked U.S., No. 10 Japan and Brazil. Potential debutantes includes goalkeeper Rylee Foster (Liverpool FC), defenders Bianca St-Georges (Chicago Red Stars) and Jade Rose (Super REX Ontario), midfielders Samantha Chang (University of South Carolina) and Jordyn Listro (Orlando Pride), and forward Evelyne Viens (Paris FC). Rose, who turns 18 on Feb. 12, has attended two senior camps but has yet to earn a cap. All but Viens worked with Priestman in her previous role as Canadian youth coach. It's the first time Canada Soccer has summoned Viens, a prolific goal-scorer at the University of South Florida who is currently on loan to Paris FC from Sky Blue FC of the NWSL. Veterans include captain Christine Sinclair (296 caps), Diana Matheson (206 caps), Sophie Schmidt (199 caps), and Desiree Scott (157 caps). Goalkeeper Erin McLeod (118 caps) earns her first call-up since returning from injury in 2019. The 37-year-old Sinclair goes into the Florida tournament with a world-record 186 international goals to her credit. “The pre-competition camp is designed to provide any players not in season with the chance to get in valuable preparation heading into the SheBelieves Cup,” Priestman said in a statement. “It also provides us with an opportunity to see where players are ahead of selecting our final 23-player roster for the SheBelieves Cup." Priestman has a good handle on Canada's young talent. From 2013 to 2018, she helped develop talent for the Canadian women's program and served as an assistant coach under John Herdman, whom she had also worked with in New Zealand. She left in August 2018 to return home, serving as Phil Neville's No. 2 with the English women's team and English youth coach. Eleven of the players on the Canadian camp roster are currently with teams in Europe with five playing in England, five in France and one in Sweden. There are 11 players from the NWSL, five from U.S. colleges and two from the developmental Super REX Ontario program. The Canadian women have not played since March 10, when they wrapped up play at a tournament in France with a 2-2 tie with Brazil. A Canadian camp scheduled for England in October was called off on the advice of medical experts due to the pandemic. All four teams at the SheBelieves Cup have qualified for the Tokyo Games with Canada finishing runner-up to the Americans at the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship last February. And all four made the knockout phase of the 2019 World Cup in France. The U.S. won the tournament while Canada, Brazil and Japan were eliminated in the round of 16. The defending champion Americans have won the SheBelieves Cup three times. France won in 2017 and England in 2019. CANADA Goalkeepers: Rylee Foster, Liverpool FC (England); Stephanie Labbe, FC Rosengard (Sweden); Erin McLeod, Orlando Pride (NWSL); Kailen Sheridan, Sky Blue FC (NWSL). Defenders: Kadeisha Buchanan, Olympique Lyonnais (France); Vanessa Gilles, FC Girondins de Bordeaux (France); Jade Rose, Super REX Ontario; Shelina Zadorsky, Tottenham Hotspur (England); Gabrielle Carle, Florida State University; Allysha Chapman, Houston Dash (NWSL); Ashley Lawrence, Paris Saint-Germain (France); Bianca St-Georges, Chicago Red Stars (NWSL); Jayde Riviere, University of Michigan. Midfielders: Samantha Chang, University of South Carolina; Jessie Fleming, Chelsea FC (England); Julia Grosso, University of Texas; Jordyn Listro|, Orlando Pride (NWSL); Diana Matheson, FC Kansas City (NWSL); Quinn, OL Reign FC (NWSL); Sophie Schmidt, Houston Dash (NWSL); Desiree Scott, FC Kansas City (NWSL). Forwards: Janine Beckie, Manchester City (England); Jordyn Huitema, Paris Saint-Germain; Adriana Leon, West Ham United (England); Nichelle Prince, Houston Dash (NWSL); Deanne Rose, University of Florida; Christine Sinclair, Portland Thorns; Olivia Smith, Super REX Ontario; Evelyne Viens, Paris FC (France). --- Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan, 25, 2021 Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
Sea ice, ice sheets and glaciers melting 60 per cent faster than in the 1990s
Ontario reported another 1,958 cases of COVID-19 on Monday, as experts heading the province's vaccination campaign outlined how they are responding to delays in the delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The new cases include 727 in Toronto, 365 in Peel Region and 157 in York Region. They come one year after the first confirmed infection of the novel coronavirus in Canada was found in a patient in Toronto. Other public health units that saw double-digit increases yesterday were: Windsor-Essex: 85 Niagara Region: 82 Durham Region: 62 Hamilton: 55 Halton Region: 54 Ottawa: 51 Middlesex-London: 46 Simcoe Muskoka: 41 Waterloo Region: 39 Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 35 Huron-Perth: 29 Southwestern: 28 Chatham-Kent: 22 Lambton: 19 Eastern Ontario: 11 Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge: 11 (Note: All of the figures used in this story are found on the Ministry of Health's COVID-19 dashboard or in its Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any region may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit, because local units report figures at different times.) It was the fewest number of new infections logged on a single day in nearly a week. The seven-day average of daily cases continued its steady decline down to 2,371, the lowest it has been since Dec. 30, 2020. It has been trending downward since its peak of 3,555 on Jan. 11. Notably, however, Ontario's network of labs processed just 35,968 test samples for the virus despite capacity for more than 70,000 daily. Collectively, they reported a test positivity rate of 5.5 per cent. Another 2,448 cases were marked resolved in today's report. There are now 23,620 confirmed, active infections provincewide, down from a high of more than 30,000 earlier this month. According to the province, there were 1,398 people with COVID-19 in hospitals, though as is often the case on weekends, about 10 per cent of hospitals did not submit data. A total of 397 patients were being treated in intensive care, while 283 required a ventilator to breathe. Public health units logged another 43 deaths of people with COVID-19, pushing Ontario's official death toll to 5,846. Meanwhile, at a media briefing this morning, members of Ontario's vaccine distribution task force said the province will delay first doses for health-care workers and essential caregivers amid a shortage of the Pfizer product. Available doses of vaccines will instead be channelled only to residents of long-term care and at-risk retirement homes, as well as First Nations seniors living in elder care settings. The goal is to have all those who fall into one of these groups be given a first dose of vaccine by Feb. 5, 10 days earlier than first planned. Health workers in the long-term care sector as well as essential caregivers were slated to be vaccinated during the initial stages of the province's rollout, alongside residents. Due to delays in expected shipments of the Pfizer vaccine, however, the focus in coming weeks will be solely on people at the highest risk of severe illness or death, officials said. The shift means that front-line health-care workers in other settings, such as those doing direct patient care in hospitals, will have to wait longer than originally planned to be immunized. "As we speed up vaccines for the most vulnerable, we have to ensure that we're able to provide their second dose," Premier Doug Ford said at a news conference Monday. "Delivery delays are now forcing us to be careful and cautious." Provincial officials also said there is uncertainty surrounding expected shipments of the Pfizer vaccine the weeks of Feb. 8 and Feb. 15. The federal government has not yet specified how many doses Ontario should anticipate receiving in that period, they said, making it difficult to provide a granular timeframe for when those shots will be administered. Moreover, all of Ontario's 34 public health units are expected to have vaccines available for priority groups by the end of this week. As of this morning, there were 14 health units that thus far had not received any doses for administration. The province said it gave out 5,537 doses of vaccines on Sunday. A total of 286,110 shots have been administered, while 71,256 people have received a second dose. "As soon as there is certainty in deliveries ... it will be full steam ahead," Ford said. "It is our hope that by the summer, everyone who wants to get a vaccine will be able to get a vaccine." Ontario has 34 cases of variant 1st detected in U.K. Dr. Vanessa Allen, chief of microbiology and laboratory science at Public Health Ontario, told reporters later on Monday that the province has now identified 34 cases of the variant first detected in the United Kingdom, but none of the variants first found in South Africa and Brazil. These strains are called "variants of concern," she said. Allen said some evidence indicates that the variant first detected in the U.K. is transmitted more easily and causes more severe disease in some people. This particular strain of COVID-19 has been found in more than 60 countries, she said. Public Health Ontario has developed a screening test for this variant and it is being used to test any COVID-19 positive traveller, people in more aggressive outbreaks, and people who have been identified as having a characteristic pattern on one test used in three labs in Ontario. All samples that tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 20 will be tested for the variant by Public Health Ontario to give the province a snapshot of it, she said. Testing for variants needs to be tied closely with public health measures, she added. "We're working very closely with our public health colleagues, including the public health units, to ensure that these individuals that are identified with the variant of concern are prioritized for case and contact management and other supports," she said. Dr. David Williams, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, said daily case numbers have begun to drop in some public health regions or are reaching plateaus in others and the province is beginning to see the effects of the stay-at-home order and the second declaration of emergency. "We keep seeing the numbers coming down steadily. We're going in the right direction," Williams said. The province, however, is continuing to see high numbers of deaths and the number of people in intensive care units has not dropped extensively, he said. Williams added that Ontario residents still need to be careful and follow public health measures. 100,000 students return to school Schools in seven public health units across southern Ontario reopened for in-person classes today. Education Minister Stephen Lecce said that means 100,000 students will be returning to the classroom for the first time since before the winter break. The province is implementing more safety measures in areas where schools are reopening, including requiring students in grades 1 through 3 to wear masks indoors and when physical distancing isn't possible outside as well. It's also introducing "targeted asymptomatic testing" in those regions. While it's been more than a month since students in southern Ontario have been in the classroom, classes resumed in the northern part of the province on Jan. 11. The provincial government has said the chief medical officer of health is keeping a close eye on the COVID-19 situation in public health units where schools remain closed to decide when it's safe for them to reopen. But the province has said that in five hot spot regions — Windsor-Essex, Peel, York, Toronto and Hamilton — that won't happen until at least Feb. 10. The public health units where schools are reopened today were: Grey Bruce Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Peterborough Renfrew County Calls for paid sick days mount Also on Monday, a group of southern Ontario mayors, as well as provincial opposition parties, renewed their calls for the institution of paid sick days to help workers during the pandemic. A group of Greater Toronto and Hamilton-area mayors issued a news release again asking the province or federal government to step up. The release notes that despite the ongoing lockdown in Ontario, the GTHA continues to see outbreaks in essential workplaces, despite current federal aid. Simply put, people are still going to work sick, the group says. "Failure by the federal or provincial governments to address this issue will result in people continuing to avoid testing and continuing to come to work sick," the release states. "Updating the sick pay benefits available will save lives and help bring the virus under control faster." Ford has repeatedly rebuffed calls for sick days — after his government slashed the requirement that was instituted by the previous Liberal government — saying federal benefits are able to cover off the issue. Both the provincial NDP and the Liberals published notices today of their intent to introduce legislation to institute paid sick days. With a majority Progressive Conservative government however, such moves are unlikley to pass unless PC members vote against their own party.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has brought back Dr. Kevin O'Connor as his physician, replacing President Donald Trump's doctor with the one who oversaw his care when he was vice-president. The White House confirmed that Dr. Sean Conley, the Navy commander who served as the head of the White House Medical Unit under Trump and oversaw his treatment when he was hospitalized with COVID-19, will assume a teaching role at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. O'Connor, a retired Army colonel, was Biden's doctor during his entire tenure as vice-president, having remained in the role at Biden's request. He remained Biden's physician while assuming a role on the faculty of George Washington University. The White House said O'Connor was being commissioned by the president but was not rejoining the military. He is the first non-active duty doctor to serve as physician to the president in almost three decades. Conley faced intense scrutiny over his lack of transparency during Trump's illness with COVID-19. Then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said at the time that Trump's condition was worse than Conley had let on. Zeke Miller, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Isabel Wilkerson's “Caste,” an acclaimed biography of Malcolm X and fiction by Martin Amis and the late Randall Kenan are among this year's finalists for National Book Critics Circle prizes. The critics circle announced five nominees in each of six competitive categories Sunday, and seven finalists for an award for best first book. The Feminist Press, whose founder Florence Howe died last year, will receive a lifetime achievement award and has a nominee for criticism: Cristina Rivera Garza's, “Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country.” New Republic critic Jo Livingston received a citation for Excellence in Reviewing. Winners will be announced March 25. This year's nominees are the first under new leadership at the NBCC after many of its board members departed in 2020 amid a dispute over how to respond to the summer's Black Lives Matters protests. Among those stepping down was NBCC president Laurie Hertzel, senior books editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She was replaced by David Varno, Publishers Weekly's fiction reviews editor. In the NBCC's fiction award category, Amis was nominated for his autobiographical novel “Inside Story” and Kenan, who died in 2020, for the story collection “If I Had Two Wings.” The other finalists were Maggie O’Farrell's “Hamnet,” Souvankham Thammavongsa's “How to Pronounce Knife” and Bryan Washington's “Memorial.” Wilkerson's “Caste,” her widely read exploration of American racism; was a nonfiction finalist. The others were Walter Johnson's “The Broken Heart of America: St, Louis and the Violent History of the United States,” James Shapiro's “Shakespeare in a Divided America,” Sarah Smarsh's “She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs” and Tom Zoellner's “Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire.” Biography nominees included “The Dead are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X," co-written by Tamara Payne and her father, the late journalist Les Payne, and winner last fall of the National Book Award. The other finalists were Amy Stanley's “Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her World,” Zachary D. Carter's “The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes," Heather Clark's “Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath” and Maggie Doherty's “The Equivalents: A Story of Art, Female Friendship, and Liberation in the 1960s.” In poetry, the nominees were Victoria Chang's “Obit,” Francine J. Harris' “Here Is The Sweet Hand,” Amaud Jamaul Johnson's “Imperial Liquor,” Chris Nealon's “The Shore” and Danez Smith's “Homie.” The autobiography finalists were Cathy Park Hong's “Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning,” Shayla Lawson's “This Is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, and Being Dope,” Riva Lehrer's “Golem Girl,” Wayétu Moore's “The Dragons, The Giant, The Women” and Alia Volz's “Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco.” Beside's Garza's “Grieving,” criticism nominees were Vivian Gornick's “Unfinished Business: Notes of a Chronic Re-Reader,” Nicole Fleetwood's “Marking Time." Namwali Serpell's “Stranger Faces” and Wendy A. Woloson's “Crap: A History of Cheap Stuff in America.” Three of last year's most talked about first novels, Raven Leilani's “Lustre,” Megha Majumdar's “A Burning” and Douglas Stuart's “Shuggie Bain," are nominees for the John Leonard Prize for best first book, fiction or nonfiction. The other finalists are Kerri Arsenault's “Mill Town,” Karla Cornejo Villavicencio's “The Undocumented Americans,” Brandon Taylor's “Real Life” and “C Pam Zhang's ”How Much of These Hills Is Gold." The Leonard award is named for the late literary critic, who helped found the NBCC in 1974. Hillel Italie, The Associated Press
Partnership and collaboration are words that come up again and again when talking about the history of the SmartICE project. The research project turned social enterprise began over 10 years ago when researchers at Memorial University began working with the Nunatsiavut Government to look at ice thickness on the Labrador north coast following an unusually warm winter. Two inventions to help measure ice thickness — the SmartBUOY, and the SmartQAMUTIK — came from that, and the Sea-ice Monitoring and Real-Time Information for Coastal Environments (SmartICE) project was born. Since then, the project has won many accolades for its work, including the 2016 Arctic Inspiration Prize, the Governor General’s Innovation Award and the 2020 President’s Award for Public Engagement Partnerships from Memorial University. There has been a lot of interest in the technology from outside the province and the country, with sea ice changing worldwide. A couple of years ago the project spun off SmartICE Inc., a social enterprise with a production facility in Nain, working with the community to employ young people to make the technology in cohorts and teaching them a variety of skills. Carolann Harding, executive director of SmartICE Inc., said things like building bridges, partnerships, engagement and bringing social impact to the community are part of being a social enterprise. “We’re a small organization and in order to grow, you need to have the supports around you and bring value to each other. It’s not just about us taking, it’s about the value of what we can give to each other,” she said. Harding said when they set up the facility in Nain, which has been up and running for over a year, they were mindful of making sure to engage the community and give the community what it needed from the project. In 2019 they got the building ready to go, and that’s where Rex Holwell came in. Holwell, who is from Nain, was hired as the northern production and regional operations lead for Nunatsiavut. Holwell, who had previously worked in the resource industry, said he wanted to get involved with the social enterprise in his home community. He said when he came in the vision was already in place and his job was to implement it at the Nain facility. In the summer of 2019, they held the first cohort of seven Inuit youth from the ages of 18 to 29, teaching them different job skills like hazard awareness and how to assemble the SmartBUOY. “Things that would look good on a resume,” Holwell told SaltWire Network from his office in Nain. “We kind of knew from the start we were a stepping point for the youth.” Holwell said they’re not like other employers, in that they don’t require prior work experience or specific education to take part. The cohorts are to help people in the community gain skills to help them find other jobs. “We want the people who don’t have work experience or education, be their stepping stone to progress farther in their career,” he said. “Have we had that effect or not? I think so. We’re open to anybody.” He said it’s a part of his job that he enjoys greatly, getting to know youth in the town better and helping them find employment. “Maybe it’s being selfish, but sometimes I’ll see some of the youth from the cohorts and I’ll think, I might have had a smidgen to do with making their lives, the lives of their families, better, and there’s a great satisfaction from that.” They’ve logged over 5,000 employment hours between the cohorts so far, with the fourth one coming up this summer. Toward the end of the course, Holwell teaches the youths how to make the SmartBUOYs, and the ones they make are deployed across the Arctic. Holwell said he always makes sure to find out the exact locations of where the buoys will be used, and shows it to the youths on a map. Last winter the cohort deployed a buoy off the coast of Nain, and Holwell said it was great to see the pride on their faces. “They can actually see that something they’re building will help save lives,” he said. “Once they know that, they take pride in building those SmartBUOYs. They know they’ll be sent up to Nunavut or wherever to help save lives.” Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
CALGARY — A player with the Western Hockey League Kamloops Blazers has suffered what the league describes as "life-altering injuries" following a weekend snowboarding accident in Saskatchewan.A statement posted by the league says the news about Kyrell Sopotyk is devastating.The 19-year-old forward from Aberdeen, Sask., was entering his third year with the Blazers.An online fundraiser set up for Sopotyk says he has been paralyzed.The fundraiser launched Sunday to assist Sopotyk and his family with "possible renovations, health care costs and any additional supports," and had far surpassed its $50,000 goal in less than 15 hours.A statement issued by the Kamloops Blazers encourages public support of the fundraiser and calls Sopotyk "a tremendous young man and an exemplary representative" of the team.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. The Canadian Press
At about 6 a.m. on travel day last week, one of the vaccination teams in the Beaufort Delta region prepared for a three-day clinic in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. But before the team heads out, it needs to fill up a portable freezer, at a temperature of -20 C, with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. "That's Aidan's baby for two weeks," laughs nurse Heather Redshaw, who is part of the vaccination team heading to the hamlet. Her partner in this experience is Aidan Healy, one of the core logisitians with the COVID-19 immunization team. Healy's duties involve making sure the freezer stays around -20 C at all times, and that the vaccines are at the proper temperature. "I'm pretty much the safe-guarder of the vaccine, so when we travel to communities I'm the one bringing the cooler," said Healy. Redshaw explains that there are two teams that have been making their way through the Northwest Territories' Beaufort Delta region. Redshaw and Healy have already gone to Paulatuk, Sachs Harbor and Aklavik. Tuktoykatuk is their final destination for the first round of vaccinations. 'We want to make sure we get it here safe' The duo spend the next couple hours loading up the 54-kilogram freezer with the vaccines they may need for three days. "We want to make sure we get it here safe, and that it's effective for the people," said Redshaw. They safely put 61 viles of the vaccine, which contain a total of 610 doses, into the freezer at the Inuvik Regional Hospital's pharmacy, which is where all the vaccines in the region are stored. Then they hit the road in a bus that is normally used for the hospital's elder day program. For the last couple of weeks however, it's been used to help bring vaccines, support team members and equipment to the airport or directly to communities. The person in charge of driving the bus is Chris Balla, the Beaufort Delta regional operations manager for Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority. Balla's also part of the immunization response team, and is responsible for making sure the vaccines and the vaccine team make it to their final destination. Team arrives at Tuktoyaktuk's Kitti Hall When the team arrives at Kitti Hall in Tuktoyaktuk, they start thawing out some of the vaccines that will be used that day. Healy is making sure the room is at the right temperature for the thawed vaccines — between 15 and 25 C. At one point Healy opens up the door to make the room a bit cooler. Healy also helps with the database once the clinic begins. Both Healy and Redshaw are from Yellowknife, but everyone else helping with the vaccine clinics, including the nurses, are from communities in the region. At about 10:30 a.m., the team is ready to give residents their first shot. Of the 274 Tuktoyaktuk residents that will receive doses on Friday, Sister Fay Trombley is the first. "That's amazing," exclaims Trombley, while still in the chair after getting the vaccine. "You hardly feel anything." Although their days are long, some can be up to 12 hours, both Healy and Redshaw say they feel privileged to be part of the team. "I feel like I'm part of something bigger than myself," said Redshaw. "It's a little bit of hope on a really dark year for lots of people and people are hopeful it will get back to some type of a new normal and I'm excited to be part of it."
Police in Jamaica confirm they are investigating the death of a 43-year-old woman from Markham as a homicide. Investigators say Latoya Alcindor was killed sometime between Jan. 18 and Jan. 21 inside a guest house in Runaway Bay, which is about 100 kilometres northwest of Kingston, the country's capital. Guests at that location smelled a foul odour and alerted police, who entered the unit and found her body. Police say Alcindor's body was found with stab wounds and evidence of other trauma. She had been been staying with a man inside the guest house, police say, and he is considered a suspect. The man is still at large, and investigators have not identified him at this time. Tashia Antoine told CBC News that Alcindor was her "godsister," and the two had known each other their entire lives. She said Alcindor was "a pillar in the Caribbean community" and a "cultural ambassador" who was heavily involved in Caribana and fundraising initiatives. "Tears come to my eyes when I just think of her, or see a picture of her," Antoine said. "She was a loving mother of two beautiful girls ... it's hard for them to see that their mother's life has been taken so tragically." Alcindor hosted an online radio show and was well-known in the community, Antoine told CBC News. "She has a large family as it is but she had an extended family of her community," she said. "Everybody is just shocked and can't believe that something like this, something so vicious... could happen to person who is known for her giving nature." "The community is heartbroken," she added. Antoine said Alcindor, who also worked in property management, travelled to Jamaica on Dec. 26 to pursue a business opportunity. She had met the man she was staying with a few months before on another trip, Antoine said. "This is the person we're trying to reach out [to] and find, so we can get some answers," she said, adding that she had spoken to her friend not long ago, and everything seemed okay. "It's just a major shock, because the last time I spoke with her, she was extremely happy," Antoine said. "She could not have done or said anything to warrant this type of death." Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Grantly Franklin told CBC News the Canadian government is offering its "deepest condolences" to Alcindor's family and friends, and that consular officials are now talking with local authorities to get more information. Due to the provisions under the Privacy Act, Franklin said, no further information can be disclosed by Global Affairs.
There's a new attempt to find a balance between the economy and the environment in northern Ontario's most watched forest. For decades, Temagami was gripped by logging road blockades, with environmentalists and Indigenous protesters chaining themselves to bulldozers. But now some of those who used to be on opposing sides are sitting around the same board table with the formation of the Temagami Forest Management Corporation. "This was the way to do it," says Temagami Mayor Dan O'Mara. "To get the people who were all involved in the past together to come up with a future for the Temagami forest that everybody could live with." The management corporation is the second of its kind in the province, after one created in the Pic River area in the northwest in 2012. It brings together logging companies, municipal leaders and First Nations to decide which trees to cut and find buyers for that wood. "Even by that happening it's a statement that we can work together for the benefit of all," says John Yakabuski, Ontario's Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. "We'll be talking about this in generations to come because it'll be managed in that regard." "It took us six years and a lot of frowns and raised eyebrows and talking and going back and forth around the table," says John McNutt, the woodland manager for Goulard Lumber in Sturgeon Falls. The company has cut in the Temagami forest for decades and some of its employees were forced into confrontations with protesters in years past. McNutt says about 20 per cent of the trees that arrive at their sawmill come from Temagami and he is "hoping it will increase in a positive way" particularly with new markets opening up through partnerships with First Nations. He is also hoping the new management corporation will cut down on wildfires, like the one that started in Lady Evelyn Provincial Park in 2018. It went on to scorch some 27,000 hectares and threatened towns like Temagami and Elk Lake. McNutt says from the air he has seen how older preserved stands of trees fuelled the flames, while younger trees in managed forest areas didn't catch. But John Kilbridge, who took part in the protests of the 1980s and has worked for years to promote wilderness tourism in Temagami, sees this as the province handing the forests over to the timber companies. "They don't want to be paying for all this oversight. They just want to sit back and collect stumpage fees," he says. Kilbridge also says the Ford government's decision to take forestry projects out of environmental assessment legislation was a "betrayal" because it was "our one way to call the industry to account." "I'm not imagining the scenario about the big bad logging companies giving us a hard time. They are giving us a hard time and the government is giving us a hard time. They're stonewalling us," he says. Kilbridge says more permanent logging roads are already snaking through the Temagami wilderness he and others were fighting to protect all those years ago. "I think it has been lost," he says of the battle over the Temagami forest that started in the 1970s. Much of that was led by the Indigenous peoples of Bear Island. No one from Temagami First Nation or the nearby Matachewan First Nation was available to speak about their involvement in the new management corporation. There is also a seat at the table for the Timiskaming First Nation, across the border in Quebec. Chief Sacha Wabie says 60 per cent of her community's traditional territory is in what is today called Ontario. "Currently, we are disappointed with the way the forest is being managed, as we are excluded from the decision-making process," she wrote in an email. "So, the creation of the new forest management corporation gives us hope that we will have a say in how our lands and territory will be managed." Wabie says she hopes the new corporation will lead to more jobs for her community of 2,200, 600 of whom live on reserve and "receive none of these benefits" from the Ontario forests that "generate a lot of profit for a few companies." "It is a highly bureaucratic and colonial process," she says. "The current forestry regime doesn't take into account our communities' traditional knowledge nor do they share the economics gained from our forested lands. These concerns still remain." Timiskaming, as well as several Ontario First Nations including Mattagami and Teme-Augama Anishnabai, say they are also concerned about the recently approved plan for the Timiskaming forest to the north of Temagami. They are worried about the impact of aerial herbicide spraying and the lack of revenue sharing with Indigenous communities.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — It didn't take long for relations with China to become an issue for new U.S. President Joe Biden. A show of force by the Chinese air force off Taiwan last weekend prompted a U.S. response, even as Biden and his administration focus on the COVID-19 pandemic and other pressing issues at home in what is still their first week in office. WHAT HAPPENED? Taiwan's Defence Ministry reported that China sent a dozen bombers and fighter jets into Taiwan's air defence identification zone on Saturday. Such a sizeable show of force is relatively rare, and the U.S. State Department issued a statement urging China “to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan" and expressing concern about “the pattern of ongoing ... attempts to intimidate its neighbours.” China then sent 16 military aircraft into the same area on Sunday, Taiwan said. China has not commented on the reports. WHAT SPARKED CHINA'S ACTIONS? It's unclear. China may have been responding to Taiwanese military drills last week against a hypothetical Chinese invasion. It also may have been testing Biden, after the de facto Taiwanese ambassador to the U.S. attended his inauguration. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Monday that China is determined “to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity” and urged the U.S. to “refrain from sending wrong signals to the Taiwan independence forces.” Tiehlin Yen, the deputy director of the Taiwan Center for Security Studies, said China's moves may give it some bargaining chips as it prepares to deal with a new U.S. president and any adjustments he may make to China policy. But Chinese international relations expert Zhao Kejin at Tsinghua University in Beijing said the actions are not aimed at the U.S. but at Taiwan, and its opposition to unification with the mainland. “China needs to show its determination,” he said. WHAT IS THE UPSHOT? The U.S. response reflects what is expected to be continued U.S. support for Taiwan under Biden. His administration may refrain from the more provocative steps taken under his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, but it will abide by American legal requirements to ensure Taiwan can defend itself. China will no doubt continue to demand the self-governing island come under its control. Given their respective positions, the issue will likely remain a source of friction in U.S.-China relations. WHY THE DIVIDE OVER TAIWAN? Taiwan, an island of 24 million people about 160 kilometres (100 miles) off China’s southeast coast, separated from China in 1949, when the Communist Party took power. For three decades, the U.S. recognized the Nationalist government in Taipei, Taiwan, as the government of China, though it had no actual control over the much larger mainland. The U.S. switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1979, but now-democratic Taiwan still enjoys strong bipartisan support in Washington. The Associated Press
A Saskatchewan-raised hockey player has been paralyzed by a snowboarding accident. Kamloops Blazers forward Kyrell Sopotyk, 19, was injured in a snowboarding accident in Saskatchewan over the weekend, according to the Western Hockey League (WHL). Sopotyk is from Aberdeen, Saskatchewan. He was drafted to B.C.'s Blazers in 2016. "Everyone associated with the Western Hockey League is deeply saddened by the devastating news," the WHL said in a statement. "The WHL and our member clubs extend our thoughts and prayers to Kyrell, the entire Sopotyk family, Kyrell's teammates with the Kamloops Blazers, and all his friends during this challenging time." A GoFundMe campaign set up on Sunday to raise money for Sopotyk's needs, including possible renovations to his home and health-care costs, has surpassed its goal of $50,000. As of Monday morning, it had raised more than $76,000. "I think any parent that has to go to the hospital after an accident knows what they would be experiencing right now. It's a shock. And I think as a parent, you go through those emotions of ... 'Why my child'?" said Kathleen Zary, organizer of the GoFundMe campaign. "Kyrell is an amazing soul. The family's amazing ... I can't imagine what they're going through right now." Zary said the success of the GoFundMe campaign is not surprising. "They're very well-loved family in [Saskatchewan] and in Kamloops as well. And I know if the roles were reversed, the Sopotyk family would do the same for anybody. They're one of those families that you meet and you just are instantly drawn to them because there's just so lovely and caring to everybody." The cause and type of injury has not been made public at this time.