The federal government has made big investments in reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations, but researchers say you can’t reduce what you can’t measure and there are better ways to measure methane.
The federal government has made big investments in reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations, but researchers say you can’t reduce what you can’t measure and there are better ways to measure methane.
A man from the North Battleford area has been charged in connection with a death of Damian Moosomin about a year ago. Denver Roy, 36, is charged with indecent interference with a dead body and accessory after the fact to homicide. Roy is from Sweetgrass First Nation, about 30 kilometres west of North Battleford. Moosomin, 20, was found dead in the backyard of a North Battleford home on May 16, 2020, five days after he was reported missing. A second person who was recently charged was under 18 at the time of the offence and cannot be named in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act. As of May 7, 2021, six people in total have been charged in connection to Moosomin's death. The other four people, charged in April after the Saskatchewan RCMP's 11-month investigation, were: Tye Partridge, 23, from Moosomin First Nation is charged with first-degree murder. Jannay Blackbird, 32, from Saulteaux First Nation is charged with second-degree murder. Stormy Wapass-Semaganis, 23, from Edmonton, Alberta is charged with accessory after the fact to murder. Melissa Semaganis, 41, from Poundmaker Cree Nation is charged with accessory after the fact to murder. The RCMP didn't say when the two most recently charged people are scheduled to appear in court.
The call came in earlier this week, first thing in the morning. It was from Northwest Territories public health officials, and they said it was urgent. "So I call public health and they let me know that my eldest son tested positive for COVID," said Ravan Bedingfield. "Then my heart just sunk." Bedingfield is one of innumerable parents caught in the frightening web of the COVID-19 outbreak at N.J. Macpherson School in Yellowknife. Her 11-year-old son is a student there, ground zero for a cluster of cases reported at the start of the week that has since ballooned into the dozens. As of Thursday, there were 47 COVID-19 cases in Yellowknife. For Bedingfield, the situation has been "heartbreaking," "frustrating" and "mentally exhausting." Thankfully, she said, her two other children — eight and two — tested negative, as did she and her partner, who are vaccinated. But working from home while safely caring for an ill child, homeschooling, constantly disinfecting, and keeping a toddler entertained has been — well, you can imagine. "I don't think I've ever been more furious in my life over this whole situation," said Bedingfield. "But I think it's amazing what you can do when you know you're not alone, like there's other families who are in the same boat." 'He is pretty anxious about the whole thing' Right how, her son has mild symptoms, she said. "So he's feeling kind of crummy, physically, but mentally, he is pretty anxious about the whole thing, and he feels responsible," she said, for possibly passing the virus onto his friends. "It's so hard to explain to a child, 'It's not your fault. You didn't do anything wrong,' but they can't help but take it to heart because they're hurting, and they see their friends hurting, and everybody is nervous and scared." It's also hard easing his worries from two metres away. "You want to be there to, like, even physically comfort your child, you know, but you have to maintain your distance," said Bedingfield. Community spirit shines In this period of fear and uncertainty, though, Yellowknife's community spirit has shone. A Facebook group has popped up offering the pickup and delivery of essential items to isolating residents. Bedingfield said people have been inundating her with messages of support. A friend is doing a huge grocery run that will help feed the family until they're out of isolation. And public health, she said, has been "nothing but helpful." One nurse offered her personal cell phone number so Bedingfield can call if her son's symptoms worsen. "It's incredible the amount of support everybody is giving each other." But Bedingfield also said not everyone isolating right now has the support network — or the employment benefits — she does. "I'm a government employee, so I'm happy that I have those benefits, but my husband doesn't," she said. "I'm sure there are many, many other people who don't have any kind of benefits, and they must be like — I can't imagine how they're feeling." Though it's been just a few days since her son's diagnosis, Bedingfield said one thing she's taken away so far is to take help if it's offered. "I get it. I'm a proud person and I'm often way too proud to accept help," she said. But in cases like this outbreak, she added, saying yes to support can help keep your family fed, and the bills paid. Bedingfield also implored residents to follow public health orders, for the safety and wellbeing of the whole community. "It's all about people," she said. "It's people being responsible and taking care of each other."
Friday's Saskatchewan COVID-19 case numbers illustrate the unpredictability of the province's pandemic curve. Just a day before, on Thursday, health officials reported 156 new cases of COVID-19 — the lowest daily bump in nearly a month and a half. But the numbers surged on Friday, with the Ministry of Health reporting 295 new cases based on 3,652 tests — the highest single-day increase since 294 new cases were reported on April 15. One new death was reported: a person their 70s from the southwest region. Saskatoon leads in new cases Saskatoon surpassed Regina as the region reporting the highest new daily crop of cases for the third time in the last week and a half. Saskatoon led all areas with 98 new cases Friday, with the Regina area coming in second with 68 new cases. The rest of the new cases were found in the following regions: far northwest (two), far northeast (five), northwest (33), north central (17), northeast (nine), central west (one), central east (10), southwest (nine), south central (seven) and southeast (32). Two regions, the central east and northeast, reported their first cases of the highly transmissible P1 variant. (Government of Saskatchewan) Saskatchewan's seven-day average of daily new cases stands at 221, or 18.0 new cases per 100,000 people. There are 174 infected people in hospital provincewide, including 38 people under intensive care. Vaccine deliveries continue to happen at a strong pace, with 10,530 doses administered on Thursday. Saskachewan is getting closer to its first threshold for beginning to relax or lift COVID-19 public health measures. As of Friday, 69 per cent of residents aged 40 and above have received one dose of vaccine. That's just one percentage shy of the province's Step One reopening target of 70 per cent of people 40 and over receiving a single dose. However, three weeks need to elapse after that threshold is met and vaccine eligibility must be lowered to people aged 18 and over by that time for Step One to be initiated. (Government of Saskatchewan) Currently, only residents in the general population aged 35 and over can book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine. On Friday, the province announced that age requirement will be lowered to 32 starting on Saturday. In a scrum with reporters, Health Minister Paul Merriman was asked whether slower first-dose vaccine uptake among people in the 50-to-59 and 60-to-69 age brackets has him concerned about vaccine hesitancy. As of Thursday, 65 per cent and 79 per cent of people in those age groups, respectively, had been inoculated once. One week earlier, on April 29, the percentages stood at 59 per cent and 76 per cent. Meanwhile, despite being eligible for vaccination for a shorter period of time, 47 per cent of people aged 40 to 49 had received one dose by Thursday, up from 28 per cent the previous week. "No, I don't think there's that much vaccine hesitancy out there," Merriman said. "I think some people were waiting and seeing and I respect that. But now that their neighbours or their family members have been vaccinated, we're seeing people in that higher age range that are coming in for the first time." (Government of Saskatchewan)
Public health officials on Prince Edward Island reported one new case of COVID-19 and three new possible exposure sites in a news release issued late Friday afternoon. The person is in their 30s and had recently travelled outside Atlantic Canada, the release said. The person tested positive through routine testing and is self-isolating. Contact tracing is underway. The release also listed three sites linked to the new case where Islanders may have been exposed to the virus. They are: Pilot House restaurant in Charlottetown on Monday, May 3, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. (seek a test on Saturday, May 8). Montana's restaurant in Charlottetown on Thursday, May 6, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 pm (seek a test on Sunday, May 9). Home Hardware at 115 St. Peter's Road in Charlottetown on Thursday, May 6 from 10:30 am to 11:30 a.m. Officials are asking anyone who was at Pilot House or Montana's during those times to get tested on the date noted above and self-isolate until a negative result is received. The dates of testing are based on the time between when you are potentially exposed to a case of COVID-19 and when a test would detect any viral material in your body. Anyone who was at Home Hardware during the noted times on Thursday does not need to be tested, officials said, but should monitor closely for symptoms. If any develop, people should visit a drop in testing site and self-isolate until a negative result is received. In an email to CBC News on Friday, the Chief Public Health Office said warnings issued about sites in such cases "are based on a risk assessment conducted by CPHO in consideration of the type of exposure, length of exposure and other precautions in place in the exposure location. "If the risk of exposure is considered low, then individuals are asked to monitor for symptoms for the next 14 days and get tested if symptoms develop," the email said. "If the risk of exposure is considered to be higher, individuals who were in the public place at specified times are asked to proactively seek testing." Prince Edward Island currently has 10 active cases of COVID-19. The province has had 186 positive cases since the pandemic began. Reminder about symptoms The symptoms of COVID-19 can include: Fever. Cough or worsening of a previous cough. Possible loss of taste and/or smell. Sore throat. New or worsening fatigue. Headache. Shortness of breath. Runny nose. More from CBC P.E.I.
There's a "dirty little secret lurking under the ocean of Newfoundland and Labrador" and the documentary, "Hell or Clean Water," tells the story of the one man who is trying to fix it, part of the 2021 Hot Docs festival.
BANGKOK — A U.S. citizen charged with killing his pregnant Thai wife in Thailand was accused of attempting to kill what appears to be the same woman while living in Colorado in 2019. Jason Matthew Balzer, 32, was arrested Thursday in the northern city of Chiang Mai and confessed to killing Pitchaporn Kidchob, 32, Maj. Gen. Weerachon Boontawee, chief of Provincial Police Region 5's Detective Department, said Friday. It is not clear whether he had a lawyer representing him. The name of the woman Balzer was accused of attempting to kill while living in Longmont, Colorado, was redacted from court records. However, a spokesperson for the 20th Judicial District Attorney's Office, Shannon Carbone, said the victim in the domestic violence case and the woman killed in Thailand have the same name and appear to be the same person based on photographs of her in the media. The office has not received any official information about the victim in Thailand, she said. According to court documents, the victim met Balzer around 2017 and later left Thailand to live with him in the United States. In 2019, after the victim rebuffed Balzer's attempt to have sex, he allegedly grabbed her arms, hit her in the face and slammed her head repeatedly into a headboard in the bedroom of their apartment before pointing a gun at her and saying “I will kill you," an arrest affidavit said. According to the document, the victim pushed the gun away, and it fired a shot next to her head. She escaped while Balzer tried to cover up bullet holes in the wall. She also told police that Balzer strangled her two weeks before during an argument in which he accused her of cheating on him. While Balzer was charged with attempted second-degree murder, he was able to plead guilty to a lesser charge of third-degree assault because the victim went back to Thailand and did not want to return to Colorado to testify, Carbone said. He was sentenced to probation, including domestic violence treatment, she said. “This murder highlights the danger of domestic violence as well as the potential for lethality that can often exist for victims. Our hearts go out to the victim’s loved ones; it is a very tragic case. We hope that he will be held fully responsible for the murder,” she said. Balzer was also arrested in Colorado in December after police allegedly found 73 guns in his van, a violation of his probation that prohibits him from having any firearms. An attorney listed as representing Balzer in that ongoing case as well as in the domestic violence case did not return a telephone call seeking comment. Police in Thailand said Balzer was interrogated Friday in the northern city of Nan, where he had lived with Kidchob, police Lt. Col. Somkiat Ruam-ngern said. The murder charge carries a maximum penalty of death. According to Weerachon, Balzer said Pitchaporn had “given him hope,” so he married her and bought her a house in Nan, her home province. Balzer said he became enraged when she tried to chase him out, so he stabbed her with a knife, the police officer said. He said Balzer put her body in a rubbish bin that he sealed and buried in the woods about 5 kilometres (3 miles) from their home. Balzer then drove on a motorbike to Chiang Mai, where he was arrested, Weerachon said. Police had been alerted to a possible crime when Pitchaporn’s mother, who was unable to reach her daughter by phone, went to the couple’s house and found blood stains. Balzer, a programmer, met Pitchaporn in Thailand and they were married in the U.S., after which Balzer quit his job, sold all his property and moved to Nan, the newspaper Thai Rath reported, citing Provincial Police Region 5 commander Prachuab Wongsuk. Balzer said he did not know his wife was three months' pregnant, Prachuab said. ____ Associated Press writer Colleen Slevin contributed to this report from Denver. Chalida Ekvitthayavechnukul And Grant Peck, The Associated Press
Ottawa pharmacists say the limited number of Moderna doses being added to the vaccines they can administer won't be nearly enough to meet the growing demand as their supply of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine dries up. While pharmacies in the province were originally offering only doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are now being administered at some locations. In Ottawa, five pharmacies in designated hot spots will be able to give out the Moderna vaccine. "We're limited as to how [many] people we can book, and that's the sad part," said pharmacist Lubna Fawaz, who owns ProMed Pharmacy on Alta Vista Drive. According to the Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA), those five Ottawa pharmacies will receive about 150 doses each per week for the next three weeks, or 2,250 doses total. The OPA said the supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the province's pharmacies has been almost entirely depleted. Doses won't lasting long Fawaz said when she received the Moderna doses Friday morning, they were quickly claimed by customers on her waiting list. Thousands more have signed up for an appointment, but will have to wait. At her adjacent medical clinic, Fawaz said she could administer 1,000 doses per week — if only she had the supply. "I just feel down when somebody approaches me to be able to give them the vaccine and I have to turn them down because I don't have enough doses," she said. Justin Bates is CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists Association.(Tahmina Aziz/CBC) Several of the pharmacies that have received the Moderna doses told CBC they won't last long. Canada is set to receive one million more Moderna doses next week. "The plan is over the course of May ... to continually add more pharmacies, both in hot spots and then broaden it out provincially," said Justin Bates, the OPA's CEO. Bates said more AstraZeneca vaccine should be available for a second dose, depending on supply. The OPA is also watching research on mixing vaccines as a possible option for second doses.
Only nine of the 12 European clubs who launched an ill-fated bid to form a Super League have agreed to a peace deal with UEFA and accepted being fined millions of dollars. The remaining trio of rebels are at risk of being banned from the Champions League for not renouncing the breakaway. Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus have refused to approve what UEFA on Friday called “reintegration measures,” and they will be referred to UEFA disciplinary bodies for sanctions after backing the new largely closed competition. The Super League project imploded three weeks ago after the English clubs — Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham — backed out inside 48 hours after a backlash from the fans and British government. The Premier League clubs along with Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan have officially signed up to a settlement with UEFA to participate only in the existing open European competitions and accepted giving up 5% of revenue for the next season they play in a European competition. Teams from England and Spain reaching the final can earn more than 100 million pounds ($122 million), meaning 5 million euros would be sacrificed. The nine clubs will also make a combined payment of 15 million euros for what UEFA called a “gesture of goodwill” to benefit children, youth and grassroots football. In a move to prevent them deploying the Super League threat again, the clubs have also agreed to be fined 100 million euros if they seek again to play in an unauthorized competition or 50 million euros if they breach any other commitments to UEFA as part of the settlement. “The measures announced are significant, but none of the financial penalties will be retained by UEFA,” said Aleksander Ceferin, the UEFA president. "They will all be reinvested into youth and grassroots football in local communities across Europe, including the UK. These clubs recognised their mistakes quickly and have taken action to demonstrate their contrition and future commitment to European football. "The same cannot be said for the clubs that remain involved in the so-called ‘Super League,’ and UEFA will deal with those clubs subsequently.” Ceferin previously told The Associated Press that the clubs refusing to renege on the Super League could be banned from UEFA's competitions. The 12 clubs were dubbed the “dirty dozen” by Ceferin in a heated period when he fought to prevent the clubs launching a competition that would lock in 15 places for teams for more than two decades, rather than having to qualify through annual domestic league placings as is required for the Champions League. The nine clubs to sign up to UEFA's “club commitment declaration” will rejoin the European Club Association, which they quit on May 18 when the Super League was announced, and they will terminate their legal involvement with the company. The English clubs could yet face separate sanctions from the Premier League and Football Association which is investigating their attempt to split from the established structure. UEFA indicated a desire for the agreement to settle with UEFA to serve as mitigation when domestic punishments are assessed. UEFA said at the request of clubs it “will ask and support that due consideration be given by their respective national associations and national leagues to the spirit, content and purpose of the commitments given by the clubs to UEFA.” English clubs are trying to regain the trust of fans after infuriating them by trying to join the Super League without consulting them. After protests at Old Trafford forced the postponement of Manchester United's Premier League game against Liverpool on Sunday, co-owner Joel Glazer on Friday showed a level of contrition never seen in the 16 years of his family owning the club. Glazer pledged to accelerate discussions with fans about fans being able to have a greater say in United, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, but the family controls the shares with the key voting rights. “One of the clearest lessons of the past few weeks is the need for us to become better listeners," Glazer wrote to the Manchester United Supporters' Trust which he has previously declined to talk to. "To this end, I can commit the club will engage across all of the issues raised.” The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, which boasts more than 200,000 members, responded cautiously to the letter, saying the commitments could represent “in theory only” a change in the right direction by the family which also owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “We will, however, determine our position based on the resulting actions rather than these words alone,” the trust said in a statement. “We have seen empty words too many times previously.” The complaints by United fans are about the Glazers loading debt onto the club and not investing sufficiently in upgrading Old Trafford. While Chelsea fans still back Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, they protested against the Super League project. Chelsea this week pledged to allow fans to be represented in board meetings to bring them into the decision-making process. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Rob Harris, The Associated Press
Doctors working for the Saskatchewan Health Authority meet virtually once a week on Thursdays to discuss the latest COVID-19 key indicators for the province. The health authority then posts the presentations online. As Saskatchewan aggressively lowers the age eligibility for booking vaccine appointments and gets closer to relaxing or lifting some public health measures under its "reopening roadmap" plan, here are four notable observations physicians made Thursday about the current COVID-19 situation in the province. COVID-19 hospitalizations are decreasing, but not in Saskatoon or the north Physicians warned about a month ago that hospital capacity was being stretched due to an increase in infected patients. Those pressures appear to be easing — at least in some places. The rate of daily COVID-19 hospitalizations in Regina and rural Saskatchewan has decreased since mid-April, held steady in Saskatoon and increased in the north. (Saskatchewan Health Authority) Officials say they are doing a "cautious review" of Saskatoon's capacity, including preparation for surges if required. Provincewide, demand for intensive care beds has yet to reach a point where a significant amount of triage is needed. ICUs in Regina had recently housed patients two to a room. That has now ceased. Schools themselves are not leading transmission sites While there have been outbreaks in schools, the schools themselves have often not been the site of transmission. Instead, contact between household members has accounted for the majority of exposures. (Saskatchewan Health Authority) "Acquisition of COVID-19 among school students, staff and teachers has mainly occurred outside of school," according to the presentation given by Dr. Lanre Medu, a medical health officer with the health authority. Variants dominate in some areas Data shared among doctors illustrates starkly how coronavirus variants of concern have transformed the COVID-19 landscape in Saskatchewan. (Saskatchewan Health Authority) In Saskatchewan's southeast, 25 new variant of concern cases were identified during the week of April 19 to April 25 — a number that was actually higher than the 23 new COVID-19 cases announced in the region that week (cases are typically identified as a variant through screening after they're officially reported as COVID-19 cases). Regina was not far behind, with 77 variants cases identified that week and 87 new COVID-19 cases reported. The far northwest, where the total population is small, led regions in both test positivity and the average case rate per 100,000 people. Health workers are feeling the public's anger According to one presentation slide, there has been an increase in people taking out their frustrations against public health staff. This includes abusive verbal and written threats, with some workers being personally targeted. "Income security" was cited as the main reason for public concern or abuse heaped on workers, after people are told they have to self-isolate after becoming infected with COVID-19. (Saskatchewan Health Authority) Earlier on Thursday, the health authority told CBC News it's increasingly challenged in identifying all close contacts of infected people. It cited people's reluctance to seek testing as one reason. "We encourage anyone who attended [events] to get tested if they have any symptoms, and to support contact tracing to reduce the risk of community transmission," a spokesperson said via email. Thursday's health authority virtual town hall also included a section on the importance of civility between health workers. Read the May 6 physician town hall slides in their entirety below. On mobile? Click here.
OTTAWA — The Canada Revenue Agency is being taken to task by a federal watchdog for not being as up front as it should be over how long it might take to process applications for pandemic aid. The $500-a-week Canada Recovery Benefit is paid out by the agency to qualifying workers who have earned at least $5,000 in the preceding 12 months. In most cases, the application process is quick, but in others, the agency has to do additional digging to verify eligibility. The taxpayers' ombudsperson said his office has received complaints that CRA call-centre agents can't offer a timeline for when verification work will be done, leaving thousands in financial hardship. Francois Boileau said taxpayers should be able to have more details on how long it will take the agency to verify documents so they can plan how to cover their bills like rent. He said complaints to his office have said the agency can take up to 10 weeks to finish the process before issuing a payment. The process differs from one that was used one year ago for the CRB's forerunner, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Applications were quickly approved and payments issued with the government opting to do a review after-the-fact to recoup improper payments. With the CRB, the government pushed that verification to the front of the application process, including asking for pay slips or records of employment if the agency couldn't easily confirm that someone met the earnings threshold. Once the documents came in, the agency started the clock. In March, there were complaints that it could take four to six weeks for the process to play out. More recently, it has risen to eight to 10 weeks. The agency had differing timelines referenced on different parts of its website, but updated them to in recent days after Boileau suggested the CRA do so. "The CRA understands that the longer processing times for these recovery benefit applications may place a financial burden on Canadians who depend on these benefits as income replacement," the agency said in a statement. "In some cases, processing times may be extended for unforeseeable reasons." The CRA says the process shouldn't be nearly as long for anyone who filed their 2020 tax return, which would easily let the agency verify income eligibility when an application rolls in. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 7, 2021. The Canadian Press
Water levels at record highs force the community of Hay River, N.W.T., to issue evacuation orders as the town braces for flooding.
The defendant in a first-degree murder trial in central Newfoundland has fired his legal aid lawyers — the day before jury selection was to get underway. Kirk Keeping's move in Supreme Court on Friday morning means his murder trial is now delayed indefinitely. Keeping is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Chantel John, a 28-year-old woman from the Miawpukek First Nation in Conne River in January 2019. He is accused of killing John in her family home, and is also charged with the attempted murder of her biological mother. In a written statement, Chantel John's adoptive mother, Jennifer John, said the delay has inflicted more pain on the family. "It's really frustrating having to deal with this every day," Jennifer John wrote. "We want justice for Chantel, we are reliving this nightmare over and over, our lives will never be the same again." Until Friday morning, Keeping was represented by Derek Hogan and Derek Ford, experienced legal aid lawyers. But Keeping told Justice Glen Noel he did not have confidence in either of them just minutes before a jury pre-screening process was set to begin Friday. Keeping told the court he did not know what his lawyer's strategy was, did not receive a list of witnesses and evidence, and could not meet with his lawyers enough while he was being held at Her Majesty's Penitentiary in St. John's. "I am charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder and facing life in jail," he told Noel. "My lawyers have spent two or three hours with me in 28 months." Hogan told Noel he disputed those comments and had only heard about Keeping's desire to ditch his lawyers 15 minutes before the court hearing had begun. Noel accepted that Keeping's lawyers could no longer represent him if Keeping had no confidence in them, but told Keeping he should have made his intentions clear well before the trial was set to start. He concluded that the trial could not continue while Keeping had no lawyer, something Crown attorney Karen O'Reilly agreed with. Noel said Keeping has put the court in an unfortunate and difficult condition, and warned him that a delay would not be granted again. Keeping is charged with the first-degree murder of Chantel John.(Facebook) Keeping, who will now return to Her Majesty's Penitentiary, must report to the court next month to update the justice on his search for new lawyers. Similar delay in high-profile 2018 murder trial There was similar last-minute delay in a recent high-profile murder trial, also involving lawyer Derek Hogan, albeit in a different way. Trent Butt was accused of the first-degree murder of his five-year-old daughter, Quinn, and then setting his house on fire back in 2016. In 2018, one week before his trial was set to begin, Butt fired his lawyers. Hogan ultimately became Butt's lawyer. . Butt's trial was delayed a year. He was convicted of first-degree murder in 2019. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
LOS ANGELES — Aubrey Plaza has married her longtime boyfriend, director and screenwriter Jeff Baena. The “Parks and Recreation” actor called Baena “my husband” for the first time publicly Friday in an Instagram post. Her publicist confirmed the two had married but gave no details. Plaza, 36, and Baena, 43, have been a couple for about a decade. She has appeared in two of his films, 2014's “Life After Beth” and 2017's “The Little Hours,” and is slated to appear in his forthcoming “Spin Me Round,” which was the subject of her Instagram post. “So proud of my darling husband @jeffbaena for dreaming up another film that takes us to italia to cause some more trouble,” Plaza said alongside a photo of the couple. She also appears in the new Showtime anthology series “Cinema Toast,” which he created. Plaza is best known for playing April Ludgate from 2009 to 2015 on the NBC comedy series “Parks and Recreation.” In addition to his films with Plaza, Baena directed the 2020 Netflix drama “Horse Girl” with Alison Brie, who also co-wrote “Spin Me Round” with Baena and will co-star with Plaza. The Associated Press
PARIS — Canadian international Jonathan David scored a milestone goal Friday as French league leader Lille won 3-0 at Lens to move four points ahead of Paris Saint-Germain. It was David's 12th goal of the season, moving him out of a tie with Tomasz Radzinski for the most goals by a Canadian in a top men's league in Europe. Radzinski scored his 11 for England's Everton in the 2002-03 season. David, a 21-year-old from Ottawa, made it 3-0 with a sharp finish on the hour mark. Lens goalkeeper Jean-Louis Leca could not control the rebound of a Jonathan Bamba shot and the ball went to David who controlled it and then pivoted, firing a hard left-footed shot over Leca. PSG must beat Rennes on Sunday to stay within one point of Lille. But even if defending champion PSG wins at Rennes, which is chasing fifth place and a Europa League spot, Lille can seal a first title in 10 years by winning the last two games. Burak Yilmaz scored an early penalty and added a superb long strike for Lille, taking his total to 15 league goals since joining from Istanbul side Besiktas last summer. He struck with a penalty in the fourth minute and spun outside the penalty area to clip a brilliant dipping shot into the top corner in the 40th, moments after Lens midfielder Clement Michelin was sent off for a second yellow card. Lens dropped to sixth place to trail fifth-placed Marseille on goal difference, and is only two points ahead of seventh-placed Rennes, having played one game more than both sides. Marseille is at Saint-Etienne on Sunday. ___ With files from The Associated Press The Canadian Press
Ottawa is reporting 110 new COVID-19 cases and one more death. The load on the city's intensive care units is lightening. Three more people from the area have died of COVID-19. Today's Ottawa update Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reporting 110 new COVID-19 cases and one more death on Friday. The city has now surpassed 25,000 confirmed cases. Many key indicators that rose to record levels during this third wave of the pandemic are now in decline, though still much higher than what health officials are comfortable with. A graph showing coronavirus levels in Ottawa's wastewater, which peaked in early April, steadily declined for about a month and has recently plateaued. Data for much of March may have been affected by the spring melt.(613covid.ca) Numbers to watch 6.6%: The rate of COVID-19 tests coming back positive has dropped slightly. 0.78: The number of people infected by a single COVID-19 case, or R(t). The spread of the coronavirus is considered under control if that figure is kept below one. 91.1: The weekly incidence rate, a rolling seven-day total of new COVID-19 cases expressed per 100,000 residents. 20: The estimated incidence rate deemed safe to lift Ontario's stay-at-home order, according to one expert. 129: The combined number of patients currently in intensive care in Ottawa, according to the latest updates from local hospitals. All hospital numbers in this section have dropped from the last update. 57: The number of those patients who have COVID-19. 25: The number of COVID-19 patients from Ottawa in an Ottawa ICU, according to OPH. 32: The number of COVID-19 patients from other regions in an Ottawa ICU. 368,616: The number of Ottawa residents who have received their first vaccine dose, an increase of about 15,000 since Monday. 35%: The percentage of Ottawa residents who have received at least one vaccine dose. 27,993: The number of Ottawa residents who have received their second vaccine dose, about three per cent of the city's population. Across the region Public health officials in the Outaouais are reporting 33 new COVID-19 cases Friday and one death. The region is under Quebec's strictest measures, which start to loosen on Monday. The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit reports five more COVID-19 cases and one death. A total of 901 people have now died across the wider region of COVID-19. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit reports 25 more cases. Ontario is under a provincewide stay-at-home order until at least May 20.
WASHINGTON — G. Balachandran turned 80 this spring — a milestone of a birthday in India, where he lives. If not for the coronavirus pandemic, he would have been surrounded by family members who gathered to celebrate with him. But with the virus ravaging his homeland, Balachandran, a retired academic, had to settle for congratulatory phone calls. Including one from his rather famous niece: Vice-President Kamala Harris. During a Zoom interview Thursday from his home in New Delhi, Harris' uncle said he spoke with the vice-president and her husband, Doug Emhoff, for quite a while. To close out the conversation, Harris assured him she’d take care of his daughter — her cousin — who lives in Washington. “Don’t worry, Uncle. I’ll take care of your daughter. I talk to her quite a lot,” Balachandran recalls Harris telling him in their March conversation. It was the last time they had a chance to speak. Since then, the coronavirus has raged out of control in India, overwhelming the health care system and killing hundreds of thousands of people. Harris addressed the crisis in taped remarks at a State Department event Friday on COVID-19 relief efforts in India. She called the surge in infections and deaths “nothing short of heartbreaking” and said “the welfare of India is critically important to the United States.” She summarized U.S. aid to date to India, along with U.S. support for suspending patents on COVID-19 vaccines to help other countries vaccinate their people more quickly. Harris noted that India helped the U.S. at the start of the pandemic when its hospital capacity was stretched. “And today, we are determined to help India in its hour of need,” the vice-president said. While the crisis in India has created diplomatic and humanitarian challenges for the Biden administration, for Harris it is also personal: Her mother was born there, and she’s spoken emotionally throughout her political career about the influence of her many visits to India as a child. Speaking at a fundraiser for the Indian nongovernmental organization Pratham in 2018, Harris talked about walking hand-in-hand with her grandfather, P.V. Gopalan, and listening to him speak with friends about the importance of a free and equal democracy. “It was those walks on the beach with my grandfather on Besant Nagar that have had a profound impact on who I am today,” she said. She spoke often on the campaign trail about her late mother, Shyamala Gopalan, a headstrong and resilient woman who bucked tradition and decided to leave India to pursue a career as a scientist at the University of California, Berkeley. And during her acceptance speech at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Harris opened her speech with a shout-out to her “chithis” — a Tamil word for aunt. One of those chithis, Sarala Gopalan, is a retired obstetrician who lives in Chennai. As a child, Harris used to visit India every other year. Now all that remains of her extended family there are her aunt and uncle. Another Indian-born aunt lives in Canada. Balachandran said that while he used to hear about friends of friends getting the virus, now it’s hitting close to home. Those he knows personally or worked with are getting the virus, and some are dying. Balachandran considers himself one of the lucky ones, as he’s retired and largely stays home alone, leaving only occasionally for groceries, so that “nobody can infect me other than myself.” His sister Sarala is the same, he says, and has largely isolated herself in her apartment in Chennai to avoid exposure. Both are fully vaccinated, something he knows is a luxury in India, which has suffered from a severe vaccine shortage. That shortage is part of what prompted criticism in India of what many saw as an initially lacklustre U.S. response to a humanitarian crisis unfolding in the nation over the past month. The U.S. initially refused to lift a ban on exports of vaccine manufacturing supplies, drawing sharp criticism from some Indian leaders. When COVID-19 cases in India started to spin out of control in April, there were calls for other countries — particularly the U.S. — to get involved. While a number of countries, including Germany, Saudi Arabia and even India's traditional foe Pakistan, offered support and supplies, U.S. leaders were seen as dragging their feet. The White House had previously emphasized the $1.4 billion in health assistance provided to India to help with pandemic preparedness and said when asked that it was in discussions about offering aid. The delay in offering further aid was seen as putting a strain on long-standing close diplomatic relations between the two nations, and on April 25, after receiving scrutiny over the U.S. response, a number of top U.S. officials publicly offered further support and supplies to India — including a tweet and a call to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi from President Joe Biden himself. Harris’ niece in California, Meena Harris, has retweeted a half-dozen accounts calling for more aid to India, including one from climate activist Greta Thunberg admonishing the global community to “step up and immediately offer assistance.” Harris' office declined to comment for this article. The U.S. announced it would lift the export ban on vaccine manufacturing supplies and last week began sending personal protective equipment, oxygen supplies, antivirals and other aid to India to help it combat the virus. The administration gets no criticism from S.V. Ramanan, an administrator of the Shri Dharma Sastha Temple in Harris’ grandfather’s hometown Thulasendrapuram in southern Tamil Nadu state, 215 miles (350 kilometres) from the coastal city of Chennai. “Everyone has their priorities. America also passed through something similar and we helped then. Now they are helping us,” he said. Ramanan added that he didn’t expect that having Harris as vice-president fast-tracked aid to India or that it somehow meant help should have come earlier, adding: “I think in general all other countries should help, and I’m glad the U.S. has stepped up.” He hopes Harris can make a visit to her ancestral village when things are better. While Harris has embraced her Indian heritage as part of her political profile, in responding to the crisis there she’s been careful to speak from the perspective of a vice-president rather than an Indian American worried about her family’s safety. “We are all part of a world community. And to the extent that any of us, as human beings who have any level of compassion, see suffering anywhere around the world, it impacts all of us. You know, it impacts us all,” she told reporters last week in Ohio. A ban on travel to and from India was announced that day. Harris said only that she hadn’t spoken to her family since the ban was announced. And G. Balachandran, Harris’ uncle, doesn’t fault his niece for how the U.S. response has played out. He said that, knowing Kamala, “she would have done all that she can in order to expedite the matter.” For now, he's content with the occasional phone call from his niece. When the two talk, it’s mostly about family; he doesn’t share much about current affairs in India because, he joked, “she’s got a whole embassy that’s sending her cables every hour on all of India!” But he does hope to visit the vice-president's residence in Washington at the Naval Observatory when he can travel again. Balachandran said he'd like to meet Biden again and remind him that the last time they met was when Biden was vice-president and swore in Harris as a U.S. senator. “I wish we could all be together at the same time,” he said of the extended family, “but that’s a big wish to look for at this moment.” ___ Associated Press writer Krutika Pathi contributed to this report from New Delhi. Alexandra Jaffe, The Associated Press
EDMONTON — A judge has found an Edmonton woman guilty of manslaughter in the death of her five-year-old daughter. Court heard that the girl died of blunt-force trauma and prosecutors alleged her mother beat her with a belt and a spatula. The woman, who is in her 30s, had been charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life, assault with a weapon and second-degree murder. Justice Avril Inglis says there was not enough evidence to convict the woman beyond a reasonable doubt on those charges. But Inglis convicted the woman of manslaughter because evidence showed that the girl's severe brain injuries were caused by an assault and the only person in the home capable of inflicting them was her mother. The woman is expected to be sentenced in the fall. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 7, 2021. The Canadian Press
HALIFAX — As Nova Scotia's COVID-19 outbreak intensified on Friday, the province's premier followed through on a pledge to impose tougher restrictions on residents and visitors alike. Premier Iain Rankin reported 227 new cases — another daily high — and the virus-related death of a woman in her 70s. As well, he confirmed that an additional 200 positive cases had yet to be entered into the province's database because public health staff have been overwhelmed by the sudden surge. "It's a sign that the variants are on the move across the province," Rankin told a virtual news conference. "We will continue to have high numbers for the next several days … Today, we are locking down with even tighter restrictions." Nova Scotia went into a full lockdown on April 28 when it became clear the virus was spreading at a rapid rate, particularly in the Halifax area. Rankin told reporters Thursday he had grown frustrated with residents and visitors who aren't taking the pandemic seriously and said he wouldn't hesitate to impose new health orders. On Friday, he delivered on his warning by extending school closures to the end of May and imposing tougher border restrictions. There are also new rules for rotational workers and those who want to go out shopping. There was no talk of curfews. Starting Monday at 8 a.m., the border will be closed to all non-essential travel. That includes anyone intending to move to the province, or parents from outside Nova Scotia hoping to pick up or drop off students. "There's no coming in or out unless it's absolutely essential," Rankin said. "If you want to spend your summer here or go to your summer home, you can't do that right now. Delay your trip." An application process will be introduced by May 14 for most travellers. The new border rules will remain in place until the end of the month. As of Friday, Nova Scotia had 1,464 active cases of COVID-19. There were 50 people in hospital with the disease, including nine in intensive care. "There is more COVID activity in the province than we thought we would find," Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief medical officer of health, told reporters. "Our situation is critical, especially in the Halifax area." Almost all of the newly recorded cases were in the province's central zone, which includes Halifax. And the number of fatalities from COVID-19 rose Friday to 70 as the province confirmed the latest death. "We're asking a lot, over a year into the pandemic and people are tired, frustrated overwhelmed and afraid — and some of you have checked out," Strang said. "But remember, the last part of any marathon is the hardest." Strang said people should stop looking for loopholes and he confirmed some travellers have been caught trying to use forged documents, including fake emails that looked like they came from his office. There have been a number of outbreaks in Atlantic Canada since the pandemic began, but the sudden spike in Nova Scotia has been the worst in the region so far. The previous outbreaks, including one in Newfoundland and Labrador that forced cancellation of in-person voting for a provincial election, were all brought under control in short order, thanks to compliance with tough lockdown rules. As a result, the Atlantic region has been repeatedly lauded for being a world leader in keeping the virus under control. Nova Scotia has been subjected to strict health protocol measures since April 28, which include a ban on travel outside residents' home municipalities. Under the new rules, rotational workers returning home from so-called outbreak zones — such as Fort McMurray, Alta. — must now self-isolate for 14 days in a separate space, away from others in their household. But they can share a bathroom that is cleaned between uses. The new shopping rules, which take effect Saturday, call for all households to designate one shopper. And all retail stores offering in-person shopping must impose a limit of one shopper per household, though exceptions will be made for children and caregivers. Retail stores that sell essential products must limit in-person service to a maximum of 25 per cent of store capacity. Essential products include food, fuel, medicine, hygiene products, cleaning supplies, hardware, pet food, baby products and gardening supplies. Computer and cellphone services and laundromats are also considered essential. Meanwhile, the exceptions to the new border rules include: — permanent residents returning to the province — people who work outside the province — post-secondary students returning home or entering to study — people travelling for child custody reasons — long-haul truck drivers, airline crew, first responders and people needing essential health services — people who follow the protocols for travel between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for work, school and child care. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 7, 2021. Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press
Chris Samson and Kian Zhao spend many of their days holding their breath and scouring the ocean floor. Harvesting crab has long been a hobby of theirs, but they say the crustaceans have been harder to come by lately along the B.C. coast. On Monday, they saw first-hand what has been threatening local crab populations. The pair was free diving with a small group near Jericho Beach in Vancouver when they came across a mysterious line in the water. "Towards the end of the dive, I decided to pull on it to see where it led me, and it led me to one trap, which led me to another trap, and so on," said Samson. "I knew immediately what I was looking at." The traps didn't have the legally required identifiers or locator floats. Right away, Samson reported the finding to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). These illegal crab traps were seized earlier this year during a five-day, joint operation in Boundary Bay involving the Canadian Coast Guard and DFO. (DFO) Over the next few days, fisheries officers dragged the sea floor and seized more than 250 illegal crab traps. "That's a lot," said Arthur Demsky, a DFO detachment commander. "The gear is all illegal. It's not marked. There's no floats attached." WATCH | Chris Samson uncovers illegal traps Illegal crab fishing is a widespread problem along the B.C. coastline, where poachers set long lines of unmarked traps, often retrieving them at night using GPS coordinates. The crabs are then sold on the black market, or laundered into the commercial marketplace. As many as 30 traps were attached to one of the lines crews recovered in English Bay. Demsky says the traps appeared to be commercial grade, and did not include rot chord — a legally required cable that will degrade over time, allowing crabs to escape should a trap become lost. "It's not only crabs that go into these traps, it's all sorts of fish that go into these traps," said Demsky. "I'm sure they get killed, and are captured and sold with the crab." Kian Zhao and Chris Samson are free divers and hobby crab harvesters.(Jon Hernandez/CBC) "Over the long term, that can be devastating to [the ecosystem]," he said. Poachers pose a major conservation concern by taking undersized crab, or females that haven't had a chance to reproduce. An investigation is ongoing, but officials admit it can be a challenge to find the perpetrators. Full extent of issue unknown Earlier this year, DFO pulled 337 illegal crab traps from Boundary Bay in a five-day operation with the Canadian Coast Guard. The annual blitz has yielded more than 1,000 illegal traps over the past few years, but the full extent of the issue along the coast is unknown. For hobby harvesters like Samson, uncovering an illegal trap is infuriating. "Anger, disgust, frustration — we're out in the ocean all the time looking for crab and we can't find legally sized ones, and it's no wonder because these illegal operations are poaching them all," he said. This illegal crab trap was seized earlier this year during a five-day, joint operation in Boundary Bay involving the Canadian Coast Guard and DFO. (DFO) The finding was a first for Samson, who dives regularly across the region. He says he's thankful crews were able to uncover such a large network of traps. "It hurts the commercial guys doing it legally, it hurts us who go out into the ocean trying to bring some food home. These people are hurting our economy and destroying our ocean," he said. As for poachers, he has some words of warning. "There's people out there like me, watching." Poachers can face jail time and fines up to $100,000. Anyone who witnesses the illegal activity or has any information is asked to contact the DFO's Observe, Record, Report line.
New Brunswick's natural resources and energy development minister is defending his government's decision to keep the royalties for wood harvested on Crown land stable, despite record prices for lumber across North America in the past year. The province takes "a steady, stable approach" to the timber royalties it charges lumber companies for cutting trees on Crown land, which means it won't lower the fees when prices drop and won't raise them when prices rise, said Mike Holland, speaking this week on CBC's Political Panel. "We have a steady, stable approach to our timber royalties to provide consistency and also to ensure that we don't leave money on the table. The conversation is around 'Why don't we raise them when the price is good?' But the conversation never centres around lowering them when there are hits to industry or the price is low." In the past year, the price of lumber paid by consumers has climbed by as much as 300 per cent. In Alberta, which ties timber royalties to the market prices of timber products, those record prices have also been generating record amounts of public revenue, with the province reporting timber royalties going $111 million over budget at the end of the last fiscal year. New Brunswick, meanwhile, has kept its timber royalties steady while at the same time pulling out of tax-sharing agreements for gasoline sales on First Nations, with Premier Blaine Higgs saying those agreements deprived schools, hospitals and other public services of much-needed funding. Holland said the province's stance on keeping timber royalties steady has meant the province hasn't taken hits to its revenue in the past when lumber prices were lower, such as when the United States imposed tariffs on Canadian lumber that were as high as 20 per cent. "At that point, we didn't lower the royalty rates as well as in 2018, timber and the retail market was at an all-time low price. Again, province of New Brunswick did not lower royalty rates as well, like you refer to Alberta, following the commodity as it relates to the royalty rate." Bathurst West-Beresford Liberal MLA René Legacy said he understands taking a stable approach that accounts for regular lows and highs, but doesn't think it accommodates "extreme circumstances like we're in now." Bathurst West-Beresford Liberal MLA René Legacy said he thinks most New Brunswickers have a hard time comprehending how Crown timber isn't worth more now that lumber prices have skyrocketed.(Jacques Poitras/CBC) "When you hear that wood is going up 100 per cent, 200 per cent, would it be, you know, sensible to think that maybe we could benefit 20, 30 per cent from that in our fees?" Legacy said. "I think most New Brunswickers have a really hard time comprehending that our resources aren't worth more when times are good." Green Party Leader David Coon said the value of the timber on Crown lands is the value of its income potential, and to reflect that, New Brunswick would need to either adopt a model similar to Alberta's or Maine's, which he described as a competitive auction sale. Green Party Leader David Coon noted that revenues from Crown timber royalties are offset by management fees the province pays to companies that harvest timber.(CBC News) Some of those timber royalty revenues are also offset by Crown land management fees the province pays forestry companies. Coon also noted the timber royalties exclude any revenue sharing with First Nations, which in recent years have filed legal claims for land in the province. People's Alliance Leader Kris Austin said he thinks it's great that companies in New Brunswick are doing well given the higher lumber prices. People's Alliance Leader Kris Austin said taxpayers are losing "a significant benefit" of the value of Crown timber by the province not raising the Crown timber royalties.(CBC) "But when you're taking resources off of Crown land, then the taxpayers need to benefit from that, and right now, they're losing a significant benefit from it," Austin said. "And I think if we do tie it to the market and we look at ways to ensure that whatever we're paying out in management fees is being recouped to some extent from industry, we'd see a more level playing field and it would give the opportunity for taxpayers to get a better bang for the buck for the resources that they're giving to industry in the midst of this economic boom."