WASHINGTON — It's taken only days for Democrats gauging how far President Joe Biden's bold immigration proposal can go in Congress to acknowledge that if anything emerges, it will likely be significantly more modest. As they brace to tackle a politically flammable issue that's resisted major congressional action since the 1980s, Democrats are using words like “aspirational” to describe Biden's plan and “herculean” to express the effort they'll need to prevail. A cautious note came from the White House on Friday when press secretary Jen Psaki said the new administration views Biden's plan as a “first step” it hopes will be “the basis" of discussions in Congress. Democrats' measured tones underscore the fragile road they face on a paramount issue for their minority voters, progressives and activists. Immigration proponents advocating an all-out fight say Democrats' new hold on the White House and Congress provides a major edge, but they concede they may have to accept less than total victory. Paving a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally, the centerpiece of Biden's plan, is “the stake at the summit of the mountain,” Frank Sharry, executive director of the pro-immigration group America’s Voice, said in an interview. He said proponents may have to accept “stepping stones" along the way. The citizenship process in Biden's plan would take as little as three years for some people, eight years for others. It would make it easier for certain workers to stay in the U.S. temporarily or permanently, provide development aid to Central American nations in hopes of reducing immigration and move toward bolstering border screening technology. No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Richard Durbin of Illinois said in an interview this week that the likeliest package to emerge would start with creating a path to citizenship for so-called Dreamers. They are over 1 million immigrants who’ve lived in the U.S. most of their lives after being brought here illegally as children. Over 600,000 of them have temporary permission to live in the U.S. under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Former President Barack Obama created that program administratively, and Durbin and others want to protect it by enacting it into law. Durbin, who called Biden's plan “aspirational,” said he'll push for as many other elements as possible, including more visas for agricultural workers and others. “We understand the political reality of a 50-50 Senate, that any changes in immigration will require co-operation between the parties,” said Durbin, who is on track to become Senate Judiciary Committee chairman. He said Senate legislation likely “will not reach the same levels” as Biden’s proposal. The Senate is split evenly between the two parties, with Vice-President Kamala Harris tipping the chamber to Democrats with her tie-breaking vote. Even so, passing major legislation requires 60 votes to overcome filibusters, or endless procedural delays. That means 10 Republicans must join all 50 Democrats to enact an immigration measure, a tall order. “Passing immigration reform through the Senate, particularly, is a herculean task,” said Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who will also play a lead role in the battle. He said Democrats “will get it done” but the effort will require negotiation. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who's worked with Democrats on past immigration efforts, said “comprehensive immigration is going to be a tough sale” this year. “I think the space in a 50-50 Senate will be some kind of DACA deal,” he said. Illustrating the bargaining ahead, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate who’s sought earlier immigration compromises, praised parts of Biden's plan but said she wants changes including more visas for the foreign workers her state's tourism industry uses heavily. Democrats' hurdles are formidable. They have razor-thin majorities in a House and Senate where Republican support for easing immigration restrictions is usually scant. Acrid partisan relationships were intensified by former President Donald Trump's clamourous tenure. Biden will have to spend plenty of political capital and time on earlier, higher priority bills battling the pandemic and bolstering the economy, leaving his future clout uncertain. Democrats also must resolve tactical differences. Sharry said immigration groups prefer Democrats push for the strongest possible bill without concessions to Republicans' demands like boosting border security spending. He said hopes for a bipartisan breakthrough are “a fool’s errand” because the GOP has largely opposed immigration overhauls for so long. But prevailing without GOP votes would mean virtual unanimity among congressional Democrats, a huge challenge. It would also mean Democrats would have to eliminate the Senate filibuster, which they may not have the votes to do, or concoct other procedural routes around the 60-vote hurdle. “I'm going to start negotiating" with Republicans, said Durbin. He said a bipartisan bill would be better “if we can do it" because it would improve chances for passage. Democrats already face attacks from Republicans, eyeing next year's elections, on an issue that helped power Trump's 2016 victory by fortifying his support from many white voters. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Biden’s proposal would “prioritize help for illegal immigrants and not our fellow citizens.” Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who heads the Senate Republican campaign committee, said the measure would hurt “hard-working Americans and the millions of immigrants working their way through the legal immigration process." Democrats say such allegations are false but say it's difficult to compose crisp, sound-bite responses on the complex issue. It requires having “an adult conversation” with voters, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., said in an interview. “Yeah, this is about people, but it's about the economy" too, said Spanberger, a moderate from a district where farms and technology firms hire many immigrants. “In central Virginia, we rely on immigration. And you may not like that, but we do." Alan Fram, The Associated Press
Reece Howden is accustomed to leading ski cross competitions but on Saturday employed a different strategy, purposely sitting back before waiting for a break on the way to a second World Cup victory in 33 days. The 22-year-old from Cultus Lake, B.C., settled in the middle of the pack for much of the big finals until the final turn on the full-length course in Idre Fjall, Sweden. "The plan was to not come out in front, the draft was too strong," he told Alpine Canada. "I wanted to chill in the middle of the pack and give my legs a bit of a break and once I made that last turn fire up those engines and get out in front," said Howden, who sits atop the season rankings. "Today was a day of racing, not a day of leading, so I was super happy with my execution and it couldn't have gone any better." WATCH | Reece Howden earns his 3rd World Cup medal: Howden captured silver and the next day gold in late December in Val Thorens, France. He has been able to devote more time to skiing this season after graduating from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in the spring. Howden's teammate, veteran ski cross racer Chris Del Bosco of Montreal, was third in the small finals on Saturday and seventh overall for his best finish since 2018. "It's been a while since I've been back in the small finals," said Del Bosco, who ruptured his Achilles last summer. "It felt really good to get the monkey off my back. I made a few small mistakes in that last round, but I am heading in the right direction." Hoffos, Thompson inside top 10 Ottawa's Jared Schmidt delivered a career-best 29th-place finish while Brady Leman (27th), Kris Mahler (32nd) and Carson Cook (48th) rounded out the Canadian contingent. In the women's event, Tiana Gairns of Prince George, B.C., placed a career-best fifth, followed by Courtney Hoffos (Invermere, B.C.) and Marielle Thompson (Whistler, B.C.) in sixth and eighth, respectively. "Idre is interesting since it's such a long track with such a long straight section that you don't want to pass at the beginning," Gairns said. Added Hoffos: "You almost want to be patient and hold your composure in fourth place so you can boost ahead of everyone at the last second." Zoe Chore (16th) and Hannah Schmidt (17th) were the other Canadian competitors. The men and women return to the Swedish course on Sunday at 6 a.m. ET.
Kristy Sykes lost her best friend to a fentanyl overdose five years ago and knows what it's like to bottle up grief about loved ones lost. She believes other people share that feeling so the Kamloops, B.C., landscaper came up with a creative idea. Sykes turned an old, yellow phone she bought from a local thrift store into a conduit to the next world, tucked away in the trees in a local park. "We are at the Telephone of Infinity," Sykes told CBC story producer Jenifer Norwell on a hiking trail in Peterson Creek Nature Park south of downtown in the southern Interior city. "This phone is here to help express feelings and energy, and to remind you that although your loved one has passed, they are always here to listen," reads the phone's introductory note attached to a plywood board affixed to a tree. "Dedicated to the memory of Tyler Robinson," the final line of the note says about Sykes's best friend and ex-boyfriend, who died in January 2016. Sykes's creation was inspired by U.S. travel journalist Corey Dembeck, who installed his rotary Telephone of the Wind in November at Priest Point Park in Olympia, Wash., after his grandfather, parents and his friend's daughter died. "I just started crying, like tears just came to my eyes right away," Sykes said. "A lot of people, even if they know they can make connections with someone who has passed away, just might need a physical, real item that could be a gate towards doing that," she said. Sykes lost her grandmother to cancer five years ago, and over the years many of her friends passed away due to opioid overdose. Sykes hasn't used the Telephone of Infinity herself, but says speaking on the phone while imagining a loved one on the other side can be a miraculous, emotional experience. "You could write [your feelings] in a journal, but I just think sitting and speaking out loud is important as well," she said. "It's a natural gift that we have to use communication that way." Tap the link below to hear Kristy Sykes's conversation with Jenifer Norwell on Daybreak Kamloops:
Deux endroits sur la Côte-Nord, soit le Lac Petapan et l’Allée du Chafaud, sont en nomination au palmarès 2021 de la Commission de toponymie qui choisit chaque année une douzaine de lieux en fonction notamment de l’originalité de leur nom et de leur capacité à inspirer des images fortes. La Toponymie s’intéresse à la signification de noms de lieux, ainsi qu’au contexte derrière sa détermination historique. Les gens intéressés à voter pour leur nom coup de cœur ont jusqu’au 9 février pour le faire. L’Allée du Chafaud est une voie de communication qui rappelle la présence de chafauds sur les plages de l’île Harrington utilisés par les pêcheurs locaux. Le mot chafaud désigne un quai sur pilotis qui est démonté pour la saison hivernale pour être reconstruit au printemps. Ce mot pouvait aussi désigner le bâtiment adjacent à ce quai. Le lac Petapan, Lac-au-Brochet est situé en Haute-Côte-Nord. Il se trouve à environ 20 kilomètres au nord-est du réservoir Pipmuacan , un peu plus de 30 kilomètres au nord de Labrieville. Le lac a une superficie de près de 45 kilomètres carrés. Cinq prix, de 100$ en carte cadeau chez Renaud-Bray, seront remis suite à un tirage au sort parmi les personnes qui auront voté en ligne pour choisir le Toponyme coup de foudre du public. Le tirage aura lieu le 10 février prochain. Douze noms figurent à ce palmarès coup de cœur dont la chute des pitounes volantes du lac Jacques-Cartier dans la région de la Capitale nationale. Pour voter, il suffit de se rendre au : www.toponymie.gouv.qc.ca/ct/vote-toponyme.Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
Support for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has overseen the world's second deadliest coronavirus outbreak, has fallen sharply, a Datafolha poll shows, as a brutal second wave and a lack of vaccines sour views of his far-right government. However, despite his declining support, a majority of Brazilians are now against him being impeached, a second Datafolha poll found. According to one of the polls, Bolsonaro's administration was rated as bad or terrible by 40% of respondents, compared with 32% in an early-December survey.
The takeover in 2016 by right-wing extremists of a federal bird sanctuary in Oregon. A standoff in 1992 between white separatists and federal agents in Ruby Ridge, Idaho. The 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. Right-wing extremism has previously played out for the most part in isolated pockets of America and in its smaller cities. The deadly assault by rioters on the U.S. Capitol, in contrast, targeted the very heart of government. And it brought together, in large numbers, members of disparate groups, creating an opportunity for extremists to establish links with each other. That, an experts says, potentially sets the stage for more violent actions. “The events themselves, and participation in them, has a radicalizing effect. And they also have an inspirational effect. The battle of Capitol Hill is now part of the mythology,” said Brian Michael Jenkins, a terrorism expert and senior adviser to the president of the RAND Corporation think-tank . Mary McCord, a former acting U.S. assistant attorney general for national security, said the climate for the insurrection had been building throughout the Trump presidency. She cited the 2017 “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that killed one person, aggressive demonstrations at statehouses by armed protesters railing against COVID-19 public health safety orders and mass shootings by people motivated by hate. “All have led to this moment,” McCord, now a visiting law professor at Georgetown University Law Center, said in an email. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors U.S. extremists, has recorded a 55% increase in the number of white nationalist hate groups since 2017. Among those who participated in the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol were members of the Oath Keepers, which often recruits current and former military, police or other first responders; the Proud Boys neo-fascist group; followers of QAnon, which spreads bizarre conspiracy theories; racists and anti-Semites; and others with nearly blind devotion to then-President Donald Trump. “January 6th was kind of a Woodstock of the angry right,” Jenkins said in an interview. “The mere fact those groups were coming together, mingling, sharing this anger, displaying this passion — it is going to have effects.” But what happens next? Will Jan. 6 be a high-water mark for right-wing extremists, or lead to other attacks on America's democracy? Right now, the movement — if it can be called that — seems to be on pause. Supposedly planned armed protests at all 50 state capitals and Washington this past week that the FBI issued a nationwide warning about drew virtually no one. That could indicate the groups are demoralized, at least temporarily. Donald Trump is no longer president and his social media reach has been severely curtailed, with Twitter banning him. The extremists had come together in Washington on Jan. 6 because of their fervent belief in Trump's lies that the presidential election had been stolen, and in response to Trump's tweeted declaration that the protest in Washington “will be wild.” But now, some are clearly angry that Trump disassociated himself with the very insurrection that he stoked. They're upset that he failed to come to the rescue of rioters who were arrested while he was still president and are still being detained and charged. Online, some people associated with the Proud Boys, which adored Trump, appear to have dumped him. “No pardons for middle class whites who risked their livelihoods by going to ‘war' for Trump," a Telegram channel associated with the group said after Trump issued many pardons, but none for the insurrectionists. Another posting on the channel said: “I cannot wait to watch the GOP completely collapse. Out of the ashes, a true nationalist movement will arise.” Believers in QAnon are also reeling after Trump left office without fulfilling their baseless belief that he would vanquish a supposed cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibals, including top Democrats, operating a child sex trafficking ring. Among them was Ron Watkins, who helps run an online messaging board about QAnon conspiracy theories. “We gave it our all. Now we need to keep our chins up and go back to our lives as best we are able,” Watkins wrote on Telegram after President Joe Biden was sworn in and Trump flew off to Florida. Jenkins said the next phase for the extremist groups and people who saw Trump as a saviour could transform into a broader national movement in which factions co-ordinate and combine their assets. Or the widespread condemnation of the insurrection could cause the movement to shrink, leaving more determined elements to strike out on their own and launch attacks. Jenkins recalled the 1970s, when some anti-Vietnam War militants hardened into the Weather Underground, which launched a bombing campaign. Among places targeted were the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon, but the only people who died were three militants who accidentally blew themselves up. “I think given the events of this past year, and especially what we’ve seen in the last couple of months, this puts us into new territory," Jenkins said "And you don't put this back in the box that easily." ___ Associated Press writers Amanda Seitz in Chicago and Garance Burke in San Francisco contributed to this report. ___ Follow Andrew Selsky on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andrewselsky Andrew Selsky, The Associated Press
HONOLULU — People following a violent movement that promotes a second U.S. civil war or the breakdown of modern society have been showing up at recent protests across the nation armed and wearing tactical gear. But the anti-government “boogaloo” movement has adopted an unlikely public and online symbol: the so-called Hawaiian shirt. The often brightly colored, island-themed garment, known in Hawaii as an aloha shirt, is to people across the world synonymous with a laid back lifestyle. But in Hawaii, it has an association with aloha — the Native Hawaiian spirit of love, compassion and mercy. The shirts are being worn by militant followers of the boogaloo philosophy — the antithesis of aloha — at demonstrations about coronavirus lockdowns, racial injustice and, most recently, the presidential election. Boogaloo is a loosely affiliated far-right movement that includes a variety of extremist factions and political views. The name is a reference to a slang term for a sequel -- in this case, a second civil war. “You have everyone from neo-Nazis and white nationalists to libertarians,” said Cassie Miller, a senior research analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups in the U.S. "And while ideologically there might be some differentiation among people who identify with the movement, what unites them is their interest in having complete access to firearms and the belief that the country is heading towards a civil war.” Miller said those who follow boogaloo, sometimes referred to as “Boogaloo Bois,” believe that "people need to rise up against the government, which they see as tyrannical and essentially irredeemable, and that the only solution to righting what they see as their perceived grievances is to overthrow the state.” Those adhering to the philosophy often target law enforcement, Miller said, because the police are the most accessible symbol of the government at public gatherings. People affiliated with the movement have been linked to real-world violence, including a string of domestic terrorism plots. The movement has also been promoted by white supremacists, but many supporters insist they’re not truly advocating for violence. Attempts by The Associated Press to reach people associated with the movement were unsuccessful. “If you look at their online spaces, their rhetoric is extremely violent," Miller said. "A lot of it is kind of under this veneer of irony and humour, but there’s something very real to all of it.” When social media sites began banning the use of the word “boogaloo” and those associated with the movement, followers started using different terms to mask their online identities and intentions. “They’ll adopt a slogan that sounds benign in order to evade scrutiny, in order to evade bans. And so with the boogaloo, what you got is sort of variations of that term showing up in online spaces," Miller said. “One of them was ‘big luau,’ and that is then what led to using Hawaiian imagery and then the Hawaiian shirts.” Miller added that she doesn't believe “they’re really thinking about the meaning of the symbols that they’re using.” "For them, it’s a reference to show that they’re in the know that they’re part of this culture, that they can identify each other at public gatherings like this. And I think that’s really how it functions. It is creating kind of a sense of camaraderie.” But to those who live in Hawaii, especially Native Hawaiians, the aloha spirit attached to the commercialized patterns on the shirts has deeper meaning. “The aloha shirt is one thing but aloha itself is another, and the principles of aloha are deeply rooted in our culture,” said Kealoha Pisciotta, a Native Hawaiian activist who has led peaceful protests against the building of a telescope on a Hawaii peak indigenous people consider sacred. “The principles of aloha are based on love, peace, harmony, truth.” "It creates the space for compassion to come into our heart, rather than the contrary of that, which would be hate, loathing, anti-Semitism, you know, racism,” Pisciotta said. Many Native Hawaiians share a sense of frustration with U.S. and state government because of the way the Hawaiian Kingdom was overthrown. They have long fought against the exploitation and commercialization of their land by large corporations and government entities, but in a mostly peaceful way. “Hawaiians are facing desecration of our burials ... of our sacred places. But it’s in our choice of how we want to respond and address the powers that be," Pisciotta added. "If you want the end result to be based in peace, then you have to move in peace and move in aloha.” "Aloha is about also reducing suffering, reducing, deescalating anger,” she added. "It’s human to become angry, it's human to feel frustrated. It’s human to want to lash out. But but it’s also human to find compassion.” Dale Hope, whose parents owned a garment factory in Honolulu that he went on to run and create quality aloha shirts with an eye toward detailed and authentic Hawaiian imagery, said the imagery being used at protests among extremists is misguided. “I don’t think they really understand the value and the meaning of what these shirts represent,” he said. “I think they’re an easy way for them to stand out in the crowd and to get a lot of attention. But I don’t I don’t think they have a clue as to what the meaning and the virtues of aloha are with love and compassion and sharing.” Hope wrote the book “The Aloha Shirt" about the early days of the textile industry in Hawaii and the meaning behind the aloha symbolism. Aloha shirts first emerged in Hawaii in the 1930s and became accepted business wear locally in the 1960s. They often feature island motifs such as native plants, ocean waves and other scenes that play a prominent role in Native Hawaiian legends and hula chants. Some also show Chinese calligraphy or Japanese carp, reflecting the many cultures that have shaped modern Hawaii. Hope said some designers in Hawaii go out and chant and ask Hawaiian gods for respect before they begin the process of making the symbols on the shirts. “We’ve always tried to do things with respect and honour, whatever the subject is that we’re trying to portray on a piece of textile," Hope said. “I think the aloha shirt is a representation of your passion and your love for this wonderful place that we call home. Hawaii is a unique, wonderful group of islands out in the middle of the Pacific." Caleb Jones, The Associated Press
The Northwest Territories RCMP's Major Crimes Unit says it has arrested a 28-year-old man for allegedly making "statements made towards an employee of GNWT (government of the Northwest Territories) Public Health." The man was taken into custody after police investigated, according to a news release sent late Friday. No further details were offered, such as the community where this occurred, though the release was sent by Yellowknife staff. "NT RCMP takes any comments that could be perceived as a threat to an employee in the public health service very seriously," said Superintendent Jeffrey Christie, criminal operations officer in charge, in the news release. "We want the public and those who serve the public to know that we will investigate and hold accountable, to the fullest extent of the law, anyone who makes statements that contain material that may be viewed as a threat."
There are no new cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador on Saturday. The province now has five active cases, with one person in hospital, as the Department of Health reported two more recoveries in Saturday's update. The health department did not say which region of the province the recoveries came from. This means 386 people have recovered from the virus in the province since the pandemic began in March. In total, 77,725 people have been tested as of Saturday. That's an increase of 259 in the last day. Further daily updates will continue to come via media releases sent by the Department of Health. The exception is on Wednesdays, when Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald will provide live updates on her own, until at least the end of the province's general election on Feb. 13. Around the rest of Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia reported no new cases, while New Brunswick reported 17 on Saturday. There has been no update on Prince Edward Island as of 3 p.m. NT, but the province continues to have seven active cases. Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
MONTREAL — Quebec is reporting 1,685 new COVID-19 cases Saturday as daily counts continue to decline. The province is also reporting 76 new deaths attributed to COVID-19, for a total of 9,437. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 dropped by 43 to 1,383. The drop in case numbers comes after the Quebec government implemented an 8 p.m. curfew province-wide on Jan. 9. Premier Francois Legault attributed the decline to the curfew, but has said hospitals are too full to lift the new restrictions as scheduled on Feb. 8. As of Saturday, at least 225,245 people in Quebec have recovered from COVID-19. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — Inside the White House, President Joe Biden presided over a focused launch of his administration, using his first days in office to break sharply with his predecessor while signing executive orders meant as a showy display of action to address the historic challenges he inherited. But outside the gates at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., there are signs everywhere that those crises are as deep and intractable as ever. The coronavirus pandemic surges, the economy teeters and Republicans in Congress have signalled objections to many of Biden’s plans. Biden is looking to jump-start his first 100 days in office with action and symbolism to reassure a divided and weary public that help is in the offing. He also knows that what a president can do on his own is limited so he is calling for Congress to act while he is being candid with Americans that dark days are ahead. “The crisis is not getting better. It’s deepening,” Biden said Friday about the impact of pandemic. “A lot of America is hurting. The virus is surging. Families are going hungry. People are at risk of being evicted again. Job losses are mounting. We need to act.” “The bottom line is this: We’re in a national emergency. We need to act like we’re in a national emergency,” he said. Biden’s first moments as president were meant to steady American democracy itself. He took the oath just before noon Wednesday in front of a Capitol that still bore scars from the insurrection that took place precisely two weeks earlier and was aimed at stopping Biden’s ascension to power. The violence underscored the fragile nature of the peaceful transfer of power and led to the historic second impeachment of Donald Trump. Biden resisted calls to move the inauguration to a more secure indoor setting. He was intent on preserving the usual inauguration trappings as a signal that normalcy could be achieved even though there were signs everywhere that things were far from normal: a military presence that resembled a war zone, guests on the dais wearing masks, a National Mall filled with 200,000 American flags standing in for the American people who were asked to stay away because of the pandemic. Biden was plain-spoken and direct about the confluence of crises the nation faces. More than 410,000 Americans have lost their lives to the pandemic, millions are out of work and the aftershocks of a summer reckoning with racial justice are still felt. “You can hear this collective sigh of relief that Trump is gone, but we have no time for a sigh of relief because of the cascading crises,” said Eddie Glaude Jr., chair of the department of African American studies at Princeton University. “We don’t want to assume that the election of Biden solves everything. The scale of the problems is immense and the question for us is do we respond at scale.” The changes within the White House have been swift. After Trump’s departure, his final staffers cleared out and a deep clean began. The White House had been the site of multiple COVID-19 outbreaks and, in a physical manifestation of a new approach to the virus, plastic shields were placed on desks and scores of new staffers were told to work from home. New pictures were hung on the West Wing walls and the Oval Office received a fast makeover. Gone were a painting of Andrew Jackson and the Diet Coke button of the desk; in came images of Robert Kennedy and Cesar Chavez. But the most important symbol, the clearest break from the previous administration, came from the president himself. When Biden sat down at the Resolute Desk to sign his first batch of his executive orders on Wednesday, he was wearing a mask. Trump had resisted wearing one, putting one on only occasionally and instead turning mask-wearing into a polarizing political issue Biden urged all Americans to wear a mask for the next 100 days and used his platform to model the same behaviour, one of several ways he tried to change the tone of the presidency in his first few days. Daily press briefings returned, absent the accusations of “fake news” that marked only sporadic briefings in the Trump era. Biden held a virtual swearing-in for hundreds of White House staffers, telling them to treat each other with respect or they would dismissed, a marked change from the contentious, rivalry-driven Trump West Wing. Calls to the leaders of Canada and Mexico were made without drama. The executive actions Biden signed during the week were a mix of concrete and symbolic actions meant to undo the heart of Trump’s legacy. Biden halted construction of the border wall, rejoined the World Health Organization and the Paris climate accord and bolstered the means for production for vaccines. But the might of the executive actions pales in comparison to the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that he requested from Congress. Biden has not ruled out asking Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to push it through by tactics requiring only Democratic support. But the president, who spent decades in the Senate, hoped to persuade Republicans to support the measure. “Leaning on executive action makes sense at the start, you can get things going and show momentum right away without waiting for Congress,” said Robert Gibbs, former press secretary for President Barack Obama. “But this is going take a while. Like it was for us in 2009, change doesn’t come overnight." "Everything he inherited is likely to get worse before we see improvement,” Gibbs said. “One thing you learn on January 20th is that you suddenly own all of it.” Just two Cabinet nominees were confirmed by week's end, to the frustration of the White House. But with the Friday night announcement that Trump’s impeachment trial will not begin until the week of Feb. 8, Biden aides were optimistic that the Senate would confirm more before then. The trial looms as an unwelcome distraction for the Biden team. But while Trump will shadow the White House, Biden aides have noted that the former president commands far less attention now that his Twitter account is gone. They have expressed confidence that the Senate can balance the impeachment proceedings with both Cabinet confirmations and consideration of the COVID-19 relief bill. Biden has made clear that steering the nation through the pandemic will be his signature task and some Republicans believe that Trump’s implosion could create an opening to work across the aisle on a relief deal. “There is a very narrow permission structure for congressional Republicans who want to move past the Trump era and want to establish their own political identities,” said Kevin Madden, a Republican strategist who was a senior adviser on Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. Romney is now a Utah senator. “There is an old saying: ‘Make the main thing the main thing.’ And the Biden White House knows that’s the main thing,” Madden said. “If they can improve the pandemic response in the next 100 days, then they can move on to other priorities, they’ll have the capital for legislative fights. But they need to get it right.” ___ Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire Jonathan Lemire, The Associated Press
Ottawa-based company Spartan Bioscience has received Health Canada approval for its made-in-Canada rapid COVID-19 test, authorizing the sale of the device. "Spartan's test is the first truly mobile, rapid PCR test for COVID-19 for the Canadian market," a news release from the company states. "The Spartan COVID-19 system offers the speed and ease of use of a rapid test, while using the technology of lab-based COVID-19 testing solutions." Health Canada originally provided regulatory approval for the company's device in April 2020 — with the federal government ordering 40,000 tests monthly. At the time, the portable test was being called a "game changer" by health officials because it could deliver on-location results within 60 minutes. The federal agency restricted the device to research use in May, however, after finding problems with the test that made it unreliable. Approval was granted on Friday after the company conducted clinical trials based on a new device design, Health Canada spokesperson Natalie Mohamed told CBC News in an email. "The Spartan Bioscience test is a point-of-care molecular test," Mohamed wrote. "This new device meets Health Canada's requirements for safety and effectiveness." WATCH | Health Canada approves Canadian-made rapid COVID-19 testing system: New swab, upgrades to chemistry kit Dr. James Spiegelman, a co-founder of the company who also practises internal medicine at Humber River Regional Hospital in Toronto, said the problems stemmed from the efficacy of the swabs used to collect tissue samples, not the machine itself. Spartan originally used a proprietary cheek swab that it developed for other DNA diagnostics, he said, but it became clear that the swab wasn't collecting enough genetic material to produce consistent, reliable results. The company now uses standard nasopharyngeal swabs to collect tissue from the nose. "We found that that provides the best sample for increased sensitivity of the test," Spiegelman said. Spiegelman said the company also made improvements to the sample processing kit so that it no longer needs to be shipped and stored at frozen temperatures but can be stored at room temperature. With the Spartan test, a trained health-care professional swabs the nose of the person being tested, places the swab into a processing kit that generates a chain reaction and then puts that kit into the cube-shaped device, which takes about 50 minutes to analyze and produce results. Spiegelman said the test could be used to provide quick and accurate COVID-19 diagnostics everywhere from hospitals and workplaces to pharmacies and remote communities. "I think [Spartan's rapid test] will really help alleviate and give us a tool in our toolbox to reduce the spread of COVID-19," he said. Rapid tests already in use across Canada Rapid diagnostic tests are already in use in many settings across Canada to test for COVID-19, including in homeless shelters, long-term care homes and remote communities. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday that the federal government had distributed more than 14 million to the provinces and territories. "Hopefully we see these integrated into work environments, especially work environments where we know they're at greater risk for outbreaks," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch, who is also a member of the Ontario COVID-19 vaccine task force. "I think you could think about certainly integrating them into certain schools or certain school settings, rural, remote, underserviced locations. There's a lot of places where rapid tests would be extremely helpful." Spartan Bioscience CEO Roger Eacock said the company currently has the manufacturing capacity to produce 60,000 of the tests per week, but the company plans to ramp that up to 200,000 per week in the future. Eacock said the company already has deals with the federal government and several provinces, as well as some airlines and resource companies, and that shipments are expected to begin in the coming week.
Après 4 jours sans nouvelle infection de COVID-19 sur la Côte-Nord, le bilan de ce samedi 23 janvier fait mention de 3 cas supplémentaires, ainsi que 4 guérisons de plus. Ce sont 2 cas de plus dans la MRC de Sept-Rivières, et 1 dans Manicouagan. Il y a 11 cas actifs et 1 hospitalisation. Situation sur la Côte-Nord NOTE : Confinement du Québec et instauration d’un couvre-feu entre 20 h et 5 h pour la période du 9 janvier au 8 février 2021 : Restez à la maison et consultez la page Confinement du Québec pour connaître les détails. Vous pouvez aussi consulter toute l’information sur la COVID‑19.*En date du 23 janvier 2021 – 11 h Nombre de cas confirmés : 339 (+3) Répartition par MRC : Basse-Côte-Nord : 6 Caniapiscau : 7 Haute-Côte-Nord : 26 Manicouagan : 105 (+1) Minganie : 17 Sept-Rivières : 178 (+2)Cas guéris : 325 (+4) Décès : 3 Cas actifs : 11 (-1) Cas actifs provenant d’une autre région : 0 Hospitalisation en cours : 1 Éclosions en cours : Milieu de travail (Haute-Côte-Nord) : Moins de 5 cas Éclosions terminées récemment : Résidence privée pour aînés (Manicouagan) Milieu de travail (Sept-Rivières) Milieu de garde (Sept-Rivières)Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
The owner of a Regina care home where 43 COVID-19-infected residents died says the outbreak there is finally over after two months. But at a Saskatoon Extendicare home still dealing with an outbreak, staffers are not properly using personal protective equipment at all times, according to two employees. They agreed to speak to CBC News on the condition of confidentiality. "All it takes is one single staff member making one mistake to infect a resident and have that resident later pass away," said a male worker at Extendicare Preston in Saskatoon. In an emailed statement, Extendicare spokesperson Laura Gallant said workers are doing everything possible to follow all provincial and local health directives. "Our team audits PPE practices regularly to make sure everyone is following best practice protocol," she said. "We conduct on-the-spot training to ensure staff know what to do." Health officials declared an outbreak at Preston on Dec. 10. The facility, which is operated by Extendicare under a contract with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, has 82 beds, about 78 of which were occupied at the start of the outbreak, a female worker said. As of Wednesday, 33 residents were infected with COVID-19 after six others recovered, according to a note to workers that day. Thirteen staff members were positive for the illness, while two had recovered. Three residents who were infected have died, Gallant said. Eating in the hallway "Some co-workers, and I've witnessed it firsthand, are not using PPE properly," the male worker said. One staff member entered a COVID-positive resident's room wearing PPE, left to grab a water bottle from a staff break room, and then went back inside the resident's room with the same PPE, he said. In the last week, employees have taken masks off inside residents' rooms because they were hot, or ate food in hallways instead of the designated "green rooms" for staff, the female worker said. "[They're] touching their masks or faces with gloved hands that have touched residents who are COVID-19 positive," she said. Some staffers were wearing ill-fitting respirators because they were not supplied N95 respirators, even though air filters have been installed in parts of the home, she added. "They have the HEPA filter machines in certain rooms. People are just like, 'If they're cleaning the air, then why aren't they giving us N95s?" she said. Extendicare found problems with the air ventilation during the outbreak at its Parkside home in Regina, stoking fears about a similar problem at Preston, she said. In the note to workers on Wednesday — which also stressed the importance of properly using PPE — Extendicare senior administrator Jason Carson said Saskatchewan Health Authority guidelines only require workers to wear N95 masks when carrying out certain tasks, such as intubating a resident. "The home continues to have an ample supply of PPE for all staff," Gallant said. "The SHA has determined that N95 masks are not required for all homes in outbreak and has confirmed that the existing PPE complement in use at the home is compliant with provincial direction." Carson's note also addressed the "air scrubbers." "We are not sure it will help but we are taking the extra step to help keep our [COVID-19] negative residents negative," Carson wrote. "It removes air pollution, surface contaminants, odours and dust. It provides a cleaner, healthier and more efficient air within your home." 'I would call it lazy' Many Extendicare Preston employees have received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — which the workers CBC spoke with say may be providing a false sense of security. Thirty employees and 52 residents had been vaccinated as of Friday, according to Extendicare. "I had a sneaking suspicion that people would start slacking because of getting the vaccine," the female worker said. According to Health Canada, for the vaccine to work best, people need to receive two doses. Clinical trials have found it also takes time for bodies to react — meaning people aren't protected immediately after getting a shot. The male Preston worker said he believes some co-workers are being "sloppy" with PPE because they don't know better. "I would call it lazy," the female worker said of what she's observed. Gallant said managers conduct daily walk-arounds to demonstrate PPE best practices and provide guidance to any employees with questions. "The SHA has been on site regularly to support our team and review infection prevention and control practices and PPE use," she said. When the Saskatchewan Health Authority took over day-to-day operations at the Regina Parkside home as the outbreak there reached its apex in early December, CEO Scott Livingstone said part of the reason for the move was to ensure "the PPE is there and being used appropriately to care for the patients." Asked a week later why the Parkside outbreak grew so bad — at its worst, more than three-quarters of the home's 200 original residents became infected — Livingstone said some things needed to be put in place at Parkside, including "infection control practices up to the SHA standard [and] the additional PPE." The authority had "heightened our measure for N95 usage" at Parkside, it told CBC News that same week. The SHA has not taken over operations at Preston as it did at Parkside. No active cases at Parkside Regina Extendicare operates three other care homes in the province, including a Moose Jaw home where an outbreak was declared on Nov. 12. It has since been declared over. In an update to family members of Parkside residents on Thursday, Extendicare said Regina's medical health officer had declared the outbreak over, "now that the standard 28-day period has passed after the onset of the last COVID-19 positive resident case that had the potential to contribute to transmission at the home." That outbreak had been declared on Nov. 20. Extendicare's five Saskatchewan homes are the only long-term care centres in the province operated by a private company under contract to the SHA, according to the health authority.
People are turning to different coping mechanisms during life amid the pandemic, but for some coastal-dwelling British Columbians, dipping into icy cool water has been a source of relief and respite this winter. Craig Stewart, president of the Vancouver Open Water Swim Association, says there's nothing like swimming outside under open skies. "I usually compare it to cycling in a gym versus cycling outside. For me, there's no comparison. I want to be outside. I want to be in nature and swimming is no different," Stewart said. The waters around B.C. can dip to a frigid 6 C or 7 C. The water itself can be quite opaque in the winter, Stewart said, and it can be unnerving to not see to the bottom. But Stewart says the challenge is part of the draw. "Part of the draw is it's like an inoculation. You are choosing to suffer a little bit and then endure it, and you feel good for having done that," he said. Deborah Calderon of Powell River is part of a local swimming group — the Powtown Popsicles — who go for a socially distanced swim or dip every day. "Everybody's got a completely different reaction," Calderon said. "When I get out [of the water], I get calm, which is what I need." She says the activity has been a huge source of comfort during the pandemic. "It's probably the biggest thing I've done to reduce isolation, to make sure I get outside with a bit of a purpose, to feel that kind of rush and then come out and then on with your day," Calderon said. Tips for open water swimming Like any new activity, Stewart says it's important to be prepared and do your research. Here are some other tips if you want to try cold water swimming. 1) Don't swim alone. It's always good to go with other people so that you can look out for one another, said Stewart. This is especially important if your body temperature plunges after coming out of the water and you need help. 2) Take it slowly. "The worst thing you can do is to jump into cold water and think you're going to be fine. No, that gives you cold water shock," Stewart said, noting the last time he went cold water swimming, it took him 10 minutes to get used to the cold water. Getting slowly acclimatized is important to help your body adjust to the conditions. Wearing proper gear — like layering on a swim cap and a wetsuit — can also help you stay warm in the water. 3) Know your water. "Don't jump into water you don't know. You don't know how deep it is, you don't know where the currents are," said Stewart, noting that ocean currents in particular can be very, very strong. 4) Listen to your body. It's important post-swim or post-dip to make sure you refuel and have hot beverages on hand. "It gives your body fuel because you've just been spending at an incredible rate. And have layers of warm clothing," he said. Finally, Stewart said, learn about the sport and try it out with people who are experienced. "It's inherently rewarding. You feel good. You feel tough. But joyful."
The United States is closely watching the more infectious variant of COVID-19 after British officials warned that it may also be more deadly, two top U.S. health officials said on Saturday, cautioning more data is needed. Officials are somewhat more worried about a separate variant from South Africa, although it has not yet been identified among U.S. cases of the novel coronavirus, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins and Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden's top COVID-19 medical adviser, also said.
Yulia Navalnaya was taking part in a protest to demand the release of her husband when she was taken into a police vehicle.
After an eight-year human rights battle, a former correctional officer who was targeted for being Black at work will learn by Jan. 28 how much compensation he'll get. Levan Francis loved his job before he was transferred to the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam, where he faced repeated racial slurs and physical attacks. In 2012, Francis filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. On Friday, Human Rights Tribunal arbitrator Diana Juricevic said she will deliver her decision about compensation by Jan. 28, after hearing final submissions from both sides. The province of B.C. is offering up to $368,491.18 for lost income and other expenses. Included in that total is $20-$35,000 for injury to dignity, feelings and self respect. But the lawyer for Francis said legal costs, at close to $250,000 after such a long legal odyssey, would eat up most of that. However, legal expenses are not compensable under the B.C. Human Rights Code. $1.2M proposed as compensation Larry Smeets says his client would be left vindicated, but broke, after losing his 15-year career, his family home — and his mental health. In his final submission, Smeets put forward $1,236,465.05 as a fair total for compensation for all the income and personal costs to Francis during this protracted case. The 51-year-old suffers from severe depression and PTSD, much of it attributed to his treatment at work. "I was good at my job. I treated inmates like human beings. But things just kept coming at me and it comes to the point when I'd had enough," said Francis, in an interview last summer. Two years ago — July 4, 2019 — the Human Rights Tribunal issued a 106-page decision deeming his former workplace "poisonous" and his complaint justified. In final submissions, his lawyer said that Francis was labelled a "rat" and had a "target on his back" once he complained. His case has been plagued with delays — and setbacks. Smeets said it was a struggle for Francis, who was in financial turmoil, to find a lawyer who would agree to take the complex case against the province. Lawyer Peter Gall represents B.C. in the Francis case. He said the province agrees Francis must be "fairly and appropriately compensated by way of damages for the discriminatory incidents that occurred in his workplace. The government regrets that they occurred and agrees fully that he should be compensated for the damages as a result of the discriminatory incidents." But Gall says Francis is seeking compensation for some incidents and conflicts that were not discriminatory. Gall cited examples including trauma caused by the death of an inmate that Francis dealt with, the stresses of his disability claims being cut off after he refused to participate in investigations or attend psychiatric assessments needed to access benefits. "We say really you are the author of your own misfortune here, by not following the advice of your doctor and your union," Gall said in his final submissions on Zoom. But Smeets said his client became paranoid, believing his employer tried to delay his efforts to get disability benefits, labelling him "disgruntled" and suggesting his medical claim was "bogus." In his submissions, Smeets said there was nothing to show anything had been done to improve the "poisonous" work environment at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre. And he said more should have been done given the evidence brought by other employees about how Francis was stereotyped for no reason as "a slow, lazy Black man," after he filed a complaint. Smeets said past attempts by the province to settle were less than generous and he urged his client to reject them. During the tribunal hearing, Francis raised 32 incidents of conflict at his workplace. Of those, nine were deemed discrimination, eight were not and 15 were too dated, having missed the legal deadline. For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.
BERLIN — Bayern Munich’s closest challengers, Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen, both lost in the Bundesliga on Saturday to give the eight-time defending champions a chance to move seven points clear at the top. Second-place Leipzig lost 3-2 at relegation-threatened Mainz and third-place Leverkusen lost 1-0 at home to Wolfsburg. Bayern visits last-place Schalke on Sunday. American midfielder Tyler Adams got Leipzig off to a great start with a goal in the 15th minute, but Moussa Niakhaté scored twice for Mainz, either side of Marcel Halstenberg’s 30th-minute strike for the visitors. New signing Danny da Costa set up Leandro Barreiro for Mainz’s winner in the 50th. Midfielder Ridle Baku’s 35th-minute header was enough for Wolfsburg. Leverkusen made a good start but Nadiem Amiri and Lucas Alario missed early chances, with Alario striking the post before Wolfsburg gradually settled. Leverkusen maintained its pressure but the defence took a break and left Baku to head in Renato Steffen’s cross against the run of play. Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz reacted at the break by bringing on former Manchester United defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah for his Bundesliga debut, but Wolfsburg saw out the win. Luka Jovic scored his third goal in as many substitute appearances for Eintracht Frankfurt since returning from Real Madrid to seal a 5-1 win at Arminia Bielefeld. Augsburg goalkeeper Rafa Gikiewicz saved a penalty to secure a 2-1 win over his former team Union Berlin. Gikiewicz denied Marcus Ingvartsen in the 56th, then produced a fine save to also thwart Taiwo Awoniyi. Florian Niederlechner, who conceded the spot kick, had already scored twice for the home side. Freiburg beat Stuttgart 2-1. Hertha Berlin hosted fellow struggler Werder Bremen later Saturday. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP CiaráN Fahey, The Associated Press
FREDERICTON — Public health officials in New Brunswick reported 17 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday, just hours before the province's Edmundston region was set to enter a 14-day lockdown at midnight. Ten of the new cases are in the Edmundston region in the northwest of the province, while there were five in the Moncton region and one case each in the Campbellton and Saint John regions. There are currently 328 active cases in the province. Five patients are hospitalized, with three in intensive care. There have been 1,104 positive cases and 13 COVID-related deaths in the province since the pandemic began. Health officials say the strict health order of a lockdown is needed to curb a steady rise in daily infections that they fear is about to get out of control. "Our objective with the implementation of the lockdown measures ... is to reduce opportunities for transmission by having people limit their movements to the greatest extent possible," Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, said Saturday in a statement. "When we stop moving and interactions, we stop COVID-19," she said. Starting Sunday, non-essential travel is prohibited in and out of the Edmundston area, which borders northern Maine and Quebec's Bas-St-Laurent region. The health order forces the closure of all non-essential businesses as well as schools and public spaces, including outdoor ice rinks and ski hills. All indoor and outdoor gatherings among people of different households are prohibited. The province says the situation in the region will be evaluated every seven days and that the provincial cabinet may extend the lockdown if required. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press