This stunning frosty image is from a cold Milk River, Alberta
This stunning frosty image is from a cold Milk River, Alberta
SAN FRANCISCO — Fry's Electronics, the go-to chain for tech tinkerers looking for an obscure part, is closing for good. The company, perhaps even more well known for outlandish themes at some of its stores, from Aztec to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland," said Wednesday in an online posting that the COVID-19 pandemic had made it impossible to continue. Fans immediately took to Twitter to post images and memories (good and bad). The chain was concentrated on the West Coast, but had 31 stores in nine states. It was founded 36 years ago. The pandemic has done heavy damage to retailers, but Fry's was already getting hammered by online competition and a battle between heavy-hitters Best Buy and Amazon.com. Fry's Electronics Inc. said its operations have ceased and the wind-down of locations will begin immediately. Customers with electronics being repaired in-store store are being asked to pick them up. The stores online presence appears largely to have been shut down. The Associated Press
STONY PLAIN, Alta. — A pastor of an Edmonton-area church that has been allegedly holding Sunday services in violation of COVID-19 rules is to appear in court today. James Coates with GraceLife Church in Spruce Grove was arrested last week. RCMP have said he was remanded in custody after refusing to agree to bail conditions. The church has been holding services that officials say break public health regulations on attendance, masking and distancing. Police fined the church $1,200 in December and a closure order was issued in January. Coates was twice charged in February with violating the Public Health Act and violating a promise to abide by rules of his release, which is a Criminal Code offence. Coates has addressed the province's health restrictions in his sermons, telling worshippers that governments exist as instruments of God and there should be unfettered freedom of worship. An associate pastor of the church, Jacob Spenst, conducted last Sunday's service and told the congregation that messages of support have been pouring in for the jailed pastor. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Feb. 24 ... What we are watching in Canada ... Joe Biden granted Justin Trudeau at least one of the items atop his wish list as they met for the first time as president and prime minister. Biden pledged to help get two Canadians out of a Chinese prison, saying "humans being aren't bargaining chips." Strenuous expressions of presidential dismay were nowhere to be seen during the final two years of Donald Trump's tenure as Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor languished behind bars. That all changed yesterday as Biden and Trudeau -- one in Washington, D.C., the other in Ottawa -- wrapped up a warm and comprehensive, if virtual, summit meeting. It was Biden's first since taking office. Spavor and Kovrig were detained in China in an apparent act of retaliation after Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in December 2018 on American charges of violating sanctions on Iran. They have remained in custody ever since. Biden offered no hints about how the White House might help secure their release. --- Also this ... TORONTO -- CTV says it made an "error" by placing an "offensive image" of actress Delta Burke in blackface among its TV program highlights for Black History Month. A spokesman for the broadcaster says the blackface picture, taken from an episode of 1980s hit "Designing Women," is one that "should not have been used in any context." CTV has since removed the blackface image as well as the full episode of "Designing Women." The photo was part of a rotation of images in the CTV Throwback section of its mobile app that directed viewers to popular Black-led sitcoms on the streaming service from decades past, including "The Jeffersons," "Good Times" and "Sanford and Son." Sandwiched between those images was a still photo from "Designing Women," which featured the blackface-wearing Burke alongside her Black co-star Meshach Taylor. It was taken from a 1989 episode titled "The Rowdy Girls," which revolves around the sitcom's stars being booked to perform at a talent show as Motown legends the Supremes. The group debates whether to play their parts in blackface and ultimately concludes it's not the best decision. However, Burke's character doesn't get the message and shows up with her face painted anyway to sing alongside her friends. "Designing Women," set in Georgia, often grappled with the rapidly changing social issues of the U.S. South, such as race and sexuality, in a way that would be considered outdated by today's standards. --- What we are watching in the U.S. ... In a career filled with remarkable comebacks, Tiger Woods faces his toughest recovery of all. Woods was driving through a sweeping, downhill stretch of road through coastal suburbs of Los Angeles when his SUV struck a sign, crossed over a raised median and two oncoming lanes before it toppled down an embankment, coming to a halt on its side. The crash caused “significant” injuries all down his right leg that featured rods, pins and screws during what was described as a “long surgical procedure” at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Anish Mahajan, the chief medical officer, said Woods shattered tibia and fibula bones on his right leg in multiple locations. Those were stabilized by a rod in the tibia. He said a combination of screws and pins were used to stabilize additional injuries in the ankle and foot. A statement on his Twitter account said he was awake, responsive and recovering. The single-car crash was the latest setback for Woods, who at times has looked unstoppable on the golf course with his 15 major championships and record-tying 82 victories on the PGA Tour. After four back surgeries that kept him out of golf for the better part of two years, he won the Masters in April 2019 for the fifth time, a victory that ranks among the great comebacks in the sport. Now it’s no longer a matter of when he plays again — the Masters is seven weeks away — but if he plays again. No charges were filed, and police said there was no evidence he was impaired. --- What we are watching in the rest of the world ... Regional diplomatic efforts to resolve Myanmar’s political crisis have gathered pace, as protests continued in Yangon and other cities in the Southeast Asian country calling for restoration of the civilian elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. Indonesia's foreign minister visited Thailand on Wednesday as part of her efforts to co-ordinate a regional response to the Feb. 1 coup. A Thai official said Myanmar’s new foreign minister was also in the Thai capital. Elsewhere, more than 130 civil society groups and other organizations concerned about the military takeover have called for a global arms embargo on Myanmar. --- On this day in 1986 ... Tommy Douglas, remembered as the father of medicare, died at age 81. As Saskatchewan premier from 1944-61, he implemented Canada's first public hospital insurance program. In 1962, a year after Douglas became the federal NDP leader, Saskatchewan introduced North America's first socialized health plan. --- In sports ... The return of elite domestic curling competition after a nearly 12-month absence saw a significant drop in Canadian viewership. Numeris ratings for the opening weekend of the Canadian women's curling championship in Calgary were down 17 per cent from the same time period in the 2020 competition. An average audience of 331,000 viewers tuned in on the opening weekend of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, TSN says. That compared to an average audience of 398,000 viewers who watched the opening weekend of last year's Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask. Play began Friday night with the preliminary round opener in a bubble setting at Markin MacPhail Centre. The 18-team competition continues through Sunday. Ratings included viewers from all TSN platforms, including online and mobile. The highest-rated weekend draw was a Sunday night game between Alberta's Laura Walker and Ontario's Rachel Homan. That matchup between undefeated skips pulled in an average of 427,000 viewers. --- ICYMI ... One of the world's better known fans of mystery novels, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is now writing one. Clinton is teaming up with her friend, the Canadian novelist Louise Penny, on “State of Terror,” which has a plot that might occur to someone of Clinton's background. It features a “novice” secretary of state, working in the administration of a rival politician, tries to solve a wave of terrorist attacks. The novel comes out Oct. 12, and will be jointly released by Clinton's publisher, Simon & Schuster, and Penny's, St. Martin's Press. “Writing a thriller with Louise is a dream come true," Clinton, who has expressed admiration for Penny and other mystery writers in the past, says in a statement "I’ve relished every one of her books and their characters as well as her friendship. Now we’re joining our experiences to explore the complex world of high stakes diplomacy and treachery. All is not as it first appears.” Penny, an award-winning author from Quebec whose novels include “The Cruelest Month” and “The Brutal Telling,” says that she could not “say yes fast enough” to the chance of working with Clinton. “What an incredible experience, to get inside the State Department. Inside the White House. Inside the mind of the Secretary of State as high stake crises explode," she said. "Before we started, we talked about her time as Secretary of State. What was her worst nightmare? ‘State of Terror’ is the answer.” Fiction writing and worst-case scenarios have become a favourite pastime for Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton. He collaborated with James Patterson on the million-selling cyber thriller “The President is Missing,” and on a new novel, “The President's Daughter,” which comes out in June. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021 The Canadian Press
MULGRAVE – Councillor Crystal Durling, the Town of Mulgrave’s representative on the Eastern Counties Regional Library (ECRL) board, told council at its committee of the whole meeting Monday night (Feb. 22) that the ECRL has expressed its desire to close the library branch in Mulgrave. “For cost for them, it makes more sense to close it,” Durling said, adding that ECRL headquarters would remain in Mulgrave. CAO Darlene Berthier Sampson asked if the library closure was a suggestion, or if they were being told the decision had been made, to which Durling replied, “They wanted to bring it to the meeting … pretty much -- it is going to happen because of money issues.” Since the pandemic started, the ECRL branch in Mulgrave has been closed. Prior to that, the branch had only opened six months of the year. Since March 2020, books have been available for curbside pick-up at the Mulgrave branch – via online ordering – and also by mail. “The only thing it is going to hurt is if a lot of people in town go there to use computers,” said Durling. Council believes that the only way to keep the library branch open in Mulgrave is to dedicate more money from the town’s budget to the operation of the facility. “It’s pretty much a money issue, the way she (ECRL CEO Laura Emery) was saying that, ‘If you want to keep the service, you’re going to probably have to pay.’ They only have so much money to work with for their budget.” The matter will be tabled until the next council meeting, but councillors voiced their agreement with the proposed closure. Last month, the Town of Mulgrave started to look for a volunteer to sit on the Eastern Mainland Housing Authority Board. The town’s seat on the board – recently left vacant – has not been filled. Berthier Sampson said at the meeting that the housing authority board is, “a very important initiative … I’m not going to mince words to the public, we’re not having great outcomes with our public housing. Financially, some of them stay empty for a long period of time and for every month they stay empty the town’s share is 12.5 per cent, approximately. The longer it stays empty the more we pay.” In addition to the financial burden of the housing units, they’re also often the subject of bylaw infractions and policing calls. The original agreement between the town and the province regarding public housing is outdated and needs to be renegotiated, said Berthier Sampson. A volunteer from Mulgrave is needed to represent the town’s interests on the board. In an addition to the approved agenda, Councillor Robert Russell asked the town staff to investigate the possiblity of plowing the Scotia Trail. The next regular town council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 2 at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers. Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
(Brian Morris/CBC - image credit) Health officials are cautioning that Ottawa's COVID-19 case numbers could rise rapidly as businesses reopen and variants spread across the province — pushing the city ever closer to the red zone. Ottawa's key COVID-19 indicators are currently in the orange zone, although some sit on the verge of the red zone, according to the province's colour coded COVID-19 framework. Health officials say the city's numbers have ebbed and flowed since the start of the pandemic and the worry is they could flow once again — and quickly. "We're inching up, but we've got a few factors, major factors in play that haven't started influencing those cases yet," said Dr. Doug Manuel, a senior scientist at The Ottawa Hospital. One of those factors is the new COVID-19 strains which can be more contagious that have crept their way into the country. "One thing we've learned over the last year is that the earlier the better [to implement restrictions]," he said. "The longer we wait to modify that course, the longer it will take to get [infections] back down." A couple pushing a pug in a stroller checks out the menu of a restaurant in downtown Ottawa. Scientists warn the city's COVID-19 numbers could easily increase if people aren't careful, especially with new variants making their way across the province. Manuel said the number of contacts of people who test positive for the illness are concerning. On Tuesday, that number was at 5.8 over a seven-day period that ended Feb. 14, two days before the stay-at-home order ended. "During lockdown and last summer, you know, we were around ... two people per case. So five is pretty high," he said. Ottawa's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches also urged people to be cautious just before the stay-at-home order ended. "We've seen what happens with socializing," she said. "It adds up to, you know, potentially a rapid rise in COVID again, and more things shut." Variants cause for concern Earl Brown, a professor emeritus of virology at the University of Ottawa, agrees the variants are a cause for concern that could rapidly push numbers upward. "It's nice to be as open as we can with our economy, but I'm somewhat pessimistic in the short term," he said. "The variants are going to make us ... pay more dearly for the time we buy." Brown said there's a balancing act between keeping businesses and schools shuttered and trying to control the spread of COVID-19. "You definitely want to control the pandemic, but it's always the question — at what cost?" Under the province's colour-coded framework, being in the red zone would mean people would be, once again, limited to only essential trips, such as going to the grocery store or the pharmacy, and going outside for physical activity. Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury is also urging people to remain cautious, even as businesses and facilities have reopened across the city, so that the city doesn't move up a step. "I know it's exciting," he said. "We have to support our local businesses, but we also have to be cognizant that the virus is within our community and we continue to be vulnerable."
BANGKOK — Regional diplomatic efforts to resolve Myanmar's political crisis gathered pace Wednesday, while protests continued in Yangon and other cities calling for the country's coupmakers to stand down and Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government to be returned to power. Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi visited the Thai capital, Bangkok, as part of her efforts to co-ordinate a regional response to the crisis triggered by Myanmar's Feb. 1 military coup. Also making the trip to neighbouring Thailand was the foreign minister appointed by Myanmar's new military government, retired army colonel Wunna Maung Lwin, said a Thai government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to release the information. Another Thai official said Wunna Maung Lwin met with Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai as well as Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, himself a former army chief who first took power in a military coup. That official also spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release the information. There was no immediate word whether Marsudi also met the Myanmar diplomat. Indonesia and fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are seeking to promote some concessions by Myanmar's military that could ease tensions before there is more violence. The regional grouping, to which Thailand and Myanmar also belong, believes dialogue with the generals is a more effective method of achieving concessions than more confrontational methods, such as sanctions, often advocated by Western nations. Opposition to the coup within Myanmar continued Wednesday, with a tense standoff taking place in the country's second-biggest city, Mandalay, where police holding riot shields and cradling rifles blocked the path of about 3,000 teachers and students. After about two hours, during which demonstrators played protest songs and listened to speeches condemning the coup, the crowd moved away. On Saturday, police and soldiers shot dead two people in Mandalay as they broke up a strike by dock workers. Earlier the same week they had violently dispersed a rally in front of a state bank branch, with batons and slingshots. Also Wednesday, about 150 people from a Christian group gathered in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, to call for restoration of democracy and the release of Suu Kyi and other civilian leaders held since the coup. International pressure against the takeover also continues, with more than 130 civil society groups issuing an open letter to United Nations Security Council calling for a global arms embargo on Myanmar. The letter released Wednesday cited concerns about Myanmar’s citizens being deprived of a democratically elected government and ongoing violations of human rights by a military with a history of major abuses. “Any sale or transfer of military-related equipment to Myanmar could provide the means to further repress the people of Myanmar in violation of international humanitarian and human rights law,” the letter said. In addition to a sweeping arms embargo, the letter said any Security Council measures should make sure there is “robust monitoring and enforcement mechanisms.” There have been past arms embargoes on Myanmar during periods of military rule but not on a global basis. China and Russia, both members of the security council, are among the top arms suppliers to Myanmar, and would almost certainly veto any effort by the U.N. at a co-ordinated arms embargo. How effective the regional efforts at resolving Myanmar's crisis could be remains unclear. If Indonesia's Marsudi met in Thailand with her Myanmar counterpart it would have allowed them to talk face-to-face while sidestepping possible controversy stemming from a visit to Myanmar by Marsudi. Critics of the coup, especially in Myanmar, charge that such a visit would be tantamount to recognizing the military regime as legitimate and its takeover as legal. There had been news reports that such a visit was imminent. Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said Wednesday that Marsudi left open an option to visit the Myanmar capital Naypyitaw, but had put off any plan for the time being. A statement from his office said that taking in account current developments and following consultations with other ASEAN countries, “this is not the ideal time to conduct a visit to Myanmar.” Demonstrations were held outside Indonesian embassies in Yangon and Bangkok on Tuesday in response to a news report that Jakarta was proposing to fellow ASEAN members that they offer qualified support for the junta’s plan for a new election next year. Faizasyah denied the report. Tassanee Vejpongsa, The Associated Press
Australia's Fortescue Metals Group has apologised to an Aboriginal group for clearing land on a heritage site while flouting a government condition for representatives of the community to be present when the damage took place. It is the week's second such incident, despite pressure on Australian iron ore miners to show they have improved practices to manage important sites after Rio Tinto destroyed two sacred rock shelters for a mine expansion last May. Fortescue had state government permission to clear the land in the Weelamurra Creek area registered as sacred to the Wintawari Guruma people, on condition that community elders were present to perform salvage and cultural rites, four documents reviewed by Reuters showed.
(Mario De Ciccio/Radio-Canada - image credit) Deh Cho MLA Ron Bonnetrouge says elders in his region face a "pandemic" of financial and emotional abuse, and in some cases have been ignored when they seek help from social services. He said the issue demands an official position in communities to interview elders with a translator. Bonnetrouge made his comments in the N.W.T. Legislative Assembly Tuesday, and added that social services "refused to assist because they are dealing mostly with child and family services — that is taking children away from families." "We've got nobody there to advocate for seniors in the small communities. This is a serious issue and I would like to have some resources into our communities to assist in interviewing the elders," he said. Health Minister Julie Green says elders are entitled to counselling and social services to help them navigate abusive situations. Health Minister Julie Green said she was "shocked" to hear elders were turned away, and that she would follow up on Bonnetrouge's concerns because social workers' job functions are not limited to child welfare. Green said abuse of older adults is a "real and frightening problem" that is as complex as intimate partner violence. "The victims are often shamed and not willing to come forward to say they've been taken advantage of," she said. "It can be difficult to have victims of violence come forward and say that they are, in fact, victims of violence, let alone reach out for help," she said. Staff are trained to detect signs of senior abuse, but tackling the problem takes an attitude shift, said Green. "It is a set of attitudes that people have toward elders in which they are neglected and exploited," she said. Green Said the department is working with the NWT Seniors' Society to discuss potential regulations to make "real consequences" for failing to protect or for abusing elders. Send outreach to Fort Providence to address elder abuse, says Deh Cho MLA Ron Bonnetrouge. But Bonnetrouge said he "rarely" sees the organization present in his region and frontline workers in the community "have serious reservations about what anybody is actually doing to help the seniors." "They are facing them almost on a daily basis, they don't know where to go, who to turn to to help them address these issues of elder abuse," he said. "It seems there is no end in sight," he said. National pharmacare bill would benefit N.W.T.: O'Reilly MLA Kevin O'Reilly says a private members bill in Parliament needs the territory's backing because it will benefit the N.W.T. In his turn, Frame Lake MLA Kevin O'Reilly asked Green whether the N.W.T. government supports a national pharmacare program. Her simple answer: Yes. Asked whether the territory has voiced its support for Bill C-213 — a private member's bill to establish a universal, single-payer pharmacare plan — Green said the legislation "represents a real game changer" for prescriptions in the N.W.T. Only half of the territory's residents have pharmaceutical coverage, Green said. Cabinet supports national pharmacare, said Green, adding she is not aware of what communication the government had with MP Michael McLeod before the bill enters first reading Wednesday. O'Reilly asked Premier Caroline Cochrane to "pick up the phone" and ask McLeod to vote in favour.
Human rights campaigners hope the landmark ruling will set a precedent for other cases.View on euronews
India on Wednesday approved a 73.5 billion rupee ($1.02 billion) plan to boost local manufacturing and exports of IT products such as laptops, tablets, personal computers and servers, the technology minister said. The production-linked incentive (PLI) plan will help India export IT goods worth 2.45 trillion rupees, minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told a news conference. "The focus of the scheme is to get global champions to India and to make national champions out of local manufacturers," Prasad said, adding that the plan could create roughly 180,000 jobs.
The deal with Revolution Acceleration Acquisition Corp is expected to provide Berkshire Grey about $413 million in cash, as the maker of logistics automation systems looks to take advantage of a surge in online shopping amid the COVID-19. Delaney, a former Congressman who launched his special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in December, will join Berkshire Grey's board following the transaction.
GLASGOW, Scotland — Neil Lennon resigned as manager of Scottish club Celtic on Wednesday with the team a distant second behind Glasgow rival Rangers. Celtic was in pursuit of a 10th consecutive league title but is 18 points behind Rangers in a turbulent season punctuated by a 1-0 loss to struggling Ross County on Sunday. "We have experienced a difficult season due to so many factors and, of course, it is very frustrating and disappointing that we have not been able to hit the same heights as we did previously," Lennon said in a statement. “I have worked as hard as ever to try and turn things around, but unfortunately we have not managed to get the kind of run going that we have needed.” Lennon began his second stint as Celtic manager in February 2019 after Brendan Rodgers left to take over at Leicester and led the team to two league titles. Assistant coach John Kennedy was named to take over on an interim basis. “I would like to pay tribute to Neil for all he has done for the club in his second spell, delivering our eighth and ninth successive league titles, the quadruple treble and winning the last five available domestic trophies,” Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell said. “Neil has always been and will always be a true Celtic man and someone I will always hold in the highest regard.” Lawwell said it is a “sad day” to see Lennon leave. “Neil is a man of quality and decency," he said, "he is someone who will always be part of the fabric of Celtic and someone who will always be welcomed at Celtic Park.” ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Irisnaide Silva is female, Brazilian and indigenous. They kept digging even after Brazil in 2005 marked the land as indigenous territory, a measure that prohibited mining despite protests from her family and other wildcatters in her Macuxi tribe. Now, Silva has the ear of none other than Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's president.
The European Commission on Wednesday took a step towards improving the rights of gig economy workers with the launch of a public consultation to determine their legal employment status and how to improve their working conditions. Courts and regulators have meanwhile sought to correct the shortcomings in the gig economy. The UK Supreme Court ruled last week that Uber drivers are entitled to workers' rights, such as the minimum wage, and a Spanish court said in September that riders for Barcelona-based food delivery app Glovo were employees, not freelancers.
Russian President Vladimir Putin approved legislation on Wednesday beefing up fines for offences committed during street protests after thousands were detained at unsanctioned rallies in support of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. The amended law also introduces fines of up to 20,000 roubles for protest organisers who violate funding regulations. Russian authorities have accused foreign countries of supporting the protests calling for Navalny's release.
(Tori Weldon/CBC - image credit) Another reversal of fortune has provided the Sackville Food Bank with a temporary home less than a week after a flood forced volunteers out of their building and destroyed much of the food bank's stock. The owners of a downtown café stepped up to donate their extra storefront space for as long as the food bank needs it. Heather Patterson woke up to news a week ago that the food bank was covered in two inches of water. She and the other volunteers quickly switched gears and set up a makeshift food bank in Patterson's sun room. While everyone who signed up for food got it last week, Paterson knew her sun room wasn't a long-term solution. Volunteers line up to lug two pallets of food from Food Depot Alimentaire's truck to the food bank's temporary home. Patterson said even at the regular location, the unloading is done by hand. Then one email over the weekend solved many of her problems. "We had local restaurant owners step forward and say, 'Would you guys like our empty storefront? And for as long as you need it,'" said Patterson. The storefront is much more than just empty space. It also has freezers and fridges, which are necessary tools in the food bank business. "It's really great because I don't know what we would have done," said Patterson. On Monday, volunteers moved the non-perishable food from Patterson's house to the new space, and on Tuesday they tackled an extra-large shipment from their main supplier, Food Depot Alimentaire. "They knew we couldn't access most of our food, and so they sent extra this week," Patterson said. "It was a really big load." More food means more work for the 10 volunteers. Even at their regular spot, they unload pallets by hand, passing cases of canned goods and pasta from one person to the next until everything is on a shelf. Not everything fit in the new smaller space, but Patterson said her volunteers are expert problem-solvers and organizers. When the fridges filled up, volunteers pulled up within minutes to load surplus food into their cars where it was whisked away to available fridge space at a private home. Patterson, president of the Sackville Food Bank, does a last bit of paperwork to prepare for the next day's pick-ups and deliveries. The storefront on Bridge Street is much more public than the food bank's normal home, but that also comes with benefits, according to Patterson. Passersby have helped to unload cars and chipped a path through a snowbank to allow for easier access to the building. "I think that is very cool," said Kevin Hicks. He regularly volunteers at the food bank and sometimes uses its services. Hicks said he likes to help out, and it's heartwarming to see the number of people and businesses donating goods and money to the local food bank. It's something he thinks more people should do. Kevin Hicks is a food bank volunteer and also occasional user. He said he likes to help out, and is continually impressed with the amount of donations that come in from local people and businesses. "Anybody who wants to donate to something, this is a worthy cause because maybe someday down the road you'll have to go," said Hicks. The flood Patterson said it will be at least a month before the food bank is back in its old home, which had only recently been renovated. "They had to take up our brand new floor, and they have to take out the walls and the cabinets in our kitchen and our washroom facilities," she said. "We haven't even had a chance to have a grand opening yet because of COVID." But in the meantime, the Sackville Food Bank is in full operation.
Shares on Wall Street ended higher on Wednesday, as a selloff in technology-related stocks eased and a rotation into cyclical shares continued after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's comments calmed inflation worries. The Nasdaq index, which traded as much as 1.3% lower earlier in the session, regained its footing by early afternoon and closed up. The Dow hit a record high earlier in the session.
(Submitted by the Bennett family - image credit) John Bennett and his family take a picture before quarantining. It's a nightmare scenario for many families in Newfoundland contending with the latest rise in COVID-19 numbers: Parents testing positive and having to divide their home for self-isolation, all while taking care of young children. For one St. John's family that's already a reality. John Bennett's 10-year-old son, John, has cystic fibrosis, a chronic lung disease. Last week, Bennett, his wife Gillian, and their other son Noah, 6, all tested positive for COVID-19. Bennett initially booked a swab after visiting Bigs Ultimate Sports Grill in Mount Pearl, around the time the B117 variant started its spread through the metro region. While his first test came back negative, Bennett said he and his wife developed symptoms a few days later. "She just wasn't feeling all that well — a little bit under the weather," said Bennett. A day after her test, she got the result: positive. Bennett said the news came as a shock to his family, and soon after, he and his two sons got tested as well. Bennett's returned positive that time, though both of his sons' results came back negative. Noah was tested again on Monday, and the result came back positive. The Bennetts have two boys, John and Noah. John, the oldest, has cystic fibrosis. Right away, the family tried to divide the house, with Bennett's sons, wife, and himself each taking separate parts of the home. But having young kids, especially one with a lung condition like cystic fibrosis, made staying apart a challenge. "It feels like a bit of a yo-yo effect. At one moment you're feeling OK, the next minute emotions are kind of all over the place," said Bennett. "You're trying to take care of yourself, you're also trying to take care of your kids, your wife, and then trying to figure out some logistics of all living in the house together." Cystic fibrosis heightening anxiety Bennett's foremost worry at the moment is John falling ill, too. Since the pandemic began last year, Bennett said, they've learned a little more about how the virus affects those living with cystic fibrosis. "I'm certainly not minimizing it whatsoever, but from what we've seen over the last year, it doesn't necessarily have a bigger impact," Bennett said. While there's no evidence to show conditions like cystic fibrosis make individuals more susceptible to contracting COVID-19, people with the condition may be susceptible to more serious symptoms. Meals delivered by friends and family have been a big help, says Bennett. Bennett described his son as healthy and active, a kid who diligently follows a cystic fibrosis treatment regimen. The uncertainty of the virus, however, is still a cause of concern. "It's been worrying. We don't want him to have it," Bennett said. "But if he does have it, and sometimes I guess you just have to mentally prepare yourself for those things, we'll deal with it the best we can." John was tested again this week and his results came back negative: welcome news for Bennett and his family. For the time being, Bennett said John is in isolation with plenty of games to keep him entertained. "He's been in kind of his own isolation mode; he's got his Xbox, and he's got some friends online that just kept him company and whatnot." A father's advice? Get tested While they never expected the pandemic to hit so close to home, Bennett said, they shared their story over social media in order to keep friends and family informed, and encourage others to get tested. "I tested negative and had some symptoms probably three or four days after. Hindsight is 20/20. I should have probably gotten retested," said Bennett. His overall message is no matter how mild your symptoms may be, he hopes others take them seriously. Bennett, whose family has been vocal about John's condition in the past, said they've received overwhelming support. "All of the support from family and friends to be quite honest with you has helped us get through this," he said. "Messages of support, food being dropped off, snacks being dropped off. Just the outreach has kind of left us sometimes a little bit speechless." Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Police officers who put a hood over the head of a mentally distraught Black man, then pressed his body against the pavement until he stopped breathing will not face criminal charges after a grand jury declined to indict them, New York's attorney general announced Tuesday. Daniel Prude, 41, died last March, several days after his encounter with police in Rochester, New York. Police initially described his death as a drug overdose. It went mostly unnoticed. But nightly protests erupted after body camera video was released nearly six months later following pressure from Prude's family. Attorney General Letitia James, whose office took over the investigation, said her office had “presented the strongest case possible” to the grand jury, but couldn’t persuade it that the officers had committed a crime. “I know that the Prude family, the Rochester community and communities across the country will rightfully be disappointed by this outcome,” said James, who travelled to Rochester to announce the grand jury’s decision at a church near where Prude was fatally injured. She said she was bound to respect the grand jury’s decision, but she also condemned a system that she said had “frustrated efforts to hold law enforcement officers accountable for the unjustified killing of African Americans." “What binds these cases is a tragic loss of life in circumstances in which the death could have been avoided,” said James, who, like the mayor of Rochester and the city’s current and former police chiefs, is Black. “One recognizes the influences of race, from the slave codes to Jim Crow, to lynching, to the war on crime, to the overincarceration of people of colour: Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd. And now Daniel Prude,” she said. Lawyers for the seven police officers suspended over Prude’s death have said the officers were strictly following their training that night, employing a restraining technique known as “segmenting.” They claimed Prude’s use of PCP, which caused irrational behaviour, was “the root cause” of his death. Calls were made to the officers’ attorneys. Matthew Rich, who represents four officers, said “we’re still taking it in” and that the attorneys would speak to the press later. Hundreds of protesters gathered Tuesday evening on the street where Prude was detained. The March 23 video of Prude’s fatal encounter with officers was initially withheld by police in part because of concerns it would inflame street demonstrations occurring nationwide over George Floyd’s death. Ultimately released Sept. 4, it showed officers placing a mesh bag over Prude’s head to stop him from spitting after they detained him for running naked through the streets. Prude had been evaluated at a hospital for odd behaviour a day earlier, but he wasn't admitted. His family called police because they were concerned about Prude's safety after he bolted from the house. One officer pushed Prude's face against the ground, while another officer pressed a knee to his back. The officers held him down for about two minutes until he fell unconscious. He was taken off life support a week later. “The system failed Daniel Prude again," Prude family lawyer Elliot Shields said of the grand jury's decision. ”It failed him on March 22 when he was released from the hospital. It failed him on the night of March 23 when the police used deadly force against him. And it failed him again today." Shields said Prude's brother, Joe Prude, was “heartbroken.” Officers Troy Taladay, Paul Ricotta, Francisco Santiago, Andrew Specksgoor, Josiah Harris and Mark Vaughn, along with Sgt. Michael Magri, were suspended after Prude’s death became public. The officers will remain on leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation, according to Rochester police chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan. The Rochester police union said in a statement it would not immediately comment. The grand jury decision isn't likely to end scrutiny of the Rochester Police Department, which has been heavily criticized over the past year over numerous incidents involving allegations of excessive force. James, a Democrat, said that in addition to meeting with Prude’s brother, she wanted to speak with a 9-year-old girl who was recently pepper sprayed by city police officers responding to a family dispute. The department has also been criticized for rough treatment of protesters last summer. The U.S. Justice Department planned to review the attorney general’s findings, according to a joint statement from its Civil Rights Division, the U.S. attorney in western New York and the FBI. “I don’t think it’s over,” said Mike Johnson, a Rochester activist who joined the protest of the grand jury decision Tuesday evening. “I don’t think this grand jury decision is the last say in seeking justice for this issue.” “This is just another slap in the face," said Johnson, noting that Tuesday was the anniversary of the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was chased and shot by armed men in Brunswick, Georgia, one year ago. James said that for the sake of public transparency, she had asked a judge to unseal some records related to the grand jury proceeding. She also issued a report recommending, among other things, that officers be trained to recognize the symptoms of excited delirium syndrome, which can make people vulnerable to cardiac arrest. The medical examiner and the attorney general’s expert both concluded that Prude was in a state of excited delirium because of his drug use. The attorney general also called for communities to minimize or eliminate police responses to mental health calls and to find alternatives to the type of “spit sock” officers placed over Prude’s head. She said the mesh hood clearly added to Prude’s stress and agitation. A police-practices expert hired by the attorney general found some of the officers’ actions, including the “segmenting” tactic, were reasonable — but the expert said keeping Prude on his stomach for three minutes, including nearly a minute after he’d apparently vomited, “was unnecessary, unreasonable, and against accepted police practice,” James’ office said in a report. The county medical examiner listed the manner of death as homicide caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint” and cited PCP as a contributing factor. Rochester's mayor, Lovely Warren, who fired police chief La’Ron Singletary over his handling of the Prude case, called the grand jury decision “hard for many of us to understand." “There are no words that can comfort a family who has lost their loved one in this tragic way," she said. "Our actions going forward will ensure that Daniel Prude’s death was not in vain.” Some activists said that they never expected the officers to face charges. “Historically, we can see when Black and brown people are killed across this nation, most times there is no indictment. However, it isn’t any less offensive, any less hurtful, any less painful,” said Ashley Gantt of Rochester, as she headed to protest the decision. “I’m disgusted." Michael Hill And Carolyn Thompson, The Associated Press
(Philippe Morin/CBC - image credit) Mushers will hit the trail Wednesday in a new dog sled race — the Yukon Journey. It's been organized as a sort of replacement this year for the territory's major annual dog sled event, the Yukon Quest. That race, which typically draws mushers and fans from around the world, was cancelled this winter because of the COVID-19 pandemic. "Everyone's been working hard for the last few weeks to kind of make this happen and come to fruition," said Steve Hossack, who's organizing communications for the Yukon Journey. "We've got a great field. We've got 11 mushers and seven of them are veteran mushers. So it should make for a very, very exciting race." The 375-kilometre Yukon Journey is much shorter than the 1,200-kilometre Yukon Quest, and it takes place entirely in Canada. The race starts in Pelly Crossing at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, and ends in Whitehorse. The original plan was for mushers to run from Dawson City to Whitehorse, but Hossack said that had to change because of some pandemic-related complications. Mushers and organizers of the Yukon Journey meet earlier this month to prepare for the race. He says the race was organized by local mushers to fill a gap left by Yukon Quest, but it's not meant to imitate that higher-profile event. The Yukon Journey is focused on dog care, he says, and there are more mandatory rest stops along the way. "It is a different flavour than the Quest," Hossak said. "You know, it's got a different set of rules and we're hoping that that might sort of influence other dog sporting events to kind of maybe rethink their policies and race rules a little bit." It will also differ from the Yukon Quest in that there will be no online race tracker for people to follow the mushers' progress in real time. He says the best way for people to stay updated is to watch the race's Facebook page. Lots of snow Trail crews have been busy in recent weeks grooming and marking the trail. Hossack says it's looking good. "We've had lots of snow, so that's great. You know, it offers a really good run in between some of these checkpoints but it also offers up some adversity — there's a few banks that we've heard that are the potential tipping corners, especially if mushers are carrying straw or anything like that," he said. There's been no shortage of snow this year which has helped prepare the Yukon Journey trail. 'You know, it offers a really good run in between some of these checkpoints but it also offers up some adversity,' says Steve Hossack. Hossack said the first mushers are likely to arrive in Whitehorse by Friday afternoon, with the rest expected before the end of the weekend. He's discouraging people from gathering around the finish line, though. "Obviously, we can't stop people. So if people want to stand along the trail in sort of a remote section in a spot where they would typically watch Quest mushers run by, that's fine. We just ask them to, you know, follow all of the territorial COVID[-19] measures that are in place." Hossack says the race has been getting "tons of support" from local businesses, so there's already at least $10,000 in prize money up for grabs. Every musher who crosses the finish line will take home a cash prize at least as big as their entry fee, he says. They'll also get a souvenir belt buckle. It's still an an open question whether the Yukon Journey will live beyond 2021. Yukon Quest organizers have already said they expect their race to be back next year. "There's been a little bit more and more discussion about the potential to run [the Yukon Journey] again in the future," Hossack said. "Right now, we kind of just have our eyes on Wednesday as our big day."