Charon the German Shepherd welcomes these adorable newborn quail chicks to the family!
Charon the German Shepherd welcomes these adorable newborn quail chicks to the family!
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Fresh off another rejection in Pennsylvania's courts, Republicans on Thursday again asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state, while the state's lawyers say fatal flaws in the original case mean justices are highly unlikely to grant it. Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly of northwestern Pennsylvania and the other plaintiffs are asking the high court to prevent the state from certifying any contests from the Nov. 3 election, and undo any certifications already made, such as Biden’s victory, while its lawsuit is considered. They maintain that Pennsylvania’s expansive vote-by-mail law is unconstitutional because it required a constitutional amendment to authorize its provisions. However, in a sign that the case is likely too late to affect the election, Justice Samuel Alito ordered the state's lawyers to respond by Dec. 9, a day after what is known as the safe harbour deadline. That means that Congress cannot challenge any electors named by this date in accordance with state law. Biden beat President Donald Trump by more than 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, a state Trump had won in 2016. Most mail-in ballots were submitted by Democrats. Pennsylvania's Supreme Court threw out the case Saturday. Kelly's lawyers sought an injunction Tuesday in the U.S. Supreme Court, then withdrew it while they asked the state's high court to halt any certifications until the U.S. Supreme Court acts. The state's justices refused Thursday, and Kelly's lawyers promptly refiled the case in the U.S. Supreme Court. In the state’s courts, justices cited the law’s 180-day time limit on filing legal challenges to its provisions, as well as the staggering demand that an entire election be overturned retroactively. In addition to challenging the state's mail-in voting law, Kelly’s lawyers question whether the state's justices violated their clients' constitutional rights by throwing out the case on the basis of time limits and barring them from refiling it on the same grounds. Lawyers for Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said in court filings that Kelly's lawyers never before argued that the U.S. Constitution provides a basis for their claims, making it “highly unlikely” the U.S. Supreme Court will grant what they are seeking. In the underlying lawsuit, Kelly and the other Republican plaintiffs had sought to either throw out the 2.5 million mail-in ballots submitted under the law or to wipe out the election results and direct the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature to pick Pennsylvania’s presidential electors. ___ Follow Marc Levy on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/timelywriter Marc Levy, The Associated Press
President Donald Trump's frantic effort in the courts to delegitimize an election he lost has come no closer in a month to reversing any results.Lawyers for Trump and his allies have asked judges in several states to take the drastic and unprecedented step of setting aside President-elect Joe Biden’s wins. They have filed new cases and vowed to press on with appeals.But the quantity of affidavits, lawsuits and claims made by Trump belies that they are spurious or often repetitive of arguments already rejected by judges and elections officials, some of them Republicans.Here is a look at where the legal action stands in several key states:ARIZONAA judge was holding a trial beginning Thursday brought by state Republican Party chair Kelli Ward alleging irregularities in signature verification on mail-in ballots. The judge let Ward’s lawyers and experts compare the signatures on 100 mail-in ballot envelopes with signatures on file to determine whether there were any irregularities. Ward’s lawyers found two problems: One person's vote for Trump was ultimately recorded as a vote for Biden, and another person's Trump vote was cancelled because the ballot had votes for both Trump and a write-in candidate.Courts there have already dismissed four other cases. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, certified Arizona's results on Monday. In a touch of symbolism, he declined a phone call from Trump while signing the certification papers. Lawyer Sidney Powell, who was recently kicked off Trump's legal team and has been pushing wild conspiracy theories about the election, has also filed a lawsuit there.PENNSYLVANIATrump has lost repeatedly in Pennsylvania, collecting a series of stinging rebukes from Republican-appointed judges. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week upheld a district judge's dismissal of a key lawsuit argued in an error-filled performance by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.“Voters, not lawyers, choose the president. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections,” wrote Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, nominated by Trump.The district judge, Matthew Brann, wrote of the complaint, “One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption." Brann, a member of the conservative Federalist Society, noted that the campaign did not provide that evidence.Trump's lawyers have vowed to ask for review from the U.S. Supreme Court anyway.MICHIGANSix cases brought by Trump and Republican allies in Michigan have either been rejected or dropped. On Wednesday, Giuliani appeared at a public meeting with lawmakers and urged activists to pressure, even threaten, the GOP-controlled Legislature to “step up” and award the state’s 16 electoral votes to Trump despite Biden’s 154,000-vote victory.WISCONSINThe state’s Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear Trump's lawsuit seeking to overturn his loss in the battleground state. In a divided decision, the court didn’t rule on the merits of the claims but said the case must first wind its way through lower courts. Trump wants to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state’s two biggest Democratic counties, alleging irregularities in the way absentee ballots were administered. In urging the Supreme Court to hear the case, Trump’s lawyers said they didn’t have enough time to start in a lower court.Trump’s attorney Jim Troupis said he would immediately file the case in circuit court and expected to be back before the Supreme Court “very soon.”Trump's campaign filed a similar lawsuit in federal court Wednesday. Two other lawsuits filed by conservatives are still pending with the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Powell has also filed a lawsuit seeking an order to decertify the election results in the state.____Associated Press writers Scott Bauer in Madison, Wis., David Eggert in Lansing, Mich., and Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix contributed to this report.Nomaan Merchant And Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press
Belle River teen comedian Louis Brady says Elliot Page, a Canadian actor who recently came out as transgender, shouldn't focus on other people's opinions because "they're not you and they're not transitioning." The gay, transgender 17-year-old said that he wasn't surprised to hear Page, a Halifax-born actor, share that he is transgender because, to him, it's like any other trans person coming out. Page, who is known for his Oscar-nominated role in Juno, addressed his social media followers Tuesday with a lengthy Instagram post, in which he shared that he is trans and that he uses the pronouns he or they."I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life. I feel overwhelming gratitude for the incredible people who have supported me along this journey," wrote Page, who also starred in Inception and most recently The Umbrella Academy. "I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer. And the more I hold myself close and fully embrace who I am, the more I dream, the more my heart grows and the more I thrive."When Brady heard the news, he said while it's important, he "didn't really think about it." "In my personal opinion actors are just people with cooler jobs. So I thought it might be harder for him because he is such a big name and because he is obviously going to get a lot more attention from the media whereas if someone like me comes out it's not going to be such a big deal ... so I felt for him in that way but in the idea of him being an actor I don't see it being any different for me doing it than for him doing it." But Page's announcement does give attention to transgender men — a spotlight that Brady said is often focused on transgender women."Transgender men don't get as much media attention and although I would never want to take away any representation for transgender women, because they are just as fully important as us, I think it also is important to talk about both sides of the spectrum and to give opportunity to everyone in an equal platform," he said. Brady said these moments also serve to educate people. "I feel that it's important that we educate people on this because I feel like it makes it a lot easier for people like me to come out and to live as ourselves if everyone around us is aware because it's really hard when you are constantly being asked who you are and what you are and feeling as though you have to prove yourself to everybody and you have to constantly explain who you are — it's really exhausting." Being trans himself, Brady shared some advice for Page. "Don't feel bad correcting people because it's important to you and it's always a good idea to be understanding of other people not understanding because it is a newer thing in our world but I also think it's important that we don't let people off on oh whatever it doesn't matter because it does matter," he said, adding that he still gets mis-gendered. Brady continued to say that Page should avoid reading the comments on articles about himself.
In an emotional speech at the end of a press conference on Thursday, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said “you don’t need to like me” after the province implemented strict COVID-19 restrictions.
The province says shovels will be in the ground early in the new year for construction of the long-awaited north Calgary high school.Minister of infrastructure Prasad Panda said they're weeks away from awarding the contract to a builder, and expect the school to be open for students in 2023."This is something that's very close to my heart because I have not hundreds, but thousands of friends that live in that area that are eagerly waiting for this school," he said. "It's unfortunate some of their kids are already in university. At least for the next generation it's helpful."More than a decade ago, the site, at 12065 Coventry Hills Way N.E., across the street from Nose Creek Middle School, was designated for the future high school.Community advocates have rallied ever since to see it built."For me, it's break out the champagne because I've been battling for this for 15 years. That's how I originally got involved in the community association, was battling for this high school," said David Hartwick, government relations and advocacy director for the Northern Hills Community Association. "I will be out there the day they put the shovel in the ground just to see it, because I've waited so long for this and I won't believe it until I see that shovel in the ground."Panda said he recently took steps to expedite the school build."We took it out of the P3 process to accelerate the school and get it open on time," he said. "Typically it takes a little longer, but that's why I excluded this one to push it hard, to get it done sooner."North Calgary High School's catchment area in the CBE plans covers the more than 71,000 people living in Hidden Valley, Coventry Hills, Panorama Hills, Harvest Hills, Country Hills and Country Hills Village, Hartwick said.Community members estimate the school will have 1,800 teens enrolled once it opens."It'll be at capacity Day 1 with people from the surrounding communities wanting in," said Hartwick."They're only looking at the catchment area of Northern Hills and Hidden Valley. But the reality is now you've got Livingston and Carrington to the north. You've got Evanston, who's desperate for the high school space as well. This high school could have easily been built at 2,400 students."In an emailed statement to CBC News, the CBE says the North Calgary High School will open with Grades 10 and 11, which allows Grade 12 students to graduate from the high school they started at."Enrolment upon opening will figure at approximately 1,000 students. Enrolment the following year is anticipated to rise to 1,500 students as the school expands to offer Grades 10-12," read the statement by the CBE.The closest high schools are Crescent Heights or John G. Diefenbaker — about 60 blocks away, and approximately an hour each way by bus for most students from the community.When the new high school finally opens, it'll be life changing for teens and families in the area, Hartwick said. "Now these kids are going to have the same opportunity that the separate school kids have, where they get to go to high school within their community, play sports within their community, actually participate in extracurricular activities," he said.
COVID-19. «Y'a du soleil derrière chaque nuage» chante la chanson. C’est justement une belle éclaircie qu’a connue Saint-Léonard-d’Aston dans la soirée du 3 décembre. En effet, en plus des dizaines voitures qui ont défilé en solidarité avec les résidents et le personnel du Centre l’Assomption, la directrice Manon Daigle a fait savoir que 24 des 36 résidents qui étaient atteints de la COVID-19 sont considérés sortis de la zone critique par le CIUSSS. « On n’a jamais douté que les gens seraient présents et ils le sont. On sent une grande solidarité qui s’exprime ce soir. J’ai vu des employés tantôt et ils dont dit avec les yeux pleins d’eau: «Merci de faire ça. Ça nous fait du bien à tous». Avec la bonne nouvelle, on s'en va vers le mieux», rapporte Yvan Martin, le fils de l’une des résidentes du Centre l’Assomption, qui est à l’origine du défilé auquel le Service des loisirs, les services de pompiers de Saint-Léonard-d’Aston et de Saint-Wenceslas et les policiers de la Sûreté du Québec ont apporté leur soutien. Notons qu’en date du 3 décembre, le Centre l’Assomption compte 36 cas parmi ses résidents. Un total de 19 employés sont infectés. Deux décès sont à déplorer. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
A Michelin acclaimed restaurant famous for its Oaxacan food, and run by undocumented immigrants in the South Bronx, has reinvented itself as a soup kitchen to feed the hungry during the pandemic. (Dec. 3)
WASHINGTON — China poses the greatest threat to America and the rest of the free world since World War II, outgoing National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe said Thursday as the Trump administration ramps up anti-Chinese rhetoric to pressure President-elect Joe Biden to be tough on Beijing.“The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically,” Ratcliffe wrote in an op-ed published Thursday in The Wall Street Journal. “Many of China’s major public initiatives and prominent companies offer only a layer of camouflage to the activities of the Chinese Communist Party.”“I call its approach of economic espionage ‘rob, replicate and replace,'" Ratcliffe said. “China robs U.S. companies of their intellectual property, replicates the technology and then replaces the U.S. firms in the global marketplace.”Trump administration officials have been stepping up their anti-China rhetoric for months, especially during the presidential campaign as President Donald Trump sought to deflect blame for the spread of the coronavirus . On the campaign trail, Trump warned that Biden would go easy on China, although the president-elect agrees that China is not abiding by international trade rules, is giving unfair subsidies to Chinese companies and stealing American innovation.The Trump administration, which once boasted of warm relations with China's President Xi Jinping, also has been ramping up sanctions against China over Taiwan, Tibet, trade, Hong Kong and the South China Sea. It has moved against the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and sought restrictions on Chinese social media applications like TikTok and WeChat.China’s embassy in the U.S. did not respond to a request for comment on Ratcliffe’s op-ed, although China has routinely denied many of these allegations in the past.Ratcliffe, a Trump loyalist who has been accused of politicizing the position, has been the nation's top intelligence official since May. In his op-ed, he did not directly address the transition to a Biden administration. Trump has not acknowledged losing the election.Ratcliffe said he has shifted money within the $85 billion annual intelligence budget to address the threat from China. Beijing is preparing for an open-ended confrontation with the U.S., which must be addressed, he said.“This is our once-in-a-generation challenge. Americans have always risen to the moment, from defeating the scourge of fascism to bringing down the Iron Curtain,” Ratcliffe wrote in what appeared to be call for action to future intelligence officials.Biden has announced that he wants the Senate to confirm Avril Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA, to succeed Ratcliffe as the next national intelligence director.“This generation will be judged by its response to China’s effort to reshape the world in its own image and replace America as the dominant superpower," Ratcliffe wrote.He cited several examples of Chinese aggression against the United States:The Justice Department has charged a rising number of U.S. academics for transferring U.S. taxpayer-funded intellectual property to China.He noted the theft of intellectual property from American businesses, citing the case of Sinoval, a China-based wind turbine maker, which was convicted and heavily fined for stealing trade secrets from AMSC, a U.S.-based manufacturer formerly known as American Superconductor Inc. Rather than pay AMSC for more than $800 million in products and services it had agreed to purchase, Sinovel hatched a scheme to steal AMSC’s proprietary wind turbine technology, causing the loss of almost 700 jobs and more than $1 billion in shareholder equity, according to the Justice Department.Ratcliffe and other U.S. officials have said that China has stolen sensitive U.S. defence technology to fuel Xi's aggressive military modernization plan and they allege that Beijing uses its access to Chinese tech firms, such as Huawei, to collect intelligence, disrupt communications and threaten the privacy of users worldwide.Ratcliffe said he has personally briefed members of Congress about how China is using intermediaries to lawmakers in an attempt to influence legislation.Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press
The Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown is getting an MRI scanner. "It's a big day for AVC," said Dr. Greg Keefe, the college's dean. "We've been wanting to move our program forward in this direction for quite a while."An MRI scanner uses a magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves to create high-resolution images of bones and soft tissues in a non-invasive way, and can help doctors diagnose a variety of problems, such as brain and spinal cord disease, cancer and heart disease."Almost every specialty that we do here, from internal medicine to surgery to cardiology, they will all benefit from this," he said.Keefe said the MRI will particularly help in neurology and radiology, which will help the college attract and retain more specialists in those areas."There's a lot of intricacies to imaging brains," Keefe noted.The MRI is the first for vet care in the Atlantic provinces. The college receives 4,000 referrals from across the region per year. Keefe thanked the Rathlyn Foundation — a private foundation that provides financial support to educational and medical institutions — for its support on the project, in a news release issued Thursday.Higher expectations for pet carePreviously, veterinarians brought animals needing an MRI to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown to use its machine, but Keefe said that access was "extremely limited," and was only available for small animals.With the new MRI the college will be able to scan horses.The AVC also has a CT scanner, but the MRI allows vets to give even better diagnoses for some things. "The caseload in the veterinary teaching hospital is growing, and the expectations of our clients is that they can receive the same diagnostics and care for their animals as they would for themselves," said Dr. Heather Gunn McQuillan, the assistant dean clinical and professional programming, in the release."The addition of an MRI is an important step in expanding our service delivery to meet their needs."A section of the veterinary teaching hospital will be renovated to house the MRI. Officials say they expect the project to cost about $4 million and take up to a year to complete.Keefe noted the MRI project is the first part of several phases of planned expansion of the hospital, including building additional capacity for an eventual diagnostic imaging centre that would serve all of Atlantic Canada.More from CBC P.E.I.
A 38-year-old woman of St. Clair Township has been charged after a 34-year-old cyclist was killed in a collision this summer, the Ontario Provincial Police said in a news release Thursday. Lori Neville was cycling to raise money for childhood cancer on Aug. 22, when she was hit by a vehicle around 10 a.m. at Petrolia Line in St. Clair Township, south of Sarnia. In a news release at the time, the OPP said after the cyclist and vehicle collided, Lori was sent to hospital where she was pronounced dead. Now, three and a half months later, OPP said in a news release Thursday that they have arrested and charged a woman suspected to have been involved in the incident with dangerous operation causing death. "She was a great person, she always wanted to help people," Natalie Neville, Lori's wife, told CBC News back in August after the collision. The couple have a three-year-old son. Lori had started cycling as a hobby, then in June, she signed up to ride with Great Cycle Challenge Canada to fight childhood cancer, said Neville. "I think she was just looking at our son and if something ever happened, she would want there to be that support there, so she felt bad for families that had to go through that and I think it just kind of touched her heart and gave her motivation," Neville said at the time about Lori's decision to support childhood cancer. The suspect is scheduled to appear at Sarnia's Ontario Court Justice on Jan. 11, 2021.
Tofino, BC - Master carver Joe martin normally keeps an open-door policy. It’s been customary for people from different territories and nationalities to drop by Martin’s workshop in Tofino and soak in his teachings. Theatrically waving his hands through the air, Martin would tell stories of how his ancestors used to pierce a whale under its left front flipper by launching a harpoon from a canoe with the strength of one arm. “I’m well over my mid-life,” said the 67-year-old. “It’s the law of nature – one day I’m not going to be here. Having teachings and passing them on is a responsibility.” No longer able to host visitors due to the ongoing pandemic, Martin has turned to social media as a way of sharing his ancestor’s stories. By posting short videos of teachings to his personal Facebook page, the Tla-o-qui-aht elder is hoping to appeal to younger generations. “That’s where we have their attention,” he said of the youth within his nation. Martin thinks back on his childhood with fondness. Considering himself one of the fortunate ones, he didn’t go to residential school. Instead, his father and grandfather were his teachers. Spending their days out on the land, Martin’s father would recount teachings to him over-and-over. Through oral repetition, his family’s histories seeped into his psyche and became a part of his being. As the world changes, the way we interact has transformed. Oral stories are being disseminated online as a way to bring communities together because people are unable to gather. “We have to adjust,” said Martin. “And this is how we’re adjusting.” In trying to capturethe attention of Tla-o-qui-aht’s youth, Martin said that he has also connected with elders of his generation who were forced to attend residential school. Stripped of the teachings from their own grandparents, some have clung to Martin’s stories. During the first week of lockdown at the end of March, Cory Howard, Huu-ay-aht First Nations health and wellness coordinator, began posting live videos of himself singing his family’s songs. It is a practice he has continued every Tuesday evening, drawing in an average of 500 viewers. “People are loving it,” said Howard. “They say it’s medicine for them.” After his cousin was stricken with COVID-19 last week, Howard recorded a song and sent it to him. “It makes [people] feel better when they have culture in their life,” he said. “When they’re down, it lifts them up.” During lockdown in April, Joe’s daughter, Gisele, spent a lot of time connecting with nature and photographing the “beautiful biodiversity” near her home in Esowista. At the time, she struggled on whether to post the photos online, worrying how it might affect people who were confined to their city apartments. But after deciding to share them, she was met with gratitude. “Even though they couldn't be there, it helped them with their day,” she said. “Through social media, I’m connected to people in a lot of different territories and get to hear their stories – it helps me navigate how I do things here.” Gisele has been helping her father with his videos. The recordings extend beyond the technicalities of how to carve a traditional dugout canoe. Collaboratively, they try to weave in stories about how generations of salmon returning to a river system provide nourishment to the surrounding forests, making it possible for a canoe to come into existence. As a Nuu-chah-nulth language and culture educator, Gisele said she recognizes the benefits of social media as a way of increasing cultural awareness, but remains cautious. “I think part of the problem or challenge with sharing things online is that our teachings can get fragmented,” she said. Using plants as an example, Gisele said that she would never go to another nation’s territory to harvest. There are a lot of considerations to be made about the reciprocal relationship people have with plants, along with traditional protocols that might not come through in a video, she said. Being a gathering people, online platforms have provided a space for Nuu-chah-nulth members to come together. But, as important as it is to connect with people, Gisele said it’s equally vital to interact with the landscape around you. Pictures on Instagram may allow people to appreciate the wonders of nature, but Gisele argues it is impossible to interact with nature through a screen. And while the black mirrors are helping to fill the void during this time of social distancing, we need to connect to the places where we live and “support the health of those places,” she said.Melissa Renwick, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Ha-Shilth-Sa
Les conservateurs utilisent leur journée d’opposition à la Chambre des communes pour exhorter le gouvernement Trudeau à dévoiler son plan sur la distribution concernant chaque vaccin d’ici le 16 décembre. Les conservateurs veulent savoir la date à laquelle chacun des sept vaccins réservés sera distribué, et quels seront les taux mensuels de vaccination envisagés. « Alors que des pays entiers vont sortir du confinement, les Canadiens vont les regarder avec incompréhension. Pourquoi sommes-nous si en retard ? », a lancé le chef du Parti conservateur, Erin O’Toole, en conférence de presse. Il a reconnu la difficulté qu’Ottawa pourrait avoir à publier un calendrier précis, mais il pose des questions d’ordre logistique sur la suite du processus après les livraisons des doses de vaccin. « Quel est le plan immédiatement après ça ? Est-ce qu’on a des congélateurs pour les vaccins de Pfizer ? Quel est le plan pour les communautés rurales, pour les communautés autochtones, pour nos forces armées », s’est-il interrogé en conférence de presse. Le Bloc québécois s’est dit en accord avec le sens de la motion conservatrice. Une expérimentation humaine Le chef du Parti conservateur ne s’est pas prononcé sur la pétition parrainée par son camarade Derek Sloan pour critiquer les vaccins contre la Covid-19. Le député opposé au port obligatoire du masque soutient cette pétition selon laquelle « les vaccins contre la COVID-19 ne sont pas conçus pour empêcher l’infection ou la transmission » et qu’il s’agirait d’une simple expérimentation lancée dans la précipitation au mépris des protocoles standards. Erin O’Toole s’est contenté d’exiger la publication d’un plan détaillé qui permettra « d’éduquer » et que « l’information aidera à apporter une certitude à beaucoup de Canadiens ». La pétition ouverte de façon virtuelle jusqu’en février a déjà enregistré 24 000 signatures, dont environ 2000, au Québec. Les réfrigérateurs des vaccins En conférence de presse, le major général Dany Fortin qui coordonne les opérations de distribution des vaccins a annoncé que les provinces et les territoires recevront les réfrigérateurs consacrés dans les prochains jours. Le vaccin de Pfizer/Biotech sera livré directement par les firmes pharmaceutiques aux points identifiés par les autorités provinciales. Les réfrigérateurs devront être en place au plus tard le 14 décembre prochain selon le major général. Les vaccins doivent cependant être approuvés par Santé Canada. Plusieurs sources annoncent le délai d’une dizaine de jours. Le Canada devrait recevoir au moins six millions de doses du premier vaccin au début de la nouvelle année selon les autorités de la santé publique. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
MADISON, Wis. — A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear President Donald Trump’s lawsuit attempting to overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the battleground state, sidestepping a decision on the merits of the claims and instead ruling that the case must first wind its way through lower courts.In another blow to Trump, two dissenting conservative justices questioned whether disqualifying more than 221,000 ballots as Trump wanted would be the proper remedy to the errors he alleged.The defeat on a 4-3 ruling was the latest in a string of losses for Trump’s post-election lawsuits. Judges in multiple battleground states have rejected his claims of fraud or irregularities.Trump asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state’s two biggest Democratic counties, alleging irregularities in the way absentee ballots were administered. His lawsuit echoed claims that were earlier rejected by election officials in those counties during a recount that barely affected Biden’s winning margin of about 20,700 votes.Trump’s attorney Jim Troupis said he would immediately file the case in circuit court and expected to be back before the Supreme Court “very soon.”“It was clear from their writings that the court recognizes the seriousness of these issues, and we look forward to taking the next step,” he said in a statement. Trump's team made the filing late Thursday evening.In asking the conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the case directly, Trump had argued that there wasn’t enough time to wage the legal battle by starting with a lower court, given the looming Dec. 14 date when presidential electors cast their votes.Swing Justice Brian Hagedorn joined three liberal justices in denying the petition without weighing in on Trump's allegations. Hagedorn said the law was clear that Trump must start his lawsuit in lower courts where factual disputes can be worked out.“We do well as a judicial body to abide by time-tested judicial norms, even — and maybe especially — in high profile cases,” Hagedorn wrote. “Following this law is not disregarding our duty, as some of my colleagues suggest. It is following the law.”Trump filed a similar lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday.Chief Justice Patience Roggensack, in a dissent where she was joined by Justice Annette Ziegler, said she would have taken the case and referred it to lower courts for factual findings, which could then be reported back to the Supreme Court for a ruling.But she also questioned whether disqualifying ballots was appropriate, saying that "may be out of reach for a number of reasons.”Conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote that the court “forsakes its duty” by not determining whether elections officials complied with the law and the inaction will undermine the public's confidence in elections. Allowing the elections commission to make the law governing elections would be a “death blow to democracy,” she wrote.“While some will either celebrate or decry the court's inaction based upon the impact on their preferred candidate, the importance of this case transcends the results of this particular election,” she wrote in a dissent joined by Roggensack and Ziegler. “The majority's failure to act leaves an indelible stain on our most recent election.”Democratic Gov. Tony Evers praised the decision.“I was frankly amazed that it was not unanimous," Evers said.Trump's lawsuit challenged procedures that have been in place for years and never been found to be illegal.He claimed there were thousands of absentee ballots without a written application on file. He argued that the electronic log created when a voter requests a ballot online — the way the vast majority are requested — doesn’t meet the letter of the law.He also challenged ballots where election clerks filled in missing address information on the certification envelope where the ballot is inserted — a practice that has long been accepted and that the state elections commission told clerks was OK.Trump also challenged absentee ballots where voters declared themselves to be “indefinitely confined,” a status that exempts them from having to show photo identification to cast a ballot, and one that was used much more heavily this year due to the pandemic. The Wisconsin Supreme Court in March ruled that it was up to individual voters to determine their status.Roggensack, the chief justice, appointed Reserve Judge Stephen Simanek of Racine County to hear the case at the circuit court level. Simanek retired in 2010.The court late Thursday also declined to hear a lawsuit brought by a Wisconsin resident, Dean Mueller, that argued that ballots placed in drop boxes are illegal and must not be counted. The court's brief order included a single line noting Roggensack, Ziegler and Bradley all dissented with the denial.One other lawsuit filed by conservatives is still pending with the court seeking to invalidate ballots. In federal court, there is Trump’s lawsuit and another one with similar claims from Sidney Powell, a conservative attorney who was removed from Trump’s legal team.Wisconsin this week certified Biden’s victory, setting the stage for a Democratic slate of electors chosen earlier to cast the state’s 10 electoral votes for him.Scott Bauer, The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Queen Latifah's upcoming drama series has scored a touchdown. CBS says “The Equalizer” will get the coveted post-Super Bowl slot next February to showcase its debut.“The Equalizer,” a reboot of the 1980s series about a retired intelligence agent turned private detective, stars Latifah as an ex-CIA agent and single mom who helps those “with nowhere else to turn,” according to a network description.The series will immediately follow the conclusion of CBS Sports' Sunday, Feb. 7, Super Bowl LV broadcast, with subsequent episodes of “The Equalizer” airing at 8 p.m. EST Sundays, CBS said Thursday.A special edition of Stephen Colbert's daily “The Late Show” will follow late local news on Super Bowl night, the network also announced.The returning series “FBI” also is getting special treatment, with its season debut following the NFL's AFC championship game on Sunday, Jan. 24. The show will then air regularly at 9 p.m. EST Tuesday.The other daily CBS late-night program, James Corden's “The Late Late Show,” will air a weekend edition on the night of the conference championship and after local newscasts.The Associated Press
Negotiations between Meng's attorneys and the U.S. Justice Department picked up after the U.S. presidential election a month ago, the person said, but it is still unclear what kind of deal could be struck. Meng, 48, was arrested in Canada in December 2018 on a U.S. warrant.
REGINA — A union representing workers at a steel plant in Regina says nearly 500 of its members are being laid off.The United Steelworkers says the workers will be off the job starting Dec. 17 and their layoff notices are indefinite.The president of union Local 5890 says it's tough because people will be out of work just over a week before Christmas and in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.Mike Day says the union knew layoffs were coming, but didn't expect them to hit all at once. The union says Canada's steel industry is struggling because projects are being built with cheaper steel obtained offshore rather than product manufactured locally.Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe calls the layoffs devastating and says officials are reaching out to offer whatever help they can.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020.The Canadian Press
An investigation by the Ottawa Police Service into an incident in Kinngait, Nunavut, last spring involving an RCMP officer who struck an Inuk man with the door of a moving patrol truck during an arrest, raises more questions than it answers, the territory's legal aid agency says. Benson Cowan, CEO of the Nunavut Legal Services Board, said his first reaction to reading the short news release from the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) this week was one of sadness. "We seem to be in this endless situation where there is a complete and willful and casual disregard for basic principles of accountability," Cowan said. And "it boggles the mind" that neither the Nunavut government, the RCMP, nor the OPS insist on more information from the investigation, he added. "It's a betrayal of Nunavummiut on a basic level," said Cowan. The Ottawa Police issued an eight-sentence release on Wednesday that cleared RCMP of any criminal wrongdoing in the June 1 incident in Kinngait on south Baffin Island. The incident made national news last spring after cell phone video footage circulated on social media, leading to an outcry from territorial and federal politicians. "The investigation has determined that the RCMP officer driving the vehicle did not intentionally strike the community member with the vehicle door," the Wednesday release from Ottawa Police said. The incident does not amount to an assault under the Criminal Code "as the applied force was unintentional," the OPS said, adding that the arrest of the young Inuk man was "lawful." Lawful arrest of Inuk man but no charges laidCowan said the OPS goes out of its way to say the arrest was lawful without providing other crucial information. "What we see in the video is an arrest that is serious and violent. Five officers take down someone who was, at worst, publicly intoxicated, but he was never charged with anything," Cowan said. "The question of why the officer was driving in that manner, that close to the man, in support of an arrest with what turned out to be four other officers — that requires some explanation," he added. Cowan pointed to the Special Investigation Unit's practices in Ontario — after investigations into police conduct it usually publishes witness statements and lengthy explanations for its conclusions, he said. Cowan said the Nunavut government could insist on more information from the OPS. Mark Witzaney, acting manager of policy and communications for the territory's justice department, told CBC News the OPS provides information on investigations according to a memorandum of understanding. RCMP clarify findings to Kinngait mayor"The OPS has discretion related to the appropriate release of further information pertaining to an investigation," Witzaney wrote in an email. Cowan disagrees. "By making this choice, they — the Nunavut government, the RCMP and the OPS — they are willfully disregarding any concern for the community's perspective," Cowan said. Kinngait mayor Timoon Toonoo told CBC that the OPS' news release didn't make much sense to him. But he said a conference call with Nunavut RCMP gave him the chance to ask questions about the process. When asked if he was given additional information not included in the OPS' news release, Toonoo said "not really." "It was mostly the same information, but we were able to ask questions about things we don't understand. So we understand more from the teleconference we had with the inspector from the RCMP in Iqaluit," Toonoo said. Two other reviews of the June incident are ongoing: an internal code of conduct review by Nunavut RCMP, and an investigation by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP.
Long-term care and assisted living facilities in B.C. are facing an increasingly deadly second wave of COVID-19 outbreaks, while at the same time imposing restrictions that leave seniors increasingly isolated. And the province’s seniors’ advocate Isobel Mackenzie says the government needs to overhaul the measures put in place in the pandemic’s early weeks and ease restrictions on visitors that are depriving residents of essential care and time with loved ones, and which could be costing more lives than they are saving. Mackenzie said this will be the last holiday season for about a quarter of residents, and the province needs to do everything in its power to support meaningful connection between residents and their families. “I don’t think it was ever intended that these measures would be in place for as long as they have been. I think it was intended to give care operators the opportunity to figure out how to manage these visits,” she said. “And we just got stuck in how we started out the visits in July, with how we’re doing the visits now, in December. We just need to shift that.” COVID-19 case numbers and deaths, the majority of which have been long-term care residents, have risen to unprecedented levels. About 35 people in long-term care died of the disease last weekend alone. B.C. introduced policies to limit the number and frequency of visitors quickly in the spring, also requiring staff to work at a single site to prevent spread between facilities. Each resident could have one 30-minute essential care visit per week. About half the people who applied to be designated as essential were rejected. The restrictions worked, quelling outbreaks that resulted in lower care-home deaths than in Ontario and Quebec. In June, B.C. announced each resident could have a designated social visitor as well, an expansion that rolled out slowly and inconsistently across the province. But after 10 months, the restrictions have devastated the physical and mental health of residents and failed to prevent outbreaks as community cases increase. There are now 54 active outbreaks in B.C.’s long-term care and assisted living facilities. “The challenge that we are facing right now, is that this surge in our communities has dramatically increased the risk in long-term care,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Wednesday. But earlier in the week Henry noted visitors are not causing outbreaks, which are more often caused by staff unknowingly spreading the virus. Mackenzie said health officials should allow more frequent and longer visits with the current designated visitors rather than increase the number of visitors per resident. When asked by The Tyee, Henry said the province is working to maintain and extend the current visitation level allowing one designated visitor. “But expanding to allow more social visits is not going to happen during this risky period right now,” she said Henry did not say when current visitors might be allowed to see loved ones more frequently. “I understand the reluctance,” said Mackenzie, who used to run care homes before being appointed B.C. seniors advocate by the government. “But increasing the frequency of visits, allowing their visits to happen in the privacy of the residence room, that’s not going to significantly increase the risk at all, and arguably could be decreasing the risk, because the care home is going to be able to rely on those family members to provide some help.” Current protocols that require visits occur in common areas also put strain on already overworked care workers and nurses by requiring them to transport residents from their rooms for visits. Visitors also need to be screened and escorted to the space, rather than finding their way to the residents’ rooms. “Irrespective of how meaningful visitors’ increased presence will be for the resident, their increased presence is going to help us as well,” said Mackenzie. “There’s going to be an extra pair of hands there to help with the feeding, to help with the toilet, to help with things that some of them were helping with before the pandemic.” And experts say the increased workload around visits and decreased family support has shed further light on the overworked and fragmented sector, where many care workers don’t have paid time off, sick days or health benefits. “Everything has changed, but nothing has changed,” said Joanie Sims-Gould, an expert in seniors’ health at the department of family practice at the University of British Columbia’s faculty of medicine. “But everything’s changed in the wrong direction.” Research co-conducted by Farinaz Havaei at UBC’s school of nursing found that during the pandemic’s first wave residents’ direct nursing care plummeted by about 10 hours per month as facilities scrambled to control the virus. Nurses are responsible for just under 30 patients in an average shift, while care aides look after around 10 patients each shift. Havaei, who researches human resources in the health-care sector, said the pandemic placed alarming pressure on staff. “I even get goosebumps, because I think... it’s a very stressful context for long-term care staff.” Registered nurses recorded the largest decline in hours compared to licensed practical nurses. Their hours had already been in slight but steady decline since 2018. Meanwhile, the relative hours of care performed by care aides is steadily increasing, leading Havaei to ponder how care aides may be replacing nurses in some care situations. Based on research from her coming report, Havaei says supporting staff with flexible sick leave, paid time off and proper personal protective equipment can improve their lives, which in turn will improve the care residents receive. “If you think about the mental health implications of all of that (stress), and how that influences staff’s work behaviours and decisions when giving care, you can see that the implications are really huge,” said Havaei. The federal government announced $1 billion in funding for the long-term care sector, and B.C. has committed $44.1 million to hire more than 5,000 new health-care support workers. “Adequate resources translates directly to safe staffing levels,” added Sims-Gould. “The situation is so grave, and these facilities are doing the best they can.” Henry would not commit to a timeline when families could see visits expanded, but Mackenzie hopes the right balance will be found and implemented as soon as possible. “Time is marching on,” she said, noting residents won’t have access to a vaccine until February or March at the earliest. “Arguably, not only can we [expand visits] now, I think now makes it more important to do it, because the system is under more stress,” said Mackenzie. “And these family members can actually help us, in addition to visiting their loved one, and all of those positive quality-of-life benefits.”Moira Wyton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Tyee
From Sammy Davis Jr. to Snoop Dogg, the list of performers who have graced the stage of the Commodore Ballroom on the Granville Strip is as varied as the musical tastes of Vancouverites.Which could be why, on the 90th anniversary of the day the notorious nightclub first flung open its doors to late night revelers, it's hard to find a local who does not have a tale from a time spent twirling on the famous dance floor or watching a big star perform while they were still on the way up.Modelled after Art-Deco British ballrooms of the 1920s, with plush carpets and walls draped with floor-length curtains, the Commodore Ballroom opened on Dec. 3, 1930 and quickly became the place to party.It was not, however, a place where you could get a drink. Legally that is.According to Aaron Chapman, author of Live at the Commodore: The Story of Vancouver's Historic Commodore Ballroom, nightclubs at that time were liquor-free and people would have to smuggle their hooch in.When the local police would make their rounds, the doorman would signal the band leader on stage who would immediately rally the band to play a tune called Roll Out the Barrel. This system let all the patrons know to hide their booze until the coast was clear."Police were there on off nights themselves and did the same thing, everyone knew," said Chapman Thursday on CBC's The Early Edition.Decades passed, liquor laws and musical preferences changed and still The Commodore remained a mainstay of the music scene.Originally a place where orchestras and big bands got the dance floor going, many, many well-known names have lit up the stage in the years since.Some mentioned by Chapman include: The New York Dolls in 1974, Kiss in 1975 and Tom Petty in 1978. The Clash also played their first-ever North American show there in the winter of '79."You can walk into that place and feel that energy in the room and that's a very special thing," said Chapman.There are also not many cross-generational venues remaining in the city where grandchildren can twerk where their grandparents once did the twist.For musician Alan Doyle, who has performed on the stage many times both solo and with the band Great Big Sea, it holds a very special memory.It is there, where in 2017, Doyle and about 50 other musicians came together to show support for John Mann, frontman of the local folk rock band Spirit of the West who had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease.Doyle rallied talent that night, both vocal and instrumental, and recorded a song especially for Mann in the second floor men's washroom that Doyle converted into a makeshift studio.WATCH | Celebrated Canadian musicians perform at The Commodore to help a dear friendMann passed away in 2019 but had been in attendance at the event."The greatest night I ever had there, " Doyle told CBC Thursday.The venue has won numerous awards recognizing its importance as a local landmark and was named Most Influential Club in Canada by Billboard Magazine in 2011.To mark its 90th anniversary, the City of Vancouver declared Dec. 3 Commodore Ballroom Day.And while the pandemic may be preventing people from cutting loose on the dance floor this year, venue owners Live Nation threw a virtual birthday party featuring B.C. blues musician and Commodore regular Colin James.James, who hasn't seen his bandmates since March because of pandemic restrictions, says while playing to an empty house is weird, it's great to be playing at the venue."We just did a whole show and we couldn't take the smiles off our faces," James said. "You know, I'm not one to talk a whole lot between songs so we just had a great time playing and it felt oddly normal."James, who has played at The Commodore 33 times before says the venue is unique for allowing bigger shows but still retaining an intimate mood. "Some cities have gotten rid of their iconic venues," he said. "I've played it so many times over the years and it's still really great to be here."
DENVER — Playing for Canada's men's basketball team at the Olympics next year would be a wonderful opportunity for Jamal Murray, but the Denver Nuggets star has no idea how realistic that is at this stage.With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on the world and the NBA playoffs scheduled to overlap with an Olympic qualifying tournament in Victoria next summer, the native of Kitchener, Ont., knows there's a long way to go before determining whether a trip to Tokyo is a possibility."Any time you play for your country, it's a different type of honour than just playing on a team or in a league," Murray said on a conference call with reporters on Thursday as the Nuggets continued individual workouts ahead of the start of training camp this weekend. "Going against the best athletes in the world on the biggest stage, it would be a lot of fun. Plus, you get to play with guys I never get to play with or practise with. I've got some good friends on there, too. "It would be a really good experience, especially being in a different country playing. I look forward to it. I just hope it happens. Like I said, just trying to get through this season the best way we can, try to get it through it healthy and then look ahead."Murray would be a leader on a potentially dangerous Canadian team in Tokyo. But Canada has to get through a tough qualifier to earn its first Olympic berth in 21 years, assuming the Games go ahead as scheduled.The NBA season is scheduled to conclude before the start of the Olympics."If we do play at the Olympics, it will be a lot of fun to play with these guys and really get to see the roster we have," Murray said.Coming off a playoffs in which he had four 40-plus point games to help the Nuggets advance to the Western Conference Finals, Murray is hungry for more this season.The Nuggets lost in five games against the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in the West final after upsetting Kawhi Leonard and the L.A. Clippers."It feels good when another team gives you more respect or plays a little harder and stuff like that," Murray said. "But we're just worried about us. It's not like we won the championship last year. We're just going to keep grinding."Murray says playing strong defence is his priority."Defence and rebounding help you work yourself into the game," he said. "You can get locked in on offence or just on one side of the court. but when you're locked in entirely and really vocal on defence, the offence will take care of itself ... I'm just trying to focus more on my defensive energy and let it translate to my offence."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020.The Canadian Press