Kyle Brittain explores glacial caves and talks about their unique composition.
Kyle Brittain explores glacial caves and talks about their unique composition.
For two Virginia police officers who posed for a photo during the deadly U.S. Capitol insurrection, the reckoning has been swift and public: They were identified, charged with crimes and arrested. But for five Seattle officers the outcome is less clear. Their identities still secret, two are on leave and three continue to work while a police watchdog investigates whether their actions in the nation's capital on Jan. 6 crossed the line from protected political speech to lawbreaking. The contrasting cases highlight the dilemma faced by police departments nationwide as they review the behaviour of dozens of officers who were in Washington the day of the riot by supporters of President Donald Trump. Officials and experts agree that officers who were involved in the melee should be fired and charged for their role. But what about those officers who attended only the Trump rally before the riot? How does a department balance an officer's free speech rights with the blow to public trust that comes from the attendance of law enforcement at an event with far-right militants and white nationalists who went on to assault the seat of American democracy? An Associated Press survey of law enforcement agencies nationwide found that at least 31 officers in 12 states are being scrutinized by their supervisors for their behaviour in the District of Columbia or face criminal charges for participating in the riot. Officials are looking into whether the officers violated any laws or policies or participated in the violence while in Washington. A Capitol Police officer died after he was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher as rioters descended on the building and many other officers were injured. A woman was shot to death by Capitol Police and three other people died after medical emergencies during the chaos. Most of the officers have not been publicly identified; only a few have been charged. Some were identified by online sleuths. Others were reported by their colleagues or turned themselves in. They come from some of the country’s largest cities — three Los Angeles officers and a sheriff’s deputy, for instance — as well as state agencies and a Pennsylvania police department with nine officers. Among them are an Oklahoma sheriff and New Hampshire police chief who have acknowledged being at the rally, but denied entering the Capitol or breaking the law. “If they were off-duty, it’s totally free speech,” said Will Aitchison, a lawyer in Portland, Oregon, who represents law enforcement officers. “People have the right to express their political views regardless of who’s standing next to them. You just don’t get guilt by association.” But Ayesha Bell Hardaway, a professor at Case Western Reserve University law school, said an officer’s presence at the rally creates a credibility issue as law enforcement agencies work to repair community trust, especially after last summer's of protests against police brutality sparked by the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Communities will question the integrity of officers who attended the rally along with “individuals who proudly profess racist and divisive viewpoints,” she said. “It calls into question whether those officers are interested in engaging in policing in a way that builds trust and legitimacy in all communities, including communities of colour.” In Rocky Mount, a Virginia town of about 1,000, Sgt. Thomas Robertson and Officer Jacob Fracker were suspended without pay and face criminal charges after posting a photo of themselves inside the Capitol during the riot. According to court records, Robertson wrote on social media that the “Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government who is the problem … The right IN ONE DAY took the f(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) U.S. Capitol. Keep poking us.” Attempts to contact the pair were unsuccessful and court records do not list lawyers. Leaders in Rocky Mount declined to be interviewed. In a statement, they said the events at the Capitol were tragic. “We stand with and add our support to those who have denounced the violence and illegal activity that took place that day,” said Police Chief Ken Criner, Capt. Mark Lovern and Town Manager James Ervin. “Our town and our police department absolutely does not condone illegal or unethical behaviour by anyone, including our officers and staff.” On the other side of the county, five Seattle officers are under investigation by the city’s Office of Police Accountability. Two officers posted photos of themselves on social media while in the district and officials are investigating to determine where they were and what they were doing. Three others told supervisors that they went to Washington for the events and are being investigated for what they did while there. Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said his department supports officers’ freedom of speech and that those who were in the nation's capital will be fired if they “were directly involved in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.” But police leaders need to evaluate more than just clear criminal behaviour, according to Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a policing research and policy group. They must also consider how their actions affect the department credibility, he said. Officers' First Amendment rights “don’t extend to expressing words that may be violent or maybe express some prejudice,” Wexler said, “because that’s going to reflect on what they do when they’re working, when they’re testifying in court.” Through the summer and fall, Seattle police — along with officers elsewhere — came under criticism for their handling of mass protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd. The city received more than 19,000 complaints against officers, most for excessive use of force and improper use of pepper spray. Andrew Myerberg, director of the Seattle Office of Police Accountability, said none of the officers now under investigation were involved in those cases. But Sakara Remmu, cofounder of Black Lives Matter Seattle/King County, said the officers should be fired regardless. Their public declarations of solidarity with Trump fosters not just community distrust, but terror of the entire department, she said. “It absolutely does matter when the decorum of racial peace cracks and racial hatred comes through, because we already have a documented history and legacy of what that means in this country,” Remmu said. In Houston, the police chief decried an officer who resigned and was later charged in the riot. A lawyer for Officer Tam Pham said the 18-year veteran of the force "very much regrets” being at the rally and was “deeply remorseful.” But many chiefs have said their officers committed no crimes. “The Arkansas State Police respects the rights and freedom of an employee to use their leave time as the employee may choose,” department spokesman Bill Sadler said of two officers who attended the Trump rally. Malik Aziz, the former chair and executive director of the National Black Police Association, compared condemning all officers who were in Washington to tarring all the protesters who took to streets after the killing of George Floyd with the violent and destructive acts of some. A major with the Dallas Police Department, Aziz said police acting privately have the same rights as other Americans, but that knowingly going to a bigoted event should be disqualifying for an officer. “There’s no place in law enforcement for that individual,” Aziz said. Martha Bellisle And Jake Bleiberg, The Associated Press
Saskatchewan's premier says the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline isn't over yet. In a recent interview with CBC's Rosemary Barton, Premier Scott Moe says conversations around the TC Energy project are ongoing, despite U.S. President Joe Biden's recent cancellation of the pipeline's permit by executive order. "I wouldn't say this project is over by any stretch. There is a lot of conversation to have on KXL," Moe said in an interview on Rosemary Barton Live. The 1,897-kilometre pipeline would have carried 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from oilsands in Hardisty, Alta., to Nebraska, connecting to the original Keystone pipeline running to the U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. A portion of the project would have crossed into southern Saskatchewan. Moe, along with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Ontario Premier Doug Ford, has pushed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal government to take action against the pipeline's halt. That could include economic sanctions, Moe suggested — a possibility also raised by Kenney. "I haven't said that we should go to sanctions and sanctions should be utilized first," Moe said in his interview with Barton. "But sanctions are always on the table in any conversation or any challenge that we may have with our trading relationship with our largest partner." The project, originally blocked by U.S. President Barack Obama, was then approved by President Donald Trump, who wanted to negotiate the terms of the project, before ultimately being blocked again by Biden in the first days of his presidency. Federal Opposition leader Erin O'Toole has also expressed frustration over the cancellation of the project, saying in a statement it "will devastate thousands of Canadian families who have already been badly hurt by the economic crisis." Trudeau's government has repeatedly said that it supports the project and has made that clear to the new U.S. administration, but both the prime minister and Canada's ambassador to the U.S. have said it is time to respect the decision and move on. Speaking on Friday morning, Trudeau reiterated his disappointment with the cancellation and said he would raise the issue during his phone call with Biden scheduled for later in the day. "Obviously the decision on Keystone XL is a very difficult one for workers in Alberta and Saskatchewan who've had many difficult hits," he said. "Over the past years we have been there for them and we will continue to be there for them and I will express my concern for jobs and livelihoods in Canada, particularly in the West, directly in my conversation with President Biden." Trudeau stressed he and the new president are on the same wavelength on fighting climate change and middle-class job creation, as well as the "values of Canadians." Moe called the cancellation a "devastating blow to North American energy security," and said in the interview with Barton he'll continue to advocate for the pipeline, which he says has both economic and environmental benefits for Canada.
Guyana said late on Saturday that a Venezuelan navy vessel detained two vessels that were fishing in Guyana's exclusive economic zone, the latest dispute in a long-running border conflict between the two South American nations. Caracas says much of eastern Guyana is its own territory, a claim that is rejected by Georgetown. The conflict has flared up in recent years as Guyana has started developing oil reserves near the disputed area.
Après un lent déclin, le rural redevient accueillant, porté par la périurbanisation et rurbanisation. Une tendance accentuée par la pandémie.
NEW ORLEANS — The estate of a writer who chronicled Southern food and life will be auctioned next month to benefit a charity created to continue her philanthropy. Julia Reed was 59 when she died in August of cancer. She was a contributing editor to Garden & Gun magazine, which chronicles life and culture in the South, and wrote numerous books about the region. Reed’s estate includes art, furniture, china, flatware and jewelry from her homes in New York, New Orleans and Greenville, Mississippi, according to Neal Auction Co. of New Orleans. They’ll be auctioned online Feb. 5 to benefit the Julia Evans Reed Charitable Trust. Phone, absentee and online bids will be taken. The collection being auctioned ranges from coconuts carved in the 19th century to work by contemporary artists about whom Dunhap had written admiringly. The coconuts, which include two flasks, are expected to sell for $400 to $600, according to the auction catalogue. It quotes Reed as describing “Guarding Nefertiti,” a papier mache and beeswax coyote skull by Ashley Pridmore of New Orleans, as decorated “with incredibly lifelike but highly unlikely barnacles. Yet the piece looks as if it somehow evolved that way.” That sculpture is expected to bring in $1,800 to $2,500, while a storm-suffused landscape by Mississippi painter William Dunlap — one of several pieces of his work to be auctioned — is expected to raise $12,000 to $18,000. The sale is estimated to bring in at least $128,000 to $197,000 for the trust, Bettine Field Carroll, spokeswoman for the auction house, said in an email. “However, our estimates are constructed conservatively so as to appeal to the broadest audience and to compel competitive bidding,” she added. “We hope and believe that the items from Julia Reed’s estate will exceed their presale auction estimates.” The Reed trust’s webpage states that it continues her work to help people in need “by supporting organizations dedicated to providing the things in life that Julia deemed essential: a good home, nourishing food, a quality education, and opportunities for learning, literacy and engagement in the arts.” Reed’s estate is among a number being auctioned over the weekend starting Feb. 5. Six other collections include the estate of Dr. Kenneth McLeod Jr., a descendant of New Orleans architects James Gallier and James Gallier Jr. It includes the Gallier coat of arms and three groups of early 19th century paintings that the elder Gallier collected during a trip to Italy, according to the catalogue. The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — As the House prepares to bring the impeachment charge against Donald Trump to the Senate for trial, a growing number of Republican senators say they are opposed to the proceeding, dimming the chances that former president will be convicted on the charge that he incited a siege of the U.S. Capitol. House Democrats will carry the sole impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection” across the Capitol late Monday evening, a rare and ceremonial walk to the Senate by the prosecutors who will argue their case. They are hoping that strong Republican denunciations of Trump after the Jan. 6 riot will translate into a conviction and a separate vote to bar Trump from holding office again. But instead, GOP passions appear to have cooled since the insurrection. Now that Trump's presidency is over, Republican senators who will serve as jurors in the trial are rallying to his legal defence, as they did during his first impeachment trial last year. “I think the trial is stupid, I think it’s counterproductive,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.. He said that "the first chance I get to vote to end this trial, I’ll do it” because he believes it would be bad for the country and further inflame partisan divisions. Trump is the first former president to face impeachment trial, and it will test his grip on the Republican Party as well as the legacy of his tenure, which came to a close as a mob of loyal supporters heeded his rally cry by storming the Capitol and trying to overturn Joe Biden's election. The proceedings will also force Democrats, who have a full sweep of party control of the White House and Congress, to balance their promise to hold the former president accountable while also rushing to deliver on Biden's priorities. Arguments in the Senate trial will begin the week of Feb. 8. Leaders in both parties agreed to the short delay to give Trump's team and House prosecutors time to prepare and the Senate the chance to confirm some of Biden’s Cabinet nominees. Democrats say the extra days will allow for more evidence to come out about the rioting by Trump supporters, while Republicans hope to craft a unified defence for Trump. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday that he hopes that evolving clarity on the details of what happened Jan. 6 “will make it clearer to my colleagues and the American people that we need some accountability.” Coons questioned how his colleagues who were in the Capitol that day could see the insurrection as anything other than a “stunning violation” of tradition of peaceful transfers of power. “It is a critical moment in American history and we have to look at it and look at it hard,” Coons said. An early vote to dismiss the trial probably would not succeed, given that Democrats now control the Senate. Still, the mounting Republican opposition indicates that many GOP senators would eventually vote to acquit Trump. Democrats would need the support of 17 Republicans — a high bar — to convict him. When the House impeached Trump on Jan. 13, exactly one week after the siege, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said he didn’t believe the Senate had the constitutional authority to convict Trump after he had left office. On Sunday, Cotton said “the more I talk to other Republican senators, the more they’re beginning to line up” behind that argument. “I think a lot of Americans are going to think it’s strange that the Senate is spending its time trying to convict and remove from office a man who left office a week ago,” Cotton said. Democrats reject that argument, pointing to a 1876 impeachment of a secretary of war who had already resigned and to opinions by many legal scholars. Democrats also say that a reckoning of the first invasion of the Capitol since the War of 1812, perpetrated by rioters egged on by a president who told them to “fight like hell” against election results that were being counted at the time, is necessary so the country can move forward and ensure such a siege never happens again. A few GOP senators have agreed with Democrats, though not close to the number that will be needed to convict Trump. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said he believes there is a “preponderance of opinion” that an impeachment trial is appropriate after someone leaves office. “I believe that what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offence,” Romney said. “If not, what is?” But Romney, the lone Republican to vote to convict Trump when the Senate acquitted the then-president in last year’s trial, appears to be an outlier. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, said he believes a trial is a “moot point” after a president's term is over, “and I think it’s one that they would have a very difficult time in trying to get done within the Senate.” On Friday, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close Trump ally who has been helping him build a legal team, urged the Senate to reject the idea of a post-presidency trial — potentially with a vote to dismiss the charge — and suggested Republicans will scrutinize whether Trump’s words on Jan. 6 were legally “incitement.” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who said last week that Trump “provoked” his supporters before the riot, has not said how he will vote or argued any legal strategies. The Kentucky senator has told his GOP colleagues that it will be a vote of conscience. One of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nine impeachment managers said Trump’s encouragement of his loyalists before the riot was "an extraordinarily heinous presidential crime." Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pennsylvania., said "I mean, think back. It was just two-and-a-half weeks ago that the president assembled a mob on the Ellipse of the White House. He incited them with his words. And then he lit the match.” Trump’s supporters invaded the Capitol and interrupted the electoral count as he falsely claimed there was massive fraud in the election and that it was stolen by Biden. Trump’s claims were roundly rejected in the courts, including by judges appointed by Trump, and by state election officials. Rubio and Romney were on “Fox News Sunday,” Cotton appeared on Fox News Channel's “Sunday Morning Futures” and Romney also was on CNN's “State of the Union,” as was Dean. Rounds was interviewed on NBC's “Meet the Press.” ___ Associated Press writer Hope Yen contributed to this report. Mary Clare Jalonick And Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
JOHANNESBURG — Tributes are pouring in for South Africa's Oscar-nominated anti-apartheid jazz trombonist and composer Jonas Gwangwa, who has died at the age of 83. With driving music that fired up Black South Africans’ resistance to repressive white minority rule, Gwangwa left the country rather than submit to apartheid censorship. Other prominent exiled South African musicians included Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim and Miriam Makeba. “Jonas Gwangwa ascends to our great orchestra of musical ancestors whose creative genius and dedication to the freedom of all South Africans inspired millions in our country and mobilized the international community against the apartheid system," President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a tribute. So potent was Gwangwa's musical activism that his home was bombed by apartheid forces in 1985, but he survived, Ramaphosa said in his tribute. Raised in Johannesburg's Soweto township, Gwangwa rose to prominence in 1959 as a member of the Jazz Epistles, a group that included Masekela and Ibrahim. When the apartheid regime imposed a state of emergency in 1960, it restricted jazz performances which were viewed as promoting racial equality. Gwangwa was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga, South Africa's highest honour for outstanding contribution in arts and culture, in 2010. He was nominated for an Oscar for music he composed for the 1987 movie “Cry Freedom,” which starred Denzel Washington and Kevin Kline. Gwangwa’s death fell on the anniversary of the deaths of his friends and fellow African music giants Masekela and Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi, who died in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Mogomotsi Magome, The Associated Press
TORONTO — The patient, when he came into the hospital ER with what seemed to be mild pneumonia, wasn't that sick and might otherwise have been sent home. Except the man had just returned from China, where a new viral disease was spreading like a brush fire. His chest X-rays were also unusual. "We'd never seen a case like this before," says Dr. Jerome Leis. "I'd never seen an X-ray quite like that one." It was the evening of Jan. 23, 2020, when the team at Toronto's Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre decided to admit the 56-year-old patient. That same day, Canada's chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, told the country: "The risk of an outbreak in Canada remains low," Tam said in a refrain she and other officials would repeat for weeks on end. Less than two days after admission to Sunnybrook, the man would become "Patient Zero" — the first COVID-19 case in Canada. For several weeks, Leis, the hospital's medical director of infection prevention and control, had been anticipating just such a moment. He had known since the end of December about the outbreak in Wuhan, China, and he'd been following Chinese authorities as they published information about the new pathogen and its effects. Drawing on lessons learned from the SARS epidemic years earlier, Sunnybrook's screening staff were already asking new specific questions of incoming patients. Protocols were sharpened. Just that morning, in fact, internal-medicine residents and faculty had done a refresher around protective gear. "We were extremely suspicious that this was the novel coronavirus that had been described," Leis says. "It does feel like a lifetime ago and yet it does just seem like yesterday." Dr. Lynfa Stroud, on-call general internist and division head of general internal medicine at Sunnybrook, was notified the new patient needed to be admitted. "We didn't know what exactly we were dealing with," Stroud says. "We had early reports of presentations and how people evolved. We were a bit nervous but we felt very well prepared." The following day, as China was locking down Hubei province, Dr. Peter Donnelly, then head of Public Health Ontario, was asked about lockdowns in Canada. "Absolutely not," he declared: "If a case comes here, and it is probably likely that we will have a case here, it will still be business as normal.'' Confirmation of the clinicians' suspicions at Sunnybrook would come from the agency's laboratory, which had been working furiously to develop and validate a suitable test for the novel coronavirus based on information from China. The agency's lab had been testing samples for two weeks when the Sunnybrook call came in. "They sent a sample to us in a cab," says Dr. Vanessa Allen, chief of microbiology and laboratory science at Public Health Ontario. It would be the start of a round-the-clock effort to test and retest the new samples. "The last thing you need is a false signal or some kind of misunderstanding," says Allen, who had been a resident during the SARS outbreak. By about midday of Saturday, Jan. 25, the lab was sure it had identified the new organism that would soon take over the world and become a household name. "It wasn't called COVID at the time," Allen says of the disease. Over at Sunnybrook, Leis received the confirmation without much surprise. "It was consistent with what we were seeing and what we suspected," he says. "I was actually happy that the lab was able to confirm it." Within hours, public health authorities would let the country know that Canada had its first case of the "Wuhan novel coronavirus," although further confirmation from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg was pending. "I want Ontarians to know that the province is prepared to actively identify, prevent and control the spread of this serious infectious disease in Ontario," Health Minister Christine Elliott declared as the province announced a new "dedicated web page" for latest information. The wife of "Patient Zero" would also soon be confirmed as COVID-19 positive but was able to self-isolate at home. "This (man) was one of the first cases to report on the more milder spectrum of disease, which was not something we were aware of," Leis says. "It helped to teach us about the larger spectrum in disease severity that we see with COVID-19, which is very different from SARS." Looking back now at their roles in a small piece of Canadian pandemic history, those involved talk about how much we didn't know about a virus that has since infected three-quarters of a million people in Canada, killing more than 18,800 of them. "The initial detection, in some ways, was the easy part," Allen says. "This virus and the implications are extremely humbling, and just the prolonged nature and impact of this was certainly not on my radar in January of last year." Yet treating "Patient Zero" and his wife afforded valuable lessons about what was then a poorly understood disease. For one thing, it became apparent that most of those afflicted don't need hospital admission — hugely important given the massive number of infections and resulting stresses on critical-care systems. "To be honest: We would have sent this patient home from the emergency room," Stroud says. "We admitted him because, at that time, it wasn't known very well what the course of illness was." Sunnybrook alone has now assessed more than 4,000 COVID-19 patients. To survive the onslaught, the hospital developed a program in which patients are screened and, if possible, sent to self-isolate under remote medical supervision. Both "Patient Zero" and his wife recovered. Their cases would mark Canada's first minor health-care skirmish of what was to become an all-out global defensive war against COVID-19. It also marked the beginning of relentless work hours for those on the front lines of health care. For health-care workers, it's been a long year since those first energized, if anxious, days one year ago. There's a weariness in their voices, a recognition the war is still raging, even as vaccines developed with stunning alacrity offer some hope of a truce. "We have been working essentially non-stop since last January and it's not slowing down now," Leis says. "Health-care teams are tired. There's a lot of concern about burnout. It's been challenging for sure." Despite COVID-19's deadly toll, the vast majority of COVID-19 patients, like "Patient Zero," recover. Still, even for some of those, their battle might never be over. "These people just don't get magically better," Stroud says. "Some will have lifelong lung scarring and damage to their lungs." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2021. Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
Cette année, Saint-Amable souligne son 100e anniversaire. Lors d’une conversation avec le maire Stéphane Williams, La Relève a eu l’opportunité de discuter de certains éléments importants qui feront partie d’un nouveau plan quinquennal qui pourrait être présenté ce printemps. Parmi les principaux objectifs de ce plan quinquennal, l’administration compte notamment apporter des modifications aux feux de signalisation au coin des rues Principale et du Cardinal afin d’améliorer la fluidité de la circulation et les passages piétonniers. Il pourrait également y avoir d’ici 2023 des modifications afin de sécuriser les intersections de la rue Principale avec les rues Auger, Aimé, Rémi et Bourgeois. « Nous voulons prioriser la sécurité des citoyens à cet endroit parce que la configuration actuelle est dangereuse, précise le maire Williams. Il y a de plus en plus de trafic, alors nous voulons améliorer la circulation. C’est un gros point que nous sommes en train de négocier avec le MTQ. » L’élu met également l’accent sur le projet visant dans les prochaines années à mettre à niveau les bassins de rétention d’eau pour les eaux usées. « Nous avons prévu un investissement d’environ 3,2 millions de dollars pour un bâtiment avec de nouveaux dégrilleurs avec surdimensionnement des tuyaux pour améliorer les eaux usées. Nous devions les mettre à niveau, car nos installations étaient saturées en raison du développement. » La construction d’un bâtiment sur la rue Coursol, qui devrait comprendre des logements pour 40 personnes aînées autonomes, devrait par ailleurs débuter en 2021 pour se conclure en 2022. « C’est un projet qui avance à bon train. Ce sont des unités de logement à prix modique qui peuvent être subventionnées. C’est important pour nous de garder nos aînés ici. Ça fait partie de nos richesses. » Une trentaine de logements pourraient par ailleurs s’ajouter au cours d’une seconde phase de développement. Un autre projet de centre pour aînés est également en développement et pourrait faire l’objet d’une annonce dans les prochains mois. La mise sur pied d’un campus jeunesse et culturel compte également parmi les priorités de l’administration. « La Maison des jeunes s’est associée à la Ville pour que le projet soit réalisable le plus rapidement possible. Nous voulons que ce soit réalisé en 2022. Nous planifions de démolir l’actuelle Maison des jeunes pour créer un bâtiment qui va répondre aux besoins de tous les organismes de Saint-Amable. Il y aurait également de l’espace pour du culturel. Ça pourrait être utilisé 7 jours sur 7. C’est un super beau projet multigénérationnel. » Côté sports et plein air, la Ville compte également s’engager dans son plan quinquennal à améliorer les sentiers du parc Le Rocher et aller de l’avant avec son projet de chapiteau permanent qui pourrait servir pour la patinoire l’hiver et les festivals durant la belle saison. « Nous avons également un projet de camping qui nous a été soumis par un promoteur. Ce serait un bel ajout pour notre secteur récréotouristique. Nous travaillons présentement avec la MRC et la CMM afin de faire une demande dans un second temps à la Commission de protection du territoire agricole (CPTAQ). C’est un projet qui nous amènerait des visiteurs de l’extérieur de Saint-Amable, alors ce serait bon pour nos restaurants, épiceries, notre centre de rénovation, etc. » L’administration devrait par ailleurs recevoir une réponse au printemps à la suite de la demande déposée à la CPTAQ concernant le développement d’un nouveau parc industriel à l’entrée de la Ville. Finalement, concernant l’important dossier de sa relance agricole, la Ville est actuellement à l’étape de la demande à la CMM d’une étude technico-économique pour son projet d’usine de transformation sur un secteur inutilisé du parc le Rocher. Cette usine permettrait la transformation des pommes de terre produites par les agriculteurs de la région et de culture complémentaires. « Nos terres sont sablonneuses. Au lieu de produire du maïs et du soja, nous allons privilégier le maraîcher. Nos agriculteurs pourront faire de l’argent sur deux volets au niveau de la production de la transformation. Ça pourrait permettre au secteur de retrouver sa rentabilité de jadis, avant la crise du nématode, » rappelle le maire élu en 2017. Steve Martin, Initiative de journalisme local, La Relève
Sherbrooke — Uniquement deux amendes de 5000 $ chacune ont été distribuées en milieu agricole par le ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques en Estrie en 2019 et 2020. Après 72 plaintes, dont 36 qui ont mené à des avis de non-conformité, les habitants de la région devrait-ils attendre davantage de conséquences ? Au ministère de l’Environnement, l’imposition de sanctions pécuniaires est plutôt laissée à la discrétion de l’inspecteur. Si on émet automatiquement un avis de non-conformité à tout manquement à la loi, on donnera une amende si on souhaite « obtenir un retour rapide à la conformité ou pour dissuader à court terme la répétition du manquement », explique le Ministère par écrit. C’est donc ce qui est arrivé à Saint-Ludger en octobre 2019, lorsque l’inspecteur s’est rendu sur une ferme après une plainte concernant l’accès d’animaux à un cours d’eau, mais qui s’est finalement solvée en amende pour débordement d’une fosse à purin. La deuxième sanction ici mentionnée a été imposée à une entreprise de transport pour avoir stocké inéadéquatement des matières résiduelles festilisantes sur un terrain du Canton de Cleveland, en juin 2020. Chantal d’Auteuil, qui est chargée de cours en gestion de l’eau à l’Université de Sherbrooke et directrice générale de l’Association des biologistes du Québec ne croit pas que les changements doivent venir de la sévérité du traitement des contrevenants, sauf dans un cas : l’épandage de pesticides trop près d’un cours d’eau ou d’un prélèvement d’eau. Pour 2019 et 2020, on recense 6 avis non-conformité sur 7 plaintes, mais aucune sanction (voir autre texte). « C’est assez sérieux, dit-elle. La conformité, c’est de se tasser, ce n’est pas compliqué. La distance d’épandage est de 3 m, alors d’habitude quand ça dépasse, c’est que c’est excessif et qu’on est quasiment dans le cours d’eau. Pour ça, on pourrait peut-être être plus sévère. Ce serait même mieux que la distance revienne à 5 m comme avant, mais ça, c’est de la volonté politique. » Parlant de volonté politique, tout comme la directrice général du COGESAF (Conseil de gouvernance de l’eau des bassins-versants de la rivière Saint-François) Stéphanie Martel, Mme D’Auteuil plaide pour que le Ministère déploie davantage de ressources. Un seul et unique inspecteur a effectivement été en charge de traiter les 72 plaintes des deux dernières années en milieu agricole estrien. « Je pense que le Règlement sur les exploitations agricoles a assez de grippe, note Mme Martel. Mais le problème, comme à peu près tous les règlements, c’est l’application de la loi. Il manque clairement de ressources humaines et financières en région pour en faire l’application. » Nul besoin donc d’augmenter la pression sur les agriculteurs, croient-elles. Les initiatives doivent venir d’en haut : « À la base ce qui est inquiétant, c’est ce que le gouvernement permet comme concentration de pesticides, ajoute même Mme D’Auteuil. Il y aurait moyen de réviser à la baisse ces concentrations-là pour éviter que ça se retrouve dans les fossés et dans les cours d’eau. » Assouplissements demandés « S’ils ne donnent pas de sanction, c’est probablement parce qu’il n’y a pas matière à en donner une, avance le vice-président de l’UPA-Estrie, Michel Brien. Parfois, ils demandent juste de réparer ce qui a été fait. Ça arrive parfois aussi qu’ils ne sont pas très complaisants. Chaque cas est différent. Ça dépend du problème. » Celui-ci affirme donc avoir confiance en le système actuel, mais croit que certains ajustement pourraient être faits au Règlement sur les exploitations agricoles, L’UPA demande par exemple depuis plusieurs années à ce que la date limite d’épandage soit repoussée du 1er au 15 octobre. « Après le 1er octobre, on n’a pas le droit d’épandre, à moins d’avoir une lettre d’un agronome. Ça arrive qu’on récolte à la fin septembre, mais qu’il pleuve pendant deux semaines de temps. Et en plus, les saisons allongent de plus en plus. » Il n’a pas été possible d’obtenir une réponse du cabinet du ministre de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques dans les délais. Jasmine Rondeau, Initiative de journalisme local, La Tribune
There was no distribution plan for the coronavirus vaccine set up by the Trump administration as the virus raged in its last months in office, new President Joe Biden's chief of staff, Ron Klain, said on Sunday. "The process to distribute the vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals out into the community as a whole, did not really exist when we came into the White House," Klain said on NBC's "Meet the Press." Biden, a Democrat who took over from Republican President Donald Trump on Wednesday, has promised a fierce fight against the pandemic that killed 400,000 people in the United States under Trump’s watch.
Reece Howden made it back-to-back ski cross victories on the World Cup Tour in Sunday's big final at Idre Fjäll, Sweden. The 22-year-old from Cultus Lake, B.C., was back to his usual self, leading from start to finish after choosing to sit back and charge late in Saturday's win. "The draft wasn't as big of an issue today so as I got into the start gate one of my coaches said, '100 per cent from top to bottom,'" the six-foot-plus Howden told Alpine Canada of his third win in four races. "I skied as fast as I could today [and] it worked out. I'm so happy, this is unbelievable. "I'll keep trying my best. I'm super proud of these last few races, so I'll try to carry it through the rest of the season, stay safe, stay injury-free, and keep it going." WATCH | Reece Howden posts 3rd win in a little over a month: Howden's Canadian teammate, Marielle Thompson reached the podium for a fifth time this season, placing third in the women's race. The Whistler, B.C., skier fought poor visibility as blowing snow made conditions tough on the lower part of the track. "I'm a lot happier with how I skied today," the 28-year-old Thompson said. "I think I brought some good skiing to each heat and I'm happy to land on the podium." WATCH | Marielle Thompson happy with 5th podium finish of season: The Canadian squad will compete in Feldberg, Germany before returning to Idre Fjäll for the world championships in February. Sunday's other Canadian results: Men: Jared Schmidt (33rd), Kris Mahler (36th), Brady Leman (40th), Chris Del Bosco (48th) and Carson Cook (53rd). Women: Courtney Hoffos (7th), Hannah Schmidt (14th), Tiana Gairns (15th) and Zoe Chore (16th).
Mercedes Stephenson speaks to U.S. Chargé d'Affaires in Ottawa Katherine Brucker on ‘The West Block’ following U.S. President Joe Biden’s first week in the Oval Office. When asked if Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, the two Canadians detained in China, are on Biden’s radar, Brucker says “absolutely … I think you can count on the United States to continue to work with Canada to secure the release of the two Michaels.”
URK, Netherlands — Rioters set fires in the centre of the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven and pelted police with rocks Sunday at a banned demonstration against coronavirus lockdown measures, while officers responded with tear gas and water cannons, arresting at least 30 people. Police in the capital of Amsterdam also used a water cannon to disperse an outlawed anti-lockdown demonstration on a major square ringed by museums. Video showed police spraying people grouped against a wall of the Van Gogh Museum. It was the worst violence to hit the Netherlands since the pandemic began and the second straight Sunday that police clashed with protesters in Amsterdam. The country has been in a tough lockdown since mid-December that is due to continue at least until Feb. 9. In Eindhoven, 125 kilometres (78 miles) south of Amsterdam, a central square near the main railway station was littered with rocks, bicycles and shattered glass. The crowd of hundreds of demonstrators also was believed to include supporters of the anti-immigrant group PEGIDA, which had sought to demonstrate in the city. Eindhoven police said they made at least 30 arrests by late afternoon and warned people to stay away from the city centre amid the clashes. Trains to and from the station were halted and local media reported plundering at the station. There were no immediate reports of injuries. The violence came a day after anti-curfew rioters torched a coronavirus testing facility in the Dutch fishing village of Urk. Video from Urk, 80 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of Amsterdam, showed youths breaking into the coronavirus testing facility near the village’s harbour before it was set ablaze Saturday night. The lockdown was imposed by the Dutch government to rein in the spread of the more transmissible variant of the coronavirus. Police said they fined more than 3,600 people nationwide for breaching the curfew that ran from 9 p.m. Saturday until 4:30 a.m. Sunday and arrested 25 people for breaching the curfew or for violence. The police and municipal officials issued a statement Sunday expressing their anger at rioting, “from throwing fireworks and stones to destroying police cars and with the torching of the test location as a deep point.” “This is not only unacceptable, but also a slap in the face, especially for the local health authority staff who do all they can at the test centre to help people from Urk,” the local authorities said, adding that the curfew would be strictly enforced for the rest of the week. On Sunday, all that remained of the portable testing building was a burned-out shell. ___ Associated Press writer Mike Corder in Otterlo contributed. ___ Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Peter Dejong, The Associated Press
Au-delà des questions d’égalité, les auditrices associées identifieraient davantage de points clés et communiqueraient de façon plus précise que leurs collègues masculins.
Here's a timeline of key developments in the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada since the first presumptive case was reported on Jan. 25, 2020: Jan. 25: A Toronto man in his 50s who returned from the Chinese city of Wuhan — the initial epicentre of the outbreak — becomes the first presumptive case of the novel coronavirus in Canada. The man is placed in isolation in Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital. Jan. 26: The man's wife, who had travelled with him from Wuhan, also tests positive, becoming the country's second presumptive case. The woman is allowed to self-isolate at home. Jan. 27: The National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg confirms that the Toronto man being treated at Sunnybrook Hospital is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Canada. Jan. 28: The Toronto man's wife is declared the second confirmed case of COVID-19. Health officials in British Columbia say a man in his 40s who travels to China for work is presumed to have COVID-19. The man is in self-isolation at his Vancouver home. Feb. 4: There is another presumptive case reported in B.C. — a woman who had family visiting from China's Hubei province. She is in isolation at her home. Feb. 7: A plane carrying more than 200 Canadians from Wuhan arrives at CFB Trenton in eastern Ontario, where they start a 14-day quarantine. Feb. 20: A woman who returned from Iran becomes B.C.'s sixth case of COVID-19 and the first person in Canada diagnosed with the illness who did not recently visit China or have close contact with someone who did. The Toronto man who was the country's first confirmed case is cleared after testing negative for the virus. Feb. 27: Quebec public health officials report the province's first presumptive case, a woman from the Montreal region who recently returned from Iran. March 5: B.C. announces eight new cases, including Canada's first-ever case possibly contracted within the community, rather than through travel or contact with other cases. March 8: Canada records its first death from COVID-19. A man in his 80s died in a North Vancouver nursing home. March 11: The World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic. Canada has more than 100 cases. A Utah Jazz player tests positive two days after a game against the Toronto Raptors, causing the NBA to suspend its season. March 12: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau self-isolates after his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau tests positive for COVID-19. The NHL and most other sports leagues suspend seasons. The Juno Awards are shelved. Minor hockey across the country is cancelled. The Ontario government announces schools across the province will be closed for two weeks after March break. Manitoba and Saskatchewan report their first cases. March 13: The federal government announces Parliament will go on break. March 14: The federal government urges Canadians currently abroad to return home as soon as possible March 15: Nova Scotia reports its first three cases. March 16: Canada announces it is closing its borders to non-Canadians, apart from Americans and a few other exceptions. March 17: Ontario and Alberta declare states of emergency. March 18: Canada and the United States announce they will close their shared border to non-essential traffic. B.C. and Saskatchewan declare states of emergency. March 19: New Brunswick declares a state of emergency. March 20: COVID-19 cases pass 1,000 across the country. Manitoba declares state of emergency. March 22: Canada says it won't compete in the Tokyo Olympics or Paralympics. March 23: Ottawa announces repatriation flights for Canadians stranded in foreign countries. March 24: Olympics officially postponed until 2021. March 25: Emergency aid bill passes. Canada makes it mandatory for all travelers arriving in the country to quarantine for 14 days. March 30: Trudeau says a new wage subsidy program will cover all businesses whose revenue has dropped by at least 30 per cent because of COVID-19. April 2: COVID-19 death toll passes 100 in Canada. April 3: Ontario projects COVID-19 death toll could reach 15,000. April 4: U.S. company 3M told by the White House to stop exporting N95 respirators to Canada. April 6: 3M makes a deal with the White House to provide N95 masks to Canada. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, says wearing masks is a way for people who might have COVID-19 without realizing it to keep from spreading the illness. April 9: Ottawa projects 4,400 to 44,000 Canadians could die of COVID-19. Government announces more than one million people lost their jobs in March. April 13: Federal government announces nearly 5.4 million Canadians are receiving emergency aid. April 15: Canada passes 1,000 virus-related deaths. April 22: Ontario and Quebec, the hardest-hit provinces, call on the military to help out in long-term care homes. April 23: Canadian death toll passes 2,000 as country announces it will pour $1.1 billion into vaccine testing. April 25: New Brunswick introduces a two-household bubble, allowing people to interact with others. April 28: Canada hits 50,000 cases. May 4: Restrictions begin to lift in several provinces including Quebec and Manitoba. May 8: The unemployment rate rockets up to 13 per cent, the second-highest figure on record in Canada. May 11: Some Quebec schools reopen and Ontario stores start offering curbside pickup. May 12: Death toll passes 5,000. May 13: The country's top doctor says Canadians in communities where COVID-19 is still spreading should wear non-medical masks when they can't stay physically distant from others. May 14: Many stores, child-care centres and hair salons open in Alberta. May 19: Many stores reopen in Ontario, B.C. and Saskatchewan. May 23: Thousands pack a park on a sunny day in Toronto, creating fears of a new outbreak. May 26: A new report from the military helping battle COVID-19 in five long-term care facilities in Ontario reveals extreme neglect and exposes the extent of the horrific conditions facing residents. May 29: At least 41 staff and students test positive for COVID-19 in the first two weeks after elementary schools outside the Montreal area reopen. June 12: Ontario enters Stage 2 of its reopening, except for Toronto, Windsor-Essex and Peel region. June 18: Canada officially records more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19 over the length of the pandemic. June 26: The Canadian Red Cross sends 900 people to work in Quebec's long-term care homes until mid-September, replacing Canadian Armed Forces members. June 26: The Nova Scotia government announces all bars and restaurants can operate at full capacity after more than two weeks without a single new case of COVID-19. July 3: P.E.I., Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia begin allowing their Atlantic neighbours to visit without self-isolating for 14 days after entering. The so-called "Atlantic bubble" as a way to boost struggling local economies. July 16: Trudeau says the federal, provincial and territorial governments reached a deal on billions of dollars in transfers to continue reopening economies amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Trudeau says the federal government will contribute $19 billion to the effort. July 18: The Blue Jays are denied approval to play in Toronto due to the COVID-19 pandemic. July 18: Quebec becomes the first province in Canada to require mask-wearing in all indoor public places. July 28: Remdesivir becomes the first drug to be approved by Health Canada for treatment of patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms. July 31: COVID Alert, A voluntary smartphone app that can warn you if you've come into close proximity to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, becomes available to download. Aug. 3: Quebec increases the limits on indoor and outdoor public gatherings from 50 people to 250 people. The province's health minister says despite the relaxed rules, COVID-19 continues to circulate in Quebec, especially among young people. Aug. 17: The Canadian Football League cancels its 2020 season, making it the first year since 1919 that the Grey Cup won't be awarded. Sept. 8: Hundreds of thousands of children and teenagers across Canada re-enter classrooms for the first time in six months. Alberta and Quebec are among the first to report new cases of COVID-19 related to the reopening of schools. Sept. 14: The Bloc Quebecois caucus, including leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, enters self-isolation after a member of Blanchet's staff tested positive for COVID-19. Sept. 16: Federal Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole says he, his family and some party workers are in self-isolation after an aide tested positive for COVID-19. Sept. 19: Nunavut reports its first confirmed cases of COVID-19. The territory's chief public health officer says there are two cases at the Hope Bay gold mine 125 kilometres southwest of Cambridge Bay. Top public health official Dr. Michael Patterson says both miners were exposed in their home jurisdictions. Sept. 22: Rebecca O'Toole, the wife of Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole, tests positive for COVID-19. Sept. 23: In an address to the country, Trudeau says the second wave of COVID-19 is underway. He says families won't likely be able to gather for Thanksgiving, but it is not too late to save Christmas. Sept. 25: Tougher COVID-19 restrictions are also reimposed in Winnipeg due to a spike in cases. In Ontario, Ford says bars and restaurants will have to stop serving booze at 11 p.m. Sept. 30: Parliamentarians unanimously pass Bill C-4 to usher in a new batch of COVID-19 benefits. For Canadians left jobless or underemployed because of the pandemic, the legislation supplants the CERB support program with a more flexible and generous employment insurance regime. Oct. 1: Stringent new rules take effect in three Quebec regions at the heart of rising COVID-19 case counts in the province. Bars, cinemas and restaurant dining rooms are ordered closed for at least 28 days in Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudiere-Appalaches. Restaurants are still allowed to offer takeout. The strictest of the new measures include prohibiting private gatherings. Oct. 19: Canada's COVID-19 case count surpasses the 200,000 mark. The development comes just over four months after Canada reached the 100,000-case threshold. Oct. 28: A report from Canada's chief public health officer focusing on the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic says Canada ranks 26th in the world for total deaths per million population. Nov. 10: The Manitoba government forces non-essential stores to close and bans social gatherings in an effort to stop a surge of COVID-19 cases. Nov. 16: Canada's COVID-19 case count tops 300,000 less than a month after it crossed the 200,000 threshold. Nov. 23: The premiers of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador announce they will temporarily pull out of the so-called "Atlantic Bubble" for two weeks due to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Atlantic Canada. Nov. 26: Federal health officials say Canada has purchase agreements with seven COVID-19 vaccine producers. Nov. 26: New Brunswick becomes the latest Atlantic province to opt out of the so-called bubble and demand anyone entering the province self-isolate for 14 days. The province also introduces heightened public health measures in the Fredericton area. Nov. 27: Trudeau says most Canadians should receive the COVID-19 vaccine by September 2021. The prime minister says Canada's vaccine distribution program would be led by former NATO commander Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin. Dec. 2: Johnson & Johnson begins the process of applying for emergency approval of its COVID-19 vaccine from Health Canada and the European Medicines Agency, while Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is given permission for emergency use in the U.K. Dec. 4: Canada records more than 400,000 cases of COVID-19, just 18 days after it hits the 300,000 mark. Dec. 7: Trudeau says Canada will receive up to 249,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine in December. Dec. 8: Partial results published in the medical journal Lancet suggest the COVID-19 vaccine candidate from Oxford University and AstraZeneca is safe and about 70 per cent effective. Dec. 9: Health Canada approves national use of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine. Dec. 14: The first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are administered to people in Quebec and Ontario. Dec. 20: Canada surpasses 500,000 total cases of COVID-19 as Nunavut reports its first two deaths. The federal government restricts travel from the U.K. for 72 hours in an effort to keep a contagious new strain out of Canada. Dec. 23: Health Canada says the COVID-19 vaccine from U.S. biotech firm Moderna is safe for use in Canada. Dec. 26: Ontario confirms its two first Canadian cases of a more contagious variant of COVID-19 first identified in the United Kingdom. The province also re-enters a lockdown that shutters non-essential businesses and closes schools to in-person learning for at least two weeks. Dec. 28: Canada surpasses 15,000 deaths related to COVID-19. Dec. 30: The federal government announces plans to require air travellers to test negative for COVID-19 before landing in Canada. Jan. 3, 2021: Canada surpasses 600,000 total cases of COVID-19. Jan. 6: Quebec becomes the first province to announce a curfew to curb soaring COVID-19 infections. The provincial government says it's to be enforced for four weeks. Jan. 8: A new variant of COVID-19 that first surfaced in South Africa is reported in Alberta. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick tighten their boundaries, requiring people entering the provinces to quarantine for 14 days. Jan. 9: The Quebec curfew comes into effect, barring most residents from leaving their homes between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. Jan. 11: Ontario's death toll surpasses 5,000. Jan. 14: A stay-at-home order takes effect in Ontario days after the daily case tally nearly hit 4,000. Among the added measures is a requirement for people to wear a mask inside businesses and restrictions on the size of gatherings. All non-essential retail stores may only open between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Jan. 15: Pfizer says it will temporarily cut vaccine delivery to Canada because of issues with its European production lines. Jan. 16: Canada surpasses 700,000 cases of COVID-19. Jan. 23: Health Canada confirms it's approved a rapid COVID-19 test from Spartan Bioscience for use across the country. The company had previously recalled its rapid testing technology last spring over concerns expressed by the federal agency. Jan. 24: New Brunswick's Edmundston region enters lockdown in a bid to quash a rise in local COVID-19 case numbers. The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is confronting the political risk that comes with grand ambition. As one of his first acts, Biden offered a sweeping immigration overhaul last week that would provide a path to U.S. citizenship for the estimated 11 million people who are in the United States illegally. It would also codify provisions wiping out some of President Donald Trump's signature hard-line policies, including trying to end existing, protected legal status for many immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and crackdowns on asylum rules. It's precisely the type of measure that many Latino activists have longed for, particularly after the tough approach of the Trump era. But it must compete with Biden's other marquee legislative goals, including a $1.9 trillion plan to combat the coronavirus, an infrastructure package that promotes green energy initiatives and a “public option” to expand health insurance. In the best of circumstances, enacting such a broad range of legislation would be difficult. But in a narrowly divided Congress, it could be impossible. And that has Latinos, the nation's fastest growing voting bloc, worried that Biden and congressional leaders could cut deals that weaken the finished product too much — or fail to pass anything at all. “This cannot be a situation where simply a visionary bill — a message bill — gets sent to Congress and nothing happens with it,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, which advocates for low-income immigrants. “There’s an expectation that they will deliver and that there is a mandate now for Biden to be unapologetically pro-immigrant and have a political imperative to do so, and the Democrats do as well.” If Latinos ultimately feel betrayed, the political consequences for Democrats could be long-lasting. The 2020 election provided several warning signs that, despite Democratic efforts to build a multiracial coalition, Latino support could be at risk. Biden already was viewed skeptically by some Latino activists for his association with former President Barack Obama, who was called the “deporter in chief” for the record number of immigrants who were removed from the country during his administration. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont defeated Biden in last year's Nevada caucuses and California primary, which served as early barometers of the Latino vote. In his race against Trump, Biden won the support of 63% of Latino voters compared with Trump's 35%, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of more than 110,000 voters nationwide. But Trump narrowed the margin somewhat in some swing states such as Nevada and also got a bump from Latino men, 39% of whom backed him compared with 33% of Latino women. Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate since 1996 to carry Arizona, in part because of strong grassroots backing from Mexican American groups opposed to strict GOP immigration policies going back decades. But he lost Florida by underperforming in its largest Hispanic county, Miami-Dade, where the Trump campaign's anti-socialism message resonated with Cuban- and some Venezuelan Americans. Biden also fell short in Texas even though running mate Kamala Harris devoted valuable, late campaign time there. The ticket lost some sparsely populated but heavily Mexican American counties along the Mexican border, where law enforcement agencies are major employers and the GOP's zero-tolerance immigration policy resonated. There were more warning signs for House Democrats, who lost four California seats and two in South Florida while failing to pick up any in Texas. Booming Hispanic populations reflected in new U.S. census figures may see Texas and Florida gain congressional districts before 2022's midterm elections, which could make correcting the problem all the more pressing for Democrats. The urgency isn't lost on Biden. He privately spent months telling immigration advocates that major overhauls would be at the top of his to-do list. As vice-president, he watched while the Obama administration used larger congressional majorities to speed passage of a financial crisis stimulus bill and its signature health care law while letting an immigration overhaul languish. “It means so much to us to have a new president propose bold, visionary immigration reform on Day 1. Not Day 2. Not Day 3. Not a year later,” said New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, his chamber's lead sponsor of the Biden package. Menendez was part of a bipartisan immigration plan championed by the “Gang of Eight” senators that collapsed in 2013. Obama then resorted to executive action to offer legal status to millions of young immigrants. President George W. Bush also pushed an immigration package — with an eye toward boosting Latino support for Republicans before the 2008 election — only to see it fail in Congress. Menendez acknowledged that the latest bill will have to find at least 10 Republican senators' support to clear the 60-vote hurdle to reach the floor, and that he's “under no illusions" how difficult that will be. Former Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a moderate Republican from Florida, said Biden may find some GOP support but probably will have to settle for far less than what’s in his original proposal. “Many Republicans are worried about primary challenges,” Curbelo said, adding that Trump and his supporters’ championing of immigration crackdowns means there's “political peril there for Republicans.” But he also said Democrats could alienate some of their own base by appearing to prioritize the needs of people in the country illegally over those of struggling U.S. citizens and thus “appearing to overreach from the perspective of swing and independent voters.” Indeed, Democrats haven't always universally lined up behind an immigration overhaul, arguing that it could lead to an influx of cheap labour that hurts U.S. workers. Some of the party's senators joined Republicans in sinking Bush's bill. Still, Latinos haven't forgotten past immigration failures and have often blamed Democrats more than Republicans. Chuck Roca, head of Nuestro PAC, which spent $4 million on ads boosting Biden in Arizona, said that while Hispanics have traditionally tended to support Democrats, he has begun to see trends in the past decade where more are registering as independent or without party affiliation. Those voters can still be won back, he said, but only if Latinos see real change on major issues such as immigration “even if it's piecemeal.” “They have to get something done if they want to start to turn around the loss of Latino voters,” said Rocha, who headed Latino voter outreach for Sanders’ presidential campaign. “They have to do everything in their power now to get Latinos back.” ___ Associated Press writer Alan Fram contributed to this report. Will Weissert, The Associated Press
GREEN BAY, Wis. — An 85-year-old Green Bay Packers fan who has never missed a playoff game at Lambeau Field thought her streak was coming to an end this week until two charitable brothers heard her story. Fritzie Neitzel, of Green Bay, went to her first Packers game with her father in October 1945, when she was 10. “When I was born they didn’t put red blood in me. I got green in one side and gold in the other,” Neitzel said. As longtime season ticket holders, her family tried buying seats for the NFC championship game once they went on sale Wednesday. They were unsuccessful. That's when Neitzel heard about the Spirit of Wisconsin Booster Club led by Steve Ewing, of Milwaukee, and Neal Ewing, of Green Bay. Organized in 2015, the Spirit of Wisconsin Booster Club has been asking people to send the Ewings their most compelling stories and explain why they’re deserving of the opportunity to attend playoff games. Neitzel was this week's recipient of two tickets to Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Packers said all tickets on cellphones are nontransferable, with no exceptions. So Steve Ewing drove from Milwaukee to Green Bay on Saturday to hand off the phone with the tickets. “Still a total mess, to tell you the truth. It’s just, I keep pinching myself. I’m thinking, am I dreaming or is this real?” Neitzel told WITI-TV. Said Neal Ewing: “There’s no comparison to the reward of the joy because it’s bigger than money. It’s bigger than any of the other things people chase around." ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL The Associated Press
A family-owned grocer in Calgary is giving back to support neighbouring businesses hurting from the pandemic. Darren Hollman, owner of the European Deli and Produce Market, says because his business is essential, he hasn't faced the same struggles a restaurant or retailer might. "We're an essential business and people have to eat, [so] we haven't been affected nearly as bad as some of the other places have been. We've been operating at 15 per cent [capacity] but we feel we can give back so that's why we're doing it," he said. This weekend, the store is offering some staples like apples, potatoes and carrots at "pay-what-you-can" prices — customers decide what the want to pay, and 100 per cent of the proceeds will go toward supporting Platoon Fitness, Crolux Tailoring and Marco's Kitchen, all businesses impacted by public health restrictions. "The customers have been very receptive to it and have done a lot to help — like giving over and above which is nice to see," he said. Shopper Elena Khomiak said she was picking up apples, even though she doesn't need any, as a chance to support local. "We'll pay, I don't know, $50 or $100, the most expensive apples I've ever had," she said with a laugh. The fundraiser will run until 6 p.m. Sunday.
Italy will take legal action and step up pressure in Brussels against Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca over delays in deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines with a view to securing agreed supplies, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Sunday. The aim was to get the companies to meet the vaccine volumes they had promised and not to seek compensation, Di Maio said on RAI state television. "This is a European contract that Pfizer and AstraZeneca are not respecting and so for this reason we will take legal action... We are working so our vaccine plan programme does not change," he said.