Biggest snowfall of the year for Halifax is now shifting to NL. Heavy snow for the island this week while the coldest air of the season covers the maritimes.
Biggest snowfall of the year for Halifax is now shifting to NL. Heavy snow for the island this week while the coldest air of the season covers the maritimes.
(NBC/The Associated Press, NBC/Reuters - image credit) Schitt's Creek won the Golden Globe for best television comedy on Sunday, shortly after star Catherine O'Hara captured the award for best actress for her portrayal of Moira Rose. Dan Levy — who co-created the show with his father, Eugene Levy — accepted the award remotely and paid homage to the Canadian cast and crew. "The incredible work you all did over these past six seasons have taken us to places we never thought possible, and we are so grateful to all of you for it," he said. "Thank you to the CBC and Pop TV for making the active choice to keep this show on the air and give it the time and space it needed to grow." The show topped fellow nominees Ted Lasso, The Great, The Flight Attendant and Emily in Paris. "This acknowledgement is a lovely vote of confidence in the messages Schitt's Creek has come to stand for: the idea that inclusion can bring about growth and love to a community," Dan Levy said. "In the spirit of inclusion, I hope that this time next year, the ceremony reflects the true breadth and diversity of the film and television being made today because there is so much more to be celebrated." Earlier, O'Hara thanked Eugene and Dan Levy for creating "an inspiring, funny, beautiful family love story in which they let me wear 100 wigs and speak like an alien." "Thank you CBC for making this show in Canada," she said. Eugene Levy, Dan Levy and Annie Murphy were each nominated for acting awards as well. Jason Sudeikis bested Eugene Levy for best actor in a television series for his role in Ted Lasso, John Boyega won the award for best supporting actor for his role in Small Axe over Dan Levy and Gillian Anderson's turn on The Crown earned her best supporting actress over Murphy. Schitt's Creek, which aired on CBC and Pop TV, ended its sixth and final season last April. The Ontario-shot show swept the comedy category at the Emmy Awards last fall. Nomadland wins 2 awards, Boseman honoured posthumously Nomadland won best drama film while its director, Chloé Zhao, became the first woman of Asian descent to win best director at the Golden Globes. The film follows a woman, played by Frances McDormand, who leaves her small town to join a group of wanderers in the American West. Accepting the best picture award, Zhao paid tribute to all those who have been on difficult journeys, quoting a line from the film: "We don't say goodbye, we say see you down the road." Meanwhile, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm won best movie, musical or comedy, while star Sacha Baron Cohen won best actor for his portrayal of the fictional journalist from Kazakhstan. In a major surprise, the Globe for best actress in a drama film went to Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Day played the legendary jazz and blues singer in the biopic directed by Lee Daniels. A tearful and overwhelmed Day spoke through tears as she said she was "in the presence of giants," naming her fellow nominees Viola Davis, Carey Mulligan, Vanessa Kirby and Frances McDormand. Six months after his death at age 43, Chadwick Boseman won the Golden Globe for best actor in a dramatic film for his final role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Boseman's widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award for her late husband, saying "he would thank God, he would thank his parents, he would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices." Through tears, Ledward added: "I don't have his words, but we have to take all the moments to celebrate those we love." In the Netflix film, Boseman plays an ambitious trumpeter named Levee who aims to launch himself with his own updated version of the songs of Ma Rainey, the powerhouse blues singer played by Viola Davis. Boseman, who starred in the Marvel blockbuster "Black Panther," died in August after privately battling colon cancer for four years. Netflix, which came in with a commanding 42 nominations, won the top TV awards. The Crown, as expected, took best drama series, along with acting wins for Anderson, Josh O'Connor and Emma Corrin. O'Connor and Corrin portrayed Prince Charles and Princess Diana, respectively. The Queen's Gambit, another Netflix show, won best limited series or TV movie and star Anya Taylor-Joy won best actress in a limited series. Jodie Foster, meanwhile, won her first Golden Globe in nearly three decades. Foster won the Globe for best supporting actress in a film for her role in The Mauritanian. Jane Fonda accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award, praising the "community of storytellers" for their vital role in troubled times, and calling for greater diversity in Hollywood. The 83-year-old actor and activist, star of Barbarella, Klute, Coming Home, On Golden Pond and 9 to 5, received the Globes' version of a lifetime achievement award, one of the few honorees to accept a Globe in person in Beverly Hills. The DeMille award honours "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment." Previous winners include Walt Disney, Judy Garland, John Wayne, Sidney Poitier, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and Fonda's father Henry Fonda. The Fondas become the first parent and child to both receive the DeMille award. Norman Lear accepted the Carol Burnett Award on Sunday at the Golden Globes for his storied career in television, saying he "could not feel more blessed." The 98-year-old still-working television legend, creator of All in the Family, The Jeffersons and One Day at a Time, is the third winner of the award that honours "outstanding contributions to television on or off the screen." Hosts on different coasts Earlier, co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler began the pandemic-era award show by delivering a split-screen opening from separate coasts. With Poehler at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Fey in New York's Rainbow Room, the two did an initial gag where Fey reached out through the screen and stroked Poehler's hair. Golden Globes hosts Tina Fey, left, and Amy Poehler, opened the show from New York and Beverly Hills, Calif., respectively. When attendees would normally be streaming down the red carpet on Sunday evening, many stars were instead posing virtually. Regina King, resplendent in a dazzling dress, stood before her yawning dog. Carey Mulligan, nominated for Promising Young Woman, said from a London hotel room that she was wearing heels for the first time in more than a year. Lee Isaac Chung, writer-director of the tender Korean-American family drama Minari (a movie the HFPA was criticized for ruling ineligible for its top award because of its non-English dialogue), accepted the award for best foreign language film while his young daughter embraced him. "She's the reason I made this film," said Chung. "Minari is about a family. It's a family trying to learn a language of its own. It goes deeper than any American language and any foreign language. It's a language of the heart. I'm trying to learn it myself and to pass it on," said Chung. Other awards included Pixar's Soul for best animated film; Rosumund Pike took best actress in a comedy or musical film for I Care a Lot; and Aaron Sorkin won for best screenplay for Trial of the Chicago 7. The film, a favourite to win best drama film at the Globes, was sold to Netflix by Paramount Pictures last summer due to the pandemic. "Netflix saved our lives," said Sorkin. Issues in lead-up to show On a night when the organization that gives out the Golden Globes is facing condemnation for having no Black voting members, the night's first award went to a Black actor, with Daniel Kaluuya winning best supporting actor in a film for his work in Judas and the Black Messiah. Kaluuya's acceptance speech could not be heard from his location at first, and he jokingly shouted, "You did me dirty!" once the audio was restored. Kaluuya didn't mention the issue directly in his acceptance, though he praised the man he played to win the award, Blank Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was was killed in an FBI raid in 1969. The Globes, normally a loose-and-boozy party that serves as the kickoff for Hollywood's awards season, has been beset with problems beyond the coronavirus leading up to this year's ceremony. They include a revelation in the Los Angeles Times that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gives out the awards, has no Black voting members in the group. LISTEN | Why the Golden Globes' shady reputation persists: Fey took a shot at the organization in the show opening, explaining to the two small live audiences made up of first responders and essential workers that "the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 no Black journalists." This year, none of the most acclaimed Black-led films — Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, One Night in Miami, Judas and the Black Messiah and Da 5 Bloods — were nominated for the Globes' best picture award. With the HFPA potentially fighting for its Hollywood life, Sunday's Globes were part apology tour. Within the first half hour of the NBC telecast, members of the press association also appeared on stage to pledge change. "We recognize we have our own work to do," said vice president Helen Hoehne. "We must have Black journalists in our organization."
SoftBank's internet subsidiary Z Holdings outlined plans on Monday to invest 500 billion yen ($4.7 billion) in technology over five years to resist an onslaught from larger overseas rivals. The announcement follows the merger of its internet business Yahoo Japan with chat app operator Line, creating a $30 billion domestic internet heavyweight. Z Holdings said it is targeting sales of 2 trillion yen and operating income of 225 billion yen in three years, as the COVID-19 pandemic boosts demand for online services.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday an unidentified cabinet minister accused of rape has "vigorously rejected" the allegation during talks with him. Several opposition lawmakers said late last week they received a letter detailing an allegation of rape by a male cabinet minister before he entered parliament. Morrison said his office also received a letter detailing the allegation.
Rockets have hit Iraqi cities and COVID-19 has flared,yet, barring last-minute changes, Pope Francis will embark on a whirlwind four-day trip starting on Friday to show solidarity with the country's devastated Christian community. Keen to get on the road again after the pandemic put paid to several planned trips, he convinced some perplexed Vatican aides that it is worth the risk and that, in any case, his mind was made up, three Vatican sources said. "He is itching to get back out on the road after such a long period," said one Vatican official.
CHICAGO — The U.S. Soccer Federation’s athletes council removed one its members Sunday, a day after he made a speech at the federation’s annual general meeting against removing an anti-kneeling policy. Seth Jahn, a 38-year-old from Florida who played for the U.S. seven-a-side ParaOlympic team at the 2015 Parapan American Games, spoke against repeal of what was known as Policy 604-1, put in place in response to U.S. women’s team star Megan Rapinoe kneeling in support of Colin Kaepernick. The USSF board voted to repeal the policy on June 9, a decision the online annual meeting affirmed Saturday by 71.34% voting in favour of repeal. “I’m sure I’m going to ruffle some feathers with what I’m about to say, especially given the athletes council that I’m on, but given the evolution of our quote unquote, progressive culture where everything offends everybody, those willing to take a knee our for anthem don’t care about defending half of our country and when they do so, then I don’t have too much concern in also exercising my First Amendment right,” Jahn said before the vote. “We’re here to get a different perspective. I also feel compelled to articulate that I’m of mixed race and representative of undoubtedly the most persecuted people in our country’s history, Native-Americans.” Claiming he was citing FBI statistics, Jahn said “95% of deaths in black communities come at the hands of another black man.” “I keep hearing how our country was founded on the backs of slaves, even though approximately only 8% of the entire population even owned slaves,” he said. “Every race in the history of mankind has been enslaved by another demographic at some point time. Blacks have been enslaved. Hispanics have been enslaved. Asians most recently in our country in the freaking 20th century, have been enslaved. Natives have been enslaved. Whites have been enslaved. Shoot, I lived in Africa for 2 1/2 years where I could purchase people, slaves, between the price of $300 and $800 per person, per head depending on their age, health and physicality. “Where were the social justice warriors and the news journalists there to bring their ruminations to these these real atrocities? And yet in all of history, only one country has fought to abolish slavery, the United States of America, where nearly 400,000 men died to fight for the abolishment of slavery underneath the same stars and bars that our athletes take a knee for. Their sacrifice is tainted with every with every knee that touches the ground.” He suggested that athletes would wish to take a knee do so on their own individual platforms, but not while representing the U.S. on a soccer field. USSF President Cindy Parlow Cone followed Jahn and urged repeal. “This is not about disrespecting the flag or about disrespecting the military,” she said. “This is about the athletes and our staff’s right to peacefully protest racial inequalities and police brutality.” The athlete’s council said in a statement Sunday that Jahn “violated the prohibited conduct’s policy section on harassment, which prohibits racial or other harassment based upon a person’s protected status (race), including any verbal act in which race is used or implied in a manner which would make a reasonable person uncomfortable. The athlete’s council does not tolerate this type of language and finds it incompatible with membership on the council. While the council understands that each person has a right to his or her own opinion, there are certain opinions that go beyond the realm of what is appropriate or acceptable.” The council said it “wants to be unequivocable in its condemnation of the statements that Mr. Jahn made yesterday.” ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Canadians had something to celebrate as Catherine O'Hara took home a 2021 Golden Globe award for her role in "Schitt's Creek."
Europe's drug regulator is auditing the manufacturing site of the Serum Institute of India (SII), a source with knowledge of the matter said, a necessary step before AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine made there can be exported to the bloc. SII, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, is producing the AstraZeneca vaccine, developed with Oxford University, for dozens of poor and middle-income countries. The precise reason for the audit of SII's manufacturing processes and facilities was not clear, but a green light would mean the drug could be exported to the European Union, the source said, declining to be identified because the review is confidential.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran on Monday for an explosion aboard an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman last week, an accusation rejected by Tehran. The vehicle-carrier MV Helios Ray was hit between Thursday night and Friday morning by a blast above the water line that a U.S official said ripped holes in both sides of its hull. An Israeli official said limpet mines were used.
The largest and oldest electric power cooperative in Texas filed for bankruptcy protection in Houston on Monday, citing a disputed $1.8 billion debt to the state's grid operator. Brazos Electric Power Cooperative Inc, which supplies electricity to more than 660,000 consumers across the state, is one of dozens of providers facing enormous charges stemming from a severe cold snap last month. The fallout threatens utilities and power marketers, which collectively face billions of dollars in blackout-related charges, executives said.
(Codie McLachlan/CBC - image credit) Alberta's police watchdog has been asked to investigate after Edmonton police responded to an incident where a man fell from a balcony while responding officers remained inside the suite. The 39-year-old man was treated and transported to hospital by paramedics where he remained in critical, but stable condition, according to an Edmonton Police Service news release issued Sunday night. Officers responded to a "trouble not known call" around 7:40 a.m. Sunday at an apartment suite in the area of 173rd Street and 68th Avenue. The man was reportedly intoxicated and acting erratically, police said. Officers arrived at the suite shortly after 8 a.m. and attempted to negotiate with the man, but police said his behaviour continued to escalate. The man then barricaded himself outside on the balcony, climbed onto the railing and dangled his feet over the edge, the police release said. The responding officers stayed inside the suite. The man then started to climb down to the balcony below. Additional police officers cordoned off the ground under the suite to keep the area safe, the police release said. Just before 9:20 a.m., an hour after officers first arrived, the man fell to the ground while moving between balconies, police said. The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, the province's police watchdog, has been directed to investigate and EPS said it would not provide further comment.
NEW YORK — With homebound nominees appearing by remote video and hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on different sides of the country, a very socially distanced 78th Golden Globe Awards trudged on in the midst of the pandemic and amid a storm of criticism for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, with top awards going to “Nomadland,” “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” “The Crown” and “Schitt's Creek.” The night's top award, best picture drama, went to Chloé Zhao's elegiac road movie “Nomadland," a Western set across economic upheaval and personal grief. Zhao, the China-born filmmaker of, became the first woman of Asian descent to win best director. She’s only the second woman in the history of the Globes to win, and the first since Barbra Streisand won for “Yentl” in 1984. “'Nomadland at its core for me is a pilgrimage through grief and healing,” said Zhao, accepting the awards remotely. “For everyone who has gone through this difficult and beautiful journey at some point in their lives, this is for you." With a cancelled red carpet and stars giving speeches from the couch, Sunday's Globes had little of their typically frothy flavour. But they went on, nevertheless, with winners in sweats and dogs in laps, in a pandemic that has sapped nearly all the glamour out of Hollywood. Facing scant traditional studio competition, streaming services dominated the Globes like never before — even if the top award went to a familiar if renamed source: Searchlight Pictures, formerly the Fox specialty label of “12 Years a Slave” and “The Shape of Water” now owned by the Walt Disney Co. Amazon's “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” — one of the few nominated films shot partly during the pandemic — won best film, comedy or musical. Its star guerilla comedian, Sacha Baron Cohen, also won best actor in a comedy. Referring to Rudy Giuliani's infamous cameo, Cohen thanked “a fresh new talent who came from nowhere and turned out to be a comedy genius.” “I mean, who could get more laughs from one unzipping," said Cohen. Netflix, which came in with a commanding 42 nominations, won the top TV awards. “The Crown,” as expected, took best drama series, along with acting wins for Josh O’Connor (Prince Charles), Emma Corrin (Princess Diana) and Gillian Anderson (Margaret Thatcher). “The Queen's Gambit” won best limited series, and best actress in the category for Anya Taylor-Joy. “Schitt's Creek,” the Pop TV series that found a wider audience on Netflix, won best comedy series for its final season. Catherine O'Hara also took best actress in a comedy series. Chadwick Boseman, as expected, posthumously won best actor in a drama film for his final performance, in the August Wilson adaptation “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” — a Netflix release. Boseman’s wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, tearfully, emotionally accepted the award. “He would thank God. He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices,” said Ledward. “He would say something beautiful, something inspiring.” Apple TV+ scored its first major award when a sweatshirt-clad Jason Sudeikis won best actor in a comedy series for the streamer's “Ted Lasso.” The NBC telecast began in split screen. Fey took the stage at New York's Rainbow Room while Poehler remained at the Globes' usual home at the Beverly Hilton. In their opening remarks, they managed their typically well-timed back-and-forth despite being almost 3,000 miles from each other. “I always knew my career would end with me wandering around the Rainbow Room pretending to talk to Amy," said Fey. “I just thought it would be later.” They appeared before masked attendees but no stars. Instead, the sparse tables — where Hollywood royalty are usually crammed together and plied with alcohol during the show — were occupied by “smoking-hot first responders and essential workers,” as Fey said. In a production nightmare but one that's become familiar during the pandemic, the night's first winner accepted his award while muted. Only after presenter Laura Dern apologized for the technical difficulties did Daniel Kaluuya, who won best supporting actor for his performance as Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in “Judas and the Black Messiah,” get his speech in. When he finally came through, he waged his finger at the camera and said, “You're doing me dirty!" Pandemic improvising was only part of the damage control for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which puts on the Globes. After The Los Angeles Times revealed that there are no Black members in the 87-person voting body of the HFPA, the press association came under mounting pressure to overhaul itself and better reflect the industry it holds sway in. This year, none of the most acclaimed Black-led films — “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “One Night in Miami,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Da 5 Bloods” — were nominated for the Globes’ best picture award. With the HFPA potentially fighting for its Hollywood life, Sunday's Globes were part apology tour. Fey and Poehler started in quickly on the issue. “Look, a lot of flashy garbage got nominated but that happens,” said Poehler. “That’s like their thing. But a number of Black actors and Black-led projects were overlooked.” Within the first half hour of the NBC telecast, members of the press association appeared on stage to pledge change. "We recognize we have our own work to do," said vice-president Helen Hoehne. “We must have Black journalists in our organization.” Whether those statements — along with a diverse group of winners — did enough to remedy anything remained unclear. The moment the show ended, Time's Up sent letters to both the HFPA and NBCUniveral demanding more than lip service. “The Globes are no longer golden. It’s time to act,” wrote Tina Tchen, the group's president. COVID-19 circumstances led to some award-show anomalies. Mark Ruffalo, appearing remotely, won best actor in a limited series for “I Know This Much Is True” with his kids celebrating behind him and his wife, Sunrise Coigney, sitting alongside. Lee Isaac Chung, writer-director of the tender Korean-American family drama “Minari" (a movie the HFPA was criticized for ruling ineligible for its top award because of its non-English dialogue), accepted the award for best foreign language film while his young daughter embraced him. “She's the reason I made this film,” said Chung. “'Minari' is about a family. It's a family trying to learn a language of its own. It goes deeper than any American language and any foreign language. It's a language of the heart," said Chung. “I'm trying to learn it myself and to pass it on." John Boyega, supporting actor winner for his performance in Steve McQueen's “Small Axe” anthology, raised his leg to show he was wearing track pants below his more elegant white jacket. Jodie Foster ("The Mauritanian") won one of the biggest surprise Globes, for best supporting actress in a film, while, sitting on the couch next her wife, Alexandra Hedison, and with her dog, Ziggy on her lap. Some speeches were pre-taped. The previously recorded speeches by Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for the wining “Soul" score went without hiccup even though presenter Tracy Morgan first announced “Sal" as the winner. Even if speeches sometimes lacked drama without Hollywood gathered in one place, representation was a common refrain. Pointedly referring to the diversity of the HFPA, presenter and previous winner Sterling K. Brown began, “Thank you. It is great to be Black at the Golden Globes,” he said. “Back.” Jane Fonda, the Cecil B. DeMille Award honoree, spoke passionately about expanding the big tent of entertainment for all. “Art has always been not just in step in history but has lead the way,” said Fonda. “So let’s be leaders.” Other awards included Pixar's “Soul” for best animated film; Rosumund Pike took best actress in a comedy or musical film for “I Care a Lot"; Aaron Sorkin ("Trial of the Chicago 7") for best screenplay; and, in the night's biggest surprise, Andra Day ("The United States vs. Billie Holiday") for best actress in a drama, besting Carey Mulligan ("Promising Young Woman") and Frances McDormand ("Nomadland"). As showtime neared, the backlash over the HFPA threatened to overwhelm the Globes. Yet the Globes have persisted because of their popularity (the show ranks as the third most-watched award show, after the Oscars and Grammys), their profitability (NBC paid $60 million for broadcast rights in 2018) and because they serve as important marketing material for contending films and Oscar hopefuls. The Academy Awards will be held April 25. Jake Coyle, The Associated Press
Global energy leaders and other luminaries like incoming Amazon Chief Executive Andy Jassy focused on the tough road to transforming world economies to a lower-carbon future at the kickoff of the world's largest energy conference on Monday. Numerous speakers at CERAWeek were prepared to talk about the energy transition and the need for future investment in renewables. “One of the most urgent things we can do to combat global warming is to back carbon-emitting companies that are committed to get to net zero,” said Bernard Looney, CEO of BP Plc, one of several European oil majors to have committed to ambitious targets of cutting emissions to reach net zero carbon by 2050.
NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance mission captured jaw-dropping video footage of the Perseverance rover landing in Mars' Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021. Captured by several cameras, the views include a camera looking down from the spacecraft's descent stage, a camera on the rover looking up at the descent stage, a camera on the top of the aeroshell (a capsule protecting the rover) looking up at that parachute, and a camera on the bottom of the rover looking down at the Martian surface. Credit to "NASA/JPL-Caltech".
WASHINGTON — China appears to be moving faster toward a capability to launch its newer nuclear missiles from underground silos, possibly to improve its ability to respond promptly to a nuclear attack, according to an American expert who analyzed satellite images of recent construction at a missile training area. Hans Kristensen, a longtime watcher of U.S., Russian and Chinese nuclear forces, said the imagery suggests that China is seeking to counter what it may view as a growing threat from the United States. The U.S. in recent years has pointed to China's nuclear modernization as a key justification for investing hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming two decades to build an all-new U.S. nuclear arsenal. There’s no indication the United States and China are headed toward armed conflict, let alone a nuclear one. But the Kristensen report comes at a time of heightened U.S.-China tensions across a broad spectrum, from trade to national security. A stronger Chinese nuclear force could factor into U.S. calculations for a military response to aggressive Chinese actions, such as in Taiwan or the South China Sea. The Pentagon declined to comment on Kristensen's analysis of the satellite imagery, but it said last summer in its annual report on Chinese military developments that Beijing intends to increase the peacetime readiness of its nuclear forces by putting more of them in underground silos and operating on a higher level of alert in which it could launch missiles upon warning of being under attack. “The PRC’s nuclear weapons policy prioritizes the maintenance of a nuclear force able to survive a first strike and respond with sufficient strength to inflict unacceptable damage on an enemy,” the Pentagon report said. More broadly, the Pentagon asserts that China is modernizing its nuclear forces as part of a wider effort to build a military by mid-century that is equal to, and in some respects superior to, the U.S. military. China's nuclear arsenal, estimated by the U.S. government to number in the low 200s, is dwarfed by those of the United States and Russia, which have thousands. The Pentagon predicts that the People's Liberation Army Rocket Forces will at least double the size of its nuclear arsenal over the next 10 years, still leaving it with far fewer than the United States. China does not publicly discuss the size or preparedness of its nuclear force beyond saying it would be used only in response to an attack. The United States, by contrast, does not rule out striking first, although President Joe Biden in the past has embraced removing that ambiguity by adopting a “no first use” policy. Kristensen, an analyst with the Federation of American Scientists, said the commercial satellite photos he acquired appear to show China late last year began construction of 11 underground silos at a vast missile training range near Jilantai in north-central China. Construction of five other silos began there earlier. In its public reports the Pentagon has not cited any specific number of missile silos at that training range. These 16 silos identified by Kristensen would be in addition to the 18-20 that China now operates with an older intercontinental ballistic missile, the DF-5. “It should be pointed out that even if China doubles or triples the number of ICBM silos, it would only constitute a fraction of the number of ICBM silos operated by the United States and Russia,” Kristensen wrote on his Federation of American Scientists’ blog. “The U.S. Air Force has 450 silos, of which 400 are loaded. Russia has about 130 operational silos.” Nearly all of the new silos detected by Kristensen appear designed to accommodate China's newer-generation DF-41 ICBM, which is built with a solid-fuel component that allows the operator to more quickly prepare the missile for launch, compared to the DF-5's more time-consuming liquid-fuel system. The DF-41 can target Alaska and much of the continental United States. China already has a rail- and road-mobile version of the DF-41 missile. “They’re trying to build up the survivability of their force,” by developing silo basing for their advanced missiles, Kristensen said in an interview. “It raises some questions about this fine line in nuclear strategy,” between deterring a U.S. adversary by threatening its highly valued nuclear forces and pushing the adversary into taking countermeasures that makes its force more capable and dangerous. “How do you get out of that vicious cycle?” Kristensen asked. Frank Rose, a State Department arms control official during the Obama administration, said recently there is little prospect of getting China to join an international negotiation to limit nuclear weapons. The Trump administration tried that but failed, and Rose sees no reason to think that will change anytime soon. “They're not going to do it out of the goodness of their heart,” he said, but they might be interested in talking if the United States were willing to consider Chinese concerns about related issues like U.S. missile defences. Rose says China's main interest is in building up its non-nuclear force of shorter- and intermediate-range missiles, which, combined with a cyberattack capability and systems for damaging or destroying U.S. satellites, could push the United States out of the western Pacific. This would complicate any effort by the United States to intervene in the event Beijing decided to use force against Taiwan, the semi-autonomous democracy that Beijing views as a renegade province that must eventually return to the communist fold. Robert Burns, The Associated Press
Sophia Carodenuto is looking for ways to make food more sustainable in an unusual place: The business practices used by the companies who control the world’s chocolate trade. “On the one hand, you have the private sector driving deforestation” in cocoa-producing regions, said the professor at the University of Victoria. “(But) the private sector can also be the instigator of sustainable land use.” Carodenuto — along with Janina Grabs, a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich’s Environmental Policy Lab — wants to know how, and if, these businesses can drive widespread change to sustainable farming. Each year, the world consumes about four million tonnes of cocoa, most of it grown by small farmers in West Africa. The beans then pass between middlemen along increasingly concentrated supply chains. By the time they reach supermarket shelves, over 60 per cent of the beans will have been controlled by three international commodity companies, she said. That creates an “hourglass” structure, she said. There are lots of farmers at one end and plenty of chocolate consumers at the other, but they’re only linked by a few large companies. It’s a structure replicated across most commodity supply chains, from coffee to corn. Often, the same trading companies will manage several commodities at once. For instance, the U.S.-based company Cargill trades cocoa, beef, seafood, and several other commodity crops. That concentration gives those companies tremendous power over everything from farm-gate prices to farming techniques to the prices paid by consumers. For Carodenuto, that could be a way to encourage more sustainable cocoa farming practices. “Thinking about how to reach these millions of smallholder farmers … traders are often a key entry point because they aggregate the commodity, and they have a relationship with the farmer — more so, often, than the (government),” she said. This influence has long been recognized by the trader — and their critics. Over 20 years ago, widespread concern about the environmental and social impacts of industrial commodity farming spurred the creation of third-party certification systems like Rainforest Alliance, UTZ Certified, and Fairtrade. Commodity farmers — including cocoa farmers — need to meet specific environmental, social, and economic standards to be certified. Historically, governments also played an important oversight role. Since the 1990s, however, their leverage has weakened as many have adopted free trade-oriented policies. More recently, however, major cocoa producers and manufacturers have also started to develop their own sustainability certificates. Mondelez International, for instance, introduced its proprietary Cocoa Life scheme in 2012. These efforts have the potential to be effective, she said. For instance, many farmers can’t afford to transition to more sustainable practices alone. Traders could arguably even have an “ethical” responsibility to offer financial and technical support to farmers they’re requiring to meet expensive sustainability requirements, she said. But the impact of these corporate schemes remains unclear, Carodenuto said. “What we’re seeing is that the large traders are really dictating a lot of these sustainability programs. There’s a move away from government-led sustainability approaches and more towards private sector (efforts),” she said. The private sector is often driving deforestation, she noted. With Grabs, she is looking at whether those private sector sustainability initiatives actually work. “We’ve been looking at what are these sustainability approaches in practice? What are they actually trying to do? How do they compare to previous approaches? And we’ve found a huge gap in knowledge around what traders are actually doing,” she said. And while they have tremendous influence over farmers and governments, there remain gaps in how effectively these large companies can trace the sustainability of their beans. Most will draw some of their beans from sourcing areas where they have direct relationships with the farmers and more control over farming practices. The remainder — for some companies, up to 40 per cent — will come from smaller middlemen, eliminating the larger companies’ control over how the beans were grown. “We’re looking at traders from this diversity of perspectives. You have these huge concentrated companies … but then you also have an important role for traders that are operating informally and under less public scrutiny. There’s a lot less transparency about what they’re doing — and those are some of the key players in terms of sustainability.” Figuring out how to integrate those smaller players into sustainability initiatives is also key, she said. With their research in its infancy, Carodenuto and Grabs have no answers yet. Finding them, however, is increasingly important if we want to make cocoa and other commodities more sustainable, they said. “This relationship between farmers and their downstream partners is so important for sustainable supply chains,” said Carodenuto. “This is where traders come in — they’re usually the ones who are the first point of contact with farmers. In other words, they provide a lot of hope for reaching out to millions of smallholders who need support in changing their farming practices.” Marc Fawcett-Atkinson / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada's National Observer Marc Fawcett-Atkinson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
The new chief of the World Trade Organization (WTO) urged its member states on Monday to work with pharmaceutical companies to license more COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing in developing countries in order to triple global production. "People are dying in poor countries," Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said on her first day in office. Her call comes as a group of developing countries led by South Africa and India seek to waive intellectual property rights for COVID-19 drugs and vaccines, a move opposed by the United States, the European Union and other wealthy nations.
NEW YORK — Glam was back for the Golden Globes virtual, bicoastal awards night Sunday as nominees Zoomed in from around the world and, for Leslie Odom Jr., from his front porch in Los Angeles not far from the action in Beverly Hills. And they were ready, style wise, as the Globes split hosts, with Amy Poehler at the Beverly Hilton and Tina Fey at the Rainbow Room in New York. There was nary a pair of sweats in sight. Jason Sudeikis was a glam outlier in a rainbow tie-dye hoodie from his sister's clothing line as he picked up an award remotely, saying : “Wow, do I talk now?” The sweatshirt, which retails for $110, whipped up buzz on social media, prompting Fey to joke after Sudeikis accepted his award: “If anybody wants to know where they can get Jason Sudeikis' hoodie, go to nbc.com/globesfashion.” The page, please note, doesn't exist. Backstage after the show, Sudeikis told reporters he owns a multitude of hoodies but chose the one emblazoned with “Forward” on the front and “Listen + Lead” on the back as fitting for the unusual night. “When people you care about do cool interesting things you should support them,” he said. Jodie Foster won wearing a black-and-white silk pajama set from Prada, her dog Ziggy in a bandana to match and her wife by her side. During a Zoom session with reporters after the show, a giddy Foster stuck out a bare foot showing she went shoeless to collect her award and said: “This is the best Globes ever! To be able to be home just felt really real. It didn’t feel like it was filled with so much artifice.” Regina King's dog snoozed in the background before the show as she showed off her Louis Vuitton gown in silver and black — and Amanda Seyfried previewed a springy, coral Oscar de la Renta with floral adornment, echoing many stars who said they wanted to bring a little joy. “I've got my son, who is 5 months old, laying against a pillow in a tux," Seyfried said. Cynthia Erivo went for neon green Valentino to present in person, and Kaley Cuoco munched pizza in a de la Renta design. Gillian Anderson, alone in Prague, wore a green gown and Julia Garner a two-tone Prada black and white look. She didn't forget the lipstick, a deep red. Laverne Cox, in a red, embellished cape-sleeve gown, did something even more unusual: She stood up to chat with reporters on E! and NBC via Zoom before the show. “I wanted to feel festive and go for it,” she told NBC. “It's really amazing about this whole Zoom world. People can do whatever they want.” That meant Chanel for Shira Haas in Los Angeles, and custom Gucci for Elle Fanning in London. “It's nice to have something to celebrate and get dressed up for, and actually put on a dress to walk from my living room to my kitchen,” Fanning told E!. “I thought, why not?” The jewels flowed along with the gowns, which included a stunning, bright green sparkler for Anya Taylor-Joy by Dior Couture with a matching coat. Fey and Poehler, both dressed in black to open the show, joked about the unusual set up and the distance between them, with Fey pretending to stroke Poehler's hair through their screens. The two, with numerous fashion changes, were joined by an array of presenters as winners accepted via Zoom, with an early glitch when winner Daniel Kaluuya's audio went silent at first, then perked up so he could speak. King's dog wasn't the only surprise star. Sarah Paulson held her little black pooch on screen and Emma Corrin's fluffy white cat grabbed a moment for itself. And there were kids, too. Mark Ruffalo's two wandered behind him as he accepted an award. Aaron Sorkin was joined by a bevy of women on hand for his win. Lee Isaac Chung, director of “Minari,” hugged his small daughter tight as he accepted an award, his dressed-up offspring squeezing back with: “I prayed, I prayed, I prayed.” Peter Morgan, creator of “The Crown,” was a winner from his “tragic little office,” calling the pre-pandemic Globes “always the most fun awards show.” Nominees bantered from screen to screen, shouting out their hellos to each other. On stage and for their small, in-person — and masked — audiences, production designer Brian Stonestreet pivoted like never before when the Globes decided to go bicoastal earlier in February, just days before show time. The awards veteran, who has designed for the Grammys, the Billboards, the Academy of Country Music and others, told The Associated Press ahead of the Globes' big night that he gained massive horizontal real estate for the screen-centric show with the shrinking of tables in size and number. “Funnily enough, it gave me a little more freedom in terms of scenery,” he said of the Beverly Hilton, while incorporating the Rainbow Room's massive centre chandelier adorned with stars and orbs in New York. He used the extra space (about 36 guests in New York and 42 in Beverly Hills) to expand screen presence and curvier, more dramatic, staircases. On the floor, he placed trophies on pedestals among his two- and three-person cocktail tables, rather than the usual 6-foot round tables seating 10 to 12 people for a total of more than 1,000. Instead of star-studded crowds crammed into the Hilton's ballroom, the Globes hosted frontline and essential workers, along with food bank workers from the show’s philanthropic partnership with Feeding America. Lydia Marks, a New York set decorator, told The Associated Press the evening's technical challenges were many. With so many remote locations and two live sets, the few glitches should be forgiven, she said. “While it looks easy, the direction needs to remain responsive in a way that is more like a live sporting event than an awards show,” Marks said. “I think it looks pretty seamless and controlled for the amount of feeds they are working with.” ___ Associated Press writer Beth Harris in Los Angeles contributed to this story. Leanne Italie, The Associated Press
Britain's multi-billion pound supermarket industry is placing its bets on whether big-spending older shoppers will stick with buying their groceries online when months of lockdown end. Having more than doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic to represent 16% of Britain's roughly 200 billion pound ($281 billion) food retail market, the country has one of the world's highest take-ups of online grocery. Ocado boss Tim Steiner says it's here to stay and will carry on growing quickly.
China used coronavirus prevention measures, intimidation and visa curbs to limit foreign reporting in 2020, ushering in a "rapid decline in media freedom," the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCCC) said on Monday. For the third year in a row, no journalists told the group that working conditions had improved, the FCCC said in an annual report based on 150 responses to a survey of correspondents and interviews with bureau chiefs. "All arms of state power - including surveillance systems introduced to curb coronavirus - were used to harass and intimidate journalists, their Chinese colleagues, and those whom the foreign press sought to interview," it said.
JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday accused Iran of attacking an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman last week. Netanyahu spoke to Israeli public broadcaster Kan and said that “it was indeed an act by Iran, that’s clear.” “Iran is the greatest enemy of Israel, I am determined to halt it. We are hitting it in the entire region,” Netanyahu said. The explosion struck the Israeli-owned MV Helios Ray, a Bahamian-flagged roll-on, roll-off vehicle cargo ship, as it was sailing out of the Middle East on its way to Singapore on Friday. The crew was unharmed in the blast, but the vessel sustained two holes on its port side and two on its starboard side just above the waterline, according to American defence officials. The ship came to Dubai’s port for repairs on Sunday, days after the blast that revived security concerns in Mideast waterways amid heightened tensions with Iran. It remains unclear what caused the blast. The Helios Ray had discharged cars at various ports in the Persian Gulf before the explosion forced it to reverse course. It docked in Dubai on Sunday for repairs and inspection. The Associated Press