The crew of ITV's This Morning paid tribute to Holly Willoughby with a highlight package that showcased some of the presenter's most iconic moments on the daytime TV staple
The crew of ITV's This Morning paid tribute to Holly Willoughby with a highlight package that showcased some of the presenter's most iconic moments on the daytime TV staple
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Here's a list of their plans to date: Newfoundland and Labrador The province says it is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Health-care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, staff at long-term care homes, people of "advanced age" and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities have priority. Chief medical health officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has said Phase 2 will begin in April if vaccine supply remains steady. The second phase prioritizes adults over 60 years old, beginning with those over 80, as well as Indigenous adults, first responders, rotational workers and adults in marginalized populations, such as those experiencing homelessness. Adults between 16 and 59 years old will be vaccinated in the third phase of the rollout, and Fitzgerald has said she expects that to begin this summer. --- Nova Scotia Health officials began expanding access to COVID-19 vaccines on Feb. 22, opening community clinics for people aged 80 years and older. Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, has said the province's plan is to open another 10 clinics in March for 48,000 people who will be mailed a letter informing them how to book an appointment. Strang said the vaccination program will then expand to the next age group in descending order until everyone in the province is offered the chance to be immunized. The age groups will proceed in five-year blocks. Future community clinics are to be held March 8 in Halifax, New Minas, Sydney and Truro; March 15 in Antigonish, Halifax and Yarmouth; and March 22 in Amherst, Bridgewater and Dartmouth. The province began its vaccination campaign with residents of long-term care homes, those who work directly with patients, those who are 80 and older, and those who are at risk for other reasons including First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities. Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021. --- Prince Edward Island The province says the first phase of its vaccination drive, currently slated to last until the end of March, targets residents and staff of long-term and community care, as well as health-care workers with direct patient contact at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure. Those 80 and older, adults in Indigenous communities, and truck drivers and other rotational workers are also included. The next phase, which is scheduled to begin in April, will target those above 70 and essential workers. The province intends to make the vaccine available to everyone in late summer and fall. --- New Brunswick The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March. The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees. The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots. --- Quebec Quebec started vaccinating older seniors on Monday, after a first phase that focused largely on health-care workers, remote communities and long-term care. In Montreal, mass vaccine sites including the Olympic Stadium opened their doors to the public as the province began inoculating seniors who live in the hard-hit city. The government announced last week it would begin booking appointments for those aged 85 and up across the province, but that age limit has since dropped to 70 in some regions, including Montreal. The province says the vaccination of children and pregnant women will be determined based on future studies of vaccine safety and efficacy in those populations. --- Ontario The province began vaccinating people with the highest priority, including those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers and people who live in congregate care settings. Several regions in Ontario moved ahead Monday with their plans to vaccinate the general public, while others used their own systems to allow residents aged 80 and older to schedule appointments. Toronto also began vaccinating members of its police force Monday after the province identified front-line officers as a priority group. Constables and sergeants who respond to emergency calls where medical assistance may be required are now included in the ongoing first phase of Ontario's vaccine rollout, a spokeswoman for the force said. A day earlier, Toronto said the province expanded the first phase of its vaccination drive to include residents experiencing homelessness. The provincial government has said it aims to begin vaccinating Ontarians aged 80 and older starting the week of March 15, the same day it plans to launch its vaccine booking system, which will offer a service desk and online portal. It has said the vaccine rollout will look different in each of its 34 public health units. When asked about the lack of provincewide cohesion, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that public health units know their regions best and that's why they have been given responsibility to set the pace locally. --- Manitoba Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for most people aged 94 and up, or 74 and up for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines have been directed to certain groups such as health-care workers and people in personal care homes. Health officials plan to reduce the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province's vaccine task force, has said inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if supplies are steady. --- Saskatchewan The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage. The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age. It hopes to begin its mass vaccination campaign by April, but there if there isn’t enough supply that could be pushed back to June. Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments, starting with those 60 to 69. Also included in this age group will be people living in emergency shelters, individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes and people who are medically vulnerable. Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scarce. --- Alberta Alberta is now offering vaccines to anyone born in 1946 or earlier, a group representing some 230,000 people. Appointments are being offered through an online portal and the 811 Health Link phone line. Shots are also being offered to this cohort at more than 100 pharmacies in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton starting in early March and the government has said there are also plans to include doctors’ offices. Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said all eligible seniors should have their first shots by the end of March. But he said Monday that the province will not give Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone over the age of 65 after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization expressed concerned there is limited data on how well it will work in older populations. The first phase of the vaccine rollout also included anyone over 65 who lives in a First Nations or Metis community, various front-line health care workers, paramedics and emergency medical responders. Phase 2 of the rollout, to begin in April, is to start with those 65 and up, Indigenous people older than 50 and staff and residents of licensed supportive living seniors’ facilities not previously included. --- British Columbia British Columbia will extend the time between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months so all adults could get their initial shot by the end of July. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says evidence from the province and around the world shows protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The province launched the second phase of its immunization campaign Monday and health authorities will begin contacting residents and staff of independent living centres, those living in seniors' supportive housing as well as homecare support clients and staff. Seniors aged 90 and up can call to make their appointment starting next Monday, followed a week later by those aged 85 and over, and a week after that by those 80 and up. Henry also says first responders and essential workers may be eligible to get vaccinated starting in April as the province also decides on a strategy for the newly authorized AstraZeneca vaccine. --- Nunavut The territory says it expects enough vaccines for 75 per cent of its population over the age of 18. After a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, patients will be tracked to ensure they are properly notified to receive their second dose. Nunavut's priority populations are being vaccinated first. They include residents of shelters, people ages 60 years and up, staff and inmates and correctional facilities, first responders and front-line health-care staff. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories its priority groups — such as people over 60, front-line health workers and those living in remote communities — are being vaccinated The territory says it expects to vaccine the rest of its adult population starting this month. --- Yukon Yukon says it will receive enough vaccine to immunize 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March. Priority for vaccinations has been given to residents and staff in long-term care homes, group homes and shelters, as well as health-care workers and personal support workers. People over the age of 80 who are not living in long-term care, and those living in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples, are also on the priority list for shots. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether it is unconstitutional to exclude people living in Puerto Rico from Supplemental Social Security Income. The justices said they would hear an appeal, first filed by the Trump administration, of a lower-court ruling that held that residents of the U.S. territory should have the same access to SSI benefits as older, disabled and blind Americans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The administration argues that a pair of 40-year-old Supreme Court decisions already upheld the federal law that created SSI and excluded Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories from it. Congress later added in the Mariana Islands. In recent months, a federal judge ruled that Puerto Rico residents should have access to other federal welfare benefits from which they have been excluded as well. A federal judge in Guam said residents of that Pacific island also should be able to collect SSI. A separate program, Aid to the Aged, Blind and Disabled, covers residents of the territories, but it has more stringent eligibility requirements and pays less generous benefits than SSI. The Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislative leaders have reached an agreement aimed at getting most public schoolchildren back in classrooms by the end of March. Under the deal announced Monday, school districts could get up to $6.6 billion if they reopen classrooms by March 31. To get the money, schools must return to in-person instruction at least through second grade. However, districts in counties with coronavirus case numbers low enough within a specific classification level must return to in-person instruction for all elementary school grades, plus one grade each in middle and high school. The proposal does not require staff and students to be vaccinated. Districts are not required to have agreements with teachers’ unions. Adam Beam, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Bestselling cookbook author Julia Turshen concentrates on the raw material of each recipe — ingredients, utensils and ounces. But behind the food is something else. “I’ve always been drawn to cookbooks because I think they’re this remarkable way to share stories,” she says. “I think food is just a vehicle for these stories.” By that measure, her latest offering, “Simply Julia,” is as close to an autobiography as a cookbook can be, from her handwritten recipe titles to the inclusion of old family snapshots, photographs of her at home, essays and a peek into her life with every dish. “The thing that weaves them all together is that they all really have a very personal story attached to them,” she says by phone from her home in New York's Hudson Valley. The book is a compilation of 110 healthy comfort dishes, from turkey shepherd's pie to Hasselback carrots. There are 87 vegetarian recipes, 42 vegan ones, a chapter on chicken dishes, and egg-free and gluten-free options. They require no hard-to-find ingredients. “What concerns me is that I think a lot of people see more difficult, more time-consuming, more expensive ingredient cooking and think that is somehow the goal,” she says. “Food doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated to be good.” Each dish has a strong tie to the people and places close to Turshen's heart. There's a mushroom and barley soup that is her dad's favourite, a stew from her mother-in-law, cookies from a close friend, and dishes inspired by an aunt and grandparents. Turshen reveals the muffins she likes after a run, a drink adopted from her childhood babysitter, and sweet and salty peanuts that mimic a taste from her days living in New York City. Readers learn what five spices she considers musts, and the five things always in her fridge. Many of the dishes celebrate a tie to her wife, Grace; Turshen hears from many gay women about how affirming it is to see such relationships mentioned in print. “That is part of why I share so much of myself, because I think it’s a way to help just create and sustain representation," she says. “My hope with getting to show up as my full self is that it makes that possible for lots of other people.” Julie Will, editorial director of Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins, said Turshen has a talent for writing for the home cook — with no unnecessary steps, ingredients that are interchangeable and everything very unfussy. “The point of view is very specific, but I think that the recipes are universally appealing,” Will said. “Who doesn’t want to know how to make delicious, healthy comfort food that is relatively easy to make?” Turshen's other books include “Feed the Resistance” and “Small Victories.” She started Equity at the Table, a database for food professionals with a focus on people of colour and the LGBTQ community, and she also has a podcast, Keep Calm and Cook On. Will, a longtime fan of Turshen, said she saw the new book as an opportunity for the chef to be more front and centre, with her name in the title and her face on the cover. "It felt like it was time for Julia to be more fully recognized as the authority in the space that she is in and for her to have the opportunity to do something that felt a bit more personal," said Will. Turshen started the latest book with the notion of offering 10 chapters — like breakfasts, vegan one pots and weeknight dinners — each with 10 recipes. But soon each chapter grew to 11 dishes. “I always want to give a little extra,” she says. “It’s kind of how I approach cooking. I always cook a little bit more than I think my wife and I are going to eat so we can always have a little something extra for the next day.” Along with the dishes are deeply personal essays about body image, fat phobia and anxiety. Turshen has never done that in a cookbook before, and said writing them was both scary and liberating. “They felt incredibly cathartic to write,” she says. “It’s the kind of reflection I hope to see in many cookbooks because I think talking about how we feel when we eat and how we feel about our bodies is obviously incredibly tied to what we cook.” Though the bulk of the book was written before the pandemic, there are nods to COVID-19. Eagle-eyed fans will note the window of Turshen's kitchen is open on the book cover, and the last image is of the author wearing a mask. It was the first time Turshen and her wife had let someone into their home in months, and everyone was masked and tested. Turshen collaborated with local photographer Melina Hammer on the book's interior food photos during the early weeks of the pandemic. The author would create a dish, pack it up and leave it on Hammer's doorstep, ready to be assembled and shot. The pandemic has made Turshen even more careful, since her wife lives with type 1 diabetes. In many ways, the book is a perfect response to the virus, she says: “I think we all want simple recipes to make at home that are healthy comfort foods," Turshen says. "I think that’s pretty evergreen, but I think it’s pretty important right now.” ___ Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press
RIO DE JANEIRO — On the morning of Feb. 10, a cyclist chugged his way up the curves of Rio de Janeiro’s most popular sport cycling road. A familiar scent wafted in the air. It was the smell of jackfruit, vaguely cloying and ripe with peril. Without warning, one fruit plummeted from the heavily laden canopy of Tijuca National Park. It hit the cyclist on the head, cracking his helmet and sending him sprawling. There had long been stories of the world’s largest tree-borne fruit divebombing passersby. Now it was no longer urban legend, and that was potential trouble for Marisa Furtado and Pedro Lobão, a couple who have taken up the challenge of rehabilitating the fruit’s public image. Jackfruit is abundant during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer, but many Brazilians are loath to eat it. Historically, it has been consumed more by the poor or enslaved; in barbecue-mad Brazil, the idea of fruit substituting for meat is viewed with suspicion. It’s considered an invasive species, even if it arrived here centuries ago. Ecologists disdain it for crowding out native species in 13 federal conservation units across Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, especially Tijuca park, one of the world’s largest urban forests. And now cyclists spreading news of the accident on message groups and Facebook were accusing the fruit of assault. One posted that he had skidded out on jackfruit. Others shared close calls, like a jackfruit exploding so close it splattered a bike’s spokes with shrapnel. Riding under jackfruit, another said, was like Russian roulette. But this isn’t the jackfruit Furtado knows and loves. Furtado, 57, drinks a jackfruit smoothie every day. She dreams of a pilgrimage to the jackfruit’s point of origin, India. Her 2020 Christmas card? A photo of herself beside a whopping, 73-pound jackfruit -- enough to prepare roughly 150 dishes. Its Yuletide message: “May abundance be with you all in 2021”. She and her 54-year-old boyfriend, Lobão, collect unripe jackfruits from trees, process them for sale, donate whatever they can’t unload, and share free recipes. She rattles off entrees -- jackfruit cod, jackfruit lasagna, jackfruit pie, jackfruit tenderloin -- and insists that they are both tasty and nutritious. “History loads the jackfruit with prejudice. Today we hear about the jackfruit that stinks, ... the violent jackfruit, the invasive jackfruit,” Furtado said. “It’s true: Jackfruit adapted very well. So everyone who adapted this well to Brazil should be exterminated?” ___ In the 17th century, the Portuguese transported jackfruit seedlings to Brazil, where it was visual curiosity, and the tree soon reached Rio, according to Rogério Oliveira, an environmental and ecological history specialist. Rio’s forest was getting cleared for timber, charcoal, coffee and sugar cane plantations, said Oliveira, an associate professor at Rio’s Pontifical Catholic University (PUC). The emperor ordered massive reforestation. Jackfruit thrived in the degraded soil and produced gargantuan fruit that crashed to the ground and tumbled downhill, scattering seeds. The trees -- which can reach 80 feet tall -- took root, anchoring the soil and feeding animals. Thirty-four vertebrates in Brazil partake, including agoutis and black capuchin monkeys, according to a paper that journal Tropical Ecology published this month. Endangered golden-headed lion tamarins, too. Population densities are higher where jackfruit is their primary food. That belies potential problems, said Rodolfo Abreu, an ecology professor at Rio’s Federal Rural University. “Instead of favouring diversity of fauna, of amphibians, of insects, you prioritize those who use jackfruit. You simplify the tropical chain,” said Abreu, a biologist who has studied jackfruit’s invasiveness. “Some rare species start to disappear, or become rarer.” To the extent Brazilian humans consume jackfruit, it’s mostly eaten ripe. It tastes like a combination of pear and banana. Unripe jackfruit is used in savory dishes. In India, jackfruit has been a meat alternative for centuries, even called “tree goat” in West Bengal state, says Shree Padre, a farming magazine editor. Once considered a poor person’s crop, cultivation and export have increased, coinciding with global interest in the “superfood,” he said. In Rio’s tony Ipanema neighbourhood, plant-based restaurant Teva’ s top-selling appetizer is BBQ jackfruit tacos, said head chef Daniel Biron. His clientele is often surprised by a fruit normally encountered littering trails in a state of pungent rot. “They’re impacted because they start to open their minds to a universe they didn’t know,” said Biron, 44. “The jackfruit has that capacity.” Furtado and Lobao’s organization is Hand in the Jackfruit ( Mao na Jaca, in Portuguese), a twist on the phrase “foot in the jackfruit,” which means to slip up or go too far. The expression is evocative for anyone who has plunged a Havaiana sandal into decomposing mush, from which seeds protrude like garlic cloves. On a recent day, Furtado and Lobão loaded 139 pounds of seeds into a squeaky shopping cart for delivery to a chef in Babilonia, one of Rio’s hillside favelas. Regina Tchelly, who hails from poor, northeastern Paraiba state, enjoyed jackfruit flesh and roasted seeds as a girl. In 2018, with money tight, she dreamt up a spin on shredded chicken dumplings made from jackfruit. It sold like crazy, said Tchelly, who runs culinary project Favela Organica. Tchelly swapped some recipes, like her jackfruit seed ceviche, for Furtado’s seeds. She says jackfruit could end Brazilian hunger -- a fresh concern after the government ended COVID-19 welfare payments. “It’s a food that’s so abundant, and the jackfruit can bring lots of nutrients to your body and be a source of income,” Tchelly said. ___ During the pandemic, the road into Tijuca park has become an ideal venue for socially-distanced exercise, and so potential jackfruit targets abound. Some cyclists contacted authorities after the accident, demanding action that could include cutting overhead branches or tree removal. “Before, removal of jackfruit trees was an internal issue of the park. But now there are jackfruits threatening lives!” said Raphael Pazos, 46, founder of Rio de Janeiro’s Cycling Safety Commission. “If he hadn’t been wearing a helmet, or if it had fallen on a 4-year-old, it could’ve killed.” By phone, Furtado tried to calm the outcry by reaching out to cyclists, including the one who was struck. He declined AP interview requests. She sought to steer them toward mapping jackfruit trees’ locations, posting signs about their benefits and organizing collection of fruit. Along the road, she said, jackfruits could be snagged using a truck-mounted crane then donated to surrounding communities, with Hand in the Jackfruit holding workshops to teach the sticky, labour-intensive art of processing. She spoke at length with Tijuca park’s co-ordinator, too, and made her case. Furtado acknowledges the importance of diversity, but argues a centuries-old Brazilian resident shouldn’t be cast out of the garden. “It’s an inheritance that needs to be valued, from the social, economic, cultural and environmental points of view,” she posted on Instagram. “Eradicating it would be a huge error and part of the arrogance of those who don’t perceive life is dynamic.” But some scientists disagreed -- at least as far as Tijuca park is concerned. “I’m 100% in the camp of taking it out from the park; it’s exotic, we don’t need it, human livelihoods aren’t depending on it,” said Emilio Bruna, president of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. “Outside the park, we can have this conversation.” PUC’s Oliveira said there’s no doubt ecologically that native species should be substituted for jackfruit in Tijuca park. But in urban areas, it's free fruit for people who don’t always have access to it. Further, it’s apparently not as invasive as believed, he said. It becomes hyper-dominant where soil is degraded, but an experiment of his showed seeds didn’t germinate in robust forest. “A good forest has a certain amount of defence against the jackfruit tree,” he said. He said populations should be managed through girdling: slicing off a bark ring, which usually kills a tree in months. Abreu said herbicide injection is more effective, and his models indicate killing 5-10% of mature trees annually is enough to put a given population on the decline. The government’s management plan for Tijuca park says jackfruit eradication should be prioritized; some 2,000 trees were girdled there between 2016 and 2017. It isn’t clear what percentage of the park’s total that represented, Abreu said. ___ On Feb. 21, cyclists from the safety commission convened at Tijuca park’s entrance. Furtado’s efforts had worked -- to some degree. They embraced her proposal to collect and distribute jackfruit to surrounding communities, and decided to present it at the next meeting of the park’s consultative council, where the commission holds a seat. “We didn’t even know an association that did this existed,” Pazos said after the meeting, standing beside his bike. “There’s no way to dislike the idea of giving food to the population.” They supported emergency collection by Hand in the Jackfruit, too, but still favoured girdling all roadside jackfruit trees. He pointed out that another jackfruit had dropped just downhill, smack in the middle of the road. Furtado concedes a few roadside trees could be removed as a last resort if collection or pruning proves impossible, and after careful impact study. She vehemently opposes girdling or herbicide, and believes in management through consumption. “If we eat the jackfruit and their seeds,” she said, “we can contain them.” ___ AP writer Aniruddha Ghosal contributed from New Delhi David Biller, The Associated Press
VANCOUVER — Health officials have declared COVID-19 outbreaks at two more Metro Vancouver hospitals after finding evidence the virus was transmitted within a medicine unit at both locations. A statement from Fraser Health says the outbreaks are in single units of Surrey Memorial Hospital and Chilliwack General Hospital. One patient at Surrey Memorial and five patients at Chilliwack General have tested positive for COVID-19. Those units have been closed to admissions, but Fraser Health says other units and the emergency rooms of both hospitals remain open. Information from Vancouver Coastal Health shows a COVID-19 outbreak continues at three in-patient units on three separate floors of the highrise tower at Vancouver General Hospital. The units remain closed to admissions, transfers and visitors after COVID-19 outbreaks were confirmed on those wards, with the first outbreak reported Feb. 21. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. The Canadian Press
BERLIN — Companies that sell refrigerators, washers, hairdryers or TVs in the European Union will need to ensure those appliances can be repaired for up to 10 years, to help reduce the vast mountain of electrical waste that piles up each year on the continent. The "right to repair," as it is sometimes called, comes into force across the 27-nation bloc Monday. It is part of a broader effort to cut the environmental footprint of manufactured goods by making them more durable and energy efficient. “This is a really big step in the right direction” said Daniel Affelt of the environmental group BUND-Berlin, which runs several "repair cafes" where people can bring in their broken appliances and get help fixing them up again. Modern appliances are often glued or riveted together, he said. “If you need specialist tools or have to break open the device, then you can’t repair it.” Lack of spare parts is another problem, campaigners say. Sometimes a single broken tooth on a tiny plastic sprocket can throw a proverbial wrench in the works. “People want to repair their appliances,” Affelt said. “When you tell them that there are no spare parts for a device that’s only a couple of years old then they are obviously really frustrated by that.” Under the new EU rules, manufacturers will have to ensure parts are available for up to a decade, though some will only be provided to professional repair companies to ensure they are installed correctly. New devices will also have to come with repair manuals and be made in such a way that they can be dismantled using conventional tools when they really can't be fixed anymore, to improve recycling. Each year, Europeans produce more than 16 kilograms (35 pounds) of electrical waste per person. About half of that junk is due to broken household appliances, and the EU recycles only about 40% of it, leaving behind huge amounts of potentially hazardous material. German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said that in a next step, manufacturers should have to state how long a product is expected to work for and repair it if it breaks down earlier. This would encourage companies to build more durable products, she said. “In the repair cafes we see a lot of devices that broke shortly after the warranty expired,” said Affelt — a phenomenon that has prompted some environmentalists to accuse manufacturers of designing their devices with planned obsolescence. Knowing an appliance will really last for a decade might prompt consumers to choose products that are more durable or can be easily fixed, he said. “For the vast majority of devices, repair is the right choice," said Affelt, adding that the exception might be old, inefficient refrigerators that can contain powerful greenhouse gases which fuel climate change. In a next step, environmentalists and consumer rights groups want the “right to repair” expanded to include smartphones, laptops and other small electrical devices. Responding to growing demand, Apple last year announced it would start providing training and spare parts to certified independent repair stores fixing Mac computers, not just iPhones. Right to repair bills have been introduced in several U.S. state legislatures, attracting bipartisan support, though as yet there is no nationwide measure in force. Sweden has gone further than most of the EU, making repairs and spare parts subject to lower value-added tax. The bloc's ecological design directive — of which the right to repair requirement is a part — will also revise existing energy labels that describe how much electricity washers and other household devices consume. The new seven-step scale from A to G will be complemented by a QR code that provides consumers with further information, such as how loud the devices are. Frank Jordans, The Associated Press
(Kirk Pennell/CBC - image credit) P.E.I. has been spared the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the last week has been a reminder of how quickly conditions can change, says Premier Dennis King. "What we've learned in this last year of COVID is this snaps back and hits you pretty fast if you don't continue following the protocols," King told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier. "These reminders are painful and this one is probably the most painful of all." Last Wednesday, there were just three active cases of COVID-19 on the Island, all traceable to travel outside the province. As of Monday morning, there are 18 confirmed — the most active cases since early April 2020 — with clusters in both Charlottetown and Summerside, about 60 kilometres northwest of the capital. There is no clear link between the two clusters, and no link to travel for either one. "This had to come from somewhere. We need to try to determine where that is," said King. Testing ramped up The P.E.I. government has taken two measures to try to get the outbreak under control. It has moved to a red phase of pandemic restrictions, closing non-essential businesses to the public, and it has ramped up testing. The province has published a list of potential exposure sites, and is asking anyone who has been at those locations to get tested. The province is also asking all people aged 19 to 29 who work in the following industries — food service, meat and fish processing, call centres and transportation and delivery, as well as long-term care staff who are not vaccinated — to get tested. By mid-afternoon Monday, the province's Chief Public Health Office said no additional positive results had come back from the lab, after 6,632 tests on Saturday and Sunday, but 1,600 results were still pending. "All of us should take this very seriously and act accordingly," said King. "We've been very fortunate, and almost spoiled in a way … For the most part, our lives have not been impacted. I don't know if that has led people to, quote unquote, let their guard down a little bit or just not take this as seriously as it needs to be." Schools offline The red phase has been announced for 72 hours and is due to end at midnight on Wednesday. King is hopeful the province will be able to gather enough information through the expanded testing to have a better idea of the source of the infections in that time. The province is still waiting for analysis of the current cases to see if they are the more contagious coronavirus variants that have been spreading in other parts of the country. Schools have been closed during the red phase, and there is no online learning, either. While school is out, the province has set up a COVID-19 testing clinic at Three Oaks High School in Summerside. King said it would take about three days to get K-6 students online, and a day-and-a-half for other grades. Teachers have been asked to begin that process, but King is hopeful students will be able to return to the classroom. Outbreaks will remain a potential danger until the province achieves its goal of vaccinating 75 per cent of Islanders, King said. As of Feb. 24, about three per cent of all Islanders had been vaccinated, based on the province's published numbers. Children cannot be vaccinated at this time, so the numbers show about five per cent of Island adults have gotten at least one shot. King expects the rate of vaccination will increase dramatically in the second quarter of this year. More from CBC P.E.I.
Le conseil des maires de la MRC Haute-Yamaska a refusé de présenter et d’appuyer une résolution de l’Agence forestière de la Montérégie, préoccupée par les effets négatifs pour la foresterie si cette MRC et celle de Brome-Missisquoi étaient transférées en Estrie pour ce ministère. Une décision qui déçoit le préfet de la MRC Brome-Missisquoi, Patrick Melchior. La résolution de deux pages a été soumise à l’ensemble des MRC de la Montérégie. Elle liste tous les effets négatifs que pourrait avoir le transfert de la foresterie vers l’Estrie. L’Agence forestière de la Montérégie demande que son territoire ne soit pas amputé de la Haute-Yamaska et de Brome-Missisquoi et que son budget demeure le même. «Le préfet Paul Sarrazin a dit qu’il n’avait pas d’information comme quoi il pourrait y avoir des pertes si la Haute-Yamaska était transférée en Estrie. Moi, c’est un autre son de cloche que j’ai eu, affirme M. Melchior. J’ai parlé à Claudine Lajeunesse, la directrice générale de l’AFM. Selon les experts, il y a des effets négatifs à transférer la foresterie.» La Table des préfets de la Montérégie a été approchée également, mais les préfets ont préféré attendre que les deux MRC concernées se prononcent avant de passer au vote. «Ce qui me déçoit le plus, c’est que si ça n’a pas d’impact négatif pour eux, ils pourraient nous appuyer quand même puisque ça ne leur enlève rien», croit le préfet de Brome-Missisquoi. Préoccupée La moitié du budget que reçoit l’AFM est pour la mise en valeur des forêts dans Brome-Missisquoi, où on compte 400 producteurs forestiers, et dans la Haute-Yamaska, où se trouvent 150 producteurs forestiers, informe Claudine Lajeunesse. Ces producteurs forestiers sont notamment des producteurs acéricoles. La directrice générale de l’organisme de concertation est préoccupée par ce qui pourrait arriver à l’agence advenant un transfert de cette compétence à l’Estrie. La Montérégie est la seule région à avoir développé une entente sectorielle sur le développement des forêts privées. Le programme d’aménagement durable des forêts est aussi administré différemment en Estrie, alors que les chantiers forestiers sont plus imposants et mécanisés. Elle a rencontré, avec le président de l’agence, M. Sarrazin en décembre pour lui présenter la résolution et répondre à ses questions, s’il en avait. Elle avait été rassurée. Mais «à notre grande surprise, la résolution n’a pas fait l’objet d’un point à l’ordre du jour. Le président de l’agence a posé une question et c’est là que M. Sarrazin en a parlé. On était surpris de voir ça, d’autant plus que j’avais quand même envoyé à Johanne Gaouette [la directrice générale de la MRC], quelques jours avant la séance, toutes les lettres d’appuis et les lettres des conseillers forestiers qui desservent la Haute-Yamaska et qui détaillaient leurs préoccupations.» La résolution a été appuyée par cinq MRC montérégiennes jusqu’à présent ainsi que par l’UPA de la Montérégie, des producteurs acéricoles, le syndicat des producteurs forestiers du sud du Québec, et l’Agence de mise en valeur de la forêt privée de l’Estrie. Pour un transfert en totalité Paul Sarrazin ne considère pas que l’AFM a présenté des faits préoccupants et il avait été plutôt rassuré par le ministre responsable de l’Estrie, François Bonnardel, comme quoi les argents suivraient. «Le conseil des maires ne peut pas prendre de décision sur des informations incertaines, répond-il. Je comprends qu’il y a des gens qui peuvent être inquiets, mais quand on prend une décision, il faut se mettre au-dessus de la mêlée et regarder l’ensemble du portrait.» La MRC Haute-Yamaska souhaite un transfert complet en Estrie, et non un transfert à la pièce. La municipalité régionale de comté est divisée en deux, alors qu’elle doit se référer à l’Estrie pour la moitié des ministères et à la Montérégie pour la balance. «On a eu une rencontre complète dans Brome-Missisquoi où les élus des deux MRC étaient là avec des gens du gouvernement pour voir quels pouvaient être les impacts, ajoute-t-il. À date, personne ne m’a donné d’indication comme quoi il y aurait une perte de service, une perte de moyens.» Il assure toutefois qu’il défendra les intérêts des différents intervenants le moment venu. La résolution pourrait être appuyée par d’autres MRC dans la région et sera présentée de nouveau à la table des préfets. Cynthia Laflamme, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix de l'Est
Ukrainian medical facilities have thrown away some unused COVID-19 vaccines after doctors failed to show up for their own appointments to be vaccinated, ruling party lawmakers said on Monday. Ukraine has just begun vaccinating its 41 million people against COVID-19 after receiving a first batch of 500,000 doses of Indian-made AstraZeneca shots last week, but faces a battle against vaccine scepticism that predates the pandemic. "It is important for us to understand how all the processes are set up, why doctors refuse to be vaccinated," Oleksandr Korniyenko, the head of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's Servant of the People party, told a televised meeting.
(Shutterstock - image credit) Health PEI is changing visitation rules at some of its facilities after the province announced new restrictions in response to a sharp rise in cases of COVID-19 on the Island. Inpatients at Health PEI facilities are allowed to have up to three partners in care identified, but no other visitors will be accepted right now, according to a news release from the agency. Exceptions will be made for compassionate circumstances including end of life, pediatrics, obstetrics and palliative care. One support person can accompany people accessing emergency departments, ambulatory care, mental health outpatient and community-based services. However there will be no changes at long-term care facilities. They can continue to allow residents up to three partners in care and up to six designated visitors, due to the high level of vaccination. More from CBC P.E.I.
YANGON, Myanmar — Police in Myanmar’s biggest city fired tear gas Monday at defiant crowds who returned to the streets to protest last month's coup, despite reports that security forces had killed at least 18 people a day earlier. The protesters in Yangon were chased as they tried to gather at their usual meeting spot at the Hledan Center intersection. Demonstrators scattered and sought in vain to rinse the irritating gas from their eyes, but later regrouped. The coup reversed years of slow progress toward democracy in Myanmar after five decades of military rule. It came Feb. 1, the same day a newly elected Parliament was supposed to take office. Ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party would have led that government, but instead she was detained along with President Win Myint and other senior officials. The army has levelled several charges against Suu Kyi — an apparent effort by the military to provide a legal veneer for her detention and potentially to bar her from running in the election the junta has promised to hold in one year. On Monday, Suu Kyi made a court appearance via videoconference and was charged with two more offences, her lawyer Khin Maung Zaw told reporters. Accused of inciting unrest, she was charged under a law that dates from British colonial days and has long been criticized as a vaguely defined catch-all law that inhibits freedom of expression. That charge carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison. The other charge from Monday carries a one-year sentence. Following her detention on the day of the coup, the 75-year-old Suu Kyi was initially held at her residence in the capital of Naypyitaw, but members of her National League for Democracy party now say they don't know where she is. Since the takeover, a movement of protests in cities across the country has been growing — and the junta's response has become increasingly violent. The U.N. said it had “credible information” that at least 18 people were killed and 30 were wounded across Myanmar on Sunday. Counts from other sources, such the Democratic Voice of Burma, an independent television and online news outlet, put the death toll in the 20s. Any of the reports would make it the highest single-day death toll since the military takeover. The junta has also made mass arrests, and the independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners reported that as many as 1,000 people were detained Sunday, though it has only confirmed 270 of those. Several journalists have been among those detained, including one for The Associated Press. At least five people are believed to have been killed Sunday in Yangon when police shot at protesters, who have remained non-violent despite provocation from the security forces and pro-military counter-demonstrators. People erected makeshift sidewalk shrines Monday at the spots where several of the victims were shot and also paid their respects by standing outside the hospitals where the bodies were being released to families. In Dawei, a small city in southeastern Myanmar where an estimated five people were killed Sunday, the number of protesters on the streets Monday was lower than usual. Marchers there split into smaller groups, parading through the city to the applause of bystanders who also made the three-finger salutes adopted by the resistance movement to show their support. Confirming the deaths of protesters has been difficult amid the chaos and general lack of news from official sources, especially in areas outside Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyitaw. But in many cases, there was evidence posted online such as videos of shootings, photos of bullet casings collected afterwards and gruesome pictures of bodies. In a statement published Monday in the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper, Myanmar’s Foreign Ministry declared that the junta “is exercising utmost restraint to avoid the use of force in managing the violent protests systematically, in accordance with domestic and international laws in order to keep minimum casualties.” But U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the crackdown, calling the use of lethal force against peaceful protesters and arbitrary arrests “unacceptable,” and expressed serious concern at the increase in deaths and serious injuries, said U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric. “What the world is watching in Myanmar is outrageous and unacceptable,” the U.N.’s independent expert on human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, said in a separate statement. “Words of condemnation are necessary and welcome but insufficient. The world must act. We must all act.” He proposed that countries could institute a global embargo on the sale of arms to Myanmar, “tough targeted and co-ordinated sanctions” against those responsible for the coup, the crackdown and other rights abuses, and sanctions against the business interests of the military. Social media posts from Myanmar have increasingly urged the international community to invoke the doctrine of the “responsibility to protect” to intervene directly to restrain the junta. Any kind of co-ordinated measures, however, would be difficult to implement as two permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, China and Russia, would almost certainly veto them on the basis of being opposed to interference in the internal affairs of other countries. In Washington, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan issued a statement saying the U.S. is “alarmed” by the violence and stands in solidarity with Myanmar's people, “who continue to bravely voice their aspirations for democracy, rule of law, and respect for human rights.” Washington has imposed sanctions on Myanmar because of the coup, and Sullivan said it would “impose further costs on those responsible,” promising details “in the coming days.” Security forces began employing rougher tactics on Saturday, taking preemptive action to break up protests and make mass arrests. Many of those detained were taken to Insein Prison in Yangon’s northern outskirts, historically notorious for holding political prisoners. Among the arrests made Sunday, the independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners was able to identify about 270 people, bringing to 1,132 the total number of people the group has confirmed being arrested, charged or sentenced since the coup. An AP journalist was taken into police custody on Saturday morning while providing news coverage of the protests. The journalist, Thein Zaw, remains in police custody. The AP called for his immediate release. “Independent journalists must be allowed to freely and safely report the news without fear of retribution. AP decries in the strongest terms the arbitrary detention of Thein Zaw,” said Ian Phillips, the AP's vice-president for international news. The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Myanmar also condemned the arrest. The Associated Press
(Dan Taekema/CBC - image credit) Windsor police say officers made an arrest Friday in the killing of a 55-year-old man. Police said a 33-year-old Windsor man was arrested without incident at about 10:30 p.m. on Friday in the area of Erie Street West and Ouellette Avenue. He has been charged with first-degree murder and possession of fentanyl, police said in a news release on Saturday. The investigation into the death of Lamont Rhue, 55, is ongoing and police are seeking tips from the public. He was found dead in a home in the area of Louis Avenue and Cataraqui Street on Tuesday afternoon. Officers are looking to speak with anyone who had contact with the victim on or before Tuesday, Feb. 23. Those in the area who have surveillance cameras are being asked to check their footage from 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, to 2 p.m. the following day. More from CBC Windsor
"These attacks were purposefully designed to manipulate the price of the company's shares, with the aim of causing a stock price decline in order to economically benefit the short sellers," SOS said in a statement. Shares of the company, which fell 23% on Friday after the reports, were up about 22% in premarket trading.
LOS ANGELES — From Jason Sudeikis’ hoodie to Jodie Foster’s bare feet, the stars embraced a virtual Golden Globes, and still found ways to cut loose. There was no red carpet and logjam of celebrities outside the show’s usual location at the Beverly Hilton. No boozy camaraderie at the jammed-in tables inside the ballroom, either. The coronavirus pandemic made certain of that. Instead, most of Sunday night’s winners accepted from their own homes or hotel rooms in laidback settings unheard of for Hollywood's biggest awards shows. Many were surrounded by spouses, parents, kids, pets or support staff. Several winners welcomed the change. “This is the best Globes ever, to be able to be home, but also it just felt really real,” a giddy Foster said in virtual comments after her win. “It didn’t feel like it was filled with so much artifice. I think people were kind of thrilled by the newness and the sort of live theatre.” Foster cozied up on a sofa, cuddling her white dog while sharing a kiss with her wife. Friends watching on television downstairs raised a delayed shout when she was announced as the winner for supporting actress in a motion picture drama. Foster stuck her bare foot in the air, showing media that she wasn’t wearing any shoes. She was headed downstairs to eat dinner after her win. “It was really fun,” said Aaron Sorkin, winner for motion picture screenplay. “There was an intimacy to it.” Sacha Baron Cohen won two trophies for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” with wife Isla Fisher smiling next to him. He donned a traditional tuxedo and she wore a gown and red lips. “The virtual experience was different, but a lot more relaxing,” Baron Cohen said. “You didn’t have to do the red carpet, which I’m not sure a lot of people enjoy.” In London, Sudeikis won best actor in a television series, musical or comedy for “Ted Lasso.” He wore a white hoodie promoting his sister's dance and workout studio in New York City. “When people you care about do cool, interesting things you should support them, so this is no different than that,” Sudeikis later told reporters. Clearly surprised by his win, the actor hesitated and rambled during his acceptance remarks. Fellow nominee Don Cheadle was shown whirling his finger in the air, a joking signal that Sudeikis should wrap up. “The guy's got chops,” Sudeikis said. “He's an ex-stage manager.” Nominee Kate Hudson hosted a family get-together. Wearing a strapless gown, she sat with her kids, her partner Danny Fujikawa, her mother Goldie Hawn, as well as Kurt Russell and brother Oliver Hudson. Her 2-year-old daughter, Rani, blurted out, “Hi, everybody!” as the telecast went to a commercial break. Nicole Kidman and musician-husband Keith Urban got glammed up to sit on their couch. Their daughters, Sunday and Faith, both wore white dresses while making a rare appearance. A shocked Andra Day had a crowd that included two co-stars from “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” her manager, her publicist, her parents and some of her cousin's family. Known for her singing career, Day became the second Black woman to win for actress in a motion picture drama in her acting debut. “There's cake outside, so I'm going to eat with that, and with my family and my team,” she said after her win. “We're just going to eat so much food.” Beth Harris, The Associated Press
LEVERKUSEN, Germany — Bayer Leverkusen right back Timothy Fosu-Mensah will be out for several months with a cruciate ligament tear in his right knee, the German club said Monday. Fosu-Mensah was injured just before halftime in Leverkusen's 2-1 loss to Freiburg on Sunday. The club said he will need an operation and is expected to spend “the coming months” on the sidelines. It’s the second serious knee injury of the Dutch defender's career. He also needed ligament surgery while on loan at Fulham in April 2019 and missed most of Manchester United's 2019-20 season. “It is a hard blow for Timothy,” Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes said. “We will do everything we can to support him, so that he can come back stronger from this difficult situation.” Fosu-Mensah, who signed from Manchester United less than two months ago, has played every minute of Leverkusen's last six Bundesliga games. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
It only takes one man to sing all six parts of the sextet from Act 2 of Rossini's Opera La Cenerentola. How cool is that?!
(Submitted by Jeff Reeder - image credit) A Saskatchewan non-profit is fundraising to build a permanent retreat where first responders and their families can rest and focus on their mental well-being. River Valley Resilience Retreat owns property outside of Prince Albert and hopes to soon have a lodge on the land. The non-profit is working to raise $350,000 to make the retreat a reality. They're working to raise the money through private community donors, and a campaign for River Valley Resilience Retreat recently launched on GoFundMe. "We're just really looking for people to show us that they understand our need to stop suicides amongst first responders and create this place," co-founder Michelle McKeaveney told Saskatchewan Weekend. "It shouldn't be so difficult to raise funds for people who truly are depended on and counted on." McKeaveney and co-founder Jeff Reeder are working to create the retreat. McKeaveney works in corrections and Reeder first had to leave his job as a firefighter due to post-traumatic stress disorder in 2011. That's when Reeder started working toward a place like this. He's since been able to return and currently does in Prince Albert. "We're so close," he said. Their aim is to open the lodge by 2022, which would be "an absolute dream come true and relief for sure," said Reeder. McKeaveney said the retreat was born out of necessity. Through the years, she's seen colleagues struggling with mental well-being in need of a place to go other than the Prince Albert Mental Health Centre — an experience she's had herself. She said the centre serves its purpose, but first responders and front-line workers sometimes need a dedicated space. The non-profit was given 10 acres of land for its planned retreat near Prince Albert. Both McKeaveney and Reeder are involved with a local support network for first responders and veterans in Prince Albert called What's Important Now. The group offers text and online support, and also meets in person at the Cornerstone Methodist Church, while following COVID-19 protocols, McKeaveney said. "The common theme is people don't feel like they're normal," she said. "So the first thing when they walk into the peer-support group is creating a sense of normality, that the things that they're feeling and responding to … they start to feel like this is normal." The group's members help each other and make sure people have doctors or other professionals in their lives they can rely on. Reeder said including families, not just workers, in the planned retreat is extremely important, because families can be also be affected by a loved one's struggle with PTSD. Horse therapy offered relief from PTSD Reeder said in his experience with PTSD, being in nature worked best in his healing, and especially therapy involving working with horses. "I went through the conventional modalities and counselling for nine months," he said. "I felt after that I was supposed to be by the book healed by that point, and I was honestly no further ahead." That's when he discovered horse therapy. "I just kind of ended up … having some horses at the farm and just started working with them. And that was ultimately the only time I had any relief from any symptoms." McKeaveney said other members of their peer support group have since tried it and had profound changes as well. She said it will be a large component at the lodge. Reeder and McKeaveney have been given 10 acres of land for their retreat as a gift from the property owners, but people using the retreat will have access to the 100 acres around the property. Michelle McKeaveney poses with one of the horses currently being used in equine-assisted therapy, which will be a part of the retreat. "We have access to amazing river trails. They have trails to their pasture. They have trails through the valleys," McKeaveney said. "It's a remarkable green, open space." It's a peaceful setting, says Reeder. "When you're on top of the hill, you can see the horizon and all you see is forest," he said. "Being in that nature setting, it just takes your breath away." Reeder hopes they can build the main lodge to house a few people, rooms for clinics or therapy, and a main gathering space. Outdoors, the plans include a riding area for equine therapy and a classroom for workshop sessions. In the long term, he said they may expand to have cabins for family accommodation. If you're experiencing suicidal thoughts or having a mental health crisis, help is available. For an emergency or crisis situation, call 911. You can also contact the Saskatchewan suicide prevention line toll-free, 24/7 by calling 1-833-456-4566, texting 45645, or chatting online. You can contact the Regina mobile crisis services suicide line at 306-525-5333 or Saskatoon mobile crisis line at 306-933-6200.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Taking the stage for the first time since leaving office, former President Donald Trump called for GOP unity, even as he exacerbated intraparty divisions by attacking fellow Republicans and promoting lies about the election in a speech that made clear he intends to remain a dominant political force. Speaking Sunday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he was hailed as a returning hero, Trump blasted his successor, President Joe Biden, and tried to lay out a vision for the future of the GOP that revolves firmly around him, despite his loss in November. “Do you miss me yet?” Trump said after taking the stage to his old rally soundtrack and cheers from the supportive crowd. Trump, in his speech, tried to downplay the civil war gripping the party over the extent to which Republicans should embrace him, even as he unfurled an enemies list, calling out by name the 10 House Republicans and seven GOP senators who voted to impeach or convict him for inciting the U.S. Capitol riot. He ended by singling out Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, who has faced tremendous backlash in Wyoming for saying Trump should no longer play a role in the party or headline the event. While he insisted the division was merely a spat “between a handful of Washington, D.C., establishment political hacks and everybody else, all over the country," Trump had a message for the incumbents who had dared to cross him: “Get rid of ’em all." The conference, held this year in Orlando instead of the Washington suburbs to evade COVID-19 restrictions, served as a tribute to Trump and Trumpism, complete with a golden statue in his likeness on display. Speakers, including many potential 2024 hopefuls, argued that the party must embrace the former president and his followers, even after the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6. They also repeated in panel after panel his unfounded claims that he lost reelection only because of mass voter fraud, even though such claims have been rejected by judges, Republican state officials and Trump’s own administration. Trump, too, continued to repeat what Democrats have dubbed the “big lie," calling the election “rigged” and insisting that he won in November, even though he lost by more than 7 million votes. “As you know, they just lost the White House,” he said of Biden, rewriting history. It is highly unusual for past American presidents to publicly criticize their successors in the months after leaving office. Ex-presidents typically step out of the spotlight for at least a while: Barack Obama was famously seen kitesurfing on vacation after he departed, while George W. Bush said he believed Obama “deserves my silence” and took up painting. Not Trump. He delivered a sharp rebuke of what he framed as the new administration’s first month of failures, especially Biden’s approach to immigration and the border. “Joe Biden has had the most disastrous first month of any president in modern history,” Trump said. White House press secretary Jen Psaki had brushed off the expected criticism last week. “We’ll see what he says, but our focus is certainly not on what President Trump is saying at CPAC,” she told reporters. Aside from criticizing Biden, Trump used the speech to crown himself the future of the Republican Party, even as many leaders argue they must move in a new, less divisive direction after Republicans lost not just the White House, but both chambers of Congress. Though Trump has flirted with the the idea of creating a third party, he pledged Sunday to remain part of “our beloved" GOP. “I’m going to continue to fight right by your side. We’re not starting new parties,” he said. “We have the Republican Party. It’s going to be strong and united like never before.” Yet Trump spent much of the speech lashing out at those he has deemed insufficiently loyal and dubbed “RINOs” — Republican in name only — for failing to stand with him. “We cannot have leaders who show more passion for condemning their fellow Americans than they have ever shown for standing up to Democrats, the media and the radicals who want to turn America into a socialist country,” Trump said. Trump did not use his speech to announce plans to run again, but he repeatedly teased the prospect as he predicted a Republican would win back the White House in 2024. “And I wonder who that will be,” he offered. “Who, who, who will that be? I wonder.” It remains unclear, however, how much appetite there would be for another Trump term, even in the room of staunch supporters. The conference's annual unscientific straw poll of just over 1,000 attendees found that 97% approved of the job Trump did as president. But they were much more ambiguous when asked whether he should run again, with only 68% saying he should. If the 2024 primary were held today and Trump were in the race, just 55% said they would vote for him, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 21%. Without Trump in the field, DeSantis garnered 43% support, followed by 8% for South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and 7% each for former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. While he no longer has his social media megaphone after being barred from Twitter and Facebook, Trump had been inching back into public life even before the speech. He called into conservative news outlets after talk radio star Rush Limbaugh's death and has issued statements, including one blasting Mitch McConnell after the Senate Republican leader excoriated Trump for inciting the Capitol riot. McConnell has since said he would “absolutely” support Trump if he were the GOP nominee in 2024. At his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump has also been quietly meeting with aides and senior party leaders as he builds his post-presidential political operation. While he has already backed several pro-Trump candidates, including one challenging an impeachment supporter, aides have been working this past week to develop benchmarks for those seeking his endorsement to make sure the candidates are serious and have set up full-fledged political and fundraising organizations before he gets involved. They are also planning a new super PAC that could raise unlimited amounts of money, though one aide cautioned they were still deciding whether to create a new entity or repurpose an existing America First super PAC. Trump hinted at the effort Sunday, voicing his commitment to helping elect Republicans and calling on attendees to join him. “I stand before you today to declare that the incredible journey we begun together ... is far from being over," he said. Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
Bitcoin's 300% price surge since October has revived China's grey market in cryptocurrency trading, putting regulators on alert over financial risks and capital outflows as volatility spikes. China shut down its local cryptocurrency exchanges in 2017, smothering a speculative market that had accounted for 90% of global bitcoin trading. Onshore investors now trade bitcoin on platforms owned by Chinese exchanges that have relocated overseas, including Huobi and OKEx.