Viewer video shot near Jasper, Alberta.
Viewer video shot near Jasper, Alberta.
WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers and conservative groups opposed President-elect Joe Biden's forthcoming immigration plan Tuesday as massive amnesty for people in the U.S. illegally, underscoring that the measure faces an uphill fight in a Congress that Democrats control just narrowly. In a further complication, several pro-immigration groups said they would press Biden to go even further and take steps such as immediate moratoriums on deportations, detentions and new arrests. Coupled with the discomfort an immigration push could cause for moderate Democrats, liberals' demands illustrated the pressures facing Biden as four years of President Donald Trump's restrictive and often harsh immigration policies come to an end. “It simply wouldn't have happened without us," Lorella Praeli, co-president of the liberal group Community Change, said of Biden's victory. “So we are now in a powerful position." Biden plans to introduce the legislation shortly after being inaugurated Wednesday, a move he hopes will spotlight his emphasis on an issue that's defied major congressional action since 1986. Its fate, as written, seemed in doubt. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who will become Senate majority leader this week, said Trump's impeachment trial, confirmation of Biden's Cabinet nominees and more COVID-19 relief will be the chamber's top initial priorities. “I look forward to working together with him" on the measure, Schumer said — a choice of words that might suggest changes could be needed for it to pass Congress. Biden's proposal would create an eight-year pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants, set up a processing program abroad for refugees seeking admission to the U.S. and push toward using technology to monitor the border. The measure was described by an official from Biden's transition team who described the plan on condition of anonymity. With an eye toward discouraging a surge of immigrants toward the U.S.-Mexico boundary, the package's route to citizenship would only apply to people already in the U.S. by this past Jan. 1. But it omits the traditional trade-off of dramatically enhanced border security that's helped attract some GOP support in the past, which drew criticism on Tuesday. “A mass amnesty with no safeguards and no strings attached is a nonstarter,” said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. "There are many issues I think we can work co-operatively with President-elect Biden, but a blanket amnesty for people who are here unlawfully isn’t going to be one of them,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., often a central player in Senate immigration battles. “Total amnesty, no regard for the health or security of Americans, and zero enforcement," Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who like Rubio is a potential 2024 GOP presidential contender, said in a Monday tweet. That view was shared by Mark Krikorian, executive director of the conservative Center for Immigration Studies, which favours curbing immigration. “Past proposals at least accepted the concept of turning off the faucet and mopping up the overflow. This is nothing but mopping up and letting the faucet continue to run," Krikorian said. Rosemary Jenks, top lobbyist for NumbersUSA, which also wants to limit immigration, said the measure seems likely to fail in the Senate. It would need at least 10 Republicans to join all 50 Democrats to overcome a filibuster that would kill the measure. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said, “Moving an immigration reform bill won’t be easy, but I think it’s possible." He cited a 2013 massive overhaul that narrowly passed the Senate, only to die in the GOP-run House. Menendez and Rubio were part of a bipartisan “Gang of 8" senators that helped win Senate approval. Under Biden's legislation, those living in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021, without legal status would have a five-year path to temporary legal status, or a green card, if they pass background checks, pay taxes and fulfil other requirements. From there, it’s a three-year path to naturalization if they pursue citizenship. For some immigrants, the process would be quicker. So-called Dreamers, the young people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children, as well as agricultural workers and people under temporary protective status could qualify more immediately for green cards if they are working, are in school or meet other requirements. Biden is also expected to take swift executive actions, which require no congressional action, to reverse other Trump immigration actions. These include ending to the prohibition on arrivals from predominantly Muslim countries. The legislation represents Biden's bid to deliver on a major campaign promise important to Latino voters and other immigrant communities after four years of Trump's restrictive policies and mass deportations. It provides one of the fastest pathways to citizenship for those living without legal status of any measure in recent years. Biden allies and even some Republicans have identified immigration as a major issue where the new administration could find common ground with the GOP to avoid the stalemate that has vexed administrations of both parties for decades. That kind of major win, even if it involves compromise, could be critical for Biden. He'll be seeking legislative victories in a Congress where Republicans are certain to oppose other Biden priorities, like rolling back some of the GOP’s 2017 tax cuts and increasing federal spending. Democrats will control the 50-50 Senate with Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris' tiebreaking vote. Democrats currently control the House 222-211, with two vacancies. ___ Barrow reported from Wilmington, Delaware. AP writer Elliot Spagat in San Diego also contributed to this report. Alan Fram, Lisa Mascaro And Bill Barrow, The Associated Press
Le chargé de projet Mathieu Trépanier tire sa révérence en confirmant son départ du Comité centre-ville de Matane le 22 janvier prochain, après trois années passées à la tête de l’organisme. Une offre d’emploi pour le remplacer sera publiée d’ici lundi soir. M. Trépanier quitte pour de nouveaux défis professionnels à l’extérieur de la région matanienne. « Ce n’est pas de gaieté et de cœur que je pars de Matane, mais simplement par opportunité professionnelle. J’étais rendu à un point où je cherchais des nouveaux défis, et ça tombe que c’est dans une région à l’extérieur du Bas-Saint-Laurent que je les ai trouvés », dit-il. Même s’il déménage, Mathieu Trépanier restera attaché à la ville de Matane. « C’était vraiment mon plaisir de participer au développement du centre-ville de Matane et, par le fait même, de Matane et de La Matanie », a-t-il renchéri. « Dans le futur, j’entend revenir autant comme touriste qu’en tant qu’employé en télétravail à l’espace collaboratif La Centrale. » Il espère que le Comité continuera à poursuivre sa mission et aider les commerces existants, tout en animant le centre-ville afin de le rendre plus attrayant pour les futurs commerces, et que les citoyens l’occupent et y passent du temps. « Le dossier qui me tenait le plus à cœur et qui me prenait beaucoup de temps est la transformation du centre-ville en un lieu non pas juste pour aller consommer quelque chose, entrer et sortir, mais pour l’habiter », ajoute-il. Avec les prochains travaux de la rue Saint-Jérôme, il considère que l’opportunité est très intéressante de rendre le centre-ville plus humain et plus vert, bref, de le transformer d’un bout à l’autre pour que les citoyens et les piétons puissent y vivre une belle expérience. « Je pense qu’il manque ça au centre-ville. Donc, que la direction de la ville et de la MRC s’alignent pour donner une plus grande place au piéton, c’est une très bonne chose selon moi. » Il se dit fier de laisser un Comité centre-ville en bonne santé financière et organisationnelle, prêt à affronter les défis de la prochaine année, qui sera certainement chargée par la relance économique et la reprise d’un quotidien et d’activités de l’ère « pré-covidienne ». « Mon successeur ou ma successeure aura une belle marge de manœuvre et un comité d’administration très impliqué et plein d’idées », a-t-il justifié. Si Mathieu Trépanier a amené plusieurs éléments au Comité, il se réjouit de l’arrivée d’une nouvelle personne en place, qui amènera sa propre vision pour faire évoluer l’organisme en continuant à se spécialiser. En plus du Comité centre-ville, M. Trépanier était impliqué dans plusieurs organismes locaux tels que les Saveurs de La Matanie à travers le Comité, auprès de l’espace collaboratif La Centrale Matanie en tant que président, et comme administrateur pour Kaméléart. M. Trépanier fait un appel aux personnes potentiellement intéressées par le poste à se référer à l’offre d’emploi, qui sera publiée lundi. Il est d’ailleurs ouvert à rencontrer et aider le futur candidat pour assurer une passation des savoirs et une transition efficace.Claudie Arseneault, Initiative de journalisme local, Mon Matane
Le bilan du jour du Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux du Bas-Saint-Laurent rapporte 5 nouveaux cas de COVID-19, portant le total de la région à 1434 cas. La Santé publique dénombre 52 cas actifs au Bas-Saint-Laurent en date du 18 janvier. Il n’y a d’ailleurs aucun cas actif dans la MRC de La Matanie, mais 37 dans celle de Rimouski-Neigette selon le CISSS BSL. Cas par MRC : Kamouraska152Rivière-du-Loup257 (+1)Témiscouata81Les Basques28Rimouski-Neigette580 (+4)La Mitis76La Matanie206La Matapédia48Indéterminés6Bas-Saint-Laurent1434 (+5)Sur les 1434 cas comptabilisés depuis le début de la pandémie, on compte 1355 guérisons. Le bilan des décès demeure au nombre de 27. Actuellement, trois personnes sont hospitalisées en lien avec la COVID-19. Et dans les dernières 24 heures, 409 tests de dépistage ont été réalisés auprès de la population. L’éclosion de l’Unité transitoire de réadaptation fonctionnelle (UTRF) de Rimouski récolte 2 nouveaux cas, pour un total de 38 cas de COVID-19 auprès de 24 usagers et 14 employés. La situation est stable pour le moment au CHSLD de Chauffailles (8 cas) ainsi qu’à l’Unité de réadaptation fonctionnelle intensive (URFI) de Mont-Joli (7 cas).Claudie Arseneault, Initiative de journalisme local, Mon Matane
RCMP are investigating after a 25-year-old man died suddenly at a business in Brooks, Alta., on Tuesday. In a news release, police said officers responded to the business at around 11 a.m. The major crimes unit is investigating, and an autopsy is scheduled in Calgary later this week. While the investigation is ongoing, police said the incident is believed to be isolated and it's not believed there is any risk to the public. Brooks is located about 160 kilometres southeast of Calgary.
New South Algonquin Business Association chair Gabriela Hairabedian and outgoing chair Evelyn Lesage made a presentation to South Algonquin Township council on Jan. 13 about the township’s plans for a wayfinding map for visitors. They had some issues with the current draft map and wanted to suggest changes to make it more informative and visually attractive to tourists. They wanted to ensure they had more input on the map as it progresses to completion and also asked council to implement a policy to ensure there’s a feedback process into future economic development projects. The wayfinding map stems from South Algonquin Township’s rebranding initiative, which is being paid for by the Main Street Revitalization funding procured from the Association of Municipalities Ontario. Since the purpose of the revitalization grant was to invest in small businesses and the map itself was proposed by SABA as part of the grant proposal, Harabedian believes that SABA’s input is essential. The township has been working with Placemaking Design since December 2019 on their rebranding efforts, which includes the map. Unavoidably, COVID-19 has slowed this process over the course of 2020, but the initiative is slowly but surely coming to fruition. Hairabedian began the presentation by suggesting that the proposed wayfinding map should cater more toward long-term tourists versus day-trippers. She says that SABA has found that most tourists come from about three hours away and stay longer periods versus those who just come for the day, or day-trippers. While they don’t have any firm data on this, they estimate that less than five to 10 per cent of visitors are day-trippers. “If they have access to a visual map with attractive pictures and where to find those attractions, tourists will consider staying longer in our township and contribute to our economy, instead of going to the park, staying for only one night or having a quick lunch and going home,” she says. On that basis, SABA wanted to request some changes to the draft wayfinding map. These changes were; to remove all businesses and places where tourists would likely not want to go, like the township office and local daycare centres, to focus on natural features like trails, waterfalls and fishing spots, where tourists would more likely want to visit, to have QR Code links on the map to other helpful sources like the township website and trail maps, and to add a scale to the map so people can determine the distance between featured attractions. Hairebedian felt these changes would make the map less cluttered and it would not go out of date as quickly. Finally, she asked council if they could implement a policy that builds a feedback process into future economic development projects. “These decisions affect businesses most of all. We want to be involved and we’d really appreciate if you could do that. Thank you very much,” she says. Mayor Jane Dumas thanked Hairebedian, and said it was a fantastic presentation. “It was very visually pleasing. The work that you and your committee have done is excellent,” she says. She then asked council if they needed any clarification from Hairebedian on the presentation. Councillor Bongo Bongo thought everything had been pretty clear, but was a little surprised to see SABA’s request that all businesses be removed from the map. “But at the same time, I suppose that is one way to really level the playing field and have it very fair towards all businesses. At the end of the day, I really hope this map is well designed and a lot of thought goes into it,” he says. Holly Hayes, the clerk and treasurer of South Algonquin Township, also requested some clarification and asked Hairebedian if she meant that she wanted no private industry like hotels or gas stations on the map. Hairebedian replied that was exactly what she had meant, and that SABA was suggesting just a map to show attractions like beaches, fishing spots and features of that nature. “People can google things like hotels, gas stations, the LCBO easily enough if they need them. It’s nice to have a unique map, something that’s not anywhere to be found. We don’t want to bring confusion either, we don’t want people all over the place. It’s a way to guide them and take them where we want them to go,” she says. As a final suggestion, Hairebedian suggested that since Maynooth and Bancroft appear on the draft map, that they also include Barry’s Bay and Ottawa, so people get a clearer sense of where everything is. Dumas brought up the point that while they appreciated SABA’s suggestions, that council wants to ensure that the final wayfinding map caters to the needs of all South Algonquin businesses and not just to SABA members. She said that she intended to take the presentation back and have a discussion about it at the next economic development meeting on Jan. 20. Hairebedian expressed interest in SABA attending this meeting and Dumas said that she would confirm and let her know soon. “You’ve given us a great deal of food for thought through your committee and we appreciate it very much.” Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times
WASHINGTON — Troops in riot gear lined the sidewalks, but there were no crowds. Armored vehicles and concrete barriers blocked empty streets. Miles of fencing cordoned off many of the nation's most familiar landmarks. Joe Biden was safely sworn in as president in a Washington on edge, two weeks after rioters loyal to former President Donald Trump besieged the Capitol. Law enforcement officials contended not only with the potential for outside threats but also with rising concerns about an insider attack. Officials monitored members of far-right extremist and militia groups, increasingly concerned about the risk they could stream into Washington and spark violent confrontations, a law enforcement official said. There were a few scattered arrests but no major protests or serious disruptions in the city during Biden's inauguration ceremony. As Biden put it in his address: “Here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground. It did not happen. It will never happen, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Not ever.” After the deadly attack that killed five on Jan. 6, the Secret Service stepped up security for the inauguration early, essentially locking down the nation's capital. More than 25,000 troops and police were called to duty. The National Mall was closed. Checkpoints were set up at intersections. In the hours before the event, federal agents monitored “concerning online chatter,” which included an array of threats against elected officials and discussions about ways to infiltrate the inauguration, the official said. In right-wing online chat groups, believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory expressed disappointment that top Democrats were not arrested for sex trafficking and that Trump did not seize a second term. Twelve National Guard members were removed from the security operation a day earlier after vetting by the FBI, including two who had made extremist statements in posts or texts about Wednesday's event. Pentagon officials would not give details on the statements. The FBI vetted all 25,000 members in an extraordinary security effort in part over the presence of some ex-military in the riot. Two other U.S. officials told The Associated Press that all 12 were found to have ties with right-wing militia groups or to have posted extremist views online. The officials, a senior intelligence official and an Army official briefed on the matter, did not say which fringe groups the Guard members belonged to or what unit they served in. The officials told the AP they had all been removed because of “security liabilities.” The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, confirmed that Guard members had been removed and sent home, but said only two cases were related to inappropriate comments or texts related to the inauguration. He said the other 10 cases were for issues that may involve previous criminal behaviour or activities but were not directly related to the inaugural event. The FBI also warned law enforcement officials about the possibility that members of right-wing fringe groups could pose as National Guard troops, according to two law enforcement officials familiar with the matter. Investigators in Washington were particularly worried that members of right-wing extremist groups and militias, like the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, would descend on Washington to spark violence, the law enforcement officials said. Some of the groups are known to recruit former military personnel, to train extensively and to have frequented anti-government and political protests. In addition to the thousands of National Guard troops, hundreds of law enforcement officers from agencies around the country were also brought into Washington. The increased security is likely to remain in the nation's capital for at least a few more days. ___ Associated Press writers Lolita Baldor in Washington and James LaPorta in Delray Beach, Florida, contributed to this report. Ben Fox, Colleen Long And Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times eastern): 7:15 p.m. B.C. has again extended its ongoing state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 10 months after it was first declared on March 18, 2020. It allows provincial officials to continue using extraordinary powers to combat the pandemic, including enhanced enforcement of public health rules. The Ministry of Public Safety says in a news release that just under 700 tickets have been issued for violations related to public health measures since mid-August. That includes 119 fines of $2,300 issued to owners or organizers who violated restrictions on gatherings and events and 548 fines of $230 issued to individuals who refused to obey law enforcement. --- 5:55 p.m. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he won't shut down all restaurants and bars because a few are flouting COVID-19 rules. Instead, he says he's asking public health officials to look at more enforcement measures, such as forcing rule breakers to close. Moe says "enough is enough" and is expressing frustration at a recent video that shows young people dancing without masks and mingling at a bar in Regina. --- 5:40 p.m. Alberta is reporting 456 new cases of COVID-19. The province says there have also been 17 additional deaths. There are 740 people in hospital, with 119 in intensive care. There are just over 11,000 active cases. --- 3 p.m. British Columbia isn't getting about 5,800 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that it expected next week. Health Minister Adrian Dix says the province is adjusting its vaccination plans as a result. Dix says the province will use more of the Pfizer vaccine it has in stock to complete immunizations at long-term care homes and to administer second doses. He says second doses are crucial to the success of the program and the province remains committed to giving the second dose 35 days after the first. --- 3 p.m. Premier Doug Ford appealed to U.S. president-elect Joe Biden today for help securing more COVID-19 vaccines for Ontario. Ford expressed frustration about a delivery slowdown of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot that will see Ontario receive no doses next week and thousands fewer over the next month. Ford appealed to Biden to share a million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, which is manufactured in Michigan. He also expressed frustration with Pfizer executives about the delays and urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ramp up pressure on the company to deliver more of the shots to Canada. --- 2:50 p.m. Public health officials in New Brunswick are reporting 31 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death from the disease. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell says the death of a person in their 80s at the Parkland Saint John long-term care facility brings to 13 the number of COVID-related deaths in the province. There are currently 316 active cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick. As of midnight tonight, the Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton regions will join the Edmundston region at the red level of the province's COVID recovery plan. --- 2:50 p.m. Saskatchewan is reporting 309 new cases of COVID-19. Health officials say there are 207 people in hospital and 31 people in intensive care. Six more residents have also died, almost all of whom were 80 or older. As of Tuesday, the province reports giving more than 24,000 vaccine shots. --- 2:35 p.m. The Northwest Territories is still investigating the source of new COVID-19 cases in the territory. Three cases of COVID-19 were reported in Fort Liard over the weekend. There are now more than 50 people in isolation in the community of about 500 in connection with the new cases. Over the weekend, chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola put Fort Liard on a 14-day lockdown to prevent further spread. There are four active cases of COVID-19 in the Northwest Territories and 24 recovered cases. The territory has also administered 1,893 first doses of the Moderna vaccine to date. --- 2 p.m. Nova Scotia is reporting four new cases of COVID-19, giving it a total of 22 active cases. One of the new cases is in the province's northern zone and is a close contact of a previously reported case. The other three cases are in the central zone and are related to travel outside Atlantic Canada. One of the cases is a university student who lives off campus and attends classes online. --- 1:50 p.m. Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting zero new COVID-19 infections today. The province is dealing with five active reported cases. One person is recovering in hospital with the disease. The province has reported a total of 396 infections and four deaths linked to the novel coronavirus. --- 1:40 p.m. Manitoba is reporting 111 new COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths. With numbers decreasing in recent weeks, the government is proposing to ease several restrictions on business openings and public gatherings by the end of the week. The possible changes, subject to public consultation, include allowing non-essential stores, hair salons and barbershops to reopen with capacity limits. Another proposed change would ease the ban on social gatherings inside private homes to allow two visitors at a time. --- 1:30 p.m. Quebec Premier Francois Legault is calling on the federal government to ban all non-essential flights to Canada. Legault says he's worried that people travelling to vacation destinations will bring new variants of COVID-19 back to the province. While the premier says it may be difficult to determine which flights are essential, he says it's clear that flights to sun destinations are non-essential. --- 12:45 p.m. Procurement Minister Anita Anand says she has spoken to Pfizer and does not expect any more interruptions to its Canadian deliveries after mid-February. Anand says Pfizer is contractually obligated to ship four million doses to Canada by the end of March. Canada expects its shipments from Pfizer to be larger than previously expected from the middle of February until the end of March to make up for smaller shipments over the next month. --- 12:25 p.m. Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin says Canada will get no doses of vaccine from Pfizer at all next week. Fortin, the vice-president of operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, says this week's shipment is almost one-fifth smaller than expected. That means only 171,093 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will arrive over the next two weeks, instead of the 417,300 doses previously expected. Fortin says the deliveries over the first two weeks of February have yet to be confirmed, but Pfizer is still expected to meet its contractual obligation to ship four million doses to Canada by the end of March. --- 11:20 a.m. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says any Canadians who still have international trips planned need to cancel them. The variants of the novel coronavirus identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil could change the situation rapidly and he warns that Canada could impose new restrictions on the border at any time, without warning. --- 11:15 a.m. Quebec is reporting a significant drop in new COVID-19 infections today with 1,386 new cases. The province also reported 55 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including 16 that occurred in the prior 24 hours. Health officials say hospitalizations rose by nine, to 1,500 and 212 people were in intensive care, a drop of five. Quebec has reported a total of 245,734 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 9,142 deaths linked to the virus. --- 10:50 a.m. Prince Edward Island is reporting two new cases of COVID-19 today. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Heather Morrison says the new cases involve a woman in her 40s who is a contact of a previously reported case, and a woman in her 20s who recently travelled outside Atlantic Canada. There are now seven active reported cases in the province. P.E.I. has reported 110 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. --- 10:35 a.m. Ontario is reporting 1,913 new cases of COVID-19 today, likely under-reported due to a technical error in Toronto. Health Minister Christine Elliott says that Toronto is reporting 550 new cases of the novel coronavirus. Over the past three days, Toronto reported 815 new cases, 1,035 new cases and 903 new cases. There were 46 more deaths linked to the virus in Ontario. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2021. The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said British Columbia expected to get 5,800 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next week.
TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Supreme court has overturned a man's bank robbery conviction because of a prosecutor's reference to a classic horror movie. During closing arguments in the case against Damon Williams, the prosecutor showed jurors a photo from the movie “The Shining” depicting a character played by Jack Nicholson telling his terrified wife and son, “Here’s Johnny!” moments after breaking through a door with an axe. The reference was meant to illustrate that actions can speak louder than words, and to support the prosecutor's contention that Williams should be convicted of a more serious offence even though no threatening words were spoken to the bank teller in Camden County in 2014. The jury convicted Williams of second-degree robbery, which requires the use of force or the threat of force, rather than the less serious crime of third-degree theft. Prosecutors argued that Williams' conduct before and after passing a note to the teller supported the more serious charge. Williams is currently serving a 14-year term. A unanimous Supreme Court disagreed Tuesday, writing that prosecutors “must walk a fine line” when comparing a defendant with “an individual whom the jury associates with violence or guilt.” “The use of a sensational and provocative image in service of such a comparison, even when purportedly metaphorical, heightens the risk of an improper prejudicial effect on the jury,” Justice Lee Solomon wrote. “Such a risk was borne out here." The Camden County prosecutor's office, which tried the case, declined to comment on the ruling Tuesday. The Associated Press
MILLBROOK -- Millbrook’s 4th Line Theatre will launch its Digital Festival of Light and Dark next week. Micro-grants have been provided to 13 regional artists by the festival so they can create 12 five-minute digital showcases of their work, the theatre announced Tuesday. The digital festival is free-of-charge to watch online and will allow people to engage with the artists’ creations in the safety of their own homes during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown through the theatre’s digital video gallery. Managing artistic director Kim Blackwell said the theatre — which had to cancel last summer’s performances and then staged the Open Spaces Theatre Festival in downtown Peterborough in September followed by a limited run of “Bedtime Stories and Other Horrifying Tales” prior to Halloween at the theatre in October — wants to support local artists. “That was the genesis for the idea which ultimately became the Digital Festival of Light and Dark. I am excited to showcase the work of so many talented local artists from almost every conceivable discipline,” Blackwell said. “These short, digital works will be a chance for 4th Line audiences to see the depth and breadth of regional artists and their creative worlds.” A variety of artistic styles such as poetry, photography and puppetry are manifested in the artists’ projects. Topics and issues explored include the new silent nightlife in downtown Peterborough in lockdown, an exploration of physical vulnerability in the pandemic and the story of a girl trapped alone in a Welsh mine, to name only three, according to the theatre. The 12 artists include Madison Constello, Naomi Duvall, Jennifer Elchuk, Josh Fewings, Madison Sheward, Frank Flynn, Steafan Hannigan, Mike Moring, Tristan Peirce, Kelsey Powell, Benj Rowland, P.J. Thomas and Laura Thompson. In Hannigan’s multimedia project titled “the many shades between light and dark: art v COVID-19 in 2020,” artists, performers, musicians and directors reflect upon their life-changing experiences during the past year amid the global pandemic. Hannigan is a multidisciplinary artist working in a variety of mediums including photography, video and music. Born and raised in Ireland, he currently lives in Baltimore in Northumberland County. Peirce’s project, “Night Shift,” gives viewers a glimpse into Peterborough’s night life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pierce is a photographer and videographer, based in Peterborough, who is also taking part in the Art Gallery of Peterborough’s group exhibition Presently. “It’s Political,” a project created by Thompson — a designer based in Peterborough whose video work draws on found footage to create moving collages that are surreal and dynamic — explores the women’s movement and its evolution, history and future. The 12 projects will be posted at www.4thlinetheatre.on.ca/festival-of-light-and-dark and at www.youtube.com/user/4thlinetheatreVIDEO starting at noon on Monday. Marissa Lentz is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email: email@example.com Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner
The United States swore in its 46th President on Jan. 20, 2021. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris attended their inauguration in Washington, D.C. with a slew of distinguished guests, but few onlookers as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a need for social distancing.Several past presidents were in attendance, including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George Bush Jr., however the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, did not attend. Trump flew to his golf club in Florida earlier in the day. Outgoing Vice President Mike Pence did attend the ceremony with his wife.For all the latest on the U.S. inauguration, click this link for live updates.
When the current lockdown here in Ontario came into effect on Dec. 26, not much changed for some of the libraries in the area, specifically the South Algonquin Public Library with branches in Whitney and Madawaska, the Gilmour Library in Tudor and Cashel Township, and the Carlow Mayo Public Library in Hermon. The head librarians of these libraries give updates on how the lockdown has affected their operations. With the exception of the South Algonquin library branches, which have closed for the duration of the lockdown, they are continuing to offer curbside pickup of their materials for patrons to enjoy as they try to navigate this current lockdown due to COVID-19. Charlene Alexander is the CEO and head librarian at the South Algonquin Public Library and supervises both branches in Whitney and Madawaska. She gives an update on what’s going on there with the lockdown. “Both branches will be closing and staff are moving to work from home until the restrictions are lifted. We had been [before the lockdown] working towards providing in person services in addition to curbside pickup. This includes policy planning, barriers installed at the circulation desks, a maximum of three people at a time in the library, one public computer in use at a time, and one work area where patrons could use their own devices. During lockdown, library staff will focus on professional development and any projects that can be completed at home,” she says. Leanne Golan is the CEO and head librarian at the Gilmour Library in Tudor and Cashel Township and gives the following update on their lockdown status. “With the new lockdown, we are continuing to offer contactless curbside pickup only. There are no new initiatives at this time,” she says. Carrie McKenzie is the CEO and head librarian at the Carlow Mayo Public Library, and says that they are still operating curbside, and that nothing is changing for them in that regard. “Our hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” she says. While continuing to operate their curbside pickup, they have some new items in their inventory for patrons to check out. “We are updating our adult non-fiction with personal hobbies such as free motion quilting and macrame hangers. We are also adding more non-fiction about becoming more self-sufficient by homesteading. Lots of canning and gardening,” she says. “If we are going to be at home we might as well enjoy it with healthy and engaging activities!” Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times
As President Donald Trump entered the final year of his term last January, the U.S. recorded its first confirmed case of COVID-19. Not to worry, Trump insisted, his administration had the virus “totally under control.” Now, in his final hours in office, after a year of presidential denials of reality and responsibility, the pandemic’s U.S. death toll has eclipsed 400,000. And the loss of lives is accelerating. “This is just one step on an ominous path of fatalities,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University and one of many public health experts who contend the Trump administration’s handling of the crisis led to thousands of avoidable deaths. “Everything about how it’s been managed has been infused with incompetence and dishonesty, and we’re paying a heavy price,” he said. The 400,000-death toll, reported Tuesday by Johns Hopkins University, is greater than the population of New Orleans, Cleveland or Tampa, Florida. It's nearly equal to the number of American lives lost annually to strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, flu and pneumonia combined. With more than 4,000 deaths recorded on some recent days — the most since the pandemic began — the toll by week's end will probably surpass the number of Americans killed in World War II. “We need to follow the science and the 400,000th death is shameful,” said Cliff Daniels, chief strategy officer for Methodist Hospital of Southern California, near Los Angeles. With its morgue full, the hospital has parked a refrigerated truck outside to hold the bodies of COVID-19 victims until funeral homes can retrieve them. “It’s so incredibly, unimaginably sad that so many people have died that could have been avoided,” he said. President-elect Joe Biden, who will be sworn in Wednesday, took part in an evening remembrance ceremony Tuesday near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. The 400,000 dead were represented by 400 lights placed around the reflecting pool. The bell at the Washington National Cathedral tolled 400 times. Other cities around the U.S. planned tributes as well. The Empire State Building was lit in “heartbeat” red — the same lighting used last year as a show of support for emergency workers at the height of the virus surge in New York City. The red lights pulsed as a visual heartbeat. In Salt Lake City, the bells at the Utah Capitol were to ring 15 times in honour of the more than 1,500 lives lost to COVID-19 in the state. The U.S. accounts for nearly 1 of every 5 virus deaths reported worldwide, far more than any other country despite its great wealth and medical resources. The coronavirus would almost certainly have posed a grave crisis for any president given its rapid spread and power to kill, experts on public health and government said. But Trump seemed to invest as much in battling public perceptions as he did in fighting the virus itself, repeatedly downplaying the threat and rejecting scientific expertise while fanning conflicts ignited by the outbreak. As president he was singularly positioned to counsel Americans. Instead, he used his pulpit to spout theories — refuted by doctors — that taking unproven medicines or even injecting household disinfectant might save people from the virus. The White House defended the administration this week. “We grieve every single life lost to this pandemic, and thanks to the president’s leadership, Operation Warp Speed has led to the development of multiple safe and effective vaccines in record time, something many said would never happen,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere. With deaths spiraling in the New York City area last spring, Trump declared “war” on the virus. But he was slow to invoke the Defence Production Act to secure desperately needed medical equipment. Then he sought to avoid responsibility for shortfalls, saying that the federal government was “merely a backup” for governors and legislatures. “I think it is the first time in history that a president has declared a war and we have experienced a true national crisis and then dumped responsibility for it on the states,” said Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care policy think-tank . When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tried to issue guidelines for reopening in May, Trump administration officials held them up and watered them down. As the months passed, Trump claimed he was smarter than the scientists and belittled experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top authority on infectious diseases. “Why would you bench the CDC, the greatest fighting force of infectious disease in the world? Why would you call Tony Fauci a disaster?” asked Dr. Howard Markel, a medical historian at the University of Michigan. “It just doesn’t make sense.” As governors came under pressure to reopen state economies, Trump pushed them to move faster, asserting falsely that the virus was fading. “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” he tweeted in April as angry protesters gathered at the state capitol to oppose the Democratic governor’s stay-at-home restrictions. “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” In Republican-led states like Arizona that allowed businesses to reopen, hospitals and morgues filled with virus victims. “It led to the tragically sharp partisan divide we’ve seen in the country on COVID, and that has fundamental implications for where we are now, because it means the Biden administration can’t start over," Altman said. “They can’t put the genie back in the bottle.” In early October, when Trump himself contracted COVID-19, he ignored safety protocols, ordering up a motorcade so he could wave to supporters outside his hospital. Once released, he appeared on the White House balcony to take off his mask for the cameras, making light of health officials' pleas for people to cover their faces. “We’re rounding the corner,” Trump said of the battle with the virus during a debate with Biden in late October. “It’s going away.” It isn’t. U.S. deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 100,000 in late May, then tripled by mid-December. Experts at the University of Washington project deaths will reach nearly 567,000 by May 1. More than 120,000 patients with the virus are in the hospital in the U.S., according to the COVID Tracking Project, twice the number who filled wards during previous peaks. On a single day last week, the U.S. recorded more than 4,400 deaths. While vaccine research funded by the administration as part of Warp Speed has proved successful, the campaign trumpeted by the White House to rapidly distribute and administer millions of shots has fallen well short of the early goals officials set. “Young people are dying, young people who have their whole lives ahead of them,” said Mawata Kamara, a nurse at California’s San Leandro Hospital who is furious over the surging COVID-19 cases that have overwhelmed health care workers. “We could have done so much more.” Many voters considered the federal government’s response to the pandemic a key factor in their vote: 39% said it was the single most important factor, and they overwhelmingly backed Biden over Trump, according to AP VoteCast. But millions of others stood with him. “Here you have a pandemic," said Eric Dezenhall, a Washington crisis management consultant, "yet you have a massive per cent of the population that doesn’t believe it exists.” Adam Geller And Janie Har, The Associated Press
Deng Pravatoudom played the Lotto Max numbers her husband dreamt of 20 years ago and won a $60M jackpot. Video by Shibani Gokhale
Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday. He has pledged to "heal" the country as it grapples with an ongoing pandemic, economic uncertainty and deep political divisions. Extra security measures will be in place following the violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, as rioters sought to stop Congress from certifying the president-elect's win over outgoing President Donald Trump. Attendance will be further limited because of the COVID-19 crisis, which has killed 400,000 Americans. CBC News will have comprehensive coverage before, during and after the official swearing-in of Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris at noon ET. Here's how to tune in. Online CBCNews.ca, the CBC News app and CBC Gem will carry the live special CBC News Special: The Inauguration of Joseph Biden, Jr., hosted by Adrienne Arsenault, starting at 10 a.m. ET. You can view the live stream right here on this page beginning at that time. CBCNews.ca and the CBC News app will also have news and analysis throughout the day. On television Coverage begins at 6 a.m. ET on CBC News Network (also streaming on CBC Gem) with Heather Hiscox on CBC Morning Live. Starting at 10 a.m. ET, viewers can watch the live special CBC News Special: The Inauguration of Joseph Biden, Jr., hosted by Adrienne Arsenault, on CBC News Network and CBC TV. From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Andrew Nichols and Suhana Meharchand will co-host live coverage of the events in Washington following the official swearing-in of Biden and Harris, as well as reaction in Canada and around the world, on CBC News Network (also streaming on CBC Gem). On radio Listeners can tune into special live coverage of the swearing-in on CBC Radio and CBC Listen from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET, hosted by Susan Bonner and Piya Chattopadhyay.
A local business owner is starting a fundraising and donation drive for tenants ousted from their homes by the fire at Town Park Apartments C-block. More than 25 people are out of their homes while officials assess damage, including lots of school-aged kids, toddlers and babies. Michelle Lau just opened All In Family Support Services business, and wants to help people who have lost access to their personal items for the time being. At worst, their stuff might be damaged beyond recovery. The fire started late Sunday night and was under control by 2:30 a.m. Monday morning. A few people were injured by jumping out of windows to escape the blaze, but no one was left in the building. At present, tenants are not allowed back into their homes, even to retrieve personal items. Firefighters can retrieve essentials such as medication. Emergency Support Services jumped into action as the fire was still being put out. Local coordinator volunteer Susan Bjarnason said the initial 72-hour support period has already been extended for another three days. Long-term plans are unknown. READ MORE: ‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months ESS volunteers fear that many tenants did not have renters insurance, and could need to replace a lot of personal belongings, such as furniture, clothes, toiletries and electronics. Lau is accepting cash donations, gift cards, clothing and food for the tenants. She’ll keep everything in her storefront, allowing families to come one by one to get what they need. In less than a day of accepting donations her front room has two tables full of donations of clothes, baby supplies, some snack food, bedding and even some kitchenware. Lunch and breakfast food for school-aged kids are especially needed. The community has been particularly concerned about a dog that was injured in the commotion. Dex, a 65-lb cain corso-black Lab cross broke his forepaw when he was thrown out of a second story window in the panic. He was taken to the vet in Port Hardy, who determined surgery would be needed. The dog was sent to Campbell River for treatment on Tuesday. The vet estimated a cost of $2,000 or more. Lau is accepting donations to help with that bill as well. All In Family Support Services is located at #5-7035 Market St, Port Hardy. Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Zoë Ducklow, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Island Gazette
PORTLAND, Ore. — Plans for a major West Coast liquified natural gas pipeline and export terminal hit a snag Tuesday with federal regulators after a years-long legal battle that has united tribes, environmentalists and a coalition of residents on Oregon's rural southern coast against the proposal. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled that energy company Pembina could not move forward with the proposal without a key clean water permit from the state of Oregon. The U.S. regulatory agency gave its tentative approval to the pipeline last March as long as it secured the necessary state permits, but the Canadian pipeline company has been unable to do so. It had appealed to the commission over the state's clean water permit, arguing that Oregon had waived its authority to issue a clean water certification for the project and therefore its denial of the permit was irrelevant. But the commission found instead that Pembina had never requested the certification and that the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality "could not have waived its authority to issue certification for a request it never received.” The ruling was hailed as a major victory by opponents of Jordan Cove, which would be the first such LNG overseas export terminal in the lower 48 states. The proposed 230-mile (370-kilometre) feeder pipeline would begin in Malin, in southwest Oregon, and end at the city of Coos Bay on the rural Oregon coast. Jordan Cove did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment and it was unclear what next steps the project would take. Opposition to the pipeline has brought together southern Oregon tribes, environmentalists, anglers and coastal residents since 2006. "Thousands of southern Oregonians have raised their voices to stop this project for years and will continue to until the threat of Jordan Cove LNG is gone for good,” said Hannah Sohl, executive director of Rogue Climate. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who has opposed the project, said in a statement on Twitter that she was pleased with the ruling. “At every stage of the regulatory process, I have insisted that the Jordan Cove LNG project must meet Oregon’s rigorous standards for protecting the environment, or it cannot move forward,” she wrote. The outgoing Trump administration has supported energy export projects and in particular Jordan Cove. It had proposed streamlining approval of gas pipelines and other energy projects by limiting states’ certification authorities under the U.S. Clean Water Act. Gillian Flaccus, The Associated Press
The Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority (NITHA) announced on Jan. 17 that they were ending the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak declared in Sturgeon Lake First Nation on Dec. 30, 2020. Dr. Nnamdi Ndubuka, Medical Health Officer with NITHA, has declared the outbreak over after the standard 28-day period has passed after the onset of the last case that had the potential to contribute to transmission in Sturgeon Lake First Nation. “This does not mean there are no cases in the community. The public is reminded that during the COVID-19 pandemic it is important to continue to take precautions to protect yourself, your families and everyone who lives in the community. COVID-19 is present in Saskatchewan and we all have a responsibility to minimize the spread of the disease,” the release stated. They reminded people that masking in all indoor public spaces and physical distancing should be done at all times to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Another reminder was for everyone to follow the public health guidelines for hand washing, physical distancing, self-monitoring and self-isolating to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect our most vulnerable populations. “Together we can make a positive difference in our community by reducing the spread.” Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
WASHINGTON — In one of his final acts as majority leader, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is pressuring Democrats to keep the filibuster — the procedural tool that liberals and progressives are eager to to do away with so President-elect Joe Biden's legislative priorities can be approved more easily over GOP opposition. McConnell has told Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer that retaining the legislative filibuster is important and should be part of their negotiations for a power-sharing agreement in the narrowly divided Senate. Schumer and McConnell met Tuesday to begin hammering out the details of organizing the chamber, which will be split 50-50, with Democrats holding the majority once three new senators are sworn in Wednesday and Kamala Harris is inaugurated as the vice-president. “Leader McConnell expressed his long-held view that the crucial, longstanding and bipartisan Senate rules concerning the legislative filibuster remain intact, specifically during the power share for the next two years,” McConnell spokesman Doug Andres said. Andres said discussions on “all aspects” of the arrangement will continue. Normally, a divided chamber would produce a resolution to equally share committee seats and other resources. But McConnell is driving a harder bargain by inserting his demand that Schumer keep the filibuster procedure in place. Schumer’s office did not respond immediately for comment. The Democratic leader faces pressure from the progressive flank to end the filibuster, but he has not committed to doing so. The group Fix Our Senate criticized McConnell for trying to prevent procedural changes. The group said in a statement that McConnell wants to keep the filibuster because he knows it is “the best weapon he has” to prevent Democrats from delivering on Biden's priorities. "Senate Democrats must swat away this absurd attempt to undermine their majority and kneecap the Biden agenda before it even has a chance to get started,” the group said in a statement. The modern filibuster rules essentially require a super-majority threshold, now at 60 votes, to cut off debate in the Senate and bring legislative bills or other measures to a vote. The practice was changed as a way to wind down long-running speeches and debates, notably during the start of World War I, but quickly became a tool employed by minority factions to halt legislation that had majority support. McConnell gutted the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees in 2017, a breathtaking move that enabled the Senate to easily confirm the first of three justices that President Donald Trump nominated to the high court with simple majority votes. It's unclear the Democrats would even have support from their ranks to undo the legislative filibuster, which would require a vote in the Senate. But McConnell is not willing to take any chances and is forcing Schumer into a negotiation that could delay organizing the Senate. The Republican leader has also been talking privately with Republican senators about the importance to resolving the issue now, as part of the power-sharing talks with Democrats. McConnell sent an email Monday to senators outlining his concerns, as first reported by National Review. Without agreement on this and other matters, the Democrats' ability to control committees and other aspects of Senate business may also be delayed as talks between McConnell and Schumer drag on. Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
The U.S. Secret Service opened an investigation into comedian John Mulaney over jokes believed to be made about President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live” last year, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. Mulaney, 38, revealed last month that the Secret Service had investigated the comedian and “SNL” alum for “inappropriate jokes about President Trump” after he made a joke about Roman dictator Julius Caesar, who was stabbed to death by a group of senators on the Ides of March. The file obtained by the AP through Freedom of Information Act request showed the bureau contacted NBC but did not interview the comedian for its inquiry, which found no wrongdoing. “Another thing that happened under Julius Caesar, he was such a powerful maniac that all the senators grabbed knives, and they stabbed him to death. That would be an interesting thing if we brought that back now,” Mulaney said to laughter from the audience. The joke was said during Mulaney’s opening monologue during the “Saturday Night Live” broadcast on Feb. 29, 2020. The Secret Service noted other remarks during the monologue, including: “I asked my lawyer if I could make that joke, he said, let me call another lawyer, and that lawyer said yes. I don’t dwell on politics, but I dislike the Founding Fathers immensely. ... I hate when people are like, God has never created such a great group of men than the Founding Fathers. Yeah, the ’92 Bulls. ... That’s a perfect metaphor for the United States. When I was a boy, the United States was like Michael Jordan in 1992. Now the United States it like Michael Jordan now.” Two days after Mulaney’s “SNL” monologue, law enforcement officials contacted Thomas McCarthy, the global chief security officer and senior vice-president at NBC Universal, to express the agency’s desire to discuss the joke with the comedian's attorneys. The Secret Service file included a report from Breitbart entitled, “SNL: John Mulaney Jokes that Senators Should Stab Trump Like Julius Caesar.” The investigation into Mulaney was opened in March and closed in December, five days after the comedian revealed the investigation during an interview with Jimmy Kimmel. The Secret Service file notes that Mulaney made no direct threats towards Trump. “The person vetting me was very understanding that the joke had nothing to do with Donald Trump because it was an elliptical reference to him,” Mulaney said to Kimmel. “I didn’t say anything about him. In terms of risk assessment, no one who’s ever looked at me thought I registered above a one.” He added: “I said I have been making jokes about him since 2007, so I have been making fun of him for 13 years,” Mulaney said. “They said if it’s a joke, then I am cleared by the Secret Service.” —— LaPorta reported from Delray Beach, Florida. James Laporta, The Associated Press
CALGARY — A Crown prosecutor says he will seek an adult sentence for an accused teen if he is convicted in a Calgary police officer's death.Doug Taylor made the comment at the start of a bail hearing Tuesday for the 18-year-old suspect.The accused was 17 when he was charged earlier this month with first-degree murder in the death of Sgt. Andrew Harnett, so he cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.Harnett was hit and dragged while attempting to stop an SUV on New Year's Eve, after noticing plates on the vehicle did not match its registered description. Paramedics and fellow officers hastened to the scene in minutes and tried to revive the 37-year-old but he died in hospital nearly an hour later. Police said a second unrelated vehicle was also involved and may have come into contact with Harnett on the road. But that driver stayed at the scene and helped with the investigation.Investigators allege the youth was driving the SUV and a 19-year-old, who also faces a charge of first-degree murder, was a passenger."I, of course on behalf of the attorney general, have just filed a notice of intention by the attorney general to apply for an adult sentence," Taylor told court.An adult sentence for a young offender convicted of first-degree murder is life in prison with no parole eligibility for 10 years. Under the Canadian Criminal Code, an adult convicted of first-degree murder would serve a life sentence without any possibility of parole for 25 years.Taylor said the Crown is also opposing the young man's release from custody.A publication ban prohibits publishing evidence from the bail hearing, which is to continue Wednesday.The co-accused in the case, Amir Abdulrahman is to appear in court Feb. 4. His lawyer, Balfour Der, has said he intends to seek bail on Feb. 12.Court documents indicate that, at the time Harnett was killed, Adbulrahman was wanted on outstanding warrants on several charges, including assault and failing to appear in court.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2021— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press