Hundreds of people filled streets in the area of Elmwood Avenue Tuesday evening in Providence, Rhode Island, where a weekend crash involving a police cruiser put a man into a coma.
Hundreds of people filled streets in the area of Elmwood Avenue Tuesday evening in Providence, Rhode Island, where a weekend crash involving a police cruiser put a man into a coma.
Prince Wong was still in her mother's womb when the Chinese government reclaimed control over Hong Kong from the British in the summer of 1997. For her 23rd birthday this year, Wong posted a photo of herself on Instagram wearing a pastel-striped paper hat trimmed with pink pompoms. On a recent day, Wong spun a gold ring on her finger in continuous circles as she spoke quietly about the past year of her life.
Windsor-Essex is handling more than a dozen COVID-19 outbreaks across various sectors, including two in hospitals, the local health unit reported Monday. There are now 17 outbreaks across several sectors in Windsor-Essex, including one at Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) and another at Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare that were both declared on Sunday. Between the outbreaks and more than 400 active cases, medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed noted the strain public health is experiencing as the region moved into its first day of the province's red COVID-19 category Monday. Ahmed said resources are "limited" and that the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) is one of the "lowest funded on a per capita basis in the province of Ontario." "There are some disadvantages from a resourcing perspective that we are dealing with but our staff are dedicated and motivated," Ahmed said. "It's a monumental task given what we are dealing with. Just by the case rate, roughly our case rates are similar to what the city of Toronto is dealing with and you can imagine what kind of infrastructure and supports they have." During the health unit's daily briefing Friday, chief nursing officer Theresa Marentette said they are reaching out to the Ministry of Health for additional support and hiring at least 17 new staff members to join their COVID-19 team. The outbreak at WRH is taking place on the 7th floor at the Ouellette Campus after four staff members tested positive. All patients were swabbed on Friday and have come back negative, though a re-swabbing will be performed, the health unit said Monday. Many staff members have also been tested and received negatives at this time. The floor is a medical, non-surgical area that has 60 beds and makes up more than 10 per cent of the hospital's bed capacity, the hospital said in a news release. There will be no admissions or transfers from the 7th floor, unless a patient is being discharged home or for medical necessity. Meanwhile, the outbreak at Hotel Dieu is taking place on the 3rd floor of its rehabilitation tower, the hospital said in a news release Sunday. Three staff and two patients have tested positive for COVID-19 and are associated with the outbreak.More than 400 active casesOn Monday, the health unit reported 41 new cases for the region. Of these, five are close contacts of a confirmed case, five are local health-care workers, five are community acquired, one is an agri-farm worker and 25 are still under investigation. There are 424 active cases in the region, 89 of which were reported over the weekend. The new cases come as Windsor-Essex enters the red "control" zone of the province's COVID-19 public health restrictions framework. The new designation — one stage short of the lockdown tier — comes with further limits on dining and other activities.The number of new cases and outbreaks has put a strain on local public health resources, medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said Monday. As a result, he said that anyone who has been in contact with a positive case should start to trace back their steps and develop a contact list before they are contacted by public health to speed up the process. There are seven workplace outbreaks, including: * Three in Leamington's agriculture sector. * One in Lakeshore's health care and social assistance sector. * One in a Leamington place of worship. * One in Leamington's finance and insurance sector. * One in Windsor's manufacturing sector.Two community outbreaks are still active, one at Victoria Manor Supportive Living in Windsor and another at Riverplace Residence in Windsor. Two schools — Frank W. Begley Public School and W. J. Langlois Catholic Elementary School — also remain in outbreak.Begley now has 49 cases, 40 are students and nine are staff members. W. J. Langlois has seven cases, with four students and three staff members confirmed positive. As of Tuesday, Begley will technically be out of its 14-day isolation period, though the school is closed until further notice.Ahmed said that unless told otherwise, students should remain in isolation. He said they are working to discharge cases and students. He also said that the health unit is working with the board to develop a return to school plan that will likely see students incrementally head back to class. There are four long-term care and retirement homes in outbreak, including: * Leamington Mennonite in Leamington with one staff case. * Chartwell Royal Oak Residence in Kingsville with one staff case. * Riverside place in Windsor with 17 resident cases and three staff cases. * Iler Lodge in Essex with 18 resident cases and three staff cases. Meanwhile, officials with the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance say they are preparing for a possible second wave of the virus.Hospital officials told reporters Monday they are watching closely as the number of infections rise In neighbouring regionsBut right now, Chatham-Kent has just 18 active cases of COVID-19, including one hospitalized patient at CKHA.
BUDAPEST, Hungary — The U.S. Embassy in Budapest on Monday condemned an article published by a Hungarian official that drew parallels between American-Hungarian billionaire George Soros and Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.The embassy posted on its Twitter account that it “strongly condemns” statements made in an article equating a debate over the European Union’s bid to bolster democratic standards within its member countries “with the horrific murder of millions of people during the Holocaust.”On Saturday, Szilard Demeter, a ministerial commissioner for culture and the head of the Petofi Literary Museum in Budapest, wrote an opinion piece in pro-government news site Origo referring to Europe as “George Soros’ gas chamber,” and calling Soros “the liberal Führer (whose) liber-aryan army deifies him more than did Hitler’s own.”In the piece, Demeter also noted the conflict over the European Union’s next budget, which Hungary and Poland are holding up over provisions that could block payments to countries that do not uphold democratic standards. He referred to the two countries, both of which are under EU investigation for undermining judicial independence and media freedom, as “the new Jews.”Soros, who was born in Hungary and is a Holocaust survivor, is a frequent target of right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who opposes Soros’ philanthropy which favours liberal causes.The statements prompted strong reactions from several Hungarian Jewish groups and Hungarian opposition politicians while the Israeli Embassy condemned the article. More than 12,000 people including numerous Hungarian public figures like Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony have so far signed a petition demanding Demeter’s resignation.Demeter retracted the article on Sunday following the backlash and said he would delete his Facebook account.In Hungary’s parliament on Monday, several opposition lawmakers inquired how long Demeter would be permitted to remain in his position while others demanded his dismissal. But deputy prime minister Mihaly Varga, who is also finance minister, said that Demeter would remain in his position since he had “admitted his mistake.”“He retracted his article, and he even deleted his Facebook account. He wrote that (his article) could harm the memory of the victims, so he admitted his mistake,” Varga said, and accused the opposition members of parliament of “applying a double standard.”Justin Spike, The Associated Press
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Eight inmates were killed and 59 others were injured when guards opened fire to control a riot at a prison on the outskirts of Sri Lanka's capital, officials said Monday. Two guards were critically injured, they said. Pandemic-related unrest has been growing in Sri Lanka’s overcrowded prisons. Inmates have staged protests in recent weeks at several prisons as the number of coronavirus cases surges in the facilities. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said inmates created “unrest” Sunday at Mahara prison, about 15 kilometres (10 miles) north of Colombo, and officials attempted to control the situation. But “the unrest situation turned into a prison riot,” he said, adding that prisoners tried to take control of the prison and hundreds attempted to escape. The inmates “reportedly destroyed most of the property including offices inside the prison,” Rohana said. The guards opened fire, and the clash left eight inmates dead and 59 injured, he said. Two prison officers were critically injured. He said hundreds of additional police were deployed to help the guards and strengthen security around the prison. An inmate was killed in similar unrest at another prison last week. Another died in March. More than a thousand inmates in five prisons have tested positive for the coronavirus and at least two have died. About 50 prison guards have also tested positive. Senaka Perera, a lawyer with the Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners, said the inmates at Mahara prison had been frustrated because their pleas for coronavirus testing and separation of infected prisoners had been ignored by officials for more than a month. On Monday, about 500 relatives of inmates gathered in front of the prison and urged the authorities to provide information about the prisoners and ensure their safety. Sujeewa Silva said her son has been detained at the facility for seven months after being arrested on drug charges. “I want to know whether he is safe. I asked the officers, please tell me the condition of my son," she said. Sri Lankan prisons are highly congested with more than 26,000 inmates crowded into facilities with a capacity of 10,000. Sri Lanka has experienced an upsurge in the coronavirus since last month when two clusters — one centred at a garment factory and other at a fish market — emerged in Colombo and its suburbs. Confirmed cases from the two clusters have reached 19,449. Sri Lanka has reported a total number of 22,988 coronavirus cases, including 109 fatalities. Bharatha Mallawarachi, The Associated Press
British pop star Rita Ora apologised on Monday after she admitted she had attended a party to celebrate her 30th birthday which broke England's strict COVID-19 lockdown laws. Under the lockdown rules, people in England are not allowed to mix with other households indoors and can meet one person outside.
The 100th birthday bash celebrating the Centennial of the Town of Temiscaming is shaping up for a good time in 2021. Two-time JUNO award-winning Glorious Sons has been booked to headline the “mega reunion weekend” show Sept. 4, 2021. The news was announced Thursday. The highly energetic Canadian rockers hail from Kingston, Ontario, and have more than 200 million global streams to their credit. They have toured the world, selling out arenas on their own and sharing the stage with rock legends such as The Rolling Stones, The Struts, Greta Van fleet, and Twenty-One Pilots. With 12 top-10 radio singles including the hits S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun), Everything Is Alright, Panic Attack and Kingdom in My Heart. Tickets will be sold exclusively at The Center in Temiscaming until Dec. 4 and then online 100e.temiscaming.net from 10 am on Dec. 4. Bleacher tickets $35, General Admission $45. Dave Dale is a Local Journalism Reporter with BayToday.ca. LJI is funded by the Government of Canada. NoneDave Dale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca
A company has started selling the first blood test to help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, a leap for the field that could make it much easier for people to learn whether they have dementia. It also raises concern about the accuracy and impact of such life-altering news. Independent experts are leery because key test results have not been published and the test has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — it's being sold under more general rules for commercial labs. But they agree that a simple test that can be done in a doctor’s office has long been needed. It might have spared Tammy Maida a decade of futile trips to doctors who chalked up her symptoms to depression, anxiety or menopause before a $5,000 brain scan last year finally showed she had Alzheimer’s. “I now have an answer,” said the 63-year-old former nurse from San Jose, California. If a blood test had been available, “I might have been afraid of the results” but would have “jumped on that” to find out, she said. More than 5 million people in the United States and millions more around the world have Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. To be diagnosed with it, people must have symptoms such as memory loss plus evidence of a buildup of a protein called beta-amyloid in the brain. The best way now to measure the protein is a costly PET brain scan that usually is not covered by insurance. That means most people don’t get one and are left wondering if their problems are due to normal aging, Alzheimer’s or something else. The blood test from C2N Diagnostics of St. Louis aims to fill that gap. The company's founders include Drs. David Holtzman and Randall Bateman of Washington University School of Medicine, who headed research that led to the test and are included on a patent that the St. Louis university licensed to C2N. ABOUT THE TEST The test is not intended for general screening or for people without symptoms — it’s aimed at people 60 and older who are having thinking problems and are being evaluated for Alzheimer’s. It’s not covered by insurance or Medicare; the company charges $1,250 and offers discounts based on income. Only doctors can order the test and results come within 10 days. It's sold in all but a few states in the U.S. and just was cleared for sale in Europe. It measures two types of amyloid particles plus various forms of a protein that reveal whether someone has a gene that raises risk for the disease. These factors are combined in a formula that includes age, and patients are given a score suggesting low, medium or high likelihood of having amyloid buildup in the brain. If the test puts them in the low category, “it’s a strong reason to look for other things” besides Alzheimer’s, Bateman said. “There are a thousand things that can cause someone to be cognitively impaired,” from vitamin deficiencies to medications, Holtzman said. “I don’t think this is any different than the testing we do now” except it’s from a blood test rather than a brain scan, he said. “And those are not 100% accurate either.” ACCURACY CLAIMS The company has not published any data on the test’s accuracy, although the doctors have published on the amyloid research leading to the test. Company promotional materials cite results comparing the test to PET brain scans — the current gold standard — in 686 people, ages 60-91, with cognitive impairment or dementia. If a PET scan showed amyloid buildup, the blood test also gave a high probability of that in 92% of cases and missed 8% of them, said the company’s chief executive, Dr. Joel Braunstein. If the PET scan was negative, the blood test ruled out amyloid buildup 77% of the time. The other 23% got a positive result, but that doesn't necessarily mean the blood test was incorrect, Braunstein said. The published research suggests it may detect amyloid buildup before it's evident on scans. Braunstein said the company will seek FDA approval and the agency has given it a designation that can speed review. He said study results would be published, and he defended the decision to start selling the test now. “Should we be holding that technology back when it could have a big impact on patient care?" he asked. WHAT OTHERS SAY Dr. Eliezer Masliah, neuroscience chief at the U.S. National Institute on Aging, said the government funded some of the work leading to the test as well as other kinds of blood tests. “I would be cautious about interpreting any of these things,” he said of the company’s claims. “We’re encouraged, we’re interested, we’re funding this work but we want to see results.” Heather Snyder of the Alzheimer’s Association said it won't endorse a test without FDA approval. The test also needs to be studied in larger and diverse populations. “It’s not quite clear how accurate or generalizable the results are,” she said. ___ Marilynn Marchione can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MMarchioneAP. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Marilynn Marchione, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner will travel to Saudi Arabia and Qatar this week as part of negotiations to end a longtime boycott of Qatar.Kushner, along with Mideast envoy Avi Berkowitz and former special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, will try to negotiate with Gulf leaders over the dispute, a White House official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as the official was not authorized to publicly discuss the trip.Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates cut ties to Qatar in June 2017 as part of a wider political dispute over Doha's support of Islamists, its relationship with Iran and other matters. The four countries also launched an economic boycott, stopping Qatar Airways flights from using their airspace, closing off the small country’s sole land border with Saudi Arabia and blocking its ships from using their ports.Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The country is also home to the sprawling Al-Udeid Air Base, which hosts some 10,000 American troops and the forward headquarters of the U.S. military's Central Command.This may be Kushner's last trip to the region as President Donald Trump has only a few more weeks in office. President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated Jan. 20.Matthew Lee, The Associated Press
Guillaume Boivin has signed a two-year contract extension with the Israel Start-Up Nation cycling team, bringing the number of Canadians on the 32-rider squad to four.Boivin joins Ottawa's Michael Woods and Alex Cataford, and Montreal's James Piccoli.The Israel Start-Up Nation roster, which features talent from 17 countries, is headed by British star Chris Froome and veteran German Andre Greipel. Froome and Woods, who comes from the EF Pro Cycling team, are two of nine newcomers in 2021.Founded in 2014 as the Israel Cycling Academy, Team Israel Start-Up Nation is co-owned by Canadian-born Sylvan Adams, a former Canadian Masters cycling champion who emigrated to Israel in 2015.Woods has ties to both Adams and team performance director Paulo Saldanha."Despite COVID-19, Israel Start-Up Nation had a good inaugural season in the WorldTour. We secured our first victories at this level — including Grand Tour stages," Adams said in a statement."Our lineup for next year is significantly enhanced, yet it keeps the core group together. We plan to be extremely competitive in the biggest races … Exciting times ahead."The hope is to hold the pre-season training camp in January in Israel, as in past years."We see ourselves as ambassadors of Israel, and we feel confident that we can hold the camp and ensure the health and safety of our riders and staff," said team CEO Ido Shavit.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020The Canadian Press
The value that Wall Street places on access to billions of bytes of data, rather than old-school stock picking, became abundantly clear Monday as two of the biggest providers of such information become one in the biggest takeover of the year.S&P Global announced that it would acquire IHS Markit, based in London, for about $44 billion in an all-stock deal.Data collection has become pivotal on Wall Street as algorithms and high-speed trading drive global markets. And growth has been explosive for the companies that can provide that information instantly and in bulk.IHS and Markit merged just four years ago to create a $13 billion company. The company has almost tripled in value since then, and is now worth close to $37 billion.The size of the deal announced Monday eclipsed Nvidia's acquisition of rival chipmaker Arm Holdings for $40 billion in September, and Nippon Telegraph & Telephone acquisition of a subsidiary for nearly that much in the same month.The newcomer IHS Markit is being acquired by a company with roots dating back to the 19th century, when Henry Varnum Poor published the History of the Railroads and Canals of the United States to provide transparency for investors.IHS Markit has more than 50,000 business and government customers, including 80% of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions.Each share of IHS Markit common stock will be exchanged for a fixed ratio of 0.2838 shares of S&P Global stock. Current S&P Global shareholders will own approximately 67.75% of the combined company, while shareholders of IHS Markit, based in London, will own about 32.25%.The transaction puts IHS Markit's enterprise value at $44 billion, including $4.8 billion of debt.The combined company will be headquartered in New York, where S&P Global is based, with a substantial presence in key global markets across North America, Latin America, EMEA and Asia Pacific.Douglas Peterson, the CEO of S&P Global, will hold that title at the combined company. Lance Uggla, Chairman and CEO of IHS Markit, will become a special advisor to the company for a year after the deal closes.The transaction is expected to close in the second half of next year. It needs the approval of both companies' shareholders.Shares of IHS Markit rose more than 7% at the opening bell Monday. S&P Global's stock was essentially flat.Michelle Chapman, The Associated Press
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NEW YORK — In the land of lexicography, out of the whole of the English language, 2020's word of the year is a vocabulary of one.For the first time, two dictionary companies on Monday — Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com — declared the same word as their tops: pandemic. A third couldn't settle on just one so issued a 16-page report instead along the same lines, noting that a world of once-specialized terms entered the mainstream during the COVID-19 crisis.The year, Oxford Languages said in the report last week, “brought a new immediacy and urgency to the role of the lexicographer. In almost real-time, lexicographers were able to monitor and analyze seismic shifts in language data and precipitous frequency rises in new coinages."Its Oxford English Dictionary and others found themselves madly updating well beyond routine schedules to keep up. Such publication updates are usually planned far in advance. Because the coronavirus pandemic brought on gargantuan language changes, according to Oxford Languages, “2020 is a year which cannot be neatly accommodated in one single `word of the year.'”Not so at Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com, both of which also noted enormous shifts toward many other related words but announced just one nonetheless.Pandemic “probably isn’t a big shock,” Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for Merriam-Webster, told The Associated Press ahead of the announcement.“Often the big news story has a technical word that’s associated with it and in this case, the word pandemic is not just technical but has become general. It’s probably the word by which we’ll refer to this period in the future,” he said.John Kelly, senior research editor at Dictionary.com, told the AP before breaking the news that searches on the site for pandemic spiked more than 13,500% on March 11, the day the World Health Organization declared an outbreak of the novel coronavirus a global health emergency.The daily spike, he said, was “massive, but even more telling is how high it has sustained significant search volumes throughout the entire year."Month over month, lookups for pandemic were more than 1,000% higher than usual. For about half the year, the word was in the top 10% of all lookup on Dictionary.com, Kelly said.Similarly, at Merriam-Webster.com, searches for pandemic on March 11 were 115,806% higher than spikes experienced on the same date last year, Sokolowski said.Pandemic, with roots in Latin and Greek, is a combination of “pan,” for all, and “demos,” for people or population, he said. The latter is the same root of “democracy,” Sokolowski said. The word pandemic dates to the mid-1600s, used broadly for “universal” and more specifically to disease in a medical text in the 1660s, he said.That was after the plagues of the Middle Ages, Sokolowski said.He attributes the lookup traffic for pandemic not entirely to searchers who didn’t know what it meant but also to those on the hunt for more detail, or for inspiration or comfort in the knowing.“We see that the word love is looked up around Valentine’s Day and the word cornucopia is looked up at Thanksgiving,” Sokolowski said. “We see a word like surreal spiking when a moment of national tragedy or shock occurs. It’s the idea of dictionaries being the beginning of putting your thoughts in order.”The pandemic, Kelly said, made us all worthy of watercooler chatter with Dr. Anthony Fauci as our knowledge grew about all things pandemic, aerosols, contact tracing, social distancing and herd immunity, along with the intricacies of therapeutic drugs, tests and vaccines that can help save lives.“These were all part of a new shared vocabulary we needed to stay safe and informed. It’s incredible,” said Kelly, who works with a team of lexicographers to come up with words of the year based primarily on site traffic.Merriam-Webster began designating a word of the year in 2008, with “bailout.” The company's word of the year for 2019 was “they,” when a shifting use of the personal pronoun was a hot subject and lookups increased by 313% in 2019 over the previous year.Dictionary.com has been in the word of the year game since 2010, with “change.” Its word of the year in 2019 was “existential" in a year that climate change, gun violence, the very nature of democracy and an angsty little movie star named Forky from Disney's “Toy Story 4” helped propel search spikes.Oxford went with two words last year: climate emergency.Kelly, Sokolowski and Oxford Languages noted other worthy search trends beyond the pandemic. After the May 25 death of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, words around racial justice experienced spikes, including fascism, anti-fascism, defund and white fragility, Kelly said.“There was no way for us to leave that out of the conversation this year,” he said.Oxford included a range in its report, from “karen” to “QAnon.”But it was all things pandemic that ultimately won the annual word sweepstakes.Jennifer Steeves-Kiss, chief executive for Dictionary.com, said one key ingredient in the hunt for the site’s word of the year is sustained interest over time. Pandemic met that standard.“This has affected families, our work, the economy,” she said. “It really became the logical choice. It’s become the context through which we’ve had dialogue all through 2020. It’s the through line for discourse.”Leanne Italie, The Associated Press
WROXETER – Proposed changes to the Conservation Authorities Act have the board members of Maitland Conservation (formerly Maitland Valley Conservation Authority) concerned. At the MC meeting on Nov. 18, the members agreed that they must get loud and push back, making “as much noise as possible” to make sure the government hears their concerns. Among their concerns is “the glaring omission” of watershed management as a core service of conservation authorities. “Watershed management is the main reason that conservation authorities were formed,” according to a summary report prepared by the MC. “The province, municipalities and conservation groups realized that the best way to conserve forests and rivers was to undertake conservation stewardship on a watershed basis.” MC’s chairs and vice-chairs made this point to Jeff Yurek, Ontario’s minister of environment, conservation, and parks, and Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson when they met at MC’s office last August. Yurek did say that he could add watershed management services as a core service by regulation, according to a report presented to the MC board members. “Tacked on to the recent Government of Ontario omnibus Budget Bill 229 is Schedule 6, a proposal for significant changes to the Conservation Authorities Act. Schedule 6 has set off alarm bells amongst Conservation Authorities and our partners across the province,” a press release dated Nov. 22 from MC said. “The proposed changes will severely curtail the role of Conservation Authorities in watershed planning and management. This will negatively impact our efforts to build watershed resiliency and deliver stewardship, monitoring and flood and erosion safety services to our member municipalities and watershed residents.” Dave Turton, chair of MC, said that the government surveyed the 36 Ontario conservation authorities in 2019. They provided feedback to the province on flood and erosion safety, watershed stewardship, funding, severe weather events other than spring thaws, and water quality. He said they would like Schedule 6 removed, “as it goes against a lot of our thoughts to the province last year.” Yurek sent a letter to conservation authorities on Nov. 5 outlining the Conservation Authorities Act and the Planning Act. These updates, according to the letter, would “improve the consistency and transparency of the programs and services that conservation authorities deliver.” Yurek added that the updates would provide additional oversight for municipalities and the province. They would also streamline conservation authority permitting and land use planning reviews to increase accountability, consistency, and transparency. The anticipated changes are exempt from the public consultation requirements set out by the Environmental Bill of Rights because they are part of a budget. Once the province approves that budget, it will support the Conservation Authorities Act’s changes. During the discussion at the meeting, the board’s opinion was that the Ford government was again trying to change the greenbelt designation in Vaughn. “The government seems to be bending to the developers in and around the Toronto area,” said Turton. “The land development is so vast that all the non-conservation land is used up, and now where do you build?” Added Turton, “We understand that some environmentally-friendly areas are being filled in with dirt for housing construction, etc. This is not right. The Conservation Authorities have used science-based collaborative strategies in decision making and will continue this path.” The greenbelt has been a controversial subject since 2019, when landowner Lucia Milani of Rizmi Holdings approached the provincial government, intending to get the protected status lifted off a 60-acre piece of land in northeast Vaughan. The CBC reports that the campaign has since been closed. The MC encouraged watershed residents to “take a moment to read the material developed by Ontario Nature and the Canadian Environmental Law Association and sign their petition.” You can find it at Ontario Nature Petition. The campaign asks the Ontario government to retain the current mandate of the province’s 36 Conservation Authorities. An excerpt from the campaign letter said, “Ontario’s Conservation Authorities are a unique and widely- respected innovation. They provide a much-valued bridge across municipal boundaries to understand and address environmental concerns, such as flooding. They are ideally positioned to encourage science-based collaborative strategies and decision-making because they operate at the watershed level. “The changes proposed in Schedule 6 will reduce or constrain the mandate of Conservation Authorities, and are therefore contradictory to the interests of the people of Ontario, who are facing enormous risks and costs as a result of climate change and ongoing biodiversity loss.” In a statement on its website, Ontario Nature says, “The vital role of our Conservation Authorities in watershed-based land use planning and permitting must be retained to prevent unchecked development, that puts communities at risk from flooding and other climate change impacts through the loss of wetlands, woodlands, and farmland.” Conservation Authorities’ core role has been under review since 2019 when Ontario committed to its Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan to ensure that conservation authorities focus and deliver on their core mandate. The roles of preparing and protecting against the impacts of natural hazards, maintaining and managing conservation lands, and drinking water source protection are the focus of the review. According to a notice posted on Ontario.ca, consultations have been held with “conservation authorities and a diverse group of stakeholders, including municipalities, the agricultural and development sectors, environmental and conservation organizations, and landowners,” on the appropriate role for conservation authorities. Phil Beard, general manager of MC, said, “I attended the consultation session in London. The majority of presentations were supportive of conservation authorities and their present mandate and services. “However, the government did not release the results of the consultation sessions,” he added. “So, they are the only ones who know what was actually submitted for comments.” “If the government would reveal the results of the consultation sessions, then it would be transparent to everyone that they have or have not taken the consultation sessions into account,” added Beard. Conservation Ontario (CO) recommends the province repeal Schedule 6 because the changes being proposed will create more red tape and higher costs for Ontario taxpayers, as well as threaten the independent watershed-based approach used by conservation authorities in land-use planning, it said in a press release dated Nov. 18. CO is encouraging residents and watershed partners to reach out to the Premier, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks, the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, as well as their local MPPs to request them to repeal Schedule 6 of the Bill 229: Protect, Support and Recover from COVID- 19 Act (Budget Measures Act).Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
BRUSSELS — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday that the military alliance is grappling with a dilemma over its future in Afghanistan, as the United States starts pulling troops out while attacks by the Taliban and extremist groups mount.More than 17 years after taking the lead on international security efforts in Afghanistan, NATO now has around 11,000 troops from dozens of nations there helping to train and advise the national security forces. Most of the personnel are from Europe and other NATO partner countries.But the alliance relies heavily on the United States armed forces for air support, transport and logistics. European allies would struggle even to leave the country without U.S. help, and President Donald Trump’s decision to pull almost half the U.S. troops out by mid-January leaves NATO in a bind.“We face a difficult dilemma. Whether to leave, and risk that Afghanistan becomes once again a safe haven for international terrorists. Or stay, and risk a longer mission, with renewed violence,” Stoltenberg told reporters on the eve of a videoconference between NATO foreign ministers.Under a peace deal between the United States and the Taliban — without the involvement of other NATO allies or the Afghan government - all foreign troops should leave Afghanistan by May 1 if security conditions on the ground permit.“Whatever path we choose, it is important that we do so together, in a co-ordinated and deliberate way,” Stoltenberg said, on the eve of a videoconference between NATO foreign ministers where the organization’s most ambitious operation ever will be high on the agenda.Trump’s unilateral decision to leave only 2,500 U.S. troops with the mission had allied military planners scrambling, as they tried to work out whether NATO could continue to operate in Kabul, and other major cities. NATO diplomats say that for now they have enough “enablers” to get the job done.Afghan officials also fear that a rapid reduction in American troops could strengthen the Taliban’s negotiating position.NATO defence ministers are likely to make a final decision about the future of the Resolute Support Mission in February, after President-elect Joe Biden takes office. European diplomats expect the tone to change under Biden, but probably not the U.S. intention to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible.The uncertainty comes amid a sharp rise in violence this year and a surge of attacks by the Taliban against the beleaguered Afghan security forces since the start of peace talks in September. Islamic State militants have also struck this month, notably in a horrific attack on Kabul University that killed 22 people, most of them students.“We have seen over the last months and weeks several attacks,” Stoltenberg said. “Some are conducted by Taliban, some attacks ISIS claimed responsibility for. But what we know is that the Taliban is responsible for attacks and the level of violence is far too high.”Even U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said: “We do not think the Taliban is keeping its word under the agreement. The violence is too high, and the Afghan people and the Afghan soldiers have paid a heavy price.”But despite the surge in violence, and deep uncertainty cause by the U.S. drawdown, the peace agreement appears to be an opportunity too good for NATO to miss.“We now see an historic opportunity for peace. It is fragile, but it must be seized,” Stoltenberg said. “We see an unpredictable and difficult military and political situation. But at least there are now talks.”Lorne Cook, The Associated Press
Georgian Bay’s Honey Harbour Public Library is reopening at their new location, but only for curbside pickup, on Tuesday, Dec. 1 following its pandemic-related closure earlier this year. They’ll be open four days a week, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Currently, the library is only handling drop-ins and contact-free pickups at their other locations in Georgian Bay, at the MacTier and Port Severn branches. On Dec. 1, all their locations will transition into curbside service only. The new library is located inside the Honey Harbour Public School at 2586 Honey Harbour Road. Tracey Fitchett, the library’s CEO, said she’s “really excited” to finally be operating out of the new facility, even though the public can’t come in. Official talks about relocating to the public school from their old location began last year. Fitchett said renovations began in fall 2019. Staff were in the midst of moving their things to the new location when public schools were closed provincewide on March 14. Until Friday, Nov. 27, their plan was to open the facility to the public, but they changed their plans out of fear of contributing to the spread of the coronavirus. “The numbers are so high every day and with other areas being in lockdown and potentially a lot of people from the red and grey zones will be coming here to stay at their cottages,” she said. “It’s just added risk to the staff and the people that come into the library.” Georgian Bay falls under the jurisdiction of the Simcoe Muskoka Public Health Unit, currently in the orange zone. No more than ten people can gather indoors under these rules. Curbside pickup will operate the same way it does at the other library locations in Georgian Bay. People can reserve books or movies online or over the phone, then the library will take either a day or up to two weeks to acquire the materials. Renters can then come pick up the materials during open hours and drop them off at the drop box. “It’s a beautiful space,” Fitchett said about the new library. “It’d be nice to have the community be able to come in again.” Zahraa Hmood is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering the municipalities of Muskoka Lakes, Lake of Bays and Georgian Bay. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.Zahraa Hmood, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, muskokaregion.com
Nova Scotia reported 16 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, giving the province a total of 138 active cases.One of the new cases, linked to Northeast Kings Education Centre in Canning, was announced late Sunday but reported in Monday's figures. The other 15 are in the central zone.The Nova Scotia Health Authority said 628 people were tested at a pop-up clinic in Dartmouth, yielding six positive results. Those people were told to self-isolate and make arrangements to take a standard test. The health authority completed a total of 3,054 tests Sunday. It also reported that on Friday, it wrongly reported nine positive cases, when in fact it was eight. "We continue to see strong interest in the asymptomatic pop-up rapid testing locations, which shows Nova Scotians, including young Nova Scotians, are taking this virus seriously," said Premier Stephen McNeil in a news release."I want to thank all who have come out for a test, as well as the volunteers and health staff at the sites. We are also seeing impressive test numbers at the labs, a reflection of the hard work of staff there. These are important pieces of our collective effort to contain the virus."On Monday evening, the Nova Scotia Health Authority announced two sites where potential COVID-19 exposures may have taken place: * East Peak Indoor Climbing at 6408 Quinpool Rd. on Nov. 21 between 1:30-4:30 p.m. Symptoms may develop up to, and including, Dec. 5. * Heartwood Cafe at 3061 Gottingen St. on Nov. 21 between 4:00-7:00 p.m. Symptoms may develop up to, and including, Dec. 5.Anyone exposed to the coronavirus at these locations is asked to call 811 to arrange for COVID-19 testing even if they don't have symptoms.Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, said experimental research detected COVID-19 in Wolfville's wastewater."Although it is not definitive, it could be a sign that COVID-19 has found its way into that community," he said in the news release. The province is operating pop-up COVID-19 rapid testing clinics Monday in Wolfville and Halifax.The Wolfville tests will be done at 117 Front Street between 1:30-8 p.m. The Halifax testing site will be at the YMCA at 2269 Gottingen Street from 1:30-8 p.m. Lineups could stretch outside, so people are encouraged to wear warm clothing. The rapid test clinics will test anyone over the age of 16 who has no symptoms of COVID-19, has not travelled recently, and has had no contact with someone known to have COVID-19. The two clinics won't test people who have been at an exposure site, or those who work in the hospitality industry.The Department of Health and Wellness said people who work in bars or restaurants should not go to pop-up sites, but instead book a test online at 811.novascotia.ca.Nova Scotia started using pop-up clinics to test for COVID-19 last week.7 health-care workers test positiveNova Scotia Health has resumed releasing the number of staff who have tested positive for COVID-19.As of Monday, seven health-care workers have tested positive in the province. There are six active cases and one resolved case.Public Health says 29 health-care workers are in isolation "as a result of moderate to high-risk staff-to-staff contact in the workplace." There haven't been any patient-to-staff risks identified at this time.COVID cases in the Atlantic provincesThe latest numbers from the Atlantic provinces on Monday are:SymptomsAnyone with one of the following symptoms should visit the COVID-19 self-assessment website or call 811: * Fever. * Cough or worsening of a previous cough.Anyone with two or more of the following symptoms is also asked to visit the website or call 811: * Sore throat. * Headache. * Shortness of breath. * Runny nose.MORE TOP STORIES
LONDON — British singer Rita Ora apologized Monday for breaking lockdown rules by holding a birthday party, saying it was “a serious and inexcusable error of judgment.”The Sun newspaper ran photos of Ora and others, including models Cara and Poppy Delevingne, arriving at the Casa Cruz restaurant in London’s Notting Hill area on Saturday.Under lockdown rules that end Wednesday, all pubs and restaurants in England must close except for takeout and delivery, and people are barred from meeting indoors with members of other households.Ora said on Instagram that she had held “a small gathering with some friends to celebrate my 30th birthday.”“It was a spur of the moment decision made with the misguided view that we were coming out of lockdown and this would be OK,” she wrote.Ora, whose hits include “Anywhere” and “I Will Never Let You Down,” said she now realized “how irresponsible these actions were and I take full responsibility.”Reports of the party attracted widespread criticism.Asked about the event, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, Jamie Davies, said it was “important that everybody in society sets an example by following the rules. That is for every member of the public, including celebrities.”(backslash)Britain has Europe's worst coronavirus death toll, at over 58,000 people.___Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreakThe Associated Press
The P.E.I. government has provided funding for a Summerside group that hopes to learn more about the challenges faced by French-speaking women when dealing with family violence.Actions Femmes I.P.E. was founded in the 1970s to support Acadian and French-speaking women on the Island. It was recently given $10,000 for a project that will not only consult survivors of violence about their experiences, but also share those voices.Group executive director Johanna Venturini said the province's Acadian and French-speaking populations are largely in rural areas, and that can create challenges beyond any language barriers."When you are in a very small rural community, everyone knows each other. Sometimes it can be helpful but we know that sometimes people can talk a lot and gossip can circulate very quickly," said Venturini."If you are experiencing violence, you don't really want that everyone knows about it. So it can be sometimes why a victim will prefer to hide in a situation and not want to leave her home."By talking to survivors of violence, Actions Femmes hopes to learn more about how to help Acadian and French-speaking women on the Island.By sharing their stories, the group intends to let people know that domestic violence can happen even in small communities, and it is everyone's business to help stop it.There are a number of avenues for women experiencing domestic violence to seek help, said Venturini. * 911 for immediate emergencies. * P.E.I. Rape and Sexual Assault Centre. * Family Violence Prevention Services. * 211 for help navigating the services available.While primarily English, these services do have bilingual staff available. Actions Femmes wants to learn how these services are helping French-speaking women, as well as any ways they might be failing them.More from CBC P.E.I.
Depuis de nombreuses années, ils sont des milliers d’internautes à suivre le quotidien de Maxime Fortin, d’Alma, via sa chaîne YouTube. Humour, conseil beauté, l’étudiante en administration des affaires âgée de 20 ans veut maintenant se concentrer à aider à sa manière les jeunes qui ont grandi avec elle en partageant des conseils et des histoires sur sa vie d’adulte. Trucs pour réussir les curriculum vitae, partage de son expérience sur le marché du travail, les vidéos faits par la YouTubeuse jeannoise présentent depuis quelque temps un contenu plus mature. « J’essaie maintenant d’apporter le plus de bénéfices possible avec mes vidéos. Avant, avec par exemple mes revues de maquillage, ça n’apportait pas grand-chose à mes abonnés. Maintenant, j’essaie vraiment de les aider à ma manière, en leur donnant par exemple des conseils sur le marché du travail ou les études. Je sais qu’il y en a beaucoup qui sont à la même place que moi, donc si ça peut les aider, je suis contente », partage en riant la YouTubeuse qui cumule 43 000 abonnés, dans un entretien par visioconférence avec Le Quotidien. Depuis qu’elle a 13 ans, l’étudiante à l’Université Laval publie des vidéos hebdomadaires sur sa chaîne YouTube. Si une personne la suit depuis ses tout débuts, elle peut certainement voir que le contenu fait par la jeune femme a évolué au fil du temps. Elle s’est concentrée au fil du temps sur la mode, la beauté et même l’humour, avant de se lancer dans un contenu plus axé sur sa vie d’adulte. « Maintenant, je documente plus ma vie, je montre qu’est-ce que je fais à l’école, mon parcours scolaire, des vidéos sur les finances pour vraiment toucher ce qui m’intéresse en aidant les gens de mon âge », continue-t-elle. Il est important de savoir que Maxime n’a pas récolté des milliers de visionnements du jour au lendemain. Il a fallu plusieurs années de travail acharné pour arriver à ce que son passe-temps soit rémunéré. Sans se considérer comme populaire, la jeune femme admet qu’elle est de plus en plus reconnue pour ses vidéos qui lui apportent des opportunités qu’elle n’avait pas avant. Elle se rappelle d’ailleurs le moment où sa compagnie préférée l’a appelé pour une demande de partenariat. « Le premier contrat que j’ai eu avec une compagnie que j’aimais beaucoup, c’est là que j’ai réalisé que les efforts que j’ai mis pendant plusieurs années ont servi. J’ai vu que je pouvais être rémunérée pour ce que je faisais. C’était la compagnie Simons, qui me demandait de faire un vlog par rapport à ma rentrée au cégep. J’étais tellement fière qu’une compagnie que j’adore me connaisse », s’est-elle réjouie. Conseils Si une personne souhaite se lancer sur les réseaux sociaux, la YouTubeuse a quelques conseils. Premièrement, elle rappelle qu’il est important d’être soi-même. Trop souvent, les gens qui se lancent se créent un personnage, ou ils font seulement ce que les autres ont fait avant, mais Maxime est persuadée que ce que les internautes aiment est la personnalité réelle d’une personne. Elle ajoute aussi qu’il ne faut pas se décourager, qu’il est important de mettre des efforts constants dans son projet et de ne jamais cesser d’y croire. Elle est la preuve qu’il est possible de réussir à percer même en région éloignée. « L’avantage d’Internet, c’est que tu peux le faire de partout. Ce n’est pas parce que tu es d’une petite ville du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean que ça ne peut pas fonctionner. Des contrats, tu peux en avoir, peu importe où tu habites. Tu peux faire ça de chez toi, même si tu es aux études », souligne-t-elle. Projets Maxime Fortin ne compte pas arrêter les vidéos YouTube et la création de contenu de sitôt. « Je me fais souvent demander ce que je vais faire si un jour je n’ai plus de chaîne YouTube. C’est vrai que ça évolue vraiment rapidement, mais il est certain que si la plateforme me le permet et mes abonnés aussi, j’ai l’intention de continuer le plus longtemps que je peux », admet-elle. Toutefois, elle se concentre également sur ses études en administration des affaires et en marketing. Elle se voit travailler dans une agence durant quelques années. Son plus grand objectif est de lancer un jour son entreprise. Elle ne sait pas encore en quoi exactement se spécialisera son entreprise, mais elle a la fibre entrepreneuriale bien ancrée en elle. On peut suivre Maxime sur sa chaîne YouTube et sur Instagram.Myriam Arsenault, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
Indigenous communities in Wood Buffalo say they've been preparing for school shutdowns and they are ready to have an influx of students learning from home. Ron Quintal, president of the Fort McKay Métis Nation, said he's relieved three of his kids won't be travelling to school in Fort McMurray anymore. Internet in rural Wood Buffalo can be limited, but Quintal said the nation is providing students with laptops or Wi-Fi if needed. "We've done everything we can to make sure that going virtual is a reality in our household," he said. Fort McMurray has significantly more cases of COVID-19 than Fort McKay. Quintal said there have been just eight cases of COVID-19 in the community over the course of the pandemic. Fort McMurray has had almost 700. "You're constantly having to worry and have that anxiety," Quintal said. The community has used a security gate, temperature checks and COVID-19 testing at the health centre. "When it comes to your kids, protection is paramount," said Quintal. "We will take every precaution." The Northland School Division will see an additional 90 students start at-home learning as a result of the provincial government's new COVID-19 regulations. Nearly 630 students in rural Wood Buffalo will be learning from home and 1,291 will stay in class. Nancy Spencer-Poitras, superintendent of the Northland School Division, said about 40 per cent of the students in rural Wood Buffalo don't have access to the internet, and that an internet connection isn't always reliable for the other 60 per cent. So teachers have got creative — sending kids lessons on memory sticks or sending students homework packages. In some cases, where necessary, the school has provided students with Chromebooks as well. Spencer-Poitras said the district has the benefit of being smaller, meaning schools have been able to be flexible in response to the pandemic. Throughout the school year, more students have returned to class as parents become more comfortable. "We've been very fortunate with our communities being as diligent as they are that we have not had a lot of cases," she said. She said the numbers of students in class are always in flux, depending on how many cases the community has. "You might go from 100 kids being in the school down to 20," Spencer-Poitras said. "Our job is to ensure that programming continues for our students at all times." She said the Christmas break is welcome for the teaching staff though, because they are getting fatigued. "We don't have a lot of substitutes to begin with," said Spencer-Poitras. Calvin Waquan of Fort Chipewyan has a seven-year-old son in Grade 1. For the majority of the school year, his son is in class, but it fluctuates depending on community COVID-19 cases. "We're so remote that it's not really a big, big problem up here," Waquan said. But the class size isn't what it used to be. "My boy comes home and he tells us there's three kids in class," Waquan said. "Not as much as there normally would be." When he does his schooling from home, he gets booklets from the teacher that he can finish at his own pace. Janet Richards had been frustrated with her son's school in Conklin, but she said she's seen improvement this year. "I did send Levi to school [in person] this year because he really, really wanted to go," Richards said. She said there isn't much for him to do in Conklin, and she's a single mom, working a full-time job. Levi wanted to go to school, and it made sense for the family. Richards caught COVID-19, and now she and her family are isolating at home. Levi's teacher has sent him work packages and called to check-in. Richards said because her son is happy at school, she will likely be sending him back in December when the isolation is over.