Watch as this stubborn husky hilariously attempts to prevent her owner from going to work.
Watch as this stubborn husky hilariously attempts to prevent her owner from going to work.
WASHINGTON — Members of President Donald Trump’s failed presidential campaign played key roles in orchestrating the Washington rally that spawned a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol, according to an Associated Press review of records, undercutting claims the event was the brainchild of the president's grassroots supporters. A pro-Trump non-profit group called Women for America First hosted the “Save America Rally” on Jan. 6 at the Ellipse, an oval-shaped, federally owned patch of land near the White House. But an attachment to the National Park Service public gathering permit granted to the group lists more than half a dozen people in staff positions for the event who just weeks earlier had been paid thousands of dollars by Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign. Other staff scheduled to be “on site” during the demonstration have close ties to the White House. Since the siege, several of them have scrambled to distance themselves from the rally. The riot at the Capitol, incited by Trump’s comments before and during his speech at the Ellipse, has led to a reckoning unprecedented in American history. The president told the crowd to march to the Capitol and that “you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.” A week after the rally, Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives, becoming the first U.S. president ever to be impeached twice. But the political and legal fallout may stretch well beyond Trump, who will exit the White House on Wednesday before Democrat Joe Biden takes the oath of office. Trump had refused for nearly two months to accept his loss in the 2020 election to the former vice-president. Women for America First, which applied for and received the Park Service permit, did not respond to messages seeking comment about how the event was financed and about the Trump campaign’s involvement. The rally drew tens of thousands of people. In a statement, the president’s reelection campaign said it “did not organize, operate or finance the event.” No campaign staff members were involved in the organization or operation of the rally, according to the statement. It said that if any former employees or independent contractors for the campaign took part, “they did not do so at the direction of the Trump campaign.” At least one was working for the Trump campaign this month. Megan Powers was listed as one of two operations managers for the Jan. 6 event, and her LinkedIn profile says she was the Trump campaign's director of operations into January 2021. She did not respond to a message seeking comment. The AP’s review found at least three of the Trump campaign aides named on the permit rushed to obscure their connections to the demonstration. They deactivated or locked down their social media profiles, removed tweets that referenced the rally and blocked a reporter who asked questions. Caroline Wren, a veteran GOP fundraiser, is named as a “VIP Advisor” on an attachment to the permit that Women for America First provided to the agency. Between mid-March and mid-November, Donald J. Trump for President Inc. paid Wren $20,000 a month, according to Federal Election Commission records. During the campaign, she was a national finance consultant for Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee between the president’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee. Wren was involved in at least one call before the pro-Trump rally with members of several groups listed as rally participants to organize credentials for VIP attendees, according to Kimberly Fletcher, the president of one of those groups, Moms for America. Wren retweeted messages about the event ahead of time, but a cache of her account on Google shows at least eight of those tweets disappeared from her timeline. She apparently removed some herself, and others were sent from accounts that Twitter suspended. One of the messages Wren retweeted was from “Stop the Steal,” another group identified as a rally participant on a website promoting the event. The Jan. 2 message thanked Republican senators who said they would vote to overturn Biden’s election victory, including Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas. She also retweeted a Jan. 1 message from the president promoting the event, as well as promotional messages from one of the president’s son, Eric Trump, and Katrina Pierson, a Tea Party activist and a spokesperson for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Wren did not return messages seeking comment, and locked her Twitter account after the AP reached out to her last Monday to ask her about her involvement in the Trump rally and the tweets she had removed. Several days later, she blocked the AP reporter. Maggie Mulvaney, a niece of former top Trump aide Mick Mulvaney, is listed on the permit attachment as the “VIP Lead.” She worked as director of finance operations for the Trump campaign, according to her LinkedIn profile. FEC records show Maggie Mulvaney was earning $5,000 every two weeks from Trump’s reelection campaign, with the most recent payment reported on Nov. 13. Maggie Mulvaney had taken down her Twitter account as of last Monday, although it reappeared after an AP reporter asked her about the account’s removal. On Sunday, the same day the AP published this report, she blocked that AP reporter on Twitter. Maggie Mulvaney retweeted several messages on Jan. 6, including one from the president that urged support for the Capitol Police. Trump's Twitter account has been suspended, but the message could be seen in a cache of her Twitter account captured by Google. She also retweeted a message from her uncle, urging Trump to address the nation. Maggie Mulvaney did not respond to messages seeking comment. The insurrection at the Capitol prompted Mick Mulvaney to quit his position as Trump’s special envoy to Northern Ireland. He told CNBC a day after the assault that remaining in the post would prompt people to say “‘Oh yeah, you work for the guy who tried to overtake the government.’” The leaders of Women for America First aren’t new to politics. Amy Kremer, listed as the group’s president on records filed with Virginia’s state corporation commission, is “one of the founding mothers of the modern day tea party movement,” according to her website. Her daughter, Kylie Jane Kremer, is the organization’s treasurer, according to the records. The IRS granted Women for America First tax-exempt status as a social welfare organization a year ago, with the exemption retroactive to February 2019. The AP requested that the group provide any tax records it may have filed since then, but received no response. In a statement issued the same day rioters attacked the Capitol, Amy Kremer denounced the assault and said it was instigated after the rally by a “handful of bad actors,” while seeming to blame Democrats and news organizations for the riot. “Unfortunately, for months the left and the mainstream media told the American people that violence was an acceptable political tool,” she said. “They were wrong. It is not.” The AP reviewed social media posts, voter registrations, court files and other public records for more than 120 people either facing criminal charges related to the Jan. 6 unrest or who, going maskless during the pandemic, were later identified through photographs and videos taken during the melee. The review found the crowd was overwhelmingly made up of longtime Trump supporters, including Republican Party officials, GOP political donors, far-right militants, white supremacists, off-duty police, members of the military and adherents of the QAnon myth that the government is secretly controlled by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophile cannibals. Videos posted on social media in the days following the Capitol attack shows that thousands of people stormed the Capitol. A Capitol Police officer died after he was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher as rioters descended on the building and many other officers were injured. A woman from California was shot to death by Capitol Police and three other people died after medical emergencies during the chaos. Trump’s incendiary remarks at the Jan. 6 rally culminated a two-day series of events in Washington, organized by a coalition of the president’s supporters who echoed his baseless accusations that the election had been stolen from him. A website, MarchtoSaveAmerica.com, sprung up to promote the pro-Trump events and alerted followers, “At 1 PM, we protest at US Capitol.” The website has been deactivated. Another website, TrumpMarch.com shows a fist-raised Trump pictured on the front of a red, white and blue tour bus emblazoned with the words, “Powered by Women for America First.” The logo for the bedding company “My Pillow” is also prominent. Mike Lindell, the CEO of My Pillow, is an ardent Trump supporter who’s falsely claimed Trump didn’t lose the election to Biden and will serve another four-year term as president. “To demand transparency & protect election integrity,” the web page reads. Details of the “DC PROTEST” will be coming soon, it adds, and also lists a series of bus stops between Dec. 27 and Jan. 6 where Trump backers can “Join the caravan or show your support.” Kimberly Fletcher, the Moms for America president, said she wasn’t aware the Trump campaign had a role in the rally at the Ellipse until around New Year's Day. While she didn’t work directly with the campaign, Fletcher did notice a shift in who was involved in the rally and who would be speaking. “When I got there and I saw the size of the stage and everything, I’m like, ‘Wow, we couldn’t possibly have afforded that,’” she said. “It was a big stage. It was a very professional stage. I don’t know who was in the background or who put it together or anything.” In addition to the large stage, the rally on the Ellipse featured a sophisticated sound system and at least three Jumbotron-style screens projecting the president's image to the crowd. Videos posted online show Trump and his family in a nearby private tent watching the rally on several monitors as music blared in the background. Moms for America held a more modest “Save the Republic” rally on Jan. 5 near the U.S. Capitol, an event that drew about 500 people and cost between $13,000 to $14,000, according to Fletcher. Justin Caporale is listed on the Women for America First paperwork as the event’s project manager. He’s identified as a partner with Event Strategies Inc., a management and production company. Caporale, formerly a top aide to first lady Melania Trump, was on the Trump campaign payroll for most of 2020, according to the FEC records, and he most recently was being paid $7,500 every two weeks. Caporale didn’t respond to requests for comment. Tim Unes, the founder and president of Event Strategies, was the “stage manager” for the Jan. 6 rally, according to the permit paperwork. Unes has longstanding ties to Trump, a connection he highlights on his company’s website. Trump’s presidential campaign paid Event Strategies $1.3 million in 2020 for “audio visual services,” according to the campaign finance records. The company declined to comment for this story. Another person with close ties to the Trump administration, Hannah Salem, was the rally’s “operations manager for logistics and communications,” according to the permit paperwork. In 2017, she took a hiatus from the consulting firm she founded and spent three years as senior White House press aide, “executing the media strategy for President Trump’s most high-profile events,” according to her company bio and LinkedIn profile. Last week, within minutes of an AP reporter sending her a LinkedIn message asking about her involvement in and understanding of what happened on Jan. 6, Salem blocked the reporter and did not respond to questions. ___ Smith reported from Providence, Rhode Island. ___ Associated Press researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York and Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report. Richard Lardner And Michelle R. Smith, The Associated Press
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 10:30 p.m. ET on Sunday Jan. 17, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 27,451 new vaccinations administered for a total of 570,742 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 1,505.944 per 100,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 761,500 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 74.95 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland is reporting 3,506 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 5,291 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 10.104 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 11,175 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 47.35 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 1,502 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 5,102 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 32.163 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 8,250 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 5.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 61.84 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 3,769 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 7,600 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 7.788 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 23,000 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 33.04 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 2,713 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 7,732 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 9.912 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 17,775 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 43.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 8,838 new vaccinations administered for a total of 146,694 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 17.144 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 162,175 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 90.45 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 11,007 new vaccinations administered for a total of 200,097 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 13.622 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 277,050 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 72.22 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 13,539 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 9.832 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 33,625 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 40.26 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 3,232 new vaccinations administered for a total of 20,159 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 17.096 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 24,400 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 82.62 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 4,374 new vaccinations administered for a total of 85,935 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 19.522 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 84,175 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 102.1 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 75,914 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 14.794 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 99,475 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 76.31 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,184 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 28.372 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 7,200 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 17 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 16.44 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 512 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 11.348 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 7,200 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 16 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 7.111 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 983 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 25.383 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 6,000 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 15 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 16.38 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Jan. 17, 2021. The Canadian Press
HONOLULU — Three shots behind with six holes to play, Kevin Na birdied three straight holes and finished with an up-and-down birdie from behind the 18th green for a 5-under 65 and a one-shot victory in the Sony Open. Na won for the fifth time in his PGA Tour career, and this one looked unlikely when he three-putted for bogey on the 12th hole at a time where there was no room for mistakes. He answered with birdie putts of 15, 10 and 6 feet, and the winning shot was out of the right rough on the par-5 closing hole at Waialae and ran just over the back of the green. He chipped to tap-in range for his last birdie. Na finished one shot ahead of Joaquin Niemann and Chris Kirk, and only one of them got a consolation prize. Abbotsford, B.C. native Nick Taylor finished in a three-way tie for 11th place at 17-under par. Taylor fired a 3-under 67 in his final round. Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., shot a 4-under 66 to end his tournament in a six-way tie for 19th place at 15-under. Brights Grove, Ont. native and 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir finished in a tie for 47th place. Niemann chipped in for birdie from 55 feet on the par-3 17th and got up-and-down with a long bunker shot on the 18th hole for a 66. Even so, he was runner-up for the second straight week in Hawaii. The 22-year-old from Chile was 45-under par in two events without a trophy to show for it. Kirk closed with his fourth straight round of 65 — that wasn't enough to win on a soft Waialae with no wind — and his tough pitch from below the 18th for birdie proved to be massive. Kirk stepped away from golf in May 2019 citing alcoholism and depression, a bold move that is paying off. He was given a medical extension to make up for lost time, and this was the final event for him to regain full status. Needing nearly 150 FedEx Cup points at the Sony Open, his tie for second was worth 245 points. As for Brendan Steele, it was another year of disappointment in paradise, this one more of a slow leak. Steele last year had a two-shot lead with two to play and wound up losing in a playoff. This time, he made an 18-foot eagle putt on the ninth hole to take a three-shot lead into the back nine. He three-putted the easy 10th hole from nearly 80 feet, and his game was so tentative the rest of the way that he didn't have a birdie chance inside 30 feet until the 17th hole. That was from 10 feet to tie for the lead, and he missed that. Steele also failed to birdie the 18th and closed with a 69. Na won for the fourth consecutive season, and he attributed the late surge to being happy at home with his wife and two children. He looked comfortable even when the Sony Open appeared to be slipping away. Once he made the 15-footer on the 13th hole, he started walking them in. “I knew there was a lot of birdie holes left,” Na said. “I was having fun out there.” Webb Simpson matched the low score of the final round with a 64 and tied for fourth along with Steele and Marc Leishman, shot shot 30 on the back nine. Na finished at 21-under 259 and is assured of returning to Hawaii for two weeks next year, starting with the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua. That course can be too big for him. Waialae proved to be a perfect fit. Doug Ferguson, The Associated Press
East Ferris residents opposed to a rezoning application for a light industrial operation on MacPherson Drive can’t be blamed if they started to smile when first reading a municipal update Friday. Greg Kirton, manager of planning and economic development, wrote that Paige Engineering has withdrawn its applications. While still on the Planning and Advisory Committee agenda for Wednesday, the presentations for and against won't take place. “These files have been closed and will not proceed any further with the Planning Advisory Committee or Council,” he said, referring to the contentious issue that was set for a second public hearing. Numerous letters of opposition were gathered since the last meeting Dec. 16 and a new petition, urging the municipality to help the business find a better-suited location, is nearing 100 signatures. See: Industrial rezoning application deferred into 2021 See: New petition opposes industrial rezoning request See: Residents oppose industrial rezoning on MacPherson Drive The PAC deferred a decision until Paige Engineering figured out how a tractor-trailer could safely unload occasional deliveries at the 382 MacPherson property. Concerns about traffic and pedestrian safety were among those raised last month because the garage is situated at the beginning an ‘S’ curve on a rural road with little shoulder, no sidewalk and not much of a parking area. Other issues raised included the big gap between the existing Official Plan designation of agricultural to land for economic development and the rezoning from rural residential is a leap to light industrial. Paige Engineering wants to outfit trucks and equipment with explosive storage and delivery components it designs for mining and construction clients, both domestic and international. Most of the heavy fabrication work is contracted out before its delivered for assembly. No explosives are permitted on site, John Paige told the PAC. Looming subdivision plans east and west have the potential of adding more than 75 homes plus individual lot development, a pressure of change fuelling comments about the changing character of the area. The withdrawal of the applications would have been rare good news in the middle of a pandemic as the province endures another strict lockdown. The next paragraph wiped those smiles away. “However, Paige Engineering would like to make the committee aware of their intention to re-apply for a Temporary Use By-law under section 39 of the Planning Act,” Kirton wrote in his letter to the PAC, while also circulated to nearby residents and those who registered to speak and receive updates. “A Temporary Use By-Law is implemented in the same way as a Zoning By-Law Amendment under section 34 of the Planning Act; but is limited to a 3-year duration,” he said, noting the East Ferris Official Plan covers such things in section 9.17. “The intention of Paige Engineering Limited is that, if approved, they will use this 3-year temporary approval in order to explore permanent options elsewhere in the community.” Sylvie Hotte, who lives adjacent to the subject property, was not impressed with the change in tack, especially after spending most of the last month before and after the holidays organizing opposition twice already. Her first petition had more than 130 signatures but she was told it was not specific enough and it is unclear if the 'temporary use' application might require a third specific to it. Time will tell if letters of opposition gathered from residents might also need to reference the new application terms, even though fighting a three-year operation doesn’t change the chief concerns for Hotte. Traffic hazards and all other impacts will be the same, she said, and there is no certainty of another change of mind in three years. “This kind of ‘trust me’ and incremental approach is unacceptable,” she stated in her most recent communication to the municipality. Hotte said they are not being told important details, such as environmental protection plans, parking configuration, drainage, and water services, etc. because they are determined during the site plan control stage that doesn’t include public input. Hotte maintains it doesn’t make sense to cause so much disruption in so many lives when East Ferris is planning to develop a 22-acre industrial park on its Callander Bay Drive border. "The residents of this area are furious," she said Friday. "No industrial in our neighbourhood means 'No' ... it does not conform." Brian and Debbie Callahan, who live on the other side of MacPherson Drive, are among the residents who submitted letters of opposition. “We have lived across the street from this location for over 20 years and have come across several problems with traffic on this section of MacPherson Drive,” Callahans wrote. “When our children were younger, they were transported to school in North Bay by school bus. Due to traffic travelling towards Centennial Crescent, the school board deemed it unsafe to have the bus pick up our children at the end of our driveway due to a very sharp corner affecting the safe flow of traffic,” he wrote. “Instead, our children had to walk to Woodcliffe Road to catch the bus. Traffic does not slow coming around the sharp corner, posing unsafe conditions in front of our residence as well as the property in question.” The Callahan's said this kind of change to the Official Plan would give those considering investment in East Ferris a reason to reconsider because property owners don’t know what will be approved next. “We recently found out that a couple that we know from North Bay have been contemplating buying the property near the aforementioned property to build a permanent residence on. They changed their minds when they found out about the proposed Zoning By-law Amendment,” they said. Also worrisome to them was “continuous hammering and construction taking place at the property in question” in recent weeks. “The noise is very noticeable and annoying even though the doors to the building are closed,” their letter states. “The big problem is the prospect of having the doors open during the summer with manufacturing taking place inside. So much for a quiet residential area." Dave Dale is a Local Journalism Reporter with BayToday.ca. LJI is funded by the Government of Canada. Dave Dale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca
Two communities in the Northwest Territories' Dehcho region asked visitors to stay away as concern grew over a cluster of COVID-19 cases in Fort Liard. Fort Liard, which now has three confirmed cases of the disease, is under a containment order that effectively shuts down many activities in the hamlet, including all gatherings, until January 30. While territorial officials have said there is no exposure risk in Dehcho communities, leaders in Sambaa K’e and Jean Marie River said turning away visitors was necessary to protect residents, particularly Elders, from the threat of COVID-19. Jessica Jumbo, a youth counsellor and council member in Sambaa K’e, said chief and council had ruled out visitors and asked residents of the small community – home to fewer than 100 people – to isolate for at least two weeks when returning even from other parts of the N.W.T. Jumbo said only essential inbound traffic like mechanics, fuel trucks, and grocery deliveries would be permitted – with approval issued in advance. Sambaa K'e is only accessible by road in winter. Jumbo said that played a part in the decision. “The winter road season always has more traffic and transportation from those small communities that don’t get out, so we just wanted to tighten it up for extra protection – we can control it better,” she said. “We’re such a small community with so few Elders left, and it does seem to have a high death rate with the older people. That’s really who we’re protecting right now. “If something like that comes through any kind of small community, it could end up wiping out a whole generation. We lose more than just the family members.” Chief of the Jean Marie River First Nation Stanley Sanguez said a sign outside the community now states: “Due to COVID-19, no outside visitors.” Sanguez said stopping in the community for gas would, however, remain permissible for the time being. Those looking to do so will be monitored by staff to make sure they go nowhere else and leave after filling up. “We’re checking to make sure they’re only here for gas and then they’re out of here,” he said. Sanguez said he will work to ensure community members wear masks both within Jean Marie River and when they travel elsewhere for supplies and groceries. “When you go out to Fort Simpson or somewhere like Hay River, use your mask,” he said. “You’ve got to use your mask, keep wiping your hands down, and trying to wipe things down when you do things in your vehicle, especially if you do travel.” On Monday, Sanguez said, contact information will be added to the sign so people can reach community leaders with questions or concerns. Rumours on social media suggesting people in a range of N.W.T. communities had contracted COVID-19 were rejected by territorial leaders on Sunday. Minister Shane Thompson, MLA for the Nahendeh region that includes many Dehcho communities, said on Facebook there was "no exposure risk identified in Fort Simpson or Nahanni Butte in the course of the investigation at this time." Thompson urged people to follow pandemic health guidelines and promised updates if anything changes. He said there was no evidence to suggest anyone should be worried about having worked at or shopped in the same community stores as anyone with COVID-19. “The direction to everyone in the territory is to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, stay home if they’re feeling unwell, and contact their local health centre to get a COVID-19 test at the first sign of any illness,” Thompson wrote. At a news conference on Sunday, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola reiterated that message, saying the territorial government had a “good grasp” on close contacts from the three Fort Liard cases to date. “There is no scenario where there is an unidentified case in another community or an unidentified close contact in another community that hasn’t been made aware,” she said. Kandola said there are currently about 50 people isolating in connection with the three confirmed cases. Establishments in Fort Simpson ramped up cleaning protocols on the weekend, many of them closing for deep cleaning or changing their store hours. Muaz Hassan, owner of the village’s Unity Store, said masks were now mandatory inside the building. The Nahanni Inn is open for takeout only and asked residents to wear a mask when picking up orders. The Icebreaker Lounge will be closed until further notice. Pandaville will open on Tuesday for takeout only, with patrons required to wear a mask when coming to pick up orders. Beauty Mark Salon will be closed until further notice with appointments being rescheduled. Fort Simpson Beverages and Gardens, the village’s liquor shop, is keeping its regular hours and said it would continue its existing sanitizing and cleaning protocols. The village’s recreation centre will be closed until at least Monday, at which point staff will evaluate whether to reopen. The fitness centre will remain open due to a low number of users, though masks are now mandatory at all times within the facility. “Security cameras will be checked daily and users caught not wearing a mask will have their key fob suspended for one month,” Andre Bolduc, the village’s recreation coordinator, posted to Facebook. Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
Small groups of right-wing protesters — some of them carrying rifles — gathered outside heavily fortified statehouses around the country Sunday, outnumbered by National Guard troops and police brought in to prevent a repeat of the violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol. As darkness fell, there were no reports of any clashes. Security was stepped up in recent days after the FBI warned of the potential for armed protests in Washington and at all 50 state capitol buildings ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday. Crowds of only a dozen or two demonstrated at some boarded-up, cordoned-off statehouses, while the streets in many other capital cities remained empty. Some protesters said they were there to back President Donald Trump. Others said they had instead come to voice their support for gun rights or decry government overreach. “I don’t trust the results of the election,” said Michigan protester Martin Szelag, a 67-year-old semi-retired window salesman from Dearborn Heights. He wore a sign around his neck that read, in part, “We will support Joe Biden as our President if you can convince us he won legally. Show us the proof! Then the healing can begin.” As the day wore on with no bloodshed around the U.S., a sense of relief spread among officials, though they were not ready to let their guard down. The heavy law enforcement presence may have kept turnout down. In the past few days, some extremists had warned others against falling into what they called a law enforcement trap. Washington State Patrol spokesman Chris Loftis said he hoped the apparently peaceful day reflected some soul-searching among Americans. “I would love to say that it’s because we’ve all taken a sober look in the mirror and have decided that we are a more unified people than certain moments in time would indicate,” he said. The security measures were intended to safeguard seats of government from the type of violence that broke out at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, when far-right Trump supporters galvanized by his false claims that the election had been stolen from him overran the police and bashed their way into the building while Congress was certifying the Electoral College vote. The attack left a Capitol police officer and four others dead. More than 125 people have been arrested over the insurrection. Dozens of courts, election officials and Trump’s own attorney general have all said there was no evidence of widespread fraud in the presidential race. On Sunday, some statehouses were surrounded by new security fences, their windows were boarded up, and extra officers were on patrol. Legislatures generally were not in session over the weekend. Tall fences also surrounded the U.S. Capitol. The National Mall was closed to the public, and the mayor of Washington asked people not to visit. Some 25,000 National Guard troops from around the country are expected to arrive in the city in the coming days. U.S. defence officials told The Associated Press those troops would be vetted by the FBI to ward off any threat of an insider attack on the inauguration. The roughly 20 protesters who showed up at Michigan’s Capitol, including some who were armed, were significantly outnumbered by law enforcement officers and members of the media. Tensions have been running high in the state since authorities foiled a plot to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last year. At the Ohio Statehouse, about two dozen people, including several carrying long guns, protested outside under the watchful eyes of state troopers before dispersing as it began to snow. Kathy Sherman, who was wearing a visor with “Trump” printed on it, said she supports the president but distanced herself from the mob that breached the U.S. Capitol. "I’m here to support the right to voice a political view or opinion without fear of censorship, harassment or the threat of losing my job or being physically assaulted,” she said. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, said he was pleased with the outcome but stressed that authorities "continue to have concerns for potential violence in the coming days, which is why I intend to maintain security levels at the Statehouse as we approach the presidential inauguration.” Utah's new governor, Republican Spencer Cox, shared photos on his Twitter account showing him with what appeared to be hundreds of National Guard troops and law enforcement officers standing behind him, all wearing masks. Cox called the quiet protests a best-case scenario and said many ”agitating groups" had cancelled their plans for the day. At Oregon's Capitol, fewer than a dozen men wearing military-style outfits, black ski masks and helmets stood nearby with semiautomatic weapons slung across their bodies. Some had upside-down American flags and signs reading such things as “Disarm the government.” At the Texas Capitol, Ben Hawk walked with about a dozen demonstrators up to the locked gates carrying a bullhorn and an AR-15 rifle hanging at the side of his camouflage pants. He condemned the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and said he did not support Trump. “All we came down here to do today was to discuss, gather, network and hang out. And it got blown and twisted completely out of proportion,” Hawk said. At Nevada's Capitol, where demonstrators supporting Trump have flocked most weekends in recent months, all was quiet except for a lone protester with a sign. “Trump Lost. Be Adults. Go Home,” it read. More than a third of governors had called out the National Guard to help protect their capitols and assist local law enforcement. Several governors declared states of emergency, and others closed their capitols to the public until after Biden's inauguration. Some legislatures also cancelled sessions or pared back their work for the coming week. Even before the violence at the Capitol, some statehouses had been the target of vandals and angry protesters during the past year. Last spring, armed protesters entered the Michigan Capitol to object to coronavirus lockdowns. People angry over the death of George Floyd under a Minneapolis police officer's knee vandalized capitols in several states, including Colorado, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. Last last month, crowds in Oregon forced their way into the Capitol in Salem to protest its closure to the public during a special legislative session on coronavirus measures. Amid the potential for violence in the coming days, the building's first-floor windows were boarded up and the National Guard was brought in. "The state capitol has become a fortress,” said Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat. “I never thought I’d see that. It breaks my heart.” ___ Associated Press writers Farnoush Amiri in Columbus, Ohio; Gillian Flaccus in Salem, Oregon; Mike Householder and David Eggert in Lansing, Michigan; Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina; Rachel La Corte in Olympia, Washington; Sam Metz in Carson City, Nevada; Marc Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Paul Weber in Austin, Texas, contributed to this report. David A. Lieb And Adam Geller, The Associated Press
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained at a Moscow airport after returning from Germany, where he spent months recovering from nerve agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin.
Rudolph Neufeld, or Rudy as he liked to be called, was an active man and a jokester who never took himself too seriously. "He would be anyone's No. 1 cheerleader. He just was always optimistic. No matter what the situation was, he could find something positive to say or something sarcastic or smartass to say to sort of break the monotony of the negativity," said Paula Neufeld, his elder daughter. Neufeld, who had lived for decades in North Vancouver, B.C., in a house he helped build, carried that optimism and thirst for life with him even after he was diagnosed with dementia in his early 70s, when he still went to the gym three times a week. He died two days before Christmas from multiple organ failure after he became infected with COVID-19. He was 81. Neufeld's family had checked him into the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C., in November for what they thought would be a short stay to monitor his reaction to new medication. Instead, he contracted COVID-19 during an outbreak at the hospital, leaving him bed bound and isolated. After weeks of limited interaction, his family says his health deteriorated and they were left with just 15 minutes to say goodbye. They hope that sharing his story makes others think of real people — seniors who are isolated from their families during the pandemic — instead of numbers when statistics are released on COVID-19 cases and deaths. 'A wonderful, wonderful human being' Neufeld was an avid cyclist, kayaker and cross-country skier who enjoyed travelling with his wife of more than 50 years, his daughter said. At parties, he could often be found with a glass of Chardonnay in hand, mingling with the crowd. "He would always acknowledge the odd wallflower sitting alone at a party, go over and make sure they didn't feel left out in a group. He was a wonderful, wonderful human being," Paula Neufeld said. He leaves behind his wife, two daughters and two grandchildren. WATCH | Paula Neufeld says losing a loved one to COVID-19 leaves a gaping hole in the lives of family and friends: About eight years back, Neufeld was diagnosed with vascular dementia after a procedure and later developed Alzheimer's disease. Neufeld continued living at home with his wife and daughter, so when he began acting up after he was prescribed new medication, his family felt they had no choice but to get him admitted to hospital. He was checked into Lions Gate Hospital on Nov. 18, 2020, and the family expected he'd remain there for a few days. But two days later, a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at the hospital. Neufeld says her family received a phone call from staff saying the facility was locked down and no one was allowed in or out. "My dad was basically stuck in there," Paula Neufeld said. 'It was a waiting game for 13 days' She said her father received limited interaction and was confined to his bed. Later, after the family complained, he was confined to a wheelchair instead, she said. He then developed a fever and a COVID-19 test came back positive. "They said palliative care only and basically said, 'He is going to die from this,'" Neufeld said. "Basically, it was a waiting game for 13 days." Neufeld died on Dec. 23. The outbreak at Lions Gate Hospital was declared over the next day. In total, 59 people were infected, including 31 patients. In total, 13 people died. Paula Neufeld says she struggles with the fact her father caught COVID within the hospital and says she is frustrated with a "lack of support" from Vancouver Coastal Health. She wants to know why the hospital didn't test all the patients after the first case was detected, why others weren't moved out from that wing, and why her father had to stay in the hospital until the outbreak was over. "To me that increases the chances of getting COVID," she said. "The whole time, I was worried about him going into care getting COVID ... the frustration for me is that he caught it while in hospital," she added. 'Devastated by the loss of life' In a statement, Vancouver Coastal Health said it can't speak to the specifics of the case due to patient privacy. However, it said patients were not required to stay in the hospital and could self-isolate at home, but patients who were in the unit affected by the outbreak were not able to transition into long-term care. The health authority also said that prior to the outbreak being declared, all patients on the affected unit were tested for the virus and a number of those tests came back positive. "When a COVID-19 outbreak is declared in an acute care setting, our immediate priority is to initiate our outbreak response," the heath authority said in the statement. That response includes early identification and prompt isolation of cases, testing and monitoring of all staff and patients, infection prevention and control, and direct communication with families, it said. "We are saddened by the impact of COVID-19 on residents and staff and are devastated by the loss of life and impact on families," the statement said. 'We will never know how much longer we had with him' Regardless of age, every person who dies from COVID-19 leaves a gaping hole in the hearts of loved ones, Paula Neufeld said. "These numbers are people and these people are loved by other people and are a significant part of other people's lives. Someone [who] is higher in age, doesn't mean their quality of life is worth less than anyone else," she said. "My father had the right to live his life until Alzheimer's decided he doesn't, and COVID cut that short, and we will never know how much longer we had with him."
NEW ORLEANS — Tom Brady's best game in three tries against New Orleans kept the Buccaneers moving on in the NFL playoffs, and has Saints quarterback Drew Brees headed home — perhaps for good. Brady and the Bucs' offence turned three Saints turnovers, including two interceptions of Brees, into touchdowns, and Tampa Bay beat New Orleans 30-20 in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs Sunday night. Two of those touchdowns came on short passes to Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette. And after Brees was intercepted by linebacker Devin White in the middle of the fourth quarter, Brady drove the Bucs to the 1, from where he scored himself to all but ensure his 14th trip to a conference championship game — his first in the NFC. That game will take place in Green Bay next week, where the 43-year-old Brady will try to advance to his 10th Super Bowl in a showdown with Packers All-Pro QB Aaron Rodgers. Meanwhile, the Brees era in New Orleans could be over after 15 seasons. The game may have been the last in the Superdome for the 42-year-old Brees, who is under contract for one more year but has not discussed any plans to play beyond this season, and has sometimes hinted at his impending retirement. While just 3,750 tickets were distributed in the 73,000-seat Superdome to comply with local COVID-19 restrictions, the fans made themselves heard with an eruption of cheers when Brees took the field for New Orleans’ first offensive series. If it was his last game, it won't be one he'll want to remember. The NFL's all-time leader in completions and yards passing was 19 of 34 for 134 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Brady finished 18 of 33 for 199 yards in what often resembled more of a defensive struggle. Unlike his previous two meetings with the Saints — both losses — he was not intercepted and largely avoided pressure, taking only one sack. After Brees' third interception on a tipped pass late in the fourth quarter, the Bucs were able to close out the game with Brady, in his first season with Tampa Bay after 20 with New England, taking a knee. The Saints led 6-3 when Brees, while trying to flee pressure, underthrew Michael Thomas and was intercepted by Sean Murphy-Bunting, who raced 36 yards along the sideline to the Saints 3. Brady hit Evans one play later to put the Buccaneers up 10-6. The Saints answered, helped by a drive-extending third-down defensive holding call on Murphy-Bunting. New Orleans drove to its 44 before unleashing a trick play. Kamara took a direct snap and gave the ball to receiver Emmanuel Sanders on a reverse Sanders lateraled back to Jameis Winston. The reserve QB launched an accurate pass down the middle to Tre'Quan Smith for a 56-yard score. Ryan Succop’s 37-yard field goal capped an up-tempo Bucs drive powered by Fournette’s 40 yards from scrimmage, tying the score at 13 to end the half. Brees’ 16-yard pass to Smith put the Saints ahead 20-13, and New Orleans appeared primed to build on that lead when Brees completed a third-down pass to Jared Cook across the 50. Bucs safety Antoine Winfield Jr. stripped Cook from behind and White snagged the loose ball as it bounced to him, returning it 18 yards to the New Orleans 40. Five plays later, Brady hit Fournette over the middle for a 6-yard score. Succop’s 36-yard field goal made it 23-20 before White’s interception of a pass intended for Kamara gave the Buccaneers the ball at the New Orleans 20. STATS Fournette finished with 107 yards from scrimmage, 63 on the ground. Kamara had 105 yards from scrimmage, with 85 on the ground. Thomas was held without a catch in his final game of an injury-plagued season. INJURIES Buccaneers: Linebacker Jack Cichy went out with an elbow injury in the first quarter. Saints: Deonte Harris, who returned the first Tampa Bay punt 54 yards to set up a field goal, left with a neck injury in the first half. UP NEXT The Bucs will try to advance to the second Super Bowl in franchise history with Brady, no stranger to high-stakes games in cold weather after his two decades in New England. New Orleans might have to ponder life without Brees. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL Brett Martel, The Associated Press
VICTORIA — Using a jackhammer and other home repair tools to save a cat stuck in a tiny drainpipe ranks as the strangest rescue call one Victoria firefighter can recall responding to in his 20-year career. Capt. Tim Hanley said Sunday he and three other firefighters spent more than two hours using sledgehammers and a jackhammer to break through Victoria homeowner Emma Hutchinson's concrete basement floor to free Willow, a nine-month-old kitten. "It came in as a call about a kitten stuck in a pipe," said Hanley. "We didn't know what that entailed and when we got there the woman led us to her basement." He said Hutchinson called firefighters earlier in the week pleading for help after discovering her cat had somehow become stuck in a drainpipe with a 10-centimetre diameter in her basement. She said she knew her cat was stuck in the pipe because she used a portable drain camera and could see the feline, said Hanley. "We got the camera and slid it down and sure enough we could see the cat, but it wasn't making any sounds or anything," he said. Hanley said the firefighters attempted to break open the floor near the pipe, but the concrete appeared to be more than 15 centimetres thick. Luckily, Hutchinson had numerous home renovation tools available for the firefighters to use for the rescue, including a concrete cracking jackhammer, sledgehammers, shovels, buckets, drills and the drain scope, he said. The firefighters used Hutchinson's jackhammer and sledgehammers to break through the concrete floor and dig an area to expose the pipe where the cat was trapped more than a metre down, said Hanley. "As soon as we drilled a hole in the pipe I guess it let in enough light that the cat could see it and it started crying, making some sounds, so we knew it was in there still and knew it was alive," he said. "So I said, 'let's make a cut right here before it moves.' " Hutchinson was too distraught to watch the rescue effort from the basement, but when the cat was pulled from the pipe she was overcome with emotion, Hanley said. "When we got the cat out to her she was just so overjoyed with laughing and crying," he said. "She quickly had phoned a vet and before we we were even cleaned up and out of there, she jumped into her car and took off to the vet to get it looked at." Hutchinson described the rescue as a "miracle" and the efforts of the firefighters as "heroic." "My cat is very important to me," she said. "They were at it for a good couple of hours and they were going to get it out." Hutchinson said Willow was extremely dirty when rescued but was pronounced healthy after being treated for dehydration by a veterinarian. "This is my 20th year and, yes, that's probably the strangest (call) so far," Hanley said. Hanley said Hutchison told the firefighters she will be using her tools to repair the hole in her basement. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021. Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
TORONTO — An enforcement blitz that uncovered numerous violations of COVID-19 prevention protocols across big-box retailers in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas will broaden its scope to include the rest of the province in the weeks ahead, the province's labour minister said Sunday. Monte McNaughton said the initial wave of inspectors combing retailers for those eschewing masks and ignoring physical distancing guidelines found only 70 per cent of sites they visited were adhering to the public health measures intended to curb the spread of the virus. He called the results disappointing, pledging to expand the enforcement efforts to other parts of the province as well as additional industries at risk from COVID-19 outbreaks. "We'll be expanding that in the days and weeks to come across the whole province," McNaughton said in a telephone interview. "We're going to continue targeting bad actors and we'll continue issuing fines and close them down if we have to." The initial blitz involved 50 inspectors fanning out across Toronto, Hamilton and surrounding municipalities to observe the scene at multiple big-box retailers, which are among the businesses allowed to keep their doors open under Ontario's current stay-at-home order. McNaughton said big-box stores would remain a key target during the provincewide expansion. The ministry issued a document late last week saying inspections would also involve workplaces which reported COVID-19 outbreaks and businesses focused on manufacturing, warehousing, distribution centres and food processing. Word of the expansion comes amid growing pressure to quell soaring COVID-19 case counts across Ontario, which showed little sign of abating over the weekend. The province reported 3,422 new cases of COVID-19 and another 69 deaths on Sunday, up more than 10 per cent from levels recorded the day before. The bulk of the most recent diagnoses remain in Toronto and nearby Peel Region, where 1,035 and 585 new infections were identified in the past 24 hours. Windsor-Essex County, York Region and Niagara logged another 254, 246 and 186 cases respectively. Meanwhile, the City of Hamilton announced the province had told it to temporarily cease administering first doses of both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to most people. The city said only residents, staff and essential caregivers at long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes would continue to get their initial shots after Pfizer-BioNTech announced it was delaying international shipments of its vaccine while upgrading facilities in Europe. Those who have already received an initial dose will receive their booster, it said. A spokeswoman for the Minister of Health did not say how many regions received a similar directive or why first doses of the Moderna vaccine were also being paused. And as the vaccine rollout continues at a slightly slower pace, McNaughton said he was hopeful the weekend enforcement blitz would help reign in numbers of new infections. The inspectors visited 110 retailers on Saturday alone and found 31 violations of COVID-19 protocols, he said, noting that amounts to a compliance rate of just over 70 per cent. They issued 11 formal warnings and 11 tickets, he added. McNaughton said he'd hoped the compliance rate would be much higher. "Every business, every supervisor and every worker out there has to do more today than at any point during this pandemic to keep people safe and to be vigilant," he said. The blitz, which continued Sunday, is part of an array of measures the province unveiled in recent days to toughen its approach to COVID-19. Ontario recently ordered people to only leave their homes for groceries, medical appointments, exercise and work that can't be completed remotely. Stores selling non-essential goods have been forced to temporarily close and operate solely through e-commerce and curbside pickups. The most common violations inspectors found big box stores contravening were linked to screening of customers and staff, masking protocols and physical distancing problems, McNaughton said. The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development says it has conducted more than 34,000 COVID-19 related workplace inspections and halted unsafe work 55 times throughout the pandemic. It is in the process of hiring an additional 100 health and safety inspectors and doubling the number of phone lines at the provincial Health and Safety Contact Centre, where violations can be reported. Individuals found violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act can be fined up to $100,000 and imprisoned for as long as a year, while corporations can be fined up to $1.5 million per charge. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021. Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version carried an incorrect spelling of Monte McNaughton's first name.
WASHINGTON — U.S. defence officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event. The massive undertaking reflects the extraordinary security concerns that have gripped Washington following the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters. And it underscores fears that some of the very people assigned to protect the city over the next several days could present a threat to the incoming president and other VIPs in attendance. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told The Associated Press on Sunday that officials are conscious of the potential threat, and he warned commanders to be on the lookout for any problems within their ranks as the inauguration approaches. So far, however, he and other leaders say they have seen no evidence of any threats, and officials said the vetting hadn't flagged any issues that they were aware of. ”We’re continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation,” McCarthy said in an interview after he and other military leaders went through an exhaustive, three-hour security drill in preparation for Wednesday’s inauguration. He said Guard members are also getting training on how to identify potential insider threats. About 25,000 members of the National Guard are streaming into Washington from across the country — at least two and a half times the number for previous inaugurals. And while the military routinely reviews service members for extremist connections, the FBI screening is in addition to any previous monitoring. Multiple officials said the process began as the first Guard troops began deploying to D.C. more than a week ago. And they said it is slated to be complete by Wednesday. Several officials discussed military planning on condition of anonymity. “The question is, is that all of them? Are there others?” said McCarthy. “We need to be conscious of it and we need to put all of the mechanisms in place to thoroughly vet these men and women who would support any operations like this.” In a situation like this one, FBI vetting would involve running peoples’ names through databases and watchlists maintained by the bureau to see if anything alarming comes up. That could include involvement in prior investigations or terrorism-related concerns, said David Gomez, a former FBI national security supervisor in Seattle. Insider threats have been a persistent law enforcement priority in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. But in most cases, the threats are from homegrown insurgents radicalized by al-Qaida, the Islamic State group or similar groups. In contrast, the threats against Biden’s inauguration have been fueled by supporters of President Donald Trump, far-right militants, white supremacists and other radical groups. Many believe Trump’s baseless accusations that the election was stolen from him, a claim that has been refuted by many courts, the Justice Department and Republican officials in key battleground states. The insurrection at the Capitol began after Trump made incendiary remarks at the Jan. 6 rally. According to McCarthy, service members from across the military were at that rally, but it’s not clear how many were there or who may have participated in the breach at the Capitol. So far only a couple of current active-duty or National Guard members have been arrested in connection with the Capitol assault, which left five people dead. The dead included a Capitol Police officer and a woman shot by police as she climbed through a window in a door near the House chamber. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, has been meeting with Guard troops as they arrive in D.C. and as they gather downtown. He said he believes there are good processes in place to identify any potential threats. “If there’s any indication that any of our soldiers or airmen are expressing things that are extremist views, it’s either handed over to law enforcement or dealt with the chain of command immediately,” he said. The insider threat, however, was just one of the security concerns voiced by officials on Sunday, as dozens of military, National Guard, law enforcement and Washington, D.C., officials and commanders went through a security rehearsal in northern Virginia. As many as three dozen leaders lined tables that ringed a massive colour-coded map of D.C. reflected onto the floor. Behind them were dozens more National Guard officers and staff, with their eyes trained on additional maps and charts displayed on the wall. The Secret Service is in charge of event security, but there is a wide variety of military and law enforcement personnel involved, ranging from the National Guard and the FBI to Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department, U.S. Capitol Police and U.S. Park Police. Commanders went over every aspect of the city’s complicated security lockdown, with McCarthy and others peppering them with questions about how the troops will respond in any scenario and how well they can communicate with the other enforcement agencies scattered around the city. Hokanson said he believes his troops have been adequately equipped and prepared, and that they are rehearsing as much as they can to be prepared for any contingency. The major security concern is an attack by armed groups of individuals, as well as planted explosives and other devices. McCarthy said intelligence reports suggest that groups are organizing armed rallies leading up to Inauguration Day, and possibly after that. The bulk of the Guard members will be armed. And McCarthy said units are going through repeated drills to practice when and how to use force and how to work quickly with law enforcement partners. Law enforcement officers would make any arrests. He said Guard units are going through “constant mental repetitions of looking at the map and talking through scenarios with leaders so they understand their task and purpose, they know their routes, they know where they’re friendly, adjacent units are, they have the appropriate frequencies to communicate with their law enforcement partners.” The key goal, he said, is for America’s transfer of power to happen without incident. “This is a national priority. We have to be successful as an institution,” said McCarthy. “We want to send the message to everyone in the United States and for the rest of the world that we can do this safely and peacefully.” ___ Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report. Lolita C. Baldor, The Associated Press
Homicide detectives are investigating an early morning shooting in west Edmonton that left one man dead. Police were called to the area of 105th Avenue and 157th Street just after 6:15 a.m. on Sunday to investigate a weapons complaint. According to a news release, officers found a man inside a residence who was suffering from life-threatening injuries. He was treated and taken to hospital where he later died. The homicide section has taken over the investigation and are asking anyone in the area with video surveillance of the neighbourhood to contact police. An autopsy has been scheduled for Tuesday.
MADRID — Third-division Spanish club Navalcarnero upset Eibar 3-1 to reach the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey on Sunday. Juan Esnáider, son of former Argentina forward Juan Eduardo Esnáider, scored twice for the small club from Madrid which will be playing in the last 16 of the Copa for the first time. Japanese forward Yoshinori Muto put Eibar ahead in the 16th minute and Manuel Jaimez equalized for the hosts from the penalty spot in the 30th before the 28-year-old Esnáider scored in the 61st and 79th minutes. Juan Eduardo Esnáider played in Spain in the 1990s, including for Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid. He also played for Argentina’s national team. Eibar had barely escaped elimination in the previous round, when it needed extra time to get past Las Rozas, another third-division club from Madrid. All other first-division clubs avoided upsets against lower-division clubs on Sunday. Valencia defeated Alcorcón 2-0, Villarreal edged Tenerife 1-0, Real Betis beat Sporting Gijón 2-0, Granada eliminated Málaga 2-1 and Osasuna got past Espanyol 2-0. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Organizers of a planned rally in support of farmers in India say the event was unfairly shut down before it could begin in Surrey on Saturday. A statement from an unidentified group affiliated with the event, set to take place in Cloverdale, said the planned protest complied with all COVID-19 guidelines and should have been allowed to go forward. Since late November, farmers in India have been protesting in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana, saying that new laws being implemented by the Indian government will deregulate crop prices and devastate their earnings. Since then, car rallies have been organized in cities like Vancouver, Calgary and Charlottetown to show solidarity. Event volunteer Pindie Dhaliwal wrote in the statement that RCMP "unfairly targeted and unnecessarily undermined a protest planned in compliance with public health orders." "The RCMP squandered an opportunity to have meaningful dialogue and ensure the rights of the public to peacefully protest were protected," she wrote in part. Meghan McDermott, a lawyer with the BC Civil Liberties Association, wrote in the statement that "shutting down of this protest organized by a racialized community is an affront to the constitutional right to protest." "This was an event that took safety measures and provincial health orders seriously but was arbitrarily and unjustly shut down by the Surrey RCMP even before any opportunity for alleging non-compliance arose," McDermott said. RCMP cite concerns around gathering Elenore Sturko, a spokesperson for Surrey RCMP, said police moved to shut down the protest upon hearing that it would feature a stage and food vendors, which raised concerns about people leaving their vehicles and congregating. "We don't want people to be afraid that we're taking efforts to try to extinguish their voices, that is not our intention," Sturko said, adding that police want to ensure a "fine balance" between the rights of people and ensuring they remain safe. "What makes this different from our perspective was that they were going to bring in DJs and vendors and those are the kinds of things that don't really go in line with keeping people in their cars and keeping people from congregating," Sturko said. "It was just a risk that was too great at this time so we had to unfortunately, working with the city, keep that gathering from taking place." Sturko said RCMP were unable to identify and coordinate with a formal organizer of the event, and encouraged organizers of future rallies to reach out to RCMP and the city to ensure events can go forward safely. "If you are planning something, we would ask that you work with us," she said. "It doesn't mean that we're getting rid of the right to protest in Surrey. We want to strike that balance to make individual voices heard and make sure we're doing everything we can to keep the public safe."
Pobeda flight DP936 was a few minutes into its descent towards Moscow's Vnukovo airport, where thousands of supporters of poisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny were waiting to meet him on his return to Russia, when the flight captain said he could not land as planned. It was the first sign to those on board that Navalny's return from Berlin, where he had been treated since August after being attacked in Russia with the military-grade nerve agent Novichok, was not going smoothly. After landing, he sat in the plane, looking out of the window onto a dark, snow-covered runaway and a handful of airport workers in fluorescent vests, holding his wife Yulia's hand in silence.
Twitter on Sunday temporarily suspended the account of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican U.S. Congresswoman from Georgia who has expressed racist views and support for QAnon conspiracy theories online. Greene's account was suspended “without explanation," she said in a statement, while also condemning big tech companies for “silencing” conservative views. The 46-year-old businesswoman and political newcomer was elected to represent Georgia’s 14th District in November. She's gained large followings on social media in part by posting incendiary videos and comments and has also embraced QAnon, a far-right U.S. conspiracy theory centred around the debunked belief that President Donald Trump is waging a secret campaign against enemies in the “deep state” and a child sex trafficking ring they say is linked to Democrats. Before noon Sunday, Greene posted a clip from an interview with a local news outlet in which she condemned Georgia election officials and expressed support for debunked theories claiming that voting machines, absentee ballots and other issues led to widespread fraud in the state during the presidential election. Twitter responded to the tweet, and others, with a message that called the election fraud claim “disputed,” and saying it posed "a risk of violence.” A statement from Greene’s team on Sunday included screenshots from Twitter which appeared to show the company informing the congresswoman she had violated its rules and would be prohibited from interacting with content on the site for 12 hours. Greene urged Congress to “act to protect free speech" in her statement. The action comes a little more than a week after Twitter banned Trump from the platform, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence” following the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol this month. As of Jan. 12, Twitter had also suspended more than 70,000 accounts associated with QAnon as it attempted to rein in harmful activity ahead of the presidential inauguration. Twitter has said it is taking action against online behaviour “that has the potential to lead to offline harm" after the mob of Trump supporters violently stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Greene's suspension. Sophia Tulp, The Associated Press
COVID-19. C’est près de 1,5 M$ que le gouvernement va investir en matière de santé psychologique afin de soutenir les 350 000 travailleurs autonomes que compte le Québec. Jean Boulet, le ministre du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale, vient d’en faire l’annonce. «La crise sanitaire que nous connaissons et les nombreux bouleversements qu'elle entraîne ont des effets dans toutes les sphères de notre société. Le contexte actuel peut certainement augmenter le stress pour tous et exacerber l'anxiété. Les travailleurs autonomes, qui sont les maîtres d'œuvre de toutes les actions de leur entreprise, peuvent, à ce titre, se retrouver dans une situation précaire et d'isolement qui risque d'affecter leur vie personnelle ainsi que la performance et la relance de leur entreprise. Votre gouvernement met donc en place des actions concrètes de prévention pour favoriser le maintien d'une bonne santé mentale», souligne Jean Boulet, ministre du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale en annonçant la mise en place d’ateliers en gestion du stress et en santé psychologique. Ces webinaires gratuits seront proposés par l'Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés. De plus, en collaboration avec ses partenaires locaux, le ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale mettra en place des activités régionales et locales spécifiques pour joindre les travailleurs autonomes et les très petites entreprises aux prises avec des défis similaires. Différentes formules seront proposées comme de courtes activités sur la gestion du stress, des ateliers et des groupes de discussion virtuelle. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
Roman Sadovsky won the virtual Skate Canada Challenge, his only competition in a season erased by COVID-19. The 21-year-old from Vaughan, Ont., the leader after the short program, landed a pair of quad jumps in his free skate to Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars," scoring 262.01 points overall. Nam Nguyen of Toronto was second with 256.43, while Toronto's Corey Circelli won the bronze (235.50). The Challenge is virtual and pre-recorded. Skaters performed their programs for a video crew in their home rinks over the last few weeks, and those programs were broadcast — and judged — over the past two weekends. The Challenge is the only event for virtually the entire Canadian team due to the global pandemic. Skate Canada International in October was cancelled, then the Canadian championships next month in Vancouver were cancelled amid the pandemic's second wave. The world championships last March in Montreal were one of the first major international events erased by COVID-19. Keegan Messing, the only Canadian to compete in a Grand Prix this season - he was third in men's singles at Skate America - didn't compete in the Challenge. Madeline Schizas won the women's single title on Saturday, while Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro won the pairs title awarded last weekend. The ice dance concludes later Sunday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021. The Canadian Press
The families victims who suffered Stalinist repression are still waiting for compensation 30 years after the collapse of the former Soviet UnionView on euronews