Yahoo Sports' Andy Behrens and Scott Pianowski talk about the explosion of dual-threat QBs in the NFL, including why they are so important when it comes to fantasy football.
Yahoo Sports' Andy Behrens and Scott Pianowski talk about the explosion of dual-threat QBs in the NFL, including why they are so important when it comes to fantasy football.
A heavy presence of law enforcement officers guarded state capitol grounds across the United States on Sunday in preparation for protests that so far have drawn only a small number of Trump supporters who believe the president's false claim that the 2020 election was rigged. More than a dozen states have activated National Guard troops to help secure their capitol buildings following an FBI warning of armed demonstrations, with right-wing extremists emboldened by the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6. Capitals in battleground states, where Trump has directed his accusations of voter fraud, were on especially high alert.
WILMINGTON, Del. — Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris will resign her Senate seat on Monday, two days before she and President-elect Joe Biden are inaugurated. Aides to the California Democrat confirmed the timing and said Gov. Gavin Newsom was aware of her decision, clearing the way for him to appoint fellow Democrat Alex Padilla, now California's secretary of state, to serve the final two years of Harris' term. Padilla will be the first Latino senator from California, where about 40% of residents are Hispanic. Newsom announced his choice in December, following intense lobbying for the rare Senate vacancy from the nation's most populous state. Harris will give no farewell Senate floor speech. The Senate is not scheduled to reconvene until Tuesday, the eve of Inauguration Day. Padilla's arrival, along with Harris becoming the Senate's presiding officer when she's sworn-in as vice-president, is part of Democrats' upcoming Senate majority. But the party still needs Sens.-elect Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock of Georgia to be certified as victors in their Jan. 5 elections and then be sworn in. Harris will be the first Black woman and first woman of South Asian descent to serve as vice-president, but her Senate departure leaves the chamber’s roster without a Black woman. Harris was just the second Black woman senator, winning her California election 17 years after Democrat Carol Moseley Braun finished a single term representing Illinois. Among many potential successors to Harris, Newsom passed over at least two prominent Black women, U.S. Reps. Karen Bass and Barbara Lee. Bass also was among Biden's finalists for running mate. Democrats were in the minority during Harris' four years on Capitol Hill. Perhaps her biggest mark came as a fierce questioner of judicial nominees and other witnesses as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Harris was viewed as a future presidential candidate almost immediately upon joining the Senate in 2017. She announced her White House bid in January 2019 but dropped out the subsequent December after a lacklustre campaign and before the ballots were cast in Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses. Biden, himself a former senator, invited her to join the national ticket in August. The wins by Ossoff and Warnock in Georgia ensured a 50-50 Senate, positioning Harris as the tie-breaking vote for Democratic control. But Ossoff and Warnock cannot join the chamber until Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger certifies the final vote tally. Raffensperger, a Republican, has said he could act as soon as Tuesday, conceivably allowing Padilla, Ossoff and Warnock to join the Senate together as early as that afternoon's session. But Republicans will maintain a narrow majority until all three take office and Harris sits in the presiding officer's chair. Harris' early departure from the Senate has multiple precedents. Biden was the last sitting senator to be elected vice-president. He resigned his Delaware post on Jan. 15, 2009, five days before he and Barack Obama were inaugurated. Obama, a senator at the time of his election, had resigned his Illinois seat two months before Biden. Bill Barrow, The Associated Press
Canada's procurement minister urged drugmaker Pfizer-BioNTech to get the country's COVID-19 vaccine delivery schedule back on track as soon as possible as cases of the novel coronavirus surged past the 700,000 mark on Saturday. The country hit the milestone less than two weeks after recording 600,000 cases of the virus on Jan. 3 -- a feat that took months during the pandemic's first wave. Seven provinces recorded 6,479 cases on Saturday, pushing the national tally over 702,000. Nationwide inoculation efforts had resulted in more than half a million residents receiving a vaccine dose as of Friday night, though the pace of immunizations is set to decrease as Pfizer-BioNTech upgrades its production facilities in Europe. Procurement Minister Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians' concerns about the drug company's decision to delay international vaccine shipments for four weeks during the upgrades. "We are once again in touch with representatives from Pfizer to reiterate firmly the importance for Canada to return to our regular delivery schedule as soon as possible," she said on Twitter Saturday. "Pfizer assured us that it is deploying all efforts to do just that."She noted that shipments for the upcoming week will be largely unaffected, and said Ottawa will provide updates as they become available. Ontario became the latest province to adjust its vaccination rollout plans in light of Pfizer's announcement.Dr. David Williams, the province's Chief Medical Officer of Health, issued a statement on Saturday saying officials do not yet know the full impact the delay will have on Ontario's immunization strategy. "We understand that this change in supply could see deliveries reduced by at least half for Canada in the coming weeks," Williams said in a statement Saturday."We will assess and take appropriate action to ensure we can continue providing our most vulnerable with vaccines."In Ontario, long-term care residents, caregivers and staff who already received their first dose of Pfizer's vaccine will get their second dose between 21 and 27 days later, no more than a week beyond what was originally planned. But that time frame will be longer for anyone else receiving the Pfizer vaccine, with second doses being delivered anywhere from 21 to 42 days after the initial shot.Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube said Friday the reduced shipments mean that 86,775 of the 176,475 doses of the vaccine expected by Feb. 8 won't be delivered on schedule.Officials are establishing a new distribution plan, but the Quebec Health Department said it still intends to immunize as many people as possible within priority groups, with a delay of up to 90 days for the second dose.Officials in Saskatchewan said COVID-19 vaccinations will continue as doses are received, with Premier Scott Moe telling reporters Friday that the province's strategy for the two-dose regime depends on steady shipments.Canada's top doctor continued her push for strict adherance to public health guidelines as Saturday's case count inched closer to levels forecasted in bleak federal projections released earlier in the week. Modeling released on Thursday indicated Canada could see 10,000 daily cases by the end of January if current infection rates continue. "If we ease measures too soon, the epidemic will resurge even stronger," Dr. Theresa Tam said in a tweet. "This is double-down time!!"Tam said Hospitalizations and deaths across the country, which tend to lag one to several weeks behind a spike in cases, are still on the rise.Canada averaged 4,705 hospitalizations across the country with 875 patients requiring intensive care treatment For the seven-day period ending Jan. 14. During the same period, an average of 137 deaths were reported daily.Ontario topped 3,000 cases in a 24-hour period once again on Saturday and added another 51 deaths linked to the virus.In Quebec, 2,225 new infections were reported along with 67 deaths attributed to the virus, pushing the province over the 9,000 death mark since the beginning of the pandemic.New Brunswick continued to report the highest daily COVID-19 case counts in Atlantic Canada, with 27 new diagnoses reported Saturday. Nova Scotia, by contrast, reported just four.Saskatchewan reported 270 new COVID-19 cases and two further deaths on Saturday. Alberta logged 717 new infections, while Manitoba reported 180.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021. Sidhartha Banerjee and Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday Jan. 16, 2021. There are 702,183 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 702,183 confirmed cases (76,234 active, 608,084 resolved, 17,865 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 6,479 new cases Saturday from 89,622 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 7.2 per cent. The rate of active cases is 202.81 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 49,169 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 7,024. There were 137 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 975 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 139. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.37 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 47.53 per 100,000 people. There have been 16,486,584 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 395 confirmed cases (eight active, 383 resolved, four deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday from 143 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. The rate of active cases is 1.53 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of three new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.77 per 100,000 people. There have been 76,165 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 104 confirmed cases (nine active, 95 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday from 477 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. The rate of active cases is 5.73 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of two new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 85,889 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 1,554 confirmed cases (30 active, 1,459 resolved, 65 deaths). There were four new cases Saturday from 1,334 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.30 per cent. The rate of active cases is 3.09 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 26 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is four. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.69 per 100,000 people. There have been 195,067 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 911 confirmed cases (268 active, 631 resolved, 12 deaths). There were 27 new cases Saturday from 1,312 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 2.1 per cent. The rate of active cases is 34.5 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 146 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 21. There were zero new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of three new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.06 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 1.54 per 100,000 people. There have been 127,403 tests completed. _ Quebec: 240,970 confirmed cases (21,601 active, 210,364 resolved, 9,005 deaths). There were 2,225 new cases Saturday from 9,590 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 23 per cent. The rate of active cases is 254.58 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 14,737 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,105. There were 67 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 358 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 51. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.6 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 106.13 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,647,264 tests completed. _ Ontario: 234,364 confirmed cases (28,618 active, 200,406 resolved, 5,340 deaths). There were 3,056 new cases Saturday from 71,183 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 4.3 per cent. The rate of active cases is 196.46 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 22,527 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 3,218. There were 51 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 372 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 53. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.36 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 36.66 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,575,369 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 27,322 confirmed cases (2,986 active, 23,575 resolved, 761 deaths). There were 180 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 218.04 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,156 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 165. There were two new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 28 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.29 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 55.57 per 100,000 people. There have been 436,236 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 19,985 confirmed cases (4,043 active, 15,730 resolved, 212 deaths). There were 270 new cases Saturday from 1,218 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 22 per cent. The rate of active cases is 344.24 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,178 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 311. There were two new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 21 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is three. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.26 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 18.05 per 100,000 people. There have been 320,404 tests completed. _ Alberta: 116,087 confirmed cases (12,713 active, 101,957 resolved, 1,417 deaths). There were 717 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 290.83 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,446 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 778. There were 15 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 145 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 21. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.47 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 32.42 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,979,663 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 60,117 confirmed cases (5,955 active, 53,115 resolved, 1,047 deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday from 4,365 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. The rate of active cases is 117.42 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,947 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 421. There were zero new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 48 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is seven. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.14 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 20.65 per 100,000 people. There have been 1,021,911 tests completed. _ Yukon: 70 confirmed cases (two active, 67 resolved, one deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 4.9 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.45 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,256 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 25 confirmed cases (one active, 24 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 2.23 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of one new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 8,323 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 266 confirmed cases (zero active, 265 resolved, one deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.58 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,558 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Jan. 16, 2021. The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — The Latest on the fallout and increased security efforts after the attack of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump loyalists (all times local): 4:25 p.m. Police have arrested a man with a handgun and 500 rounds of ammunition at a checkpoint in Washington set up ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Wesley Allen Beeler was charged with carrying a pistol without a license after being stopped at the checkpoint near the U.S. Capitol on Friday. Court documents say Beeler approached the checkpoint but did not have a valid credential for that area. An officer noticed he had “firearms-related stickers” on his vehicle and asked him if he had any weapons inside. The papers say Beeler told the officers he had a handgun under the armrest and police detained him at the scene. They searched his car and found a high-capacity magazine in the 9mm handgun, along with more than 500 rounds of ammunition in the vehicle. Authorities said he didn’t have a license to carry the gun in Washington. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Associated Press
FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — Oilpatch giant Suncor says the body of a man whose bulldozer fell through the ice on one of its inactive tailings ponds earlier this week has now been recovered. The company issued a statement saying emergency responders completed their recovery efforts for Patrick Poitras on Friday night. The worker was an employee of Christina River Construction. Crews responded to the accident Wednesday afternoon at the mine site near Fort McMurray, Alta. A Suncor spokeswoman said at the time that occupational health and safety authorities were notified. The company says it's confirming Poitras' death with "great sadness" and "heavy hearts." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021. The Canadian Press
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — An election campaign in a Newfoundland and Labrador winter entails thigh-high snowbanks and winds strong enough to peel back eyelids. But on Saturday, Progressive Conservative leader Ches Crosbie found it does have an upside: knocking on doors is a little easier if people are already out shovelling. "It's been very encouraging here," he said from inside his campaign's SUV, as his team warmed their hands and their phones. Crosbie is flipping the partisan playbook, campaigning on a pledge to spend in order to create jobs. "Our philosophy is that you can't cut your way out of financial mess, you have to grow your way out of it," he said. "Fiscal conservatism is something best practised when you can afford to do it. And we can't afford it at the moment." He sees the stance as a rebuttal to the spending cuts some fear will come from the Liberals, led by surgeon Andrew Furey. Furey pushed back against that narrative at his first official campaign event at the St. John's Farmers' Market Saturday morning. "Now is not the time for cuts," he told reporters. "We need to grow the economy and the cuts are not going to come on the backs of hard-working men and women across the province." Before the legislature was dissolved Friday afternoon ahead of the election call, the Liberals held power with a minority government. Furey was installed as leader of the party in August, inheriting the premiership from Dwight Ball, and had to call an election within a year, according to provincial rules. In the fall, Furey assembled the premier's economic recovery team to address the province's staggering $1.84-billion deficit and $16.4-billion net debt, and to make suggestions on how the government could reorganize operations and build a stronger economy. The team has been controversial, with a major labour leader dramatically resigning. A first draft of the team's suggestions is due in February, but it's not clear if it will be made public before the election on Feb. 13. In his campaign announcement speech on Friday evening, Crosbie said Furey is trying to bury a plan for austerity measures, sending voters to the polls without knowing what they're in for. "Andrew Furey's secret plan will mean fewer jobs," he said in the speech. Crosbie and the Progressive Conservatives are Furey's biggest competition. On Saturday, in the Cowan Heights suburb of St. John's, a few shovellers who stopped to chat with Crosbie seemed impressed — particularly with Kristina Ennis, the PC candidate running in the district. Ennis is a young professional who was laid off in December from her job as a research and development analyst with ExxonMobil. "I loved it, I really miss it," she said on Saturday. "And I am just another of those people who've lost their jobs — the thousands of people — this year." She said she gets asked a lot why she joined the Progressive Conservatives, "especially as a young woman," answering that she was attracted to the party's emphasis on creating jobs through growth. "I don't want my friends to keep moving away, and I don't want to have to move away," she said. "The labour market, there's not a lot out there right now, and the competition to get those jobs is really high. There's so many people unemployed right now." At dissolution, the Liberals held 19 seats, the Progressive Conservatives held 15, the NDP had three and there were three Independents. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021. Sarah Smellie, The Canadian Press
LOS ANGELES — Dr. Dre was back at home Saturday after being treated at a Los Angeles hospital for a reported brain aneurysm. Peter Paterno, an attorney for the music mogul, said Dre was home but offered no other details in an email exchange Saturday. The rapper and producer reportedly was released Friday from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. In a Jan. 5 social media post, Dre, 55, said he was “doing great and getting excellent care from my medical team.” TMZ had reported that he suffered a brain aneurysm the day before and was recovering at the medical centre. On Friday, actor and rapper Ice T posted that he had connected with Dre on FaceTime and that he had “just made it home. Safe and looking good.” Born Andre Young in the Southern California city of Compton, Dre broke out on the music scene as a co-founding member of N.W.A., producing the group’s groundbreaking 1988 debut album, “Straight Outta Compton.” He produced his own hits and multiplatinum albums, along with crafting music for many others including Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, Jay-Z and Nas. He also found success outside of the rap genre, producing pop hits for Gwen Stefani and Mary J. Blige. Dre founded Beats Electronics in 2008 with Jimmy Iovine, and six years later they launched a streaming subscription service, Beats Music. Apple acquired both in a $3 billion deal in 2014. The Associated Press
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers made sure he’d play an NFC championship game at home for the first time in his Hall of Fame-caliber career. Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and also ran for a score as the top-seeded Green Bay Packers defeated the Los Angeles Rams 32-18 in an NFC divisional playoff game Saturday. Green Bay's potent offence overpowered the Rams' vaunted defence for much of the day. The Packers didn't allow any sacks despite playing without injured All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari, while Green Bay sacked Jared Goff four times. The Packers reached the NFC championship game for the fourth time in the last seven seasons as they chase their first Super Bowl berth in a decade. It will be their first at Lambeau Field since hosting for the 2007 season, when they fell to the New York Giants 23-20 in overtime. Green Bay won the Super Bowl for the 2010 season as the NFC’s No. 6 seed, and has lost at Seattle, Atlanta and San Francisco in its last three conference championship game appearances. Saturday’s game showed what a home-field advantage can mean, even with far less than capacity on hand due to the pandemic. The Packers played in front of 8,456 fans – a crowd that included paying spectators for the first time all season – but that small crowd made plenty of noise as the Packers built an early lead with snow flurries falling for much of the first half. That crowd changed “M! V! P!” during the closing minutes to salute All-Pro quarterback Rodgers. Buoyed by that crowd, the Packers (14-3) often seemed on the verge of putting the game away. But the Rams (11-7) continued to hang around. Green Bay finally sealed the victory with a 58-yard completion from Rodgers to Allen Lazard with 6:52 left. Rodgers went 23 of 36 for 296 yards, while Aaron Jones ran for 99 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries. Goff was 21 of 27 for 174 yards and a touchdown less than three weeks after undergoing thumb surgery, and Cam Akers rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown. UP NEXT The Rams' season is over. The Packers host either the New Orleans Saints or Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Jan. 24. ___ Follow Steve Megargee at https://twitter.com/stevemegargee ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL Steve Megargee, The Associated Press
VICTORIA — A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the province against considering a domestic travel ban, saying restricting travel between provinces to fight COVID-19 would only further harm the sector.The B.C. government should steer away from pursuing an outright ban and work instead with the industry and communities to better educate travelers about pandemic health and safety protocols, said Vivek Sharma, chairman of the Tourism Association of B.C.He said many tourism-related businesses are barely surviving due to the pandemic and a travel ban now would likely mean many won't survive the winter. "Tourism businesses in large and small communities are the glue that binds communities together," Sharma said in an interview. "It runs through the fabric of our province and we need to find solutions as to how we can support them to get into spring and to create an environment in the spring where those businesses can flourish and succeed."He said the tourism sector wants to stress to the government that individual behaviour and not travel is behind the spread of COVID-19."What we are saying is the problem is not happening because of the travel," said Sharma.Premier John Horgan said earlier this week his government is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel.Sharma, speaking on behalf of tourism and accommodations organizations from Vancouver, Richmond and Greater Victoria, said a non-essential travel ban could also heighten unnecessary fears and misperceptions toward visitors to B.C.There were several police reports last year from people driving vehicles with out-of-province licence plates about being confronted by local residents concerned about the spread of COVID-19.Sharma said the association has a legal opinion stating a travel ban would be difficult to implement due to Canada's mobility rights provisions, but the industry is not looking for a legal confrontation with the province."We don't want to talk about conflict," he said. "I don't even want to say we will challenge this in court."Cara Zwibel, a lawyer with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said earlier the B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary.She said it is not clear that B.C. has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases linked to interprovincial travel.The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is appealing an earlier court decision upholding travel restrictions imposed last year by the Newfoundland and Labrador government. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan .16, 2021. Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
Many Manitobans are struggling to make sure their blood sugars are in range as they are unable to access continuous glucose monitors (CGMs). CGMs are small wearable monitors that send current blood-sugar readings to devices automatically. The monitors can provide warning of unpredictable events such as life-threatening lows during sleep. Currently, CGMs are not covered in the provincial formulary, so patients have to pay to access this device. Some families have even lost their private coverage they formerly had through their work due to COVID-19. “All Manitobans living with diabetes, including those in First Nations communities, deserve to have CGMs and insulin pumps covered so they can manage their diabetes without financial stress,” said provincial NDP leader Wab Kinew on Thursday. Emergency Diabetes Support for Manitobans, a grassroots advocacy group, is trying to address this issue and has created the “Great Manitoban Fingerprick Challenge,” to raise awareness about diabetes and the lack of coverage on CGMs. Several MLAs have agreed to take part in this challenge, including Kinew who believes that CGMs should be covered. The challenge calls for insulin, pumps, pump supplies, and CGMs to be made readily available to all insulin-dependent patients in Manitoba. “For me, this challenge is a chance, in a small way, to get an idea of what it is like to live with diabetes. This is such a huge issue in our society across our healthcare system. I want to show my solidarity and compassion for the people living in this situation,” said Kinew. In a few days, Kinew will receive a kit which he will use to draw blood and monitor his blood-sugar level. He will then go to social media and talk more about his experience during the challenge and to bring awareness about diabetes. Hollie Kirkness is a parent of a 10-year-old child with Type 1 Diabetes. Both her husband and son, Nikolai, are First Nations. She mentioned that the CGM has been a major help for her family. “One of the things he had to adapt to originally was doing finger pokes. People with Type 1 Diabetes have to check their sugar constantly, so at least four times a day we are poking his fingers. At times, the tissue at his fingers hardens, so it becomes harder to draw blood,” she said. However, the monitor that her son uses is a Dexcom G6 CGM system, which is a water-resistant sensor that can show the glucose number in real-time. “The sensor goes into the fatty tissue and transmits all his glucose readings to his phone. So, he would only need one poke every ten days. It has cheered him up so much,” said Kirkness. “The biggest advantage I found is that the CGM can show his blood sugar trends. The pokes are essentially a picture, you take it, and you can see where the blood sugar is in the moment, but you don’t know whether his blood sugar will go up or if it is minutes away from it being low.” With finger pokes, Kirkness would need to wake up a few times in the middle of the night to get Nikolai’s blood sugar reading because if her son’s readings go lower than normal, he may slip into a coma. The CGM has not only helped Kirkness and her family gain some sleep but has also enabled her son to perform physical activities without worrying about his sugar levels. Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Nicole Wong, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun
The second wave of COVID-19 continues to put a strain on health resources across the province. New numbers indicate the pandemic has deeply affected people experiencing homelessness. Health agencies and physicians are calling for more to be done to help. Katherine Ward reports.
SAN DIEGO — President-elect Joe Biden's decision to immediately ask Congress to offer legal status to an estimated 11 million people in the country has surprised advocates given how the issue has long divided Democrats and Republicans, even within their own parties. Biden will announce legislation his first day in office to provide a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the United States illegally, according to four people briefed on his plans. The president-elect campaigned on a path to citizenship for the roughly 11 million people in the U.S. illegally, but it was unclear how quickly he would move while wrestling with the coronavirus pandemic, the economy and other priorities. For advocates, memories were fresh of presidential candidate Barack Obama pledging an immigration bill his first year in office, in 2009, but not tackling the issue until his second term. Biden's plan is the polar opposite of Donald Trump, whose successful 2016 presidential campaign rested in part on curbing or stopping illegal immigration. “This really does represent a historic shift from Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda that recognizes that all of the undocumented immigrants that are currently in the United States should be placed on a path to citizenship,” said Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, who was briefed on the bill. If successful, the legislation would be the biggest move toward granting status to people in the country illegally since President Ronald Reagan bestowed amnesty on nearly 3 million people in 1986. Legislative efforts to overhaul immigration policy failed in 2007 and 2013. Ron Klain, Biden’s incoming chief of staff, said Saturday that Biden will send an immigration bill to Congress “on his first day in office.” He didn’t elaborate and Biden’s office declined to comment on specifics. Advocates were briefed in recent days on the bill's broad outlines by Esther Olivarria, deputy director for immigration on the White House Domestic Policy Council. Domingo Garcia, former president of the League of Latin American Citizens, said Biden told advocates on a call Thursday that Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate may delay consideration of the bill and that they shouldn’t count on passage within 100 days. “I was pleasantly surprised that they were going to take quick action because we got the same promises from Obama, who got elected in ’08, and he totally failed,” Garcia said. Ali Noorani, president of the National Immigration Forum and among those briefed Thursday night, said immigrants would be put on an eight-year path to citizenship. There would be a faster track for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields people from deportation who came to the country as young children, and Temporary Protected Status, which gives temporary status to hundreds of thousands of people from strife-torn countries, many from El Salvador. Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris offered similar remarks in an interview with Univision that aired Tuesday, saying DACA and TPS recipients will “automatically get green cards” while others would be on an eight-year path to citizenship. More favourable attitudes toward immigration — especially among Democrats — may weigh in Biden's favour this time. A Gallup survey last year found that 34% of those polled favoured more immigration, up from 21% in 2016 and higher than any time since it began asking the question in 1965. The survey found 77% felt immigration was good for the country on the whole, up slightly from 72% in 2016. Noorani said the separation of more than 5,000 children from the parents at the border, which peaked in 2018, alienated voters from Trump's policies, particularly conservatives and evangelicals. He believes a constantly shifting outlook for DACA recipients also hurt Trump among people who felt he was using them as “political pawns.” “What was seared in their mind was family separation. They took it out on the Republican Party in 2018 and they took it out on Trump in 2020," Noorani said. "To put a really fine point on it, they want to end the cruelty of the Trump administration.” It is impossible to know precisely how many people are in the country illegally. Pew Research Center estimates there were 10.5 million in 2017, down from an all-time high of 12.2 million in 2007. The Homeland Security Department estimates there were 12 million people in the country illegally in 2015, nearly 80% of them for more than 10 years. More than half were Mexican. ___ Associated Press writer Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report. Elliot Spagat, The Associated Press
Kelowna RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the organizer of a protest in the city's downtown area on Saturday that contravened provincial public health orders related to COVID-19. Police did not name the organizer but say this is the third time they have issued a fine to this person for organizing a large gathering of people opposed to measures meant to reduce the spread of coronavirus. RCMP did not say how many people attended today's protest. A week ago, RCMP issued their $2,300 fine to the organizer for an anti-mask rally that drew about 125 people. The first fine was issued in December for a protest that drew about 1,000 people. In a statement, RCMP said that people in Canada have a right to protest, but that officers have to balance that right with the potential for health risks associated with large public gatherings. Police say they encourage everyone to adhere to provincial health orders, which currently include the suspension of outdoor gatherings, including rallies or protests. "We are reiterating to the public that the provincial Public Health Orders are not optional," Supt. Kara Triance said in a statement. "For those who have been abiding by the laws, thank you; now is not the time to give up. Vaccinations are being rolled out across our province. Please dig deep and find the courage to remain safe and calm."
LOS ANGELES — True to form, Betty White has something impish to say about her birthday Sunday. “Since I am turning 99, I can stay up as late as I want without asking permission!” she told The Associated Press in an email. White's low-key plans include feeding a pair of ducks that regularly visit her Los Angeles-area home. Her birthday meal will be a hot dog and French fries brought in — along with a bouquet of roses — by her longtime friend and agent, Jeff Witjas. The actor’s TV credits stretch from 1949’s “Hollywood on Television” to a 2019 voice role in “Forky Asks a Question,” with “The Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” among the enduring highlights. In January alone, White is on screen in reruns including “The Golden Girls” and “Hot in Cleveland”; the 2009 Sandra Bullock movie “The Proposal,” and the 2018 documentary “Betty White: First Lady of Television,” about her life and career. White's devotion to animals will be on display next month with the DVD and digital release of “Betty White's Pet Set," a 1970s series in which she visited with celebrity guests and their pets as well as wild animals. Her work, always marked by top-drawer comedic timing, has earned her five Emmy Awards, including a 2010 trophy for a guest-host appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” A native of Oak Park, Illinois, White was married to game show host and producer Allen Ludden from 1963 until his death in 1981. Lynn Elber, The Associated Press
MONTREAL — Quebec reported 2,225 new COVID-19 cases and 67 further deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus on Saturday as the province marked one week since instituting a curfew and tougher public health measures. In announcing the most recent tally, Health Minister Christian Dube tweeted Saturday that all Quebecers need to continue to follow public health rules to ensure cases and hospitalizations go down. Quebec has now reported more than 9,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, but hospitalizations dropped for a second day, this time by 22 for a total of 1,474 patients. There were also four fewer patients in intensive care for a total of 227. Among the measures introduced one week ago was a curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. with police dolling out fines to those who are contravening the order. A group braved a snowstorm to gather in east-end Montreal to denounce the province's decision to employ a police solution, saying the curfew has a "symbolic effect" but only serves to create a "climate of fear." Organizers said in a statement the provincewide curfew -- a first in Canada -- is "unacceptable", "absurd" and "dangerous," particularly for the most vulnerable in society. Earlier this week, Dube said it was too early to say whether the new measures, which will last until at least Feb. 8, are having the desired effect. The hard-hit province has now reported 240,970 confirmed infections and 9,005 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, with 210,364 recoveries. Quebec currently has 21,640 active cases. Meanwhile, the province said it was working on an updated vaccine distribution plan after Dube announced Friday that 86,775 of the 176,475 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine won't be delivered as planned between now and Feb. 8. The drugmaker is upgrading its European production facilities to increase the number of doses it can produce, meaning a reduction in output. "This decrease in arriving vaccines implies a revision of the objectives presented in recent days," the province's Health Department said in a statement on Friday. "Teams are actively working to establish a new dose distribution plan in accordance with the vaccination priorities established." On Thursday, Quebec announced its vaccination rollout, which includes waiting between 42 and 90 days to administer a second booster in an effort to vaccinate as many Quebecers as possible amid mounting pressure on the health-care system. "The strategy adopted by the public health authorities is to immunize as many people as possible with priority groups," the department said. "All vaccine doses received will therefore be used for this purpose." Quebec has administered 137,856 doses of COVID-19 vaccine including 62,733 people in the past seven days and 10,783 people on Friday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021. Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
For years, legal troubles have cast a cloud over Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee as he stood on the cusp of stepping out of his father's shadow and making a name for himself as the leader of the global tech giant. On Monday, he faces sentencing on a bribery charge that could sideline him from the world's largest smartphone and memory chip maker just as it looks to overtake rivals in areas such as chip contract manufacturing and artificial intelligence (AI). "Samsung is at a crossroads," said Park Ju-gun, head of researcher CEO Score.
The public won’t see President Donald Trump’s White House records for years, but there’s growing concern that the collection won’t be complete, leaving a hole in the history of one of America’s most tumultuous presidencies. Trump has been cavalier about the law requiring records be preserved. He has a habit of ripping up documents before tossing them out, forcing White House staffers to spend hours taping them back together. “They told him to stop doing it. He didn’t want to stop,” said Solomon Lartey, a former White House records analyst who spent hours taping documents back together well into 2018. The president also confiscated an interpreter’s notes after Trump had a chat with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Trump scolded his White House counsel for taking notes at a meeting. Top executive branch officials had to be reminded more than once not to conduct official business on private email or encrypted text messaging systems and to preserve it if they did. Trump’s baseless claim of widespread voter fraud, which postponed for weeks an acknowledgement of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, is delaying the transfer of documents to the National Archives and Records Administration, further heightening concern about the integrity of the records. “Historians are likely to suffer from far more holes than has been the norm,” said Richard Immerman at the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. In the Trump White House, “not only has record-keeping not been a priority, but we have multiple examples of it seeking to conceal or destroy that record.” But even with requests by lawmakers and lawsuits by government transparency groups, there is an acknowledgment that noncompliance with the Presidential Records Act carries little consequence for Trump. The Presidential Records Act states that a president cannot destroy records until he seeks the advice of the national archivist and notifies Congress. But the law doesn’t require him to heed the archivist’s advice. Most presidential records today are electronic, and records experts estimate that automatic backup computer systems capture a vast majority of them, but cannot capture records that a White House chooses not to create or log into those systems. THE MOVE Moving a president’s trail of paper and electronic records is a laborious task. President Barack Obama left about 30 million pages of paper documents and some 250 terabytes of electronic records, including the equivalent of about 1.5 billion pages of emails. When Trump lost the November election, records staffers were in position to transfer electronic records, pack up the paper ones and move them to the National Archives by Jan. 20 as required by law. But Trump’s reluctance to concede has meant they will miss the deadline. “Necessary funding from the (White House) Office of Management and Budget was delayed for many weeks after the election, which has caused delays in arranging for the transfer of the Trump presidential records into the National Archives’ custody,” the National Archives said in a statement to The Associated Press. “Even though the transfer of these records will not be completed until after Jan. 20, the National Archives will assume legal custody of them on Jan. 20 in accordance with the Presidential Records Act.” White House spokesman Judd Deere said Saturday that contesting the election did not cause the delay in getting the president’s records transferred to the archives and that guidance was available to staffers on how to pack up their materials. One person familiar with the transition said guidance typically emailed to executive branch employees, explaining how to turn in equipment and pack up their offices, was sent out in December, but quickly rescinded because Trump insisted on contesting the election. With little guidance, some staffers in the White House started quietly calling records workers to find out what to do. Departing employees are instructed to create a list of folders in each box and make a spreadsheet to give the National Archives a way to track and retrieve the information for the incoming Biden team. The public must wait five years before submitting Freedom of Information Act requests to see the Trump material. Even then, Trump — like other presidents before him — is invoking six specific restrictions to public access of his records for up to 12 years. RECORD-KEEPING PRACTICES On impeachment and other sensitive issues, some normal workflow practices were bypassed, a second person familiar with the process said. Higher-ups and White House lawyers became more involved in deciding which materials were catalogued and scanned into White House computer networks where they are automatically saved, the person said. The individuals, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the inner workings of the White House, said that if uncatalogued materials ended up in an office safe, for instance, they would at least be temporarily preserved. But if they were never catalogued in the first place, staffers wouldn’t know they existed, making them untraceable. Trump’s staff also engaged in questionable practices by using private emails and messaging apps. Former White House counsel Don McGahn in February 2017 sent a memo that instructed employees not to use nonofficial text messaging apps or private email accounts. If they did, he said, they had to take screenshots of the material and copy it into official email accounts, which are preserved. He sent the memo back out in September 2017. Government transparency groups say the screenshots are not adequate because they do not capture attachments or information such as who contacted whom, phone identifiers and other online information. “It’s an open question to me about how serious or conscientious any of those people have been about moving them over,” said Tom Blanton, who directs the National Security Archive at George Washington University, which was founded in 1985 to combat government secrecy. Trump was criticized for confiscating the notes of an interpreter who was with him in 2017 when Trump talked with Putin in Hamburg, Germany. Lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to obtain the notes of another interpreter who was with Trump in 2018 when he met with Putin in Helsinki, Finland. Several weeks ago, the National Security Archive, two historical associations and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sued to prevent the Trump White House from destroying any electronic communications or records sent or received on nonofficial accounts, such as personal email or WhatsApp. The court refused to issue a temporary restraining order after government lawyers told the judge that they had instructed the White House to notify all employees to preserve all electronic communications in their original format until the lawsuit was settled. Anne Weismann, one of the lawyers representing the groups in their lawsuit, suspects “serious noncompliance” of the Presidential Records Act. “I believe we will find that there’s going to be a huge hole in the historical record of this president," Weismann said. Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, Alta. — A 28-year-old man is in hospital in Calgary after police say he fell while ice climbing in the Rocky Mountains. RCMP say members from their Rocky Mountain House detachment responded to a dispatch on Friday afternoon that a climber had fallen and needed medical assistance. Police say an SOS beacon was received that indicated the climber was at the south end of Abraham Lake, about 200 km northwest of Calgary. They say reports indicate he fell 12 metres. The man was long-line rescued from his location by Ahlstrom Helicopters with the help of Rocky Mountain House Search and Rescue, and was then transferred to a STARS air ambulance helicopter. Police say his injuries were serious but not life-threatening. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021. The Canadian Press
Roughly 5,000 more Alberta businesses are now eligible for the provincial relaunch grant. The province announced Thursday that small- and medium-sized businesses that began operating between March 1 and Oct. 31, 2020 can receive up to $15,000. They had previously been excluded from the program. For some it's a hand up, a way to grow their business during tough times. Others say it's a Band-Aid that won't stop the bleeding for long. Opportunity to expand Calgary eatery PizzaFace started a takeout operation in March, first building custom pizzas in a friend's restaurant kitchen. In September, they took over a brick-and-mortar location and since have been doing brisk business. "With the more lockdown and restrictions we tend to be busier, so we have been on a steady upclimb but that also has to do with the situation we're in as well," said co-owner Antonio Migliarese. "People can't go to restaurants, so they are stuck at home and you only want to cook so much at home before you order pizza." PizzaFace didn't qualify for the grant when it was originally launched in the spring but decided to make a go of the pizza business anyway. Migliarese said the expansion of eligibility has allowed PizzaFace to expand the business, and put some unemployed Calgarians back to work. "We've increased our employee load, reaching out to hard workers who we know want to work but can't. So we've been able to, I guess, give back in that sense." But while Migliarese is able to use the grant to grow his busy eatery, others say the money will simply be a way to stay afloat — for a little while. Barely staying afloat in tourist town Heather Merrett and Melodie-Joy Miller started Seed N Salt just before the pandemic hit, but also didn't qualify for the grant the first time around. "It was a new business that had signed leases in 2019, filed GST in 2019, incurred costs in 2019 but did not have revenue in 2019, therefore we're a new business and we're excluded," Miller said. Small- and medium-sized businesses, cooperatives and non-profit organizations with fewer than 500 employees that faced restrictions or closures because of public health orders and experienced a revenue loss of at least 30 per cent due to the pandemic are eligible under the expansion. Merrett and Miller said while Banff is usually the perfect spot for a restaurant, theirs was impacted in several ways. Food and beverage is already one of the hardest hit areas due to the pandemic. On top of that, Banff is a destination reliant on tourism. With borders closed and restrictions in place, not only are visitors not flocking to the mountain town, but it also means fewer people are moving to Banff to take jobs in the hospitality sector. A decrease in population means a decrease in demand for food. "We are grateful. It will definitely help us out. I mean, it is $15,000, and it's a grant, so that will help us with operating costs," Merrett said. "But it won't sustain our business or help us go forward with the minimal tourists we have here in Banff right now." Merrett and Miller said they nearly decided to close and forget their Seed N Salt dream, but said they had few options except to continue. "We were already $200,000 in when COVID hit. Because of provincial and federal restrictions, we've been shut down and so our revenue compared to our forecast .. we aren't making any money," Miller said. "Now, Heather and I are fearful about the variant that everyone is talking about. "What if it causes another shutdown? What would that look like? If summer were to be like it is right now, we won't be able to move forward." The two said the only real hope of recouping what they've lost so far will be to put visitors back in Banff and open doors to dine-in service. As they hope for a return to normalcy, they'll use the grant money to pay rent and other operating costs for a restaurant they can't open. Any new company that meets the 30 per cent threshold for lost revenue will be able to apply for the grant starting Feb. 4, 2021. The province said businesses like PizzaFace and Seed N Salt that didn't qualify when the original program was announced should wait until Feb. 4 to reapply to avoid being deemed ineligible. According to provincial statistics, small- and medium-sized businesses make up 99.8 percent of all job creators in the province, and employ about half a million Albertans.