Cold weather wont stop Chicagoans from taking advantage of the frozen lake. Check it out! Full credit to: @PoznanInMyPants on Twitter
Cold weather wont stop Chicagoans from taking advantage of the frozen lake. Check it out! Full credit to: @PoznanInMyPants on Twitter
The U.S. Senate will start debating President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday after Democrats backed down from an effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 as part of it. The backpedaling did not end hopes of addressing the minimum wage issue in Congress. Democrats and some Republicans have voiced support for the idea of raising the federal minimum wage, now at $7.25 an hour, for the first time since 2009, although they disagree on how much.
Coup de théâtre, vendredi soir dernier à la séance régulière du Conseil municipal de l’Estérel, où le résultat d’un sondage citoyen a vu le projet de réaménagement du terrain de golf l’Estérel être rejeté à 70 % par les répondants. Les chiffres démontrent qu’un total de 365 citoyens (domiciliés dans la municipalité ou propriétaire d’un immeuble) ont répondu à l’exercice, alors qu’au répertoire des municipalités (MAMH), on dénote une population totale de 231 personnes. « Il y avait aussi des propriétaires de terrains vacants, des copropriétaires d’unités de condos à l’Hôtel (Estérel) qui pouvaient répondre. On a obtenu un très haut taux de réponse », a souligné M. Joseph Dydzak, maire de l’Estérel. Au décompte officiel, 70,68 % des gens ont répondu « je m’oppose à ce projet ». 4,94 % ont souligné « être favorable à ce projet ». Par ailleurs, 9,86 % des répondants ont souligné « avoir certaines réserves et que plusieurs éléments devront être modifiés avant acceptation. » Ces données ont convaincu le maire d’y aller d’un énoncé au nom du Conseil municipal. « Les chiffres sont clairs et sans équivoque. La volonté des citoyens guide nos décisions. Le projet soumis ne fera pas partie du nouveau plan d’urbanisme. Golf Estérel gardera sa vocation récréative actuelle », a déclaré virtuellement M. Dydzak. En réaction à la décision rendue par le conseil municipal, le promoteur Replay Destinations a réagi dès la fin de l’assemblée. Son projet aurait pu atteindre des investissements totaux de 85 M $ au total. « Les propriétaires du Club de golf Estérel et de Replay Destinations prennent acte de la décision (…). Bien qu’il s’agisse d’un mode de consultation inhabituel, le message est très clair, quant à la volonté des élus de ne pas aller de l’avant avec notre proposition de revitalisation du parcours de golf, qui nécessitait un changement de zonage visant la construction d’unités d’habitation, pour assurer la viabilité financière du projet intégré », a écrit le vice-président et leader, secteur fabrication et manufacturier du cabinet national, M. Robert Lupien. La décision entraîne aussi des changements d’opérations. « En conséquence (…), nous avons pris la décision de ne pas rouvrir le golf cet été. Nous sommes très déçus de cette décision, dans le contexte où nous avions procédé l’été dernier à l’ouverture du golf dans un geste de bonne foi, à la suite d’une demande de la Ville de l’Estérel de nous engager dans un processus coopératif de planification avec la communauté. Nous aurions apprécié avoir l’opportunité de recevoir des amendements constructifs et de poursuivre ces discussions », a poursuivi M. Lupien. Le maire Dydsak a tenu à préciser cette déclaration. « Au contraire, ce sont eux qui nous ont offert de garder le golf ouvert, en 2020. » Golf Estérel entend revenir à la charge une nouvelle fois, après des demandes différentes en 2018 et en 2021. « Nous entendons maintenant soumettre un projet de développement conforme à la règlementation présentement en vigueur, sur le zonage et les usages permis, incluant à la fois des bâtiments résidentiels et commerciaux. » Le maire Dydsak a tenu à rappeler le contexte une nouvelle fois. « Ce n’est pas un projet comparable au golf. Ils ont le droit de construire quelques maisons unifamiliales dans la péninsule et sur quelques autres terrains résidentiels. » Ève Ménard, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
Initiée par le Service des loisirs, de la culture et de la vie communautaire de la Ville Matane, la publication de la série Traces de vies met en valeur dix personnes remarquables de la Matanie. Par le biais de ces portraits, la créatrice de contenu Mélanie Gagné et le photographe Louis-Philippe Cusson voulaient contrer l’isolement causé par la pandémie de la COVID-19, d’abord pour ces aînés. « Nous avons apprécié les entretiens avec ces êtres d’exception dans le respect des normes sanitaires de circonstance, d’indiquer en substance Mme Gagné et M. Cusson. Nous les remercions de leur générosité et de leur chaleur humaine. Ces belles rencontres auraient pu se prolonger des heures et des heures, car leur vie est inspirante et palpitante! » Jusqu’au 18 avril sur les présentoirs du parc Jean-Charles Forbes Ces portraits inspirants sont exposés jusqu’au 18 avril sur les présentoirs du parc Jean-Charles Forbes, en face de la bibliothèque municipale Fonds de solidarité FTQ sur l’avenue Saint-Jérôme. Ils ont aussi paru pendant autant de semaines en version plus longue dans l’hebdomadaire L’Avantage gaspésien. Les personnes retenues : Fernand Desjardins, un patenteux reconnu; Gaétane Fillion, une bénévole à la bibliothèque mobile à la Résidence des Bâtisseurs; Monique Fournier, une passionnée d’horticulture, de musique et d’histoire; et Denise Gentil, une fonceuse, mobilisatrice, persévérante et vaillante Plus Guillermo Jaramillo, un homme sensible et plein de talents; Yvette Lapointe, une passionnée d'histoire et d’horticulture; Roger Marquis, un grand-père moderne; Berthier Pearson, un voyageur et auteur prolifique; Gaston Roussel, gestionnaire du cimetière et enfin, Georgine Ruest, une femme aux loisirs multiples. Ouvrir/fermer la section Yoast SEO Romain Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Monmatane.com
SILVER SPRING, Md. — Spending on U.S. construction projects rose 1.7% in January as new home building continues to lift the sector. Last month's increase followed small revised gains in December and November. Spending on residential construction rose 2.5% in January, with single family home projects up 3%, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Despite an economy that’s been battered for nearly a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, historically low interest rates and city dwellers seeking more space in the suburbs and beyond has boosted home sales. Last week, the Commerce Department reported that sales of new homes jumped 4.3% in January, and are 19.3% higher than they were last year at this time. In a separate report, the government reported that applications for building permits, which typically signal activity ahead, spiked 10.4% in January. Spending on government projects, which has been constrained by tight state and local budgets in the wake of the pandemic, rose 1.7%. Non-residential construction was up 0.4% after months of declines, but is still down 10% from January of last year. The category that accounts for hotels also ticked up 0.7% but is still down a whopping 22.7% from the same time last year as the travel and leisure sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. Total spending on construction in January was $1.52 billion, 5.8% higher than January 2020. Matt Ott, The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Prince Harry says the process of separating from royal life has been very difficult for him and his wife, Meghan. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry invoked the memory of his late mother, Princess Diana, who had to find her way alone after she and Prince Charles divorced. “I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side, because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago,” Harry said, adding, “because it’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us.” “But at least we have each other,” Harry said, in a clip from the interview special, which is scheduled to air March 7 on CBS and the following day in Britain. Diana was shown in a photo holding toddler Harry as he made the comments. His mother died in 1997 of injuries suffered in a car crash. Harry and Meghan sat opposite Winfrey and side-by-side, holding hands during the interview that was conducted in a lush garden setting. The couple lives in Montecito, California, where they are neighbours of Winfrey. Meghan, who recently announced she is pregnant with the couple’s second child, wore an empire-style black dress with embroidery. Harry wore a light gray suit and white dress shirt, minus a tie. As Meghan Markle, the actor starred in the TV legal drama “Suits.” She married Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson at Windsor Castle in May 2018, and their son, Archie, was born a year later. The brief promotional clip was one of two of that aired Sunday during CBS’ news magazine “60 Minutes.” Winfrey’s questions and comment were predominant in the other clip, including her statement that, “You said some pretty shocking things here,” without an indication of what she was referring to. Meghan was not heard from in the clips. Harry and Meghan stepped away from full-time royal life in March 2020, unhappy at media scrutiny and the strictures of their roles. They cited what they described as the intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media toward the duchess, who is African American. It was agreed the situation would be reviewed after a year. On Friday, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the couple will not be returning to royal duties and Harry will give up his honorary military titles — a decision that makes formal, and final, the couple’s split from the royal family. The pair, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, verified “they will not be returning as working members of the Royal Family. “ A spokesperson for the couple hit back at suggestions that Meghan and Harry were not devoted to duty. “As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role,” the spokesperson said in a statement. Lynn Elber, The Associated Press
YEREVAN, Armenia — Political tensions in Armenia heightened Monday, with supporters of the embattled prime minister and the opposition each staging massive rallies in the capital. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has faced opposition demands to resign since he signed a peace deal in November that ended six weeks of intense fighting with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The Russia-brokered agreement saw Azerbaijan reclaim control over large parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas that had been held by Armenian forces for more than a quarter-century. Opposition protests seeking Pashinyan's ouster abated during the winter but intensified last week amid a rift between him and the country's military leaders. The spat was sparked by Pashinyan firing a deputy chief of the military's General Staff who had laughed off the prime minister's claim that only 10% of Russia-supplied Iskander missiles that Armenia used in the conflict exploded on impact. The General Staff then demanded Pashinyan’s resignation, and he responded by dismissing the General Staff chief, Col. Gen. Onik Gasparyan. The dismissal has yet to be approved by Armenia's largely ceremonial president, Armen Sarkissian, who sent it back to Pashinyan, saying the move was unconstitutional. Pashinyan quickly resubmitted the demand for the general's ouster, and the prime minister's allies warned that the president could be impeached if he fails to endorse the move. Sarkissian's office responded with a strongly worded statement condemning “inadmissible speculation” about his move and emphasizing that his decision was “unbiased and driven exclusively by national interests.” Amid the escalating tensions, a group of protesters broke into a government building in central Yerevan on Monday to press their demand for Pashinyan's resignation, but they left shortly afterward without violence. Later, Pashinyan's supporters and the opposition rallied in the capital at separate sites. Pashinyan, a 45-year-old former journalist who came to power after leading large street protests in 2018 that ousted his predecessor, still enjoys broad support despite the country's humiliating defeat in Nagorno-Karabakh and the opposition calls for his resignation. He defended the peace deal as a painful but necessary move to prevent Azerbaijan from overrunning the entire Nagorno-Karabakh region, which lies within Azerbaijan but was under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994. The fighting with Azerbaijan that erupted in late September and lasted 44 days has left more than 6,000 people dead. Russia has deployed about 2,000 peacekeepers to monitor the Nov. 10 peace deal. Armenia has relied on Moscow’s financial and military support and hosts a Russian military base — ties that will keep the two nations closely allied regardless of the outcome of the political infighting. Last week, the Russian Defence Ministry rebuked the Armenian leader for criticism of the Iskander missile, a state-of-the-art weapon touted by the military for its accuracy. The Russian military said it was “bewildered” to hear Pashinyan’s claim because Armenia hadn’t used an Iskander missile in the conflict. In a bid to repair the damage to Armenia's ties with Moscow, Pashinyan rescinded his claim Monday, acknowledging that he made the statement after being misled. —- Associated Press writer Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed. Avet Demourian, The Associated Press
TORONTO — Professional rugby league in Canada lasted less than four seasons with the Toronto Wolfpack. The Ottawa Aces have yet to take the field. But there are plans to kick-start the sport at the grassroots level in Canada, in the form of the Canada Co-Operative Championship Rugby League (CCCRL). Organizers hope to eventually establish a 12 -team league with both men's and women's teams with fans literally able to buy into the concept. Sandy Domingos-Shipley, a Toronto native now based in Leeds, England, is looking to help get the project off the ground. "I've got children born and raised here," the mother of three said in an interview. "And I've seen the impact of rugby league from a kid's point of view — how much they really do get involved in community and the good that comes out of the sport from the grassroots level. "And I really want the people in Canada to have a bit of that. I want them to have more of it … We can make rugby league grow in Canada the right way." The Canadian co-op league idea is the brainchild of 37-year-old Chris Coates, an English native who is the founding firector of CCCRL. He has been mulling over the concept for some years now. Coates is coach of the Sheffield Forgers, who play in the Yorkshire Men's League. He also has a hand in the international game as coach of the Lithuania men's team, describing himself as a "diehard expansionist at heart." "I believe that the game really should be for everybody," he said. "And I find it perplexing that so many people love the game but don't want to see it grow outside its (northern England) heartlands." His day job is in the tech world. "I build super-computers for a living." Looking to develop the sport, the league will feature rugby league nines which is akin to rugby union's sevens — a faster, condensed nine-a-side version of the rugby league game. They believe nines is an easier introduction to the game. The idea is to start with a six-team league in 2023, with plans of increasing up to 12 teams — six men's and six women's — with representation from B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec. Divisional competition will be followed by championship play. Domingos-Shipley says the league will also serve as a home for members of the Canadian national teams: the Wolverines (men) and Ravens (women). Players will be paid on a pro-am model. The Canadian Rugby League Association is on board, although not contributing financially. " What's exciting from our point of view is that the initiative is based on the development of grassroots rugby league," said CRLA president Bob Jowett. "We certainly wish them al the best with it and are supportive of the initiative." Domingos-Shipley says the plan calls for the governing body to benefit from some of the profits from the proposed league. Coates says the league will be funded 40 per cent in the form of private equity and 60 per cent by fans. Investors would get an annual return. They have not yet disclosed the minimum investment but say the average fan will be able to afford to get involved. "The thing with a co-operative is it effectively buys brand loyalty," said Coates. "People who invest in something are inclined to want to make that work." "Fans want to be part of growing something and this is the way they can do that," added Domingos-Shipley, who moved to England in 2001. Her passion for rugby league started four years ago when she started following the Wolfpack in England, becoming essentially a super-fan. Coates applauded the expansion to Toronto although he says he saw "risks" with the Wolfpack agreeing to pay visiting teams' travel and accommodation costs. Unable to play at home due to the pandemic, the Wolfpack stood down in July saying it could not afford to play out the remainder of the 2020 Super League season. The club's subsequent bid for reinstatement under new ownership in 2021 was voted down in November. "As a business owner, I couldn't get my head around how we got to the place where we were," said Domingos-Shipley, who runs a consulting company. Coates, meanwhile, was prompted to look for alternate ways to grow the game. In his words, "If you could do it completely differently, how would you do it?" He started talking to other people about the Wolfpack, including Domingos-Shipley, sharing his idea for a co-op league. "I was like 'Right I'm helping you do this. I want this to work,'" said Domingos-Shipley, who is billed as the CCCRL co-founder and director of governance and compliance. Coates also watched tape of the East-West game played at Lamport Stadium in January 2020. "It was good quality stuff," he said. He believes the talent and interest for a domestic league are both there. "The Wolfpack have done fantastic job of growing that market, from nothing. To grow to 10,000 fans in four years from zero fans is a great achievement. But the problem is that it was done in an unsustainable way." Organizers say they are working with "appropriate organizations" to ensure that all financial participation is in line with regulations and expectations. Coates says his group already has some commercial partners "in the pipeline." --- Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021 Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
Les portes de Monkey Spaces à Sainte-Sophie s’ouvrent – littéralement – sur un site enchanteur et paisible, dont le chemin enneigé menant au stationnement est traversé momentanément par quelques chevaux et alpagas. Cette arrivée pour le moins surprenante nous donne l’impression d’entrer dans un tout nouveau monde. Nancy Trudeau est la propriétaire et fondatrice de cet organisme à but non lucratif, ouvert dans sa globalité depuis le mois de mai. Elle est accompagnée notamment de Coco, chargée de projet, Éric, en charge de l’entretien, des réparations ou du soin aux animaux, et de Mélanie, assistante responsable des petits animaux et des autres bénévoles. C’est cette dernière qui nous accueille chaleureusement sur le site qu’elle nous fait visiter avec un enthousiasme contagieux. L’organisation remplit une double mission : le site abrite des animaux, petits et grands – chats, chiens, cochons, poules, chevaux, alpagas, etc. – qui n’étaient plus souhaités ailleurs, ou risquaient même l’abattoir. Non seulement on les sauve, mais leur présence permet aussi de pratiquer la zoothérapie auprès de personnes aux défis particuliers, comme celles vivant avec un trouble du spectre de l’autisme. Il y a plus de 20 ans, Nancy Trudeau achetait ce terrain de 75 acres. Elle y a pratiqué quelque temps la zoothérapie. Par la suite, la vie l’a menée jusqu’au Costa Rica où elle passait normalement la moitié de l’année. Elle y a fait des acquisitions dans le but de développer un projet communautaire. « J’ai fait une serre et je donne les légumes et les fruits à l’orphelinat et à la maison pour personnes âgées », souligne-t-elle. Elle comptait aussi faire construire un sanctuaire pour les singes. La pandémie a toute-fois freiné ses plans au Costa Rica, mais accéléré et concrétisé son projet à Sainte-Sophie. S’adapter aux besoins Le concept de Monkey Spaces est simple et flexible. Les familles profitent d’une période de deux à trois heures sur le site, où plusieurs options s’offrent à eux : brosser et nourrir les animaux, marcher en forêt, faire de la raquette ou glisser en hiver, faire du kayak ou se baigner en été. Il y a même un espace pour prendre un café et une grande salle vitrée propice à la détente et au yoga. On y retrouve aussi des instruments de musique et des livres. Le circuit peut varier d’une famille à l’autre, selon leurs besoins et leurs désirs. Mélanie Dumoulin indique que cette approche fait rupture avec leur vie quotidienne, où les enfants sont souvent restreints et dictés dans ce qu’ils doivent faire. « C’est un centre de plein air pour la différence. Toutes les personnes à défis particuliers peuvent venir ici, se ressourcer ou prendre une pause. Toutes ces familles-là sont essoufflées. Et en plus, avec la COVID-19, leur routine a été bousculée », ajoute-t-elle. D’ailleurs, la demande est significative depuis le mois de mai. La bénévole précise qu’au total, le site a accueilli une centaine de familles différentes. Chaque semaine, une vingtaine y mettent les pieds. Certaines familles reviennent régulièrement. Nancy Trudeau a toujours eu une grande passion pour les animaux. Elle a même possédé un singe pendant trois ans, d’où le nom de son organisation. La propriétaire compte concentrer les vingt prochaines années à développer ses différents projets, répondre à la demande et aider le plus de familles possibles. Il y a d’ailleurs beaucoup d’ambition pour bonifier l’offre de Monkey Spaces. Mélanie indique par exemple la possibilité d’installer des volières pour y mettre des perroquets ou de construire un arbre en arbre pour la saison estivale. L’équipe souhaite aussi diversifier sa clientèle : ils veulent accueillir de plus en plus de personnes âgées ou encore de gens aux prises avec des problèmes de santé mentale, comme la dépression. Des démarches ont même été entreprises auprès de la DPJ pour accueillir des enfants. Bref, ce ne sont pas les projets qui manquent, et surtout pas la passion. Ève Ménard, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
(Submitted by FCA - image credit) The Stellantis Windsor Assembly Plant has reopened after being shut down for much of February because of a global shortage of semiconductors. The minivan factory was closed Feb. 8, resulting in temporary layoffs for workers. About 4,700 people are employed at the plant. A spokesperson for Stellantis confirmed that the plant is reopening as scheduled on Monday. Several automakers had to halt or slow down production because of the lack of supply of semiconductors, which are used in vehicle electronics.
Trystan Lackner first got interested in urban food security way back in his senior year of high school after a supportive vice-principal helped him build a community garden in barren soil where portable classrooms had been removed. It ended up producing around eight or 10 grocery bags full of lettuce, potatoes, carrots and other produce that they donated to local volunteer group Feed The Need Durham. But it only lasted the year that Lackner and classmates he had brought along were there to sustain it. “It was a seed,” says Lackner, explaining he didn't have the experience or knowledge at the time to carry it forward. “The community garden was there, and then it wasn't, and there wasn't any communication of those ideas.” Fast-forward a few years and a degree in international development later, and Lackner is looking to make a more lasting impact. After six months of preparation, Lackner and colleagues hosted an online summit called "Does Your Meal Plan Cover Climate Change?" last month as part of Youth Challenge International’s Innovate MY Future program. “Our whole idea was to develop an educational summit for young people to become more aware, get involved, and connect with the experts within the field,” he says, about the Youth Roots Durham project. The hope is that more informed communities will build more resilience into the process by which they get fed, one that faced a sharp shock due to COVID-19 disrupting global supply chains, as well as ongoing threats to the same system from climate change. The summit included a weekend panel discussion of experts followed by networking, and workshops on the links between food and climate change, the benefits of moving from mass production of commodity crops, and how to get involved in pushing for more sustainable practices. One speaker at the summit was a local permaculture farmer, who grows multiple crops in proximity to each other for mutual benefit. The practice can reduce the need for pesticides and cut carbon emissions by limiting the need to transport food, Lackner explains. The information gathered in the course of the project is being prepared to be archived on a page of the Durham Food Policy Council’s website, ensuring that unlike his high school garden, Lackner’s legacy may live on. The region — which is suburban in its southern sections near Lake Ontario and more rural in its north towards the Lake Simcoe border — exports most of its produce in the form of commodity crops, such as soy and corn, Lackner says. He says that with demand for food to expand by roughly 70 per cent in coming decades as our global population approaches 10 billion people, innovative solutions applied locally will be key. “There is a very high possibility that you will see in the next decade or two, if we can innovate more with the greenhouses and produce more in warehouse settings, you can essentially urbanize and create factories of food within these large urban centres,” he says. In addition to these modern factory farms, Lackner wants to see more rooftop gardens and government policy that sets aside land to protect it from being developed other than as farmland. And for young people wondering what they can do, he says just dive in. “Get out there, get your hands dirty. Make that change that you want to see,” he says. “If you see something that no one else is doing or that's missing, don't wait for someone else to get that going, start it yourself and get involved. There is a way to do all that and connect with the experts and community partners.” Morgan Sharp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
Some 329 nominations have been received for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, likely reflecting the profusion of pressing human rights issues around the world, the secretary of the committee which awards the prize said on Monday. "It is the third highest ever total number," Norwegian Nobel Committee Secretary Olav Njoelstad told Reuters. "It reflects a lot of international interest in the Nobel Peace Prize," he said.
Killer the Bichon Frise goes nuts while left home alone, and thankfully it's all captured on a Furbo camera. Hilarious!
CHICAGO — The U.S. men’s soccer team will play 47th-ranked Jamaica on March 25 at Wiener Neustadt, Austria, the first of two exhibitions with the full player pool in Europe on FIFA international fixture dates. The Americans had previously scheduled a March 28 match against Northern Ireland in Belfast. The Jamaica game was announced Monday by the U.S. Soccer Federation. The matches will be just the third and fourth in 16 months with the full player pool, a schedule caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The 22nd-ranked U.S. tied 0-0 at Wales on Nov. 12, followed four days later by a 6-2 win over Panama at Wiener Neustadt. The U.S. is preparing for a June 3 match against Honduras in a semifinal of the CONCACAF Nations League followed by a championship or third-place game on June 6 against Mexico or Costa Rica. The CONCACAF Gold Cup starts July 10 and includes first-round matches against Canada, Martinique and either Haiti, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guatemala or Guyana. Exhibitions also are planned for May 30 and June 9. The delayed start of World Cup qualifying from Aug. 30 to Sept. 8 includes a match at El Salvador or Trinidad and Tobago, a home game that could be against Canada or Haiti, and a road game at Honduras. October includes home qualifiers against Jamaica and Costa Rica around a road qualifier at Guatemala or Panama, and November has a home qualifier against Mexico and a road qualifier at Jamaica. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Thousands of rare photos and artifacts spanning decades of First Nations and Saskatchewan history will find a new home. Amateur Arcola historian Adrian Paton died last month at 86, leaving behind a treasure trove of historical photos of First Nations in Saskatchewan from around the turn of the century. The collection has passed to family members, who are considering how to share the historical photos with the public and, if possible, repatriate the artifacts to their home communities. "The picture is valuable, but the story behind the picture is what makes it incredible," said his daughter, Val Guillemin. She helped Paton compile his 2018 book, An Honest, Genial and Kindly People, which features photos and stories Paton gathered over three to four decades of research. That research grew to be a valuable source for Indigenous communities piecing together family histories, she said. One of those people was Candace Wasacase-Lafferty, a board member of Wanuskewin Heritage Park and a senior director of Indigenous Engagement at the University of Saskatchewan. She's helping Guillemin find a suitable place for her father's work, whether that's through an exhibit or by repatriating some of the artifacts. Wasacase-Lafferty has personal ties to Paton's work. Her father, who was in residential school, was about eight years old when his mother died. She grew up with few stories about her grandmother. When she found Paton's book, she pored over every turn of the century photo of her home community of Kahkewistahaw First Nation, thinking her grandmother could be there. "I'm like 50 years old and I finally feel I've seen really who I am," she said. Wasacase-Lafferty compared it to an "odd, cold and sad" Plains Cree exhibit at the British Royal Museum she saw 10 years ago, saying Paton's work is an example of how it could be done better. It acts a model of Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations, she said. University of the Fraser Valley history professor Keith Carlson, who worked with Paton at the U of S, said the rarity of the documents is also historically significant. Many of the records haven't been preserved elsewhere, he said. Carlson, a former president of the Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society, assisted Paton with his collection. He said Paton's work was notable for investigating archival sources, like old newspaper articles, to track down photos and build histories around the images. That can be a valuable resource for families learning about their histories, including by replicating highly specific details like the designs on regalia in the photos, he noted. That's valuable for people like Ocean Man First Nation Chief Connie Big Eagle. When she visited Paton's house, she lingered in front of an old photo that caught her eye. Paton told her the name of the man in the picture, leading Big Eagle to discover it was a photo of her great-grandfather that she had never seen before. "It was like there was a connection, an understanding or something, of who we come from." Nick Pearce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The StarPhoenix
Les truffes de culture et sauvages pourraient d’ici quelques années devenir une spécialité mauricienne. Des chercheuses, spécialistes, organismes, investisseurs et propriétaires forestiers et terriens flairent aujourd’hui la bonne et belle affaire. La filière s’organise. Un véritable réseau truffier est en train de se structurer en Mauricie, grâce aux efforts concertés de nombreux intervenants qui travaillent en synergie. Parmi eux, Truffes Québec, ArborInnov, la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie (bras de développement des comestibles forestiers du Syndicat des producteurs de bois de la Mauricie), des chercheurs et des propriétaires privés. Truffes Québec espère, dès à présent, implanter chaque année un peu moins d’une dizaine de truffières sur le territoire de la Mauricie. L’organisation veut que la région serve de modèle dans la culture de ce champignon convoité, goûteux, rarissime et coûteux. Pour y parvenir, Truffes Québec travaille de très près avec la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie qui sert de point d’entrée aux exploitants intéressés par la culture des truffes. Ces derniers sont ensuite référés à Truffes Québec qui analyse les projets et leur faisabilité. « On veut avoir des producteurs qui ont une vision et qui ne cherchent pas une rentabilité à court terme. Il y a tout un accompagnement pour faire en sorte que chaque installation soit un succès. En particulier pour la truffe des Appalaches. C’est l’aspect global qu’on travaille avec eux », explique Jean-Pierre Proulx, directeur de Truffes Québec. Intervient alors ArborInnov qui travaille depuis 2009 à valoriser la culture des truffes, à produire des arbres truffiers et à conseiller les producteurs. Des producteurs qui n’ont aucune intention de crier sur tous les toits leur affection pour la truffe et les projets qui se réalisent dans le plus grand secret et sous le couvert de l’anonymat. « On a eu des rencontres, fait des analyses de sols, de faisabilité » précise M. Proulx. Julia (nom d’emprunt) est l’une de celle qui veut avec son conjoint, planter 1 600 arbres truffiers sur sa terre de douze hectares. La truffière en occupera le dixième de sa superficie. « C’est un projet de préretraite. On cherchait une culture à faire sur une petite surface et je voulais avoir une forêt derrière la maison. On va planter des chênes rouges, du pin blanc et des épinettes de Norvège qui tiennent compte de notre type de sol. Les cultures émergentes nous intéressent. Je suis dans l’industrie alimentaire depuis toujours, je vois beaucoup de potentiel de développement. On essaie de limiter nos rêves de grandeurs. Si on compare à ce qui sort en nature, on devrait avoir un rendement qui nous permette d’en vivre comme retraités. Et il n’est pas impossible, si le résultat est bon, qu’on ajoute un autre champ. Il faut être capable de supporter l’investissement », souligne Julia qui se garde bien de nous dire combien elle a investi, et où! « On est en Mauricie », se limite-t-elle à préciser. Julia lance sa truffière en toute discrétion dès le printemps prochain, avant les possibles sécheresses de l’été. « Il va falloir arroser, on n’a pas le choix ». Truffes Québec et la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie planchent sur des projets porteurs qui pourraient être dévoilés au courant de l’hiver. « Ça fait déjà travailler plein de monde. Quand ça se met à décoller, dans dix ans, c’est une autre affaire », conclut M. Quirion. Combien vaut un kilo de truffes du Québec? On vient de vendre un kilo de truffes des Appalaches pour 3 000 $. Des centaines de milliers de dollars investis dans la truffe en Mauricie Les investissements se multiplient en Mauricie. « On regroupe la cueillette, la transformation, la restauration, le mycotourisme, la recherche et le développement. On bâtit ensemble un plan quinquennal », explique Patrick Lupien, coordonnateur de la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie. La Filière travaille main dans la main avec Truffes Québec et ArborInnov. « Mon rôle est de mobiliser les propriétaires en vue de développer des champs truffiers en Mauricie, de venir ajouter au positionnement de la Mauricie dans le secteur », affirme M. Lupien de la Filière. Ce dernier travaille aussi au développement d’une filière de mycotourisme de la truffe sauvage avec la chercheuse Véronique Cloutier. Truffes Québec et la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie vont travailler de concert avec le club-conseil en agroenvironnement Lavi-Eau-Champ à l’implantation de champs truffiers. Cet automne, près de 200 000 $ ont été investis par des producteurs truffiers truffiers indépendants qui vont lancer leur truffière au printemps 2021. « L’investissement va varier selon les producteurs. Les arbres sont déjà réservés », ajoute Jean-Pierre Proulx. « C’est une excellente nouvelle, qui vient une fois de plus confirmer le rôle central que peut jouer la Mauricie dans la croissance de la mycologique et de la gastronomie au Québec , ajoute Patrick Lupien. Pour des projets qui sont porteurs comme ça, je ne pense pas qu’on ait besoin des gouvernements.» Une foule d’autres variétés pourraient, à terme, être produites en régie agronomique, estime Patrick Lupien de la Filière mycologique, d’autant que les pays européens enregistrent actuellement des baisses de production. Le Québec pourrait se faufiler. « On parle de la truffe sauvage au Québec, comme quand je parlais de champignons il y a douze ans. La truffe suit cette même dynamique. Et elle est réfléchie. Il y a une clientèle nationale et internationale prête à la découvrir », estime M. Lupien. Boris Chassagne, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix du Sud
MOSCOW — Two top United Nations human rights experts urged an international probe into the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and called Monday for his immediate release from prison. Agnès Callamard, the Special U.N. Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and Irene Khan, the Special U.N. Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, said Navalny’s poisoning was intended to “send a clear, sinister warning that this would be the fate of anyone who would criticize and oppose the government.” “Given the inadequate response of the domestic authorities, the use of prohibited chemical weapons, and the apparent pattern of attempted targeted killings, we believe that an international investigation should be carried out as a matter of urgency in order to establish the facts and clarify all the circumstances concerning Mr. Navalny’s poisoning," they said in a statement. Navalny, the most prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, fell sick on Aug. 20 during a domestic flight in Russia and was flown while still in a coma to Berlin for treatment two days later. Labs in Germany, France and Sweden, and tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established that he was exposed to a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent. Russian authorities have denied any involvement in the poisoning. In December, Navalny released the recording of a phone call he said he made to a man he described as an alleged member of a group of officers of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, who purportedly poisoned him in August and then tried to cover it up. The FSB dismissed the recording as a fake. Callamard and Khan on Monday published their official letter sent to the Russian authorities in December and noted that “the availability of Novichok and the expertise required in handling it and in developing a novel form such as that found in Mr. Navalny’s samples could only be found within and amongst state actors.” The experts emphasized in the letter that Navalny “was under intensive government surveillance at the time of the attempted killing, making it unlikely that any third party could have administered such a banned chemical without the knowledge of the Russian authorities.” Navalny was arrested on Jan. 17 upon returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from the nerve agent poisoning. The arrest triggered massive protests, to which the Russian authorities responded with a sweeping crackdown. Last month, Navalny was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for violating the terms of his probation while convalescing in Germany. The sentence stems from a 2014 embezzlement conviction that Navalny has rejected as fabricated — and which the European Court of Human Rights has ruled to be unlawful. Last week, Navalny was sent to serve his prison sentence to a prison outside Moscow despite the ECHR's demand for his release, which cited concerns for his safety. Russian officials have dismissed demands from the United States and the European Union to free Navalny and stop the crackdown on his supporters. Mikhail Galperin, Russia's deputy justice minister, charged Monday that Moscow has contested the ECHR's ruling demanding Navalny's release in a letter sent to the Strasbourg-based court. Meanwhile, the UN rights experts noted that an international probe into Navalny's poisoning is “especially critical” now when he is in prison. They called for his immediate release and reminded Russia that it's “responsible for the care and protection of Mr. Navalny in prison and that it shall be held responsible for any harm that may befall him.” Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said a "disappointing" $1.7 billion had been pledged by countries on Monday for humanitarian aid in Yemen - less than half the $3.85 billion the world body was seeking for 2021 to avert a large-scale famine. Childhood in Yemen is a special kind of hell. Some 16 million Yemenis - more than half the population of the Arabian Peninsula country - are going hungry, the United Nations says.
ESPN has re-signed Rece Davis to a multiyear contract that will keep him in place as host of the network’s popular Saturday college football pregame show. The network announced the deal Monday. Davis, 55, is entering his seventh year as host of ESPN’s “College GameDay.” He told The Associated Press this new deal will take him through his 10th season leading the show that includes Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and Lee Corso. "I believe I have the best job in sports television, but when you’ve been doing anything for a while there comes a period of evaluation, I guess, to see whether there are things you would like to pursue,” Davis said. “And for me I still very much wanted to host ‘College GameDay’ and to still have the opportunity to host some significant events along with that from time to time. Fortunately for me our place was able to provide all of those things.” Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the network. Davis will also continue to host ”College GameDay” for basketball, along with the network’s coverage of the NFL draft on ABC and the men’s Final Four. Davis is also set to host ESPN's coverage of the UEFA European Football Championship this summer. He will still to do some play-by-play for college football and basketball games. “The professionalism, energy and knowledge he brings to every show and every assignment is first-class as one of the best in the business," ESPN senior vice-president of production Lee Fitting said in a statement. Davis declined to say if he was pursued by other networks, but he said negotiations with ESPN moved expeditiously. “ESPN, and my long relationship with them, sort of had what I feel like my strong suits are but also opportunities to do some things to continue to grow as well," Davis said. The basketball version of “GameDay” began in 2005 with Davis as the host. He took over as host of the college football road show in 2015, replacing Chris Fowler. Fowler left “GameDay” to concentrate on calling games and become ESPN's lead college football play-by-play announcer. Davis said he enjoys calling games and might consider making a similar transition later in his career. “I feel like I've really built my career on hosting,” Davis said. “I hate the phrase tee-up the analyst. Anybody can do that. A good host is prepared for the conversation and knows where the lines are. He added: “My first priority is ‘GameDay.’ I still get a rush every time. I like being at the command centre of big events." “College GameDay” had a very different vibe last year as the coronavirus pandemic forced the show to be held on location but without fans. The threat of COVID-19 led to Corso, 85, doing the show from his home in Florida. “College GameDay” faced competition for the first time the last two seasons from Fox's “Big Noon Kickoff," but ESPN's show has remained on top in terms of viewership. “The best way to do it is to take care of your business and not be fixated on what someone else does and to be be confident and thorough in the direction you've tried to go into to,” Davis said. “If you start trying to react to someone else, that's more detrimental than helpful in my opinion. ”We still want to be regarded as the ultimate destination and if you turn away from our show, you're going to miss something." ___ Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at https://westwoodonepodcasts.com/pods/ap-top-25-college-football-podcast/ ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 Ralph D. Russo, The Associated Press
Community organizations in Timmins have prepared a few events in celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD). It is marked annually on March 8. In the past, the Timmins and Area Women in Crisis (TAWC) has hosted a dinner honouring 10 women who have overcome adversity and contributed to the community. This year, the organization is hoping to honour at least 30 women each day starting on March 8. Until March 3, TAWC is accepting nominations of extraordinary women who deserve recognition. The selected women will receive gift boxes with self-care products, all made by local women. “We wanted to make it a little bit extra special,” said Caroline Martel, TAWC’s manager of programs and services. “We wanted to honour women who’ve gone above and beyond during the pandemic … like frontline workers and health workers, teachers. If anyone knows anyone who’s really stepped up this year, we really want to hear their stories and nominate them.” Nomination forms can be found here or by emailing TAWC. Ellevive will host a free virtual meeting with Quebec singer Nathalie Simard on March 8 and 9. Simard will share her personal journey and testimony from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The event is held in partnership with a Sudbury-based Centre Victoria pour femmes, Fem'aide and the Office of Francophone Affairs at Laurentian University. For Ellevive’s and Centre Victoria’s clients, an exclusive activity will be offered on March 10. For another virtual event on March 8, the Timmins Chamber of Commerce has invited Erin Elofson of Pinterest Canada. Elofson is an innovator, project manager and head of the Canada, Australia and New Zealand region at Pinterest, which is a visual discovery engine where users share images and find inspiration and ideas. At the event, she will talk about women in leadership roles, the importance of having a curated digital presence and female parity on governing boards. The event will be held via Zoom from noon till 1 p.m. It costs $25 plus tax for chamber members and $40 for general admission. To register, click here. Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislative leaders have reached an agreement aimed at getting most public schoolchildren back in classrooms by the end of March. Under the deal announced Monday, school districts could get up to $6.6 billion if they reopen classrooms by March 31. To get the money, schools must return to in-person instruction at least through second grade. However, districts in counties with coronavirus case numbers low enough within a specific classification level must return to in-person instruction for all elementary school grades, plus one grade each in middle and high school. The proposal does not require staff and students to be vaccinated. Districts are not required to have agreements with teachers’ unions. Adam Beam, The Associated Press