Heather Abbey, a controversial Indigenous entrepreneur from Saskatoon, appeared on a Halloween-themed episode of Wheel of Fortune Tuesday night and walked away with $21,500 US after solving a puzzle with the phrase, "The Horror, The Horror."Indigenous artists who watched the game show say the real horror is that Abbey still owes them thousands of dollars for a failed trade mission to Tokyo in July 2019, on top of the $62,000 of public money she owes Creative Saskatchewan, a provincial arts agency.Abbey said she is making monthly instalment payments on her debt to Creative Saskatchewan. The arts agency confirmed that to CBC News.But it's little consolation to the artists who say they're owed money. "It kind of drains me emotionally to see her doing things like [appearing on Wheel of Fortune] still with no remorse for the artists and entrepreneurs she used and harmed," said Cree fashion designer Agnes Woodward, who lives in North Dakota, but is originally from Kawacatoose First Nation, about 115 kilometres north of Regina.To take part in the trade mission, Woodward and her husband Whirlwind Bull, a painter, spent more than $6,000 on flights, hotel, food, transportation and a delegate fee of $400 each. The trip did not go as Abbey promised it would. Afterward Abbey sent the couple messages — provided to CBC News — in which she pledged to repay them $3,000."If you owe a lot of money to people and you're on national TV? Like, she has no remorse and no conscience," said Bull. Bull said they paid $1,300 to cover hotel rooms, only to have Abbey check the Canadian delegation into a $20/night Airbnb at the last minute. CBC confirmed that a hotel in Tokyo is trying to collect $15,000 in cancellation and no-show fees after Abbey confirmed the group's reservation just hours before arrival, but failed to show up.Bull said he made a joke of Abbey's appearance on the game show. " 'Oh good, now she's going to pay us back.' But I know she's not going to." Abbey was prepared for backlashAbbey, a Cree woman from Little Pine First Nation, located 200 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon, has won numerous awards and government grants for empowering Indigenous artists and for her much-lauded website Indig Inc., an e-commerce platform that allows Indigenous artists to sell their homemade products. It is now offline.She now lives in West Hollywood, Calif., studies at Los Angeles Film School and delivers food part-time."I'm passionate about creating authentic Native American content for the big screen and the small screen," she told Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak on the show.In an article posted to West Hollywood Times, Abbey said she was hoping to win enough money to help pay for her education and take her family on a trip to Paris. WATCH | Heather Abbey's Wheel of Fortune win:However, in an email to CBC News, Abbey said that when she receives her winnings, she will spend the money in three ways: repaying Indigenous delegates that weren't able to attend the Tokyo trip, repaying Creative Saskatchewan and buying a new bed set for each of her two children."I knew that everything would flare up again if I made it on the game show, but I also knew it was an incredibly long shot in the first place — from application to audition to being selected onto the show to the actual game show itself!" she wrote."All in all though, I'm pretty proud of how I played, and that I have actual money coming to make my payments — delivering food isn't exactly keeping me in the money!"Government auditAfter a CBC News investigation last year, Creative Saskatchewan decided to audit five projects undertaken by Abbey and her e-commerce company Indig Inc., that received more than $160,000 total in taxpayer money between 2015 and 2019. The audit concluded that Abbey met expectations for three grants — worth nearly $100,000 combined — that helped to fund, among other things, website design and training for Indigenous artists to create leather mittens and beaded earrings.The two failed projects included a trade mission to Japan for Indigenous artists from Saskatchewan and a retail space for Indigenous artists in a Saskatoon shopping mall."I plan to repay every debt I have," Abbey told CBC News in January, when asked about her outstanding debts.Abbey also said none of her actions were malicious or fraudulent, rather that some business gambles didn't pan out.Creative Saskatchewan spokesperson Craig Lederhouse said the arts agency has an agreement with Abbey to collect the money owed over time."To date, Ms. Abbey is honouring that agreement and has been making monthly payments," he said. "Financial details of the agreement are confidential."Abbey has outstanding debts with more entities than the Saskatchewan government. Public records and court documents show two credit unions and two landlords are seeking $64,000 from Abbey for unpaid loans and rent.Abbey still maintains that some of the delegates are also responsible for the lack of sales on the Tokyo trip, insisting they treated it like a "vacation." A half dozen artists interviewed by CBC News deny that.As for her life now, Abbey said, "after the storm comes the rainbow. Cliché, but true.""Last year I was cancelled, and in retrospect it was probably the best thing to ever happen to me," she said. "Aside from these payments that I still plan to make, I'm free."So yeah, did last year destroy me? Hell yeah it did, but it also rebuilt me into someone that is stronger, and has even more empathy and life experience. Trying to better the world for a few people broke me completely, but it also gave way to being truly happy."
HALIFAX — People thinking about warm weather getaways in the coming months should probably plan to stay home, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health said Wednesday. Dr. Robert Strang responded to reports a Halifax-based travel agency is offering two weeklong trips to Cuba reserved exclusively for residents of Atlantic Canada. He questioned the "wisdom" of non-essential foreign trips while the COVID-19 pandemic rages around the world. "The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to advise against non-essential international travel," Strang told reporters. "Choosing to support our local hotels, restaurants and other businesses is the safest and wisest choice for Nova Scotians to make." Absolute Travel Specialists says it will charter two Air Canada flights -- one in February and another in March -- for Atlantic Canadians who want to get some sun in the winter and stay safe from COVID-19. The company said Tuesday a hotel in Cayo Coco will be reserved exclusively for Atlantic Canadians during their stay. Federal law stipulates that Canadians who leave the country must quarantine for 14 days upon their return. Atlantic residents who leave the Atlantic region -- even if they stay in Canada -- must also isolate for two weeks when they return home. Strang cautioned the second wave of COVID-19 is expected to last for at least the next two to three months. "There are no guarantees where we might be with COVID here in Nova Scotia during these coming months and we really don't know with any certainly what 2021 is going to bring either locally, nationally or internationally," he said. On Tuesday, Prince Edward Island's chief public health officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, said the planned trips to Cuba were "not realistic." Morrison said her province would maintain its two-week self-isolation requirement for the "foreseeable future," adding that it was unlikely any changes would be made before the Christmas season. Strang, however, said his province is considering employing rapid testing at its border with New Brunswick for travellers from outside the Atlantic region. He said rapid tests can shorten the two-week isolation period. Starting next month, officials in Alberta will be rapid testing foreign travellers at the Calgary airport and the Coutts land border crossing. Travellers who test negative will be allowed to end their isolation after taking a second test a week later. Strang said he is looking to learn from the Alberta pilot. "As evidence evolves, the epidemiology evolves, our goal is always to find the appropriate balance of keeping things open but also having the necessary level of safety," he said. Nova Scotia reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, leaving the province with five active cases of the disease. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2020. Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole's efforts to straddle the divide between social conservatives and more moderate members of his caucus were on display Wednesday as the House of Commons gave approval in principle to a bill that would outlaw the discredited practice of conversion therapy. The bill passed easily by a vote of 308-7 but exposed divisions within Conservative ranks. O'Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs. But seven of his MPs voted against it, two abstained and eight others made it clear they were supporting it only grudgingly for now, in hopes that it will be amended by the Commons justice committee. Former leader Andrew Scheer was among those who simply did not show up for the vote. O'Toole allowed his MPs a free vote on the issue, part of his bargain with social conservatives that helped him secure the Conservative leadership in August. The bill would criminalize the practice of forcing children or adults to undergo therapy aimed at altering their sexual orientation or gender identity. Some Conservatives have expressed fears the bill would outlaw conversations between parents and their children or counsel from religious leaders. O'Toole himself has said "reasonable amendments" are necessary to clarify that point. During debate on the bill earlier this week, former leadership contender Derek Sloan went so far as to suggest it would outlaw prayer. Sloan has previously said the bill amounts to child abuse. Justice Minister David Lametti has dismissed those fears, arguing that the bill does not criminalize conversations that are meant to provide guidance to those questioning their gender or sexuality. Sloan was among the seven Conservatives who voted against the bill Wednesday. Others supported the bill for now but made their reservations crystal clear. "With the best of faith, I vote in favour of sending this flawed bill to committee," said Saskatchewan MP Cathay Wagantall as she registered her virtual vote. By contrast, all Liberal, Bloc Quebecois, New Democrat, Green and independent MPs who took part in the vote supported the bill. A number of Liberal MPs made a point of announcing that they were "proudly" voting in favour. The NDP questioned the validity of votes that came with "qualifiers," prompting Speaker Anthony Rota to remind MPs that when voting virtually, they are supposed to say simply whether they are for or against the motion, with no other comment. During question period moments before the vote, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a veiled shot at the sincerity of O'Toole's profession of support for the bill. "Conversion therapy is rooted in the harmful premise that one's sexual orientation or gender identity could and even should be changed," Trudeau told the Commons, in response to a setup question from a Liberal backbencher. "Our legislation will criminalize efforts to force someone to change or hide who they are. While Conservatives couch their support for conversion therapy behind misleading arguments, on this side, we will always stand up for the rights of Canadians." The bill would ban conversion therapy for minors and outlaw forcing an adult to undergo conversion therapy against their will. It would also ban removing a minor from Canada for the purpose of undergoing conversion therapy abroad and make it illegal to profit from providing the therapy or to advertise an offer to provide it. The practice has been widely discredited as cruel and traumatic. The Canadian Psychological Association says there is no scientific evidence that conversion therapy works but plenty of evidence that it causes harm to LGBTQ individuals, including anxiety, depression, negative self-image, feelings of personal failure, difficulty sustaining relationships and sexual dysfunction. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2020. Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press
Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Wednesday that a warning from the FBI on hack-and-leak operations before the Nov. 3 presidential election played a role in its decision to limit the reach of stories from the New York Post that made claims about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's son. Zuckerberg said it had seen attempts by Russia, Iran and China to run disinformation campaigns. "One of the threats that the FBI has alerted our companies ... to was the possibility of a hack and leak operation in the days or weeks leading up to this election," he said.
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — A southern Ontario restaurant says members of a recent private party that included a provincial politician ignored pandemic-related safety guidelines. In a post on its Facebook page this week, Betty's Restaurant in Niagara Falls, Ont., said the group was "reminded several times" to wear masks when not seated at their table, but chose not to do so. "We can remind guests but we cannot strong-arm them into following rules," the post reads. Progressive Conservative legislator Sam Oosterhoff has apologized for not wearing a mask while posing for a group photo at the restaurant. Oosterhoff, who is parliamentary assistant to the education minister, posted the picture on social media but later deleted it. He said the event was in line with provincial rules, but acknowledged he should have had a mask on when taking the photo. "I should have worn a mask when we took a quick pic, given the proximity of everyone, and I apologize for failing to do so," Oosterhoff said in a statement. Critics have called for Oosterhoff's resignation as parliamentary assistant, saying he was flouting his government's own pandemic guidance. Premier Doug Ford has brushed aside those concerns, saying everyone makes mistakes and he has "100 per cent confidence'' in the Niagara West representative. Labour Minister Monte McNaughton said Wednesday that it's important for all Ontarians — including members of provincial parliament — to "step up" in the fight against COVID-19. "As MPPs, we all have to lead by example — everyone in the province has to do more and take these precautions seriously to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That's the only way we're going to mitigate risks," McNaughton told reporters. Asked whether he would have attended a gathering as large as the one at Betty's Restaurant, McNaughton answered simply: "No." Betty's said Oosterhoff's party was in a private room with a separate entrance and washrooms and did not interact with other patrons. Staff sanitized and disinfected the room after the party, the restaurant said. "We are truly doing our best to follow all guidelines for your safety and ours," the company's Facebook post reads. "We humbly appreciate all of those who continue to support us." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2020. The Canadian Press
Pumpkin season has been booming for farmers in the St. John's area this fall, leaving customers who waited until the last minute scrambling to find just one signature piece ahead of Halloween on Saturday.Jeremy Taylor, owner of Taylor's Waterside Gardens in Conception Bay South, told CBC News it's not unusual for him to sell out of pumpkins, but this year it happened far earlier than anticipated. He credits that to good weather in early October and people looking for things to do outdoors amid the coronavirus pandemic — but early on, he wasn't sure he would be able to sell them all."Every year we have a lot of field trips come from schools," he said, but with COVID regulations, there was just one field trip this year instead of the 1,800 or so students who come every year."Every one of those kids get a pumpkin, get a hot chocolate. So that's 1,800 pumpkins that weren't sold this year."Taylor estimates his yearly harvest to be in between 4,000 to 5,000 pumpkins, and this year was no different.But even without the steady flow of field trips to his farm, where the majority of his harvest is sold, his pumpkin patch has been picked clean once again. WATCH: Cec Haire reports on how demand for pumpkins overtook supply: "People got their kids involved in so many things, and maybe this year things were scaled back in their activities and what they're able to do. So they made coming to a pumpkin patch more of an activity," Taylor said. "They really came and bought up [the pumpkins], and came in droves, really. Car loads."Striking helpsTom Williams, owner of Gracie's Garden in the Goulds neighbourhood of St. John's, said his farm had lots of pumpkins until about two weeks ago. But, as of Tuesday, he's pretty much sold out. Williams said the Dominion grocery store strike across the province may have helped local farmers sell pumpkins. Stores that would normally have piles of pumpkins are now empty. "We [sold] our 5,000 pumpkins for sure. There's a few damaged ones left, but that's about all," Williams said. Like Taylor, Williams said he was worried early on about COVID-19 hanging over most businesses, including farms. "But I was proved wrong, which is always good," he said. "It is a little bit hard to say we have no pumpkins left. I'd like to have another 1,000 to go pick. I'd even pick them in the rain."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Nunavut RCMP officers will have the ability to turn their body-worn cameras on and off when a national pilot project gets underway in Iqaluit next month. That's according to the federal minister of public safety's office in an email to CBC, which said the information came from the RCMP. The Mounties announced last week that the trial run will begin in Nunavut's capital with an eye to expanding the pilot to other Canadian communities.No details on the funding or timeline for that national expansion have been announced. To start with, 20 cameras will be deployed with officers in Iqaluit, Mary-Liz Power, press secretary to Minister Bill Blair said in an email. She said the plan is to expand the project to other Nunavut communities after Iqaluit but did not provide a timeline for that. The cameras deployed in Nunavut next month will have the ability to capture audio as well as video footage, Power said. Nunavut RCMP will hold a media event on Wednesday in Iqaluit to release more information about the pilot project.Body-worn cameras are seen by many as an important police-accountability measure in the wake of calls to defund police departments.But Adam Benforado, an American law professor, told CBC News that research shows police cameras do not provide the independent, unbiased perspective many hope for.An officer's ability to turn a body camera on and off can make it even more difficult to overcome biases, he said.Benforado, author of a bestselling book called Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice, said he studies common assumptions underlying legal institutions. Perspective biasSome of those biases cross international borders, such as perspective bias, Benforado said from his office at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Psychologists and film study experts recognized this long ago, he said: the framing and position of a camera can fundamentally change the story viewers see. "When we're seeing a body-worn camera, we're seeing things from the perspective of the police officer. We're literally standing in the shoes of the police officer," Benforado said.Experiments in perspective bias in the criminal justice process have focused on interrogations, he said. "Scientists have found it really matters what sort of frame is being offered," Benforado said. According to Benforado, viewers who watched the perspective of the police interrogator were much more inclined to think the interrogation was reasonable. But viewers who watched the perspective of the suspect were far less inclined to think that, Benforado said.
Alarmed by the steady rise in new coronavirus cases, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pressing governors of the country's 16 states to agree to a partial lockdown Wednesday that could include further restrictions on public gatherings and the closure of bars and restaurants. Germany's disease control agency said a record 14,964 new cases were recorded across the country in the past 24 hours, taking the total since the start of the outbreak to 449,275. Germany also saw a further 27 COVID-related deaths, raising its overall death toll to 10,098, the Robert Koch Institute said.
The Trump administration is conducting a wide-ranging antitrust probe into major tech companies. Last week, the Justice Department sued Google, accusing it of illegally using its market muscle to hobble rivals in the biggest challenge to Big Tech's power in decades. A Biden campaign spokesman declined to comment on the Google lawsuit but said the candidate has "long said that one of the greatest sins is the abuse of power."
There were no spills or leaks of hazardous or dangerous material after four rail cars derailed in Gordon Yard, the CN rail yard in Moncton on Tuesday, the fire department says.Platoon chief Paul Bruens with the Moncton Fire Department said that when fire crews arrived at 4:30 p.m, they found three rail cars on their side and one was leaning.One of the rail cars on its side contained propane but there was no leak, he said."Everything was contained within the car. There were no hazards to the public at that time and nobody was hurt or injured." The other rail cars contained non-hazardous material. Bruens said CN staff were on scene and called in a company from Saint John to assess the damage to all the rail cars. Work to put the rail cars upright will be done Wednesday after a CN dangerous goods officer is on scene. Bruens said firefighters remained until 9:30 p.m. and will return to the scene if necessary."If they have to start transferring product, or if they go to move the cars and there's additional hazards, we'll return to the scene." A CN spokesperson said by email the cause of the derailment is under investigation.
The recruitment of physicians and nurses to the Island remains a top priority for Health PEI in the coming year. Health Minister James Aylward said low COVID-19 numbers in the province may attract more healthcare professionals."[It's] one of the great positives that has come out of the pandemic, and how we've been able to keep the incident rate down here on P.E.I.," he told the Health PEI annual general meeting Tuesday night."There are actually two psychiatrists who reached out from Ontario, they are a couple, and they want to move here to P.E.I. and take up practice ... We're seen throughout Canada as one of the safest places to be."Clearing the backlogThe annual report outlines Health PEI operations from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020. That means only a month of the COVID-19 pandemic is included in the report. Island hospitals are still clearing the backlog, said Health PEI CEO Denise Lewis Fleming."Nearly 57 per cent of our cancelled surgeries have been done and completed. And we've contacted everyone else and they have been either rebooked or have decided to defer their booking date," Fleming said."Continuing to work through the remainder of that backlog is definitely a focus in the near term."Fleming said she is concerned about what might happen if a larger backlog happens during the second wave, now underway in the rest of Canada, but not yet affecting P.E.I.Fleming said there are also concerns about staff which are still deployed to other areas to help deal with any potential impacts of the pandemic."We're working on solutions in order to use people to their full scope of practice in some of our COVID response areas, allowing us to get people back to their home positions so that we can further return closer to normal," she said.Recruiting for long-term careFleming also said COVID-19 affected the amount of long-term care beds in the province — but the main issue has been staffing."For the long-term care beds that hadn't been opened, it created a larger challenge when people became restricted to one work site," she said, adding some areas require bilingual staff, creating a recruiting challenge.In spring of 2018 the then Liberal government made a commitment to add 100 long-term care beds in two years.Alyward said 24 long-term care beds have been added so far.Mobile mental health coming soonThe province is also getting ready to launch mobile mental health crisis teams.The crisis teams will have three streams of workers — a healthcare professional such as a psychologist, members of Island EMS, and specially-trained plain clothes police officers — Aylward said.Those officers will assist "when and if they are needed," he said.There will be three mental health crisis locations initially, in Summerside, in Montague and one in Charlottetown."It's going to be a staggered approach to begin with. We will start obviously in Queen's County, then look at King's County and then Prince County," he said. Aylward said he is hoping to announce a schedule for those mobile units and when they will become available in about a week.More from CBC P.E.I.
The father of Walter Wallace, Jr. asked for violence to stop in Philadelphia, one day after police shot and killed his son. Authorities say Walter Wallace, Jr. was wielding a knife. His family says he was having a mental health crisis. (Oct. 28)
On a rainy October day, the Sid Smith rink at Christie Pits Park sits empty. But just weeks ago, the popular pop-up skateboard park there was seeing bigger crowds than ever before, and that's prompted the city to look at finding it a new home.This past summer, with so many people looking for ways to exercise outdoors due to the pandemic, the skateboard park proved to be a magnet for people of all ages. The bigger crowds, in turn, led to more noise complaints from nearby homes.So, city council will vote Wednesday on a proposal to lay a concrete pad for the boarders to use elsewhere in the park."It's developed quite a following," said Coun. Mike Layton, who represents the area along with the rest of Ward 11, University-Rosedale. "And I think with it, the number of individuals using it is kind of far exceeding the space at this point," not to mention the patience of those living nearby, Layton added.Layton says because the skate park is in a rink ... "these high wooden boards, the sound reflects off quite close to some residential houses.""When we started the park, we never thought how popular and busy it would be," said Migs Bartula, 41, a lead volunteer at the park and the co-chair of its skateboard committee."Especially with COVID and a hot summer, we have a lot more users." Bartula is all for finding a permanent space for skateboarders to use in the park."We understand that having people using a facility around the clock creates a bit of neighborhood tension."In a recent survey of more than 300 people living in the area, Bartula says more than half reported going to the skateboard park once or twice a week."A lot of people are coming up a few times a month and more than half the people live in the community within walking and biking distance," he added.The city hopes to speak with neighbours and the skateboarding community to determine a good location for the concrete pad with the hope it will be ready for use next spring.But Bartula worries what will happen if the new space proves to be too small."If we're busy at the size we're at, you reduce the size, that creates pressure on people," Bartula said.
Students entering their final year of high school in Sept. 2019 could not possibly have imagined how different their school and the world would look by the end of the year. The upheaval began when the additional one week closure of schools after March break was eventually extended to three and a half months, compelling teachers and students to adapt to an online learning model, and give up the team sports and social activities that are so much the part of senior year. Credit goes out to teachers and administrators for continuing to work with students, encouraging them to look past the pandemic and complete their studies in spite of many changes. Rose Pande and Carson Rutledge were named the 2020 class valedictorians. This year, instead of standing in front of a crowd of their peers, teachers and family, the two students gave their address in front of a camera. The entire ceremony was taped and can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/UWvx50PU83A . Pande and Rutledge began their speech by poking a bit of fun at their situation; standing at separate podiums, wearing masks and using a measuring tape to make sure they were two metres apart. The two reminisced about their early years at KDSS; remembering the massive size of the gym, discovering their passions and making friends. Their love of participating in team sports, group activities and even cafeteria food was evident. Rutledge said “senior year came around and smacked us in the face with a cast iron frying pan,” and how the euphoria of learning they had an extra week’s break in March changed when weeks became months, and students were filled with confusion, disappointment, uncertainty and a bunch of hand sanitizer. Their address concluded with a reminder to fellow students that there “is a light at the end of the tunnel” from Pande, and a challenge from Rutledge to students that “we must never let ourselves settle for anything less than what is possible.” In an interview with The Kincardine Independent after the ceremonies, Pande recalled how challenging the transition to online learning was for her, and fellow students, when it was announced they would not be returning to brick and mortar schools in the immediate future. She likes the “in person” experience of talking face-to-face and missed visiting and studying with her friends. Now a fulltime student at McMaster University in the Bachelor of Science Nursing program, Pande continues to study online and will be learning from home for the remainder of the school year. While she regrets missing some of the highlights of senior year, prom and sports for example, she has great memories of her time at KDSS and the many friends she made and the experiences she had. “Just try your best and give it everything you’ve got,” is Pande’s advice to the class of 2021. “Make the best of the situation and try to have fun.” Rutledge is studying from home as well, a student of the Life Sciences program at Queen’s University. Right now he plans to pursue a career in forensic sciences but he is leaving his options open. He says he has missed the people most of all during these last months. Everyone knows they should stay home but the lack of interaction with teachers and friends has been difficult. While he enjoys sports, unlike Pande, his season was complete by the time March rolled around. His advice for fellow students is to keep working towards their goals. “When this pandemic came, it distracted everybody from where the world was going and where they wanted their lives to head,” said Rutledge. “Lots of things can become distracting. We need to focus on the end goal and not get caught up in small misfortunes.”Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent
WASHINGTON — Gary Kauffman says he does not scare easily. So when men waving President Donald Trump flags drive by his house in downtown Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he stands on his front steps and waves a banner for Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. “Sometimes I yell at them. They yell back at me,” says Kauffman, 54. Still, Kauffman is keeping a closer eye on who they are and what they're carrying as Election Day approaches. Tension has been rising in his town, known best as hallowed ground of the Civil War's bloodiest battle. Recently, it’s become a hot spot of angry confrontations between Trump supporters and liberal protesters. Kauffman has seen some of the Trump supporters carrying weapons. “If there’s guns, I’m a bit more cautious,” he said on Monday. Americans aren’t accustomed to worrying about violence or safety ahead of an election. It’s a luxury afforded by years of largely peaceful voting, a recent history of fairly orderly displays of democracy. But after months filled with disease, disruption and unrest, Americans are worried that Election Day could become a flashpoint. With Election Day next week, voters can point to plenty of evidence behind the anxiety. More than 226,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the United States, and cases are spiking across the country. A summer of protests of racial injustice and sometimes violent confrontations has left many on edge. Gun sales have broken records. Trump has called on supporters to monitor voting and has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power or to explicitly condemn a white supremacist group. There was the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and another spate of violent protest this week over a police shooting of a Black man in Philadelphia. “Human beings don’t do well with uncertainty, and there’s been a lot of uncertainty this year,” said Mara Suttmann-Lea, an assistant professor of government at Connecticut College conducting research on voting. ”Absolutely I’m seeing heightened levels of anxiety ... and it's a more general, existential anxiety — ‘What is the state of our democracy?’" Those worries have shown up in polling. About 7 in 10 voters say they are anxious about the election, according to an AP-NORC poll this month. Biden supporters were more likely to say so than Trump supporters — 72% to 61%. For some, the worries are a vague sense of looming trouble that could take many forms — conflict at a polling place, protest over the outcome, protest over no outcome, a conflagration that splits Americans over now-familiar divisions. “You can feel it in the energy,” particularly on social media, says Cincinnati voter Josh Holsten Sr., 42. “There are just a lot of extra tensions that don’t necessarily need to be there.” Holsten says he is voting for Trump but thinks neither the president nor Biden is doing enough to calm people down. The car salesman has even stocked up on food, water and bulletproof vests for his family — in case the election sparks something bad. Law enforcement and election officials are preparing, too. FBI and local officials in several states have been conducting drills and setting up command centres to respond to election-related unrest. Election officials are training poll workers on how to de-escalate conflict and ensuring they're prepped on the rules about poll monitoring, voter intimidation and harassment. “The procedures have always been there. We’ve just never had to use them,” said Ellen Sorensen, an elections judge in Naperville, Illinois, outside Chicago. “Perhaps this time we may. I don’t know.” A group called Election Protection Arizona says it intends to train hundreds of people at the polls, including on de-escalation guidance in case of confrontations. The Rev. Joan Van Becelaere, executive director of Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio and part of an effort to keep the peace, said the virus has fueled fear and division between Trump supporters and others. The groups, she said, are “extreme places of tension that we really don’t want to meet at these polls." Millions of Americans are voting despite the worries. More than 67 million people have already voted in the U.S., and more than 23 million of those cast their ballots in person. A poll in August by the Pew Research Center suggests that more Americans see the stakes as higher than usual in the 2020 presidential election. Twenty years ago, just half of voters said it really mattered who won. As of August, 83% express this view. For some, that sense of urgency, combined with fierce partisanship and anger, feels like a recipe for conflict. “November’s going to be scary because both sides aren’t going to give,” said Bob Stanley, 66, a longtime Republican and Trump supporter from Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Stanley expressed a hope shared by Republicans and Democrats: “I hope it’s going to be an overwhelming majority, or there will be trouble.” Another Johnstown resident, Fran Jacobs, a 76-year-old Biden supporter, expressed similar concerns about whether the result would be clear, whether people would be calm and whether the world would look at the U.S. as a functional democracy. “I’ve never been frightened for the country. I always figured we’re gonna make it. We always pull something up. And I’m really frightened this time,” she said, looking to the sky. "It’s all in your hands, I know.” ___ Associated Press writers Jill Colvin in Washington, Astrid Galvin in Phoenix and Julie Carr Smyth in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report. ___ AP’s Advance Voting guide brings you the facts about voting early, by mail or absentee from each state: https://interactives.ap.org/advance-voting-2020/. Laurie Kellman, The Associated Press
The chair of a group that brings together officials from Canada and the U.S. to help make ropeless fishing a reality says there's been a surge in testing new technology over the last year, which could help the rapidly declining North Atlantic right whale population.Sean Brillant, who works for the Canadian Wildlife Federation and is chair of the Ropeless Consortium, said they are approaching roughly 1,000 trials across the Eastern Seaboard, the bulk of which has been done in the last 12 months."Two years ago, we were just getting laughed in our faces at the idea of doing this," Brillant said.This was the third annual Ropeless Consortium meeting. Researchers, members of the fishing industry and government officials first came together in 2018 to help develop ropeless technology that is economically viable for fishermen and reduces entanglements of large whales.But Brillant said ropeless technology is not the "holy grail" for saving the right whales, nor is it intended to replace all other traps. Instead, the group hopes ropeless technology will help fishermen deal with continued area closures due to the right whales."It's not the only tool, it's not the thing we're moving toward that's going to solve all of these problems," he said.The meeting, which was attended online by roughly 300 people, came the day before the two-day North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium, which began on Tuesday.While there have been no reported right whale deaths or entanglements in Canadian waters so far in 2020, 29 whales have died in Canada's oceans since 2017.Most of these deaths are due to fishing gear entanglements and vessel strikes. In response, the Canadian government implemented measures such as fishing zone closures and ship speed restrictions.Implementing weaker rope will also be a reality in Canadian waters by the end of 2021.In a statement, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said weak ropes or weak breaking points will become mandatory by the end of 2021. Sometime after that, there will also be a maximum fishing rope diameter allowed, new sinking rope between traps and reductions in vertical and floating rope.Mark Baumgartner, a biologist with the Woods Hold Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Mass., and vice chair of the Ropeless Consortium, said weaker rope is not necessarily going to work for the offshore and crab fisheries."They have heavy gear that they need to bring to the surface in, 1,700 pound breaking strength rope is almost surely not going to work for them," he said.Baumgartner said as fisheries closures become more "in vogue," they want to be prepared with solutions."There's an urgency to develop this, but it has to be developed right, or it can be damaging to the fishery, I think. If we impose upon them an extraordinarily expensive solution, it's equivalent to closing them down," he said.Some crab fishermen in Canadian waters have already begun trying ropeless fishing methods. In 2019, the federal government gave roughly $2 million over three years to the snow crab industry in northern New Brunswick to try and find ways to reduce right whale entanglements.Baumgartner said they can't speculate right now about the cost of ropeless technology because it's still in the prototype phase."We all recognize the idea that if we can't get the cost down, this is just a no-go. We're not looking to put fishermen out of business," he said.Different ropeless systemsBrillant said the Canadian Wildlife Federation is testing four ropeless systems.He said two main technologies are being studied. The first is where the buoy line and buoy are stored at the bottom of the seafloor. Fishermen have a release mechanism that brings it to the surface.The other is a kind of deflated bag that sits with the trap or an anchor on the bottom. When it is called to the surface, it inflates and floats up.But a question many fishermen have also revolves around locating ropeless gear, a problem that has yet to be solved.One possible solution is surface GPS marking, but that will only show where the gear was dropped, not its current location — so if it ever moves, it will be hard to find again.There are also acoustic transponders that can tell fishermen how far away they are from a piece of gear and possibly what direction that gear is in.Finally, there's another system that Baumgartner is involved in developing, where the gear localizes itself, much like a cellphone. Cellphones are localized or tracked by the signals they send to cell towers or by using GPS. While Brillant said there are still challenges of incorporating ropeless gear into all fisheries, he believes they are well on there way to getting there."I think the snowball is starting to roll down the hill. If one fishery can get it figured out, then perhaps it's going to encourage others as well," he said.And while the right whales are the species getting the most attention these days, Brillant points out that eliminating lines in the water column will have an impact on other species."If we lose right whales, well there's another species right behind them that will then find itself at the edge of the cliff," he said."This problem is not going to go away just because right whales go away."MORE TOP STORIES
Masons have been busy restoring parts of the park in Grand-Pré, N.S., where Acadians once thrived prior to their expulsion in 1755.The memorial church at the Grand-Pré National Historic Site and the statue of Longfellow's Évangéline will all be restored."The main work that has been done so far has been on the memorial church," said Mathieu D'Astous, national historic sites and visitor experience manager for Grand-Pré. "Mostly it's masonry and carpentry work on the structure where it's deteriorated over time."A large lunette window above the main entrance is also being repaired.The church has been closed since the work began in early September."The church is approaching it's 100th anniversary and there were structural issues that were becoming apparent, so the timing seems right to get that restoration work done," said D'Astous.The focus of the work has been repointing the old stones in the church facade. That work should be done by the end of this year.The rest of the work on the monuments, including the Longfellow statue, the Herbin cross and the Coming of the New England Planters cairn at nearby Horton Landing, will be completed in the spring of 2021."In the case of Évangéline, they are going to be doing a new concrete foundation," said D'Astous, who said the 100th anniversary of the Évangéline monument was this summer.The Government of Canada has earmarked $737,000 in federal infrastructure funding to protect Grand-Pré National Historic Site.MORE TOP STORIES
When Bayan Assi, 29, learned that his wife would finally be allowed to come to Canada, the relief was overwhelming."It was an exhilarating moment. It was like so much pressure was removed off your chest, [and] put on the side," Assi said.The couple married in January. And since then, Assi, a Canadian citizen, has been trying to bring Rawand Shamseddine, 30, to Canada.His efforts intensified after a horrific explosion in August levelled parts of Beirut, where Shamseddine was living. At least 200 people were killed and more than 6,000 were injured in the blast.Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) established a program designed to reunite families affected by the explosion. Shamseddine applied, but was told she did not qualify and was turned down.After the couple's plea to IRCC last week, Shamseddine was finally issued a temporary residence permit (TRP) to be able to come to Canada."It was the first time I saw her truly smile, after all this disaster and catastrophe that she's been going through," said Assi. "It was like a glimpse of hope on her face."Assi's relief is tempered with concern for other couples who are also trying to navigate the Canadian immigration process."I think there needs to be a lot more attention to the details of every application," he said.Assi added that he believes his wife's file may not have been properly reviewed, and because of that she was initially denied."Her file, which was made for people affected by the explosion in Beirut, was treated as a normal tourist visa," he explained.Should have been eligible from the startJoseph Daoura, a lawyer who deals with immigrations cases, praised Canadian embassy staff and IRCC for their efforts."They did a great job," said Daoura. "They reviewed their decision which is now in line with the guidance and instructions given [after] the Beirut explosion."But he explains that Shamseddine should have been eligible from the start — under Canada's federal reunification program — since she is married to a Canadian citizen and was living in the area affected by the Beirut explosion.Daoura says another case he worked on with embassy staff also ended in a happy ending. He said he's glad officials there are taking a "humanitarian approach" to reuniting families.The TRP issued to Shamseddine allows her to live in Canada for a period of time, while she waits for approval of her spousal sponsorship visa.Assi says he's looking forward to Shamseddine's arrival and the start of their lives together."It's really starting from point zero, and building [a life] with her, [which] is going to be something beautiful and something I look forward to."
After three months of trying, including bringing in outside expert help, health officials in the Northwest Territories are no closer to solving the problems plaguing equipment used to sterilize surgical instruments at the Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife."There are a number of different factors, there's the water quality, water testing for mineralization, the instruments themselves," said Health Minister Julie Green in the legislature on Tuesday. "Unfortunately, none of this has resulted in a full return to sterilization."The sterilization machines use steam and heat to clean surgical instruments. The health department announced in late July they were malfunctioning and said some elective surgeries were being cancelled as a result.Green said the problem affects surgeries that require larger instruments. She said since July, 200 surgeries have been completed. Of the 124 surgeries that have been cancelled since the equipment initially failed, 23 have since been completed."There is a need, of course, to address this big backlog," added Green. The minister, responding to questions from Frame Lake MLA Kevin O'Reilly, said the department is exploring whether they can send patients to Inuvik to complete their operations."We had been considering sending patients to Alberta but unfortunately that is no longer an option because surgeries for Albertans are also being cancelled for a variety of reasons, including a surge of COVID cases," Green said.Equipment will be sent to Calgary for testsGreen said experts were brought up to try and solve the problem. Now, health officials are looking at sending the equipment down South to see if the problem lies with the instruments themselves rather than the sterilization machines."They are actually going to perform an experiment in the coming week by sending surgical equipment to the Foothills [Medical Centre] in Calgary to see whether the sterilization works in that facility, so they can identify whether the problem is with the instruments themselves or whether there still remains a problem with the sterilization machine," Green said.Green agreed to instruct the department to begin providing updates on its website every two weeks so patients waiting for surgeries are kept informed.
To secure a historic fourth consecutive electoral majority, the Saskatchewan Party took a page from the previously dominant NDP government's playbook, says one longtime follower of provincial politics.Ken Rasmussen, professor of public administration at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, said he expects Premier Scott Moe's federal government-bashing to continue following his Monday night election win, as will his frequent references to farming and the resource sector. But he said much of that rhetoric is aimed at pleasing the party's rural base and fending off advances from the Buffalo Party on the right, which finished second in several races.Like past NDP premiers, Saskatchewan Party governments under Brad Wall, and now Scott Moe, have taken a centrist approach in their actual policies, says Rasmussen."The irony is they actually govern like the NDP. They have no real free-market fundamentalism. Again, they pledged not to privatize Crown corporations," he said. "There's very little social conservatism. It's very appealing to a wide swath of voters."After Monday's voting, the Saskatchewan Party was elected or leading in 50 of 61 constituencies, pending a count of the mail-in ballots in the coming days. That includes winning every rural and small urban area of the province, much as they have for the past decade.Rasmussen said the province appears more united under the Saskatchewan Party than it has been since the CCF and NDP governments that seemed invincible in the last century."We are getting more monolithic in our preferences than almost any time in the past," he said.That could lead to problems for rural areas, he said. The Saskatchewan party campaign included very little for rural voters, says Rasmussen."The Saskatchewan Party doesn't have to worry about rural voters — they've got them in the bag. And in fact, it's to their detriment in rural Saskatchewan, because parties tend to ignore the voters that always vote for them," he said."They're really trying to gain the support of urban voters."
Amazon.com Inc's long-awaited launch of its Swedish website on Wednesday was marred by glitches and translation errors, including mistaking the Argentinian flag for Sweden's. The word valdtakt, which means rape in Swedish, is being used on several products instead of raps - the correct Swedish word for a plant. Another user pointed out that the cost of a product listed on the Swedish website was higher than one on its German website.
A Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., man who was originally on trial for arson to his own property pleaded guilty to mischief after lighting his all-terrain vehicle on fire near an Inuvik residence in July 2019.James Tedjuk, 27, entered his plea at the beginning of a Tuesday hearing in Inuvik.Crown prosecutor Billi Wun said the incident seemed out of character for Tedjuk, who had no prior criminal record.In the statement of facts, Wun said the incident happened around 1 a.m. the morning of July 20, 2019.Tedjuk had driven from Tuktoyaktuk to Inuvik to surprise his father. But when he arrived, his dad didn't seem happy to see him.Tedjuk, who had been drinking, was upset and decided to light the ATV with lighter fluid. The ATV was near a building that belonged to a friend of Tedjuk's dad.Two RCMP officers that were on duty noticed the fire and evacuated the building, including five from the main floor and a young boy who was on the second floor. Although nobody was hurt, Wun said there was potential for tragedy.'Unusual' incidentWun said that Tedjuk was very remorseful from the beginning and didn't try to hide anything.In fact, Tedjuk's lawyer, Charles Davison, said that Tedjuk approached police at the scene asking if he was going to be arrested before they had started to investigate the fire.He said that Tedjuk had also looked around before lighting the ATV, to make sure the flames wouldn't catch on anything.Davison said Tedjuk was upset with his dad and had lit the ATV on fire to get his attention.He said he has never really been in trouble before and "this action is out of character."Justice Andrew Mahar handed Tedjuk a six-month conditional sentence to be served at his home in Tuktoyaktuk, followed by a six-month probation period along with 50 hours of community service.When giving his sentence, Mahar said "it's unusual at this level of court that we are dealing with someone with no criminal record.""Everything I've heard today is out of character, and it's not you," he said as he spoke to Tedjuk.
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — President Donald Trump’s campaign has a bold theory for how he will win reelection: It can tap a universe of millions of supporters who did not vote for him in 2016 but will do so this time. Supposedly, these voters are overlooked by polls that show Trump consistently trailing Democrat Joe Biden. They are mostly the white working class from factory towns, farms and mining communities that Trump has elevated to near-mythic status as the “forgotten Americans.” They are disaffected and disconnected from conventional politics. Yet they flock to the Republican president’s rallies, plaster their yards with signs and have been filling up voter registration rolls, the campaign insists. This strategy will be tested in Pennsylvania, a critical state that Trump carried by only 44,292 votes out of 6.1 million cast in 2016. A Democratic surge of votes in cities and suburbs could quickly erase that narrow lead. To hold onto Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, the president needs to prove that a hidden groundswell of supporters exists — and will vote. But the math behind the theory is tight. Trump’s plan requires blowout victories and historic turnout in conservative strongholds across the state, places where he outperformed traditional Republicans four years ago and he knows must do even better. His mission is made clear by his campaign stops in Pennsylvania this week — a tour through GOP areas like Latrobe, Lititz and Martinsburg, “Trump has to drive turnout,” said Terry Madonna, a professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster who has conducted polls in the state for almost three decades. “I don’t see any evidence that he’s expanded his base.” The strategy is more difficult to execute given the stunning disruption wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, both in terms of a public health crisis and nationwide economic dislocation. Trump’s handling of the virus has cost him support among suburban women and older voters. His response to the civil unrest reacting to police killings of Black men only served to energize the resolve of Black women, as candidates and as voters. His wrecking-ball persona has prompted some of his backers in 2016 to reject him. So his fate lies in large part in places like Butler County, an overwhelmingly white, conservative county north of Pittsburgh. There are nearly two Republicans for each registered Democrat. Most adults did not graduate from college. The economy rests on manufacturing and fracking, as well as service-sector jobs from suburbs creeping in from the city. Republican turnout in Butler County was an impressive 80% in 2016. But local Republicans say the goal is to push that number as high as 90% this year. And they’ve spent several months registering new Republicans, adding 9,043 of them this year alone, for a 12.8% increase. Trump’s campaign is trying to replicate those kinds of numbers in other rural and exurban counties in the state. Al Lindsay, a 74-year-old trial lawyer and farmer who leads the Butler County Republicans, says that registration push has been made easy by frustrations over pandemic lockdowns and a growing belief that Democrats don't understand people who are religious and rural. His pitch is simple: “Look, there’s an urgency here. We need you.” ___ Butler wears its industrial past openly. There is still a baseball field at the historic Pullman Park, but the company closed its railcar factory in 1982. Its towns’ Main Streets recall an era when America was ascendant. The wire rope that holds up the Brooklyn Bridge was made in Butler County. So was the prototype for the Jeep deployed in World War II. Republicans have been operating three campaign offices in the county — a declaration of their intention to dominate. Slippery Rock Mayor Jondavid Longo pushed to open one of those offices in his town of 3,600. It sits opposite North Country Brewing, the town’s second-largest employer after Slippery Rock University, where Longo, a former Marine infantryman, attended college. Longo, 30, was elected mayor of Slippery Rock in 2017 by promising to keep taxes low and attract new businesses. The Republican knocked on 1,000 doors on the premise — similar to Trump's — that the key to winning was finding people who had tired of politics. His suits are tailored, his beard manicured and he drives entrepreneurs through Slippery Rock in a matte white Tesla. Trump “has given us an energy that says, Don’t back down, stand up for what’s right,” Longo said. “Open your mouth when you feel compelled to do so.” The mayor has aimed to turn out younger voters, a group that normally favours Democrats. But in Butler County, there are almost twice as many Republicans under 35 as there are Democrats — and their perspectives veer from the politics of their peers across the country. “Most dear to me, first and foremost, would be abortion — obviously, pro-life,” said Adam Jones, 19, a sophomore at Slippery Rock University who plans to cast his first vote for Trump. Behind that, Jones says, he prioritizes the Second Amendment and “resisting socialism.” Tyler Good, 21, was a month too young to vote for Trump in 2016 and is among the Trump voters who’ve been added to the rolls. He’s a Baptist, works as a photocopier technician and hunts deer with a .270 Remington rifle. He says Trump is appealing because he broke the mould of what a president can be. “He’s not a politician,” Good said. “He does get stuff done. He’s a businessman, you know. He doesn’t mess around, it seems.” Republicans like Longo are also hunting for voters like Dane Patricelli, a 27-year-old construction worker who leans conservative but cast his ballot in 2016 for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. Patricelli said Trump seemed like too much of a wild card in 2016. He wrestled for months with his decision this year, believing that Biden was a moderate even if the Democrats were drifting leftward. But he ultimately decided last week — after the last debate — that Trump had earned his vote. “I do like Trump because he’s shaken things up and is not bought and paid for,” he said. “He’s sticking to his promises.” But while Trump can tally up some first-time and third-party voters, he continues to lose Republicans like Lisa Barrickman. At 52, she retired from working at a Walmart store and has seen Cranberry Township become part of Pittsburgh’s suburban sprawl. Barrickman said she voted Republican four years ago but can’t this time around. “There is just too much division in this country,” she said. “If you’re a leader, you don’t incite, you quiet the storm. I know all politicians lie, cheat and scam — but it’s just too much to me. Biden — he’s calmer, he doesn’t spew with the hate.” ___ The Trump campaign has long known its best shot at winning was finding new voters in its strongholds, rather than persuading swing Democrats or independents. They used Trump’s raucous rallies in small towns and places that rarely get presidential attention to attract those voters to an unconventional campaign. They launched a voter registration and data collection effort around those events. There are signs of success: In Florida, the party has registered 475,500 Republicans over the past four years, outpacing gains of 395,600 for Democrats. The campaign has claimed that as many as a quarter of attendees at rallies did not vote in 2016. But in Pennsylvania, Democrats still outnumber Republicans by more than 700,000 registered voters, and there are an additional 1.3 million who are not associated with either party. And an Associated Press analysis of voting in key counties demonstrates the hurdles the GOP faces to overcome Democratic enthusiasm. Butler Countyhas10,600 Republicans who were registered but did not vote in 2016. About 11% of them decided to cast a ballot in this year’s Republican primary, in which Trump ran unopposed, according to the analysis using data from L2, a political data firm. That’s a strong indicator that those voters are likely to vote again this year. A similar pattern played out in 10 major Republican counties in Pennsylvania: Just over 10% of registered Republicans who sat out 2016 voted in the 2020 primary. That translates into nearly 14,000 voters. The obstacle for Trump is that Democrats — they had a competitive presidential primary — have more voters and generated a better return rate. Thereare 258,000 Democrats who were registered but did not vote in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties in 2016. But during this year’s primary, more than 34,300 of them became voters and cast ballots. That’s more than double the gains in Republicans from the 10 leading Trump counties. “For both campaigns, they’re seeing an acceleration of the trends we saw in 2016,” said Christopher Nicholas, a veteran Republican strategist. “Biden is doing better in the suburbs across the state. The Trump campaign is doing better in rural and exurban Pennsylvania.” ___ While Democrats stopped most in-person campaigning as the virus peaked during the spring and summer, Republicans were quick to resume an aggressive ground game in Butler County as early as May. The campaign groomed “super volunteers” tasked with pushing turnout to a record, borrowing from the same playbook as Democrat Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, said Brittney Robinson, director of the Trump campaign’s Pennsylvania operations. Many of the Republican volunteers in Butler County are women, and their message is that Democrats just don’t understand parts of the country where schools close for the start of hunting season, said Trish Lindsay, the wife of the local party chairman as well as the vice-chair. “It is the way of life that this election is about — and that is what is dividing people,” she said. While the pandemic is often viewed as a millstone on the president’s popularity, Republicans here say it’s given Trump an extra push. His supporters said the restrictions set by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf were an overreach that shuttered restaurants and hurt businesses. The issues motivating them include abortion, gun ownership and the continued fracking of natural gas — all areas where Trump has delivered for his base and Biden is perceived as a risk. “You start with the proposition that most of the people here are very alienated by the Democratic Party,” explained Al Lindsay, the party chair and Trish’s husband. He was talking about politics while giving a tour of family land he once farmed — now a golf course where natural gas is being pumped from beneath the fairways. Beyond cultural issues, he summarized his case directly: “We’re afraid that if the Biden ticket wins, that the gas and oil thing is going to be shut down.” Democrats are engaged in their own version of hunting for that rare nonvoter who can be persuaded to turn out this time. Catherine Lalonde, 59, wasn’t even registered as a Democrat in 2016, but the trained nurse now leads the Butler County party. She was unaffiliated and voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, only to be stunned by her loss. The Democrats’ office — it didn’t exist in 2016 — is a hive of candidates and voters picking up signs in the morning to replace those damaged or stolen during the night. Trump signs might dominate, but frustrated Democrats feel a new urgency about expressing themselves. “Other years, people tended to be a little more cautiousabout putting up signs because they’re in a place with a Republican majority,” Lalonde said. “But this year, they feel they have to do it.” But in Butler County, for every eager Democratic voter like Lalonde, there are more Republicans who are lining up to vote for Trump — and many believe that in this election, everything is at stake. Bill Adams, 76, has long lamented the decline of U.S. manufacturing, having proudly opened up a suction-cup factory in Butler County after transitioning from work as an elementary school librarian. Adams is convinced the nation is at a precipice where Democrats would destroy businesses, if not personal freedom. “I’ve never seen anything like it — we are where Venezuela was before the socialists took over,” he said. “That is the choice. It’s not what I think. It’s what history tells us.” Trump will need many more like Adams if he is to win a second term. ___ AP data reporter Angeliki Kastanis in Los Angeles and data reporter Pia Deshpande in Chicago contributed to this report. ___ AP’s Advance Voting guide brings you the facts about voting early, by mail or absentee from each state: https://interactives.ap.org/advance-voting-2020/. Josh Boak, The Associated Press
It's perhaps over Russia the two men differ most strongly. Trump has seemed reluctant to criticise President Putin at times, even when US intelligence concluded the Kremlin had interfered in the 2016 election. Whereas Biden has signalled he would take a much firmer line with MoscowView on euronews
Is the re-election of Donald Trump is the only way to repeal a 2010 Obama administration rule which forces all Americans who live abroad to file taxes?View on euronews