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Target's (NYSE: TGT) share price climbed 38% last year and now sits near an all-time high. Instead, I think it's likely Target's winning streak will continue over the long term. Here are three reasons to target Target stock for investment.
WASHINGTON — The Defence Department took more than three hours to dispatch the National Guard to the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol despite a frantic request for reinforcement from police, according to testimony Wednesday that added to the finger-pointing about the government response. Maj. Gen. William Walker, commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, told senators that the then-chief of the Capitol Police requested military support in a 1:49 p.m. call, but the Defence Department's approval for that support was not relayed to him until after 5 p.m., according to prepared testimony. Guard troops who had been waiting on buses were then rushed to the Capitol. That delay stood in contrast to the immediate approval for National Guard support granted in response to the civil unrest that roiled American cities last spring as an outgrowth of racial justice protests, Walker said. As local officials pleaded for help, Army officials raised concerns about the optics of a substantial National Guard presence at the Capitol, he said. “The Army senior leadership” expressed to officials on the call “that it would not be their best military advice to have uniformed Guardsmen on the Capitol,” Walker said. The Senate hearing is the second about what went wrong on Jan. 6, with national security officials face questions about missed intelligence and botched efforts to quickly gather National Guard troops that day as a violent mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. Even as Walker detailed the National Guard delay, another military official noted that local officials in Washington had said days earlier that no such support was needed. Senators were eager to grill officials from the Pentagon, the National Guard and the Justice and Homeland Security departments about their preparations for that day. Supporters of then-President Donald Trump had talked online, in some cases openly, about gathering in Washington that day and interrupting the electoral count. At a hearing last week, officials who were in charge of security at the Capitol blamed one another as well as federal law enforcement for their own lack of preparation as hundreds of rioters descended on the building, easily breached the security perimeter and eventually broke into the Capitol. Five people died as a result of the rioting. So far, lawmakers conducting investigations have focused on failed efforts to gather and share intelligence about the insurrectionists’ planning before Jan. 6 and on the deliberations among officials about whether and when to call National Guard troops to protect Congress. The officials at the hearing last week, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. Robert Contee, the acting chief of police for the Metropolitan Police Department, told senators he was “stunned” over the delayed response and said Sund was pleading with Army officials to deploy National Guard troops as the rioting rapidly escalated. Senate Rules Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar, one of two Democratic senators who will preside over Wednesday's hearing, said in an interview Tuesday that she believes every moment counted as the National Guard decision was delayed and police officers outside the Capitol were beaten and injured by the rioters. “Any minute that we lost, I need to know why,” Klobuchar said. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6. The probes are largely focused on security missteps and the origins of the extremism that led hundreds of Trump supporters to break through the doors and windows of the Capitol, hunt for lawmakers and temporarily stop the counting of electoral votes. Congress has, for now, abandoned any examination of Trump’s role in the attack after the Senate acquitted him last month of inciting the riot by telling the supporters that morning to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat. As the Senate hears from the federal officials, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman will testify before a House panel that is also looking into how security failed. In a hearing last week before the same subcommittee, she conceded there were multiple levels of failures but denied that law enforcement failed to take seriously warnings of violence before the insurrection. In the Senate, Klobuchar said there is particular interest in hearing from Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, who was on the phone with Sund and the Department of the Army as the rioters first broke into the building. Contee, the D.C. police chief, was also on the call and told senators that the Army was initially reluctant to send troops. “While I certainly understand the importance of both planning and public perception — the factors cited by the staff on the call — these issues become secondary when you are watching your employees, vastly outnumbered by a mob, being physically assaulted,” Contee said. He said he had quickly deployed his own officers and he was “shocked” that the National Guard “could not — or would not — do the same." Contee said that Army staff said they were not refusing to send troops, but “did not like the optics of boots on the ground” at the Capitol. Also testifying at the joint hearing of the Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees are Robert Salesses of the Defence Department, Melissa Smislova of the Department of Homeland Security and Jill Sanborn of the FBI, all officials who oversee aspects of intelligence and security operations. Lawmakers have grilled law enforcement officials about missed intelligence ahead of the attack, including a report from an FBI field office in Virginia that warned of online posts foreshadowing a “war” in Washington. Capitol Police leaders have said they were unaware of the report at the time, even though the FBI had forwarded it to the department. Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the report was disseminated though the FBI’s joint terrorism task force, discussed at a command post in Washington and posted on an internet portal available to other law enforcement agencies. Though the information was raw and unverified and appeared aspirational in nature, Wray said, it was specific and concerning enough that “the smartest thing to do, the most prudent thing to do, was just push it to the people who needed to get it.” Mary Clare Jalonick And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press
The European Union promised legal action on Wednesday after the British government unilaterally extended a grace period for checks on food imports to Northern Ireland, a move Brussels said violated terms of Britain's divorce deal. Since it left the EU last year, Britain's relations with the bloc have soured, with both sides accusing the other of acting in bad faith in relation to part of their trade agreement that covers goods movements to Northern Ireland. The British government extended a grace period for some checks on agricultural and food products imported by retailers to Northern Ireland until Oct. 1 in a move it said was necessary to ensure the free flow of goods to the British region.
The City of Ottawa will keep using the privately-owned Tabor Apartments in Vanier as emergency shelter space, but will put out a call to see if other landlords or hotels might offer units to help with a big spike in families needing housing. Since 2015, the city has paid Ottawa Inn owner Ahmed Syed to use his building. It pays $89 a night per unit for 15 families at Tabor, a sliver of the 370 homeless families now staying in motels and dorms, often for months or years, under 22 other such agreements. Some councillors had called on colleagues to end the deal at Tabor later this year and find the families permanent housing amid concerns about pests and a lack of a proper procurement. During a marathon 11-hour joint meeting Tuesday, the finance and community services committees voted 14 to 5 against ending the arrangement. With shelter space especially tight during the pandemic, they agreed instead to Coun. Laura Dudas's move to put out a new request for offers to see if others might also offer temporary accommodation for families. Families choose Tabor over motel City staff explained if the families of seven, eight, or nine people were to leave Tabor, they could only be relocated to multiple motel rooms with no kitchen. Laws would prevent these families from jumping the long queue for permanent, subsidized homes. One woman who visits the families every day said they told her to tell councillors they would prefer to stay at Tabor rather than wait in a motel for a large enough unit. "These families are given an option between bad and bad," said Gwen Madiba, who befriended many of them when delivering food hampers. Almost all the families at Tabor apartments are Black and many are single moms. They didn't feel comfortable addressing councillors themselves for fear of losing housing because of power imbalances or that their religions expect them to accept what's given, explained Madiba. Gwen Madiba is president of Equal Chance, a group that empowers Black women and also provides food hampers to the families at Tabor apartments.(Kate Porter/CBC) One statement by an 11-year-old girl described her struggle to focus on school in a small apartment with her brothers and mother, hearing rodents in walls, and crying with her mom when they feel forgotten. "We don't want to move unless you can give us a place where we can stay forever," wrote the girl. Inspections satisfy staff Some families at Tabor told CBC News last week about issues with bed bugs, cockroaches and rats. Owner Syed insisted he deals with issues quickly when he receives complaints and is only trying to help. Public health, bylaw and city housing staff had made several inspections and all issues were dealt with, agreed general manager Donna Gray. "We are a social services department. We do not want anyone living in horrible conditions and our staff go above and beyond to make the lives of these families as best as they can," she said. The pandemic also made it hard to have contractors go into apartments, Gray added. "This is not a trial of Mr. Syed," agreed Madiba. "It's the system that … constantly seems to be working against these people. Let us all sit down and try to find a solution." City plans new housing Earlier in the meeting, the joint committee approved a 10-year roadmap for how to build and pay for 500 new affordable housing units annually in partnership with Ottawa Community Housing and other non-profits. They also intend to fund two new facilities, one for families and one for women, with 40 to 50 beds that could reduce the need for motels. More immediately, the Dudas motion calls for the city to run another "housing blitz" as it did late in 2020 to see if landlords have permanent units. The city will also request temporary accommodations. "People might be willing," said John Dickie of the Eastern Ontario Landlords Organization. "Anywhere that students rented there are vacant units, so it's possible people might step up. This is new territory for all of us."
U.S. President Joe Biden says there will be enough COVID-19 vaccines available for 260 million people by May and promised every adult in the U.S. who wants a vaccine will get one by then.
MOSCOW — Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday urged police to track down people who encourage children to join in unsanctioned demonstrations, a move that follows a wave of protests against the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Speaking to top officials of the Interior Ministry, which oversees the police, Putin said they should more actively monitor social platforms and track down those who “draw the underaged into unlawful actions.” “It's a violation of the law to draw the children into illegal and unsanctioned street actions, and it's necessary to respond accordingly,” Putin said. Last month, Russian authorities charged Leonid Volkov, a chief strategist for Navalny, with encouraging minors to take part in unauthorized rallies, which could land him in jail for up to three years. Volkov, who has lived abroad since 2019, has rejected the charges. The government of Lithuania, where he now lives, has bluntly rejected the Russian court's demand for his arrest. Navalny, who is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most determined political foe, was arrested on Jan. 17 upon returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from a nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin. Russian authorities have rejected the accusation. Last month, he was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for violating the terms of his probation while convalescing in Germany — charges he dismissed as a Kremlin vendetta. Protests against his arrest drew tens of thousands of people across Russia, and authorities responded with a massive crackdown. The Associated Press
LONDON — Prince Philip is “slightly improving” and the royal family is keeping its fingers crossed for the hospitalized duke's recovery, his daughter-in-law Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, said Wednesday. Philip, 99, has been hospitalized since being admitted Feb. 16 to King Edward VII’s Hospital in London, where he was treated for an infection. On Monday, he was transferred to a specialized cardiac care hospital, St. Bartholomew’s, to undergo further treatment alongside testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition. Camilla said during a visit to a coronavirus vaccination centre in London that Philip is “slightly improving,” but he “hurts at moments.” “We keep our fingers crossed,” said the duchess, who is married to Prince Charles, eldest son of Philip and Queen Elizabeth II. The comments were reported by broadcasters covering the visit. Buckingham Palace said Monday that Philip was “comfortable and is responding to treatment but is expected to remain in hospital until at least the end of the week.’” The two-week stay is already Philip’s longest-ever stint in hospital. Philip, who retired from royal duties in 2017, rarely appears in public. During England’s current coronavirus lockdown, Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, has been staying at Windsor Castle, west of London, with the queen. Philip married the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and is the longest-serving royal consort in British history. He and the queen have four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. The Associated Press
For more than a year, the PC government’s plan to build a sprawling GTA West transportation corridor flew under the radar. When Doug Ford and his colleagues moved to restart the highway’s environmental assessment (EA) in 2019, reversing the previous Liberal government’s decision to scrap it, few noticed. Subsequent advancements of the project also received little attention, despite sustained opposition by advocacy groups such as Environmental Defence. As 2021 dawned, something started to shift. While the PCs at Queen’s Park approved the highway’s route in August and then quietly moved to speed up the environmental assessment process to get the project started even faster (perhaps to get shovels in the ground before the next election) opposition to their actions mounted. First, Halton Region and the Town of Halton Hills took an aggressive stand against the plan late last year. Then early in the new year the NDP came out against the project, confirming they would scrap it if the party wins election in 2022, and the Liberals followed a few weeks later with the same pledge. Pleas from environmental groups and local residents who will be directly impacted by the massive stretch of six-lane highway grew louder. Early in February, Environmental Defence teamed up with an environmental law-group, Ecojustice, and sent a request to Ottawa. Take over the EA process being rushed through by Queen’s Park, they asked. The request, originally something of a hail mary that relied on a generous interpretation of federal legislation, has already borne fruit. In a series of unexpected votes, Peel’s lower-tier municipalities finally woke up. Caledon and Brampton had endorsed the highway’s progress for years, while Mississauga had chosen not to get involved. Suddenly, Mississauga passed a motion actively opposing the highway, while Caledon and Brampton both backed calls for the federal government to take over the environmental assessment process, meaning it could scrap the entire project, if it decides to get involved. On Tuesday, in another surprise move, the City of Vaughan, where the 400-series highway would run, voted to revoke its support for the project, passing a motion rejecting the plan, instead of simply debating how the assessment should proceed, which was the original plan for the council meeting. Clearly, politicians have been shocked into action by the mounting anger over the PC government’s decision to unilaterally ram through a project that will have devastating consequences on climate change, GTA watersheds, local ecosystems and the environment in general. The world’s largest protected green space, Ontario’s Greenbelt, would see the giant asphalt corridor run right along its southern edge and, in some places, right through the sensitive natural environment covered by provincial legislation. Sustaining the GTA’s watershed, which prevents flooding while ensuring clean water and healthy ecosystems is critical to the health of Ontario’s most populous region. Building a highway across these valuable lands goes against everything the Province has done over the last two decades to protect the environment. But with the blessing of the development industry, Ford ignored all the past work and the decision in 2018 to scrap the project. The tone deaf move at a time when the planet faces unparalleled challenges, is finally being reconsidered. Shaken by the swelling opposition, even the Province has softened its position, with the PCs stating this week in the legislature that the highway might not happen. Hanging over the process is the potential for the federal government to wrestle control of the EA from Queen’s Park and complete its own assessment. The Liberal government has made climate change a key pillar of its mandate, and a massive 400-series highway would only make it more difficult for Canada to meet its obligations under the Paris Accord. In 2016, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the document officially at a United Nations ceremony in New York, he said, "Today, with my signature, I give you our word that Canada's efforts will not cease. Climate change will test our intelligence, our compassion and our will. But we are equal to that challenge." His government now has a clear opportunity to make good on the pledge. If a federal EA is conducted and concludes the highway’s impact to the environment or Canada’s emissions targets would be too great, it could end the project once and for all. Under the Impact Assessment Act, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change has 90 days from the initiation of a request to decide whether or not to designate the project and take control. A spokesperson for the federal government confirmed to The Pointer a decision by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada would be made by May 4 “The agency is currently soliciting the views of the public, Indigenous groups and stakeholders to inform its analysis and prepare a recommendation for the minister,” the spokesperson said. “The agency’s recommendation will also be informed by science, input from the proponent, federal authorities, and other jurisdictions.” There are several concerns around the planned GTA West Corridor. Environmental groups and members of the public were alarmed when the PCs announced in the summer that the EA would be streamlined to get the project started faster. Critics said a shortened assessment would fall short of the rigorous scientific standards required to safely build highway infrastructure on or around protected lands. The issue of whether “the potential adverse effects can be adequately managed through other existing legislative or regulatory mechanisms” is one of the questions Ottawa will now consider in its deliberations. The federal government will also consider if the potential greenhouse gas emissions from the project “may hinder the Government of Canada’s ability to meet its commitments with respect to climate change”. This factor, something a new highway would clearly contribute to, suggests Ottawa could be motivated to intervene. The same legislation applied in the decision on the GTA West Highway is being challenged in Alberta. Court documents submitted by the Government of Alberta call the Impact Assessment Act a “trojan horse” and ask the province’s top court to rule it unconstitutional. "This overreach of federal jurisdiction threatens to eviscerate provincial authority over resource development and must be rejected by this court,” the Alberta government states in the court documents. It follows a theme of similar struggles, particularly in Alberta and Ontario, where Conservative governments have found their policies at odds with aggressive national climate change commitments. Ontario Premier Doug Ford believes large-scale construction projects such as the GTA West Corridor will help reignite the economy when COVID-19 eventually retreats. But the federal Liberals have doubled down on their climate change commitments by significantly increasing the national carbon tax. The spokesperson explained the decision-making process to determine if Ottawa will take over the EA for the highway. “The recommendation will consider whether the carrying out of the project may cause adverse effects within federal jurisdiction or adverse direct or incidental effects, and public concerns related to such effects. It will also consider the potential impacts of the project on the rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada.” The Fording River Extension in British Columbia, formerly known as the Castle Project, serves as an example. The project was a result of a proposal by Teck Coal Limited to extend the life of its metallurgical coal mine north of Elkford. Between May 12 and July 17, eight separate requests for the Federal government to step in were submitted. They came from different parties, including Indigenous communities and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. On August 19, 99 days after the initial request, the federal government agreed to take over the project’s assessment. So far, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada’s website only lists one request for the GTA West Corridor to be designated as a federal project, linking to the original February letter from EcoJustice on behalf of its client, Environmental Defence. Other requests in the form of council motions have since been sent, including resolutions passed in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga. More than 50 comments have also been submitted by members of the public. A final decision will be publicly rendered by May 4. You can visit the federal government's newly created GTA West Highway impact assessment webpage here. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @isaaccallan Tel: 647 561-4879 COVID-19 is impacting all Canadians. At a time when vital public information is needed by everyone, The Pointer has taken down our paywall on all stories relating to the pandemic and those of public interest to ensure every resident of Brampton and Mississauga has access to the facts. For those who are able, we encourage you to consider a subscription. This will help us report on important public interest issues the community needs to know about now more than ever. You can register for a 30-day free trial HERE. Thereafter, The Pointer will charge $10 a month and you can cancel any time right on the website. Thank you. Isaac Callan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Pointer
Fingers crossed, residents and visitors to the area will be able to attend the Ripley Food, Art and Craft Show on Aug. 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Community Centre. The annual show is a showcase for local vendors, bringing them all together under one roof to connect with shoppers. Like so many other events scheduled last summer, the show had to be cancelled because of pandemic restrictions that prohibited large gatherings under one roof. “This past year has been tough on small businesses, local artisans and our residents,” said Maggie Young, who handles community services programming and administration for the Township of Huron Kinloss. “The Township of Huron-Kinloss and the Community Services Department are committed to providing a space and hosting an event to help showcase local artisans and food producers, as well as re-introducing events for the community to attend. Therefore, every effort is being made to host the 2021 Ripley Food Art Craft Festival, keeping in mind the safety and wellbeing of both the vendors and visitors.” Young said all protocols advised by public health will be followed, and may include masks if required, the number of people allowed in the building at one time and sanitizer will be available. If necessary, booths can be spaced two-metres apart and directional flow arrows will be placed on the floor. Young says community services will “go above and beyond” what restrictions are in place. Organizers also have a plan B ready, should it be decided that the event cannot be held on the arena floor. It can be moved outside, under tents, if necessary, and as a last option, held online with a marketplace and vendor focus. Registration is now open for vendors, which has in past years welcomed 40-50 small businesses. Information is available by calling 519-395-2909 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or follow the event on Facebook @RipleyArtisansFestival for status updates. All money raised from the event is directed back to the Town of Ripley and Huron Kinloss. Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent
LOS ANGELES — Vanessa Bryant said she is focused on “finding the light in darkness” in an emotional interview with People magazine detailing her attempts to push forward after her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi died in a helicopter crash early last year. Bryant said the late NBA superstar and Gigi continue to “motivate me to keep going” in the magazine’s Women Changing the World issue, which will be released Friday. The issue salutes the activists, innovators and role models who are making a difference. The 38-year-old widow of the Los Angeles Lakers legend expressed how she’s been trying to navigate heartache while trying to rebuild a life for herself and three daughters. “Lying in bed crying isn’t going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again,” she said. “But getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my girls and for me. So that’s what I do.” Kobe Bryant was killed when the helicopter carrying him, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others crashed into a mountainside in Calabasas, California, while flying to a girls basketball tournament at his Mamba Sports Academy on Jan. 26, 2020. Vanessa Bryant said her devotion to her daughters Natalia, Bianka and Capri have been a saving grace. “My girls help me smile through the pain,” she said. “They give me strength.” On the magazine cover, Vanessa Bryant sports a Lakers jacket with Kobe's No. 24 on the right sleeve. Vanessa Bryant said she wants to honour her husband and daughter’s legacy by creating opportunities for young female athletes. She has since taken charge of creative projects left unfinished at Granity Studios, the late NBA star’s multimedia company she now helms. She recently relaunched Kobe’s charitable non-profit as Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation — a nod to the father-daughter duo — to help empower young girls and provide equal opportunities to underserved athletes. Bryant felt compelled to follow through on the vision her husband long championed. Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press
MOSCOW — The Kremlin on Wednesday shrugged off new Western sanctions over the poisoning and arrest of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny as unfounded and pointless — but warned that Moscow will retaliate. U.S. President Joe Biden's administration sanctioned seven Russian officials on Tuesday, along with more than a dozen government entities, over the nerve-agent attack on Navalny and his subsequent jailing. It co-ordinated the move with the European Union, which expanded its own sanctions Tuesday. Commenting on the U.S. and the EU decisions, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the sanctions against top Russian officials that include a freeze on their bank accounts duplicate Russia's own law that bans them from having financial and other assets abroad. “These people don't make foreign trips anyway and they don't have the right to open accounts in foreign banks or have any other foreign assets,” Peskov said in a conference call with reporters. At the same time, he added that the U.S. and EU restrictions “represent meddling in Russia's internal affairs” and are “absolutely unacceptable, inflicting significant damage to the already poor ties." Peskov warned that Russia will now choose a “response that would best serve our own interests,” adding that the relevant state agencies would draft their proposals and submit them to the Kremlin. “The principle of reciprocity in relations between states can't be abandoned,” he said. 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. Navalny was arrested on Jan. 17 upon returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from the poisoning. His 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 sentence to a prison outside Moscow, despite the European Court of Human Rights' demand for his release which cited concerns for his safety. Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press
A house fire on Tuesday afternoon was caused by an accidental grease fire in the kitchen, according to Windsor's fire department. One person was treated for a minor burn at the home on Lauzon Road, the fire department said in a series of tweets Tuesday. Two people are displaced as a result of the fire, and damage is estimated at $100,000. At about 5:30 p.m., the fire department tweeted that the flames had been extinguished. More from CBC Windsor
COLUMBUS, Ohio — At the beginning of 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was working on plans to battle algae blooms in Lake Erie, crack down on distracted driving, and figure out a way to save an Ohio minor league baseball team. The largely popular first-term Republican governor accepted an invitation to give the commencement address at Miami University in May. The 2022 election was a long way off, but some Democrats were already exploring challenges to DeWine. Then came the first week of March, and with it a decision by DeWine that set the stage for a year of politics that today seems like something viewed from the other side of Alice in Wonderland's looking glass. On March 3, without a single reported COVID-19 case in the state, DeWine laid down strict attendance limits on the annual Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, a supersized gathering founded three decades ago by Arnold Schwarzenegger that typically brings 20,000 athletes from 80 countries to compete in events including professional bodybuilding and a strongman competition. Annual economic impact on the city: more than $50 million. “That was really, at least for me, the beginning of the pandemic,” DeWine said earlier this week, adding: “It’s hard to believe that it’s been an entire year.” Nine days later, with the virus spreading rapidly elsewhere but with just five confirmed virus cases in Ohio, DeWine ordered schools closed for three weeks, becoming the first governor nationally to make such a move. The closing of gyms and theatres followed shortly, and then statewide stay-at-home orders. What came next was a year of surprising political turmoil for a career politician who many initially believed had met his moment. DeWine, who's held multiple state and federal offices, now faces reelection in 2022 amid fierce criticism from the very Republicans whose party he spent decades helping to build. DeWine's actions against the virus won him early praise, not just from public health professionals but also from business groups and even restaurant owners hammered by the shutdown who acknowledged his actions could save lives. Soon DeWine, Health Director Dr. Amy Acton and GOP Lt. Gov. Jon Husted were a daily fixture for many Ohioans, the 2 p.m. routine dubbed “Wine with DeWine” by cooped up Ohioans teasingly prone to day-drinking by the pandemic. Acton became a folk hero in her own right, inspiring young girls to dress up like doctors and to conduct their own living room briefings. The good mood didn't last long for some. Democrats sued after Acton, acting on DeWine's orders, postponed Ohio's March 17 primary just hours before voting was set to begin, thrusting the state's presidential election into chaos. In April, DeWine walked back a statewide mask mandate after a single day following intense opposition from Republican constituencies, including many businesses. While keeping masks mandatory for business employees, he finally issued a statewide mandate in July that remains in effect. On April 13, dozens of lockdown protesters shouted outside the Statehouse Atrium and briefly pounded on its windows as reporters covered the governor’s daily briefing, which had been moved to increasingly larger spaces to accommodate social distancing rules. As virus deaths rose and national divisions grew, Republican lawmakers pushed back with multiple bills against the GOP governor's public health orders, leaving Democratic legislators to defend Acton and DeWine. One legislator started a movement to have DeWine impeached. The bespectacled, graying 74-year-old persisted, concentrating during his briefings on conveying the status of the pandemic and buoying the state's spirits. He praised ball teams, music groups and schoolchildren, celebrated frontline workers and small business owners and brought on First Lady Fran DeWine to share recipes, activities for parents to do with their stir-crazy children and tips for making a festive mask. He and the first lady also livestreamed themselves receiving the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. In June, it appeared his strategy was working. DeWine's approval rating spiked 31 percentage points from the previous year, to 75%, in a Quinnipiac University poll released that month. Approval for his coronavirus response was even higher, at 77%. What's more, the numbers carried across party lines and marked an all-time high for any Ohio governor in all the school's polls of registered voters going back to 2007. Around that same time, though, Acton had had enough, quitting abruptly amid a torrent of conservative criticism of her that included armed protesters outside her suburban Columbus house. The 55-year-old is now exploring running as a Democrat next year for an open U.S. Senate seat. With his amiable virus expert gone and criticism growing, DeWine augmented his bi-weekly briefings with two primetime speeches to Ohioans, on July 15 and Nov. 10, pleading for people to wear masks and socially distance themselves to slow the spread of the virus. Meanwhile, a faction of far-right conservatives grew angrier and louder as the months passed. They refused to wear masks as DeWine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised. They rebelled against stay-at-home orders, business closures, curfews and other safety measures. Some GOP governors were opening their states in response, leaving DeWine in an increasingly shrinking club of Republicans willing to embrace some continued restrictions. Less than a week after his November speech, DeWine found himself in the upside down political position of being praised by Democratic President-elect Joe Biden on the same day he was trolled on Twitter by former GOP President Donald Trump, who suggested that DeWine needed a primary challenger. DeWine plans to seek reelection next year and, while no primary opponent has publicly announced, some critics of his virus response within the party want the road kept open for him to face a GOP primary challenge. In the meantime, that minor league baseball team survived for now and DeWine continues to push clean water issues and a crackdown on distracted driving. DeWine vetoed a legislative clampdown on his public health orders in early January, but today faces a similar bill headed for his desk. As he has throughout the past 12 months, DeWine said last month that lawmakers must focus on the bigger picture. "What we have to make sure we have to get right is how a future governor — not a Mike DeWine — a future governor can react to an emergency,” he said. Andrew Welsh-Huggins And Julie Carr Smyth, The Associated Press
PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron has met with four grandchildren of an Algerian independence fighter to tell them that Ali Boumendjel had been tortured and killed by French soldiers in 1957. It was a further step in Macron's efforts to reconcile France with its colonial past while offering an outstretched hand to Algeria, which France occupied for 132 years. In a statement late Tuesday, the presidential Elysee Palace said Macron wants to give families of the disappeared on both sides of the Mediterranean “the means to learn the truth.” Macron is the first French president born after the end of Algeria's brutal seven-year war of independence in 1962, and had promised to reckon with colonial-era wrongs and, put an end to the two countries' still rancorous relationship. Algeria held a special place among France’s colonial conquests, becoming part-and-parcel of France like other French regions. While Algerians make up a large portion of immigrants in France, the North African country harbours enmity from the years of colonization that culminated in the war, its brutal secrets locked in archives that Macron said he is gradually trying to reopen. “No crime, no atrocity committed by anyone during the War of Algeria can be excused or left hidden,” the Elysee statement said. “They must be faced with courage and lucidity, with absolute respect for those whose lives were torn apart by them and whose destinies were broken.” France’s bid to seek reconciliation is part of a larger movement of reckoning with the dark past of nations, notably in the United States where Civil War-era statues honouring southern heroes who defended slavery are being torn down. Macron has said he is opposed to removing statues to erase history. He has also said he doesn’t want to apologize to Algeria — even though he surprised everyone when he said, while campaigning for the presidency he won in 2017, that France’s colonization was a “crime against humanity.” Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said last year that his country is still awaiting an official apology. A report commissioned by Macron from historian Benjamin Stora, considered France’s top expert on Algeria, said the “excesses of a culture of repentance” don’t contribute to facing the past. However, Stora also said that healing wounds demands improving understanding of what the colonial system entailed, including its daily reality and ideological goals and “how some in Algeria and France resisted this system of domination.” Among recommendations was recognition of the killing of Boumendjel. His wife Malika had spent a lifetime trying to uncover the truth of her husband’s death during the especially brutal Battle of Algiers when, the presidential statement said, “he was arrested by the French army, placed in a secret (location), tortured, then killed on 23 March 1957.” It said a French general, Paul Aussaresses, “admitted to have ordered one of his subordinates to kill him and cover the crime as a suicide.” Aussaresses was convicted in 2004 of defending torture. In 2018, Macron formally recognized the responsibility of the French state in the 1957 death of a dissident in Algeria, Maurice Audin, admitting for the first time the military’s use of systematic torture during the war. Macron wants to honour Gisele Halimi, a French feminist who supported Algeria’s independence and denounced the use of wartime torture. He hopes to have her reburied at the Pantheon monument in Paris, a resting place for some of France’s most distinguished citizens. ___ Sylvie Corbet in Paris contributed. Elaine Ganley, The Associated Press
THE LATEST: Health officials announced 542 new cases and seven more deaths on Wednesday. To date, 1,372 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. There are now 246 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 64 in intensive care. There are currently 4,652 active cases of coronavirus in the province. 200 cases of variants of concern have been identified. So far, 289,809 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., with 86,616 of those being second doses. Another 542 cases of COVID-19 and seven more deaths from the disease have been confirmed in B.C., health officials announced Wednesday. The latest numbers show a steady rise in the rolling seven-day average of new cases and the number of patients in hospital over the last two weeks. Right now, 246 people are in hospital with COVID-19 including 64 in intensive care. To date, 1,372 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19 out of 81,909 confirmed cases. There are now 4,652 active cases of the novel coronavirus in B.C. Since the province's vaccination program began late in 2020, 289,809 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 86,616 second doses. The numbers come as Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization has endorsed B.C.'s plan to space out first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines by 16 weeks in order to reach more people. In Wednesday's written statement, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said they were pleased with the endorsement. "Our goal is to protect as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, through the available COVID-19 vaccines. With a single primer dose, these vaccines are helping to stop outbreaks and reduce serious illness and death," they said. B.C. now expects every eligible adult who wants a vaccine will receive their first dose by the end of July. The plan is to space out doses by four months. Wednesday's update also included another 18 confirmed cases of variants of concern, bringing B.C.'s total to date to 200. READ MORE: What's happening elsewhere in Canada As of 7:30 p.m. PT Tuesday, Canada had reported 872,747 cases of COVID-19, with 30,252 cases considered active. A total of 22,045 people have died. What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Common symptoms include: Fever. Cough. Tiredness. Shortness of breath. Loss of taste or smell. Headache. But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia. What should I do if I feel sick? Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or other extreme symptoms should call 911. What can I do to protect myself? Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean. Keep at least two metres away from people outside your bubble. Keep your distance from people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Wear a mask in indoor public spaces. More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kincardine and District Dancing with the Stars fundraiser has been rescheduled to Aug. 19 and this year, will be held as a virtual event. The event welcomes local dance teams, composed of a local celebrity and a seasoned dancer, to compete against each other on the dance floor and raise money for BBBS. It was originally scheduled for April of 2021. The 2020 event was cancelled because of COVID restrictions. “Although we were hoping to be able to bring our community together for another exciting evening of in-person entertainment this year, we have made the decision for the health and safety of our volunteers, supporters and dancers to move to a virtual event,” said Yolanda Ritsema, executive director of BBBSKD. The first Dancing with the Stars event debuted in 2019, and was a huge success. Bill Pike and Jennifer White topped the podium, and the event raised $12,600. BBBSKD, along with many other not-for-profit groups, have felt the fundraising pinch since the beginning of the pandemic, when many events were cancelled because of stay-at-home and gathering restrictions. The groups have had to pivot and develop new means to raise much-needed funds. “The funds from Dancing with the Stars go to support our programs and services,” said Ritsema. “We serve 50 young people in Kincardine and area. Our mission is to enable life-changing mentoring relationships that ignite the power and potential of young people. We serve young people who face adversity and are in need of an additional supportive developmental relationship.” “With monies raised from our main fundraising programs, like Dancing with the Stars, we are able ignite the power and potential of young people by intentionally recruiting volunteers based on the needs of our community's young people; by matching young people with a professionally screened volunteer mentor; by monitoring and supporting that match with a professional caseworker; by training and supporting the mentor, the mentee and the family; and by building a Developmental Relationship between the mentor and the mentee that Expresses Care, Challenges Growth, Provides Support, Shares Power and Expands Possibilities.” Ritsema says that having a big brother or sister has a long term effect on their littles. Mentored youth are two times more likely to give back to their community and 81 per cent of mentored youth report having stronger financial literacy. Forty three per cent are less likely to conduct problems at school and 98 per cent believe they make better life choices. For every $1 invested in Big Brothers Big Sisters, $23 is returned to society. Ritsema says the volunteer team responsible for organizing the event has been hard at work creating a virtual experience everyone will enjoy. Besides the dance competition, the event will feature an online auction and an “early bird” raffle for Mother’s Day, featuring a pair of Canadian diamond earrings, donated by Gemini Jewellers in Kincardine. The dancing pairs, Alana Rozon and Murray Needham, Braden Prasad and Patty Coulter, Gord Dunbar and Sally Ballard, Sarah and Keith Foster and John Binnendyk and Karen Maliseni, will each perform two routines, which will be judged by Michael Rencheck, Jessica Brown and Taylor Pollard. John Low will serve as the master of ceremonies. “We have five wonderful dance couples who have been working so hard for several months to bring you an incredible night of performances,” said Linda Johnson, Dancing with the Stars team captain. “This event will still sparkle and thrill our audience as they watch from the comfort of their homes.” Updates and tickets for the event will go on sale in the coming months. More information can be found by visiting www.kincardine.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca and checking the social media page. Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent
With the hope of alleviating one of the problems plaguing the long term care system during the pandemic, the provincial government announced on Feb. 24 that it is investing over $115 million to train up to 8,200 new personal support workers for high-demand jobs in Ontario's health and long-term care sectors. The initiative plans to have up to 8,200 new supporter workers ready for the long term care workforce by the fall of 2021. The province has collaborated with Colleges Ontario, and all 24 publicly assisted colleges will offer this fully-funded plan, set to begin next month. "We are taking monumental steps to protect our most vulnerable and provide the highest quality of care when and where residents need it," said Premier Ford. "We will achieve this by recruiting and training some of our best and brightest to be PSWs. This will improve the quality of life for our seniors and begin to correct the decades of neglect in this sector." The Accelerated PSW Training Program will offer free tuition for up to 6,000 new students enrolled in the personal support worker course. The course, which begins Apr. 5, will allow students to graduate with full credentials in six months, compared to the eight months it would usually take to complete. It will include three months of coursework, and experiential, or hands-on learning, in a clinical setting. Students will complete the final three months in paid onsite training in a long-term care home or in a home and community care environment. The province is also offering tuition assistance to students who are close to finishing an existing program at one of Ontario's publicly-assisted colleges. Nearly 2,200 students will be eligible to receive a $2,000 tuition grant to help them complete their studies, as well as a stipend to complete the clinical placement part of their training. According to Georgian College, the new accelerated training program for personal support workers will produce a huge increase in PSW training at Ontario’s colleges. “This is a major step to help fill the demand for personal support workers in our communities,” said Dr. MaryLynn West-Moyes, president and CEO, Georgian College. “PSWs are the backbone of care in Ontario – and there simply aren’t enough of them. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in a new career in this critical field.” “Our graduates provide essential care to many of our most vulnerable citizens,” Dr. West-Moynes said. “We were pleased to collaborate with the province and our community health-care partners to create this new opportunity for students who will graduate job ready with high-quality, essential skills.” Those interested in applying to the provincially funded PSW program with intakes starting in April or May at Georgian, should check https://www.ontariocolleges.ca on or after March 8 for details. Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent
CLEVELAND — The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced Tuesday that the 2021 induction ceremony will take place at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland on October 30. President and CEO Greg Harris said the ceremony's move to the fall will likely stick, going forward, news outlets reported. The last in-person ceremony before the pandemic, held in March 2019, took place New York's Barclays Center, but the hall of fame itself is located in the Ohio city. Last year’s ceremony was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, and eventually replaced with an HBO special honouring the inductees. The 16 nominees this year include Mary J. Blige, Kate Bush, DEVO, Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s, Iron Maiden, Jay-Z, Chaka Khan, Carole King, Fela Kuti, LL Cool J, New York Dolls, Rage Against the Machine, Todd Rundgren, Tina Turner and Dionne Warwick. Ballots are sent to an international voting body, but the top five winners of the annual fan vote — held until April 30 — have a better chance at induction. The current leaders of that poll are, from the top, Fela Kuti, Tina Turner, the Foo Fighters, Iron Maiden, and The Go-Gos. The Associated Press
An Ottawa city council committee approved spending an additional $15 million on lawyers and technical experts to fight Rideau Transit Group (RTG) after a behind-closed-doors update on the ongoing legal battles with the contractors that built the Confederation Line. A late-night finance and economic development meeting began Tuesday with a 90-minute in camera session where councillors heard the city requires "ongoing legal and subject matter technical expertise support." The city is withholding tens of millions of dollars in payments to RTG and its maintenance arm, including $59 million from the final payment in 2019, due to the 456-day delay in handing the LRT system over to the city. Since the Confederation Line launched in September 2019, the city has only paid RTG part of what the consortium — led by SNC-Lavalin and ACS Infrastructure — has billed due to poor or missed service. The legal battle over the money appears not to be over and it's not known how much the city has spent so far. Although there is still $9.4 million remaining in the city's contingency fund for Stage 1, "these project contingency funds have been fully expended due to the nature of [the] City's claims disputes with RTG," according to the motion to add that additional $15 million. Although the money will come out of the transit capital reserve fund, the motion states the city plans to "attempt to recover these costs in the dispute resolution process against RTG."
NEWARK, N.J. — When a traveller became stricken at Newark Liberty International Airport, the police got an assist from a celebrity doctor: Mehmet Oz. The incident occurred late Monday night when Port Authority Officer Jeffrey Croissant saw the 60-year-old man fall to the floor near a baggage claim area. Croissant called for backup, and immediately began performing CPR on the unidentified man, who wasn't breathing and didn't appear to have a pulse, according to the Port Authority. When another person came over to help, Croissant didn’t immediately recognize it was Oz, the cardiac surgeon and longtime host of TV’s “Dr. Oz Show,” who had arrived on the same flight. The two performed CPR together on the man until three other officers brought oxygen and a defibrillator for the man, who eventually regained a pulse and was taken to a hospital for evaluation. “What better help than to have a cardiac surgeon?" Croissant said afterward. The Associated Press
La fusion potentielle du Centre Desjardins Entreprises (CDE) –Côte-Nord à celui du Saguenay n’aura pas lieu car « à ce moment-ci, toutes les conditions gagnantes pour faire de ce projet un succès ne sont pas réunies ». C’est ce qu’a confirmé le président du comité nord-côtier de coordination et directeur général de la caisse Desjardins du Centre de La Haute-Côte-Nord, Christophe Rolland, par voie de communiqué. Les travaux de réflexion, entamés avant la période des Fêtes, ont donc été abandonnés. Le préfet de Minganie, Luc Noël, et l’Assemblée des MRC de la Côte-Nord s’étaient vivement opposés à l’éventuelle fusion entre les deux CDE, arguant que cela revenait à livrer la région « poings et pieds liés » au Saguenay. M. Noël estimait que l’unification ferait perdre le pouvoir décisionnel nord-côtier au profit des Caisses Desjardins saguenéennes et déplorait un processus « fait en catimini ». Selon Christophe Rolland via un communiqué publié le 20 janvier, la fusion entre le CDE–Côte-Nord et son vis-à-vis du Saguenay aurait pu résulter en la bonification des services offerts aux entreprises et entrepreneurs grâce à l’accès à plus de spécialisations et à un plus grand nombre d’employés. Laurence Dami-Houle, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Portageur